Shed Hunting Illinois 2020 Update
The 2020 shed hunting season is here in Illinois and thousands of antlers have hit the ground! Although we have had a half-hearted winter so far here in West-Central Illinois, it seems we have experienced an earlier shedding than typical in our area. The majority of bucks in our area have shed both sides of their antlers. Every year it seems that there are a few stragglers that hold on later than the rest. A few years ago, I was guiding turkey hunts in early April and a 2 1/2 year old buck walked by with both sides still on!
The extended forecast looks great for shed hunters as the weather looks to remain mild and no chances of snow are forecasted. The last few days have been in the 50’s here, yesterday I had my first tick on me of the season! With the milder winter, unfortunately, we might see an increase in tick numbers this March while your shed hunting!
2020 Shed Hunting Illinois/ March Update
I would say approximately 80-85% of bucks in the Pike/Calhoun Counties have shed both sides of their racks. Driving around and glassing in the evenings, I’ve noticed whitetails are still hitting harvested corn and bean fields routinely. I have seen an uptick in deer feeding in pastures and alfalfa fields as the warm March sun starts to slowly green things back up!
It’s an all out blitz now and no shed left behind! With the majority of bucks already shed, I wouldn’t be afraid to start searching deep in the timber and in known bedding areas and try to beat the squirrels to them! I found my first shed this year that the squirrels had already mangled just a few days ago in the timber. With it being a milder winter, don’t overlook Northern slopes and areas that may not have been proved to be successful in years past as deer might not have been as congregated closer to your more traditional winter food sources. Good luck!
Last Updated: March 3rd, 2020