10 Rules of Shed Hunting

So consider these tips to find more antlers, have more fun, and identify new places to deer hunt. Keep Walking The very best day I’ve ever had finding shed antlers happened last spring. But, as a rule, the more ground you cover, the more antlers you’ll pick up. So make sure you look hard, but not too hard… I have a 2-year-old lab that loves to run around the woods and has a way of making every walk in the brush a little bit more enjoyable. Make Your Mark When you find a shed, take time to admire it. This is especially important if you find the shed on public land. But antlers found on public land are almost always found in areas of thick cover. It is no less of an offense to walk onto someone else’s property outside of hunting season as it is during hunting season. Multi-Task I like to look for shed antlers. I also enjoy hunting public land.

Shed hunting has evolved from a way to kill some time on early-spring weekends to a sport all its own. But whether you’re a hardcore bone hunter or just someone who likes to get out and walk the land, there are some guidelines you should follow. So consider these tips to find more antlers, have more fun, and identify new places to deer hunt.

1. Keep Walking

The very best day I’ve ever had finding shed antlers happened last spring. My buddy Kyle Booher and I covered roughly 15 miles and picked up four antlers. I have no doubt that others have found many more in a single day and probably covered less ground doing it. But, as a rule, the more ground you cover, the more antlers you’ll pick up.

2. Don’t Look So Hard

shed antler in snow

You ever see one of those posters that look like a bunch of kaleidoscopic shapes. You stare it, let your eyes blur a little bit…and suddenly a 3-D image appears? For me, sheds are kind of like that. If I look too hard, I miss them. I’ve found my best method is one where I simply scan back and forth as I walk. If I try too hard to spot an “antler” then I miss those less-obvious chunks of horn tucked into weeds and brush.

3. Look Hard Enough

This may sound counter to Rule 9, but it’s not. You have to look, and look everywhere. Yes, you’ll find some antlers lying in winter-flattened foodplot. But most will be in thickets and along well-beaten deer paths. Those antlers will look like twigs and sticks and anything but an antler…until you realize it is an antler. So make sure you look hard, but not too hard…

black hunting dog shed antlers
Bring your best bud—even if she’s not a trained shed hunter.

I have a 2-year-old lab that loves to run around the woods and has a way of making every walk in the brush a little bit more enjoyable. She’ll haul a shed around and gnaw on it for hours if I give her one. Will she ever find one on…

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