3 Guaranteed Places to Find Whitetail Sheds

3 Guaranteed Places to Find Whitetail Sheds

Son of a bitch. That’s typically what runs through my mind when I see a buddy walking towards one of those spots while shed hunting.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve shed hunted long enough, you’ll recognize that those spots almost always hold an antler or two. When this kind of place comes into view, you can feel the energy change in a group of shed hunters. Routes mysteriously converge. The pace picks up. Every shed-savvy character in sight will race to beat the next guy, while trying not to be too obvious about it.

While there are no guarantees in shed hunting, those spots are about as close as you can get. If you seek out these three locations and are able to fast walk quicker than your buddy, then you’ll be piling up antlers this year.

Isolated Evergreens
Evergreens provide terrific thermal cover by way of their thick-needled branches blocking wind and snow, whether it’s a solitary cedar, small patch of pines, or cluster of hemlocks. All of these factors make an area with evergreen cover preferred winter bedding for deer, and thus a great place to scoop sheds. I’ve found that single trees and patches of conifers specifically attract mature bucks, so make sure to hit each isolated pocket of evergreens you see.

Grassy Buffer Strips
Whitetails essentially do just two things during the winter months: bed and feed. Finding the most well-used areas for both activities will lead to antlers, and grassy buffer strips can offer the best of both worlds. The tall, fallow grass that runs along or through crop fields are what I’m always seeking out. When deer feed in ag fields at night they’ll often bed down for periods of time, and the adjacent grassy strips offer a prime location for them to take a break. Any grassy crop field edge is a must-search for antlers.

South-Facing Hillsides
The south side of a hill gets more sun in a 24-hour period than any other part of a landscape, making these slopes a top spot for deer to find warmth during the cold months. Whether covered in grass or mixed shrubs and tree cover, the south side of ridges can create dynamite winter bedding areas for bucks. Knowing deer spend so much time snoozing winter away in these spots makes them prime for shed hunting.

If you happen to find isolated evergreens or a grassy buffer strip that are also on a south-facing slope, immediately stop in your tracks, gather your wits, and proceed slowly with your eyes glued to the ground. You’re in one of those spots.

Feature image via Captured Creative.

Shop
Origin Hoody
Save this product
First Lite

A lightweight, quiet mid-layer designed to be utilized as both an outerwear piece as well as a layering option as temperatures drop.

Aerowool Touch Liner Glove
Save this product
First Lite

With a touch screen sensitive thumb and index finger, this is the perfect addition to your kit for warm early season hunts.

Furnace Long John
Save this product
First Lite

The new standard for stationary hunts or late season stalks when staying warm is critical to success.

Aerowool Neck Gaiter
Save this product
First Lite

Keeps you both concealed and cool in the field.

Get the latest in your inbox
Subscribe to our newsletters to receive regular emails with hand-picked content, gear recommendations, and special deals.
Our picks for the week's best content and gear
For the whitetail obsessed, with Mark Kenyon
Redefining our connection to food, with Danielle Prewett
Your one-stop for everything waterfowl, with Sean Weaver
Get out on the water with the MeatEater Fishing crew
Technical hunting apparel
Purpose-built accessories for hunting and fishing
Quality elk, turkey, waterfowl, and deer calls
Save this article