Studying Deer vs Studying Pets
General Deer Topics
Messages posted to thread:
Bowriter 05-Nov-17
Genesis 05-Nov-17


Bowriter's embedded Photo

This herd I have at the house, is a wild herd, totally free range and they when they cross the road, they get hunted. Yesterday, my dominant buck-eight-points and about 21" spread, got killed. Completely legal and by a friend of mine who has permission to hunt 113-acres, just across the road. It is going to be interesting to see which of three bucks, fills that void. Big difference studying free-range deer that get hunted and studying free range deer that don't. Hard point to get across to many "experts". For about 20-years, I began to develop an interest in deer communication. To fully encompass that subject, I had to first accept the four facets of whitetail communication, that being: Vocal, body language, visual and scent. To avoid confusion, I did my best to not combine any of the four. My greatest hindrance in vocal communication was my failing hearing. The hardest to wrap my thinking around was the combined visual and scent. I cannot honestly say, I have any idea what exactly deer are communicating. I hear terms used, such as "contact grunt, aggressive grunt, doe bleat" and so on. These terms, just like "boundary scrape", are often completely wrong. Some years ago, I came to realize, deer, just as it is with humans, combine communication. For example, a vocal sound, when combined with certain body language, may mean something completely different from that same sound without the body language. There are many forms of body language communication involving, ears, tail, body hair, nose and feet. Does are the best at this form of communicating. A perfect example of visual and scent communication is the combining of both at scrapes, rubs and licking branches. All three are nothing more than communication devices and none are rut specific. In studying deer that get hunted, I was able to see the change in how all the communication methods change and vary as pressure is exerted. As we quickly approach the chase phase of our rut, it is going to be very interesting to see how the void is filled with the death of the dominant buck in my area. Will it be one of the satellite bucks or will a complete stranger step in? This I know. When it comes to whitetail communication, of those few biologist who study it, only one or two are studying deer that get hunted. Free-range is great...but means little, in terms of information for the hunter, if the deer are not also, hunted.

This is "Bucky" he lived to be nine. In his last three years, he almost vanished between Oct. 15 and Jan. 15. And he did not go anywhere. He quit rubbing completely and as far as I could tell, never visited a scrape. But he had licking branches and was for sure, the dominant buck. He taught me how a deer could vanish and still be right there.


"Bucky" may have the best head of hair of any 20,000 bucks I've ever seen....really neat photo!

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