Shed Hunting With A Dog

Mid-March is the perfect time to hit the woods in search for whitetail antlers. The vast majority of bucks have dropped and hunters can spend time doing post-season scouting while seeing what deer made it through this past hunting season. A great way to increase your odds of finding them is shed hunting with a dog. This week, Tom takes us through some of the training his dog, Belle, has gone through and we see her in action with the guys from The Country Lodge in southeast Illinois.

Belle is an 8 year old Labrador that was trained by Antler Ridge Kennels. Her training to become a shed antler dog started at a young age and Tom still works frequently with her. In this afternoon of shed hunting, the crew and Belle picked up 38 sheds and 4 skulls in the river bottoms of southeast Illinois. Great timing and flood waters helped lead to an impressive day of shed hunting. One of the keys to successfully shed hunting is to be patient. A lot guys want to hit the woods in search of antlers right after the season, but they run the risk of bumping deer off their property before antlers have dropped. In the Midwest, a good rule of thumb is to not shed hunt too hard until at least Valentine’s Day. Use optics and trail cameras to find areas where deer are congregated and to verify when they shed their antlers. Key in on warm south facing ridges close to these food sources and nearby bedding areas to improve your chances!