Shed Season: January – March
Location: Northern California
What To Bring:
- Good boots (I like good ankle support and waterproof)
- Comfortable clothing/layers
- Binoculars and harness strap
- Backpack (I like wearing one that allows me to strap sheds onto it, like this Kali pack from Badlands)
- Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover, Energy & Focus packets
- Locate where the deer herds winter (December-March)
- Scout out good public land or ask property owners for permission to shed hunt their land
- Plan for several hours of hiking to cover a lot of terrain.
- Search heavily used deer trails, open hillsides and at entry into the trees/woods where loose horns can be knocked off, and creeks or drainages that deer may jump over
- Use binoculars to glass open areas, you can cover more ground this way!
- Zig zag side hill instead of straight uphill to save energy and cover more ground
- If you find an area with a lot of drop horns chances are you can return every year and find fresh ones
- Use your sheds as décor or for jewelry making. Just go onto Pinterest or Etsy or Google search and I’m sure you will find a lot of ideas!
Follow along with Whitney’s adventures here.
I have been shed hunting since I was just a little tike and I automatically fell in love with it. Over the years I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to shed hunting. I could spend all day talking about the topic but I am just going to share my three biggest tips.
1. Know where to look. This may sound silly but there are actually better places than others to find sheds. Some great places to look are near creek crossings and fence crossings. This is because if they jump either of these they could possibly drop a shed right there. Another great place to look is on the south facing slopes. This is because there is less snow because it is melted and is easier to travel.
2. Always come prepared. By this I don’t only mean bring water and good shoes I also mean bring a pack and any tools you may need while on your adventure. It is no fun hiking around the hills with your arms full of antlers, you’d much rather pack them on your back. Also bring string incase your backpack doesn’t have clips or straps. I always pack a multi tool, snacks, rain gear, maps and maybe even a GPS if I know I am going to cover some ground. You can never be over prepared when out in the woods.
3. Be respectful of the land and animals. This one is just plain common sense but I know there are many people who don’t think about all of this. During shed hunting animals may also be calving so it is good to try not to destroy beds or push deer. I tend to wait till later in the season around mid March to start my hiking adventures for this reason.
There are my three tips for all the shed hunters out there. For more info, tips and stories check out MAC Outdoors latest podcast where my mom and I talk about this years shed season. Be sure to have fun and stay safe and don’t forget to share your ATL (As They Lay) pictures!
Follow along with Lea’s adventure’s here.
Have some shed hunting photos of your own? Tag us in them – we’d love to see!