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WATCH video shows just how wild timber shed hunting can be in Montana

In all my years of wandering the woods and prairies of Montana, I’ve always been thrilled to find lost woods. It doesn’t happen all the time, but if you spend the time researching and knowing what you’re looking for, it can sometimes benefit you financially. There is a huge market for the antlers that deer, elk and moose lose every winter. Just look at your nearest pet store. People buy antlers and turn them into high-priced dog toys. Others make everything from knife handles and jewelry to chandeliers. Every year, the price people are willing to pay for lost antlers seems to increase. This, in turn, creates a kind of gold rush attitude for hangar hunters.

In 2020, KRTV News published an article about the opening of the Sun River Wildlife Management Area here in Montana.

Think of the shed hunt as an adult Easter egg hunt. But, instead of a grassy area near the play area, it’s a much larger grassy area near a much larger play area. Each year, wildlife management areas in Montana close in December to allow animals like elk a safe place to survive the winter. In the depths of winter, these animals begin to shed their antlers. Large amounts of elk and deer congregate on these WMAs until the spring weather begins to warm. That’s when Fish, Wildlife and Parks opened the WMA’s back to the people. The day the gates open to these wintering grounds is a big deal for many Montana residents. Going back to my Easter egg hunt example, hundreds of people line up at the door and wait for FWP officials to unlock them. When the clock strikes noon, shed hunters scatter in all directions in search of wood.

A video from 406 Adventures shows in first person just how wild the opening days of wildlife management can be.

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