Searching For Antler Sheds

Things have been busy with a new baby and getting ready for the spring semester.  I’ve been working on a white ash bow, and today I cut the handle and thinned the stave using a draw knife and spoke shave.

There’s a strip of open water along the lake shore a few feet wide, and the snow is patchy in the woods.  Fishing season opened the other day, but there isn’t enough open water for me to get out yet.  But with the melting of the snow comes the best time of the year to look for antler sheds.

I spent the last hour of daylight today walking through the woods looking for sheds, fungi, and anything else of interest.  The first thing I found was a dead paper birch tree.  It was about 24″ in diameter and hollow in the middle, with a hole in the trunk 3 feet off the ground.  The base was surrounded with porcupine scat – a hollow tree den.

A little further into the woods and I found a leg bone from a deer.  There were marks where mice had been chewing it.  But I was looking for antlers, so I left it.  I walked further, scanning the ground as I went, and a few minutes later I jumped a deer.  I heard it first, then watched it run through the trees away from me.

It took me a while to get home, and the light was fading as I got here.

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Note: Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device that demonstrates his writing prowess.

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