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Creamer's 22/23 Season Journal

Creamer

Active Member
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67
Athens
Sit #1: opening morning

I had hoped a group of public bucks would continue hitting a mock scrape in daylight hours for Sit 1, but their pattern changed (of course) a week before the opener. Instead, I hit up another public land spot where I always have good encounters in the early season. The stand setup is in a very subtle saddle in a main ridge. Multiple travel routes converge in that location near a known bedding area. I don't hunt the stand often, but I believe every sit there I have had deer inside 20 yards and have shot multiple does with trad bows in that spot. I hunted a different tree from last year, thinking it would be a better fit to shield my scent from deer if the thermals did what they are supposed to do. I only used two sticks (w/aiders) on this setup and it got me high enough. I was settled in about 30 minutes before shooting light.



The first little surprise was the weather. I had checked the night before and the forecast was clean. It started raining less than an hour after sunrise, but I stuck it out. Typically the deer move in this spot either from the oak flat to my west or down the bank from the south down an old logging road. The wind/thermals set up perfectly for the morning.



Right after the rain stopped, I had movement in front of me, which is sort of backwards for this location. Two nearly identical 2.5 year old bucks came out of the bedding area and worked towards the oak flat. They got a little squirrely when they crossed my ground scent, but they went about their business and disappeared through the brush towards the oaks. At their closest points, they were roughly 15 and 18 yards. I obviously passed on both of them.



Good luck, boys. Odds are they won't both survive the year on public ground.
 

Creamer

Active Member
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Athens
Yesterday I used some time off to move a couple of cameras and do a little scouting of the mast crop. What I found was pretty interesting. Lots of nuts...not a ton of deer sign ON the areas with nuts. Maybe it's just one of those good mast years with nuts everywhere so the deer aren't concentrated on a hot tree? There was plenty of sign near them, just not ON them.



I set up a camera on a mock scrape on this oak point. I think the setup should be good, I had a lot of bucks on camera in this area last year and just never got around to hunting it. The tree I located is a 13-14 yard shot to a pair of dropping white oaks, and the topography there should let the thermals suck my scent down a little ravine away from the oaks. The mock scrape is about 10 yards from the tree.



The second spot also had some white oaks dropping, but more sign closer to the nuts. I did find a few rubs there and multiple small scrapes that looked really fresh. I put a Cell-Link camera setup there, and it had deer on camera before dark yesterday. I'm hoping that's a good sign. Last year, I was late finding this location and it was absolutely shredded with buck sign. I have high hopes for this location and I really like the entrance/exit. It sets up well for getting between food and bedding (post-acorns) for a morning hunt.









If you only ever learn one thing from watching Batman movies, let it be this: always mind your surroundings. :oops:

 

Creamer

Active Member
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Athens
I did not get out this past weekend. Saturday I spent the morning hanging and moving some cameras and scouting for a friend from out of town. He comes in to hunt at the end of the month. It was interesting, on public it has seemed like every white oak I've checked has had some nuts, some trees being loaded. This chunk of private, I found a bunch of white oaks with nothing. I finally found a cluster of trees on one point that had nuts, and the fresh sign was there. He started getting doe pics within hours after I left, so hopefully he gets some good intel. The buck sign just wasn't there but the property owner has a solid record of good bucks coming off his property.







The afternoon was a washout for me so I stayed in. Yesterday we took the little man to Jurassic World Live Tour in Columbus at Schottenstein Center. Earning a few brownie points with the family to be cashed in at a later date. :cool:
 

Spencie

Well-Known Member
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Constitution Ohio
I noticed in a lot of your pics the acorns still had their caps on. I have heard from old timers that if that cap doesn’t pop off when the nut falls then it is no good/rotten or fell too early. Did you cut any of them open? My observations have backed up this myth.
Not trying to dampen your spirits, trying to gather more Intel for myself. Good luck on your hunts this fall.
 
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Creamer

Active Member
1,282
67
Athens
I noticed in a lot of your pics the acorns still had their caps on. I have heard from old timers that if that cap doesn’t pop off when the nut falls then it is no good/rotten or fell too early. Did you cut any of them open? My observations have backed up this myth.
Not trying to dampen your spirits, trying to gather more Intel for myself. Good luck on your hunts this fall.

Interesting, I had not heard that.
 
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Creamer

Active Member
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Athens
Sit #2

Tuesday I took the afternoon off to hit the feeder on private hoping for a daylight doe. A pair hit the corn in shooting light Monday evening and I was hoping for a repeat. This spot is so hit or miss. A hit meaning a close range shot with deer in your lap, a miss being a complete skunk. My old blind is in horrible shape, it needs replaced ASAP.



It's so small I can't even draw without slightly sticking the arrow through the window. Anyways, slow night in the blind. I saw squirrels, chipmunks (one came inside to see me), and birds. 0 deer sighted. After my successful Zwickey No Mercy shot on the whistle pig, I carried a few of them to the deer blind.

 

Creamer

Active Member
1,282
67
Athens
Sit #3

This one didn't disappoint (too much). I found this little location in post season scouting last year. This little point had tons of white oaks, lots of late season beds (south facing slope), and lots of buck sign. It's a deep dive in on public, by my estimation about a 1.7ish mile hike each way. The purpose of this sit was both to hunt and to re-hang the now functioning cell camera setup I had here since August. I think this was the coldest morning we've had this fall, so my expectations were fairly high.



My setup was near the tip of the nose, about a 16-17 yard poke to the mock scrape that had been getting lots of buck traffic up until the camera croaked about 10 days ago. My entrance was not great. I had a good plan but, first time accessing this spot in the dark, I got slightly off course and I made some noise getting in. One deer for sure got bumped, I heard it bounce when I was less than 20 yards from my destination. I didn't have a long wait for action. About 8AM, I peeked back over my shoulder and saw a deer. It was a buck and he was coming right for me. He passed broadside inside of 15 yards. I estimated him at 2.5, so he got a pass.



He checked a big rub out in front of me, worked the mock scrape, ate some acorns (it was raining white oak acorns all morning), and went back the way he had come. After that, it was an uneventful sit until about 10AM when I was thinking about climbing down. I caught movement on the bench to the west, and saw it was another buck. Soon, a buddy of his also materialized. They fed on acorns, slowly working towards me. The pair passed within 10 yards or so on the bank above me. I estimated them at also 2.5, so they also got to walk. Once they cleared, I climbed down as silently as I could, re-hung my camera, and slipped out. Here's some video clips of the 3 bucks.


It was a gorgeous, crisp fall morning. Neither of the bigger deer I know to be in the area showed, but having those bucks in my lap on my first sit on a new location was a solid morning.

 

Creamer

Active Member
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Athens
Sit #4

Disappointment. I'd almost never call a hunt a waste of time and energy, but that's what this was. I hung a camera on a piece of public about 2 weeks ago with the plan to come in and hunt it to remove the camera mid-October. A low point covered in white oaks had a lot of nuts when I scouted, and lots of bedding sign immediately below that point. In order to avoid walking through the bedding for access, I came in from the opposite side, 1.3 miles on the hike each way. With yesterday's wind, the entrance should have been near perfect, so I went for it. The camera was over a mock scrape I "worked" before I left.



I was checking the camera in the tree, and that's when I immediately regretted my decision to hunt there. Started off ok, some does checking on my reproductive status in the scrape...



But then Bear Grylls walked by. 8:16AM on the 2nd day of season? Maybe blood trailing? Oh well, at least my camera survived. Hang 'em high, kids.



The camera wasn't getting much. A few nighttime does, a flock of hen turkeys, squirrels...then another random guy. There's a piece of private a few hundred yards from where the camera was, and I assume that's where the human traffic was coming from. At least the camera survived.



Icing on the cake.



Shockingly, I saw zero deer on the sit. There were acorns all over the ground, and I heard a lot still falling throughout the afternoon.



I was hoping for a chance to Lil' Can a doe into range.



I hiked a little under 3 miles total with all my gear to a location that hadn't had a deer photo taken in 10+ days. Why do we do this again? At least the camera survived!
 

Creamer

Active Member
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Athens
Sit #5

I had a few spare hours mid-week, coldest day of the fall, so I ran to a fast access "fat chick" spot on public that I knew I could get into fast. The wind was perfect (for me) and the blowing wind made it easy for me to slip into this spot without making a lot of commotion. This little overlooked area is a tight bench that leads out of thick cover to an oak flat. I've had encounters with big deer twice here the past three seasons, but it's one of those "feast or famine" spots.



Not much to say. The conditions were good, I didn't see a thing. My strongest hunch is that any mature deer would not want to walk towards that flat with the wind to his/her back. I knew that going in, I was being optimistic that a deer would let hunger win out.



I'm not going to beat around the bush, a degree of frustration is setting in already. My 2 morning sits have been good, passing 2 bucks on the 1st morning sit and 3 more on the 2nd morning. In 3 afternoon sits, I have seen 0 deer. None. I have three cell units out right now. One, on private, is showing promise and I plan to hunt that area sometime in the next 2 weeks or so, weather permitting. My previously most productive public cam has all but dried up, no deer pics in nearly a week. The third camera I don't expect much from until later in the month and into November. It was one of those setups I wanted to get in place well in advance of the rut. The camera that has dried up I may move later this week. My afternoon sits, I have simply felt out of the game. Not having a ton of time to hunt puts pressure on the limited sits I get, and I'm itching to let some steel and carbon fly.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
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In a bar
Are you finding dead deer? Seems the reports from Athens this year are all the same. 😔
 

Creamer

Active Member
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67
Athens
Are you finding dead deer? Seems the reports from Athens this year are all the same. 😔

Found one at Fox Lake I am pretty sure was EHD, another in the Hocking along campus I assume the same. I found a second doe at Fox last week but it wasn't near water, could have been a shot deer that wasn't recovered?
 
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