Last week’s horn hunting feature certainly got the antlers rattling from the peanut gallery. The horn story stirred up some e-mail responses plus a trip or two down horn hunting memory lane. And no sooner than the ink was dry, there was this very timely connection with the Super Bowl. There’s even an erstwhile movement against a TV deer hunting segment that’s apparently lost its way. That is, via canned hunts of super pen-raised, monster headgear wearing tame bucks, calling the questionable sport “pornography” decrying those that participate as the practitioners of horn porn.
I know I said in the feature that horns generally fall off around January or so though I have personally seen some exceptions for bucks that have carried them darn near to the last day of March. This fellow from a suburban zone generally off limits to deer hunters says that he’s got not one, but seven bucks in his backyard and all still wearing their headgear circa February 2, providing the pictures to prove it. They were rubbing his favorite fruit trees and he wonders if they’re gathering to watch the “Super Buck Bowl” or possibly even considering a stag party!
Ha, ha… In response, another fellow chimes in that he’s hunted his butt off this year but never laid eyes on one. Maybe that guy should have been looking straight ahead while he was hunting instead of head-down at the forest floor looking for last year’s set of drops. Getting back to football and the Super Bowl, how about last week’s big stink over whether the future hall of famer in Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens used a deer antler concoction in a recent injury healing process?
We don’t know whether he did or he didn’t or even if the stuff is worth a hoot for healing or whatever else ails you. However, the velvet stuff that nurtures the growth of deer antlers has been treasured by the Chinese like ginseng for thousands of years. How do I know that, I looked it up on the internet! After all, we did say that there was some magic associated with the annual growth of those antlers. But we meant for the deer, not for the human partakers thereof or via some concoction of it sprayed onto the skin like some kind of deodorant.
As if that weren’t enough for one week’s worth of antler folly, we found this Banner file photo from some 20 years back. A fellow from up Main Island Creek way had bumped into a deer with his vehicle. Low and behold an antler fell off on impact, a dandy sized one at that. The deer ran off apparently no worse for the wear. When he went to check on it, he found the other horn to the perfectly matching set. He took the horns down to what was then Kinney’s Exxon at Wilkinson and got his picture taken as if he were wearing them.
Or at least the story went something like that and the internet wasn’t available at the time so it surely had to be true. And at at least he didn’t try to eat the confounded things. And man, am I ever glad football season is over with!
— For more antler tales, Bob Fala’s book Ramblin’ Outdoors is available at the Banner Office.