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Big Holla Family’s Season - Covid Style

Had a pretty good weekend, nothing killed and no arrows shot but Allen came pretty close. Saturday morning I started out in a ladder stand off the edge of a point behind some great bedding. Had 2 big doe come in and the closest they got was around 30 yards. Was odd they didn't have yearlings with each other, not sure what to think about that. Allen sat in the new ladder stand in the pines and had a good sit, watched 5 deer go by and 2 were young bucks. Their movement gave us a little unknown insight on how they moved through this saddle and after this season a change may be in order if it continues.

My morning spot:


The point I was watching


Allen's pine stand


Little button he saw behind him.


Later that afternoon I took the time to hang my last set for the season. I'm hoping this stand will be key in figuring out a couple deer if not be the spot for their demise! :ROFLMAO:


The colors were really starting and made for some good pics!


That evening I elected to hunt a stand closer to the house as I was running later than I wanted after hanging the stand. It's always a good spot but the wind was coming more out of the SE than I thought and 2 spooked deer later I had nothing to show for my sit.


Allen on the other hand had a sit that will keep memories/haunt him for a long long time!! We were texting back and forth on occasion and suddenly I got this text and our replies to each other.......


Then this made my day!!!


Here was his view out in front of the stand, the buck was to his left inside the woods.......at 13 yards when they spotted each other!!!! :ROFLMAO:

Sunday we did not hunt. One of my worse decisions this season already. We were looking at the weather forecast and it was doom and gloom. I even told Allen I never change hunting plans based on a weather forecast but this one looked like we were going to be rained out from the moment it got light. Add the fact that we were exhausted from a long day and a bad decision was made. Woke up at 8 am realizing it hadn't rained at all and that continued til 11 before we even got a light drizzle. We ended up taking a ride though to look for rubs, freshen corn and minerals, trail cameras and just enjoying the rest of the morning. The food plots were hit or miss. One was great while others not a lot of growth. The view out of Allen's evening stand the plot did good in half of what was planted so I'm thinking it was a sunlight thing perhaps. Anyway, here are the others.



This last one only shows part of the plot, the rest was about the same. I took this mostly because of the grape vine scrapes that were getting worked very well.

Long overdue for a report. October 16 was the day Pete fell and a part of me went with him. It really is starting to set in that I won't ever see him on trail camera again. One of those bittersweet moments in hunting, especially for those who run cameras and have history with a deer. It's all good though as I am sure someone will fill his shoes and the quest will be on again if it isn't already. Allen still has his buck tag and Jenna is starting to think she will have some time later this year to come down and hunt so that would be fantastic!!

Here is a little reflection of Pete including his story:


Saturday Jenna, Allen and I headed to the farm in Michigan. We hadn't been there to hunt in many years but the farmer would always contact me every year, sometimes a couple times a year, to ask us to come up. I had been reluctant for quite some time for various reasons but Jenna was insisting on getting some hunting time in this year and wanted to go up there to see them all. It worked out that Allen had a pre-regional cross country meet about a half hour away so once we were done there we headed to the farm.



After talking with the farmer and his brother, oh and playing with all the kittens around the barn, we headed out to the area he wanted us to hunt. Jenna and Allen split up along a standing corn field and was put in a different location in the woods. Was good to get out but I quickly figured out that the kids should have been where I was and vice versa. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't see a thing that evening, they were the reason for going and my only hopes was that they got covered up in deer. I had several deer around me including two younger bucks tearing the heck out of a scrape I had no idea was there. There was no way for me to get a shot at any of those deer but we learned a little and the next time we head up hopefully they are still working that scrape and moving like they did.

This was Jenna's first time hunting in many years. She was genuinely excited just to get out and be there, definitely a good outdoor soul in her!!

Her view:

My view:



I have to say cell reception sucked here, I kinda forgot about that. Sure had planned to contribute to the Live from the Stand. Yesterday I spent the day finishing up most of Pete. I ordered a meat grinder off of Sportsman's Guide and it arrived Saturday so a few more hours of work today and tomorrow and it all should be done. First venison in the freezer in several years. Hopefully one of many yet this year as we are done passing does for a little while.
I should buy stock in sportsman’s guide! You sure do give them a lot of business!😂
The one thing we take advantage of with them is their 4-pay. It's interest free and you split your payments up into 4 monthly payments. Helps lessen the sting and their products seem to be real good quality. Prices are real good too once you pay the initial yearly member fee. This year it's been 3 ladder stands, lifelines, bow hangers, plot sprayer, the grinder, vacuum bags, etc.. Definitely happy with every purchase so far!
Saturday we made another trip up to the farm after Allen’s Regional CC meet. Have to say he ran his ass off and bested his PR by 30 seconds at 20:10 for the 5K. His confidence was at an all time high going into it so he left it all on the course. Was 32 degrees when we got there that morning.
After he was done and released we ran home, got him cleaned up and Allen, Jenna and I headed to the farm again. I put Jenna by the scrape I had seen the bucks working the day before and she had one spike sneak to within 5 yards of her before she spotted him. It got pretty windy and downright cold so she didn’t get too much ribbing for not spotting him sooner LOL! Allen set up near an unpicked bean field and saw several but nothing close enough for a shot. I sat on the now picked cornfield they got skunked on the weekend before. Wind was brutal and I had a feeling I wouldn’t see much. I was right, a lone spike on the other side of the field, probably 300 yards out. Oh well, was good to get out with them. Had planned to hunt Sunday but the wind was worse than Saturday so we went to the in-laws to install an over the stove microwave and have dinner with them. Good weekend but man was it fast.


We made the trip down Friday morning to give Allen some more stand time in hopes a good one would venture by. He saw a few deer here and there, mostly spikes and button bucks. Does seemed nonexistent and the same with the big boys. He did see a good buck Saturday evening but he was on a mission and grunts made no difference. Weather was definitely the deciding factor. He busted his ass though and tried several different stands, putting his own thoughts into where and why. Definitely thinking like a deer hunter now and not waiting for dad to put him in a spot.



Terry and I worked on leveling the deck on the front of the old cabin on the N end of the farm. It had gotten knocked off its base many years ago and we just hadn’t gotten to it. It’s definitely better than it was, not perfect but it will do and be safer. Last fall Allen slipped on it one evening as we were leaving it as it was a rainy day. I vowed to get it done this year and had Covid not screwed up our spring it would have been done and done right.

For whatever reason I forgot to take a finished pic but this is what the cabin and deck looked like before working on it. Yeah it probably should be torn down (as my step mom keeps insisting) but it’s the last place my dad, Allen and I hunted together and for now it’s still pretty sturdy inside. Just needs some care and work.

I had several other plans for the weekend but we had gotten a call Saturday morning that Terry’s brother had gone into the hospital with an aortic aneurysm, same as what my dad passed from. He was lifeflighted to UofM Hospital where they discovered that not only did he have it in his abdomen he also had a tear in his aorta above his heart. We were in standby thinking we might need to leave at any time but were also told the surgery would last 3-6 hours and no visitors. Almost 7 hours later he was out of surgery and Dr’s prepared his wife and Terry’s mom for the worst. I’ll be damned as Sunday morning he woke up and called Terry’s mom to ask her to tell the hospital he wanted real food and not the popsicles they started giving him!! 🤣 Dr said he had an incredible will to survive and they would never have expected to see him awake and talking the very next day!! They already had him up walking yesterday and are thinking he might be home before the weekend.

Just another reason to quit smoking tho for all you smokers out there. Biggest contributing factor in that.

Good way to close out both evenings while we were down.