Antler from extinct elk found with Daniel Boone Inscription

This may be one of the coolest sheds of all time. A portion of antler from the extinct Eastern Elk was found in Kentucky with the inscription D. Boone. Carbon dating puts the antlers from the same time period that Daniel Boone was in that area and makes the inscription at least plausible.

Kentucky Outdoors Media posted the pictures to Facebook with an in-depth look at the antler’s time period and carbon dating findings. While it is impossible to know for sure it was Daniel Boone; they concluded that it likely was him. Which if you are a history nut like I am, that is freaking awesome.

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In the late 1800s, this elk antler was found in a tributary of Stoner Creek in Bourbon County, KY. The inscription on the antler reads “D.Boon 1778.” Photos below are from December 2019. The antler was passed down through a family and finally ended up with a man associated with the museum at Fort Boonesborough. With the help of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources private land biologist Joe Lacefield, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation funded the carbon14 dating of the antler and it was traced back to the extinct subspecies of Eastern Elk. The carbon14 test dated the elk to have died in the range of the years between 1730-1806. Daniel Boone first arrived in Kentucky in 1769 and settled with his family at Boonesborough in 1775. There is no way to prove that Boone inscribed the antler, but the evidence says it is likely. Tomorrow, I have an interview with the author of “Boone,” Robert Morgan. I can’t wait to ask him about this incredible find!

Kentucky Outdoors Media via Facebook

Other inscriptions thought to be from Danial Boone have been found carved into trees in Kentucky. A tree in present Washington County, Tennessee, reads “D. Boon Cilled a. Bar on tree in the year 1760”. A similar carving, preserved in the museum of the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, reads “D. Boon Kilt a Bar, 1803.” The inscriptions may also be among numerous forgeries of the famous trapper, part of a long tradition of phony Boone relics.

I honestly hope this carving is the real McCoy and Daniel Boone really did carve his name onto the antler. We will probably never know for sure, but for now let call it real because why not it connects us to a legend and a folk hero.