Women & Whitetails – Two Great Mysteries

Posted on July 10, 2012

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Whitetails and women are two of the great mysteries of life, especially to me. Just about the time you think you’ve got them figured out, they’ll do something completely contradictory. Yet, we continue to thirst for the knowledge. We still try and develop consistent patterns that will hopefully lead us to a better understanding of both species. And as men, we seek to use that insight to achieve our ultimate goals. We want to hang a deer on the pole each time we hunt, and directly following the words, “I do”, we’d like to live happily-ever-after with the woman of our dreams.

But guess what, it’s not that easy. As of this year I will have been married to the same woman for 32 years. Very happily I might add, so much so that I consider her to be my best friend. And although I know her quite well, there are still aspects about her that I doubt I’ll ever quite figure out. Like, why is it that she wants to change the furniture around in a room for no good reason other than for the sake of change? And why does that change always entail heavy lifting? Is it so that I can feel Herculean? An unsolvable mystery!

The same holds true for whitetails. For over four decades I’ve been studying white-tailed deer. In that time I have seen and/or photographed just about every aspect of deer behavior from breeding to birthing, fighting to flehmening, spots to adulthood, along with an assortment of other less noticeable behaviors. But, just when I think that I know what a deer is going to do, based on my past experience and hard evidence pointing towards that conclusion, the animal does something quite the opposite. Unexplainable.

Take for example patterning a whitetail, by observing him from a distance on several consecutive outings with him showing up like clock work in the exact spot, a pattern is established. We then make an educated guess as to why he is drawn to using that trail, strategically set a tree stand and ambush said buck. Sounds simple right? Meanwhile, countless hours later you sit perched aloft wondering, to where on earth has this animal disappeared? I took all of the precautions, did my homework and still, regardless of the time of day or duration of my sit, the buck is nowhere to be found. It doesn’t make sense.

Whitetails and women also have the uncanny knack of not forgetting, ever! Man, there are some days that I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, much less recall something that may have happened days ago. However, tip a deer off to your location and it will be days, if not the rest of the season before he shows up again. And if he does, it will be with a great deal of caution.

The same holds true for ladies. If you don’t think so, just forget an anniversary, birthday, or some significant event. I believe it is their sworn duty to remind us of our amnesia for the rest of our natural born days. And it doesn’t really seem to matter what we do to try and make-up for forgetting, bring flowers, gifts, take out the garbage without being asked, etc… they may let us off the hook, but rest assured, they won’t forget.  I watched a beer commercial the other day depicting how once the bottle is sufficiently chilled the mountains on the can turn blue. At the same time the dude’s wife was taking a pregnancy test. Simultaneously, as the husband opens the refrigerator, his wife comes out of the bathroom and they both exclaim, ‘it’s blue.’ Once she realized he was talking about the bottle and not the test strip, the moment was ruined and she stormed back into the bathroom slamming the door behind her. In a pitiful display to dig himself out of the proverbial dog house, the husband yells, ‘your eyes, I was talking about the color of your eyes.’ The scene ends with her yelling back, ‘my eyes are green!’

Both species also possess some mysterious force that can melt even the manliest of dudes. Not me you may opine. Really? Well let’s think back for a moment prior to those days of marital bliss. You’re standing in a room with your buddies, acting like the cool, hip dude that you are when suddenly, the most gorgeous blonde creature to ever walk the planet strolls into view. As you size her up, you describe everything that is going through your mind about her to your pals. She sees you staring at her, hopefully you’re not drooling and your tongue is still in your mouth. In typical womanly fashion, she pretends not to notice, but after a few coy glances, the goddess strolls towards you. Your friends sort of disappear at about the time this babe is standing directly in front of you. The moment she speaks with a simple hi, you are at a loss for words. You begin to stutter. When she introduces herself you can’t even remember your own name. Isn’t it amazing how a woman can reduce even the most confident male to a lump of Jell-O?

And if you think the effect of a deer is any different, there has been many a man who has been relegated to a trembling bowl of mush while attempting to dispatch the beast. There stands the biggest buck you’ve ever laid your eyes on. He is a mere 50 paces away and you are now hyperventilating as if all of the oxygen had been sucked out of you. Your gun is up, but instead of being trained rock solid on the target, the barrel is now rotating in circles. Your shaking is akin to a man in the middle of an epileptic fit. And instead of firing bullets at the buck, the ammunition is being ejected from the magazine as fast as you can work the action. I’m not certain, but I believe bullets work best when fired from inside the gun rather than lying on the forest floor.

So, as the wisest man to ever live, King Solomon once wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.”

Like the woman you are passionate about, the white-tailed deer holds a similar, yet different grip on our lives. They both cause our pulse to rise, they excite us, we eagerly anticipate the time we spend with them, and as we cultivate an accurate perception of what makes them tick, we’re left wanting. After all, despite our desire to figure it all out – we really do need the mystery.

All images on this site are copyright protected and the property of R.G. Bernier

    © 2012 R.G. Bernier Nature Photography – All rights reserved.

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Posted in: Whitetail Deer