A MN Shed Hunting Weekend to Remember!


This past weekend was truly a memorable shed hunting party on our hunting property in central MN. Joining me were my friends Eric Warner along with his German Shorthair – Jaeger, Mike Kaveney and his 15 year old son – Joe Kaveney. The plan was to work as a team to locate as many sheds as possible. It sounds so easy but in reality, finding a shed on a big hunting property is like finding a needle in a haystack. However, there are some things you can do to stack the odds in your favor which I will share later in this report.

As Mike and Joe made their way up to our hunting land on Sat. morning, Eric and I just couldn’t wait any longer and decided to get started. About a half hour into our first walk, I came across something I will never ever forget. I came up to a small drainage ditch and started scanning the area on where I should cross without getting wet. As I looked up and down the banks – I saw something sticking out of the tall grass and then realized what it was – two large racks intertwined and locked together with one another. I quickly yelled over to Eric and said “You won’t believe what I just found!” He rushed over with Jaeger and was amazed as well. All we could see where massive tines locked tightly together along with their skull plates. After a few ATL (as they lay) pictures, I finally picked up both racks that were slightly submerged in the water. As I lifted them up, they grew even more and I realized that these bucks were absolutely huge!

I couldn’t believe it and was amazed that these monster bucks were actually living on our hunting property. We took several pictures of the racks in the locked position and then decided to try and get them apart. It took some doing because one of the main beams was underneath the jaw bone of the other buck and I’m guessing this is why they remained locked. After they were separated, the racks seem to grow even more and both of them had a lot of character.

One buck was a tall 12 pointer – a mainframe 10 with a huge split G3 on his left side and a kicker coming off a huge 11 inch bladed G2 on his right side. The mass on this buck was very impressive and the overall score grossed 162 6/8 inches.

The other buck was a massive 11 pointer with an inside spread of 20.5 inches. It was also a mainframe 10 with another 6 inch tine coming off his left G3. The mass on this buck was incredible grossing over 40 inches and the total gross score ended up being 172 ½ inches.

Together they grossed over 335 inches!

172 1/2 and 162 5/8 Inches!

172 1/2 and 162 5/8 Inches!

It’s hard to tell how long these bucks have been dead but I’m guessing it’s been several years due their condition. We’ve owned the property for 9 years now and I’ve never seen these bucks before. I can’t imagine what these bucks endured until they both took their last breath. Mother Nature can sure be cruel at times but that is something that no one can control. I’m happy and honored that we found these incredible bucks. I plan on taking them to my taxidermist – Peterson Taxidermy (owned by Kirk Peterson) who will clean them up, put them back together as I found them in their locked position and I will put them on display for others to enjoy.

As we were taking some pictures by the edge of a food plot, Eric leaned over and picked up a shed. The buck had broken off his main beam close to the base of his antler and then shed that small piece. It’s the smallest shed that I’ve ever seen and grossed 1 inch. Way to go Eric! Another record book shed! LOL…

Mike and Joe finally showed up and we celebrated with them for a while. Soon we were back in the woods. This was the first time that Mike and Joe had ever shed hunted. Joe said his goal was to find his first shed by the end of the day. One half hour later – he accomplished his goal and picked up a 1.5 year old 3 point. Way to go Joe! About 10 minutes later, Eric found his 2nd shed of the day – another 1.5 year old 3 point. Could this day get any better?

About 15 minutes after that, I found another small shed that was most likely a year old. We were having a blast and there was a feeling in the air that we would find even more. About an hour later, Eric found his 3rd shed of the day – this one had been there awhile and it was chewed up pretty good. I’m guessing it was a 2 or 3 year old buck based on the mass of the main beam.

Soon it was lunch time and we decided to go into town for a bite to eat. It was great sharing hunting stories with one another and it was easy to see that Joe was really into deer hunting. I’ve met a lot of kids who liked to hunt but I must admit, Joe has more passion for deer than all the others combined.

Joe with his big shed of the day!

Joe with his big shed of the day!

After lunch we were back at it and in an area where we had found a shed a month earlier from a buck I call Gator – a 3.5 year old 10 pointer. Craig Daugherty found his right side back in Feb. and it grossed 65 3/8 inches. We knew the shed was freshly dropped due to some blood being on the end of the base but we didn’t go looking in the nearby bedding sanctuary for fear of pushing that buck out of the area. We combed the terrain very carefully and eventually made our way up to a fence line where the deer liked to cross. I told Joe to look all along that fence line and 1 minute later he yelled “I found another one and it’s huge!” I could see him from where I was at and he was so excited he couldn’t resist himself from picking it up before the ATL pic. I didn’t mine one bit and relished in the moment of his happiness. Congratulations Joe!!! The shed ended up being Gator’s left side and now the matched set was complete. As we continued the celebration, Joe (now becoming a shed bloodhound) wandered off and started to look for some more. He soon yelled out again, “I found another one!” Unbelievable, a mere 50 yards away laid another 5 point white shed! After a quick ATL pic, I picked up the shed and realized that I have the other side of this shed from last year. It was easy to see that the shed had laid there for a year because of its white washed out color. Now we have two matched sets – WAY TO GO JOE!!!

We searched another area adjacent to a food plot and it was a narrow strip that ran parallel to a huge swamp. I was the one closest to the swamp and had a hard time navigating through all the downed trees that the beavers had created. I was actually looking for a place to jump over a log when I looked down and noticed two small tines sticking up in the tall grass. After I pulled it out of the tall grass it was actually bigger than I had originally thought and ended up being an old 5 point shed – I’m guessing a 2.5 year old.
What an incredible day! We ended up finding 7 sheds, two small bucks with their skulls intact and of course the two monster bucks that were locked together. Truly it was a day that we will never forget.

Erik, Mike, Joe and Jager displaying our finds.

Erik, Mike, Joe and Jager displaying our finds.

Here were some of our keys to success:

Take your time – remember your shed hunting instead of trying to cover as much ground as possible. Let your eyes set your walking pace and not your legs.

Spend more time checking for sheds to and from the closest bedding area adjacent to the food sources and in the bedding area itself. It’s simple – this is where they spend most of their time and odds are where you’ll find their sheds.

While walking through an area, work together as a team and keep each other in eyesight. Canvas the area and communicate with one another so everyone keeps in line. Have the attitude that you are there into eliminate ground. Be thorough and methodical. The more you split up, the greater chances that you will walk the same ground and not thoroughly cover the area.

Make sure to double check fence lines and drainage ditches and anywhere else where bucks have to jump over an obstacle. The jolt of their body hitting the ground will sometimes jar their antlers loose.

Pay attention to southern exposure bedding areas. Bucks have a tendency to bed in these zones to soak up any additional heat that the sun gives off during the cold winter days.

Concentrate and be disciplined. It’s easy to start day dreaming while looking at the terrain and looking for rubs and scrapes. Remember to look down and look for abnormal shapes or colors (white antler tips).

Train your eyes – it takes some practice and discipline to train your eyes on what to look for. A good training tip is close your eyes and then throw the shed away from you. Open your eyes and see if you can find it.

Find that matched set – once you find a shed, be sure to canvas the area for the other match. Odds are it’s close by and be sure to spend extra time looking for it.

I want thank Eric, Mike and Joe for a truly memorable day. It’s not all about the sheds either – it was the camaraderie and all the laughs that made it so enjoyable and just as memorable. I would like to end this report by stating how proud I am of Joe. His passion, energy and excitement for deer and deer hunting is commendable and contagious. It actually brought back some extra vigor in me! It’s kind of funny how that works. There’s no doubt in my mind, that there will be some big bucks in Joe’s hands in the near future.

There’s still some time to get out there before everything turns green and the leaves start growing on the trees. Call a few friends up and invite those kids too! You never know, there may be another Joe out there.

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Brad Juaire

I fish Mille Lacs twice a week primarily utilizing deep diving crank baits via planer boards. I also hunt trophy bucks and mature gobblers in Buffalo County, WI and near Brainerd, MN.


  1. Very Very cool Brad. Thanks for sharing all of those pictures.. That’s truely is an amazing day that none of you will ever forget!

    I cant believe how those locked bucks stayed in such great shape! Cant wait to see them all cleaned up!

  2. AMAZING find and pics to boot. Just to be lucky enough to find the locked bucks like that….then to have them both be massive! Those were some special deer in their day, too bad it ended like that.

    Good to hear turkey scouting wasn’t forgotten. Good luck Tina!


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