Antlers show up frequently in rustic and/or country decorating styles. While reading a post on another blog recently I realized that there are quite a few people who are uncomfortable decorating with real deer antlers because they think that an animal has been killed to obtain them. Seeing all of the comments left on the aforementioned post left me feeling sorry for all of these people who recognize the beauty but are unable to fully enjoy it due to a lack of knowledge. Wanting all to freely appreciate God's beautiful handiwork evidenced in an antler's coloring and shape, this post is my feeble attempt to be helpful. Maybe it will be of assistance to someone.
Here's the scoop: deer shed their antlers and regrow new ones annually. Antlers that have fallen off are referred to as sheds. These sheds can be found lying on the ground wherever they fell off of the deer. It is not uncommon to stumble upon several sheds in a single location. If one has permission from the landowner, sheds can be freely obtained. Most landowners are happy to have them gone as they can be damaging to vehicles and equipment. Unless they want them for themselves that is. Hence the recommendation to obtain permission. Also, not every animal's death is the result of a killing. A full or partial skull mount does require the death of an animal. Animals do, however, die of natural causes. Finding an entire skull with antlers attached is not as common, but it does happen on occasion. There. That's the fact. Antlers can be freely obtained without a deer being harmed in any way.
Now, before signing off, I do want to add that just because I want people to know the truth regarding shed antlers doesn't mean I am anti-hunting. I respectfully support hunting and the right to bear arms as granted by the United States Constitution. They are both essential freedoms that ought never to be infringed upon. I simply can't see people being denied the privilege of appreciating an antler's beauty because of an unknown fact regarding the annual antler shedding.
Digging out my stash of sheds,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House