HUNTING Author Scott Haugen’s gun dog Kona, then 3 months old, proudly brings in his ﬁrst shed. He found this bleached blacktail antler on his own while on a fall upland bird hunt. He was taught, starting at 10 weeks of age, what to look for. (SCOTT HAUGEN)
when the pup can’t see you, and wear a rubber glove to cover your scent. Planting sheds, even when hunting them, keeps pups optimistic and educates them as to what it is they are looking for. It’s not an overkill to do this a few times a morning when you’re not ﬁnding any sheds. You can also plant old, bleached sheds for the pup to ﬁnd. Again, handle them with rubber gloves to mask your scent. When the dog is working a brushy draw or timber and out of sight, toss the bleached shed as far as you can, into an open place where you can see it. Sometimes I’ll have my dog sit, and I’ll walk 75 yards ahead, out of sight, plant the bleached shed, then call my dog. From there, the search is on. Encourage the pup to work the area where the bleached shed is laying. If the pup can’t ﬁnd it, guide the pup to it by hand and whistle signals. I’ve had my dogs retrieve many bleached sheds that I guided them to in this way. Remember, when a dog
140 California Sportsman APRIL 2018 | calsportsmanmag.com
is snifﬁng for sheds, their eyes are only inches off the ground, so they can’t see what we can. On top of that, bleached sheds carry little or no odor, and are located and fetched by sight, meaning the dog has to initially see them, not smell them. By guiding pups to bleached sheds, they’ll learn to trust what you’re communicating to them while simultaneously learning what to look for. This spring and summer, if you’re not ﬁnding as many shed antlers as you’d like, help your dog learn what to look for by planting sheds. After all, practice makes perfect, and the more success a pup has, the more they’ll learn and the greater their desire to ﬁnd sheds will be in the future. CS Editor’s note: Scott Haugen is host of The Hunt, on Netﬂix. To watch some basic dog training video tips by Scott, check out his Facebook Page, or visit the blog at talltimberpudelpointers.com. Follow him on Instagram too.