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So I have been away for a while preparing for the end of the semester crunch and finals, tending to family and friends, and working with my first Firearm Safety Training class of the year.  This is where I have been doing most of my blogging lately, over at the Hunter Education & Firearm Safety Training blog.

My personal outdoors activities have slowed to almost a halt, and it’s beginning to drive me a little nuts – the dog won’t even look me in the eye anymore.  Next weekend is the Minnesota fishing opener, and although in recent years I’ve chosen to leave opener to the rookies and one-timers, I’m chomping at the bit to get Pro-V – Year II under way.  It’s a good thing we still have ice on the lakes.  The late April snowstorm that closed out our total snow accumulation somewhere in the 5-6 feet range for April – just April – didn’t really dampen my spirits as I have had no time to do nothing else but dream of fishing.  Now, knee deep in finals, there will be no fishing until after turkey season, which gets under way, for me, the day after finals.

Even the scooter and the wheeler have been relegated to the doldrums of the garage.  Hell, the wheeler still has the plow attached – ready for that Memorial Day weekend blizzard!

But the snow has again mostly melted, and there are signs – albeit reluctant signs – of spring everywhere.  The urban deer have started to become more active and are now beginning to show up on the LPR Deer Cam.  They look a little ragged and strung out after another long winter, but don’t we all!

 Urban Deer

I have taken thousands of pictures of urban deer with the LPR Deer Cam over the years – a way of hunting from inside the city limits in one’s own backyard.  I will be sharing some of the new photos throughout the upcoming months as the backyard activity picks up.  This guy in the foreground of the picture above looks as though he is just starting this year’s antler growth.  Over the years, there have been some very nice photos – fawns only a few days old, foxes, the old club-footed doe – and some not so nice – neighbors chasing their dogs for instance!  But, the most amazing photos the LPR Deer Cam has ever taken were not the most brilliant pictures ever made, but the subject was jaw-dropping.

In 2004, the brute pictured below was part of a four-buck urban deer gang that ruled South Bemidji.  They roamed day or night, backyards – and front!  This guy even challenged me in my own driveway as he indulged on acorns when I arrived home from work one night.  Believe it or not, he was not the biggest one of the bunch.  There was a perfectly symmetrical and wider 12-pointer who was slightly larger in body mass and also ran with this group of thugs.  However I never managed to get him on film.  Which one was the leader?  Who was the boss?  I’ll never know.  The pictures below were taken shortly before the last time I saw either of them, when I could count 19 points on this atypical monster.  He lives on in legend as the Liberty Pines Ranch Buck.

The Liberty Pines Ranch Buck

 LPR Buck

LPR Buck III

LPR Buck V

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