You don't have to be a deer hunter or even have a hunting license to walk out in the woods and fields to find deer sheds.

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What is a Deer Shed?

A shed deer antler bleached white on a black background with Copy space.
Stephanie Fry/Getty Images/iStockphoto

In case you didn't know, male deer lose their horns each year. Don't worry it doesn't hurt them and they grow back again next year. Depending on where you live and how cold it gets will determine when a deer loses its horns. They usually fall off in lower Michigan from February through April. In the Upper Peninsula, they can start dropping as early as December.

You can find sheds any time of the year but usually, the winter and early spring is the best time before the early growth takes over and they are too hard to spot. Plus squirrels and other animals will eat them if they find them before you. Often you will find a shed that has been partially eaten by an animal.

Where Do You Find Deer Sheds?

Michael Tatman/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Michael Tatman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Good places to find sheds are along highly used winter deer trails. Especially areas where they jump fences or there are a lot of strong branches that are about head level with deer. Streams are a good place to look as well.

You can find them in the woods, in fields, just about anywhere deer travel a lot. The key is to find those winter trails they use when food is scarce. They are not that easy to spot but if you are looking for them, just like Morell mushrooms, you look hard enough eventually you will find one or two.

Where Shouldn't I Look for Sheds?

BryanE/Getty Images/iStockphoto
BryanE/Getty Images/iStockphoto

You shouldn't be walking on land you don't own or have permission to be on. You can always walk on Federal land but I recommend wearing some hunters orange just to be safe. Depending on when you go in the winter there could be some small game hunters still out trying to get some bunnies.

If you are an avid hunter that has an area that you stay out of to hold deer, definitely don't go back in there to look for sheds. It's not worth alerting a giant buck of your presence.

What Do You Do With the Sheds?

Cara Maggio/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I personally have not found that many but I keep mine in my hunting room. I found a nice 8 point set of sheds this past weekend that would be the perfect size for rattling during hunting season. The pair are not too big and not too small.

A lot of people make stuff out of them. From lamps to chandeliers to knives, tools, and crafts. You can use your creativity to help decorate your hunting camp.

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