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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.