Interested in collecting shed antlers? Want to build up your own antique shed collection?
What if I tell you there is one awesome tool that can boost up your antler collection greatly?
This article will tell you about the perks of having the best binoculars for shed hunting and how it can boost up your shed collection quickly.
Because to impress your buddies and acquaintances, there is nothing more impressive than a collection of beautiful “white trophies”, right?
Shed hunting has rapidly gained popularity among hunters and there are plenty of reasons for that.
The excitement of the treasure hunt, learning more about cervid’s habitat and the chance to show off your antler collection are the main attractions of shed hunting.
You can also sell the antlers to earn some quick bucks.
Whatever the reason for hunting maybe, you need a good binocular by your side to spot and scout the areas where bucks shed their antlers. To help you choose the best shed hunting binoculars, I am listing down my favourite ones here.
Also read my other reviews on best binoculars for elk hunting, turkey hunting, western hunting and coyote hunting.
How to choose best shed hunting binoculars
Finding the best binocular is no easy feat especially when you can easily get confused with so many choices in the market.
What a buzzkill it can be to spend a fortune on a pair of optics, only to find out they are not suitable for your shed hunting excursions.
To save you this trouble, take a look at the guide below to better understand the features you are going to need in a shed hunting binocular.
- You need binocular to take a closer look at things. Ideal magnification for shed hunting is 8x to 10x. Go any higher than this and your field of view gets narrower.
- To scout the area where bucks drop their antlers, you need a wide field of view. You can quickly scan the terrain to spot the shed.
- Price is a deciding factor for many people. Stretch your budgets as much as you can to get a decent pair of optics. A good pair lasts longer and the image quality is also good.
- In shed hunting, you have to walk and scout for a longer period of time. Choose a binocular that is ergonomic and have non-slip texture so even if you drop it, it remains unscratched.
4 best binoculars for shed hunting reviews
1. Vortex Optics Razor HD Roof Prism
Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars cannot be ignored when we are talking about shed hunting.
The Razor HD is equipped with high-density glass providing you with an ultra-clear vision that is critical when hunting for shed antlers.
When you are out there looking for “White Gold”, it is pretty important to differentiate them for other imposters because you don’t want to jog down all the way down only to face disappointment.
Thanks to its premium quality prism, Razor HD generates brightest images with high resolution so you will have no trouble telling an imposter from an antler.
You are guaranteed to scout and walk for all-day while looking for the shed. Imagine spotting a prize when it’s getting dark. With Razor HD, you don’t need to worry about such things.
The innovative plasma tech anti-reflective coatings of Razor HD ensures brightest images when the light begins to go down. A worthy feature to have by your side when shed hunting, right?
A shed hunting excursion can last for many hours and you want a pair of optics that isn’t too heavy to carry around and is user-friendly too.
The Razor HD will not disappoint you in this regard because it is lightweight and ergonomic so no chance of hand fatigue while scouting the terrain.
- Comfortable grip
- 10×42 magnification
- Durable and high-quality construction material
- Waterproof and fog-proof performance
- Multi-positions eyecup
- Brightest images
- Comparatively cheaper than other high-end brands
2. Steiner Model 8×30 Predator AF Binoculars
Steiner Optics is a brand that doesn’t compromise on quality. Steiner Predator 8×30 binoculars are high-grade hunting binoculars specially formulated according to your hunting requirements.
Your shed hunting adventure will become more fun with Steiner predator binocular. It features cutting edge CAT technology (colour adjusted transmission) that lets you spot foliage easily by enhancing the colour contrast.
Sheds are sometimes tricky to spot because they get mixed up with other earthy elements that is why you need best binocular for shed hunting.
Steiner promises all this and more. Steiner’s Predator is always focus-ready and you don’t have to focus it every time you want to scout the terrain. A valuable perk to possess especially in hunting binoculars.
The razor-sharp and 3D enhanced vision makes the shed hunting excursion all the more enjoyable. You can see all the details and spot your shed treasure without any bother.
The lightweight durable Makrolon body is bombproof and durable enough to take the beating for years to come.
And like all other high-quality binoculars, Steiner Predator optics is also waterproof and fog-proof so you have to worry about a thing.
- Magnification is 8×30
- Comes with lens cover, neck strap, carry case and rain guard
- Innovative Cat coatings for 3D enhanced vision
- Ergonomic and lightweight
- Auto-focus optics
3. Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular
Celestron Nature 8×42 binoculars are highly recommended by professionals if you are looking for “the bargain buy”.
So if you have just developed a passion for shed hunting, you really don’t want to spend 1000 bucks on a pair of binoculars.
But you can’t just ignore some primary features that are critical for a good bino.
Celestron Nature 8×42 binoculars are perfect for beginners because of many factors.
The fully multi-coated lenses render an image that is sharp and bright; a must-have feature while you are out there picking up some “white gold”.
These are mid-sized binoculars and pretty lightweight. A great companion to have while you are scouting for sheds.
While scouting, a view from the raised platform is always better as the visibility is better from up above. You can easily spot sheds you are looking for.
Wide field of view plays an important role in scouting. You get to scout an extended area and easily spot the treasure you are looking for.
Clad in a rubber coating, the nature DX is comfortable to hold for an extended period of time.
The close focus is something that sets it apart from other binoculars of the same magnification. The close focus is extremely sharp and lets you see all the vivid details.
A worthy feature to determine the type and size of the shed while scouting.
And of course like all good quality binocular it is waterproof and fog proof too.
To wrap it up, we can easily say that Celestron Nature DX 8×42 binoculars give you best value for money.
- 8x magnification, 42 mm lens diameter
- Field of view: 388ft@ 1000 yards
- Phase coated BAK4 prism
- Fog proof and waterproof
- Comes with accessories like rain guard, neck strap, carry case and a guide book
4. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 binoculars
Do you want to extend your vision so you can spot the antlers easily? Do you also want a binocular that won’t make a dent in your bank account?
Well, Wingspan Spectator 8×32 optics is a perfect fit for you with 8×32 magnification, you can see everything up close and in detail.
While hunting, you don’t want to compromise on the magnification but a compromise on picture quality also seems unwise.
Wingspan spectator provides crystal clear images with a wide field of view and perfect magnification.
Apart from being reasonably priced, this beauty is also pretty versatile and not to mention the excellent picture quality it features.
Wingspan uses Bak-4 Prism so the image quality is superb even in low light.
Wider field of view is another plus considering you have to scout the large area to spot the sheds the Cervids leave behind.
For shed hunting, you have to get closer to the bedding area of the bucks so that means lots of scouting for you.
Wingspan spectator’s compact design and non-slip grip will make the prolong hunting sessions less tiring for you.
It is also waterproof and fog-proof making it the best choice for any kind of outdoor activities.
The Spectator 8×32 has all the feature of pricey binoculars in a fraction of the price.
All in all, a perfect companion for your shed hunting excursion.
- 8×32 magnification
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Reasonable price
- High-quality images
- Equipped with Bak-4 prism
- Comes with neck strap, carry case, lens covers, and a cleaning cloth
Shed hunting tips and tricks
1. Best time and place to shed hunt
As the temperature starts dropping, bucks start moving towards warmer places. Winters are hard on them so they prefer to settle in warmer areas like cedar thickets, west and east-facing slopes.
Pinpoint those areas and do little digging around the terrain beforehand to avoid wandering here and there. It is most likely for bucks to migrate towards areas laden with food and water. So look out for running water and food points especially in winters.
Usually shed hunters start their hunt between March and April. Although numerous other factors – harsh winters, poor nutrition, injuries or social stress- can affect the shedding process. Some time it is very late and sometimes a bit early.
2. Pack smartly
You are going to need a backpack for your treasure hunt. Invest in any good quality, waterproof backpack with zip ties and lashing point to hold the sheds you find.
Throw in a pair of clothes, binocs, some snacks, water bottle (insulated one works great) and a hat if it gets too chilly.
3. Invest in good quality optics
Once you find out how a good pair of optics can effectively help you scan the area, they will quickly grow on you. Of course, you have to scan the terrain to find deer bedding areas and also to spot the antlers. For that, you have to look everywhere, literally. Nothing helps more than a set of good quality, razor-sharp optics to achieve that goal.
4. Buckle up your boots
You are going to scout some extra miles while you are hunting sheds. Always bring the sturdiest pair of shoes you own. Better to put on your best hiking or camping boots because they tend to withstand the rough terrain. Waterproof, breathable shoes will make your shed hunting excursion all the more adventurous.
5. Map it out
Install a map on your phone or get one printed to effectively map out the deer habitat. You need to strategize your movements. With a map in your hand, you can easily focus on buck’s bedding and food area. And that is exactly where you can get lucky and find the precious sheds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it illegal to pick up deer antlers?
Shed hunting is getting popular day by day but the legality of the sport is still somewhat unclear. In some states like West Virginia, there are strict laws to prevent shed hunting to avoid the added stress on wildlife. While in some other states like; Utah, Colorado etc. shed hunting is allowed but only during a certain time period.
How often do deer shed their antlers?
After every twelve months, deer (and other cervids) shed their antlers. They regenerate a new set of antlers after that but this process takes a whole summer season to complete. The shedding process can take anywhere from two to three weeks.
Antlers are usually shed between January and April. A weaker animal will shed its antler earlier than a strong animal. Sometimes, deer takes 2 to 4 weeks to shed their antlers but in some cases, the antlers can fall off quickly like within 48 hours.
Is it legal to sell shed antlers?
Selling or keeping shed antlers with a head attached is strictly prohibited. You can only keep the dead head with antlers if you had hunted the animal yourself or if you have purchased it from someone who has taken the animal legally. It is better to keep the record of the transaction to avoid any inconvenience.
There is no restriction on the trade or sale of shed antlers without a skull. But in some states, you can only sell or trade the antlers and horns in a specific time period. So better check all the legal intricacies in your state before making an antler deal.
Which is best for shed hunting: 10×42 or 8×42?
To find deer bedding area, you have to scout and look out for the deer moving pattern. Of course, you have to spy on the bucks to observe their movements and plan your strategy. For this, you need to observe each tiny detail without compromising the field of view.
Usually higher magnification means narrow field of view. Wider field of view will give you an added advantage so it is better to go with 8×42 magnification binoculars. The objective lens diameter is still the same so there is no difference in the brightness and sharpness of the image quality.
What is the difference between the Vortex Razor and Vortex Viper?
Vortex Razor and Viper are two of the most famous bins from Vortex. People often get confused regarding their quality. The Razor is more expensive than viper but is it really worth the money?
Well, that depends. If you have a budget and don’t mind spending a thousand bucks on a pair of optics, Vortex razor is an amazing binocular.
Although Viper is not much behind in quality and performance so if you have a limited budget, it is a wise option.
Understandably, Razor has better glass, coating, building material and the ergonomics are improved too.
This means brighter and sharper images with less chromatic aberration and distorted edges.
But most of the times, there is no major difference in the picture quality.
What is the difference between Celestron Outland 8×42 and Celestron Nature dx 8×42 binoculars?
Celestron Outland is not equipped with phase correction coating while the Nature DX does have phase-corrected prisms. Thus, Nature DX binocular has less colour aberration and generates colour corrected images compared to the outland.
Now if we talk about coating, again outland is “multi-coated” and not “fully multi-coated”. That means all the air to surface prisms are not fully coated. This again will result in less bright and sharp images.
On the other hand, the Nature DX has fully Multi-coated lenses along with phase-corrected prism which consequently enhances the sharpness and brightness of the image generated.
The price difference is not much so I recommend Celestron Nature DX if you want a good quality binocular with sharper images.
Here we are at the end of the article and I have tried my best to answer all the queries related to shed hunting.
All the above-mentioned binoculars are best binoculars for shed hunting and we have meticulously researched every product in order to give you good recommendations.
Rest assured, each one of the binos is of excellent quality and have great reviews.
If you are looking for:
A quality binocular with all the necessary features of a high-end binocular but your budget is limited, I would recommend Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32.
For people who want to have all the features of expensive binoculars but want to save some serious bucks, Vortex Optics Razor HD Roof Prism is your holy grail. Equipped with all the latest features, this tough beast will surely make a great shed hunting binocular.
For beginner shed hunters, go for Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars. Not only they are cheap but are pretty easy to use. The image quality is also excellent.
I would recommend Steiner Model 8×30 Predator AF Binoculars for serious shed hunters who don’t want spending lavishly on their binoculars. It is also a versatile pair of optics and can be used for other outdoor activities.
An optics enthusiast – I love bird watching as well as wildlife. Originally from South Africa, I moved to the UK at a young age. I love reviewing the latest binoculars as well as traveling. I work as a comms consultant during the day. My plan is to travel across the world so building up to that goal.