By Mark Kenyon
Earlier this month, I enjoyed one of the best shed hunting trips of my life. Interestingly, I didn’t find a single antler.
A week and a half ago, seven of my best hunting buddies and I converged in Iowa for three days of shed hunting, good food and beer, and lots of laughs – and the trip delivered on everything except the shed part, at least for some of us. I put in just under 40 miles of walking over the course of the trip and, as mentioned already, didn’t find a thing. And for the group as a whole we only found seven or eight antlers total. Still it was the stories told, the laughs shared and the general chaos of having this wild group of guys together for an early spring camping trip that made this weekend so memorable.
If you heard our podcast last week, “Stories and Laughs from our 2017 Iowa Shed Hunting Camp”, you’ve got a pretty good idea of the good times we had. But I thought today I’d share a few photos of our experience as well. As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words, and this trip was certainly one worth speaking about.
A few of our buddies had never been to Iowa before and what surprised them the most was the terrain – many parts of Iowa are more hilly than you might expect and far-reaching views like this are common.
After almost a whole day of walking a property I have permission to hunt, Dustin found the first shed of the trip. A nice 2.5 year old antler found in a grassy swale extending into a corn field.
Shed hunting can be fun, but hours and hours of shedless walking can wear a guy down too. This was our worst shed hunting trip from an antler standpoint, so we had quite a few rest-stops like this spent shaking our heads and wondering where the hell the bones were.
Fortunately, with three chiropractors in the group, any break from walking can result in an impromptu adjustment. Here’s one such moment, when Dan Johnson was told to take off his shoes and bend over. He wasn’t sure what to expect next …
Despite the tough shed hunting, our camp life was on point. Breakfast burritos to kick off Day Two were clutch.
On Day Three we got into a few more sheds, with both Corey and Ross finding nice antlers within a few minutes of each other. One on top of a ridge, one on the bottom.
With 6-8 guys at any one time, we covered ground thoroughly.
Ross examining the sheds he and Corey found. Nice Iowa bone.
There’s nothing like that moment when you finally spot an antler, it’s quick way to turn a frown upside down.
Back at camp we bundled up and enjoyed a few campfires – despite early March temps down into the teens.
Elk burgers certainly helped with the cold weather. Along with some hot peppers, pepper jack cheese and cold beer.
And we capped off the trip with a tear-inducing laugh at our friend Andy’s expense, after he tried to collapse his tent while still having a lit Mr. Buddy heater inside. The result was a nice big hole.