My mother often reminds me that when I was a young boy, I frequently made the bold statement that I would one day live in the Colorado mountains. At that time I was living in suburban New Jersey and those mystical Rocky Mountains were only as close as the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom show on my television. Regardless of that, I was fascinated with the scenery, ruggedness and wildlife of the American West. I roamed the small lot of woods behind my house as if it was the vast expanse of the Rockies. Little did I know that 30 years later my boyhood prediction would be realized, albeit with a few twists and turns before pointing myself in the right direction...WEST!
I have always been an avid sportsman and outdoor enthusiast. I prefer the comfort of a spike camp to a room at the Four Seasons. The woods and mountains are where I go for solitude and rejuvenation. Although I have picked up countless shed antlers over the years, it never occurred to me that they would serve any purpose other than adorning a shelf in my home; providing a fleeting memory of a past hike through the woods that I am so drawn to. It was not until the day I drove past a local pet store and saw the sign "Woof...dogs love elk antlers. Buy them here" that I realized that they could be used for so much more. After doing more research I realized that the antlers I found so fascinating had countless uses...antler chews, crafts, knife handles, jewelry and so forth. That was the moment RidgeRunner Antlers was born.
In 2013 we started RidgeRunner Antlers as a way to blend our love for dogs and the outdoors into a business we could be proud to operate. We live in a remarkable place surrounded by vast tracks of national forest where large herds of elk and mule deer make their home. It is not uncommon to witness a black bear using our bird feeders as a piñata or patiently waiting for a cow moose and her calves to stop blocking our driveway as we take the kids to the bus stop. We have always been closely connected to nature and wanted to offer a product that is all natural, healthy and closely tied to our surroundings.
RidgeRunner is truly a family run business, with everyone including the dogs taking part in the operation. From procuring to cutting, sanding and packaging the antlers…100% of the work is done in house so that we can provide our customers with the highest quality antler chews for their pups. Our two Large Munsterlanders (Ames and Uncle) are prominently displayed throughout our marketing materials and of course regularly offer up their “quality control” services.
Stephan Nicolas, CAO
Chief Antler Officer