Hunting, or just being in the woods, has always been a lifelong learning process for me, and 90% of the time I come away with more questions than I have answers for, but that's the joy of it. One question leads to another. For example.....
This year in my preseason "bowhikes" that I do at least once or twice a month all year, I made observations of the paucity of an acorn crop in my area. Many hours were spent sitting or laying on my back with binoculars in late summer trying to get an average of how many acorns I could count within a foot or so of each limb. There were rarely more than one or two, where there should have been a dozen or more. Why? It affected oaks of BOTH red and white species, and it also affected those oaks that were on ridge tops AND in bottoms. I don't know why. I DO know that the deer movement in the woods was not like it was in previous years, and even the squirrels were looking for food stamps. I did discover that the deer were spending more time in the more moist areas of the woods I hunt, maybe they shifted their diet to mushrooms or more succulent forbs?
Each observation leads to another question.
I also observed this just today, when I took my setter for a run on my neighbor's deer-loaded back 10 acres of second growth field......it's February 12th, and I saw a half a dozen FRESH RUBS. My farmer friend who owns the ground we hunt in Brown County also saw the same thing this week. I know that many bucks still have their racks this late, so I guess that as long as they have antlers, they will rub. Or is it that there is still some estrous doe scent in the air? I HAVE seen over the years bucks still pursuing "hot acting" does this time of year.
The other lesson from this past hunting season that I SHOULD know, but I guess I need to be hit over the head with it periodically is......IF YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT'S IN THE NEAREST COVER, ALWAYS ASSUME THAT A DEER IS IN THERE AND ACT ACCORDINGLY! (I'm a ground hunter). [:)]
Offer No Apologies.....
NRA Endowment Life Member