Shed Hunting with Deer Passion's Elizabeth Peterson

Deer hunting in Kansas is a world-renowned sport. But after the season ends, a new one begins. A season just as competitive, if not more so, with no official start and end times and open to anyone… Shed hunting.


Elizabeth and her daughter love spending time together shed hunting. Elizabeth and her daughter love spending time together shed hunting.

Antlers are used for everything from dog toys to decor and can fetch thousands of dollars at the right auctions. It’s also the perfect season to get yourself back in shape after spending countless hours just sitting in a blind or tree stand. Additionally, it provides valuable information about what animals survived the winter and the quality of deer in your hunting locations. My favorite part is that everyone can get involved, including kids.


It’s the perfect sport to introduce kids to the awesomeness of the great outdoors. They can chatter all they want without worrying about scaring anything off, they can learn the difference in animal tracks, trails, and wildlife in general. Plus, the second they find their first shed, they’ll be hooked!


However, a lot of people just assume they can start walking around in the woods and come home with a truck load of antlers. It takes hours of walking, looking and some days you’ll still come home with nothing. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your shed hunting season:


  1. Calm Yourself. Due to the competitiveness and extreme antler poaching right now, people start looking for sheds right after Christmas. Stop. Watch your trail cams for good indicators of when they start shedding and simply scout, the same as you would do prior to deer season. If you start hitting the woods too early and walking the same ground over and over, you could easily push the deer onto neighboring properties where they can shed their itchy antlers in peace, which is exactly what you don’t want.


  1. The Early Bird Gets the Worm. Once the antlers do start falling, you want to find them first. Other animals use antlers for various purposes, but the biggest concern now are antler poachers. Start walking your property along the most easily accessed areas, such as along the road and boundary lines.


  1. Best Bets. You can walk miles and miles aimlessly, or you can focus on the best places where a deer would most likely lose a pair. Walk your fence lines or anywhere a buck would have to jump. Focus on food and bedding areas. After rut and during the middle of winter, those are the two things bucks focus on. It doesn’t make sense to hunt where the bucks aren’t so continue to focus on feeding areas, heavy thickets and brush, and bedding areas.


  1. Find the Pair. Once a buck loses one half, it’s not long before he wants to get rid of the other half. Can you imagine the awkwardness of suddenly losing half the weight on your head? If you find an antler, start circling the area, gradually moving farther out and I can almost guarantee you’ll find the missing piece and have a wonderful set to show off later.


  1. 46194_569256766438719_439471857_n Shed hunting is a great way to introduce kids to the outdoors.

    Pass It On. Take a kid, take your spouse, take your favorite hunting partner... the more, the merrier. In fact, the more eyes you have on the ground, the more you’ll find. The best part of January is hitting the woods with my daughter. She chatters endlessly, we play in the snow and there’s always something new for us to find. It’s also nurturing a love for the outdoors and hunting, and the world needs more of that.


Good luck this year on your shed hunting season!

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