Saturday, November 30, 2019

December 12th, 2019

The last day of November welcomed us with low temperatures and wind coming out of the north/northwest.  I needed to find a place to sit where that wind would offer me the best chance of seeing something. I picked a place where I killed a good buck a while back and headed there in the darkness. I made it to the area before it got light out and settled in under a giant hemlock tree. I saw a lot of tracks in the snow as I neared the place and figured I might get lucky. 

  The morning was uneventful. Not many creatures of any kind moved. I didn’t see any chipmunks, squirrels or birds. That’s usually not a good sign. As the morning moved along, I spotted a doe and fawn making their way toward me through the timber. They went past me and never knew I had invaded their space. It was cool to watch, especially knowing that I was inside their world, and they had no clue of my presence. I was like a creature of the forest. 

  A half hour after that, I heard a deer crunching through the crusty snow, and it was headed toward a scrape that had just been opened. I hoped that the buck was coming back to the scrape to check things out. 

  After a few minutes, I had five does in front of me but no buck. They fed until the wind hit the back of my neck and alerted them of my presence. They scurried back into the thick cover and disappeared. That was the end of my excitement for the day.

  Barry saw five deer today, and Donny saw around 10. Nobody could put an antler on a deer. We will see what tomorrow brings. It’s like the bucks have disappeared. Hopefully, they start moving again in the next week. I’m a little perplexed as to what’s going on.

Friday, November 29, 2019

December 12th, 2019

It was a little windy this morning and chilly. The day passed quickly, and I sat the entire day. I thought I was in a good spot to intercept a cruising buck. I guess there weren’t any cruising bucks today in the area I chose to sit. I was disappointed that I didn’t see a deer, but I was also excited that Donny had action in front of him all day. My buddy Barry didn’t see any deer today and neither did Dad. Josh was highly disappointed with his day, as he didn’t see a deer or much sign. Things have definitely slowed down in this area for the time being. As with any year, that can change in a matter of minutes. Hopefully, we can wait them out and catch them when they start moving again. We are all spread out across the map. If you randomly throw multiple pins at a map, one of us is probably in whatever areas the pins hit. We figured that if we had people all over the place, we might find someplace that has more activity than the others. Donny was the winner today. We might encircle him tomorrow and see if we can’t get a good buck to travel by one of us. We will have to talk about it today.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

December 12th, 2019

Today was the annual Thanksgiving Day hunt, and I was able to hunt with my dad and friend Donny. It was a chilly morning, and the wind howled out of the northwest. I did a lot of thinking last night and chose to go to a place I hadn’t been to in a couple of years. Something in my gut told me to go there.

  As I made my way across a few ridges in the darkness, I searched for a blow-down I sat in the last time I went to this place. Luckily, I found it in the pitch black and nestled into it. The woods were loud, and I knew I would be able to hear a deer coming for a long way. The snow is hard and crunchy. It has made still-hunting a little difficult. Although it’s not impossible to sneak up on a deer, it definitely takes some adjusting to make good use of your time.

  By the time the morning had passed, I had seen five does but no bucks. Donny didn’t see any deer and Dad saw a few. He saw a huge deer and figured he was going to get a crack at it. When it got closer to him, he couldn’t believe it was a doe. 

  The wind got increasingly stronger throughout the day, and it’s supposed to be a nuisance over the next few days. I’m not a big fan of the wind in the Adirondacks. Although Dad and I have killed some good deer in heavy wind, it seems that they don’t move like they do in the Midwest when the wind blows. In the Midwest, the wind doesn’t seem to affect them at all. It makes it easier to remain optimistic when you know there’s no difference in deer movement between a calm day and a windy day. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

December 12th, 2019

Today wasn’t too bad in the woods. It was overcast most of the day and about 30 degrees.  I’m still sicker than a dog. I’m still taking medicine, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much. I probably just need hunting season to end so I can let my body recover. I can’t stop myself from having coughing fits in the woods, and some of them last for up to 10 minutes. These are definitely not helping my chances at seeing a good buck……..or any buck.

  My body wasn’t well enough to get to where I wanted to hunt this morning. I had to stop early and hunt another area. It’s tough when you have a plan and can’t make good on it. In the end, it wasn’t too bad. I saw a doe at 7:45 and a group of three adult does at 1:05. Unfortunately nothing followed. Dad didn’t see anything today. 

  Rain greeted us in the afternoon, and by the time we got out of the woods, we were drenched. They’re calling for 1-3 inches of snow by day’s end tomorrow. There is still some snow scattered throughout the Adirondacks. Some places are void of it, while other places still have a few inches.  Tomorrow will be the annual Thanksgiving Day hunt. It’s not what it used to be, but I still enjoy the tradition. We have killed our fair share of deer (and big deer) on Thanksgiving morning.  I’m not feeling it for tomorrow due to the weather, but a man never knows. My friend Donny will be hunting with us, too. We are going to spend the next few days together. He’s going through a divorce and just needed to get away from home. I’m glad to have him. He always makes me laugh, and he’s like a long-lost brother to me.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

December 12th, 2019

Today was a good morning to sit. Unfortunately, we learned this morning that my uncle Bob passed away yesterday morning My dad had service where he was hunting and received a message from my mom. Bob had been battling cancer for the last few years, and his body couldn’t continue the fight. We packed it in and headed home after hearing the news. Sometimes there’s more to life than pursuing deer, but I always return to the woods to find inner-peace.

Friday, November 22, 2019

December 12th, 2019

I listened to the rain pitter-patter off the roof this morning and knew I should stay in bed to give my body a chance to recover from this illness I’ve been battling. It has set me back to about 60% full capacity, which isn’t helping my chances of catching up to the buck I’m looking for.  

  I got out of bed and decided to hunt. Brian and I wanted to cover some ground to see what we could find, especially since the weather conditions were better for walking than they were for sitting.

  On our walk in the darkness to start the day, Brian dry-heaved and battled a fever, whereas I battled my ego to keep going. Neither one of us is feeling well, but we don’t know well enough to give it a break. Hunting season is fleeting, and I don’t want to miss any opportunity to hunt, especially when I’m on vacation. 

  When it got light out, we were both worn out, cold, wet and miserable. Since we didn’t have the ability to cover much ground we chose to sit for an hour or two to recover.  The rain and snow came down with fury. I took it on the chin but recalled many similar days on which I killed big bucks. 

  As my mind wandered, I glanced to the right and caught some movement. I got a quick look at a big buck going through a hole. I pulled up and couldn’t see him. He was gone quicker than he had appeared. It was a dandy of a buck, and I was highly disappointed that I never caught up to him the rest of the day. I chased him around but his testosterone got the best of me. He went from one doe group to the next, and I never got another look at him. Brian only saw one doe today. Neither one of us is in good shape. I missed a golden opportunity today, one that I definitely should have capitalized on. It was a dandy buck that I saw. I should’ve been able to catch up to him. Brian and I weren’t familiar with the area, and that is what prevented us from knowing what the deer was going to do when it was walking from one place to the next. The knowledge of the landscape in front of you can do wonders for your chance of being successful.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

December 12th, 2019

The weather broke a little today. It was warmer than it has been. The day started off well when I saw a doe and fawn make their way past me shortly after daylight. After that, it slowed to a crawl. Around 11:30, I could hear something coming. The snow was crunchy, and there was no mistaking the noise: it was a deer. Upon seeing it, I quickly identified it as a buck. I put the crosshairs on him and let him walk to me. I never considered nudging the safety into the firing position. It was another 7-pointer. He never stopped and continued his journey. Nose on the ground and with a purpose in mind, he didn’t have a clue that he had just walked within 10-yards of a hunter. Today was that buck’s lucky day. I enjoy watching deer. You can learn a lot when you get to watch deer, especially bucks. I’ve always noticed that when we decide to shoot deer, we usually rush the process. 

  I’m still not feeling well. I just can’t get away from this cold, although I really shouldn’t be getting up at 4 a.m. every day. I’m sure the long days in the less-than-perfect weather conditions haven’t been helping matters. I’m thinking of taking tomorrow off. The weather forecast is calling for wet snow/rain and heavy winds. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

December 12th, 2019

This cold is kicking my ass. My lung capacity is shot, and it’s hard to breathe if I walk any distance. I decided to take a break today and sit near the road. Well, kind of near the road. I call it near the road because I didn’t put in much effort to get there and could easily get back to the truck if I needed to. Dad decided to wander all over the place to see what he could find. 

  My day started off on a good note. Shortly after it got light, I saw three does make their way up the ridge past me. They were a little hesitant due to the wind blowing over their heads. My scent was definitely in their airstream. Although it seemed to alert them, they continued on their way. 

  As the morning moved on, I saw two does being chased by something but couldn’t figure out what was chasing them. A small knoll blocked my vision. At first, I thought they had winded me but later determined that a buck had been chasing them. 

 At 10:30, a small doe and even smaller fawn trotted past me. I couldn’t figure out why they were trotting, but they never stopped. I found it kind of odd. I was hoping a buck would follow them, but it didn’t happen. 

  At 11:45, I heard the leaves crunching behind me. Turning to look, I saw a buck coming toward me. He looked like a good one, but he was moving along quickly and was behind some brush. When he came out the other side, I realized he was a small buck. I took my camera out and tried to video him, but the battery went dead after about a minute. That was the end of my day. I sat for the rest of the day and didn’t see a thing. Dad jumped two deer this morning and didn’t see anything the rest of the day. I must attract 7-pointers because the buck was another 7-pointer. I guess I’m winning the battle of picking the right spot to sit. I picked the right spot the last two days. Now, I just need a big buck to stroll by. The video didn’t come out that well due to the quality of the battery, otherwise I’d post it for you to see.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

December 12th, 2019

  It was pouring rain this morning when we headed down the road. Knowing it wasn’t the wisest choice I’ve made, I considered sleeping in. I can barely function, and my head feels like it’s going to explode. My sinuses are clogged. I have a minor fever, and my sore throat and cough prevented me from getting much sleep. Dad has also been battling sickness. In all likelihood, he’s the one who passed it on to me when he was coughing and hacking all over in the tent last week. Brian has also come down with the illness, so none of us are in any shape to be tramping through the mountains. Brian’s been dealing with Encon the last few days while attempting to press charges against a trespasser that he caught on his land

  By the time Dad and I got to the place I found yesterday, we were drenched. We split up and tried cutting off a flat, figuring if the doe went by one of us, she might have a buck behind her. 

  As it turned light, the heavy rain turned to heavy, wet snow. It definitely wasn’t getting any better. Within minutes the trees were covered with snow, and it was impossible to see more than 30 yards in any direction. We decided to wait it out. 

  Around 10:30, it stopped snowing and became warmer out. The warmth led to the snow melting off the branches, creating a mess. It was hard to see well, and the noise made it difficult to hear anything. 

  Suddenly, I saw two does running toward me, and I knew something was chasing them. I shouldered the gun and got ready. They stopped 10 yards from me and turned in the direction that they had come from. I heard a few grunts, and could see a buck coming. I clicked the safety off and readied myself to take him. I figured I ‘d wait until he got right up next to me. He was fairly wide and was carrying a rack. 

  As he got closer, I eased my finger off the trigger and decided to let him walk. I just killed a big 11-pointer in another state less than a week ago and had no need to take this deer. Instead, I enjoyed the moment. He stopped directly in front of me, stuck his neck out and let out a long guttural grunt. Blood stains soaked his ear and the side of his face. A competitor had surely just stuck him in the face with tines, but the buck had one thing on his mind, and it wasn’t his sore face and head. 

  As I watched him walk away, I felt good about it. He was a mature deer, but he just didn’t have great headgear. He was a 7-pointer, the second Adirondack 7-pointer I’ve passed this year. With the way Dad and I are feeling right now, I’m not sure how much hunting, especially hard-core hunting we will do this week. I probably should have taken him  and called it a season, but  I chose to do what most Adirondackers would never think of doing, probably simply because I don’t feel well at all, and I just killed a beautiful 11-pointer. I could care less at this stage in my life I I shoot a deer. I just enjoy each and every moment of every second I get in the woods. Every day, I hope I can learn something and improve upon my skills. Today was a good day. I found where there was a hot doe last night, and she led a nice buck right into my lap, a buck that most people would die to shoot. I’ll probably regret it, but I’ll always have the memory.

  I barely made it out of the woods tonight. I stayed until dark in the same area in hopes of the doe attracting another buck, but it didn’t happen. My blood sugar levels were high all day. I changed my infusion set, which could have been part of the problem. I ate one Oreo cookie today. On my way out, I realized I was weak from not eating or drinking and from being sick. I’m not sure if I’ll have the strength or will power to go out tomorrow. If I do go out, I’ll probably sit close to the road somewhere so I don’t have to expend much energy. As sick as I am, I loved being in the woods today and seeing deer.

Monday, November 18, 2019

December 12th, 2019

The drive home from the Midwest was grueling. On the way, I learned that I was extremely sick. I’m not sure if I had ignored it before that point or if that’s when it struck me. When I got home, I could barely function. Unfortunately, I’m at far less than full capacity. 

  I decided to attempt to hunt in the afternoon today. Once I got in the woods, I felt better than I had anticipated feeling. That’s when I made the choice to cover some ground to find a place to sit tomorrow. With the snow on the ground, I wanted to keep walking until I found an area where a doe was in heat. Luckily, I found a place where a doe was spotting.  I didn’t see a deer today, but I did accomplish the mission I set out to accomplish. Sometimes, the work behind the scenes is what everyone misses. This day is surely one of those days. Dad covered a lot of ground today too. We have decided to head to the area I found to see if we can intercept a buck or two chasing the doe around. Hopefully, the doe is still in the near vicinity.