No, not for the “Garden” or “She” variety. More like the “Needle in the Haystack” kind.

From my recent issue of Garden & Gun magazine…

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

The funniest notion about me having a subscription to Garden & Gun is that I neither garden nor hunt. The magazine has spectacular articles on food and drink; arts and culture; and travel around the South, however. It’s like my beloved Servus except that it is written, of course, in English and does not take me an entire month to read.

With the subscription comes a newsletter, and with curiosity I clicked on the article, The Southerner’s Guide to Shed Hunting.  Apparently, in the South, one makes a sport out of looking for “shed” antlers from late January into March. Given my love of Austrian wildlife, and the (purchased) antlers decorating our hearth, the thought of actually finding antlers on my own made for a perfect hiking outing!

Being noobs and all, we passed on bringing along the “must have” gear of a backpack (in which to store the antlers we found); a GPS tracking app (so that we could efficiently wander in a grid pattern); and the hunting dog trained to sniff out antlers. Instead we leashed CTF and set out for one of Tennessee’s wildlife refuges, hoping for the best.

Important stuff, along with knowing which sections were closed to hunters.

At the entrance to the reserve, a most unusual Cairn.

Look! We found a birdhouse!

And hiked across a bog! Or a creek. Hard to tell.

And I took snaps of crooked trees!

But we did not find any shed antlers. At a local tavern we commiserated over pints and pickles, and plotted our next antler hunt.