Thursday, 26 January 2023

Deer shed hunt

 I haven't been lucky since 2015. I wasn't confident. I am grateful for 2015, when a crew of 5 bucks left me antlers. The largest weighs 457 grams. Isabelle said that it must be like a loose tooth, since they shake off, as if it is irritating them.

Richard skips by the trailcam.

Richard Deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

His antlers are most beautiful.

Richard deer Jan 14 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

With great excitement, JB noticed that Richard Deer didn't have his antlers Tuesday morning, Jan. 24th. With a storm on the way (20 cm?), I knew I had limited time to find it.

With his antlers gone, the way we can tell it is him by his behaviour (bossy), and the scar of his hurt shoulder, which seems to have healed somewhat.

With a storm coming Wednesday, I knew I'd best get out and get going. 

I followed the deer tracks along the edge of the wetland. You can see it has melted at the edges. Not a good sign.

I found lots of places where the critters sheltered under snow-laden branches.

Circling around the shoreline, I approached the point. Can you see Clover, the doe (below, left)? They are greatly camouflaged in the forest. She is the dark spot, sitting in her deer bed. She and her fawn bedded there. I like finding deer beds, and tracking the critters. 

Ofttimes they dig the beds out some, you can see where their hind legs create an impression in the snow.

It's pretty wet on the wetland, as you can see. They sink into the slush.

Here, the coyotes scraped away the moss for some reason. Their tracks are everywhere.

In years past I'd be walking out here on our property. It just isn't frozen enough for safe passage. We get a break on our property taxes for keeping the wetland property as is, since it is provincially significant wetland, and for lot #3 we pay about $100 in taxes. It is such a beautiful habitat, how could we not protect it?

I kept on following the deer paths, looking for fresh ones from today. The deer tracks lead me here. I had to go around, as the branches blocked me. The deer just slip under and I have to be careful. Hooray for bright orange fungus, a wee spot of colour.

Finally, some evidence of blood. I found nothing else in an hour and a half. It came from a track that leads across the wetland to our island. There is no way I can trust the deer path. I led hubby astray in the spring one year, March, 2012! We both had soakers. The wetland isn't that deep, but who needs a soaker?! Last week, a 69-year-old drowned snowmobiling on Six Mile Lake near Georgian Bay. 

I kept going, and found nothing more. Clover and her fawn were the most excitement for the 90-minute trek. 

Home again, Cinnamon's tracks!

Twas good exercise!

showshoeing from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I haven't gone snowshoeing in awhile. The wetland is too wet. The deer paths are lovely to follow. My massage therapist posted an opening due to a cancellation, and I took advantage. 

I rested that night. I really enjoyed the 3-part Stonehouse series that evening. It is based on a true story, and we were first horrified at the plot, but laughed and laughed. I was pretty sore, and not from laughing. The Brits sure can put on a show!

I have some shoveling to do today. I'll need some coffee, a hearty breakfast, and my snowblower! And it is still snowing. 


Tom said... seem to be the "lucky" ones with the snow. Yesterday we got some and now it's above freezing.

Anvilcloud said...

Ah, too bad you didn’t find the antlers, but I guess you were well-exercised. Storehouse was remarkable.

Olga said...

I can almost feel that cold, crisp air in my lungs. I do miss a good X-country ski even though I flee the northern winters.

RedPat said...

I'm disappointed that you didn't find antlers after all that trekking.

William Kendall said...

Oh well. And they won't last until spring now that they're off.

DrumMajor said...

Maybe the coyotes grabbed the antlers to chew on. I see them for sale in old-time pet stores. Linda in Kansas

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Perhaps the antlers will await the thaw to reveal themselves. Richard uncrowned... YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

Definitely good exercise, in amazingly beautiful scenery. A friend sent me a video recently of a deer shedding his antler and I was amazed at how easily they come free.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh my, a long trek, and getting nearer and nearer...then no prize. But a massage certainly counts as a prize!

Red said...

I predicted you would be successful on this search but my hunch was wrong.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Great story line but I too wanted you to end up with an antler find!

Jeanie said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this "walk" with you. the photos are terrific and I learned a lot about the deer as well. So very glad you didn't fall into the wet and that you can get a massage too!

Kay said...

Stonehouse? I've never heard of it. I shall try to keep a lookout for it.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I hoped against hope you would find the antlers. At least you got your exercise for the day (or morning)!

Divers and Sundry said...

I had hoped you'd find the antlers. I know it was tempting to follow that deer track, but you showed wisdom and restraint. I'm wondering if that was it or if you'll have a chance to find it later...