Son of Pogson Tightens Up The Gene-Pool

To many folks, hunting is an anachronism, something our ancestors did out of necessity and something with agriculture and industry we no longer need to do. It’s not true. Where I live the white-tailed deer is not a native species. They could not survive our winters without an abundance of agriculture giving them grain/forage/edges, an artificially increased food-supply. The deer can’t move around in the deep snow in winter and fast, living off their fat, and making easy prey for coyotes and wolves. We’ve had three extraordinarily severe winters in a row and deer populations are down to ¼ of their usual values. With a normal winter, the deer population nearly doubles in a single year with each mature doe yielding one, two or three fawns. The milder the winter, the more fawns are born. The more severe the winter the fewer young/small animals survive. So, we are short of does and long on bucks because one buck can service many does. Mating is a competitive event in the early winter. Without hunting deer would be fruitful and multiply, eating the farmers’ crops, homeowners’ gardens, causing thousands of car-deer collisions, and so forth. Hunting is one of the main ways of limiting numbers of deer.

Hunting is also a great way to tighten up the gene-pool of the deer, with the less careful/able deer more likely to encounter a hunter. This year, because of the numbers, we had a bucks-only hunt and here’s my son with his first buck. He is capable of shooting a deer off-hand at over 300 yards but this young buck made the mistake of dawdling out in the open with the hunter in plain sight at less than 100 yards. This was the consummation of several days of hunting, sometimes in bitter cold/wind. The bullet was one I loaded, a Hornady 165 grain Boat-Tail Spire-Point, fired from a .308 Winchester bolt-action rifle with 44 grains of IMR 4064 propellant and overall length of 2.800″. The usual 150 grain bullet will expand more violently at close range. This is not a hot load and with the heavy bullet at a lower velocity (~2600 ft/s), damage to the rib-cage was not severe. Nevertheless, the buck bounded a few times and bled out. We’ve had a few steaks, some neck and liver. All were delicious and tender…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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