dgrad

Very Fat Buck

45 posts in this topic

I can't believe how much food this buck puts away every night. Last night was number 74, that's how many days I have been feeding him now. Deer season opens Saturday and runs for ten days, and if he survives that, I will have to continue feeding him until December 14. That's the day he sheds his antlers. The plastic dish in these pics has about a gallon of expensive horse feed in it. He always empties that dish first. I also dumped a five gallon bucket of apples, and two gallons of garbanzo beans. He ate more than half of the apples and then finished off the beans. He allows does and fawns to come in and eat for awhile, and then he runs them off.

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He stopped to have a few apples

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another

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I have pictures from April where he was covered with fresh wounds from a cougar attack. Somehow he escaped from that attack, but he looked bad, and he disappeared on May 7. We wondered if he was still alive. No one saw him or got trailcam pics of him until my neighbor saw him on the hillside behind my house on July 24. I got my first trailcam pics on July 26, and he was covered with scars and healed up scabs from that earlier attack. But those are all healed up now as you can see in these pics from last night. You can see there is a scar on his white throat patch, but that's been there for three years now. Both ears have deep tears and damage, but they have also been that way for at least three years. I always assumed the throat scar and ear damage was caused from fighting with other bucks.

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Edited by dgrad

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A pic from April

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another from April

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This pic was from July 30. In all of the pics from July and August, you can see he was covered with scars. But when he shed out his summer coat, the scars pretty much disappeared. If we did not have those pics from April through August, we would not know what he has been through this year. He is a trouper !

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Edited by dgrad

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Will you attempt to harvest him Bob? I'd hate to see someone else who won't appreciate his whole story reap the benefit of your husbandry. At his age it is just a matter of time in the short term now, and I personally think you two should share that bond which comes when an animal is taken by a hunter who truly appreciates the honor it is. Just an old mush head I guess....

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That old boy is tough, for sure. He has to be THE most photographed buck out there. If he gets harvested it will be bittersweet for all of us, especially you, but it would also be a pity for him to just vanish one day and never know what happened to him.

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Randall, There is no way I could kill this buck. It would be like killing a pet. I don't think my neighbor's son is going to try for him either. He shows up at the camera an hour after dark, and he is gone by 2:00 AM.

Fireman 43, The only reason he is photographed so much is because has has a crazy neighbor that doesn't know when enough is enough. If he is still around next year, I will not start this until November. It has been lots of work carrying all that food to the camera for 2-1/2 months now, and I still have two months to go before he sheds his antlers. I usually start this on November 1st and continue until he sheds his antlers in December. If he is still alive come November, I will be feeding him at a mineral lick here in the creek bottom that is 100 yards from the house. This will get much easier then. That lick is where I have had some really neat encounters with him over the years. I take the food there just before dark. Then about 9:00 PM I go check the camera and dump more apples and bread on the lick. Many times in the past, when he hears me coming, he moves back about 25 to 30 yards from the lick and watches me until I leave. Twice, he was bedded down and watched me change the memory and dump more food, and he never moved. In November during the rut, he is not as regular as he is now. He averages being there about four nights a week. Last November on a night with a full moon, I was able to walk over there without my LED headlamp. I heard hooves clicking on the river rock and I stopped. Two does came out of the brush and crossed the trail I was on about 30 feet in front of me. Then he came out and stopped broadside to me on the trail, and he turned his head and looked at me for a second, then he left following the does. They didn't go far, and they were at the camera within minutes after I left that night. Two years ago in November, I had a really neat encounter. I got up at 5:00 AM that morning and started a pot of coffee brewing. There was a light rain that morning when I went to check the camera. I was going to bring the camera home and take it back later that morning. When I walked into the clearing, I saw ten eyes reflecting the dim light from my headlamp. I see that often when I go there, but that morning it was different. The eyes were usually moving, but that morning they were stationary, and they were down lower than usual. Slowly I approached my camera, and my dim headlamp finally let me see there were five does bedded down about 25 yards from the camera. I reached over, turned the camera off and removed it. When I turned around to leave, I saw another set of eyes watching me. I paused a second and looked and saw another deer was bedded down out toward the creek about 30 yards away, and I could barely make out that huge rack. I didn't say anything, but I felt like saying "excuse me", and I left to go back to the house and have my coffee and look at my pictures. If he survives deer season in October, I will have more experiences like this to look forward to. He will survive, and I will have more pictures and stories to post. Here are a few pictures from last night.

Bob

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Edited by dgrad

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another

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One more

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Assuming he survives the season the older he gets the more dependent he becomes on you but having said that I can't think of a better "crazy" neighbor for the old boy to have, you two have each others respect and it is evident.

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Good to see you on here Don !! I've been worried about you. And I appreciate your comments. I like to think I had a big part with this buck living so long and growing this big rack because I have been feeding him and protecting him for five ears now. I have not had a bear on this set for five days now, and the buck comes earlier each night. But I am keeping this info to myself because Paul decided that it would be a waste of time sitting here watching for him. He was the first deer to arrive last night and he came right after dark. And he had to be right there before dark because does usually show before dark, but not last night. He had an attitude last night. He has been allowing does to feed on the line of beans just uphill, but he makes them leave before the beans are cleaned up. Last night, every time the does came, he took one step toward them, and they took off. There were several pics like this one last night. This is his set, and that is his food.

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Edited by dgrad

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Still following along Bob. I look forward to checking in here to see how the old boy is doing. My buddies I used to work with printed out a pic of him and posted it on the bulletin board at the plant. He's getting famous!!

 

I envy your setups!!

Bill

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