Category Archive 'White-tailed Deer'

09 Dec 2016

Can’t Eat Just One

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16-foot female (an invasive species record) had the remains of three deer in its system.

Sporting Classics:

Burmese pythons are the scourge of the Florida Everglades, eating anything they can fit inside their cavernous jaws. They’re known to eat deer when the opportunity arises, but one invasive serpent has officially set a world record: three deer in its gut at the same time.

In 2013 wildlife officials discovered the remains of a doe and two fawns in the belly of a 15.6-foot Burmese python. The snake was captured and later euthanized as part of a scientific study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania’s Dickinson College, with the results of their findings being published earlier this year in the scientific journal BioInvasions Records.

“A comparative examination of bone, teeth, and hooves extracted from the fecal contents revealed that this snake consumed three white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus),” wrote lead researcher Scott Boback. “This is the first report of an invasive Burmese python containing the remains of multiple white-tailed deer in its gut.”

The paper reports that the snake likely ate the three deer at different times over an 87-day period. The presence of special teeth only present in fawns helped researchers identify the younger deer, while another tooth pointed to an animal at least 12 months in age. The growth rate of deer hooves ultimately helped the researchers determine that three deer—one older than 12 months, one 24 to 30 days old, and one roughly two weeks old—had been eaten.

Other than the hooves and teeth, researchers found a skull fragment, bits of vertebrae and appendages, and some fur, but scant else. A python is capable of digesting bone, so the remains had to be carefully examined to determine what was contained in the snake’s fecal material.

In the end, the researchers believe the snake hid from its prey in some body of water, then when they came down to drink it attacked with its backward-curving teeth and began constricting them. While pythons have been present in the Everglades since at least the 1990s, deer simply haven’t adapted to this new danger.

“Because the largest snakes native to southern Florida are not capable of consuming even mid-sized mammals, pythons likely represent a novel predatory threat to white-tailed deer in these habitats,” the researchers wrote.

Read the whole thing.

21 Nov 2012

Deer Mugs Rednecks For Cigarettes

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It’s really kind of sad. A white-tailed buck beat up on two East Texas rednecks and then stole a pack of Marlboros from one of the victims. The pitiful Texans then dropped a dime on the victorious buck.

HuffPO report.

1:34 video

25 Oct 2008

Really Big Bore Deer Hunting

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Model 1841 12 pound Mountain Howitzer

This web-site explains how to hunt white-tailed deer using a Civil War-era Model 1841 12 Pound Mountain Howitzer.

This method of hunting seems likely to provoke criticism, but, after all, the hunter is restricted to a single shot before having to undertake an elaborate and time-consuming process of reloading. There can be no second shot at the same target. And just look at all the effort required to transport, maneuver, and aim the weapon! Besides, the unreasoning prejudice of today’s authorities toward any kind of seriously innovative approach to reducing game to possession makes the project still more sporting by introducing a distinct note of hazard for the sportsman.

If the idea makes you squeamish, or you start getting all liberal and statist, just repeat after me: Rats with hoofs! Rats with hoofs!

I do kind of think myself that a real artillerist could get his buck with an exploding shell, and someone really good could do it with solid shot. If those darned Civil War cannon were just a little cheaper…

Run for your lives!

29 Nov 2006

Life Among the White-Tails

Odocoileus virginianus virginianus

I decided this afternoon to use the telephone in our second-floor bedroom, which features a picture window overlooking the rear acreage and (in the distance) the Shenandoah Valley. While I was chatting with a friend in New York, deer started appearing in the second mown field, just past the back yard.

First, we had a doe accompanied by four fawns. But, before long, an entire procession of does and fawns began emerging from the woods.

Their progress was too irregular for me to be able to make a good count, but there must have been more than 20 in the herd. Then, finally, in broad daylight, and right in the middle of hunting season, arrived the imperial buck himself, horns shining in the daylight.

He was only about a six-pointer. His rack was low and square, with short tines, so he was not terribly old. But he was a handsome buck, well muscled and in prime condition.

I took my eyes off him for an instant, and when I looked back, there he was, engaged in combat. A younger and smaller buck, who must have been a spiker, as I couldn’t even discern his horns, had been driven head-first to the ground. The 6-pointer skillfully used his rack to pin his rivals head to the ground, and was delivering a vigorous thumping.

The younger buck was not enjoying all this a bit. He kept trying to twist free, and escape his punishment. But the old buck determinedly pinned him down, and pounded away.

Finally, the smaller buck submitted completely, and the older buck grudgingly released him. Then his polygamous majesty stalked off triumphantly, herding the last laggard does and fawns away from the society of the unworthy ruffian.

The defeated buck was left momentarily alone, deserted and disconsolate. But, after only a moment, he gathered his modest cervine wits, and set off, slinking, again in pursuit of the champion’s herd of females. Who knows? Even alpha bucks have to sleep sometime, he probably thought to himself.

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