April 29, 2017
Treasured by many, antlers are often in high demand. Some hunters actually use shed antlers as rattles to call in deer. More varied uses include use as a hand tool in flint napping, jewelry making, and even making gorgeous heirloom home accessories. Even better, antlers are naturally shed by deer (white tail and the larger mule deer), elk and other ungulates so no harm is incurred by taking the antlers and working them into a wonderful creation. The animal simply grows a new set.
New antlers are grown and old antlers are shed every year by most male ungulates. If you are extremely lucky (or very knowledgeable about the habits of these animals and the habitat where they live) you may be lucky enough to find shed antlers yourself. There is a whole regimen of tips and tricks of how to go about doing just that. Most importantly though, you need to know the animals and how they move across their range.
Antlers grow because of testosterone, the hormone that make the male animals interested in mating with the females. Testosterone levels vary during the year. When rutting season is drawing near, the testosterone levels begin to rise and, one physiological response, is antler generation. The bucks use their antlers to gain their spot in the hierarchy of the herd. In other words, the biggest baddest buck gets the doe! Once rutting season is over, things calm down substantially. The bucks, no longer having a use for their antlers, begin to shed them.
Finding shed antlers is often a casual affair but for many it is an alluring hobby. They follow deer trails and some even go high-tech, mounting field cameras and the like so they can get a better idea of where to look for antlers. Look for patches in the undergrowth where the animals congregate to sleep. Look around the edges of woods and other natural habitats. The “edge effect” (a place where one habitat meets another and has a differing ratio of species of plants) draws many animals to that crucial swath.
The more an animal hangs out in a particular area, the more likely they are to shed their antlers there. During cold winter months when rutting season is over, herds are often found in sunny areas soaking up the warmth. Conversely, game trails are great hunting spots as well. Overhanging trees and brush sometimes actually pull the antlers from the bucks as they pass under. The lesson there is not just to keep your eyes on the ground, look up too! In fact, look all around. When a buck is jumping across a stream, for example, the impact may be the final jolt he needs to be antler free. If the antler falls in the water, it might wash downstream a bit from the actual crossing.
There are thousands of things that can be made with shed antlers. Some people just like to position a few around their home for visual interest. There are much more complex things that are regularly constructed as well, however. Have you ever thought about a breathtaking antler chandelier, a table, or an elaborate coat rack for your entry way? If you would like more ideas, or even some help, as to what to do with your antler sheds contact us.
April 28, 2017
If you live in or have a cabin in the country, you probably have an appreciation for the animals who live there. What better way to ensure you will always have a beautiful wildlife view than with antler art imitating nature?
Using nature to represent the nature we see is a truly honoring way to express our respect and love for the world around us.
Arthur the Elk
Arthur the elk is a grand life-size beauty at nine feet tall. Imagine having your morning coffee and being mesmerized by the beautiful sight of an elk right outside your window. This could be your life every day with Arthur. Elk, mule-deer, and moose antler sheds were used to build Arthur, and can be used to build your choice of those animals as a sculpture choice as each sculpture is made to your order.
If you like the feeling of having a deer or elk mount, but would rather not have the actual animal’s head on your wall, Sir Lance-O-Lot is the answer. Constructed using shed moose, deer, and elk antlers, Sir Lance-O-Lot will grace your wall with an impressive elk rack. Sir Lance-O-Lot was built as a work of art meant to last for years to come.
Mule Deer Bust
If you want to bring nature indoors in a more demure way, the Mule Deer Bust is elegant and somewhat smaller than Sir Lance-O-Lot. With fallow deer, mule-deer, and elk antler sheds, this sculpture is mounted to a spruce root taken right off Pike’s Peak.
Short of bringing wildlife into your home, the natural material used in the making of our antler art is an honest, real way to express your love of your surroundings and nature. Contact us to see how we can achieve that for your home with your choice of subject and an order made specially for you.
Jeff Musgrave – owner/artist
April 26, 2017
Make an Antler Chandelier
Outdoorsmen (and women) often amass a pile of antlers before they ever really realize just how many they have. Deer, elk, and other antler bearing critters naturally shed their antlers once every year. These natural sheds are much easier to find than one might imagine. That is one of the benefits of walking around the woods on a rainy day. Antlers shine when wet so searching for sheds is kinda like looking for that elusive diamond at a tourist diamond mine. The lucky finders always say their biggest nicest finds were yards way from where they were standing when they found it but they were just lucky enough to be in position to see the sun gleaming off its surface.
Rest assured, finding antlers is a lot easier than finding diamonds at those tourist trap diamond “mines”! The problem comes into play when you try to decide what to do with the antlers you find. An excellent option might be to find an artist and contract with them to make you a chandelier. Let’s see…what is that guy’s name at Peak Antler Company? Wait, maybe you could make your own antler chandelier!
Obviously, some thought is going to be required to pursue the make-your-own option. Logically, you’ll need some materials other than just antlers. Duct tape and maybe some contact cement? Naw, that won’t likely work. There may be in excess of over one-hundred pounds of sharp pointy objects hanging overhead when you are through. Sure wouldn’t want that falling down on top of your heads! Maybe hot glue would be a better choice?
One thing is for sure, the do-it-yourself approach to making an antler chandelier is not necessarily recommended for the faint of heart. You can’t just throw a pile of antlers together and hope your artistic genius will just miraculously appear. The antlers will have to be secured together using specialized fittings and everything will have to be appropriately wired and secured to the ceiling. If anyone knows how to do all of that it is Jeff Musgrave, the owner of Peak Antler Company.
Jeff is an artist in every sense of the word and his creations are prized the world over. He would love to turn your collection of antlers into a custom-made chandelier. At the same time, fame hasn’t precluded Jeff from recognizing the satisfaction that he can give others by instructing them how to make their own chandelier. In fact, he has made an instructional DVD on that very topic. Contact us at Peak Antler Company and we will hook you up with just the man you need to talk to about either making a custom chandelier to your specifications or providing you the instructions you need to make your own.
Jeff Musgrave – owner/artist