One of the most exciting annual events—and one that’s not widely known throughout the country—is the annual shed hunting season. Shed hunting (looking for deer antlers after the deer have shed them) is a great activity for outdoorsmen, families, and even kids.
Not only does it give you a chance to get out and explore the land you hunt on, but it also gives you an opportunity to scope out where the deer will be next season, which will give you an edge when hunting season begins. Here are five tips that can make your shed hunting trip a success.
1. Get permission from the landowner
If you’re searching on private property that isn’t yours, the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have permission from the owner of the land you’re going to be searching on. Check to make sure you’re not violating any laws or ordinances and see if there are limits on how many shed antlers you can collect. Trespassing is illegal regardless of the activity, and it might find you on the wrong end of a gun barrel; however, if you own your own hunting land, this isn’t going to be an issue for you.
2. Scout Before You Go
Knowing the path deer travel through will save you a lot of time when looking for their shed antlers. If you’re on your own land, set up trail cams to spot the paths the deer move through. If you’re on someone else’s land, ask them if they have trail cam pictures or videos they can share with you. Of course, if you’ve been hunting on the land you likely know where the deer are, and where there are deer there are antlers.
3. Timing is Everything
Though deer can shed their antlers at any time of the year, the bulk of it happens from December to early April. If you go looking too early, you might not find anything but snow on the ground – too late, and the antlers might be overgrown, damaged, or picked up and carried away by other animals. Most deer shed their antlers around December and January, but a few stragglers won’t shed until spring, and every now and then a buck or two will drop their antlers out of season.
4. Keep an Eye Out All Year Long
Even if you’re not actively looking for sheds, they can be found at any time of the year. Antlers don’t decay quickly, so if you’re out hunting other game or just walking around, keep an eye out. Again, when you find antlers, remember where you found them. You’ll likely find many more in that area in the upcoming shedding season.
5. Bring your Dog
Shed hunting can be a difficult task, even for the best trained hunters. If you want to be successful, you’ll need a good pair of eyes, a good nose, four legs, and a tail. If you don’t fit that description you might want to bring your dog with you. It will save you a lot of time and effort and your dog will have a great time hunting with you.
Deer Hunting Tips | Shed Hunting | Big Buck Bounty | Mississippi and Alabama
Shed Hunting can be an exciting new activity for seasoned hunters, amateurs, and families. Whether it’s your first time or you have plenty of experience under your belt, it’s helpful to refresh your memory and see what others suggest. Discover the best hunting tips from experts in the field! Join the Big Buck Bounty newsletter and take a look at some prize-winning bucks found on private and public lands over the years. Browse public hunting lands in Mississippi and Alabama and see if your buck lands in the trophy room!