We are often asked the difference between antlers and horns and how we are able to accommodate such different configurations. Antlers are sometimes called horns, but horns are not antlers. Horns are similar to a hard shell and hollow. They are not shed yearly but, remain with the animal for its lifetime. Cattle, sheep, and antelope are examples.
Antlers are naturally shed each year with no harm coming to the animal. Deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow and reindeer are the primary antlers we use. Each species have a unique shape and size. The antlers are solidly dense, not hollow, and very tough. Their color varies dependent on geographic location and the length of time the antler has been out in the weather.
Each year, in the late winter after the antlers are "dropped", hikers and outdoorsmen hunt for these antlers. They often end up at large antler auctions such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming which sell them to benefit their local Boy Scouts. We purchase the antlers that we need from these dealers.
Our experience enables us to use a client's own antlers to construct a truly personal masterpiece adding our own if necessary, for balance and/or structural integrity.
We use a lot of mule deer antlers for our basic designs. We are able to get a comfortable popular size of 34 inches to 40 inches across the base. From that foundation we can add on more mule deer or mix and match other types of antlers. Mule deer antlers weigh several pounds each.
Whitetail deer are common throughout the United States and Canada. They are a smaller animal with typically curly antlers with points extending out on the same side and in the same direction on each antler. We love to use these graceful antlers to fill-in and hug the lights and we use them extensively on their own. Their size and curliness are used to reach a 24 inch base size from which we can build off of if we choose.
Reindeer are extremely delicate and not as readily available. Caribou share the same general shape but far outsize the reindeer. Caribou antlers are generally 3+ feet in length.
Elk are a main stay for foundations and form. Very large and heavy they can weigh over 10 pounds each and measure 3 to 4 feet long. Moose are another antler of great bulk and size. European fallow antlers on the other hand have a similar shape to moose but much smaller with very graceful edges.
We seldom handle European red stag but our associate in Belgium does.
In conclusion antlers come in all sizes, shapes and colors. We expertly blend the swirls and turns and colors to demonstrate the truly natural. Feel free to call for more discussion.