JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. - More than 10,000 pounds of elk antlers were sold Saturday at the 52nd annual National Elk Refuge public auction on Jackson’s Town Square.
A total of 140 registered bidders participated in the auction, which yielded $186,227. The annual sale is held on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend and is the premier event of a weekend-long community celebration called ElkFest.
The National Elk Refuge partners with Jackson District Scouts every year for the antler auction. Scouts and Scout leaders volunteered approximately 2,000 hours to prepare and execute the sale, according to a news release from the National Elk Refuge. The Jackson District Scouts keep 25 percent of the sale’s proceeds, which are used to supplement fees for day camps, leader training and other activities.
The remaining 75 percent of the proceeds are returned to the National Elk Refuge, which manages approximately 25,000 acres for the Jackson Elk Herd. The funds are used for habitat enhancement projects, paying for farming equipment, weed management and seasonal employees that operate the Refuge’s irrigation program.
This year, 10,320 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction, higher than last year’s total of 8,593 pounds but on par with the previous 10-year average of 9,897 pounds. During the past decade, the auction has brought in an average of $143,846.
Single antlers are still available for sale at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 North Cache Street in Jackson. Next year’s antler auction is set for Saturday, May 16.
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