How to Find Deer Sheds

How to Find Deer Antler Sheds in the Woods (9 Tips)

If you love shed hunting more than deer hunting, you might find it a bit complicated task, right? Hunting sheds is commonly tricky and time-consuming as compared to hunting an animal.

It is because people are not aware of where, how, and when they can start finding deer sheds as it requires complete research.

Then how to find deer sheds? First of all, you must be aware of when the deer shedding period starts and when you will have more possibilities to find it. So, the late fall season, the beginning of winter, and the end of March are the best times to start finding deer sheds. Besides this, you must be known about different strategies for this.

So, for your ease and comfort, I am going to provide you with detailed information about finding the deer sheds smartly. Let’s begin the discussion.

9 Easy Tips to Find Deer Sheds

Deer shed hunting needs detailed research and strategies. You must find out how many deer are in that region before you enter the woods.

This will allow you to customize your research according to the estimated number of deer that had shed their antlers.

Although shed hunting for beginners is a little difficult task to do, you can do this effectively if you will follow the instructions and tips that are given below:

#1 Know the Right Time to Start Shed Hunting

Know the Right Time to Start Shed Hunting

Although March and April are the ideal days to start looking for deer shedding, you can consider other months as well.

On the other hand, male hormones restrict the growth of antlers throughout the summer. After the rut period, a deer will generally shed its antlers. A buck will most likely lose its antlers 2 days after this period.

Moreover, late January through the end of March is when the majority of whitetails shed their antlers.

You must anticipate the beginning of the fall within a few days if you keep an eye on your nearby herds. Each year will be similar.

#2 Search Deer Tracks

Search Deer Tracks

Just like hunting deer, searching for deer trails can increase your chances of discovering a deer shed.

Finding deer tracks is an easy and clear aspect to start searching for sheds. The deer tracks will be a little further than the normal human tracks.

It is also an excellent idea to pay attention to your surroundings rather than develop the ability to recognize white antlers. Finding a deer shed can be challenging.

But if you will pay attention to the entire jungle floor and thoroughly scan every area, you can make it a lot easier.

Besides that, you must consider the deer bedding areas more precisely. You will surely find the deer sheds near the areas where they sleep or gather.

#3 Slow Down Your Speed

Slow down your speed while Finding Deer Sheds

Antlers fit and match well with small trees and shrubs. This can increase the chances for hunters to ignore them when they are short of time. To search for more areas and parts, you should not speed up your research.

Instead of that, you must take your time and pay close attention to your surroundings. This way, you can get more chances to find deer sheds. The quantity of sheds you get is more important than the area you travel to.

Moreover, you can use glass tools when you go out searching for the deer shed. Binoculars, spot optics, and the best and longest distance rangefinders are the best gadgets to utilize for this.

#4 Look for Places where Deer can Lose their Antlers

Look for Places where Deer can Lose their Antlers

When the bone is thinner, there are more chances that the deer will lose its antler. When they got any trouble or stuck in the trees, they will suddenly lose their antlers.

You can look for these “obstacles” as you travel along the deer track. You must keep a close eye on your environment in case a deer shed is closed. For this purpose, you can use these top ten best hunting rangefinders.

Moreover, checking for possible antler sheds against plants and trees is another point to remember. It will also help you find the deer shed more effectively.

#5 Train your Dog

Train your Dog to find deer antlers

What if you will get second eyes and ears to see and hear while searching? Of course, it will make your task of searching for deer sheds simpler and more convenient.

So, you can do this by having a hunting dog. Thus, he requires off-season training.

If you will carry your dog with you wherever you go hunting, it will be more effective for the dog to get training. Dogs are routine-oriented animals and a hunting dog will simulate you.

So, if he observes your excitement when you discover a shed, he will want the same kind of focus. In this way, you can make them passionate by enhancing this sense in them.

#6 Search Food Sources for the Deer

Search Food Sources for the Deer

To find deer sheds, food is the main key. You usually won’t locate many sheds if you are lacking a good source of food in the second half of the season.

For this, freestanding corn or beans will always attract deer. But it might be difficult to find hanging crops.

Instead of this, you can search for winter wheat or rye that was grown in the autumn or cultivars that haven’t been disked. Also, you can look for grasslands, which are among the suitable winter food choices.

If the deer are accessing the food supply, a loop around it should prominent this. You should search for places that are close to the edges of meadows or drainage canals. Also, you must search for paths and marks in the muck or ice.

#7 Look for Deer’s Bedding Area

Look for Deer’s Bedding Area

If you will prefer the more isolated areas and the places where deer sleep, you will get more possibilities to find deer sheds. Also, in these areas, you will have a better experience of shed searching.

Inaccessible locations with dense, steep, or muddy covering should be your priority. After a long fall and winter of hunting strain, mature bucks rest there.

Conifer trees that provide thermal shelter and wind cover, overrun wetlands, benches under hillsides, saddles, thick creek bottoms, clear-cuts, islands in rivers, and the heads of brushy draws are among the best locations.

These are not only ideal daytime sleeping places but also places where older animals take shelter from intense hunting stress.

#8 Consider the Areas with Low Hunting Pressure

Consider the Areas with Low Hunting Pressure

Deer and big bucks try to avoid uncomfortable environments, such as those places with a lot of hunters nearby. Additionally, finding antlers is difficult as other hunters are stealing deer and their antlers before they can drop.

So, you must go to places that are away from the famous hunting points. Searching in places where hunting is prohibited or where there are few other hunters can increase your chances of getting a pair of antlers.

Although these areas could be isolated from your vehicles, you might get what you are looking for more easily as compared to other areas.

#9 Pre-Scout

Pre-Scout before going to hunt deer Antlers

Before leaving, you must learn a little more about the region where you want to go. You must have complete information and planning of the places particularly if they are not near your house or the place where you usually go.

You must have a Topo map on which you should circle the locations where you plan to spend your time searching the deer shed.

It will be helpful if you can find a group online where hunters discuss that particular location. Knowing How to Read Topo Maps for Deer Hunting? is important before going to any place for finding deer sheds.

There you can ask questions and review the comments of others. Your chances of getting the deer shed will increase when the more information you will have with you!

Also, you can use the highest-scoring sticks when taking down a deer to have better results.

Thus, after getting all these tips, you won’t ask how to find deer antlers as these are all the best suggestions to increase the chances to get the deer sheds.

When Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?

When Do Deer Shed Their Antlers

When deer shed their antlers depend upon different factors such as age, region, nutrition, physical condition, and sexual maturity of does. But there is no specific answer to when deer shed their antlers as it is not specified yet.

According to a general estimation, December and March are the preferred times to search for them as they can shed their antlers during these months.

  • The male deer usually wanders the farmlands of the Midwest, where the diet is wholesome and balanced.
  • These bucks tend to shed their antlers earlier in January. On the other hand, deer in locations with insufficient diets typically start to lose their antlers around mid-December.
  • The physical state of the deer also has an impact on when deer begin to shed their antlers.
  • Deer who are in good health typically drop their antlers gradually.
  • On the other side, deer who are wounded or in poor physical condition prefer to shed their antlers sooner than healthy deer.
  • The mating season of doe fawns is another element that contributes to the start of late rutting.
  • Late rutting behavior can result from doe fawns to achieving sexual maturity. This will cause deer to shed the antlers late.

Where to Find Antler Sheds in Utah?

Where to Find Antler Sheds in Utah?

You should search for south-facing mountains in Utah where the sun softens the snow first. In these areas, the earth is uncovered and visible to locate shed antlers.

You must search for deer-populated places, such as those that are close to water or food supplies as well.

Additionally, search for locations where you previously saw deer as it is also helpful to find the deer sheds.

In Utah, spring is the optimal time to go shed hunting. These days, both elk and deer are dropping their antlers as well as the deer.

Although sheds can be found all across the country, the northern and central regions are the greatest places to search.

How Much Are Deer Sheds Worth?

How Much Are Deer Sheds Worth

Every year, the cost of deer and elk shedding changes depending on demand and availability. Prices are determined by the antler’s quality and grading such as brown, white, chalk, etc. For more knowing How Much are Deer Sheds Worth? Deer Antler Valuation is important if you want to know about shed worth.

It also includes any special characteristics such as deformities that aren’t considered to be natural.

It is essential to remember that the actual cost for each category depends on the customer and the area. This is affected by a variety of elements, such as the state of the market in that specific year.

Due to basic supply and demand changes, every Antler customer and location will be different.

The average price per pound for brown elk antlers is between $12 and $16. Chalk costs between $1 to $3 per pound and strong whites have an average cost between $8 to $11.

Rates for brown deer sheds range from $10 to $14 per pound, solid whites range from $6 to $8, and chalks from $1 to $2.

The general price changes every year, and locations will also vary a little bit. Thus, to obtain a better understanding of costs for that shed period, you can get in touch with several various antler purchasers in your location.


All that I have explained in this blog post is about how to find deer sheds. So, you can follow these tips and tricks to find the deer sheds if you have no previous experience.

This will guide you on where you should start your research and what you need to consider while searching for deer sheds.


If you are looking for deer sheds, the best time is February, March, and April. Early January is an ideal time to check for shed antlers.

It is because the majority of deer will have already shed their horns at that point.

You won’t locate many sheds if you don’t have a good source of food in the fall months.

Standing corn or legumes will always attract deer, but it might be difficult to locate them. Instead, you can search for winter wheat or rye that was grown in the autumn.

Open-water streams and other watering holes are excellent search locations. Deer will feed on other wooden plants and trees during this period of the year.

They will find it in regions that are near water. In times of extreme freezing, whitetails will easily search out thermal protection in the cattail brambles that surround lakes.

Yes, finding deer sheds is not an easy activity you can do. But if you will have all the required information, you can make this task easier.

You must look for the right point to start searching the deer sheds but it is the most difficult task to do.

Where deer reside has a significant impact on how they shed their antlers. The Northern deer are typically the first animals to drop their antlers because they live in the cold areas of the country.

Antler shedding can start as soon as middle to late December.

Anywhere in a deer’s home area, you can detect shed antlers which typically cover hundreds or even thousands of miles.

Thus, there are more chances because one of the three areas will usually contain at least 90% of the antlers you find.


About Author

Hi, I’m David. a professional hunter. I’m hunting since my childhood I used to go with my dad in the States of Montana. We used to hunt mule deer and white-tailed deer. I made this blog to share my experience and help beginners with this experience. More about me here.

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