With two to three feet of snow on the ground around here, we're not really hunting for sheds yet. I'm terrible at it anyway. I've found my best sheds in the fall while deer hunting - one of them almost tripped me.
As to your not being in big buck country, I'm originally from the Niagara Peninsula, and that area has produced several of the province's best whitetails - a couple topping 180 net. I'd think the genetics in western New York would be similar to ours. Besides those deer you shot are nothing to sneer at - I'm jealous!