Its always tough to hang up the rifles, shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders for the year, but for many deer fanatics February marks the start to another season: SHED SEASON!
The season is open and most bucks will drop their horns anytime from December till April. Although there are many factors involved in a buck to shed, I find February a good time to start scouring the woods.So far this year I have picked up 6 sheds in three outings, one being a matched set. Being that we are still early into the shed season and with as many bucks as Ive seen still carrying horns, Im very happy with my findings!
Due to the weather and all the snow we have been seeing here in MN I think the deer are easier to pattern then normal. This has made finding sheds fairly easy. I have found all my sheds either right in deer beds or along a trail. I focus all my shed hunting in forest (bedding areas) and in agricultural areas. This year on the land I shed hunt there is standing corn field that was left due to moisture and has really turned into a deer magnet; producing a bunch sheds thus far!
Some basic places to find sheds are bedding areas, feeding areas and trails that combine the two. getting out when there is snow on the ground helps me to quickly identify areas where the deer are congregating.
With the popularity of shed hunting growing, I often find more human tracks then horns but have learned over the past couple seasons that the majority of shed hunters arent willing to brave the cold weather early in the year; giving me the perfect opportunity for a head start.
Weather your a seasoned shed hunter like myself or simply a beginner, its a magic time to be in the woods. Weather or not you pick up any sheds is one thing but you’ll be sure to learn valuable information about the deer in your area for the up coming hunting season along with some good exercise. The best is yet to come so get out and do some shed hunting!