A hungry whitetail buck was more than willing to submerge its muzzle to score some soggy corn in a Georgia field. On September 8th, the Georgia Outdoor News published a story that Jeffrey Autrey, an electrician from Collins, GA had sent in. Autrey apparently spread five gallons of corn across some lowland habitat near the Altamaha River on a new lease. He then placed a trail camera on a nearby tree. He was hoping to get a view of possible shooter bucks for the fall. Autrey didn’t expect to catch much footage after some hard rain.
“With all the rain lately, that spot started to flood,” Jeffrey explained. “At first, I got some photos of the buck. Then, I switched the camera to video. That’s when I caught that deer on video sticking his entire head under the water to feed off the bottom to get at that corn.” If it hadn’t been for this buck that was prepared to dip his head in order to retrieve the corn, his efforts would have been ruined by the torrential rains.
As Autrey watched the footage, he was shocked by what he saw. This kind of behavior is very rare in this area, according to him. “I’ve never seen a [whitetail buck] do anything like that before,” Autry told GON. “I shared the video with some friends and some old men who have hunted deer for a long time. None of them had ever seen a deer do that before. Most of them have been hunting around that area for decades.”
Experts weren’t surprised by the footage of the whitetail buck
Charlie Killmaster, the head state deer biologist for the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division in Social Circle, weighed in. This buck’s willingness to go pedicles-deep didn’t surprise this expert. “No way to know what the deer is eating under the water, but given the trail camera, I would assume it was a baited camera location that was subsequently flooded,” he presumed.
“Deer have a good enough sense of smell to detect food that’s been flooded, and they will eat a variety of aquatic vegetation,” Charlie Killmaster explained. “While this probably isn’t common behavior for us to observe, except for areas with a ton of wetlands like the Everglades, I have seen videos of deer ‘submarine eating’ in the past.”
In the video, it appears that the buck is an 8-point or a 9-pointer. He looks to be a nice, healthy example of a Georgia whitetail buck in any case. “The next day, I measured where the deer was standing, and it’s about 16 inches deep,” Jeffrey explained. “It’s crazy that the buck could find it like that underwater. I’ve seen hogs do that, but I’ve never seen a deer do that before. It’s a pretty good deer. He might have a little sticker coming up to make him a 9-point. I can’t tell if it’s a scoreable point or not.” Autrey is planning to hunt the whitetail buck he spotted throughout fall.