Friday, February 25, 2011


Benefits of antler shed hunting;

1. Great exercise & fresh air
2. Wildlife and bird watching
3. Learn the land, scout
4. Anyone at any age can do it
5. See evidence of what caliber bucks are around
6. Property owners are more likely to let you walk their land, than hunt it
7. Walk the dog
8. Teach kids or friends how to navigate or GPS
9. Photography opportunities
10.It can be profitable

That's right...antlers sell!  Today they are used in chandeliers, lamps, basket handles, knife handles, jewelry, hat racks, coat racks, and more.  Small ones are popular in Colorado for cabinet handles.  Ebay has oodles of antlers for sale.  I once bought a moose shed on vacation for $40 and turned around and sold it for $80 on ebay.  Some folks are attached to their finds like it's a golden treasure.   We've never found so many that we felt like storage was a problem and we needed to sell.  And when you spend dozens of hours looking, it makes it harder to sell them! 

We've learned a few things about shed hunting.  Here are the tips and advice we have;

1. If you find one(or more), check that same property again the following year!
2. South slopes and under thick pines and near uncut corn are prime
3. Go early in the season, before it gets too muddy and wood tick populations explode
    For MN, it starts around February but they are often chewed up pretty bad by mid May
4. Tell someone where you are going and when you'll be back
5. Go north!  There is a lot more public land up there!
6. Bring t.p. and water! 
7. Look for a tine, not the whole antler
8. If possible, use a four wheeler to crisscross large openings like pasture
9. Strips of woods or brush between pastures or fields are highly traveled by leery bucks
10. Many, MANY hours are required

I've heard it takes around 40 hours to find one shed here, but that's just an estimate.  Don't let the numbers discourage you from going, you might get lucky in less than an hour!  The more you do it, the better you get.

NEVER second guess yourself!  If you think you saw something, go make sure.  That's how I found an skull of an 11 pointer!  I thought it could be a blade of dry grass, but it wasn't!!!

Sometimes you'll just be out and about and stumble upon a shed.  This tiny antler was found during a 3D shoot last spring nestled amongst the oak leaves.

For more pictures of our antler shed finds, visit our website!

Here are some great articles, if you're wanting to know more!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Robin hood

We're really proud of our oldest son.  He's come a long way in the last few years with his shooting.  And remarkably, out of the family...he's the ONLY one of us to have a robin hooded arrow so far!  He's doing great in his last year as a cub league shooter.  His experience in hunting has progressed.  He's taken a shot at a deer with his bow at age 11, even if it was a clean miss.  He's going to turkey (shotgun) hunt again this year, and we hope he'll get lucky and see a jake. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Northridge- target games

Don't forget to consider a night of fun shooting at Northridge!  There are several paper game targets available.  Kids especially love these.  It's a nice way to get them out of the house when winter is dragging on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Texas Cougar is a great sight with national stories.
This is another photo that was considered a hoax.  But to my disbelief, the trail camera has a sequence of photos that show the drag marks on later pics.  The Texas rancher disproved false allegations. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


I braved the wind yesterday in hopes of finding an antler tine poking up out of the crusty snow.  No luck, but it was an enjoyable snowshoe trip regardless!

We have an awesome spot, with mega deer trails everywhere.  We went to this location too late last year and it was horrible mud.  

 I found a turkey feather, which are so huge and beautiful.  Then a few minutes later, spotted dozens of turkeys running up a hill about 80 yards away!

I did my best impression of a turkey call.  To my surprise they made some weird noises back at me!

It seems that the turkeys are wintering by the corn fields and eating well!

Here is the link to all the spring turkey hunt information!

Further into my trek, I spotted wolf tracks!  My cell phone is huge, so you can see how big the track was.

I doesn't surprise me, that the wolves are smart enough to find where the deer winter! 

I found more buck rubs than I've EVER seen in a locations.  There were a dozen in this tiny brush clump.

The following pic is one on a branch!  I've never seen that before!  Almost like it got in his way and made him mad!

Likewise, I've never seen a birch tree rub!

The deer that did this HAD to have been a dandy!

If you find any sheds, don't forget to post a photograph on our Otter Trail Archery facebook page!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Deer crossing

A few winters back, these deer crossed my in-laws yard.  You can see the lake in the background, but they clearly chose to follow the sparse wood line.  It kind of looks like a parade!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our land in Cook

There is a TON of snow in Cook, up on the Iron Range.  The deer will have a tough winter and it's bound to affect our hunting next year.
Jason had to shovel just to get the gate open a crack!

Smokey could hardly move about.  She even attempted to slide on her belly like an otter!  It was very comical, for us at least.

The snow had formed huge clumps on trees, which we had to navigate the forest accordingly.  Some were so big, that if they fell on you it would knock you down!

I feel so bad for the wildlife.  Just to cross the road, they have to climb up and over 5-8 foot snowbanks!

It was so hard to snowshoe.  We have never seen snow this deep.  It will be months before we can get up there to search for antlers!

So, for lack of mobility we dug out a small area and had a fire instead! 
And to top my birthday off, we had an always awesome meal at the Montana Cafe in the adorable town of Cook!  We lived up here for several years and I still adore the small town atmosphere and rugged outdoors.  It was a good trip, despite the glitches.  Like Jason forgetting his snow boots and forking out $25 at L&M for cheapies!  And the ridiculously deep snow was also an unexpected factor.  But Jason did manage to scare up two deer and I just enjoy capturing photos of anything and everything NATURE!             

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Companies for Christ

I have to hand to the companies that show no restraint when it comes to their religious beliefs!  The most impressive is Diamond and Bowtech.  They print a bible verse on every single bow box!

Just think of what a national reach this has! 

And the X-Factor ran two bible references on it's ad in our archery supply product book this year!
Philippians 4:13 seems to be a popular one, did you see it's on the bow boxes too?

Not just for archers, the Christian Deer Hunters Association is a nice organization.

They handed out these cards at the MN Deer Classic Show and we've had them hung in our shop for a few years now.

 A tip I like to give hunters is carry a Gideon pocket testament in your backpack.  They slip easily into a shirt pocket when hunting.  These tiny little bibles are great pass times for the many hours spent in the deer stand hunting. 

Now this will floor ya, a bow made for believers! Look carefully to see the fish!  It also has a cross on the riser and Believer printed on it.

There is an organization called the Christian Bowhunters of America.

The list goes on with the Christian Outdoorsman, an online community.

Searching the web, I also found The Sportsmens Devotional.

And if you're looking for a basic hunting blog, try Hunting365.
This blog features many varieties of hunting, with some really great stories.  He also has some informative features, if you search the archives. 

I just tipped the iceberg on this topic.  These companies all deserve a look and can use support in a competitive market .  Hopefully, what I've posted will give folks some Internet connections to a more biblical hunting world!