The Herald Bulletin

October 10, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Breaking rules can work out

The Herald Bulletin

---- — I subscribe to too many deer hunting magazines. Rates are cheap and articles are good. Sometimes they can all be in agreement and all be wrong.

The aforementioned is not fair because there are exceptions to every rule. The general consensus is lay back on the big bucks until the rut kicks in. Do not let them know you are there; hunt feeding edges at dusk and sleep in lest you bump deer on your way to stand.

Opening day of the Hoosier archery season, Keven Marsh of Maddie Moo’s Meats, Mechanicsburg, violated all those rules and shot the buck of a lifetime. “I pretty well had him patterned with trail cams so I went after him,” said Marsh. The decision put a bruiser in Kevin’s shooting lane. His Xpedition bow performed as expected placing an arrow in the boiler plate.

Marsh’s deer looks to be a 14-pointer with two split drop tines. I have none of the measurements, but was told it had a green score of 188. We will be hearing more about this tremendous buck in the future. For now, congratulations, Keven Marsh.

The response to the deer/apple stories has been great. I’ll tie up a few loose ends and that will be the end of it.

Tom Tranbarger, Apple Barn, Pendleton, got this going. He is in the orchard every day and sees no evidence of deer eating apples. Come the harsh weather of January/February, Tranbarger puts storage apples back into the orchard and the deer go nuts. Just two days after telling me this, Tom observes a doe and her twin fawns eating apples.

A half-dozen deer visit Roger Murdock’s feeder daily. He handed me a picture of a deer with apple in its mouth.

Finally, I took this issue to the horse’s mouth. Three doors down, I can usually find Daisy running a rabbit. With the leash, I bring a couple of apples for the horses. When they see me coming it is like Pavlov’s dogs. They quickly approach the fence and eat the apples from my flat palm.

I make a lot of cider runs to the Apple Barn (closed Sundays) this time of year. Two teens get off the bus at my place and the first thing they raid is my cider stash.

Tom came up with an excellent idea. Trees that are pruned and sprayed tend to have much larger fruit. It would be difficult for a deer to get the large apple in its mouth, especially if the fruit was still on the tree. It would be like bobbing for apples.

Perhaps, one more visit would put this old mystery to bed. “I have three in the barn lot now,” said the wildlife rehabilitator.

I had two Courtland apples in my pocket and a knife. The fawns went to and ate the wedge shaped pieces. I tossed the whole apple in the pen and one fawn pinned it against the ground and ate it. Yet, three other apples lay in the lot untouched. They looked like red delicious.