Wow, already Thanksgiving. No bucks harvested but some activity reported. Seems like everyone has seen does. Buckethead actually popped a couple of caps but apparently he needs to take his gun to a range before he tries again.
I have seen eleven does, all appeared to me to be harvestable; however I didn’t see any fawns. Oops, that’s a potential problem. I wanted to bring this up to let folks know that there are rarely any 90 lb fawns and none really over 90, even in late season. And, by the data I have looked at plus what our biologist tells me, a 90 lb fawn will be a buttonhead. So be careful in looking at these deer. I carry binoculars and have been looking them over carefully and the deer I have seen that are smaller than the obvious mother had no spots and appeared to be in the 100 lb range. Of course, that’s the problem, trying to weigh deer with your mind. I guess in fact the deer I have seen could have been fawns but just looked like 1 1/2 year olds. I bow hunt and so I’m very close and even using binoculars but I am still skeptical, so I wonder about how my brethren are doing since I seem to have the only pair of binoculars in the camp. Could it be there may have been an early fawn drop and I was actually seeing fawns out of spots? Data says fawns should be weighing around 60 lbs right now. I am sure the deer I saw weighed more than that. But I am err’ing on the side of caution. After all, chances are that what you think is a big yearling doe may actually be a buttonhead.
According to one of our own Mississippi State researchers:
In January, Thick Loess male fawns average 68 pounds, and 95% of the buck fawn population will weigh between 44 and 92 lbs. This is for the entire soil region – better habitat quality will increase the likelihood, while lower quality habitat would decrease it. So, depending on your property’s characteristics, you could certainly have some late season fawns weighing over 90 lb. Not a lot of them, but you could have some.
Our own biologist says this:
Doe fawns do not ever get to be 100 pounds. 60 pounds at the most for a doe fawn.
So, please be careful. I know some may think its no big deal, but, there should be no deer turned in with a recording of 90+ lbs that our biologist determines is a fawn. The jaw bones tell the truth every time. For your own sake, please take a photo of any deer you record that is 90 – 100 lbs while it is on the scale with the scale in view. We are obligated to provide accurate data to ATCO and there is a fine for deer less than 90 lbs.
I finally got a look at what De has been talking about in Hollow Tree Hollow. The tornado has absolutely wrecked it. So sad to see all those beautiful trees down. Also the highway area I hunt had a lot of tops and trees down, but nothing like Hollow Tree Hollow. It is wrecked. You can’t really get in it and its all sunshine due to the trees down.
The good news is, the deer are there and I think our “no fines and no dogs” year is paying off because I have been seeing the does, and there are good bucks in there making sign. Part of the improvement I think is reducing our vehicular and human activity. It is time now to end the fixed stand placements and avoid any activities on the roads except for hunting. Please limit chainsaw and noisy activities to the immediate camp area. You will be glad you did. Our deer are starting to act more like I see in the rest of the state. Some sparring and even some fighting has been heard. I’m excited!
Here’s some of my pics from my season, in the Delta. Below is son Chris getting a tow from my kayak that has a trolling motor. Beautiful morning.
My trusty redfish and deer getting vessel on a cold, beautiful morning:
Chris getting ready: