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Joined: 01/04/2012
Posts: 2
Complete newbie- looking to shed hunt this spring.

Hi all, so I'm not a hunter... haven't been for about 15 years anyway... but I hike about 2-3 times a week when the weather permits. My brother and I like to hunt for morels and I decided it might be fun to start looking into shed hunting. I live in North Idaho, up near Coeur d'Alene.

Interested in looking for Deer, Elk, and Moose sheds and know ZERO about where to look except from what I've gathered on the Internet. So far, here's what I've been able to find:

  1. Look down low near food sources rather than at the very tops of ridges (I frequent a bunch of huckleberry patches every year... are these spots that deer or elk may look for food?)
  2. Focus on south-facing slopes and grassy clearings
  3. Look in valleys and draws, especially near creeks -- which I gather will be tougher than my normal hiking as I like to stay out of these areas since they're usually very rugged and brushy.
  4. I know that I should look for rubs... but I've actually never seen a rub and don't know where I should be looking for those.

Aside from this, I'm not really sure what to look for since I've never hunted for any of these animals. I see lots of heavily traveled game trails where I hike and once saw a herd of elk crossing the road while I was driving to one of my hiking spots-- so I know they're out there. No quad or dirtbike, so everything is going to be on foot (which is what I'm after anyway). Any other helpful tips you all could offer that might help me out? It's been a light winter so far and we don't have much snow in our mountains... I'm guessing that means I should be able to start sooner, say the end of February? Does this also mean I need to look higher than I normally would, or would game still come down to the valleys for food?

Hope for some helpful tips to get me started in the right direction!

 

Topgun 30-06's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
It's pretty hard to tell

It's pretty hard to tell someone where to look other than where the animals will be spending the winter months and for elk the early Spring since they won't even drop their racks for quite a while yet. I can't imagine living up where you are and not being a hunter!

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Joined: 01/04/2012
Posts: 2
Yeah, I grew up here and I

Yeah, I grew up here and I don't ski either! I'm big into photography and would rather dump money into lenses to do wildlife photography. I've got too many time-consuming and expensive hobbies to try and pick up another one

I've got a new pup who looks to be a golden lab mix and he's picking up retrieving like crazy... he's only about 3 months and would train for an hour at a time if I'd let him... he's making me consider getting into some bird hunting that's for sure! I figure if nothing else, we'll probably get him trained to do some tracking and send him after some morels and antlers.

I guess my trouble is that I just don't know how to go about looking for elk and deer spots. Do I just pick up on a game trail and follow along it? Is it ok to walk on them or does that disturb them? For instance... there's a hiking trail I've taken a few times that heads up to a meadow on a ridge. There's grass and bushes there but I don't know if animals will avoid an area like that because it's near a hiking trail. I don't think the trail is hiked very heavily.

Then there's a spot where we go for huckleberries that's got what looks to be a pretty heavily travelled game trail on the ridge. Should I head up there and walk the trail up and down to see if I can find bedding spots or spots where they've been feeding? Will a trail like that tend to continue between two spots, or does it fade out? I've never followed one for more than a couple hundred feet.

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