By Mark Kenyon

I’ve got it bad. Summertime buck fever.

I’ve usually got bucks on the brain, but this elevated state of hysteria became official when my wife took notice this week. And that’s saying something, as she’s used to a near constant state of whitetail delirium in her husband. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to her though, as my infection with summertime buck fever usually occurs at this same time every year. And it’s not just me. This epidemic spreads across the country each summer from the soybean green Midwest all the way on down south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Trail camera photos are starting to roll in. Heavy velvet horned bucks are appearing nightly in the crop fields. And our final food plot and treestand preparations are in the works. And with it all comes a heavy infection rate of summertime buck fever (SBF).

That said, if you’ve recently had trouble sleeping, focusing during dinnertime conversations, or paying attention at work – SBF might be to blame. If you can identify with any combination of two of the symptoms below, you likely have the bug. Read on and be warned, SBF has no known cure other than the arrival of deer season. It’s going to be a long couple months my friends …

1. Nightly errand runs: Are you finding any and all excuses to get out of the house and drive the backroads on summer evenings?

During the summer I always volunteer to run any errands needing taken care of, as long as I can do it during the last two hours of the evening. Strangely though, even a routine jaunt down the road to grab milk from the gas station can take an hour. Of course, I’ve got my binoculars, spotting scope and video camera along with me, just in case I happen to mistakenly turn down a dirt road and by chance drive by a series of soybean or alfalfa fields full of velvet bucks. It’s strange how this happens to me three or four times a week. Apparently I’m not good with road signs.

2. The trail camera countdown: You checked  your trail camera most recently this past Monday. How many days ago was that? Has it been 10 days yet?

If you find yourself checking your calendar every day to see if it’s time to check your cameras yet, you likely have a bad case of SBF induced by the sweet addiction of trail cameras. Don’t feel bad though, this is a common condition. Need proof? Check out our recent post, 6 Reasons Why We’re Addicted to Trail Cameras. And self control, it’s rare. When you last set your camera you probably said you’d wait 14 days to check it. But after 7, you had an epiphany, 8 days is long enough, right? You better check those cameras tomorrow.

3. Memorizing maps: If I were to pull up your internet history, would I see that you’ve visited Google Maps at least ten times over the past week?

I’m guessing some of you are nodding your head in guilty admission. A sure sign of summertime buck fever is obsessive checking and studying of aerial and topographic maps, all in an effort to better understand your hunting properties and how your local giant might be using them. Could you place a stand there? Or maybe there? Is that the best buck bedding area? Only time will tell … or maybe a few more hours on your maps. The lawn mowing can wait.

4. Hunting on the tube: Have you been shunning your usual hobbies and chores to instead sit at the computer or TV and watch hunting shows and DVDs late into the night?

I’ve been on a binge lately, having watched over seven hours of hunting DVDs in the last week alone. And it’s still not enough. How bout you?

5. The group text: Are you guilty of a five man (or more) group text conversation concerning whitetails lately? I sure am.

“Buckkkkksssssss.” That’s a common text message I’ll receive from one of several hunting buddies of mine, who will send this message out to a group of five or six of us. From there the next response might be,  “Heck yea man!” or “Dude, I’ve got the fever” or “Check out this stink-pig,” accompanied by a trailcam photo from their last card pull. These group buck texts are a coping mechanism to deal with SBF by virtue of the strength-in-numbers-effect, and it tends to work well for awhile.

Be warned though, these group texts are a risky and short-term solution for dealing with this disease, as the near constant vibrating of your phone over a 30 minute period is sure to catch the attention of your significant other. And that can lead to a whole other kind of trouble.

Let us know in the comments section if you’ve got the fever too!