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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Tell-Tale Hart

By Mike Handley

I so love a good (or bad) pun, and this story about a ticking clock and deer -- with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe -- was just crying out for one.

I’ve written several times about whitetails’ curiosity, most recently about how the sound of a climbing stand biting tree bark can attract bucks. Now you can add the tick-tocking of a clock to the list of strange noises that, at the very least, deer find interesting.

Doug Strenke of St. Paul, Minn., has suffered a lot of friendly ribbing ever since he went public with trail cam photographs illustrating his extreme cost-cutting measure of hanging a $5 wall clock on a tree -- in front of his camera -- rather than spring for a more expensive unit with a time-date stamp. But he was an unemployed chemist at the time, and he wanted to know exactly when deer were appearing in front of the lens.

Tell-Tale Hart

Not only did it work, but the photos also show that the deer -- including some nice bucks -- seemed mesmerized (not spooked) by the clock’s ticking. Doug knows they heard it because he could hear it from his stand much farther away.

Doug told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that before he added the clock to the setup, he wasn’t getting very many images of deer. Afterward, however, the shutter got a workout.

The Minnesota hunter didn’t catch one of the seven photographed bucks in the open while hunting, but he’s in no hurry to go out and buy a more expensive camera. He says he’s having more fun taking pictures than he is hunting.

Win a Wildlife Print

There’s no doubt that trail cameras have revolutionized deer hunting. If you’ve unwrapped some interesting photos from your setups, I’d love to see them. Please e-mail your shots to CAM CONTEST at I’ll do a roundup and feature the best, funniest and most unique later this year, and I’ll send a signed print of one of my paintings ( to the winner.

Please include your name and contact information, along with a brief description/story of your photo.

Todd Bays Jeff Sitlinger BTR Rob Gillaspie

Post Rating


Tom K.
# Tom K.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:53 AM
I'm definitely going to use this idea, I can't afford to buy good camera's either, plus I hunt public lands. $45 stolen is a lot easier to swallow than $100's.
ron holt
# ron holt
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 11:32 AM
good hunting
Bill Graybill
# Bill Graybill
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 12:42 PM
What a revelation. There must be endless possibilities in regards to a buck's natural curiosity. This can open a new world possibilities for me. Thanks for this practical and hopeful advice.
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