How To

How to Determine How Much Antlers Are Worth

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Antlers | OutdoorHub

Have you ever wondered what your shed antlers are worth? In most cases, the smooth, white antlers you have laying around the house are probably worth more in sentimental value than out in the market. Due to the abundance of deer in North America, antlers can be had for relatively cheap.

That is great news for craftsmen who work with antlers to create art, custom knives, furniture, and so on. It is not great news if you want to sell some of your sheds. Most antlers are worth just a few bucks per pound, and unless you have a trophy-sized rack, don’t expect to rake in the big bucks anytime soon.

An antler’s value is based on six primary factors, which we will cover below.

1. Size

Size is definitely the largest factor in how much cash your antlers can bring in. Obviously, the larger your rack, the more it’s worth. Trophy-sized antlers will go far beyond what smaller racks are valued at, and record antlers are especially expensive. At that point, it depends mostly on demand for the rack from collectors rather than a base price per pound. According to antler buyer Jared Steele, an impressive whitetail rack such as a 200-inch set could net you about $400, but the value goes up exponentially the larger it is.

2. Freshness and condition

Fresh brown sheds are much more attractive—and generally easier to sell—than faded white antlers. This is mostly because brown antlers are much more in demand, are stronger, and more aesthetically pleasing than their white counterparts. Considering storing brown antlers in dark, cool areas away from the sun so they preserve their look.

Damaged antlers decrease in value, so try not to rough up your sheds too much.

3. Symmetry

Antler sets that mirror one another are generally worth more than sets that don’t. With typical sheds, keep an eye out for antlers that match up nicely. Non-typical antlers are another story altogether and can be worth more depending on the look.

4. Timing

The peak selling season for antlers runs from February to June. Although when you sell antlers don’t make as much of a difference as other factors, in can help you find prospective buyers online. Selling during the peak season means more competition but also more interest, while selling during other times of the year means less demand but potentially higher prices. Keep this in mind when you post on Craigslist or Ebay, and also remember than many buyers will want antlers year-round, but offer lower prices per pound.

5. Location

Location, location, location. Even when it comes to selling antlers, it is all about location. Selling antlers in an area where that species is abundant will not usually get you the best prices, but shipping them to somewhere else—the further from their native range the better—could net you a healthy profit. This is important to remember when buying or selling online. A person selling mule deer antlers in Vermont may not offer you the same prices as another seller in Arizona.

6. Species

Obviously, different species are worth different prices. Finding a single moose paddle will probably be worth more than several whitetail sheds, due to the weight alone. Like the market for anything else, base prices for antlers can change every day depending on demand. The list below is an average of prices from both antler buyers, such as Shed or Dead in Colorado, and antler sellers. It is not meant to be a comprehensive look into current antler prices, but merely an indicator of what a specific species is valued at. The average prices are also for antlers in prime condition.

Mule deer

Image from Oborseth on the Wikimedia Commons.

Image from Oborseth on the Wikimedia Commons.

  • Brown antler: $16-20 per pound
  • White antler: $7-8 per pound
  • Retails for: $23 per pound

Whitetail deer

Image from ForestWander on the Wikimedia Commons.

Image from ForestWander on the Wikimedia Commons.

  • Brown antler: $16-18 per pound
  • White antler: $6-7 per pound
  • Retails for: $23 per pound

Size matters! For example, a 180″ set may be worth about $150 to $200, while a 200″ set may be worth more than $400.

Moose

Image courtesy Hagerty Ryan/US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Image courtesy Hagerty Ryan/US Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Brown antler: $14 per pound
  • White antler: $6-7 per pound
  • Retails for: $25 per pound

Elk

Image is public domain.

Image is public domain.

  • Brown antler: $15 per pound
  • White antler: $6-7 per pound
  • Retails for: $25 per pound

According to Steele, the average price for a massive 400″ set could be upwards of $1,000.

Caribou

Image courtesy Dean Biggins/ US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Image courtesy Dean Biggins/ US Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Brown antler: $17-19 per pound
  • White antler: $7-9 per pound
  • Retails for: $25 per pound

Featured image from Per on the flickr Creative Commons

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • NorthernMichiganBoy

    There is a lot of info in this article that is not true. I have been an antler buyer for over twenty years. One big and important part was not even mentioned in this article. The legally of selling sheds or antlers is not even legal in several states. If you do sell in these states where not legal, a person could also violate The Lacey Act. Now you can be charged with a Federal crime if they crossed state lines. Some states require permits, etc also. Some areas are quarantined because of CWD.
    Do your research first before selling antlers.