7 Quick Tips For Finding Deer Sheds
Want to find more whitetail sheds? Here are 7 quick tips to help you find more shed antlers this spring…
Find the Food
Food is the name of the game in finding deer antlers. If you don’t have a quality late season food source you probably won’t find many sheds. Standing beans or corn will always draw deer but standing crops can be hard to find, look for fall planted winter wheat or rye, crops that haven’t been disked under, or cut CRP or pastures are other adequate winter food preferences. A quick lap around the food source should help determine if the deer are hitting it. Check the trails, tracks in the mud or snow, and look for beds around the edges of the fields or drainage ditches.
Find the Sun
Southern facing exposures are always a good place to check especially if there’s a quality food source nearby. If you’ve experienced a harsh winter with extreme cold and a lot of snow accumulation, Southern exposures will prove to be that much more fruitful in finding deer antlers.
Intensify Your Search
Before heading to the woods, get on a satellite mapping service like Google Maps or OnX and look at the overlay of the entire property. Mentally mark off the areas you know are least likely to hold deer. Focus your search on the food sources and on the southern exposures closest to the food source.
Stop Wasting Time
Skip areas that you know deer will not be using. Open cow pastures or chisel plowed fields do not require the same amount of time that a thicker bedding area will take to cover. You can make a game plan to intensify your search ahead of time by eliminating lower quality areas.
Scout your sheds like you scout your deer. Driving around and glassing during the late winter months will help tenfold when it comes to finding sheds. Not only will it help determine when to start looking but where. You might notice deer are congregating in a particular area of a wide open ag-field. Again, this will help narrow down the area you’re searching.
During this time of year deer are feeding primarily on grains and woody browse. The moisture content is low, and deer will seek out water. Springs and other waterholes that have open water can be great areas to search. Generally, areas around water will have other woody plants and vegetation that deer will browse on this time of year. Cattails and willow thickets around ponds and creeks also provide thermal cover during periods of extreme cold that whitetails will readily seek out.
Cover ALOT of Ground
The more ground you cover the more sheds you will find. By using an ATV, UTV or even a bike you can really get out and cover some acreage. Riding the edges of open ag-fields and pastures can yield results. Typically, the more ground you cover the more sheds you will find. I average a shed about every 3 miles here in the Mid-West but it may be higher or lower in your area depending on deer density and the amount of habitat one has to cover.
Have questions about a whitetail hunt at Harpole’s Heartland Lodge? Give me a ring at 217-982-4039 or E-Mail at Zach@HeartlandLodge.com.
Last Updated: January 31st, 2023