By Alex Comstock
The moment I started understanding what to look for when shed hunting is when I actually started finding them in my life. When I was younger, I seemingly never found antlers, and even when I would shed hunt with friends, it always seemed like I was the only one to never find anything. Among other things, my biggest problem was that I didn't know how to look for sheds. More specifically, my eyes weren't trained to find them. It took me awhile, but after training my eyes to find antlers, I then started picking more up, and have only gotten better since then.
What Are You Looking For?: When it comes to identifying a shed antler, if you are looking for full antlers, there's a much better chance of missing opportunities to find sheds. This was personally my biggest downfall in my early days of shed hunting. I'm sure I walked right by numerous sheds, because I was looking for them to be out in the open, tines up, and screaming to be found.
When it comes to getting good at being able to find sheds, you need to look small. A tip of a tine, the roundness of a main beam, etc. are things to be looking for. The better you become at picking up on things like that, the more proficient you'll become at finding antlers.
Want to read more about finding sheds? Check out "3 Keys To Finding More Sheds"
One thing that actually helped me become better at knowing how to find sheds and train my eyes was to look through photos online of how sheds can be found. This can be more beneficial than you might think. A great resource if you want to give this is a try is to check out a blog post by Wired To Hunt, "Train For Shed Hunting By Reviewing These 40 Shed Antler Photos As They Lay." If you look through this blog post, you'll notice that some of the sheds pop out of the photo and you notice them easily. Others, you may have to strain to find as they are not nearly as noticeable.
A Simple Tip: I've touched on this before, but it's worth bringing up again, and if you struggle finding sheds, pay particular attention to this. Every time you head out shed hunting, bring an antler with you. Toss it out in front of you with your eyes closed, and see how fast you can find it. Pay attention to what you notice when you find it, and repeat this a few times. And then every time you hit a new terrain such as going from timber to CRP or to a cornfield, do the drill again. It may seem way too simple, but the drill will help you become better at picking up on the little things that will ultimately end up helping you find more sheds in the future.
Conclusion: There are so many things you can do to help yourself find sheds, but at the end of the day if your eyes can't pick them up, most other things you do will be pointless. Learn how to look for sheds, do the simple drill mentioned above, and there's a pretty good chance you're going to become a more proficient shed hunter.