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Where’s The Deer At?

A few years ago, I had never even been hunting. My wife’s family has a big annual hunting trip, and I was asked to go along. It seemed a good way to get to know her dad – who has never exactly warmed to the idea that I stole his daughter. So I said yes.

It’s now become sort of a weird obsession. I’m currently awaiting the draw results for an elk tag and an antelope tag, and this year hope to add bow and muzzleloader hunting to my list of skills. I’m really psyched.

When Micah Sifry sent the following twitter, I had to check it out.

A deer is blogging its position straight to a Google Map. OMG:

Thor the DeerThe deer in question is “Thor”. Thor is a study animal in a project run by Bryn Athyn College. While the project page is somewhat lacking for details on the project, it would seem the fine folks at Bryn Athyn seem to be doing two things simultaneously.

First, they’re looking at the movement patterns of three deer – including Thor.

Second, they seem to be signing a death warrant for poor Thor.

Now I am not, by any stretch, condoning the poaching of Thor. Poachers have a special place reserved in hell next to cab drivers and Elliott Spitzer. However, I acknowledge the reality of the world. Giving a nice buck like that a name, a picture and a way to tell exactly where he is, just begs for some poacher to go after him. If you make it that easy for someone to take a quick drive, whip out a bow or rifle, and go home with a really big deer, someone is going to do it.

This deer is a nice wide 7-8 point deer in the photo. Given deer have shed their antlers by now, it’s likely this is an old photo and Thor is likely wider, with more, bigger points now. You might as well make him where a collar of bells and light him with follow spots.

I appreciate the efforts of the Bryn Athyn College folks to educate us on the behavior patterns of deer. However, I think their eagerness to use new technology to demonstrate their work is going to result in someone collecting their test animal.

For more on Thor’s movement, see the map below.

View Larger Map

Written by Michael Turk