By Nate Coughlin: M.C.T. Productions
One of my favorite times of the year is shed hunting season. It gives you the opportunity to go into those bedding areas that you have been staying out of all year long, learn new routes that the deer like to take, and find antlers from the deer you have been watching all year long. When it comes time to start putting the boots to the ground, there are 3 strategies that I always keep in mind.
The number one strategy is food and field edges. The last few years there has been some harsh, cold winters and that cold pushes the deer towards food more than any other time of the year. That being said, fields that provide food and the edges of the timber around those fields are a great place to start. It is also not uncommon for me to search a whole entire open field if I know there has been deer feeding in a certain field. Areas like this is where I will find a mass majority of my sheds.
The second strategy is looking on heavily travelled deer trails that are between the food and the bedding areas. During this time of year, most of the deer movement that happens is going out to the food and back to their bedding area. The deer try to minimize the amount of energy that they exert to get to the food, so usually that will cause the deer to bed closer to the food source but, still in areas that offer cover and safety.
The last strategy that I use for shed hunting is getting right in the main bedding areas or sanctuaries. Even though I go to these areas to find sheds, I also like to look for deer sign such as rubs, scrapes and pinch points. These signs can teach you a lot about the deer movement and give you the upper hand for next deer season.
Get out in the woods and remember to check out food sources, heavily travelled trails, and bedding areas the next time you’re shed hunting. Get as much intel as you can while you are searching but most of all, enjoy your time in the great outdoors. Good Luck!