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Why Shed Hunt

Updated on January 23, 2016

6 Reasons Why People Shed Hunt

Shed hunting is huge right now in Canada and the U.S. And no, I'm not talking about finding the perfect shed for your backyard. It's the perfect set of antlers to hang on the front of your shed. Shed hunting is now considered a sport of its own and is not something only the avid hunter enjoys. So why has shed hunting become so popular?

10 Shed Hunting Tips

track bucks using trail camera pics
be prepared to search the landscape
follow trails, scrapes, rub lines, beds and scat
dress warm
wear proper footwear
plan to do a lot of walking
use food plots
learn from the best
train your dog to help
take a friend

It's an Adventure

Let's be honest, searching for antlers is like going for a treasure hunt in God's great big playground. Yep, that's right, looking around for bones is an exciting search and most people love how it brings out the kid in them. They use trail cameras and other ways to track deer such as trails, scrapes, rub lines, deer beds and scat as clues to where that prize buck has been circling, in hopes of finding his sheds. And when they find that big rack, they act like a kid that's just found a loot full of candy.

There's a Story

Every bone collector has a story for their trophy. They start with the trail camera examining antler images and then tell you about how they've been tracking the buck's patterns. They'll tell you about the different trails they followed and then how they stumbled upon the sheds. Every shed hunter enjoys bone collecting or they wouldn't spend time doing it.

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It's a Winter Sport for the Family

Shed hunting gives something for people to do during the winter months. It's a nice outing for a mild winter day to go for a walk or a hike with a purpose in mind; Instead of being all dressed up in your warm sheepskin hats and wool mitts with no place to go! There are many people who shed hunt that are not hunters or their partner hunts and they simply enjoy the outing of shed hunting with them in the off season. It's also something the entire family can do together. Everyone straps on their Muck boots and hits the trail in hopes to be the first in the family to find a shed.

It's Wall Decor

When you find a shed it always finds a spot on your wall or mantle. People use the sheds they've found to make centre pieces, chandlers, or other wall decor. It's also much easier to clean off a rack that's been found detached from the animal, as opposed to harvesting a buck and then removing the antlers, to put on display in your home. Not near the cleaning and disinfecting is required.

YouTube video by Dr. Grant Woods

Did you know?

  • Bucks will lose their antlers after their hormone levels drop, which is after breeding season. This timing likely ends up being somewhere between late December into January.
  • Bucks have scent glands on the top of their heads. They use their antlers to scrape saplings, to expose the wood and leave their scent as a way of marking their territory.
  • Bucks will have an average of 10-20% additional antler growth each year, depending on the nutritional availability of their habitat.
  • Bucks go through osteoporosis each year due to antler growth, however unlike humans, they are not inhibited by it.

Helps the Hunter

If you're a hunter that shed hunts, it is a way to track your buck. Bone collecting lets you know if that big buck you were hunting and missed harvesting, this past season, is still alive. Also, once you find a shed, you can examine it to gain information on the maturity of the male deer in that area as well gain insight into his health condition. Hunters will also use sheds, while hunting in the future, as a way of mimicking the sound of two bucks fighting as a way to elicit a breeding response.

It's for the Animal Lover

Many people train their dog to be a bone collector. So shed hunting becomes an outdoor adventure, with their dog, as they both scan the landscape for those fallen antlers in the snow.

Shed hunting is not about the animal but about people enjoying quality time together. For others, it's a chance to get outside, to get away and find solitude in the winter months. A time to enjoy the fresh, crisp air and have fun at the same time. Join the latest winter rave and give shed hunting a try.


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