Dogs can be effective shed antler finders with a little training.
Searching for shed antlers can be an exercise in total frustration for many people. Some people simply cannot ever seem to find them, and that is not without a lack of trying either. Shed antlers from deer, elk, and moose can be extremely difficult to spot depending on the time of year, weather, and the lighting that day.
The frustration of not being able to find any antlers has caused some hunters to simply give up. You might be thinking: there must be an easier way, right?
There is, and it involves training a dog to sniff out shed antlers. Because canines have much better noses than humans, it is going to be much easier for them to find sheds that we humans walk past. In this video from HuntStand, Tony Peterson takes two pups, Soap and Luna, out for a day of shed hunting. Tony gives some helpful tips on dog training and they find a few antlers along the way.
While they did not find a ton of antlers, Luna sniffed out at least two antlers. One of them appeared to be hiding in some tall grass where a human would have a difficult time spotting it. Using a dog may help you to find those elusive matches to the sides that you just cannot seem to find.
You also may have noticed the conditions were not ideal for spotting sheds in this video. It was a bright, clear day with snow on the ground. Personally, I prefer overcast days because they make spotting antlers a little easier without all the glare of every piece of grass, rock and twig looking like an antler. However, there is no fooling the dog's nose in locating these antlers. That means you can take advantage of any weather conditions.
Training a dog to hunt for sheds does take some hard work and dedication. The key seems to be in making sure the animal has success in what you are tasking them to do and to make a game out of it that the dog enjoys so they will want to go back again and again. If you are a hunter who has struggled with finding sheds, training a dog to search for them may be the solution you have been looking for.