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Train Your Dog to Find Sheds
By Irby C. Edwards III

Train Your Dog to Find Sheds

Now that I have trained my young Labrador Retriever to find sheds, I look forward to my time in the woods at the end of deer season.

Remi's nose comes in handy here in Georgia where ground cover is thick. Sheds are much harder to find in the forests of the Deep South, unlike the giant fields and open ground in the Midwest.

It was easier to train Remi than I thought it would be. It only took him a couple of days to grasp the concept of retrieving sheds.

Here are the steps I used to train my dog:

First, I used a fresh, natural-smelling shed to get Remi interested in playing fetch. Once he showed excitement, I rewarded him with a small dog treat after each retrieval.

From the yard, I progressed to throwing it into the bushes for Remi to find. When he got good at that, we tried it in the woods.

As he searched for hidden sheds, I used the phrases "Hunt it up, Remi!" and "Shed . . . Remi . . . find shed!"

Once he mastered finding the single shed, I scattered my entire stash of sheds across the yard until he got the idea that sheds come in multiples.

After he figured that out, we moved deep into the woods where I made it increasingly difficult for Remi to locate the hidden antlers. Not only did he master shed hunting quickly, I even taught him to put the shed in the bag!

If we don't find sheds, it's still a great way to spend a post-season day in the woods with a good friend.


Old Deer Calendars = Educational Targets
At the end of the year, don't throw away your deer calendar. You know, the ones with the beautiful whitetail photos for each month of the year. Deer calendars are perfect for teaching youth or beginners shot placement and various hunting situation...
 

How to Prevent Cold Weather Firearm Condensation
When temperatures plummet to well below freezing, one of the most common mistakes hunters make is bringing their firearms indoors at night. The indoor temperature and moisture in the air are vastly different than those outdoors, and condensation fo...
 

Use Binoculars as a Camera Zoom Lens
While muzzleloader hunting in Ohio in 2010, I witnessed extremely wide 10-pointer bedding down in the rain. It plopped down about 70 yards behind and to the side of my ground blind in an area out of my shooting lane.
 

Cutting Down On "The Fidgets"
The challenges for taking a child hunting, especially for the first time, are vastly different from those of an adult beginner. Anyone who's tried to sit quietly with a youngster can tell you about the fidgets.
 

Set "Big Picture" Pre-Season Goals
As a female who has been hunting only for a few years, I've found that setting reasonable goals prior to each season has helped me develop my passion for hunting over time. If someone had told me to make shooting a monster buck my biggest pre-seas...
 

Election Sign Target Holder
One of the cheapest and easiest target holders I’ve found is a small election sign. I’m talking about the kind with metal frame and slide-in signs made of corrugated plastic. To use, make sure you have a safe backstop, then push the metal stakes i...
 

Watch Your Stinky Watch!
Hunters spend a lot of money and time trying to eliminate human odor and stay scent-free. We shampoo with special soaps, dress from head-to-toe in Scent-Lok, launder our clothes with odorless detergent and hose ourselves down with scent-eliminatio...
 

Old Socks = Traveler's Sandbags
There's an old shooter's adage that still holds a lot of truth today: "You are only as good as your rest." Today, most shooting houses and ladder-type treestands are equipped with shooting rails. Many hunters have discovered that placing a sandbag on...
 

The Forgotten Gobble Call
Jimmy Little is Jackie Bushman's right hand man when it comes to calling in wise old turkeys for the video camera. As a lifelong guide in Alabama and veteran Buckmasters cameraman, Jimmy has called in far too many birds to recall them all.
 

Looney Tunes
"You know what's going to happen," I pronounced, perhaps a little too matter-of-factly, while sliding out of my turkey vest. "Whaddya mean?" replied Robert. "Murphy's Law being what it is ..."
 
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