What can be done with antlers that deer have left behind over the winter?
Deer shed their antlers over the winter following mating season and regrow them in early spring. Antlers are bone, safe to handle, and artisans often carve or paint them. Cast antlers can also be fashioned into a surprising number of household products: toilet paper holders, towel racks, pen holders, pool table lights, coffee mug holders, napkin rings, and even slingshots. You can place them outdoors for hanging towels or bathing suits, or indoors as a chandelier; arrange them individually or together as a table base with a glass or Plexiglas tabletop; use them as a border around a large room with high ceilings; or, if they’re large enough, turn them into a guest book, with visitors writing directly on their surface.
The bone can be difficult to work with because it’s hard and slippery. Anyone attempting to drill through antlers should use a brad bit: a Twizzler-shaped drill bit ending in a sharp point. And remember, while there’s nothing wrong with collecting antlers and using them to enhance your cottage, Ontario law prohibits trading in animal parts and requires anyone buying or selling more than a single set of antlers to obtain a licence.