Wildlife activity heats up with cooler weather


Over the past week or so the wildlife activity has really started to heat-up! 

This proud little yearly buck put on quite the show in my backyard yesterday afternoon. He wandered around the property for 10 -15 minutes eating and scratching, while my daughter and I watched with binoculars. 

At one point he even stood on his hind legs to snatch some leaves from our Siberian Pea tree. 


This bad boy is a buck I call ‘Weird Rack’…for obvious reasons as you’ll see. I would estimate Weird Rack to be between 2.5 – 4.5 years old with a set of antlers I have never seen before.

I’m comparing photos from last winter of a deer I called ‘War Vet’ who, if you recall, had his antlers broken off at the base. There is a chance this could be War Vet, but I’ll continue to call him Weird Rack until I can prove otherwise.


In this nightime photo you can see his strange antler configuration. On his left side, there’s a long, skinny point that looks much like a browtine but is, in fact, a completely seperate mainbeam.


In this photo you can get a better apprecation for what’s going on with Weird Rack. It’s almost as if he started out producing a typical 4X4 and then sprouted a secondary spike rack in front of it.

He is a very skittish buck too; only showing up for 2-3 minutes at a time, but he has been like clockwork arriving at 6 PM each evening and then returning again after dark.


This ironic visitor showed his face early yesterday morning travelling the same trail as the deer. I say ironic as he is the only one, besides the racoons, to eat any of the apples I put out. The deer had no interest in them at all.

I guess the cooler weather is really bringing them out of the woodwork which is nice to see, well, all except for the last visitor!


33 thoughts on “Wildlife activity heats up with cooler weather”

  1. We’ve been seeing quite a bit of activity too. Haven’t checked my cameras in a couple of weeks but I’m sure there will be some interesting pictures once I do. My trigger finger is getting itchy…

  2. sureshot-dave, do you bring clients out each day, or do you hunt with your own gang on certain days?


  3. Nice pictures Jeff. It is nice when you can get pictures of wildlife in your back yard. It is just a matter of time until a moose shows up given the number seen in Ottawa this year. LOL

    1. That’s right Rick..although our Bullwinkles seems to have more difficulty remaining inside one of the few forested areas we have around town…our deer, for the most part, have learned to adapt….of course vehicle collisions are another story!


  4. Going up to the deer camp on Sunday to put up a stand and check the camera. Going to bring in some more food as well. last time the coons were really at it. Hopefully they left some for the deer

    1. Iggy, let us know what you see. With some luck, you’ll have several hundred images to go through…I call
      that hitting the jackpot!!


  5. ive been getting plenty of game cam pictures unfortunately there is starting to be quite a few of blue jays stealing all the feed
    when does blue jay season open?

    1. savage joe, I believe blue jay season is right after raven season..and right before squirrel season..followed closely by raccoon season!


  6. that is one weird rack Jeff ! do you look for sheds in spring it would be interresting to see if that rack comes off in one .funny deer arent eating apples guess they like feeder food better.

    1. mcdan, trust me I’ll be looking for Mr Weirdrack’s sheds this winter…although I wasn’t too successful finding Granddaddy’s last year…guess I need to spend more time at it I suppose.

      OK, Here’s a question for you all…returning to my trailcam photos above:

      In that last photo of a canid standing beside my apples…I had initially thought it was a coyote, however, when I look at the images more closely (I have 3-4 pics of it)…I think it’s actually a red fox. Keep in mind that all night time photos appear sort of a washed out grey colour..but if you look at the shape of his head..the really pointy ears…pointy nose and the way the head is sort of small in proportion to its neck (neck looks puffy)..I really think (hope) it could be a fox.

      Last summer I captured an photo of a ‘dog-like’ animal in my back field I also thought was a coyote..till I noticed the white-tipped tail…for some reason at night, a fox tends to look like a coyote…must be that washed out grey colour of nightvision..

      Any thoughts??


  7. The last time both cameras got coons, one camera had four coons at the same time yet guys that have hunted there for 50 years say they’ve never seen them. both camera also got Fishers, I had mine on video and got some interesting fisher video. Blue Jays and grouse as well.
    No season on Blue Jays Savage but they don’t really eat that much anyway, now red squirels are a different story

    1. Iggy, not that I’m bragging (or really proud of it) but I have actually captured an image at home of 8 coons
      feeding at one time…going to town on my apples…that was a few weeks ago and luckily with the cooler weather they seem to be thinning out..thank god!

      A couple of the guys were in up in our deer woods yesterday and it seems activity is heating up there as well…Ive got a feeling we’ll be seeing more deer around this year…last fall I saw a total of 1 deer..if you
      can friggin believe that!!


  8. Jeff it looks like a coyote to me. If you compare its relative size compared to the buck and the barrel behind the apples, it apears to be too big for a fox.

  9. Damn, I was scared someone would notice that…I only realized its relative size afterwards.


  10. Rick, keep in mind, though, that little barrel is not a real barrel…its ornamental and only stands about 1 foot high..

    Does that make a diff, do you think?


  11. A fox only stands about a foot high at the shoulder. I have one here I just mounted. Your picture is of a coyote.

  12. i would agree with rick a little too big for fox. And as we all know now they eat also eat apples. comercial vegatable farmer around here says they were eating his watermelons late this summer. they ate them just like a human would leaving the rind. As for the coons Jeff , i believe a contributor to your blog can help you out there LOL

  13. Jeff you are the smartest blogger in the whole “Sun” universe. You’re more handsome than Brad Pitt and woman worship you!

  14. McDan…trust me, I know ‘how’ to take care of these critters..problem is my neighbours..not sure they’d really go for the sounds of 30-06 gun blast in their back yard…trapping is a lot quieter cept there’s too many house cats around…

    May just have to do what the Preservationist’s do so well: “Live and let live”


  15. Iggy, you mean those little cap-like things you can put in a 22 calibre rifle??

    Never used them, but I’ve heard you talk about them.

    Anyone know if they are legal?


  16. they are very legal, you can buy them at Can Tire or Le Baron. However, they are not legal to shoot in places that have a fifle ban because of the speed of the bullet. They travel below the speed of sound so there is no sound barrier broken, it is just a touch louder than a pellet gun, however, the bullet is deadly.
    Great for plinking around camp though

  17. Off to the hunt camp in the morning to do some work and general scouting and possibly picking up a couple bush chickens for dinner tomorrow night

  18. had a great day, rained all day, my son and I lifted 8 bush chickens, but only saw two and got none, got some great video of a doe on the trail cam and put up a stand, did some canoeing, shot the rifles and loved being in the bush together
    An all together great day, but now we are soaked and cold and tired

    Night now

    1. Iggy, sounds like the typical ‘southern partridge’ you’re dealing with there..I know them well.
      As my Dad use to say..”You walk in one side of the bush and they’re already flying out the other!”

      One can get spoiled with those northern ruffed and spruce grouse that barely seem to fly..any birds within 4 hours of town seem to flush like a bugger


  19. they flush very easy but I’ve still taken my fair share over the years, you need to be a good wing shooter, which is more fun anyway. I was a bit surprised they were on the ground with all the rain we had, but they seemed to be hanging tight under the Balsams. doesn’t matter anyway, there is nothing better than a nice walk in the bush in the fall, raining or not, although a nice sunny fall day is better.

    Saw a lot of fresh moose sign as well, but there is no season.

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