March 23, 2022
By Blake Garlock
On Jan. 30, Tom Jeffries headed out to look for sheds on private land in Northern Illinois. That day didn’t present the greatest shed hunting conditions, since there was about six inches of fairly fresh snow in Tom’s area, but he went anyway.
Shed Hunting Season
After about 10 minutes into hunting, Tom saw the base of an antler poking through the snow.
“It was frozen into the ground,” Tom says. “But I picked it up and I couldn’t believe what I found. There was still some blood on it, so it had dropped pretty recently.”
The shed Tom pulled from the snow lacks nothing in character. The mostly dark antler’s tines sport bright, white tips. And the main beam has two long drop tines coming off it. To complement the heavy mass, the antler splits at its end into an upward tine and a drop tine. And it has kickers coming off the base.
Although Tom was thrilled to find the antler, he wasn’t expecting it.
“It was completely random,” says Tom. “I have never seen that buck before. I’m guessing he was living on a neighboring property.”
Tom’s surprise mega antler came early into that day’s hunt, but he didn’t find anything for the rest of the trip.
“I should’ve just stopped after that,” laughs Tom.
Tom picked up his first shed of the year on Jan. 8, and as of Feb. 9, he’d found roughly 30 sheds this year. He plans on heading back to look for the non-typical shed’s matching side.
For more shed hunting stories, keep following along with North American Whitetail’s Just Dropped campaign through shed season.