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Things I learned Shooting Crop Damage Deer by Dave King

 
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:47 PM
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Things I learned Shooting Crop Damage Deer by Dave King

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for sticking this up Len as I recently recalled a few items I missed while I jotted that article.


Just a few days ago I was on my way to check out a field and saw a fawn (small and still wearing spots) racing across the road and through the fields, this won't seem unusual to most folks but it did cause me to chuckle a little... I have learned a few things about fawns and deer in general but what struck me funny about this instance was that it had just started raining (large drops) after a protracted dry spell. The little fawn racing around caused me to recall the first time I encountered fawns at the beginning of a hard rain (first rain post-drought). I was standing on the edge of a shin-high corn field looking across into the woodline when the first few rain drops began to fall... all was well for a bit but about 30 seconds into the shower two fawns popped to their feet not 20 yards from me. They were obviously startled, racing about in circles and hopping corn rows, and at first I couldn't figure what was up to cause this response. One of the pair soon spotted me and in a rabid dash headed straight for me (suicide run I thought), this is when I noticed the little critter was juking and ducking as each large drop hit it... The startled little things were scared to death by whatever invisible evil was touching them and they were doing their best to outrun it in their first ever experience with rain drops.

Another item I should mention while thinking of corn fields is what I call 'deer fishing'. I often setup on a sidehill, a little raise or in a stand that overlooks corn and casually look for the tell-tale shaking of the corn stalks as the deer rip the ears from the stalk. A fella can cover a large field with this technique and if need be quarter a path to the deer for the kill.

Young deer aren't very conservative in their corn eating antics. I once watched a little button buck eat soft corn off the ear. Having never seen deer pick and eat corn I just assumed they'd eat it like we humans do... wrong!! This little buck would first grab an ear by the silk end and vigorously pull down to rip it from the stalk, shuck intact. Once the ear was on the ground the buck placed a hoof on the ear and ripped the shuck back to expose a strip of corn kernels... it then took a few bites of the exposed corn and abandon the ear. It didn't pull off another strip of shuck to eat more corn working its way around till the ear was empty as I thought it would do...it just abandon the ear after a few bites... It did however step forward and pull another ear from the next stalk re-enacting the entire few bites off an ear and then get another fresh ear.... I watched in amazement for a while and then terminated the session/lesson. Many deer eat pumpkins and squash in about the same manner, kick a hole in a pumpkin... take a few bites... step to another pumpkin... kick a hole... a few bites... bang!

They are interesting critters to watch.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:13 PM
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Dave

I thought at first you were going to tell us the little guys were running for pure joy! And, yes, they are fun to watch. Maybe not so fun for a farmer to watch when they take only one bite out of an ear of corn (at say $4 per bushel) and then move on to the next one.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:57 PM
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...and pumpkins aren't giveaway items either (I personally don't care much for squash).

As a bonus I may mention my thoughts and observations on why deer sometimes bellow when shot... if you're nice.
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Old 08-08-2007, 06:32 PM
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There is a doe that lives next to the road and near the jogging trail in Rock Creek Park and she is very docile and tame. As a consequence, her fawns are very tame and I very nearly got to pet one yesterday but at the last minute the little guy decided he really didn't need to be petted (probably didn't like all the sweat and smell).

That was very interesting about deer licking wounds to stop the bleeding. I had never understood why I would trail a deer that was bleeding heavily and it would stop and stand still for a few minutes and quit bleeding and I would then have to follow hoof prints for about 10-20 yards before it would start bleeding again. I had just assumed the hair allowed the blood to clot easily (which it probably does also).
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:10 PM
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It took me a good many years to figure out what was going on with those blood trails that went dry at a stopping point... large puddle of blood then nothing. I just never occurred to me that the deer would lick their wound(s) clean while they were stopped but once I observed it it was one of those "I've been pretty stupid haven't I" moments.

I've witnessed deer licking the wounds of other deer, usually this is a doe to her offspring for my experience. On one ocassion a doe and one of her yearlings licked a down (dead) deer completely clean of all blood. The doe would stop the licking process and do the (odd for a doe I thought) flehming response thing.


Bellowing deer, another one of those epiphanies for me.. I once picked up a newborn fawn I found in a freshly tilled field (I guess it got tired and stopped). Then gently cradled the little guy to my chest holding his 4 feet up with one hand while using the other hand to keep him from falling. I had a good hold on him and for a short while let his legs (feet/hooves) dangle free, he pretty quickly went into the bellow mode..... I cradled his feet again and he calmed down.... let the feet dangle and bellow... there's a pattern developing here I thought to myself.... I tried this type thing with other fawns I'd found and it was a pretty universal response.
It appears to me that if a deer feels that it can use it's feet to exercise some control (as in flee if it wants) it's fairly happy but as soon as deer become immobilized either via zero foot feedback or physical restraint/capture they begin to bellow in a 'help me' or 'let me go you big brute' effort/message. I have spined a few deer with rifle and bow only to have then drop on the spot quite paralyzed and begin bellowing... 'I've fallen and I can't run away!'

Last edited by Dave King; 08-09-2007 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:37 AM
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you said something about face shot and i had a freind who shot a deer in the face from 20 yds with a 30-30 and they thought it was dead. when they went back to get it the deer attacked them cause they thought it was dead all it did was knock it out.
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