Predators & Small Game
Protect Button Bucks
A "button" buck is a male fawn in his first year. His "antlers" are little fuzz-covered knobs. He is next year's antlered buck and maybe a future trophy. It's easy enough not to bag a button buck during regular "buck" season. Then, legal game has visible antlers. But on so-called "doe days," when antlerless deer are being harvested for population control, many button bucks bite the dust. Button bucks are particularly vulnerable during the rut. Adult bucks drive the young males away from breeding does. The button buck wandering around on his own for the first time is pretty dumb. When harvesting antlerless deer, don't shoot solitary animals. Wait for a group of antlerless deer and take out the biggest one; this will be a mature doe. Invest in good binoculars of 8X or higher magnification and carefully examine the head of any "antlerless" deer for the small knobs of developing antlers. Protecting the buck fawns is the best step to better buck hunting in the future.