We learned a lot just this morning and we don’t officially start working till Wednesday next week!
After breakfast, we decided to take a walk over to the deer check station. While we were there, a hunter brought in his kill.
Since I’ve never been through a deer check station when hunting, I didn’t know what really goes on. I had no idea actually of a lot of the things that they do when they check the deer. They check for fat, weight, male or female, age, rank and serial number.
I never knew how they checked to see how healthy the deer was. That is where checking for fat comes in. When they do this, they pinch the body at the base of the tail, just like you would do if you were trying to emphasis you or someone had a roll of fat around the middle…only this is at the base of the tail. Depending on how much vertebrae they can feel, will tell them how healthy that deer is.
One person is doing the measuring and another is writing it all down. Since they don’t want to insult the hunter, they don’t yell out “POOR!” if there isn’t much fat…they just call it good.
Then Carolyn took a couple of pairs of something that reminded me of what Grandma use to put socks on to stretch them out and dry them. If this particular deer had been a doe instead of an 8 point buck, the next step would not have been necessary, they could have easily have gotten the jaw bone without going through all of this. But to preserve the head for a mount, this next step is used to extract the jaw so they can then age the buck.
There isn’t an easy way to explain what Carolyn did with these “tools”, other than to tell you she ran one down the mouth on the jaw line of this buck while another officer was holding his rack to keep his head turned away from where she was pushing this tool in his mouth. (I DO mean the buck!) She finally got down to the point where she needed to be, which was at the base of the jaw or a little beyond.
It seems to me, if I can remember correctly, that then she used this “tool” to twist and turn to loosen the facia and muscle in the area so she could then get in with the loppers to cut the jaw out.
When she managed to work the loppers down inside the jaw (after removing the other tool), she had to use a LOT of force to cut that jaw bone and extract it…and she’s not a very big gal.
Once the jaw was out, then she could age the deer. This part IS too complicated to go into, but it was interesting. It has to do with molars, how many molars there are in front, and then the back ones, how much enamel is on the teeth vs. how much dentin is on the teeth.
Then they weigh the deer. This one dressed out at 125. They check the hooves for sluff for some kind of a fungus disease that deer can get.
Some of the people that do the job that she just did end up with poison ivy if the deer happened to have been eating poison ivy recently. This deer apparently had been finding plenty of acorns as there was no greenery in his teeth.
As of this a.m. they had a total of 91 deer brought in so far on this particular 3 day refuge hunt. We know the deer are a LOT smaller here than at home, and a couple more that we saw were about the size of large diaper bags! And it is legal to shoot them here during this by draw hunt.
Our hunt is around November 11-13 as I recall. Dan is looking forward to it. I’m just glad he isn’t one of those crack of dawn hunters. I USE to be the one going out in the woods in the dark and trying to get where I was going before the deer started moving. Now, I enjoy sleep too much! Sometimes, I’d be heading back to camp as Dan was finally coming out!
We also found out that the coyote frequent this area a lot at night and that they really don’t seem to be afraid of people. And there are deer out here at night too…but they are safe in this area because there isn’t any hunting in this section and of course, come sun down, ya better not be hunting.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS AS WELL AS BROWN RECLUSE. GREAT….
BUT, we do have excellent well water!!!!
I don’t know when I’ll actually get this posted since my Verizon is so limited. I think I’m going to try to find a booster. I just need that little bit extra oomph that I don’t have at this location. I’ve got a few photos I’d like to put up too, but I know it would be a waste of time to try with this thing being so iffy.
Until next time!!!