My friends and relatives keep sending me pictures of their hunts, grandkids and all! The first, a picture from Everett Simms, is one of 2 hogs that were trapped and met their demise with a bullet in the head.
Then, Randy Bryan sent me a picture of a melanistic deer, this one a doe, that was taken in their subdivision. Deer, bucks and doe, are running around near their homes and are quite a nuisance! This picture is the second one, the last also a doe, that Randy has sent me on melanistic deer.
Randy Pfaff sent me a picture of some greenheads that were taken by the hunters in southeastern Colorado. I wonder if they were a nuisance too!
Tim Albee came over on the December 20th and shot a nice buck. The buck, pictured, had a nice spread and almost had dual brow tines. He turned around in MaMaw’s stand and shot the buck out of the rear window, the one we keep closed so we wont stand out and cast a shadow.
Randy was here for Christmas and hunted hard with his kids almost the entire time. Rebekah missed a doe (again) on an afternoon hunt so luck wasn’t with her. Wesley didn’t hunt since he got a doe the week before.
An interesting thing was Rebekah and Mikayla entering the Scotty McCurry, (I don’t know if it’s his name or not, but I should since he was the American Idol Contest winner last year) contest. The contest was on Facebook or something like that. They sang a “silly” country song and acted real “country”. The funny thing was that they won the contest and Rebekah and Mikayla will get 2 tickets to his show in Dallas in the spring!
Wesley did get to go duck hunting when he went back to Paris, Texas not France. He said that they killed 4 canvasbacks, 2 mallards and the rest was a mixture of gadwalls and widgeons. He and his friend went and they filled out their limits. Also, there are 2 decoys in the picture of the bag I hope they didn’t shoot them too!
Here come the doe and fawns, closing in on the corn/protein mix. It looks like they can hardly wait, the corn is already on the ground and they’re closing in.
This 6 pointer is coming around at night, all the bucks are staying away from the feeders and I haven’t even been scouting yet. Not wanting to scare the bucks, I’ll start scouting next week.
This buck, in the background, is staying away from the feeder. The doe is looking him over, but he’ll only come so close. He’s about 75 yards from the feeder.
There’s been no buck activity around the feeders for over 2 weeks, they are all busy making scrapes and rubs and I believe the rut will start early. Talking with a man in San Saba yesterday, he said, “The bucks are running doe right now!”
The first “shot” is of an unknown bird, obviously a raptor from the stout legs. My guess, this is probably some kind of young hawk, but I could be wrong.
On the morning of the 21st, these 3 bucks showed up (again) at the feeder at Mamaw’s blind. Note, the buck’s have shed their velvet, they’ll be fighting in one to two weeks, probably the young 6 will be spared from the fray! Another note, this is the first time in 3 weeks that I have seen the dominant buck, in the background, I guess he’s been resting up for the rut.
This house cat showed up at the corner feeder on the morning of the 22nd. He was just checking things out and didn’t stay around long, a stray from town probably. Look carefully behind the feeder post for the cat
Now things are starting to get serious as these 2 doe square off and the little one in the blur takes off for safer climes. Doe will fight and the “shot” compares the styles, they fight on their hind feet and use their hooves very effectively.
A very strange occurrence took place on two different days last week. The first was that a quail, I think, showed up at the “Corner Feeder”. The second was that the same quail, I think, showed up once again, two days later. Quail are a rarity around here, back in 1992 when I first bought this ranch there were 5 coveys on it, 10 to 15 birds each, those have dwindled down to almost zero, this bird being only the first since I acquired game cameras late in 2010. Who knows what the killer is – fire ants, predators, spraying for insects, maybe a combination of those, maybe it’s just cyclical, who knows, but I know the quail have almost vanished?
We had some visitors at the “Corner Feeder” too, 7 deer in total, 2 new bucks, a 10 pointer and an 8. The 10 is a new buck, but I’ve got a “shot” of the 8, not posted, back in August. The bucks are nice ones, but the dominant buck is coming up to check these new guys out!
Finally, the last “shot” is of a Eurasian banded dove this is one of the first I’ve seen around here. They are big dove, almost as big as a pigeon and extremely intelligent and if you shoot one, probably, the others will fly to new parts. In Texas they are not a game bird!
The first “shot” is of 5 doe and 2 fawns at the corner feeder. We have a lot of deer on the ranch, doe are sometimes a problem, but when the rut starts the bucks come in, literally from all over the county, and the fun begins! We’ll have to shoot several doe and 2 spikes to keep up this year, to keep the deer herd from overrunning the place.
Now for the vultures, Cathartes aura, we call them buzzards around here. On the 26th, 2 were sitting on the water trough and another dropped in. It looks like 2 high flyers with white wing tips and one that is all black, probably an adult. It’s been so hot around here I can see where they need a drink too!
Now for the big buck, he’s a 9 now but I bet before long he’ll be a 10. Look at the right horn tip it’s getting bigger now ready to sprout, he’ll be a big one! Also note that he’s already 3 plus inches outside of his ears.
On July 1st, a new buck showed up at the corn/protein feeder at MaMaw’s blind, but he’s not shown up since. He’s just a 6 now, but he’s budding out and will probably be another 8, he is on the right in the second “shot”. As these 2 “shots” show, his horns are taller than the 6 that’s been running with the real good 8.
Really, both of these 6’s will probably be 8’s by the time of the rut. It’s probably not even mid point in horn development so who knows?
Coming into the water trough the 6 pointer, that is a very good 3-1/2 year old buck, looks like he’s growing some more points more studying on him finds that he’s budding out also. This “shot” looks like both of his horns have an 8th point on them.
Something neat happened on June 12th, a pair of ring necked dove, along with a squirrel, showed up for a “shot”. This was neat because for the past 3 plus years and all the “shots” taken during this time I had never got one of a ring necked dove. It’s true that these dove will take over roosting places from both white wings and mourners, but they are wonderful table fare and on top of that, they are much bigger than white wings.
Then, at the water trough on June 28th, a doe and her fawn showed up for a drink. This fawn is around 3 weeks old, has grown some, but still depends on the doe for survival.
With it’s horns formed, the buck, pictured on July 1st, now shows final development, he will be wide, an 8 pointer, with definitely good genes. It’s a real shame that without a lot of luck, he will be harvested this next season. He’s 4-1/2 this year and he’d be a mighty buck next year and the year after.
The buck in the background will be a nice one this season too, but he’ll only have 6 points. I haven’t guessed his age yet, but he’s probably 3-1/2.
It’s a wonder how a buck grows antlers so hard that they break off during the rut during the fights that buck go through mating. Today, buck’s are in their formative stage of antler development, the growth stage and the painful stage where damage to the horns brings pain.
Both “shots” are of the same buck, one “shot” on June 11th and the other “shot” on June 21st. On the buck on the right, the “shot” on the 11th shows no real growth on the ends of the horns, but the “shot” on the 21st shows significant development on the ends. The 21st has new growth on the end, a new horn is forming and on the other antler a new one is about two days away. He’ll be at least a good 8 pointer!
The 6 doe in the “shot” are still pregnant. Some, in the area, have dropped their fawns and some are still waiting to drop theirs.