February 17, 2009
Shed Hunting Irony
By Scott Bestul
I may not be the world’s worst shed hunter, but I could compete for the title.
Mostly, I think I have focus problems. No, I do not let distractions like college basketball, the debut of the annual SI swimsuit issue, or even ice fishing keep me from the woods. Actually, I log enough miles that I should, by all rights, have a pile of bone by season’s end. Instead, I pluck about a dozen sheds a season, most of them no larger than this little guy at left, found in an apple orchard last weekend.
Here’s the deal: to find lots of sheds, you have to be staring at the ground, pretty much constantly, while walking for extended periods. I get in the woods after a long winter and I’m like a bird dog pup on a warm summer day; distracted by every sight from passing clouds to butterflies. To make things worse, I spend most of my time staring up; evaluating potential stand trees and pondering ambush sites for the coming fall.
So here’s where the irony comes in.
With my haphazard, non-focused approach, the few sheds I find each year should be gaggers, ones I could trip over while my eyes are pointed skyward. I'm talking about antlers like this one found by a Wisconsin shed hunter this month. Sigh. There is more bone in this one antler than I’ll likely find this entire season. When I see a pic like this, I vow to re-dedicate myself to more systematic, dedicated shed hunting. I’ll let you know if I’m able to improve.
So what’s the shed report in your neck of the woods? Any tips for readers on where/how/when to find the most (and best) sheds?