There are two basic parts of shed hunting: scouting and execution. Scouting consists of finding where the deer are, whether that means finding a piece of ground where bucks a protected from hunting or observing migrating whitetail to see where they winter. Once you’ve found the best place to shed hunt, you have to get out there and pick up antlers, which isn’t always easy.
Athletes often talk about being “in the zone.” When athletes are in the zone, they are so focused and in tune with what they’re doing that the mind and body function as one well-oiled unit. A baseball player may see the ball come off the pitchers hand and watch it spinning seemingly in slow motion all the way to the plate. The batter’s eyes relay the vision to the brain, and the brain orders the arm to swing the bat, driving the ball out of the ballpark, seemingly without effort. If you’ve ever felt this feeling, you know what I’m talking about.
The best shed hunters put themselves in a similar state of mind. Your attention should be focused on unraveling a deer’s travel pattern and looking for pieces of antler- not the office, your family and what your having for supper. Don’t get distracted. If you see a deer or a bird that catches your eye, by all means, take a look – after all, there’s more to shed hunting than finding antlers. But when you divert your attention away from the ground, stop first and resume shed hunting only when you’ve re-focused. It’s easy to follow the flight of that first robin of spring, only to realize you don’t remember what the ground looked like the last 50 yards. The bottom line is when you’re shed hunting, you’re shed hunting. Conversations, relaxation and enjoying nature are all part of shed hunting,but don’t let these activities become your primary focus. Sometimes, when you’re really into it,you’ll get an area that looks so good that you seemingly know when you’re about to find a shed. You may think to yourself, “This looks really good. I’m going to find one right here,” and boom, a shed appears. Don’t laugh – it happens! When you’re calling sheds before you find them, you know you’re really in the shed-hunting zone!