Will The 2019 Storms And Record Flooding Kill Whitetail Fawns?

deer floodsWill the storms and subsequent record flooding in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi and other central and south-central states kill fawns that are dropping right now and into June?

Biologists note that pregnant does are good mothers, and they sense when to move out of a flood zone. The primary concern for deer populations is for stressed does that are dropping or dropped fawns in areas of rising water levels, and the fawns were too young to move to higher ground.

This is surely the case in some flood-ravaged areas.

“We know it’s going to have a negative impact,” said William McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Deer Program coordinator. “Let’s just say that up front.”

But fawn survival in flood plains is typically high, even during flood years.

“A reduced fawn crop (in the Mississippi Delta) is what I expect to see,” said McKinley. How much? We have to wait and see.”

 

4 Top Trail Camera Tips

va spartan 2

Dave Skinner, pro-staff for Spartan Camera and Go Cam, offers some great tips for setting and positioning your cameras:

I like to position my cameras approximately waist high, or about eye level for deer, for the best photo quality and the best angle for judging their age, and antler score.

For the absolute best photo quality, you want to set the camera 15’ or so from the target, about waist high pointing north or south so the camera is not looking directly into the rising or setting sun.

A nice wall of vegetation behind the target will reflect the infrared flash and result in better quality photos.

If it’s a trail set, angle the camera up or down the trail for a better centered image rather than putting the camera on the edge of the trail looking directly across it. Better yet, attempt to locate the camera at a spot where 2 trails intersect, increasing your odds of photographing bucks.

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Here’s What Happens When A Buck Injures A Velvet Antler

antler injurySpring through September the antler-growing cycle for whitetails is approximately 170 days. This gives a buck many opportunities to catch a velvet antler on a fence, smash it against a tree as he flees danger, etc.  

Antlers grow fast—up to an inch per day in the summer! They have a complex system of blood vessels that carry nutrients through the velvet and down into the core.

When a growing antler is broken, it bleeds profusely, and blood can pool and fill the inside of the velvet. When the hardening of the bone process occurs in September the pooled blood can create a heavy, swollen, club-like antler.

If the injury is to the pedicle (the base of an antler) then the deformity could persist for several sets of antlers or even for the rest of the buck’s life, making him a permanent non-typical. Interesting!

4 Unusual Deer Mounts

Lately some different and unusual mounts have been popping up on social media:

deer mount backpack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first backpack mount I saw, and to my surprise there were many variations of the pack mount on Google images. I suspect these are most popular out West; few hunters in the East pack out a caped buck, though I’m sure it happens when guys hunt deep on a big public area.

deer mount rub tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is the buck rub mount. I have seen versions of this over the years, but it seems to be making a comeback and is more popular than ever. Again, lots of variations on Google images.

deer mount lick coat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The buck licking his coat—deer groom themselves regularly—is different and unique, if not a little weird. But to each his own.

deer mount tailgate

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tailgate is my top pick of off-the-wall mounts. Different, but for some reason I kind of like it. I don’t like the 12-pack of regular Miller as an accessory; I’d have made it Miller Lite.

What do you think, which is your favorite? Me, I’ll probably just stick to boring old shoulder mounts.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) 2019 Update

cwd map 2019

On this just released CWD tracking map focus on the light-gray blocks, which show the current confirmation of the disease in wild populations of deer. Cases in north Mississippi and west Tennessee are relatively new, as is the gray block in north-central Virginia (Culpeper County), 20 miles from where I hunt.

There are CWD deniers in the hunting industry, but I am not one of them. The scientists and organizations I work with and believe in regard CWD as a real threat with the real potential to disrupt if not decimate deer populations and hunting in the future.

Every year that I look at an updated CWD map, I see the expansion of the nasty disease, and we all must take the threat seriously.

Some of the latest development you need to know:

The Quality Deer Management Association supports ending all transportation of live deer to lower the risk of spreading CWD. This includes deer breeders (no more shipping live deer from one state or region to another) and state wildlife agencies (no more capturing deer, say, in an urban area and moving them to more rural counties).

All states have enacted some version of this law: If you kill a deer in or around a known CWD area, you cannot transport the whole carcass across state lines. At a minimum you must de-bone the meat, and saw off the antlers and clean the skull cap of brain matter before you take it home.

Basically, know that the days of loading a deer in your pickup and driving home will soon be gone. The new normal will be quartering and de-boning your deer, so plan on that.

All health professionals and deer scientists say that if you shoot a deer in or near a known CWD area, have the meat tested before you eat it. Gut and clean the deer, bone out the meat, freeze it and send a sample to a lab as recommended by your state wildlife agency. Don’t consume until you get the word back that it’s CDW free.

Go online and get CWD testing info specific to your state/region and know how to have the meat tested before the 2019 season.