Typically the best time to start shed hunting can be as early as late November all the way into April in some cases. Considering the mild Wisconsin winter, it may be the case that the bucks will hold on to their antlers longer with higher testosterone levels compared to a harsh winter. Typically January to March seems to be when most people go shed hunting in Wisconsin. It depends on your region and weather patterns throughout the winter along with a few other factors such as; nutrition, genetics, stress, injury and/or late breeding activity.
I will be heading out to look for sheds 3/3/2012 in areas where I know there is a higher concentration of bucks. I personally just enjoy getting out of the house and breaking out of the “cabin fever” that sets in deep by this time of the year. The race to beat all the critters that can quickly eat away at the antlers is important to consider if you want to find good antler sheds. Some rodents like mice, squirrel and chipmunks will devour antlers for the calcium. Sometimes they can finish the antler sheds off within just one day.
Places to search as far as my experiences have shown are in highly trafficked deer trail networks. There have been times when I wasn’t searching too hard and have found sheds and other times when I wasn’t leaving any log overturned and came up completely empty handed. As most of us Wisconsin public land whitetail hunters know, the bigger bucks stay hidden in the thick stuff or deep in the swamps. I’d say if your game, bull dose through the thick prickers to find the mega racks or search the swamp edges or the wood edge lines.
The best tip is to have fun, make a day out of it. If there’s snow on the ground get some snow shoes and start trekking! Feel free to post your pics of some of your best finds. Good shed hunting and good luck!