Archive for June, 2012

2012 Season

Monday, June 18th, 2012

During early spring I got out in the woods to scout a few new areas for the upcoming season. I went into an area my cousin was familiar with so we could try to find some sign worth our attention when the leaves come down in the fall.

As we tramped through the woods I really liked the terrain. It had many of the necessary things that are needed for big bucks to feel comfortable. I found a lot of small swamps, rolling knobs and funnels between breaks in the landscape. The more I searched the more disappointed I became with the lack of buck sign.

When I decided I had enough for the day I noticed something that resembled an old signpost rub. As I got closer I saw that it was a signpost tree. Although it hadn’t been used regularly in a few years it did have some tine marks in it from the previous season.

Upon further research I found quite a few scrapes in the surrounding area and a few more pretty good size rubs. Then I found the most impressive rub I’ve ever seen in the Adirondacks.

When I got home I noted everything I found. I returned three more times before I went in for shoulder surgery in early May. Now, I’m hoping to recover in time to enjoy a full hunting season. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some cameras out as I begin to feel better and become more mobile.

Here are a few pictures of the buck sign I found during my scouting trips back in the spring.

2011 Season Recap

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The season was filled with many ups and downs. Although I enjoyed my time in the woods it was unsettling at times. When unexpected events happen you never know how to react, so you take it on the chin and find a way to deal with things as you see fit.

After I found out about the tumor in my hip I decided to go on vacation. In my heart I figured two weeks time wouldn’t make a bit of difference if the tumor was cancerous when it came out. If it was cancerous and anything happened to me I would still be able to reflect on my time in the woods. I didn’t want to stay home and worry about things I didn’t have any control over.

I didn’t see many deer this season, but I capitalized on the few opportunities I had. I thought I was finally going to score in Kansas but it just didn’t work out that way. I needed a few more steps this way or a few less trees and brush that way. I guess that’s why they call it hunting and not grocery shopping.

Back in the early 2000’s when I started hunting Ohio it was absolutely phenomenal hunting. I saw a lot of deer, quite a few bucks, and some huge bucks along the way. It took a few years to learn the area before we started scoring on a regular basis. 2006 was probably our best year ever in Ohio. Everything was coming together and we couldn’t wait for the next season.

Unfortunately when the next season arrived the deer herd in the area we hunted took a blow to the chin. Blue tongue disease wreaked havoc on the area and destroyed the population. The locals said there were so many dead deer laying around that it stunk so bad they didn’t even want to go out of their houses.

Since then the hunting has gotten poorer and poorer in the area we hunt. Although we still kill a few deer now and then I don’t think it will ever return to what it once was.

A few years ago I read Tom Blais’ book on public hunting. There were many good strategies in the book. One thing that he went back to time and time again was to never tell anyone where you’re hunting on public land if you find a good place. When the hunting was good we didn’t tell anyone where we were hunting. As time went by a few things happened and word leaked out. It’s comical to watch the reactions of different people. Since we had success in the past and still have success now a lot of people think they will do the same if they hunt in the areas we hunt instead of doing research on their own and finding much better places to go.

Since I’ve made so many friends in the area I hunt I just like to go there every year to catch up on things. It’s nice to see them, socialize and just share some great laughs around the fire every night. If it was 10 years earlier I wouldn’t still be going there, but killing a deer isn’t my main concern anymore. It’s too bad all of our followers never experienced hunting at its peak in that part of the state. After a few of them went for their first time I heard them talking about how great they thought it was and all I can do is quietly laugh to myself, especially knowing how poor it has become over the last five years.

I’m not sure what will happen in the 2012 season. I’ll definitely be hunting in the Adirondacks and Kansas . Everything else is up in the air.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the 2011 season.