Racking up a whole lot of racks: Long-running antler auction Saturday in Wyoming

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

It’s ElkFest time in Jackson, Wyo.

So bring on the antler auction.

On Saturday, May 20, the long-running, popular auction returns to the National Elk Refuge in Jackson during ElkFest.

This marks 50 years since the Jackson District Boys Scouts of America launched the auction event in 1968.

The Boy Scouts were originally recruited by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to gather antlers from the refuge and eventually formally partnered with the National Elk Refuge to collect antlers in the spring and auction them off.

Elk and other ungulates, like deer, shed their antlers every year, usually in March and April in Wyoming. The shedding takes about two to three weeks and regeneration takes an entire summer before the cycle starts all over again, according to a news release on the auction by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Last year the auction netted $175,397, and the collection totaled 11,512 pounds of antlers, a few thousand pounds short of the record high of 13,698 pounds in 2014.

According to the release, 75 percent of the proceeds from the auction are retained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and used for habitat enhancement projects, equipment purchases, and noxious weed management. The remaining 25 percent of the sale’s proceeds are donated to the Jackson District Boy Scouts.

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