Deer antlers tied together with a bungee cord.
A bungee cord makes the perfect string for a rattling-rig. Scott Bestul

Real antlers pack more volume and produce a better sound than rattle bags, but toting a couple of main beams is inconvenient and noisy. You can solve these problems by making a simple bungee-cord rig that lets you transport the antlers quietly and comfortably. Here’s how:

How to Make a Bungee Rattle-Rig

  1. Start with antlers that have at least three fighting tines on each side. These can be sheds, or antlers from a harvested buck that are cut off at the bases. Secure one antler in a vise, and use a hacksaw, bone saw, or reciprocating saw to cut off the brow tine.
  2. Reposition the antler in the vise so that the base is pointing up, and use a 1/4-inch bit to drill a hole 2-1/2 inches deep into the bottom of the main beam.
  3. With the antler still in the vise, screw a 1/4×3-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. Or put the eye in the vice, and bend it. Then repeat these first three steps with the other antler.
  4. 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 vise to bend the eye closed again.
  5. Your antlers are now ready for the field. During bow seasons, 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. Alternatively, you can use the bungee cord to lash the antlers to the outside of a day or fanny pack. Obviously, you want to make sure the antlers are hidden or covered with hunter-orange during gun seasons. 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.