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The great antler auction

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (KIFI) - Jackson's great antler auction has made it's live return after the pandemic.

Local eagle scout and scout leader Dick Shuptrine has helped with the auction since the mid-eighties.

He says it's time well spent when you're helping the best organization in the world.

“It goes back to just a lifetime of scouting," Shuptrine said. "I'm an Eagle Scout. You're an Eagle Scout, you're supposed to always give back to your community and to the scouting community also.”

The auction serves as a fundraiser for the National Elk Refuge and the local scout troops.

Surprisingly, no animals are harmed in preparation for the antler auction.

Elk shed their antlers for the spring, so the auction is a big help to the local refuge.

“And it's a big Easter egg hunt out on the refuge," former Jackson Commissioner Paul Voglhiem said. "We have 24,000 acres where the antlers are all hidden by those held before they leave the refuge. And this has been going on since the fifties.”

The scouts have gained a lot of stories and sales after long years of Jackson Traditions.

But this year, they've auctioned off a local Jackson legend. The skull of the largest male elk they've seen on the reservation.

“Everybody nicknamed him Brutus because of the size of his spread and his antlers," local scout leader Andy Weening said. "They're just enormous. And it's hanging up there in front of the auction to be there. And that's going to be sold. It's the lucky lot number 77”

Legendary animals are a big draw, the auction has bidders from around the world.

But they can also count on local bidders, like Wild West Designs owner Linda Rumsey.

“We've had the store here since all this is over 20 years now," Rumsey said. "So we'd like to support the town of Jackson and the early Scouts and, and the Elk because this is goes to feed them in the winter.”

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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