Reflecting Sandpoint's beautiful place in the world since 1990.

‘Antlers’ vs. ‘horns’

From the Winter 2017 Issue

Antlers vs. horns

Horns are quite different from antlers. Horns are permanent, two-part appendages that continue to grow for life. The inner part is made of bone and is covered by a sheath of tough fibrous material.

Bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorns and mountain goats all have permanent horns. Yet pronghorn are the exception because they retain the inner bony portion, but shed the outer sheath every year.

Mountain goats grow a new ring around the horn every year, so it is possible to tell the goat’s age by counting the rings and adding one.

People can possess, but not sell, bighorn sheep horns. Idaho Fish and Game keeps a record of all horns, harvested and found, by “pinning” a tracking number into the horn.

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