3 Things You Should Be Doing While Shed Antler Hunting
Whether you have been out already or heading out soon, shed antler hunting season is among us. Hunters across the nation are heading out and much like finding a needle in a haystack, trying to find something that looks like a stick, mixed in with a bunch of sticks. It’s not the easiest of things to do, but it surely can be fun.
Gathering your buddies, getting your boots on the ground and looking for that one buck’s shed antlers, is exciting. It’s also a great time to spend doing a few other things while in the woods. Whether you are hunting private or public land, these three things below are a must while you are out hunting for shed antlers and a great way to increase your success next hunting season.
1. Pull Your Stands and Look For New Stand Locations for Next Season
Now is a great time to pull your stands as you won’t fear bumping deer out of your area. To top that off, late deer season looks much the same in November as it does in February or March. Be sure while you are walking around and pulling down your treestands, to consider locations to hang your stands next year. The leaves are all still off the trees, buck sign still exists, and is visible, and bumping a deer now will decrease your chances of bumping a mature buck out of your area, so feel free to walk around and mark some locations to place your stands for next year.
Whether you are hanging ladder stands, hang on treestands or even putting up ground blinds, now is an excellent time to mark those locations. Leaving your treestand through the winter and spring can run the risk of seats or straps getting chewed up by squirrels and other critters. This poses a big safety risk by leaving your treestand out year round, so we always recommend pulling your stands at the end of every season.
2. Find and Enter Bedding Areas
Don’t ever go into the bedding area! How many times have you heard that from podcasts, magazines and television shows? It’s a great tip actually, but hunters who live on the edge or have found the bedding areas to be a great way to get after larger deer, would completely disagree with that statement. They wouldn’t, however, disagree with using the shed antler season to make your way into your bedding areas.
Bedding areas are deer sanctuaries, they feel safe. If the deer know they are being hunted and during hunting season find continued pressure in the one place they feel safe, they will vacate the area. If you choose never to enter the bedding area during hunting season, this could be a huge benefit to keeping deer on your property. But entering the bedding area once a year won’t hurt your property or push the deer off your land.
As deer feel the pressure coming down from the hunting season and begin to focus on food again, they feel safe in their bedding areas, as they usually do. If you use this time to walk your entire property, note the bedding areas and while you’re there, look for shed antlers, you will have a great way to look at a part of your property you wouldn’t normally see.
If you bump deer while doing this, deer will still make their way back as they have always felt safe there. If you don’t know where the bedding areas are, now is a great time to walk your entire property and find them. Take note of what they are able to see from their bedding area, where they appear to leave and enter the bedding area and take a look at what the wind is doing. All of this information can help you better set up for the deer using this bedding area come the fall.
3. Bring the Entire Family
One of the best things about shed antler hunting is you can walk your entire property and not fear screwing anything up for your hunting season. If you spend a great deal of time away from your spouse, kids or family and friends in general, now is a great time to include them in your hunting expeditions. Adding friendly competitions or contests can make shed antler hunting fun for the entire family. Let’s face it, as serious as we all take our hunting, we have so much to be thankful for with our families. Including your family and taking a day or two outdoors looking for shed antlers can help ease your kids or spouse into the sport if they aren’t already hooked as well.