Antlers are more like fingernails than bone, they begin with soft nubs on the skull before growing to full size. The new growth is covered in a fur-like velvet that protects the delicate structure until it hardens. Once the velvet has worn out its welcome, the deer and elk get annoyed with it itching and encourage its departure by rubbing on trees to scrape it off.
Deer and elk lose their antlers every year and grow new ones back beginning in the spring. Normally, we don’t find antlers that have been shed by deer or elk until later in the winter. A walk in the woods in late January or February is the time we find them.
This little beauty was found during a walk in the woods. It is hard to find a shed antler in this good of shape. It was not chewed on by mice, or gnawed by coyotes(a highly sought prize by both varmints). It was freshly shed because the end that attached to the skull was still white and damp.
Although this is not a trophy worthy specimen, it is very special to us and we are grateful for another gift from the woods.