When the hammer went down the final time during Saturday's Boy Scouts of America Elk Antler Auction, the amount raised was the fourth highest in auction history, according to a release from the National Elk Refuge.
In the auction's 52nd year, 10,320 pounds of antlers were sold for an average price per pound of $16.77. That's 22% higher than the previous 10-year average of $13.80.
Saturday's total sales of $186,227 were up from last year’s take of $173,805, although the 2018 auction had a higher price per pound of $18.36 with 8,593 pounds sold. During the past decade, the auction has brought in an average of $143,846 with an average weight of 9,897 pounds sold.
For those who missed ElkFest, single antlers are available for sale throughout the year at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache.
Each year, Scouts and Scout leaders donate approximately 2,000 hours to prepare and execute the sale, comparable to one National Elk Refuge staff member working a 40-hour week for a full year. They scour the refuge for shed antlers, then clean and bundle them to prep them for auction day.
For their efforts, the Jackson District Scouts retain 25% of the sale’s proceeds, which is used to supplement fees for day camps, leader and Scout training, and other activities. The remaining 75% of the take is returned to the National Elk Refuge, which manages approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The funds are used for habitat enhancement projects, including paying for farming equipment, weed management, and seasonal employees that operate the Refuge’s irrigation program.
Look for a full article and photographs in Wednesday's edition of the Jackson Hole News&Guide.