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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.


Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Jackie Bushman likes to say that "Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect." Those are good words to keep in mind as bowhunters get out their equipment for the fast-approaching seasons.
 

Test Your Setup
Experience hunters know how important it is to make a setup well before hunting season and then to let it alone until opening day. If you know the deer frequent that area and will continue to do so from scouting time through the start of the seaso...
 

It's Time To Put Your Buck To Bed
Knowing where deer bed down for the day is one of the keys to finding the right place to set up a stand. Unfortunately, you can really mess up your hunting chances if you disturb a bedding area any time close to hunting season.
 

If You Have To Ask, The Answer is "NO!"
We've all heard horror stories of wounded deer, and bowhunters in particular are prone to be the subject of these sad tales. The real statistics show that wounded deer are far less common than stories indicate, but a common theme of many of these ...
 

Are You Leaving It Up To Chance?
There's an old saying that in order to take a big buck you have to hunt somewhere that has big bucks. Most hunters realize the logic of that statement, but they tend to think about it on more of a state or regional level. It's even more important ...
 

Medicine For Buck Fever
It's normal to get excited when you see a good buck (or any deer for that matter). But when a big buck comes along, you can't let that excitement turn into buck fever. When you know a deer is a shooter, don't spend time counting points, estim...
 

Get Off the Field
Just seeing deer gets any hunter's heart pumping. That's why it's so hard to resist sitting right on a green field or crop edge -- you definitely see more deer. If you're meat hunting or are taking a youngster out, watching a field can be very pr...
 

Sometimes It's What's Behind You That's Important
Sometimes we focus so much on what we can see from a stand that we forget to think about what the deer sees from his angle. Whether you are hunting with a gun, bow or muzzleloader, you will almost always have to make some kind of movement to get yo...
 

Test Broadheads for Good Arrow Flight
Most bowhunters today realize the importance of tuning their bows and testing their broadhead flight before hunting. Just because one broadhead flies well doesn't mean that you are done tuning, however. Three different broadheads from the same pac...
 

Don't Confuse Practice with Sighting-In
When sighting in a gun or bow, it is imperative to remove as much human influence from the shot as possible. Sighting-in is not practice - it is a process to get your equipment shooting dead-on.
 
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