It is now a well-known fact that my compadre, Hurteau, doesn’t care for the naming of bucks. For proof, click here to see the post in which he rants about the trend toward the domestication of deer and the supposed contempt we’ll feel for whitetails if we get too familiar with individuals of their breed.
I happen to disagree. I can trace this opinion to the late 1980s when I read “One Man’s Whitetail” by noted bowhunter Gene Wensel. In answering a question from a reader who fed deer on his property in the winter and then worried that he was “hunting his pets” come fall, Wensel said, “If you call them and they don’t come, they ain’t pets.” I couldn’t agree more. I ponder all kinds of ethical issues in whitetail hunting, but the naming bucks isn’t even on my radar. And it wouldn’t be on Hurteau’s, either, if he got more than one trail cam pic of a buck each year!
What I am pondering, however, is a better name for this buck, which just showed up in front of one of my cams after a long absence. Last year, I unimaginatively dubbed him “Double Forks” after cameras snapped three pics of him in October, two (including the one here) in November, and another handful in January. I’ve still never seen the deer, which proves another point about trail cameras that I’ve long held; instead of ruining the mystery or helping me kill a buck, they more often reveal just how mysterious and hard to kill a buck can be. I think trail cams are just a lot of fun–and part of that is naming a buck like this one. Any ideas?