January 29, 2012

SHOT Show: Shed-Huntin' Dawg

My dog Fisher cannot run through the woods without locating every bit of bone or carrion within 200 yards of his position.

Maybe his natural talent is shed [antler] hunting.

As the days lengthen, and depending on the amount of snow on the ground, people will be out looking for the antlers that deer and elk shed after the breeding season. Some just hang them on the wall, while others make things from the antlers or sell them to craftspeople who do.

There are even shed-antler brokers.

Plastic antler
So someone smelled commercial potential. Train dogs to find antlers. Even better, sell stuff to people that will help them train their dogs to find shed antlers! Scents! Plastic "training antlers"!

(You may, the instructions admit, also make your own training antlers out of heavy cardboard or thin plywood, painted white.)

And because we Americans are a proud and competitive people, fond — as Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out — of forming voluntary associations, you have the North American Shed Dog Hunting Association with competitive events and trophies. Go, girl! Hunt 'em up!

(Actually, the website seems to suggest that the association is a creation of the supplier, but I cannot tell for sure. There are precedents for that.)

Breeders probably are already advertising the shed-hunting trophies won by sires and dams.

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