Archive for November, 2011

Saturday November 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

We arrived in Kansas today. It was a long ride and we got stuck in a 2-3 hour traffic jam. By the time we got here we didn’t have very much time to hunt before dark. We both wanted to get in the woods so we hunted for a couple of hours. I saw three does make their way across the top of the cornfield near where I was sitting just as it was getting dark. Dad saw a couple of bucks in a piece of woods we call The Big Timber. It was 62 degrees and windy. The wind was out of the southwest. Since I’m writing this after the fact and copying from my journal I’ll try to post trail-cam pictures from the day they were taken on to make it easier and more entertaining. We saw a few big bucks in Illinois this morning on our trip. They were chasing does in fields next to the road. Since my computer isn’t working well at all I’m not sure how the updating process will be for my journal. I’ll do the best I can over the next week. Bear with me. We killed this deer one year ago today.

Friday November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Last night after I killed the deer I went to the store to buy an antlerless tag. I figured I would take a doe this morning if the opportunity presented itself. The processed meat tastes too damn good and I would like as much as possible.

I didn’t get to sit too long. It was pretty chilly in the morning with a really good coating of frost and the wind was blowing fairly hard. When I got into the woods I realized that I forgot my coat and extra sweaters back at camp. I thought about sitting in the truck, but I decided to tough it out. We were only going to sit until 10. At that time we were going to break camp and head for Kansas. Nick and Doug would head for home.

At 8am dad told me on the radio that he had hit a good buck. He didn’t know how badly he was hit and he told me to stay on the radio while he looked. I packed my stuff up and headed to where he was in case he needed any help. A short time later we were celebrating a truly once in a lifetime occurrence. I’m sure that it might have happened to only a few people all across the United States.

All week in the tent before we went to bed we joked with Doug about killing an 11-pointer on 11/11/11. We kept telling Doug he was going to do it and then dad said he was going to do it. We joked every night. Well, when 11/11/11 showed up dad made it happen. He killed an 11-pointer. I couldn’t be happier for him. I could hear it in his voice and see it in his body language. I was really happy for him. I’m glad we all took part in this awesome event. I don’t have any words that can explain how I feel.

Due to a few unfortunate incidents we found some new land and in the matter of 48 hours this land paid off for us. It’s kind of like paying your dues. Don’t be afraid to try something different if the same old places and strategies aren’t working out.

I’ll also share a random picture that I took over the course of the week. One day when I was wandering through the woods in my normal hunting place I came upon a large beech tree with some carvings on the side of it. Since I’m dealing with all of my medical issues it kind of struck a chord with me. I’m not sure if I will find out if I have cancer or for that matter if I have anything in that mass at all. I do know it will be taken out and I’m nervous about what is to come. As you can see from the picture someone lost a loved one to cancer. They wrote their message so all people who pass by the tree can see it. I felt a bit of sadness creep into me the day I walked past the tree. I remember walking by the same tree in 2007 and there wasn’t anything on it. This person obviously goes to the woods to search for inner peace. I can feel for them. Although they don’t know it I’m glad I shared a part of their journey. In some strange way it inspired me to help others and fight the fight to the best of my ability. My family is tough. My mother’s side of it has been riddled with cancer. Many of them have survived and they’re tough. I only hope I have some of their toughness inside of me. She and her brother are the greatest warriors in my eyes. I respect and admire their strength and courage. It’s truly amazing. We’re on the road to Kansas. I can’t wait to see what will transpire over the next week.


Thursday November 10, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It was weird this morning as we had to travel quite a ways from camp. I’m used to driving no more than 10 minutes. We saw a few deer in the fields as we made our way to the new spot we found. In some weird way it gave me a calming sensation.

The morning was relatively calm. When I got out of the stand at 11am I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see a deer. I still felt confident though. Dad had a nice 7-pointer come past him shortly after it got light. Doug and Nick didn’t see any deer today.

The afternoon greeted us with a pounding rain and some snow flurries. It was much different than the last couple of days. At 3:45pm I was trying to hide from the rain that was pelting me in the face when I noticed a nice 8-pointer coming my way. I was undecided on whether or not I wanted to shoot him, but I quickly decided that I would take him. I love the summer sausage and snack sticks that we have made when we kill a deer out here, plus he had a nice rack. As he munched on acorns 20 yards away I drew my bow. He took a quick break, picked his head up and looked the opposite direction. I shot the shot just like I was shooting a 3-d target. I kept the front arm stiff, moved my elbow rearward and waited for the explosion. Within a couple seconds the arrow was on its way. It zipped through the deer like a bolt of lightning through the sky. He bounded away. When he got about 50 yards from me he turned around to see what the noise was and he toppled over.  Although he’s not anywhere near one of my biggest deer he’s still a respectable one. We’re leaving for Kansas tomorrow afternoon so I only had one sit left anyway.

It’s amazing how taking advantage of  little opportunities sometimes brings you bigger and better things. Since the property has been a little crowded this week it felt good to go on an adventure to see if we could find a spot of our own. It’s amazing how some people don’t have enough confidence to find their own spot. I find great satisfaction when I explore different area and find a place where I can kill a big buck. That’s why I never would break the hunter’s code of ethics and return to a place where another hunter brought me. I’m proud of all of the deer I’ve killed because I’ve killed them all in places that I’ve found myself. You can’t ask for more than that.

Wednesday November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It was overcast but still warm today. The temperature was 70 degrees at noon. Nobody saw a deer this morning. I saw a new group of 10 Amish guys today. This was the group that tows the trailer behind the van and hires a driver. They are pounding the woods. I’m not sure if they killed anything.

This evening Doug saw 4 deer and I saw 2 does and 2 fawns. Dad and I received a tip about a piece of public land about 25 minutes from where we normally hunt. We went there to check it out. Heck, we figured we didn’t have anything to lose. We spent the afternoon there scouting. I found what I think is a really good place and dad found a place he’s really excited about. Dad saw 2 guys, but I didn’t see anyone.  This place feels pretty remote. It’s a refreshing feeling to get away from the area we have hunted for the last 10 years. One thing I’ve learned over the year is you can’t be afraid to take chances and look at new places. If you don’t explore you’ll never know if something better exists. You might lose a day here or there, but you might also gain a great new spot. Nick didn’t see anything tonight. He hunted with Doug. The wind is absolutely howling. It’s somewhat scary to be in a tree. I feel very confident for the first time that we will see a good one tomorrow. Doug told Nick tonight that he better watch out because this is the first time dad and I went off together. He said that when that happens they usually start shooting deer……………we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I have a good feeling.

Tuesday November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It looks like the deer finally started moving today. Dad and I hunted and area we haven’t hunted in quite a few years. I’m not sure why we haven’t been there, but we haven’t. It’s a place where we used to see a lot of deer and some big ones, too. I actually don’t remember the last time my feet touched the forest floor in that area. It felt good to return there. At 10am I saw a 5-pointer come off a ridge behind me. He diddled around in a scrape for a few minutes before heading up the hill. I put my trail camera on the scrape to see if some other bucks might be using it. Although none of the scrapes look freshened I decided to give it a while just to see. I ended up getting a few pictures, one of which was this same buck.

At 10:30 a deer came down past me through a strip of timber. I couldn’t see it well enough to identify, but I’m pretty sure it was a doe. Dad didn’t see anything this morning. Doug saw 2 does getting chased by 2 bucks. He passed on a really good 8-pt with a bunch of junk on the bases of its antlers.  He thinks he might have made a mistake. This evening he hunted in one of my favorite spots. Shortly after arriving there he passed a nice 10-pointer. Almost anyone would have killed this deer, but he’s looking for a buck larger than anything he has killed in the past. I sent Nick to one of my favorite places this morning. He saw a really good 10-pointer following 2 does. He had the buck at 50 yards but was never presented with a good shot. Tonight, in the same spot, he saw a shooter 8-pointer. All of the deer ended up winding him. It was 77 degrees today.

In the evening dad and I hunted an area that we haven’t hunted in a while. Yes, another one of those places. We saw the van full of Amish guys. They hire a driver to drive them to the place to hunt for the day. They pack all 10 guys in the van with all of their equipment and stands. They use a deer hauler to bring their deer home if they get one. It’s a sight to behold. I really can’t explain it to you unless you witness it for yourself. They killed a really good 8-pointer and a dink 8-pointer. They also wounded a few deer. Every year, between gun and bow hunting they put a hurting on the deer.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. It seems like the deer were moving today. Although the pictures aren’t in the right sequence you can see the deer arriving at the scrape, addressing the licking branch and then putting the scent around his eyes on it. This is the best sequence of pictures I’ve seen from one of my trail cams.

Monday November 7, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It was really slow today. Nick and I saw a small buck on the road around noon. The 70 degree temperature and full moon surely aren’t helping things. None of us saw a deer in the woods today. It was good to see all of our friends from the local towns today. We’ve made great friends today and it was good to meet up with them, swap stories and share some great laughs. They showed us some pretty impressive pictures of deer that have been recently killed by friends of theirs and some trail camera pictures of bucks they hope to get a crack at. I hope they put one on the ground. These guys are the real deal. You could never ask for more genuine friends. It’s a pleasure to know them.

Sunday November 6, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The movement seems kind of slow. I saw only one deer today and it was at 11am. I couldn’t identify whether it was a buck or a doe. Nick saw a deer at first light, but nothing else. My dad had a decent day. He saw 3-pointers which he passed. Doug saw a 6-pt and 7-pt tonight. The great thing is that since there’s a little more hunting pressure than we’re normally used to it will allow us to go out searching in order to find new and better places. It should be an interesting week. I’m just glad I’m able to hunt. A month from now my world might be completely different. I’m trying to enjoy every minute I’m in the woods…………..until tomorrow.


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I’ll be updating my journal. Since I was out of town hunting it was extremely hard to try to access my website. I’ll transfer the notes from my written journal into this journal over the course of the next week. How fast I’m able to get it done will depend on all of the tests and Dr. visits that I have during the week. Come back and read along as you’ll be able to share some incredible stories from across the Midwest. My favorite of all is about a critter we named “Bobcoatee.” I’m sure you’ll be as amazed as I was when I came in contact with this creature. It was simply an unforgettable, once in a lifetime event. I feel blessed to have witnessed it.

Monday November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The hunting has been poor at best. Today got up to 70 degrees this afternoon. Although there’s a lot of sign the deer sightings have been down. I’ve located somemreally good sign in a few different places. Hopefully the deer will start moving. I’m sure the full moon isn’t helping matters. The does have to be close so I’m sure once one of them is hot all hell will break loose. I’d like to think that we are on the edge of scoring. Time will tell. Normally I would
Be worked up about a few different things but this year I could care less. I’m just glad to be in the outdoors
enjoying everything nature has to offer. Until tomorrow….

Saturday November 5, 2011

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Today was our first day hunting in Ohio. With everything going on I’m just thankful the Dr let me go. It was 25 degrees this morning. I saw a shooter buck cross the road on my way to hunt. Then around 945 I saw a dandy. He was headed right to me until the wind shifted. I got to watch him high step it out of there. Nick also saw a good buck this morning. The evening was uneventful. There are a lot of hunters. Some of them from my hometown could have been taught a lot about ethics and respect while growing up. It’s too bad they never learned and see nothing wrong with their actions. Very sad.