Blue spots in snow

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charlie 01
 
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Blue spots in snow

Postby charlie 01 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:47 pm

Yes blue spots in the snow. Some of you may remember this question. Several years ago, someone from N.Y. asked D&D Hunters Leonard Lee Rue about blue spots he had found in the snow, in deer tracked areas. Mr.Lee Rue said he was perplexed as to what would cause such a thing. I wrote a letter to Mr. Lee Rue explaining what caused the blue spots to occure in my neck of the woods. I also asked him to make note in his next column so the person could have an answer. Well, the answer never did appear. I can understand Mr. Lee Rue not printing something from a person with no notariaty about Whitetail deer. But I don't understand him not looking into the matter to find some kind of answer, even if for himself.
 
Any ideas? I'll give it a couple of days before posting the answer to blue spots in the snow.
 
Attached are some pics of the blue spots. 


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msbadger
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby msbadger » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:38 am

Buck thorn berries.....It is a very invasive ...thorny bush with rather nasty tasting blue/blackish colored berries and long killer thorns...thats nearly impossible to eradicate....can you tell...our camp is loaded with them...for the life of me I don't know how the deer eat them but they do and this is the result...they hang on the brush until late in the winter if not eaten
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msbadger
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby msbadger » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:43 am

tried to post a pic ...didn't work[8|]
 Well the link didn't work either[>:]

Just type in buck thorn bush as a search.....

willseyville
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby willseyville » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:28 am

i don't know about buck thorn berries but we have elder berry bushes here and we get the same spots but the spots are a dark purple so i asume it's the same thing[:)]wayne

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charlie 01
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby charlie 01 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:13 am

You are correct msbadger. I was surprised to get an answer so fast. Actually was wondering if I would get an answer at all. Yes,the blue spots are from the deer's urine. In some areas we have an invasive plant known as Buckthorn. It grows into a bush, then a tree. It is known as an invasive because it leafs out early and blocks out sunlight to other plants below it. It can spread rather quickly into groves. It produces a small blue or black colored berry. The berries keep on through late winter and into spring. When the winter gets snowy, and down right cold and nasty, the deer go for these berries in a big way. They dig in the snow for the fallen ones, and go so far as to break branches down to get at the ones still attached. These areas will be all trampled to no end. The deer must get some nurishment from them. It seems to keep deer going when at times their food scorce is limited. In those times when I'm in and around Buckthorns with berries, I try to shake some berries to the ground for the deer. They consume enough berries to stain their urine to blue or a blackish blue. In the spring when the Robbins start to migrate north, the early ones stop in these groves to feed on the Buckthorn berries. If you have ever been in Oaktree woods with snow on the ground, with deer digging for acorns, they leave brown to tanish urine spots. I'm sure some of you guys have seen these brown spots.
 
I was wondering msbadger, if in fact you were the one that had asked Leonard Lee Rue that blue spot question. I do remember he was from N.Y.. When that question appeared, I was wondering if they had Buckthorn out there.
 
 
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charlie 01
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby charlie 01 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:21 am

willseyville, I would assume the same. I'd say anything the deer consume enough of that has staining capabilities will stain their urine.
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msbadger
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby msbadger » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:33 pm

No charlie01...I went to Alfred state for land management...many,many years ago and that area is sick with the stuff ...Our hunting camp is also in that area...So blue snow is very common for camp and the surrounding lands are consumed with this brush...it has not migrated up to our home land ...thankfully...but we do have a wonderful supply of the spring elderberry and the fall  edible elderberry brush...there is never any berries left on the fall purple elderberries...before snow fall here...and the spring ones are red in color....Yes we do get the brownish urine stain around the red oaks we have here on our land at home....not as much with the wht oaks at camp...I'd have to assume due to the tannins 

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charlie 01
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby charlie 01 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:25 am

I realise there has to be some control of invasive plants. But also see what wildlife benefit from some of these plants, during times of harsh winter weather, when normal food sources are unavailable. Deer need to eat "live matter" to create bacteria in their stomach to digest foods. I often wonder if the buckthorn berry is considered live matter. Another invasive plant that help deer through hard times of winter is the Teasel. During snow covered areas of Teasel, the deer dig down in the snow to get at new growth. They are pretty good sized leafs, and they do not freeze. They are "live matter" for the deer, and if you saw the way the deer dig for it, you would know how much they need it. Have seen where deer will dig down in a ft. or more of snow. Conservationists keep trying to eradicate these plants. I just wonder if they realise how much wildlife depend on such plants during harsh winter months. I truly don't think they do.
never say never
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msbadger
 
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RE: Blue spots in snow

Postby msbadger » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:49 am

Well I see that point very well....when I had the DEC come thru to evaluate the woods ...they said cut all these beech trees...Well...No...I realize the the American beech can actually be invasive...and they are dying of a quick acting canker...but as far as hard mast....We only have red oak...with a few hickory and blk walnut here....and out of 200 oak on our property only a fraction produce and only every few years...now that's if the harsh winters and caterpillars don't get them...Our beech are the main stay for many animals....They also said ...How do you control this dogwood brush?....simple the same way I control most of all the other invasives that land here...I manage my lands year round....I mow...and my cutting and trimming  starts now .....I find that when I cut back brush and trees that root spread in the dead of winter...in the spring the rush of nutrients run to the stump and stems I leave....to produce new growth on what I left behind and not so much to the production of new growth off the roots...once this starts growing green...if I need to kill in areas I don't mow...I'll hit it with erase....usually does the trick

There is a  clump grass...short rough wide bladed.... that grows on many of my non planted trails...They told me to get rid of it...because it's nothing more than a starvation food...well it grows all over the new land we added...and I won't be killing it...for that is the first thing they hit when the snow flies....even over the winter plots....the entire wood lot is dug up to get to this very green grass 

Down at camp Well there the Buckthorn is a destructive force...for the guys have allowed it to kill off a # of apple trees...and even though it's great winter substance.... in an area of NO farming and ppl having allowed the loggers to come through and cut most of the mature wth oak[8|]Imageand it does provide winter yarding from the deep snows we have there...It has hurt the hunting big time...They just won't manage the camp and well...I won't go down and do whats needed ...when they can't get their act together....I do take care of small little areas that I hunt during bow season....Too bad...won't be to long before I'm too old to get what needs to be done taken care of...If my dad in-law doesn't get his act together a great hunt property will be lost...but old school..biggest problem is the ppl he allows to hunt...he has a couple of great guys...then..Well there are the ones he just lets run over him...We've managed to get rid of a few but then he seems to replace them with worse ones [&o]  Then doesn't under stand why the family doesn't come down much any more....We've taught our kids to hunt safe ...LEGAL and let the little ones walk....  ALWAYS trail ...It's a shoot for all and "well I think I hit it  but it kept running" and no trailing done...I go down in spring to find way too many bones...It's too bad...well hhhmmm I needed to vent I see...sorry....Keep a good pair of protective eye wear on in those buckthorn of yours charlie01[;)]


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