I love spotting wildlife. But just as exciting as seeing an animal moving through the woods is finding the remains of an animal. An antler laying on the ground at the base of a tree is a little short story…
It was January, let’s say, and a buck’s rack was starting to loosen. Rut was over and the does were no longer coming into estrous. This caused his testosterone levels to drop and along with it, his antlers. He picked out a sturdy tree and muscled his old antler off. Free at last, he moved on to look for food, and boy was he hungry after chasing girls day and night for the last few months.
Or maybe he sparred with another buck here. A fierce battle ensued and he left lopsided.
How did this skull found in a dense thicket end up here? Did the deer die of disease? Looking for a peaceful place to exit this world, he founds this secluded corner?
Or did he succumb to a predator? His antlers are small and his teeth are not very worn, suggesting that the buck was young. Perhaps a cougar took advantage of his inexperience. And then looking for a peaceful place to eat her meal, the cougar dragged the body here.
It could have been epic or oh so mundane, but there is a story behind all of these signs. I’ll leave the narration on these to you: