Shane Indrebo, lifelong whitetail fanatic and co-owner of the North American Shed Hunters Membership, credit just a few easy techniques for locating a whopping 129 sheds final yr.

Whereas many shed hunters wait till the spring thaw, Indrebo usually begins looking in January and begins his recon even earlier.

“Once I begin interested by shed attempting to find the yr, I preserve a watch out to see the place crops have been left for the winter,” Indrebo advised MeatEater. “In December, I’ll verify areas to see the place there are standing beans, corn, or different winter feed. The deer will winter the place there may be meals. Discover the place the winter feed is and the place the deer are bedding in relation to the meals supply.”

Indrebo has discovered recent sheds as early as mid-December however often waits one other month to start logging miles within the woods. If he is aware of just a few bruisers are nonetheless holding onto their headgear, he pushes that timeline out additional.

“If we’ve got massive bucks utilizing an space which might be nonetheless carrying, I’ll keep out of there till they’ve dropped,” he mentioned. “Utilizing path cameras is a significant benefit. Realizing that your greatest bucks have dropped helps in realizing when to enter an space so that you don’t bump them out earlier than they’ve dropped.”

He finds the vast majority of his sheds between mid-February and the tip of March however nonetheless picks up just a few stragglers into April.

His splendid day for shed looking is overcast with gentle rain or instantly after a bathe. He says such situations get rid of the shadows that include harsh gentle and make recognizing sheds a problem. When the time is correct, he focuses on the meals sources he scoped out weeks earlier.

“Once I start strolling for the yr, I begin within the crop fields, then work into the areas intently across the meals. Pounded areas are superb. My favourite spots are grassy patches or south-facing hillsides the place the deer stage earlier than heading into the meals,” he mentioned. “I verify these areas nicely then transfer onto the well-used trails heading to bedding areas. I verify flats, clearings, or different areas within the woods that the deer stage earlier than heading into the fields.”

Antlers will be arduous to see, so he takes his time and switches up his path to probably get a greater vantage level from a special approach.

“I’ll then grid an space, taking completely different trails, coming into an space from a distinct path, and so forth.,” he mentioned. “Many instances, antlers received’t be seen from one path, and quite a bit are missed.”

Public Pay Grime

Different shed hunters overlooking antlers is strictly what Indrebo counts on, notably on public land. Whereas it’s greatest to be “a bit of faster on the gun” the place competitors will be stiff, he says you’ll be able to nonetheless capitalize on the inexperience and laziness of others.

“You should work out when the bucks are shedding and attempt to get in there as quickly as you’ll be able to,” he mentioned. “However don’t get discouraged if you happen to discover bootprints or see another person shed looking. I’ve discovered a number of sheds close to or round human tracks. If want be, go into thicker cowl or arduous to get to spots. These areas detour a number of the typical shed hunters. Most individuals will solely cowl the straightforward spots and apparent areas. So public land will be superb if you happen to can work out the place to look!”

Gearing Up

Past path cameras that may inform him when bucks have dropped their antlers, Indrebo is determined by just a few different items of substances to enhance his shed-hunting odds.

He says stable pairs of mountain climbing boots and rubber boots are important to conserving toes comfy whereas masking a whole lot of miles in just a few weeks’ time.

And he depends on high quality binoculars to assist him spot sheds from a distance.

“I glass a number of sheds from 50 to 100 yards within the woods. It saves a number of brief journeys to discover a stick or a cornstalk. In fields, I glass sheds as much as 500 to 600 yards away, so superb high quality glass is necessary,” he mentioned. “Don’t skimp on binoculars or a recognizing scope. Get the perfect ones that you could afford—they are going to pay for themselves very quickly.”

Whatever the situations, he says polarized sun shades additionally enhance visibility.

“On sunny days or within the snow, they assist immensely,” he mentioned. “In addition they assist from getting sticks within the eyes whereas within the woods! Excessive-quality sun shades don’t depend on heavy tint, so they’re simply worn within the woods and on overcast days.”

And for mapping, Indrebo makes use of onX to log miles, preserve monitor of which floor he’s lined, and discover new areas to seek for sheds.

Whereas beating others to the punch, selecting days with optimum situations, and outfitting your self for fulfillment are necessary, Indrebo says being an incredible shed hunter primarily boils down to simply discovering meals and placing boots on the bottom.

“The principle factor is placing on the miles—a number of miles. The outdated saying is ‘miles for piles,’ and it is vitally true. Final spring, I averaged one antler each 3.5 miles. I picked up 129 sheds and placed on over 400 miles doing so,” Indrebo concluded. “When you discover the place the deer are wintering and placed on the miles, you will discover the sheds!”

Function picture by way of Captured Artistic.

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