Training Yourself to Find More Shed Antlers
You can search high and low, far and wide, mile after mile, but that doesn’t mean you will find one. Shed antlers are in demand this time of year and there is no doubt that they are the main focus of every hunter once February arrives. Whether you are in search of elk sheds, mule deer sheds, or whitetail sheds the fact is that shed hunting in general always comes down to one harsh reality…the ability of your eyes to spot sheds!
The common saying of “miles equals piles” might hold true until you get down to comparing the piles themselves. The pile of a shed hunter with trained eyes versus a first time shed hunter will be substantially larger! Point being, training yourself to find shed antlers before actually searching will drastically improve your results!
The Best Set of Eyes Might be Your Taxidermist’s!
Breaking shed hunting down to the bare bones allows many hunters to arrive at the same conclusion each and every year. The hunter that has his eyes trained on the shape, color, and size of antlers the most, is likely the best shed hunter. You then might ask yourself “who looks at antlers on a daily basis?”. No, some antlers laying around the house here and there, or stacked in the “man-cave” does not count! We are talking about someone that eats, sleeps, and breathes antlers!
Your taxidermist, the artist who takes in seemingly hundreds of antlers and is around thousands upon thousands of inches of bone each and every year, is often the best shed hunter you will come across in your life. Your Taxidermist has a set of eyes that have studied, picked apart, undressed, and most likely even dreamt about antlers year after year. This is the guy or girl you want in your shed hunting group!
How to Train Your Eyes!
The sad thing about the best shed hunter around (your taxidermist) is that he or she is swamped this time of year! Being around all those antlers comes at a cost, it is more than a full-time job! The reality of the best shed hunter you know is that they probably don’t have time for shed hunting, leaving most if not all of your shed season entirely in your hands (actually your eyes)!
The question to ask now is… “How do I quickly train my eyes to become as good of a shed hunter as my taxidermist?”
How To Find Shed Antlers | Training Yourself To Find More Deer Sheds (Pt 1 of 5)
(Video) In this first of a 5-part series, the crew will discuss how to train yourself to find more sheds, focusing around tricks to train your eyes to identify sheds tucked away in the landscape.
One of the best tactics to train yourself at spotting shed antlers is to simply replicate the scenario. Toss a shed in multiple habitats and ground cover types…simple yet effective! A corn field, thick grass, open pasture, thick timber, or within a food plot, really just about anywhere and everywhere you would expect to find sheds. Seeing the outline, color, shape, and size of the antler in the elements (different ground cover types and light conditions) will slowly build your eye’s ability and skill to spot the shed antlers.
Do this each and every time you shed hunt! Always take an antler or two with you on a shed hunting trip. Before moving into a new ground cover type, say a cornfield, simply toss a couple antlers and have everyone in the shed hunting group look the antlers over. After sweeping the cornfield and before moving into another ground cover type like timber, run the antlers through the group again. This time the group will be trained to what antlers look like in the timber, as they are now searching new ground cover type as well as a bit more shaded light conditions. By training your eyes just before searching and practicing this repeatedly shed hunt after shed hunt your eyes will eventually be at a level comparable to that of your taxidermist!
Training your eyes stacks the favor in your odds, however, a big player in shed hunting success comes down to the time you go, the weather, and what the specific conditions of the property are in terms of ground coverage.
When to Shed Hunt
Weather, ground cover height and characteristics, as well as the time of day all are factors to consider when planning a shed hunt. The absolute best conditions for shed hunting would be the following (this is often debated).
The gloomier the better. Bright days make it hard to spot glistening antlers as shadows and bright light drastically alter the surrounding habitat and ground coverage. Gloomy days allow the whites of antlers to still pop, yet keep the white of the sun off the surrounding sticks, leaves, or corn stalks.
Anytime you can is the best time to go shed hunting…period. The timeframe, however, is a different story. Late February-early March usually has you arriving when most deer have shed, ensuring you are not busting deer off the property before they shed.
Just after rain or if snow is covering the ground completely but has melted off slightly often creates the best possible conditions. When the brush, and ground coverage is laid over and mashed down, or slightly melted snow is on the ground it is very easy to spot shed antlers!
Raised Hunting’s Shed Season
This information is the beginning of several shed hunting tips that could significantly increase your piles of sheds this year. This is just part 1 of a 5 part shed hunting video series. Check out all the shed hunting videos and tips by Clicking Here. Also be sure to stay up to date with the Holder family by following Raised Hunting on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter!