Sunday, July 9, 2017

Blast From the Past

There are lots of blog topics I've neglected to post about, so since I strained my back yesterday moving boxes and cant do much of anything interesting today, I might as well dredge up some retroactive content.

Remember Trail Cam Tuesday?  well think of this as "I'm So Sorry Sunday." 
As I was sifting through my folder of trail cam footage, I found this magnificent 7 point buck from last December, and my breath caught again just as it was when i recovered the memory card from the camera last year.

This photo was not taken in some pristine bit of forest or a wildlife refuge.  This photo was taken in a small suburban woodlot next to the interstate.  I see deer often in this area, but seldom do I see a buck as large and healthy as him.
I live in an area with a healthy hunting population.  I forget the exact numbers but I remember reading once that something like 15 people per square mile hold hunting permits.  Now, I am far from anti-hunting and very much pro-hunting, as much as I am pro-wildlife and pro-conservation.  you may think it odd, but as well-intentioned as the anti-hunting crowd may be, sound wildlife management is necessary for conservation, especially in a state where large predators like wolves, lynx and cougars have largely been extirpated.  It's oft been said that deer are their own worst enemy, and in the absence of natural predators, they will overbreed and eat every last scrap of food in the landscape, starving themselves and many of the other animals. 

Venison is dang tasty, and as I type, my thought is drawn to the haunches of succulent meat that sit in my freezer, but my eating habits aside, it always warms my heart to see the ones that got away.  deer don't grow to this size by accident, only the clever ones can avoid the cars and the hunters for this long.  A whitetail buck has a home range of about 1 square mile which means by odds there are at least 15 people within his territory who would like to make a meal of him.  His antlers are a testament to his wariness and his wisdom.  If I'm lucky maybe I'll stumble upon his sheds in the woods.  and since old deer tend to be tougher and less tasty, I hope he avoids the cook pot and the car bumper for a long time to come. 

As always, thanks for reading :)

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