The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


December 2, 2012

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Gun season opens with a bang!


Body language

Psychologist can interpret a person’s mood by reading his body language, and a hunter can do the same thing with deer. Deer will give you a lot of signs if you pay attention. Watch the deer’s tail. If the tail gets in an arched position with the ears alert, something is wrong. When everything is all right, the deer will twitch its tail a few times and go back to feeding.

If a deer starts stomping its foot and tensing up, something’s wrong. If the deer spots you in a stand and starts bobbing its head up and down, it’s trying to get you to move and confirm its suspicions. When deer are staring at you and their body language is nervous, sit absolutely still and even squint your eyes so less of the white shows.

Pay special attention to the doe with a yearling. She’s the spookiest animal in the woods. If you spook her, she will alert every other nearby deer. If mamma doe doesn’t like whatever is happening, daddy isn’t coming, either.

When you’re watching deer in a field or other feeding situation, they will tell you when other deer are coming. If the deer look up and stare into the cover, that’s a sign that another deer is approaching. If you watch a little buck, he’ll tip you off that a bigger buck is heading your way. Not only will a small buck watch a bigger buck approach, but he’ll also act nervous. Deer have a fascinating way of communicating with one another through body language, and you’ll pick it up if you watch carefully.

Dyin’ on the vine

Hey folks I’m like a Harpersfield grape dyin’ on the vine here. Sure I like giving you hot tips and keeping you informed about what’s happening with the division of wildlife. I also feel obligated to keep you up to date as to what’s going on in the various seasons, as well as new laws and regulations and the reported harvest numbers.

But ya wanna know what I like best? Doing stories on successful harvests from in and around Ashtabula County. I especially take pleasure in doing harvest articles on youth. To get their picture and story in their home town newspaper not only helps to solidify their love of the sport but it also makes the a celebrity for a day in school. I can’t begin to tell you how many thank you notes I’ve gotten from parents, and kids too, after their tale has been printed in the Monday morning Star Beacon.

Subsequently I need yer help. Now I know we’ve killed some deer in Ashtabula County, 1098 bucks so far. Youth weekend the younger generation harvested 166 total deer of both gender but not a story one, hmm?  

It’s real simple folks, email me at I’ll send you a form to fill out with all the info I create my stories from, you email it back to me with as several pictures I create a story out of it and wham bam thank you hunter it get put into the paper.  By the way I’m kinda choosy about what goes in picture wise, no blood and guts. If need be I will crop and edit the picture as much as possible to make it aesthetically pleasing to all our readers.

OK, I’m waiting, don’t send them all at once, he who hesitates is lost, ya need a newspaper article to hang on the wall next to yer mount, ya wanna look good in front of all yer buddies, don’t ya?

Here it is again:

Oh, deer!

As of Nov. 27, 2012 the deer harvest stats for Ashtabula County and some surrounding counties are as follows:

Ashtabula — Bucks taken 1098, does taken 1560, Button Bucks 411, 2012, Total 3069.

Geauga — Bucks taken 403, does taken 693, button bucks taken 177 — Total, 1273.

Lake — Bucks taken 222, does taken 325, button bucks taken 71 ‚ Total 618.

Trumbull — Bucks taken 791, does taken 1029, button bucks taken 362 — Total 2182.

Sunderlin is a freelance writer from Geneva. Reach him at

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