To paraphrase from the movie “Fight Club,” the first rule of Shed Club is – you do not talk about Shed Club.
Shed hunters are even more secretive about their haunts than deer hunters. (Incidentally, I think we need to coin a noun by which shed hunters describe those who pursue the whole animal. Neither “live deer hunters,” “whole deer hunters,” or “regular hunters” quite cuts it. Let the competition begin. First prize, to be judged by an independent panel of me, wins a Gerber Freeman Folder knife in nearly new condition, my sole freebie from the recent SHOT Show.)
My shed hunting pal, Paula, has to be prodded to divulge even the name of the state where she has found her latest. The reason, of course, is that there is no upside to revealing your honey hole. In fact, it’s even less advantageous with sheds than “regular” hunting (see what I mean about the need for a better word?) because access is so much easier. A “No Hunting” sign will keep most deer hunters out. It will not deter a shed man, who, after all, is not hunting in the traditional sense. Since shed hunters usually carry no weapon more significant than a knife and/or a pruning shears, they can go pretty much anywhere. (Small pruning shears, incidentally, are much more effective for getting through briers than a machete).
I’ve found a grand total of zip antlers in the past week. I take some comfort in the fact that bucks still wearing their antlers have been seen within the past few days. Meanwhile, Paula has found several singles and two sets in the same time. “Good ones but not trophies. Jeez, I’m startin’ to feel sorry for you,” she said. I asked where she’d found hers. She erupted into her smoker’s hacking laugh, finally managing to croak, “Not that sorry, honey,” and hung up on me.