Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Discussion about shed antlers, etc
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Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby whitetail_addict » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:52 am

Anyone have any experience with shed hunting the west? I've only been through some of the states a few times while traveling or for work buy have never had a chance to really get out and explore the lands. Is there really good public land shed hunting to be had if you can find the spots? I'm interesting in making a shed hunting only trip some time to try and find some whitetail/mule deer/elk sheds. Maybe make a week out of it next year...

Any advice or information would be much appreciated.


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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby stash59 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:52 am

I know western Montana gets hit hard for elk sheds. Alot of these guys pick up mule deer also if they happen to come across them. The truely hard core whitetail guys also shed hunt but alot of them are hunting private.

You may do alright in some of the eastern National Forests and BLM lands. Alot lower population of people! Probably find mostly mule deer though!
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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby TallTines » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:29 am

I don't think your aloud to pickup sheds on public land in South Dakota

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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby Bigburner » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:31 am

During fire season out west I find allot of Elk and Muley sheds. The most sheds that I've found were in SE Wyoming. Lots of muleys but the amount of whitetails are ridiculous especially around the Platt River Basin. Plus nobody gives a hoot about a whitetail out there. My buddy picked up a 6 pt. side around 90''. Otherwise its just opportunistic. If I was really looking I'd rake them in. Best Elk shed hunting I've seen was the arrowhead flats outside of Cedar City Utah. Theres a trophy Elk unit around there and every locals house we stopped by had an ultra-light plane. they would fly and GPS the sheds and ride back out on a quad and rake them in. wasn't uncommon to see pick-up truck beds full of 360" + elk sheds. Allot of the boy scout troops have shed round-up auctions and people make some pretty good loot plus it equates to allot of competition. Also I found allot of elk sheds in the Boise NF in ID as well. I'm mostly picking up the stragglers but its relative to how far back I'm in. 99% of folks don't set foot where I am but not out of choice but necessity. The worst part is I can only bring a few home due to weight restrictions with my gear. Funny having elk sheds lashed to your pack with a cut up sleeping pad duct taped to the tips to keep them from getting snagged in the cargo bay.
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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby hunter_mike » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:09 am

We went on an antelope hunt in NE wyoming last august. With a group of 4 guys, we picked up about 10 antlers over 6 days. All muleys
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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby BUCKSNBULLS » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:52 am

I think Montana has the same shed hunting regs as here in Wyoming. No shed hunting until May 1st west of the continental divide! Wyoming is going to include the East side next season. There're always poachers who go out before the season, but many are caught and stuck with healthy fines.

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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby backcountrychronicle » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:50 am

Yes, check the regs before picking up sheds (on private or public land). In Utah, we have to pass an online test (every year) to get a shed permit. It basically reminds everyone about how disturbing elk and mule deer puts the does and cows at risk for aborting young as the animals are on their last reserves right before things start greening up again.

This has become necessary because of the disturbance that shed hunting causes during that critical time of year (Other similar disturbances like hiking, riding bikes, 4-wheelers etc are not regulated). It got to the point that some people were chasing animals on 4-wheelers or snow machines to see if they could make animals drop antlers. (Yes, there are people like that).

Elk and Mule deer start dropping sheds in late Feb. or Early March. So think about where those animals are wintering.

You will find very few good sheds at high elevation. Most of the good sheds are in the sage flats and in the PJ (Pinyon-Juniper) where animals are wintering in March, because mature bucks and bulls drop antlers first.

Last Spring, I watched a bachelor group of elk for most of March and April. The mature bulls were antlerless and the young 4X4s and even the spikes could push them around some because they still had antlers.

I have seen 4X4 elk holding onto antlers as late as mid-May, so those sheds can be dropped any where between low elevations to mid elevations.

Sheds are getting harder to find on public land since so they have gone up in value.

Many people are training their dogs to find sheds, so all they need to do is ride through on horseback with the dog and they get most of them.

People are also scouting for antlers with drones now.
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Re: Shed hunting out west... Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

Postby tbunao » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:09 am

Bigburner wrote:During fire season out west I find allot of Elk and Muley sheds. The most sheds that I've found were in SE Wyoming. Lots of muleys but the amount of whitetails are ridiculous especially around the Platt River Basin. Plus nobody gives a hoot about a whitetail out there. My buddy picked up a 6 pt. side around 90''. Otherwise its just opportunistic. If I was really looking I'd rake them in. Best Elk shed hunting I've seen was the arrowhead flats outside of Cedar City Utah. Theres a trophy Elk unit around there and every locals house we stopped by had an ultra-light plane. they would fly and GPS the sheds and ride back out on a quad and rake them in. wasn't uncommon to see pick-up truck beds full of 360" + elk sheds. Allot of the boy scout troops have shed round-up auctions and people make some pretty good loot plus it equates to allot of competition. Also I found allot of elk sheds in the Boise NF in ID as well. I'm mostly picking up the stragglers but its relative to how far back I'm in. 99% of folks don't set foot where I am but not out of choice but necessity. The worst part is I can only bring a few home due to weight restrictions with my gear. Funny having elk sheds lashed to your pack with a cut up sleeping pad duct taped to the tips to keep them from getting snagged in the cargo bay.


SE Wyoming you say :think:
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