10 Antler Selling Tips You Cannot Afford to Miss

The shed hunting and antler buying race is on. I am intrigued by the thousands who wander the hills searching the only treatment available to managing their addiction. Ironically, a good portion of the commercial demand on shed antlers is medicinal. This is driven in large portion by an overseas market. As for the shed hunter, the only medicine required to manage their addiction is more hunting!IMG_0751-2

Shed hunting and antler buying is full of new comers, true originals, and everything in between. I would certainly classify myself as a new comer. I recently sat down with Steve Sorensen and Dallas Hemeyer of Steve Sorensen Antler Buying to learn more about this craze. These two are a couple of true originals with a passion for sheds that is unmatched. I came armed with bottomless sushi, my notepad, and a willingness to learn! I soon realized that Steve Sorensen Antler Buying has little interest in a reputation built on one time purchases. Everything they do is laser focused on gaining long term customers that return time and time again. (Steve Sorensen Antler Buying 435-245-3497)

After a good dinner, some laughs, and a few awesome hunting stories I came to one very simple conclusion: DO NOT sell a single shed before considering these “10 Tips.”IMG_0797

Antler Selling 1.0

1. Reputation Talks: Find a buyer with a longstanding reputation of being honest and fair. A self-proclaimed “we are the best in the business” or “we give you the most” means very little. What are the vast majority of sellers saying? A buyer’s reputation comes not from their own words but the words of their customers. Reputation talks!

2. Clean Em’ Up: A common sense move when selling anything tangible would be to clean it up. I was amazed to learn that this is often overlooked by many shed hunters interested in bringing top dollar for their sheds. You would never lay a stack of dollar bills next to the oil slick in the garage. Keep this in mind as you look to store your accumulating stack of sheds. If little thought goes into the storage and transport of your sheds, irreversible damage may be impossible to clean or repair. Assuming no major damage has occurred, take a minute and clean em’ up!IMG_3062

3. Grade First, Price Second: I do not suggest you pay little attention to price/lb; however, many sellers get caught up on price alone while missing the grade. A seller’s money is lost or gained on the grade. When researching a buyer, ask first the question “Are they fair in their grading?” The price per pound may fluctuate between buyers. It is easy to take your eye off the ball by focusing solely on price. A missed grade will cost you much more then the variance in price from buyer to buyer. The reality is go back to our #1 tip and this is less a concern. A great buyer has enough business that they are not going to live or die on gaining the upper hand on a singular purchase. Grade first, price second!image1-40

4. Understand the Grade: This can vary from state to state and region to region. That being said there are three grades you want to pay attention to and understand: ***Prices not provided as they vary by area and demand***

  • Brown ($$$): Key to picking up a brown and bringing in top dollar is time. Over time adverse weather causes cracking and discoloration. If it has cracks, it will not be graded brown.You have approximately 0-6 months of exposure before an antler’s quality is compromised. That being said it is tempting to stretch the boundaries of ethical shed hunting. Be sure your efforts to find the highest quality sheds do not pressure an already vulnerable winter herd.
  • White ($$): Weathered over the course of 1-3 years will likely land your shed at a white. As you can see time is a bit more forgiving in this regard. Key to this grade is whether or not the antler is beginning to turn grey with additional cracking. Once that takes place, a chalk grade will be considered.
  • Chalk ($): At over 3 years the weather starts to take its toll. Key indications of this include greying, deep cracks, and flaking. Any pink coloration will land your shed in the chalk category. Don’t get discouraged as there still is a bit of money to be made with chalk antlers. The reality is from chalk to brown they’re all pretty exciting to find! Understand the grade!

5. “Painted” Is Not a Grade: Leave your painted antlers at home. Paint them to keep them. Once painted your sheds have little to no worth to an antler buyer. Painted is not a grade!image2-11

6. Price Check Within Your Market: Unless you plan on traveling to distant locations to sell your antlers, price check within your given market. It can be frustrating and unproductive to both buyer and seller when conducting price comparisons outside of your area. Price check within your market!

7. Ask: Trophy quality and special characteristic sheds can garner higher prices outside of the general grading scale. It never hurts to ask or negotiate such concessions. A general rule of thumb puts your trophy class antlers at 180”+ on deer and 360”+ on elk. Keep that in mind when bringing something truly special to the table. Also keep in mind that your antler buyer is likely well aware of how to accurately measure score. Ask!IMG_4541

8. Know the Law: A good and reputable antler buyer will record everything required by law. For example, when selling a deadhead don’t be surprised when a buyer asks for name, address, phone number, and signature. Do NOT peddle stolen antlers. Know the law.

9. Keep Em’ Safe: The reality is antlers can be worth a lot of money. Equipped with that knowledge it is important that you keep them stored in a safe location. If left out in the open, they will be stolen. This is becoming a growing problem and buyers are offering rewards for information leading to prosecution of such thefts. Keep em’ safe!

10. Hold On: If you aren’t quite sure about selling a specific antler, hold on to it. There is no reason to rush into selling any specific shed or stack of sheds. The reality is each shed has a story. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from a big ole’ check; however, don’t get lost in the $$$. That shed will likely never mean to another what it means to you. Keep a few of those special sheds and share a story! Hold on!

A special thanks to Steve Sorensen and Dallas Hemeyer. Follow them on instagram as @antlerbuyer1976 and @365pursuit. Contact Steve Sorensen Antler Buying at 435-245-3497. These guys will not disappoint! Photography provided by Dallas Heymeyer.IMG_5548

 

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Wyoming’s Top 10 Monster Mule Deer of 2014

I spent nearly every summer as a kid in the backcountry of the Wind River mountain range in Wyoming. My line tightening to the welcome grip of monster trout kept me coming back each and every year. I was 5 years old the first time I made that 26 mile round trip trek. Each time one of those big ole’ trout would fly into the air, I’d yell to my Dad, “it’s a keeper!”

To say this list has some “keepers” would be an understatement! In 2014, Wyoming produced some absolute giant mule deer. These bucks are in no particular order so be sure to vote for the #1 buck at the end of this article.

A special thanks to key contributor Jeremie Lewis. Many of you may know him on Instragram as @wyohighcountry. This Top 10 was made possible by his knowledge and expertise on Wyoming Mule Deer. If you are not already following @wyohighcountry, get over to Instragram. He is a “must follow!”
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Josh Dimmick

1. Josh Dimmick: You could say I am partial to matching inlines. Evan Ault and I chased a very similar buck for 2 years in Utah. Evan was lucky enough to harvest that buck in 2014. With very similar characteristics that buck could pass as this old monarch’s little brother. Josh’s smile says it all! At 218″ he should be smiling. What an awesome buck. Well done Josh and congratulations on a magnificent buck.

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Rick – Non Typical Oufitters

2. Rick: Dubbed “Snag” this buck is one of my favorites out of any state in 2014. As if this buck’s drop tine isn’t enough, its mass and character is unmatched. This should not be a surprise to anybody that follows Robb and Brenda of Non Typical Outfitters out of Alpine, Wyoming. These guys could single-handedly put together a “Top 10 Wyoming” list featuring bucks harvested solely under their watch. If you plan on hunting mule deer in 2015, be sure to call Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000. Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org. The story on this buck is awesome! Get it here

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Diana Berger

3. Diana Berger: What an absolute giant buck! This list keeps getting better and this buck fits in well. The past year has been a great year for the women! Utah’s Top 10 Monster Elk of 2014 is evidence of that. Diana certainly knows what it means to hunt monster mule deer. Take notes boys! Congratulations Diana on a beautiful Wyoming muley!

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Sean Morgan – Sean Morgan Outdoors

4. Sean Morgan: I love this buck! At 35″ this thing is an absolute beast. The picture is amazing as well and was recently featured in our “Hunting Hashtag 10 Most Stunning #massntrash” article. As a Hoyt pro staffer and avid hunter, Sean’s passion for these animals is unmatched. This guy puts in some serious miles in pursuit of these giants and seems to always get it done! Nice work Sean on a giant Wyoming stud! For some incredible footage you have to check out “Tale of Three Seasons” on youtube. Follow Sean on Instagram @seanmorganoutdoors.

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Ben Daniels

5. Ben Daniels: At 231 4/8″ I am dying to know more about this 2014 Wyoming bruiser. If you know Ben or the back story to this buck I would love to hear the story! This buck is an absolute beast. Congratulations Ben on harvesting such an amazing animal.

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Nicolle Wilson

6. Nicolle Wilson: The ladies are at it again! This 31″ public land 8X10 monster is simply amazing. Many of us hope to pass the 30″ mark at least once in a lifetime. The other bench mark would put you in the 200″ club. Accomplishing both on one buck places you in a unique category of awesomeness! Nicolle, you are awesome! Well done and congratulations on an amazing trophy.

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Greg Wilding – Non Typical Outfitters

7. Greg Wilding: This isn’t Greg’s first rodeo. He and his family have made a habit of killing monster big game! This buck dubbed “Stickers” is no exception. Greg said it best when he said, “Christmas came for me on Sept 27th this year with the gift of “Stickers.” Soliciting a bit of help can be an important element to success on any hunt. Greg picked the best and pursued this giant with Robb and Brenda at Non Typical Outfitters. Be sure to follow Greg on Instragram @wild man_g. If interested in booking the hunt of a lifetime, give Non Typical Outfitters a call at 307-654-0000! Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Hunter Unknown – Non Typical Outfitters

8. Non Typical Outfitters: Although we can’t seem to find the hunter’s name associated with this buck, it certainly deserves its rightful spot on this list. If you know anything about this buck or its back story, please shoot me an email at jdheinerblog@gmail.com. That being said, a well deserved applause goes out to Non Typical Outfitters on an absolutely stellar year! What a monster buck! Contact Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000. Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Hunter Unknown – Non Typical Outfitters

9. Non Typical Outfitters: Although we can’t seem to find the hunter’s name associated with this buck, it certainly deserves its rightful spot on this list. If you know anything about this buck or its back story, please shoot me an email at jdheinerblog@gmail.com. One last time, well done Non Typical Outfitters! The mass on this buck makes it a “must have” on this list! Contact Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000 to book your 2015 hunt.  Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Phil Krall

10. Phil Krall: To round off this list we have “Captain Hook” as it’s referred to here at JDHeiner Blog. Take a look at that cheater! Phil’s reputation precedes him as one who consistently kills big muleys. Those results don’t come easy and are the result of extensive scouting. Congratulations Phil on a well deserved Wyoming giant!

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts in the comments section and cast your vote below for Wyoming’s #1 buck of 2014. Follow JDHeiner Blog in the right hand column of your screen and follow on Instagram @jdheinerblog

“You are just as capable of weathering the storm. You are just as able to climb the hill. You are just as strong to handle a horse.” -To My Little Huntress