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A close-up of a velvet-looking elk antler.

Elk antlers have several purposes. Every fall, bull elks use their antlers to spar over the right to mate with female elks (called cows). Antlers are also indicators of a bull’s health and abilities. Growing these antlers requires an enormous amount of energy. Humans can also use elk antlers for medicinal purposes. This includes boosting energy levels, increasing stamina, improving the production of red blood cells, and relieving joint pain.