Shed hunting is an early spring pastime of serious deer hunters across the country. In February and March, hunters will take to the woods in search of shed deer antlers. Adult male deer will naturally shed their antlers after breeding season in order to grow new, larger, antlers.
Because more hunters are taking an interest in actively managing their land for deer and more people are decorating their homes with antlers, the demand for antlers is increasing. This has increased the number of shed hunters.
Why Should You Shed Hunt?
Most people shed hunt for one of two reasons, either to collect antlers for personal reasons or to study those antlers for educational reasons.
Many people love to use antlers in crafts; they like to make antler chandeliers, coat hangers, etc. Others just like to decorate with them; they look great adorning any room.
As far as education goes, there is much to be learned from shed antlers. If you find shed antlers on your property or any property, it is proof that a buck made it through hunting season. This is helpful to deer hunters who are trying to determine where to hunt in the upcoming season. These shed antlers can also help you learn about the bucks’ patterns of movement on the property. If you see shed antlers in a variety of areas you can pin down the bucks’ whereabouts. This is very helpful information that can mean a successful hunting season.
Tips for Shed Hunters
It’s important to assess the property you have available to you. Do you own a property where you’ll find shed antlers, or do you need to check out public hunting grounds? If it’s the latter, you may want to browse hunting properties that are currently available to purchase or lease. Take a look at the properties available and see if the current owners will let you walk the property.
Once you have your property, or access to a property, you’ll want to search two core areas: bedding and feeding areas. If you can figure out where the deer bed and feed in late winter, you’ll want to dedicate your time to those areas, as most of your shed antlers will be found there.
Remember, this can take a lot of legwork, so be ready to walk!
Good luck out there, hunters!
Travis Hamele is the founder of UC Hunting Properties and Broker/ Land Specialist with United Country’s Hamele Auction & Realty. Travis is very active in the community, youth, fundraising and various board activities. He is currently the President of the Three Rivers Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, assists in many local fundraising auctions, Past Director of the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Divine Savior Health Care in Portage WI. He enjoys helping out communities through donations and raising money for education, wellness and other benefits that help make a community thrive. Feel free to call 608-697-3349 for more from Travis Hamele.