Shed hunting has become increasingly popular as an offseason activity for many hunters during the past decade. In the West, there is an underground cult-like following of the "sport." Here are a few things to think about when you're headed out, courtesy of guide and shed hunting nut Jeremiah Waugh.
1. There are millions of acres of prime real estate in the western states to track down and pick up antlers. As always, be sure to check state regulations before heading out.
2. Food sources, pockets protected from prevailing winds and travel routes are the places to key on.
3. When the turkey hunting is slow and there is fresh deer or elk sign everywhere, take a hike and look for sheds. 4. Bull elk are bachelored up in the winter and spring while shedding their antlers. When you find a fresh shed, you can concentrate on a particular drainage or ridge to find more.
5. On occasion, mature deer and elk will drop both sides in the same immediate area. When one side is dropped the animal’s equilibrium is thrown off and effort is made to pop the remaining side.
6. Glassing from vantage points will yield more sheds and save your legs!
7. You can learn a lot about a herd’s genetics and overall condition by picking up sheds in the spring and summer.
8.Shed hunting is an excellent way to familiarize yourself intimately with the terrain of any area.
9. To consistently pile up antler every year in new areas hard work and scouting are key.
10. Observing herds from a distance in early spring reveals prime locations to check for sheds when the herds move out.