Wildlife activity has picked up tremendously in the past week as summer temperatures have set in. Food remains a top priority for nearly every species as agricultural fields, hardwoods, creek bottoms and rivers are teeming with whitetail deer, turkeys, black bears, raccoons, eagles, sandhill cranes and various other animals. Pictured above, at left, a fawn and doe survey a field west of Chetek while a second fawn (below the doe) drinks from its mother. Pictured above, at right, an antlerless deer approaches a mature buck that is already sporting an impressive set of velvet antlers. Pictured below, at left, a raccoon dines on an underwater buffet in the Red Cedar River. The coon was content cracking and crunching on clams while our flat-bottom boat floated past. Pictured below, at right, a family of sandhill cranes scour a cornfield for food. Sandhill crane chicks can fly by mid-July, and families feed together on tubers (a swollen underground plant stem, like a potato) worms, grasshoppers, snails, frogs, seeds, and sometimes snakes, small birds and mice.
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