Real antlers pack more volume and produce a better sound than rattle bags, but toting the real thing is inconvenient and noisy. You can solve these problems by making a simple strap that lets you carry the antlers quietly and comfortably around your waist. Here’s how:
1.) Start with a rack that has at least three fighting tines on each side and is cut off (or shed) at the base. Brace one antler in a vise and file down sharp points. Then, using a 1/4-inch bit, drill a hole about 11/2 inch deep into the bottom of the main beam.
2.) With the antler still in the vise, screw a 1/4×2-inch eye screw (available at hardware stores) into the hole. Take a sturdy pair of pliers and bend the eye of the screw open slightly to create a gap. Then repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other antler.
**3.) **Lay both antlers down on a bench or table. Slide the elastic section of a 24-inch bungee cord into the gap you made in the eye of each screw. Use the pliers to bend the eyes closed again.
4.) Your antlers are now ready for the field. I like to tote them around my waist, stretching the bungee cord around my midsection like a belt. I position one antler on each hip, which keeps them from banging together as I walk. When I’m in an area where there may be other hunters, I simply wear a long shirt untucked or a jacket that hides the horns. If it’s safe to do so, you can also use the bungee cord to lash the antlers to the outside of a day or fanny pack.
When you’re sitting in your stand, wrap the cord around the tree trunk to store the antlers, or use the hooks at each end of the cord to hang your horns on a nearby branch, where they’ll be right at your fingertips when you need them.