Shed Hunting and Scouting
It’s February and most states have come to the end of their deer season or are closing within the next couple of weeks. Here in Pike County, Illinois, the season came to an end in mid- January with some really nice bucks making their way to the buck pole. But there were many that got away.
It’s time to find the sheds of the ones that eluded us this year. Hopefully you had success this deer season and put a tag on the buck that you have been chasing for the past couple of years. If you’re not one of those hunters that gets to look at his or her deer hanging on the wall, then It’s time to get up off the couch and find where he lives so that next year, you can have a better understanding of how to harvest the buck. If you are one of the lucky hunters that harvested their dream buck, it’s time to start over on another buck. Don’t sit back and relax. The homework you do now will pay off next fall!
Finding sheds and signs of the buck that got away is a good start to patterning what he is doing to avoid your tree stand. By finding his sheds it helps give you insight on where that buck lays up late season and what he is using for a bedding area. It also gives you time to scout ground for new rubs and scrapes that you didn’t see during hunting season. Shed hunting allows you to put some pressure on a farm that you normally wouldn’t do while getting ready for the season or while hunting. With that in mind, don’t get crazy. Just because it's February doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking precautions.
Even though you have eight months until deer season starts up again, that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want on your hunting ground without worrying about it. Too much pressure will push deer off your farm and could ruin your hunt for next fall. Not only does it have the possibility of that big buck finding a new core area to live but it could also make it easier for your neighbor to find the sheds you are looking for. When shed hunting, try to keep it to every other weekend or just a couple of times a month. If you have multiple farms, switch it up. Don’t shed hunt the same one day after day. Too much pressure will put the buck of a lifetime and his sheds on the neighbors. Be smart, be safe, and good luck.