Survey: About 50% Report to Participate in Shed Antler Hunting

March 12, 2018 | by National Deer Alliance

While only about 37% of those who responded to last week’s National Deer Alliance survey reported having looked for antler sheds this year, another 22% say they just haven’t been out yet. While it’s not surprising that about half indicated they like to hunt shed antlers, it was a little bit surprising to learn that 25% say they’re just not into it.

For those who haven’t been out to look, it seems the weather has been the primary reason. “We still have 10 to 12 inches of white stuff on the ground,” said one respondent. Many others mentioned significant snow being on the ground as well. A few people simply don’t like to get out this early in the year. “I have seen several deer still carrying their racks, so I’m going to wait a bit longer,” said one hunter. Another backed the comment up by saying, “We still have nearly 50% of the bucks carrying their antlers as of this past weekend.”

As for those who haven’t been bitten by the shed antler hunting bug yet, available time seemed to be the biggest reason. As one person put it, “I’m just too busy with other projects, and like to use my limited time for habitat projects.” Another respondent had a more ominous reason commenting, “There aren’t enough deer anymore to warrant my time.”

For those that have been seeking cast antlers this year, success has been mixed. Almost 31% report having found at least one antler, with much smaller percentages having found bucks from four to five different bucks, and six to 10 different bucks at 3% and 2% respectively. There were 13 lucky hunters that have already found antlers belonging to more than 10 bucks!

Finally, we wanted to know how many times our subscribers have found both sides of the same buck’s rack when seeking shed antlers, and almost 25% indicated having achieved this accomplishment at least once. Another 9% found at least two full sets, and more than 30 people report having found both sides six or more times. One person said, “We have found a lot of singles, but we did find a complete set where the other side was found 700 yards away.” Another humorously wrote of getting his wife out to look with him. “Checking cameras one afternoon I told my wife if she found a shed we wouldn’t come back the next day since she was complaining about the cold. Sure enough, she finds an old shed near the camera. I told her if I found one larger, she would have to return the next day. Low and behold I found the right side of a young 8!”

The majority of respondents indicate having never found both sides from the same buck. If you’re still looking or are about to get started, happy hunting.