Airgun Deer Hunting
Last year, we featured the Benjamin Rogue .357 air rifle. This year, they’ve unveiled their new Bulldog and needless to say it has been put to good use in Alabama this season. It is the perfect weapon for antlerless deer harvest and doesn’t spook other deer on the property because of it’s limited noise upon firing.
For the past 37 years, Chuck or his father has harvested a deer on the family farm. They set out this year to continue on the tradition with the new Benjamin Bulldog. Not only were they able to continue the tradition, but they also capitalized on the new extended Alabama deer season that lasts into February. Biologists collected conception data for 10 years testing the timing of the rut. The tests found the peak of the rut was in early February. With the peak of the rut coinciding with the time antlers start to drop, many bucks permanently injure their pedicles fighting each other when they knock antlers off before they’re ready to drop on their own. The permanent injury will forever effect the deer’s antler.
We’re often asked the question of what constitutes a “cull buck”. In the south, do not shoot a three year old buck simply because he’s not big. Give the deer a chance to mature and show what he truly holds genetically. Don’t mistake a 3 year old immature buck with one that truly has a physical injury, such as described above, that will limit his potential. A buck with one good side and spike on the other that may have a few points on his base is likely a deer that has received an injury. His rack, or lack thereof, doesn’t mean his is a genetically inferior deer. His strong side is his true potential.
We’re also planting long leaf pines on the Sykes’ family farm. Matching the long leafs to the loamy sandy soil sets them up for success. Selecting these trees allows a manager to burn just one year after planting and in combination with native vegetation and cover, will provide optimum wildlife habitat for years to come.