To find more shed whitetail antlers you need to look in antler-hot locations where deer will frequent or use going from one spot to another.
Here are five top areas to snoop for more bone in your backpack.
BEDDING and SOUTH-FACING SLOPES
Whitetails may spend more than 50 percent of their winter months bedded to conserve precious calories. That means they are likely to shed their antlers while bedded. Scour favored bedding sites in thick woodlots, willow jungles and even cattails. Keep in mind deer may shuffle bedding sites to take advantage of south-facing terrain for warmth.
When winter deer aren’t bedded they are feeding. Food plots, nearby agricultural fields and favored browse areas should top your list of places to search. If you believe there is any mast, such as acorns, left form fall, walk those areas as well. On a large agricultural field be sure to grid the area so you don’t miss any antlers hiding in the stalks.
Trails connect bedding and feeding areas. Walk all heavily-used trails that go between these zones. Look for trails that are snow- or mud-packed. Start at either a feeding or bedding area and backtrack. If you see spur trails, follow those as well since whitetails alter daily travel routes depending on wind and paranoia.
Fences crisscross whitetail country causing deer to jump them daily. This jar to the body can often dislodge antlers ready to drop. Follow trails to and from fences and then walk fence lines since deer don’t always follow trails religiously. If you’re lucky you’ll discover a matched set resting alongside a shimmering five-wire fence.
Like fences, rugged country causes deer to jump, bound and leap. These various actions create a jarring impact that can also jettison antlers. Look for gullies, steep crossings, ditches and even logs that deer may have to navigate.
You literally can find a shed deer antler anywhere. I’ve found them simply by driving down a road and spotting in the borrow ditch. Nevertheless, these five areas will definitely be top producers if you comb them diligently.
Veteran shed hunter Joe Shead takes you on a journey through the late-winter and spring forests. With this great Shed Hunting Collection, learn what to look for and then go with Shead looking for white-tailed deer antlers along with a trip out west in search of elk and mule deer sheds.