Shed hunting

I don’t know if anyone shed hunts, but I saw that the young buck I get on camera has finally dropped an antler. There are two larger bucks, both holding. Time to get out there! I’m in the Chicagoland area.

I don’t know why I shed hunt. I find them, I’m all excited that I found them, then I get home and think “wtf am I going to do with it?” lol

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I’ve trained all of our Labs to shed hunt, but we aren’t serious about it.
It’s more for something for the dog(s) to do while we go for walks in the woods.
They’ve brought back some nice sheds over the years.

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Same, my little shelter mutt brings them back to me when she isn’t off on a deer path eating deer poop.

It’s a fun game to play in the yard, though I am not vigilant on descenting my training antlers so I know it’s not “real”.


I started a thread about this a couple months ago!
I just started training my dog to shed hunt this past summer. The deer around here are holding onto their antlers longer than they usually do. We’ve got a couple feet of snow on the ground so we’ll wait until most of it has melted before we head out looking. I’m hopeful that there will still be some “fresh” sheds by the time we can get out, make it a little easier for her.

We were actually out training last night. I’ve got a hard rubber training antler and a real antler. I’ve been using the Dokken rack wax on the training antler, I’ve only used it sparingly on the real antler. Fingers crossed that it translates.


The most important bit (and the bit that is a total pain in the behind) is removing your scent from the antler, and also removing your scent from your boots and everything else you’re wearing when you plant the antler. You basically need a dedicated set of “training clothes” that never go in the house to absorb the house smell.

Tracking you, if you’re “smelly”, to a placed antler is easy. Finding an antler dropped by a deer without your scent around is hard.

That’s where I’ve had my issues with my pup - I don’t have a strong enough desire to go the extra mile to descent myself and my training antlers, so it doesn’t translate the best to the actual thing.

Regardless, it’s a great excuse to get out and about with your dog, which is my primary reason for doing it! :slight_smile:

Edit: And look how proud the little moron is (that first picture makes me laugh, you can see her pooching her lips with pride and excitement), even if I spotted the shed and basically brought her into it. Dork!

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Yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s easy enough to plant them on our own property. The real antler actually lives outside in our garden, the training one is kept in a plastic bag and I try not to touch it with my bare hands.
We usually go walk our trail, then I stick her in the garage and I head back out and throw the antler from the trail.
Or I’ll run out and plant them before I leave for work, then after work we go searching.

Off property searches are trickier. Sometimes myself or SO will plant from one trail head, and then we’ll start the search from a different trail head.

Part of the reason that we started doing it is that she’s starting to get older. Hasn’t slowed down at all yet, but in a few years it’s something that we can still do at her pace.

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