Sometimes it seems that the most abundant critter in the autumn woods is the disgruntled deer hunter. One of my acquaintance keeps muttering “There ain’t no deer” throughout the late fall-early winter when he’s once again spent several weeks deer hunting. This fellow is a dedicated hunter who’s certainly taken his share of bucks over the years – he wouldn’t shoot a doe under any circumstances.
Like a lot of deer hunters his measure of success isn’t necessarily whether he shoots a buck but how many deer he’s seen during deer season; research done in many states shows that is true for most deer hunters. And like many deer hunters, he thinks that if he doesn’t see deer “There ain’t no deer”.
Camera traps help to reveal the actual situation regarding deer and their abundance – those cameras aren't perfect, but they see things mere humans miss. Looking at the photographs taken by the camera traps on the hill above the house, it’s obvious there are a lot more bucks out there than most of us realize.
Here are the bucks caught by those camera traps in October and November –
I also had a camera trap at our son and daughter-in-law’s place this fall. Now our son says he never sees bucks other than spike bucks at his place, but that camera trap had photos of bucks he’s never seen –
All this fall I’ve had several camera traps at Bill’s. Although Bill doesn’t hunt, another friend and his son regularly hunt on Bill’s 55 acres and keep a tree stand about 200 yards uphill from one of the camera traps. Both the camera and the stand are at the edge of a steep drop-off into a stream valley; the edge is a natural travel corridor for many species of wildlife. Neither Bill nor his hunting friend have seen any deer other than does and a spike buck. But the camera traps reveal the bucks that frequent Bill's place –
So, it seems there are bucks out there, but they aren’t being seen. And my response to “There ain’t no deer” has become “Oh no?”