by Pete Alfano - Friday, March 6, 2015
On March 7, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts across America will unite in search of antlers during the second annual #ShedRally—the world’s largest shed hunt. Keep these tips in mind when you head out looking for the sheds of the big ones that got away last season.
1. Get Off Your Feet
If you live in an area with lots of agriculture fields, you can find sheds without much walking. These are perfect areas to do most of your searching from a UTV or ATV. You can cover lots of ground and if you have grandparents, small children or a mobility impaired group member, searching while seated allows their participation, too. Leave the thickets and secluded areas for those people in your group who want great exercise.
2. Search with Binoculars
It's amazing how many things in the woods look like a shed antler at first glance. And when you first spy a shed look-a-like, a force comes over your body that demands you march over to take a look…only to be disappointed. A good set of binoculars allows you to cover more ground and save energy. When you catch a glimpse of a possible shed gleaming through the woods, glass it first to confirm it's actually antler.
3. Use (and Improve) Your Skills as a Hunter
Late winter exposes deer trails, cuts and dips in your land that you can't see because of foliage during other times. Learn how the deer use the land during this time of the year, and you’ll find sheds—and become a better hunter. The more time you spend on your land, the better you will know the land. If year after year you find sheds in a certain area, you've now identified a good late-season hunting spot. On the flip side, if you struggle to find sheds, maybe it's time you considered improving the bedding habitat and amount of food for wildlife on your property.
Yes, you can scout for sheds. If you locate where a deer herd is spending the most time during shedding season, you will undoubtedly find sheds in that area. If you know of a certain field where you always see deer feeding in the evenings during February and March, it's likely a great place to look for sheds. Another way to scout is by using trail cameras. Trail cameras can tell you when your bucks shed their antlers—especially if used near a supplemental feeding site (where legal).
5. Take a Non-Hunter
The more eyes on the ground looking for sheds, the better your chances of finding some. Got a friend or family member who isn't ready to harvest an animal but is intrigued by your hunting lifestyle? Take him/her shed hunting. It's great exercise and allows you to talk about and showcase your outdoor lifestyle in a pressure-free environment. Showing the non-hunter deer sign like scrapes and rubs, food plots, bedding areas, tree stands, etc., gives him/her a peek at all the work you put into harvesting an animal…and probably helps address several misconceptions he/she might have about hunting. And who knows, if the non-hunter finds a shed or two, that might be all it takes to get him/her in a tree stand with you next fall!
Whitetail Properties and Realtree are inviting men, women and families who love the outdoors to get outside March 7 and hunt for shed antlers, and to upload creative photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with the hashtag #ShedRally. Whitetail Properties will judge all uploaded photos that use the #ShedRally hashtag and pick the most original and creative users to win prizes from Whitetail Properties, Realtree, Scentlok, Buck Knives and Legendary Whitetails. For more information, check out the #ShedRally 2015 official trailer here.
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