Four stags - Something about DartmoorYesterday something magical happened – again.  Since sighting the ‘Four Stags of Yggdrasil‘ – I have been taken by a want to find a precious shed antler for my natural history collection.  No other stag antler would suffice, it had to be one of theirs – they are such handsome ‘boys’ – and it is the right time of year for stags to cast their antlers…

In hindsight, I would compare my quest to looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack – every piece of fallen branch on the forest floor morphed into an antler before my expectant eyes – I’d set myself an impossibly difficult goal – or maybe the stags had set it for me?

Daily for the last fortnight – I have searched in vain – until yesterday – 2nd April 2016…

I ventured deeper into the forest than before and set about finding one in earnest.  An hour or more passed and still no luck – when suddenly – I heard the familiar ‘cronk cronk’ call of a messenger raven…Raven - Something about DartmoorUp to this point, I admit – I was beginning to think maybe I wasn’t going to find any red deer antler let alone that of a mythic stag.  I’d have settled for a roe deer antler – or anything wild – just to take home for my humble collection – perhaps even a sculptural piece of wood!   Raven messenger - Something about DartmoorThe raven’s presence was all I needed to stay positive and with no more ado – I set my internal compass in the direction of its call – it was telling me where to find ‘my’ antler.  In a straight line, I walked no more than a hundred yards – and there just to my side was a strange branch that looked different to all the thousands of other branches I’d been misled by on my fortnight quest…Shed red deer antler - Something about DartmoorHalf concealed beneath twigs and moss – ‘my’ antler reached out from the Earth – its palm-like crown as an outstretched hand wanting to be found. Not recently shed either – this was a thrilling find.Shed stag antler - Something about Dartmoor

Red Deer Antler eight points - Something about Dartmoor

Even after second take – and third take – my eyes couldn’t believe their luck; this was definitely no ordinary antler – it was an impressive eight pointer cast by a legend of a beast. WOW!

Red Deer Antler - Something about Dartmoor

The width of my refectory table is 33 inches!

Thank you Raven.

Oh thank you…

Clever Raven - Something about Dartmoor

clever Raven.

Addendum.  Information about Red Deer stag antlers.

A stag with all his rights – 12 points or over is a royal stag. This antler has 5 ‘top’ points which with the 3 normal points lower down – brow, bray and trey makes a total (assuming the opposite not found antler has the same configuration) of 16 points.  Shed from a stag aged between 12 to 15 years old – maybe older…indeed much older!

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Hand like 'Yod' like Hand.

Hand like Antler like Hand.

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