One of the truisms of deer hunting is old bucks are wise and young bucks are stupid, or to give ’em a little more credit, they’re still learning about life and such.
We see that in autumn and winter when a young buck prances out in a field or comes lily-dipping down a trail. They don’t have a care in the world, it seems. They remind me of the animated movie character that will be talking about something and then says, “Squirrel!” and gets diverted.
I guess that applies in summer, too. Last week while on my midday walk I saw a dead deer in the emergency lane of the road near our neighborhood. It’s legs looked like a broken pretzel and its guts were mashed out of its belly.
I wanted to see if it might be a pregnant doe and walked up. It had been hit within the last day or so and was starting to get a bit rank. Then I noticed it had antlers.
Dadgum. It was a forkhorn with probably 6- to 7-inch main beams and two little browtine knobs. The velvet was still soft. It’s eye was open, glassy. Flies buzzed around it.
Mother Nature ain’t kind sometimes. That’s one less buck that will enjoy the persimmons and muscadines later this autumn in the woods near where it died on the asphalt.
— Alan Clemons