How to hunt for deer shed antlers

Written by kayar sprang
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How to hunt for deer shed antlers
Deer shed their antlers between January and April. (deer image by Joan Stanton from

Buck deer shed their antlers between January and April after the rutting season. They don't need their antlers to fight other bucks after they've mated. Soon after, the buck deer begin to grow their antlers again. Deer antlers are hard, bony structures used to make unique items such as chandeliers, letter openers and pens. Besides knowing when to look, you need to know where to look to hunt for antlers.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Walk through fields where deer have fed during the winter months. Harvested cornfields are popular places. You can tell deer have been there by the worn-down paths they created. Scour the grounds for deer shed antlers. Since they're dull in colour, and are sometimes small, deer antlers can easily blend in with their surroundings.

  2. 2

    Check along fences in fields. The impact of a deer hitting the ground after it has jumped across a fence can make it lose its already loose antlers.

  3. 3

    Look for deer antlers in the woods, in places where the animals frequent. Look for beaten-down paths that show a deer's well-traveled routes. Common spots that deer visit frequently are food and water sources, and out-of-the-way places to bed down. Search groves of trees and brushy areas to find deer shed antlers.

Tips and warnings

  • Rodents eat deer antlers for the calcium. If they find them first, they can consume them within a day's time.
  • Make sure to get the landowner's written permission if you're going to search off your own land.
  • Wear comfortable, protective footwear, and suitable clothing when you hunt for antlers. Long sleeves and trousers will help protect your skin from sharp briars, etc.

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