Cripple Creek Antler Co. - Quality Antler Lighting, Furniture & Decor

Antlers—A Beautiful and Renewable Resource


What are antlers?

A picture cannot do justice to the magnificent expanse of a set of antlers! To truly appreciate the beauty of an antler it must be touched and held in one's hands. A set of mature bull moose antlers can weigh upwards of 60 lbs.! Antlers have been used by cultures around the world for centuries to make tools, jewelry, buttons, and more. We now use this renewable resource to make lighting, furniture, and other home decor accessories. All antlered animals, including moose, whitetail deer, elk, and mule deer, shed their antlers every year and grow a complete new set by the next mating season. This amazing feat makes antlers a natural and renewable resource.

elk antler

Antlers are bony growths that develop on top of the animals head. While growing, antlers are covered by a furry skin called velvet. Growth of the antlers is usually completed in late July or August., after which the velvet dries up and peels away. During the rut, which may begin in late August, the male rubs the antlers against small trees, saplings and shrubs to rub off the velvet and polish the antlers. The type of tree the deer rubs it's antlers against will result in various colors of staining Later in the year, after the rut, males will begin shedding their antlers. More mature males may shed their antlers as early as February while younger males may retain them until May. New antlers begin to grow soon after the old ones are shed.

Wild grown antlers have more color to them than do pen raised or farm raised. The color comes from the trees. For example, when they rub their antlers on the oaks they don’t get as much color as they would if they rubbed their antlers on a pine.

Where do you get your antlers?

While we do go out into the woods of Northern Wisconsin in search of "sheds", the bulk of our antlers come from other "shed hunters". Many people who live in areas with populations of whitetail deer, elk, moose, and other antlered animals gather the sheds each year and in-turn sell them to antler buyers. Because of our required volume most of our antlers come from licensed antler sellers. If you have a trophy set of antlers we would be glad to use them too. Such custom pieces become a true family heirloom.

What's an Antler Grade?

Antlers are selected for color, size and shape, with the more uniform antlers going into chandeliers, and the more unusual pieces used in lamps where their character shows up better. Antlers are Graded and bought and sold by the pound. Antlers are Graded as either Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3. The antler's Grade refers to the antler's quality.

When the breeding season is over each winter, deer, elk and moose drop their antlers in the woods to be ravished by weather, small mammals, and decomposing to soil. The best quality antler of the three grades is Grade 1. Grade 1 antlers are the most recently shed and they still exhibit a hard, shiny surface with no surface cracking. Antlers that are a little older and have begun to develop surface cracks on the exposed side are graded as Grade 2. Finally Grade 3 antlers are those that exhibit surface cracking on both sides of the antler and are usually the oldest.

A quality product is not an after thought, it is a requirement. We stake our reputation on the satisfaction of our clients. Learn more about the quality of our products. If you want to discuss your decor and how our products can enhance it please give us a call at 715-356-4024.