Spring turkey hunting is intoxicating and I’m only days away from scratching out a tune on my Hunter’s Specialties Smokin’ Gun slate call. To get more out of your spring trip combine your feathered pursuits with big game scouting. You can even add a trophy to the trip by looking for shed big game antlers. These findings can be the direct clues to a future big game hunt whether you’re hunting in Maryland or Montana.
Coordinating a spring turkey hunt in an area you may hunt for fall big game makes sense. Fresh sheds indicate the animal probably made it through the winter for a fall pursuit. That’s a no brainer. You also learn the lay of the land.
Contact local wildlife department officials and determine if your turkey hunting area is a wintering area for migrating big game or an area that supports animals year-round. This allows you to conclude if the sheds you find are from local game or migrants.
To get more from your outing, take along an 8- or 10-power binocular like the affordable Nikon Monarch 7. You can use it to determine the sex of a far off gobbler and you can use it to scan distant terrain for shimmering shed antlers between gobbles.
Shed antlers are found in three general areas: feeding areas, bedding areas and travel routes between. Cattle-free pastures, alfalfa and grain fields attract winter game while south facing slopes and ridges provide bedding areas. Winter-stressed big game use the path of least resistance to access these areas so follow well used trails to locate sheds between locales. Shed-rich food sources used in winter are often prime ambush spots during the fall hunting season. Now start planning this great spring combo and get ready to drop the hammer with a Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey load!