While 75 deer seemed a bit of a stretch, the potential for Death by Corn certainly is plausible. Deer are “ruminants,” animals with four-chamber stomachs that chew their cuds, and too much corn can be fatal. And as any deer hunter will attest, there’s no shortage of corn on the landscape again this fall.
Paul Freeman, northeastern district warden supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake, said he’s heard a few reports that hunting success is down, but that’s purely anecdotal. The Game and Fish Department estimates its annual deer kill based on a survey it sends each winter to a random sample of licensed hunters.
The sun hadn’t been up very long, the air was cool and crisp, and it was prime time for deer to be on the move. Complicating matters was the tailgater who’d been riding my bumper the past several miles.
The stand, which came as a kit, was one of those deluxe models, with pre-cut walls and windows all around. In its finished form, it would be a regular whitetail Hilton, a toasty 4- by 6-foot shelter from the cold and wind of November. And with a platform 10 feet off the ground — trust me, that’s a lot higher than it might seem on paper — the stand would offer a clear view of the surrounding countryside. But first there’d be screws to drive and bolts to bolt and nails to pound.
Getting the deck stained was a relief, and we took a few moments to stand back and admire our work. But beautiful days in late August are fleeting, so we scrambled to clean up and hit the boat ramp before too much daylight disappeared.
Reports from the Manitoba side of the Red River have been hard to come by this summer. Fast flows and high water levels earlier in the summer are factors. So, too, are U.S. passport requirements and the sluggish economy.
I’m here to report the fishing is as good as I’ve seen it.
I’m not ready to let go of summer because I don’t feel we’ve really had one yet. It seems as if we get four bad-weather days for every nice day. If it’s not raining, it’s cool; if it’s not windy, it’s cloudy.
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