SHED HUNTING MOUNTAIN BUCKS
Article by: Beau Martonik
Every year as hunting season dissipates and the winter months set in, I get a little bit of cabin fever. Luckily for me and other hunters, the spring months can be an exciting time to get out into the Pennsylvania Wilds and burn some rubber off the boots. Throughout the winter, whitetail bucks will shed their antlers, which biologists have found to be correlated to a loss in testosterone. Typically, bucks will shed in January and February, but I’ve seen them shed as early as late November and as late as the end of April. From late February through April, looking for shed antlers is something I look forward to every year.
Finding shed antlers is much more difficult in the big woods, Appalachian region of Pennsylvania than most places in the country. Finding sheds in this region is so difficult due to the miles upon miles of unbroken timber. There are no agricultural fields and food plots that make up a buck’s primary food source. With that being said, it’s not only more rewarding, but you get to roam in some of the most beautiful places that the east has to offer in the process. I’m not going to lie and say it’s just putting on miles for piles of antlers, because it is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack, or at least that’s how it feels some days. I use shed hunting to scout for the upcoming deer season, as well. All of last year’s signs, including scrapes and rubs, are easily visible after the snow melts, as if they have just happened. I use the onX Hunt app on my phone to mark this critical deer sign and add it to my game plan for the fall archery season.
All right, so I just made you think that it’s basically impossible to find shed antlers on public land in the PA Wilds, right? Well, there are some things that you can focus on that will help increase those odds for success!
Read about how to find more sheds in the big woods below!