So What Does It Take To Be A Successful Shed Hunter?
#1. Binoculars. #2. A bottle of Water. Finally #3. A location to shed hunt at.
On Your Mark: Get Set.
Let's prioritize our search with specific hot spots.
Lights Out: Beds Are For Sheds.
Currently, bucks are bedding in two main areas. The First - South facing slopes that provide ample solar cover for warmth. A buck's requirement of this spot is convenient escape routes due to their vulnerability of being in the open. The Second - Nasty thermal pockets with the thickest underbrush and growth they can find. This type of bed gives them protection from brisk winds on cloudy days, heavy snow falls and lurking predators. Finding these bedding areas, however, isn't so cut-and-dried, for a secure rest spot is vital to their survival. This is where glassing and patterning their movement comes in to play, and once you've positively zeroed in on their sleepy haunts, you, too, will have found yourself swimming in sheds.
Food: Find Where They Dine.
During winter's bitter frigid temps, deer require large amounts of high-carbohydrate foods and they need them on a regular basis. In essence, find the food and you'll find the antlers. So spend your time wisely between bedding and feeding areas and the ground that separates them. Here in the Midwest, Kansas, we target corn, soybeans, milo, and other food sources that whitetails prefer. Winter wheat is a good bet, too, but deer in general have to consume four times as much of it, compared to the sorghums stated above, for adequate nutrients and calorie intake.
Connect Four: You Win.
Travel is imminent in a buck's life and at this point in time it's fairly predictable. He'll awake from a deep snooze and slowly meander from his bed to his favorite restaurant, or field, and this travel corridor will display visible signs of traffic, which will make identifying it a breeze. Deep snow gives the avid shed hunter a huge advantage, as well, in regards to tracking, and the same holds true for fresh snowfall. It's crucial to pay attention to areas of impact on these trails during your shed hunt, where jumping a fence or climbing a steep embankment is inevitable. Situations like the before mentioned tend to jar antlers free more rapidly which is attributed to robust movement on the bucks part.
A Time To Reflect: The End.
Can you imagine the thrill of finding a moose shed? Or how your friends would react when you told them about it. I'm sure it would go something like this. "Hey Frank, what did you do today?" "Well, Trav, I got my prostate checked and picked up some cantaloupe and fritters. How about you?" "I found a moose shed, Frank, that's as big as your ears and it didn't take some guy sticking his finger up my butt to do it!" Okay, it would never unfold that way, but I digress. Shed hunting is one of the coolest, family friendly, pastimes that most Americans know jack-squat about, and, with that in mind, now until some point in April our farmlands and forests will be littered with elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope and, yes, moose sheds and those that hunt for them.
To wrap, sure, there's a chance you won't find a shed at all, but I'm certain you'll uncover new rubs, scrapes, ambush locations and gain a better perspective of wildlife, entirely.
Hugs, Handshakes and Happy Hunting.