SHED HUNTING


A GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS

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Brown Moose Shed … Finally!

April 15, 2012

It has been my dream for years, my ultimate goal, really, to find a fresh moose antler. Moose antlers are so big and so dark and so amazing! I just can’t get enough of them. The idea of finding one when I first got started seemed incredible. I always wondered how I would react. Well, I got my first moose shed in 2007. It was really a lackluster moment. Not the exciting event I’d imagined. There were four of us searching an area. We’d been standing around talking and just started to walk. I was last in line. “Hey, isn’t that one?” I asked. “Where?” everyone said. “I think the dog is stepping on one.” Sure enough, the dog was standing on what was left of a moose antler. At one time it was a big one, but it was so weathered probably only 1/4 of it was left. It really didn’t look like much. Kind of a buzzkill. Ok, fast-forward to yesterday. I have found a few in MN and a few in AK, but they have always been old. I did find a brown one in AK once, but it was just a fork. I am a pretty postive, easy-going guy. Things don’t get me down too much. Except yesterday. I had a lot on my mind. To the point it was all I could think about. I couldn’t enjoy shed hunting. I felt like I was in a fog. All the sights and sounds of nature went right by me, unnoticed. I checked one area but it was so thick and brushy it was hard to walk through. I gave it an hour or two, but I wasn’t feeling it, even though I’d seen a huge bull in there a couple winters ago. I went to my next spot. This place, I knew, was a lot easier for walking. It was quite open. I have gone in here two other years and I always find moose sign, but no sheds. Leads me to think it’s a cow area. The only thing that had my interest is the fact that last year, while I was shed hunting, I saw a moose in here. I got to watch him for a long time. I finally saw he had antlers about the size of my finger. That was April or May. I don’t know what he would grow into, but I hoped whatever it was, he would drop ’em in that spot. I was stumbling around in my haze, trying to shake things off and look at the postive. I came around the corner and started walking downhill. It was obvious this was a moose trail. And then there were points sticking up in the air everywhere! My mind worked feverishly. In an instant my head started processing things. I had scoured this place last season! There was no way this could be another old, chewed-up white or green shed. This had to be a freshie. All these thought raced through my mind as I raced to the shed. Please, just let it finally be a fresh one in good shape, I thought! It was! It’s in perfect condition. The upper tine is rounded over a little, which the moose did, but otherwise it’s perfect. Kind of a neat shape. Not a lot of well-defined points. Just rounded and wavy. It’s got some cool points sticking out the back too, which isn’t rare, but it’s not normal, either. Lots of character. And so heavy! How could a moose drop this and not have his head jolt to one side? I scoured the heck out of that place, the rest of yesterday and more this morning. I couldn’t get the other side. I suppose, if this weighs 12 pounds, that’s only about 1.5 percent of a moose’s weight. I guess something weighing only a couple pounds wouldn’t bother me. Maybe? I just wish those buggers would fall off together. Unfortunately, I wasn’t on cloud 9 like I hoped. But it DID get me out of my funk. I stayed up all night, but not because of the other things on my mind. Now I was thinking about the match. Oh, why must they drop them apart?

How I found it. I'll try to get more pics up later.

How I found it. I'll try to get more pics up later.


Unexpected Find

April 10, 2012

I was planning to work on some outdoor projects today, but it was 31 degrees with snow flurries this morning, so I decided to postpone the projects! This afternoon I walked outside and was quite surprised that it had warmed up. Now I was kicking myself, but it was too late in the day to get working on things, so I decided to salvage afternoon by taking a walk. I just wanted to get outside, so I ended up going to a place where I almost never find any sheds. I have found one old one there, although it always looks decent. I wasn’t really expecting to come up with anything. On the way back I was walking down a heavy deer trail, and bam, right at my feet I saw an antler! I was so excited! I really didn’t expect to find a shed. I was just out for a stroll. As I pulled it from the grass, I was just hoping it didn’t have any chews or broken tines. I have found so few fresh ones this year that I wanted a nice, pretty one. This 4-pointer was perfect in every way! But why can’t these darn deer drop them both together? I walked up and down the trail and circled the area. I really wanted the match to this one. It’s still out there somewhere.

As it lay.

As it lay.

 

A better look.

A better look.


New Spot

April 5, 2012

I’ve been eying up a new area for a couple years now. I finally went there for the first time back in February. It looked good and I saw a lot of deer, but came up empty. Today I was excited to get back in there. There are some nice rubs in there and there have to be some quality bucks there. I was sure I was going to come up with some sheds today, and some big ones at that. Try as I might, I just couldn’t find any sheds, although I saw plenty of deer. My hopes were kind of running out and I was about ready to call it quits when I got lucky and happened to find a little forkhorn shed right in a deer trail. Trail sheds are easy! This one is old but in perfect shape. It’s surprisingly heavy for such a little shed. Well, that kind of capped my day. I was happy just to find a shed in a new spot. Not too much later I was getting ready to leave. I took a slightly different path out and saw that magical shine of antler tine through dead grass. That is something that I live for! There is nothing quite like that sight! This one was tines down and I was quite excited by what I saw. It’s not a big shed, but it’s got a neat split G-3. A lot of character for a small deer. I’d like to see what he grows into! I had walked within 20 yards of that shed on the way in, but there really was no way I could have seen it. Not too bad for a new place. I think there’s a lot more potential!

Second shed as it lay. (No photo of the first one.)

Second shed as it lay. (No photo of the first one.)

 

My sheds from today. You can see the cool G-3 on the bigger one.

My sheds from today. You can see the cool G-3 on the bigger one.


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