Last week’s fast-warming weather revealed more than the promise of an early spring. Also exposed throughout Minnesota were antlers shed by white-tailed deer. Or about to be shed. Increasingly the objects of widespread affection, antlers draw evermore “shed” hunters into the hinterlands each spring. Most effective are those who in their pursuits are aided by dogs specially trained to sniff out, find and retrieve these hidden and quaintly odiferous (to dogs) trophies. This being America, antler questing is now a competitive sport, and New Richmond, Wis., canine trainer Josh Miller last week prepared charges he and his customers will enter in the upcoming invitational North American Shed Hunting Dog Association (NASHDA) World Championships at Tom Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels near Northfield, Minn., April 16-17. More information is at sheddogtrainer.com.

Dennis Anderson