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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a relatively new hunter, and I still haven't shot my first buck. This year I have a trail camera and a ladder stand that I was given for Christmas, so next year should be the year, but before the season starts, I would like to find some antler sheds. Any tips for finding them? What season should I start the search? Any help is appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Try in the spring right after the snow melts. Follow deer trails and spend alot of time walking around. Shed hunting is also great for scouting for the next season.
Alright! Great advice, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The "easiest" or maybe most reliable(?) way to collect sheds is to build a simple "shed trap" by stretching chicken wire between 5 posts in the shape of a "W" and baiting the "Vs" with corn etc.

There antlers are ready to drop anytime now,some may likely have already,the trap wire will help them along giving the antler the little nudge it needs to jar it loose.Just be sure to not use wire or material that might entangle a deer with solid antlers.Rather than chicken wire as shown,it's safer for the deer to simply use 3 or 4 strands of mechanic's wire or similair stretched horizontally between the posts.



Wow! That is really cool! Would plastic chicken wire work? And is the bungee cord for the bait?
 

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The bucks haven't shed yet, not to my knowledge. The ones coming in to my feeders still have their full crown. As for finding sheds...well, I had a dozen bucks beating down 2 feet wide trails in the woods back of my house last December with 1 inch of snow on the ground in mid January, when they first started to drop......I musta walked 15 miles and never found one.

The only shed I ever found was by accident while trout fishing. If you live in agri area, you may have a better chance of finding some in know bedding / yarding areas, but I would say a safe bet is to walk the yards when the snow starts to melt.

Good luck!

GS, that antler trap....somebody put a lot of thinking into that one eh? I'd almost be afraid a deer's headgear would get stuck in there and create a lot of stress at this critical time of year for yarded deer? Probably great in Southern States, but I wouldn't recommend one up here, just MHO.

Great sketches!
 

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We always start looking as soon as the snow hits the ground,finding the deer yards,marking their trails with orange ribbon. Then when the snow melts in the spring we walk the same trails we marked in winter. Keep in mind that its a good idea to bring a couple a people with you so you can spread out 10feet or so apart to cover a wider area. If you stay close to where you marked the deer trails you should find some sheds. We always tend to find more sheds in the thicker areas of the yards[fir thickets and cedar swamps],generally right at the base of the trees.It's a great way to see what bucks you have in your area and where you should be next fall.
 

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Great idea on marking the trails hoytboy. Have walked the trails in deer yards before and found squat. Might try that this year though.
 

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Dirtroadhunter. Forget the antler trap.I,ve been hunting sheds for 20 years have,nt set out any traps.It takes a lot off leg work.I used to go 6 hours a day starting between christmas and new years and going as long as the snow don,t get too deep. Leave them alone until spring.I have almost 300 antler sheds it,s been great but I,m getting older and can,t walk as much. Good luck.Shedhunternb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies, I'll be taking your advice!
 

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Well, I had a buck taken down by coyotes Saturday, and he dropped one side of his rack right before he was taken down, and the other side was likely dropped two or three days before that. I think that the headgear is coming off now.
 

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Well, I had a buck taken down by coyotes Saturday, and he dropped one side of his rack right before he was taken down, and the other side was likely dropped two or three days before that. I think that the headgear is coming off now.
Fried of mine just found half a 10 point on the weekend,looks like their starting to drop em.
 

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I have seen bucks without antlers as early as Dec 15 and many without them at new years.It all depends where you are i think.When deer are yarded up for the winter and are near forestry operations they are looking more for food than breeding i think they seem to lose them quicker.The old bucks on average seem to lose them faster than most keen young bucks where i've seen..RR
 

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I have pics of 2 old mature bucks sparring from 3 days ago, and then my neighbor told me one has shed a side last nite or today.

We also have a new 2.5 or 3.5 that came into the yard 3 days ago and he's still sporting a full set.

They seem to be be starting the shedding process like clockwork from last year (see date on pic below...)



Although finding sheds this year will be extremely difficult with a LOT of snow on the ground in this area and I don't want to stress the deer more they need to at this time of year....maybe find some in the Spring or at the feeders...
 
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