North Glengarry, Ontario, 16 October 2012
The winter of 2011- 2012 wasn’t very hard on the woodpile or the whitetails. Total snow accumulation was barely four feet, and our coldest night only nudged the mercury to minus -24 F. So our deer herds didn’t have it very rough at all. And although we had a fair crust by mid-March, the wolves and coyotes had no advantage because, thanks to a prolonged warm spell, the snow was only about a foot deep.
An early spring followed by a late frost threw a hook into the apple pollination; and the results showed in the old orchards, where perhaps only ten percent of the trees bore fruit. Not a bad thing from the perspective of a hunter it’s a lot easier to keep an eye on two or three ice-cream stands instead of fifty.
The summer was long and dry, but North Glengarry caught a few rains at very critical times that saved the corn, beans and grain crops from the drought that hammered our neighbouring counties. A lot of creeks and drains dried up, but it was quite evident from the worn-down banks along the remaining ponds that the deer were doing okay.
As we enter the pre-rut, things are looking good. Jim and I have seen a few really good bucks and we’ve just picked up two new hunting properties where the deer traffic is very heavy. We’ll keep you posted as the hunting season progresses.
Wow, a fantastic opening week! The weather gods co-operated and we had cracking cold night-time temperatures and sunny days that went only went up to about 38-40 degrees F. It started at first light on opening morning. A hunter from VT missed a nice 8 -pointer that sauntered across a field in front of his blind; but within an hour he redeemed himself by dropping a bold 7-pointer a few hundred yards away. His father hit another 7-point buck on a few days later, and finished it off the next morning after we had tracked it through a silver maple swamp. And on the very last morning, the other son dropped a management buck in his tracks as he came through the mist into his crosshairs. And last but not least, a NY hunter took a crack at a nice chunk of a buck just before sundown on the Wednesday evening. We got on the blood trail the following morning and recovered the deer long before the wolves and ravens laid claim.
Just after first light on Monday morning, Steve, another Vermonter watched a bold six-pointer strut out into a clover field to check out a couple of does. After dicking around for a while, the buck got pretty interested in something that was in the bush just off the field edge behind him. Our hunter shifted his attention in the direction of the young fellow’s gaze, and in his own words, “All I could see were these tall tines and beams rocking from side to side just like you see on the hunting shows.” Within a minute or so, the big fellow swaggered into the field directly in line with the 6-pointer. With the smaller buck blocking the shot as effectively as a billboard, Steve had no choice but to bide his time and fume. But within a few minutes discretion got the better of valour, and the younger buck decided that although this was the greenest pasture in the area, given the artillery that the Big Guy was carrying, the bush was likely the safer place to be.
As the smaller deer strolled off, Steve lined up on Mr. Bucky and put a .50 cal. round into him. The buck just shuddered and stood still in his tracks while Steve reloaded and put a finisher into him, and watched him stagger into the bush and drop. We will have the photo up in our Hunter’s Gallery very shortly.
Later that same day another hunter had ‘a shooter’ walk into a field in front of his blind. Just as the buck came into range, it sensed that something wasn’t right and buggered off in the direction he came from.
We’ll keep you posted as the week progresses….