It’s happens like clockwork every summer. Hunters who had gotten excited after capturing good bucks on trail cameras in July start freaking out when those same deer do a disappearing act a month later. I don’t know what it is about August – probably a combination of hot weather and verdant browse, but deer tend to go into hiding for about a month before reappearing just in time for hunting seasons to start.
From South Dakota, Spencer Neuharth confirms this annual occurrence via an e-mail I received from him this week:
“The deer are messing with me. My trail camera activity was at an all-time low these last couple of weeks. Just as things were slowing down, I got some great news from a camera. Two great deer showed up that I am familiar with. One is a deer I got on camera once back in July. I knew then that he would be a good deer but I never saw him again until the other day. The second deer is one that appeared at the end of last November. He would show up sporadically as the rut wore down and I assumed he was a deer just passing through the area. I hope this new encounter with him means he is a local buck. I would be ecstatic get a chance at this freak deer. Summer patterns are definitely over and there are new deer to get familiar with!”
Kansas hunter Nathan Oehlert slipped across the river last week to try to fill his Missouri deer tag, but he’s also lamenting missing deer in his home state, though he’s worried about more sinister reasons for their disappearance:
“I still don't have a picture of a deer that I would shoot in Kansas and that is out of about 7 properties. I am hoping that doesn't mean EHD, but we will see soon enough.”
As evidenced by Rut Reports the last few years, Oehlert is as fanatical as anyone when it comes to hunting big whitetails, so I predict he’ll find at least one Kansas buck to dedicate his fall to. If the recent phenomenon of reappearing deer is any indication, we may be hearing back from him soon with a positive report.