Stillwater News Press


July 6, 2014

Cross Timbers Outdoor Report: The days of critters' lives in Stillwater

STILLWATER, Okla. — I find myself wondering where the time has gone when I realize that hunting season will begin in less than 60 days. Being the first weekend of the month, it is time to examine what is going on with the animals that share our countryside.  

Dove season will open Sept. 1, and it is already evident that the spring and summer have been good for their population growth. Deer season is less than 90 days away, and it is time to put plans into motion.

For the critters of the countryside, much is left to do between raising babies and prospering on the bounty the summer months provide. That being said, it’s been a busy month in the local animal kingdom. I was provided a prime example of how harsh life can be when I found a baby mocking bird in my yard.

I found the nest in a pear tree a few feet away and placed the bird back in. At sunset the pear tree bust into commotion when the mother came home. She wasn’t pleased with what I had done. The next morning, I again found the baby bird in the yard but it was too late.

The mockingbirds took the time to dive bomb my cat as he walked across the yard, but gave up on this baby for some reason.

Local does do not yet have their fawns with them full time. I recently wrote about my dog flushing a fawn near my house June 19. I left the area alone for six days and then went back. I hiked slowly by myself through some dense cover 150 yards from my home and again found the fawn.

I live in a very rural area of the county, but this doe believes in planting her fawn near my house. Perhaps coyotes are not as likely to find her fawn. But there is definitely something interesting about her finding safety for her fawn within 200 yards of my hustle and bustle.

These deer may live in a rural area, but they are very accustomed to my habits and my meddling in their back yard.

The exact opposite is true for a buck this time of year. I saw a nice bachelor group of bucks at first light a few weeks back. The four bucks had safety in numbers and looked to be living a secluded life. Typically their daily movements are not very far, and occur under the cover of darkness.

Their lives will see no change for the next two months. At that time a rush of testosterone will cause their antlers to harden and their interest in having each other as companions will wane.  

The dog days of summer have set in. I hope you all had a great Fourth of July.

Jon Kocan is an outdoor columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Kocan is a longtime local hunter. Email Kocan at

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