Updated: Apr 28, 2018
Shed season is upon us, and in some areas it is beginning to wrap up. As the season progresses, Mike Sampson will spend his time where there are a concentration of animals. Most of his time has been spent in his home state of Wisconsin, but he will move west and find elk antlers as the northern whitetail season finishes up. Mike is willing to hoof it just about anywhere that he thinks he might have a chance to find some bone.
Mike says that he has been picking up sheds for several weeks now, including the outstanding whitetail set that is pictured above. He says that he has been concentrating on several keys areas; ridge tops with lots of sun exposure, bedding areas and the heavily traveled deer trails that lead to good feed. When he is talking about good food sources, he is referring to; standing crops, new alfalfa or winter wheat plantings and last years logging- where new growth is regenerating.
Row pines are also a great place to find shed antlers. Groves of pines trees create excellent thermal cover for animals and shelter them from the snow. Generally, the snow does not accumulate and get as deep under the pines. Although not as much sunlight penetrates these areas as a ridge top, they provide excellent bedding cover and protection from the wind.
He will head to mountains and the plains areas when his whitetail spots start to dry up. The size of the western antler is what gets him. Mike loves picking up the much larger mule deer antlers and giant elk sheds. There is much more opportunity for him, as much of the land is public and he doesn't need to seek permission. The scale is much larger, but he generally targets the same types of areas as he would for a whitetail antler.
Mike has a self-proclaimed disease. I’m not sure of the diagnosis, but he can’t help but find antlers everywhere he goes! We have gone on several hunting trips together and he is always finding sheds.
Good luck, you can’t find sheds while looking at the computer screen!
You can follow Mike on Instagram at @doyouevenshedbro