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Campfire

Hunting Antler Sheds

Uploaded on February 04, 2009

After reading about tips on shed hunting I was compelled to try it myself. I never went before, although I have found a couple of antler sheds while hiking and putting up treestands. Although, I never went for the sole purpose of hunting sheds.

I learned from the article and from the old timers in the area I live in (La Crosse, WI) that I should look in heavily populated areas and south facing slopes where the deer like to bed during the day. The first time I went out I got permission to walk on a property that was full of deer, and a ton of snow. I didn't find one that day, and I still haven't found one. Are there any tips, or tricks to do to help see those thing better. I have a goal of finding five this year. I want to make hunting knives and use deer antlers as handles.

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from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I have really taken to shed hunting the last few years. I find it a great way to get back into hiking shape during late winter and early spring. I have picked up a few tricks along the way that seem to work well in my area. You mentioned horn hunting in an area full of deer. Make sure that the deer you are seeing are bucks, and not just large groups of does. I have found that the better horns are usually found on the fringes around the areas of what seems like the largest deer concentrations. Big bucks in my area are solitary shy animals, that maybe will run in small bachealor groups as the year wears on, but often still won't be caught out in the open areas you see does and small bucks this time of year. In my area elevation and snow levels will determine where the deer are located, and I have found that you find the larger sheds at the higher elevations and in the darker holes with lots of cover. Here are a few tips I posted in an article awhile back. Hope this helps.

1. Use good binos and/or spotting scopes. You can canvas a lot of open ground quickly with good glass.

2. Wear good waterproof boots. Horn hunting is a pursuit where “He who walks farthest and longest wins” holds true. Ground you cover = number of horns you find.

3. Cut banks of roads, fence lines, and along other obstacles are great palces in which to locate sheds. The impact of jumping over obstacles can jar a loose horn off.

4. If you find a large deer or elk shed, chances are the other side is close by. The imbalance created by loosing one horn causes large horned animals to attempt to break off remaining horn sooner than those with small horns. Canvas the nearby area, only thing better than a shed, is a shed set.

5. When going down steep hillsides check the uphill side of large logs for kills, especially in the bottom of draws where ridges come together. Wounded and distressed animals tend to go down hill and often die or are caught by predators on the uphill side of large logs.

6. Go slow, and methodically cover the ground with your eyes. Nothing better than finding a horn your buddy just stepped over.

7. You tend to find a lot of horns in places where you start to feel like you should turn around because you’ve gone to far. If you are in a spot where you think no one would be ambitious enough to go, then that’s where you need to be.

8. Keep an eye on the game and the snow levels during the winter. This way you will know where the largest amount of game was concentrated when they lost their horns.

9. Get a buddy who doesn’t like to hike, but loves to drive around the woods to go with you. In our area you can cover a lot more ground by not having to double back to your vehicle, and instead have a ride waiting on thru hikes.

10. Train your dog to bring horns to you. Give them horns to play fetch with as a pup, then they will naturally start picking them up as they find them in the woods.

11. Have Fun…………………….

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from t_holinka wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Great Ideas I can't wait for tomorrow cause I'm going to go out and look. I live in wisconsin and its been up in the 40's for the past two days so some of the snow should melt. Make them sheds easier to find. Thanks again, good luck, and take care.

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from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I have really taken to shed hunting the last few years. I find it a great way to get back into hiking shape during late winter and early spring. I have picked up a few tricks along the way that seem to work well in my area. You mentioned horn hunting in an area full of deer. Make sure that the deer you are seeing are bucks, and not just large groups of does. I have found that the better horns are usually found on the fringes around the areas of what seems like the largest deer concentrations. Big bucks in my area are solitary shy animals, that maybe will run in small bachealor groups as the year wears on, but often still won't be caught out in the open areas you see does and small bucks this time of year. In my area elevation and snow levels will determine where the deer are located, and I have found that you find the larger sheds at the higher elevations and in the darker holes with lots of cover. Here are a few tips I posted in an article awhile back. Hope this helps.

1. Use good binos and/or spotting scopes. You can canvas a lot of open ground quickly with good glass.

2. Wear good waterproof boots. Horn hunting is a pursuit where “He who walks farthest and longest wins” holds true. Ground you cover = number of horns you find.

3. Cut banks of roads, fence lines, and along other obstacles are great palces in which to locate sheds. The impact of jumping over obstacles can jar a loose horn off.

4. If you find a large deer or elk shed, chances are the other side is close by. The imbalance created by loosing one horn causes large horned animals to attempt to break off remaining horn sooner than those with small horns. Canvas the nearby area, only thing better than a shed, is a shed set.

5. When going down steep hillsides check the uphill side of large logs for kills, especially in the bottom of draws where ridges come together. Wounded and distressed animals tend to go down hill and often die or are caught by predators on the uphill side of large logs.

6. Go slow, and methodically cover the ground with your eyes. Nothing better than finding a horn your buddy just stepped over.

7. You tend to find a lot of horns in places where you start to feel like you should turn around because you’ve gone to far. If you are in a spot where you think no one would be ambitious enough to go, then that’s where you need to be.

8. Keep an eye on the game and the snow levels during the winter. This way you will know where the largest amount of game was concentrated when they lost their horns.

9. Get a buddy who doesn’t like to hike, but loves to drive around the woods to go with you. In our area you can cover a lot more ground by not having to double back to your vehicle, and instead have a ride waiting on thru hikes.

10. Train your dog to bring horns to you. Give them horns to play fetch with as a pup, then they will naturally start picking them up as they find them in the woods.

11. Have Fun…………………….

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from t_holinka wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

Great Ideas I can't wait for tomorrow cause I'm going to go out and look. I live in wisconsin and its been up in the 40's for the past two days so some of the snow should melt. Make them sheds easier to find. Thanks again, good luck, and take care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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