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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bucks and Antlers

It's been rather slow down at the waterfront as of late. I planned something different for today's blog entry. It's all about bucks and antlers. Over the past few months I have developed an interest and passion for deer. I find the animals fascinating and I study them on a daily basis. Recently, I built an antler trap and set it up in the wild. It's a shelf attached to a horizontal log. Above the shelf is a piece of wood which forms sort of a roof. Bait is placed in the rear of the trap on the shelf. The idea is to get the bucks to go into the trap after the bait thus knocking off their antlers on the section of wood above. So far I have not had any results. But most of the bucks in the area of my trap are still carrying their antlers. Time will tell if my experiment works. I set up my trail camera above the antler trap to see who is visiting it. I get at least 5 different bucks at the trap on a nightly basis. Also, I have started antler hunting. I have never done this before. I go to a different section of the island to search for antlers. One day recently I found 7 antlers in an hour of searching. Among those 7 antlers were two matched sets! That was a good day. Other days I found as many as 4 antlers and as little as 1 or 2. So far in four afternoons of antler hunting, I have found 18 antlers. Not bad for a rookie. It took me a long time to finally figure out where the antlers could be found. I spent endless hours searching in all the wrong places. Now that I know where to look, I am having very good luck. In any event, here are some pictures from my trail camera overlooking the antler trap. And A picture of all the antlers I found so far including the biggest one I found-

Fear not faithful Waterfront News readers, I will be back down at the waterfront in the near future taking pictures. Stay tuned.


    
A little 4-pointer.
These two bucks have already cast their antlers. Note the holes in their heads.
A 4-pointer. Note the lack of brow tines.
A 4-pointer with a broken point.
A nice 6-pointer.
The same 6-pointer.
Going into the trap before I modified the roof.
Nice 6-pointer. Note the curved brow tine.
The 6-pointer during the day.
A nice big 8-pointer. Notice I extended the roof of the trap here.
My biggest find in the field so far. A big 4-point side. The G2 (the second point from the base) is 10 inches tall!!!!!
I spent 3 hours searching for the match to no avail.
And below is my antler collection after 4 afternoons of antler hunting.






UPDATE: I checked my trail camera this morning after leaving it above the antler trap for a week. Most of the bucks have dropped their antlers. (Not at my trap) This one had dropped his antlers moments before the picture was taken. That open wound has gotta hurt!!! Click on the pictures twice to enlarge.




Below is a video clip I shot today when I found a small 4-point antler.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting hobby...Thanks for the pics!!

Sharon Van Lieu said...

I didn't know it left a wound! I like your collection - very cool!

Sharon

Martie said...

The wound heals fairly fast. Maybe a day or two. They start growing new antlers immediately to replace the ones they dropped. Fascinating stuff!

Nantucket Washashore (aka Linda Sonnonstine Spery) said...

Wow, what an education you've provided about our elusive deer population. Thanks for sharing your photos, Martie. Any word on whether the number of deer has increased or decreased?

Martie said...

You're welcome, Linda. I find it all very fascinating studying and photographing deer. They are amazing animals. Especially the big old bucks. They are very smart. They very rarely show themselves. And if they do, it is very very late at night under the cover of darkness. I will ask about if the number of deer has decreased or increased. I do not know the answer to that question.

nantuckettiechic said...

Are you gonna carve them into spoons? Nantucket's new scrimshaw base--definitely not endangered.

Martie said...

No, no carving the antlers into spoons. I'm going to display them all in my house. I know exactly where I found each one in the field. Funny. I cannot remember how old I am but I can remember where I found each and every antler!

Cap said...

HOW COME YOU AIN'T OPENIN' SCALLOPS? WHEN I WUZ YOUR AGE I WAS OPENIN' SCALLOPS. NICKLE A GALLON AND DAMN GLAD TO GET IT! NOW GET DOWN THERE AND START OPENIN'.

Martie said...

I'm not opening scallops because there are no scallops left to open.

Richard said...

I go out wandrin' round Saul's Hills, out the bogs,Slosak's lookin' for them horns but alls I sees was does.

Martie said...

It took me three months of looking for antlers every single day to finally figure it all out and start finding them. You need to learn their food source this time of the year. When you know that, you will find a lot of antlers!

Sharon Van Lieu said...

The new picture of the day is just gorgeous, Martie. I'm ready for some warm weather!

Sharon

Martie said...

Thanks, Sharon. She's a beautiful boat. I took a few more pictures of her that day last summer heading out to sea from Polpis Harbor where she's moored. I will do a feature on her soon. I think everyone is sick of all my deer pictures by now.

Liz Seacord said...

Martie, I am so jealous! Great finds. I am headed out, myself, this weekend. Wish me luck! Love the pic of the buck looking up at the cam!

Dirck Van Lieu said...

Martie, the catboat pic reminds me of my late father John Van Lieu who moored his cat "Sea Duck" in the Easy Street Basin. That boat was his joy and he sailed her as long as he was able. I miss'em both...

Very nice, peaceful photo.

Martie said...

Thanks, Dirck. I have more pictures of that catboat. I will post them soon.
Liz, I found a nice 4 point antler today. That makes a total of 22 antlers in just 6 afternoons of hunting!! I finally figured out how to do it after searching in all the wrong areas. Let me know if you find any this weekend.

Ronald said...

Very interesting stuff...can't wait to learn more about your findings as time goes by.

Sean Curran said...

Very cool Martie! Some great pictures & quite a collection of sheds you've got going. Nice job.

Martie said...

I found 4 more antlers this afternoon. The tally so far is 26!! Not bad for a first year rookie shed hunter!!