Video: What Happens to Shed Antlers You Don’t Pick Up?

   02.06.15

Hunting for shed antlers is great fun and an easy way to get kids into the great outdoors. But there’s no way that shed hunters could collect every discarded antler in the woods, could they? So what happens to those racks left on the forest floor? Do they decay, melt away, or get carried off by an army of insects?

As it turns out, loose antlers are often taken care of by squirrels. These big-toothed rodents scour the forest floor for bony treats, which they quickly nibble away. Antlers are actually a good source for mineral salts and help to keep teeth worn down, so they are highly prized by many rodent species. In fact, squirrels have to fight off mice, porcupines, and other antler-lovers for these crunchy treats.

Of course, this means that if you pass up that big shed, it likely won’t be around next season.

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