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Other things I've found in the woods


When I'm in woods looking for bones, I find a lot of other cool stuff as well. Here are some of the things that I've found and kept.

• Poison bottles

I found these at the south edge of Suicides Graves wood, next to the field. They are made out of glass and they must have used to have a stopper or a cork in them to stop the poison coming out. There were a few bottles we found at the same time but these two looked the best.

I think these are about fifty years old, but they could even be a hundred years. They don't make bottles like this any more, because poisons are now in plastic bottles with screw tops that a child can't undo. The writing on them is part of the glass, raised up. One says "Poison" and the other says "Not to be taken". Maybe they belonged to an old gamekeeper who was poisoning buzzards. You're not allowed to poison buzzards anymore.

• Shotgun shells

I've got tons of these, but here are just three. All the ones I have are 12-gauge. Shotguns are used for shooting mostly birds, which is why I found almost all of these in the Pheasant Woods.

The numbers on most of these are 5 or 6, which means the size of the balls that are fired. Each shell has lots of different balls fired at the same time.

The bottom of the shell case is brass, and you can see where the pin inside the gun hit it to explode them and fire the shot.

People pay a lot of money to shoot pheasants, and there are lots of pheasant woods near where I live. In winter you can hear the guns going off.

• Deer hoof

I've found deer hooves before but this is the first one I've kept. This one is from a red deer.

Deer have two main toes on each foot, like goats and sheep. That means sheep footprints can sometimes look like roe deer footprints. The hooves are made out of the same thing as sheep horns, which means when the animal dies it can rot. But this one is okay because I kept it dry.

You can find lots of hooves in gamekeepers or poachers pits, because they chop off and throw away the bottom part of the leg after they kill a deer.

• Mussel shell

This is a freshwater mussel shell. I found it in a loch a few miles north of my house that we go on a walk to sometimes.

You get mussels in the sea and in lakes and rivers. They live inside this shell, and suck in plankton through a tiny gap.Some birds, like oystercatchers, have long beaks to pry inside and eat the oysters inside.

I have never tried oysters or mussels to eat but dad he will bring some home this week.

• Pheasant feathers

This is a big tuft of pheasant feathers all together that I found in the Pheasant Woods. It's really easy to find pheasant feathers because foxes kill the pheasants and tear off the feathers.

I think this tuft is from the front of the pheasant, on the breast, where the feathers are dark orange. The feathers are almost shiny, and in the light they change colour a bit as you move them about.

• Bullet cartridge

If you hunt deer, you have to use a rifle, not a shotgun, and use proper bullets. This is the case of a bullet that had been fired. The case stays in the gun after the bullets shoots out.

I found this on the edge of Suicides Graves wood near a field where red deer go. I think the poacher or gamekeeper hid in the trees at the edge of the wood to shoot a red deer.

At the bottom of it is written "270w" and "Norma" which means it is a 270 Winchester bullet. This type of bullet was first used 85 years ago. The shell might have been there for years, because it's hard to tell.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Jake.
Just a wee note on the poison bottles...
The blue one looks to be much older than 50 years-maybe as much as a hunderd as you guessed.One way to age them is to find the seam from the mold the glass was blown in, and see if it sintinues all the way to the top of the lip.If it does, it will date from around 1920; if not, it was made before then, with the lip applied by hand after the bottle left the mold. Another thing about poison bottles is the embossed ribs/dots - these are there for tactile identification in poor light, or for those with impaired vision, so they wouldn't be accidentally drunk!
I found your site as I was researching a red deer hind skeleton I found yesterday here in the Lake District, high on a mountainside. Everything was there exept the lower jaw(?)
Love the site- keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typo there -the seam CONTINUES, not "sintinues"...

Jake said...

Hi Eddie,

Thank you - that really helps ! The very top of the bottle around where the cork would go looks rough as if it has been one by hand, so I think it's older than 1920 !

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