Shed Hunting Tips
How to Shed Hunt Successfully
Most of the time you will find both sheds within about 300 yards. I have found that the bigger the bucks shed, the more often you will find the other side close. Most bucks shed both antlers the same day. I have watched bucks drop one side, and glassed him seven day’s later still packing the second shed. If the bucks don’t get chased or spooked, the second shed will not be far. It also depends upon bucks feeding and water patterns. The farther that bucks travel to and from feed and water, the farther apart the sheds can be.
The best place to find sheds is simple. You have to watch the deer at shedding time. Just as your preseason scouting. If you know where a buck is before opening morning, the better the chance you will get him. If you are watching a buck at shedding time, the sheds will be much simpler to find. Bucks start shedding in January in the northern states. The farther that you go south the later bucks will begin shedding. In old Mexico bucks don’t start shedding until March.
Quick Tips for Shed Hunting:
Younger bucks and bulls usually will shed last.
Antlers usually drop when the deer are moving. Look around fence lines and gulches- jumping and bounding will jar the antlers loose.
If you find a single side, start searching in a 100-yard radius and work the area out from there.
Keep a log of time and dates for specific deer. Deer will usually drop about the same time each year.
Sheds that you find will give you a good idea of what caliber of bucks are in the area and what survived last falls hunts.
Practice ethical shed collecting when out on the winter range- do not push or put unnecessary pressure on the animals. This will lead to an early death while the deer and elk are trying to survive the winter.
Q & A
Q. A deer sheds his antlers at the bottom of the antler where it was connected to the skull. I have noticed on some that the antler is almost flat across the bottom and on others it sticks out and is rounded. Why is that??Kyle Norman – Hayes, South Dakota
A. Kyle, from what I’ve experienced picking up sheds, I’ve noticed the older the deer is the flatter the base seems to be. I’ve picked up sheds that actually have a hole in the base where the antler was attached to the skull. Both of these sheds were off extremely old deer that had regressed with age. Also, another thing I have noticed is when an antler is shed naturally, it will have more of the round bottom to it. The deer shedding later than normal may cause a shed that has a flat or concave bottom to it. This would occur due to the new growing antler pushing off the old antler.
Remembering A Legend: Popeye
Q. I was wondering if any of Popeye’s sheds where ever close to being a world record typical or is there too much deduction? I know his non-typical score but was wondering what his typical score would be?
Kenneth Anderson, WY
A. Kenneth, Popeye did have a great typical frame. In his peak year (1996-97) his sheds had a 220 gross typical frame. He also had about 30 inches of non-typical points and this is the reason he would go non-typical because of all of the deductions it would cause. His best score is about a 250 gross and 240 net non-typical with a solid 40-inch spread. If he did not have the extra points, he would be a 220 gross and about a 210 net typical buck. Awesome typical frame, but not quite world record material.