Find out what to do with your deer antlers, from the obvious to the unique.
One of the biggest complaints that animal rights activists have about hunters is that they do everything for sport: they kill deer just for the fun of the hunt, but don’t really care about preparing the venison or harvesting all of the resources that the deer has to offer.
This assumption is, as all know, untrue. Most of us love to get every scrap of meat off a deer’s bones that we can. We also frequently turn parts of our trophy bucks into trophies, and even use impressive antlers as mounts or even as tools for further hunting.
Read our Guide to Hunter Jargon
However, the truth is that not every deer we kill will have antlers that we want to mount on our walls. For every 15-point buck we kill, we probably bag another two or three whitetail males with smaller, less notable antler arrangements. The question then becomes this: how can I use these antlers and not become the wasteful sportsman that anti deer hunting activists assume I am?
Luckily, there are a wealth of uses for antlers and antler pieces. From creative projects to tools with entirely practical hunting uses, antlers can be utilized to create numerous things. Best of all, whatever you create from your antlers will be a keepsake, not only because it’s made from part of an animal that you hunted down and killed, but also because you made it with your own hands. Here are just a few ideas of things you can do with your spare antler pieces.
If you consider yourself a skilled carver or woodworker, then antler pieces can be used to create some of the most unique and beautiful carving designs you have ever seen. One project you might consider attempting is the creation of a whistle or call. Of course, carving your own call can be a fairly complicated process, especially if you are gunning for a very specific sound. Whistles are a bit easier: they might not end up being as loud or sharp as the ones you buy in stores, but they will serve. Look around online for instructions on how to carve your own whistles or deer calls.
Another possible – and less complicated – carving project you might undertake involves turning your antlers into handles, knobs, or hooks. From switching out the handle on your closet door to using antler pieces for the coat hooks in your mudroom, antlers can have a surprising number of functions in and around the house. If you are skilled with a carving knife, try to add a few ornate designs to your antler pieces. Your visitors will appreciate the rustic craftsmanship, and you will get to enjoy the carving process a bit more.
The handles you can derive from antler pieces aren’t confined to hooks or doorknobs, either. In fact, a deer antler can work perfectly as a grip for a knife or some other tool. Again, look online for an instructable on how to fasten blades and other tools to homemade tool handles. The process will be a bit more work intensive than creating hooks or door handles, but won’t take as much time or meticulous attention to detail as whistles or calls would.