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Scouting & Pics
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2001 Scouting logs and on the spot pictures -- by Robert Hoague
Scouting For Deer Season 2001: a Photo Journey
SCOUTING IN 2001: June & July | August | September |
THE HUNT:  10 Pointer on opening weekend | 2001 Deerhunt |
How soon after bucks loose their velvet do they start making rubs? When do the bucks get an "attitude"? When do the fawns loose their spots? 
It's time to answer the above questions. For one thing, you've seen some of it happen in pictures. A few fawns have lost their spots and they are fading on the rest. Bucks become aware of the "buck attitude" when they are 1 1/2. The bigger they get the more attitude they develop. When they get big enough most of the other bucks "don't even bother". Third Question: bucks make rubs right away once they loose their velvet. Their necks start thickening and they get an eye for the ladies. But that's another story, if I have anything to say about it you will see that in pictures, too. 

When Do The Bucks Loose Their Velvet?
Here's how it was on Sept 2. (Hint: one of these 3 bucks isn't in velvet any more!) Buck #1, Buck #2, Buck #3.

Ok ... So How Are The Deer Doing In September?

(Sept 2) We had over 10 inches of rain while I was gone on the August bear hunt, bingo, my poor food plot is not suffering from "sun stroke" any more! It is green, and lookin' good today ... and full of deer at deer thirty.

Check Out this Nice 10-Point That Just Lost His Velvet
Sept 4 - That dark red color on this buck's antlers is dried blood. It's only been a few hours since he shed his velvet and the reddish color will be history in no time. I took several pictures of this Big Boy 10-point as he approached and joined other deer in my food plot yesterday afternoon. 

More Bucks Are Loosing Their Velvet, Right Now
Bucks loose their velvet fast. I took pictures of this unique 6-point on Sept 5 and he was in velvet, but here he is on Sept 7 and the velvet is totally gone. 
This buck was not the only one to show up without velvet today, you'll find 3 others in the photo gallery I made. 
And, in case you want a wallpaper of BigBoy-6, the way he looks right now, here it is in 1024x768, 800x600, or 640x480.

What few acorns there are, are little dinky, pea sized  things. Summer's scorching, dry weather ruined the crop. The up side of that is the deer are on the move more than when the acorn crop is plentiful. September's weather man gave us a dozen inches of rain. The milo and oats I planted back in May suddenly leaped out of the ground. Much of what was growing there before was weeds, but that's ok, deer like weeds. 
Deer are still visiting my food plot. Bow season is only 2 weeks away and I have to find routes that the bucks take to the plot. In particular, the big 10-point and the wide and high 6-point (scroll down for pics). So I've been glassing the woods and see them traveling through the Rolled Wire area. But that doesn't tell me "exactly" how they get from there to the plot. I hung a couple of Buckshot Scout game cameras near some trails. Maybe I'll pinpoint a trail that they are using right now. 
(Last week I got a picture of the big 10-point at 10 yards. But it just didn't seem right to put it up then. Look for it tomorrow -- in wallpaper no less -- and other current pics as more bucks loose their velvet.)

Fathers & Sons - There Is A Big Difference
A young buck, still in velvet, looks a big 10-point over. If any picture ever showed the difference in size and features between a first year buck and a mature buck, this is it. I did it in wallpaper so you can see it full sized on your monitor. (1024x768) (800x600) or (640x480

SCOUTING (In Progress, Sept 18) Getting Close!
Early last week I set up a new photo blind where I could get a better look at where the deer come from. I scored a picture of the 10-point right away. You can even see his coat changing color. (1042x768) (800x600) (640x480) Three days later he walked even closer to the blind. (1042x768) (800x600) (640x480). But, on the down side I saw a dozen more deer 40 yards away in my food plot. I definitely do not want to spook them so I waited for them all to leave, which was well over an hour after dark.

Scouting: The Last 3 Days - the 10 Pointer is still hanging
(7:42am) Here is a larger picture of the 10-point taken a few minutes ago this morning, September 26. His coat is now totally gray, in the previous picture (below) it still had some of the reddish, summer coat. Also, notice the gash in the buck's left rear leg, it's healed up but the hide is permanently tore, it probably happened when he jumped a fence. He allows a young 8-point to hang around where he it and here is it's picture. I've been shooting my bow every day and today I put them all in a 6 inch circle from distances of 10 to 22 yards. I can't wait until Saturday morning when I can "get in the pit" near, hopefully, where all these deer will still be.

Scouting: The Last 4 Days (Mon, Sept 24)
I glassed the big 10-point near my food plot again today. He runs off any mature bucks that come near him. But he tolerates fawns, does and young bucks. I had hoped to have him patterned, but he comes from all directions. The closest trees to the plot are 40-50 yards away and most of them are too small for a treestand. 45 yards into the trees a gully drops off downhill. I hung a stand near the edge of the gully. I have glassed the 10 and other bucks in this area recently. Later in the season I can see the food plot area but not now. I'm thinking I'll be there opening morning, this Saturday.

(Sep 26) I've been working with a state biologist, Todd Pilcik, to form a wildlife management Co-Op that includes several of the landowners in our area. Today we started the program. First we established a survey route. Then Todd did a visibility study (he used a range finder to measure how far he could see each 1/10 of a mile of the survey route). Then we made the first deer survey (this is called "running a line"). That means we counted deer by spotlight and used binoculars to identify them by sex. We have additional surveys to take and once they are submitted Todd will compile deer density figures and calculate our buck to doe ratio. 

SCOUTING: Bucks Will Be Bucks -- Finally!!!
(Sept 27 at 8:18am) There was a major change in deer activity this morning. A handful of does were in the food plot at first light -- but the bucks were not interested. They were marking limbs and making rubs. At daylight an 8-point worked the edge of the woods, raking several low limbs and bushes with it's antlers. Two other bucks also raked limbs. Then the 10-point walked up from the gully and began raking limbs and bushes. Here is a 4 pic series of him hard at it. Everything happened early this morning, the last deer I saw was at 7:20am. Today was the first day of the pre-rut.

Sept 29 (10:12pm) - At Last, Tomorrow is the day!!! 
Our bow season opens when the sun rises tomorrow morning. The Duck, Robbie & Robert Cramer are down and John Askew will drive in for the morning hunt. 
Yesterday I practiced shooting again. When I shoot I go over and over it in my mind, look at the buck's body and find the vitals, draw slowly, check to make sure my hands are relaxed. Put my pin precisely were I want it to go. Release. (The arrow goes in the X ring.)
In a couple minutes I'll go to bed. Before dawn, I'll wash cleaner than I've ever washed before, drag my camos out of the baking soda they stay in, and take my bow to the blind I put near the edge of the gully where the 10-point is rubbing limbs (Bucks Will Be Bucks).
I figure I've got 2 chances and they're both tomorrow (the morning & afternoon hunts). This weekend people will be around where they usually aren't, and that will put him nocturnal and I may never see him again. Tune in on later today, mid-morning, I'll let you know if the 10-point shows and how it all comes down.

Scouting In 2001: June & July | August | September |

To  JULY 2001 Scouting & Photos:
This the month the bucks' antlers take shape. Follow the deer in pictues and as I scout for them with my digital camera. July is a big month in the life of whitetials, the fawns come out of hiding, button bucks become spikes, sixes, 8-points and big racks ... all in July. 

Scouting In August 2001
August is a month a of dramatic change in the whitetail's life. Follow the bucks, day by day, as their antlers grow and their bodies gain weight. Fawns sightings are more frequent and does are ever present. Come with me through my pictues and as I scout for them with my digital camera. 

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