If you’ve like many and had none or minimal success at finding whitetail buck shed antlers, I offer you are some good reasons to shed hunt again this year. Late winter and early spring are the best times to start scouting for your next deer season.
Last fall’s rubs, scrapes and trails are easiest to see in the time between when the snow melts and the coming’s warmer weather launches the spring green-up. Also, at that time of year, you don’t have to worry about bumping deer from rheir bedding area and causinging him go nocturnal. The deer will have months to forget the encounter.
A buck in March that that has shed his left antler.
This is actually a good time to get into the thick bedding cover as well as other areas that bucks call home. By doing so, you’ll get a good feel for where deer bed and how they enter and exit their bedding areas
Which Bucks Survived?
When you find a fresh shed antler in the early spring, the buck that dropped it probably survived both the hunting season and the winter. So that buck is likely to still be in the population of area bucks.
Once a buck sheds its antlers, individual bucks become quite difficult to identify. While locating a shed is proof positive that a particular buck made it through the recent hunting season, it’s possible you won’t be able to recognize him when he is antlerless or just beginning to grow his new bulbous, velvet antlers.
Sometimes, you can find a shed that is heavier in mass, or has a longer main bream, or more points than any you have seen before, (or possibly all three). That, of course, is a good thing. He is a buck that you have never seen before, but with some effort and by upping your scouting and observation commitments you just might encounter this buck on the hoof during one of the next seasons.
My favorite part of shed hunting is finding and taking home new antlers. Each antler is a unique natural artifact, and a shed is, at minimum, a nice addition to one of my piles of multitudinous sheds.