Saturday, November 5, 2016

Whitetail season opener #phenology

I miss deer hunting, a little. The guys I used to hunt with have either moved on or walked on. But, to be honest, with afternoon temperatures in the mid-sixty's and climbing, I'm sliding toward my Better Half's disgruntlement at "unseasonably warm" temperatures. I've sat in duck boats on opening day of waterfowl season when it was about as warm as it is today and that didn't feel right either. You're not supposed to need sunblock during hunting season.

long-abandoned tree stand
long-abandoned tree stand
Photo by J. Harrington

Deer hunting is often a tradition-bound sport. Folks hunt the same areas, often the same stands, year after year. Sometimes generation after generation follows the same pattern. Whitetail breeding (the "rut") follows a pattern also. There's some interesting information about breeding phases available online. I've no idea how much of an outlier this year may be, or if the rut, and traditional deer season in early November, will change as global warming becomes more established.

My Autumn Leaves 

By Bruce Weigl 

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves

they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.

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