Shed Hunting

Shed hunting Colorado is not easy! We are by no means professionals and year to year our success varies. The best tips we can provide are…

  1. Follow Colorado State laws pertaining to Shed Hunting – Colorado prohibits shed hunting from Jan. 1 to April 30 west of I-25, so a May 1st season begin date. There are hefty fines and penalties if you are found shed hunting (West of I-25) prior to the May 1st start date.
  2. There needs to be sign!!! If you’re in Colorado and are hunting west of I-25 (Interstate Highway) – Then you should be finding elk and deer sign (from 3 weeks old to a few days old – fresh. Sign = (Poop, scrapes, knocked down trees, and bits out of the aspens) – should be somewhat fresh.
  3. We like to begin hunting on South and West facing slopes. These tend to be the sides of the mountain(s) the get the most sun light year round. In the early months of the year, (April – March) – Elk begin to lose the antlers (Shed). They tend to stick to the south and west-facing slopes as they tend to be the warmest and have the best food/water resources. This is a general rule of thumb…
  4. We like to hunt drainages on the south and west facing slopes. We find that major transitions like a drainage or ravine provide the necessary terrain to cause an elk to step awkwardly which results in them shedding an antler as they travel in search of food and water. Water and good food sources are also typically found in drainages.
  5. We have also found fence lines to be a great location to find sheds. The act of jumping over a fence can definitely aid in causing Elk and Deer to drop their antlers. (Be sure to always gain permissions to access private property)
  6. We like to hunt low elevations that get a lot of sunlight. We have been very successful in large “Parks” – (Open areas within forest). Parks at lower elevation and on the mountain sides are great places to search for Elk and Deer sheds.
  7. We have found that higher elevations may not yield as many sheds then at lower elevations; however, we have found some of our largest in higher. Not sure if this is just the “Big Bull” theory or not…
  8. We love to shed hunt near and around water sources. Elk and Deer both need water to survive so just like in hunting them during the season, water is a virtual part of their survival. The winter months can be very difficult on them, a fresh open and flowing water source will be a great spot to start shed hunting. We have been very successful finding sheds in and near water and the transitions that lead to them.
  9. When you find a shed, keep in mind that if it is a large shed, the other side is not too far away. Be sure to take your time and grid out the area to try to find the matching set.
  10. A good attitude! You will not always find sheds. You can hike for 10+ miles and not find anything. The more you go the more you will find! You will have great days and bad, just remember, a day in the woods is always a better day then in the office!

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