The only thing I ever found while fishing--and it's only happened twice, even though I have nothing against the pastime--were big turtles. I was so glad I could help them; they ate the fish right off my line.

The relaxation factor won the day, by the way, even if I was unsuccessful in every other aspect of that little adventure. Now, if I'd found what Nolan Likens of Elizabethtown found while fishing with his uncle Brian Taulbee and his grandpa Wayne Taulbee, my "adventure" would have ramped up considerably. That's because I would immediately start to hope that whatever lost it was not still close by.

Nolan Lykins/Facebook; Canva
Nolan Lykins/Facebook; Canva

I was sufficiently impressed when I saw the first picture; the second made me think, "Whoa, what on Earth left THAT?" Nolan and his family would also like to know. Whatever it is, that talon or claw looks like it would be important to the creature that's missing one.

Candidate #1: Wild Boar

Nolan posted his findings on the Kentucky Mysteries Facebook group page and began receiving suggestions almost immediately. A couple of comments suggested they could be wild boar tusks. But the only serious porcine problem in the Commonwealth involves feral pigs. Wild boars aren't even indigenous to Kentucky. Take a close look here at a feral pig tusk:

Actually, if feral pigs even HAVE tusks, I can't see them. I checked other sources, and I couldn't see them there, either.

Candidate #2: Bear

It was also suggested that it could be a bear. And while black bears have wandered into central Kentucky in the past--FAR from their native digs in Appalachia--it seems the odds would be against a bear missing that claw. Here's an example for reference:

Man, it's close, though, isn't it? I just have a hard time believing it's a bear.

Candidate #3: Wild Cat

Mountain lions got tossed into the mix, but the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources is always shooting down theories that one has been spotted within our state lines. Bobcats are the only wild cats native to the Bluegrass State, but maybe the one Nolan found is too big for a bobcat.

Candidate #4: Golden Eagle

For my money, I'm going to guess it was a golden eagle talon Nolan, his uncle, and grandfather spotted in Buffalo Creek. Take a look and see what you think (start at 6:29):

The coloring is different, but the size and shape seem to track. Plus, there's a golden eagle aerie in nearby Bernheim Forest.

So I'm going with a golden eagle talon, but whatever it is, I wouldn't want it returning to collect while I was sitting on the bank waiting for the fish to bite.

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