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.

Previous articleWhen Life Gives You Morels, You Never Say “No”
Next articleHonor a Special Veteran With a Memorial Day Tweet
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.