Following police enquiries, searches for the weapon were carried out from Friday 25 August to Monday 28 August with officers making the discover in the River Stour near to Canford Parish Church.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We have conducted a number of searches during this investigation and the find may be of significance.
“We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during the four-day search and apologise for any disruption caused to the public while the searches were carried out.
“We would still urge anyone with information in relation to this case who has not already contacted us to come forward.”
Mr Hedger, 61, was killed in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 30 April at his home in Castlewood, Ringwood, when he was shot after intruders reportedly entered his home.
Officers were called just after 3am to a report that Mr Hedger had been shot with a shotgun. He was later pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital.
Kevin Downton, who is 40 and from Winterborne Stickland near Blandford, 41-year-old Jason Baccus and 44-year-old Scott Keeping, both of Verney Close in Bournemouth, are all charged with murder. They are next appearing at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 8 September 2017.
Helen Cooper, also known as Helen Keeping, was charged with assisting an offender and is also due to appear at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 8 September 2017.
A 39-year-old Bournemouth man and 46-year-old Poole man previously arrested in relation to the incident were released under investigation.
Independent charity Crimestoppers has offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the firearm used during the alleged murder as well as the jewellery reportedly stolen during the incident and detectives say there has been a positive response to the appeal.
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Tags: Murder Investigation