shed hunting

Tis’ the Season to Shed Hunt

Melissa Bachman |

Depending on where you live, shed hunting may be in prime time right now…however as I write this blog from the Minnesota tundra, I’m lucky to find my truck with all the snow, much less a set of shed antlers!  If you’re a little further south and the snow is minimal, shed hunting can be incredible this time of year.

I try to make at least one trip a year to Illinois to hunt sheds and I’ve found not only a lot of sheds, but some absolute monsters. It’s a great time to see what bucks you may still have living on your property, assess the area for new stand locations and of course just get outside and enjoy a good walk!shed hunting

When looking for sheds on your property every location is different, but I’ve come up with a few tips to hit the highest percentage spots first and hopefully increase the number of sheds you find.

I like to first go around all the edges of any food source that may be on the property. Food plots are a great late season hangout for deer, and I’ve found numerous sheds right on the edge of the food plots. I try to check over the entire area pretty thoroughly and then start following trails back into the woods leading to the bedding areas. Many times the deer are not bedding far from their food source, and these to locations can produce a lot of sheds in a small area.

Another tool I use to find sheds are trail cams. I will go over my late season Cuddeback pics and determine if a bigger buck started frequenting a certain area. Again, they generally tend to hold those late season patterns, and I will start focusing heavily on that area until I find those sheds.  Another trick is if you do find a bigger buck’s shed, and you only have one side…there is a pretty good chance the other side is nearby. All my biggest sets were found within 100-yards of each other.

Lastly, shed hunting is a great time to really walk and follow deer trails and determine where the deer are going and how they are getting from one point to another. I like to bring along some flagging tape and mark any new good-looking stand locations for the upcoming year. It’s a great time to get out in the woods, stretch your legs, find a few sheds, and do a little scouting for the upcoming season.