Winter is rough on humans. We gain fat during our long and cold winter hibernation. Bears use their fat up and come out each spring lean and mean. Now that the weather is showing signs of spring it is time to become Fat Free!
Many of us work out at the spa or at home on treadmills and exercise bikes that don’t go anywhere. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to break a sweat, I want something to show for it.
Shed some pounds and become Fat Free while looking for sheds! This is the time to start moving more and eating less while searching for deer sheds. Some folks, that also hate ice fishing, think walking around the forest looking sheds is just crazy. It is like finding a needle in a huge haystack.
I would rather burn some calories looking for something than watching the big screen talk show at the spa. Many of you are warm and comfy in your nice and soft Fat Boy chair watching the big screen and snacking as you read this. If you want to be a beached whale, then stop reading and grab another fist full of chips!
There is a way to look for sheds and actually find them. First design a strategy that helps you search the winter habitat of deer. That means the south facing slopes and ridges. Now that the snow has melted on these slopes, the leaves and grass are flat and matted down. Antler sheds normally flop onto the ground with their tines upward. Smaller racks can be anywhere and either side up.
I like hunting sheds in the light rain because the antler shines when wet. Wear some good all weather gear and go hunting. I normally wear my hunting camo so that I can be discreet. Only hunt land where you have permission. It is amazing how easy access is when you share your finds. Get off the well- traveled paths and search out deer cover.
Shed hunt your normal hunting spots. It is amazing what other things you will discover. I usually take an antler or two along to drop in the woods before I start my hunt. Make a circle and try to find them again. You need to train your eyes to see the sheds. Dogs can also be trained to hunt sheds.
Binoculars allow me to search entire watersheds without walking down into them. Pick a comfy spot and spend some time glassing. You will be amazed at what you find. I find most sheds within 20 yards of my position. When you find beds, winter sign, old rubs, scrapes, and droppings, start circling the area.
Fence crossings, stream crossings, and deer trails also are good places to look. Antlers often shed when deer jump over logs or structure. I have also found sheds higher off the ground hanging in trees and shrubs.
Many folks sell their treasure but I use them for crafts and decorations. Each antler is unique and tells a story. My wife is building a growing lighted antler Christmas tree. Junky sheds are great toys for the dogs. The hard antler is great to chew on.
Antler is just magical. The excitement that you feel when you find one is similar to seeing a buck on opening day. Shed hunting will at the least motivate you to take a hike and become Fat Free.
My first shed, this season, was waiting for me to find it next to a log. I made circles looking for the other side but only found a cool turtle shell. Oh well, maybe next time. At least I am moving and burning calories in preparation for the upcoming trout, perch, turkey, and shad, seasons.