I had always heard that various rodents eat shed antlers within a few months of dropping or in some cases a few weeks. I thought this was because of a craving for the minerals in antler. Because of this, I had never spent much time at all looking for antlers. To support this scenario, I've found skulls where one antler was buried intact while the exposed antler was completely eaten way. Yet, this shed contest and the recent trend all over of hunters actively looking for sheds contradicts what I thought to be true. Apparently an old antler could lay in the woods for a couple of years or more in more or less good condition? Would this vary by region depending on mineral content of the soil in each area - meaning high soil mineral content provides rodents with their basic needs so they don't gnaw up antlers nearly so fast as in mineral depleted areas?