Your reply wasn't so long. You should read (probably have) some of mine. I like details and you wrote some. I know what you are saying about the drought. I had forgotten about that. I have a daughter living in western Oklahoma and MLN1963 lives near Altus AFB in southweastern OK. They've seen pretty much the same drought and ungodly heat this past summer.
As for not shooting that buck? Kudos to you. It's nice to see somebody place the health of the deer herd above their personal gain.
I here ya about the hogs. Too many of them? I know Florida has plenty. I've seen woods in state parks that looked like a farmer's plow went through it. I think you can hunt them there year round.