Saturday we went to visit Scott Jones. (Note to all teachers – hire this guy!) He was at the Charlestowne Landing for their Archeology Day. While there we discussed the early mountain ranges that the future African continent created when it bumped into the North American Plate. There is volcanic rock and little nubbies of past mountains about 100 miles east of the Appalachian Mountain Ranges. That was a neat. We also discussed surveying old cemeteries with a professor from the College of Charleston. The SC DNR Archeologist, Sean, was excellent as well.
A DNR guy brought by a young buck for Scott and Sean to butcher using only stone biface tools that were smaller than three inches and were not in a handle. It was amazing to watch. How long did it take to do it, you ask? About the same amount of time as it would take with a metal blade.
Then Scott created a 9 inch woody knife from a piece of rivercane. He used it to separate the back sinew from the meat. When all the fun and games were over, none of the participants had spoken for the hide. I asked for it. All I had to do was de-attach the head from the hide. Glad I had my knife. I must say, one of the coolest moments that I’ve had in a long time was hauling the hide out. We were near the side exit (the park rangers didn’t want blood dripping on their nice visitor’s center) when we were spotted by a couple of boys and their dad. One of the boys asked his dad, “What does that lady have?” We stared at each other for a second and I replied, “It’s a fresh deer hide.” Both of the boys made the shape of the letter “o” with their mouth. Then with wide eyes yelled, “Cool!” They began dragging their dad down the sidewalk. They were excited and ready to learn. Yes!
We deposited the hide into the plastic tub we keep in the back of the car, rolled the windows down, and I tried to figure out how to put the key into ignition. One hand had dried blood while the other had tacky blood and deer hair. Agggg. I gloved my left hand in a plastic grocery bag. It worked. And away we drove. Of course the boys were highly amused by my one handed driving. They laughed and wondered what a police man might say.
It is in the back yard in a plastic tub of water with a weighted lid. We are figuring that we will have the hair sip around Thursday. Step one in the process of creating buck skin is done. And of course we will keep you informed of all the smelly details.