Gun Season Deer Report

14 Dec

Jay got two button bucks with a gun.  The photo of the second:
He got this up behind the house from a tree stand.  The buck came from behind–an unexpected direction–and stopped almost in front of the stand.  Hawthorne and I started our walk just after he shot.  The dog left me and tracked down Jay and the deer.  They were waiting when I came 15 minutes later.  This deer became mostly jerky.

Then I picked up a button buck.  That was on  Sunday afternoon. (#3 deer)  That deer had odd blood spots–small bruises throughout its leg muscles.  It was unlike anything we have ever seen.  So we did not make jerky out of it.  While researching it, I found out that North American Whitetail deer can be a source of  toxoplasmosis (eating the meat raw or undercooked).

The following Tuesday evening was blizzard-like.  I had to do some errands downtown that night.  One section of our road gets significant drifts blowing across.  You have to slow right down or risk an accident.  Coming home in the dark and blowing snow through that area I saw a dead deer right in the worst drifts.  I turned around because I worried someone might not see it in the blowing snow and get in an accident.  It was freshly hit.  Not bleeding.  No broken bones. So I decided it had to come home with me.

I could not lift it into the trunk so climbed in the back seat and pulled the carcass in after me.  When I reached the door I climbed out over it and pushed the rest of it in.  Then drove home.  I had to wave two vehicles around me in the snowstorm while I was doing this.  I broke two nails. I was very cold as I was not dressed for night-time snow storm deer retrieval.

It turned out to be the largest button buck (a born-this-year deer, a fawn) Jay had ever seen.  It weighed about 100 pounds.  He was not happy I brought it home.  He thought I had gotten the car bloody or that the meat would be bruised, and he had been planning to go out hunting early the next morning.  Instead we had to take the deer that night over to his family’s barn and hang and gut it.  The car was not dirty.  Nor was the meat bruised except deep in the chest cavity.  The blood had pooled in the upper chest cavity.  He gave the front legs away and cut up and froze the meat from the hind legs. (#4 deer)

Thursday we did two big drives with Daren, Aaron, Caleb, his wife Nicole, and Duane, Jay’s friend from high school and father of Caleb.  The first drive Jay shot a good-sized doe (#5 deer)  and Duane shot its fawn.  This was on Cornell controlled land.  We have to jump over many logistical paperwork and record keeping barriers to hunt Cornell lands.  Caleb and his wife Nicole have shot at least 17 deer with bow and arrow on Cornell land this season.  Most from hiking trails.  They walk the trails with their bows.  The deer are so used to people they do not spook even when being drawn upon with the bow.  This is the first year Nicole has hunted.  She shot three deer this way.  The large 8-pt buck she killed just stood and watched her as she drew up and shot him.

Jay’s brother, Daren, got a seven point buck during a torrential rainstorm the second week of season.  He saw the buck feeding in a pasture from an upstairs window.  He took his muzzleloader and snuck down the length of a hedgerow.  As he put the gun barrel up into a convenient tree notch he says he thought “This might just work”!  The buck never spooked or saw him.  He made a clean lung shot.

Here is Jay with the that buck.  Daren was not around when the camera was.

Then, late last week, Daren decided to watch from a chair 50 yards from a turnip plot he planted this late summer.  A doe crept down from the brush above the plot and eventually waded into the turnips to eat.  The plants started the season out with greens that were about 3 feet tall.  Daren had the muzzleloader, which is a one-shot gun.  Just as he was ready to shoot he saw some movement out of the corner of his eye.  Another deer arrived.  A big eight point buck which seemed comforted by the fact the doe was eating unmolested and unconcerned.  So Daren shot him instead.

Here Daren is with the antlers from the first buck and this second buck.

Jay is cutting up the doe now.  Hamburger and jerky and some meat to freeze.

 

I saw several bucks but never got a good shot.  One I tracked and it jumped from its bed under a pine in the snow.  It ran and someone else shot within minutes after it left my area.  Saturday, while Jay was hunting I again jumped a buck from its bed.  It ran down and across the road.  And then there were two shots fired.  On the second drive Thursday a large deer came bounding, too quick for me to shoot.  I never saw its head.  But I bet it was a buck.  And Hawthorne and I saw many deer when we were walking.  Without a gun.

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