Skip to main content

Big bucks and big racks

Last Sunday, Bernie Master and I were patrolling the expansive Green Lawn Cemetery on the south side of Columbus, Ohio, tallying birds for the local Christmas Bird Count. Suddenly a bonus trotted into view - these three buck white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. They were accompanied by five anterless deer, does apparently.

These two were the studs, without doubt. Anytime the antlers (rack) flares outward beyond the ears, the animal will look impressive. By my reckoning, both of these beasts are 10-point deer. The terminus of each antler branch, or tine, counts as a point and in the eastern U.S. the custom is to add all of the points up for the point score. In the west, they typically count only one side, so on the other side of the Mississippi these would be five-pointers.

Eight of the points are obvious (the small central brow tines count). Look closely and you'll see a small spur tine on the forward right beam of the deer on the left side of the photo. Both of the big bucks had these small spurs on both of their beams, and by Boone & Crocket rules a tine must be at least one inch to qualify as a point. By my eyeball reckoning, they were, thus the animals are ten-pointers.

A big white-tail buck can go 250 pounds or more, and I'd say these two were in that range. You can see a lesser male in the backdrop, peeking between the studs. I'm sure many a hunter would dearly love to harvest one of these animals, but these deer are completely off limits within the confines of the 360-acre cemetery.

Comments

Steve Jones said…
How did they get in there? There is city all around that graveyard.:-O I thought Columbus was a cow town, not a deer town.:-D I guess I'll have to watch out for bucks when I head back down there :-D
flux biota. said…
if its still hunting season in ohio (it is in iowa) then these are some smart bucks. they don't have to worry about hunting season in a graveyard. "SANCTUARY!!!"
Jim McCormac said…
Hi Steve, Green Lawn is 360 acres, and these deer probably seldom if ever leave. There's also scruffy woods on the east side, where they can retreat and bed down.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…