Should you’re on the surface trying in, shed looking seems to be a easy endeavor. Simply stroll some lower cornfields, grid-search just a few bedding areas, after which work out the place in your man-cave, or she-shed, you’ll show your findings.

As if. In reality, shed looking mirrors the larger whitetail group. You probably have primo floor to work with, the entire thing is fairly straightforward. Should you don’t, it’s not. That’s not meant to discourage newcomers, however as an alternative to inject some actuality into the entire thing. Profitable shed hunts aren’t all that straightforward to return by with out stellar floor, even for seasoned hunters like myself. Should you’re new to the pursuit, it’s far tougher.

However there are methods in which you’ll hit the bottom with greater odds than the common neophyte. This all begins with tempered expectations.

Shed Realities

Earlier than my spouse and I had our twin daughters, I shed hunted with my golden retriever, quite a bit. Virtually day by day from January via April, Lux and I’d stroll some property, someplace, for antlers. I don’t know the miles we placed on throughout these years, but it surely was plenty of effort. One of the best shed season I ever had with that canine—a canine I educated to search out antlers—was six.

Even with some canine energy on my aspect, a willingness to cowl critical floor, and a reasonably wholesome understanding of the methods of deer, I couldn’t handle greater than half of a dozen in a season. I’ve since had just a few magical days and shed seasons the place the numbers obtained higher however by no means nice. The fact of shed looking is that you just would possibly go weeks with out discovering one. You possibly can, nonetheless, improve your odds in the event you perceive the areas most definitely to supply some bone.

Excessive-Odds Deer Haunts

Dan Johnson, host of the 9 Finger Chronicles podcast, admits that when he began specializing in shed looking the way in which he focuses on really looking bucks, his outcomes improved.

“Lots of people suppose that you must grid-search a whole property to search out antlers,” Johnson stated. “I believe it’s higher to contemplate the bed-to-food patterns and 0 in on these traces, these spots. Put your vitality into places you’d really hunt due to the deer signal, and also you’ll be extra productive.”

I wholeheartedly concur with Johnson’s evaluation however will take it a step additional. It is best to discover high-odds spots, after which hunt them in a wide range of methods. There may not be antlers in a selected bedding space on the finish of February, however can be in March in some unspecified time in the future.

Or, a situation that’s much more seemingly is one the place you miss antlers by strolling a selected route. You probably have an space you recognize the deer are utilizing this month, or subsequent, stroll all the paths. Stroll them in several instructions, throughout totally different lighting situations. Recognizing some tines poking up via the snow or leaf litter throughout cloudless days the place daylight and shadows dominate the panorama is vastly totally different from an overcast day with even mild.

Additionally, at all times carry your binoculars. Each shed season I choose up an antler or two merely from scanning a discipline or investigating a distant object within the woods that catches my eye. Plus, it’s good follow for if you end up really deer looking.

Shed Timing

Folks begin discovering antlers on the finish of December in northern areas, and it’s just about on from then till the turkeys gobble and the ticks are out. One of the best time to shed hunt, nonetheless, might be not the morning whenever you open Christmas presents, though there are benefits to being the primary one within the woods.

“Lots of people say that you just shouldn’t go too early,” Johnson stated. “I disagree, as a result of I share the woods with loads of shed hunters. I need the primary crack at them, even when there are fewer antlers on the bottom after I go.”

As somebody who shed hunts properties with loads of competitors, this can be a good technique. I choose up plenty of my largest antlers in January and early February, until the snow has fallen constantly sufficient to bury contemporary drops. If it has, or I haven’t had as a lot time to go early, I don’t fret.

The principle antler drop in lots of locations will occur in February. Which means that day by day that ticks by after Valentine’s Day is one the place there could possibly be extra antlers on the bottom. By March, I depend on a lot of the antlers to be on the market, someplace, ready for me. The chances of discovering them are highest then, particularly in the event you’re in an space the place the snow would possibly lastly soften away.

Whereas it could be prudent to mind-grind over the most effective time to go, the truth is the extra you go, the extra antlers you’ll discover. This isn’t like looking on November seventh to expertise the most effective day of the rut. It’s about placing on the miles from one week to the following.

Shed looking isn’t as straightforward because it seems, however it’s a hell of plenty of enjoyable. It will also be productive in the event you maintain your expectations in verify, concentrate on the best focus of deer signal, and don’t draw back from burning some boot leather-based.

Function picture through Captured Inventive.

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