Can You Sell Deer Antlers?

by Paul Annear

As more hunters add sheds or ‘deadheads’ to their cumulative antler pile, some hunters begin to question the reason for holding on to so many of the precious ‘white gold’ artifacts they have found over the years. For some, they forget the story of how the antler was found or simply have too many antlers (if that’s possible) that do not provide any sort of esthetic value to them anymore. It begs the question, “can you sell deer antlers?”

Where Is It Legal to Sell Deer Antlers?

Possessing and selling mounts, deadheads or shed antlers is legal in most states. Prime whitetail states like Iowa and Wisconsin allow the sale of shed antlers and mounts that were taken legally. Many other famed whitetail states also allow the sale of sheds and mounts that were legally taken. In a few cases, states outlaw the possessing of antlers on public land but are fine with possession on private land. In a few western states, there are even specific time periods where you cannot possess shed antlers. There are many off-shoots and nuances to these laws and you should read the regulations very carefully before flaunting a prized find on Instagram or Facebook.

antler Sheds

Be sure to check the laws pertaining to the sale of antlers where you live.

Where Can’t I Possess and Sell Deer Antlers?

Some states do have strict regulations against the sale of antlers attached to skulls. States like Oklahoma and California have very strict laws regarding the sale of skulls and mounts. Oklahoma has ok’d the sale of shed antlers because they claim they aren’t worth as much when sold. West Virginia recently passed a measure to legalize the possession and sale of sheds. Prior to the law passing, it was technically illegal to even possess a shed antler, even though the DNR admitted the law was rarely enforced. While a single shed probably will not sell for hundreds of dollars, dog owners and non-shed hunters will pay anywhere from $30-50 for a single shed. Finding shed antlers for sale on Amazon or EBay is not difficult. Retail stores are even selling over-priced antlers. Selling massive quantities of sheds to the right buyer(s) could net you a decent paycheck.

Why Would It Be Illegal to Sell Deer Antlers?

For example, Oklahoma fears the selling and transporting of mounts or Euro skulls could degrade the meaning of hunting and exacerbate the illegal taking of game since a high scoring rack of a whitetail or mule deer will sell for a pretty penny. States such as Oklahoma may also want to keep the sale of mounts or antlers illegal simply to retain some state of tradition and respect to the actual killing of the animal.

Sell deer antlers - Dead-Head

Would you sell your deer antlers?

What About Salvage Tags?

Salvage tags are sometimes required to obtain deer killed by a vehicle or even a ‘dead-head’ you find while shed hunting. Each state varies greatly in their laws and what may be required. Salvage tags are free and simply require a person to call a DNR hotline in their state where the deer is found or taken.

What about you? Have you ever sold any of the antlers you picked up in the wild? Would you? Comment below and let us know your thoughts on whether you think it’s right or wrong to sell deer antlers.

Comments

  1. Hans Mewes says:

    Not being able to keep a shed antler that you found hiking in the woods seems silly to me. Probably because no has figured out a way to tax it.

    Reply

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