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Wildlife 2019/2020 Deer Season

Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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Southern Ohio
Tuesday, November 12, 2019:

20191112_072727[1].jpg

This morning I got settled into my ‘Western Stand’ about 15 minutes before legal time with a temperature of 21-degrees along with a double-digit wind speed coming from the NW.

Within the first 10 minutes of daylight, I saw a lone deer SE of me approximately 100 yards straight away, just inside the wooded area. I believe it was an antlerless deer that was headed North, kinda towards my corn feeder.

Shortly after 8:00 a.m., I seen a small 8pt buck that pretty much did the same thing as the previous deer, coming from the same area.

I hunted until 10:00 a.m. and then packed it up, headed back to my workshop to get warmed up near the wood stove, dry some clothes and to drink some hot coffee. After that, I did my regular daily work chores, took care of my dogs and made me some hot chilly for lunch.

I headed back out shortly after 3:00 p.m. to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ for an evening hunt.
20191112_172304[1].jpg

I got settled in about a quarter after and just before four o’clock, a different decent size 8pt buck came from the creek/bedding area from the NE/my right, heading down the deer path that goes right in front of my stand. He stopped at the deer scrape just 15 yards away, right in front of me, which is what you see in the middle of the photograph above.

He hit scrape real hard, freshening it up, licked the branches, dug the ground and pissed all over it.

For a split second, I thought about taking him out only because he slow walked right into my 10-yard window, just to the left of the scrape, and stopped again, leaving me a perfectly broadside shot opportunity as he was shaking off all the snow that was on him from the honeysuckle shrub he was licking.

Right after that, he put his nose to the ground and turned towards me where I got a real good look at his rack.

His brow & tine lengths were fairly decent, mass as well, but his spread wasn’t out past his ears just yet, another words, a small basket.

I believe he’s the same buck that I saw the other evening when I had that little buck right out in front of me at the same spot he was, on the 9th.

I'd say he a 3-3 1/2 year old buck that'll get to live another day.

Oh yeah,,, I gave him a pass, and continued to watch him head out into the CRP field right behind me, searching out for a girlfriend.

During his travel heading SW within the field, he stop at a few deer beds and sniffed them out, rubbed a few little trees as well along the way and finally to the far SW corner of the field, and then out of sight completely, heading much closer to my ‘North Western Stand’ at that point.
20191112_161059.jpg

He was the only deer I saw this evening, but it was a neat encounter none the less and it totally recharged me for the coming days.

Today, I had to wear my heavy snow camo bibs & jacket along with many layers’ underneath them, plus my arctic-shield boot-covers for my feet, and they did the trick for the most part.
2019-11-12_20.36.31[1].jpg

I did get a little cold this morning only because most all of the honeysuckle shrubs in the area were completely bent over from all the freezing rain and powdered snow that was on top them from last night's weather, and when I tried to walk underneath a few of them, heading to my stand, some snow fell down the back of my neck. I tried to get it all out as best as I could right then and there, however some of the snow did manage to get deep down into my neck & shoulder area and melted, so I got a little wet right off the bat this morning.

No doubt, once you’re wet in these type of weather conditions, it’s real tough to make it through an intended long hunt within a tree stand having blistering cold winds at your back, but I held out as long as I could before I had to go get warmed back up.

This evening however, I was perfectly fine, and the weather conditions was pretty much the same as they were this morning, especially towards the end of the hunt with the exception of the wind, which was much more mild. The temps were identical though when I first started this morning and when I climbed down this evening, right at 21-degrees.

Tomorrow morning the temperature is supposed to be even colder, something like 13-degrees, however the wind will be much milder, coming from the SW at 1 mph first thing, and then changing over to coming from the SE at 3 mph sustained for the rest of the morning. Basically, no wind to really speak of. With that type of weather condition, I expect things to be far more active with regards to deer movement.

So, I’ll be out there at one of my setups first thing tomorrow morning, you can bet your bottom dollar on it!
 
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Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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85
Southern Ohio
Wednesday, November 13, 2019:

Bear with me folks because I had an awesome hunt this evening and I’ll try to get through this update as best as I can.

First, this morning was absolutely brutal with the bitter cold temperature of 9-degrees and virtually no wind from the SE.

Secondly, on my way to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ from my workshop under the full moonlight with a crystal-clear sky, (In fact, I didn’t have to use my headlamp because it was so light out at 6:15 a.m.), I’m sure every deer within the immediate area heard me coming from the very moment I walked out of my workshop because everything was frozen solid, including the snow.

It literally sounded like I was the ‘Wizard of Oz -Tinman’ in serious need of oiling while walking across a hardwood floor with fresh box of cornflakes cereal spilled all over it. Seriously, it was that freaking bad!

When I got within 15 yards of my tree, I bumped an antlerless deer that was in between me and my tree. The deer immediately ran out into the CRP field, just to the South and stopped yards away from what I could tell. I just stood in amazement, thinking, surely that deer had to of heard me coming towards her at least a 100 yards ago :LOL:

After that momentary delay, I proceeded to head to my tree, hooked up to my ‘LIFE-LINE’, hooked my bow up to my hand line and then climbed the tree as quietly as I could, knowing I had a deer nearby.

Once I got to my stand platform and stood up, I hung everything that needed to hang, including my ‘Heater Body Suite’, ‘Artic-Shield’ insulated boot-covers, binoculars, rangefinder and grunt call. Then I slowly pulled up my bow up from the ground and hung it too right after I nocked an arrow. Then I sat down and waited patiently for daylight.

Sure enough, that deaf deer that I bumped, was just yards away within the CRP field right behind me, and she blowing her ass off.

After all that blowing, I could easily tell that she was slowly leaving the immediate area through the CRP heading West and finally, out of my hearing range minutes before legal time.

When it finally got light enough, I stood up in my stand and tried to glass the CRP field looking for that silly deer, but never could find her.

(There's a deer in this photograph within the CRP field, but I couldn't see her. I could only hear her blowing.)
20191113_072805[1].jpg

Around 8:00 a.m., I did see another lone deer in the far NW corner of the CRP field, due West/my left, that was headed further away and straight into the wooded area. I believe it was a different deer though because shortly after that, I heard another deer give out a couple of soft blows within the CRP field approximately 70 yards to the SW/my left right behind me. I suspect it was the same deer that I originally bumped earlier.

And that was all the deer activity I had this morning from 6:30-9:00 a.m.
 

Wildlife

Bow Hunter
Supporting Member
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85
Southern Ohio
Wednesday, November 13, 2019:

I headed back to my workshop to take care of my animals, drink some hot coffee and do my daily work chores. I was expecting the full rut to kick in this morning, but obviously that didn’t quite happen. So, I planned to head back out right after lunch to the same location, which I did.

I got settled back in at 1:40 p.m. for the rest of the day at my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ once again.

For the next couple of hours, I didn’t see any deer, but I did observe all kinds of other wildlife, including another pheasant flyby over the top of the CRP.

At 4:15 p.m., a nanny doe stepped out the bedding area from the East/my right, approximately 50 yards slightly NE.

(There's a nanny doe is in this photograph below along with a little one and another doe in the thickest brown section in the middle.)
20191113_162011[1].jpg

I watched her wander around over the course of the next 5 minutes or so right out in front me, but never got within decent bow range.

Then, I seen her little one arrive, which came from the creek area just to the NE. Momma doe turned towards her little one and headed back in the direction where the her little one came from, back towards the creek area and finally out of sight.

While I was watching them leave the area, I caught a brief glimpse of another antlerless deer that followed them to the same location, leaving the bedding area just to my right.

For the past two evenings, I’ve been hearing gun shots to the South that were sporadic and it didn’t make sense to me as to who or why someone would be shooting like that, especially during prime-time hunting hours.

Well, at 4:45 p.m., two young boys entered the CRP field right behind me from the far SE corner wearing brown Carhart type bibs with black hoodies. Only one of them was carrying a rifle.

Then it occurred to me, they must be Squirrel hunting.

I watched them walk right past my ‘Southern CRP Stand’ and into the wooded area on the opposite side of the field.

Shortly thereafter, I heard a couple gun shots ring out, but I couldn’t tell if they were successful in shooting a Squirrel or not because they were well behind several honeysuckle shrubs at the time.

Rather funny though,,, just a few minutes after those shots rang out, a huge Fox Squirrel climbed my tree that I have no idea where he came from, but I tend to believe he came from the CRP field, possibly crossed it to get away from those boys. The Squirrel frantically climbed right past and above me within the same tree. Then he jumped from my tree onto the next tree over, which was a Sycamore tree that was completely frozen over with snow and smooth inadequate tree bark for him to get a good foot hold on. He nearly fell a couple of times while trying to get back down to the ground, then finally out of my sight. No doubt, he was in a big hurry to get the hell out of the area. It was very obvious.

So, I continued to watch those boys for a few more minutes. I could hear them laughing and carrying on, having a grand old time apparently. Then I seen them smoking. I couldn’t tell exactly what they were smoking, but I can only image what two young underage boys could be smoking. They appeared to be pretty darn happy for whatever reason, that's all know.

Eventually, I watched them leave the area too, heading over the top of the ridge traveling SW and finally out of sight with no more gun shots.

About when I was thinking of packing things up, and I just finished looking at the time on my cellphone, which it stated it was 5:30 p.m. sharp, I then looked up and out, straight away across the creek area to the North, and I caught a glimpse of some quick movement. Something that was moving towards me real fast. I though it was a coyote at first.

Then suddenly two does hopped over the creek and onto the creek bank on my side, just 50 yards away, straight out in front of me. I could tell they were in a big-time hurry for whatever reason.

I reached for my bow just in case.

Each of them took off in separate directions, splitting the difference between them once they reached creek bank. One heading SW towards the CRP field and the other heading back toward the bedding/creek area to the NE.

Right after that, for the very first time, the biggest buck that I ever seen on this property with my own set of eyes, also hopped over the creek and onto the creek bank following those does, just 50 yards straight away, right out in front of me, and then stopped very briefly looking back in forth between the two ladies.

He looked to his left towards the smaller of the two does, and then back to his right towards the big nanny doe that was quartering somewhat towards me, just within 30 yards away, right to my left, continuing a quick march towards the CRP field.

The buck started moving towards the big nanny doe and then stopped again, perfectly broadside at 32 yards away from me.

Unfortunately, there was roughly a 16” diameter size tree in between us that was protecting his vitals.

He stood there just long enough for me to quickly glass his head gear and I’ll tell ya what,,, I believe he’s just as big, if not bigger that my largest buck I ever harvested, which is a 175” 17 point. His antlers looked much the same with a typical 10-point frame and his main beams towards the front curled up, just like my biggest buck that you see below. I also believe most all of his tines are even taller, but about the same mass.
17pt_6.JPG

A tremendous buck to say the least and I would estimate a minimum, a 160” class type buck, and that’s not knowing what he has for brows and/or kickers.

When he was behind that tree, if he would’ve taken just another step or two towards that nanny doe, then I would've been able to take the shot.

While he was behind that tree just briefly, which seemed like an eternity, he looked back towards the other doe, then suddenly he turned back around putting his nose half way down towards the ground and took off running full bore after that smaller of the two does, which at the time, she was slightly NE of me approximately 50 yards away, heading back towards the creek area.

Those last three deer encounters happen so fast, I only had time to react for the most part and nothing else.

From the time those three deer showed up to the time they left, I’d say it all happened within a minute.

After the small doe lead that large buck out of my immediate area, I turned back around to see where the big nanny doe was. I found her within the CRP field, just to my left, approximately 30 yards away, and she started heading further SW towards the far corner of the field.

Once I felt confident enough that there were no more deer within the area, I packed things up, climbed down, and headed home.

That buck encounter didn’t really hit me emotionally until after I got changed out of my hunting clothes.

That’s when it hit me...

I had to go grab me a couple of cold beers out of the fridge to simply calm my nerves, which did the trick.

So, for the day, I seen a total of 8 deer and 5 of them got within bow range, including that big buck.

Close but no cigar, darn it! :(

Just as I previously predicted, our full deer rut has officially kicked off this evening, right on the 13th once again.

I have a sick feeling that I’m gonna have a helluva time getting to sleep tonight.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings…
 
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Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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Southern Ohio
Thursday, November 14, 2019:

This morning I headed back out to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ once again and got settled about 15 minutes before legal time. The temperature was much warmer than the last two mornings by far, right at 27- degrees with a mild SE wind and as soon the sun came up, the temperature increased from that point on throughout the day. By the time I got settled for my evening hunt, it was 39-degrees with the same kind of wind as this morning.

About 8:15 a.m., a lone Button Buck came from the creek bottom area, just to the North and headed straight towards me while grazing from all the honeysuckles shrubs that was in his path.

2019-11-14 08.36.07.jpg

He eventually worked his way right underneath me eating more honeysuckle leaves off the shrub right next to my tree. As he reached further on up the shrub, you can see within the video that he was pretty much looking right at me but had no clue I was above him the entire time.

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After he filled his little belly, he casually walked out into the CRP field right behind me, heading South and eventually out of sight when he reached the far side.

And that was all the deer I seen and/or heard during my morning hunt. I got down and headed home @9:00 a.m.
________________________________

2019-11-14 14.24.12.jpg

This afternoon, I decided to take my old API climber and head to an area that I haven’t hunted yet this season. I hunted that location several times last season with good results and the tree that I use sits right on top of a small ridge that separates two creeks that join eventually further on down/East, approximately a ¼ mile away.

On each side of the ridge are large creek shelves that are loaded with honeysuckles and saplings. Deer often bed within them during this part of the year because of the decent cover.

I originally planned on hunting that location at some point this season, but what made me decide to get out there today was because of the big buck encounter that I had yesterday evening. He came from that area when he chased those two does that, I also encountered.

It’s a tough area to hunt simply because there’s usually deer in there during the daytime, typically bedded. It can be a real challenge to get setup, but I manage from time to time using my API climber. So, that’s exactly what I did this afternoon without bumping any deer out of that area, starting off anyways.

I got settled in at approximately 2:30 p.m., and it wasn’t until 4:45 p.m. when I seen a different Button Buck from what I seen earlier this morning. He stepped out from the North side of the ridge, coming from the thick honeysuckles and started grazing along the open field edge that’s to North/my left, approximately 40 yards away.
20191114_164621.jpg

10 minutes after that, I heard some heavy tree branches snapping further in on the North side of the ridge, just N-NE from me, approximately 30 yards away. That noise got the Button Buck’s attention as well and he walked closer towards me and to the area of where the noise came from, looking intensely down the ridge, which gave me a better idea where to glass.

No sooner I started glassing that area, I heard more tree thrashing, tree branch braking and, what sounded like antlers hitting tree limbs. All that noise gave up that buck’s position quite easily and I was able to see through all the thick stuff and got a real good look at his ass only.

(The area where that buck was bedded and rubbed trees making all that noise approximately 30 yards straight away in the middle of the photograph.)
20191114_171534.jpg

I’m not certain that it was the same buck from the previous evening, but I could tell he was a decent size buck, thrashing and rubbing. I suspect he just got up from his bed for the evening.

No sooner when I tried to glass him again, he must’ve winded me because he started blowing and took off immediately heading N-NE, through the creek bottom and up the hill, then eventually out of sight. He was perfectly downwind of me when he first got up, which really sucked for me!

The only time I’ll hunt back in that location again this season is when we have any kind of North and/or West wind now that I know where his daytime bed is.

I do believe he’ll be back again because there are still plenty of does left in the area. I can positively say that because right after he left, I had beautiful adult large doe encounter where she came from the creek bottom right behind me, just to the South, and walked the deer the path that goes right by my tree. Once she reached the top of the ridge, she stopped perfectly broadside at 15 yards, upwind of me. She had no clue I was just yards away. I continued to watch her slow walk over the top of the ridge and down to the other creek bottom, headed N-NE along the creek, and then eventually out of sight.

So, today, I had a total of 4 deer sightings, all of them were within bow range, however only two were clear for taking any kind of a shot if I choose to do so.

I attached a picture that I took this morning from my ‘Norther CRP Stand’ of the tree that prevented me from taking any kind of a shot last night at that big buck, leaving me no opportunity to target his vitals as he stood perfectly broadside briefly behind it @32yds.

I'll be back at it again tomorrow cause I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing this time of year.
 

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Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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Southern Ohio
Friday, November 15, 2019:

Another frosty start to the day...
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Another bitter morning with a temperature of 18-degrees with a mild NW wind.

Because of that NW wind, I decided to head back out to my API climber that I left out overnight on top of the North ridge.

I got settled-in just minutes before legal time.

No sooner than when I sat down, I heard a deer come from the area that I just walked through minutes prior, from the SW and started to climb the South side of the ridge through the thick portion of the honeysuckles.

The deer must have laid down on the South side of the ridge because I never did see it make it to the top. I estimate that the deer was within 30 yards of me, just inside the honeysuckles somewhere.

So, I stayed comfortably seated in my stand for the next 20 minutes when all of a sudden I heard ruckus to the SE at the creek bottom. When I turned to look in that direction, to my right, I seen a deer running for its life with a buck trailing just yards behind, approximately 80 yards away, heading North to the top of the same ridge.

I grabbed my bow and got ready for hopefully some quick deer action, however they never showed up. Apparently, they headed a different direction when they reached the top of the ridge.

So, I went ahead and hung my bow back up after a couple of minutes and sat back down.

About an hour after that, I looked at the time on my cellphone, which stated it was 8:30 a.m. and that was the last thing I remember because apparently I soon fell asleep for the next hour in half comfortable in my stand.

When I woke back up, it was just before 10:00 a.m. :LOL::ROFLMAO:

I missed half of my morning hunt so, I decided to glass the area for the next few minutes to look for any movement.

I didn’t see any, but I did manage to see a 'Pileated Woodpecker' working diligently on a tree just yards away.
20191115_100545.jpg

A beautiful Ohio bird with brilliant black, white and red colors. Every once in while I'll get see one in our area.

After I got my fill watching him, I packed up and headed home to take care things.
_______________________________________________

I headed back out to the same location soon after lunch around 1:30 p.m. and got settled-in at 2:00 with a temperature in the high 30's and the same NW wind.

When I was about to sit down, this opossum cruised right by me at the top of the ridge heading to towards the South creek bottom.
20191115_141241-1.jpg


At 4:30 p.m., I happen to catch a glimpse of movement to the East/my right on top of the same ridge, perfectly downwind of me.

I grabbed my binoculars and recognized that it was the same Button Buck that I saw yesterday evening all by himself once again, but this time on the other side of me.
20191115_165106.jpg


So, I continued to watch his activity as he slowly made his way closer to me, grazing off the little honeysuckle shrubs.


Eventually, after he was done eating, he decided to lay down just 10 yards away from me, on top of the ridge, still downwind of me.


Of course, I kept all my movement to a bare minimum and just watched his behavior, hoping that he’ll inform me when another deer shows up, which he did.

20191115_165505.jpg

That little Button Buck stayed bedded right up until almost quitting time when an adult doe showed up from the SE that climbed the South side of the ridge and slow walked right to the little Button Buck.

The little Button Buck greeted the doe and she turned and led him further away heading NE and finally out of sight right at quitting time.

That was all the deer I seen during this evening.

So, for today, I seen a total of three deer and heard one. Three of the four got within bow range, however only one provided any kind of an opportunity, which was the little Button Buck.

Over the next few days, we’re supposed to have Northern winds and continued cool mornings, which I fully intend to hunt out of my API climber that’s on top of that same ridge to hopefully have another encounter with the buck that I saw yesterday, which is possibly the same big buck I seen the day before that.

The Northern winds are perfect for that setup, and that's based off what I experienced yesterday evening when that buck woke up from his bed on the North side of the ridge, just NE from me at 30 yards, with SE winds at the time, which he was able to bust me right after he stood up because he was perfectly downwind of me.

So, we’ll see what happens over the next few days.
 
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Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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Southern Ohio
Saturday, November 16, 2019:

Didn’t hunt this morning.

Instead I took my loving wife out for brunch and then did some shopping because it was her birthday the other day and we celebrated it today with family.

During our travels this afternoon, I picked me up 250lbs. of whole corn to replenish the corn feeder, which I did once we got home.

Then I got ready to head out to hunt for the rest of the day.

I took off for the North ridge once again where I left my old API climber because of the ideal North wind that works perfect for that setup.

I got settled-in at approximately 2:30 p.m. and I sat comfortably within my stand for the next 2 ½ hrs. of not seeing any deer activity at all.
20191116_183621.jpg


It wasn’t until a little after five, in fact, it was 5:10 p.m. exactly when I saw my first deer for the day, which was lone adult doe, just to the West/my left that came out of the open field at the top of the ridge, approximately 40yrds. away.

20191116_171223.jpg

She stepped into my window, but behind a tree and stood there looking to the North. I watched her looking & listening intensely for about a minute or two and didn't move.

About the time I thought she was going to turn and head closer towards me, down the South side of the ridge, I heard movement to the East/my right, coming from the North through some thick stuff, approximately 40yrds. away.

I couldn’t the see the deer to the East/my right at first until I heard him grunt while climbing up the ridge, heading South.

He stopped briefly at the top of the ridge, but I still couldn’t make out his antlerless through all the trees and honeysuckle that were between us.

Right at that particular time, I had that doe to the West/my left and a buck to the East/my right at 5:20 p.m., with roughly 80yrds. between them and me stuck in the middle.

I was hoping that the buck would turn towards her, however the wind was coming from the North and I don’t believe he could smell her, let alone see her.

Then the doe turned back around and headed back to where see came from, somewhere within the open field within the tall weeds.

No sooner she left my sight, I heard heavy running just to South, where she kind of went, thinking that she must’ve decided to head down to the creek shelf area, however it wasn't her because I was able to see through a small opening within the honeysuckles at the bottom of the ridge.

I saw another buck. It was a different one, not the buck that was just to my East, which at the time, that buck continued traveling straight South towards the creek and my ‘Northern CRP Stand’, and I never did get a real good look at him when he crossed the top of the ridge.

The buck that I saw through the honeysuckles though looked very familiar and he was of somewhat decent size, but I kinda knew that he’s not the one I’m after once I got a decent look at him.

But regardless, I focused all of my attention towards that buck that was just SW/my left at the bottom of the ridge approximately 60yrds. away. He was feverishly looking out for that doe from what I gather, that was just moments prior, right above him, at the top of the ridge.

I watched him work his way closer towards me very quickly and up the deer path that goes right through my West shooting window.

I had bow already to go in my hands just in case after I got a different opinion of him.

He did, manage to come up that deer path, walked right through my shooting lane and over to where the doe was standing when I first saw her.

It was like watching a hunting dog with his nose to the ground zig-zagging and panic ally pacing in a figure eight type motion within a 20yrd radius, right where that doe was standing just moments prior when I first seen her.

He finally stopped after a minute, left me with a perfect broadside shot opportunity at 30 yards. That’s when I got my best look at him, which he’s definitely one of our regulars, one of the young nine points.

(This is him.)

I estimate he’s a 2 1/2yr. old. maybe 3 that'll be a great buck in a few more years.

While he stood there, he put his nose real high into the air and finally, he must’ve winded that doe because he quickly turned to the direction of where she went when I saw her leave the area.

Then he hauled ass heading out into that open field in pursuit of that doe, no doubt!

Just moments after that, I heard my neighbor’s dogs barking, which they’re in the direction where those deer went, much further to the West. I figured those deer made it to those dogs, approximately ¼ mile away.

About that time, it was little bit before quitting time with plenty of daylight left for me to see. I decided to pack it up and head home.

On the way home, while traveling through the creek, I met up with the first buck that I seen earlier.

He was just on the other side of the creek within 20yrds. of me when I got to him. I still couldn’t make out his rack though because at that time, it was too dark to see within the creek bottom and I didn’t have my headlamp with me.

He scared the shit out of me because he made one hell of a ruckus trying to get back up the creek bank and run towards my ‘Northern CRP Stand’.

He blew at me just once when he took off and I think I surprised him just as much as he surprised me.

And that was it, that was my fun hunt for the day.

So, today, I seen two bucks and single lone adult doe. All three of them got within bow range, but the only one that provided a legal opportunity was the young nine point.

Yesterday concluded ‘Week 6’ of hunting for me thus far this season and I compiled my ‘Week in Review’ hunt data report that’s now two pages long.

Click the following link if you wish to view it.; https://view.publitas.com/wildlifeohio/2019-hunt-data/

Tomorrow, I'll be back out at the top of that ridge with mild East, South East winds for the day. Hopefully I'll catch a better glimpse of that first buck that showed up this evening and scared the shit out of me on the way home..
 
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Wildlife

Bow Hunter
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Southern Ohio
Sunday, November 17, 2019:
20191117_072906.jpg

While hiking to my climber stand that’s still located on top of the North ridge this morning under a clear moonlit sky, once I got to the bottom of the ridge and within yards of my tree, right before I started to make my way up that ridge, I heard a deer coming straight at me that was also at the bottom of the ridge, just to the East.

He sounded like he was dragging his ass through the woods with all the freaking noise he was making. I could hear him coming a mile away practically.

I suspected he was a buck because he was a heavy walker by the sounds of it.

So, I immediately froze in place, shut off my headlamp and listened as the he got closer, and closer, and closer, then finally stopped just within 20-25 yards of me.

I then heard him turn and started his way up the ridge within the deer path that goes right by my tree, approximately 15 yards away from it.

Even though it was dark at the bottom of the ridge, I stayed focused in his direction while he was making his way up to the top of the ridge and I was able to catch a quick glimpse of him as he reached the top (I could see his silhouette), under the moonlight sky as he turned back to the East, then over the top of the ridge and out of sight.

I stood there in place for a couple more minutes giving him plenty of time to leave the area. I swear, he never knew I was standing downwind of him just yards away.

He never blew nor fled the area, he just simply walked away in the same manner as he did when he first approached me. I suspect he was on his way to his bed for the day.

So, after not hearing anymore noises, I continued to my tree successfully at the top of the ridge, quietly climbed the tree and got settled about 15 minutes before legal time.

Shortly before 7:00 a.m., I heard another deer that was just to the North, on the side of ridge, right in front of me. I also suspect that deer ‘TOO’ was looking to bed nearby.

After about a minute or two, it got quiet again and I believe that deer I heard laid down just over the ridge, somewhere within 30 yards of me, just to the NE.

After about an hour in half of not seeing nor hearing anymore deer in the immediate area, I figured it’d be a good time to pack up and go get me some breakfast. I figured the deer moved early today, well before sunrise and will most likely stay bedded for much of the day.

I got back to my workshop by 9:00 a.m. and changed into my regular work clothes, then I went to get me something to eat cause I was freaking starving this morning for some reason.

This afternoon, I cut, split and stacked firewood to replenish my wood stack now that the big freeze is pretty much over with for at least a week.

I headed back out around 2:30 p.m. and got settled into my API climber stand once again on top of the North ridge by 3:00 p.m.

For about an hour, I felt like I was ‘Mr. Bobble Head’ because of the damn squirrels in the area were gettin busy and stealing most of my attention, thinking they were deer nearby. I admit, I expected deer to get up early this afternoon.

Finally, at 4:03 p.m., I saw a deer, which was a little Button Buck, that was right behind me thinking originally it was another damn squirrel, and he already got past me at the bottom of the ridge walking aimlessly somewhat to the SE/my right.

He then turned South after minute, walked straight to the creek and out of sight into the thick bedding area that’s on the other side of the South creek.

I thought that was a pretty good sign, so I stood up in my stand expecting more deer to show up.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because the next deer didn’t make its appearance until an hour later, right at 5:05 p.m.

He came from the NE, from the North creek area, and galloped quickly into my area, acting very frisky.

When he stopped within 20 yards of me with some trees in between us, I could tell he was a much bigger Button Buck than the ones I been seeing lately.

He was truly entertaining to watch to say the very least because over the next few minutes, he literally ran laps at full speed right in front of me using the North side of the ridge as if it was part of a NASCAR track, banking his turns or something to the like.

I also watched him buck like a wild mustang in some sort of cowboy rodeo, kicking his rear legs out from time to time as he ran those crazy laps within an 80+ yard radius, one big circle, right between the North creek and the North side of the ridge. He did it like four times continuously.

He finally stopped briefly at the top of the ridge and I was able to capture a photograph of him, which isn’t the best nor the closest he got to me during his leg stretching exercise. He then left the area, heading back down the ridge, towards the North creek, heading further North, and finally out of my sight.

A couple of minutes after that Button left, a goofy looking 6pt Buck cruised right on by me, coming from the East/my right, right off the top of the same ridge, and walked right through my best window at 25 yards away.

He never stopped until he got to where I saw a that doe from yesterday, back on top of the ridge, due West/my left at 40 yards, along the edge of the open field with the tall weeds. He stood there briefly, then walked in the same direction as that doe did yesterday, and finally out of sight.

No sooner I turned back around to look straight out in front of me again to the North, another antlerless deer shows up that was tracing that goofy looking 6pt Buck’s tracks.

That deer was of some decent size 'TOO' and I didn’t have time to glass it to tell if it was another Button Buck or not, but I suspect it was based on its behavior. That deer literally traced verbatim the goofy looking 6pt Buck’s tracks, following him straight out into the open field area with the tall weeds.

(Each photo below has deer within them from the order that I seen them today. Not the greatest snapshots cause I'm still trying to learn how to use my new cellphone. Not proficient quite yet!)
20191117_210704.jpg

And that was my fun day of huntin!

So, today, I seen a total of five deer and heard one, most of them were bucks if not all, each within bow range, and none of them tickled my fancy enough to shoot.

Tomorrow, with a temperature nearly above freezing along with a mild WSW wind starting off, I’ll be heading out to my ‘Hilltop Stand’, which is a setup I haven’t hunted since November 5th.

I’m totally looking forward to it!
 
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Wildlife

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(I'm a little behind in my journal and I apologize for that. I'm in the process of getting caught up this evening, so expect a few more after this one.)

Monday Morning, November 18, 2019:

I left my workshop early, approximately 5:30 a.m., headed to my ‘Hilltop Stand’ taking the long way around using the roads.

As I started walking down our road and I was almost to the only streetlight in the area, I seen a buck in the neighboring property with his nose to the ground walking in circles within 30 yards of me. I could see him clear as day because of the nearby streetlight. So, I stood there watching him for a minute because I had plenty of time to get to my stand. I recognized him right off the bat, which he’s the same nine-point that I encountered two days ago, and I have him on my feeder trail camera. He finally started heading straight towards me, right to the road walking along the tree hedgerow. I was standing in the middle of the far lane of the road and a car just drove by when apparently, he decided that he was going to cross the road right where I was standing at. I was just outside the reach of the brightness of the streetlight standing in the dark as he reached the edge of the road. I feared that he was going to run me over, so I flashed him with my tactical flashlight, and he stopped dead in his tracks, and just stood there approximately 10 feet away trying to figure out what the hell I was. He literally stood there for about a minute trying to steer me down and see who was going to move first, which he did. He then turned back around and headed back from where he came from then stopped in the middle of the field. That’s when I decided to move along, and he was able to watch me continue my hike down the road. By that time, I was well within the lit area from the streetlight, so he truly was able to get a good look at me. He never blew nor took off, he just stood there and watched me leave the area.

(The buck I had a very close encounter with, 10' roughly.)

Further on down the road, right after I turned down the next street, I flashed the cut soybean field with my flashlight just to the North. Within that field, I saw three more antlerless deer standing approximately 70 yards away. They obviously heard me coming because they took off immediately heading further North, right towards a standing CRP field on the next property.

Once I got to the far edge of that cut soybean field, just on the other side of the tree hedgerow, I saw a small buck with a bum leg. He was walking towards those three antlerless deer that I just seen.

Then, I looked further up ahead of me with the flashlight, down the road, I saw another buck, which he was bigger. He was heading East in a big hurry, straight away from me through the neighbor’s pine trees. Once he cleared those pine trees, I saw him at the edge of the road approximately 100 yards away and then crossed it, and into the cut soybean field on the other side just to the South.

As I continued walking towards where I saw that bigger buck cross the road, I heard something jump out into the same cut soybean field just to the South/my right, approximately 30 yards away, and it was another antlerless deer heading towards that bigger buck. He walked right along the far edge of the cut field, roughly 70 yards away, and he ‘TOO’ watched me walk right on by.

At this point, I seen a total of seven deer. Three of them were bucks and four antlerless, all within ¼ mile of my workshop and only 15 minutes into my hike, with another 10-15 to go.

For the rest of the way to my stand, I didn’t see any more deer until daylight.

Once I got settled into my stand, which was earlier than normal, approximately 6:00 a.m., no sooner than when I sat down, I heard another deer walking within 50 yards of me just inside the wooded area, to the West/my left, then it got quite until after daylight.

Right at first daylight, I started glassing the cut CRP field straight out in front of me, to the North and I spotted some movement approximately 100 yards away.

As it got lighter out as time passed, I was able to see three antlerless deer grazing, one adult doe and two little ones that were grouped together.

After a few more minutes, I notice three more antlerless deer, just yards away for the first group, to the West within the same field.

After a few more minutes, I saw two more antlerless deer, further to the NW, approximately 50 yards away from the second group.

Eventually, all eight of those deer got together as one large group, approximately 100 yards away, slightly to the NE.

After about 10 minutes of grazing within the field, I watched the first two little ones feed off their mother. Once she put a stop to that, they all started to work their way towards the corner of the field, closet to me.

I was able to capture a brief cellphone video of them walking through the field in a straight line, nose to tail, much like train, heading to the corner of the field closest to me.

(If you look to the top of the video in between the larger trees in the middle, you’ll be able to see a couple of them moving from right to left within the first 90 seconds of the video.)

Once they reached the corner, most of them continued their travel into the tree hedgerow, heading SW towards the backside of the cut soybean field that I cross to get to my stand.

The first three of the bunch, slowly made their way closer to me, walking right along the edge of the field, which was the mother doe and her two little ones, a button and a young doe.

Eventually, the button and the young doe walked into the wooded area right underneath me while the mother stayed within the CRP field approximately 40-45 yards away.

I noticed that something grabbed the Mother doe’s attention to the East because she was intensely looking hard while she stood perfectly broadside within my first window at 40 yards. After a minute of her looking out to the East at whatever it was that got her attention, I hoped it was a good buck potentially making his way towards her, but that wasn’t the case apparently cause no other deer showed up.

After the little ones had fill on eating plenty of honeysuckle leaves and Black Locust Tree seedpods off the ground, they turned back around heading to their Mother that was still standing the field straight out in front me.

Once those two joined her, she turned back around and led the little ones back to where the others went into the tree hedgerow near the backside of the cut soybean field, then finally out of sight.

At that time, it was 7:30 a.m. and I didn’t see nor hear anymore deer for the next hour.

I packed up at 8:30 a.m. and headed back home because I had some things I had to take of early.

So, this morning, I seen a total of fifteen different deer between 5:30-7:30 a.m.

Seven of them before legal time while hiking to my stand, three bucks and four antlerless, plus I heard one while I tried to get settled in. Then after legal time, I seen eight more antlerless within the first hour of hunting time.
 

Wildlife

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Monday Evening, November 18,2019:

I got ready to head back out approximately 2:30 p.m.

I decided to hunt out my API climber once again on top of the North ridge simply because there were rain showers in the forecast, sometime between 3-5 and the wind direction was supposed to change from the SW to the coming from the North for the remainder of the hunt. Plus, given all the buck activity that I seen predawn today, all of it was near that setup anyways.

I got settled into my stand at 3:00 p.m. sharp and it didn’t take long at all for the first deer to show up.

Right at 3:22 p.m., that goofy looking six-point buck with his tongue hanging out, marched right past my tree, behind me, heading to the South creek bottom and out of sight in a matter of seconds.

At 3:45 p.m., that large Button Buck showed up once again, on top of the ridge approximately 50 yards away, to the East/my right and slowly walked through my best window at 25 yards heading North to the North creek bottom and then out of sight as well after a few minutes.

After that, I decided to pull out my doe can and try to call him back. I gave the can a couple of flips and waited. Then I did again about five minutes after the first sequence and he didn’t respond, however five minutes later, five different deer show up on top of the ridge to the West/my left approximately 40 yards away, coming out of the open field with tall weeds. Two small bucks and three antlerless deer headed NE and stopped briefly. I noticed over the top of the honeysuckle shrubs, that a deer tried to mount another deer, then suddenly, two antlerless popped into my West window trying to get away from one of the small bucks. He ‘TOO’ showed up within the same window at 35 yards and grunted big time at those two antlerless deer as they ran down the ridge heading South inside the honeysuckle patch. The young buck started chasing those two down the ridge and within the honeysuckle patch, then stopped when the two antlerless deer ran back up the ridge to the West and back out into the open field with the tall weeds. The young buck acted tired and started grazing for a minute on the South creek shelf.

After a couple minutes, that young buck worked his way back up the ridge where those two antlerless deer went and out into the open field in search of those two deer.

By this time, it’s 5:10 p.m. and I still can hear deer just over the North side of the ridge toward the North creek.

About 5 minutes after that, I seen a different lone young buck, another six-point walking from the North towards me from the open field with the tall weeds. He never stopped and walked past me down the North side of the ridge through creek shelf area to the North creek and never stopped. It appeared he was on a mission when he left my sight.

After another 5 minutes go by, four antlerless deer show up coming from across the North creek and out into my best window at the bottom of the ridge straight out in front of me approximately 20-35 yards, all four of them. Two adults and two young ones.

Then I seen movement again, straight out in front of me at the bottom of the ridge to the North. I quickly grabbed my binoculars and glassed. It was decent nice-point buck that I already had encounter with about five days ago. I continued to watch him as he traced the footsteps of the four previous antlerless deer that left the immediate area.

(The other local 9pt that got within bow range.)

So, I continued to glass the area and once again I caught movement at the South creek bottom, approximately 80 yards away, and I seen a another decent buck, which I believe was the other local nine-point, the better of two that I already have on trail camera at the corn feeder. There were two more deer with him, but I couldn’t make them out because of the combined darkness and narrow view of that area from my standpoint.

That nine-point started working his way towards me on the South creek shelf and got within just 50 yards of me, when he turned back around and headed back towards the deer that he originally left.

By this time, it was quitting time and I waited up in my tree longer than normal hoping that no more deer show up before I climbed down.

And that concludes my wild day of hunting.

I believe I got to see almost every local deer on this side of the property today between both hunts.

So, this evening, I seen 16 or 17 deer, 7 bucks, 7 antlerless and 3 or 4 unknowns. Most of them within bow range, and only a few provided any kind of opportunity for me.

That’s a grand total of 31 or 32 deer for the day within 5 ½ hours afield and only 4 hours of hunt time in the stand.

Today was just an awesome day to be in the woods! The deer around here were definitely on the move.
 

Wildlife

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Tuesday Morning, November 19, 2019:

I hunted out of my API climber once again on top of the North ridge due to the wind conditions coming from the NW, which ideal for that setup. I got settled-in approximately 20 minutes before legal time.

In fact, just a few minutes before legal time and where it was just light enough to see, I could make out some deer at the bottom of the North ridge. I seen at least 4 and possibly up to-6 deer that cruised right on by my best window coming the SE heading NE towards the North creek, approximately 30 yards away.

At 7:45 a.m., I seen an adult doe right behind me walking across the South creek shelf heading West through the honeysuckle patch, approximately 35 yards away.

She finally made her way to the top of the ridge and through my West window at 35 yards still traveling WNW and then stopped along the edge of the open field with the tall weeds. She then turned back around and looked intensely in my direction, like she was waiting or possibly heard something that got her attention.

Eventually, after a few minutes, a little antlerless deer stepped out of the tall weeds within the open field and heads right to her, which must have been her little one that she was waiting on.

While I was glassing those two, another antlerless deer cruised through the same West window, but much closer to me, approximately 25 yards away and I didn’t see the deer until the it was pretty much by me and over the top of the ridge, heading North.

I climbed down around 9:00 a.m. and headed home after not seeing anymore deer for a little better than an hour.

I felt like most of the deer moved early, well before legal time.

So, for the morning hunt, I seen approximately nine deer and the ones just minutes before legal time I believe were antlerless as well. No bucks seen for the morning hunt.
 

Wildlife

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Tuesday Evening, November 19, 2019:

At 3:00 p.m., I got settled back into my API climber on the ridge and on my way in, I bumped a small deer just off the South creek. It hopped maybe 20 yards away from me, then stopped and looked back, which I believe was small Button Buck. I continued to my stand and the deer never blew nor took off flagging.

At a little after 4:00 p.m., in fact it was 4:03 to be exact, I seen the same Mother doe that I seen earlier in the morning hop out from the North side of the ridge to the West/my left right along the open field with tall weeds, approximately 100 yards away heading towards me.

Right behind her was her little one.

She stopped just within 60 yards and looked intensely in my direction. I don’t believe she saw me at any point because I have plenty of cover between us, however she might have seen movement earlier this morning when she cruised by and I didn’t see her until she was pretty much past me and that would explain her wariness.

She continued to stand there for a few minutes longer looking and I could tell, she didn’t feel comfortable enough to continue her travel towards me even though it was obvious to me she didn’t quite know what I was or where I was.

So, she played it safe and turned back around, then headed due West taking her little one with her and finally out of sight.

At approximately 4:45 p.m., an adult doe came from the NE, from the North creek area heading SE through my best window straight out in front of me at 20 yards.

She was perfectly broadside at 18 yards grazing at the bottom of the ridge on the North side.

For split second, I thought about taken her, however I quickly reconsidered because I want all the ladies around to continue to attract as many bucks to the area as possible, so I though otherwise and gave her the free pass evening though it would’ve been easy chip shot.

At 5:10 a.m., I heard a deer behind me, approximately 60 yards away right along the South creek bank and it was another antlerless deer hopping to the West with its tail in the air. I grabbed my binoculars quickly and glassed that area. That’s when I spotted that goofy looking 6pt Buck dogging her.

The doe led that buck up and over the top of the ridge heading out in the open field with the tall weeds and finally out of sight. He definitely stepped the chase because it sounded like a truck driving through those weeds. He is a fairly big six though.

So, this evening, I seen in total five antlerless deer and one buck.

For the entire day, I seen a grand total of fifteen deer and most were within bow range.
 

Wildlife

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019:
20191120_091503.jpg

(Hot doe headed to bed in the upper right photo.)

This morning with the continued NWN wind, I headed back out to my API climber on top of the ridge. It was real quiet and there was enough dew/moisture on the ground to make the leaves not crunch, which made it nice of me to get to my setup in a stealthy manner, however it was difficult for me to hear any deer movement for most of the morning.

So, I had to pay close attention to everything around me, which I did, and at 7:45 a.m., I seen a lone doe coming from the West along the open field with the tall weeds heading straight towards me quickly.

She got all the way to my West window at 30-35 yards and appeared she was about to head over and down the South side of the ridge when all of a sudden a good buck popped out of the North side of the ridge with his head halfway down making a b-line straight for her and she quickly ran in a circle right around him.

He then stopped briefly just beyond where she first stopped, in my West window, approximately 35 yards away with his ass to me.

He then trotted off into the open field heading further West and then out of sight.

The doe however, came back into full view within West window heading where she originally intended to go, which was down the South side of the ridge, which she did. I heard her go within the honeysuckle patch just below me and then stopped, which I believe she bedded just within 40 yards of me, right along the side of the ridge underneath the honeysuckle patch.

About 10 minutes later, that same buck, which I believe is the better of the two local nine-points in the area, came back to the exact same spot where the doe stopped, within my West window, standing perfectly broadside at 30 yards.

I grabbed my bow, drew on him and had plenty of opportunity to take him, however I didn’t, even though he’s a good size buck that I estimate that he’s at least a three-year-old. This would be my fourth encounter with this same buck at this point.

(You can make your own age assessment in the following video of him if you’d like.)

After a few seconds of me drawing on him, he then turned towards me and got even closer, approximately 25 yards, and then turned again to head down the South side of the ridge within the honeysuckle patch and he never made it out of there at the bottom cause I was expecting him to show up there, which would’ve put him at 20 yards.

Instead, I believe he bedded with that hot the doe and they must be hooked up together for the day.

So, I put bow back onto my hanger, sat down and listened.

10 minutes later, I see the other local, but smaller in size nine-point buck heading my direction from the West where the doe originally came from.

He was trotting along quickly towards me from 'TOO' from that open field area with the tall weeds and when he got to the end, approximately 30 yards away, he must have turned North into the honeysuckle patch just on the North side of the ridge. I was kind of expecting him to turn South, but he didn’t.

I assumed he bedded as well, just on other side of the ridge, approximately 50 away form the other two deer that were on the opposite side of the ridge.

At this point, I sat back down in my stand and waited some more, hoping that the deer would be getting back up soon and leave the area because I had some things I had to get done this morning.

After an hour goes by and not seeing any more deer movement anywhere, I really needed to get down, however I waited some more until about 10:15 a.m. when I finally said the heck with it, regardless that I had deer just within 40 yards of me bedded. I didn’t want to blowout my spot, however I had to get down and go pickup my truck at the auto tire-shop where I just had new tires, shocks & wheel alignment done.

So, I packed up shortly before 10:20 a.m., lowered my bow to the ground and right about when I was going start climbing down, I heard deer movement just to the East/my right on top of the same ridge.

I looked over and it was the same big Button Buck that I’ve had a couple encounters with from the previous few days. He was standing facing my direction, perfectly downwind of me at 40 yards.

I could tell he was about to wind me because he had his nose straight up into the air.

So, he turned, and it looked as if he was going to go down the South side of the ridge. When he got behind some big trees between us, I quickly pulled back up my bow, nocked and arrow really quick and watched him turn back around walking towards where he first stopped. That’s when I drew back when he was behind those big trees.

This time, he got even closer, walking my direction very slowly, then stopped and turned towards the second deer path that goes down the South side of the ridge, approximate 30 yards away.

He was standing perfectly broadside, however I had one 6” diameter maple tree limb protecting the vital area that I intended on targeting, and I was still at full draw.

I needed him to take another step in order for me to have a full view to the targeted area just behind his shoulder.

At this point, I started shaking a little bit because of the amount time I had my bow drawn and apparently my old muscles were starting to give up on me, but he finally took that step and I let the arrow fly. I watched it hit him perfectly with a full pass-through.

He immediately took off and I heard all the other deer as well leave the immediate area, all of them fleeing to the South towards the South creek.

I stayed focus on the Button Buck though and watched him crashed just shy of reaching the South creek, approximately 60 yards away.

Now that all the deer have left the area, I climbed down immediately, walked over and retrieved my blood soaked arrow and noticed all the blood on the ground as well, which would’ve made an easy tracking job, but I didn’t need to because I knew exactly where he went and crashed.
20191120_232142.jpg

So, I grabbed all my gear and headed home, changed into my work clothes, had the wife take me to go get my pickup at the auto tire-shop.

When I got back home, I grabbed everything I needed the dress out the deer and drag him home.

It was a perfect heart shot from 30 yards and the deer expired quickly.
20191120_134713.jpg

When I field dressed the deer right next to the South creek, I had deer in the immediate area. In fact, one of them blew at me just yards away, right on the South side, just over the creek back. That deer blew at me a half a dozen times then finally left the area.

I dragged the deer home through the freezing creek water, which by the time I got to hang him, not only was he very clean and free from all blood, he was practically frozen ‘TOO’ in the nearly 50-degree sunny weather at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.

I skinned him out, then quartered him as quickly as I could so I could get back out to hunt, which I did, however, I didn’t make it back out until 4:45 p.m.

At that point, I decided to hunt out my closet setup nearest to the house, which is my ‘Western Stand.’

I didn’t see any deer from that location this evening, but I did hear movement right at last light.

So, today, I seen four deer, which were three bucks and a single doe. I harvested the smallest buck of the three.

My second kill with my new Mathews compound bow!
 
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Wildlife

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Thursday, November 21, 2019:

This morning I headed back out to the North ridge.

I got settled-in early, about a half an hour before legal time.

The temperature was in low 40’s with a mild SE wind and as soon as the sun came up, the wind speeds increased to nearly double digits.

The first deer showed up at 8:30 a.m., which was a lone adult Doe that came from the SE, from the South creek area.

She walked all the way through the lower shelf starting from the far SE corner heading to the NE corner to the bottom of the North ridge.

She got within 25 yards of me and I could’ve easily taken her out, however I just watched her walk right on by, up the South side of the ridge, climbing to the top, then headed further North into the open field with tall weeds.

She was the only deer I saw during my morning sit.

I packed up and climbed down soon after she left the area and got back to my workshop by 9:00 a.m.

During my travels today, heading into town, I seen a Spike chasing a Doe out in the middle of a standing soybean field at 11:30 a.m. He was ‘hot to trot’ right on her tail, chasing her all over that field as I drove on by and they were within 100 yards of the road.

This afternoon, I headed back out to the same spot a little after 2:00 and got settled-in right at 2:30 p.m.

As the afternoon went on, it sprinkled rain a couple of times and the wind speed increased, then changed from the SE to coming from the South with significant gusts of nearly 20 mph.

About 3:50 p.m., while I was standing up in my stand and looking out to the SW overlooking the lower South shelf area where most of the honeysuckle patches are on that side, I seen some movement through a small opening through the top of the honeysuckles, nearly 75 yards away heading up the ridge.

I quickly grabbed my binoculars and tried to find what it was however; I was unable to find it again because the area it just thick full of honeysuckle shrubs. I scanned the top of the ridge as well and out into the open field with tall weeds and I didn’t see anything.

Approximately 5 minutes later, I heard something I never heard before while afield, which sounded like someone opened a relief valve on a completely full air compressor, leaking out all the air with a full blast.

The only thing I could think of it could be was a deer, but it didn’t sound like a deer bowing, it sounded very different and it didn’t dawn on me what it was exactly.

I realized what it was after 5 more minutes pass by when a real nice mature buck showed up just to the West/my left within my West window at 50 yards behind some small trees, walking slowly along the edge of the field heading to the North corner. He came from the area where I heard that noise.

Apparently, it had to have been him doing a ‘snort-wheeze’, which is the very time I ever heard one while afield, hunting.

And I’ll tell you what, it was extremely loud!

I didn’t hear the actual snort however, I surely heard the wheeze from the far end of that field, approximately 80 yards away.

This guy was definitely a mature Buck that I do not believe I’ve ever laid eyes on before, which I suspect he’s a roamer.

When he reached the very corner, I watched him behave as if he was either at an existing scrape or just created one, and he crunched up with all of his feet together and pissed on the ground.

Right after that, he stuck his nose as far as he could up into the air, sniffing and I was directly upwind of him, but he didn’t act like winded me at all.

Right after that, he turned towards me and started moving in my direction, which I thought he was going to head back through my West window again, but much closer, roughly at 30 yards away or less with nothing in the way to stop or deflect an arrow.

Of course, I got ready with my bow in my hand and waited on him to show up within my window, but he never made it.

I suspect, rather than turning right towards me when he was behind the honeysuckles and trees, he must have turned left instead, to the North and down the North side of the ridge heading further away and towards the North creek. Perhaps in search of that Doe that I watched earlier this morning go into same area roughly.

I continued at the ready, hoping that he’d show back up or pop out at the bottom of the ridge just to the North along the creek shelf below, but he never did.

I pulled out my ‘Doe Can’ and gave it a few flips and then I grabbed my grunt call and did few grunts.

Still, he was a ‘no show’.

He was a beautiful chocolate colored large bodied Buck with heavy mass, decent tine lengths and I’m not certain if he’s was a typical 10 or 8 point frame because I was hoping I’d have a better opportunity of seeing his head gear up close, but that didn’t quiet happen unfortunately.

I’d say the Buck got just within 40 yards of me, but on the other side of some large trees and honeysuckles that were between us.

The other thing I’d like to mention is that he was up and about before 4:00 p.m., right when the wind and weather conditions turned for the worst, which I found to be interesting.

And that’s all the deer I seen today. Two beautiful mature deer, one adult Doe & one mature Buck. Both got within bow range, but the Doe was the only one that provided any kind of opportunity.

Tomorrow, even thought the outdoor temperature will remain in the 40’s pretty much all day, it’ll be the wind that’ll be the challenge for the day, with sustained speeds in the double digits and gusts nearly twice the current sustained speed, but at least it’ll be coming from the NW-N for both of my hunts, which I'll be back out on the same ridge, hoping that buck returns or a better one shows up.
 
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Wildlife

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Southern Ohio
Friday, November 22, 2019:
20191122_201250.jpg

This morning I headed back out to the North ridge for the final day for a while with the climber. I intend on giving that area a little bit of a break.

I left my workshop at 6:15 a.m. with the tree umbrella, gear & bow.

It was raining with a steady NW wind when I walked out the door. I checked the weather forecast just before I left, and it stated the rain would quit around 8.

I used my tree umbrella for half the hike down through the creek bottom. When I got to the woods, I packed the umbrella up and dealt with the rain the rest of the way to my stand due to the confined space from all the honeysuckles shrubs and saplings, which was a 70-yard hike to my tree roughly.

So, I got a little wet until I climbed up into the tree and hung my tree umbrella above me, which was the very first thing I did when I got to my hangers.

Once I got settled, I stood on the stand platform for my entire hunt due to the fact my seat was soaked from all the overnight rain.

Right at first light, almost 7:00 a.m., I had two antlerless deer show up straight out in front of me at the bottom of the ridge, within my best window, just to the NE, at 30-35 yards. They cruised right on by climbing the North side of the ridge clear to the top and then headed SE to a heavy thick area that’s known for deer bedding.

At 7:25 a.m., and adult Doe and her little one cruised by coming from the back of my property heading S-SE at the bottom of the ridge on the South side.

They both got just within 30 yards as they walked on by. They left my sight ‘TOO’ when they reached the South creek bottom, approximately 80 yards to the SE from me.

The rain eventually did quit around 8:30 a.m. and I was expecting more deer activity after that, unfortunately that didn’t happen.

So, I climbed down around 9:15 a.m. and headed back to my workshop to dry off and warm up.

________________________

This afternoon, I headed back out shortly after 2:00 p.m. and got settled-in around 2:30.

After I just sat down in my stand, I looked to the North, straight out in front of me and I caught movement coming from across the North creek.

Whatever it was, it was trotting quickly straight towards me, approximately 50-60 yards away at that time and I quickly grabbed my bow.

When I turned back around to see what it was that should’ve easily popped into my area by then, the darn thing didn't show up and it simply disappeared.

I suspect it was a coyote because it didn’t appear to be all that big in size and the way it was trotting, it first made me think that’s what it was right off the bat even though I didn’t get a real good look at it. I just seen the back of the beast for a brief few seconds.

I believe once it reached the North creek, it must have turned left, heading down the creek bottom to the East, leaving the area.

I tried to find it with my binoculars for minutes after, however it was nowhere to be found.

Just before 4:00 p.m., I stood back up into my stand platform waiting for deer to show up like they normally do about that time, and just like clockwork, they did.

A large adult Doe came for the bottom of the North ridge, just to the North/my right, heading underneath me and got within 25 yards, just behind a honeysuckle shrub.

(Here's an example how these deer disappeared underneath these honeysuckles that I have in the area.)
20191122_161020.jpg


(Same picture. She's within the middle of the red circle.)
20191122_201907.jpg


I wasn’t sure if she was bedded on the South side of the ridge under the honeysuckle patch or if she came from the open field with the tall weeds on top of the ridge, just to the North.

After about 5 minutes, another adult Doe popped out from the same honeysuckle patch, just a little further to the North, approximately 35 yards away.

Both the Does grazed off the honeysuckle shrubs, eating plenty of the leaves and whatever greenery that was left on the South creek shelf for nearly 30 minutes before they finally decided to head NW, straight to the back of my property, right towards my corn feeder, which is just on the other side of the South creek, approximately 100-120 yards away.

And that concluded my evening hunt for the day.

Surprisingly, no other deer showed up after those two and I didn’t see any antlers all day.

So, today, I seen nothing but antlerless deer and all of the them got within bow range, plus each of them provided an opportunity, but they all got the ‘free pass’.

Come next week, 'NO MORE FREE PASSES FOR ANY LONE ADULT DOES'!

I believe the herd can handle one being taken out that don’t have any little ones with her, and that’s based on all my deer encounters this past week.

Tomorrow, I’ll update my ‘Week in Review’ hunt data report for ‘Week 7’, which should be something else to see because the high number of deer I encountered over the past week. It was a bunch, that I do know.
 
Likes: Sgt Fury

Wildlife

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Southern Ohio
Saturday Morning, November 23, 2019:
20191123_114418.jpg

This morning I headed out to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ due to the fact we were having a mild East wind with a frosty 27 degree temperature, which works perfectly for that setup because of the thick bedding area that is just to the East/my right from the stand location, approximately 50 yards away slightly NE.

I got settled into my ‘Heater Body Suite’ within the stand about 20 minutes before legal time and sat comfortably for an hour in a half without seeing any deer let alone any other kind of wildlife 'TOO'.

It was very quiet, and I finally got to see my first squirrel just minutes before I heard some tree limb breaking just to the East/my right from within that thick bedding area.

After I heard that limb brake, which was very obvious to me that it was a deer moving around just within that area, I heard some more tree branches braking.

That’s when I grabbed my binoculars to glass the area where the noise was coming from and I could see the top of a honeysuckle shrub shaking back in forth approximately 50 yards away, slightly to the NE.

Moments after that shrub stopped shaking, I heard leave crunching on the frosty ground which sounded like the deer was slowly making its way closer to me.

Sure enough, about a minute later and I see the local young nine-point Buck once again sneaking his way through the honeysuckle patch and heading straight towards me.

I recognized the Buck right of the bat because I had a clear view of his head gear at 25 yards as he continued to walk straight towards me.

So, rather than reaching for my bow, I unzipped my ‘Heater Body Suite’ and reached down to grab my cellphone from my pocket to take some photographs of him.
20191123_090629.jpg


The Buck must have seen me move or saw the sun reflection off my new cellphone because he stopped dead in his tracks and looked through all the honeysuckle limbs between us and straight-up at me. I was downwind of him the entire time. (I just got this new cellphone and it’s very reflective and I’ve yet to get a cellphone cover for it.)

Of course, I froze in place after I put my cellphone back within my suite until he started to move again, which he did a few moments later.
9pt Buck 20191123_090634.jpg

That’s when I was able to take a few more photographs of him while he circled back around slowly and made his way to the standing CRP field.

I could tell, that was the intended destination and when he got behind some of the thick areas between us, I switched from taking pictures to making a short video clip form the cellphone. I captured him leaving the wooded area heading straight into the standing CRP field.

Once he got well within the field, he turned away from me and hopped to the SE. He didn’t blow once nor raised his flag as he left the immediate area.

I believe he just didn’t know what he saw that was above him and didn’t quiet feel safe enough to stick around, so he just simply fled and then stopped approximately 100 yards away to the SE, still within the CRP field.

At that point, he either laid down or walked further away with his head lowered below the top of the CRP.

Regardless, by viewing the following video, you’ll be able to see for yourself how easily these deer get around here using the 6-8’ tall CRP fields in the area to their advantage.


That’s definitely one of the ways they get around without being noticed, especially during this time of the season/year.

He was the only deer I seen this morning and I got down shortly thereafter and headed back to my workshop at 10:15 a.m.
 

Wildlife

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Southern Ohio
Saturday Evening, November 23, 2019:
20191123_201833.jpg

(First photo is the PLB w/ scrape underneath; the second photo is where I had 'Mother' Doe & her little one show up; and the third photo is where I seen another adult Doe with the giant Buck lagging behind within the last 30 minutes of hunting this evening.)

This afternoon at 2:45 p.m., I left my workshop heading out to my ‘North Western Stand’ in the heavy rain, which is a setup I haven’t hunted since November 6th.

The weather forecast stated that the wind would be coming for the NE @7mph until 5:00 p.m., then switch to coming from the NW @12mph with temperatures in the 30’s and more rain. That exactly what happened, weather wise for this evening’s hunt.

As I was hiking to my location, I noticed a large freshly kept scrape at the edge of the field right along the woods next to the heavy deer path that goes right underneath my tree-stand, and once I got up into my tee-stand, I also noticed that my 'Pine Licking Branch' has a fresh scrape right underneath it 'TOO'.

It rained throughout the entire hunt and I have to emphasize once again that my tree umbrella is most definitely worth every nickle. I would've never hunted on a night like tonight with out it. It kept me dry to, during and from my hunting location the entire time. One of the best purchases I've ever made for hunting, IMHO. I can't emphasize that enough if you're someone that likes to hunt out of tree-stand to get one, you won't be disappointed having it with you in questionable weather.

I saw my first two deer @4:50 p.m. right along the upper field wood line edge, coming from the East, heading quickly to my first field window, that’s on the left, facing out to the SW within the field.

The first deer that reached my window was the yearling. The little one walked into the wooded area right in front of me at 30 yards.

Right after that, 'Mother' Doe arrived within the same window, however much further out into the field, @50yrds.

She stopped perfect broadside facing out to the West with her head straight up. That’s when I knew she was about to wind me and perhaps the reason why she stopped suddenly to begin with. That was about the exact time the wind changed from the NE to coming from the NW, which put her directly downwind of me and my wooded window funneled all of my scent straight to her.

Sure enough, right when I ranged her @50yrds, she turned her head and looked straight at me, right through my window and then blew once, which freaked the shit out of the little one. He about jumped out of his own skin. I think I laughed out loud when I seen him jump about 4' into the air.

Then immediately, she turned straight away and darted across the field to the opposite side, taking the little one with her.

The both of them entered the wooded area right beside my ‘South Eastern Stand’ on the opposite side of the field.

Then the weather started to get much worse with heavier rain fall & stronger winds from the N-NW. The temperature was falling quickly ‘TOO’ and all that happened right at five, just as it was predicted.

I then focused most of my attention towards the lower CRP field straight to the East when and I caught some more movement @5:10 p.m.

I grabbed my binoculars to see what it was, which was another adult Doe and she brought along with her a true ‘GIANT’, which I believe is the very same one that I saw way back during my October 8th, evening hunt, and I haven’t seen him since until this evening.

(You’re more than welcome to look back within this journal and read what I wrote about him then.)

Both of those deer popped out of the lowing standing CRP field, which is the same field I hunted earlier this morning, but on the opposite side.

(And I'll share this,,, when I saw him again tonight, my heart about jumped completely out of my chest knowing he was only 100 yards away @5:10 p.m.)

He's a huge bodied deer to say the very least and his rack is just freaking outstanding!

He’ll definitely meet all the requirements for an ‘Ohio Big Buck’, no question about it.

I stayed totally focused on both those deer for obvious reasons, which the Doe was closest to me, approximately 75 yards away.

The big Buck was hanging back about 30 yards just beyond her meandering around.

She was just standing there on of the main deer path that goes right underneath my tree-stand, which I thought for sure she’d led him right to me.

(Again, they we're downwind of me and had no clue I was in the area.)

Well, that wasn’t the case.

After about 5 minutes of just standing there, she started to head NW staying close to the CRP field and in the direction of my home, moving slowly.

The Buck followed her, still hanging back roughly 30 yards.

I suspect that she's not quite in full estrous yet, but she’s very close I’m sure, and he seems to know it, that’s why he’s hanging back and not letting her out his sight.

She looked petrified to me, keeping a very close eye on him and there was no chasing tonight, but I’m it’ll happen soon enough I'm sure.

I tried to get his attention with some super loud grunts, however the wind and rain drowned them out cause he never responded to any of it.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out just how I’m going to approach tomorrow morning’s hunt, knowing that I have a true giant in the area, perhaps within 100 yards from where I’ll be sleeping tonight.

My adrenaline is still through the roof and I’m not quite sure how exactly I’ll get any adequate rest tonight.

Perhaps I'll down a couple of stiff drinks.

Anyways,,,

So, today, I seen a total of five deer, two Bucks & three antlerless and three of them got within bow range. One of them was a decent young Buck and the other Buck I saw this evening is most definitely a big-time shooter that I hope to catch up with come tomorrow morning.

_________________________________________


I went ahead and compiled ‘Week 7’ of my ‘Week in Review’ hunt data report, which is, as far as deer encounters go, by far the most I’ve ever seen within a week period in my neck of the woods, and most of them got within bow range.

You can view the entire two-page report for yourself by simply clicking on the following link; https://view.publitas.com/wildlifeohio/2019-hunt-data/

By the end of season, I'll put all of my hunt data into a presentation format that'll include charts & graphs that will distinctly show patterns throughout the season for my area. I'm seeing some already...

And I'd like to remind everyone once again, I have no trail cameras at any of my setups and I haven't used them at all this season, with the exception of my corn feeder area, which is a location that'll never hunt.

I'm the 'Trail Camera' for my season and I'm enjoying every second of it!
 
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Wildlife

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Southern Ohio
Sunday, November 24, 2019:
20191124_074848.jpg

This morning I went back out to my ‘North Western Stand’ hoping to see the big Buck that I saw from the previous hunt.

Unfortunately, he was a ‘no show’, however I did manage to see two antlerless deer that came from the North, heading straight towards me around 7:30 a.m.
20191124_072949.jpg

They didn’t quite make it all the way to me though. They got just within 45 yards. They grazed from the green patch from the ground for roughly 10 minutes before heading East to the standing CRP field.

That was all the deer I seen this morning.

I got down early so I could investigate the area where I seen the big Buck step out from the standing CRP field last night.

I wanted to find a tree that was close to that area so I could setup my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand for the evening hunt, which I found one.

Then I headed back to my workshop to take care of my animals and few other things. After I got done with all of that, I got ready to head back out.

I packed up my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand, multiple layers of shirts, a jacket, my bibs, hunting gear and of course, my bow. I took off from my workshop wearing just a single base layer of clothing shortly after the noon hour with everything on my back except for my bow, which I carried in my hand. The outdoor temperature was 42-degrees with a cool WSW wind of 12 mph.

Once I got to the tree that I intended hunt out of, which is 80 yards closer than my ‘North Western Stand’, I unloaded everything off my back and set them on the ground right next the tree. Then I grabbed my little hand saw. I started clearing out some shooting lanes to gain access to the areas where I saw the big Buck travel last.

Once I finished doing all of that, I started setting up my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand with 5- ‘Lone Wolf’ sticks.
20191124_140237.jpg

I made sure to be extremely quiet throughout the entire process of getting setup, no clanking or loud noises of any kind while getting settled in.

When I finished hanging all of that, I stood on the platform and checked the shooting lanes that might possibly need some more trimming and there were a few, so I climbed back down and took care of those.
20191124_141247.jpg

When I got back into the stand platform, I belted in my safety harness, setup all my hangers and hung everything. Then I finally sat down to cool off, which it didn’t take long with that stiff cool breeze.

Once I started to feel like I was getting cold, I pulled out all the shirts that I packed and put them on along with my bibs, nocked an arrow and started ranging the area.

By this time, it was shortly after 3:00 p.m. and I was completely ready.

@4:30 p.m., I seen a Buck coming from the back side of the standing CRP field heading straight towards me in a somewhat quick fashion.
Even from that distance, I could tell that Buck looked familiar.

Sure enough, when he turned from the field around the honeysuckle shrub, it was the same Buck that I encountered Saturday morning, which is now my 5th encounter with him.

I watched him cruise right through my best window just within 20 yards leaving me with a broadside shot opportunity, but he got the ‘free pass’ once again. He’s same young nine-point that I’ve captured on my corner feeder trail camera plenty of times. Once he got passed me, he climbed the South ridge clear to the top and out to the open field.

15 minutes later, @4:45 p.m., I see two antlerless deer coming from the same area as the Buck, from the East, right along the back side of the standing CRP field. Once they reached me, I ‘TOO’ recognized them as well, which was the ‘Mother’ Doe along with her little one that I encountered just last evening at my ‘North Western Stand’, however this time, ‘Mother’ Doe was clueless that I was 15 yards away from her and her little one was at 20.
They ‘TOO’ cruised right on by and headed straight towards my ‘North Western Stand’ using the main deer path that goes right underneath it. They left the area in matter of a few minutes and it seemed like they were on a mission to get somewhere.

And that folks, is all the deer I saw this evening.

The big Buck was a ‘no-show’ along with the Doe that he was trailing last night. Perhaps they’re laid up somewhere together for a day or two.

I climbed down and headed home carrying two of my bottom ‘Lone Wolf’ sticks, leaving everything else up into the tree.

As I was walking along the edge of the West side of the standing CRP field, I found a heavily used deer path with a very active tree rub line within it, just within 50 yards of my setup.

Here’s the closest tree rub from my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand.
20191124_175555.jpg

___________________________________________

I’ll mention this as well;

For some reason, I can’t seem to get used to my new cellphone taking pictures & videos from within the stand, at least not nearly as well as my old cellphone. I tried to get pictures & videos of my deer encounters this evening, which would'v been awesome, however I was having a heck of a time. So, I gave up because I didn’t want to get busted by those deer due to the fact, they were so close to me at the time. Tomorrow and going forward, I’ll be using my old cellphone to capture pictures & videos while afield until I can get more proficient with my new one.
 
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Likes: Joel

Wildlife

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019:

My wife has been sick for over a week with the flu and I knew eventually, she’d give it to me and she did.

I felt it coming on last Saturday and it got a little worse during Sunday, then Monday morning when I woke up, I felt absolutely horrible. My head, throat & chest just plain hurt, and I was so congested with tons of nasty fluids I could barely breath.

So, I stayed in bed for another hour in half to catch up on much needed rest. When I got up at 7:00 a.m., I took a super-hot shower, dressed and headed out the door to do some scouting with the truck of the surrounding area since I was ‘TOO’ sick to hunt in the woods.

The only deer I saw that morning, I nearly hit it, which was a lone Doe that was on the run right along one of the neighboring streams that goes under the road.

I don’t know if she was being chased or simply fleeing from a hunter because I didn’t see anything behind nor around her that I could see.

Like I said, I nearly hit her when she crossed the road right in front of me at a low point and I had to jump on the binders hard.

When I got back to my workshop, I decided to pull out my deer rifles and give them a once over. I checked them out to make sure they’re ready to go, which they should be. I zeroed them in over the summer, but I’ll be shooting them again tomorrow just to make sure they’re still on the money at 100 yards.
20191125_094620.jpg


I’ve been taking all kinds of over the counter ‘cold & flu’ type medication ever since Monday morning, pretty much on a regular basis and I think I got through the worst of the flu type symptoms that day.

This morning, I felt a little better, but I’m still taking all the meds.

I didn’t do a morning hunt today either; however, I did finish up processing the rest of button buck and got him all squared away. It’s nice to have some fresh venison ready to be cook now. I hope to get a couple more deer this season.

Once I finished that, I was chopping at the bits wanting to get out into a tree-stand someplace, so, I got cleaned up, dressed into my hunting getup, and then headed out door to my ‘Hilltop Stand’ around 2:00 p.m.

It was nice & warm out when I left. I dressed lightly and packed multiple shirts to throw on when I got to my stand after I cooled off a bit form the long hike getting there.
20191126_195344.jpg

I got settled in at 2:35 p.m. and sat there feeling pretty good for a couple hours. Then, right around prime-time, I started feeling crappy once again. Difficult to breath, cough attacks and sneezing.

I made it through the hunt though, but I probably scared all the deer away because I certainly didn’t see any at all throughout my hunt.

Now I’m downing more meds. I’ll be heading to bed shortly after this post so I can get plenty of rest and try to recoup from the nasty flu type cold that’s got me down temporarily.

So, depending how feel come tomorrow morning, I may or may not hunt. It all hinges on my health at this point.

I hate being sick!
 
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