You can’t catch fish if you’re fishing a spot that holds no fish and you can’t find sheds if you’re in a place with no bucks. Most people shed hunt their hunting area to find sheds from bucks they passed up or bucks that eluded them.
By Joe Shead
But if your goal is simply to find antlers, consider going places with minimal or no hunting pressure. This allows more bucks to survive to drop antlers. You might try wildlife sanctuaries, golf courses or even city parks.
Be sure to ask permission on private land and make sure collecting antlers from the property is legal. Looking in these areas with limited or no hunting pressure will up your odds of finding antlers. Once you’re in a spot, look for buck areas.
Be aware that in many cases, bucks separate from does and fawns in winter. You might find young bucks associating with does and you might find all deer congregating near a hot food source, but often bucks bed and travel away from does.
Look for buck sign, such as larger beds, antler imprints in snow and dribbled urine trails in snow. Doe sign could be a large bed next to one or two smaller beds (doe with fawns) or a single urine hole burned into the snow. Visual observations will also tell you what type of deer are using the area as well. Seek out those buck areas for your best chance of finding sheds. You will often find deer sheds from more than one buck in a small area.