A Day Shed Hunters Dream Of

By Alex Comstock

The day had started out like all other shed hunting adventures. I had taken step after step, walked mile after mile in what seemed to be a prime area for there to be antlers laying in every direction, but I couldn't find a single one. Deer trails flooded the wooded river bottom that butted up next to a great late season food source. I felt overwhelmed, and could have walked for miles on end, never getting off of a major deer trail that ran through the hard, frozen snow. 

This feeling wasn't foreign to me. I have never been what you would call an expert shed hunter, far from it to be exact. In fact, two shed antlers were the most I have ever found during a shed season in my life. That's not to say I didn't know what to look for. Whether it be bad luck, bad eyes, or I simply couldn't focus for long enough duration's of time, finding shed antlers has never been as easy task for me.

Deer trails such as this one covered the public land river bottom. 

Deer trails such as this one covered the public land river bottom. 

This past Saturday, I was determined for my luck to change. Knowing I was in area that just had to have antlers laying around, I tried extra hard to not get discouraged. I kept walking, focusing on the ground, feverishly scanning back and forth, backwards and forwards. After a little over four miles of walking, I came around a bend and there it was. Lying squarely in the middle of a bed, was the most beautiful and perfect thing I had seen all day. Not only did I find a shed antler, it was a big antler. A 65" chocolate five point, ironically lying not more than 30 yards from one of my treestands. My blood pressure escalated, and I gave a massive fist pump. It was easily the biggest shed I had ever found in my life, and the emotions running through me were comparable to the feeling of when you first see a big buck headed your way while in the treestand. After settling down, I set out to break another record - find multiple sheds in one day, it was a feat I had never accomplished in my young shed hunting career.

The first shed find of the day. 

The first shed find of the day. 

I think I walked the rest of the day with a smile on my face, because it just kept getting better and better. Not more than twenty minutes after the first find, I was scanning a ditch crossing intently. After nearly calling the crossing off, I noticed it. A tine, two tines, three tines,... it was another big shed, and I spotted this one from over fifty yards away. This was easily the furthest distance I had ever spotted a shed from. I ran up to the shed, and simply could not believe my eyes. I almost didn't believe it. After walking over four miles with no finds, I now had found two within a hundred yards of each other, and they were from different bucks. With that in mind, I set out to grid the area as well I could, looking for the matches. After no luck, and with the truck being a couple miles away, I needed to start heading back. 

While hunting my way back, I figured I should swing by a couple of my trail cameras to take them down. This was yet another good choice. I was walking up a steep incline, and when I crested the hill, there it lay. Another antler. By this point, I was downright giddy. I had now found more antlers on this walk than I had in any other shed season. To make matters even better? This last antler was a match to one I had found the day before! As I walked back to the truck, I had a sense of accomplishment, but also the craving to find more. It was a day I will not soon forget. 

The icing on the cake was finding a match to a shed I found the day before. 

The icing on the cake was finding a match to a shed I found the day before. 

This day turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined. I found my two biggest sheds, the most sheds I've found in a day, and a match to a previous shed find. I literally don't know if I could have drawn it up any better. Where do I go from here I wonder? The answer to that question is multi layered, but the simple one is to keep improving. Just like anything else, I will learn from this day. I am becoming more accustomed to noticing antlers, and where to find them. I can keep getting better and better, but for now, it was a day a shed hunter like myself dreamed of.