June 7, 2014
Once again it is raining……
Following a cold winter, with plenty of snow that made it impossible to access the woods, even with snow shoes, we now have been hit with 2″ of rain every week for the past 6 weeks or so. The near record setting wet spring kept local farmers out of fields until mid May. Fishing has been difficult with the high water. Some creeks and rivers in the area have not been fishable all spring.
Going back to last autumn, a few corn fields were left standing through winter due to the high moisture. The photo of the two ears of corn was taken this spring, after standing in the field this past winter, providing deer food all winter long. Winter was deadly for some of our trees. We lost a beautiful young, bushy norway pine that was growing in a prominent location for a future archery stand, plus a couple of the apple trees and a cherry tree.
We’ve been planting food plots when possible, yet some areas are still to wet for planting. Guess the wet spring plots will be left for an autumn plot, or whenever it dries out.
I’ve been wondering why a clever, nocturnal trophy buck suddenly shows himself openly, time and again during daylight hours. Was it that his age and desire to breed was more powerful than his nocturnal instincts? He probably started out young, naive and wandered the woods during daylight hours, then became a nocturnal buck around three year old, and finally a daylight trophy buck late in life. Well, according to a recent broadcast of Midwest Whitetail, Bill Winke says it seems when bucks get to about six years of age, they tend to become daylight bucks. They throw caution to the wind! So whatever the reason is, if everybody simply let the younger bucks live, sooner or later we’ll all get chances at that trophy buck, by just letting the younger bucks grow old. It’s possibly just that simple.
The overall opinion around here is that the deer survived the winter in good shape. Evidently there was enough browse and standing corn to feed the deer. The snow, while deep and fluffy, was better than being deep with a crust on top. A sturdy crust on top of the snow cuts up the deer, makes it tougher to browse, and can allow predators to stalk on the crust while deer break through.
By the way, the one set of photos that appear to be scallions, or small leeks, are really Ramps. We harvest wild Ramps here in May when they are abundant, before they wither up in early June and disappear till next year, so it’s a short picking season. Ramps have become very popular in restaurants with a locavore movement. You can eat both the bulb and the leaves.
That’s about all for now.