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Wildlife 2019/2020 Deer Season


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Wednesday, November 27, 2019:

Well, today is a new day and I’m feeling a little better.

I didn’t hunt this morning and I slept in until 8:00 a.m., which was a big change for me, but much needed no doubt.

After getting some coffee in me and some more cold medicine, I went to work cutting, splitting & stacking wood in this nice warm weather we’re having lately.

After that, I broke out my 1992 Remington 12-gauge 870 Magnum Express Pump Shotgun configured with a Deer Rifle Barrel. On top for optics is the Limited Addition Bushnell Bone Collector 3-9x40 Matte Duplex Reticle MOA Rifle Scope.

With this rifle, I shoot the 12-gauge 1-3/8 oz Brenneke USA Black Magic Magnum Ammunition Lead Rifle Slug. This slug puts the bid smack-down on every deer I’ve ever shot with them. They’ve dropped right in their tracks each time with a good shot placement. I’ve never lost a deer using these rounds and these seem to group and shoot better than anything else I’ve every tried with this shotgun configuration.

I went ahead and stuck a paper target on one of my AR500 steel targets to see if I need to make any minor adjustments since I’ve shot it last back in the summer, which I did. Because of the high winds today, I knew I wouldn’t get my best groups, however I did pretty good regardless.

I did make some adjustment for wind-age on the scope, moving it to the right about 3”. It maybe because of the wind this afternoon because it’s a strong crosswind coming from right to left. I may have to shoot it again when we have no wind, however everything else seemed to be copacetic.

You can see within the photographs below of my range.

I started shooting the bore steel target first from 100 yards and after five shots, I made that scope adjustment. Then I shot the coyote target, hitting it with my last 5 rounds. I'd say I'm good to go and I'll probably check it again when we have no strong winds. Its just so that it's so darn nice out, I wanted to do some shooting regardless.

You can see what these rounds do to ¼” solid USA made steel from 100 yards. I missed the bore and hit the leg of the target gallery and it dented the steel in about an inch, nearly half the diameter of the steel leg itself.

Like I said, this Brenneke round is absolutely devastating to the whatever they hit and I’ve never had to track a deer while using them. I’ve killed three so far with this ammunition. Before that, I used the Brenneke 3” 1 oz Rifle KO Sabot, a round they no longer manufacture, which forced me to use the Black Magic Magnum. That round ‘TOO’ did an awesome job on the deer and I’ve killed plenty with those as well with the same shotgun.

My shotgun seems to do best with the Brenneke ammunition and like I said, I’ve tested others with it. The Brennekes always came out on top as far as most consistent and best groupings.

I look forward to gun week and I want to wish all the ‘TOO’ members best of luck, be safe, wear your orange and always remember to beware of what’s beyond your target. If you’re unsure, always play it safe.


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Thursday, November 28 & 29, 2019:

Yesterday, I headed back out to the North ridge with my API climber since we had a good NW mild wind.

I got settled in at 2:30 p.m.

At 3:05 p.m., an adult Doe and her two young antlerless deer stepped out from the North side of the ridge, approximately 70 yards due West grazing from the green grass along the edge of the open field with tall weeds for approximately a half an hour. Eventually they made their way back down the North side of the ridge and got within 35 yards of me before heading to the North creek.

At 4:37 p.m., three antlerless deer, and I’m assuming that they were the same three deer that I saw earlier, made their way from the top of the North ridge, coming from the North side, heading along the back side of the open field with tall weeds, heading SW, crossing my West window at approximately 40 yards.. They ended up turning back around and headed back to the North corner of the open field with tall weeds, then turned NW at the corner heading away from me and finally out of sight after a few minutes.

They acted like something was in the area and they fled, thinking it might have been a buck or possibly a coyote. I was downwind from them, so I'm fairly certain it wasn’t me they were fleeing from.

At 5:00 p.m. sharp, I seen a young 6pt Buck step up from the lower South creek bank, heading NE on the bottom South creek shelf.

I watched him join two other young Bucks already standing there at the bottom of the South side of the ridge, a Spike and a fork Buck. The 6pt Buck and the Fork Buck spared and played for about a minute or two at the bottom of the ridge, approximately 50 yards SE away. Then the 6pt Buck headed back to the South creek for what I believe was a drink of water, then he turned back around, back to the other two Bucks and joined them once again. They stuck around in the area for another 5 minutes or so, then all three of them walked one of the main deer paths heading NE, up to the top of the North ridge and then turned East away from me and out of sight.

That was all the deer I seen for my Thanksgiving hunt. A total of nine different deer or possibly those six antlerless were of the same set of three deer, which I’m not certain that they were.

I packed up shortly after they left and headed home.

This evening (November 29th), I headed back out to the North ridge once again with a mild NE wind this time.

I got settled in about 2:45 p.m. and right at 3:00 p.m. sharp, the nicer of the two local 9pt Bucks cruised through behind my tree on the South creek shelf heading North to the open field with tall weeds. At 30 yards away, I watched him climb to the top of the ridge and go straight into that field, then disappeared within those tall weeds.

10 minutes later, a shooter Buck did the same thing the 9pt did. He 'TOO' cruised through behind my tree, but a little bit further away from it, approximately 50 yards, and he ‘TOO’ went up the ridge and into the open field with tall weeds to the North, which is just to the West/my right from me.

I grabbed my binoculars to watch where he was headed and I seen him bed due West, straight away from me, approximately 60 yards, and approximately 10 yards within the weeded field, just on the other side of some small trees with a bunch of vines in them.

He stayed bedded for about 40-45 minutes when I seen him get up and walked further into the field, heading further away to the North and then finally out of sight.

For a moment I thought about climbing down while he was bedded and try to put a stalk on him, however it was super quiet with virtually no wind at the time and the leaves are extremely dry & crunchy, so I decided otherwise and not risk the chance of pushing him completely out of my hunting area.

About 15 minutes after that while it was starting to get dark and I tried a couple of grunt calls hoping that I could call them back into the area, unfortunately, neither buck ever showed back up.

This would be my 3rd, and possibly my 4th encounter with that shooter Buck this season.
  1. I’m pretty sure he’s the same Buck that I saw back on the 8th of October on the opposite side of the standing CRP field, approximately 125 yards away;
  2. Then once again at my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ just before dark chasing a couple of Does, approximately 30 yards away; but behind a fat tree;
  3. And then just last Friday at my ‘North Western Stand’ following a Doe coming out the standing CRP field approximately 100 yards away;
  4. And finally, this evening, hanging with one of the more mature local 9pt Bucks just within 50 yards of my tree and bedded at 60 yards away for nearly an hour.
Another close call once again!

I know I'm hunting within this shooter Buck's core area and I'm hoping it'll be just a matter of time before he really screws up, providing me an excellent opportunity to take him out.

I'm starting to get my second wind for the season so, hang in there folks, there's still plenty of time to make it happen for me. I'm not giving up, you can surely bet on that!

I’m still trying to get over this cold of mine, which is day 6 since I started feeling crappy. My wife had it for nearly two weeks before she started feeling better. I’m to the point where it’s mainly cough attacks from time to time, but at least I can breathe a heck of lot better now.

I'll be back at it again tomorrow evening. I've been sleeping in trying to get plenty of rest while I'm recovering from being sick still.
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Saturday, November 30, 2019:

Yesterday, I hunted once again back out on the North ridge with a mild East wind and it started off with a slight sprinkle rain, then turned into a steady rain with fog for the rest of the hunt.

I got settled in at 2:30 p.m. and I didn’t see any deer movement throughout the entire hunt.

So, I got skunked!

I went ahead and compiled ‘Week 8’ of my ‘Week in Review’ hunt data report, which it also concludes the entire month of November.

The grand totals for the month of November are at the bottom of page two.

I didn’t hunt nearly as much as the previous weeks due to the fact that I’ve been very sick with the ‘cold flu’, but I managed to hunt a few evenings here and there, when I was feeling well enough to be in a tree-stand.

If you wish to view the entire report, click the following lick; https://view.publitas.com/wildlifeohio/2019-hunt-data/

I'll be getting out later this afternoon for an evening hunt for the first day of month, which it doesn't feel like December because of the mid 50-degree beautiful weather we're having.
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Sunday, December 1, 2019:

As a final prep for gun season, this afternoon I rechecked my 12-gauge Remington 870 Magnum Express Pump Shotgun with a rifled barrel from 100 yards. It still was winder than what I hoped for; however, it didn’t really seem to matter much. The shotgun is ready as it’s going to get.

I sent downrange 10 rounds of the 3”x 1-3/8 oz USA Brenneke Black Magic Magnum Rifled Slugs hitting the 27" W x 17" H x ½” AR500 Coyote target 9 times.

I started off aiming for the mid-section of the coyote with the first box of 5 rounds (marked in white), hitting the intended area 5 times with a nice 3 shot group. Then I reloaded with the next box of 5 rounds (marked in black) and aimed for the heart area of the coyote, hitting the intended area 3 time, missing the entire target just once.

I’d say if I can hit a small coyote at 100 yards with this shotgun, then I’m good to go for deer gun season!

It started to rain when I was finishing up my second round of shooting, which is why I missed my last shot because I hurried it. I quickly packed everything up and hauled ass back to my workshop.

I then cleaned the rifle and put it away until the morning.

After that, I got ready to head out for an evening hunt with a 12 mph SW and a 50+ degree cloudy weather.

I hunted back out on top of the North ridge in my API climber for the last time for at least three weeks.

I’ll be hunting out of my hang-on stands during gun week, then after that, I’ll be hunting ‘Deer Creek State Park’ with my bow for the following two.

I got settled in at 3:00 p.m. with no more rain, just cloudy conditions and a stiff breeze for most of the hunt. The wind died down during prime time.

I didn’t see my first deer until 4:45 p.m. when I first thought it was a lone Doe coming from the bottom of the North side of the ridge, heading South.

Right when she was about to step into my best window and be directly downwind of me at 20 yards, she suddenly stopped right behind the only big tree between us. I think she saw me move when I grabbed my bow off the hanger.

She them looked up in my direction, however she couldn’t have seen me because of the tree was right between us. So, she just stood there for about 15 seconds, then looked back to the area where she first came from. That’s when I looked over and noticed two more antlerless deer standing there, approximately 30 yards away, just within the thick honeysuckle patch on the North side of the ridge.

At that point, I decided not to make an attempt because she was the mother of the two little ones that were lagging behind obviously.

Shortly thereafter, she turned back around, took a few more steps and stopped once again to look back up at me. Still, there was another small tree between us and I didn't make move an inch.

After a few more seconds, she finally hopped towards her little ones just within the thick honeysuckle patch.

She never blew nor raised her tail.

I think wasn’t quite sure what see saw above her and I don’t think she even winded me either. If she did, I would’ve expected to her blow her ass off and high tail it the hell out of there, but she didn’t.

Once she joined her two little ones, they causally walked off heading back in the direction they first came from.

And that was all the deer I seen this evening, which are pretty much the regulars of that area.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be hunting out of my 'Southern CRP Stand' with a 12 mph sustained West wind and some snow flurries showing up around 9:00 a.m.

Good luck to all the 'Deer Gun Hunters' this week!

Be safe & have fun!!


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Monday, December 2, 2019 – First Day of 'Deer Gun Season':

This morning I headed out to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ due to the wind change from what was in the originally forecast from last night. I was planning on hunting out of my ‘Southern CRP Stand’ this morning with a W-SW wind, but we actually had a W-NW wind instead.

When I took off and got to my tree, it just started drizzling rain 'TOO' and I didn’t bring my tree umbrella, which really sucked! I went ahead and got settled in anyways about 15 minutes before legal time.

I didn’t see nor hear any deer in the area for the first hour in a half and it was still raining, of course, I also started to get cold from getting wet.

So, I got down a little before 9:00 a.m. and headed back to my workshop to dry off and get warmed up. I ate some breakfast and drank plenty of coffee next to the wood stove.

I wanted to get back out as soon as my stuff dried out and after I took care of my animals, which I did at 11:30 a.m.

This time I grabbed my API climber & shotgun and took off for the South creek shelf area to find a decent tree. I wanted to use the North ridge as a nice windbreaker to get away from the cold NW double digit wind that we were having at the time.

I found a good tree with a big crotch in it and I climbed just below it, using the backside of the tree for both cover and a decent windbreaker from that cold wind.

I was expecting to see a fair amount of deer activity this afternoon since the rain stopped and the weather was definitely primed for it, but unfortunately, that didn't happen.

I didn’t see my first deer until 4:45 p.m., which was a young Doe that came from the North heading kinda towards me and got within bow range, approximately 25 yards away, when she turned East over the top of the North ridge, and gone.

She was a little on the small side and really didn’t provide a decent opportunity. Even if she did, I would've given her a free pass anyways.

Amazingly, I didn’t see nor hear anymore deer in the immediate area for the rest of the evening.

For the day, I only heard four shots within a 3-mile radius of me and maybe a dozen more much further away, which IMO, that tells me that deer herd was pretty much staying put for the day.

I don’t believe there was one single shot taken on the entire 1,200 acres that I have access to, even though there were several other hunters within the area.

So today, I put in nearly 8 hours of tree time and only saw the one small deer for my first day of gun season. That's rather pathetic, I'd say...

I think the deer in my neck of the woods know exactly when gun season starts :LOL:

I’ll be back at it again first thing tomorrow morning hoping that more deer show up in my hunting area.


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Tuesday, December 3, 2019 – Day 2 of ‘Deer Gun Season’:

This morning I hunted once again out my climber within the South creek shelf.

Right at 7:55 a.m., I heard a tree branch brake to the East/my right and when I looked over to that area approximately 60-70 yards away, I saw the ass end of single deer moving quickly up the North side of the ridge clear to the top heading further SE at the top of the ridge and then out of sight. I believe there were other deer in front of that one, however I’m not 100% sure.

Over the next few minutes right after that, I seen seven more deer do the same, following the same exact route as the previous one. I believe it was large group of antlerless deer on the move around 8:00 a.m. this morning.

All of them were trotting quickly heading SE at the top of the North ridge.

I didn’t see anymore deer for the next hour, so I figured they either left the area and/or bedded for the day, so, I climbed down shortly after 9:00 a.m. and headed back to my workshop to do my daily choirs.

This afternoon, I headed back out at 3:00 p.m. and got settled back into my climber on the South shelf 15 minutes later.

Right at 3:30 p.m., right where I walked the South creek to get to my stand just 30 minutes earlier, I saw two young Bucks, one 8pt & a small 6pt, just on the other side of the creek rubbing on some small trees, right next the heavy thick bedding area.

I watched them for about 5 minutes until they casually walked off into the thick bedding area and out of sight.

That was all the deer I seen this evening. I did hear another tree branch brake during prime time; however, I couldn’t see what caused it. I assume it was a deer approximately 50 yards away, just on the other side of the North ridge.

So today, I seen at least 10 deer, possibly 12, and I believe only two of them were young Bucks out of the bunch.

Tomorrow is another day in paradise and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be in a tree first thing in the morning huntin!
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Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – Day 3 of ‘Deer Gun Season’:

This morning I headed back out to the South creek shelf where I left my climber the day before. I got settled in well before legal time with a chilly temperature of 32-degrees and some stiff SW cold winds.

At 7:15 a.m., a young six-point Buck popped out on top of the North ridge right in front of me at 20 yards. He came from the East heading North towards the open field edge. Once he got directly downwind of me, approximately 25 yards away, he stopped and started sniffing the air. He then turned back around, circled towards me and got within 10 yards trying to figure out just where I was. I had every opportunity in the world to shoot him, however he’s not what I’m looking for, so, he got the 'free-pass'.

After another moment or two, he decided he didn’t want to continue his travel to the North and headed back to where he originally came from, back over the top of North ridge and out of sight.

He was the only deer I seen this morning when I decided to head back home at 9:00 a.m.


This afternoon I headed back around 2:45 p.m. and got settled in right at 3:00 with a sunny temperature of 44-degrees and more of the same of the double-digit SW winds.

I didn’t see my first deer until 4:10 p.m., when I glassed to the North looking along the edge of open field with tall weeds. That’s when I seen at least four antlerless deer a little over 200 yards away grazing in the green section of the field. There may have been more deer with them, however I could only see just the four together. They grazed for approximately 20-25 minutes and then it appeared that they were heading my direction along the field edge. I lost sight of them as they were heading East, towards me because of the tall weeds. I was expecting them to show up within minutes from the time I lost sight of them, however they never made it to the end of the field. I suspect they headed NE, down the side of the North ridge and towards the North creek.

At 4:55 p.m., I saw two more deer barely over the top of the North ridge just to the NE of me, approximately 30 yards away, traveling N-NE, towards where the first group of deer were. I couldn’t tell what kind of deer they were because the two them were trotting quickly through the thick sections of the honeysuckle shrubs. They never made it out into the field either.

That was all the deer I seen this evening, which for the entire day, that's a total of seven deer with at least one them being a Buck.

The West and Southwest winds are working against me for that area that I’ve been hunting that past couple of days. Tomorrow, I may try something different since were supposed to have basically a ditto of the today’s weather. More of the same types of winds 'TOO'.

I’m thinking about hunting from the North creek bottom and try to find a place on the ground that I can get burrowed in, right along the creek, which is well below where the deer have been traveling the past few days, which is right along the North side of the ridge.

Those winds tend to swirl down at the creek bottom and it’s going to be tough not to get winded, but that’s what I’m thinking about doing. I should be able see the deer just fine if they continue the same travel pattern, like what they've been doing lately, cruising along the South side of the North creek, just below the top to the North ridge.

I’ll make that determination come tomorrow morning when I get a better feel of the type of wind conditions we're having at that time before I head out.

Any North wind is preferred for that area, which isn't supposed to happen until Friday evening according to the weather forecast, so, I'll have to improvise & adapt, try something different if I want to be successful harvesting another deer tomorrow.

We'll see how it goes...
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Thursday, December 5, 2019 – Day 4 of ‘Deer Gun Season’:

This morning I hunted back on the South creek shelf in my API climber once again with a 34-degree temperature and virtually no SW wind.

I got settled in about 15 minutes before legal time and sat there for the next couple of hours without seeing or hearing any deer in the area.

So, I got down around 9:00 a.m., headed home, ate breakfast, took care of my animals, got an oil change in the pickup and then did my daily chores.

This afternoon, I got ready to head back out around 2:30 p.m. and got settled back in my API climber on the South creek shelf a little after 3:00 with a 46-degree temperature and a mild SW wind.


I didn’t see my first deer until 4:50 p.m., which was a Button Buck and a Doe that came from across the South creek, right out of the thick bedding that’s area over there, and they slowly made their way towards me.

I decided I was going to take the Button Buck out of the herd and leave the Doe.

So, that’s what I did when the Button got directly underneath me at 10 yards.

(Tactacam video of the shot taken and the Doe leaving the area.)

It was a 35-yard recovery from where he crashed just on the other side of the North ridge. The shot went straight down through him and out the right shoulder, taking out both lungs.

(1st pic is the harvest, 2nd pic is the bullet hole in the ground & the 3rd pic is the first blood splatter just feet away for the bullet hole in the ground.)

This deer drag was about 250 yards to the back of my property, which wasn’t ‘TOO’ bad because I drug him through the South creek all the way home.

Not only was he clean by the time I got him hung, he was completely frozen ‘TOO’ from the creek water.

He'll hang for the night and I’ll take care of him after tomorrow morning’s hunt.

That’s two deer harvests at this point of my season.

I have every intention in harvesting a good size Doe during my ‘Deer Creek Archery Hunt’ that starts next week.

I’m also still working on filling my Buck tag.

That was all the deer I saw this evening and I only heard just a couple shots nearby, approximately a mile away.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back at it again looking for a mature Buck.


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Friday, December 6, 2019 – Day 5 of ‘Deer Gun Season’ morning hunt:

This morning I headed out to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ a little after 6:00 a.m. with a temperature of 34-degrees and more of the same mild SW winds.

I got settled in quietly and comfortably well before legal time.

The first group of deer I saw came from the West shortly just before 8:00 a.m., right along the standing CRP and field wooded edge, which was a mother Doe and her two little ones.

Never bothered to grab the gun, just my new cellphone and started taking video. I finally got a decent opportunity to make my first video with the new cellphone and I still had to edit it because it was sideways when I went to view it. I have to figure this phone out, it's frustrating!


The video is roughly 10 minutes long, but you’ll get to see where the came from and where they headed to bed. You’ll also get to see how mother Doe tried her darndest to find me even though she was directly downwind of me. She knew the area wasn’t safe for her young ones and eventually left the area to the East through the standing CRP field.


I got down a little before 9:00 a.m. without seeing anymore deer, plus it started spitting rain and I wanted to do a little recon of the area.

I found plenty of good Buck signs in the immediate area that are very promising to hopefully have another good mature buck encounter soon.

I’ll be getting back out later this afternoon after I take care my deer harvest from last evening with most likely my tree umbrella.

The weatherman is saying rain is in the forecast during prime-time.


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Friday, December 6, 2019 – Day 5 of ‘Deer Gun Season’ Evening Hunt:

Yesterday afternoon I took off around 2:45 p.m. with my API climber & shotgun heading to the far SE side of the South creek shelf, getting as close I could to the South creek bottom. The temperature was in the mid 40’s with a mild NW wind and no rain.

Once I stepped off the back of my property and about to cross the South creek, I bumped a deer. I never did get a good look at the front of it, so I have no idea what kind of deer it was. The deer headed right where I intended on going and never did see it again once I got to the far SE side of the South creek shelf.


This closest tree to the creek bottom that looked strong enough to support me was a tall skinny Ash tree. It wasn’t the easiest tree I’ve climbed, but I made it work.

I finally got settled in at 3:30 p.m., sat for about an hour when I heard two rapid gun shots just on the other side of the second 19 acre standing CRP field, to the SE. I estimate the shooter was approximately 400-600 yards away and I couldn’t see him at the time.

About 10 minutes later, I seen the shooter walking on the far side of the standing CRP field heading West, towards the smaller 7 acre standing CRP field that I hunt. He didn’t appear to me that he was successful getting a deer and eventually, he left my sight once again and never did show up in the other smaller CRP field. I’m not sure where he went exactly, but I suspect he headed South towards the big hill across the state route road.

I continued sitting comfortable in my stand for the rest of my hunt and never did see nor hear any deer.

I climbed down right at quitting time, packed up my climber, threw it over my back and headed home and I don’t believe I bumped any more deer getting there.

So, for the 5th day of ‘Deer Gun Season’, I seen a total of 4 deer and all of them were within bow range.


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Saturday, December 7, 2019 – Day 6 of ‘Deer Gun Season’:

This morning I headed out to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’ with a frosty 22-degree bitter cold temperature and virtually no E-NE wind.

I sat comfortable and used my insulated boot covers to keep the feet warn on that steel platform.

I heard a deer or two, or perhaps a couple of coyotes moving about in the thick bedding area just to my East/my right, approximately 50 yards away early, around 7:40 a.m., but I never did get to see what they were exactly.

It wasn’t until 8:40 a.m when I got to see my first deer, which was a young basket 8pt Buck.

He’s a regular and I’ve had a few encounters with him before, for example;

He just got up on the far West side of the standing CRP field approximately 100 yards away. I watched him walk slowly into a patch of young Black Locust Trees at the end of the CRP field further to the West and do a couple of tree rubs.

Then he was making his way slowly to the wooded area towards to my home, still heading to the W-NW.

As he was walking through a little bit of swampy area just before he entered the woods, I thought he was struggling just to get through the muddy portion, however after the fact, he actually appeared to be wounded instead.

As he got on more solid ground, it was very obvious to me that for sure, he was limping badly. It appeared that one of his rear legs was hurting him quite a bit as he slowly limped his way into the wooded area and finally out of sight.

I suspect that he’s the deer that the hunter shot yesterday evening around 4:30 p.m., or perhaps, he was possibly struck by a car, but either way, the deer is definitely in dire straits.

I'm sure he's still in the area. Mostly likely very close to my home bedded for the day.

I didn’t see nor hear any more deer this morning and got down at 9:30 a.m.

I’ll make it back out again later this afternoon.


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Saturday, December 7, 2019 – Day 6 of ‘Deer Gun Season’ Evening Hunt:

I headed out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ around 2:30 p.m. and got settled in right at 3:00 with a low 40’s temperature and a mild East wind, which is ideal for that setup.

As soon as I got settled, I heard a shot ring out just to the SE/my right, approximately 500 yards away, then two more quick follow up shots.

I didn’t see the hunters, but I heard them shortly thereafter talking loudly, then I heard an ATV slowly make it's way down to the South creek bottom area, over near some of my other hunting setups.

It sounded like those hunters were settling in that area to hunt and I didn’t hear anymore shots from them the rest of the evening.

Once I got ready fully for my hunt, I noticed under my tree stand that my ‘Pine Licking Branch’ has a fresh and much bigger scrape underneath it from the last time I hunted here well over a week ago.

The last time I hunted this area, I seen that large mature Buck approximately 100 yards to the East, near the lower standing CRP field with a mature Doe that he was trailing.

The next day I setup my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand just 20 yards away from where he showed up, closer to the CRP field. You can read about that in this journal by clicking the following link; Wildlife 2019/2020 Deer Season

Around 4:45 p.m., I seen a coyote quickly cruising through the area heading East. I didn’t have to time to grab my gun to take a crack at him.

When I watched him head to the same location where I saw that large mature Buck and Doe that I mentioned about, I seen a super large fresh tree rub that wasn’t there the last time I hunted down there in my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ stand, which the tree rub is approximately 10 yards away from that tree I hunted out of.

20191207_162718 Massive tree rub.jpg

It’s exactly 66 yards to the East of my ‘Northwestern Stand’, the one I hunted out of this evening.

So, I got skunked this evening, but rest assure that I’ll be hunting my entire day out this same stand today, hoping that Buck decides to make his presences known during the daylight.

He’s a freaking big one!!


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Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Day 7 of ‘Deer Gun Season’ Morning Hunt:

This morning I headed back out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ a little after 6:00 a.m. with a 28-degree temperature and a mild South wind.

I got settled in around 6:30 a.m. and sat comfortably until legal time.

I heard shots fired just before legal time that I believe came from public land just South, approximately 3 miles away. Then shortly after legal time, I heard several other shots coming from the same area for the next 5-10 minutes. Most sounded like it came from the same gun/shooter/hunter.

Then right at 8:04 a.m., a hunter that I’ve never seen before pops out of the back of the upper field that I’m currently hunting, in between my ‘Southeastern Stand’ and the stand I’m in, my ‘Northwestern Stand’, and walks casually down along the South side of the field, approximately 20-30 away from the wooded edge, just looking around, carrying a shotgun at his side, and then finally reaches our road, turns back towards the South wooded edge and walks straight into the wooded area, down the little creek bottom.

Granted, this hunter in my immediate area walking around confirmed to me that there were no deer around, so after another half an hour in the stand, I decided to get down and head home a little before 9:00 a.m.

Along the way, I stopped by that fresh tree rub that I mentioned about in my last journal post, which is when I discovered it last evenings from the stand.

I took a couple of photographs, one of the tree rub itself and the other that captures the tree (Right photo, further left tree within the photo that has the brown patch of vines in it.) I hunted out of when I used my ‘Lone Wolf Alpha’ gun & run setup to hopefully catch an opportunity of that giant buck I seen the evening before back in late November.

I'm confident that this is his rub that had to have been made over the last two weeks, which the rub itself looks to be very fresh, perhaps a few days old.

I have a lot of things I need to get done this afternoon, which includes prepping for the ‘Deer Creek Archery Hunt’ that’ll start tomorrow morning.

@Isaacorps & I will have section two, which is nearly 100 acres of the park to ourselves to knock down as many antlerless deer that we want and of course a good Buck since we both have our Buck tag still.

Plus, I’ll be setting up trail cameras for both locations, here at my place and at ‘Deer Creek’. I must get the cameras out, prep them to take afield.

Now that ‘Deer Gun Season’ is nearly over with, I intend to setup a few trail cameras at some strategic locations in my area to get an inventory of the local deer herd since I’ll be hunting somewhere else over the next two weeks.

I’m fairly certain that the giant Buck is still around, but it’d be nice to get a good snapshot of him to absolutely confirm my suspension, and I’ll be able to share it with all of you. You’ll get to see what I’ve been chasing my entire deer season.

I’ve had four different encounters with him during bow season, and in each case, none offered up an opportunity to take a shot.

I also need to update my ‘Week in Review’ hunt data report of mine, which basically will have all the current information up this point, but I’ll post it later after my evening hunt tonight, which will include those numbers as well.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be maintaining that report, but it'll be specific to the ‘Deer Creek Archery Hunt’ and I’ll brake that out those specifics during my final analysis at the end of my deer hunting season.

So, expect another update later when I complete my final ‘2019 Deer Gun Season’ hunt.


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Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Day 7 of ‘Deer Gun Season’ Evening Hunt:

Yesterday evening I headed back out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ for my final ‘2019 Deer Season Gun Week’ at 3:00 p.m. with a warm 52-degree temperature and a mild South wind.


I got settled in right at 3:30, ready for the hunt.

For the majority of the hunt, I didn’t see any deer until I heard our neighbor dogs started barking radically. That’s when I grabbed my binoculars and glassed over towards that area at about 5:10 p.m. when I saw two large Bucks that appeared as if they just popped out of a small patch of real tall weeds at the far end of the cut soybean field straight to the West, approximately 400+ yards away. They were just standing there within the field roughly 10-15 yards apart from each other facing towards the neighbor’s home where the dogs are kept. I continued to watch them until I could no longer see them anymore due the darkness. Each Buck appeared to be mature in nature, one with a real wide rack and the other with a tall one. I couldn’t tell what type of frame each of them had, however I was very happy to see that two real nice Bucks in the area made through gun week.

I climbed down shortly thereafter and hung two trail cameras, one overseeing my ‘Pine Licking Branch’ with the real large fresh scrape and the other overseeing the major deer run with the fresh massive tree rub just off the standing CRP field.

Then I headed home to grab two more trail cameras and headed back out to two more different locations that cover a couple more well-known major deer runs.

Finally, I now have for the first time this year, four trail cameras setup in strategic locations with hopes of capturing whatever deer are left in the herd around my hunting areas.

I also replenished the corn feeder with another 200lbs. of whole corn and swapped the SD cards out of the trail cameras that cover it near my home.

I wanted to get all that taken care of before the rain rolled in, knowing that today's rain will wash away whatever scent of mine left behind.

Once I got back to my workshop, I started prepping for the ‘Deer Creek Archery Hunt’, which actually started Sunday, December 8, 2019 and will end December 21st.

I didn’t get everything that I wanted to get done last night, however I made some pretty good progress none the less.

I’ll following up soon of what I intend to get accomplished today with regards to my first trip out to ‘Deer Creek State Park’ and my 'Week in Review' hunt data report along with a brief summery up to this point of my season.

You can expect it within the hour.
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Monday, December 9, 2019 – First Day of ‘Deer Creek’s Archery Hunt’:

Today, I’ll be heading out to the ‘Deer Creek State Park’ to do some scouting and hang a few trail cameras.

Depending on what I discover, I may or may not do a hunt this evening.

I’m still in the process of loading my truck with all the hunting gear and equipment that I’ll be using out at the park, such as;
  • Pop-ground blind w/ sitting chair
  • Lone Wolf Alpha Stand w/ 5 LW Sticks
  • API Climber
  • Three Trail Cameras w/ Lock Boxes & Locking Cables
  • Three medium size totes packed w/ Hunting Clothes, including Rain Gear, Boots, Binoculars, Long Range Monocular, 2-Rangefinders, Deer Grunt Call, Navigation Compass, Headlamp & Blood Tracking Flashlight, Compound Bow maintenance items w/ tools, SD Cards, SD Card Reader, Multiple Charged Cellphone Batteries
  • A Box of Hand Warmers
  • Backpack filled w/ Deer Field Dressing items & Ziplock Bags
  • Deer Dragging Harness & Rope
  • Deer Hauling Sled
  • Two Mathews Compound Bows that are dialed in and ready to go w/ plenty of arrows
  • A case of bottled water
  • Miscellaneous packed foods
Once I get familiar with the areas I intend to hunt within the park, I’ll hunt harder & longer, putting in more hours within those setups over the course of the next two weeks.

I hope to harvest a good size Doe and a mature Buck with a compound bow.

The following is a brief summary regarding my Deer Season thus far, hunting near my home.
  • Total # of hunts: 93
  • Total # of morning hunts: 36
  • Total # of evening hunts: 57
  • Total # of hours hunted: 241
  • Total # of antlerless deer sightings: 215
  • Total # of Buck sightings: 64
  • Total # of Shooter Buck sightings: 9
  • Grand total # of deer sightings: 288
  • Total # of deer within bow range: 124
  • Total # of deer harvested: 2 antlerless
To view the entire hunt data report of mine with all the specifics, which is called ‘Week in Review’, with week 9 completed, click the following link;


brock ratcliff

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Good luck Denny. A buddy of mine was there Sunday for his first look at his area of the park. He stopped counting at 60. He said there was over 40 in a single file leaving a thicket. I imagine gun pressure had something to do with that in the surrounding area, but that is a lot of deer!


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Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - First sit @ Deer Creek:

27 degrees currently with some stiff West wind gusts here at my first archery hunt at the 'Deer Creek State Park' and let me tell ya, there are tons of deer signs all over the place back in here.

First setup is with my 'Lone Wolf Alpha Stand w/ 5 LW Sticks' in a thick Silver Maple surrounded by several Oak trees on top of a ridge overlooking a creek shelf & bottom to my East, and a super thick area just to the West with many deer runs going through it.

I hung three trail cameras. Two overseeing fresh tree rubs and the third on a major deer run near the edge of a wooded area, covering an open field for untilities. Well see how they work out for a couple of days.

This spot looks just as good as any other I was looking at earlier.

I'll find out here soon enough if it will produce.