By Mark Kenyon
Want to find more shed antlers this spring? Here’s one very simple trick that should help – quite possibly the simplest.
Knock on doors.
Shed hunting is a numbers game. The more miles you walk in productive areas, the more chance you have of finding antlers. But too many people limit themselves to shed hunting just the couple properties they deer hunt. If you want to be one of those guys/gals who comes home every spring with a pile of bone, that’s just not going to cut it. Miles and mile and miles need to be walked if you’re looking to really fill the rig.
That said, gaining new properties to shed hunt is a lot easier than most people might expect, especially compared to trying to gain deer hunting permission. Since fewer people shed hunt than deer hunt, there’s a much lower amount of competition for properties, and landowners just seem to be less weary about a couple guys walking while looking for antler, than they might be for a guy sitting in their backyard with a gun. Take advantage of this fact.
A Few Pointers
Getting shed hunting permission on properties around the spots you deer hunt is a great way to increase your chances of finding antlers from deer you know. But if you just want to find more antlers, whether you know the deer or not, try incorporating some scouting into your game. Spend a few evenings driving around likely regions and glassing fields for large numbers of deer (and bucks, if antlers are still being held). Once you find the food sources with the largest numbers of deer, pull up a plat map and find out who owns those fields and the nearest high quality cover. From there it’s just a matter of finding their address and stopping by their house to ask permission.
A few notes on asking for shed hunting permission. First, you might need to explain exactly what shed hunting is. Not everyone is in the know. Secondly, if you do get permission, take advantage of this opportunity to further get to know the landowner and build a relationship. Stop by after you shed hunt and tell them how it went, chat them up, thank them again. Maybe even stop by again a week later and bring over a batch of cookies or some venison from last year’s deer as a thank you. Very often the relationship you can begin during shed season can lead to a future deer hunting opportunity.
So there you have it. The simplest shed hunting tip out there – but quite possibly the most important. The more miles you walk, the more sheds you have a chance to walk by. So get out there, pick up a few new properties, and then pick up more bone.
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