View Full Version : Horn Shrinkage

03-16-2011, 12:39 PM
Has anyone ever noticed how much their antelope horns have shrunk over the years? I was measuring my first buck the other day and he barely made 14". He was 15 1/4" when I shot him. I went and measured some of my other goats and they had all shrunk over an inch too. I always put a board between my deer antlers to prevent them from shrinking but I don't know what you could do with antelope. Does anyone know if there's any way to stop this?

03-16-2011, 01:07 PM
Nope! It's a shell of horn type like your finger nail that's over a core of bone. Each late fall they pull of the shell and grow new once. The only big game that does that in the world. Someday the shell will quite shrinking but it depends on the climate. It's important to get the buck measured right at 60 days if it's going book. For sure it will still shrink after that 60 day drying period. Mule Deer will shrink also. I have a buck I took in the mid 60's that had a main frame of 30" will he has shrink to 28 1/2"! All big game shrink but nothing like antelope. I think the one that will shrink a lot is horned animals like sheep or goats. We are all in the same boat with the shrinking bit. Mike

03-17-2011, 11:19 AM
Thanks Mike for all the good info, this answers all of my questions too. When I brought home my last goat from the taxidermist, I put the tape on him again, and was wondering if I measured wrong the first time. Lost about 1/2 in. lenth and some mass in about 10 months.

03-17-2011, 09:05 PM
I just thought it was me, i remeasured mine from a few years ago and it was an inch or so shorter from my original measurement sheet. I never would have thought they would shrink that much.

03-19-2011, 08:31 PM
I have noticed they shrink some, even in the 60 day drying period. The one I shot last season I had scoring around 83 when I got him. ended up 82 4/8. I noticed the lost a little on his mass during that period. When I got him he had 7 inch bases and they ended up 6 7/8. He didn't lose any length in that period though, I was happy about that!

04-11-2011, 10:20 PM
BigSky2...I've noticed the same thing...shrinkage. It happens while I'm walking up, right after the shot!

04-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Shootbrownelk is right on. I too have had a lot of personal experience with right after the shot shrinkage. I call it ground shrinkage. However just like any big game, a trophy buck antelope will always get bigger as you get closer. Mike

6mm Remington
04-12-2011, 05:45 PM
I got a really beautiful 16" antelope buck on my grandfathers ranch one year hunting with my father a few years after grandpa died. It was a special hunt and we had a great time together. My buck later was 15 2/8" on both horns! If I would have had him measured right after the 60 day drying period he might have just squeeked into the record book. That's okay as he is beautiful!

04-13-2011, 12:36 PM
6mm Remington is right on! My hardest hunted big game on the wall is not my highest scoring buck, but it means a lot to me. At eighteen, crossing the Snake river in a rubber raft at 20 below is a little western. After over 40 years, I still have that 186 buck mount in my house. Deep down, to me the hunt is the number one memory. Score, well it's just a nice add on. Saying that, name me one activity or sport that Americans don't keep score. Hmm just a thought. Mike