By Mark Kenyon
While paging through a few of my hunting books recently, I came across a chapter on shed hunting in Lee & Tiffany’s “Hunting Mature Whitetails The Lakosky Way”. Given we’re right in the heart of shed hunting season, I figured I’d share a few of the tips they offered. Love them or hate them, the Lakosky’s have found a LOT of antlers over the years. So you’ve got to figure they must be doing something right!
That said, here are a few simple but helpful snippets of shed hunting tips from “Hunting Mature Whitetails The Lakosky Way“…
“If it’s been a really cold winter with lots of snow previous to the time most bucks started to shed their antlers, we’ll find most of our antlers on the ridges closest to food plots, and they’ll be fairly easy to find. That makes sense, because the deer never go far from the food source when the weather is miserable. If the weather has been unusually mild in January and February, however, the sheds will always be farther away and harder to find.”
“Big bucks like to bed in CRP fields or grassy areas during extreme cold weather because high grass offers good cover and protection from wind. it also offers warmth from the sun on cold cold wintery days. Through the years, we’ve found a large number of big sheds in these areas. In fact, we find very few in our food plots.”
“I take a picture of ever shed antler I find before I pick it up. That way, I have a permanent record of where it was found. Was it found on a grassy hillside near a food plot where that buck had been chewing his cud during the night? Was it found on a trail in the timber not far from that buck’s bedding area? Was it found in the snow near a cedar thicket where that buck was toughing out a brutal winter storm? All of these locations can give you valuable hints about where that buck is spending his time.”
“Whenever I’m shed hunting in late winter, I never walk a large section of the farm I’m on at one time. Instead, I always break down each part of that farm into small sections or grids. For example, if I plan to search a 20-acre section of timber, I’ll only walk about half of it at one time. Then I’ll come back a few days later and do the other half. That way, if I happen to disturb some deer in one section, they’ll simply move to the other section without leaving the property.”
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