Shed Antler Laying in a Bedding area

Shed Hunting Hotspots

Joe Shead 2.18.2014

Shedding areas, like deer hunting areas, can have their ups and downs. One year you may find several sheds in a particular spot, only to be blank the next.
That describes one of my favorite shedding areas perfectly. One year I found fully half of my sheds for the year on one parcel of land, and the following year I found only one shed there. What happened? Something changed.
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Anytime you find yourself in a similar position, you have to analyze the situation. What’s different about the area now? Any number of things can change from year to year. Keep in mind that the change doesn’t have to occur on the property you walk. It might be a mile or two away. At the landscape level, the area could be developed, crops could be rotated, or forests could be cut. Consider social changes. Perhaps the area received increased hunting pressure, or poachers could have gone on a spree. Maybe new neighbors fed deer over the winter, which altered deer movements. Weather could also be a factor. Deer may change wintering areas in accordance with the severity of the winter weather.
Take a look at the big picture and adapt if possible. In my example, a neighboring landowner did an extensive timber cut in late winter, which I believed altered deer patterns. Slash from the cut provided deer with a fresh supply of browse and cover, and I didn’t find a single fresh shed in one of my favorite spots.
Although shedding grounds can go cold, just remember, when they do, somewhere else things are heating up. Take a look around and try to cash in.


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