A Successful Start to Shed Season

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011

Last year was a TOUGH year on us when it came to finding sheds.  At one point, I had a 35 hour shedless streak that left me sore and frustrated.  But we kept going and fortunately that streak was broken by finding Potato Digger's matched set laying within five yards of one another.  I think that is the part I love the most about shed hunting - you just never know what you're going to find and when that gagger antler will show up in front of you.

This season started out slowly.....only picking up two sheds after probably four or five miles of walking.  A combination of a lot of snow and it still being early in the season made sheds hard to come by.  But that all changed late this week.  On Thursday night, I needed to take advantage of the 70 degree temps and go for a little walk after work.  Less than two hours later I was walking out with four sheds to jump start the season, including a decent three year old five point side.  The following day we HAD to get out of the office and look for the matches and search some of the best areas on the property.  So with an additional three hours of looking, we added eight more sheds, including a tiny matched set that were found together in a bed, a broken beam, and the match to the five point from the previous day.  So in three official shed outings, we are up to 14 sheds and still have the best part of the season ahead of us.

Here are a few of the ATLs that we have taken to this point.

First of the year!

It's a match!  This is a three year old ten point that eluded our cameras since July.  It's nice to see that he still living on the farm!  Each side goes approximately 62 inches, which puts him just under a 140 incher.

In about five hours of walking this past week, we ended up with 10 sheds.  But we're still getting pictures of bucks carrying so we'll still be out shed hunting for the next month or so.

Also, we get asked quite a bit about where we typically find sheds and what we look for so here is a list of a couple golden rules that we keep in mind while shed hunting.

Five Golden Rules of Shed Hunting:
1.  Check all fence crossings and creek crossings.  When I am out looking for sheds, these are my two main priorities.  We have scouted the majority of properties enough to know where most of the major crossings are located.  Those are the first places we check.

2.  Search south facing hill sides and ridge tops.  During the cold and snowy winter months, a higher percentage of deer will bed in areas where they can keep warm....hence the tops of ridges and any southerly exposed hill sides.  And as the saying goes....."where there's beds, there's sheds!".

3.  Keep an eye on the sun.  I prefer to walk on overcast, dreary days.  It seems those sheds "pop" much better under these conditions.  But when you have those beautiful bluebird days, it's hard to stay out of the woods.  If you're shed hunting while the sun is overhead, try to keep the sun at your back as much as possible.  Walking into the sun makes spotting sheds much more difficult.  If you have to walk into the sun, make sure to stop and look behind you often!

4.  Remember the 3-inch rule.  This takes a little more conscious effort, but I always am looking for pieces of antlers, not the entire shed.  Tips of tines, tops of pedicels, and the curvature of a main beam are a couple examples of what I'm looking for while scanning the timber floor.

5.  Journal (mentally or physically) found shed locations.  If most shed hunters are like myself, then they can remember where they've found every shed for the past five years!  But it's amazing how often there are certain areas of a property that simply produce more sheds more often.  For example, there is one particular fence crossing that I have found at least one shed at for the past six years!

Obviously there are many, many different tips and techniques that people use and are successful with.  One needs to keep in mind there is some skill behind consistently finding sheds, but there is A LOT of luck involved too!  And if you're not finding anything, just keep walking, you know they're out there somewhere!

Comments (0)

Post a Comment