You’ve probably seen chandeliers, knife handles and table lamps all made with the help of deer antlers.
But some businesses across Texas are putting a more festive spin on their use of antlers by creating Christmas trees — some up to 7 feet tall.
“They’re pretty popular and they’ve caught on a lot,” said Justin Gordon of Rustic Creek Antler Designs in Caldwell. “They’re really cool pieces of art.”
Gordon said the average size of the trees is about 3-feet tall, and mule deer antlers are most commonly used.
“The mule deer are straighter and they curve real slow,” he said. “I can do a 4-footer with lights in about two or three weeks.”
In Fredericksburg, Linda Lively of the Salt Branch Outpost also produces the trees.
“People love them,” she said. “Usually we only make them on order. We make a lot of little ones that go quick, and big ones four, five, six feet and up.”
Lively said all the antlers used to make the trees are real, and many of the trees are from mule deer sheds.
“Whitetail can only be so big, so you can only make up to a certain size with a whitetail,” she said. “The real big ones are all mule deer. We have brokers in Colorado we get antlers from, and high fence ranches around Gillespie County are starting to produce antlers we can use.”
The tabletop trees are Lively’s favorite, because she said they don’t only have to be on display for Christmas. She even decorates them for Valentines Day.
Gary Lively is put in charge of constructing the trees, and said it isn’t only deer hunters who are interested in the product.
“It’s just about anybody that likes them; it’s not really just hunters that are interested,” he said. “Anybody that likes a southwest look or outdoor look goes for them.”
The larger trees take about a month to do, while the smaller ones can be put together in about a week, he said. A 7-foot tree runs about $5,500, and goes down to $2,000 for a 4-foot tree.
“Nature builds them and I just kind of put them together,” he said. “They’re unique, but you do have to have a little redneck in you.”