Shed Hunting & Prepping for Next Season
February 13th, 2020 |
By: Ralph Cianciarulo
It’s that time of year when next years’ hunt begins. The goals are simple, find the sheds of the bucks you’re after and see how they change from year to year. Shed hunting has become more popular than ever before and we have definitely learned a few tricks to help find some more bone…
First off start cruising the winter-feeding areas but be cautious when you do this. We have had many go out too early and the next thing you know you bumped out some of the bucks you were looking for and your neighbor found their sheds.
We use our Spypoint cameras to help tell us when particular bucks have shed so then we can go target those. Otherwise we’ll keep bumping them and they’ll go bye bye! We have found that using our buggy to cover more of the open field edges have played big dividends in findings sheds and then we also locate the main trails coming in and out of the winter bedding areas. Once we locate them we walk through always looking and especially near any fence crossings, creek crossing, and/or anywhere the deer may have to jump over something. Many times this shock of landing helps to shake off the antlers.
This is not only a great time to be in the woods for sheds but you can learn so much from the sign you see. This is a late season pattern and you can see what they have been doing. For example we hung a set in a new area and thought it was good but the movement we saw just didn’t excite us. As I walked around I noticed a new small trail that I never saw before and sure enough as I back tracked it in the snow I located a whole new scrape line from this fall with good rub lines showing me the story of movement I thought I knew but was wrong. Now I have a new plan for this fall at this location.
Don’t ever get tunnel vision when it comes to your hunting, many times we think we know but if you take the time and learn from the highest authority out there…. the animals themselves, you will become a much better predator and your chances of opportunities will increase.
For many, they don’t have a lot of private acreage to hunt. Or should I say for many, they don’t have ANY private acreage to hunt. This time of year can help everyone, even if your hunting public land you still can see the deer sign better than ever this time of year so use that to your advantage for the future season.
Locating bedding areas are awesome and can tell you the direction they are entering and leaving, this strategy will help for better stand or blind placement. Another big advantage now is seeing the layout of the land without the foliage and seeing just how many of your deer navigate through the area that you’re hunting. You would be surprised just how deadfalls, creeks, fence lines and any other structures help to navigate movement.
I am constantly looking for that one tree, that one spot that allows us to be hidden yet give us multiple and natural shooting lanes that also allow the structure no matter what it be to help hide our human silhouette.
So please when shed hunting this winter and early spring pay close attention to ALL the sign, make notes, I use my Base Map app and mark the sign, the trails and bedding areas so there is always a way for me to go back and map it all out. Don’t think you will remember all this…. as we get older we forget things as Vicki reminds me of this all the time. LOL.
The bottom line is getting out there, looking for sheds, and using this time to scout for the future seasons and make it a family affair. The more we can do outside as a family, the more it will bring us all closer to the great outdoors.