Archive for October, 2011

Saturday October 29, 2011

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I went to scout a new place today after my tests at the hospital this morning. It was about an hour and 20 minutes southeast of me right on the border of Vermont. It was steeper than steep. I didn’t see anything that impressed me. I’m sure there are some nice bucks, but it wasn’t a place I would consider for any serious hunting. I won’t be hunting at all this week. My book is going to the printer on Tuesday and I’m leaving for the Midwest on Thursday. I’ll update everything when I return. Good luck and shoot straight. Oh yeah, to my buddy Steve………..I hope you bag a big one. It’s your turn. You can end your great year by putting a nice buck on the ground now that you got your book out there on the market. Hunt hard and hunt safe.

Friday October 28, 2011

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

When I left the house at 5:30am the temperature was 25 degrees and it was calm. The sky was crystal clear. I figured it would be a good morning in the woods. Heck after my visit to the doctor yesterday anytime in the woods is good. I have to head to the hospital for a bunch of tests. Hopefully they can figure this out pretty soon so I stop losing valuable hunting time. This week is usually the week that things start happening.

When I got to camp there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. As I walked through the woods snow was hanging all over the branches. It was impossible to see very far. I wanted to sit near a place where I’ve been seeing a lot of fresh tracks. It appeared that deer had been using the area to get into a pretty big area covered with beech trees. Since the beechnuts are plentiful this year the deer have been feeding heavily in that area.

The sun peeked out from behind the mountain a little while after it got light out. The snow glistened in the trees and I patiently waited as I took it all in. The morning actually passed slowly. Around 8am I heard a coyote howl and he was pretty close to me. I thought I would get a look at him, but never did. When I got up I walked over to where I thought he was when he howled. I found his tracks and decided to follow them. Low and behold a couple minutes later and I walked right up to my lost trail camera. If they coyote hadn’t howled I probably never would have found my camera. I have to think him for that, although that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass if I seem him later in the season.

Since I’ve seen a lot of sign in that area and something in my gut kept telling me to stay there I decided to still-hunt for a while in the afternoon and then find a place to sit for the last couple of hours before dark right in that general area.

I heard a few blue-jays cawing but didn’t pay much attention. A few minutes later I spotted a deer coming up out of the bottom. From a quick glance I thought he was a 10 pointer. Within 5 seconds from seeing him I took a shot because I knew I wasn’t going to get another one. He would be out of sight any second. I wasn’t positive if I hit him and he ran back my way so I shot again. When he hit the dirt one antler got caught under some routes. I had to wrestle around and dig it out. After I gutted him out I tried to drag him. That was a mistake. My broken ribs and guts couldn’t handle it. I called my dad and my buddy Doug Coons to help me. Without their help I would have been screwed. It’s always nice to be surrounded by good people. I feel very fortunate for that. It’s nice to be in that fraternity.

The buck was a nice 8-pointer. He was a long deer. I’m guessing that he’s pretty young but I won’t know until I have the teeth checked. I also think he looks very similar to Tank, the buck I got a trailcam picture of last year. I’ll post a few pictures of my day. It’s great to be out in the great outdoors.

Monday October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

It was a rainy, raw and miserable day. As I sat at work all day I realized that I wouldn’t have much time to retrieve one of my trail cameras before I left for the Midwest. I decided to head into the woods to get it after work.

When I got to the camera I had 100 images. I was excited because it was on the flat where I killed the Grunter. I also got a number of pictures of different bucks last year, one of which was Tank.

I was highly disappointed after going through all of the images. Every single one of them was of gray squirrels. I didn’t capture one image of a deer. After I pulled the camera I wandered all over the back side of the mountain. I didn’t see anything that made me want to return this year. I’m sure I’ll go back once or twice, but not right away.

I won’t have time to hunt until Friday. I’ll be off the entire day.

Sunday October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

It was 45 degrees when I headed out this morning. The meteorologist really missed the boat. We were supposed to get a heavy frost accompanied by clear skies. It ended up being fairly mild with overcast skies for most of the day.

Dad hunted the top of the mountain and I hunted a little ways from The Rock which I wrote about in my first book. I’m still searching for my trail camera but I’m pretty convinced that I will never see it again. I’m not sure if my blood sugar was possibly low when I hung the camera and I didn’t really put it where I thought I put it. Whatever the case may be I’m more than a little annoyed. For the way everything has been going it seems par for the course.

I saw a lot of gray squirrels today, but no deer yet again. Dad didn’t see any deer either. I found where the deer feasted on beech nuts this morning on the flat area around the small swampy area above the rock. It looks like they rummaged all through the leaves in search of a good breakfast.

I had to get out of the woods early to finish putting the corrections into my new book. I started at noon and finished all of the corrections at 8:30. I’m exhausted and not looking forward to the work tomorrow.

Between my health and a few other things going on I’m not sure if I’ll get out this week. I would like to somehow find the time, but I have a feeling it’s going to be very difficult. These health issues I’m battling sure as hell aren’t helping matters.

Took a picture of this old red building just for memories. We used to walk by this building an awful lot on our way into the woods to go hunting. It seems so long ago yet not long at all.

Saturday October 22, 2011

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

I would like to write a long entry, but I’m not going to. I just saved the one I did and the computer crashed which lost the entire thing. To make a long story short, I hunted with dad today. He saw 1 doe this morning and 2 this afternoon. I didn’t see a thing all day.

Yesterday I put one of my trail cameras out and today I couldn’t find it. I searched high and low for it but it’s no place to be found. I’m more than a little irritated. I know where I put it and it’s not there. I don’t have any guess as to where it went. It was there less than 24 hours. Maybe I’m losing my mind and totally forgot where I really put it. Any way you look at it I’m out a couple hundred bucks. Who knows…………maybe I’ll get lucky and locate it some day, but I really doubt it at this point.

I took a picture of my gun today. It has been a long time since the Widow Maker has roared.  It’s tough to be successful when you hunt out of state during the most productive times. That’s what I like to do at this point in my life so I have no complaints. I do miss hunting the big woods of the Adirondacks though.

Friday October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21st, 2011

I had the day off today. Since my ribs have been quite sore I didn’t want to push my luck. I decided I would walk very slowly and poke through the woods in search of some good sign.

My dad accompanied me. He moved a couple of tree stands that have been hanging for a few years. We didn’t see any deer. There are still way too many leaves on the low stuff to see very far. A deer would have to be right on top of you to get a good look at it. I moved one of my trail cameras today and set another one out in a place I’ve always wanted to put one. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures on them in a few weeks. I’m not confident about the trail cameras like I was last year. With all of the acorns on the ground it was easy to put the cameras up in feeding areas. This year there’s no concentrated food source, so it will be pot luck. I have them set up on runways in funnels.

Today is my brother’s birthday. When I was walking down the front side of the mountain on my way back to the truck it made me realize how fast time flies. He’s 46 today. It seems like it was only a handful of years ago when we shared a bedroom. Life has taken us in different directions, but we both shared a lot of times in the woods where I was today.

Tomorrow is opening day of Northern zone rifle season in New York. I’m sure a few bucks will be killed. Usually the heaviest deer are killed early in the season before the rut kicks in. Maybe one of my friends will give me a call and I can go see a deer tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.

My health has been a mess this year. It sucks not being able to go out when I want to. I just hope I heal up and feel better by the time I leave for vacation in a couple of weeks. I killed this deer on opening day in 1998. You can read about him in my new book Backcountry Bucks when it comes out in the next few months. Rob Miner killed the buck in the other photo on opening day in 1991. You can read the story about that buck in the new book, too.

Monday October 17, 2011

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

It’s Tuesday as I sit down to write this entry. Last night did me in. I shouldn’t have ventured into the woods two days in a row. My ribs weren’t ready for the extra stress and I’m paying the price today.

When I went out I had one goal which was to check on my camera that I put in a decent spot in early October. When I got there I was disappointed when I learned it had quit working sometime around October 6th.

As I wandered around I found some decent buck sign. I could tell that a good buck made the sign and I hope one of my buddies gets a look at him before the end of the season.

I had another camera with me so I put it out before heading back down the mountain. I wasn’t overly satisfied with the placement of it, but I’ll go back and check it in a week if I’m feeling better.

Sunday night I saw seven does on the road within a half mile from camp. Monday evening when I was headed into camp I saw a deer take off near the old foundation that’s off to the right of the driveway. When I came out for the evening I saw two does and a fawn go across the road in front of me right near the small pond at the beginning of the driveway. They were headed from the north to the south.

The wind has been out of hand lately. Hopefully the temperature starts cooling down and it begins to feel more like fall. With opening day of Northern Zone rifle beginning on Saturday I’m sure a few nice bucks will fall.

This season hasn’t started off like I had planned. I hope I can somehow get feeling better so I can get out in the woods and enjoy some of the season. I never expected an injury to hold me back this much. I guess I just have to let time heal the wound. I’m beginning to get impatient.

I’ve attached a picture of Steve, Doug and Rob with Rob’s muzzleloader 3-pointer from Sunday and the other picture is a nice doe I got on my trail camera on top of the mountain before the camera decided not to work. Not sure when I’ll get in the woods again. I need some of the pain to subside.

Sunday October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Unfortunately I haven’t been in here in a while. I expected to start hunting every day of the week last week but I ran into some problems when I broke a couple of ribs last Sunday afternoon. Now, I’m just crossing my fingers that they will heal enough so I can draw my bow when my vacation starts on November 3. If they don’t heal I’ll still have a lot of fun. I’ll try to focus on getting some good video and pictures. Time will tell what’s going to happen.

Yesterday was the first day of muzzleloading here in the Northern Zone of New York. My dad hunted the property we own a little north of where we live. He didn’t see any deer. A small doe was shot a little way from where he was hunting. It was extremely windy and spit rain on and off through most of the morning. I went up to our hunting camp and visited with Rob Miner, Steve Sawn and Doug Coons. Rob saw a couple of deer and Doug and Steve hadn’t had any luck yet.

This morning Rob killed a 3-pointer after it got out of its bed and made its way to him. Doug saw a nice 6-pointer when he got close to camp while he was transporting the deer for Rob. I’ll try to post a picture of the little fella if someone forwards a few of them to me.

This evening I decided to go for a walk and set up one of my cameras.  My dad put his camera in the area where he captured a few photos of the bear a couple of years ago. I put my camera in the place where I got the picture of Tank last year. I won’t be spending much time there this year. Without any acorns there’s not enough sign to warrant going there very often. It may change, but I doubt it with all of the beech nuts on the ground higher up the mountain. I’ll do some wandering around up there throughout the week and see if I can find someplace to spend some time. When I finally got the camera up I wasn’t satisfied at all. I will be surprised if I get even one picture.

I spoke to dad on the radio when he was making his way back up the hill. Since we were in the same general area I got to an open spot and tucked in under a pine tree to wait. A couple of minutes later I could see a deer hauling ass right toward me. Within seconds it ran within 10 yards of me. It was a small doe. Nothing followed it. Dad had done a perfect drive to me. When he got there he didn’t even know that he kicked a deer out. If it had a rack I could have plowed it. It felt good to see my first deer of the year while hunting. We’ll see what the rest of the week brings. I have Friday off so my goal this week is to find someplace that looks decent for the opener of the rifle season, which is Saturday.

I’ll try posting a picture of a small buck I got on my trailcam the other day when I checked it.

Sunday October 9, 2011

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

It was in the low 40’s when I left the house this morning. The wind was blowing out of the west. As I walked through the woods on my way to the stand it felt muggy on. It was probably a hint as to what would happen the rest of the day when it topped out in the 80s. I wasn’t into it when I was sitting. I had a hard time paying attention. The weather has been too hot and I don’t have much confidence yet.

I sat for a few hours and didn’t see anything other than a couple of squirrels. I went down behind the house and checked my trail cameras. I left one there and took the other one down. I’m going to set it up in Hogtown later this week. I got more pictures of some bucks. I’ll try to download a few of them. The temperature is supposed to stay high for most of the week. I’m desperately waiting for a little change in the air. I’m ready for the crisp cool mornings of fall. I still haven’t seen a deer while hunting. Hopefully my luck changes this week.

Monday October 3, 2011

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

I didn’t feel well today but I headed to the woods anyway. Since I haven’t had much time to look around I wanted to check a few things out. I went to my old stomping grounds to look for some buck signs and any indication of where the deer might be feeding.

It has been years since I’ve seen a significant beech crop in the area. That’s not the case this year as there appears to be an abundance of beech nuts. I haven’t found any acorns yet and it looks like they will be spotty at best.

I expected to see a few rubs here and there, but I didn’t see one on my entire walk. When I got down near one of my favorite places I noticed where someone had cut a few small trees and nipped a few others. After further examination I found where they propped a few rocks against a small hemlock tree on a knob. It’s a perfect funnel due to a small swamp hole that gives the deer limited options when they reach that point. It’s a bottleneck of sorts and the deer have to go on the high side around the water or the low side. I’m pretty sure my friends Steve and Doug cleared out the place to sit because Doug killed a pretty good buck in that area a few years ago.

Eventually I found a place for my camera. I put it on top of the mountain. I wasn’t too excited when I left. It’s like sitting in a place where you would be surprised if you saw a deer. I will be surprised if I get more than a couple of pictures. For now I guess I’ll just hope for one picture. I’ll go back and check it in a couple of weeks.

I didn’t see any deer today. The woods were quiet and the canopy is still very heavy, which makes visibility extremely poor.

My buddies from Kansas sent me a few trail cam photos today. I’ll attach them after this. I also found an old trail cam picture from a couple of years ago. I had this in the piece of woods where I hunted tonight and never saw the picture until last night. Meanwhile, it was taken at the end of the season in 2009. I’m not sure how I missed it, but I did.