SHED HUNTING


A GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS

THE BLOG

Ryan Stegmeir’s Sheds - As Fresh As They Come!

February 26, 2012

Here is an awesome story sent in by Ryan Stegmeir of Minnesota. This is truly one of the coolest shed hunting stories I’ve ever heard! Enjoy!

I thought you might be interested in the pics from my story.  The first pic shows the first (right) antler as I walked up to it.  You can just make out the deer’s tracks on the top of the photo. The second pic is the left side.  I took the picture from where the buck took his last antlered leap.  The third pic shows the blood on the bases. The last pic shows the only blood I found in the snow after trailing him for several hundred yards after finding the sheds.  I got a good look at both bucks before they disappeared.  The other one was about equal size to this one and they stuck together the whole time I tracked them.  I also heard another deer in the brush when I jumped the two, but I never saw it.  I  didn’t actually see the antlers drop, but the deer were only about 25 to 30 yards away when I jumped them.  It was surreal!  I’ve been shed hunting for about ten years and never thought this would happen to me.  You always hear guys saying “You shouldn’t get out there too early!”, because it will hurt your chances later if they aren’t shed out yet.  I’ve never subscribed to that theory.  Anyway, would this have happened if I had waited until I was certain all the bucks were shed?

Right side and skid mark in the snow.

Right side and skid mark in the snow.

Left side.

Left side.

Bloody bases.

Bloody bases.

Just a couple drops of blood in the snow.

Just a couple drops of blood in the snow.


Shed Out or Still Carrying?

February 22, 2012

I’m just curious what everyone is seeing in their area. I always believed late February is when a lot of bucks really start to shed. Personally, I haven’t observed an antlered buck for a couple weeks now, but then, I don’t really think I’ve seen any shed-out bucks either. Just haven’t been observing many deer. My last two times out I saw 10 deer and 5 deer, but I believe they were does and fawns because they were grouped together and just seemed to be family oriented. A lot of times bucks kind of separate from does in winter. What is everyone seeing right now? Could you estimate a percentage of bucks that are carrying, vs. shed out in your area?


Match

February 19, 2012

I’ve been doing a lot of fishing lately. All winter actually. That’s kind of been taking priority over shed hunting, but I did get out for a walk this afternoon. It was just too nice not to! I took a long walk in a spot I haven’t tried, but came up empty. With just a couple hours of daylight left, I headed back to an old standby. This is where I found that shed last week with the broken tine. I was scouring the area pretty thoroughly, trying all the less-obvious places where other shed hunters might not have looked. While I was busy being thorough, I walked into an open area, and bam, there was a shed! It turned out to be the match to the one I found there last week. It was only about 15 yards from where the other one was lying, but there was no way it could have been there last week. It was right in the open. I couldn’t have missed it! 

As it lay.

As it lay.

8-point set reunited

8-point set reunited


Ed Ables Sheds

February 14, 2012

Today’s shed pics come from Ed Ables of Bristow, VA. Ed sheds hunts in Virginia and West Virginia and sent me these pics of his finds for the year. He’s got some cool sheds and one of the most unique finds I’ve heard of. He found the head of an 8-point buck that had been tagged by a hunter and left behind. Ed actually called the hunter, but the hunter never returned the message! Ed also has a 6-point shed with a cool split brow and a hole chewed into the antler. There’s also a set that he and his brother-in-law tag-teamed. Ed found one side and his brother-in-law found the other side a week later less than 100 yards away! Hope you enjoy the pics. Thanks for sending them in Ed!

Deer head with the hunter's tag on it!

Deer head with the hunter's tag on it!

6-point side as it lay

6-point side as it lay

6-point side with a split brow

6-point side with a split brow

Chew hole on 6-point side

Chew hole on 6-point side

img_0908

img_0907

 

img_0902

 

img_0876

 

img_0869


Bed Shed

February 12, 2012

Got out for a walk yesterday in the morning. I hit a place I’ve already been in a couple times this year. Regular followers of this blog may remember a post a couple weeks ago entitled “Couple Bucks.” Well I was in this place where I saw two full-racked bucks back in January. One of the bucks was a 2-year-old 8-pointer and the other was a yearling 4- or 6-pointer. Oddly enough, the yearling appeared dominant over the 2-year-old and shoved him around a little bit and eventually the larger buck fled! Well, yesterday I was crisscrossing the network of trails. I had actually already walked this trail down, but was now walking the same trail back because I’d run out of fresh trails until I moved into a different area a few yards away. I just happened to catch a glimpse of something that didn’t look right about 10 yards off the trail. Sure enough, it was a shed from that 8-pointer! I almost didn’t see it. There are some chest-high plants growing in dense patches. I’m not sure what they are, but they are similar in appearance to goldenrod, which I suspect most of you are familiar with. The patch of this plants was no larger than your living room, but right in the center of it, it was trampled down and deer had obviously been bedding there. The antler was laying right in an old bed. There were a couple interesting things about that antler. For one thing, the G-2 tine is now snapped off, and it wasn’t when I saw this buck a couple weeks ago. Those two bucks did spar briefly while I watched them. The break still looks sharp. If these breaks happen earlier in the fall, the break smooths over as bucks rub on trees. The other interesting thing is there was no blood on the base of the antler. I bet it had been lying there more than a week, and I bet I have walked within 10 yards of it before, and probably others have as well! Had this guy before 9 a.m. and walked until 1 but that was it. Those bucks are dropping. Get out there if you can!

Antler with a freshly broken tine, lying in a bed.

Antler with a freshly broken tine, lying in a bed.


Super-Cool Buried One!

February 9, 2012

Hey, I “unearthed” some more photos of a find I dug up, so I thought I’d post some pics before I “buried” this topic. But seriously, forks … and spikes. Wow, stick to shed hunting, not comedy, right? I found this moose skull in Alaska in 2010. My friend Cody hiked into a burn area to pick morel mushrooms, so I was doing the same. Well, I found this guy and never did find a morel, although I went back last summer and picked about 140 in a day, and that’s after Cody had already picked a bunch. To be honest, although I went under the guise of morel hunting, I thought it might be a good place to find a moose shed. Anyway, I spotted these antlers sticking up out of the ground and that was the end of my mushroom picking. I unearthed this monster with my hands and with a stick. Not sure why it was buried, but one guess is that a bear buried the carcass. Part of one paddle was broken pretty badly, but when I put it back together, this monster stretched over 60 inches! I was 4 miles from the truck, and that’s on the GPS as the crow flies. The hiking trail was probably 5 or 6 miles. Took a solid 2 hours to hike it out. After that, I learned you are not allowed to possess skulls in Alaska, so I left it behind.

How I found it. Looks like dried wood! You can see the black ash from the burn.

How I found it. Looks like dried wood! You can see the black ash from the burn.

 

Skull now visible.

Skull now visible.

 

Uncovered.

Uncovered.

 

Giant palm!

Giant palm!


Another Buried One

February 8, 2012

Hey all,

Here’s another buried shed, but I didn’t find this. Jason Shearer sent this sequence of photos of uncovering a shed he found just last weekend. If you’d like pics posted on here, just email them to me like Jason did and I’ll post them until I can figure out a better way. Here’s Jason’s story:

So I just checked your board and was suprised by your find. Mainly because I had the same kind of find this past weekend. I’ve attached a few photos of it. It would of scored in the mid 60’s if the other 2 tines had been there. Well that’s what I estamated but who knows for sure. It took me over a half hour to unearth it, but it was worth every minute.

Here's a distant shot of what Jason saw.

Here's a distant shot of what Jason saw.

 

A closer view.

A closer view.

 

The end result.

The end result.


Shed Excavation

February 7, 2012

You’ve got to keep your eyes on the ground to find sheds. Sometimes you’ve got to keep them IN the ground! I got out for a hike this afternoon. I went to a hard-hit area that often coughs up big sheds to those who are in the right place at the right time. I hadn’t been out of the truck for more than 5 minutes when I spotted a tine from about 15 yards. I was pretty sure it was an antler as soon as I saw it. Yup! But this thing was really buried! The ground is bare for the most part here, but the antler had been laying there for multiple years and was mostly underground. I hung my hat in the tree and went back to the truck for a screwdriver and a hammer. It took more than an hour of chipping away at ice and frozen mud to get this thing out. I think I am the only shed hunter who regularly digs antlers out of the ground. In my first DVD, there is footage of me chipping an antler out of the ice with a stick. This one was 10 times worse! It was REALLY buried! It’s a very unique shed. As I type this, I’m not completely positive what it looks like because there is still a big ball of frozen mud around the bottom of the antler (I still haven’t laid eyes on the base!) But it’s a big fork with at least 3 big stickers near the base. A very cool shed! Does anyone else ever chip them out of the ground???

What was visible when I spotted the antler.

What was visible when I spotted the antler.

 

Excavation from the ice.

Excavation from the ice.

 

Freed from the ice.

Freed from the ice.


Groundhog’s Day Shed

February 2, 2012

If the groundhog sees his shadow, do we get 6 more weeks of shed hunting? (We better get a LOT more than that! I get most of mine in April!) I’m really glad to hear that some of you folks are getting some sheds. Sounds like Bill is doing pretty well in Iowa and I’ve heard of some folks picking up some big ones already this year. During January I wasn’t too excited about shed hunting, but now I’m getting the itch! I took a walk for a couple hours afternoon. It’s been an exceedingly warm winter with only an inch of snow on the ground and bare ground in a lot of places. Very unusual. I headed out to a place I haven’t been to in about 3 years. It’s a popular place in town and I just get tired of looking at footprints everywhere. I decided to try there today because I know people find some big ones there, and somebody’s gotta find ‘em, so why not me? There were footprints in there today, and it looks like the shed hunter was accompanied by a dog. This place gets POUNDED. So imagine my surprise when I found a year-old 5-point shed on the ground. Those footprints passed within about 10 yards of the shed. I guess no one gets ‘em all. Glad to be on the board. The first one is always the toughest. Plus a lot of bucks are still carrying, but I think it’s about time to kick it into gear!

1st shed of 2012

1st shed of 2012


HOME      DVD      BOOK      THE AUTHOR      SHOP      WHAT IS SHED HUNTING?      COOL STUFF      BLOG