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Stressless 2020 compendium

Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Welp thats a wrap, so to speak.

18 roasts,
4 loins
2 Heart and 4 tenderloins for hunter stew

Pictured. Burger.
24 1# bags
9 3# bags
4# or so fresh for burgers soon.
20201106_091142.jpg
 

Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Well, Mooch in 18 hours and on his first sit, starts on Spoil stand, wind is hinky so he bails and moves about 200 yards East to Greenbriar and sits my North stand, 22' ladder stand. Sits sees sees and shoots at Niles 20 yds , buck fever and shot clean over, an hour later Herdstrom walks in and Mooch wacks him at 25 yrds.... this time he's back on target.
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While this going in, hunter in loose quad guad group hunt club says Niles is safe and sends his harvest from this morning.
12090.jpeg
 

Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Great evening, didn't go sit in the cold made a nice warm fire and hung out retelling tales and catching up. Looks like I'll have the men over Sun or Mon and we'll get Cliff the neighbor to score the racks, his 10pt was 138 3/8's. Didn't make BBBC so he's alot of frowns.

Made some 1/2# burgers from the fresh grind yesterday, toasted the buns + cooked them over the coals with lots of beers, whisky and stogies came out later.

Life is good.
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Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Ben lazy around camp, Mooch has a doe tag to fill, sitting a fresh stand put up in Sep for a S breeze/rising thermals and prerut or rut - all our buck tags are notched. Butchered Herdstrom up and got him in the freezer.

Went up to visit mom, age and time, my friends, will wither us all. She's almost 90 still sharp but the media Covid fear mongering has the few friends she has left alive fearing to leave their front door, So, very lonely.

Lets not forget to reach out to those in your life that remember and lived the American dream pre internet and biased media, lived thru the last World War and saw the exceptional essence that American freedom can produce...

If you think you're guts are in a knot, they feel like alien's in their own country.

Neighbor Cliff's sister in law died yesterday so our yearly 'story nite' with the four men is postponed for awhile, next is prolly turkey season to get the racks scored and consume a wee too much whisky over tall tales and true.

I have a couple more days at camp and then head home. Been gone for a month, feels like old times talking to the Mrs, 13 combat deployments, exercises, various TDY's have us somewhat comfortable and actually 'expective' over 33 years of marriage of time alone.

Home though, calls me. I grew up and came of age in the farms, woods and fields of Ohio, the smell and feel of the autumn woods in Ohio and primal instinct of chasing game is as much a part of me as my very bones.

I feel home here as well.

One in my Playlist for when I was or am... melancholy... while at war/away and getting pics of my kids growing up without me there.

 
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Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Well, neighbor Cliff rolled in and Chris, Mooch has a doe tag so he's sitting tonight, prolly his last sit. We were nice and moved up to the pit so he can't hear us B.S. and laughter, doing fresh venison sliders now.... Cliff caught about 15# of walleyes yesterday so Tuff sliders and surf Walleye tacos...
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Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
Story nite 2020 is in the books, my buck, he was Father Bob from the hit list, came in at 148 3/8 gross. Moochs, Herdstrom from the list 128 5/8 gross.

20201109_230927.jpg

Under the pro eyes of Chris and Cliff, it is just over 140 net but very green, it'll prolly shrink under the BBBC 140 net measure but not in my head, well above the P&Y 125. The lads just rolled off to their respective camps and Mooch notified me that he's sleeping in so bow hunting 2020 in TOO is officially a wrap.

Earlier today we cut up an big ol'beech that had fallen across a access road in the storm last weekend. It had been girdled 3-4 years ago and died 2 years ago as part of the forestry management plan.

In ... jeze... 1998 99 or so I shot two does out of it, in the same family group, shoot, reload, shoot(FUN!) during muzzle load season. So, it was bone dry, the limbs made great coals. As a tribute to the big ol'beech I used the bigger ends we could safely lift as table ends for tonight.
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With everyone tucked in. I tossed them on, and will sit sentinel tonight for ... awhile ... as they flare and then settle in for a good long hot burn. Tomorrow is clean, pack, etc and make ready to head home with a few new ..or at least deeper, laugh lines, memories and renewed awe at the time in history that we are able to do this at our leisure.

Best wishes to everyone throughout the rest of bow season.

I should be back in Jan with my son Zak to fill his 2 and my last doe tag. We live off what we reap, buying very little red meat from the stores. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Be well,
Stressless
 

Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
A couple pics of the Core beast buck 'Father Bob' I just got from the neighbor this week, as well as the hunt I harvested him on. As well as the parting shot from camp with Mooch and his Core buck 'Herdstorm'.

As laid out in the above posts I was targeting a Core 8pt, 'Niles' but weather, foul-ups and just plain great luck on his part kept him almost out of my sight the entire season. I saw him and almost had a shot from the same stand two weeks earlier. That hunt is here:-> [https://theohiooutdoors.com/threads/stressless-2020-compendium.26809/page-2#post-772415 ] That is the only time I have ever laid eyes on him through two seasons, hundreds of trailcam pics and videos. The guess on him is 3.5 y/o 145ish 8pt. So while I would like to have harpooned him I was/am completely open to ventilating a mature buck and letting him have a chance to grow another year.

If you remember the gale, 30+ mph winds, came in late Sat and thru Sun (Oct 31 and Nov 1) with a slight cold front moving in behind it, then a week of unseasonable heat in the forecast.. starting about Wed the 4th. With that in mind I knew the opportunity to get in front of a core shooter was closing and the big movement/breeding rut with the heat would be taking place at night. I knew I needed to stay out all day and to meet to the goal of harvesting a mature Doe and Buck, before my kitchen pass window would snap closed about 9-10 Nov, I had to start shooting. I've been "hunting" on my extended kitchen pass for about three weeks up to that point, while taking care of my mom and letting the woods rest while doing light farm chores.

One of those chores is filling up the feeders around the property, I had filled them from empty on the 10th of Oct, three Boss Buck 350's, on the 26th of Oct each took about about half a load ~175#-200# from the fill on the 10th of Oct. So with Mooch coming in the 5th and not wanting to touch them or be "chor'ing" during the rut when deer will move all day if the WX is decent I refilled them the 1st of Nov at noon in the 30+ wind. When I do this I leave the bike running the entire time and think that helps reduce the impact. Also I repeat the paths, running quad, time of day so as to let the deer pattern me.... or think they do.

Got up on the 2nd, checked WX and my cell cams for movement, selected 2" plot and Poplar stand for that day - plan was to sit all day in that stand and shoot the first unpushed, in that a doe isn't watching her back trail or other signs of a trailing buck, and then watch let her lie for 90mins or so incase a buck is cruising her scent. If a mature buck walked out I'd harpoon him ... this is 3 weeks into it!

Sitting in 2" all good, fawns and some little 1.5 does came in early - I knew that I only had another day or two and it would be hot and daylight movement of doe's would dwindle with the heat and bucks becoming very aggressive. In walks momma, a does a foreleg stretch at 20 yards and she got harpooned about 0945, didn't see her fall but by the shot placement I knew she was dead on her feet. at 1115 I got down tracked her 60 yards and walked back to get the quad. Recovery was hampered by a large beech that fell across my access road and so I had to break some brush to get into where she lay. spoiling the area for the rest of daylight.

From getting down out of Poplar stand to getting back into a stand on 2" plot, Find, Gut, Recover, and Hang her was just about 90mins. Also with storng Westerly wind all the sound/scent was 1/2 mile downwind of 2".

I was at Pine plot and sitting Maple stand the South stand on that kill plot. From the pic below you can see it's a broadway (powerline) between two large areas of woods, the destination of many of these deer is the large hay fields to the S SE. With a W wind it makes a almost bulletproof setup. Winds were 10-15 MPH with gusts of 25 mph but they were 30MPH with higher gusts 1 Nov.

Capture.PNG


You can see the mature pines on either side of the plot/broadway this view is looking South just after the mid Sep brushhog of Pine. After 4 years of brushhogging twice a year the grass is an excellant draw without any need to plant a better crop at this location.
Pine.PNG


About 1530 the first deer show up, momma and twins, the twins hit hte feeder and momma watches and is spooky - they get bumped by a fork and spike at different times, about 1600 another doe shows up, she's bigger than momma but no fawns, momma kicks her ass a couple times while twins keep returning to the feeder, so two doe's, a spike and fork are all within 50 yards of me for 90 mins or better. A basket 8 walks in postures and bumps the lone doe all over hell's half acre - it was great watching them and hearing the doe's grunting at teh fawns, the bucks grunting at each other and the does, the fawns just trying to stay the hell out of the adult deer's way etc... so far I hadn't reached for my bow since I got in the Maple stand three hours prior.

I'm sitting there, at any given time there are two adult doe's, two fawns, a Basket 8 Fork and spike all dick dancing, chasing each other around the plot, up in the woods, sneaking back in, and it's into witching hour. I've had pics of Niles in this plot, saw him on the 28th just South of the plot, (see the link above for that hunt) and thought it felt very very 'deerie' and it might just happen.

About 1745 getting last light, I had turned on my sights light, all the deer stopped fooling around and looked West, so naturally I went to high alert and did the same, qiuick glance off to the West, a solid, big fellow, neck sholder to brisket, big front and hind quarters and rack well past his ears... i.e., Shooter in about 1/2 second of looking, is about 30 yards away and walking right up the Boulevard.

A view from Maple stand at the Pine Boulevard.
Capture.JPG


As you can see he was on the left side the blocking pine limb, and that makes a perfect fuzz to try and get the bow off the hanger, attach the release and get to full draw... except when there are 7 other deer within 50 yards of the stand! I had no option I had to risk it and so did all that and was at full draw when he came out to the right of the pine bough. I had marks for 20, 25 and 30 yards but it was getting too dark to see them clearly and I was looking thru the peep I estimated at 30 took aim and went thru my shot routine - which only takes like a half second, but it helps fight the target panic that can happen when a mature brute pops up in your wheelhouse...

Thankfully two things happened - when he walked in, as happenes when a mature buck enters the fray, everyone else pays attention to them, not one deer that I know if blew or spooked when I got my bow or came to full draw. When he was walking thru, he was watching the does, every other deer parted and gave way to the path he was walking like he had a forcefield pushing them 5-10 yards away from him. Never will I forget that.

Release and THWACK! Sound was kinda sharp and sure enough he dropped - Spine shot, the other deer bolted - he lay there while I got #2 out of the quiver and stared to hookup and he coughed, struggled a bit, not sure of the shot he was laying broadside so I sent #2 up into his lungs under his left side, first arrow was in his right. That magnificent bastard then lay his head down and in a min or two left this earth. In gutting and follow up the first arrow, with a Spitfire Maxx 125gr, entered his ribs and two blades nicked the bottom of his spine, severing the aortic artery - stopping in the far side ribs double lung and cut his aortic. That's the third deer I've spine shot and while it's a cross between interesting, morbid and sad to see and watch them expire, it is a hellofalot easier tracking job!

Father Bob:
Father Bob1.JPG


Father Bob2.JPG






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Be Well and best of Luck on the hunt TOO'ers,
Stressless
 
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Stressless

Active Member
2,217
85
Keene, OH
For Pete's sake... I get a notification of movement below the cabin, beam in and look who's napping in the ski jump food plot.
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Pausee my show and beamed in to listen and watch my #1 hitlister Niles, hanging in security... wow.

That camera is phenomenal.

This is it zoomed out to 1x.

The pics above are 28x
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Stressless

Active Member
2,217
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Keene, OH
Post first week Gun Season SitRep:

Listers known Fit for Duty/KIA/WIA/MIA:

Fit for Duty
  • Niles
    • 14120.jpeg
  • Wheeler
    • 14173.jpeg
  • Carter
  • Dutton
    • PICT3083_202012070014kXrea.jpg
      No I didn't "go to the future, I messed up the date on the Dark Ops.
  • Jenkins
    • PID by the neighbor Monday after the season while in a stand harpooning slickheads.
KIA
  • Father Bob
    • 20201102_190400.jpg
  • Herdstum
    • 14187.jpg
WIA
  • None
MIA
  • Stewart
  • Rainwater

Holding out hope for Rainwater - we'll see.

Civilian/Slickheads/Doe's known KIA/WIA/MIA:

KIA
  • 8 mature Doe's (West 400 acres)
  • 1 mature Doe's (local 100 acres)
WIA
  • None
MIA
  • None

Generally I'll do take an assessment again after Muzzle Loading season. We base the next years harvest strategy off that inventory and WX assessment of population kill thru green-up in April.
 

Stressless

Active Member
2,217
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Keene, OH
Normally the season is over for us in Mid November, this year my boy Zak is coming in from Colorado for muzzle loading season. He's been out of the hunting mode for about a decade and he's only 30 years old. Once he left for the USAF Academy then as Intel office time with him was precious and travel to OH wasn't really in the cards. He came up once during the Nov archery season (2016) and while still hunting with a crossbow shot a yearling - it was still hunting with a bow so muscle memory that I taught him was still in there.;)
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He's in UC Boulder working high end mathematics masters and surrounded by both the fabulous land Colorado has to offer and fuck'n nutcases that have flocked there from the left coast and support the ANTIFA and BLM - all the "progressive" B.S. He's seen the crazies up close, to that end this year, he's bought a freezer, CCW and armed, got a bow and freezer and basically what the Ol'man had always done, he's now coming "home" to do meat collecting as well.

The primary goal is to tag three mature doe's. Two for him and one more for my freezer. That'll meet the minimum mature doe harvest I want to remove and provide ample meat for the year ahead.

.BUT.

There's a cliff hanger in here. Niles the #1 hit list buck has made it though the archery and both gun seasons. We'll only ML hunt two days, I expect that we'll tag the three doe's but if Niles ( or any buck he wants to shoot) walk in front of him he's got the only buck tag left. Niles has made my farm part of his home range and the video below is of 27-27 Dec.

I'm sitting here in home office, away from the farm but can beam into the Ski Jump plot, as happened last night and low and behold Niles walks in hangs out long enough for me to go pour a wee finger of single malt and watch him, a mature buck, for a solid 30 minutes. Feeding, making a rub unpressured and unhurried. Note that plot has no corn or bait, just a kinda poor grass and some clover, no cereal rye. That's all getting better in '21.
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I don't know if the thin tech stream I put together or the mere fact I can actually see a mature buck is more fascinating to me, a kid that didn't even have a answering machine in the home while growing up.

For folks that want to precipitate in the hunt - I'll be adding that to this thread. For other s that want to just watch a mature buck doodle in the snow from last night I put the CampCam video up for you below. Note that with the thin stream there's a delay in commands to the camera and feedback, regardless I think you'll like it. The first scene in the video below is across the pond on the 26th - I'm betting there was a hot doe in there - the heard was there for about 10-15min getting bumped by 3-4 bucks.

 

Stressless

Active Member
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Keene, OH
Zak is in route from Colorado tomorrow AM, the rain and ice this AM was a mess. CNX todays trip North to visit with mom and stop in to Chris and his Mrs... got some overdue tasks down with the Mrs. here at Cabin Fever HQ. Cleaned out 2 closets and a ceder chest --- woo boy. Gonna open the kimono now so got ahead keep scrolling if you don't want the truth...

Retreat094.jpg


... Ok so sighted in the two in-lines we'll be using in the next couple days with pyrodex ffg. Unfortunately I left it home on my workbench - so many things coming together I just missed it. No excuse - rang my neighbor as both of us showed up a couple days ago to chat and fill feeders prior to ML season.

He shoots traditional Black Powder not pryrodex but he got a tub of Blackhorn a couple months ago - never opended, but he has some and I've looked it up. Now I sighted in at 100yrds with FFG pyrodex and have none of the Blackhorn, I figure if I get it from him tomorrow AM and shoot both weapons with one load, 75 yrds I'm good. He's gonna hand me a new jar of Blackhorn209 for the corn I had loaded on his Mule a couple days ago. All Good here, shooting 260gr. .45cal conical sabot rounds volume, I think I'll be good. Looking forward to trying something new that maybe good.

Zak and I on stand exactly 20 years ago Jan 1, 2001. Old kitchen chairs as stands overlooking a bedding area.
Xmas 01 Zak Muzzlelaoding1.JPG