On Sunday, Vic and I were out for a woodland stroll during the lunch hour. Of course, our ultimate goal is to locate turkeys and check on the local flock dynamics. There are so many deer across the landscape these days that most of the time they just blend into the background, but then on occasion, a few standout.
This smallish velvet buck was eating small burning nettles, as Vic and I approached he lifted his head and walked over to get a better look at us. Fortunately, I had my camera and was able to get out and turned on.
As the deer approached, Vic sat near my left leg, so I was able to snap this picture of a beautiful public land buck. After spending the better part of a half a century pursuing trophies like this, I marvel at how at home they are around dogs. I wrote about deer and dogs here. I know what some readers are thinking, “Oh, well, that’s just a summertime buck.” Wrong, this happens in the fall while wild turkey hunting, pheasant, grouse, or woodcock hunting. At that time of year, a shotgun is in my hands, and the camera is in a waterproof, cushioned pocket so getting a picture like this is more challenging. Interestingly the deer will tolerate my dog even if he growls or barks at them, but they will not stand around when I start digging in my pockets.
My passion these days, fall turkey hunting, so now the question I ponder; Should I go out this season and take him or should I give the GPS coordinates to some other deserving hunter?
Deer can’t be reliably saved for future years because there are too many hazards in the wild that most likely will take their lives. In Wisconsin, a buck deer like this has about a 50% CWD infection rate. There is a 50/50 chance that any buck you encounter will look like this next year.
Somewhere along the line this fall I’ll meet a deerhunter who’d like a crack at a nice buck and I’ll give them the coordinates. Perhaps, they’ll tip me off as to where all those turkeys I’ve been seeing went.