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March 12, 2008

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BuckTracker: Going to the Dogs

My shed hunting buddies and I have had a long-standing joke that one of us would one day train a dog to find antlers. This thought might have also occurred to you if you’ve lived the twin curses of 1) being an antler addict and 2) having ever hunted over a bird dog or retriever.

The concept of a shed dog is near and dear to my heart whenever I’ve had an unsuccessful trip (which happened today) and especially when I’m accompanied by my doofus golden retriever (which is always). Though I love dogs on principle, I also believe they should earn their supper, and Colby has never done anything to pull his considerable weight while shed hunting. I have even rigged ingenious little collars that would allow him to tote a medicinal keg of Gatorade for me, but he refuses. And retrieve a shed? Maybe if I find it first and slather it with bacon grease….

Perhaps I should turn my freeloading golden over to Roger Sigler, an astute dog trainer and master of the shed, at his facility in northwest Missouri. Mr. Sigler has perfected the art of training shed-hunting dogs, and you can even purchase “started dogs” from him that will find and retrieve cast antlers. I found Roger by reading a magazine article that detailed a 3-1/2 day trip he and his dogs took to Canada last year, a safari that yielded for over 100 antlers. Check out his website for more info.

While Roger admits that Labradors make the best horn-dogs, he is getting so good at his craft that he’s even tutoring a young pit bull. No word on whether that pup actually gives up the bone he’s found, and I’ll probably wait to send Colby there for training ‘til I know the PB has graduated. In the meantime, guess I’ll rely on binocs and boot leather.

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Comments

I'm in school right now

Good luck with the dog-breeding. I doubt that's possible, though.

Nate

BP

Every breed of dog can be trained to find antlers, they all have very accute noses. I have a american pitbull terrier that can flush birds, dig up groundhogs and do pretty much anything any of ur common hunting dogs can do, plus he can do it all day long without needed a break because he is so well conditioned. OH BTW a pitbull is not a breed of dog, its a characterisation of over 10 different breeds FYI

Bubba

Careful Scott B., if that pit bull comes back with a bloody antler, well...

Bubba

I'm in school right now

Bubba,
why would you look for antlers with a pit bull? They could turn on you in the middle of the forest!

Nate

Bubba

Nate

I ain't doin' nuthin' with no pit bull! Scott B. said somebody else was training one to hunt sheds, not me!!!! The only thing I've ever been able to train a dog to do is crap on the carpet and bark all night!!!
To be able to train a dog, you've got to be smarter than the dog!!
That leaves me out!

Bubba

I'm in school right now

Bubba,
sorry bout the misunderstanding. I'm in English right now and my head is about to explode. I'm terrible with dogs too if it makes you feel any better.

Nate
P.S. I HATE ENGLISH

MPN

I have a german short haired pointer that I've trained to find antlers. It really does work. I just gave her an antler as a chew toy (spike antler) and then next thing I knew she was finding them on my property and givin' um to me. So if she brings me one I give her a treat. I always take her with me if I go shed hunt'n. The dog just needs to recognize the smell of an antler and off she goes.

MPN

I'm in school right now

MPN,
Does it just work for deer sheds, or does the dog find elk and moose sheds also?

Nate

MPN

Nate,
Don't know if she could find elk or moose sheds. I live in south western New York only white-tailed deer live here.

MPN

White Pine

MPN,
There are moose in the adirondacks. You should take your dog up there and see if she can find moose antlers.

WP

Bubba

You guys are crazy! My dad had a mule that could talk!
Honestly!

Bubba

MPN

Bubba,
I'm not crazy my dog really does find deer antlers. Trust me.

MPN

Bubba

MPN

I'm sure he does, and I'm not kidding either. My dad had a mule that could talk!

Bubba

White Pine

Bubba,
How do you get a mule to talk?

WP

Scott Bestul

Oh c'mon, Bubba! You HAVE to have a punchline for that one, don't you....?

Bubba

Sure Scott,

Pop would whisper in his ear, "You want some oats?".
He would raise his tail and say, "A-phewwwwww!"

bubba

I'm in school right now

Bubba,
No offense, but that joke was terrible.

Nate

John

For those of you that don't know, pit bulls are not agressive dogs. MEAN, STUPID PEOPLE make them that way...
And Bubba, ARE YOU FOR REAL? I enjoy reading your comments. Gives me a good...

I'm in school right now

John,
you are probably right, but could you train a poodle to tear someone's arm off? It has something to do with the dogs, also.

Nate

John D

Pit bulls suck.

R. Millage

Allot of guys in our area use dogs, some with very good results. My Yellow lab has found me a few. With our steep terrain in Central Idaho a person can use all the help they can get when horn hunting. For horn hunting photos, and other outdoor pics check out my blog. www.idahooutdoors.blogspot.com

I'm in school right now

R. Millage,
That's a cool website. Great pictures.

Nate

MPN

R.Millage,
Great looking country up there.

MPN

R. Millage

Thanks,

My friends and family wanted a place to share our digital photos so I set this up last spring. I also wanted to be able to share my passion for the outdoors and Idaho with others. I wish I would have had a digital camera a little longer, as I have missed taking photos of many spectacular things I have witnessed in the wilds of Idaho. www.idahooutdoors.blogspot.com

MPN

R.Millage,
Well keep up the good job. Those are nice photos. Looks like you guys have loads of fun.

MPN




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