Shed hunting is a sport in of itself
If you are anything like me, you often find yourself looking, what seems endlessly, for dropped antlers with little success in the world of shed hunting. Although for years I pondered why that came to be, I started to understand why I was having such difficulties. Here are the 3 reasons I was having trouble finding sheds.
There are such things as “shed hunters” in fact it’s a whole culture that can strangely operate well outside of deer hunting clicks. I know some hunters that find more sheds than I could ever dream of yet cannot put a big buck on the ground to save their life. What it really boils down to, once I divulged into this anomaly, is commitment.
As aggressive deer hunters we often burn ourselves out before the season even ends, making the idea of spending just as much time shed hunting as you did deer hunting a bit crazy of a prospect. Shed hunters commit a lot of time to it, more than some of us are willing to admit. That leads us into our next point.
Sheds are not on a timer and in fact it can be very complex to pin down when they drop. The real science behind it (to put it quickly) has to do with doe to buck ratios. The more does that need to be bred, and the longer it takes, the longer the buck holds his antlers. To put that in very frustrating terms, that means it can change literally from mile to mile particularly in suburban America.
For shed hunters to put themselves at an advantage, they will return and shed hunt the same spot over and over again, from before the antlers start dropping to well after they stop. It can often turn into a case where the antler is not here today, here the next day, and gone the day after. Trail cameras can solve two of these issues with shed hunting which leads us to the last place the sheds have gone to.
This is like most things in suburban hunting- complex. I once wrote an article called The Truth About Suburban Buck Core Areas and I cannot stress how relevant that is to shed hunting. Whitetails will change core areas in suburban environments often multiple times in a year and sometimes never. By putting out an army of trail cameras you can pin down two important factors. Firstly, if there are bucks in that area and secondly, if they still have antlers on their head.
If we were to micro manage an actual piece of property, we can look for areas where deer may leap causing an abrupt shock to an antler for the last shake off or even thickets where they may crawl into for safety and get their antlers tangled up, or even just touched enough to knock them off.
To really sum up what we went over here it comes down to becoming a shed hunter. If we want sheds, then we need to treat it as seriously as we do the actually hunting season. In fac,t this level of commitment now can become a resource of knowledge when the season opens. Shed hunting forces us to get very hands on and cover a lot of ground which makes us very intimate with that animal.