Shed Antler Hunting Trials

Shed Antler Trials are a fun way to engage your dog’s searching and retrieving skills in a manner similar to practical shed antler hunting but with a competitive flair! Earn placement and titles as your dog moves through the levels.  Your dog needs an NDS Competition Number to compete- click HERE to register for a number.


Shed Antler Trials are in-person events that evaluate your dog’s skills against a performance standard and against the speed of other dogs.

Four levels of competition exist currently. Earn placement and title ribbons and work towards titles!

Click below for the full rule book or scroll down to learn more about title options in shed antler trials!

SCROLL DOWN to learn more about Shed Antler TRIALS! 



Tests are designed to evaluate specific skill elements within the sport. Follow the test criteria, video your dog completing the search, and submit it for evaluation online- compete from literally anywhere! Tests can be organized among a group to share video and setup duties,  or you can video your dog  on your own.  Complete all 4 Assessment Categories earn your dog’s Shed Antler Skill Verified Title!


Shed Antler Trial Levels

Level 1- Locate

This level is meant to test your dog’s ability to locate antlers at an introductory level. Dogs will search a 100×100 foot course with natural or natural-mimicking elements to search around, attempting to locate a single antler.  The judge will determine when the dog has found the antler independently, and the handler will have the option to either ask the dog to retrieve it, or collect the antler themself and proceed to finish line. 

Level 2- Double Retrieve

Dogs may enter level 2 without first having titled in level 1, but must complete level 2 before competing in level 3.

Level 2 courses involve a search area at least 100×100 feet or as large as 200×200 feet, and should have no more than medium cover.

Dogs are required to retrieve the antlers to within 3 feet of the handle.


Level 3- Hidden Antlers

Dogs must have their level 2 title in order to compete at level 3. In this level, 3 antlers will be placed in a natural course which should include treed areas, shoreline, hills, ditches, or other naturally occurring challenges. One antler will be partly buried in light vegetation (leaves or light, unsecured branches) or partly submerged in naturally occurring water or snow. 


Level 4 -Mystery Search

A level 3 title is required to compete in level 4. Level 4 will have between 3 and 5 antlers to search for, with the number unknown to the handler. Two antlers will have challenges that may include being partly buried, partly suberged, or dangling. 



Earning Titles- Overview

Dogs must be a minimum of 6 months of age to compete in shed antler trials. There is no upper age limit. 

Dogs can begin competing at either Level 1, Level 2, or both. Level 1 is  not required to complete level 2- but level 2 title must be completed in order to enter level 3, and level 3 must be completed to move up to level 4. Dogs are not required to move up and may continue to run at lower levels as long as they choose. 

4 Qualifying scores are required in each level to pass. 

Placement ribbons may be offered for dogs earning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in each class.

Two height classes exist – rules are the same for each size class but for placement purposes, dogs only compete against dogs in their own size group. 

-Open dogs (dogs 16inches and over) and Small breeds (dogs less than 16 inches)