Bone Guide: How to Estimate the Price of Shed Antlers

Even if you don't want to sell your hard-earned antlers, this guide will show you how much that white gold is worth.

shed antler

antlerprice

Finding the shed antler off the whitetail you chased all fall can make you feel like you've struck gold. And if that antler is big enough—and you're willing to convert your picked-up treasure into cash—you just might have. Sheds aren't going to sell for thousands per ounce, but cast antlers do carry value. Two things matter most: big and fresh. Antlers are graded as "brown" or "hard white." Brown antlers are fresh. Hard white sheds are just as they sound, white from age but still sound in structure. We rounded up five antlers of varying sizes, weights, and freshness and asked a couple of shed antler gurus to, um, shed some light on their approximate values. Here's what they had to say about these cast-off treasures.Justin Appenzeller
average shed

Average 8

Here's a realistic find for most antler hunters: a 40-inch, 4-point side from a 100-class buck. It would be classified as hard white due to its age and weathered coloration. "Sheds of this size are going to be sold by the pound," says Montana buyer Tom Willson. "Between $6 to $8 per pound, maybe $10 for hard brown. Hard white goes about half. That market used to be better when all the chandelier makers and crafters were using hard white antlers and staining them. But that's dropped off quite a bit." Price Quote: "Around $4."Justin Appenzeller
heavy shed antler

Straight 5

A heavy, long-tined stud of a shed, this classic typical antler tapes nearly 80 inches. "It might actually bring a little more if it were a big 4-point instead of a 5," says Willson, who runs AntlerTom.com. "People really seem to love those big 4-points for some reason." And what if the Straight 5 and Forked G2--see Shed 3--were a matched set from the same buck? (Which, in fact, they are.) "You could get $500 to $600 for the set," Jorgenson says. "The key is finding the right buyer. Working with a dealer is the way to go because they've spent the time to find those key collectors that are looking for a 200-inch-class set." Price Quote: "This single shed would go for about $200 to $275."Justin Appenzeller
Forked shed antler

Forked G2

This 90-inch giant is fresh, massive (to the tune of nearly 4 pounds), and features 23-inch main beams and towering, foot-long tines. "That's a trophy-class shed and might be very attractive to someone looking for a big single," says Dave Jorgenson, a Utah-based antler buyer who handles thousands of sheds a year. "But forks can actually hurt the value." Price Quote: "Around $250, more if you find the right buyer."Justin Appenzeller
tiny shed antler

Tiny 3

Lots of these little guys are picked up each year. "The market for these used to be overseas for medicinal purposes. But now the stateside market for dog chews has picked up," says Jorgenson. "This is hard white, and you'd get the pound rate—usually $2 to $3 per pound." Price Quote: "About 75 cents."Justin Appenzeller
heavy shed antler

Heavy 5

This shed is interesting. It's incredibly massive, weighing nearly 3 pounds. Despite its relatively short tines (the G2 is 8 inches), it still tapes nearly 70 inches. "Character like that can help, and the mass helps, for sure," says Willson. "It's right on the edge of being something a collector would want." Some collectors will want it for its unique qualities, but the shed isn't large enough to appeal to the top-end collectors. It probably goes to the craft market. Price Quote: "About $100."Justin Appenzeller