When I was young I spent a lot of time watching Buckmasters on Sat mornings. Jackie Bushman and his corny puppet sidekick “Shotgun Red” were my go-to sources for everything deer hunting. A lot in deer hunting has changed in 30+ years, but Buckmasters keeps on going — congrats to ’em:
> Jackie Bushman: “Just to watch how it’s changed from the cameras, the female hunters and new hosts, it’s amazing where it’s come in 33 years. I’m very, very proud of being a part of it.”
> Bushman said his inspiration for Buckmasters was Ray Scott, who elevated bass fishing to elite status through Bassmasters, the organization Scott founded.
> “I remember the hardest thing getting started was the cameras and light-gathering capabilities. That’s probably the reason nobody did a whitetail show. With the old cameras, I just wanted to pull my hair out. The most common 2 words from my camera guy were, ‘Don’t shoot’ because there wasn’t enough light.”
> When Buckmasters started, the cameramen were lugging around 25-lb cameras that cost $45,000 each. The evolution in video equipment to today makes it much easier with handheld cameras…that cost $3,000-4,000.
2. IN: EHD deer found.
Dang, bad timing. Just as the season’s gearing up they find a EHD-positive dead deer:
> …confirmed a case in Clark County of epizootic hemorrhagic disease…. The continued spread of EHD could impact deer populations.
> EHD is a viral disease that impacts whitetail deer when they’re bitten by midges, also known as no-see-ums. …during an outbreak…losses of deer locally can range from a few to more than 50%.
> Symptoms…include deer that seem depressed or weak, deer with a blue-tinged tongue, swelling of the head, neck or eyelids or sloughed hooves.
> IN’s last major outbreak was in 2012.
3. MS doing more “hunting camp” hunts.
Could be a cool idea if everyone’s safe/safety conscious:
> …hunts at George P. Cossar State Park and Natchez State Park where groups of hunters that are drawn will have their own unit and the option to camp or rent cabins.
4. MN youths get their own deer season.
> “We heard a lot of support for a statewide youth deer hunting season. We’re excited to make it easier for parents, relatives or trusted adults to share their hunting knowledge and traditions with the next generation of deer hunters.”
5. DE opens public land to antlerless hunt.
First time, to help farmers:
> “The field inspections conducted by the Dept of Agriculture are showing upwards of 85% crop loss.”
6. ID: Migration routes = roadkill?
> A new migration study is underway to determine which busy highways impact wildlife crossings the most…specifically looking at “collision hotspots” along U.S. Highway 20 and State Highway 87….
7. FL Buck Registry webpage updated.
Now mobile-friendly and now includes these features: A score calculator for unofficial scoring, and the opportunity to view all past submitted score sheets.
8. FL: Key deer might get delisted.
From the Endangered Species Act. It’s a whitetail subspecies in the FL Keys.
9. UT muley population is WAY up.
> State biologists estimate that there are just over 370,000 mule deer in UT, which is about 100,000 additional deer than were in the state in 2011.
10. New Nostler Ballstic tip ammo for 2019.
In case you haven’t seen ’em yet — 8 new ones including — yep — CREEEEEDMOOOOOR!
11. New Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide HD spotting scope.
Available in 20-60x85mm and 15-45x65mm. Looks sweet:
12. Deer hunting becoming more popular in Australia?
Here’s #s for the state of Victoria only:
> The most commonly harvested species in 2018 was sambar deer with an estimated total harvest of more than 88,000 (88,202), of which 55% were female.
> Fallow deer were the 2nd most commonly harvested…estimated harvest of 30,552 deer, double the estimated harvest in 2017. 65%…were female.
> The number of licensed deer hunters peaked at 39,066 by the end of the year.