By Mark Kenyon
Shed hunting can be an absolute blast and having a friend or two along for the journey can make it even more fun. But if you’re not careful in who you choose to bring along, it can also be a disaster. As they say, in many cases it’s not about where you go or what you do, it’s about who you do it with. And this is most certainly true when it comes to shed hunting, as your choice in shed hunting partners can make or break a trip.
That being the case, today we’re providing a public service. We’ve outlined eight steps to being an awful shed hunting partner. If you’d like to be invited along for future shed hunting trips with a given friend, DO NOT follow these steps. On the other hand, if you’re itching to get out of future shed hunting obligations with said friend, this ought to do the trick. Enjoy.
1. Head Out To Your Best Properties Before Your Partner: Let’s say you and your shed hunting partner have plans to hit “The Big Ridge” property on February 26th for a good day long shed hunt. It’s one of your best spots typically and you both know it. If you want to start things off on the right foot this year, head out to that property a day or two before your planned excursion, but don’t tell your buddy. Make sure to give it a good walk through and hit all your best areas. Then later that night, text your friend with a few photos of the jumbo sheds you found and let him/her know, “Didn’t want the squirrels to get to any of the sheds before we got out there this weekend, so thought I’d walk the place today. Found some bomber sheds, you shoulda been there!”
2. Eat Too Much At Breakfast: The day of the much awaited shed hunting trip finally arrives and of course, you have to grab a big breakfast that morning before heading out to the woods. I’d highly recommend ordering the Jumbo Stomach Blaster Platter (or as close as you can get to this), which includes six eggs, ten slices of bacon, eight sausage links, biscuits and gravy, four pieces of toast, four slices of ham, and a full order of american fries. Of course, you’ll need five or six cups of coffee to go along with that. Now, after the hour and a half it takes for you to finish this meal off I know you’re going to need to visit the restroom, and make sure you do so. But please don’t rush. Flush that system well, even if it takes 30-45 minutes. Your buddy wasn’t in a rush to get out in the woods and find those sheds anyways.
3. Cross Lines: Finally, you’re in the woods and looking for glorious antlers! Typically when walking a property with a friend in search of sheds, you’ll establish some kind of plan for each area. For example, “Hey Joe, I’m going to walk the top of the ridge, you want to take 3/4’s the way down the ridge? Then we can walk back on the bottom.” This sounds like a great plan, and it is. But what I’d recommend you do is walk your line along the top of the ridge, and then also occasionally swing down to cross in front of your friend’s path. You want to make sure you check that area for sheds too, because you know, he might miss something once he eventually gets there. He won’t mind that you’re checking his spots and finding the sheds that would have been on his path.
4. Don’t Give Up The Match: Success! Finally, after an hour or two of walking, your buddy finds an incredible 68″ five point side. It’s from a buck he’s had several close calls with over the past year and he’s stoked. 30 minutes later, unbelievably, you walk up on the match to that buck! Your friend cheers, a matched set for his number #1 target buck! When he extends his hand, you pull the shed back. Hell no, you’re not giving it up. Sure, there’s an unwritten rule that if you find the second side to a match set that your partner found first, you should give him the second antler to complete the set. But, let’s be clear, that’s an unwritten rule. Keep that bone!
5. Forget TP: Sh*t. You took a good 45 minutes on the crapper back at Flapjacks Diner, but now you’ve got the rumbling in your stomach again and it’s not waiting around for anything. Run to the nearest tree, drop trow, assume the position and let er rip. But of course, you forgot to bring extra TP. Don’t worry about it, just give your buddy a holler and ask him to come over and give you some of his.
6. Scan Way Ahead and Lay Claim: Bathroom break aside, things are going well for you. Your friend found that first antler, but since then you’ve found eight to his zero. The key to your success? Active eyes! You are a shed hunting champion and everyone knows it. The way to find those sheds is to keep your eyes way ahead of your current path and your friend’s. Always be looking 50-100 yards ahead of your friend. He’s simply looking at the ground right in front him, but he’s not paying any attention to the ground 50 yards straight ahead of him yet. But of course, you are. Go get those sheds!
7. Trip On Sheds: It’s been a hell of a trip. You’ve got eight sheds weighing your backpack down, but unfortunately your pal just has that one antler. He’s just had a rough day I guess. The long day is finally coming to a close and you and your bud are walking side by side through waist high CRP, so thick you can’t even see your boots. And as your pal laments his bad luck, you hear a loud “clunk” as your boot hits something hard amid the grasses. You reach down and pull out a 75″ masterpiece of a shed antler, with flyers off the G2 and a split brow tine. Hit your buddy hard on the shoulder while you exclaim out loud, “What are the chances of that!!”
8. Advertise: On the trip home, spread your nine sheds out across the dashboard of your friend’s truck, on the center console and across the back window, and proceed to take numerous Instagram photos of your trophies over the course of the drive back into town. Call your other friends, your girlfriend, your mom and tell them all about how awesome a day of shed hunting you had. Your buddy, currently in the driver’s seat, is being strangely quiet. Ask him why.