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Start Making Plans For Shed Hunting Season

Submitted by Amy Kuchenbecker

February 1, 2019

With shed antler hunting becoming more popular, people are starting to take vacations for just that reason. What could be better than taking your family to whitetail, blacktail, moose or elk country to hunt for dropped antlers? This is a great opportunity to see our country from afoot and hike through terrain that we wouldn't normally cover in our home states. Getting our kids, spouses or significant others into the outdoors to take in some fresh air and beautiful country is what its all about!

If hunting for moose sheds is your goal, December through February is deemed prime time, but mid-April through May are said to be the best due to lack of green up and snow. It is said that elk tend to drop their antlers starting in March and lasting through April. The antler drop season for the deer species may be the longest and least predictable and often dependent on which part of the country you are searching. So keep in mind sheds can start to drop as early as late December and bucks can hold onto their head gear into late May under some circumstances.

Many of the big game outfitters are dog friendly so taking your furry friend along is all the more inviting. Utilizing those powerful noses to help add sheds to your collection is proving to be more productive than searching without canine assistance. Many states are now implementing a shed antler season that includes certain restrictions.

If you are planning a do it yourself shed getaway, many state parks allow shed hunting and many private property owners will likely allow you and your dog to search their land for sheds. Be sure to get permission first. If you are making your way to a different State to find that prized shed, make sure to check local and state regulations as they pertain to shed hunting.

Go prepared and take a first aid kit and all other essentials, including water, that you would normally take when heading to the field with your dog. Dont forget your compass or gps especially when exploring new country. Keep in mind also that a high percentage of the most successful shed hunters rely heavily on a set of quality binoculars.

It will soon be the favorite time of year for shed hunting enthusiasts. Regardless of whether you decide to search out a new shed hunting destination or poke around in your favorite spots around the house we hope that you are safe and successful.

Happy shed hunting!

About the author Amy Kuchenbecker and husband Scott own and operate Blue Clay Kennels in Kimbolton, Ohio. Whitetail hunting in the fall and shed hunting with dogs in the spring are two of her greatest passions.

We encourage the submission of guest columns relevant to any of UKCs many hunting dog events. Such submissions may be sent to Todd Kellam at tkellam@ukcdogs.com for consideration.

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