How to find antlers
Horn hunting!! Although the horns on deer and elk are not horns they are actually antlers because they fall off and regrow every year. People who hike around and collect them at certain times of the year call them horns. It is that time of year, when the big game start to shed their antlers where they are wintering and start to regrow them. The popularity of this hobby has exploded in the past ten years, it seems like everybody and their dog go out hunting for horns as they say.
I wanted to give everybody some tips and some cautions when it comes to horn hunting. First of all, I want everybody to understand that when the antlers start to drop the deer and elk are at their most vunerable point of the year. The snow is mostly likely deep and the deer have been through a hard migration and food might be hard to come by for some heard of deer. I ask that you don’t get out there at the fist sign of horns and start pushing these herds to the breaking point just to pick up what they leave behind. The being said the state of Utah had the same idea. The state closed down shed hunting season until April 1st, 2017, for this very reason. Utah just went thought a rough winter and the DWR did not want people in the winter ranges bothering the deer.
Ok, now to the fun part. I just have a few tips for every body when April 1st rolls around. Sheds can be found just about any where you find deer or elk, I have found horns in summer range on top of the mountains. However most of the time the antlers are found in the winter range, because deer and elk drop their horns in late February until the beginning of April. However I have seen larger bucks pack their hard horns until late May here in Utah. So go down low in elevation and find where the deer were feeding in the winter.
Walking the fence lines are always a good spot to look. The trees and tree lines surrounding cultivated land is a hot spot, here in Central Utah we have a lot of alfalfa fields and farm land. For elk horns its always good to check out the lower parts of canyons off the top of the mountain ranges where the elk summer. Usually the elk will winter a little higher than the deer do. The best tip I can give you is to just get out there and look. Enjoy the fact that the snow is gone and the weather is nice and don’t give up if you don’t find anything. If you guys find some sheds be sure to post your photos on Nock and Stalk facebook for a chance to win prizes.