Tough ConditionsJune 3rd, 2011 by Grant Woods
It’s fawning season throughout most of the whitetail’s range. Current conditions have a huge impact on the survival and health of newborn fawns. Just like humans, the health of a deer while it’s a fawn is a determining factor of how much genetic potential it can express as an adult.
If the fawn is healthy and has all the resources (food, cover, water) it needs as a fawn, it has as good chance of expressing its full genetic potential as it matures. However, if the fawn is stressed by lack of quality food, fear of predation, or lack of water, its development will be hampered and it will likely not express its full genetic potential as it matures.
That’s why I monitor the weather, crop growth, and other factors this time of year as I plan future hunts. The current conditions this year in many areas haven’t been favorable for fawns. It’s very hot and dry in much of the southeast. It frosted last night in parts of Pennsylvania. Last week I had to wear a coat here in southwestern, Missouri and the temps are predicted to be above 90 degrees for the next seven days! West Texas, Oklahoma and other states have been experiencing a severe drought for several months.
There are always some pockets of ideal weather conditions throughout the whitetail’s range. This is one reason why huge bucks are killed in some areas for a few years and then that area returns to producing bucks with average antler size.
With all that said, I enjoy hunting properties I have a long-term relationship with the most. A mature buck is always a trophy, whether it has 140” or 180” of antler on its head. I’m a better predator on properties where I have experience. So, my chances of harvesting a mature buck are better on properties that I have a relationship with than hunting the latest “hot spot” where I don’t know the lay of the land.
When great growing conditions occur at the properties where I know the land this usually results in the best hunts for me. That obviously can’t happen every year. I set my expectations accordingly. For me the key to satisfying hunts is to hunt when and where I can with realistic expectations. I hope for good growing conditions, but learn how to be a better hunter and manager in all conditions.
Growing Deer together,