Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Bestul: First Shed of the Season!

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Whitetail 365
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

February 17, 2010

Bestul: First Shed of the Season!

By Scott Bestul

Any hardcore shed-head will know by reading this title that I am not a member of their clan. I know some diehard shed guys, and many of them are already well into double-digit finds for the year. I marked my first antler this weekend, and it will probably be among the relative handful from this year’s collection.

Still, the horn (and yes I call sheds “horns” even though I know they’re actually “antlers”) was a special one. For starters, I’ve been battling some sickness the last few weeks, which has basically kept me out of the woods. We’re also having a serious winter in Minnesota, and the weather has forced me indoors even when I’ve felt perky. So it just felt good to stretch my legs for a short walk on one of the farms I hunt on Saturday. Shed hunting was my excuse to go; mainly I just wanted some cold air in my nostrils on a sunny winter day.

I had my golden pup, Lucky, along. I’ve been tossing him sheds since he moved into our house five months ago, in hopes that I can add “shed dog” to his resume some day. Lucky got a kick out of retrieving this horn for me, but when I planted it for him to find later, he was clueless. Well, the season is young—for me at least—and we both clearly need more practice. It’s not bad for the first shed of the season, and the more I look at it, I think I have this buck on trail cam last fall. While I’m hunting up that pic, I’ll see if I can find another way to get Lucky excited about antlers before our next jaunt. Any advice?

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Eric Greene wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Nice shed. Was it hard to find the that snow, or did the snow help it to stick out?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

With my lab, I just play fetch with horns, and also stash them for him to find, and layer on the congrats and treats when he brings them back. I also have him pick up any horns we find in the field before I touch them, that way he isn't picking them up based on my scent, but learning to pick them up before I touch them...you may have to lead him to the horn, and point it out, but he should figure out the game before to long....main problem I have with my lab, is that Grouse is his #1 passion, and my shed hunting grounds is lousy with grouse, so he gets distracted, and then irritated that I don't shoot the grouse he finds....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jacob A. Craig wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Great Shed. This will be the first year that Ive actually been shed hunting i found a few just walking through the woods. I'm going out this weekend hopefully we don't get any more snow in northern Indiana I'm ready to go out and hunt for some sheds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Hopefully, Lucky has mastered the basic training of "sit,stay,heel" and "fetch."

Get Lucky's toys and a few sheds and have him retreive the toys and sheds and reward him. Move the sheds and toys further away from him. Keep it fun and use an excited voice to keep his enthusiasim intact.

Work with him several times a week as to not tire him. I use an excited voice along with the rewards to let him know that the games are about to begin. Keep moving the toys and "horn" further away until you begin to hide them behind trees, bushes, and or, fence posts. This way he has to use his sense of smell instead of sight.

Continue with the toys and sheds, but now only reward him when he retreives the shed. After Lucky begins to accomplish this task begin to toss the sheds as his skill begins to improve, so he doesn't follow your scent to the shed. Don't allow Lucky to see you tossing the shed.

After a week or so of successes, take Lucky into the field for the real thing. Don't forget the rewards! When you locate an antler,lead him to it, but don't touch it. This will allow the dog to associate the antler without human scent, and his nose will become more accustomed to the shed scent alone.

As soon as Lucky locates the shed use your excited voice! An excited voice, usually a higher pitch, creates an excitement much different than the treat. Although, make sure you use the voice with the treat.

And Scott ... you might just get lucky with Lucky!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I have been out looking but all my best spots are drifted in right now. Where in MN are you going that does not have 2 feet of snow with 5 foot drifts?!? Gotta love living here =) Lake season cannot come soon enough for this guy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunter6 wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Lot's of snow here in eastern iowa but that doesn't keep me from looking for those shed's. three so far this year but thing's have slowed down lately , not from the lack of trying. good luck and don't give in to mother nature.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Best wishes on the horn hunting.You fellers back east got your work cut out with the weather an all.Ireally like that photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I saw a lot of bucks at the end of deer season. I'm looking forward to a good shed season but I won't hit the woods until March.

Congrats on a good find Scott. It looks like a dandy shed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

We found a 5pt. in a hay circle(holder) last Sat. when feeding the cows on the farm we hunt. "Something" had already gotten to it though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MPEK wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Some 35 years ago , I had my field trial labs digging iced down beers out of a cooler for me , before it was shown on tv comercials . Fun to impress your friends.. All I can say is to keep up with the repitition , ( The Mother Of Learning )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MPEK wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Forgot to add... Excellent advice from 2Poppa

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

good find, cant wait to get my lab pup out and give her a real run. She does well with fetching and finding sheds I've hidden, hopw she works just as hard in the deer woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

That's a nice one. Still looking to pop my cherry this year

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gadeerhunter wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

That's a nice shed. I'll be trying to find me one this year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mfox wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

nice shed! The only ones I have been able to find this year were dropped a year or two ago

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stanleyda wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Hope to get back to my hunting grounds soon,in Ga last year I was still seeing bucks with 1 or both sides still on in march. I seen a picture of a coyote with a shed in it's mouth,if there was not enough reasons to hate coyotes already.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I live and hunt deep Southeast Texas, pine and yopon, finding sheds is next to impossible unless you go where the property has been extremely well managed, which ain't Temple/ Crown Pine Timber's land. I have checked the bedding areas i know of, walked all the fence lines, but frankly there's a whole lot of land that's just to thick. Any advice from someone who hunts the same region, or same type of land?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Eric Greene wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Nice shed. Was it hard to find the that snow, or did the snow help it to stick out?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

With my lab, I just play fetch with horns, and also stash them for him to find, and layer on the congrats and treats when he brings them back. I also have him pick up any horns we find in the field before I touch them, that way he isn't picking them up based on my scent, but learning to pick them up before I touch them...you may have to lead him to the horn, and point it out, but he should figure out the game before to long....main problem I have with my lab, is that Grouse is his #1 passion, and my shed hunting grounds is lousy with grouse, so he gets distracted, and then irritated that I don't shoot the grouse he finds....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Hopefully, Lucky has mastered the basic training of "sit,stay,heel" and "fetch."

Get Lucky's toys and a few sheds and have him retreive the toys and sheds and reward him. Move the sheds and toys further away from him. Keep it fun and use an excited voice to keep his enthusiasim intact.

Work with him several times a week as to not tire him. I use an excited voice along with the rewards to let him know that the games are about to begin. Keep moving the toys and "horn" further away until you begin to hide them behind trees, bushes, and or, fence posts. This way he has to use his sense of smell instead of sight.

Continue with the toys and sheds, but now only reward him when he retreives the shed. After Lucky begins to accomplish this task begin to toss the sheds as his skill begins to improve, so he doesn't follow your scent to the shed. Don't allow Lucky to see you tossing the shed.

After a week or so of successes, take Lucky into the field for the real thing. Don't forget the rewards! When you locate an antler,lead him to it, but don't touch it. This will allow the dog to associate the antler without human scent, and his nose will become more accustomed to the shed scent alone.

As soon as Lucky locates the shed use your excited voice! An excited voice, usually a higher pitch, creates an excitement much different than the treat. Although, make sure you use the voice with the treat.

And Scott ... you might just get lucky with Lucky!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I saw a lot of bucks at the end of deer season. I'm looking forward to a good shed season but I won't hit the woods until March.

Congrats on a good find Scott. It looks like a dandy shed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MPEK wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Some 35 years ago , I had my field trial labs digging iced down beers out of a cooler for me , before it was shown on tv comercials . Fun to impress your friends.. All I can say is to keep up with the repitition , ( The Mother Of Learning )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MPEK wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Forgot to add... Excellent advice from 2Poppa

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stanleyda wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Hope to get back to my hunting grounds soon,in Ga last year I was still seeing bucks with 1 or both sides still on in march. I seen a picture of a coyote with a shed in it's mouth,if there was not enough reasons to hate coyotes already.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jacob A. Craig wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Great Shed. This will be the first year that Ive actually been shed hunting i found a few just walking through the woods. I'm going out this weekend hopefully we don't get any more snow in northern Indiana I'm ready to go out and hunt for some sheds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I have been out looking but all my best spots are drifted in right now. Where in MN are you going that does not have 2 feet of snow with 5 foot drifts?!? Gotta love living here =) Lake season cannot come soon enough for this guy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunter6 wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Lot's of snow here in eastern iowa but that doesn't keep me from looking for those shed's. three so far this year but thing's have slowed down lately , not from the lack of trying. good luck and don't give in to mother nature.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

Best wishes on the horn hunting.You fellers back east got your work cut out with the weather an all.Ireally like that photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

We found a 5pt. in a hay circle(holder) last Sat. when feeding the cows on the farm we hunt. "Something" had already gotten to it though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

good find, cant wait to get my lab pup out and give her a real run. She does well with fetching and finding sheds I've hidden, hopw she works just as hard in the deer woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

That's a nice one. Still looking to pop my cherry this year

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gadeerhunter wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

That's a nice shed. I'll be trying to find me one this year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mfox wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

nice shed! The only ones I have been able to find this year were dropped a year or two ago

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I live and hunt deep Southeast Texas, pine and yopon, finding sheds is next to impossible unless you go where the property has been extremely well managed, which ain't Temple/ Crown Pine Timber's land. I have checked the bedding areas i know of, walked all the fence lines, but frankly there's a whole lot of land that's just to thick. Any advice from someone who hunts the same region, or same type of land?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment