Millions of Americans will hike and wander elk country this summer, and some could find a source of income they didn’t expect. Members of the Boy Scouts of America were excited to discover an unusual goldmine: shed elk antlers. While the antlers have averaged around $10 per pound in recent years, this spring saw antlers bringing in more than $15 per pound and record-high proceeds for the Scouts. You should know that collecting shed antlers in National Parks is prohibited, so read the details of this post before you begin prospecting. Incidentally, some shed hunters have trained their dogs to find shed antlers by scent, greatly increasing the harvest.
Most buyers in Jackson this year seemed to have other businesses and hobbies involving elk antlers.
“Furniture,” Rasmussen said. “Chandeliers. They’ve started using them for knife handles. Jewelry. Dog chews have become a big item.”
“They like the marrow in the center of the bone,” said Jackson resident Willis Pratt as he watched a black Labrador chewing on a broken antler. “That’s what they go for.”
As far as the elk are concerned, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Each of them has already started regrowing a new set of antlers, many of which will be collected and auctioned off next year.