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Easier to find their sheds or kill them

rogerthat

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After completing my fourth 10 mile walk in a row and picking up 2 chalk scrub mule deer horns and a couple chewed up bases I have had lots of time to ponder how bad I suck at shed hunting.

For me killing the big boys during season is way easier than picking up their sheds and that is across all the deer species. I have shot a larger elk, moose, whitetail and mule deer than any sheds I have picked up over the years. I don’t think it’s even close. As I get time, I will post up my biggest shed vs biggest killed horn with score. I’m definitely not going to do sets cause that would even be more pathetic. What’s everyone else’s mileage, is it easier to kill them or pick their sheds?
 
For mule deer it has been easier for me to kill them. For elk it is easier to find big sheds, but I have honestly never applied myself to killing a big bull. I am going to try to change that the next few years.
 
I have elk sheds bigger than anything I’ve shot. Mule deer I have nothing even close, and the mule deer I’ve shot aren’t that big. I’ve also shot bigger whitetail than I have found sheds.
 
My shed antler collection is far more impressive for mule deer and elk.
I have shot whitetails bigger than my best sheds, deadheads is a different story.
Best antler on a mule deer I have shot, Right a 91 total inches, Found about 20 sheds that big.
Best antler on an elk I have shot, 165 inches, Found about 15 sheds that big.
 
Finding them with antlers on their head rather than off- definitely easier. Killing them or finding them shed is a hard question for sure and I’d agree with the others that varies with species and each individual. I’ve found a LOT more bulls with antlers on their heads than I have elk sheds. But I’ve never shot a bull, yet. I’ve shot some nice whitetail and ONLY ever find first year spike antlers for whitetail sheds. Mule deer sheds seem to be right in toe with what one generally sees on public land.. 2-3 pointers. I’ve never shot a mule deer personally, and I don’t know if I will unless I can hold my tape measure up to it and ask y’all if I’m reading it right 😜🤪
 
Silly question, but what are you guys deal with the antlers that you find? I don’t have a dog yet, but when I do… I’ll definitely use it for a chew toy.
 
Silly question, but what are you guys deal with the antlers that you find? I don’t have a dog yet, but when I do… I’ll definitely use it for a chew toy.
It’s like collecting stamps or baseball cards.
 
My shed antler collection is far more impressive for mule deer and elk.
I have shot whitetails bigger than my best sheds, deadheads is a different story.
Best antler on a mule deer I have shot, Right a 91 total inches, Found about 20 sheds that big.
Best antler on an elk I have shot, 165 inches, Found about 15 sheds that big.
I’m like the opposite…smaller of course

157 inch elk shed. 180 inch horn on a shot bull. I have 4-5 bulls with bigger horns than my shed. Tried like hell to match that shed up. Never did.
 

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I’ve got bigger sheds than anything I’ve killed. Helps a lot when you go pick up sheds in controlled hunt areas and only have tags for general seasons
 
I’ve got bigger sheds than anything I’ve killed. Helps a lot when you go pick up sheds in controlled hunt areas and only have tags for general seasons
I was thinking the same thing. This is a cool thread - needs more pics.
 
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In general, finding sheds is easier. Competition for sheds has gotten to the point, though, that you almost have to be an a@&$ole to be successful on public lands. As mentioned above, it also helps that you can shed hunt more limited units every year.

My biggest mule deer shed is 103” and my biggest side on a shot buck is 100” even. Who cares about elk, but it’s probably similarly close. 😉
 
Common deer- Never put a tape on the shed but I’m guessing 70ish inches. Shot bucks horn is 83ish but an 8 inch drop tine doesn’t really make the comparison fair imo.
 

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