Antler Basket Weaving Hints and Tips

TUESDAY ANTLER BASKET WEAVING TIPS OF THE DAY–Keeping with the antler basket weaving theme I’ve been with for a few posts now, we are going to focus Tuesday’s Tips on Antler Basket Weaving, what else?

Asian Warrior Antler Wall Basket-Sculpture

Do you know how to tell the difference between a naturally shed antler and a harvested antler? First of all, do you know that deer are from the Cervidae family and are mammals that include several types of deer, caribou, elk, reindeer and moose? And the antlers they sport fall off in the spring and then new antlers grow in their place?


Farewell--Antler Magazine Basket
"Farewell" Antler Magazine Basket has a naturally shed red deer antler for the handle.

The antler basket picture below is an example of a  “harvested” or cut off whitetail deer antler used as the handle in an antler basket. When the hunters take the deer to provide meat for their families, one of the by-products of the kill are the antlers from the bucks or male deer.

See the butt end of the antler near the bumpy rosette? That’s where it’s been cut off the head, leaving a smooth, flat cut surface. And of course, it’s against the law to shoot a deer out of season and to kill deer just for the antlers, but you knew that already, right?


“Harvested” or cut off antler used as handle in antler basket.

So, by closely examining the end of the antler at the base, you will now be able to tell whether it’s a “harvested deer antler” that’s been cut from the head, or the more difficult to find and more costly to buy, “naturally shed antler”.


Shed and harvested antlers ready for drilling to use in my antler baskets

Don’t be fooled when someone tries to tell you that the antler is naturally shed when the base has been cut and is smooth and flat. Because leaving the bumpy, nubby base is the best way you can be assured the antler has been collected or picked up from a deer or other member of the Cervidae family after its natural shed! And there are a lot of dishonest people out there that will try to convince you otherwise, just to make a buck (no pun on words intended).

Have you ever found your own antler sheds, and if so did you by any chance train your dog to find them for you? One of our black lab female puppies was pretty good at finding them for me and she wasn’t even trained!  How about you, what experiences have you had with finding shed anters?

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