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How Much Would You Pay For These Sheds?

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March 24, 2011

How Much Would You Pay For These Sheds?

By Scott Bestul

Last week I attended the 10th annual Whitetail Classic, Sport Show and Antler Auction, held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. One of the most fascinating aspects of the show was the antler auction, which is regarded as the largest sale of whitetail antlers in the country.

I watched bidders duke it out for cut antlers and sheds from wild and domestic whitetails, as well as mule deer, elk, moose and reindeer. It was fascinating.

Folks value antlers for variety of reasons, of course, but I was a little shocked at how many people buy them for making stuff: jackalopes, furniture, jewelry, lamp stands, knife handles, chandeliers, drawer pulls... You name an object, and someone has probably used an antler to either craft it or decorate it. It’s a booming industry that I was only dimly aware of.

Others simply collect antlers, and large or unique sheds from wild whitetails can fetch a hefty sum. The photo above shows the matched set from a whitetail that grew a bulbous, tumor-like mass from the base of one antler. I’d never seen such a growth, and I must have had some company, because the bidding was fast-paced.

The buyer wrote a check for $3,300!

Comments (30)

Top Rated
All Comments
from bjohnston wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

As cool as it would look over the wood stove, I'd have to funnel my money toward a gun or a trip to an island somewhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

$0.00

The value comes from the sweat and blood you put in to get them. You can't buy that at auction. People are nuts.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't understand spending huge money for stuff like this either, but it does help explain the explosion in trespassing for the the sole purpose of finding sheds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Ohio has over 400 deer farms. Practically one on every corner. Sheds are cheap anymore, even the huge grotesque looking set of antlers are easy to get.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Sounds about as dumb as a box of rocks... or bones...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

what do you do with $3000 worth of sheds. I still haven't figured out what to do with the ones i have in a box in my garage... Thinking of making knives i have a pen made out of antler but that was given to me by a family friend as a gift he charges about $60-$100 for those.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I personally would not want it. It would have know sentimental value to me. It is amazing (and embarassing to the hunting community) how many people buy a set of antlers or a mount to hang in the office or above the fireplace. They then make up a long story about the "hunt" that took place. You want a real trophy go out and put in the work, sweat, and time like everyone else. Just what I think, I'm sure many would disagree.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

ALjoe quote "You want a real trophy go out and put in the work, sweat, and time like everyone else."

....or @ the very least...go on a "check book" hunt...@ least then the person who does that will have had something to do with killing the animal, instead of just buying part of one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zacpro wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I would feel ashamed to have those over my fireplace and have someone ask me for the story behind it, and having to say "I bought it at an auction." It would be so much more valuable, at least to me, to have a story behind it, and being proud of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from antlercrazy wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I can't see buying antlers, but I could probably sell them. I do put a lot of work into shed hunting, but I never find any. In other words, I don't have to worry about selling any.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't pay for antlers either. Maybe if I was a knife-maker or something I'd give a few bucks for a shed to use as a handle, but $3300??!! That's idiotic in my book.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I bought a mounted jackalope off ebay but the antlers weren;t real. I would like to make a deer antler knife some time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChandlerV1997 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

That's ridiculous! I'd never pay anything for antlers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

i don't pay for antlers. i get them myself. it's the reason i spend so much on firearms and gear.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bushwackers wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Ive found 100's of sheds and could go thru um and tell ya where i found about every one of um,there all special to me. Ive never paid money for a shed but if anybody has any they want to give away .............

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shark Bait 911 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

$10

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I see everyone calling the cost of antlers idiotic. I'm not saying its not, but compared to other thing i'm shocked they're not going for more! When ones dish out $3300 sometimes on the LOW side for a piece of mineral that is put on the hand, or the fact that gold, a mineral found in the ground, is going for $1500+ an OUNCE! Ones might argue that dismonds and gold are RARE, but isn't a matching set sheds that measure 150, 175, 200+ inches? Sure there are alot of deer farms that grow them, taking 2-5 years for one set. In other parts of the Earth gold and diamond mines are that common. I think people have simply gone crazy over how much things are worth including how much they themselves are worth on the job.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmadawg wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I made a couple of candle holders once for christmas gifts out of deer sheds. To think I could sell them! Too bad I'm real short of a shed collestion now. I could sell enough to support my hunting funds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerwhacker40 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I personally wouldn't buy any but I find some every year, if you want to part with some cash I am willing to sell a few. I have a rack typical 8pt with the right brow broke off that I killed in 2007, it has a spred of
24 1/8" it's nice and could be a awesome rack.Got several other racks that would make wonderful articles of collection.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I would not even pay one cent for any of those.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I might pay one cent (sheds are rare around here), but not much more. Nonetheless, I find it fascinating that there are collectors who will spend thousands.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerwhacker40 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I think more interesting Dave would be an article on interviewing the guys who buy them and ask them what they will do with the racks that they pay so much for?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scottbestul wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't pay much (if anything) for a shed myself. But folks pay all kinds of crazy money for the things they collect. I posed this very question to one of the antler buyers, who told me "One man collects buffalo rifles, the next guy beer cans, the next antique cars."

So there you have it. Might not make sense to you or me, but people collect what they love and are willing to spend money on....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redneck Rockstar wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I agree with deerwhacker40, I wouldn't mind hearing from a few purchasers what their motivation is to buy sheds at such prices. I hunt and collect sheds myself for fashioning everything from knife handles and lamps to drawer handles and coat racks. Although I have been offered large sums of money for these DIY constructions I have never parted with any of it for more than 300 dollars or simply given them to somebody as a gift.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redneck Rockstar wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Grammar correction... I have never parted with any of these constructions for more than 300 dollars or I simply give them to somebody as a gift.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from atien wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldnt spend a dollar on it, the the fun thing about finding sheds and "collecting" sheds is when you can say that you actually found it, where you found it, what deer it is from and just the story behind it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nepa man wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

The only way I pay for a set of horns is by freezing my rear end off in a tree stand all season. You can't put a price on it though when it all comes together. Probably many of these people that "pay money" for sheds like to take them home and put them out when their buddies come over so the could BS about all the time they spend in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

"The value comes from the sweat and blood you put in to get them. You can't buy that at auction. People are nuts."

AMEN

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Great! Now here's another opportunity to call someone a poacher. Deer antler poachers. I can see the look on the defendant's face when the judge charges him/her $3,300 for replacement costs to the state.
Of course it goes without saying, no one has business on another's private land without permission.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montana wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have sold many sheds over the years to antler buyers who come to town, for bulk antlers without matches they pay a price per pound for fresh sheds, then a lower price for older sheds. The scale for matched sets is different, of course the higher the score the higher the price, or of course if it is something special like the matched set mentioned in the story. My best set of sheds is a 9x10 whitetail that scores 176 3/8, I've been offered big money from private collectors but would never sell to them, they look just fine in my collection.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

$0.00

The value comes from the sweat and blood you put in to get them. You can't buy that at auction. People are nuts.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't pay for antlers either. Maybe if I was a knife-maker or something I'd give a few bucks for a shed to use as a handle, but $3300??!! That's idiotic in my book.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I see everyone calling the cost of antlers idiotic. I'm not saying its not, but compared to other thing i'm shocked they're not going for more! When ones dish out $3300 sometimes on the LOW side for a piece of mineral that is put on the hand, or the fact that gold, a mineral found in the ground, is going for $1500+ an OUNCE! Ones might argue that dismonds and gold are RARE, but isn't a matching set sheds that measure 150, 175, 200+ inches? Sure there are alot of deer farms that grow them, taking 2-5 years for one set. In other parts of the Earth gold and diamond mines are that common. I think people have simply gone crazy over how much things are worth including how much they themselves are worth on the job.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bjohnston wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

As cool as it would look over the wood stove, I'd have to funnel my money toward a gun or a trip to an island somewhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I personally would not want it. It would have know sentimental value to me. It is amazing (and embarassing to the hunting community) how many people buy a set of antlers or a mount to hang in the office or above the fireplace. They then make up a long story about the "hunt" that took place. You want a real trophy go out and put in the work, sweat, and time like everyone else. Just what I think, I'm sure many would disagree.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerwhacker40 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I personally wouldn't buy any but I find some every year, if you want to part with some cash I am willing to sell a few. I have a rack typical 8pt with the right brow broke off that I killed in 2007, it has a spred of
24 1/8" it's nice and could be a awesome rack.Got several other racks that would make wonderful articles of collection.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scottbestul wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't pay much (if anything) for a shed myself. But folks pay all kinds of crazy money for the things they collect. I posed this very question to one of the antler buyers, who told me "One man collects buffalo rifles, the next guy beer cans, the next antique cars."

So there you have it. Might not make sense to you or me, but people collect what they love and are willing to spend money on....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from atien wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wouldnt spend a dollar on it, the the fun thing about finding sheds and "collecting" sheds is when you can say that you actually found it, where you found it, what deer it is from and just the story behind it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't understand spending huge money for stuff like this either, but it does help explain the explosion in trespassing for the the sole purpose of finding sheds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Ohio has over 400 deer farms. Practically one on every corner. Sheds are cheap anymore, even the huge grotesque looking set of antlers are easy to get.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Sounds about as dumb as a box of rocks... or bones...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

what do you do with $3000 worth of sheds. I still haven't figured out what to do with the ones i have in a box in my garage... Thinking of making knives i have a pen made out of antler but that was given to me by a family friend as a gift he charges about $60-$100 for those.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

ALjoe quote "You want a real trophy go out and put in the work, sweat, and time like everyone else."

....or @ the very least...go on a "check book" hunt...@ least then the person who does that will have had something to do with killing the animal, instead of just buying part of one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zacpro wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I would feel ashamed to have those over my fireplace and have someone ask me for the story behind it, and having to say "I bought it at an auction." It would be so much more valuable, at least to me, to have a story behind it, and being proud of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from antlercrazy wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I can't see buying antlers, but I could probably sell them. I do put a lot of work into shed hunting, but I never find any. In other words, I don't have to worry about selling any.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I bought a mounted jackalope off ebay but the antlers weren;t real. I would like to make a deer antler knife some time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChandlerV1997 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

That's ridiculous! I'd never pay anything for antlers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

i don't pay for antlers. i get them myself. it's the reason i spend so much on firearms and gear.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bushwackers wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Ive found 100's of sheds and could go thru um and tell ya where i found about every one of um,there all special to me. Ive never paid money for a shed but if anybody has any they want to give away .............

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shark Bait 911 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

$10

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmadawg wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I made a couple of candle holders once for christmas gifts out of deer sheds. To think I could sell them! Too bad I'm real short of a shed collestion now. I could sell enough to support my hunting funds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I would not even pay one cent for any of those.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I might pay one cent (sheds are rare around here), but not much more. Nonetheless, I find it fascinating that there are collectors who will spend thousands.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerwhacker40 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I think more interesting Dave would be an article on interviewing the guys who buy them and ask them what they will do with the racks that they pay so much for?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redneck Rockstar wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I agree with deerwhacker40, I wouldn't mind hearing from a few purchasers what their motivation is to buy sheds at such prices. I hunt and collect sheds myself for fashioning everything from knife handles and lamps to drawer handles and coat racks. Although I have been offered large sums of money for these DIY constructions I have never parted with any of it for more than 300 dollars or simply given them to somebody as a gift.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Redneck Rockstar wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Grammar correction... I have never parted with any of these constructions for more than 300 dollars or I simply give them to somebody as a gift.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nepa man wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

The only way I pay for a set of horns is by freezing my rear end off in a tree stand all season. You can't put a price on it though when it all comes together. Probably many of these people that "pay money" for sheds like to take them home and put them out when their buddies come over so the could BS about all the time they spend in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

"The value comes from the sweat and blood you put in to get them. You can't buy that at auction. People are nuts."

AMEN

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Great! Now here's another opportunity to call someone a poacher. Deer antler poachers. I can see the look on the defendant's face when the judge charges him/her $3,300 for replacement costs to the state.
Of course it goes without saying, no one has business on another's private land without permission.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montana wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have sold many sheds over the years to antler buyers who come to town, for bulk antlers without matches they pay a price per pound for fresh sheds, then a lower price for older sheds. The scale for matched sets is different, of course the higher the score the higher the price, or of course if it is something special like the matched set mentioned in the story. My best set of sheds is a 9x10 whitetail that scores 176 3/8, I've been offered big money from private collectors but would never sell to them, they look just fine in my collection.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment