Wisconsin Science Teacher Shoots Massive Bow Buck

Wi teacher 2017From the Leader Register: What’s it like to walk up on a buck of a lifetime? Webster High School science teacher Greg Widiker knows.

Widiker had been watching the deer on trail cameras and scouting since 2014… 2015 the buck got a lot bigger and was estimated to be 4 years old… By 2016 the buck had grown a drop tine, and this year, now estimated to be 6 years old, drop tines were on both beams.

“I was definitely very aware of him and the last two years the focus was definitely on him. He was the only deer I was going to shoot,” said Widiker.

Greg shot the 16-point beast on 9/17/17, click here for the full story. Way to go man!

EHD Tracker 2017: Michigan Confirms Dead Deer

ehd buck 2015From Outdoor News: The… Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory announced Wednesday, Sept. 20 that they have confirmed that a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Genesee County has died from epizootic hemorrhagic disease. EHD is a viral disease, sometimes fatal, found in wild ruminants such as white-tailed deer…

“Although this has been a single deer death at this point, we are asking for hunters to look around as they hit the field to let us know if they find dead deer, especially any near water,” said Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife pathologist.

Where there is one dead deer, there are likely to be more, but hopefully the outbreak is light, as it is in most cases. When the first hard frost hits in late October or early November, it will kill the midges that transmit EHD to deer via bites.

North Dakota Velvet Bow Buck

The first buck of 2017 on BIG DEER blog! Guest post from North Dakota native and bowhunter Kelsey Deutz:

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We had a couple of years of history with the buck we call “S-10.”  My husband, Nick, hunted him last year.  He was very visible on camera but never came within bow range during the daylight hours.

In 2017, we first spotted S-10 about a month before season opened.  We were so glad he made it through the year. He blew up!  Once again, he was very visible on camera, and Nick had seen him on the hoof a few times just after sunrise in the weeks before season opened.  We set up a couple different blinds in different parts of the area he was living in so we could play the wind if necessary. You always have to plan for the wind in North Dakota.

The week before the season he had been in a very consistent pattern every night.  He would venture out of his bedding grounds and head to feed around 7pm like clockwork.

I headed out to the blind by myself around 5pm on opening day.  I watched some does and fawns filter in and out.  I watched a fawn nursing at 8 yards from the blind. It was very eventful right off the get go!

Shortly after 7pm, I noticed something walk by the blind and come out on the right side of me.  I assumed it was a doe, but I glanced over and it was him! He walked out and I ranged him at 24 yards. S-10 stood there facing directly away from me for what felt like an eternity. Which was a blessing because it allowed me to gain my composure before the shot.

The buck very slowly started to turn broadside and I patiently waited for the perfect shot.  Finally, the opportunity arose and I took the shot at 24 yards.  He ran off to the left of the blind and crashed into the rushes.

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I waited awhile in the blind before I pulled the chip from our trail camera we had set up and snuck out to give him some time.  I got back to the farm and checked the pictures to see if there was any evidence on there.  Our Moultrie had captured the shot!  It looked pretty promising!  We let him sit for a couple of hours before we started searching.

We looked for a few hours into the night but decided to leave it until morning light.  I didn’t sleep a wink and was eager to get everyone up at the crack of dawn to continue searching.  We got back on the trail shortly after sunrise and found him within 15 minutes!

I’ve been hunting whitetails in North Dakota for 17 years and this was the closest I have had to a textbook hunt. S-10 followed the script perfectly!  As hunters, we all know it usually doesn’t work that way.—Thanks, Kelsey

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For Kelsey Deutz , her husband, Nick, and their two young kids, hunting is way of life. Through their Hunting Traditions website and Instagram they share their love of North Dakota and its wildlife, and encourage hunters across the country to engage their entire family, young and old. A great message and our kind of people, way to go Kelsey!

 

Will Summer Bucks Hang Around This Fall?

MD dan lexiA popular question this time of year: Will the bucks I’ve been watching in fields and getting on my trail cameras this summer stick around when hunting season opens, or once the bachelor groups start separating will the bucks disperse and disappear?

According to Penn State’s Deer-Forest study, more than half of the small-antlered yearlings (18 months old) you’ve been seeing will hit the road from mid-September through early November. The adult bucks, however, won’t be going anywhere, which is good news. Very rarely does a mature buck have a different home range during the breeding season from one he used all summer.

However, it might seem like the big bucks disappeared.

First, the bachelor groups break up. And then during the rut, the home ranges of the bucks will increase by 2 to 5 times. If a buck has a home range right now of a square mile, come late October he’ll be traveling an area of 2-5 square miles.

So you might or might not see him for days or weeks when you’re on stand. It just depends on where he is in that 2-5 mile radius while you’re in the woods.

But just the fact that one, two or more shooter bucks are still hanging in your area gives you a fighting chance of seeing and tagging one the next couple of months. Good luck.

EHD Tracker 2017: Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

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Review Online: Many dead deer have been found…recently, and hunters are getting concerned. Wildlife officials from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have confirmed several cases of what appears to be EHD. Some deer have been tested and officials from all three states reported last week that EHD is present.

Dead and sick deer have been reported in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Hancock County appears to be hardest hit in West Virginia.

In Ohio, dead deer are showing up in Columbiana, Geauga, Trumbull and Jefferson counties. An Ohio wildlife officer said, “Jefferson County has been hit the hardest, by far. Right now we have at least 111 reports from Jefferson.”

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BREAKING: This photo from Ohio has gone viral on social media. There is also a video of this sick and disoriented buck stumbling around. The county in Ohio is unclear. The deer is pictured with a sheriff’s deputy, who I cut from the image for privacy reasons.

People on Facebook and Instagram are coming up with all sorts of rumors, innuendo and wild speculation about this deer, prompting the deputy to respond on his wife’s Facebook page. While I cannot verify that this is his writing, I have no reason to doubt it. He seems like an honest and compassionate guy, and he’s a deer hunter.

…watching the deer walk in circles I became furious. I presumed that someone had tried to poach the deer because it doesn’t have a right eye and its left eye is glazed over/white, no pupils. Its mouth is open, tongue exposed salivating…As I video, because I have never seen anything like this, I’m trying to determine how to safely take it out of its misery. …the people watching advised me this deer has been seen on their property the day prior doing the same thing, walking in circles, running into (things). My sgt arrived and the buck staggered to the street, ran into a fence, and bumped into a telephone pole. We stopped traffic, and I literally was 3 feet away, grunting, snort wheezing trying to get it out of the street. It finally ran into the corn field and was safely humanely destroyed.

He ends with: This pic was taken by my sgt, with no intent to post on the internet. I sent this pic and the video to another friend who lives close. He forwarded to another friend, who forwarded it on hence the pic and video are for the world to see. Yes in the pic, the deer is still living, head is up and bloody foamy blood from the mouth. Yes the deer could not see as it only has the white, glazed eye you see in the picture. Ironically, the local farmer where the deer was put down drove by… His tenant is the local county game warden. He shows up, advised he was taking the deer to be tested for “ehd.”

EHD kills some huge bucks like this every year. Also there is some speculation that maybe the buck had Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD); that would be huge and dire news because CWD has never been confirmed in Ohio. I’m betting EHD because of the buck’s symptoms.

One last thing the deputy said—there was no intent to post either the picture or the video on the internet. I sent this pic and the video to another friend who lives close. He forwarded to another friend, who forwarded it on…

If you want to keep a picture of a big buck (or anything else) quiet, do not, I repeat DO NOT, send it to anybody—not your wife or son or best hunting friend. It WILL leak out and, as the deputy found out, be out there for the world to see.