Blood and bone make hardened antler beams and tines into fighting tools for buck deer. As autumn cold turns to winter, hormones and instinct trigger bucks into head-to-head clashes for the chance to mate with female deer. But like so much of nature’s wild beauty, antlers are temporary. Bucks shed them in late winter. Chewing mammals and weather decay will destroy antlers, unless a person walking in the woods spots a whitish-tan glint on the ground and soon holds in their hands symmetrical wildness.

“I get as excited finding a shed antler from a buck as I do hunting deer,” said Tyler Mahoney of Carl Junction. “It’s a piece of the puzzle because you know this is where the deer walks and lives. How elusive the animal is, that also makes it part of the magic. An antler is a tangible thing you can pick up and bring home and you’re not destroying anything. They’re kind of rare, it’s a trophy.”

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~