It didn’t take long for shed hunting with dogs to take off. Top dog trainers across the country are breeding, and developing single-pursuit dogs that are shed hunting machines, although just about any pup with retrieving instinct can be taught to seek out cast antlers.
Dog training expert Tom Dokken created the North American Shed Hunting Dog Association (NASHDA) to fill a void he saw in the sporting dog world and its popularity is reason enough to justify its existence. “We started this organization because people needed education on how to train their dogs. This is a relatively new sport and competition like we’ve created brings out the best in trainers and dogs, and just enhances the whole category.”
Spend a single day afield with a shed dog and you’ll understand why they are becoming so popular in deer hunting circles and why anyone obsessed with spotting rows of tines poking through the snowpack would covet a canine trained in the ways of antlers.
- Intravenously inject six or seven shots of espresso into the most enthusiastic shed hunter and set him free and the results will mirror those of the most lackluster shed dog, at best. Good shed dogs cover serious ground, which translates directly into finding more sheds.
All Photos by Tony Peterson
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