Some points about antlers, off the top of my head

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - STEVE GALEA

YES­TER­DAY, I CHECKED A trail cam­era that I have set out in the deer woods and no­ticed that I had pho­tos of three bucks. Two were spar­ring. For a deer hunter, this is the deer-hunt­ing ver­sion of a pay-per-view event.

Like a good pay-per-view event, this was ba­si­cally pre­dictable and bor­ing.

First, both deer looked at each other men­ac­ingly. In this case, they were two mid­dle-weight eight poin­t­ers who de­cided to lock horns while a ban­tamweight six poin­ter looked on.

There were plenty of head fakes and a whole lot of cir­cling, just like when you see two out of shape men pos­ture over some­thing they should be able to settle like re­spon­si­ble adults.

My pho­tos showed that both deer even­tu­ally had enough of the pos­tur­ing so they locked antlers and be­gan push­ing each other around for a few sec­onds. Then, though I don’t un­der­stand the deer lan­guage or have au­dio ca­pa­bil­ity on my cam­era, I sup­pose they said in­sult­ing things about each other’s mother.

Stuff like: “Your mother is so fat, hun­ters will need two ATVs to drag her out.”

Fol­lowed by “Oh, yeah! Your momma is so fat they call her a dough.”

You get the idea. There was a lot of trash talk going on. Then there was more push­ing.

Watch­ing pho­tos of spar­ring was in­ter­est­ing, but more than anything else it made me happy to be part of a species that does not grow antlers.

As far as I can see, antlers serve no other pur­pose than to get the owner in trou­ble.

No good ever came from own­ing a big set of antlers. Hun­ters tar­get you. Other bucks con­stantly chal­lenge you. You al­ways have to fight be­cause of them. They are heavy and get caught in fences and clothes lines. They of­ten look gaudy. Then, just when ev­ery­one gets used to that look, they fall off and you have these un­sightly bases on the top of your head, which wouldn’t be so bad if deer wore hats. But, as far as I know, they don’t.

Oh, sure, if you have a big set of antlers and a heavy, mus­cu­lar body to back it, you might win the right to be the dom­i­nant buck, which means you’ll be able to breed more does than oth­ers. The down side is this uses too much en­ergy and burns off fat just be­fore win­ter which is when you need it the most. Sec­ondly, in spring, ev­ery fawn in the woods would be hit­ting you up for money for a school trip.

If hu­mans had antlers, a lot of things would be dif­fer­ent. For one, we’d all have to drive con­vert­ibles or ve­hi­cles with sun roofs dur­ing the antler grow­ing sea­son.

Plus, a good set of antlers would make fly cast­ing more dif­fi­cult and would prob­a­bly mean that you’d have to sit in front of your wife when she is try­ing to wrap her yarn. Com­pany Christ­mas par­ties would also be hell be­cause we’d all be ex­pected to dec­o­rate our points. They’d also be hard on ceil­ing fans and chan­de­liers, al­though they would make head stands eas­ier and ring toss more fun.

And, god help you, if you had a spindly lit­tle set, be­cause like deer, we’d prob­a­bly at­tach way to much im­por­tance on that, rather than hands.

Ba­si­cally, antlers are trou­ble and we’re lucky we don’t have them.

On the other hand, they’d make foot­ball a lot more in­ter­est­ing.

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