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February 05, 2008

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BuckTracker: Let the Shed Hunting Begin

I missed the kickoff of the Super Bowl for what passes for a good reason in my family; I was watching deer piling through my dad's backyard. The deer--16 of them if I counted correctly--were on their way from their bedding area (a big, south-facing cedar bluff near dad's home) to their night-time salad bar (a cut corn field on a river bottom).

ShedI did not see an antlered critter in this relatively large wad of deer. But two of the whitetails were large-bodied enough that I grabbed a binocular to glass their noggins. Sure enough, I could see large pedicels on each deer, and this was the tipoff that local deer are finally shedding antlers. That means it's time to hit the woods and look for horns!

As dedicated shed-hunters know, timing your shed hunt can be a tricky business. Go too early and all you're doing is bumping bucks around, possibly sending them to areas where you can't follow. But wait too long, and you're equally SNAFU'd ... with shed hunting getting more popular each year, someone is likely to beat you to those antlers.

So, BuckTracker folk ... how's the antler drop progressing in your area? The photo below shows my son Bailey (he turned 9 on Feb 2) with an antler found by my neighbor on December 18. This side alone scored 72", which puts the buck in the 160" class. No one has been able to find the other side....but the hunt is on! Send any photos of the sheds you find to [email protected], subject line: Shed Photo.


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I did the same on Sunday. I figured everyone would be watching the Super Bowl - so I headed for the woods. Nothing found - yet.

Hard to see sheds in the snow - but really easy to find heavy trails.

josh from maine

i haven't been out looking much but my cousin told me that he saw a large buck the other day that still had both is antlers on. Guess i'll have to wait a little longer before i go out looking more


My dad and I were driving home from school on day and I was looking at the side of the road and I caught just a glimpse of what looked to be an antler, so shure enough I made my dad stop and turn around. It turned out to be a nice 4 point, with a broken Brow Tine.

John D

Went two weeks ago, and jumped a few bucks that still had horns. Most deer still had them on my trail cam pics too. Now, it's a different story – been getting reports of folks finding them this weekend. Saturday it begins. I'm in Oklahoma, by the way.

Scott Bestul

Kudos to Kyle, who has either intentionally or inadvertently revealed one of the hottest shed-hunting tools around; a vehicle!

If you want to find more antlers this year, keep your eyes peeled as you drive country roads. Pay special attentions to fence jumps, grassy ditches, wind breaks and other travel corridors near a major food source.

Hint Two: ALWAYS (if you don't do this already) keep a binocular in your vehicle. This will allow you to scope out those maybe-its-a-horn clumps that you'll drive by otherwise. Send those pics!


My father in law who does not hunt at all, was driving his "lineman" truck and saw a shed on the side of the road that I measured roughly at 83". I will send a picture of it when I get the gift after he shows some of his friends at work. What a treasure for an accidental find. By the way, he is going to look for the other side tomorrow because he only stepped from his truck to pick it up and got back in. I mentioned that the other may be laying very near. As excited as I was about the shed, made him enjoy the hunt already. I think we have a new "Shed-Hunter" among us!!!

bill heavey

that thing your boy found is a weapon in 11 states. and by the look on his face, he has every intention of using it. his daddy will be liable. and rightly so. congratulations.

John D

Fence crossings = outdoor writer baloney. Can't count the number of times I've heard that, yet have never found a shed at a fence crossing.

Bedding areas near a food source are dependable. The other tips and tactics are malarkey.

Scott Bestul

John: Congrats on your dad finding a monster horn! Look forward to seeing it.

As for fence crossings being outdoor writer baloney, I believe John D is absolutely correct. I am an outdoor writer and last spring I found two antlers within 10 feet of two different fence jumps. Both were spotted from a pickup truck going 30 mph. Maybe it only works for guys who write about it?

And malarkey and shed hunting go hand in hand, which is why its such a great activity! I have several friends who bag 100-plus sheds/year, and they've found them hanging from bushes, stuck in round bales, and lying on paved roads. The message is simple;keep your eyes open, they can be anywhere!

John D

Okay, small potshot at Mr. Bestful. The point mainly being, however, that the whole activity is frustrating and lovely in that horns are never where they ought to be. I'm hoping the usual comes true when I open my mouth – I'm proved wrong. Saturday will be dedicated to the almighty fence crossing.


Got out Saturday in the heart of Buffalo County. Scoured five acres of standing canola that is being pounded! All I found was three different sheds. Its apparent the vast majority of the bucks here still seem to be carrying...good luck to all.

Trae B.

I havent measured it yet but last year I found an old shen that had five points but its pretty big if I lay the end of it on my elbow the main point will poke a little past my fingers i'll send a pic next chance I get.


I started shed hunting in the middle of january and didn't find a shed until feb 10. super bowl weekend i was out and every buck i saw (10) had both his horns, then when i went out to the same spot on the 10th i didnt see a buck with both his antlers and found a 5 point shed off a 10 point that id seen regularly over the last 2 weeks. They started dropping that fast! so get out there! btw im in Minnesota

Trevor Nelson

Me and my brother went shed hunting on friday and within the first 10 mins my brother had already found 3 HUGE sheds well over 140 each and then a half an hour later he found a matching pair that would score about 150!! but sadly i found 0 (it could be because i had me eyes close the hole time)

Blue Ridge Kennel

Ohio rabbit season ends the end of Feb. I hunt with a pack of beagles, anywhere from 2 to 8. They all retrieve sheds. I've had 4 month old puppies bring in sheds. It beats glassing a field.


those are unbeliveble!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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