Scotty the Shed Dog

Good job Wayne. I know you are enjoying this. A passion for sure. I guess I will just have to ship you some tomatoes!
Wayne, you’ve inspired me to train my next dog to be a shed dog. Do you know if shed dogs can serve a dual purpose? Ie could a shed dog also be used to unofficially track a wounded deer? My current lab loves finding dead deer for me, and he’s become pretty good at it!
Good job Wayne. I know you are enjoying this. A passion for sure. I guess I will just have to ship you some tomatoes!
I was a failure at growing them last year. My #1 habitat goal for 2018 is to grow tomatoes from the left over seeds in my fridge. I left the unused in the envelopes and still in the crisper. I am going to try hydroponic in 5 gallon buckets.

My neighbor is going to help. 2017 was a failure because I got started late and never invested enough time and attention.

Thanks for the kind words.

Wayne, you’ve inspired me to train my next dog to be a shed dog. Do you know if shed dogs can serve a dual purpose? Ie could a shed dog also be used to unofficially track a wounded deer? My current lab loves finding dead deer for me, and he’s become pretty good at it!
Yes dogs can multi-task. Blood trailing and shed hunting works with training. Duck dogs can be trained to shed hunt. The natural retrieving skill is easy to cross train.

Now I have not cross training experience but many others do and have success. I am older and I wanted to find shed antlers and I don't hunt ducks.

What you are thinking is certainly possible. How old of a dog do you have?

Training a Shed Dog (Based on My Experience)

5 Basics
1. Got to have a retrieve drive
2. Got to establish basic obedience (hunting in remote locations - must have control of dog)
3. Establish a bond between dog and handler
4. 1st Antler Skill we train on sight recognition (teach and show dog antler is the object we seek and retrieve to hand)
5. 2nd Antler Skill we train is scent recognition (we use wax scent in a tube similar to chap stick)

Dogs cross train just fine. There is a reason I have retrieve as #1 - not all dogs have that drive.

Cutman if you have a dog that retrieves naturally, I can coach you up on #4 and #5. As I tell my friends, I have a smart dog. I also have YouTube which is a great learning resource.

Scotty was a $1,000 pup and Perry was a $850 pup. Both come from shed hunting blood lines and helped me avoid many issues. Scotty is so easy to correct and Perry is a hand full to correct. I am the only person that feeds my dogs - probably 98% true and they are devoted to me.

Brushpile and DoctorBrady can coach you up on blood trailing a deer. At my age - I don't want to be blood trailing when I hope I can fill my tag with a deer worth mounting (PY Buck). I really loved Rowdy the male dog that Brushpile owned that had eyes issues. Rowdy and Scotty had similar personalities to me.

Lesson I learned - we are building habits in a dog. Being consistent is important and being patient is very important. My trainer trained Scotty to the eCollar and that works great. Scotty is smart and wants to please so he very rarely gets anything. Just him having it on helps his behavior tremendously.

My neighbors love to watch me train in the back yard - I use one tire with plywood top in the beginning and then go to two tires. I have one elevated plywood platform with PVC legs and will soon go to two of those.

Jan 13th is next hunt test and in this bitter cold weather Scotty gets fetch training inside with two bumpers like a trainer uses with a duck dog. He loves that stuff and we do a 5 minute session about twice a day.

Most important thing I have learned - I have a smart dog!!!

Hunt Test Update

The winter weather blast changed my travel plans. I was loaded up and left Portland, TN at 5 AM Friday morning in the rain headed north to Frankfort, KY to find a room ahead of the snow and ice headed into middle TN. I was fortunate - I got north of Bowling Green before any freezing rain cause issues. Scotty travels good in the back seat and we were able to find Capital Plaza Hotel easy enough.

We got checked in and then we headed north to Owen County and the community of Monterey where the Bluegrass Antler Dog Club were conducting the Shed Dog Hunt Test on Saturday, Jan 13th. I had John Ballard's home address and found his house but the Hunt Test was about 2 miles away on his farm. Friday was a day of rain. I returned to Frankfort for lunch and received an updated address and Scotty and I then drove the farm.

On Friday the judges and a few club members that would be working on the event Saturday ran their dogs in the rain. I knew I wanted to wait until Saturday to get a chance to run in the snow and I had talked a friend into coming to this event to run their dog so I just wanted to wait.

Saturday the fields were snow covered and frozen. The temps were around 12 but the wind was not difficult. Scotty found 5 antlers in about 6:45 which meant we had plenty of time to find the last one. We timed out at 15:00 with 5 antlers. The 6th antler was beside some cattails on the pond bank. The pond has a thin sheet of ice. Because the air was so cold Scotty hit the pond about 3 or 4 times to drink. The antler was about 6 feet to his left in the snow. He never saw it nor smelled it. I walked with 8 feet of it at least twice and I never saw it. My first experience with antlers in the snow - very challenging to me. I had heard others speak of this - now I know. Scotty hunted very hard and never stopped.

We moved to the second course and he found 5 at about 7 minutes and we struggle locating the last antler but we finished with 6 antlers at 12:47 for his 4th Pass in the Junior Division. He made some excellent retrieves on the second course.

Competition Summary - Scotty has completed on 6 courses in three states. He has passed 4 courses. He has found 34 out of 36 antlers. His performance is more impressive than mine as a handler. I am improving but cost him his first run in early September. I believe Scotty will be an outstanding dog at finding wild sheds because he hunts hard, checks back regular enough and handles my direction. My primary goal all along was a dog that could put antlers in the truck. Also, Scotty likes to travel.

Hunt Test are fun and you learn so much from all the dog handlers. Each Hunt Test requires us to practice and train which pays off. The people that attend these events are great people and eager to share what they know. I don't believe I will ever get tired of watching Scotty and Perry running toward me with an antler held in their mouth. Labs are amazing dogs!!!

At the event Saturday, we had MS, TN, NC, KY, OH, IN & MI participants that I know of - there might have been other states represented. John Ballard, his wife and the other club members worked hard and provided a great Hunt Test in harsh weather conditions. We lost a few participants that could not make the trip due to closed highways.

I have one photo that shows the snow.

Scotty Passes in Kentucky Hunt Test.jpg
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I want to congratulate our Dog Trainer Jacob Burris for a very successful Hunt Test Saturday. His dog Butch has the fastest time and won the Whiskey Barrel Plaque given to the fastest combined score. Jacob's other dogs has great times also. He has some outstanding dogs but Butch is the one I would pick from his kennel. I filmed Butch jumping off a dock about 9 or 10 feet above the water in the pond. I was in a boat. Butch would make a great dock dog. Millie and Meisha are great dogs too.

Also, I am thankful that he brought Perry along on the trip. I got to spend some time with Perry after all dogs had finished their runs. Perry has become so steady compared to the day I handed him over. Perry is a different personality that Scotty. He was totally green when I handed him over. Perry strong will over powered my limited training experience so I knew not to do any harm.

Jacob shared with me how impressed he is with Perry's nose. Perry is a high energy dog with a great upside. It is likely he stays a 4th month or part of the 4th month with Jacob so he finishes up well on his retriever training. I am not cutting any corners with Perry and will do what is best for him. This will reduce the number of days Perry will be hunting shed antlers with Scotty and I but I am okay with that.

Many exciting times are ahead for Perry as he gets finished up and then chasing wild antlers with Scotty and I.

Thanks for reading this thread.

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Today is a preparation day. Tomorrow Jan 27th we will leave way before daylight and travel north to Norman Henderson's farm south of Linton, Indiana to a NASHDA Hunt Test. I am nervous and hopeful that things go well.

Scotty has done great during his practice runs since we went to the Kentucky Hunt Test Jan 13th. I watched two hunt tests in early 2017 to learn about the overall process. Early on I realized that dogs are like 3 point shooters in basketball - they have the ability to perform at different levels from day to day or from the first course to the second course in the same day. Couple that with the skills of an inexperienced dog handler and you get the picture.

Scotty travels great but he is going to smell where every dog has been - that is the male in him. Scotty is as healthy and powerful as any dog that will be in attendance tomorrow. He weighed 96 pounds at his checkup last week. As I heard another dog handler say - those male dogs - they are in heat all the time.

I hope we return home with two passes tomorrow because that will complete Scotty's Junior Certification (6 passes on NASHDA Junior Courses). Then we can upgrade his training to what he will see in the Senior Class (add one antler in water). Feb 17th in Northern Mississippi will be our next hunt test.

I am watching a Shed Hunt Competition on bowhunting website with competitors from all across the eastern USA. Most have not seen their bucks drop yet. I will be hunting shed antlers on the Fort Campbell Base in Clarksville TN before the Feb 17th Hunt Test. It is still early here but my primary goal with my shed dogs is "antlers in the truck bed." Hunt Test is my secondary goal.

The alarm will go off at 3 AM tomorrow we will hit the road at 3:30 AM. Be nice to see all of my friends from the various states that run their dogs. Be even nicer to watch Scotty pass two courses. This dog has made amazing progress in 12 months. I picked him up on Jan 20th, 2017. I worked hard to learn what to do and how to do it. We don't see Hunt Test scheduled very often but maybe the number of events will increase over the next year and a half. The state of Kentucky held their first event two weeks ago and the Mississippi event next month is the first in that state.

If plans work out we will have one in Portland this coming fall.

Thanks for reading this thread.

I wish Piper and myself were going. I'm sure Scotty will be fine. Hopefully you'll draw an early run before the courses get saturated with scent. Best of luck to you and Scotty.

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I wish Piper and myself were going. I'm sure Scotty will be fine. Hopefully you'll draw an early run before the courses get saturated with scent. Best of luck to you and Scotty.

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I am concerned about drawing a run when the rain is coming down hard as opposed to a drizzle. He loves woodland courses and that is what we will have.


I've never ram Piper in the rain. Might just have to try that this weekend. We've ran after a couple rains but never when it was actually raining. Should be interesting either way for y'all. Scotty will do great

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Scotty Earns His Junior Title Jan 27, 2018

I set the alarm for 3:10 AM and when it went off I had no trouble hitting the floor. Most of the details has been taken care of the evening before. Scotty and I got a few things ready and headed toward south west Indiana to a NASHDA Hunt Test at Norm Henderson's Farm south of Linton, Indiana. Rain was in the forecast and we ran into it north of Owensboro, KY. We had rain all day long.

Scotty left home with 4 passes to his credit and returned home with 6 passes to his credit. #5 and #6 completed his Junior Title. I am proud of my dog - his first Hunt Test was in Rarden, Ohio on Sept 9, 2017. Scotty was born Oct 21, 2016, I picked him up Jan 20, 2017 and had to get him shaped up before the fall of 2017. I worked hard in the yard - thanks to YouTube and other resources. I took Scotty as far as I knew how.

Jacob Burris was the trainer I selected for Scotty and Perry and the results has been super. Now Scotty will run on the Senior Courses and the big change will one antler in water - going to be some creek work and pond work now.

We had 11 states represented yesterday: MS, TN, GA, KY, OH, IN, IL, MO, IA, WI, & MI. I know of 5 new participants and I was able to visit with 4 of them.

Scotty ran 7:31 on the first course and 9:54 on the second course. This was in the rain - it didn't bother the dogs. Need I say - no dogs got overheated and labs love mud - it suits their webbed feet.

Anyone reading this post that has a dog that is interested in shed antlers or one you want to train to hunt sheds, please contact me.

Thanks to Carter Riecks from Illinois for taking the photo below for us.

Scotty Jan 27, 2018.jpg
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Congrats on a great year Wayne and congratulations to Scotty and Perry for their passes this weekend. Look forward to seeing y'all next month in my neck of the woods.

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You seen sheds or pics of shed bucks? Just beginning to shed north of me two hours. We have not seen any in my county yet.

The following was posted on the NASHDA Facebook Page. (North American Shed Hunting Dog Association). All of the dogs listed are great shed hunting dogs. Proud of Scotty's Junior Title.

Congratulations to the following handlers and dogs for receiving titles at the January 27, 2018 qualifier in IN.


Jacob Burris and Miesha
Jacob Burris and Butch
Robert Clawson and Tucker
Ronnie Gambrell and Suzie
Wayne Pruett and Scotty


Courtney N Matthew Myers and Mag
Edward Norys and Lane

Edward Norys and Dallas
Joe Johnson and Remi
Congrats on making it to your senior level. We'll see you next weekend in Mississippi and depending on how Piper does in Indiana the weekend after.

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