We burned down 3 plots with herbicide in July and Aug, actually burned one off as an experiment in Sep and planted all 3 fields (well 3 at 200# rye, the other 4 with 100# overseeding of cereal rye on the perennial plots)
..waited for rain... and waited for rain... first actual rain came 21 days after planting...
Then came up for Mom and to get some saving seed on the plots we killed - the 4 perennial plots looks great, the 3 we killed need a draw to establish movement on the farm. Well, here comes Delta, Hurricane Delta. Got up here, 200# more an acre for the three killed plots, (only 4 bags needed) spread Sat afternoon with a rain forecast for yesterday - Sunday. Forecast to .17 today and .2 on Wed... fingers crossed
..Rained 15 miles to the South of the farm, solid rain all the into Southern WV but NOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo rain here again. Honestly WTF.
Thankfully Cereal Rye is the most forgiving green you can get on the ground. This is from last Sunday, 21 days with no rain... not quite happy but better than expected.
One of the better trailcam series captured of a red tailed hawk -
This Fri Sat Oct 16-17 for those that can get in the woods is gonna be a good'un based on movement related weather predictions. 7 day free trial ... and the next 7 days are as good as any to see how it works. I'll be up with mom for surgery and recovery, then start watching for good days to sit about Sunday.
Hit list is kinda sparse this year, will get it up after next Card Pull, sometime early next week - I believe the 400 acres to the South is being poached at night fairly hard. Gonna chat with the local warden to check it/setup a couple cam or to get them for him.
Plots and potential poachers aside, it doesn't suck this time of year. Enjoying a coffee and TOO, fall edition.
Fri and Sat were the days I'd sit but I'll be out tending to mom. Everything is in readiness, staying off a bunch of the land to ease them into a routine.
Weather is perfect for 🔥 and whisky. Gonna light up the camp fire and see how long I can keep it going, right now first sit is not until next week in a good wx window. If I didn't say it, 'I love autumn.'
Didn't like the winds tonight, will sit the AM in a brand new stand (Skyway) setup in Jul. Had the card watching the plot and not disappointed - both Niles (#1)and Rainwater((#2) pics tomorrow)) went by in the last couple days.
Neighboring farm manager coming over to swap pics and build the hit list, whisky and fire first then after dark we'll work the digits and have the list of known, bucks.
2020 will use Yellowstone, last names - the year has been that kind of drama . .
Nice rainy day to catalog the local bucks - lotsa opinions on "Core" bucks, basically between a couple farms these are the notable bucks I already passed Dutton so it's not necessarily a "Hitlist" per se, more bucks that may meet an individual hunters goal for 2020 and also to facilitate evenings gatherings and talk about what and which bucks behaviors we saw on the stand while being warmed by coals and various whiskies. The pic # governor/limiter on here will make this post split.
Carter: Wierd rack - must have hurt his left side/nut right side antler is malformed.
Dutton: thinking 2.5, double split brow passed on him Sat.
Father Bob: shy old horse body mature deer....
Herdstorm: Stickers and Kickers if you're into that kind of stuff... lol
Niles: He's a Great 8 again - bigger and back from last year.
Rainwater: Might have topped out on his antlers.. P&Y buck.
Stewart: 2.5 from the Gene's of High And Tight buck called Eddie (he got hit high by somebody and prolly didn't make it - no sign of him this year) If the genes come thru - he'll get a bunch of mass in the next year or two. He's cheeky marking the scrape Niles and Wheeler are using.
Eddie from last year... passed him twice - someone didn't.
Wheeler: another solid bodied maybe topped out in the antler dept 10pt.
So for 2020 There's no "restrictions" other then make good shots on the animals. Noone in our group owned up to shooting Eddie last year so it was prolly off the camp. If' it's a trophy for the hunter and a good hunt - that's good enough.
Finally got to look at the card I pulled from the camera that took dump overwatching Spoil Plot... Very glad I did - A couple nice video's of some Core bucks using Spoil plot - as designed. NW -> North WInd Sat AM -fighting the itch to go sit gonna wait for another long 36 hours. A temperature drop of 31F, 78-47 with winds slowing and rain stopping at first light.
If you can get in the woods Sat it ought to be as good as it gets pre-rut.
Who's ready for the cold front blowing in Fri night?
The second one - starts with a buck Magic Trick by Dutton pulling an acorn out of Herdstorm's ear! If anyone actually has any idea what the heck he ate - please share.
Got my ass best by winds yesterday, could have harpooned Carter, but he's low man on the list with a malformed right beam, older gentleman but not what I'm after.
Niles looking into the camera, "You're not gonna get me"
Video from Fri evening - winds kicked my ass - not sure if he winded me, risky sit, but he was no show, No on Wed evening, No on Thurs Evening, Yes on Fri Evening, No on Sat evening, I'll be the tree later today
BLUF: in Rut phase sometimes a Core buck will cruise in front of you or follow a hot doe, but availability of estrous doe's will define buck movements in about a 10 days. Period. Not food, not any WTD management principles.
From prior to '94 on other lands and on this property '94 - 2013. My brother was manager, we drove it like a stolen police cruiser full of cocained up hookers - never saw or shot shit for bucks.
From 2013 - now, actually ongoing, I'm learning how to be good, with an eye on great property manager. I read, watch and listen.
IF you have bucks on your land, *I hear Jeff Sturgis voice* "You want to be the herd influencer in your neighborhood." They are generally called 'Core' bucks.
IF you practice QDM some of those Core bucks will advance to the next age class.
IF you have managed your property to provide bucks a Core area (food, water, shelter, sanctuary) and
IF one practices patience and scent/sound discipline you can experience quality hunts.
"Stressless Quality Hunt":
The opportunity to observe mature WTD doe and bucks in signing, pre-rut and rut phases.
I've been on the farm since 10 Oct, living quarter's and the barn, is as stated in the first post in this thread, is exactly wrong.
I've sat 6 times in 15 days. Always playing the wind. I've sat Chestnut stand 3 times in 4 days trying to Niles, I designed the plots and access to reduce (risk is never 0). When wind is bad or changes to bad, bail out of the stand.
I bailed yesterday, oh my fuck I wanted to kill Niles but with a bad wind all one will do is educate him and any other deer busting you. So this AM with a clean stand and not alerting the herd, a lil forky 'paraded' cruising for chick's 3 times up and down Greenbriar. 13yds.
My neighbor is a big time hunter, hugely successful, 8 or 9 Ohio Big Bucks all from his 400 acres and all with vertical bow. We like the 10-25 Oct time frame, Sign and pre-rut, because it gives us a chance to harvest a Core buck and have predictably fabulous hunts.
It's Cat and Mouse with this guy, Not sure who's who.
Over the last week I've been in the stands he's hit the licking branches in daylight. That's the licking brach just to the left of the yellow.
This is spoil stand Sat at 13:15 after sitting there from 1100.... Giving Chestnut on Greenbrier plot a rest midday.
These next two are from Sunday, the times are correct, after what I assume was the first hot doe of 2020 on the farm went through an hour before, half a dozen bucks worked that ridge for a couple hours - Niles went back and forth for 30mins... the two yellow areas are approx where he was standing for them.... SMDH.
Well, passed on ol'Carter again today. Bucks on his feet returning from an unmolested plot 0900.
I wasn't sure which way the bucks would go, got them doing both N->S and S-N at that bottleneck - so glancing back to South i see big body, then nice beam, he's walking quick so instead of watching to see if its my target or better I focus on getting bow in hand, to the South I can really only see about 27-28 yards so when I saw him he was maybe 21yds and walking to the licking branch. Well bow off and I'm connected, saw it was Carter, and was able to get the phone out and a quick snap of him and and the Cell Cam roughly the same time. His head is behind the tree in my snap at about 19yds.
Stalked into Pine after the rain quit, first sit here for 2020, checked qind and got into Aspen stand, on the way watched a couple youngsters feed and move off maybe 70-80 yes, got in the stand they came back 20m later... curious little critters.
LoL... but seriously, when the twins are w/o momma on a large farm that gets 0 pressure, the bucks are bumping/chasing hard.
Great hunts today - not one arrow flew but dangit so close!! After I sat the Pine I went to Spoil stand - Wind wasn't good bailed out after 15m and sulked back to the hooch to reload my attitude. While in Pine that AM I noticed the Mock scrape I put had NO shot from one of the two (N and S) Pine plot runs W- E. so the North stand needed that done, also for whatever reason the power pole that marks the E edge of Pine Plot has always had bucks rubbing it - no idea why but they have carved about 3/4 out around the entire pole.
Couple years ago I put a licking branch on it, might do it again after today!!
So I shed my ozoned clothes and got the quad - went over the hill clipped a couple dead pine limbs to open a shot at the scrape and hung a Spypoint overwatching the pole, got my gear together and walked back to Pine , North stand called Aspen.
Wind was a bit hinky but 80% was good and almost always get a good down thermal off the hill to the South - across the greenfield ( I call the green field the broadway because it looks like a braodway! About 150 ydrs long and 50' across.
Pic of pine from Aspen stand looking due South, after I cut the couple limbs and yellow marks the licking branch and scrape.
(Teaser - This is a couple years ago 2016) harvest of a 153 with a droptine from Aspen stand. Pine gets some action, broadway gets trodden...
So it's just after 1800 hours, four hours in the stand, and I hear some brush getting trashed just South of Pine on the South hill, out walks a nice 8pt, he ambes up Pine to the power pole ... now I had bow in hand and was connected - the body on this dude said mature but rack wasn't really there - I think he's a solid 2.5 and could be real stud, regardless when he stopped at the pole slightly quartering away I was a full draw and had the 30 yd pin steady where the harpoon wanted to be inserted.
I let down.
He proceeded to beat the tar (literally) out of that pole for about 3-4 mins... He'd hit it one way walk around and hit it again. Like a fighter working a bag. After a bit I got the phone out and got some digits of him. This Toad dosen't have a name yet - but if I get some good snaps for PID He'll get one.
Vid came out fairly well.
So after that he walks down the South side of braodway making scrapes about every 30' - strait down the South of broadway, and just before he get to the large pasture to the SE I see another deer (watching with Binos now at about 120yrds) Legs, 8pt walking SE out of sight but FULLY agitated back hair all fluffed and all stiff legged...
..the other deer, through branchs and leaves .. good beam, great tine.. holy shit it's Niles. Niles turns and starts up broadway...
Insert large heartbeat and adrenaline here.
Quickly and melodically stow the bino's get bow and hookup 16 years in Spec Ops, motto Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast... He's still @ 90 yards, last scrape 8pt made, Niles arrives and he beats the shit out of it, pawing trashing limbs etc... prolly a full min felt like 5. walks closer, up to the next scrape, repeat performance... he does this for 4 or 5 scrapes - now I'm thinking (knida) mostly in awe, he's gonna come in and hit my mock scrape (had a pic of him on it last night) 16 yards. Chip shot. But if he goes to the pole that's perfect 30 yd shot and he'll be preoccupied (I have a full body target at exactly 30 yds below the hooch.
Niles gets to about 50 yds, perfect to see across the Broadway, but no shot (I won't shoot >35 WTD just move too much after the shot.... and he's coming in anyways....
Except I think he had that 8tp on his mind... looks over his shoulder and like a caption cloud appering over his head - "Hey that upstart is heading to where the does are... in the big pasture..." so slllooowwwlllyyy turns around at 50 yds and walks strait down boardway and hangs a right to go beat some 8pt ass.
I tried a contact grunt, stopped him, but he had confidence decoy 8pt he already passed. he kept walking right outa sight...
..I stopped shaking a few mins later.
Razor close, fun hunt, no regrets. My neighbor had an opportunity at Rainwater mid-day- his can call fell outa his pocket and grunt call got dirt in it and didn't work. Top two bucks both got lucky in one day. And that is the game we play.
I didn't have the can call on me - after discussion over some firepit roasted sausage and beers tonight with him I'm taking the can call with me evertime.
Taking the 'marrrow off - didn't bring my hunting snorkle and need to go visit ma.