JACKSON, Wyo. — The National Elk Refuge (NER) has released the 56th annual elk antler auction numbers and deemed 2023 a successful year.

Elk antlers collected on the NER were sold at the public auction on Jackson’s Town Square on May 20.

According to the NER, this year 9,696 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction, roughly 2,348 pounds more than 2022. Bidders paid an average of $22.53 per pound of antler, down from last year’s average of $27.41 per pound.

A total of 164 registered bidders participated in the 2023 auction, which yielded a total of $218,382. During the past decade, the auction has brought in an average of $137,325.

The NER credits their long-standing partnership with the Headwaters District Scouts (formerly Jackson District) as key to the continued success of the auction.

The Scouts retain 25 percent of the sale’s proceeds, which is used to supplement fees for day camps, leader and Scout training and other activities.

The remaining 75 percent of the proceeds are returned to the National Elk Refuge, which manages approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The funds are used for habitat enhancement projects that include paying for farming equipment, weed management and seasonal employees that operate the Refuge’s irrigation program.