Posted on May 15, 2018 by BWB Team Member Lee Schanz
People who have followed my posts on BWB for the last few years know that shed hunting is part of my spring business at Schanz's Guide Service. Shed hunting for us means going north and looking for moose antlers. This year got off to a slow start because of the late winter, and we had turkey hunters the first week of May. Last week, we did have some luck finding moose sheds but nothing out of the ordinary. I guess you could say that my best shed find this year came by chance and not by my usual methods of lots of miles and lots of work. On top of this, it wasn't a moose shed, and I didn't head north to find it.
Chris Young had come down from Greenville to hunt turkeys, and I had a big tom picked out for him. We were at our spot at 4:15 a.m. and sat in silence for the 45 minutes 'til shooting time. Some people hate having to get out that early, but I find you spook fewer birds and have more success if you make the effort. Also, I enjoy that part of the morning when the world is coming to life. Deer are wandering around the edges of the fields, and the peepers are peeping. An owl hooted in the distance, and a weasel scooted across the stone wall in front of us. At daybreak, we heard some gobblers not realizing it would take us 2 hours to call them in. When they finally arrived, it was a hen, a jake, and a huge tom. I won't bore you with the details, but things didn't work out and we didn't get the bird.
I had other spots picked out, and we moved on. We ended up in the same general area where we had killed a big tom the week before, and I decided to walk through the woods calling along the way. In 5 minutes, I got a response, and we sat down in some brush and waited. We could see birds sneaking through the cedars suspiciously. The first was a jake. so was the second, and the third, and the fourth. When they were out of sight, we moved on, setting up again on the edge of a new cut. We tried to be patient, but by this time, the sun was up high, and it was getting hot. Chris had asked me earlier if I ever found deer sheds in the area, and I told him I had found a small 8 point the week before. When we got up to leave, I noticed Chris took off his mask. I figured he was hot. I knew I was, but I left my mask on in case I got a response as we walked back to the truck. Halfway back to the road, I looked to my left and spotted what looked like long white tines. Now my 50+ year old eyes aren't what they used to be, and the turkey mask definitely cut down on my peripheral vision, but a shed as big as this one was hard to miss. Good luck in all your outdoor pursuits. - Lee
P.S. Chris told me afterwards that he had taken his mask off so he could find a shed on the way out. I guess he should have jumped in front of me as well!
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