Something I have never seen before in my nek of the wood!

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
For the past few evenings at Dusk we have a herd of about 8 doe in our yard being lead by a "big boy" with at least 10 points on his antlers in a big spread!!
I feel like I'm in a Disney movie!
Ok what is wrong with this? ...well to start..... our whitetails shed antlers between the end of Big game season Dec 10th and Christmas! I have never in all my years seen an antlered deer after Christmas ( which is our flintlock season!)

Now the next thing: I have never seen a "Buck" leading a herd of doe at this time of year!

It is a unique sight!
I tried boosting the speed of my Nikon camera and shooting open aperture tonight but it is just too dark!

The other evening I was picking up my outdoor kitty dishes and I spooked them and the buck ran right up the hill "to me" and stopped 30 feet away stomped his foot and the rest of the herd followed and ran up the top of the hill for safety and when he was satisfied he snorted and continued up the hill to group with them! I'm telling you it is like a Walt Disney production! I have never seen anthing like this but I'm loving it!
 

Bret4207

Obviously Confused Member, Northern NY
Some years back, got to be at lest 11 years since I was still working for the State then, I saw a good sized buck near home up here with his rack still on in mid January. Not common at all in my experience and from what others I've mentioned it to tell me. My older son normally starts hunting sheds in early January. I suppose different animals have different times they shed. Seems logical anyway.
 

Tomme boy

Active Member
Couple years ago I saw a 12pt in MAY!! I was out mushroom hunting and walked right up on him. That was the longest I ever seen one with antlers that late.
 

freebullet

Well-Known Member
It's pretty common to see antlers around here till the end of jan-first couple weeks of feb. Though they do start losing them toward end of dec. Diet, stress, enviromental factors, ect are all supposed factors.

Far as leading a group. Cold & hunting pressure bunch them up, they just follow the leader. Cold high pressure years it's not uncommon to see none or a herd of 25+ around here.

Congratulations on having them at home! Cracked corn & salt licks will keep'em coming around.
 

Winelover

North Central Arkansas
Six does, an hour before dusk, last evening. They've been scarce for a while. Temps dropped like a rock, yesterday, with wind and mixed precipitation.

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On March 18th 2017, I took this photo of eleven deer. Only one had antlers...............he came in last. Upon glassing the deer, all eleven were bucks that had shed their antlers. Makes sense too, since bucks tend to form bachelor groups after the rut is over.

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Hard to get all of them in the frame. Manage to get ten. Upper left is the antlered one.

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Archery season ended February 28th..............started the third weekend in September. Several gun seasons, in between. After five months of hunting, still plenty of bucks survived.
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
That is a nice looking big boy! I only see ours at dusk! I have been feeding the wild turkeys cracked corn That really bring in the deer too! According to the new laws by the PA Game commission we are not supposed to feed any wild animals any more! They are trying to keep CWD out of PA. When deer bunch up in the winter in small areas because of a food source they believe it can spread !
I guess it is a good law in that matter
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
It isn't a pretty thing! Apparently some of our deer were found with in the the south west of the state ( coming up from MD)
Northeastern deer are all healthy and robust but do nor want to take a chance!

Jimbo....That is the reason my wife uses when I want to harvest a wild turkey! I always wanted a chance at a bird like that since 1964
Now I have my choice ....but alas I'm told they are my pets!!!!!
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
heh.. the kids grew up eating plenty of ''Mabel's'' for dinner.

I remember Littlegirl chasing down her first Turkey with my shotgun and no shoes on.
I could hear her going up the hill after them 75 yds. away.
oww,ow,,,ow,,,ow,,ow,,,,,,,,,, BLAM!,,,, ow,ow,ow,ow,ow.
 

Bret4207

Obviously Confused Member, Northern NY
The deer used to yard up down where I used to live when the deep snow came. The local fish and game club fed out hay for years. I forget why they were forced to stop by DEC, but it was long before CWD. I know the coyotes were right there nearby.
 

Winelover

North Central Arkansas
I do not put feed out on my acreage. Instead, I plant a food plot. CWD is in our area. Fish and Game is too stupid to ban the feeding of deer, year round. They allow it during the four months of our five month hunting season. :headbang:



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Turnips, the last two years.

Baiting, not only spreads disease, it make the deer spooky. IMO.
 

freebullet

Well-Known Member
Deer lick each other

Doubtful legislation will stop that. I really wish people would put deep thought into what they ask .gov to be involved in. It usually cost more, takes longer, & has a poor ending or no ending once they NEED to step in.
 
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JWFilips

Well-Known Member
Well Because our winter has been so wacky & warm We have about 3 acres of nice green grass on the top hill.Besides the deer the turkeys are loving it because they still can scratch up grubs. The ground never really froze!
Yes I too am for natural food lots! i do my best planting good cover crops in the gardens for the critters to eat each fall
But is nice having a flock of turkey on the patio eating cracked corn
 

Bret4207

Obviously Confused Member, Northern NY
I have some very, very mixed feelings on "food plots". A large part of me views hunters that put in food plots as doing no more than planting bait piles. I can see the difference between a bait pile and a food plot of course, but in the end it's still an artificial food source intended to draw in game to be hunted. It's just a matter of scale and that becomes a grey area to me. Around here any field put into "new seeding" for hay or a corn or bean crop is a giant sized "food plot". It gets a bit baffling at times when I hear a local hunter complain about a farmer having a nice meadow full of young and tender newly seeded hay growing and the deer preferring it to his high dollar food plot. It seems to happen every fall. Or a field of corn gets chopped and the deer are out looking for what amounts to Green Giant Nibblet Corn just laying on the ground while these hunters are staring at an empty field every day. It's not like the farmers are doing this on purpose! Kinda makes me shake my head. It's just a weird way of thinking.

As far as deer retaining their antlers into January, just yesterday our local online news source, "North Country Now .com", published a photo a reader took this last weekend of a buck with antlers at their bird feeder. It happens!
 
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Winelover

North Central Arkansas
No doubt food plots are attractants. However, they spread the deer out so as to make transmitting diseases less probable. You don't necessarily have to hunt on right on top of a food plot. In fact, it's better to hunt the approaches to the plot. Mostly, does and small bucks, frequent the plot. There are no agricultural crops grown, in the immediate area. Yet most of the bucks, I've taken are filled with corn. There are hundreds of forested (mostly oak and ceders) acres, surrounding my messily 57 acres. Nothing to keep the does visiting. Hence, the food plot.

In the 9 seasons, I've hunted here, I have yet to take a doe or a buck smaller than five points. The three point rule was relaxed, this year, due to CWD approaching my zone. I'm still adhering to it. I try to take one buck a year, sometimes two. But the second one is always larger than the first. (We're allowed six............four antlerless and two bucks) Last season, I took an 8 point, during muzzle loading. Passed on four more.................waiting on a nine or better. I know there around, field cams don't lie. However, other than the rut, they only visit during the middle of the night.

This year, I've been too selective. Passed on a good many five and six points..................waiting on the elusive mature buck. If I just wanted venison, I could shoot them off my back deck. I like to be out in the field and spend quality time in the woods. Shooting is anti-climatic................it's when all the work begins.
 
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Hawk

Well-Known Member
We hunt the Big Pine Forests of east Texas.
There is not as many deer on our 2,000 acres as there were in the 1980s. Mostly due to encroachment of poor, small plot, land owners that probably harvest deer year round for food.
My view of my food plots, salt licks, mineral blocks, etc. is that for every deer I may take, I feed and help maintain hundreds of other animals including deer, squrriels, turkey, quail, dove and any other animal that can benefit from my areas.
We still kill pests and are required to kill pigs whenever we see any.
They say there are four stages of a hunters life,
1. The shooter stage.
2. The limit out stage.
3. The trophy stage.
4. The method stage
5. The sportsman stage.
I like to think there is another stage,
6. The stewart of the land stage, where you try to give back to nature for all the years of joy and peace nature has given you.
I think I'm in stages 3 thru 6, all at once.
Like many on this board, being outdoors is my refuge from the trials of life and where I can find some peace.
It's just my way to try and give back while I can.