Did you hear that antler drop? Of course you didn’t. Yep, that target buck of yours just dropped an antler. Oh… another one just dropped off. Bone is hitting the ground and you don’t even know it unless you are up to date on shed hunting. With the crazy weather this past season, some bucks were already shedding during the December hunting season.

But that wasn’t enough reason to head out in search of sheds as at that time they were few and far between. Now it’s mid January and there have been many photos posted online of bucks that have shed, and pics of antlers that have been found. They are just laying in wait for you to find.

That is exactly why those guys who are wood-wise leave their trail cams out to monitor late season deer activity. They gain first hand knowledge of what bucks survived the season, have a good idea of where a buck’s core areas may be, and get a daily report of when the buck dropped his antlers. Information like that lets you wait until at least 80% of antlers have dropped so you don’t start too early and push the bucks out of the area.

Remember, shed hunting success is all about coverage. It’s true that the more boot leather you lay down can enhance your odds but trail cams can save you valuable time. Trail cams can monitor an entire property or even several properties quickly. That can be an added plus if you’re after record class antlers and want to beat the rodents to the sheds before they consume them.

With another deer hunting season behind us, shed hunting season is just starting. This is a season that is getting all the interest right now, making it a sport all of its own.

This sport has changed from a weekend hobby, or a lucky encounter, to a daily routine. It traditionally starts in February and wraps up around the end of March. There are many variations as older bucks tend to drop early, while less dominant ones shed later.

Knowing that we are on the precipice of the shed hunting 2020 season, it’s time to consider venturing out to start looking for sheds. Of course there are some individuals out there who are real naturals at shed hunting and don’t need any help. But for many of us, the idea of using trail cams is great as we aren’t that good at random scouting.

If you haven’t used trail cams for shed hunting, why not incorporate it into your plan this season? Who knows, maybe you’ll end up coming back from your woodland trek with your pack heaping with what’s known as white gold in the shed hunters circle.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.