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Holy heck! The Price of Elk Chews!!!

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  • Holy heck! The Price of Elk Chews!!!

    I have been seeing elk and deer chews pop up more often, but I have never personally bought one or given one to my dogs.
    I think there might have even being a thread here.

    But oh my goodness, I didn't realize how pricey they are!

    I was at my local pet store tonight, they are family owned and run, so their prices are usually very competitive against someone like petsmart. Plus they are so knowledgeable and carry great quality products and food.

    So get to the til to pay and they had a basket of hard elk antler pieces for sale, that was made (cut up and put in ziploc baggies) by someone local.
    I looked at one that was approximately 6" long and about an 1.5" thick with the ends flaring out to about 2.5". They were sold individually and by weight. Here is the crazy part..... It was $32.06 for that one bitty piece! And it was priced correctly!

    I used to work at an elk and bison ranch part time a couple of years ago, but I was starting and working with the horses. If they needed an extra hand for inoculations or round ups with the elk and bison, I'd always pitch in.
    But the antlers were always kept when it was time for butchering, so there was a huge bay in the shop that was filled almost to the rafters of all these elk antlers and sheds if they were found.
    The owner used to actually harvest the velvet until the market bottomed out and then he just continued using them for the meat for his casinos.

    I think I may give the ranch a call and see if they want to part with a few. I am just totally blown away at the price! Is this normal?? I know right now I have several deer and elk sheds saved as well as the ones from hunting. I'm tempted to get the band saw out and start cutting pieces of antler up.

    The shop keeper mentioned that it is the 'hard horn/antler' that is coveted. *Anyone have more info?

    Does anyone buy these for their pups? *Do they actually like them?

    I will usually give my two(Shih tzu and lab) the lower legs, from either moose or deer, as well as a nice rib bone or two. *And the first thing they go for is the hooves.

    They love them! *It's funny to see a little fluffy Shih Tzu trying to annihilate this giant moose leg!

    I'd love to get some input from my fellow cother's about these elk and deer antler pieces. *Has anyone had any problems from them? Broken teeth, swallowing a too big of piece or...?


    ETA: sorry if there are asterics throughout my post, I copied and pastes from my 'notes' on my iPhone.

  • #2
    ...he just continued using them for the casinos
    Okay that shocked me, but if it's in Canada it might be a local delicacy. My bad for being provincial, sorry.
    Maybe there is another use for them in alternative medicines?


    • Original Poster

      Sorry Chall, I'm not sure if I understand what you posted, or more than likely, I didn't express what properly what I was trying to say. Please explain


      • #4
        i was sure my dogs wuld love them, as they seem to chew upon everything else, so i bit the bullet and bought 2 big ones for the big dogs and 3 tiny chunks for the small dogs...........
        not one dog would give them a second look....the big ones are still out in the yard......


        • #5
          I pay $30 a pound. My favorite vendor Happy Dog of Cape Cod is at many dog shows in New England and I stock up a few times per year. If I run out www.wag.com carries Happy Dog antlers


          • Original Poster

            Tallyho: we have a couple of spikers(teeny tiny little sheds that ate only two points and maybe 6" in length) around the yard, and both my guys had no interest as well. Did you purchase deer or elk?

            Marshfield: I googled a little more on the happy brand, and came up with one that was approx. the same weight/length, and it was only $4.99 for one and it was elk. So way, way more cheaper than what I saw tonight. I'm assuming since you stock up, your pups really enjoy the treats then?

            I'm still just blown away at the price I saw, it's more expensive than the tenderloin for human consumption! Kinda like the pig ear I guess. Ugh, I just remembered now, how my baba would boil a pigs head, including the ears and feet to make head cheese. I'd eat it because I had too, not because I liked it that's for sure lol!


            • #7
              holy baloney, folks... I never walk the dogs that they don't find an antler. Even the chi puppy found a little spike for herself. Ours love them, one from the same year does not chip or spike and they smell really good to the dog. I would guess you're getting old horns if your dog could care less.

              I am training my Blackmouth cur to horn hunt and maybe I should think of a mail order business! We have probably six racks around here now but none from this year yet. Except for that little spike that the chi found.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


              • Original Poster

                Ah! good observation cowboymom! The spikers I've offered up to mine were old, I will try a fresher one.

                Gotta love those chi's! Their little bodies sure don't match the big personalities. At least the few I know. My Shih Tzu is boss man over the lab, next to the cat of course lol.


                • #9
                  well, buying them in a store doesn't really make me thing mine were "fresh"......lol......i did try to get ones tha were cut on an angle, exposing more of the "marrow"...for lack of a better term........but, still no interest............so, yes, i guess they must be prehistoric for my guys to ignore


                  • #10
                    Since this is hunting season, I get them from the butcher shop that we buy all of our meat from for the restaurant. If the hunters don't want them back, the butcher just gives them away to me! The dogs love them, and they will chew on the antlers for days! My husband just cuts across the end on an angle to expose the marrow. Yum, yum, yum.
                    What you allow is what will continue.


                    • #11
                      I knew I'd get in trouble with that post.
                      I was wondering, the ranch you worked at shipped elk horn to casinos for the casinos to use for cooking a meal for human consumption? That is the regional delicacy I was wondering about.
                      Regarding the alternate medicine - I was wondering if elk horn is used in alternate medicines (Chinese, homeopathy, whatever), which would make it sought after, therefore expensive.
                      Clearly I don't know what I am talking about =]


                      • Original Poster

                        Chall, I wasn't upset at all. I just wasn't sure what you meant, and what I posted was lost in translation I guess.

                        The antlers were not used for consumption at the casinos, the elk meat was.

                        Funny story from yesterday morning, I had just finished making stew the night before, and the last thing my SO saw before he went to bed was the pot of stew on the stove. I wasn't tired so I decided to cook the whole pumpkin I had from Halloween down and blend it up for the dogs as a frozen treat.

                        I put the stew for us into containers and put it away, and used the same pot for the pumpkin.
                        Since I couldn't blend it up because it was so hot, I left it to cool on the stove top, and when SO woke up for work,the next morning he opened the pot thinking it was the stew, and took a few bites! Haha he asked me in a round about way if I thought I had seasoned and thickened the stew enough! I told him I actually think I put in a bit too much salt, but I can ad some more herbs. He said, ya it was really watery and bland! I couldn't think why he thought that, then it hit me lololol! I asked him if he ate the stuff from the pot, he said yeah, from the stove. I informed him that was pumkin stew for the dogs, and he said thank god because he trying to think of ways to not eat it!! That's my man, gotta love him lol


                        • #13
                          Even though they are super expensive, they are a great value for my dog! She's peculiar. She a 50lb lab/border collie/? mix with these sharp little chompers. She has repeatedly demonstrated that she can completely devour a cooked cow bone in less than 10 minutes.

                          And she won't play with Kongs or any other hard dog toys.

                          And she loves stuffed animals, and has several, but they aren't really... chewable.

                          So when she was visiting her Boxer cousin and stole his elk antler, we were all amazed she barely left a dent in it, despite having held it hostage for over 30 minutes!

                          A year later and we are *still* on the original antler, and she chews on it at least several times a week!


                          • #14
                            I bought one for my hard chewer and she was AFRAID of it. She's not real bright. She never did chew on it. Waste of $40.


                            • #15
                              agh! I wish my dog would eat antlers.

                              He will devour his nylabone (which I hate) and he will not TOUCH the deer antler I gave him.

                              How do I introduce meat bones? Cooked? Uncooked? On a rug? Pull the run?

                              I would rather him eat something real than plastic.


                              • #16
                                Munching I'd baste that antler in something that he likes, butter or bacon grease or peanut butter, ect and let it soak in and try it again.

                                We had an entire elk shed, about a five point, and sometimes all the dogs would be chewing on it at once, each of them on one point and one on the base! LOL
                                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                                • #17
                                  Are regular whitetail antlers the same? I might ask my farrier 9whose father hunts) if they have an antler I could cut up for my dogs. Although they might not eat it - they're never interested in the hoof parings after trims.



                                  • #18
                                    The little spike horn my chi found was from a whitetail. If they like horns they will like any variety, maybe only if they're fresh though. Ours have whitetail, muleys and elk. I don't let them have my big moose shed.
                                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
                                      agh! I wish my dog would eat antlers.

                                      He will devour his nylabone (which I hate) and he will not TOUCH the deer antler I gave him.

                                      How do I introduce meat bones? Cooked? Uncooked? On a rug? Pull the run?

                                      I would rather him eat something real than plastic.
                                      Try the split/half antlers. While all the dogs in my house love them (even introduce them to 5 week old puppies) my friends corgis would not chew on the antlers I shared with her. Once they got a half antler, they went to town and will gnaw on either a full or split one. I think the place I buy from sells the split ones at the same price per pound. I am terrified or rawhide chews. The antlers really seem to fulfill a psychological need to gnaw. The youngest corgi when she feels stressed will grab an antler and den up under my desk.


                                      • #20
                                        thanks guys, I will try again. Perhaps with a split antler. .....may be santa paws will bring one.