SURVIVING THE COVID-19 FRENZY: Velvet Whitetails On My Mind

I work from home basically all year except when I'm on the farms or traveling between farms. This is where my main office is. During the kids' school year, I am blessed with peace and quiet for the most part during the day. This usually allows for me to get a lot of work done quickly, and time frees up for other tasks. My wife, an RN working on her MSN, and managing a very prestigious private medical operation, is stuck working Monday through Friday 7:30AM - 5:30PM. That hasn't changed during this Corona Virus scare. For me, it's like school has let out early, and I am in charge of the kids, the house, and the job. It surely isn't even close to as stressful as my wife's job right now. Healthcare is going nuts right now. Yet, the walls are closing in on me here. Thankfully, the kids keep it lively enough to survive.


So, I have spent a lot of time working on this Blog, and going through images saved on my computer, I have found my annual hunger for velvet bucks. We are only a couple of months away from cameras going out in mid to late June. It can't come soon enough, but until then, I thought I'd share what is on A Hunter's Mind (blog category)... Some impressive/special velvet bucks from years past.


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2016 VELVET BUCKS

We arrowed one of these bucks (didn't recover/non-fatal, passed another, and couldn't get on the other two properly). They set the town for our first public year outfitting in 2016.


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2017 VELVET BUCKS

We had encounters with a few of these bucks, but some of them went nocturnal before our hunters came into camp to hunt them (missed the rut & hit post-rut). These bucks lived through 2017 and probably became giants in 2018. I know a few of them that went 175-180"+ gross B&C in 2018, but we knew the farms that they were on would not hunt well as these deer were ghosts during the season. Just because they're on camera doesn't mean they'll show up in daylight when we need them to do so.


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2018 VELVET BUCKS

We killed one of these bucks, missed one, should have killed one but timing was off, and another went ghost mode and relocated a mile or so away from the farm. We killed out in 2018, so it was fun trying to hunt some of these bucks in the mix of such a great year.


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In 2019, I did not get cameras out as early as I normally did. So, no velvet pics. I was testing a theory that I had. Prior to 2019, 80% of the bucks that we killed were bucks that we had zero history with, in person or on camera. So, I thought that by waiting until September to get cameras out, I would only be seeing the bucks that we could hypothetically kill. The theory tested out as much as it could with such a down year in southern Iowa for everyone, especially due to the majority of all corn fields not being harvested until late November to mid December (true sanctuary for big bucks with no ability to hunt them without a predator drone).


So, for this year, 2020, I will be back to normal, getting cameras out in late June or early July and running them throughout the summer into and through the hunting season. If you want to find out more about how I run my trail cameras, and more precisely where I choose to set them, be sure to sign-up for the Blog as a member. You'll be notified on my blog posts. It'll be a good read, and who knows? It might even help you change your strategy a bit to find the big boys where you live.


Thanks everyone! I hope the velvet bucks took the edge off for you as they did with me.


-Matt

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