On this episode of The Western Rookie Dan and new co-host Brian Krebs talk to Stephen Walker a shed hunter from Colorado about what it takes to consistently find elk and mule deer sheds.
Stephen was born and raised in Louisiana but moved to Southern Colorado where he found a serious passion for finding dropped antlers. Stephen along with his friends and family consistently find hundreds of sheds a year across Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Dan, Brian and Stephen discuss what to look for in shed hunting land as well as techniques and strategies for going after big antlers.
[00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome to today's show. We are gonna be chatting with Steven Walker all about shed hunting. But before we do that, we're gonna have a little pre episode BS session between me and Brian. So Brian, what's up man? Hey, not much man. The weather is perfect This week where I'm at for shed hunting, it's been melting snow all week, which is what you wanna see this time of year when it's still early, you're melting that snow off at the top of some antlers.
Anything that's dropped this week is obviously gonna be on top of the snow. So I'm just excited to get out this weekend and add more to the pile. Yeah, dude, it looks nice and sunny there. The sun's coming in just illuminating all your antlers behind you here. It is the opposite. It's been in the sixties every day today is freezing crazy windy.
In fact, I'm watching the tarp that I have covering my shop right now. Just getting shredded. It's gonna come off probably today, like just yikes. Probably get ripped off altogether, yikes.[00:01:00] How's shed hunting? Been? What what's your shed count at so far? Shed count is at nine. I'm hoping to hit 50, which from what I've heard about Steve and Walker that's rookie numbers.
Gotta pump those up a little bit. I'm excited to talk to 'em. But yeah, the goal is 50 this year. I've had it at a hundred every year and I have come nowhere near a hundred, so I'm like, let's make a little bit more realistic goal. Let's hit 51st and then once we hit 50, we'll go to a hundred. What's been your best year so far?
Last year? Last year I found 45 or 46. If you count the one that elk shed hanging over my shoulder. I found that archery hunting. So dude, I think as a whole, all of the years that you've been alive, if you divide the amount of elk sheds or the amount of sheds by how many years you've been alive, you still average more than I have ever found on my best year
I'm at, there's about a, I think there's about 140 [00:02:00] sheds behind me, and I'm 28, so we're talking almost six a year. Yeah. I've never had a year that good ever . So you've, I've years worse than that. , hey, I don't know if this counts, but I got a bunch of deadheads, right? I was able to cut the antlers off of a bunch of deer that people didn't want at the processor.
And so this year I technically. More than a half a dozen antlers. Now they, all those were cutoffs spikes. Not, and forks. They weren't. Yeah, exactly. I didn't have to find these. I just looked to the right of the garage door and I said, what are you doing with those? And they said, you can have them. Here's a za go to town.
We'll check this out. So there is a a girl that lived in my college apartment across the aisle from me or the hall, I guess is what you most people would say. And I never talked to her for two years. But then like right before we moved out, we talked a little bit. And apparently she has a big farm.
Her dad owns like 8,500 acres in North Dakota. And she went back one time cuz she found out I was a big hunter. And she showed me, like this [00:03:00] Snapchat of her dad's shop. Oh my. And it was like dozens and dozens of 120 to 160 inch bucks, like heads cut off just hanging in the rafters, like rotting not used like it.
A, like an abandoned farm shed that everyone just throws hoses and junk into. Yeah. Like it looked like they were just doing that every year with every buck they shot. There was literally like 60 of them that would smells so bad all the time. And I feel like I bet it, I bet it's like one of the abandoned farm sites at the farm that they don't really live at.
But I'm just like, how are you throwing 150 inch bucks just out, basically out with the garbage water? This is insane. Did you ever dive into it? Were they like, were they legit hunters? Cuz that sounds like a poaching type of deal. Yeah, I mean I'm not trying to accuse her family of poaching, but that's typically what you hear of when you hear about these big poaching rings getting, they all had tags on 'em.
Like North Dakota, you have to tag it before you move it and it's a sticker. Yeah. And they were all still on the antler. Like I could see it in the video, like they were all [00:04:00] tagged. Oh my gosh. They just didn't care. And I was even like, Hey, would your dad be cool if like I turn all those into Euros and like basically start a Euro dipping business?
Yeah. And she's I talked to him. He's not really that interested. I'm like, oh my gosh. He's yeah, they just don't like, he's been doing this his whole life. Like it. He has a couple big ones inside his house, but other than that, he just throws 'em. They were all nice bucks. Yeah, that's so wild that he's shooting that many mature bucks.
Everybody. Family people. Yeah. Normally people who focus on mature bucks like that are like all about it. They want to do a euro or a shoulder mount or something and have 'em displayed somewhere and to just hear that they're all up in the rafters. Man, that is wild. Yeah, definitely different. I've been dreaming about a wall of shoulder mount bucks.
Like I would shoulder mount every mature buck I ever shoot for the rest of my life. I'd build a shop before I quit shoulder mounting them into here like someone else just throwing em out in the shed. It's wild, dude. Yeah, that is extremely [00:05:00] wild. And I can't imagine it ever losing its luster, like you'd think, oh, maybe he's shot so many that he is ah, I just don't even care anymore. But I'm like, I've shot a lot of animals and I still really care about that. Yeah, I shot a lot too, and the only thing that changed is like I try to elevate where I'm striving for, like I've shot two year olds, like I've shot enough of those two year old bucks that look good at first and you shoot them, but then you walk up on 'em and you're like, yeah, you is a little younger, still happy I got a buck, so now I'm just trying to strive for three year old or four year old.
So I'm never gonna get I'm never gonna lose that feeling when I do shoot one cuz it's always gonna be a special animal. I can't imagine just cutting the head off and throwing it out in the weeds. Dude, that just blows my mind. Speaking of big properties though, I just got access to two properties and it turns out living out here and hiring people to come and do work or come quote things out has paid off because I had one guy come out pouring concrete, he said.
[00:06:00] That he's big into thermal or night vision hunting for coyotes. And he is dude, we definitely need to go we'll go shoot some. And I'm like, cool. Didn't get any property access, but I'll probably go and hunt with him at some point. On the flip side, I drove down the road and this guy was out and I knew that the house was for sale months ago.
And so I stopped in. I said, Hey man, I'm Dan just bought this property over here. Is this yours? And he's yeah, man. We bought it a little while ago. And he's I've got 80 acres here. Last Thursday night I went out there coyote hunting, and I'm telling you, this is like buck heaven. It just the lay of the land he's got, he owns basically two high points on hills and then in between he's got Pasture Creek, bottom field, woods.
Oh my gosh. I'm like manmade funnel almost. It's just a perfect funnel. And I've watched so many deer come outta that bottom. When I used to live out here, I'd drive by and there were always deer and fox and like [00:07:00] animals. Just loved to cross right there. And so I got that. He came out to bid my roof on the shop cuz I'm getting a new roof put on.
And he brought his buddy out and his buddy introduces himself. I'm like, Hey, what's going on? I'm Dan. Oh, I heard you're big into hunting. You got a couple hunting podcasts? I go, yeah, I do. He is dude, if you're, are you into bow hunting? And I'm like, yeah dude, I love it. And he is I've got 500 acres and my family has it and I'm really the only one who hunts or takes it seriously.
So if you want to come out, like I'm looking for people who want to go out, help me find stand sites. We can put in food plots, set up trail cameras, and really figure out what kind of deer we have out here, because I see big ones all the time. I'm just not that advanced in hunting to know how to kill those ones.
Oh my gosh. And I was like, yeah, man. Yeah, we could definitely make that happen. No, I'm good . You just say when you know I'll have to clear my schedule, but like I'll try to make it happen. I'm pretty excited [00:08:00] about that. Wow, that's incredible. Yeah. You should start with trying to get shed hunting property on the first one too, in addition to the coyotes and then, maybe easier way into bow hunting both.
And man, that's cool. That's so close. And with your schedule, like the flexibility man, especially, you run a couple cell cams and you can just have that hey man, there's bucks running all morning. I'm gonna wrap this stuff up and hit the stand at one one o'clock. Oh definitely. I'm gonna, I'm gonna be hitting it here in over the next couple weeks.
Hopefully we have another worm spill. And then I'm just gonna tell my wife, Hey, You go do whatever you want. I'm gonna take the kids, we're gonna go walk around in the woods and try to find sheds. And I think every time I've found anything like that, like this last year elk cunning, I found two elk sheds and I brought those back.
One of them had six on it, the other one had four on it. And I brought it back and luckily my kids are six and four, so I was like, look, I found this one for you Ember and this one for you Canyon. And they're like, oh, it's mine. It's the same age as [00:09:00] me, or whatever. And they were super pumped, . But anytime I find anything like that, I bring it back and show them and they get really pumped.
And the other day my son came up to me, he is dad, when can we go hunting again? And I was like, proud dad moment right here. So yeah, I think if I can get them hooked on things like that, as well as taking them down to the pond close by and doing some fishing and just get them more involved, especially this spring and summer with the outdoor stuff that'll be a win.
Awesome. Yeah, no, that'd be great. So cool. Yeah. Cool man. I'm excited. Shed hunting season's here. Yeah, we, yeah, I'm sure I'm gonna be super excited after we talk to Steven. Dude, Steven, I'm telling you, it's a different level. Like I me to you. No, it's not even that. If I was one 10th of the shed hunter that I am, that would be like me to you, what you are to Steven in the shed world, if that makes sense.
Like Yeah, because you found one last year I found 45. So if you're saying, that's a 45 times [00:10:00] multiplier, you're like, he's probably finding like hundreds . Yeah, dude, he is finding hundreds. It's crazy. So I'm pumped to talk to him, find out more about Western shed hunting and yeah, let's jump into it.
Awesome. Let's get 'em in here. You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks and strategies from season western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. That person 26 became animals.
You can fool their eyes. We can fool their nose, 300 yards, speck to the road, turned into three miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters going, harvest and animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you. All right guys. Welcome to today's show.
And joining me on the show today is my co-host Brian, as well as Steven Walker. Now if you guys have been listening for any amount of time, you've probably heard the episode with [00:11:00] Steven that we did before, but it's shed season right now, and these two guys are shed hunting freaks, different. Brian, you find all kinds of different stuff.
Steven, you're like the numbers you were putting out last year that you were finding just blew my mind. I was like, . If I could find, one 50th of that, I'd be happy. But Brian was actually with me on my really only whitetail shed that I've found just out in the wild. Everything else has been like a dog bring, I had a dog that used to bring antlers back to me, which was awesome.
It was just a dog that came with a property that we bought, and it was Norwegian, Alcon, and it would just be chewing on antlers. And I'm like, dude, where did that come from? It would just run around and find antlers. That's awesome, man. I wish I had a dog sometimes out here. I used to raise labs and I was thinking of going that direction and then ended up getting out of it.
But the dog would be amazing. Yeah, I have a dog shed dog train for it. He's [00:12:00] picked up pretty much every antler on the wall beside me. I usually find him first, but I let him work until he finds 'em on his own and yeah. Dude, that's awesome. What are the laws out there in Colorado for.
Using dogs for sheds. Is that totally legal or can you not do it out there? No. It's cool, it's legal. It's just, I think with the shed closure that Colorado put in place like about four years ago I think maybe that's one of the reasons we don't see dogs used as much out here.
But again, that's just a, that's just a a suspicion that I have. But I know there are guys that have dogs out here as well. Yeah, the, I think adding a dog to any type of hunting or outdoor activity, there's something about it, they call a man's best friend for a reason. I love the idea of having a dog trained for everything and if, we'll see, once we have a house built and we're on this property full-time, I'm gonna try to convince my wife to let me get [00:13:00] like a bunch of dogs.
I want shed dogs, I want rabbit dogs, I want waterfowl dogs. I want a good guard dog for her when I'm gone. But yeah, I can't those antlers are huge though. Elk antlers like a dog bringing that back, I feel like it's gotta have a pretty strong mouth to carry back a full elk handler. . Yeah.
Yeah. That's I've got, I do have a friend over in Utah who has he has a couple of dogs that, that he uses. But yeah, it's pretty funny when they're trying to drag back an elk handler. Yeah, you definitely want like a bigger structured dog, like a lab. But you gotta be careful, right?
So like my lab, he's 92 pounds, 94 pounds and he's not fat. He's just big, big bone tall, lanky lab. And so he could lift up a 15 pound elk shed no problem. Problem is he can't run up and down those mountains all day long. like he could with a German short hair. And so you gotta find like a like a small to medium size short-haired [00:14:00] lab that could, yeah, that could do.
The reps. And I have buddies in the Goose world where they have dogs that are retrieving 4,000 geese a year, and you see the neck muscles come up on top of their head from carrying all those gees. They're just ripped. That's awesome, man. I love, I love dogs. I'm like Dan said, I grew up, that was my first hunting experience, was hunting wild hogs with dogs.
Matter of fact, I just got back what is today? Thursday? I just got back Tuesday from video and a hog hunt with my family in Louisiana. Oh, sweet. And dude, I love anything with dogs just adds that extra element of excitement. Oh yeah. What so you got done with that. Are you guys in full shed season at this point, or is that, are you waiting to open up still?
So May 1st is Colorado opener. Dang. Yeah, so that's so what we have to do here is when the snow melts enough all of [00:15:00] our places that we have permission on private property, you can, shed hunt private property before May 1st, but any government land is May 1st and after. Okay. So what I usually do is I'm only about an hour and a half from the New Mexico border, and then I'm about maybe two and a half hours from the Arizona border.
But I'd go, I hit Arizona and New Mexico. Until we open up May 1st. Okay. How much of the land that you shed hunt on is public versus private? Do you have any idea? So I have one spot that is 6,000 acres of private that we get to shed hunt. It's one of those spots though. And I know Dan, you've been out west a lot.
I'm sure Brian probably has as well, but it's one of those spots that you just kinda are gambling on if the elk [00:16:00] winter in there or not, so some years it might be good. Some years it's not very good. What? Yeah, we've, I've seen in the past where it really comes down to cattle rotations. Did they leave that, was that their last year's winter?
So then they left it all summer and now there's good feed this winter. That can make or break some of the spots I've seen in the Dakotas and Montana, just the cattle rotations. . Exactly, man. And that this place is, you hit the nail on the head this place when the farmer, when he puts his cattle on them on it early and then leaves them late, it always just drains the water hole, just kills the feed.
And so it, it's a completely different dynamic. Yeah. That's all stuff that I'm like, , I'm gonna leave, I'm gonna leave it up to you guys this episode to teach people about shed hunting because I'm as green as they come. And even talking about that, I'm like, I would've never thought about that. , do you have a, [00:17:00] do you have a specific, actually, let's start with this.
Let's start big, broad scape. What state is your favorite to shed hunt? Man. Okay, so out of the states that I've hunted, . I'll have to say it two ways. My favorite state, just blanket state that's just great is New Mexico. Love it. You can shed, there's no closure. Lots of places that is open land that you can shed hunt.
So just overall New Mexico now for giant elk sheds, you cannot hardly be against Arizona. Cause the number of giant bulls is unbelievable in Arizona. So I, yeah I'm pretty far off from being able to shed hunt either of those places. , Missouri, I'm like, I feel like soon we're gonna be actually shed hunting for elk here in [00:18:00] Missouri, cuz we're starting to get a decent population.
They're very concentrated. I think last numbers I saw were. seven to 800 elk here in Missouri, but they're in like three counties. And so it, I feel like you could find some decent sheds and people have had success. I think over the past two years it's been a hundred percent success rate on hunters harvesting a bull that have drawn tags and it's only like a dozen tags.
But if we're looking at those kind of numbers, there've gotta be a lot of sheds laying out there. Oh yeah. How many tags did you say they give out in Missouri? A dozen bull tags. I think they did six the first year, which would've been two seasons ago and six last year. So only two seasons so far.
Six each year and Yeah. If you start doing the math, even if you assume that you have a four to one or 25% bull ratio and you're only giving out six a year, that means you're taking like 30 years to cycle through your population. So technically you could have a 30 year [00:19:00] old age class of bulls.
So when you start talking about finding big sheds, if you can get on 'em, you're gonna find a good age class. And that's what we've seen. Elk cunning, everywhere. Usually population is inversely related to age class. Like when you have some of your over the counter units in Colorado that are just filled with elk, you're seeing a lot of five point bowls because there's a lot of pressure they don't get.
North Dakota, Missouri, you get way less tags, way restricted. It's like less than 1% draw odds. These bowls are getting huge. So Steven, for the record, this picture of me with that bowl, that's a North Dakota bowl that I got the once in a lifetime tag. That is amazing. I al I'd already zoomed in on that, bro.
I was looking at it. That's awesome. Congrats. He's sitting right down the hallway looking into my office just like a tw like it's the perfect example of what it takes to get windowed by an elk . And the tax der is actually cut both of those off so I can pull both of those antlers off like sheds. And it's a 354 inch bowl with only a [00:20:00] 34 inch main inside spread.
And so there's a lot of bone. I would love to find a match set of antlers that are each it's literally each one is over 150 inches, about 160 inches a. That's unreal, bro. Those would be the, would be fun to pick up, dude. All the sheds. All the sheds I find out west are like chalky and you pick it up and it just seems to crumble everywhere.
Like I, I guess it's probably because I'm out there in the fall or in the winter, hunting during rifle season. Yeah. And so they've been sitting in the sun all year long, but I just can't imagine man walking up on a big brown antler like that. Especially a match set
So this past season my, my son-in-law we took him and he had never found a brown elk antler and took him to Arizona and he was able to match up a three 20 bull, which is, but for him he was [00:21:00] just going nuts. But he had never, he never picked up a set Pretty amazing that Yeah, that would be unbelievable.
Out of all the sheds you get, how many match sets do you find? Like for every 20 antlers, are you finding one match set or is it a lot better odds than that? I would say it's probably I would say it's ever 15 to 20 antlers probably. Dang. So over, over the course of a season, you're finding quite a few then, because what did you, do you have an exact count of how many you ended with last year?
You know what, man, I did not, I was seen about that this morning. I didn't even, I didn't even count last year's, so I don't even know. Dang. I was, but it was a lot. Yeah. Yeah, the numbers you were telling me last year, I was just blown away by it. And I was the thing that actually made me think to get ahold of you and be like, man, you wanna hop on again?
I was listening to the Meat Eater podcast recently. And I normally go all the way back, like the last one I listen to, [00:22:00] say if it was number 240, I would then listen to 2 41 instead of listen to the new ones. For some reason I just chose to click on like my airplay screen on my car, and one of 'em was about shed hunting and it was a guy who buys antlers, mainly out west.
, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah. And he was talking about semi-trailers, antlers that he's selling to overseas markets. And I'm just like, dude, I gotta get Steven on again, because this is a perfect time of year for people to get excited about shed antlers. And of all the people that I've had on the podcast, you are the one to talk to about it.
So my buyer and I might have mentioned last time, I don't remember, but my son buys some for our buyer and So we're all really good friends. And so I was over at his house when he shipped out a load. And man, I had to take a picture standing in front of this huge gooseneck trailer just [00:23:00] loaded with antler, so even for me, that was pretty cool. Yeah, I can only imagine the types of antlers that, that guy's getting his hands on. And it's unreal. I don't know how you, I feel like it would, you'd get numb to it after a while. Obviously. Like your first big antlers a big deal, your first match, that's a big deal.
But then to really? Yeah. Wow. Somebody like that who's handling that type of bone. It would be, it would take a pretty gnarly set or a very unique set. But I'd love to just, it's like walking in the meat locker. Like you go drop your deer off at a processor and you're like admiring everything all the other sheds that somebody found and sold to 'em would be a pretty unique experience.
Man, this guy. So he collects as most, I think probably most antler buyers do at some point they collect unique stuff. And so just the 400 inch sets of elk sheds and the 230 inch sets of [00:24:00] mule sheds, it's unreal. It really is. My problem would be I would never sell 'em.
I've never sold an antler so far. It's a little easier to stockpile whitetail sheds than elk sheds. But yeah, , I think I would build, I'd probably spend a hundred grand building a shop before I started selling them . Yeah, I get it. For sure. And we got to where we found, we were finding so many, I just, we didn't have anywhere to put 'em.
And we've got to where now it, it has to be pretty special. pretty unique, and we're adding to our collection like that, but we still got a bunch of antlers. You just, it's hard to get rid of some of them. Yeah, I bet it is. I have a tiny little bucket and it's a bunch of the small bucks over the years that me or my family is killed that nobody wanted the antlers.
In fact, this year hunting in Wisconsin dropped my deer off at a processor and they had a bunch of buckheads sitting out, like [00:25:00] on the side of the shop. And I was like, Hey, what's up with those? And they're like, oh, those are just the ones that have antlers that the people didn't want. And I was like, I didn't want 'em at all.
And they're like, no, they just, some people just don't care. They shoot it, it's one of their tags and then they leave the head here. I was like, what are you doing with the antlers? Can I have 'em? And they're like, yeah, go for it. They handed me aaw and I went over there and cut 'em off. And I was like, no way.
I got like a, I got. Probably like two five gallon or two one gallon Ziploc bags. Most of 'em are spikes and forks. And then the like eight point racks they got, they were spoken for already. But I'm like, it's interesting that there's people who just literally don't want anything to do with them.
They just don't care at all. But even having that bucket every now and then, like with us moving around and bouncing from place to place, I'm like trying to find a spot to put this, like where do all these antlers go? I can't imagine having, 50, 60, 70, especially once you get into big old mules and [00:26:00] elk sheds.
Yeah. Yeah. We've been real fortunate. I would say we've probably hit this year, probably like 300, 3 50 is what we probably found this year. We were just, Bowed up with other stuff, working, whatever. But yeah, we still found a lot. , I love same that you're justifying 300 and we find about 350 we are so busy.
You remember with the me telling you when we videoed that race to 500 that we've done a couple years ago, we found like 730 that year . Oh my gosh. And so compared to that is , just, it is what it is. Have you been able to look back on some of those years and see if the amount of sheds you sold paid for all the gas for the shed hunting season and just basically made it a free.
So here's what, no, I'm not great at keeping up with that, but here's the [00:27:00] cool, here's a cool story. So my Antler buyer is a rep for Sowarski. Oh. And he would always tell me and Dan and I think talked about this he is always going, you need better glass. You need better glass, and he goes he goes, man, you need to buy these 15 by 56 Soros.
That's what you need for spotting. And I'm like, man I'm not paying $2,600 for, Sowarski. And he's oh. He goes, my, my price is up. I think it was 2150 or something like that. And I'll just, I'll give them to you for my. . And I'm like, man I don't know. And he go, . So he calls me one day and he goes, I just went by your house and I dropped those Soros off on your table.
And he goes, just trade 'em out with me with sheds. Oh, nice. And so dude, I just, I think that was like midway through the year. The [00:28:00] rest of the year and the next year, I just paid 'em off with sheds, so That's pretty cool. That was cool. . That's pretty cool. And then the next step would be working out like a deal with Swo, like showing people how good they work for Spot and Sheds and their sail start going through the roof.
I made some joking toss that I like I bought these new shed glasses. They're sunglasses made for shed hunting and they make the antlers pop. But really I'm just being a goofball and I'm walking right by sheds in the wide open talking about how good the shed balls. Listen, if you want good clean shed hunting humor, Brian is the guy to follow every time he pops up.
I'm like, dude, he's just so good. He's man, I put on 15 miles today. It's just impossible. He's this ground is so big. And he is like panning and there's just antlers behind him on the ground. Love it. I gotta go follow him for sure. Yeah. . Yeah. It all started because I found this road shed and I was super happy kind of on cloud nine was a big road shed and I had [00:29:00] the first road shed I've ever found ironically.
And I was seeing all these guys on TikTok, like they owned 10,000 acres of farmland in Nebraska and they're just fine and shed out their shed and good for them. I'd do it too, for sure. Sure. But it was like salty cuz I'm like struggling to find permission land in public land. And so I.
It'd be funny if I was just, complaining, being a little wimp. And so I make this video and as soon as I open the video, I walk right into a tree branch, like bam. So the first thing on the video is me hitting a tree branch. And now I'm actually pissed. I'm like, I haven't even found two pieces of deer shit to rub together.
And you guys are finding, 20, 30 sheds. Probably go back tomorrow and find 40 more. How are you guys doing it? And then I walk by this huge four point whitetail and the comments just blew up. I wasn't even expecting like a thousand views at a thousand comments of wow. Half of them were telling me like, it's too early.
You gotta go on high fence, you gotta do this, you gotta do that. The other half start was hilarious. It's like some people got it, some [00:30:00] people didn't, but it blew up. So then I just kept on with the train, the gravy train kept rolling. I like the people who think it's all serious. Like they think everything is a hundred percent real and authentic on social media.
And they're just like, dude, I know. What are you doing man? You walked right by a shed like, dude, you suck at this. And it's that's the humor guys. Do you have a sense of humor at all? Last year I went early cuz I was selling my house and moving, cuz my fiance got a residency in another state and so I was like, I gotta hit my favorite spots really early.
Like snowshoes early? Yeah. Three feet of snow. And so I'm going out and people are telling me it's too early. Like all these comments right from the week before I found like eight. They're telling me all these comment after comment. It's too early. You're just bumping deer. Your stay home. I go out on public and find 20 sheds in a weekend on like highly pressured public, which is pretty good for flatland states here.
Yes, it. . And so I posted, I took this picture of 20 sheds. Me and my dog posted it and I was like, yeah, it is early. You should stay home . [00:31:00] Carbon TV media picked it up and shared it. And so then that just blew up. Yeah, I think that post had like hundreds of thousands of eyeballs on Instagram.
And I'm not a big Instagrammer, but when the Carbon TV picked that up, it was like, whoa, . Oh yeah, that's like tc. That's awesome. Airtime awesome. Yeah. Yeah. . Yeah. I think every, every person that's on social media now, half of 'em, they miss the joke for sure. It's it's way too serious and then everyone has an opinion and man, I just, a lot of times I just delete the comments cause it's just craziness.
Everybody has an opinion, see at this point in our social media journey, . I tell my wife, I'm like, all of the people that comment, that start a fight on there that are trash talking to you, that are fighting with the other people. I was like, we just see dollar signs now. We're like, keep it going.
Like you guys fight. Let it go all you want. [00:32:00] Yep. Let it go, man. , when I knew that, like I would, as good as I think I am, there's a Steven Walker out there somewhere putting up 700 sheds as easing. So it's I can't even pretend to be the best shed hunter, but I could be the funniest if that's something I could do.
Hey man, you know what, I here all, but I'm just like, I'm a, I'm gonna, I'm a not be the best, but I'm gonna be the most grateful guy that there is. That's just, yeah, that's gonna be my attitude. Couple of days ago though, dude, I saw this video and these guys found I think it was 250 in a day or something, and I was like, what in the.
Man, there's people smoking it, yeah. They're getting after it. That's interesting. I would really wonder if they were shed hunting like the refuge before. They're supposed to be beating the Boy Scouts out to Jackson Hole, or they got a bunny that's got an elk farm and it's a live fence.
They're up in Essis Park, just kinda walking [00:33:00] trails . Oh, holy moly. I know. I had a buddy in Estes Park here a few months ago, and he takes his picture, he didn't even have a, like a phone scope or a mag view or anything, but he just takes his picture through his binos with his phone, and in the picture there's five or six elk sheds on the side of this hill in a Estes.
And so he calls the the C P W and says, Hey, is there any, any law or whatever, and they said, we'll send somebody out there. . And so the warden guy shows up and he's all excited cuz he thinks they're gonna stand there while he goes out and gets these sheds, . And they come up and then the guy goes, oh no, just leave them there.
We're not gonna let you get 'em. Oh my gosh, man. He was like, brokenhearted man. , geez. That should be a new fundraising program for C P w to like, to do the Boy Scouts thing in Jackson Hole, but to do it. Yeah. And then [00:34:00] sell 'em and use that money to fix the park up a little bit and keep the park rolling.
I wouldn't even, they oughta do something. Yeah. You wouldn't even have to sell 'em if you were to just do a lottery system like a tag draw where you can get a, you can get a license to go into Rocky Mountain National Park, or you can go into Yellowstone or wherever and pick up these sheds.
Man, you could sell shed hunting licenses for a lot of money for those places. Auction off like exclusive weekends. Like this weekend, oh my gosh, we're auctioning off this four person pass. So four buddies get together. Do you know how much money someone would've spent to find? What was it?
Brutus? What was the last big bowl in r m Np, the seven by seven with the 30 twos. Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. He's the background of my Bo Elk Beard oil website. I bought that picture, but yeah, like you imagine what someone would've bought or paid for to have the chance to find those sheds or to, or if C P W went and found 'em and auctioned them off, like a collector would've spent so much money on those things.
Yep. [00:35:00] They're, they get real strict about it. We were in Yellowstone, we were entering into the park and I had just come from Wisconsin, got my euro amount of a buck that I had killed last year, and I put it up on my dash. It's on a plaque and everything, and I pull in the rv and so it's up there in the Ranger at the check-in station was like, Hey, just so you know, you're gonna have to take that and hide it in your camper somewhere.
If a game warden sees that, they're gonna pull you over and start asking you about it. And I'm like, this is clearly a bleached European mount already attached to a plaque. Do you think I've got a boiling kit in here where I'm making euros of Deadheads that I find in your park? But she was serious.
She's dude, I'm telling you, they like, they will stop you if they see that up front and they're gonna start asking some questions. And I'm like, I don't want 'em going through all my stuff, that's for sure. I don't have anything to hide, but the inconvenience of it just doesn't sound fun. [00:36:00] So we put it back on the bed.
I'm telling you, man, they're serious about it, for sure. Oh yeah. I do want to hop into some, tips and tricks about shed hunting because this time of year people are either already doing it or thinking about it in the area that they might live. And , maybe start with finding the right area.
How do you go about finding that right area that you actually want to put time in behind the glass or boots on the ground? So for me there's a couple of components. One is we're blessed to have spent a lot of time, especially close to home here within two or three hours of home.
And so I know where the deer and elk whether it be a migratory herd or a resident herd I know where they like to go. So that gives you a a generalization of an area, within a few miles square. Then I take my info of where I found sheds before,[00:37:00] and I start narrowing down from there.
I think the thing though, like at this time of the year, And I'm still, even though I've she on it for years, I'm still learning this. I really look at it from a lot of different angles, but how much snowfall that you get once it hits, late January, February always has a lot to do with where the elk and the deer actually going to be when they shed.
So we, we already know that when you get snowfall in the high country, animals start pushing down. As a general rule, we're finding that some big bulls stay up way higher than you think. We found elk sheds at 10,500 foot, almost 11,000 feet. It's unbelievable. Geez. Geez. But when, what I try to look at is our snowfall.
In January, February, because usually the [00:38:00] elk and deer already close to where they're going to shed. But then extra snowfall in those times will push 'em maybe into a little different area than before. And then the other thing that I've over the last two or three years is I've been really looking at, and some of it is just assumptions because there's not a lot of study out there really in depth study about what makes testosterone drop in a deer and an elk consistently to where their antlers crystallize and drop.
So for instance, here in Colorado, we always get, get like this report of someone finding a mule there antler at the, like the last couple of days of January, which is. extremely early. Really? Oh yeah. But usually for the mule deer, it's gonna be [00:39:00] mid-March, when they're really dropping.
The elk are the same way for me personally. March 20th is usually around the time we start finding brown elk sheds. We have found one as early as February 28th. So there's this wide margin. And then the other thing, and this is what I do not I haven't figured out at all, but it's if you have a group of bucks are bulls hanging out, almost everybody will tell you that when one of those suckers drop within a couple days, that whole group will drop.
That's really wild. I would love to see some studies done on that. I know. What university is that? I don't know if it's. Down in Mississippi, there's a university who has like an insane whitetail program. And I see these studies pop up all the time that they're doing. And one of 'em recently was how, actually, I think this one may have been Auburn University.
They've got like a 500 acre enclosure [00:40:00] with a bunch of whitetails on it. They know what bucks are on it. , they know how many antlers are gonna be on the ground. And out of all of the antlers that they went in to find, they only found 38% of them. Brian, were you telling me about bought this? I don't know if I was telling you about that, but I did have Bill Thompson, the founder of Spartan Forge on my other podcast, the two bucks podcast.
Yeah. And he said he taps into that data he's been working with, he works with the Mississippi, Ohio and Florida on three different herds. And he said very confidently, and I trust him. He's an act, he's a legit expert on predicting deer movement. , he said that a lot of times people think of the rut, for us whitetail guys as the first week of November.
For the Elk guys, it's like the third week of September and they call that the rut, but these cervids actually have many cycles and you know a lot. Now you're starting to hear more about the second rut. Yep. Bill Thompson said it's actually in the whitetail world. There's a rut, [00:41:00] there's a small one in September.
There's a little bit bigger one in October. The main one is in November. Then there's another secondary one in December. But they can have some dough come into Esri late like January, February. And what he said is if there's a dough that still hasn't been bred and it's gonna come into Esthers, those bucks will keep their antlers and they'll keep their testosterone.
said, that's a very big indicator of dropping. Is it? If they drop early, that's a good sign that all the dough have been bred earlier in the year. Not that none of them are coming into Esthers anymore, so there's no reason for those bucks to keep their testosterone high. I think we all understand the weather aspect, like severe weather causes stress.
The stress could make 'em drop, injuries can make 'em drop. But he did say that's one thing that people don't think of when you think of this rut is it's it's a long window. Obviously those January estro cycles aren't probably gonna have a viable fawn or a calf, right? , it just, the way the world works that FAW might drop in August, it's gonna get gobbled up by a Kyle right away.
Yeah. Those ones, those [00:42:00] outliers where, they have one drop here and there, like it just doesn't work out well because when they all drop in, say a two week window, and now there's enough food on the ground, for the coyotes to where they're not gonna be able to scoop everything up.
Whereas, oh, it's not a two week window. I think it's supposed to be like a two day window. Yeah. It's like a real short timeframe. And so it's like if they were to all drop over the course of a month and a half, the recruitment rate of fawns or calves would probably be close to zero. They would all get scooped up eventually.
Yeah. So what you said Steven, when you got like a group of bowls that all drop within 48 hours, it's probably cuz that last cow or that last dough is done, maybe that in combination with the weather event or stress and then you see these outliers. But I don't hear anyone ever talking about deer or elk getting sick.
Like just plain old got Covid V, got the elk covid, , maybe that's why you find a bull that dropped at the end of January. He was just sick. Like he got sick. Yeah, he got something, it stressed him out. His testosterone [00:43:00] crashed and he dropped, you know it happens. We see injured bucks all the time.
Sure. He shot one at our farm, 150 inch buck. Had a busted up back leg. It was skin and bones when we shot it. . It knocked the sheds off. When it tipped over. Wow. Damn. Yeah. And that makes in December. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah, for sure. So as you're watching the weather, as you're trying to figure out, what area might be a good spot and then say you actually drive out there, you get out.
What is your next step? Are you just getting high up in glassing, an area that you plan to walk? Or are you just putting boots and putting miles on right away? So a little bit of both. We have some really great glassing country, especially New Mexico and Arizona is unbelievable in country.
And so when it's like that, I like to get behind my glass and get a shed or two spotted first. And then usually if we can do that and head to that [00:44:00] area, you'll start picking up sheds on the way. . Now there is some of these places like Southwestern Colorado is thicker and we literally just have to put boots on the ground.
And I tell these guys a lot of the guys that we're friends with around here close cuz they're like, man, what? How are you finding all these antlers? And I'm like, bro, the only thing I can tell you is walk further than everybody else and be willing to put in more miles every day than everybody else.
So it's a little bit of both, but if I had just my preference, man, I love to glass. Yeah. On the glassing front, how many sheds did you have to give that guy for that pair of Soros ? I did not keep up with it. As far as how many, but. I can do the numbers for you right now. 2150. What's his buying rate?
$13 a pound.[00:45:00] That year, I think it was probably around 14 a pound or so. Oh, that's perfect. You hundred 50 pounds . Yeah. Dang. It was a lot. Yeah, that I feel like you need to get that engraved in the side of them. Just how many, or just do a bunch of tally marks all the way down. That's how many antlers I had to sell 'em.
Yeah. Oh man. I'm telling you though, I'm so glad I'm so glad I got those because they have just, they've paid for themselves many times over, I promise you. Oh, I bet. One of the questions that I had and obviously everything you said, I'm just soaking it all in, but more maybe more selfishly for me and Dan.
So is there any advice you would give a flatlander. That wants to go out west and like I would go for the journey, right? Everything I do in the west is for the experience. I've eaten. Elk takes suit more times than not, but it would be nice to find a couple antlers. It'd be nice to find a brown elk shed, it'd be nice to [00:46:00] find a meal you shed.
. I live in Minnesota. Dan's in Missouri. We can't get out there and scout. We, we'd be basically going in blind for a long weekend. How would we look at the entire Western US and say, this is where I want to go for my weekend. My shed ca out to Colorado. How would we even begin to start not burn three, four trips out there without finding a thing before we start figuring it out?
To some degree, we're never gonna find 700. But I think we just need to add Steven to our, find my friends on our iPhone and then we'll know exactly where to go out. Yeah. You got Snapchat, Steven? Yeah. . Yeah. So what I was gonna say is you guys meet up with me. I'll blindfold y'all and take you to my good spots and we'll find a bunch.
Hey, I would, I don't mind being blind spots like Fort Knox . Dude, you could sedate me, man. I don't care. Just put some sleeping gas on and then wake me up when we get there. . No. Hey, listen Dan, I'll, I already invited you, but Brian, man, [00:47:00] if you guys would want to do that, you would be more than welcome to come out to Colorado and we could literally hit Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona in if you wanted to, or we could pick one of those and hit it.
But you guys would be more than welcome to come. I'd love that. But with that being said, if I was just because I was a flatlander as well, I was born and raised in Louisiana, grew up hunting hogs and white tilt deer started some reason. I can tell that . Yeah. Yeah. My, I, I can't hide the accent, but I started at elk hunting in 2008. I moved out here in, in 2013. Lucky for me I became friends with a guy here that was a phenomenal shed hunter. So I was able to learn fir firsthand from him. But if it was me now and I was in you guys' place and I was just gonna pick somewhere and go first of all, I would pick a [00:48:00] wilderness area that there's not a ton of access, but where, by the like you were talking a while ago about these hunt areas where the tags are limited and the elk get really big, yeah. Or the deer get really big. So let's throw out a couple of things. One of the things that come to mind if you're interested in mule deer antlers the Henry Mountains in Utah. Great destination for huge mule deer. The cool thing about Colorado, we have huge mule deer, but we just have a lot of mule deer.
Yeah. So if you wanna find just numbers, pick one of these great units that it takes two, three points to draw a Mulder tag and hit it. The same for elk. If I was going to go though for elk, I'd probably just focus on Arizona and that's where I'd go. And here's the thing. Now I've got skunked in Arizona a couple [00:49:00] times on a couple of walks.
Now on my trips, we always find we're gonna find, some sheds over a two or three day period, we're gonna find sheds. But like we've had days where we, where you just don't find a whole lot, maybe one or two old chalky ones. But the thing about Arizona Is man, there is always that chance of just walking up on some kind of once in a lifetime freak shed.
That just blows your mind. My hands are getting sweaty listening, , I'm getting so pump right now, . I was just like, like this buddy of mine said, I'd walk through the lines den with pork chop underwear on Yeah. To find one. Shed like that, I would just walk 20 miles a day to find a shed like that man, that, yeah I can't speak for Brian and if he doesn't show up to come, shed hunt down there with me and you in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
We're gonna be sending them pictures of every [00:50:00] antler we find . But that would be an incredible trip. And that's a good point. Like you came out and you said, There was a buddy that had done some of this and you could jump in and learn from him. That's gotta be one of the number one ways to get into really any outdoor activity, but especially shed hunting and trying to figure it out.
Figure out where to look, when to look. Is just connecting with other people. And there's a lot of people who are open. Sure. I'm sure there's plenty of people who are like, dude, I'd kill you before I told you my shed hunting spot. But, it would definitely pay off to make those connections when you get out there or figure out what connections you already have out there.
For sure. And to tie two things together, what Steven said, and then Dan, a story that you've told before when some, and this is just etiquette, this is western hunting etiquette. This is, and just in general hunting etiquette when someone brings you to their. I would never go there again without them.
Or saying Hey, do you wanna go shed hunting this weekend? It looks like it [00:51:00] could be good. What about your spot? And then they say, I can't make it, but you should go. Sure. Basically giving you permission to go to their spot. Other than that, there's no excuse. And Dan, you had that bad situation happen in Colorado where someone stole your spot before you could get there cuz you were hunting.
I don't wanna blow it out. Guy goes in snags, all the sheds. You glassed up. You know what I would do if everyone, someone, if bury him in the mountains. Oh, sorry, go ahead. Okay. What I would do after that, , if, we go out with Steven, I'm never gonna tell anyone his spot. I'm never gonna go there again without him.
And obviously it's not that big of a risk cuz I live in Minnesota. I'm not gonna sneak there on a Thursday afternoon . But I would just be soaking in, like, why did he walk there? Why did he bring us to this spot? Why, what makes the antlers here? And then I would take that. and go try to apply it to a spot I'm gonna make.
Yeah. I'm gonna go to a different state. I'm gonna go to a different mountain and take what I learned from hunting with Steven to do my own spot. That's what you should be thinking whenever someone brings [00:52:00] you to their spot, to their lake, to their fishing hole, to their honey hole. Don't go that one.
Take what you learned from that one and go find your run. Yeah. Duplicate it or find out a spot that is similar to it for the reasons that the elk would be there when they're shedding. So if we go to Arizona and we're hunting, I don't know, 4,000 feet elevation, we find a bunch of sheds. So then I'm gonna think, okay, I'm gonna go back to Arizona.
I'm gonna find a different mountain, but I'm gonna find it and I'm gonna look for places that had a similar snowfall, they got a similar layout, and I'm gonna start in that 4,000 band. I might go up, I might go down, but that's what I learned with Steven. So I'm gonna apply it to the next one, and maybe I only find half as many, but at least that's on my own.
Have you guys seen do you both use OnX or what mapping software do you guys use? I've got three of them. You got three of them? Yeah. I've got, I use Onyx the most, but I use a couple others as well. I use hunt stand and there's another one my son likes to use and I got it as well. Did you see that new tool on Onyx where you can [00:53:00] click on the map, you click on an area that you're planning on going and it shows you what all you could glass from that spot on the map that you click on?
No, I seen that years with Google Earth. Oh, that's sweet. Yeah. This is, yeah, you can. Go ahead with the new 3D tools, you can really get a good sense. Maybe it's even better now. They're probably taking the background, the backdoor data behind their 3D tool where they can do like 45 degrees of elevation change, Google Earth.
And then they're probably just like doing a simple calculation of, okay, what's visible and then they create a layer based on that. But the first iteration was just being able to do that that 3D mapping that on both Onyx and Go Hunt came out with it almost backed to back. And then you could really see what you can look at.
And I've been finding glassing knobs for elk hunts using that for a few years now. Seems like they just tuned it up a little bit. Made it a little easier now. Oh yeah. But Brian, you're a spreadsheet guy. I feel like in that [00:54:00] situation going out and, you find an antler, you drop a pin, you look back on it and go, okay.
nine out of the 15 sheds that we found were on a north facing slope or a south facing slope, they were at this elevation. And then you can just compile that information and now you go, okay, on average they're at 4,500 feet, they're on a northwest slope. And we found them in March or April, may, whenever it is.
That I feel like I'm, I learned that way, right? So like in the moment, if I find it, I'm so excited about finding it. I'm not really taking in all of the information that I should be. But if I can drop that pin and go back and look and go, okay, this is the elevation, this is the time, this is everything.
Yeah. Yeah. Onyx is great for that. And what I've done, especially places that I like year after year, I kind of hunt the same general area for sheds, is, man, it's been great to. I'll try to mark every single shed, [00:55:00] what it was, whether it was a, a, an elk mul or whatever.
And then most of the time you can connect the dots and see a pattern of either elevation, vegetation, water, some common denominator that will make you go, that's why they were here. Yeah. That would be, that's the, that's when you really start hitting that next level and changes a little bit from luck to skill.
Like I'm, if I went out west and found one on my own, it'd be a hundred percent luck. white tail sheds around here. I'm starting to get some skill built into I've been to these spots four or five years. I've started to figure out the food and the crop rotations and the, where they like to winter. And I can pretty confidently say if I go here, I'm gonna find some antlers.
I've heard of people using thermals at night. They'll go right after the sun goes down cuz the horns stay hot longer than the ground does. The ground will cool off quickly and they'll use [00:56:00] thermals at night and just go in Glasson area and they'll be able to see pretty definitively where there's sheds.
It's gotta be open, obviously it's probably a spot if you spent enough time you could glass it during the day, but at night, when they're glowing red and everything else looks blue and purple that's a game changer. That's interesting. That's co because I had Mike Yoder on from Drone Deer Recovery out of Ohio That does, oh yeah, that guy is in insane.
Oh, you guys know who he is? Okay, so I had him on my other, the Two Bucks podcast and I asked him that exact question and he. I can't usually even see I don't really see the thermals on the deer when it's alive. He said sometimes if it's a big buck, like this 200 tracked for a guy in Ohio, he had so much mass on his bases that his bases carried a little heat up.
But the rest of the handlers, he couldn't see what the thermal even while the deer was alive. And so he didn't say what you said, like he didn't test what you said, Dan, but he's I really don't think it would work that well. I don't know. He's he wasn't a proponent of it and I've never met anyone that's done more, thermal [00:57:00] imaging for deer than him.
Oh yeah. That, see, that's really interesting cuz the very first time I ever looked through a thermal it was at deer. and my velvet deer would be different. These weren't pop, these weren't velvet deer. This was, we were duck hunting, so it would've been like fall, winter. So they would've been hard horned.
And I remember going out back and the guy whose property we were on, he's dude, just go take a peak out back and see if there's any coyotes. And I was like, oh, okay. Sweet. Like this would be a lot of fun. And I look out there and there were a bunch of deer and I could very distinctly see the deer's rack really?
And it was like right at dark. So I'm thinking, I was thinking about it and then I talked to these other guys who had mentioned getting high up with thermals and you can glass. And especially on a sunny day, like if it's sunny and then it cools down quickly at night, that's when they go out and do it.
If it stays consistent temperature day and night, you're not gonna get that, if it's cloudy, but it really has to heat up. Yeah. And then cool down as soon as the [00:58:00] sun goes down, and then you can pick 'em out. . Interesting. Yeah. Interesting. But those thermals like, yeah, I'll just stick to the dog.
Yeah. Yeah. . . See, that's not a bad idea, but dude, imagine having a dog that you could cast, right? Just like you would for waterfowl retrieval or pheasant or whatever. Imagine I've cast casted grizz like 200 yards before on a double match set. Mul deer, but he only brought back one half . Oh, dang. See, if you had thermals and you could watch your dog at night and you could cast him with whistles and you just send em out, that'd be best of both worlds.
We're gonna be competing with Steven for numbers. We're gonna ra, we're gonna be racing Steven to 500. Steven's gonna represent like the old class of just pure knowledge and experience. And then there's me and Dan with every tech and gadget we can think of to come and compete. And he is just gonna steamroll us.
We've got 80 pounds of gear on her back before we even find any El Elk antlers. And he just comes back and I can't imagine. Yeah. Picking [00:59:00] up a, like to me, the favorite sheds that I find with Grizz are the ones he picks up before I see 'em. Like when it's a surprise, he just lifts his head up and there's a shed like, a couple weeks ago in North Dakota, I found both of these antlers, right?
I've showed Dan this one on the last one. So this was the biggest whitetail. Nice. But Grizz picked this one up out of a snowbank. It was covered in snow and so like I'm more happy about this antler than the big one. Yeah. Just because he found it on his own and I had no idea it was there. I'm just watching him like.
Holy shit. He just picked up an antler, like out of that snowbank, I literally just walked that trail. Yeah. That is so cool, man. To see him come running over a hill or a bluff with a, like a, I don't know, a hundred inch brown that, I can't imagine how exciting that would be to like, Hey, where's my dog? And he comes running back with a brown elk shed in his mouth.
Dude, dude, you might have to bring him if you come out, yeah. He might not make it every day. He might have to recover a little bit. . He is like a big boned lab, but I have brought him out to Bluff [01:00:00] Country, North Dakota, South Dakota. He does fine. He might not run fast. He's not running straight up the hill, but he'd probably be fine.
Hey, one day on, one day off, mix some protein and creatine in with his dog food that day. He'll be set. Give him some caffeine, some energy drinks. Yeah. There you go. I had a one of the things that. that that I was just, I had, I guess this mental block about, but a an outfit or a guide friend of mine really helped me a lot with is that I just had this thing that, there would be no elk or deer like in our part of Colorado on any North face when they actually dropped.
And then I got to this outfitter friend of mine, and we were hunting like, it was getting towards like late season hunts and stuff. And he was like, dude, why are you not glassing those north facing slopes more? And I'm like, oh man, you're probably not over there. Whatever. And he's bro, you [01:01:00] don't even realize it takes a lot to push him out of there.
And that was the game changer for me because once I learned that from him several years ago, I our shed numbers went way up because a lot of elk, even though they might feed on a south facing slope when they go to bed, they wanna bed in that really cool, on the edge of the snow, or even in the snow on those north slopes.
Interesting. Are you noticing like patterns, say you go to an area and find sheds. I've heard of other people talking about going back to the same spot where they found a shed the year before, and they'll find, the next year's set or the next year's left or right side. Is that the same with El and Mulley?
We do that. Yeah. We have years where it's like that and sometimes they'll move, a little bit, but we have years where we go right back and find the next year set. Dang man. H how many do you have an elk that you've found [01:02:00] three, four years in a row? One of the most, one of the most unique, and we've kept this one, is we found this elk with a really crazy, like one year he had a huge spike, two or three points, and then a brow that really hooked down.
And then two years later, my son picked up it was a six point side, but we knew immediately it was him because his pedicle is like a 90, like a, it's weird. And so out of that where that bull likes to live, a buddy of ours found a brown off of him that was right in between those two years.
So we ha we bought that one from him. So we have all three of the sheds. But what's crazy is if you drew a line where I found. That one where the, our buddy found the other one and my son found the other one probably is about a two mile range. Wow. That's pretty extreme compared to what I was [01:03:00] expecting.
Yes. Two miles. Yeah. And it's may, it's mostly, it's in New Mexico and it's a lot of like deep canyons, deep cuts and it sounds like a long ways, but an elk could go that far in 20 minutes, oh, 30 minutes. Yeah. I was actually thinking that's really tight for an elk. Yeah. And two miles.
It might be. We've what's really funny is sometimes you'll go into an area, if you hit in an area that, somebody hasn't been in, in three or four years and you might find six or. elk sheds in this one little area, and you're like, oh my gosh. I'm killing it.
And then when you get to look, and almost every one of those sheds are off the same bull. Geez. Oh, that would be sweet. See, and that's kinda what I was thinking. I'm out in there, I'm like to find three off the same bull. I would be thinking that you're looking in a very concentrated area, like that's what I would imagine it was the year that I [01:04:00] saw all those elk sheds on the mountain side.
Yes. That the other guy went and picked up. Part of me was like, it could be a bachelor group of bulls that were all together and they all dropped at the same time, but I figured that a couple of those elk sheds were gonna be the same bull a few years apart. But all of that just came. things that I've heard about whitetail hunting Hey, we've gone into this little swamp bottom and found the same deer sheds almost every year.
Or we at least find one side every year. And but it makes sense. An Elk's daily range is bigger than a whitetails core range. Oh my gosh. Or, like it's normal range yeah. Two miles for an elk year after years, 20 acres for a white tail. . Yeah. For real. Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Man, that's awesome. Yeah. The the elk. Yeah. Do y'all remember that guy that a few years ago he had that governor's tag and he killed that 500 inch bull or whatever, and there's a The freak. Yeah. Yeah. That freak. Yeah. So I know some of those guys. I know people who [01:05:00] know them and they all outfit and stuff, and so that, that bull they had they had eyes on him and they was gonna bring that guy in.
But anyway, that bull moved like 15 miles and from where they first spotted to where that guy killed it. Geez. Yeah, and it was just like quick, didn't they have the entire moss back crew guiding for him and then Moss back even called in some more people like Ryan Carter and a couple other like Big Elk guys and they had 25 people on that crew.
Yeah. Geez, man, I can't imagine some of those bulls are unreal. Man. Getting, getting on a bull like that though, like you have to have just a team of people. If you're, if it's undisturbed, there's a chance you might see it in the same area, but. If there's any pressure at all, man, I've watched those elk cross mountain valleys like miles across in a matter of 30 [01:06:00] minutes, just gone.
They're, oh my gosh. Yeah. They're heading for a different county , and I'm just like, dude, how is a human? Could we ever keep tabs on them? But then you see people who do it year after year, they'll see even on public land, the same buck like, Hey dude, I've been after this buck for three years. And I'm like, how are you chasing the same mountain buck on public land for three years?
Yeah. That just blows my mind. I'm lucky when I see the same buck on private land three years in a row, . Exactly the year I had my North Dakota tag, I found a bowl that I knew about from other people the year before had scouted him and he was a seven by seven that. And so I asked Hey, where'd you see that bowl?
Because then it's once in a lifetime, like once someone gets the tag, sure you never really do it again, so you're not that tightlipped. And he showed me and I got on that bowl two times in a row and he was a seven by eight. And I actually said, do you know Ryan Carter? Is that one of the guys you were talking about?
No, I don't know Ryan. Okay. I sent it to him on Instagram just Hey, would you mind helping me [01:07:00] score this bull out of nowhere? I don't know him. And but I knew it was big and I was wondering if he was gonna hit 400. And Ryan sent me a voice message back cuz he was driving and he goes, man, that's a beautiful bull.
Like whatever you do, stay on him. I, every time, my first gut check was high three 80 s to high three 90 s but literally every time I watch that video, he gets bigger. So he might be there, man. That's a beautiful bull. I've spent nine days trying to find him again. Not consecutively, but oh my gosh.
Before se, cuz that was before season opened and I couldn't do it. I couldn't find him again. And so I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna pull up. There's a cold front coming through tomorrow morning. It's September 8th, it's a rifle tag in the middle of the rut. And I went and shot the bull. I shot turns out a landowner messaged me the next week while I was in Montana, elk cunning, and said, Hey, I think my dad shot the bull.
You were, after, oh wow, is this it? And I go, yeah. And I go, where'd you guys shoot that? And he goes on our farm, I'm gonna get a private land tag. That bull actually went six miles crossed the little [01:08:00] Missouri River and went to a new spot in the same direction. I ironically decided to pick up and move to.
So I wasn't that I really wasn't that far off from where he got killed . But yeah, he just picked up and left outta no reason. I think the bo the mule deer, bow hunters bumped him out of that valley he was in. Dang, dude. They're amazing animals. Oh, they're so cool. It's really wild to think about though, like when you talk about some of these guides, some of these outfitters even these guys on public land who do track the same animal year after year.
and they have encounters with it. If you don't think that's an amazing feat, just go and look at the harvest statistics for any state out west for a big bull. You know what I mean? There's people who go out and they're willing to shoot anything that's legal. And there's a lot of people who tag soup and these guys are going after one, like just one.
Yeah. And for me, I'm like just one dude. It, trust me, if I saw a 400 inch bull, if I saw a 350 inch bull, I would probably try to hold out [01:09:00] for that. But knowing me and the type of hunter I am, I'd probably never see it again. The farm would shoot it down the road. Some of, gotta keep it, oh, go ahead Steven.
Go ahead. Some of the, some of these guys though, like you said a while ago they've got eight, 10, sometimes 15 guys that are keeping eyes on and tracking this one animal. It is, it gets to being a huge deal. , I'd like to have that friend group I'D , I think a lot of times, isn't it like one or two guys that have an outfitter license and then a bunch of 19 to 24 year old kids that are trying to make their, to cut their teeth in the guiding world?
And he goes, all right, you go stay in this bowl for two weeks. I do some other stuff and they're bringing in a lot of newer people that just sit on it, just sit on there with a glass. Yeah, tell me where he goes. And then it's like kind of one guy, I've been behind the scenes pulling strings and Exactly.
Yeah. Yeah. That happens a lot. Yeah, that makes sense. Man, I don't want to keep you too long. I [01:10:00] appreciate your time today and I'm excited, man. I was so pumped when I got that picture. I was like, dude, please tell me you just found this. But , I look forward to a lot of other pictures and yeah, we'll have to have some more conversations about making it out your way and doing a tri-state shed hunt.
I would, I bet St. Louis isn't too far off the road from Minneapolis St. Paul on my way to Colorado. I could just pick you up on the way, Dan. Oh yeah. If you're coming from there, you need to do it. You may cut across the Dakotas and then Nebraskan down, but honestly, I think you'd probably drop down to KC and I could just bump right up there and meet you.
Yeah. So have to figure something out, man. And hey, listen. Brian has mastered cooking. While shed hunting. He sends me pictures and videos of things that he's making on his smoker, on the tailgate of his truck, mid shed hunting trip. So like you're in for some fine cuisine if you host us. I found out my Traeger ranger can [01:11:00] cook a full size tombstone pizza and it was 11 below last when I was out.
It took a little while for it to heat up, but I cooked that pizza on the pellet grill. We did some rots and burgers. I did we were ice fishing last weekend with my father-in-law and my brother-in-law and I whipped up some tacos on the jet boil in the ice house right on the snow. Like I like doing that kind of stuff, like next level cooking, like I'm I peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don't do it for me anymore.
No, I'm all about it, bro. I'm telling you. Yeah. You might as well eat good when you're having fun. You know how easy it would be on an elk hunt. Like obviously I'm not carrying my pellet grill around cuz I need my truck to run it. But we could do pellet grill meals for I could do we could do eggs and stuff for breakfast and do dinners, but then like we could just smoke a pork butt before we go and put a Ziploc bag or some barbecue pork and some buns and a jet boil and just heat it up on the slope while we're shed hunting.
Geez, this doesn't sound like it's gonna cost me anything at all. Like he's picking me up on his way out there. He's cooking meals for me. This [01:12:00] is, I'm gonna be free riding this trip for sure. What it's gonna cost you is when you go, Hey, I found this giant shed. Steven has the match side on his pack already strapped on, and then the two of you are gonna go at it while I'm cooking barbecues on who's paying who for that other half.
Yep. That's exactly why he wants us down there. He wants to get that match set every time.
Dude, I'm gonna tell you, I love just taking people and seeing them find sheds too, man. It's just awesome. I look forward to it. It's gonna happen. I thoroughly enjoy it. It's gonna happen at some point. We'll be out there chasing down brown and man, good luck this season. Hopefully that race to 500 starts turning into a race to seven 50 or a thousand.
Yeah. . Yeah, it will. The next one we do, it's gonna be up there. I promise you. Is this against yourself or against someone else? . This was just, we just challenged ourself. Okay. Just to see if we could [01:13:00] do it, and we pulled it off. I guess we got lucky. I didn't know if you were you, if you were up going up against Weston MacArthur or Josh Corbin or Eric Chester, like you're doing this little social media race.
Shed crazy. You know what's funny is one of the spots that I go in Arizona those guys, a bunch of those guys this past year was staying in the same hotel as. . I'm like, man, how'd y'all find out about this down here? . And they're like, we've been here for 10 years. How did you find out about this town?
So here's a funny story. So the guy that I know that lives down there that I'm good friends with, he his roommate they're all connected to these big guiding out outfitters and all this stuff. And three or four years ago, maybe five years ago now, it was his brother that invited Eric Chester and those guys to come down and shed hunt that, that particular area with him.
And then ever since the, ever since then, [01:14:00] they've been there every year, . And they have pulled a lot of sheds out there. Man, I enjoy watching their videos. They've gotten a lot of nice sheds. Yeah, they definitely have. I had a hat on. Somebody came to look at this trailer the other day and I had a hat on that said shed season.
And now thinking about it, I probably should have worn it for this show, but he gets out of his car and he is do you do construction? And I was like, what? He's shed season. Is that like when you're building sheds? I was like, all right. This old boy has no idea what he is talking about right now.
No clue. We're not gonna be friends, but you can buy this trailer from me, . I don't, I think my shed season stuff is coming in the mail soon. Dwayne was sending it out. Oh, nice. And we need to get Dwayne in contact with Steven here. We need Oh, that'd be perfect. Some shed sweets and swag. It's a new they're trying to build a community.
It's partnered with Half Rack somehow the owner of shed season's, also the owner of Half Rack, but the marketing manager, the community manager's, really trying to build like a positive, all-inclusive [01:15:00] community around shed hunting and just loving it. Like you've seen shed rally and the whitetail properties people do and Yep.
Similar to maybe an kist hunter thing. Yeah. Where you just , sharon shed stuff, shed stories about big sheds or cool sheds, the buck you've been chasing for six years type of stuff. And they're looking for people. And you, I feel like they'd be a great connection to make. Oh, I definitely would.
I'd love to make that connection, man. Yeah, I'd love it. I just had Dwayne on my other podcast last week, oh, nice. Yeah. That's sweet. We'll definitely have to do some of those emails, connect you guys together and then yeah, maybe we'll just have to have our own giant shed rally and let's do it.
Start some competitions. I'm gonna lose . Maybe we'll do it. Competitions. I'm gonna try to find one shed before Steven finds two dozen . Yeah, exactly. We're hitting from the wo women's tea box. What's that? . Don't jinx me now. , I think all I did was jinx myself. Yeah. Sweet guys.
Thank you. Look, if you guys could come up with a date in April, [01:16:00] may even march, but April may would be great. We make it happen if you want to. Okay. Oh, we're, we can do something. Yeah. We're Brian's probably already sending me texts, this is the dates I'm free. We'll figure something out.
Actually, I'm pulling up my Brownie Point investment portfolio thinking of bunch ones I can cash in on. Yeah. , listen man, I'd give up a lot of the crappy hunts that I've gone on in the past to go out on one Good shed hunting trip. It's, that just sounds awesome. I like just being out in the mountains anyways.
And so going with somebody like you who's got the knowledge the experience. I'm pumped, man. It's gonna happen. Let's do it. Let's make it happen. Sweet. Awesome. Thank you guys for your time and we'll keep in touch. Yeah. Thanks for being here, Steven. All right, thank you guys. Good to meet y'all.
And that is gonna wrap it up for today's show, man, I am so [01:17:00] pumped to get out there and shed hunt with Steven, like this guy knows what he's doing. A season where he had over 700 sheds. Think about how many days you're probably shed hunting, even if it was every day you're finding two sheds a day.
I would give that, but his is very consolidated to probably the spring and early summer, and so you're talking a handful of sheds all the time and only a few times has he ever gotten skunked going to find something on the ground. So I can't wait. Hopefully Brian and I can make that happen and get out there and do a trip.
Set up the wall 10, record a podcast, eat some good. I am gonna look very forward to that and hopefully start planning that soon. So one thing that I didn't mention is Steven's social media handles, and I forgot. I'm so bad at that. I forgot to give him an opportunity to share that. And If you guys wanna follow him on Instagram, it is Steven curd Walker.
[01:18:00] Steven is s t e p h e n c u r d e, and then Walker, w a l k e R. And on YouTube it is Ram Ack Nation. So go check him out, check out some of the pictures. He's got the videos. It's all good content and hopefully you guys can take something away from this. Get out west, do some shed hunting, and who knows, it could turn into a nice paying hobby for you.
And if nothing else, it gets you out there and helps you figure out where to hunt for the fall. So until next time guys, get out there and chase a new adventure.