Deer Season Updates

December Update

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December continued our strange weather pattern here in Whitetail Paradise.

An unusual blizzard and arctic temperatures kicked off the beginning of the month. A single snowfall dumped 14 inches of fine snow, creating amazingly early "late season" conditions for a week or so, then came spring...in December!

The snow cover prevented any frost from accumulating in the ground, even though temperatures grew bitter following the snowstorm. Lawns in our neck of the woods are still green for the first time in memory as we approach January 1!

Weird weather all year...

The lab results are in for the deer from our November update! Cementum annuli aging provided by Wildlife Analytical Labs (DeerAge.com) reported the following:

  • Tim Hasara Buck (Monarch's Brother) 4 ½ yrs old
  • Eddie Paneque Buck (One eyed Jack) 5 ½
  • Daniel Sheely Buck (The Big 7) 5 ½
  • Bob Coine Buck 4 ½
  • Bob Coine Doe 4 ½
  • Rocco Marzullo Buck 4 ½

Interestingly, the State of Illinois biologists at our shotgun check station have not aged a buck correctly for us yet. They are using the tooth wear method. The oldest age given our bucks by the biologists has been 3 ½ years.

According to a State of Michigan study, Cementum Annuli tooth analysis is 85% accurate, misses are typically reflected as 1 year younger. (see www.DeerAge.com for a report on this study)

Our attempts to hold off on tagging a buck until he is 4 years old are continuing to go well, as treestand age estimates have proven correct so far. A segment in BWP Volume 3 on "Aging deer from a treestand" illustrates how to do this, and it works!

On to the deer...

Our 2nd gun season (4 days) kicked off November 30th, which was the day before the blizzard.

At first light Bob saw a huge bodied buck stand up from a bed on a hillside in Indian grass, stretch and lie back down.

He watched and videotaped him nap, get up and stretch several times, as the buck never strayed from his bed throughout the day. What a treat!

Bob couldn't make up his mind whether to shoot or not, as his antlers were not as huge as his body mass. "I knew he was going nowhere fast" said Bob. "The wind was howling at 25 mph, the deer were not active, and the rut had tapered off. I knew I could make the 153 yard shot with my shotgun...and finally did at 1:45 PM!"

Leviathan "I have named him Leviathan as he is possibly my largest bodied deer, and certainly had the biggest head, almost like a donkey!"

"He has symmetrical antlers with 9 points...and I can't wait to get his teeth back from Wildlife Analytical Labs (DeerAge.com) to learn how old he was!"

George continues patiently holding out for a monster, and has passed several mature bucks. He also continues tagging does, helping to keep our herd in check.

Daniel also continues tagging does, patiently passing up bucks waiting on something special.

Our hunting friends and family have also been a big help tagging does in December.

Todd (Vol. 4b) broke in his new bow by arrowing a fat doe.

Cousin Jonathan, (Vol. 4a) visited again, and enjoyed 7 bucks pass within 15 yards...and shot em all, with his video camera! 2 were real dandies, but uncertain as to their ages he passed. Now that is typical of the restraint shown by serious QDMers. Way to be JC!

We are anxiously awaiting our final 3 day firearm season, which for the first time allows either sex hunting (CWD Season) and no limit on bucks, providing a hunter possesses the proper tags.

Everyone here hopes you had a wonderful Holiday Season!

Until the next update...We wish you the best with your hunting seasons!

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