Monday, November 8, 2010

Backyard Buck

A couple days ago, Mr. Johnson happened to notice that a few small trees in our backyard have been rubbed rather vigorously by a whitetail buck. He seemed to favor my staghorn sumac thicket. This one was on the outside edge of the thicket.

Here's my hand to use as a guide for the size of the tree being rubbed.

This one was farther inside and towards the back edge of the thicket.

Pretty much the same size tree again. Check out those gouges in the wood below my hand! Those antler tips are really sharp!

On the other side of the yard in the aspen thicket, we found another tree that had been worked.

Same size again, so we were pretty positive this was the same buck. This tree was deeply gouged. They're really strong and so aggressive this time of year! Can you imagine how dangerous it is for them when 2 bucks have locked antlers and are fighting? I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of those antlers.

Since it was obvious there's a buck in the backyard, Mr. Johnson turned the trail camera on again......and we weren't disappointed. We're fairly certain this is the buck that's been rubbing on our trees. This guy doesn't have very big antlers, and the general rule is that the larger the antlers on the deer, the larger the tree they'll work. This buck has a nice big body, but due to point restrictions in place this deer hunting season, it's not legal to shoot this buck, so maybe we'll see him around again this year.

I got these pictures in reverse order, but he showed up twice in one night for corn. I'm guessing he also stayed around to visit with some of the does that frequent our backyard overnight too. There was lots of deer activity and photos on the camera on this night of 6th and early morning on the 7th.

The little fawns are still hanging around in the backyard, but I think they're on their own now. Once the does come into their breeding season, they chase their babies away to be on their own. At least the little fawns that have visited regularly over the summer know where there's a safe place to eat and rest in our backyard. Now if we could just figure out a way to keep them from trying to cross the road!

The possum is still visiting the backyard at night too. Looks like this possum is getting in pretty good shape for the long winter!


Mama Pea said...

That trail camera certainly is a neat device for showing what goes on in your yard at night when you're sound asleep! That buck sure does look healthy. The possum, too, I suppose but they aren't the cutest animals around, are they? :-D

Gaelyn said...

They all look healthy and well fed, at least partly thanks to you. The trail camera is fun. I'll have to think about that for a possible Christmas present.

Dave said...

The camera is pretty cool. That's one big possum!

Anonymous said...

This is why your yard is designated as a wild life habitat, you worked hard to have all the trees and plants to make this possible. It is now paying off for you. You want to see............... go to Ruth's house and see her yard.


Carol said...

I think I need to invest in a trail camera. How nice to see what visits each evening.

Anonymous said...

we have a buck (and a doe and a baby) roaming our neighborhood. . . with cars, buses, schools, churches, etc. right there! I'll have to start checking our trees.

How in the WORLD did you manage to make a possum look almost cute?!

Mollie said...

Great photos. That trail camera is so neat makes me wish I lived out in the country. Thanks for sharing with us!

Tonyia said...

I'm so envious of your camera! I may need to give one to my husband for Christmas. (Would that be an instance of giving him something that I really wanted? Yeah, I'm OK with that...)

eileeninmd said...

How cool, I love your trail camera photos. The deers and critter are wonderful. I would love to buy one of these so I can watch my bird feeders. What is the name of this camera?

RuthieJ said...

You are correct on all counts Mama Pea!

Hi Gaelyn,
A trail camera would definitely make a good Christmas present!

Thanks Dave. I don't know if that possum's really big or just has an extra luxurious fur coat for winter.

Thanks Mom. Visitors are welcome to the backyard any time.

Hi Carol,
The trail camera is a lot of fun -- especially if your backyard is wildlife-friendly.

Hi Mary Lee,
It's surprising how well deer seem to adapt to a suburban environment -- esp. without any natural predators. Of course, they can do some damage to plantings and lots of people don't want them hanging around their backyards. Hopefully your neighborhood deer can avoid being hit by a car, that always breaks my heart when I see a deer hit along the highway and wonder if it was one from "my" herd.

You're welcome Mollie.

That would be an excellent gift idea Tonyia! I see Cabela's has one for $99 in their black Friday sale flyer.

Hi Eileen,
The trail camera that took these pictures is the Cuddeback Excite. There are a number of different brands. Try a google search on "trail camera" or "digital scouting camera" and check out all the options.