Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

I can remember waiting next to the telephone on Halloween night when I was a kid. I always wanted to find out if my dad had had any luck while bowhunting in the Southern Zone of New York. He would always go to Oneonta with our neighbor Don Wood, and they would hunt for about four days before returning home. I loved listening to my father’s stories. The stories began when he was hunting with a recurve and continued after he switched to a compound. One year he was having bad luck until he met a man at Dandee Donut Shop on Main Street, and the man invited him to come hunt near his home in Stamford, N.Y. Don and Dad took him up on his offer and couldn’t believe the sign. Those were the days. I was a starry-eyed kid and had no idea which direction my life would take when I became a teenager.

Looking back on it, I must’ve known I wanted to be like my dad and share the same adventures. Eventually, we began having our own Halloween adventures in the woods, and we took some dandies on 10/31 of different years. Halloween was and always will be a magic day in the woods. The statistics I’ve compiled proof this to be true. I killed a 180-plus pounder a few years back on Halloween, and I felt proud to know I had finally outsmarted the mountain monarch.

Well, today’s Halloween hunt didn’t end the same as that one, but I still had a good time. Brian and I hunted together, and we waited on the edge of our seats. We both figured today was the day. I had 80% confidence that one of us — or maybe both of us — would put a good one on the ground. As the minutes crept into hours, my hopes faded away with the daylight. It just didn’t happen this year. I guess we will have to use it and learn from it. Statistics don’t always play out in our favor.

I’m headed to the Midwest at the end of the week. The forecast is calling for solid 75-85 degree temps the entire time. The low temps forecasted are for 71 on Wednesday. I’m not looking forward to this trip, but I’ll go enjoy my time in the woods, even if I’ll be a sweaty mess the entire time. We only get so many seasons to hunt. We have to make the most of the weather. We can’t change it, so we have to accept it and move forward. Maybe we’ll get lucky and a few will on their feet and moving in the high heat.

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

I hunted with my buddy Jim today. We had a plan from the get go and stuck to it. I had a lot of data in my favor and used it in hopes of connecting on something. It was 27 degrees when we got into the truck and began driving down the road. Once again, there was minimal movement throughout the day in the area we hunted. Jim saw a nice buck in the thick cover, but things didn’t pan out the way he would’ve liked. Once again, the temps rose quickly and reached the 70-degree mark. The mornings have been fantastic, but the afternoons are taking the fun out of it. Forty-five degree temperature swings every day don’t make for very much fun. It’s hard to figure out how to dress.

At the end of the day, Brian, Dad and I notched a zero for deer sightings once again. Jim was the only one lucky enough to see anything. There must’ve been some deer moving today, though. I did hear five shots throughout the day. I heard a single shots and two bursts of two shots each. It always makes me wonder what the people were shooting at and if they got what they shot at. It’s a mystery that very rarely gets solved. It’s fun to imagine.

I’m off again tomorrow, so I’ll give it once last whirl before calling it good until I return from the Midwest.

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

This morning was ideal for sitting. I hopped in the truck and looked at the thermometer. I was content when I saw 25 degrees staring at me from the dashboard. I felt like today could be the day. I didn’t waste any time getting to where I wanted to sit. Instead of loafing through the woods, I put the hammer down and got there as quickly as I could.

Arriving about 40 minutes before daylight, I rested my head against a tree and closed my eyes. The leaves were dry enough and frost covered to give me notice of any approaching animal. However, I didn’t doze very long. I was alert and ready for action when the woods became gray. Five hours later, I called it a day. I hadn’t seen or heard one living creature, not even a bird. I’m still stumped why nothing moved in the area I chose to hunt. Highly disappointed, I still-hunted a loop and sat in another area until dark.

When the sun finally set, I joined Brian and Dad at camp. Nobody had seen a deer. The afternoon temps climbed to 70 degrees. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be similar to today, so I’m hoping that will get some deer moving. Only time will tell. It has been slow.

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

Friday, October 28th, 2022

When I woke up, I couldn’t wait to get in the woods. Everything inside me told me today was going to be a good day with lots of deer movement. It was 25 degrees when I got out of the truck, and the stars sparkled brightly in the dark sky. I never passed another vehicle on the road this morning, and I felt alive. The cool air in my lungs reminded me that it was finally my time.

As the light from my headlamp lit up the woods in front of me, I could see that the low beech leaves were gone. While a few were dangling onto trees here and there, the majority of them were gone. This excited me and made me turn it up a notch while walking. I knew I would be able to see a lot farther than we’ve been able to see the last few weeks.

I was settled against a big yellow birch tree when the sun came up. The woods were quiet, and I anxiously waited for something to show up. Unfortunately, I waited until noon for something to show up, and animals just weren’t moving. It blew my mind that nothing moved. As I sit here tonight, I still can’t figure it out. The conditions were ideal.

I wandered around during the afternoon hours to look for any new sign that might have been laid down in the last few days, but I didn’t come across anything. Actually, the woods looked void of sign. I saw a few tracks here and there, but the normal amount of sign just didn’t seem to be there.

As the afternoon headed toward evening, I sat for a little bit. Around 4:00 p.m., I saw a deer’s tail wag. I never saw it again. The deer got by me without giving me a look at it. It was in some really thick stuff, and it was a long way away from me.

When I got back to the truck, the thermometer was at 40 degrees. Dad hunted this afternoon. He didn’t see anything.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

Friday, October 28th, 2022

I scurried around to allow myself a few minutes to get into the woods after work. Although I didn’t have much time, I know it only takes a few seconds for something to happen. I’ve seen it occur enough times over the years to realize no available minute should be wasted when the weather is right. Since it has been in the 70s all week, I figured the deer would be on their feet with the temperature drop.

I made my way to a spot near the road that gave me confidence. I”ve seen a few good deer in this area in the past, and I know things are probably getting ready to pop. I decided to sit on a scrape that gets a lot of activity every year around Halloween. When I got near the scrape, I was disappointed to see that there were still a lot of low-hanging beech leaves on, so it would make it very difficult to find a good place to sit.

When darkness rolled in, I packed my stuff and headed out of the woods. It felt good to be in the woods, and I realized I’m ready. It’s finally go-time. All of my concentration will be centered on hunting for the next month. I’ve found myself lagging this year when it comes to getting ready. I had too many things going on to focus the way I need to focus.

My bow contract ran out at the end of the competitive archery season, and I encountered some stress while trying to figure out where I would land for next year. After I made the deal, it lifted a weight off my shoulders, and I look forward to what the next few years have to offer. I”m happy with the decision I made, and I will be representing Darton Archery. I was given and opportunity to get on board on the ground floor as far as their marketing entry into competitive archery. It’s always good to feel valued, and the owner of the company makes me feel valued.

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 20s. I think the deer should move, but you never know. If I were in the Midwest, I know I would have some action tomorrow, but mountain hunting is nothing like the Midwest.

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2021

Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

There was a light frost again this morning when I headed out. Brian and I decided to head to another area to hunt today. There are just way too many people in the normal areas we usually hunt. I can’t handle being inundated with people and pressure. It’s sad that some individuals don’t even know what they’re doing to places when they’re in them nonstop. You can’t continue pounding the same places and expect the deer to stay there.

Last fall, a few guys began hunting in the area I spend a lot of time. I’ve always had a plan while hunting there and rotate around different places and do nothing but walk in and out. I stay put and don’t move. However, these people wandered all over the place nonstop. I knew something was going on because deer movement became nonexistent. Then, they stopped going in there for about a week, and the deer began filtering back in. It’s the little things that people overlook as to why they don’t find success with any type of regularity. You simply have to know how your presence affects the animals in different areas. That’s why I hunt in so many different spots and very rarely give the same spot more than two days of my pressure.

When I got to where I wanted to go this morning, I felt a great deal of confidence. Something in my gut told me I might get a look at something good. However, as the morning wore on, I realized I wasn’t going to get lucky on this day. After sitting until about 11 and wandering around for a bit, I decided to call it a day when the temperature climbed to about 70 degrees. With minimal deer movement, I did’t want to stir the area up.

None of us saw any deer today, and we didn’t see much sign either. I’m hoping things begin to change, but at this point, I don’t have a great deal of confidence as I look into the coming days. There don’t seem to be many deer in any of the areas I’ve gone up to this point. Maybe after the leaves come off, things will begin to change. I do know that the pressure needs to let up a little bit for anyone to see much. There are just too many other places for deer to go when an abundance of people hunt in the same area. I’m still not sure what possesses people to do that, but I won’t spend anymore time trying to figure it out. There are miles and miles and miles of public land to explore. That’s why I went elsewhere today. It’s not difficult to go to other places.

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

Today was opening day of rifle season in the Adirondacks. Heading down the road, I knew I was early enough to beat the crowd — at least I thought I was early enough. When I slowed down to pull into the place I wanted to park, I saw three other trucks parked there. The guys were just getting up, as they had spent the night in their trucks. There was a light frost, and the thermometer on my truck read 32 degrees.

It was almost impossible to keep track of where I was going due to all of the leaves, and it looks even thicker in the darkness. Finally, around daylight, I got to where I wanted to sit. Amazingly, I wasn’t drenched in sweat. I’m thinking it was because I could never get going at a fast pace. At 9:00 a.m., I could hear a dear walking in the leaves. Staring into the maze of leaves, I finally saw legs moving. Suddenly, a spike appeared in front of me, and I watched it feed for about 15 minutes. It got so close to me at one point, I think I could have jammed the barrel of the gun into its ribs. It was neat to be so close to a buck and know it was clueless about my presence.

Josh, Dad and Brian all hunted today too. Nobody saw a deer except me. That seems to be a chance of pace. By the time I got done adding up the guys in the woods surrounding me, I came up with seven guys. It’s kind of hard to be successful when you have seven guys ramming and jamming through the woods. It doesn’t take deer very long to become aware of the intrusion and move on. Some people simply don’t understand that you can’t keep pounding the same area and expect good results. Deer, especially big bucks, will not withstand more than two days of intrusions in most places. At least, that’s what my experiences in the past have shown me.

I don’t have much of a plan for tomorrow. I’m going to go to bed tonight and figure it out in the morning when I wake up. It’s usually not good when I don’t have a plan, but I didn’t expect to have that may people in the same area as me. I’ll head to another area in the morning and see what happens.

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

This week has greeted me with a variety of obstacles that has prevented me from getting out to hunt. However, I decided to head into the woods today with dad. I wanted to go into my old haunt and wander around, so I picked Dad up after work. On my journey through the woods, I found myself going back in time to the first time I ever hunted the area with Dad during muzzleloader season.

I didn’t have a muzzleloader, so I went out with my bow, and Dad carried his muzzleloader. I remember a guy who was still-hunting, and he took a break under my stand and sat down on a rock. He never saw me and eventually moved on. After the morning made its way into the afternoon, Dad returned to pick me up.

A few years later, we tried our hand at it again, and I scored on a spike, but I had a muzzleloader at that point in time. When I pulled the hammer back and looked through the peep, I slowly pulled the trigger and watched everything become enveloped in smoke. Then, I saw the deer lying in the leaves, and I knew I had killed my first buck with a muzzleloader. It seems like that event took place a few years ago. It’s amazing how quickly time passes. I wish I could grab onto it and slow it down.

As the afternoon wore on, it felt good to be in this piece of woods today. The area has brought me something I’ve needed. It gave me a desire to get after it this year. My beginnings will never be forgotten. It was a time when I didn’t know how big a place hunting would take in my life. I never realized where hunting would take me or all of the adventures I would live while pursuing wild game. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

While walking back to the truck, I was disappointed I didn’t see more sign, but I did jump a deer out of some cliffs. I couldn’t get a good look at it, but I’m almost sure it was a doe, as I could hear it take a few bounds then begin walking.

I’m looking forward to opening day of rifle season this weekend. Hopefully, I can find more time to get out in the coming week.

Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022

Monday, October 17th, 2022

There was frost on the pumpkin again this morning. I was ticked off when I walked outside to start my day. I had wasted a lot of time goofing off and got a late start. When I got outside, I realized I should’ve been doing something else. I simply made the wrong choice and very rarely do wrong choices lead to good results. I’ve always been the most successful when I have a plan and stick to it. I went to bed without a plan due to the medical emergency I encountered last night.

After getting back from hunting, I took my clothes off. In the process of putting new clothes on, my pants hooked onto my infusion set and broke the catheter. Instantly, I knew I had to get home. I had to beat the rising blood sugars due to the inability to receive insulin from my insulin pump. I was exhausted but I drove home to change the infusion set and replace it with a new one.

By the time I got done taking care of the mess, I had to battle blood sugar the rest of the night and into the morning. I didn’t get any sleep for the second night in a row. When morning rolled in, I was still in a fog and decided to use the day to cover ground. I couldn’t see anything while sitting due to the leaf cover, so I decided to wander around in hopes of finding any type of new sign.

The day passed quickly, and I put on a lot of miles. I did find a really good spot — I think. There were a lot of older signpost rubs in the area, and a major runway near them along the edge of a swamp. I found a large scrape from last year, and the licking branch was torn apart. Something tells me you could shoot a big buck near there if you put the time in. Maybe I’ll find out in the coming weeks.

Brian shot at a nice buck this evening and is pretty sure he killed it. Unfortunately, the smoke created an impenetrable wall and he wasn’t able to see the deer’s reaction. It was 40 yards and broadside, but he never found any blood or hair. He thinks he heard it stumbling around afterward, but he never saw it. I shot a deer a few years ago with a rifle, and it never dropped a drop of blood in 200 yards, and there was only one sliver of hair where I hit him. He died in full stride and never bled. I only found him because I followed his tracks in the snow. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any snow today. The search continued for a few hours until darkness consumed the sky, and the search came up empty.

I will not have much time to hunt this week. I’m hoping some of the bad weather in the forecast will take care of some more leaves. It’s almost impossible to see in the woods right now and that takes much of the enjoyment out of it for me.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

Monday, October 17th, 2022

Today was opening day of muzzleloader season, and the morning greeted us with a light frost. It felt good to walk out the door and get that fall feeling. I knew where I was headed and didn’t waste any time getting there. Unfortunately, I got a little later start than I would’ve liked, and I was behind the 8-ball from the get go. There were quite a few trucks along the road as I made my way to where I wanted to park. When I pulled off the road, there were three guys gathering their gear to head into the woods. I quickly asked them which direction they were headed in, and I made sure I could avoid them before entering the woods. We all made sure we would not interfere with each other and made quick work of our discussion. Although it’s public land, it’s good to check with guys and give them space when they’re hunting the same general area. I wish more people could be that respectful. Instead, people tend to think it’s always better hunting where someone hunts who has success. It cracks me up. It’s all about the hours upon hours that go into it that nobody sees. The success is not related to seeing someone’s vehicle in the same spot every weekend. Unfortunately, there are a few people who don’t understand that often overlooked fact.

When I got to where I wanted to go, I settled my back against a tree and waited to see what the morning hours would bring my way. Within a few minutes, I could hear deer walking toward me. Then, I spotted a huge doe and a fawn. They walked within five yards of me and never winded me or saw me. my heart beat fast while the mother ate some mushrooms off the log near the end of my legs. After a few minutes, she and her little one continued their journey and quickly disappeared.

An hour later, I spotted another deer, but I couldn’t get a good look at it. With all of the leaves on, all I could see where the legs and the belly of the deer. It never stopped walking and disappeared from my line of vision in a few seconds.

I spent the rest of the day still-hunting. I saw a few more does and that was about it. I never found an open scrape, but I did find a few fresh rubs here and there along the way. The leaves were coming down in bundles after the sun came up, but they stopped falling by late morning. I’m thinking the coming week should take care of most of the top leaves. The bottom ones still have a ways to go. They are mostly green.

I was the only one in our group who saw a deer today. Everyone else came back with nothing to report. None of us saw any type of promising sign, but the falling leaves quickly cover a lot of sign up, so it makes it almost impossible to discern anything at this time of year each fall.