How to Find Deer Sheds: Expert Tips and Tricks

How to Find Deer Sheds

Deer sheds, also known as antlers, are fascinating natural treasures that can be found in the wilderness. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or a collector, searching for deer sheds can be an exciting and rewarding activity. In this article, we will walk you through some tips and techniques to help you find these beautiful artifacts.

Understand Deer Behavior

Before embarking on your shed hunting expedition, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of deer behavior. During late winter and early spring, deer shed their antlers as a natural process. They do this primarily in areas where they feel safe, such as bedding areas, feeding grounds, and travel corridors.

By studying deer behavior and their preferred habitats, you can increase your chances of finding sheds in these specific locations. Additionally, it’s crucial to focus your search efforts during the shed hunting season when deer are most likely to drop their antlers.

Scout the Right Areas

To find deer sheds, you need to scout the right areas. Look for places where deer frequent, such as food sources like crop fields, orchards, or winter feeding sites. Another excellent place to search is where deer tend to bed down, like thickets, brush, or south-facing slopes that provide warmth from the sun.

Trails and travel corridors between bedding areas and food sources are also prime locations to search for deer sheds. Look for areas with signs of deer activity, such as tracks, droppings, or chewed vegetation. These indicators can lead you to areas where deer have likely shed their antlers.

Use Your Eyes and Binoculars

When you’re out in the field, use your eyes and binoculars to scan the landscape for deer sheds. Start by focusing on the ground directly in front of you, as antlers can sometimes be hidden in the grass or leaves. Look for the distinctive shape and texture of antlers amidst the natural debris.

Additionally, use binoculars to survey larger areas that are out of your immediate proximity. This technique is useful for covering more ground and spotting antlers at a distance. Binoculars with a magnification of at least 8x will provide better visibility.

Take Advantage of Dogs

Dogs can be a valuable asset when it comes to shed hunting. They have a keen sense of smell and can detect the scent of antlers. Trained shed hunting dogs can locate sheds that may otherwise go unnoticed by human eyes.

Consider using a well-trained retrieving breed like a Labrador Retriever or a German Shorthaired Pointer. Introduce the dog to shed antlers during training sessions, and reward them when they successfully find one. With time and practice, your dog will become an excellent shed hunting companion.

Enjoy the Outdoors

While shed hunting is a goal-oriented activity, remember to take some time and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Pay attention to the wildlife you encounter along the way, such as birds, squirrels, or other animals. The experience of being in nature and connecting with the environment is just as important as finding deer sheds.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Find Deer Sheds: Expert Tips And Tricks

Where Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?

Deer usually shed their antlers in areas with dense cover, such as thickets, bedding areas, or near food sources.

When Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?

Deer typically shed their antlers in late winter or early spring, between January and March.

How Can I Find Deer Sheds?

To find deer sheds, look for areas where deer frequently travel, such as trails, feeding areas, or bedding sites. Searching in early spring after snow melts can also be fruitful.

What Should I Look For When Searching For Deer Sheds?

When searching for deer sheds, keep an eye out for small white or brown objects on the ground that resemble antlers. Look for areas where deer might have bumped into trees or brush, which could cause the antlers to fall off.


Searching for deer sheds can be an exciting and fulfilling hobby for outdoor enthusiasts. By understanding deer behavior, scouting the right areas, and using your observation skills, you can increase your chances of finding these natural treasures. Don’t forget to bring along a four-legged companion if possible and, most importantly, take time to appreciate the wonders of nature.

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