Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 24

Many bucks lose their antlers in
February and March.
Some shed hunters head out after
a new snowfall and follow large tracks
in the snow in hopes of finding a
shed shortly after a buck drops it.
This method will frequently produce
matched antler pairs.
But there is an easier way.
Just about any dog can be trained to
hunt sheds, and many kennels breed
dogs specifically for shed hunting.
A dog that has been trained to find
antlers works similar to a dog that has
been trained to hunt upland birds. As
a matter of fact, most shed-dog kennels
breed their dogs from award-winning
and proven field-trial lines.
Natural retrievers, such as Labradors
and goldens, are the breeds most
commonly trained and sold as shed
dogs.
Whether you buy from a breeder

24

or train your own dog, you'll gain the
dual option of hunting upland birds
and shed antlers.
You won't have to head home after
filling the daily bag limit of birds.
Especially during the winter pheasant
season, you and your dog have the
possibility of more fun, excitement and
exercise after the main hunt.
As with any dog training, it's best
to begin when the dog still is a puppy.
Some shed-dog trainers recommend
against training dogs older than 1 year
old, but I recently started training my
7-year-old English springer spaniel,
Blue, to search for sheds.
Blue is a rescue dog and I didn't
begin pheasant hunting with him until
he was 4 years old, but he does a great
job finding and flushing ringnecks.
My interest in training Blue
to search for sheds started last
winter when I watched a shed-dog
demonstration at an
outdoor show. I talked to
the dog handler after the
presentation. I decided
then and there that it
would be fun to train Blue
to find sheds.
I started by giving Blue
a small piece of deer antler
to chew on and play with
in the house. In this way he
became familiar with the
feel and scent of an antler.
I hide a larger antler in our
wooded backyard before
taking Blue outside for
training.
An antler is a bone
and it does not seem to
matter to Blue whether he
is searching for a bone or
an antler; a bone is a bone
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 26
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover4
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