Winter Scouting Cam Surprises

In the farm country of western Wisconsin, any buck that makes it through a 3-plus-month-long archery season, followed by the regular late-November firearms season, then finally the mid-December muzzleloader season, can rightly be labeled a “survivor.”

A few days ago my brother emailed the photo above to me, and in the subject line for the email, he wrote: Survivor.

This scouting cam pic was taken by a brand new Browning scouting cam that was given as a Christmas gift to my two young nephews. The boys, who began deer hunting a couple of years ago, placed the cam on the edge of what we call the “Little Field.” This food plot is about 2 acres in size, and each year I use it as a test plot of sorts. As I recall, we planted four different deer-specific blends in the Little Field during 2014.

Our hunting party tagged a few antlerless deer from the Little Field this past fall, but we never saw any decent-size bucks. So it’s encouraging to see Survivor, a 2.5-year-old 5x4, using the field now. Hopefully he’ll stick around through spring and summer, and by fall I’m guessing he’ll grow to be a 125- to 130-class buck.

Yes, I’ll spend some time this winter pursuing predators, and I’m excited for spring turkey season, too, but during those times in the field, my mind will drift to Survivor and bucks like him. For me, there’s nothing—nothing—as challenging and rewarding as pursuing mature whitetail bucks, especially by bow.

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