Over the past 10 years or so, shed hunting has become nearly as popular as deer hunting. The benefits of shed hunting include evidence of which deer made it through the past hunting season, more time spent afield scouting, and the enjoyment of finding the trophy.

As shed hunting has gained popularity, many people are looking to take it to the next level by training dogs to shed hunt. Mossy Oak Properties Broker Nick Boley has a shed dog named “Tucker” who loves spending time each winter on the search for antlers.

“Having a shed dog gives shed hunting a little more excitement to me” says Nick. “Having a dog also makes me get out more, just to watch the dog work.”

When should I look for sheds?

Whitetail deer have about a two-month shedding period in Iowa, beginning the middle of January and ending near the middle of March.

Where can I hunt for sheds?

You can hunt sheds on public land and in parks. You must get landowner permission to hunt sheds on private land.

You must get landowner permission to hunt sheds on private land. 

Where is the best place to find sheds?

Where deer feed, along their trails, and where they bed down.

Look at crossings where a buck might leap or scramble a bit: creek crossings, steep ravines, ridges, fence lines and ditches.

Look along south-facing ridges where a buck may have sunbathed.

Where you find one shed, look for the other within a quarter mile.

What do sheds look like?

Antler tips are bleached contrast to tan and yellow grasses.

Sometimes antlers get caught in bushes a foot or two above the ground.


No permit or license is needed to hunt shed antlers in Iowa. However, if you find antlers still attached to a skull, you must first contact your local conservation officer for a salvage tag to keep them.

Here at Mossy Oak Properties we want to be sure we pass along information important to you in regards to outdoor recreation, agriculture and home. Check out more information on our Mossy Oak Properties Iowa Facebook page or on our Website found HERE.  We have certified land specialists that have hunting land for sale, agricultural land for sale and residential properties for sale. If you think you might be interested in joining the Mossy Oak Properties- Iowa team you can check out the opportunities available on our website.