This week's edition of "Traplines on Cypress Creek" highlights a few of the accomplishments by local hunters during the quieter-than-usual muzzleloader season.


I understand that while times are tough and likely to get tougher, there’s no excuse for what I saw last week while deer hunting. Going with a friend on private land, there was a large pumpkin patch across the road. While in my tree stand and actually, while we parked the vehicle, cars would stop and people would go out and steal pumpkins. Some did it themselves while others sent their children. I guess I was raised a lot differently than some of these people today.

Both the Delaware and Maryland early muzzleloader seasons are complete as you read this. I haven’t gotten any reports from our sister state as my deadline approaches, but I suspect it was spotty like what we saw here. I still suspect the massive acorn drop from earlier this month has kept the deer content deeper into the woods. On top of that, the corn and soybean fields being harvested have chased them out of their usual bedding areas. Those who were fortunate enough to take deer this season told of seeing lots of them, while those who didn’t had the opposite luck.

My neighbor Sandy Krumm had a great experience in the lone time she got to go out. She stated that several smaller deer chose her stand site to cavort about before she shot what she had thought was a yearling doe. The small button buck she took is just one of the casualties of being “antlerless” at times, and nothing could quell her joy in taking a deer on her own. After that, nothing really matters anyway.

There were several noteworthy successful hunters who did well. Stephen Skarosi III of Dover finally got his first real trophy deer on private land. The typical eight-pointer tipped the scales at a mark that tended to be a bit common for bucks this season — 200 pounds.

Don Wood of Magnolia passed many good bucks on private land near Felton before shooting a wide eight-pointer that tipped the scale at 200 pounds. Greg Harding of Milford took a nice 10-pointer on leased land near Delmar. His buck weighed in at 170 pounds.

In my shop I align the antlers of customers in the order they come in. I can always tell when the rut is peaking by the antler sizes increasing and decreasing. That is until this year.

That trend died when Steve Webb of Milford brought his huge eight-pointer through the door. The deer scored 135+ B&C and had been “live” weighed at 265 pounds. It field dressed 225 pounds.

Just when I thought it wouldn’t get any better, Jared Papen of Dover came in. Though his eight-pointer weighed “only” 185 pounds field dressed, the massive rack scored 153+ B&C, which is off the charts for an eight-pointer.

Nearly all the hunters reported that their bucks were not chasing does who often shared the fields with them but were simply eating soybeans or corn.

Congratulations to the successful hunters.