Dubois Antler Rendezvous This Week

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com


Antler buyers, sellers, traders and builders from across the U.S. are in Dubois this week for the Antler Rendezvous.

"There's white tale deer, moose, mule deer, there's elk, there's caribou, there's red stag, there's fowl deer. There's probably a few more that are laying around out here some where. There's a lot of different flavors," said Jeff Allen, a buyer from Flagstaff Arizona.

The Antler Rendezvous is sponsored by the Dubois Lions Club and Boy Scout Troop 56. This event was originally held in Jackson, but it slowly made it's way to Dubois and is held the week before Jackson's Elkfest.

"They started coming over here and word got out," said Joe Brandl, President of the Dubois Lions Club. "This is the 7th year that we've had this and we have buyers and sellers from over 20 to 25 states that have come here to Dubois."

Some of the antlers purchased here go towards personal collections, but some countries over seas use them for medicine. And their newest use; chew toys for dogs.

"They found out that elk antlers are organic. They don't splinter like the bones. So most of the antlers here are going to be cut up and going into the pet chews all over the United States and Canada," says Brandl.

Some of the businesses get pretty creative with what they sell at the antler rendezvous. One business out of Kansas makes chairs made out of elk antlers, moose antlers and beaver for the upholstery.

"It takes several days to put a chair together. It's a two man operation. One person has to be holding the antlers, another stands backs and looks," said Raymond Peterman, co-owner of Antler Creations, a business that makes furniture out of antlers.

Most of the vendors are able to trade and give each other business, to support their own businesses.

"We bring furniture up here to sell and we put that money back into more antlers," Peterman said.

The Antler Rendezvous will be at Dubois City Park everyday this week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a craft fair over the weekend.