Shed Hunting Weims…
For those that don’t know, deer and elk shed their antlers every year and grow and new set. Click here to read more about this process! Are you wondering why this would be a topic of interest on today’s OwyheeStar Blog? Read on and learn about the Weimaraner hunting sheds in Central Oregon.
Collecting, finding, or recycling shed antlers might be a new idea to you.
You may have seen used in furniture. There are several uses for sheds. For example, a fine crafted antler chandelier. These are popular for the home, or cabin. The shed antler can be used to craft a number of unique projects such as: lamps, tables, jewelry, knife handles, and to make some utensils.
Stan and Fritz had developed great hunting and tracking skills even before Trail joined the family.
Trail is a quick learner. He surprised Stan with his natural field ability last year. Suzie and Stan’s son, Seth, is the person into finding sheds. Although Stan tagged along, it was Seth, who trained Trail to hunt for the shed antlers. Trail is officially a shed-locating Weim. This is a great sport for the two Weims. A lot of people mention they want to teach their Weim to find sheds, but not everyone follows through. We hope this inspires you to get out and teach your Weimaraner a new trick. They can learn to track your scent and find cash in the yard. For the non-hunter, you can drag a hot dog through the yard and see if they can learn to track the scent. During the winter, an old sock stuffed with feathers or even another sock can be scented with bird scent. Bird scent is available online and at most sporting-goods stores. Once you have your sock prepared, take the Weimaraner out of the room while someone hides the sock. At first make it more obvious. This is a great game. It is fun for you and the Weim.
Antlers for your Weim….
They are growing in popularity with dog owners. The antler is replacing bully sticks, bones, and rawhide. Many cite them safer, less costly, and healthy for the canine. Although buying a piece of antler (marketed for dogs) may look expensive, the good ones last a long time. If your dog’s teeth are old, cracked, or showing signs of wear, the antler might be unsafe.
For the younger aggressive chewer, the antler may well serve you and your pet better than most other chews. Long before the canine was domesticated antlers served as a chew item, along with bones. Now that you know a bit about collecting sheds, you might want to train your Weim to find them too!
For those interested in knowing more…
Several links are listed below for your convenience. The links are varied and range from information about antler sheds, training your Weimaraner to find the antler, to what you can make from your finds.
Trail, Stan’s OwyheeStar Weimaraner, was featured in our August OwyheeStar Blog. Click here to read the previous post about Trail! Stan had an aging Weimaraner, and in 2010 decided he should add a new Weim to the family. He was hoping for a natural hunter, because he enjoys hunting. Fritz had trained nicely, but there is no guarantee the next Weim would be as satisfying. Stan approached us with his wants, and we matched him with Trail.
- How antlers size up with other chew choices Click Here
- Are antlers safe for dogs? Click Here
- Seth, who is the main shed hunter and took the initiative to take Trail out and begin training him. Stan was along on many of the trips, but Seth was the one who mainly worked with him through the shed hunting process.
We each play our assigned roll with the Weimaraner…
In closing, Suzie’s comments about each person having their own special roll within the family seemed apropos:
I thought it would be a plus to the testimonies that while weim’s have a ‘master,’ they are also easily trained by other members of the household. In our family, we have all taught Trail different skills. I am the one who taught Trail to take treats gently…..trust me, he takes them like he is sipping tea :)…Stan has obviously been the bird hunting trainer, Seth, the shed hunting trainer, our oldest son, Griffing, the ‘trick’ trainer. Thought you’d enjoy that little bit.
Stan added: Shed hunting is a great early spring activity. After the bird hunting season is over and you need a reason to get out and hike, shed hunting fills the void. For some the hobby gets serious, like for my son Seth. He routinely finds 100+ sheds per years in addition to the ones Trail finds when he gets to go. So when the camoflauge goes on, the dogs are ready to go.
Trail started out with a small, hard , fresh horn in his crate as a puppy, a few hide and seeks in the yard and a little time in the field is all it took. We can be walking along looking and from out of nowhere he will find them. His average horn finds per mile are better than Seth’s or mine.
Did I say, this dog is amazes me…..
One word of caution on dogs and antlers. DONT let them chew on aged antlers as they can be eaten and splinter causing issues with digestion.
Breeder’s Note: This is typical in our experience. Furthermore, it is important that each person within the household has their part. Everyone needs to be invested, no matter how busy their schedule. Each person in the Weim’s extended family has a special relationship too! Thank you Suzie for thinking to mention that element. It is vitally important to understand that no one family member has everything needed to bring the Weim to a well-rounded position. Each person has unique interests, abilities, and a special knack. Stan’s caution about letting them ingest old sheds is an important balance. The antlers need to be of good quality. As with any rubber toy, rope, etc., please remove the antler when it shows signs of wear. Intestinal blockages, punctures, and digestive problems can lead to the need for emergency veterinary services.