Archive for November, 2012

Sunday 11/11/12

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

We didn’t get much sleep last night. It rained like crazy and the thunder and lightning was a little scary to say the least. The wind was upward of 50mph and the walls of the tent shook like someone whipping a towel. When morning came the temperature dropped like a rock into the upper 20s.

We got a late start since it was still raining so hard at daylight. I headed to the North Bowl which has been one of my favorite places to sit since my first year hunting in Kansas. I always see a lot of deer there and I just like the view from the stand.


I saw 13 deer including a really cool deer with forked G-2s. I wanted to shoot him but he was too young. I’m guessing he was just 2 1/2 with some serious potential to grow a huge rack in  a few years. I also saw a mature 8-pointer with a huge body. He was right on the ass of a doe when he went past me. He was a shooter, but his rack wasn’t quite what I was looking for, especially on the first day of the hunt. A 4-pointer quickly came into sight right on the trail of the same doe after the 8-pointer got past me.

Dad saw a lot of deer today. He found a good size 9-pointer that most likely died from EHD/Blue Tongue Disease. I’m pretty sure the disease killed a lot more deer than most people in the area think it did. It’s a horrible disease and wreaks havoc on the deer herd.

This afternoon I sat in the Tube Stand. At 3:10pm I saw a dandy 9-pointer, but let him walk. After he took a few steps I instantly thought it might be a mistake. He was much bigger than I thought he was when he was directly under me. I’m guessing he was at least in the mid 140s. It’s hard to tell until they’re on the ground but I do know I really wish I put an arrow in him to end my four year drought in Kansas.

A short time later I saw the same 10-pointer with forked G2s that I saw this morning. He’s a really nice buck. I got some good video of him that I’ll try to share on here if I figure it out. I currently have some of my videos on YouTube but haven’t figured out how to copy the link and paste it in here so you can view them. I can’t even copy the address bar so it’s not working quite yet. When I figure it out I’ll put the link up. The same 4-pointer showed up, too as well as three does.

When I came out and waited for dad on top of the field in the fence break I saw a shooter buck in the skyline out in the field. Dad said he saw more deer than he could count and one dandy shooter. I think we might be close. It’s 27 degrees as I write this. It should be a really good morning. I love hunting in Kansas. This is the best place I’ve ever hunted. I’ve never experienced anything that can remotely compare. I feel very fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity to hunt out here. As with anything most good things eventually come to an end so I’ll enjoy it for as long as it lasts and hope that’s for many more years. Here’s a video of the G-2 buck.

Saturday 11/10/12

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I sat one last time in Illinois this morning. I sat in the stand where Bobby hit the Big 8 earlier in the week. I like it because it offers good cover since it’s in a small cedar tree overlooking a good travel path through some thick stuff that breaks out into the open out in front of the stand.

Dad rolled into town around 9 o’clock so I didn’t sit too long. Nobody saw a deer this morning. We got on the track from the deer Bob hit last night. It didn’t take long before we ran out of blood. It never appeared to me that the deer was hit too bad.

We got on the road around around noon and rolled into our camp in Kansas at 4:15pm. I ran out for a quick sit behind camp and saw a doe with two fawns, one of which was a button buck. Dad hunted the lowland  by the creek and saw a few deer including a couple of bucks, but nothing big. He likes it down there so I’m not sure how much time he’ll spend in that area this year. It was 76 degrees when we rolled into camp.


Friday 11/9/2012

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I went back to the funnel this morning. Something keeps drawing me there. It’s almost as if an inner feeling is guiding me there. If I had an entire season to hunt this area I’m sure I could put a really good buck on the ground in this general vicinity.

It was a really nice morning to sit but it warmed up quickly. I saw one male and one female  fawn as well as a small 4-pointer. It was interesting to see the two fawns together without their mother. I almost have to assume that the mother is being hounded by rutting bucks which in turn leaves fawns alone this time of year. However, from what I’ve seen I don’t have any reason to think that’s the case. Not being a wildlife biologist or researcher of deer I don’t have a clue what’s going on and can only give a hypothetical guess.

This evening Bob and I decided to go after Freak Nasty or Turkey Foot as Matt and Bobby call him. Shortly after setting up my stand I spotted him through the woods and cruising the next field over from me in search of a does. After observing him for a little while I slowly turned back around toward the field full of clover where I was sitting. When I turned I couldn’t believe the size of the buck I saw coming at me across the field. He was a little way behind a doe and feeding ever so slowly. I could see Bob in the tree a little ways from where the buck was feeding.

I quickly took my camera out and started video taping him as he navigated around the field.  As I watched him I could tell he was getting closer to Bob but couldn’t tell if he was in shooting range. Since he was headed directly toward me I decided I should cut my video footage short and stick the camera back in my pocket.

Just before I clicked the camera off I heard Bob’s bow go off and watched the deer bolt and run for the timber on my side of the field. I didn’t have any problems spotting a glowing Illuminock sticking out of the deer’s midsection toward the hind quarter. Since that’s all I could see I didn’t pass any judgment on what had just transpired. Instead, I put my bow in the holster and readied it in case any deer came by me after all of the commotion that had just taken place. Sure enough, within seconds, I could hear a deer coming and after a quick look I knew it was the same deer that Bob had just hit. From my observations I didn’t see where the deer looked too terribly hurt. He was nibbling on some brush and moving toward me slowly.

He wasn’t in any hurry to get anyplace, so I waited patiently. As one minute led into the next I waited with great anticipation for the buck to come within shooting range. He finally got to a place in the woods where he had to make a choice whether to go left or right I was hoping he would go right. If he turned right I knew it would put him directly in front of me at about 10 yards.

Instead, he chose to go left and down the hill. When he stepped in the hole about 35 yards I settled the pin behind his front shoulder and the arrow was on the way. Although I knew it was a little too brushy I took the shot because I knew the buck was already wounded. When the arrow ricocheted off some brush and sailed over his back i was ticked off. I knew it wasn’t a great shot, but figured it was one I should have made none the less. As the deer ran down the hill and back up the other side he still didn’t appear to be too terribly hurt.

When we got back to the house we examined the video I had taken. I have all of it on video, even the shot. Originally we thought Bob had made a poor shot, but after examining the video it’s quite clear that he made a good shot, but the deer moved so much after the bow went off that it affected the impact point by a considerable margin. The moral of the story is don’t always assume someone made a bad shot if the arrow isn’t anywhere near where it’s supposed to be. Video doesn’t lie and the one I have tells me more than I wanted to know. I’ll definitely store away a lot of what I learned from it.

I saw six bucks tonight and some does. We’re going to track the buck in the morning an see what happens. After observing him I’m quite confident he’s okay. Tomorrow morning will be my last sit in Illinois for the year. I’ll be sad to leave it behind but excited to head to Kansas.

Here are a couple of videos of the night. The big deer is the one Bob hit and the other one is one that came in a few minutes after all of the action passed.

Thursday 11/8/12

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I sat in the funnel again this morning. I saw 2 does go through in the mid morning. I sat there again tonight and had a button buck walk all around my trail camera. He inspected it and walked around it like it was a new statue on the woods. It was entertaining to watch his reactions and somewhat disturbing at the same time. I checked the card in the camera and it appears that most of the activity in the area takes place in the early afternoon.

When we got back to Bobby’s house today Bob showed me a clip from the QDM website about the reactions of deer to trail cameras. After watching the video on the QDM site I quickly saw that the button buck did many of the same things the article talks about. It’s amazing how the camera doesn’t bother some deer, yet freaks out other ones. I’ll keep an eye on this going into the future. If you get a chance go on the website and take a look at the article. You might learn a thing or two just as I did.

Wednesday 11/7/12

Monday, November 26th, 2012

It was a really nice morning with the temperature holding steady around 45 degrees. I sat down in the holler with all of the funnels this morning. I saw a small buck make his way up the hill around 8 o’clock. Just looking around I expect this place to blow up with cruising bucks any day now. Not sure if I’ll be here for it but that would be nice. I’m running out of time though.

This evening I sat back in the bottom again and saw a couple of does in the food plot right before dark. They came down off the hill behind me and splashed through the creek on their way to it. It got my heart pumping until I saw and identified them as does. In the last week they have a few pictures of the Big 10 in this food plot during daylight.

Tuesday 11/6/2012

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

It was about 40 degrees this morning and gray. You could tell rain was on the way and it was only a matter of when it decided to start falling from the sky. Bobby decided to load up the Bottom as he calls it. He knew a deer that he and Matt nicknamed the Big 8 made his home there. It was a pretty thick area along a main road. The reason it’s good hunting is because there are so many little ponds and natural funnels in the corridor that the deer can travel only in certain places. It’s ideal for stand hunting, especially during the rut.

Around 7 o’clock Bobby hit the Big 8. Although he was excited he hit him he was also disappointed that the buck didn’t walk by either me or Alyssa (his girlfriend).  We waited until 9:15 to start tracking but the rain got the best of us once it started coming down and washed all of the blood away. From what I could tell the buck wasn’t hit too terribly bad. At first there was a lot of blood but it quickly got very faint and sporadic along the trail we were following. The rain ended up coming down in buckets by the time we got out of the woods. Since it never bedded I’m assuming it wasn’t hurt too terribly bad. From my experience a hard hit deer usually lays down fairly quickly if he isn’t pushed and we waited a couple of hours before pursuing him. It appeared to be a high shoulder hit. I’m pretty sure he will survive although I think Bobby doubts me.

I sat in a huge bottom tonight. It’s overgrown brush and CRP that you can see a country mile through. I saw a small 8-pointer come to the food plot I was sitting on. I also saw a 6-pointer and about 6 does out in the CRP.

Bobby saw the buck they refer to as the Big 10 tonight, but not shot was offered. Bob saw Freak Nasty over in the alfalfa field again. Tomorrow should be a good day because the weather is beginning to break.

Almost forgot a neat tidbit for the day. After the dust settled Bobby pulled a couple of cameras. He found out the Big 8 this morning was headed right to me about 6:40 am but the camera spooked him causing him to divert his travel route. You can see him jump after the first photo is taken and instead of coming across the pond dam and onto the runway that went 10 yards underneath me he bolted and went higher above me. I guess I just can’t win this trip. So close, yet so far away.

Here’s the video of the 8-pointer I saw in the evening as well as some pictures of where I sat in the morning and evening.



Monday 11/5/2012

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I sat in the same stand this morning as I did yesterday. For some reason I just like it there. It has everything I could ask for as far as funnels and ridge contours. It looks like it should be a gold mine when the bucks are cruising for does.

It poured rain all morning and hung around 40 degrees all day. In the evening I saw about nine deer, including one I named Freak Nasty, although Bobby and his buddy Matt who’s farm we were hunting had already named him Turkey Foot. He’s unique because he has a huge crotch and brow tine then he has a beam projecting backward with another fork. He’s definitely a cool deer but nothing I want to punch a tag on this early in the week. His body looked like a shooter and I had an opportunity to shoot at him at 40 yards, but chose not to. I also saw 8 other deer including 3 button bucks. We sat on a huge field with alfalfa planted in it. It wasn’t planted for a food plot but it sure seems to work like one. It felt good to see some deer. Unfortunately I haven’t seen anything that indicates the bucks are even close to chasing does. Maybe tomorrow will be the day. Here are a few pictures of the stand I sat in the last few mornings and a little look at the woods around it.


Sunday 11/4/12

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Today was my first hunt in Illinois. Bobby knows I like hunting in the woods even though crop fields surround the area we’re hunting. He pointed me in the direction where the woods provided a good travel corridor for rutting bucks.

About 7:30am I had a doe come down the ridge from the CRP field above and bed 30 yards from me in front of a huge oak tree. I sat there watching her lick herself and lay in peace and quiet. She stayed for about a half hour.

Around 8:45 a saw a big mature buck. He had his nose on the ground and was headed someplace as if he were on a mission. Since it was pretty thick where I was sitting I didn’t get a good look at the headgear he was carrying, but I do know he was definitely a shooter.

I didn’t see anything this afternoon. I put my camera out right near where I sat this morning. I want to get a good feel for what’s using the area. It kind of sucks because the camera takes only one picture every 15 seconds. I hope I don’t miss something good because of this. I like the cameras that take pictures in 3-shot bursts.

I also saw a couple really large tom turkeys. One of them might have been the largest wild bird I’ve ever seen. It impressed the hell out of me anyway. It was 40 degrees and calm for the better part of the day. Hopefully things pick up a little tomorrow. Nobody saw much of anything today, even on the neighboring land where outfitters are running hunts.

When I was sitting in the tree this morning Doug sent me a text. I was excited to see that I had service. It even amazed me. He told me my dad had hit a pretty good buck but hadn’t got out of the tree yet to check it out.

After a little while they sent me a picture and dad had scored yet again. That guy could shoot a deer in a closet. He has a knack for finding the bucks. I’m glad I’ve been fortunate enough to learn almost everything I know about hunting from him. He’s taught me more than most people could ever remember. I’ll add photos when they become available.

It’s raining right now and the dampness makes it even colder than what it is. It’s supposed to rain right through the morning tomorrow. We’ll see what the day brings……

Here’s the buck dad got. It’s a crappy cell phone picture back  at camp. I’m not sure if he’ll ever get around to download the actual in-field photos. He’s not up on technology.

Saturday 11/3/12

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I spent nine hours in a truck traveling to Illinois today with Bobby’s dad. It was a long day because we didn’t get going until after noon due to a few bucks being killed where Bob was hunting. They were nice, but nothing huge.

Jeff saw a nice buck today. He wanted to shoot it but couldn’t get a shot. Dad saw a few deer today, too and Doug is being Doug and wandering around looking for what looks like the best possible place for the best chance at success this week. I already miss being with them and sharing the camaraderie around camp. Since I got a chance to hunt a prime piece of ground in Illinois there’s no way I could pass it up. At first I felt guilty about going but after talking to dad about it he said he would do the same thing if given the opportunity. It’s still a little weird hearing him tell me stories on the phone. It reminds me of when he used to go to the Southern Zone when I was little and I would wait by the phone with my mom just to hear if he had any luck and what he saw. It’s funny but I hadn’t thought about those phone calls in years until right now. Hopefully I’ll get one of those calls I always enjoyed the most; the one where he told us he got a nice buck. Then we waited with great anticipation for him to get home so we could see the deer.

I’ll be in the woods in the morning and the weather is supposed to be decent. We’ll see what happens.

Friday 11/2/2012

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

The ride to Ohio seemed to pass quickly this year. Unfortunately I won’t be staying long, as I’m meeting my friend Bob Kendall a little north of where I normally hunt and riding with him to Illinois tomorrow. We will be hunting with my friend, his son, Bobby. I’ve looked forward to this trip for a long time since I’ve never hunted Illinois during the rut. As with all hunting I haven’t allowed myself to have any expectations. Hunting is hunting and you never can predict what will happen on any given day or week. I’ll just hope for the best and see what turns out after I’ve hunted for a week.

We set the tent up quickly after arriving. My dad, Doug and our buddy Jeff all wanted to get in the woods for the evening hunt. It’s always nice to get in the woods that first afternoon so you have a general idea what’s going on. Since Jeff has never been here hunting I took the time to show him around a little bit so he wouldn’t be going in the woods blindly. We didn’t see any deer while we were out and neither did Doug. Dad saw a few. The weather as almost perfect for hunting. It was chilly, without too much wind and very overcast.

When dad came back to the tent he seemed a little irritated. We quickly realized that the top limb on his bow was sheered off. When I asked him what happened he said while coming down the tree in his climber he didn’t look down after he let his bow to the ground on his tow rope. When he made his last hitch before getting off the stand and onto the ground he wasn’t paying attention and the bow was leaning against the base of the tree. It didn’t stand a chance as the V in the stand (where it attaches to the tree) cut into the limb and cut it in half. The bow he was using was one of my old Martins, approximately 10 years old. It’s one of his favorite bows and was always one of my favorite bows.

Since I knew he hadn’t taken any time to properly set up his spare bow I decided to leave my spare with him which as well tuned. We share the same draw length and our equipment is very similar. On another note, he also forgot his arrows so when he went out for the evening hunt I also lent him some of the spare arrows I brought with me. The entire evening basically was a disaster from the get go. Before we ate dinner I gave him the bow and a few more arrows so he would be set for the week. Then, we headed a little north so I could stay at the lodge where Bob was hunting. Hopefully the two of us both have a good week in different states. We’ll be meeting up a week from tomorrow to head to Kansas for a week. We’ll see what happens………and we’re off.