Scandinavian Mindset: Track and Trace Shed Antlers

Hunting shed antlers: A cure for your cabin fever, and a way to enjoy the fall hunt without, well… hunting. For hunters, shed antler hunting is a great off-season activity - it keeps up your fitness level and keeps your tracking skills sharp. For others, it's a great way to get outdoors with kids and family. The use of antlers is endless; decorative, can be great for dogs or as a raw material for a variety of handmade projects. 


Before you put on your boots, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or beer) and do a virtual scout of the area. Certain animals live in certain territories; looking over a map and identifying where the animals are most likely to be will increase your chance of finding antlers.

Once you've targeted your location, start off. Every 50 yards or s stop and do a 360 check behind you. Often, antlers are so well blended that when walking forward they will seem hidden, yet when you turn around and give your terrain a better look, they will literally 'pop' out at you. 

Look down, not only forward. Figuratively speaking, you may catch yourself tripping over antlers while scouting the land in front of you. 

Follow travel routes. If you are searching on fresh snow or wet ground, you may be able to follow the tracks a well way. Since you are walking directly in the path of the animals you are much more likely to come across a shed. 

Crossing areas. Areas where the deer may have to leap or jump (fences or steep banks) may cause the antlers to shake loose due to the change of momentum. Thick bush can also pull antlers loose. 

Binoculars. These can be effective at identifying objects you spot at far distances. 

Slow down. Be methodical, and patient.