Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

Shed Hunting & Spring Scouting
By Brian Latturner,

Here, Devan is showing two sets of sheds found within 300 yards of each other. These sheds prove that deer winter in that canyon, and if this season we get weather, I will be looking in that canyon. Shed Hunting & Spring Scouting
Shed Hunting & Spring Scouting
Spring scouting just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to most people. The deer are still migrating towards the high country and they have no antlers! And, hunting season is still 6-7 months off. Well, with spring scouting, you're not looking for bucks, but for what they've left behind, their antlers.

Spring scouting is most effective in areas that offer late-season hunts where there is a chance that cold and snow will set in and the deer begin migrating towards their winter range. For Utah's Paunsaugunt, Idaho's November hunt areas and Colorado's 3rd and 4th season hunts areas, spring scouting can be a huge help when the following hunting season rolls around.

By spending time combing the hills in April and May, you will not only learn the area but may also find sheds, which is your evidence that the bucks will show up in a particular area at some point during the year. I use April and May as my time to scout my hunting areas in Colorado. I like to hunt the 3rd season, and during that time, there is a good chance that some of the deer will have migrated to their winter range.

If in April I find a few large, fresh shed antlers, I can feel confident that if weather forces the deer to migrate, that there will be some bucks in that area. Basically, it gives me an advantage that other hunters don't have.

Most hunters show up the day before the hunt opens and most have no clue as to where to begin their hunt. Others do a little summer scouting. They learn where deer are in the summer, but not where they might be if the area is hit by weather. If they arrive and there's 12 inches of snow in the high country where the bucks were in August, they be in for a big surprise when they battle the snow to the top of the mountain and many of the deer are gone. These hunters then waste a day or two of their hunt trying to relocate bucks and learning the landscape and access points. Wasted time is not good when your hunt is only 5-7 days long. Time is VERY valuable when hunting big bucks.

Spring scouting and shed hunting are one in the same and can give you that small amount of knowledge that may make the difference in your hunt. In addition to increasing your knowledge of a given area and what kind of bucks spend time there, it's also great exercise after spending a long winter staring at a computer screen viewing photos here at and dreaming of Monster Muleys.

Good luck on your next big buck hunt!

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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