Archive for March, 2016

Tuesday 11/3/2015

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

November 3 has traditionally been a good day for me in the woods. Dad and I have killed some fantastic deer on 11/3. We got them right when they started trotting behind does. They’re senses weren’t quite on par at the time we took them. While it isn’t the best time to see rutting activity, there’s always a good chance you could have a big one go waltzing by at any moment.

This morning I climbed a monstrous hill to go back to the place where the buck almost ran over me and Brian yesterday. Something told me to return. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything. It was a nice morning to sit, but the wind wouldn’t cooperate. It swirled for the better part of the morning. I’m sure that didn’t help my chances of seeing anything.

Dad and Brian went back to the place where we saw the big buck yesterday. Dad picked a tree to put a stand in when he was waiting for us yesterday. On his way to it in the dark, another hunter came running through the woods at him with a flashlight. It caught dad off guard and made him a little nervous. The guy started yelling at him and saying some vulgar things. Although it’s public land, it appears that a lot of people claim spots as their own. It’s hard to believe that the DNR allows people to leave stands in the woods the entire season. It kind of defeats the purpose of public hunting land because once people set up stand, they claim the area as their own. It’s very disappointing. We’ve seen stands almost every place we’ve been. Dad ended up moving, and Brian sat where he had originally planned to sit. Although Brian didn’t see any deer, dad saw a couple of small bucks.

In the afternoon we headed further north to check out some more land. Brian and I put the boots to the ground. I wanted to get into an area that I had studied long and hard on aerial photos. When I looked at the photos, I really thought this would be the place.

It was a lot more rugged than I anticipated. We got into some seriously rugged terrain. I was scared at times because of the steepness of the ridges. I knew if I fell I would probably break something or wind up dead. It was knee-buckling at times.

Finally, after a few hours of walking, I made abet with Brian. Looking ahead of us, I bet him that we would find where a big buck was living. It didn’t take me more than a few minutes to find the magical spot. I know we will kill a buck here. Since it’s so hard to get to, I think we will wait for the right wind and conditions to return. Now that I know where I want to be, I will wait. We found some pretty impressive sign. Scrapes and rubs that tell me that at least one very large deer is living there. I’m excited for the weather to break so we can return.

Brian left a camera in the place where he and dad hunted this morning. I’m looking forward to see what’s on it when we go back to pull the card in a few days. It got up to 83 degrees today. It’s a far cry from the temperatures of last year. I’d say it could be worse, but I’m unsure of how much worse it could really be. It beats the hell out of us to put on as many miles as we have with it as hot as it is.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. No real plans right now. We all feel a little lost.

Monday 11/2/2015

Monday, March 28th, 2016

We used today as a scouting day. We decided right from the start that we would cover a lot of ground and stop walking when the sun set. We started in an area that I had looked at many times on aerial photos. It had everything it needed to hold big bucks.

At daybreak when we were rolling along the dirt road, we spotted a nice buck in the woods over the bank. We turned around to get a better look at him, but he had disappeared into the thick cover by the time we got back to where we had originally seen him.

When we got out and started covering ground, we found all sorts of interesting things. One of the highlights was when Brian and I came upon an old Ford school bus that someone had used as a hunting camp at one time. I can only imagine the history behind it.

Dad didn’t feel well about the time of our discovery, so he decided to set next to a large tree while we mucked around out in front of him. As we covered all the ground in front of him, it didn’t take long to find some impressive sign. Giant rubs could be seen in a grove of thick beech trees. Although they weren’t mature trees being rubbed, they definitely weren’t saplings. The buck(s) rubbing the trees were definitely carrying some good headgear.

After spending about two hours away from my dad, we headed back toward him. When we got on a flat across the swamp from where he was waiting for us, I spotted a big buck headed right toward him. Brian and I grunted a few times, but it didn’t phase the buck. He had other things on his mind.

I called dad on the radio to tell him the buck was headed toward him. Fifteen minutes later, we were all standing together discussing the incredible deer that we saw. It was pretty good 10-pointer that none of us would have hesitated to shoot.

Without wasting any more time, we checked the area of as a definite possibility for a place to set some stands. Heading up the road, we pulled off in a spot that appeared to get overlooked because of the steep hills that had to be climbed to access it. We circled around the area once we were on the top. Dad saw a few small bucks, and Brian and I almost got ran over my one of them after dad spooked it. The small 8-pointer got to within five yards of us before realizing something was wrong. We found a few more good spots. Although it didn’t look great in here, I think it has the possibility of holding a nice buck. It will just be a matter of catching him at the right time. I’ll probably give it a whirl at some point in time.

After getting out of that area we continued north. Dad went on one side of the road, and Brian and I headed in on the other side. Brian saw a few deer here and there while he was scouting. I covered a lot of ground and went up some really steep hills. When I got on top I found where the deer probably bedded before heading into the low ground.

I jumped a big 10-pointer and a doe when I was unsure of my location. After stumbling around for a few minutes and trying to figure out which direction I had to go to get to the truck, I started walking downhill. Amazingly, the big buck was standing just inside the woods looking at me. He bounded off the side of the ridge and raced up the opposite side of it. Once on the other side, he stood there and stared at me. Well out of range, he knew he was protected.

Dad didn’t see anything tonight except for six tree stands. He was pretty disappointed with that. We haven’t walked a piece of ground yet without at least two tree stands. We’ve seen a lot of vehicles parked on the roads, too.

I’m not sure what we will do tomorrow. It was hot again today. We never had to wear anything other than t-shirts.

Sunday 11/1/2015

Monday, March 28th, 2016

We all returned to the places we found last night. After further examination it looks pretty good. I found some phenomenal creek crossings. I look forward to sitting here later in the week after I check out a bunch of other land. I have a lot of land to cover in the next four to five days. That’s the bad part about hunting tracts of public land you’ve never been on. You have to cover a lot of ground to find the best places and once you find them, you have to hope nobody else is already hunting there.

Brian saw a really good 10-pointer this morning on the other side of the road from me. Dad and I didn’t see anything. I did have deer running all over the place when I was climbing up the tree in the darkness. This evening I hunted a new area. I carried a stand a long way before setting it up on a transition line along the edge of a field and piece of timber. It looks really good, so I left my stand in the tree. I saw a nice 8-pointer at 5:00 p.m. He was a young buck.

Nobody else saw anything tonight. Although the morning was cool, it warmed up to 75 degrees by the middle of the day. Hopefully, the heat won’t stay too long. I’ve been in the Midwest when the heat stayed all week, and I’ve also experienced it when one day was hot and humid and the next day it was snowing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday 10/31 —– Halloween Day

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Halloween has always treated us well. I can remember the day before I was old enough to hunt when my dad would find a pay phone to call home and update us about ┬áhis hunting trip. He always went bow hunting down near Oneonta, NY, in those days. After listening to him, I couldn’t wait to join him when I could get my license. Well, those days have long since passed, and we’ve been fortunate enough to share more adventures than I ever could have imagined back then.

Today we arrived in the Midwest. We drove for 18 straight hours. I took over the driving duties around midnight and drove until around 6 o’clock this morning. I ran into some horrible weather. The rain came down so hard I could barely see. Dad and Brian were exhausted, so they didn’t get to experience the white-knuckle driving.

When we set the tent up in a public campground, it was about 50 degrees. We didn’t waste any time unloading all of our gear, getting dressed in our hunting clothes, and getting right in the woods.

With a few hours left before dark, we all wanted to find places to set up for the next morning. I walked along a bottom that was choked in so much thick cover that it was almost impassable. Eventually, I found a runway along the edge of a creek. It ran along the bottom of a huge hardwood ridge. There were rubs and scrapes but nothing that really grabbed my attention.

After kicking about 10 deer out of a ravine, I decided to set up on the side hill. There were a lot of runways converging in one place, and it appeared that deer used a finger that dropped into the bottom as one of their main routes to get onto the ridge on the other side of the brush-filled bottom. With further investigation, I spotted some giant rubs.

A half hour after sitting down, I could see a nice buck headed my way. He had his nose on the ground and never stopped. I could have easily stuck an arrow in him at 25 yards if I wanted to. He was probably a 1 1/2 year old deer.

Dad and Brian both saw deer tonight. Brian seems very confident, but dad and I didn’t see very much that interested us. We will see what tomorrow morning brings. It’s supposed to be a nice morning.