The Herald Bulletin
---- — I haven’t been seeing a lot of deer so when we received a covering of snow Sunday night, it was time for a recon mission. My favorite property has been unkind; the tracks in the snow told me why.
At first, I thought the tracks running down the grassy lane were deer, but a closer look revealed pads instead of hooves. I back tracked to a thicket where two coyotes, maybe three had come out of hiding. My scouting uncovered only one deer track.
Monday afternoon, I returned to the woods with the Indian mounds. The snow had already melted on the east side, but the north side, protected from the southern sun, still had snow.
Immediately, I locked on to a big set of tracks; they went from the picked corn to the woods. I debated on whether or not to jump the deer, but decided I needed to see the head gear on this fellow.
I did not see the buck jump, but when I exited the woods, I looked across 200 yards of picked corn and there he stood staring at me. The body was big and the white neck patch visible. He had horns, but they blended into the fencerow brush.
I said, “Hello Pretty Boy, how are you today?” The buck stood still as I slowly advanced. Finally, the buck broke my stare, turned sideways, and trotted off. It was then that I saw his massive rack with high tines. He had 10, perhaps 12 symmetrical points. The giant buck melted into an L shaped woods to the north.
At that distance, there could be flaws, broken tines and other deductions, but this is the largest deer I’ve seen in four years.
I will not return until opening day of gun season, Saturday. This, by no means, will be a slam dunk. The Indian mounds woods seems to be as far south as this deer travels. The big L woods to the north is probably his home. It may take another hunter to push him my way. Also, I really need an east or northeast wind and that is not likely.
The weather forecast is for showers this weekend; a lot of thought will be given on how to approach this new hunting area. If it is raining, at first light, a camo ground blind, set up in the cornfield, might work.
If you hunt from a ground blind, the DNR requires a patch of hunter orange on each side of at least 144 square inches so that it is visible from any directions.
Awhile back, I told you about liking to run over walnuts with my truck and how the crows took advantage. My brother Roger writes “Those crows may have dropped the nuts in the roadway on purpose. He suggested a youtube video “Clever Crows.” by Petagoras. Not only were these crows dropping nuts to have them crushed, but they were dropping them at crosswalks to keep from being run over.
Rick Bramwell’s column appears Thursdays in The Herald Bulletin sports section. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.