Hollow Deer Shed Antler – What Caused It?

Over the weekend the folks at Drury Outdoors shared a very unique photo across their social media outlets.  The antler, which was found in Nebraska this past weekend, appears to be at least partially hollow.  A large hole from the base of the antler extends up into the main beam.

Our initial thoughts would be some sort of bug bored it’s way into the antler while in velvet.  What do you think?

The antler was found during a shed hunt with Hidden Hills Outfitters in Nebraska.


  1. could be a mouse eating into the antler when it was dropped or an insect.

  2. James Edie says:

    This could be due to a brain abscess. I read a story like this on a field and stream website. I will leave a link and you can read up on it. The pictures are very much alike. link to fieldandstream.com A mouse or insect would most likely leave other traces such a scratch or teeth marks it looks fairly smooth. Plus the tips of the tines look to be in great shape I normally find sheds that the tips have been chewed on when it is from rodents.

  3. Buckdragger says:

    In the past my buddies and I have come across deer that we have shot that have a hole in some portion of the main beam. Never have i seen it through the base like this. My taxidermist has the opinion that when deer are in velvet, a mass quantity of blood is flowing through an antler at any given point. When the deer begins to rub of the velvet it exposes a fragile hole or channel that breaks open and allows for the blood to be let out and the bone to harden. Sometimes the holes are small enough that they seal back up and other times there is a significant hole left behind. The holes I have seen are generally toward the end of the main beam along the bottom side of the antler. Is it possible that there was a heavy amount of blood flow to this particular antler that wasn’t able to be released? Not sure but its a unique find none the less.

  4. I have an antler just like this, but a mule deer found in Utah


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