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DEER TRAILS

’Tis time to snicker at our hunting

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The deer season drags on for some, hunters fatigue from the ordeal, and deer appear to have gone south, or even underground.

Neither is true, but with some deer management units showing close to 40 percent reduction in registration one has to wonder. Overall, the state drop for opening weekend was 14 percent when compared to 2020.

These reduced registration figures suggest deer were lethargic, not mowing, not willing to walk past hunters’, stands. Single reason explanations, however, are rarely the entire answer. Maybe hunters weren’t hunting. Maybe many were waiting for a better buck and what they got was nothing.

Encouragement can come from seeing what appear to be humorous happenings in our the the deer’s actions.

We’re talking deer season cartoons and the dialogue bubbles, not serious stuff registration numbers.

Looking at a few autumn’s images, I can’t change the photo by shopping, but can write dialogue bubbles to fit what’s imagined.

Maybe there’s an image of man stepping over a fence, but his legs were on the short side of four strands and he proclaims, “I thought it funny when I saw this happen to a buck who didn’t clear the top wire” or “this takes all the fun out of trespassing.”

Pages of newspaper cartoons were common about this time with hunters and deer taking center stage and a writer’s light-hearted abuse.

They were good, most of them, but cartoonists have the advantage of sketching a picture with a situation in mind. Photographing animals, including hunters, you have what a digital image gives you.

Here’s a deer doing something normal but we put the action in our terms; in our lifestyle. It would be near impossible to come up with an idea and then go out with a camera to find the deer doing something that fits our thought.

Deer usually lie down to chew after eating a full first stomach compartment of whatever. When they chew, there is a noticeable bulge on the deer’s left or right side of the head where the vegetation is being chewed.

This may remind one of an old time baseball player with a wad of tobacco in his cheek.

The dialogue balloon then makes that connection by saying “I’ll probably never make the major league, but at least I’m beginning to look the part.”

Or a deer hiding behind a tree the dialogue balloon could say, “I’m part of the new DNR release program, a deer behind every tree.”

Last gun deer season, I passed on shooting at a deer that was either lying down or coming forward over the crest. The first things I saw were antlers.

I had to study the image to see what was really going on and a year later am writing the dialogue balloon to fit that photograph.

“My father advised me, as you age, if you want to impress female deer, show them your rack first and hide your face.”

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