Shed Hunting Ethics, By Karson Sorenson

Justin Crossley

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Shed hunting ethics comes up often and will continue to come up as shed hunting gains more and more popularity each year. @ksorenson11 breaks down some of the rules and how to enjoy this activity while protecting the wildlife we all love.

Shed Hunting Ethics

Karson was born and raised in a small town in Central Utah. He started shed hunting at a young age with his dad and his brother. He found his first deer sheds when he was 9 years old and his shed hunting passion was born. He took his hunter's safety course when he was 13 and has been hunting and shed hunting ever since. These days he lives in Southern Utah where he is a wildland firefighter. He spends most of his summers fighting fires in the Western U.S. and most of the fall, winter, and spring hunting and shed hunting as much as possible.
 

bpurtz

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Oregon​

  • Oregon doesn’t currently have a shed hunting season or any shed hunting closures besides private property without permission.
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Oregon has a couple State Land closures in Wintering areas - at least 1 of them reopens after March 31.
 

Cheesehead

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This article was an OK starting point for some of the basic concerns around shed hunting. But a key item unaddressed is the fact that shed hunting represents a major and controversial form of monetization of wildlife that potentially doesn’t jive with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Antler sales have exploded (chew toys, herbal medicines), and people increasingly are chasing them as status symbols for de-facto money (ie, social media posts= influencer status).

what seems innocent here is frequently anything but.
 

Cheechako

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This article is a good start but could go much further to emphasize avoiding spooking and stressing animals.
For one, familiarize yourself with the the area and talk to biologists to avoid calving/fawning grounds. At least in Idaho and Montana, deer and elk tend to use relatively well defined areas to winter and give birth in the spring. Staying out of these areas while shed hunting will reduce stress on females during a time of year when both them and their unborn fawns/ calves are at their most vulnerable.
Often the mature bucks and bulls will be in different habitats or at higher elevations. Care should be taken to avoiding bumping them as well.
Just my two cents.
 

Jaden Bales

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Good way to start the shed hunting conversation this year. I had to hike way up and around a herd of mulies just yesterday so I didn't bump them. Pain in the butt, but I want those little bucks I saw in the herd to be big bucks!

One note - Wyoming expanded their shed season to along I-80, plus some north of it, all the way to Laramie.
 

ksorenson11

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This article was an OK starting point for some of the basic concerns around shed hunting. But a key item unaddressed is the fact that shed hunting represents a major and controversial form of monetization of wildlife that potentially doesn’t jive with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Antler sales have exploded (chew toys, herbal medicines), and people increasingly are chasing them as status symbols for de-facto money (ie, social media posts= influencer status).

what seems innocent here is frequently anything but.
You're 100% right that some people chase them for a "status symbol" but I don't think that's the majority of people. It might seem like it because you see those people all over social media but I would bet that for every person who posts their sheds on social media, there are 5 who don't. I think the vast majority of people who shed hunt do it for a reason other than status.
 

Biggie

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Another one. If you see someone shed hunting a 145ac piece of public that is part of a 10k acre plus area, don't go walk that same piece with them. And especially don't drive off of the road past the parking lot to do so. That was my experience with a gentleman from Colorado this weekend.
 

robby denning

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Another one. If you see someone shed hunting a 145ac piece of public that is part of a 10k acre plus area, don't go walk that same piece with them. And especially don't drive off of the road past the parking lot to do so. That was my experience with a gentleman from Colorado this weekend.
sounds like he's not a gentleman at all
 

GraniteStater

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Great article, a lot of good points made. Where I live and hunt sheds are a bit needle in a haystack, especially after a mild winter. I wish I had more none posted farmland near me.
 

Elkfever4

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Another one. If you see someone shed hunting a 145ac piece of public that is part of a 10k acre plus area, don't go walk that same piece with them. And especially don't drive off of the road past the parking lot to do so. That was my experience with a gentleman from Colorado this weekend.
I agree with you on the driving but to say don’t shed hunt the same 145 acres your on of public ground is not right. PUBLIC ground ! Yea it might be frowned upon to some but others realistically probably won’t find every shed in that spot alone. Could you imagine rolling up to a river 20 miles long and some guy already there says move down the river and fish 2 miles down. If it’s public it’s open to everybody pros and cons of using public land . There’s days I have to move out of a spot if I personally don’t want to share it. because I know that every person has a right to be there just like me. Some days I just work the area with them around, making small talk and gaining some other perspective that maybe they have on the area. My 2 cents!
 

robby denning

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I agree with you on the driving but to say don’t shed hunt the same 145 acres your on of public ground is not right. PUBLIC ground ! Yea it might be frowned upon to some but others realistically probably won’t find every shed in that spot alone. Could you imagine rolling up to a river 20 miles long and some guy already there says move down the river and fish 2 miles down. If it’s public it’s open to everybody pros and cons of using public land . There’s days I have to move out of a spot if I personally don’t want to share it. because I know that every person has a right to be there just like me. Some days I just work the area with them around, making small talk and gaining some other perspective that maybe they have on the area. My 2 cents!

I see what you’re saying bro, I guess I agreed with him because if there was 10,000 acres to be had, I would probably put more than 145 acres between me and somebody else. That’s all I was thinking


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Biggie

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I agree with you on the driving but to say don’t shed hunt the same 145 acres your on of public ground is not right. PUBLIC ground ! Yea it might be frowned upon to some but others realistically probably won’t find every shed in that spot alone. Could you imagine rolling up to a river 20 miles long and some guy already there says move down the river and fish 2 miles down. If it’s public it’s open to everybody pros and cons of using public land . There’s days I have to move out of a spot if I personally don’t want to share it. because I know that every person has a right to be there just like me. Some days I just work the area with them around, making small talk and gaining some other perspective that maybe they have on the area. My 2 cents!
Common courtesy around here to drive to the next parking lot if someone else is there. This wasn't 145ac of timber in the west where you might not even see the person. Flat, wide open, and about half crops/half grass with a few trees. The crops being green wheat that one guy could cover with a set of binocs.
 
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