Today’s “shots” from the game cams show just how fast deer antlers will grow. In the first one, 2 nice (they will be soon) bucks are within the fence of the feeder, another nice one is on the outside, the 2 in the feeder are regulars and the one on the outside is a new one. Notice the horns on both bucks and compare it to the “shot” on the 11th, the ends of the horns have “sprouted” since the earlier “shot”.
Antlers can grow up to Â½ inch per day and since we are feeding them protein along with corn from their looks, it seems we are doing something right! During antler development they are very sensitive to the touch and this is the time when most antler breakage occurs.
Now for the doe, they are still pregnant and doing fine, but right about now and for the rest of the summer, they’ll start dropping their fawns.
Turkeys galore! Maybe some of them will come by during deer season. Why, you ask? Usually, during deer season the turkeys move down towards the Colorado River, about 5 miles from my ranch, but this year I have at least two birds nesting on the place, I know because I’ve scared both of them up, here’s one of them. See for your self the great quantity of wild game that comes into the corn/protein feeders, a buck and a doe, a turkey and a squirrel, along with buzzards, hogs, rabbits and coons and maybe, chupacabras?
Here’s a “shot of 6 doe, all in various stages of pregnancy. The doe in the right foreground may have had her fawn already.
This “shot” shows a turkey running into the feeder, this was just before she started struttin’. See my post of May 2, 2013, “Jakettes“. She obviously thinks that since she’s growing a beard that she gets to strut!
Finally, a “shot” of two nice, bucks, come early November both will have good horns and will be definite shooters!
You’ll note that my game cams show erroneous times, since I have been laid up with the operation, I couldn’t “stump” around and fix them, maybe next week?
Two weeks ago, before I had my knee surgery, Colton, Mike and I went down to the coast and fished for 3 days, not much catching, but a lot of fun! This picture of me, taken by our guide, showed yours truly fighting a speckled trout.
Back to the real world, Goldthwaite that is, we’ve had a lot of rain, hopefully the drought is broken, but during the dry spell in early April to mid May, this buzzard showed up at the water trough. That’s a first, a buzzard getting a drink.
Then, on May 22nd, a hen turkey came by one of the corn/protein feeders. The clock should read AM.
On May 24th, this buck, now 4-1/2 years old, see my post of May 13, “A Kinda’ Special Buck”, is feeding at the same feeder the turkey used earlier. The buck, now rapidly growing his horns, will be a great one this year! Again, the clock should read AM.
This particular buck, he’s kinda’ my pet, first showed up robbing the corn feeder at MaMaw’s blind, he was just 2-1/2 then. Last year, he was the buck that challenged the buck that I had just shot and this year and now he’s 4-1/2 and will be a real shooter this year.
In 2011 he’s pictured going after the corn and protein, he’s the reason I put a guard over the feeder!
Last year he’s challenging the dead buck, see my post “[Challenge Unanswered]” of November 8, 2012.
Now this year, he’s still coming around MaMaw’s feeder, who knows the size his horns will reach?
I bet he doesn’t make it until next year!
Well, I guess that’s what they’re called? A young, 1 year old turkey gobbler is called a jake, but what is a female bearded hen called, your guess is as good as mine, so I’ll call her a jakette!
This past week we had 2 hen turkeys dining on grasshoppers in the field behind our house and one of them was growing a beard. Once she matures she’ll officially be called a bearded hen. Being a user of Bing, I Binged Rio Grande bearded hen turkeys and came up with some facts. About 15% of all turkey hens have visible beards and as the birds get older beards get more pronounced and bearded hens are just as protective of their young as the non bearded type.
These 2 birds, most likely, have been bred and are stocking up on grasshoppers, were covered up with them, so they can eat all they want! They’ll lay their eggs shortly and we’ll have 9 or 10 poults running with their mother. Last year one hen turkey had 14 poults, who knows how many eggs she laid, that I got a “shot” of at the water trough, see my post “[A Multiplier]” of October 1, 2012. These poults were old enough to roost in trees and they flew within 2 weeks of hatching.
Luckily the camera was in easy reach and I took these 2 pics of the jakette or bearded hen.
Showing these pics to my Sunday school class, they laughingly told me to send both of them over to their places so they could eat their grasshoppers too!
Looking back over my blogging career, some pictures taken are really good, some pictures that I took missed the point and some are just plain bad! Three that stand out are pictures that tell a story in themselves, stories of stealth, challenges and escape. The following expands a little on these 3 pictures.
The first, a sailfish jumping in the harbor in Mazatlan, Mexico, see my post of June 28, 2008, [“Sailfish In Mazatlan Harbor”], I had rented a fishing boat for a day, we had just put out the lines, even before we cleared the harbor mouth and this sail hit one. He jumped several times and, luckily, I snapped this picture at the right time. We landed the fish, a nice one, I had it mounted, but it was destroyed by a tornado in Spring, Texas, but that too is another story.
The second, was of a turkey in 2009, truly a remarkable picture, my post [“Counting Coup”], I had really counted coup, an old Indian term, meaning to touch an enemy warrior, with a coup stick, very brave and a very Indian thing, on this turkey. He came along searching for this hen, I was clucking away, but no clucks when he was this close, not 6 feet, fearing he would see the movement.
The last is of the big buck lying on the ground that I shot on November 7, 2012, my post [“Challenge Unanswered”] and his proposed opponent. The second buck is pawing up the ground, stirring up the dust, which is pictured. The second buck was challenging the big one to the doe he was following, of course, it was unanswered.
Rifle deer season opens in our great State this Saturday morning and I plan on opening it, God willing, in MaMaw’s blind, the same one where Colton shot his big deer last year, see my post, [Deer Season, December 26, 2011]. The reason I’m going to MaMaw’s blind is because one particular big buck, I have named him “Big Daddy”, has been frequenting the spot and it will tickle the readers to see this sequence of “shots”.
Early on the morning of October 27th, this nice 8 pointer showed up at the feeder. His neck isn’t even very swollen, has good brow tines, but not much height to his horns. Then 2 days later at almost 8:00 AM, “Big Daddy” shows up, a very mature buck that I had been seeing nosing around the doe, he’s been around 2 evenings this week, he’s ready, but they aren’t!
Here’s a good look at his size and swollen neck as he runs a doe out from under the feeder.
Then, as a doe stares at him, he goes over beside the feeder enclosure and lies down, I have never seen this before! He’ll just wait around for a hot doe to show up, besides he needs his rest.
He finally moves on off, still searching, but then show up at the water trough, early in the morning of the 31st. This “shot” really shows his big neck and size.
Going through all of my “shots” from the game cams the hogs were definitely becoming a nuisance. They’re starting to roam and root all over the place, but it’s funny, no “shots” of them at the water trough, where I’d expect to spot them. Having previously reported them at one of the feeders, I had a real good idea where the pigs were coming on to my ranch, they continued to show up at that particular feeder and here’s a “shot” of 3 in the wee hours of the morning. As far as I can tell, only 3 feral pigs have found their way in here.
My best guess, the hogs were using a nice hole in the fence, along County Road 406, plenty big enough for a hog to get through. This particular hole, I’d been fixin’ to patch it for the past year. In Texas if a person uses the term fixin’ that means the project has been duly noted and it will get it done sometime, or it can mean getting ready to do something, or go somewhere, so it was way past time for me to get the fence fixed!
As far as fixin’ the fence, things were at a standstill, but changed for the worse when the game cam got a “shot” of this hogette, or sow, if she hadn’t “farrowed” before she would be called a “gift”! This one, definitely a sow, is a hog factory, capable of producing a litter of piglets every 108 to 130 days!
Here’s the completed job, fence fixed with a stout hog wire panel, but the trail, presumably used by the hogs is blocked, this was a favored deer entry place too, now I have to get busy and lay up some hog meat for the winter!
An interesting note, I had placed a hog trap near the fence pictured above, but after catching a deer and a calf in it, I moved the trap and didn’t put any attractant in it.
On September 29th, we had a nice, soaking rain that dumped over an inch all day. This “shot” shows a young doe eyeing the feeder, plus the water standing all over.
The object of this post, however, is to show 2 very good bucks. The first one is an 8 pointer, with a good spread, probably over 20 inches, this one has not been “shot” before and the second is a 10 pointer, doubtful if seen before, not quite as wide as the 8, but still a good one!
Here, their horns are all jumbled up.
And on this “shot” it shows what a good buck this one is!
This past week Layla and I have been in Paris, Texas, taking care of Suzanne, our daughter, Suzanne Culbertson, who has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, the very curable kind. Suz’s husband Paul currently is in Korea and will be back this week, in fact, I’ll be heading back to Paris today.
But, the game cams keep taking “shots” all day and night long, taking some almost funny ones. In the first one, the game cam at the water trough needed its date and time changed, but a skunk showed up (they need water too) and ran off a young coon,
The second “shot” shows the comedy crew and one of them is playing around under water.
This “shot” shows the Lop Sided Buck trying to “stand down” probably the same skunk, they must need to eat also. This skunk has been around both houses, but I’ve never got a clear shot on him!
The last “shot” is of the 3 hogs, brazenly feeding in the feeder only 2 days after I sat in MaMaws blind and sweated, however the sweating may be a thing of the past since we had a nice cool front come in yesterday.