DEER ANTLER CAP MOUNT WITH VINTAGE METAL HUNTING TAG
(full item description/condition info can be found below story)
Twelve-year-old Samuel Smythe was giddy with excitement as he proudly posed for a photograph with his first deer—a small forked-horn whitetail buck he had shot near his family’s farm outside Usk, Washington. His dad held the small Brownie box camera and tried to keep it framed but Sam could hardly sit still. “Sam, settle down and hold still so I can take this picture,” his dad scolded. Ed Smythe was actually chuckling to himself, glad to see his youngest son bursting with such excitement and appreciating the moment of happiness in what seemed like a desert of dispair. It had been a tough year at the Smythe household back in that year of 1945. Sam’s oldest brother Ted had been badly wounded in the battle for Iwo Jima back in February and was still recovering in a hospital in California the last they heard from him.
Sam, smiling ear-to-ear, held up the head of the small buck as if he had just taken a world-class trophy as his dad finally captured a photo. The two hoisted the deer into the back of the old Dodge pickup and headed back home. Sam was excited to show his mom the deer. As they pulled down the long gravel driveway toward the white farmhouse, they both spied a figure coming toward them from the house.
“IT’S TED!” Sam burst out and was out the door before his dad could bring the truck to a full stop. Sam raced to his brother and wrapped his arms around him.
Over the years Sam took many larger bucks but that little set of antlers was always Sam’s most treasured troph--a reminder of the day his big brother returned home from the war.
The story above is fictitious but is inspired by this whitetail deer antler cap that we acquired from a farm estate in northeast Washington state. The forked horn cap includes the original 1945 metal hunting tag wrapped around one of the horns. Embossed on the metal strip is "1945" and "GAME DEPT." as well as the tag number. It measures 13" tall, 9" wide and 4" front-to-back. It has a wonderful aged patina--the antlers are bleached and there is some dried moss in spots as it was probably hung on the side of an outbuilding for many years.
As mentioned above this set has a nice patina as is almost 70 years old. It is weather worn and bleached but still a sturdy piece. The metal hunting tag is rusted.
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