Jim Phillips may be the most obsessed antler collector on earth.
Many hunters love deer antlers, but few are totally obsessed with them the way Montana resident James Phillips is. He has an antler collection that will leave most hunters with their jaws on the floor. Phillips found his first shed antlers, a set of elk sheds, as a 10-year-old in 1958. Since then, he has hiked countless miles shed hunting in pursuit of white gold.
Today, his impressive collection has more than 16,000 antlers and still counting. The collection includes whitetail, mule deer, moose, and elk antlers. He stores all of them in one room of his house in Three Forks. The room is appropriately named "Jim's Horn House."
Get a glimpse of his incredible collection and hear him talk more about his love of trekking through the backcountry in pursuit of his next incredible find in the video below.
Jim's nickname is "The Antler Man," and it's rather appropriate don't you think? Entering his antler shed, hunters are met with a seemingly endless sea of tines. Of course, these aren't all deer sheds. You probably noticed the deadhead skulls in the mix too. No doubt completely unavoidable to find when you spend more time in the woods than some of the most dedicated hikers out there. While Jim does hunt, it seems his real love is in looking for the dropped antlers. On his website he describes how his shed hunting obsession has even cost him a chance at a deer.
"Many times I have come up on a big buck and clattered an armload of antlers to the ground before I could raise my rifle," he writes.
His website also states that he has only sold part of his collection once. In the 1980s, he sold 600 elk sheds and 1,500 deer sheds to help put his daughters through college. Sounds like all that time scouring public lands for bits of bone paid off! However, he has not sold a single antler since then. He also states that he has no plans to sell anymore.
One might think that finding antlers would become routine for Jim by now, but like any antler hunting addict, he can't get enough of the rush.
"It's hard to believe but I still get as big a thrill finding antlers now as I did that first time in the summer of 1958, over 50 years and 15,500 antlers later," he writes on his site. "The thing that is most puzzling to me, is that I enjoy packing them out almost as much as I do finding them."
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