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Kevin Adkins almost kicked the Ice Age skull to the side because he thought it was just debris from a recent flood – then
he saw that it had teeth.
When Kevin Adkins took his father-in-law, Tony Hager, on his first turkey hunt on May 8, 2022, the two West Virginians spotted
an animal skull in a Putnam County creek. Covered in mud from a flood that had hit the region two days earlier, it was initially
unidentifiable. So Adkins took it home – and later learned that it belonged to an 11,000-year-old giant sloth.
While 36-year-old Adkins had hunted turkeys in Putnam County plenty of times before, he had never come across something
like this. Trudging through the muddy wilderness, the Red House resident and his father-in-law were primarily interested in nabbing
some wild birds when they encountered the relic.
“We were running and gunning for toms,” Adkins told Outdoor Life. “We’d worked a gobbler for about 30 minutes, then the bird
moved off, so we picked up and headed up the creek. I looked down in the middle of the creek as we crossed it and saw a big blob
of something I thought was a root ball, so I almost kicked it away.”
“But I noticed something different about it and looked closer,” Adkins went on. “That’s when I saw some molar teeth, so I picked
Determined not to let the potential find of a lifetime distract from his turkey hunt, Adkins propped the skull next to the creek and
forged ahead. When he and Hager concluded their hunt later that morning, they retrieved the skull and carried it home.
“[My wife] thought it was a cow skull because it was so big,” Adkins said. The skull weighed about 30 pounds and sported tufts
of hair. It had four molar teeth on either side of its jawbone.
“But my father-in-law said no, it was something very different,” continued Adkins. “That’s when we started searching the internet,
sending photos to family and friends, and then I posted it on social media. That really got things moving along with trying to ID what
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