View Full Version : Shed Antler Traps

01-28-2013, 02:11 PM
I vaguely remember the first time I heard of a shed antler trap. It was in the pages of a Field and Stream magazine and I was very young and impressionable. After reading the excerpt, I quickly made my way to my parents pole barn and started looking for the needed supplies. Three re-bar stakes and some scrap fence,this should do the trick! I loaded up the four-wheeler and headed into the woods. I found a formidable area and pounded the stakes into the ground and formed the fence into a small V shaped contraption. Just like the pages depicted! I then filled the inner V with half picked corn cobs from the local farmers field and waited to claim my prize.

I returned a few days later with high hopes of a freshly cast shedor two in my contraption. But on arrival at my shed trap, I was immensely disappointed. Corn cobs picked clean and no sheds! I filled the trap with corn many times that year, but every time I experienced the same result; No sheds and a empty bait pile.

To this day, that failed attempt has left me a little bitter and a little skeptical of shed antler traps. But with more attention to shed hunting these days and more ingenious contraptions, I feel that a shed antler trap can be an achievable and productive tool. One I feel may have a place in the shed hunting tool box.

However, Before diving into the many types of shed traps. I would like to add that shed antler traps do not replace the need for many miles of boot leather walked each spring, I feel is needed to really rack up a mentionable shed collection. And I will always feel, that the feeling experienced from a shed found after a long day of walking timber, earned the hard way, will always beat the feeling of plucking a shed out of a trap.

Also, a shed found in a trap does not help advance your knowledge of a deer, like that of a naturally cast shed. I say this because I know for a fact that a bucks habits and wintering area, can be altered by a bait pile. Many sheds I find each spring in a non-baited areas, are in a bucks core area and fell during his normal routine. Finding these sheds can be a critical step in figuring out his puzzle. So in that sense, baiting a big buck into a shed trap can take away from this possible gained knowledge. But with that said, Ill do almost anything to find more bone, so lets look at some shed traps!

Hale Bale Shed Trap- I call this a poor mans shed trap. Though Ive never personally done this, I highly doubt its effectiveness and feel its probably a waste of bait. The hay bale trap is made by setting two hay bales closely together and poring the corn between the bales. The idea is that a buck will push his head between the bales and knock off a loose antler.

A 190" class buck with his head buried in my brush pile trap

Brush Pile Trap- I did this a few years ago on property that was over run with other hunters. It was my way of making a shed trap with out drawing attention to it. I found a freshly cast shed only a few yards from the brush pile but not the mega giant sheds I was after. My target buck did use the shed trap/bait pile and feel it would have worked if he had been ready to shed at the times he used it. I think this shed trap is very friendly for skittish bucks and is the most cost effective. To make a brush pile shed trap, just pour some corn in a pile and stack some freshly cut/green branches on top of the bait pile.

Bungee and Bucket- Again, I have a never tried this but In theory, looks like it would work well. The only concern I have is that bucks in my area are weary of trail cameras, let alone such a noticeably large and awkward contraption in the deer woods. If your deer are accustom to human intrusion and feeders, I feel that this could be a very productive shed trap.


Bungee Cord Square- This trap is made with four stakes and dozen bungee cords. I first time I saw this shed trap was on Facebook and made by a gentleman named Dean Safris. He made the trap and quickly captured the match sheds to a 160 class buck. Though it uses the same theory of the Bungee and Bucket shed trap, I feel that is trap looks less invasive and the deer would tolerate its presence much better. To make the trap, pound four stakes into the ground in a square, then stretch a dozen or so bungee cords around and across the stakes. Then pour corn in and around the trap. Below you can see Dean, his trap and the aforementioned sheds!


As with any of the antler traps noted, the traps should be erected and baited during peak shed season. Some may take time for the deer to come accustom to, so starting a shed antler trap now (Mid-January) and running it until the end of March would be my suggestion. Farms where you are limited on access or farms that lack bed/feed (likely shedding areas) are good places for shed traps. Also, if your targeting a certain buck, shed traps and bait piles will likely help make finding those the sheds easier. In closing, Ill leave you with a few shed antler pictures and get you fired up to make your own shed antler trap!

If you care to see the images above in larger format you can see them enlarged here:http://trophypursuit.com/corey/2013/01/23/shed-antler-traps/

01-28-2013, 03:27 PM
well good info
I too have tried my hand at making some shed traps
BUT one thing I found , as with any bait station set up is that many other critters that eat/take sheds will do so , some times before you can get there to get them
I have made a few traps of sorts and set a cam up over them, and have had pic's with sheds in them, and by the time I got there the sheds where gone
I blame squirrels

A trap I have had the best work with , but sorry to say been too lazy to make often
is to buy some cheap snow fence, and make 2 fenced in area's
making deer have to jump over the fence twice to get into the corn, and again out twice on the way out

every time I have done this I ended up with a shed or two
but it does take a little time for deer to figure it out, and its a little work and costs to set up, and makes filling it more work as you too have to climb over the fence
I would think ideally your bungee set up in the middle would be even more effective

but since here in PA I cannot bait till after hunting season, many have dropped theer sheds before that happens, I just been lazy about doing this anymore
but it has worked
and if I could leave up all yr, and such I would maybe do more often too!

but I typically find the most sheds in food plots, or on the way to them!
but cool idea's

01-28-2013, 04:13 PM
I'm gonna try one this year to see if it works. I'm gonna use small groups of sapplings and put corn in the middle. Hopefully bucks will stick their head into the sapplings and knock a horn off or two. Not sure if it will work but gonna try. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

01-29-2013, 09:47 AM
Excellent topic Medicsnoke!! As with anything we put out in the woods to try to knock antlers off of deer the most important thing would be to give the deer a way out if the antlers are not ready to fall off. Those are all good methods!!

02-06-2013, 06:19 PM
might be a little late, but go to t.s.i. & get a piece of hog fence ( $17-20 ) its 10' x 5',,, cut it into 1/3's, find a baseball size tree where you want to place it, wire it so you have a Y, put little stakes at the outside of fence to hold....in the inside corners put trophy rocks, start this jan. 1, can still work now also...

02-07-2013, 09:18 AM
Another method I've read about to keep deer from getting tangled into something when their antlers are not ready to fall off is to take 3 hay bales, two you put down to form a "V" and the third you put on top of them to form an "A". Put your corn under the top bale so they have to root under and around it, hopefully knocking the antlers off.