The Panic Button



To date, there is no venison headed to our freezer. Actually, today was the first day I could have filled my tag. I only have a buck tag, which means I can’t harvest a deer unless at least one antler is 7 cm in height. For the most part, I’ve been seeing only does and fawns, and a few (dead) bucks in the the beds of pick-up trucks or in trailers.

But today I saw a nice 8 pt buck in the field by the cabin I was sitting in watching, and I could easily have shot it (had the gun and scope on it). But I have never shot a deer on our property, and will only do it if the deer is a great buck. It’s just my own, self-imposed rule. BTW, I’ve lived here with Lil since 1995, and have taken a number of deer and moose since that date, just none on our property..

Anyway, the buck I saw today was similar, or a bit bigger, than the deer in the attached photo, which was taken last year. The deer on our land (232 acres) don’t seem to get older (bigger ) than this – they ‘max out’ at 2 1/2 years old. Other hunters, on neighboring properties, or wolves, or something else, seem to get them before they reach 3+ years of age. Years ago, there were older and  bigger bucks on our land, but that was before the hordes of out of town hunters descended upon us. Now most of the bucks seem to be from a land like Lilliputian.

Oh well, that’s hunting. At least I’m seeing a few deer. It looks to me as if the rut is just getting underway – the buck I saw went to the biggest scrape in the field and rubbed it’s forehead vigorously on the ‘licking branch’  above the scrape, although it didn’t freshen the scrape itself. I suspect the does will start getting into estrous in a day or so. Maybe then a monster buck will appear.

I tend to doubt that will happen, as there is no big buck sign anywhere, and no one I have talked to has heard of or seen a big buck, dead or alive.

Still. one can hope and dream. That’s what hunters do. The season doesn’t end until the middle of December. No need to press the panic button – at least not yet.

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