“Hard antler” refers to elk antlers that have fully calcified. Some producers will harvest calcified antler as soon as it has completed it’s growing process in late August while others wait until they are naturally shed the following Spring. Each set of antlers, grown annually by bull elk, is unique. Besides the obvious style and symmetry differences, coloring can also be a large contrast, depending upon what trees, shrubs, etc, are available as “rubbing posts” for the elk to use to rub the hair off the antler once the growing cycle has been completed.
Artists create beautiful items from these wonders of nature. In antler art, no two pieces are exactly alike because each is made from a natural, distinctive item. The beautiful chandeliers, coffee tables, and lamps created from hard antler complement many styles of furnishings. Other unique items such as candle holders, steak turners and fireplace sets can also be created. Some elk breeders sell sheds or harvested trophy antlers to companies that manufacture and sell antler art, and some create their own products to sell by mail order or at local outlets. Hard antler is also used to produce decorative items such as knives, jewelry, and buttons.