Getting to know the feeding habits of the many deer using my 2 feeders is one of the benefits of game cameras, one remains at the feeder by Ma Maw’s Blind, the other is on a game trail near a tripod stand. One buck, a nice 8 pointer, but with scrawny brow tines, keeps showing up around Ma Maw’s feeder, showing up with several other bucks and any day now, the fights will start!
On the 12th, he was with a young 8 pointer.
Then on the 14th, early in the morning when it was still dark, he showed up with another buck, horn size unknown. Then 3 hours later he was staring down a cottontail and another hour passed he then showed up with the wide 6 pointer. Notice in this “shot” his neck is filling out.
Just before sun up on the 15th, the young, scraggly 8 pointer and our pot bellied buck are staring down a coon.
Just before sunrise on the 16th, our big, buck and another unidentifiable deer are feeding, while the wide 6 is outside of the feeder enclosure looking on.
At almost the same time the next day, the 17th, our big, buck is teamed up feeding with the young, scraggly 8 pointer. His neck is getting bigger too!
For the past 14 months, besides enduring extreme heat, our southwestern states have undergone a severe drought! The heat and lack of rain has taken their toll, especially on the formation of buck’s horns. Our rain of 2 weeks ago has brought a real “greening” up of forbs (broadleaf weeds), a mainstay of deer’s diet, with fruit and acorns making up much of the balance. Around here, central Texas, we’ve had a very poor season for acorns and pecans, fruit, when the deer can find it is a bonus, but with the lack of rain, fruit trees didn’t produce either.
All of this leads me to say that I may not shoot a big buck this year. With our one buck, with the horns outside of the ears, limit this year, maybe I’ll hold out for the 9 or 10 pointer that I’ve gotten 2 “shots” of earlier, but a young spike for the table and several doe for the unfortunate of our community, may max me out this year.