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Bozeman, Montana, USA 28-11-2016

I have added a bead to the traveling necklace. This bead is made out of a mule deer antler.  The mule deer, named for its big ears, symbolizes the state of Montana as the animal lives here year-around and is frequently seen throughout our public lands as well as in farmer and ranchers’ fields. The mule deer has a varied diet, feeding on trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses and even mushrooms. Besides humans, coyotes, grey wolves and cougars are the big predators of the mule deer.

This bead came from an antler that had been shed by a male mule deer during the annual spring shedding – no animal was killed for it. The artist who created this bead, Craig Krzycki of Big Sky Antler, collects and creates unique antler art on the banks of the Gallatin River.  Craig works alone, with his two hands and his dog, Elmer.   He personifies a long tradition of local Montana artists living and working amidst the natural beauty of this state.  Montana, located on the northern border of the United States, is the 4th largest state in this country in area but is ranked 44th in population.  Our state is home to over 77 mountain ranges, two famous parks – Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the headwaters of the Missouri River and the largest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48.  It is truly “Big Sky Country” in every sense of the word.