So, it's mid September, heading into late September. In my neck of the woods (pun intended--you'll get it in a minute), that means every guy and a lot of the girls you meet asks pretty much the same question:
"How's the deer out by you?"
Or, the variation:
"Seeing any horns?"
Now, we're well aware that whitetail deer have antlers, not horns. But 'horns' is the local colloquial for bucks. So, the question isn't really about horns (OK, antlers) themselves, but about the number of bucks in the area.
I confess to having this conversation myself, just last week, when the blacksmith came to trim the horses' feet. He hunts. I hunt. We often talk about deer while tending to the horses' regularly scheduled pedicures. He lives in the neighborhood--about three miles away, but out here, that's still the neighborhood. There might be twenty houses in that three miles, but most likely not. Mostly fields. And woods. And deer.
He hadn't at that point, seen any 'horns'. Just does and fawns. I had just recently started to see small bucks showing up in my field and the field north of me. DH had also just hung the game cam back out in the woods, and we hadn't yet retrieved the SD card to see what was moving out there.
This week, however, is a different story. The big guys have appeared. Now DH and I are seeing, almost nightly, numerous bucks. One night we counted six in the north field. A couple sets of little guys (fork horns and six points) sparring. Then we spotted some more massive bucks standing closer to the woods, keeping an eye on things.
It's almost hunting season. The neighborhood watch is in full force. We're taking pictures for evidence. And compiling our own Most Wanted list. :0)