5 1/2 year old buck
Well guys the second weekend of our three month course has been eventful. At the end of last week my team and I checked the weather forecast for the weekend and found the on thng we have been praying for…A North Wind!! North winds allow my cameraman and I to hunt some of our best sets on the properties we have. Prevaling winds are without a doubt on the largest limiting factors when developing gameplay for the days ahead. Bucks are still coming out in daylight but limiting their appearences. Cooler temperature at night are makin the morning sits exciting and deer movement is surprisingly positive. New bucks also keep popping up allowing us to further grow the hit list. I’ll post a few pics of our hitlisters that we see most often and focus our efforts towards. We are looking for bucks of 5 1/2 years or older. This shows maturity and dominance in the herd. Proper judging of bucks is crucial in developing herd health and management. Some characteristics of maturity include denser mid sections(belly), thicker withers, developed brisket, longer snout, and other larger body conditions. One of the biggest myths involved with age judging of whitetail bucks is antler size. In areas of optimum nutrition and soil quality, bucks will develop large racks at early ages causing hunters to harvest these animals before they are able to grow to there maximum potential. Also on the other hand, some bucks of older age groups that may have been heavily stressed or malnourished might not “throw a big rack” even though they are obviously mature if we analyze their overall disposition with the rest of the herd.
Hey guys, opening day finally came on Sunday, September 15th. Temperatures cooled off slightly but as usual still ranged up to 80 degrees in places. Rain showers occasionally popped up but nothing that seemed to extreme. I spoke with several friends over the weekend and we are seeing deer movement increase right at dark on our food sources. This is to be expected early season making it extremely tough to get a buck harvested in daylight hours, but it only gets worse when the “October Lull” hits. The majority of bucks caught on trail cameras are shed of their velvet cover by now but you will occasionally catch one still covered. Missouri had quite the spring when it comes to rainfall but after the middle of July we have been very dry causing our fall food plot output to be slim. Luckily the mast crops(corn and soy beans) in agricultural areas are still holding their own even with the constant pressure from local wildlife. I keep my hopes high. Rain is in the forecast for the next week and I look for deer movement to increase with falling temperatures, however slim that might be. I’ll try to get some pictures posted from last year off my trail cameras. Some of them can be very interesting as I try to follow each deer personally as it grows over the years. The majority, once mature are even given a name usually due to characteristics or look of the deer. One example you’ll see in a picture I posted last week of a buck I harvested in November of 2010. I called this buck “Slick” because it had a clean rack with no trash or kickers as you might call it. Each year I develop a Hit-List of bucks that I believe to be mature, 4 1/2 years old or older, that are ready to be taken out of the heard. This list may be updated throughout the year because of new deer moving in and out of the area. Once the list is developed, all efforts are focused on patterning each deer’s whereabouts and hanging stands to hunt. Each week the game plan can and will most likely change. That’s bowhunting for you, and I’ll do my best to keep you updated on what we’re seeing develop each week. -Mike