Antler shedding occurs on a yearly basis when a horned mammal such as deer(all species), elk, moose, and others drop their antlers in preparation to grow a larger set for the rutting season. For the animals, it represents the aging process, as the horns become larger and gain more spikes or tines over time. Deer, elk, moose, and other species use their antlers to mark their territory, defense against predators, and to spar during the mating season.
Antlered animals are not the only to shed their head ornaments, though. Horned animals like the Antelope, Mountain Goat, and Big Horn Sheep participate in a similar annual molting of their horns, and they too grow back larger. However, it's not only the males that have head gear, but the females as well.
As antlers are shed in the winter months, usually between January and April, it presents a grand opportunity for "hunters" to pick up these natural trophies. Not only is it a healthy outdoor activity to the likes of a treasure hunt, but can provide large antlers that can be used for both decorative and/or useful purposes. Many people turn the antlers into works of art, chandeliers, knife handles, pipes, and even as an herbal supplement.
Antler sheds can provide an opportunity for money. Big bucks are paid for antlers as they can not be artificially produced and are in high demand. Not only are they used for arts, crafts, and utility, but in Asia ground up antlers are considered a health supplement that induces vitality, vigor, and energy to those that consume it. Supply can not meet demand.
Antlershedding.org doesn't only provide information, facts, tips, and pictures of good antler finds, but we also show off, and make available other people's finds. For whatever reason these sellers have decided to part with their antler shed finds which gives you an opportunity to purchase them, or see the fantastic gallery of great finds, large and small, old and new. Check out record sizes and strange racks.
There are several types of antlers based upon condition. Depending upon when you stumble upon the antlers while hunting, will give you an idea of the antlers worth. The three age phases are velvet, brown, white, and gray. Velvet is the point where it is soft to the touch, and you won't come across this because this is the substance that helps the antler grow by providing blood, vitamins and minerals. However, if allowed by local law, some individuals help the population by providing protein and nutrient rich feed so the antlers grow larger.
The color indicator helps with age identification. Brown is a freshly dropped antler, and is the most valuable. It is usually no more than 1 year old, unless it was dropped somewhere that protects it from the elements which is rare. White can be up to several years old, and usually occurs from bleaching by the sun. Losing the brown color is usually the only sign of age, as the white antler will still be smooth and have no signs of physical wear. Gray is the worst condition and least valuable, if of value at all. With the gray color most often there will be signs of teeth marks, gnawed by rodents and the like, and honeycomb like holes and deterioration from weather and molecular breakdown.
Antler sheds can be found anywhere there happens to be a healthy population of horned and antler animals. Before going out antler hunting, make sure to check with your State and Local Fish And Game office to see if there is any special regulations regarding claim season, limits, or check in stations. Most states have a website so use the search engine for your state to find it. Otherwise, lookup your local fish and game, forest service, or blm office to get started in the right direction.
Thanks for checking out Antler Shedding. We hope to provide tons of opportunities to get you out finding big game racks. Check out the links to get more info on specific antler sheds, contact us for questions, or check out the gallery.
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