Antler value: Finding some winter’s bone …
I’ve noticed recently that when non-hunters find out that I like to find shed antlers, they almost always ask how much I sell them for. That wasn’t the case even five years ago, and it seems that there is the perception out there that scouring the winter woods for antlers is basically an exercise in business.
From what I hear, outdoor television has promoted this idea through at least one show that focuses on highly inflated prices for sheds. To me, the thought of selling antlers is strange, but to be fair, I don’t usually find more than a few per year so it’s not like my daughters can expect a free college education from my antler profits.
The value to finding a shed to me is pretty simple – I like them and I like walking in the woods. They also provide specific-buck proof of life up to the drop point, but after that, who knows? I shed hunt an awful lot of places that I’ll never deer hunt, so finding a buck’s antlers doesn’t really mean much to me come fall. Of the antlers I do find where I can bowhunt (very, very rare), it’s just cool to know what deer survived the autumn gauntlet. That buck could be kicking around on the landscape come September.
I’ll admit, it’s an adrenaline rush to spot a few tines poking through the snow or the yellowed grass of late winter, but if I am being truly honest, I like shed hunting because it gives me an excuse to walk through the woods with my dog and my kids. It’s an excuse to tromp through cattail sloughs, woodlots, and anywhere else we can access. Finding an antler is a bonus, but it’s really just the thinly veiled excuse to take a curious walk through nature. Finding an antler is really just an added bonus.