When is the best time to shed hunt?


Shed hunting is a great extension to deer season

For many deer hunters, the season comes to a full stop on Jan. 1. For others, shed hunting is an extension of hunting season. But when is the best time to hunt for shed antlers?

Going on a shed hunt is basically going for a walk and looking for antlers. But if you do it before the bucks drop their antlers, you could be pushing those animals off your land. It’s common practice to stay out of the woods as much as possible during deer season to keep from spooking your target deer. And if you like finding sheds, you should use that same amount of caution this time of year.

It’s also possible to go too late. Those sheds don’t just lay there until someone finds them. Squirrels, mice, and other rodents feed quickly and heavily on shed antlers. Hunters find a lot of sheds that show chew marks. But most sheds are never found because they are eaten before being spotted by humans.

Bucks drop their antlers at different times, and some drop them very late one year, then early the next. So it’s tough to get a feel for when the best time to shed hunt is. One thing that helps is keeping your trail cameras up after deer season is over. This gives you photographic evidence of whether bucks have dropped their headgear or not. It’s especially helpful if one camera shows a certain deer with his antlers, then a second camera shows that same deer with a slick head. This helps you narrow down where to look.

The folks at Whitetail Habitat Solutions offer their tips on finding sheds in this video. Hopefully it helps you find your share of sheds.

Have you found any sheds? We’d love to share photos of them with our readers. Send them to images@carolinasportsman.com


About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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