Taking stock of the deer that survived the hunting season
I spent opening weekend of Wisconsin’s gun season listening to an awful lot of gunshots. It’s always amazing to me to not only hear that many hunters firing away, but also to see how many deer survived the season. Two things I feel like I can deduce from the experience are that quite a few hunters must whiff on their shots, and that the deer are really good at finding places to hole up and avoid the melee.
As the bulk of the hunting seasons wind down, it’s always interesting to me to see which deer made it through. I don’t have access to a killer food source that allows for long-distance glassing so I lean heavily on trail cameras to provide this information.
I do this to not only satisfy my curiosity on how many and what types of deer have made it alive thus far, but to ponder just how they did it. For instance, I had a decent 8-pointer on camera several times throughout the summer on a small property in northern Wisconsin. He seemed to be living there, but once mid-September hit I couldn’t lay eyes on him, and never got a photo of him after that.
Then, as the last of the gun season faded away, I got a pair of videos of the buck, right where he used to be nearly every day. He was sporting a pretty serious leg wound, but it looked healed over. I wonder, where did he go? And why come back now?
A trail camera image won’t answer those questions, obviously. A picture or two can get the mind rolling, and at least foster the beginnings of a plan to start winter scouting. This, of course, leads to summer scouting and a treestand plan for the actual hunting season. And it all starts now, with a little curiosity and a few cameras strategically placed to snap an image or two of the deer that have outsmarted us throughout another season.