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46th Annual Antler Auction Generates Record Totals

Despite the steady rain and cool conditions, a good crowd turned out for the 46th annual Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction in Jackson, Wyoming on Saturday, May 18. The sale, held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, makes available shed antlers collected from the National Elk Refuge.

This year, 8,507 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction, up from the 7,398 sold last year and the previous 10–year average of 8,133 pounds. More notable that the slight increase in antlers, however, was the average price per pound paid this year by the 103 buyers registered at the sale. Bidders paid an average of $15.43 per pound at Saturday’s auction, or $5.71 per pound higher than the $9.72 average during the previous 10 years. “We had heard the market was up this year,” Refuge spokesperson Lori Iverson said, “but it was exciting to see it come to fruition on Saturday.” 

Because of the higher price paid per pound, Saturday’s sale yielded a total of $131,400. During the past decade, the amount generated from the auction has averaged $77,781. Refuge records indicate this year’s total sales and price per pound set records, exceeding the $111,305 generated in 2011 and the $13.79 per pound. average paid in 1989. In 2012, the sale brought in a total of $90,469 with an average price per pound of $12.15.

The majority of proceeds from the antler auction are donated to the National Elk Refuge, which maintains approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The money generated from the sale is used for habitat projects on the Refuge. In 2012, the proceeds were a key funding source for paying seasonal irrigators and purchasing additional GPS collars to track and document elk distribution and migration.

In previous years, the Jackson District Boy Scouts received 20% of the auction proceeds for their assistance with the event. The District uses the  money to pay Friends of Scouting dues, a fee required for them to remain in the Boy Scouts of America organization and offer scouting in the Jackson area. The funding also helps them continue supplementing fees for day camps, leader and Scout training, and other activities. This spring, Refuge Manager Steve Kallin revised a Memorandum of Understanding with the Scouts and increased the District’s share of proceeds to 25%, recognizing the extraordinary effort it takes to pull off such a large event as the antler auction. Each year, Scouts and Scout leaders donate approximately 2,000 to prepare and execute the sale, comparable to one staff member working a 40–hour week for a full year. “The relationship we have with the Jackson District Boy Scout leaders is outstanding, and their partnership contributions are notable,” Kallin explained. An article describing the behind–the–scenes work that goes into preparing for the auction, along with a photo collection of the work, is posted on the Refuge’s home page at www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge.

Next year’s antler auction is set for Saturday, May 17. However, single antlers are available for sale throughout the year at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 North Cache Street in Jackson. 

For further information on the Boy Scout antler auction, please contact the National Elk Refuge Administrative Office at (307) 733.9212.

Schedule Announced for American Indian Guest Artists 2013 Program at Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park

MOOSE, WY — Each year, Grand Teton National Park sponsors a unique program that brings American Indian artists to the Colter Bay Visitor Center. For the past 38 years, artisans from diverse tribes have demonstrated their traditional and contemporary art forms, providing visitors a chance to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of Indian cultures that are alive and active across North America.

Participating artists share the cultural traditions of their tribes through demonstrated art forms such as painting, weaving, pottery, beadwork, and musical instruments. Guest artists exhibit daily from Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., adjacent to the Grand Teton Association bookstore at the visitor center. Artists also offer their finished items for purchase. The schedule for the 2013 season includes: 

May 11-26   Williw & Debbie LaMere   Shoshone   Beawork & Flint Knapping

May 27-June 2 Juan & Josie Broncho   Shoshone/Paiute   Beadwork

June 3-9   Amanda Coby   Shoshone   Beadwork & Weaving

June 10-16   Guillermo Martinez   Tarascan-Apache  Handmade Flutes & Drums

June 17-23   Kelly Looking Horse   Lakota Sioux   Drums, Antler & Hide Items

Juen 24-30   Gale Self  Choctaw   Silver & Turquoise Jewelry

July 1-7  Ted Moran   S’Klallam  Northwest Coastal Carving

July 8-14   Andrea Two Bulls  Oglala Sioux  Beadwork & Painting

July 15-21  Black Pinto Horse  Arikara/Hidatsa  Ledger Art

July 22-28  Lovey Two Bulls  Oglala Sioux  Beadwork, Jewelry, Art Work

July 24-August 4   Willie & Debbie LaMere  Shoshone  Beadwork & Flint Knapping

August 5-11  Paul Hacker  Choctaw   Ledger Art, Knives & Flutes

August 12-18  Jola LaBeau  Eastern Shoshone  Beadwork & other crafts

August 19-25  DG House  Cherokee  Painting & Printmaking

August 26-September 1   Juan & Josie Broncho   Shoshone/Paiute   Beadwork

September 2-8  Clyde Hall & Nancy Naki  Shoshone  Beadwork, Silver & Pottery

September 9-15   DG House   Cherokee  Painting & Printmaking

September 16-22   Maynard White Owl   Nez Perce/Cayuse   Beadwork

September 23-29  Willie & Debbie LaMere  Shoshone   Beadwork & Flint Knapping