Archive for November, 2010

Monday November 29, 2010

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I found myself on the road again yesterday. I decided at the last minute to go to Ohio for the opening day of gun season. Since 2002 I can’t seem to stay away from areas that hold a number of large antlered deer.

I got there in time to look around on Sunday afternoon. The unfortunate part was that I was going to hunt a place that I’ve never shotgun hunted so I didn’t know what to expect. In some respects I lost my security blanket. I had a great spot where I used to go, but a few things changed which made me stay away from that place.

I was in the woods an hour and a half before daylight. I settled in and waited for the sun to rise. I had deer walking around me and running past me in the dark. I figured it would be a good day.

Twenty minutes after daylight I could hear the leaves crunching. Within a few minutes I could see 4 guys. They all had head lamps on and they were still turned on although it had been light for a full 20 minutes. One of them finally noticed me and commented “How did that guy get here and where did he come from?” They continued discussing the matter and two of them walked out of sight. The other two set their treestands up right next to me. Once they were settled in I range-found the closest one. He was 39 yards from me. That put a damper in the morning, but I sat there anyway. I had anything on the top side covered.

I didn’t see any deer until noon. I saw a big body sneaking through the brush. A few years back I killed one at noon doing the same thing. My heart was racing as I watched the deer stand still for a few seconds. I scanned with my binoculars and saw that it was a huge doe followed by a button-buck which actually had little spikes. The Amish guy next to me didn’t see the deer as they went past me.

Twenty minutes later 4 deer, 2 does and 2 fawns came screaming down the hill next to me. All of the deer were small. The fawns probably weighed 50 pounds.

The Amish guy started yelling, “Stop, Hey Stop, Stop!!!” He fired one shot and then two more. I saw the deer turn and head up the hill………and there were only three of them. One fawn had been killed and the mother wouldn’t leave. She started walking back toward her fallen fawn. She didn’t want to leave, but realized that she must in order to save her own life and the other fawn.

The guy eventually found his deer and got a few of his buddies to help him drag it out. Another one of his clan climbed up in the tree and sat next to me until almost dark. That was the only action I had the entire day.

Dad only saw three deer and they were the same ones that I just wrote about. We talked to our buddy Mike who is a local. He said there were 11 cars in the parking lot we were parked in and 15 in the lot that we normally hunt out of. He said it was the least amount of shooting he has ever heard.

This morning (Tuesday, November 30 since I’m writing this after returning) greeted us with howling winds and rain. It wasn’t too bad to hunt, but it would have made the morning sit a little damp. We decided not to hunt because of our long drive home and lack of action. We didn’t see one car on the road when we drove down the road. That will be a good thing for next bow season. Not many deer were killed yesterday and nobody was in the woods today. The first two days are always the busiest two days of the season. They’ll kill a few over the weekend, but a deer’s chances of staying alive go up dramatically when it survives the first two days.

The rest of the week will be extremely busy at work. I won’t have a chance to hunt again until the weekend. The season is winding down now. I’m tired, but I still have some gas left in the tank. Hopefully we can get a couple of nice days to sit before it’s all over.

Saturday November 27, 2010

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

It wasn’t cold this morning according to the thermometer, but the wind made it quite brisk. The wind swirled all over the place and made the morning interesting. I sat until 10:15. At that time I got up and did some walking to see what I could find. I found an area where the deer have been feeding heavily. I put a camera in there to see what I might get. I’ll check it next week sometime. I didn’t see any deer today. I walked by the same scrape that I’ve kicked leaves in the last few days and once again it was clear and open. I would like to see the buck that’s opening it. Steve, Doug and Jason saw a couple of deer this morning, but couldn’t grow any horns on them. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

I’m headed to Ohio at 4am for opening day of their shotgun season on Monday. I have no idea what to expect, but it will be a good way to end my vacation days for the year. I’m not looking forward to the ride out or back, but that’s all part of it. For some reason I have a feeling I’m not going to see a deer and I’m going to see a lot of people. Only time will tell.

I’ll check in when I return. Good luck out there and hunt hard. Here’s a buck I killed on opening day of shotgun in Ohio back in 2002 I think it was.

Ohio Opening Day Buck shot at noon. 12-pointer

Thursday November 25……Thanksgiving Day 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

This is one of my favorite days of the season to hunt. Although I was late getting into the woods I still made it to my spot before daylight. It somewhat reminded me of the year that dad killed the Browtine Buck. Miner was already parked when I arrived and his kid was hunting with him.

It was cold and the south wind didn’t help matters. When I left the house it was 12 degrees.  At 8am I could hear something crunching in the leaves above me. Not sure what it was I got ready in case a deer appeared. Within a few minutes I was highly disappointed when I saw a hunter sneaking down the hill. I could hear him coming a country mile away which made it even worse. I’ve never seen people in this area, but every time I’ve been in the woods in the morning this year I’ve seen people in the general vicinity. It’s very discouraging.

I sat until a little after 10am. I heard a few shots ring out in the distance and wondered if it was from my buddy Dan Ladd’s crew who hunt in the direction the shots came from. He runs the website

I still-hunted on my way out to check some places for the remainder of the season. I didn’t see much sign in a few places I expected it. This will change my plans a little over the next couple of weeks as the season winds down.

Later in the day I found out that it was my buddy Dan that fired the shots. He put a nice 8-pointer on the ground. Way to go Dan. He has been on a roll the last few years. It’s nice to see a guy be successful who promotes the outdoors and hunting like he does.

Here’s a picture of Dan and his buck.

Dan Ladd's 2010 Thanksgiving Day Buck

Dad and Rob Miner with the Blizzard Buck on Thanksgiving Day many years ago.

Wednesday November 24, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

I hurried through work on my first day back so I could get into the woods. I made it with a little time to spare. On my way to my stand I noticed that a few scrapes had been opened within the last day. I’m hoping to catch a little rutting action the last week or so of the season. I guess time will tell.

I didn’t see any deer tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the teens for the Thanksgiving Day hunt. It should be a good morning.

Tuesday November 23, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

We arrived home late last night. It was pouring rain this morning so I decided to hold off until this afternoon to get into the woods. I went up to check on my camera. Although I knew I left it in a crappy place I was still interested to see if I had captured any images. To my surprise I found a few more bucks and a nice gobbler.

I didn’t see any deer and I was somewhat disappointed to find where someone had cleared a few places out to sit right around my treestand. Since I’ve never seen anyone in that area in 25 years I was really surprised. When I got to my treestand it almost looked as if someone had messed around with the pull ropes that dangle to the ground from the stand. While I can’t be sure I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m right.

Here are a few of the pictures that were on my camera. I never changed the time on the camera after the time change so the pictures are actually an hour earlier than what they say.

Small 7-pointer with a broken main beam at the end.

Different view of the same 7-pointer

A nice ADK gobbler

Another nice buck

Saturday November 20, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Today was a slow day. It was damp, chilly and windy this morning. Nobody saw much movement at all. I saw 2 does about and hour after daylight and anohter one on my way out of the woods at noon. Dad saw a few does and Captain Hook.

Tonight I sat in the Grunt Stand again. I saw 11 does and one buck. The buck was the bad-ass 6-pointer. He never came into the corn. He stayed on the flat below me. Dad saw 3 does tonight. The activity slowed to a crawl today. It might be because of the full moon. We’ll have one last sit in Kansas for 2010 in the morning.

It will be good to head home. I had a great trip even though this will be the third year in a row that I haven’t put one on the ground. I guess that makes up for the 21 straight years that I did. I finally got the point where I just want to kill big bucks, but I think in some respects I need to get back to the basics and find a little of the old me in there someplace. I’m really not sure.

Our buddy Rob Miner killed a unique looking deer last night back home in the Adirondacks. I guess there was a doe in heat which had 3 bucks in the same area. I’m happy for Rob. He used to be one of the toughest guys I’ve ever known. Unfortunately a drunk drive hit him head on a while back and he had to have hip replacement surgery. I’m sure this buck was pretty gratifying. Way to go ol’ bud if you’re reading this. My buddy Bobby Kendall killed his 2nd giant of the year today in Illinois on the first evening of opening day of shotgun season, too.

Bobby Kendall's 2nd Illinois Giant of 2010

Since I’m writing this after the fact we ended up sitting the following morning and we didn’t see a deer.

Rob Miner's Buck

Friday November 19, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Our trip is winding down too quickly. It looks like it’s not going to happen this year. While we could have killed many good bucks we just haven’t had an opportunity at something that really got our attention.

This morning was really windy. The wind swirled in every direction possible. We saw a few deer when we parked the truck. One was a nice buck that was bedded on a side hill with a few does. We could see their eyes with the flashlight and the binoculars made it easy to identify them.

I decided to try to outsmart the deer and move up the hill from where I’ve been in hopes of cutting them off on the edge of a cut cornfield. At first light I saw two does behind me and another three in front of me. Shortly after they went by a one horned spike went by followed by the same shooter 7-pointer that I’ve seen all over the farm. A really nice, but young 10-pointer followed the does too. I bleated him right in. He will be a crusher in a couple of years if he survives.

At 9:30am I heard a twig snap and saw a giant 10-pointer heading in my direction. I ranged him at 35 yards but never got a shot. He sensed something was wrong and headed out. He got a whiff of me and simply turned around and walked back in the direction he came from.

About an hour later a small 10-pointer came in. Tonight I sat in the Grunt Stand……….named because you have to grunt and groan to climb a very steep hill to get to it. I saw the forked brow tine 10-pointer. He was out of range to shoot at. I would have loved to get a crack at him, but the opportunity never presented itself. Once again I saw the shooter 7-pointer and took some video of him in the cornfield. I also saw the same one-horned spike as well as 10-15 does. Dad had a slow day but he did see a few bucks including the bad-ass 6-pointer that I’ve been seeing on a daily basis. That dude has a serious attitude. Even though he’s a small buck, when he shows up all the other bucks move out.

I saw this buck everywhere on the farm.

Here’s the split brow 10-pointer. I saw him twice during the week.

Thursday November 18, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Today was a little different. A few years ago dad tumbled to the ground from his treestand because he didn’t have his safety harness on. Today the bottom of his climbing stand kicked out and he became suspended in the tree for a few minutes before figuring out a way to lower himself to the ground.  This will be the topic of my next article for Outdoors Magazine.

At first light I had 3 does, the same burly 6-pointer and a small 8-pointer go past me on. At 9:30am I had an 8-pointer with a forked G-2 come into five yards. He spent 15 minutes under me. I thought he was a mature deer but I wasn’t sure enough to shoot him.  I ended up getting some great video of him. I sat in the same place tonight and saw a small 8-pointer with a webbed rack especially on the right side. Dad didn’t see a deer this morning. He saw 7 does and 2 bucks tonight.

Hopefully our time doesn’t run out before we got a shot opportunity. It’s winding down quickly.

Here’s the picture of the forked G-2 buck I passed.

Not sure I should have passed this guy.

Wednesday November 17, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The time is starting to get away from us. Hopefully we can something in front of us worth shooting. It rained most of the day today. I sat down below the knob next to the culvert in the woods today. It’s the first time I sat there this year.

I had action right at daylight. A half-rack 8-pointer came from behind me. He was in cruising mode and passed directly underneath me. A few minutes later I saw teh big broken tined 6-pointer followed by the big 7-pointer that got his ass kicked by the forked brow 10-pointer a few days ago in the cornfield. A short time later a nice 8-pointer chased a doe down off the hill to me. At 11 o’clock I had a really good 10-pointer come from behind me. He was a marginal shooter with a crab claw on the end. I got out of the stand at noon which was probably a mistake. On the way out I saw a small buck on the top of the hill next to the cut cornfield. It looks like an awesome place for a stand and there has been a lot of activity there. As I continued down the logging road toward the truck I saw the buck they nicknamed Captain Hook. He has a long dagger spike on one side and a nice, large 4 points on the other side with a hook down near the base of his antler.

Tonight I sat in the big timber plot with is a standing soybean field. I saw a shooter 8-pointer just inside the timber. It was 3:15pm. He never came to the plot. Right at dark a doe came in to feed. The wind was absolutely howling. Dad saw a pile of does today and a really nice 8-pointer tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. Here’s Captain Hook.

Soybean plot I sat on.

Tuesday November 16, 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Today was crystal clear. It started off about 30 degrees and topped out at 50. I hunted the bowl. At first light I had a really good buck go under me. I glassed him and thought he wasn’t a shooter until it was too late.

A short time later does started piling past me. I sat the entire day because the action was non-stop. I ended up seeing 29 does with 5 button-bucks. I think many of the deer were repeats but it’s hard to know for sure. I saw the same big 8-pointer that I passed yesterday as well as another 8 which was a tad smaller. I also saw a scrubby 6-pointer as well as the largest body 6-pointer I’ve ever seen.

Dad saw a good buck while sitting outside the tent at 1pm. He was fixing mantles on the lantern when a doe came screaming off the hill in front of him with a shooter buck in hot pursuit. In his morning sit he saw 19 does and three bucks. I have a feeling we’re on the edge. All we need now is a little luck. The wind was mostly WNW most of the day until is shifted to WSW an hour or so before dark. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Crappy picture, but this is the shooter I accidentally passed

Small 8-pointer I passed

Good 8-pointer I passed