Hunting for Shed Antlers

Hunting for deer, elk or moose shed antlers can be a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family. It is a great way to dispel “cabin fever” and get outside on a nice spring day. Be sure and check the regulations in the state where you live, and please do not disturb active herds. Do not take antlers from winter kill animals without first checking with your local Fish and Game office.

Late winter and spring are the best times to look for shed antlers–after the snow melts and before the grass greens up and grows too tall to see them. These sheds can tell you a lot about deer or elk in the area. The animal that dropped them survived the last hunting season, and it’s a pretty good bet it survived the harsh winter months. Hunting sheds is also a great way to get an idea of the size of the animals in the area for the upcoming fall hunting season.

The best places to look for sheds are where the herd moves from its winter ground and begins to make its way up to the summer range. Check the ridges of south facing slopes as it is generally warmer there. Also check fence lines and narrow creeks where a deer might jump across. Landing tends to jar the antlers loose. Brushy areas might also be a good place for elk and moose antlers that drop while the animal is moving through.

Take plenty of water, a picnic lunch, a camera, maybe even a mushroom or bird book, and make a day of hunting for sheds. Who knows, you might find that monster that will fuel your dreams for this fall!

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About the Author:

Robin Conrads
Also known as your Webmother, Robin maintains this site, produces the Tip of the Week, and keeps members happy.

One Comment

  1. Tom Schmiedlin April 27, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

    “Hunting for Shed Antlers”. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Finding a nice shed is ALMOST as exciting as shooting the buck (I said “almost!”)
    One trick that I’ve used to help train my eye for seeing them is to toss a shed antler into the weeds, woods, fields, etc and notice what it looks like from various distances. I really believe it helps train the “mind’s-eye” how to see antlers better.
    I’ve become pretty good at seeing them. I’ve seen them beside the highway while driving 60 MPH. I’ve seen them laying 100 yards out in the field along the road while driving along. I picked out the tiny tip of a single tine sticking out of the leaves 20 yards away while I was mowing the lawn. I found a MATCHING PAIR of 2 and a half inch spikes. Train your eye and you’ll find more sheds.

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