I enjoy looking for sheds but last spring was the first time that I got kinda serious about it. One hard day of hiking netted me 6 different sheds, including one nice winter-kill muley rack and a nice 6 point bull elk antler. Most of the time, though, it would just be a nice hike looking.
have been looking for a month now and have come up empty handed.Drops in Mn. don't seem to last long, rodents eat them and our property is loaded with jackpine savages [porcupines] who seem to find them first.I have been told that a dog is really helpful in finding them.
I go shed hunting every year, and it is just like hunting anything else. Knowing where to look, what to train your eye to look for and placing yourself in the animals position as to where you would like to be if you were him makes it even easier. Crawl into those tight paths and heavy brush areas now that you can better see where you are going. I found three matached sets lying together at the exit points of some very heavy brush stands I can guarantee they were his rut season bedding area.
Finding a shed is akin to actually taking a picture of that deer. You now know where he plays, post season, and it usually helps to more easily locate his bedding area. It is far easier to tell how he travels to and from shelter, to food, to water, to the does. And when you find that spot, you usually can look around and see the area as he does. Once you find that you can plan your attack plan pathway for the next season
Once the leaves are off (I shed hunt, preferably in January - March) and before all the critters gnaw them up. You can develope a better sense of his movement, and evasion tactics that can pay off come hunting season. Moreover, there is absolutely no doubt as to his antler size and number of tines. Now you are armed with the knowledge that he will be even bigger next season and if he is the one you want to hone in on, for the Fall. Or if he isn't woth pursuing at all.
Any day in the woods either hunting live animals or tracking their off season movements beats being inside.
This thread was started way back in March of 08 by UL but I was facinated. I just watched a program on the outdoor channel the other day on hunting sheds.It was never mentioned as it was in the thread that this was a very good way to determine the pattern of the deer.
I remember my hubby saying that the little critters usually chew them up which was mentioned in the thread. I have not found any sheds but I did find one skull with the antlers attached, a small four point and the body of another was a very young six. My hubby said most likely poachers and the deer ran too for into the property for them to get. He also said deer are sometimes found with the heads cut off and the bodies left to rot. How sad, and this is just for the antlers?
It is not uncommon for poachers to kill nice bucks and only take the racks. Ticks me off when they do that.
Here in Virginia I noticed the new regulation book says it is illegal to pick up sheds. I don't know if that is something new or just the first I've known of it. I is also illegal to sell antlers in Virginia unless you belong to one of the Indian tribes. Another thing that is illegal is to sell mounts of any kind. Only a taxidermist can sell a mount and that must be one that a customer refuses to pick up after a certain time. It can only be sold for the amount owed on it.
I was talking to a game warden recently who told me he often sees mounts for sell in yard sales. He stops and tells them they have to take it back into the house.
Also, just so you know, I understand it is illegal anywhere in the US to have wild duck or goose parts in possession unless you have a migratory hunting license, or if you have the paper work showing it came from someone who has said license. That means mounts or even one feather. I see little kids picking up goose feathers all the time at some of the reservoirs I fish at. Although I doubt any warden would give a ticket for that, (at least I hope not) technically, they could get in trouble for it. Another rule which I find to be weird is it is illegal to bring any deer parts back onto any National Forest. That means if you are camping on National Forest during deer season, you are not supposed to bring any deer meat back onto that land even to eat. I don't know anyone who has gotten in trouble for it, but a game warden told me that years ago.
I knew about eagle feathers but not goose. I never knew mounts couldn't be sold either, so weird, and why not allow the collecting of sheds? Sone of these rules seem crazy to me and who decides these rules? I'm still am scratching my head over the antler restrictions, why some counties have them and others don't Who can tell a 12 3/8 in. spread and a 13 in. spread? Crazy.