-By Randy Cooper
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s the case here. Bobby is a buck that I’ve had the privilege to watch going on my two years. I first got pictures of him coming to my feeder last August while in full velvet. I’ve included some infrared footage of him below from this year, but the one color picture from last year shows him after nearly a year of being fed a good diet of corn and high mineral goat feed. His coat is shiny and he is the very meaning of a healthy deer.
I gave him the name “BOBBY” because he only has half a tail. It appears to be bobbed off. Even without being able to see this buck’s behind, I could always tell it was him because of his uneven brow tines.
I hunted all year for two very special bucks. It was cat and mouse with them all season. I saw Bobby several times but let him go, waiting for the others. That’s the price you pay when you’ve made up your mind to only settle for a certain deer. I think this year it’s going to be different. I’m watching four bucks now that I’m sure will make Pope and Young by the time they shed velvet. Bobby is one of them. I am not sure that the huge 10 pointer that I hunted all last season is still with us. One of the other three bucks may be him, but right now I just can’t tell until their racks develop further.
Things have changed in a big way with Bobby since last year. Bobby was just one of the guys last season and came to feed with the rest of the gang. He worked a scrape that I filmed all season, but he didn’t display any aggressive behavior. We as hunters have all heard of bucks establishing a pecking order or dominance throughout the year in the herd. They usually start when they are little squirts when they mock battle each other as spikes and 4 pointers. These sparing matches are just play but do allow the bucks to test each others strength. Usually, bucks will run in bachelor groups until closer to rut when they begin to swell up with testosterone. Bigger bucks become loners and are aggressive toward each other and sometimes serious fights break out between them.
There must be a vacancy that needs to be filled in the pecking order between the bigger bucks that have been coming to my feeder. So far, Bobby’s neck, believe it or not, is bigger than all the other bucks and he is showing so much aggression toward the other bucks his size that I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it. Through my Moultrie I-60 camera, I’ve taken some extremely good footage of him going after other bucks that get too close to him or the feeder. He’s chased off two at a time that are as big as he is.
From all the indications, Bobby is going to be “THE BOSS” this year. He is simply brutal toward the other bucks. He’ll probably do most of the breeding and get into some serious fights. I hope to catch them on film and I also hope to take him home with me. He’s a bull of a buck and is very muscular. It’s funny really, when he’s about to go after one of the other bucks he’ll stop what he’s doing and stare at them for a second and then he’ll charge. It’s just like the F-22 Raptor getting a missile lock on an enemy aircraft and then firing.
Bucks aren’t supposed to be this aggressive this early. That’s why this is so rare. Check out the footage and the color pic of Bobby from last year. I’m sure he’ll be bigger this time and when he’s fully developed I’ll send some more pictures of him. Hopefully I’ll be in the picture too!