- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Collectors seeking caribou antlers had plenty to choose from in the 2015 Hide and Horn auction, a sale of seized animal parts by the state of Alaska.

A highlight of the Sunday auction, part of the Fur Rendezvous festival in Anchorage, was the sale of 3,000 pounds of caribou antlers, Anchorage radio station KSKA-FM reported Monday (https://bit.ly/1AD1Sx9 ). That’s about five times the usual amount.

The state Department of Fish and Game also sold about 50 bear hides and pelts from beaver, wolves, Dall sheep and musk ox.

Many were seized in criminal cases. Some, including parts from two musk oxen, were recovered from “defense of life or property” cases.

Customers could examine bear hides, sheep capes and bundles of caribou antlers strapped with duct tape. The best caribou antlers sold for more than $150.

Some of the more aggressive bidders were professional buyers loading up on supplies for taxidermy, handicrafts and fine arts.

“I’m down here to buy bear hides, horns and antlers, and anything else I can get,” said Russell Knight, owner of Knight’s Taxidermy in Anchorage.

The Alaska Trappers Association won a contract to put on the auction during the late-winter Anchorage festival. Richard Person, head of the association’s Southcentral chapter, said a traditional “fur rendezvous” would be a gathering of hunters and trappers to drink whiskey and sell pelts.

The auction is one of the few ways the state can share animal resources, he said.

“It gives a chance for regular folks who don’t have an opportunity maybe to take one of these animals in a hunting situation to come and still participate and own a piece of Alaska . that is unique,” Person said.

Most of the caribou antlers were seized in a single criminal case.

Alaska Wildlife State Troopers in 2011 collected stacks of antlers that had been shipped from Selawik. It is illegal to buy or sell raw antlers not naturally shed in the Northwest Arctic Borough. The regulation was enacted after wanton waste cases in the 1980s and ‘90s.

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Information from: KSKA-FM, https://www.kska.org

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