Badlands Shed Hunt - Looking for tips/suggestions

iHunt

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Jun 23, 2016
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Hello guys! I want to make a weekend trip out west to the badlands of ND looking for mule deer and elk sheds fir the first time. Have any of you done this before in the badlands? Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for me to start? I'm not afraid of long hikes or hard work just looking for a place to start my scouting and tactics! All information is welcome and appreciated!
 

BlakeA

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We are having a brutal winter so far so leave the animals alone for a few more months. Unless you have access to a few major private ranches, finding elk sheds out in the badlands will be extremely difficult. For mule deer, focus on areas close to major food sources. A lot of deer hang near ranches during the winter time and won't be way down in the really rough stuff. With how deep the snow is, check south facing hill sides where the grass is sticking out. If and when you go in the spring time, be prepared for a lot of nasty clay/mud to walk and drive around in. It's great exercise and a fun thing to do in the Spring time. Good Luck!
 

Jamen

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Oct 5, 2013
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I agree with Blake, pretty tough winter so I wouldn't pressure them all too much now. Elk sheds may be hard to find I seen two guys pull one each out this year when I was out there helping with an elk hunt. one was a year old 6 pt and the other from what I could tell with the guy walking with it was a white 5 or 6 pt. I would stick to the E3 unit for elk most of the elk in E2 are on private. I got a spot I was going to check out this spring where I think there will be a few elk sheds if I do not go I will let you know where it is at. It is a little chunk that most people do not know elk are there. I love finding muley sheds have found a handful in my times out there.

Jamen
 

iHunt

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I was thinking about going in the last weekend in February, would that be late enough or do you think it would still be better to wait longer?
 

Jamen

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I have not been out there since October so I am not sure of the snow situation nor if they have dropped horns. Around here in central ND whitetail were dropping in mid December I would suspect to the stress of the snow storms. I am not sure how far of a drive it is for you but never hurts to go out and try. Best of luck!

I have slowly been trying to train my dog to look for sheds. See how it goes
 

iHunt

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I live in Fargo, so it would be like a 5 hr drive which isn't too bad for that chance to pick up a muley shed! It will be a lot of miles and a lot of glassing for sign but there's always a chance I pick something up
 

Jamen

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I agree they are fun to find. Take a coyote call with you and blast some of them too while you are out there.
 

406Family

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Soldotna, AK
I was thinking about going in the last weekend in February, would that be late enough or do you think it would still be better to wait longer?
I'd wait a little longer. I've seen muleys with both sides well into March out here. This winter could be different though, they may drop earlier because of how tough it is.
 

Jamen

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Talked with someone who lives out that way. They said some deer have horns left some do not. Take it how you want by end of feb more will be dropped I agree elk lose theirs later. Still a lot of snow out there.
 

antlerradar

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SE Montana
With all the snow shed hunting will be very difficult. Not only is it hard to walk around in but most of the sheds will be covered. I have found that the first part of April is the best time to find antlers. With the snow this year I would not be making a five hour trip. You would be better off going this weekend and glassing from roads to locate deer for later when the snow is gone.
 

iHunt

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Ok thanks for the information. I talked to two of the big game biologists from Dickenson and they both said they would ask that people don't walk the badlands during late winter this year since conditions are so tough.. I may go on a scouting mission one weekend in February just driving the roads and then go back after green up in March or April if there is time.
 

Magnum Sherpa

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If you want a chance at elk sheds, definitely better to wait until April. Most years I see medium and smaller elk holding them into mid-April, sometimes later for the small raghorns.
 
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