Lost headgear

Please do not think by the title of this article that I am going to describe dropping your cap in the woods.

Instead, we are going to discuss one of the fastest growing topics in the hunting field.

Looking for, finding and collecting shed antlers has become one of the most popular activities among not only hunters but all segments of the population. Lots of folks are now spending late winter days looking to bring home a pile of discarded whitetail deer antlers.

Luke and Lance Terstriep with a nice day’s find of hunting season’s leftovers.

There seems to be no limit to the uses for these shed antlers. The creativity of some of these decorative pieces is truly amazing. I have seen them made into everything from centerpieces to lamps to door handles.

Others just like to pile them up and make their piles bigger each year. Either way, the mice and squirrels are getting fewer and fewer antler treats each season.

In the past the only sheds I collected were ones I accidentally stumbled over while turkey and mushroom hunting. I have a modest collection of various sizes. I also have other items in my collection, such as skulls and skulls with the antlers still attached.

There are lots of surprising things to find on the forest floor if you are looking for them on purpose. I realized this last week as I participated in my first organized shed hunt.

I spent several days last fall hunting with new great friends Luke Terstriep, Sr., Luke Jr. and younger brother Lance. We had some outstanding hunts and we are already gearing up for spring turkey season.

Last week, Luke Jr. and Lance called and invited me to go with them to look for sheds on one of their properties.  I happily accepted.

I figured shed hunting was nothing more than “bailing out and milling around” looking for antlers on the ground. These guys had a plan and they were organized and wanted to systematically cover the farm. They intended to cover every square yard of the property.

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