Archive for October, 2014

Tuesday October 21, 2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Today’s my brother’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that he’s a year shy of his 50th birthday. It’s amazing how quickly time passes. That’s why I spend so much time enjoying the things I love. There’s no place I’d rather be than in the woods during hunting season. Although I prefer to be there after the leaves have fallen I still enjoy it even when they’re in the process of finding their way to the forest floor.

I decided to do a large loop since the woods were wet and quiet. I had the intention of checking three of my cameras as well as looking to see if any trees had dropped nuts in between where the cameras were placed. The first camera I checked had a lot of pictures on it, but only one small spike buck, which is the same one my dad saw a few weeks ago.  I was surprised I didn’t get any other bucks on the camera. It made me realize that all of the human activity in the area now really affects the deer as compared to past years. Although it’s state land it borders private land that is a hunting lease and a power line had a major overhaul last year. What used to be so brushy you could barely walk through it now looks like a super highway. I had a lot of daylight pictures on my camera up until the time period when the people on that lease set up a tree stand in the area. As soon as the tree stand went up I haven’t had a daylight picture since that time.

I’m not sure why, but it also irritates me that the tree stand was even put up in that particular place. It’s an area I’ve hunted for the last 32 years, but the last couple of years I finally saw the first human sign I’ve ever seen there along with a few people. I know the reasons behind it, but all in all I think it’s common courtesy to avoid an area where you know someone else has strong ties. I guess that’s what makes me successful. I do like it in that area, but I have no strong bonds to anyplace. I’ll just continue looking for the right place and it appears that once again that place doesn’t hold the magic that it used to for a variety of reasons. When the rabbit isn’t hiding in the hat anymore it’s time to get a new hat or a new rabbit………you make the choice.

I’ve left the props behind many time to search for greener pastures with more opportunities and more often than not that decision has paid off. When I arrived at the second camera I was drenched in sweat due to a minor miscalculation in my route. I had a lot of pictures, but no bucks.  All of my cameras have had turkeys on them. This area isn’t known for turkeys. When I was younger there weren’t any turkeys at all so the birds have come a long way over the last three decades.

When I got to the third camera I was lucky enough to see my first deer of the season as it bounded up the hill. I couldn’t identify, but later found out it was a doe. It had been feeding in front of the camera for the last half hour. That card pull was a good one. I got three new bucks on it for a total of four bucks on that one camera and two 8-pointers, which is fabulous for the area. I’m pretty sure on of my buddies will kill one or more of these bucks during the season when I’m out of state. I wish them luck because they deserve it.

After pulling the card I headed down the mountain and back to the truck. The gap between the first camera I checked and the last one was a considerable distance and I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad to see much more activity on the last camera than anyplace else. It goes to show you that human interference and motorized vehicles do make a difference in deer activity in certain areas.

I probably won’t be getting out again until this weekend when I go north. We’re bringing my nephew with us for his first hunting experience. I’m really excited. He got his license when he was a kid, but never had a chance to go hunting because of all of his hobbies. He’s in his early 20s and I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy it. He has a thinking mind very similar to my own. He likes to be alone with his thoughts and that is one of the main reasons I enjoy hunting so much. I hope his first experience is a memorable one.








Sunday October 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

We got  a late start today. As we headed down the road we were greeted with a steady rain, which turned to snow. Since I hadn’t packed any of my rain gear we turned around to get it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Since it poured all day yesterday I wanted to make sure I stayed as dry as possible today.

Since the woods were so quiet I decided to walk all day. As I went from one place I expected to come across good sign at any moment, but it never really happened. As the morning hours faded away the clouds dispersed and the sun began to cast it’s light through the treetops. Shortly after the sun made its presence known the wind picked up and blew willy nilly for the rest of the day.

Around 11 o’clock I came upon a fresh bed. The deer had just gotten up and headed toward a big hardwood bowl on the opposite side of the ridge from where I stood. If I could cover the ground quickly I figured I might have a chance of catching him feeding in the bowl.

As I followed the tracks I caught some movement to my right and a few seconds later I could see a very large bear bounding toward me. Not knowing what to do I pulled the hammer back on my gun and waited. A few seconds later I saw a cub. I fumbled through my pocket for my video camera. By the time I got mama and baby boo bear had stopped and stood quietly on the ridge above me, probably only about 50 yards away. As I zoomed in on them the wind shifted and away they went. I managed to get a few seconds of poor quality video, but the experience will surely stay with me for as long as I live.

I continued still-hunting into the afternoon without any success, but success is relevant. I wasn’t successful with seeing any deer, but I had an awesome time in the woods. If more people could experience something like I experienced today they would have a much better appreciation for why a real hunter goes to the woods every day. I find inner peace there, so I will return as long as I’m willing and able. I thank god for giving me the time I’ve had to spend in the woods. I hope I have many more years ahead of me. Here’s a quick video of the bears I saw and another video of a spider I watched on the side of a tree.




Saturday October 18, 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Today was brutal from the start. I left the house at 3:50 and headed north. After picking my dad up we go on the road shortly thereafter. As we turned off the main road onto the road where my uncle’s camp is located we noticed my cousin unloading his truck, so we stopped and unloaded our gear, too. A few minutes later we were on our way up the road for our first day in the woods with a firearm for the 2014 season.

Noticing my dad didn’t have his rain gear with him I asked what he was going to do since rain was forecasted for the entire day. He looked at me with a blank stare and said, “Really?” Actually, the meteorologist said it would be off and on showers throughout the day and they would begin around 8am.

He wasn’t wrong with the starting time. Shortly after 8 the rain began to come down and before long it was a torrential downpour that only let up once or twice throughout the day. By the time we got out of the woods I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and the gloomy weather. I also put some miles on to check many different areas for sign. When I was done I took note that not much action has started yet and I wasn’t surprised. I got a few photos on my trail cameras, but nothing of any significance. I did get a 4-pointer with a big body for such small antlers. Something tells me pictures are going to be few and far between this year due to the really harsh winter last year. At the end of the day neither dad nor I saw a thing. Upon returning to camp Kyle we found out Kyle didn’t see anything either.



Monday October 13, 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

I went back to work this morning, but dad had the day off for Columbus Day. I put my stand in a tree for him in an area where I’ve been getting consistent pictures of a nice buck during daylight. Sure enough, right after the sun came up he saw some movement coming up the hill. A small doe made it’s way under the stand and then he saw another one coming. He was sure it was the buck because the body was big and stocky. A few seconds late and a huge doe walked under him. The rest of the morning passed quickly for him and the buck never showed up.

I went out this evening and sat on the front of the mountain in a place I’ve never sat. I follow the sign and the area was loaded with sign where the deer have been feeding. I was a little surprised when I saw a well-used scrape on the flat. I’ll probably put a camera there in the next week or so. The wind was steady tonight and I didn’t see a thing. We have really high temperatures forecasted for the next few days. I won’t be getting back out until this weekend for the opener of muzzleloading season. I’m looking forward to it and I have a good feeling. I’ll be up north chasing the big boys around. Hopefully a lot of the leaf cover will be gone. The leaves are still pretty thick down here in the southern Adirondacks. Here’s a photo I gout out of one of my cameras. I’ll be checking the other cameras up north this weekend.


Sunday October 12, 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

I headed back to the mountain today and sat in and amongst all the big oaks that were dropping nuts. I had another uneventful morning. It was 29 degrees today when I gout out of the truck. The squirrels are plentiful this year, which is good.

As I sat in my stand and listened to the sounds of nature my mind raced back in time. I was 14 years old and I sat patiently in the old wooden stand dad had built me. The sun had just come up and the frost covered leaves were scattered across the forest floor. As I exhaled the sight of my breath captured and held me for a few seconds. Lost in the moment I suddenly heard a flock of geese above me. Glancing toward the sky I could clearly see that their journey to the south had begun. Fall was underway and winter would be breathing down our necks in a matter of weeks.

I heard the geese this morning just as I did on that morning 31 years ago. Although I’m much older now the appreciation of the moment remains the same. The journey south has begun for the geese and my journey into the heart of hunting season has now begun. Unlike the geese I’m not sure where the journey will take me. Your worst hunting season can become your best in a matter of seconds.

Saturday October 11, 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

It was a chilly morning. When I got out of the truck the thermometer read 31 degrees. I didn’t get overheated on my walk to the stand I left in the woods last night. I was in the tree before daylight and waited for the woods to come alive. Shortly after daylight the squirrels and chipmunks scurried through the leaves in search of nuts.

Before long the Blue Jays were squawking and the forest was awake. A few hours into the sit an owl landed on a branch about 30 yards from me. I got some phenomenal video footage of him. I saw him roll and blink his eyes and it reminded me how amazing it can be when you’re sitting in the woods while the beauty of nature unfolds all around you.

The wind picked up and the sit came up empty. I never had a good feeling from the start. In the evening I sat in the same stand with the same result. For the amount of sign in and around the area I find it hard to believe I haven’t spotted a deer yet, but it is the Adirondacks where the deer aren’t plentiful.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

My dad saw a flock of turkeys and a small spike buck and doe tonight out of one of my other stands. Although it’s really hard to see a buck of any kind in the mountains dad let the little guy walk. This area gets a fair amount of pressure during gun season, so he might not make it, but by dad giving him a pass he stands that much more of a chance. When people say they shot a buck because if they didn’t the neighbor would have they are really talking about themselves as being the neighbor. They are indeed the neighbor. It’s a shame that those people don’t realize it.

Friday October 10, 2015

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

While I would have liked to get out sooner than this I’ve been overwhelmed at work and I haven’t had the time to go hunting. My health has not been well over the last few months and the doctors are still trying to determine what the problem is. I haven’t felt well since late July. I’m hoping for a little relief, but at the same time I’m just glad to be alive and I could never ask for more than that. I have a lot of things planned for this season and those things are starting to happen quickly now.

I wandered around the woods tonight to do a quick scouting session in hopes of finding someplace to sit in the morning. I covered a fair amount of ground and finally decided on a flat where the oak trees were dropping nuts. I saw where the deer had turned the leaves over in search of food so I’m going to give it a whirl in the morning.  I didn’t see a deer tonight.

Last week when I set cameras up I told my dad I found an area where there was a lot of sign. The deer had been feeding there on a regular basis so I sent him in that direction. He spotted a nice racked buck on his way out and he’s going to sit there in the morning. I didn’t see a deer, but I did get the photo of this buck on one of my cameras. This is a good buck for the Adirondacks.