The Missouri Department of Conservation released a statement on Wednesday that a dad and his son discovered an old and rare elk antler as they were at the Grand River.
Ben Clarkson and his son Sam said that were fishing at the Sowards Ford Access on the Grand River on December 3rd when they found the “unique” antler in the riverbed protected under the mud.
It was still attached to the animal’s skull plate, as seen in a photo shared on Facebook, which indicates that the elk did not shed them like males do each year.
Right after finding them, they called a conservation agent to ask permission to keep it.
In the state of Missouri, if a person finds antlers with the skull plate still attached, they must call wildlife authorities within 24 hours to ask permission to legally keep them in their possession. This is not the case if the antlers are found without the skull plate still attached.
“It looks to be old, like it had been in the water for quite some time,” Harrison County Agent Cpl. Josh Roller told Kansas City. Roller “issued a Wildlife Disposition for the pair to legally keep the antler.”
He believes the elk antlers may be from a very old elk because it was found in northwest Missouri where elk are not normally found.
In fact, elk are not commonly found in the state of Missouri. Only in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties which are southeast portions of the state.
“Congratulations to Sam and Ben on this rare find,” officials wrote on Facebook.