The thought of finding hidden treasure captivates something within us—maybe that’s why we are enamored with shed hunting. Who doesn’t enjoy the stories of treasure troves and lost fortunes connected with pirates or Old West outlaws.
As a child, it was Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island that inspired many days of digging in the barnyard pretending I was a buccaneer seeking Flint’s buried gold. I almost wonder if these childhood influences are still being carried out in the form of shed hunting?
If you’re like me, shed hunting possesses the same anticipation as looking for lost fortune. Call it the adult Easter egg hunt or natures hide and seek, whatever compels us—it’s addictive. But, unlike the stories of lost loot, shed antlers don’t come with a treasure map marked with an X.
Shed Hunting 101 – Be Patient
There are some avid shed hunters already finding some envious bone and the temptation is to go tromp through your favorite honey hole hoping to locate a fresh thrown antler. But, if your trail camera shows the majority of bucks are still holding, don’t rush it.
Our strategy for shed hunting this time of year is to walk edges and stay out of our bucks bedding or core areas. If we know the majority of bucks haven’t shed, our shed hunting consists of walking fence lines and glassing open hillsides.
Limit Pressure When Shed Hunting
The goal is to limit the pressure we place on bucks. Too much pressure on a mature buck means he could easily travel to property we can’t shed hunt and there goes our chance of finding his trophy crown.
It’s hard to wait, especially when you know there’s a chance of finding some booner bone. Yet, we all know the reward will be worth it. Take it slow and you just might increase your chances of finding that trophy shed.
By Randy Hynes