Deer Stomping Ground?
Have you ever seen a deer stomping its front foot on the ground? It’s not something most of us notice unless we are out in the woods, somewhere that deer do not normally see humans, pets or other things not normally encountered by them in nature. In areas where deer are acclimated to seeing more suburban things, we do not often see deer stomping the ground, though they will too from time to time. In these areas, deer usually just walk away when they see something they don’t approve of.
Whitetail Stomping Ground
A deer is sending a message when it is stomping the ground. The message reads, “I don’t know what you are or what you are up to, but I do not like it. Move on!” In short, a deer stomping a front foot/hoof against the ground is a way of telling you or something else to get lost, go away.
The stomping of foot is not a sign of aggression towards humans, although dogs and coyotes and other mid-sized critters should definitely stay out of the way because these animals ARE seen as an immediate threat.
The stomping of a foot is one way for a deer to “test” what it is looking at. If a deer sees something that it is unsure of, the deer may stomp the ground just to get a response. You may concurrently experience a deer blowing or snorting at you. It’s basically trying to make you or something flinch in order to what it is, if it’s alive and if it is a danger to them.
Don’t Stomp Off Mad
Deer are not necessarily mad when they stomp, but they are telling you that they are aware of you, they see you, even if they do not know what you are. Whitetail deer do not see colors very well. In fact, they have a difficult time seeing colors as we see them, although they do see good the blue spectrum very well.
Just know that when a deer is stomping the ground it’s essentially for two reasons: 1) The deer knows that something is out of the ordinary, and 2) The deer is trying to get a response from something that it has not yet identified as a threat.
Do Deer Dig?
Both white-tailed deer and mule deer can dig. In fact, they are pretty darn good at it. When they sense, smell something they want they waste no time getting to if, even if they must do a little excavation in the process.
How Do Deer Dig?
Deer are ungulates, which means they have hooves. Hooves are modified feet, but a hoof is engineered quite a bit different from one of our feet. Deer and humans basically have all the same parts/bones, but if humans were built like deer we would essentially be walking on the tips of our toes. A hoof is a larger version of a fingernail, toenail.
Though hooves are great for walking on uneven terrain, they are also good for digging things up, such as your yard!
Why Do Deer Dig Yards?
Deer feed on a variety of plants and trees found in our yards. Deer love fruits, flowers and new-growth stems found no shrubs and vines. I think deer often get the blame for digging up residential lawns when in fact they are not the culprit. There are a lot of other animals out there that dig too, like armadillos, skunks and even raccoons.
But deer can and will go below the surface when they need to.
Deer, bucks in particular, scrape the ground during the breeding season but both sexes will dig in search of minerals, tubers and bulbs. This makes most home landscaped yards nothing more than deer buffets. Property owners must be aware of the types of plants they establish in yard, taking steps to use plants not attractive to deer, if they wish to prevent deer digging in the yard.
With white-tailed deer hunting seasons across the country ramping up soon there is no better time than now to mention safety, tree stand safety in particular. Have you been prepping for deer hunting all summer long, but safety has yet to cross your mind? Well, it’s ideal that tree stand safety be considered before the start of deer season.
“Each hunting season we see people getting seriously hurt after falling from a tree stand during the archery and gun season,” said Dave Stowe, an official that follows hunting accidents across the US. “A little prep can help avoid most injuries and fatalities experience by our whitetail hunters.”
Taking simple precautions can prevent injuries and ensure that hunters return home safe and sound. Tree stand safety recommendations include:
- Check belts, chains, bolts and attachment cords for damage and wear before use.
- Be sure to select a healthy, straight tree for your tree stand.
- Use a full-body safety harness properly at all times.
- Set up the stand with another person, or at least let someone know where you’re setting up ahead of time.
- Bring an emergency signal device, such as a cell phone or a whistle.
- Never carry anything as you climb — use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
- Maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down a stand (most falls occur during this time).
- Don’t exceed manufacturer’s maximum height or weight settings.
“Tree stand hunting accidents are for the most part avoidable,” Stowe state. “Each and every hunter should conduct a safety check of their tree stands at the start of every whitetail hunting season.” It’s good advice to take, especially if you plan on hunting next year, and the year after that.
Mobile Apps for Licenses & Tagging
Use a mobile app to tag and check in harvested deer, turkey and other game animals? Yes! With the continued “rise of the machine,” wildlife officials across the country are evaluating a whole new way to tag hunter-harvested game animals… smart phones with apps. If all works out, paper licenses and tags may go the way of the dodo bird, since hunters will be able to purchase hunting and fishing licenses online (which they already can), as well as “tag” their deer using an app.
It sounds like a good idea to me. Not only will app reporting allow hunters to document their kill as in the past, but it will also give wildlife officials better information regarding total harvest. This would be great for white-tailed deer and turkey. This improved reporting alone would help with better management of natural resources, which is a good thing. Texas already has an app that can be used to voluntarily report harvest, but I suspect it’s not long before their wildlife department fully adopts it. Arkansas already has a deer tagging app for iPhones up and running live. Continue reading App for Tagging Deer, Game Animals
Deer Hunting Comment: “I know why there is deer pushing in Iowa, but I look on it as slaughter of whatever moves. And in my eyes deer drives are not the sport of hunting at all. If Iowa legislature seems to think this is necessary then maybe they should allow drives once a year (one weekend). Then, the landowner needs to apply for a permit and every person the land owner has participating needs to be accounted for and checked for a permit.
It is ridiculous deer hunters have to holler and tromp the timber and scare the deer herd out into a clearing to be ambushed by a line of hunters standing in the clearing to shoot whatever comes out. I have nothing against hunting white-tailed deer, but as I said prior this is NOT hunting. I have contacted the DNR and all I got was an explanation of why hunters are allowed to drive and push deer.
Landowners that enjoy the sport of deer hunting in tree stands, and have family and friends that teach their kids to hunt this way, want fair chase. Deer hunting is ruined by these people that back up to the fence lines and commence pushing with their groups, while across the fence where the tree stands are set up.
I am hoping this way of slaughter is either stopped or better managed. Also, some people hike in the winter and even though they shouldn’t be hiking on private land, it does happen, and this puts them in danger.” Continue reading Driving Deer: Pushing White-tailed Deer is Legal
Question: “Got a new deer hunting lease in Brown County, Texas, this year and am looking forward to chasing whitetail. I will be getting to head to my deer lease this coming weekend for the very first time this year. Not familiar with rut activity up there, so looking for a little help. Has there been any rut activity seen, or did I already miss it being that it’s late November? Thanks for any hunting help you can give me.”
Response: I work with several ranches in Callahan, Taylor, and a few others counties up that way. Most of the whitetail rutting activity is usually observed around the last week of October or the first week of November. We actually saw a lot of bucks chasing earlier in the month, so the primary rut is, unfortunately, over in that part of Texas. But don’t let that stop you from getting in the field. Continue reading Deer Rut in Brown County Texas
Question: “I have been deer hunting in north central Pennsylvania for almost 15 years. I know that whitetail deer are susceptible to many different types of diseases found in Pennsylvania, but I heard that chronic wasting disease was recently found in the state. I know the deer population can drop dramatically if CWD spreads, so what can you tell me about CWD in Pennsylvania whitetail deer? Will the deer hunting take an immediate hit?”
Whitetail Hunting: First, let me say that you are right on with all of your statements. CWD was found in October 2012 in Adams County, Pennsylvania, in a captive deer population. The disease will cause the deer population to decline, but the rate at which is does will depend on many variables. The local deer density and habitat conditions will impact the spread of CWD in Pennsylvania the most. Fewer deer and/or better conditions with more water will slow the spread and the impact on whitetail hunting. Continue reading CWD in Pennsylvania Whitetail Deer
Question: “My family has the opportunity to get on a deer lease in Atascosa County. We are not very familiar with this part of Texas, but hear that the whitetail deer hunting can be good down there. We currently live in Austin and are trying to decide if this lease could be a good deal for us, or if we should keep looking in the Hill Country. Would you happen to know how the deer hunting in the Atascosa County fairs compared to other parts of Texas? Thanks for your time.”
Deer Hunting Pros: One of my uncles lives in Atascosa County and has about 65 acres of land. Like any area, the hunting on any particular property depends on the habitat, the land management practices and the local deer population. If the deer lease you are considering is anything like my unlce’s place then the whitetail hunting should be really good. If you have a creek or draw running through your lease then it will be even better. Continue reading Deer Hunting in Atascosa County, Texas