What would you do with 16,000 antlers?
A Montana man, appropriately nicknamed “Antler Man,” has amassed a collection of over 16,000 shed antlers throughout his lifetime.
To see the shed Jim Phillips has covered in sheds, click here.
Phillips has prided himself on acquiring all the antlers the natural way –through hikes in the backcountry. For over 60 years, he has continued adding to his collection and does not foresee himself giving it up at 17- or even 18 thousand.
Many species in the deer family shed their antlers in the late winter after the rut. However, exactly when they drop depends on various biological and chemical processes, including hormone levels and photoperiodism.
The shedding is also influenced by genetics, so subspecies may peak at different times. Additionally, local weather/climate and nutrition have influenced the timing since malnutrition can lead to earlier shedding. The stress a buck experiences during the rut can also contribute to a later shedding date. Specifics aside, in the end, the base loosens and the antlers fall off in late winter.
Sources: Atlas Obscura and Realtree