Four Essentials of Elk Antler Shed Hunting

Just about every spring 1000’s of out of doors fanatics head into the mountains in search of bull elk antler sheds. Most folks choose up 2 or 3 every single season following expending hours combing the forest and mountains for sheds. I have lived in the jap White Mountains of Arizona considering that the early 1990’s and have been hunting antler sheds every single spring. I normally choose up 30-50 sheds a time and regular one about every 2 1/2 hours. Right here are some tips on how you can enhance your odds of getting bull elk antler sheds.

OUTERWEAR
Mountain weather can be inclimate and modify with quite minimal detect. You will need to have to get ready your self in advance by wearing the appropriate outerwear. Initially off, you need to be donning a really fantastic pair of boots. The terrain is steep and the footing is loose. Mountaineering sneakers just is not going to do the occupation. Mountaineering boots are better, but your finest guess is a fantastic leather Gore-Tex looking boot. I desire Danner Boots, they are at ease and sturdy. Future is a frequent pair of denim blue denims. You are continually heading by way of brush, butt sliding, kneeling and sometimes slipping and slipping. Nylon pants get tore up really quick. For a top layer, a wick dry tee-shirt along with a technological nylon or fleece prime will work extremely properly. You want to keep heat, but permit the sweat to be wicked absent. It can be also a great notion to dress in a brilliant color on major especially if you happen to be drop hunting with a lover, you want to be equipped to see each and every other from a distance. Camo is generally not a fantastic thought. A superior baseball style hat is also critical to continue to keep the sun out of your eyes. I put on a extended invoice hat from my wife’s fly fishing guide enterprise. This is predominantly for the reason that you will not be sporting sun shades, sunglasses tint the organic surrounding and you will not see the antlers laying on the floor except they are aged white chalks. Sun shades also make it difficult to use binoculars effectively.

Products
There are a few essential items that you should really carry with you at all moments when you’re shed hunting. The very first is a good pair of binoculars. I use a pair of 12×50’s that can be ordered for about $100-150. You also want to buy the in excess of the shoulder straps for the bino’s ($15). These will hold the glasses close to your chest and maintain them from banging on rocks and hanging up in the brush. Up coming is a sidearm, if allowed in your point out. You will be hiking into primary mountain lion country. I have a.45 titanium revolver and it has saved my everyday living 2 times by firing warning pictures previously mentioned charging lions. I have never ever killed one particular. (Maybe a long term story?) I only will not go deep into the mountains without a sidearm and will not allow for looking companions to do so possibly. Eventually you will will need a 2000-3000 cu.in. backpack with straps that will clip and unclip the antlers on to the back of the pack. Ideally, also a bladder reservoir with a chunk tube for hydration.

Bear in mind, the details generally are packed absent from you and dependent on the dimension of the antler, the button may well point up or down… check out not to permit the points dig into your butt, or bang versus your head. I can carry (3-4) antlers in this way, then one in every hand if I uncover a serious honey gap. Your pack should really incorporate: more difficult shell, in case of inclimate weather conditions, radios, if traveling with much more than a single human being (vital), headlamp, matches, map, GPS (optional) 1st assist package, utility tool like a Leatherman, sunscreen, bathroom paper, excess liter of water and your lunch. In some parts, such as the Blue Wilderness, I carry a lightweight climbing harness, a couple of carabiners, rappel unit and a 100′ duration of static rappelling rope for acquiring myself out of tough circumstances.

Investigate THE Four Necessities
Now that you have assembled all of your outerwear and equipment, it is really practically time to go elk antler shed looking. Nonetheless, to stop you from wandering from mountain to canyon devoid of goal, you will require a very good map of the region. The best are USGS topo maps offered on-line – we like to laminate ours. I also like to utilize Google Maps and Google Earth. Nationwide Forest maps are also helpful for discovering roadways for entry into remote spots, but most the facet roads are unmarked. The principal issue is to have a “lookup prepare” and adhere with the system. Your strategy really should mirror the four necessities outlined below. Always allow an individual else know the place you happen to be likely and when you’ll be again. A be aware on the kitchen area counter to my wife commonly performs for me. You also may perhaps want to carry a GPS and mark the site of your motor vehicle prior to you go trotting into a distant place.

As you approach your elk antler drop searching adventure you need to be contemplating about four crucial products: Stability, Accessibility, Problems and Terrain. Any effective lose searching excursion will call for all 4 of these goods to be existing. If only one important ingredient is missing, you will have extremely minimal luck getting sheds and possible be skunked. All we are accomplishing is increasing the probability of discovering an elk antler lose in a offered location.

Stability
I consider that elk antlers are agonizing in advance of they tumble off. There is no scientific proof that I am aware of to assistance my belief, but nonetheless I firmly imagine this to be a legitimate reality. The level of ache may be distinctive for each individual bull elk, from a small toothache to an abscessed tooth. The stage of soreness may possibly also change with age. So, just take a minute and take into account how you personally sense when you happen to be ill with a toothache, say maybe a root canal. Commonly, you want to unwind as a great deal as probable, keep warm and cozy, incredibly small social contact, have h2o and foodstuff close-by, probably slumber a minor much more than usual. Most of all, you truly will not want to be bothered. You just want to get this above with and get on with your daily life. My contention is that is exactly how a bull elk feels when all those large antlers start out to loosen up. They want to be protected and secure.

So, where by would a bull elk truly feel harmless and protected? The question is likely superior questioned exactly where they wouldn’t truly feel harmless and protected. Very well, to be sincere, unquestionably not all around their girl friends, the cow elk. If I see loads and masses of clean cow elk scat, I am almost certainly not in a superior spot for locating sheds. The bulls often collect into smaller groups of 4-8 when they are about to fall, but most of the time this is a solitary occasion when it basically comes about. They also do not want to be chilly, they usually like to be as heat and comfy as possible. I commonly do not find elk sheds on north facing slopes until I’m functioning a big mountain with deep spine type ridges… even then, odds are far better on the sunny sided slopes. This subsequent one particular is extremely vital, they also are inclined to avoid deep thick brushy areas, which are common on north struggling with mountains. Don’t forget, if you buy into my perception, these antlers hurt. They do not want them to be knocking in opposition to trees and bushes… kinda like stubbing a toe that you’ve got currently stubbed. Nonetheless, the regions may possibly be limited and brushy, like a live oak forest with the peak of the oak all-around 5′. This makes it possible for them to transfer all over and have the antlers above the brush, but have the ability to lie down in amongst them to search for defense.

The astute drop hunter would possibly say, “Yea ok, but I have uncovered a number of sheds in vast open up meadows”. My remedy would be, “Sure, they are touring to and from their h2o source and feeding area from a secure spot”. Elk do not get delivered pizza when they are unwell. In addition, you will commonly discover only 1 facet in a meadow… they have by now dropped the other 1 in their safe region. Ultimately, there is one very last crucial issue to be built about security – mountain lions. When a bull elk beds down, it truly is commonly not in a place exactly where it can be conveniently attacked. They like to have very good area of eyesight, which means pretty normally they like it greater up on the mountain. Overhanging rock ledges that they can tuck less than are also spots that always have to have to be searched. Think about when you ended up young and about to go to bed, but you have a tooth coming drop, you can’t snooze. Your mothers and fathers would occur into your bedroom and pull the free tooth out – I often howled following the doorknob and the string trick! If a bull elk is bedding down and these antlers are hurting just plenty of that they are unable to snooze, they will knock both of those of them off wherever they are bedding down. A matched bull elk antler set is nearly the greatest possible uncover… subsequent to a winterkill.

Excellent illustrations of protected areas are drainages and just under ridgelines. Be sure to preserve in intellect, these parts can be pretty significant, occasionally a square mile.

Problems
This is the simplest of the important components and the a person in which I see the most errors. Environmental ailments have a remarkable impact on where a bull elk may possibly fall an antler get rid of. The primary issue is weather conditions and the other is the time of the year. I am heading to make a different bold assumption that is not centered on scientific actuality, but I know this to be legitimate. A bull elk will not fall antlers in snow. Nonetheless, they actually like being close to snow, precisely the snow line on a mountain. If you can identify exactly where the snow line is on a mountain at the time of calendar year when the antler dropped, you have saved on your own a incredible amount of searching in the wrong locations (most widespread error). Commonly, when I uncover a contemporary brown antler drop the 1st factor I glimpse at is my wristwatch altimeter and ascertain the elevation in which I picked up the get rid of. (A very good reason to have a GPS as properly) Most of the time, there is no snow where I picked up the shed. I am attempting to decide the snow line on the mountain at the time of the drop. From that position forward, the optimum chance of getting another get rid of is both 150′ over or beneath where you found the initial lose. This usually means you are zig-zagging up and down the mountain. On the other hand, when you discover your next drop on the similar mountain, you are now incorporating to your databases of awareness to further more refine your elevation search place. In the japanese White Mountains of Arizona and west Central New Mexico practically all of my sheds are discovered among 8300-9500.’ You will will need to figure out the typical in your region in accordance with the snow line.

The other half of the equation is time of calendar year. Bull elk normally drop their antlers above a 6-8 week interval. In our region this is early March to late April. On the other hand, there is generally a 10 working day or so time period when the greater part drop their antlers. Substantial elk drop their antlers initially. I think about a huge elk anything at all over a 50″ primary beam – generally a 6X. The medium-sized ones are up coming, close to 36″ main beam and then the compact 3X are previous. Many shed hunters make the mistake of heading out far too early. Our area is packed with lose hunters early in the time, number of are identified. My early year adventures are usually on a sunny ridge line with 12×50 binoculars and a lunch. I’m observing the migration designs and by the way, choosing out the biggest racks.

Consider to limit your look for to areas a pair hundred ft beneath the snowline, using a zig-zag pattern during the time of 12 months when they are essentially shedding their antlers.

Access
I have to contain obtain as an essential factor considering the fact that this is a somewhat competitive adventure. If there are a whole lot of individuals in the region in which you intend to hunt for sheds, you will likely not be thriving. This is a important violation of the necessary security aspect. Having said that, it is critical more than enough to warrant its have class. You may perhaps see bull elk in spots populated by people, but they definitely do not like to get rid of their antlers except if they are traveling to and from a safe place. Assume about it this way… if an ATV can get into your area, it is not a good position to hunt for sheds. Bull elk do not like roaring ATV engines or diesel vans for that issue. They like it protected, at ease and peaceful.

I sometimes make the most of an ATV to get shut to an place that I’ll be looking sheds. But that ATV is generally parked at least a mile absent from my focus on spot. You do not want to spook them absent if they haven’t dropped nevertheless. You actually do need to go in on foot, disturb as minor of the spot as probable and go away with your bounty. I have witnessed key spots ruined by careless people.

This is a aggressive adventure. If there are a large amount of people going into your place. It may well be picked cleanse every single year. If the accessibility is uncomplicated, the masses will exhibit up to hunt antlers. If the accessibility is challenging, you in all probability have your have non-public hunting floor. Here’s an additional general rule of thumb, if a rancher is grazing cattle in your space, it is almost certainly not a fantastic area to hunt sheds. Cowboys journey fence strains each individual spring once the snow is absent, they know their cattle allotment area like the again of their hand. Mainly, you’ve had authorities in your place for decades picking up sheds.

The much more remote and inaccessible by any sort of car together with horses, the higher the likelihood of finding elk antler sheds.

TERRAIN
Elk can fall their antlers just about wherever, we are only interested in the locations in which there is the maximum probability of a “drop zone”. Really generally, this is the place a bull elk will mattress down. It also may possibly be in which they journey too and from a safe area. Having said that, it is generally an place in which they are common. When I go into a new place to “build” I am looking for a precise sort of terrain to match my other crucial factors. I’m also seeking for bull elk scat and tree rubs. Hey, hold out a moment!! Bull elk rub the velvet off their antlers properly after they get rid of. I concur, but they also are inclined to gravitate in direction of regions of familiarity. So, as I glance at the ground and the rubbings on the trees, I am also scanning the horizons with my binoculars… mainly because I’m often hunting for a certain form of terrain.

The best probable terrain is directional and prioritized in this get, south, southwest, west, southeast and east dealing with slopes. North dealing with slopes as described previously are just about generally a no go, except if it is a significant mountain with steep ridgelines that have solar-washed side canyons. As still an additional common rule of thumb, grassy slopes are much better than rocky slopes. If the slope is all rock, it truly is likely not a very good area. It has to have some grass with the rock… all grass with a number of rocks is greatest.

Some of my friends child me about have legs like a T-Rex. This is most likely thanks to the point that most of the sheds that I uncover are situated on slopes involving 30 and 50 degrees. If you are unfamiliar with levels of slope angle, a 12/12 pitch roof is 45 levels. A lot of churches have steep roof lines very similar to the terrain in which elk antler sheds are uncovered. Certainly it can take a whole lot of dedication to perform your way up a steep slope looking an antler get rid of. However, this is typically a secure location, with heaps of visibility and normally around a h2o resource below in a canyon. The great news is, you get to quit each and every 50′ or so, take a split and scan the area with your binoculars.

A standard look for sample on a steep south-dealing with grassy slope would go some thing like this… First pass is the ridgeline itself, having your time to search down into the slope and then again just off the ridgeline. The up coming pass might be 20-40′ down below the ridgeline and commonly at minimum just one or two a lot more passes even reduce. On the other hand, if you might be just heading to make 1 go, you require to employ a zig-zag sample to deal with as a lot location as probable. The full time, your contemplating about safety problems for the elk, environmental ailments in the region in the course of the time the snow line was current and access in regards to the remoteness of the space.

Final Words
Please do not get discouraged if you read all of this data and do not straight away obtain an elk antler drop while all four essential things are current. This is meant to be a fun guidebook to improve your likelihood of finding drop antlers. From the outset, you really should think about your mission to produce areas in which you know that they will be dropping. I have observed hundreds and hundreds of elk sheds, 70% of them appear from a dozen spots that took me several years to investigate and acquire. I go into those areas 3 situations each – early, mid and late time.

I do not sell any of my antler sheds. They are either items to family and mates or they conclusion up in my workshop turning out to be lamps, conclude tables or candle holders. A hundred or so adorn the gateway to our mountain house.

AUTHOR’S Observe
The japanese White Mountains of Arizona include things like the communities of Alpine, Nutrioso and Greer. The 538,000 acre Wallow Fire (Summer months 2010) burned more than 850 sq. miles of this lovely spot. We shed our house for 15 years along with two companies. Eric is a authentic estate broker based mostly in Tucson managing qualities in Southern Arizona.
Make sure you go to my site: http://www.TheTucsonHomeHunters.com



Supply by Eric Krueger

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