4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go Shed Hunting
Shed hunting is the early spring pastime of choice for tens of thousands of serious deer hunters across the country....
Shed hunting is the early spring pastime of choice for tens of thousands of serious deer hunters across the country. Come February and March, camo-clad guys and gals flood the woods with binoculars, backpacks, and good boots—all hoping to catch a glimpse of “white gold” on their whitetail antler treasure hunt.
But if you’ve never gone shed hunting before, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. And if that’s you, I apologize, because I’m not here to help. In fact, I’m actually more inclined to share a few reasons why you shouldn’t go shed hunting.
As I see it, the fewer of you that take up shed hunting, the more antlers there will be for me to find. So here’s my pitch against it.
1. You don’t want to know what bucks made it to the New Year
After a long hard hunting season chasing “The Big Eight” and never quite closing the deal, I’m sure you don’t really care whether or not he made it through to see another year, right?
By finding the antlers of a buck you’ve seen in past years, you can get a head start on the new season and begin putting a plan in place. With the knowledge that this deer will likely be roaming your property again, you can develop a strategy specifically for him right away—rather than having to wait until you spot him in the summer or fall. Shed hunting success can also provide great motivation for the new season, as few things can get you as excited for the next hunt as a stack of antlers on the mantelpiece from the deer you’re after.
But if all that sounds like it will give away the surprise of sitting in a stand, you probably shouldn’t bother.
2. You don’t like understanding how deer use your property
Getting out and walking your property for sheds in the spring is a great opportunity to learn more about your local deer herd and how they use your land. With the snow just melted this time of year, you’ll be able to see trails, rubs, scrapes, and bedding areas from this past fall, along with the insight gleaned from locations of individual shed antlers. But if you’re sick of learning new things about your hunting property, shed hunting probably isn’t for you.
3. You’re not getting cabin fever yet
It’s -8 degrees today as I write this, and it’s been below zero almost every other morning for close to the past week. Personally? I’m sick of the cold and ready to enjoy the great outdoors with some nicer weather. But if you’ve been happy as a clam stuck in the house, hibernating through these frigid winter days, you probably don’t care for an excuse to get out and hike on an early spring day.
The return of songbirds, the first warm rays of spring sunlight, a little fresh air – who needs it? If you’re not getting cabin fever, don’t go looking for bone.
4. You don’t like antlers
Shed hunting, at the core of it, is simply a great way to get your hands on antlers. For some of us, there’s a subtle kind of magic to antlers. Getting to wrap your hands around them, spin them about, and run your fingers along their long ivory tines—they’re beautiful. Inspiring. Mesmerizing. And if you put in enough time looking for sheds, you’ll eventually develop a collection of awe-inspiring antlers that you’ll be able to look back on and admire for years.
But hey, if you’re part of that underground contingent of deer hunters who think antlers are overrated, you definitely shouldn’t go shed hunting. And if you happen to stumble upon one accidentally, I’ll be happy to take it off your hands.