This simple yet fun sparing antler enrichment item can really spark the interest of any cervid in rut. This is a great thing to put close to the public to showcase how amazing some sets of antlers get to be and how they are used in the wild. All that is required is a shed pair of antlers and a sturdy place to secure it.
Building Instructions/ Materials
*the following is based on a male reindeer, larger cervids will need heavier duty bolts etc..*
- Shed pair of antlers (preferably from the same animal you are making this for as it reduces the chance of injury)
- Some 1″ bolts and washers/ nuts
- A drill
- A post or barn wall (what was used in the above picture)
- The first step is the most difficult and requires the most precision to accomplish. due to the shape of the base of the antlers and how they mount on the head of the animal, you may need to square off the base of the antlers in order for them the mount properly. To do this you should use a sawsal and cut the nubs at the base of the antlers off to create a flat surface. Keep cutting away material until you reach a point where the antlers are sitting flat on a flat surface like the floor.
- Once you have created this flat surface and your confident the antlers are going to sit flat against the mounting surface you can then pre drill holes though the base of the antlers so the hole comes out the other side of the flat surface you have just created.
- After you have pre drilled the holes in the sparring antlers you can then move onto the wall you are going to mount the antlers too and pre drill (using the antler hole as a guide) through the wall all the way to the other side.
- Then one at a time put the bolts through the sparring antlers and the wall and place the washers and nuts at the other side and secure tightly.
- You may need to check on the tightness of the nuts periodically in the first few days these are up as they will get loose from being played with initially.
These sparring antlers can be used for any cervid and can be mounted a number of ways to things like fence posts and even things like sleds or springs in order to give moving feedback to the animal. Have fun with this one!