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Old 09-13-2008, 09:32 AM
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Colorado Rick Colorado Rick is offline
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9/22/08 - 9/28/08 First ever deer camp. Briefing:

Long before we settled on the hog hunt location, we knew what we were going after here in our home state. There is just nothing quite like a western Mule Deer. Mule Deer have large ears that move constantly and independently. This is why they have their name, "Mule" or "Burro Deer." They do not run as other deer do. They use a peculiar and distinctive bounding leap, covering distances up to 8 yards, with all 4 feet coming down together. Because of this, they can reach speeds of 45 m.p.h. for short periods of time.

This stocky deer with sturdy legs is 4 to 6-1/2 feet in length and 3 to 3-1/2 feet high at the shoulder. During the summer, the coat on its upper body is yellow- or reddish-brown, while in winter colors give way to grayer tones. The throat patch, rump patch, inside ears and inside legs are white with lower portions running from cream to tan. A dark V-shaped mark, extending from a point between the eyes upward and laterally, is a characteristic shared by all Mule Deer, but is more conspicuous in males.

Males are larger than females. The bucks' antlers, which start to grow in the spring, are shed around December each year. They run high and branch forward, forking equally into 2 tines with a spread up to 4 feet.

The Mule Deer is slower and less colorful than the White-tailed Deer, but its pastel, gray-buff color provides a physical adaptation to the desert environment which disguises it from predators like the Cougar, Coyote, and the Eagle who will swoop down on a fawn.

Mule Deer have no canine teeth and, like the cow, have a multi-part stomach. The first two chambers act as temporary storage bins. Food stored there can be digested later when the deer chews its cud.

Another physical adaptation, its larger feet, allow the Mule Deer to claw out water as much as two feet deep, which it detects with its keen sense of smell.

The mating season for Mule Deer reaches its peak in November and December, as antlered stags round up females and fight for their possession. Antlers are shed after the breeding season, from mid-January to about mid-April. Most mature bucks in good condition have lost theirs by the end of February; immature bucks generally lose them a little later. Males and females mix freely while traveling together in groups during winter months, often down to the desert floor.

Dominance is largely a function of size. The largest males, who possess the largest antlers, garner most of the success. A buck will find a suitable doe and they will often play chase games at breakneck speeds before mating. They will remain together for several days.

When antlers start growing again in the spring, the group breaks up. The females go off by themselves and eventually give birth and nurse their young; the males wander in friendly twosomes or small bands throughout the summer months as antlers grow.

From April through June, after about a 200-day gestation period, the doe delivers 1 to 4 young (normally 2). Fawns are born in late May or early June. A doe will usually produce a single fawn the first year she gives birth and then produce twins in following years. The fawn, colored reddish with white spots, weighs about 6 pounds at birth. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. During early weeks of life, the fawn sees its mother only at mealtimes for feeding. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. They are further protected by having little or no scent. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year.

Their life span in the wild is generally 10 years, but Mule Deer have lived up to 25 years in captivity .

All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain Mule Deer ranges and keep them habitable. To counter the trend of agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many states and provinces have purchased critical areas, especially winter ranges, to maintain the various habitats of Mule Deer. But, due to political opposition to government acquisition of privately owned lands, plus a scarcity of funds for this purpose, only a small fraction of Mule Deer ranges has been acquired by the government.

I hope to keep a running, daily journal here. Similar in disposition to our Hog Hunt, but more timely. Ultimately, I would like to compile all of these writings into one big story, and get it bound and in print for Cheri and the kids to look back on and remember the good times we have now. Sadly... at 37 my body is giving out on me; 10 years before it was supposed to I'm afraid.

I want every one who takes to the time to read this to feel free to comment. I want your words to be included in the book too, to serve as a reminder to them of how the hunting community took us in and held us as one of their own. I want them to look upon the people in our lives now, and those to come in the future, as the finest, most noble and honest example of our sport they could ever associate themselves with. I want them to continue the traditions we've all been gifted with for generation after generation. Most of all, I want them to see that because of the type of people in our community, they were able to experience both the thrill and excitement before, during, after the hunt; but now also carry the responsibility each and every one of us takes on regarding conservation, management, and responsibility to not only the animals, but the land they live in.
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-15-2008 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:36 PM
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TLC TLC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rick View Post
9/22/08 - 9/28/08 First ever deer camp. Briefing:

Long before we settled on the hog hunt location, we knew what were going after here in our home state. There is just nothing quite like a western Mule Deer. Mule Deer have large ears that move constantly and independently. This is why they have their name, "Mule" or "Burro Deer." They do not run as other deer do. They use a peculiar and distinctive bounding leap, covering distances up to 8 yards, with all 4 feet coming down together. Because of this, they can reach speeds of 45 m.p.h. for short periods of time.

This stocky deer with sturdy legs is 4 to 6-1/2 feet in length and 3 to 3-1/2 feet high at the shoulder. During the summer, the coat on its upper body is yellow- or reddish-brown, while in winter colors give way to grayer tones. The throat patch, rump patch, inside ears and inside legs are white with lower portions running from cream to tan. A dark V-shaped mark, extending from a point between the eyes upward and laterally, is a characteristic shared by all Mule Deer, but is more conspicuous in males.

Males are larger than females. The bucks' antlers, which start to grow in the spring, are shed around December each year. They run high and branch forward, forking equally into 2 tines with a spread up to 4 feet.

The Mule Deer is slower and less colorful than the White-tailed Deer, but its pastel, gray-buff color provides a physical adaptation to the desert environment which disguises it from predators like the Cougar, Coyote, and the Eagle who will swoop down on a fawn.

Mule Deer have no canine teeth and, like the cow, have a multi-part stomach. The first two chambers act as temporary storage bins. Food stored there can be digested later when the deer chews its cud.

Another physical adaptation, its larger feet, allow the Mule Deer to claw out water as much as two feet deep, which it detects with its keen sense of smell.

The mating season for Mule Deer reaches its peak in November and December, as antlered stags round up females and fight for their possession. Antlers are shed after the breeding season, from mid-January to about mid-April. Most mature bucks in good condition have lost theirs by the end of February; immature bucks generally lose them a little later. Males and females mix freely while traveling together in groups during winter months, often down to the desert floor.

Dominance is largely a function of size. The largest males, who possess the largest antlers, garner most of the success. A buck will find a suitable doe and they will often play chase games at breakneck speeds before mating. They will remain together for several days.

When antlers start growing again in the spring, the group breaks up. The females go off by themselves and eventually give birth and nurse their young; the males wander in friendly twosomes or small bands throughout the summer months as antlers grow.

From April through June, after about a 200-day gestation period, the doe delivers 1 to 4 young (normally 2). Fawns are born in late May or early June. A doe will usually produce a single fawn the first year she gives birth and then produce twins in following years. The fawn, colored reddish with white spots, weighs about 6 pounds at birth. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. During early weeks of life, the fawn sees its mother only at mealtimes for feeding. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. They are further protected by having little or no scent. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year.

Their life span in the wild is generally 10 years, but Mule Deer have lived up to 25 years in captivity .

All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain Mule Deer ranges and keep them habitable. To counter the trend of agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many states and provinces have purchased critical areas, especially winter ranges, to maintain the various habitats of Mule Deer. But, due to political opposition to government acquisition of privately owned lands, plus a scarcity of funds for this purpose, only a small fraction of Mule Deer ranges has been acquired by the government.

I hope to keep a running, daily journal here. Similar in disposition to our Hog Hunt, but more timely. does this mean that this time you will be getting your wife the PROPER equipment? so she can kill something this time? Ultimately, I would like to compile all of these writings into one big story, and get it bound and in print for Cheri and the kids to look back on and remember the good times we have now. Sadly... at 37 my body is giving out on me; suck it up there sissy boy. some of us have double digit leads on you and are still out there doing it. just remember, you can ALWAYS find a way to make dreams come true. still sucking it up after 7 knee surgeries and a screw holding my shoulder together. 10 years before it was supposed to I'm afraid.

I want every one who takes to the time to read this to feel free to comment. I want your words to be included in the book too, to serve as a reminder to them of how the hunting community took us in and held us as one of their own. I want them to look upon the people in our lives now, and those to come in the future, as the finest, most noble and honest example of our sport they could ever associate themselves with. oh sure, put the pressure on us. I want them to continue the traditions we've all been gifted with for generation after generation. Most of all, I want them to see that because of the type of people in our community, they were able to experience both the thrill and excitement before, during, after the hunt; but now also carry the responsibility each and every one of us takes on regarding conservation, management, and responsibility to not only the animals, but the land they live in.

now, if you are actually crazy enought to put this in anything, will have to wonder about your sanity. you get anything in the mail yet?
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2008, 11:11 PM
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I've been hunting them for 8 years and still haven't got one with a bow,I've had my chances with little spikers and does but said my first mully I take was going to be a good one.I really find hunting bears easier then deer with a bow.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:49 AM
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rotflmao...sissy boy!! HA!!!! That's great!!!!!!!


Rick, we are blessed to have you and your family join us. This forum, and hunting community, is truly lucky to have people like you!

I absolutely, 100%, enjoyed reading your post on the hog hunt, and I really really really look forward to reading posts on your future hunts.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:23 PM
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Cool Rick! I love to watch the mule deer run...I equate it to the "Serta Sleep Sheep" (remember the commercial???) boing....boing....boing.... Yep, mule deer are cool!
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:18 PM
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Gotta like it when TLC Drops the hammer on ya!

HEHE!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:24 AM
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Great Post Rick!

You need to give that little gal a break though! You big meanie!
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default The Tension mounts...

I didn't sleep.

I tried to sleep, but the heat in our bedroom was suffocating. The sheets were rough. The pillows were hard as rocks. The audio book we listen to every night droned on and on and on. I could hear my hair growing.

You notice the craziest things when you are trying to take your thoughts to something other than the coming hunt. It wasn't hot, the sheets we have are soft as silk, the pillows, the hair, and the book are just fine. But I swear no matter what I manufactured between midnight last night and whenever it was I did manage to fall asleep only served to fuel my fire.

We had that problem in Texas too. Not so much in Amarillo, when we stayed with my sister, but in Mexia it seemed as if I could have built 4D all over again in that night.

I sat the sidelines all of last year. I read many posts and threads regarding people setting this and that up. They were checking cameras. Planting this here, but that there. I watched as the first successful trips started to trickle in, then more and more stories surfaced. Those hunters whose seasons start earlier allowed others to live vicariously through their exploits, churn the juices, and prime the pump so to speak. Then as the seasons wound down, the victories of the latter seasons rekindled the memories of the early birds. On and on the wheel turns.

I read many posts that recounted everything about the hunt down to the smallest of details. Some were summed up in photos, or a few short sentences. Every victory was celebrated. I wanted to be a part of that.

Now I am. I've purchased all that can be purchased. I've studied all that can be absorbed by one who's played too much football without a helmet. I shot my bow with such frequency that in under a year I've needed to replace the string and cable. I shot from standing, sitting, kneeling postions. I've even toyed with the idea of a prone attempt. I've watched multiple videos, movies, and clips on the subject of Mule Deer and their ways. All that is left is to sit and watch the clock drag on.

Work is work. The callers change, but the theme remains constant. The market climbs and falls. I thank God with every point change that my income does not soley depend on a positive move, but on the other hand, I might welcome the distraction presented by bounding gains and "rock in a well" losses. Ultimately, I fear the digits would only serve to drive my attention back to the number of days until we head out.

All that is really left for us to do, aside from examining the pivotal role of the corn flake in 17th century art, is pack the van. Considering that endeavor would realistically only eliminate 25 minutes at best from our self-imposed sentence, I can hardly justify the notion. Still, I will have to find a way to stem the tide of my obsession with something...

Maybe I'll try for a coyote...
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 09-19-2008 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:32 AM
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You can always wash and fold your clothes a couple of times! lol Um...pick out the pebbles from between the van's seats. Vacuum out the van. Wash the van. Paint the van in a nice Real Tree camo. Shoot...you can even call me at 6 this evening...EST of course. We can yak about your plan of action and what a great hunt I'll miss. lol


The angst can be a royal pain, can't it? lol
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:28 PM
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There is just no substitute for shooting the night before to shake out any missed foul ups. Tonight we shot Cheri's bow and I noticed a very slight tail out at 30, and a major one at 40.

How nice. One night before we are supposed to leave, and I see this! Well easily fixed. We dumped the straight fletched 2" blazers in favor of 4" vanes with a right helical. Problem solved.

We even got a prairie dog hunt in tonight just to see what's what. Ever hunt dogs with a bow? Well unless you can shoot 70 yards or more, forget it out here! The little buggers dove deep quick! I took a shot at one that was straddling his hole but I understimated the shot and missed by 2 yards. I did get a good giggle as his little butt suddenly inverted and he skeetered down his hole as the shaft hit the dirt. Man that was funny. We camped out about 40 yards away from two more for Cheri to get a shot in, but they wouldn't surface. She got bored and saw some sparrows that were raising cane about God knows what, so she centered the 50 yard pin in the middle of the group and let fly.

I laughed like crazy when the flew off, but then Cheri turned to me with her hand on her mouth. Turns out her arrow clipped the tail of one of them as it came in and sent feathers flying! I thought it was dirt. Oopps.

Well... what can you do. It flew off cursing her I'm sure. Earlier in the day I got bored so I got a hair cut. I'll never understand why I have hair in my ears. Little ones, but they are there. The gal that cut it took her neck shavers and tickled the heck out of me when she cut those little ones out. It makes no sense. I'm losing hair where I need it and getting hair where I don't???

Well... We have one more day. We're loading the van tonight, and then off to bed. Sure hope we can sleep. Tomorrow is gonna be a long day at work.
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