antler find - TH 2015By Travis Huber, Augustana University, Class of ’18. 

Two weekends ago my two brothers and I made a short trip to our hunting cabin to clean up the place and scout for some deer. Our “cabin” really just happens to be a small mobile home in a farmyard on a quarter of land, but it’s our perfect getaway to go out hunting, fish for creek chubs, and scout for animals in the valley on our land.

My project of the trip was to pick up and pile up all of the fallen branches in the backyard, which is about half the size of a football field and scattered with trees. I had been cutting branches and piling them up for a couple hours when I went back for the last few branches. I went to reach for what I thought was the end of a branch in a pile of leaves I had just been picking branches from, and I realized it happened to be a shed deer antler.1151:103115:36F:2817:CAMERA1 :5

I was hoping to search for sheds later that day, but didn’t quite expect to find one right in the backyard so I was certainly excited.  The antler is pretty weathered and beaten up, but if the points were more developed this antler would potentially be a seven pointer. Since one spot is just a little nub and two points are broken under once inch long, it can only be counted as a four point antler.

Regardless of condition, it was still an exciting find and I was happy to know there are deer hanging out right in our backyard as well as the rest of the land.

To add to the find, the following weekend my oldest brother went back to the cabin to go pheasant hunting in the tree belt behind the backyard and found another shed antler. It was laying in the middle of a path amongst a few leaves.   His antler would have been a four or five pointer but was much more weathered than mine.

Deer shed their antlers every year after the rut, the mating season, due to a reduction in testosterone levels which makes the antlers weak and fall off. Antlers then grow back over summer, typically even bigger and maybe with even more points. Next time we go to the cabin to scout, I’ll keep my eyes out for a seven by seven antler rack, because that just may potentially be the deer who left me his antler in our backyard.

Travis is blogging for The Outdoor Campus as part of a 20-hour internship in public relations. 

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