Radio Buck Roaming James River Valley
Tuesday afternoon, I was able to sneak away from the office for a quick sit in a tree. Bowhunting season is in full swing right now in South Dakota so I wanted to be out and up. I know what you are thinking. The weather was miserable but I wanted to go.
I got in quickly and quietly and before I was even tied in, I was on deer. I noticed a doe, not 50 yards from my stand. (38 to be precise) I didn't want to move much but I knew with her presence and she had eyes and ears working that were much better than mine. I noticed she was interested in something coming in from my left. That's when I met JD, the remote broadcast buck coming in.
That's really not his name, but I thought, here I am, radio guy hunting a deer and here one comes, wearing a collar with an antenna sticking out of it. I couldn't help but make the correlation. I looked at him. He was fairly wide, not much but an interesting rack.
Since I'd just driven through whiteout conditions to get to my spot I thought long and hard about shooting him as he stood broadside at 17 yards, oblivious to my presence.
I passed. But the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks should note that I am pretty sure I could have harvested the 2.5-year-old buck. He wasn't the most impressive deer I've seen this year, but he was unique.
It turns out I could have shot the deer. I would have then been required to turn in the collar and antenna along with where and when I harvested the deer.
There is a lot going on that most people do not know about here in South Dakota with our deer herd. Every year, officials capture and collar around 200 deer. They collar them and monitor their whereabouts, and if they are still around. Roadways and automobiles take a lot of the deer out, hunters, coyotes, and other predators as well help keep numbers in check.
I'm sure if I asked a conservation officer, I'd find out the information is important in determining how many licenses to issue for hunting season.
I knew the deer was in the area. My friend had a pic of him on a trail cam from earlier this year. When I saw the grainy picture, I thought it was maybe a growth or something on the deer's neck. Turns out it was a collar. A radio collar from a 'remote broadcast deer,' who had a lucky afternoon Tuesday, November 10, 2020.