Shed Hunting Fools

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Hunting Blog, White-tailed Deer

We get so excited when we find a shed antler here at The Proving Grounds. It’s fun to share the excitement of finding antlers on Facebook and in our weekly episodes. You may be wondering what the secret is to finding all those antlers.

The secret to finding shed antlers is one word: persistence!

When I start to get discouraged I remind myself that it is impossible to find antlers if I am at the office sitting at my desk (or at home cleaning, cooking, watching TV) and not getting out into the woods. At least by getting out for an hour here and there, the odds increase in favor of finding an antler.

Staying motivated while shed hunting is a mental game. You have to congratulate yourself when you “spy” the unusual in the woods or the food plot: the turkey feather, the blue jay feathers, squirrel skull, etc. Congratulate yourself because your eyes are still working and seeking out the “difference” in the landscape.

turkey feather amidst the leaves on the forest floor

Did you notice this is a feather and not a stick?


Feathers from a Mocking Jay scattered on the forest floor

Congratulate yourself when you spy the unusual in the landscape.

The old bones, weird rocks, or antler shaped sticks are the kind of things I call “shed hunting fools”.

small bone lying on the ground near the skeleton of an old cedar tree

Frequent fool while shed hunting: old bones (look closely – center of image.)


forests floor scattered with leaves and branches

Limbs and sticks in the shape of an antler or an antler tine can fool shed hunters.

From a distance there’s just enough similarity to an antler to make you quicken your step to get a few feet closer to see if it’s really an antler or….not. I turn that disappointment around to serve as motivation to keep going and searching for the real deal.

This week I was ending a shed hunt without any antlers in my backpack. It was time to leave the woods so that I had time to get ready for Wednesday night Bible study. Just before I turned to head to the truck, I caught a glimpse of white on the slope just above me. I found not one, but two nice antlers within 4 feet of each other. Now that was a great way to end a hike! The reward for being persistent and staying motivated was at the end of the trail.

two white-tailed deer antlers on the ground amidst leaves in a forest

A reward at the end of the trail: 2 antlers! Test yourself. Can you spy them?

Next time you’re shed hunting. Don’t give up. Stay motivated and get back out there!

Hunting shed antlers,