It makes me sick to my stomach to hear about a tall-tined monster that has met its maker by some type of unfortunate accident or disease. All of you know exactly what I am talking about and some of you have probably even experienced it at one time or another. A die-hard deer hunter might have to fight off depression when the buck that has been haunting their dreams gets hit by a vehicle, dies of disease, or is found locked-up and rotting with another bruiser. Let’s face it, life for a buck can be pretty darn tough and it’s not uncommon for a trophy-class animal to go out by something other than a hunter’s arrow or bullet.
Just ask Angi Phillips of Oklahoma, who found her dream buck dead at the end of summer. In this case, it sounded like the bluetongue culprit was responsible for her buck’s death last season. A lot of you have shared similar stories on the BBZ about finding dead deer on your favorite hunting locations. Areas like Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and several other states were hit hard by bluetongue last summer. Many biologists feel that bluetongue outbreaks are worse during extremely dry periods or droughts when water is scarce. Situations where deer are congregating near remaining water sources is when the tiny biting flies that transmit the disease can really do some damage. Lately, I’ve not been hearing too many stories about hunters finding large numbers of dead deer like last season.
I would like to hear from some of you on the BBZ about what is going on in your states or hunting areas this year. Hopefully, bluetongue has not been as bad this summer as it was last season. As for Angi Phillips, we all feel your pain about losing a buck you had bow hunted hard for two seasons in a row. However, tragic things like this happen all the time in nature and as a hunter you just have to keep moving forward. The good news is that this year is a new season and hopefully you’ll locate an even bigger deer to occupy your time. Keep your head up Angi and hang your tag on “Mac Daddy” buck this fall.—Travis Faulkner