By: Pat Coate
Was lucky enough to spend some time at a cottage on a beautiful lake in Ontario recently. I looked up from my breakfast one rainy morning to see a brown blob swimming out from the bay. I thought “Hmm, that’s an awfully big bird”. When I got the binoculars on it, it was quite clear that it was not a bird at all!
Our Texas trip originated after Patty won a hunting trip for two at the 2009 Deerassic Classics Outdoor Expos last summer. I remember walking by the booth and seeing the Southern Outdoor Experience logo saying “Out of all the hunting shows on TV, this is the one show that I actually remembered watching ”!! We decided to stop at the booth to chat with the producers and I decided to purchased one of their hats. Southern Outdoor Experience had an amazing raffle for a 3 days trophy hunt for two in Texas, to get completely outfitted (clothing), a new riffle and scope. I noticed Patty and her mother were quickly filling their names on a few raffle tickets.
Each spring the male White-tailed Deer will grow a new set of antlers and throughout the summer the antlers will continue to get larger depending on the bucks diet. By fall the highly vascular tissue (Velvet) will dry up and peel off leaving a hard bone behind. The remaining velvet will be removed by the deer rubbing his antlers on a small tree (deer rub). This all happens because of the bucks’ testosterone levels increasing in preparations for the rutting season. By late December early January the buck will loose his antlers and the whole process will repeat itself the following spring.
Over the winter the White-tailed Deer have been feeding on seeds, pine needles and other leafy buds that they have encountered. Now that the snow is slowly melting, we are finding the deer more visible and spending a great deal to time feeding on the grasses that are being exposed again. I have noticed over the past few days they have allowed me the opportunity approach closer than I can normally get without spooking them. I figured these pictures of these deer eating would be perfect for a night that I am out enjoying the most perfect Friday Night Dinner! (more…)
I was delighted to find some White-tailed Deer lounging around in Allegany State Park today. When I first approached they were feeding in a wet spot in the woods. Anticipating them running away . . . they did the absolute opposite and one at a time laid down in the snow. I happen to be in the right position to capture a few pictures before thanking them and waving good bye. I love sunny days like this!
I made a quick trip over to Quaker to do a few “work” related things and you would never guess how many critters that I encountered!! I first came across something that looked like a duck in the middle of the road. Quickly remembering that grebe rescue from last winter . . . . I soon realized that it was just a bold Ruffed Grouse. It had put its crest up, turned its head looking at me from one side to another! By the time I pulled my point-and-shoot camera out, got the camera started, zoomed in and began framing . . . . the grouse flew away! I continued down the road sad that I didn’t get the picture but still happy to have seen it . . . . (more…)