Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 50

RUTTING BUCK is intent on the “business at hand,” while the doe plays coy and scampers away.

Bob Steiner

excellent eyesight and are naturally wary, so anyone hunting them has to sit still. My husband and I were the only ones who had hunted gobblers previously, but we had assumed the others with us knew the drill. They didn’t. Especially our friend’s father, who must have thought he was waiting for a bus. He stood up while the gobbler was sounding off and leaned his shotgun against the tree. He had taken a stand slightly ahead and to my right, so in the interest of safety I knew I could shoot only to my left. With him dancing around in front, I figured this turkey morning was wasted, as far as any of us shooting. The turkey gobbled and gobbled, getting closer and closer, answering the “hen” behind us. Then the bird clammed up. Well, I thought, he must have seen our buddy’s father or one of the others fidgeting. Then I happened to look off to my left and the gobbler was sneaking past, within range. I was able to shoulder my shotgun when the tom’s view of me was blocked by a tree. When he was clear, I shot. I was the hero of the day when the others gathered around to congratulate me on my turkey. This story isn’t really about my getting a spring gobbler. It’s about why that turkey didn’t spook and, instead, tried an endaround run toward the lovesick “hen.” I’m convinced the tom knew we were there, or at least that something wasn’t right in the space between the “hen” and him. So
50

he didn’t go directly over the hurdle. He moved what he felt was a safe distance to the side, quit calling so he could sneak by whatever might be there, and so reach the “hen” of his dreams. His imperative was one of the strongest in all living things — to reproduce. This was his mating time, that was the business at hand, and he was going to get it done. Deer are the same. As far as their rut, although the does may be receptive of the bucks for the short period of time they are in estrous, the bucks are ready and eager to breed for a much longer period. From what I’ve seen in the woods, bucks will rub, scrape, chase does and spar with each other for months. I’ve read that they retain their hard antlers as long as they still have “breeding vigor.” During a canoe outing in April this year, my husband and I saw two antlered bucks cross a wide shallows at the upper end of a lake. The photos we got were from a distance, but the antlers could be seen in the pictures, verifying our tale. While hunting, we’ve all booted bucks because of some movement we shouldn’t have made or had a vagary of wind direction betray us. “They’re gone,” we say to ourselves. “I’ve missed my chance.” Then the unlikely happens, or what we think is unlikely. The buck comes back. We shouldn’t be so surprised. The buck has a job to complete and he has to get past you to accomplish it. If a hot doe has been leaving a fresh scent trail and the buck has almost caught up with her, you can bet he’ll be coming right down that same trail again or making a swing around you, like that turkey did. Whatever put him off following through on his original mission is not going to prevent his taking care of the task nature is
GAME NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
First Archery Buck
Red Oak, White Oak
Just Like the Good Old Days
Step Back in Time
Antler Restrictions in Pennsylvania
What Goes Up . . .
First Time’s a Charm
100 Deer
The Brute
Flight 93
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Fun Game
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - First Archery Buck
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Red Oak, White Oak
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Just Like the Good Old Days
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Step Back in Time
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Antler Restrictions in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - What Goes Up . . .
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - First Time’s a Charm
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 100 Deer
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - The Brute
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Flight 93
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - I1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - I2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover4
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