Posts Tagged ‘deer yard

Domestic dogs hard on wintering deer

- January 19th, 2015

This ought to get a few people going….

My latest outdoors column in the fabulous Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper! A shout-out to my pals Anthony Dixon and Tina Peplinkie, who work tirelessly from dusk to dawn bringing the daily news to folks in the upper Ottawa Valley!

Check it out online:  http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/

 

Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer's newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.
Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer’s newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.

 

The winter months are already tough on white-tailed deer populations and domestic dogs on the loose will only exacerbate the situation.

A couple of January’s ago as I was leaving for work; a strange sound caught my attention coming from my back field. The howl of a barking animal broke the early morning silence and my first thought was coyotes; however; the distinctive domestic canine sound reverberated. One of my neighbour’s dogs had apparently gotten loose and was chasing deer through the fields! My heart sank as I knew the implications. The deer I was feeding at the time included an orphaned fawn and an older buck with a bad leg, which were not seen again for over a week. I never did find the dog, but evidently it had put the run on them good as the lame buck returned limping worse than ever. Less than three weeks later that old buck could walk no more and the Ottawa Police were called in to have it put down. The incident was a grim reminder of why we must control our pets, especially during wintertime as snow depth increases.

Negligent dog owners

Pet owners who allow their animals to run wild regardless of the breed are not only breaking the law, their actions can be devastating for deer at a fragile time of year. Conservation officers deal with belligerent pet owners every winter and, in case you didn’t know, are authorized to destroy any dogs observed chasing or injuring deer in areas where herds gather for the winter. Penalties for allowing your dog to be at large during the closed season for deer, range anywhere from $155 up to $25,000.

Testing testing

Looking back on some cold weather footwear I had the pleasure of field-testing recently, Kamik’s new Shield boots had me travelling in cold weather comfort. The famous Canadian boot manufacturer has succeeded in producing perhaps the warmest boots I have ever tried! Rated to -100 C, the Shields feature completely waterproof 900 Denier with a camo-clad nylon upper, and a completely seam-sealed construction. The removable 24mm Zylextreme liner and 4.5mm EVA insole kept my tootsies toasty on a backfield trail camera adventure during our recent cold snap. Theses boots have a moisture wicking lining, a convenient Lace Lock snow collar and feature Kamik’s patented waterproof and lightweight synthetic rubber shell. Strong like iron, yet light like helium, Kamik’s RubberHe, is the company’s own lightweight innovation. The material is a recyclable, PVC-free synthetic rubber which claims to be 50 per cent lighter than natural rubber and 30 per cent lighter than other synthetic rubbers. Kamik Sheilds would make for the perfect ice-fishing companion or the late season deer hunter. For more information on Kamik’s full line of hunting footwear: http://www.kamik.com/b2c_int_en/men-boots-hunting.html.

Wild game cookbook

With hunting season over for another year, what to do with that freezer full of fresh healthy game meat? In my latest book, The Canadian Wild Game Cookbook, I explore copious options even a culinary novice has to prepare game meats in tasty and nutritious ways. The use of game meat predates the arrival of European settlers to this country. Over millennia, aboriginal communities incorporated game meat as a way of life through various methods of harvest including hunting, gathering and trapping. Wild game and conservation are still crucial aspects of the Canadian economy within native and non-native communities alike. Game meat is typically low in fat and cholesterol, high in protein and is not loaded with growth hormones or any unwanted chemicals. In my 30 plus years as a passionate and responsible conservationist, I have learned first hand the benefits of game meat and share these fine attributes with you in my new book!

Pembroke fish stocking!

A special thanks to Darwin Rosien of the MNR’s Pembroke office for remembering to send me the annual Pembroke District Fish Stocking Program information. To see the distribution of Ottawa Valley lakes now teaming with spunky young brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and splake, makes me even more anxious for spring! If you wish to be added to Darwin’s growing distribution list to see the lakes firsthand, drop him an email: darwin.rosien@ontario.ca.

Next time

See you right here next month and contact me anytime with your Valley hunting, fishing or conservation news or stories: theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com.

 

Misfit deer duo an unlikely winter team

- January 23rd, 2012

Unlike other winters in my area, it seems I have a couple of regular visitors to my backyard deer feeder this year.

 

Back in early December coyotes claimed a deer in my neighboring property; leaving a 6-month old orphan buck fawn to fend for itself.

duo1

 

This little guy was wandering around aimlessly in the backfields for a couple of weeks and I feared for the worse. There was another lone doe back there I captured on trail cam and I had hopes he might eventually team up with her.

 

(As many people know, a fawn on its own the first winter is quite vulnerable)

 

But it never happened – the loan doe actually seemed to shun him, from what I could tell, so a new ‘adopted mother’ idea was out of the question.

duo2

 

Then by the end of December there was another deer in the back that caught my eye. It was a 3.5 year old buck I know very well. He was actually the biggest 8-pointer I have in the back, and you may have seen in earlier posts from last summer and fall.

 

I call him Andrew.

 

 

Well, poor Andrew wasn’t looking very good at all. He had already dropped his antlers and was acting rather peculiar (they usually shed in mid-late Jan) 

 

I could see from trailcam images that he always held one hind leg up while feeding, and then when I saw him in person it all became very clear.

duo6

 

(It is worth noting that by this time of year my deer have usually moved to the upper fields to yard. I have not fed deer regularly the last two winters)

 

Anyhow, Andrew had what appeared to be a broken ankle. It was right above his hoof and caused him grief when walking. He had a terrible limp and walked very gingerly on the bum leg. (Had his front leg been broken instead, he’d be much better off.)

 

It was not the healthy and bold buck I knew from the fall, he was now a wounded soldier.

 

Over the next week or so, both the fawn and gimpy Andrew appeared at my deer feeder with some regularity, until eventually they started hanging out together and the oddest thing began to happen…

 duo7

From observing their behavior (usually through binoculars) into January, I could see that the fawn was started to serve as Andrew’s eyes and ears. The buck would bed down while the fawn stood guard. When it came time to feed, though, hierarchy took over and the buck would nudge the fawn out of the way from time to time.

 

 

Never-the-less, they continued to travel together fulltime from the bedding area back to my feeder, and around the fields about twice a day. (Andrew’s limp has improved slightly) They make the oddest team I’ve ever seen but it appears to be working.

 

The unlikely duo has so far been able to stay one step ahead of the coyotes too, which is incredible.

 

It is one ‘symbiotic relationship’ I have never before witnessed and there’s no telling how long it will last.  

 

It does; however, demonstrate how resilient white-tailed deer can be; learning to adapt to situations presented to them. I know I will probably take heat from some readers for continuing to provide supplemental feed for deer during the winter, but that’s ok.

duo9

 

Outdoorsguy

Speaking of winter feeding, here’s a photo of a nice cow elk that feeds at Carol K’s place:

CarolELK

Here’s another pic of the same elk..Carol K says this cow has no problem hopping over that (Goat/sheep pen) fence the elk is standing beside.

CarolElk2