We'll see what happens when the roamers start showing up here in a couple of weeks. I expect those guys to be much bigger. THUNDER will be a challenge though to pass up because he's a big bodied deer. I really want him to make it another year, maybe even two. He made it through last season, so I believe he has a pretty good spot to hide out when the pressure gets to be too much. I also want him to breed as many as can of the local does, he's got real good genetics to him.
Day two of jury duty done, one more long day to go tomorrow and two next week, then I'll be done with it.
Two more good tunes added to my '2020 Whitetail Deer' music collection thanks to good old THUNDER that showed up yesterday twice during the rain. Once in the early morning hours, then again at 7:00 p.m. for very brief moment. He got spooked by a coon.
Friday should be a real good possibility for me to put some time in a tree-stand.
Friday – October 23, 2020 – ‘What I do for the deer again this morning’:
Well, got my ass kicked a little bit this morning. Stihl & I spent time in the smaller creek bottom on the South side of the property, clearing out all the down trees in that small creek from a ‘F0’ tornado we had that cut through the property much earlier this year.
The farmers are currently cutting down the corn today across the street, which means the deer will be using our creek bottoms as their main way of traveling between the properties, pretty much like a highway for them.
Every year I get the roamers looking for the local ladies usually the first week of November. Below are examples of several over the past four years since I’ve using TCs in that particular area, which is right off our Alfalfa field. My ‘Western Stand’ covers pretty much most of that area. Hopefully, I should have a good opportunity to stick a good one there if my timing is right.
I now have a few piles of cut firewood that I will have to hand carry out of there now, which is my annual fall/winter routine since we have been living here for the past five years. This kind of work is something I’ve done most of my life, especially when I was a kid living in the southern portion of the Adirondacks state park of central upstate N.Y., right on the Northshore of the largest finger lake – Oneida Lake with all of her lake effect winter snowstorms nearly all season long.
I burn all the cut hardwood inside my woodstove that is located inside my workshop. I keep the shop well heated all winter long for both me and all my animals, 24/7 right until the warmer temps show back up again sometime in the spring. The chimney smoke usually covers the entire creek valley, which does a fairly good job as a cover sent when I hike my way out to some of my setups, down through the creek bottom, right to my tree-stands.
It’s a type of annual choir that always takes me back when I do it so, I certainly don’t mind it at all, cutting, hand splitting & stacking this time of the year. It either gets me back into or keeps me in pretty good physical shape, especially for hunting in the later portion of the season.
Sometimes when I do this kind of work around our place or even others of my past, I’ll take my bow with me because I have seen deer just yards away at times while cutting and/or working within the woods. The deer at times seem to be very curious animals, much like cats, and I have had some good encounters at times while doing that kind of work within the deer woods. The deer don’t really seem to mind it at all from my experience. This morning (midmorning) however, I left the bow in my hunting closet and I didn't see nor hear any deer in the area.
I’m gonna try to get out for a hunt across the street with my API climber this evening, as soon as the farmer finishes cutting down the rest of the corn, right in the far West corner pocket, within a tree where I’ve taken deer from in the past. I’m sure the deer will be hitting that field hard over the next few days, they usually do right after the corn is cutdown.
I’ll report back here afterwards. I’m mainly scouting for any good bucks in the area only even though I have two more deer tags left in my pocket for my county. I’m holding one back one of them for an antlerless deer harvest during the muzzy season. Trust me, after last year’s exciting first ever muzzy harvest with my old #209 upgraded 50cal customer painted Knight inline muzzleloader, I’m most definitely hooked now in wanting to get me another with that hunting implement.
Should be a beautiful and warm evening with the mild S-SW wind in my face while looking out into the cut cornfield. I’m going to enjoy a nice relaxing evening hunt in my old API after all the hard work I did this morning, that is for sure!
So, expect another report from me later this evening, right after my hunt.
Friday - October 23, 2020 - 8th sit 2hr. Evening Hunt:
Top pic - looking SE into the freshly cut today cornfield. The two pics in the next row, left to right, looking Southwest then the next one is looking West towards the neighbors cut beanfield. The bottom two pic is looking at the main creek bottom right below me, left is looking to the North and into the next freshly cut cornfield on the opposite side of the creek and the right is looking West SW towards the neighbors again.
Seen three antlerless deer right after 7:00 p.m. on the opposite side of the field, SE heading NE towards my home. One adult doe and two yearlings.
I watched them reach the top of the field hill, turn 90 degrees heading North across the field thinking they might circle back around and head towards me, around the corner of the field edge, but they never made it.
That was all the deer I seen this evening.
Right around 6:00 p.m., the clouds slowly rolled in and there was a very slight sprinkle of rain here and there for about a half hour. The ground never really got wet.
Even though it wasn't horribly exciting, I still enjoyed the hunt. I was extremely relaxed in my old API recliner basically, climber stand. Definitely much needed therapy after three long days of jury duty and some heavy duty brush and tree removal out of the small creek bottom that I did earlier this morning and posted within my journal.
I went ahead and left my climber at the base of the tree that I hunted this evening because I'm going to hunt out of it again tomorrow morning.
After packing up and grabbed my bow, I hiked the nearly 800 yards back to my workshop, towards were I last saw those deer, but I never did see them anymore, so I do not know where they ended up going.
So that's that and I'm off to go eat dinner with the wife.
You can expect me to hunt throughout the entire weekend and I will post all my reports right here after each one of them.
(Kitty cat this morning in the lower portion of the photo of the freshly cut cornfield as of yesterday.)
This morning I made it to my tree with my climber at the base that I hunted out of last night without any problems. I get up into the tree no sweat, just pulled up my bow and hung it, set the binos, rangefinder & huntin pack out on the hooks ready for the morning hunt by 7:05 a.m.
10 minutes later, I hear & see two silhouettes coming from the South along the edge of the cornfield/wood edge, but it does not look like deer. As they got closer, heading straight for me, I realize it’s two other hunters looking for a spot. Now I know these guys are NOT supposed to be here and right at 7:15 a.m., they were literally right underneath me. As they were about to walk right up to my tree, I spoke up and said, ‘what you are doing here?” Both were smoking cigarettes and the fat one was hauling a ‘Red Flyer Wagon’ loaded with hunting gear. The one closets to me jump back away from the tree and looked up towards me and said, “Oh shit, you scared the liven shit out me.” while the other guy snickered and laughed momentarily, the smaller guy proceeded to tell me that they were looking for a spot to hunt and mentioned that they had permission to hunt the property. I asked them who gave you permission, they gave the wrong name. They provided the name of the owner to the neighboring property and I told them that they were trespassing, and I asked them to leave immediately. They attempted to tell me that the property owner showed them the area they were allowed to hunt; which they were sadly mistaken to think they were on the supposed property given permission to hunt. That is when I told them that “I know you went through the fence to get here. Did you not think that was the property line?” Then the small young guy shook his head and shrugged his shoulders and then had the balls to ask me if I had permission to hunt where I was at, which I replied, “I absolutely do, now kindly leave!”
I watched each of them closely as they casually turnaround and quietly walked back in the direction they originally came from while each of them tossed their cigarette butts to the ground approximately 30 yards from my tree into the freshly cut cornfield. That pissed me off to no end!
I proceeded to watch as best as I could with my binos until I could not see them anymore, which was not very far, maybe 70 yards to the South of me, just before they crossed over the fence line again.
That brief encounter with those trespassers ended right about legal hunting time, which I was very pissed about the whole thing to put it mildly because where the guys came from initially is were I was expecting to see deer to come.
So, I felt that my hunt was completely spoiled before it even got started, but I sat in my tree anyways for about an hour of not seeing or hearing anything, then decided to pack it in. I climbed down, packed up my API climber, attached my huntin pack, grabbed my bow and then took off for home, which is due East about 600 yards from the tree I hunted out of.
Once I got back to my workshop, I put all my huntin gear away, change into some regular work clothes, made some coffee then jumped into my truck and drove over to the property owner’s home were the trespassers had supposed permission from. It was still early yet so I didn’t bother to go knock on their door, but I did happen to notice a SUV with ladder tree stands on top of it parked on the far side of the property owners property were it could not be seen from their home, on the opposite side of the wooded creek area.
I turned around in the property owners driveway and once I passed the wooded creek area, I stopped in the road and took a couple of photographs of the SUV parked off the road a bit, nearly hidden inside the wooded area. I now have a detailed description of the vehicle with the license plate number should I see those trespassers again and must call the authorities.
Now, I really wouldn’t call this morning a hunt really because of all the BS that happened. Trust me, I was very upset about it. So much so, after drinking my coffee, I took out all my frustrations on the tree leaves on ground in my property. I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon blowing leaves into large piles so now all I must do is to collect them and haul them over to the creek levy to dump.
Once it got to be around 4:00 p.m., I put away the leaf-blower, got cleaned up, ate a sandwich, then change back into my huntin clothes again for an evening hunt at my ‘Southwestern Stand’. One of the six hang-ons that I have setup, and I have not hunted out of yet this season.
(View from the stand: Top photo looking N-NE, bottom left photo looking N and the bottom right photo looking down to the small creek bottom towards the South.)
I got settled into my tree around 5:15 p.m. with no problems. As I approached my tree, I noticed a fresh tree rub right along a deer trail the goes underneath my tree. The tree rub is like 10 yards away from my tree stand.
It was not until 6:20 p.m. until I saw my first deer, which it was an adult doe grazing out into the field to my North. She grazed much closer to my ‘Northwestern Stand’, approximately 20-30 yards from the field/wood edge, definitely much closer to that setup.
After about 20 minutes of grazing, the doe bedded in the field. I continued to watch her with my binos and noticed that she kept looking back towards the wooded area, towards my ‘Northwestern Stand’ location.
Right around 7:00 p.m., five more antlerless deer walked out into the field and meet up the single doe. All six of them were on their feet and grazed in the field for another five minutes or so, then the cruised towards the freshly cut cornfield across the road.
I continued to watch them all safely cross the road and into the cut cornfield and finally out of sight.
Shortly thereafter, I packed everything up, climbed down, walked over to the tree rub near my stand and took a photograph of it.
While I was glassing those deer previously, I noticed that directly across the field from me, again, much closer to my ‘Northwestern Stand’, I seen some more impressive tree rubs. I also took a photograph of them too through my binos while it was still daylight.
The following are a collage of photographs of the single adult doe, the tree rubs across the field from where I was hunting and the tree rub that was basically right underneath my setup that I hunted out of this evening, my ‘Southwestern Stand’.
(Doe in the top photo, much closer to my 'Northwestern Stand'; bottom left photo in the center are some impressive tree rubs across the field, again much closer to my 'Northwestern Stand' ; and the bottom right photo is the fresh tree rub that is basically right underneath my 'Southwestern Stand', the setup I hunted out this evening.)
In conclusion, sits 9 & 10, a total of three more hours combined, six antlerless deer seen out of bow range, approximately 200 yards away when first seen.
I intend to do much the same tomorrow, two more sits, one morning and one evening. Just not sure which setups yet. I’ll figure that out shortly, right after this post.
I’ll report back here once again tomorrow, pretty much at the same time during the evening with all the details of those hunts.
This morning I hunted out of my ‘Northwestern Stand’.
I got settled in approximately 7:00 a.m. with no issues. As soon as it got light enough to glass the field to my South, I saw four antlerless deer in the middle of it, due South of me heading slowly NE, grazing along the way.
I continued to watch those deer for approximately 40-45 minutes, while I was drinking my coffee out of my new thermos, simply grazing heading further to the backside of the field, roughly 100 yards away, still heading in a northeastward direction, straight towards the woods, then finally out of sight.
I called it quits about 9:30 a.m., got down and swapped the SD card out of the TC that covers the PLB that is setup just to the NE of my stand at the bottom of the hill, approximately 25 yards away.
After retrieving that SD card, I turnaround and headed to my #2 PLB at my ‘Western Stand’ location and swapped that SD card out of that TC.
Then I continued my hike towards my workshop, but stopped once again at my other TC that’s on the other side of the creek from my ‘Western Stand’, right on the North shelf, and swapped that SD card out of that TC as well.
Once I got back to my workshop and changed out of my huntin clothes, took care of my animals and made another fresh cup of coffee because it was rather cool out this morning, I started to go through those SD cards that I pulled.
Come to find out, I have a new buck in the area, a decent nine point.
After I finished going though those SD cards, I went and swapped out the SD cards at the bait station area too, which have three TCs that cover it.
Once again, I went through those SD cards and come to find out again, another new buck that showed up at the bait station, a decent eight point. He appeared to just cruise through and didn’t stay to fill his belly, but I do have a short video clip of him.
Below are the TC’s image captures of both at the PLBs, which shows the new nine point, and the other solo newcomer at the bait station from the other night. He has a broken brow tine already. The PLB video is more of the same, bucks making scrapes and doing tree rubs.
This afternoon, I continue doing my leaf removal choir for a few more hours today. Still plenty more leaves to get ride of. It’s always an endless job this time of year at our place.
Approximately 4:00 p.m., I meet up with two other hunters that hunt the same property across the street from my home that I do. We talked for a bit, discussed what to do about an unknown hang-on tree-stand that was found Saturday afternoon on the property, a very recent setup.
It does NOT belong to any of us, so tomorrow I’m going to place a nice nasty note on it for whomever it belongs to and tell them that they need to remove it immediately and not to trespass on the property anymore. We’ll give it a few days, if it’s still there by the end of the week, it will get removed even though it’s chained & locked to the tree.
After our little chitchat, I got dressed up into my huntin clothes and headed back out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ again for an evening hunt.
I got settled in at approximately 5:00 p.m. with no issues. I did not see my first deer until 6:30 p.m., which were 4 or 5 antlerless deer coming from the NE, on the march nose to tail, just North of me by about 30-35 yards, heading West towards the field, just S-SW from my setup. Basically, a ditto version of yesterday’s evening hunt of the deer I saw in the same area of the field from my ‘Southwestern Stand’. They pretty much did the same thing as yesterday evening once they reached the field. They grazed for a little bit in that field before they mowzed on over to the cut cornfield across the road right at dusk.
So, that was all the deer I saw today in the four in half hours combined of hunting. A total of eight or nine antlerless deer. The one’s in the evening were all within bow range. No blood was shed today.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time being the stands this weekend hunting. On Tuesday & Wednesday, the 27th & 28th, I have jury duty again at the courthouse, then I will be totally done with it.
Not sure when I will do my next hunt, but I’ll be sure to inform all of you once I figure that out myself.
Until then, everyone take care and have a good night!
A quick follow up to the trespassers that set a hang-on stand on a property that me and only another hunter has permission to hunt across the road from my property.
As you may recall, in a previous post, my Saturday morning hunt got spoiled by two trespassers the crossed the fence/property line @7:05 a.m., and I demanded that they leave immediately after I informed them that they were trespassing, which they did.
Well, later that morning, approximately 11:30 a.m., the other allowed hunter found a hang-on approximately 300 yards well beyond the West fence/property line while they scouted the property to look for location to hunt. Remember, I busted those two idiots hauling a ‘Red Flyer Wagon’ full with hunting gear, like more hang-ons.
This morning, just moments ago, I went out to locate that hang-on tree-stand, but I couldn’t find it. So I texted the other allowed hunter and asked him to text me back with the photograph that he took of it last Saturday morning. I ended up finding the tree that the stand was in. I took a photograph of the evidence. Traced the foot tracks that headed West towards where I busted those trespassers last Saturday morning. I expect that the stand belonged to them.
I may send the collection of evidence to the GW and to be on the lookout for these guys. They appeared to be shady characters no doubt! They had to retrieved that stand sometime during the nighttime hours Saturday or Sunday night because I certainly didn’t see them nor did the other two hunters with permission that hunted it yesterday evening.
The good news is the that stand is gone and I didn’t find any others. I always keep good tabs on the properties that I’m allowed to hunt in the area. We get poachers every year and the GW is fully aware it. I busted a couple of them red handed two seasons ago, but the authorities didn’t catch them, they were late to the scene. Hopefully, this will be the year they get busted by the authorities.
Today was the final day of my civic duty at the local courthouse. I served four days total of jury duty and at 3:00 p.m. I was released and sent home with full intent to get out for an evening hunt.
After checking the weather forecast and taken care of a few odds and ends, I changed into some hunting clothes, grabbed my bow & API climber, then headed for the woods to an area I haven’t hunted yet this season. This being my 13th sit of the season thus far.
The location is just North of the main creek roughly 60 yards, right on top of a small hill/ledge that overlooks both the main creek shelf to the South, another creek shelf to the North from a smaller creek, along with overgrown wild field to the West and hardwoods to the East.
Once I reached the back of my property, I saw an antlerless deer at the bait station already, which I believe it was around 4:45 p.m. at the time. I hiked another 30 yards beyond that, and I saw another antlerless deer at the creek bottom heading towards the bait station too. Most likely the same two yearlings that I have been getting on TCs that past couple of days at the bait station right around 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
So, I kept right on trucking to my desired destination, down through the creek bottom until I got to the area where I needed to head North, which happens to be at a main deer trail. Just before I reached the North creek shelf though, I noticed a nice fresh tree rub and took a quick photograph of it.
Once I finally reached the tree that I have hunted out of many times before. I climbed up into it with no problems, real nice and quiet. No sooner than when I sat down around 5:00 p.m., it started to sprinkle rain and I did not bring my tree umbrella. I also saw a black & white cat heading right towards me, coming from the East, on top of the hill/ledge. The cat walked right underneath me and was totally oblivious that I was right above it.
The sprinkling rain did not last very long and right afterwards, the woods got super quiet, eerily quiet in fact. No wind.
Approximately 6:30 p.m., I heard a deer movement just over the top of the hill/ledge, roughly 30 - 35 yards away, inside the thick cluster of honeysuckles to the N-NW. I never did see the deer, even while trying to use my binoculars. I believe the deer just got up and headed further North to the bottom of the hill/ledge towards the smaller creek bottom away from me and from there, who knows where they went. I only have a few shooting lanes as potential opportunities for me and none of them ended up crossing either one of them.
This area is well known for bedded deer nearby, over the top of the hill/ledge to the North, in the wild overgrown field to the NW, and on the other side of the main creek, to the South. Basically, my setup is right in the middle of all those different bedding areas. Below is a collage of photographs that basically depicts a 360-degree view from the stand.
Usually when I hunt that location, I try to get in there as early as possible because of the bedded deer in the area. Today, I kind of I pushed it a bit, a little later than usual in getting setup than what I prefer, but it all work out in the end.
I left my climber at the base of tree because I am going to do a morning hunt there tomorrow. You can bet that I will be getting in there well before legal time. With that said, I say good night to you all and you can expect me to report back here once again tomorrow with another update to my journal.
Wednesday – October 28, 2020 – ‘Beating the Rain’:
Well, I tried to get back in time to do an evening hunt, but I did not make it.
I did do a morning hunt though. Same spot that I hunted yesterday evening, back in my climber. The weather conditions were basically the same, no wind, cloudy overcast, warm & humid. I did not see nor hear anything but just some busy squirrels.
I got in early with no issues. I ended the hunt at 9:30 a.m., which was my 14th sit of the season, only my 10th on the property right next store to my home.
So far, I have hunted out of four of the six tree-stand hang-on setups that I have in place thus far. I have not been to the other two since summer.
While on my hike back to my workshop this morning, I came across a few more fresh tree rubs, basically one complete rub-line that leads straight to the back of my property.
Since were supposed to get over 2” of rain over the next 24 hrs., I went a grabbed most of the cut firewood out of the bottom of the creek that I cut up the other day. I also cut some more trees down and filled my pickup nice & tight. Now I must unload it, stack it and hand split whatever pieces that need it. After that, I’m sure I’ll need a big break for at least a day.
Trust me, I’m already beat. Just taken a short break to update my journal before I start to unload the truck.
Friday will be most likely the next time I get out to do another hunt.
Thursday – October 29, 2020 – ‘WHAT I DID FOR THE DEER IN THE HEAVY RAIN’:
This afternoon, I went and replenished some corn at the bait station and swapped SD cards out of the TCs that cover that area.
I made a video that captured the yearling Doe that I bumped the other day when I headed out for an evening hunt, on the 27th.
At the end of the video, you will get to see the deer get spooked by me even though I saw her first, knowing that I was going to push her away when I reached the smaller creek that connects to the main creek at the end of my property.
After I hiked another 30+ yards beyond that point of where you last see me in the video, I bumped what I believe is the yearling Doe’s brother, a little button. He too was on his way towards the bait station area and I am confident that the two of them meet up together shortly afterwards.
Since I am pretty much rained out for today to do a hunt and I am searching to just kill time, I thought I’d follow up this story from my evening hunt that I posted previously.
The video contains music, ‘Disturbed - The Vengeful One’, which has been added to my ‘Whitetail Deer 2020’ music playlist collection.
Video description: Me replenishing the bait station area during the steady heavy rain today, and I swapped out SD cards from the TCs that cover the area. I bumped a yearling Doe at the bait station the other day while heading out for an evening hunt. At the end of the video, at the top of the video image, you will get to see me heading out with my climber for the hunt. No bucks have showed up the past couple of days at the bait station, but all the adult Does and yearlings are still showing up regularly, night and during daytime hours. No Adult Doe yearling separation yet, but I expect it to happen soon.
I am planning on doing an all day hunt tomorrow and perhaps many more in the near future.
I am expecting the newcomers/roamers to start showing up in the area over the next week or so, which means I will be spending a whole lot more time in the stands, hoping to see a good shooter. Last year I missed out on an opportunity when one of them went right underneath two of my setups at the noon hour. I hunted that morning. It will not happen to me again this year I tell you!
I feel that I am ready as I'll ever be to successfully harvest a good buck off this property that I have been trying so hard to do some quality deer management the past four years. I think it's starting to pay off.
Trust me, I am completely looking forward to the next two weeks in the deer woods. To say that I am excited would be an understatement. I am absolutely thrilled to get after it!
So, stay tuned and be on the lookout for my updates. I will try my best to do them daily, time permitted of course.
Until then, good luck to all of you that will also be out there trying to make it happen.
Friday – October 30, 2020 – ‘What a fantastic day in the deer woods’:
This morning I got settled in early with no problems at my ‘Northwestern Stand’.
At 7:45 a.m. was my first deer sighting, which was a small buck that came from the NE, at the bottom of the hill and hit the PLB underneath me. Shortly after, he put nose to the ground and trucked his way right up the hill into the thick honeysuckle patch just South of me, approximately 20-25 yards away and bumped two antlerless deer out of their beds that were within them.
Apparently, those deer were bedded within those honeysuckles when I walked by them much early in the dark without utilizing any light. I estimate that I got within 20 yards of them at that time. Trust me, I was utterly astonished to see those deer pop up out of their beds at that location when that buck bumped them out. Obviously, the ground was completely saturated still from all the rain we received over the past 24hrs. or better when I walked in this morning.
Anyhow, those two antlerless deer, one adult and the other a yearling, boogied further up the hill and into the open field to get away from that small basket rack eight-point buck. That is when I started to glass the field because when those deer reached the open field, they stopped briefly and looked intensely towards the middle of the field. I glassed over to where they were approximately looking and saw two more antlerless deer in the middle of the field, standing SW of me heading SE, again, one adult and another yearling.
Once the little buck reached the field, he grunted several times with his nose lowered to the ground and started trailing those first two antlerless deer. Those two wanted nothing to do with that buck and so they high tailed it straight across the field quickly, due South and into the woods on the opposite side of the open field. The buck did not bother to give chase, but instead he focused his attention on other two antlerless to the SW, in the middle of the field and headed straight to them. Those two antlerless deer saw him coming, turned back around and went quickly towards the road, to the West and then crossed it, straight into the cut cornfield. They kept right moving without stopping, still very quickly to the back of the cornfield where I could not see them anymore and that little buck was hot on their trail.
All that happened within the first half an hour of my hunt, roughly from about 7:45 – 8:10 a.m. this morning. After that, I did not see anymore deer.
I ended my morning hunt at 10:30 a.m., climbed down, then I went and swapped out the SD card that overlooks the PLB just yards away from my tree-stand. After that, I hiked it all the way back home to my workshop tracing my original path from earlier this morning.
After taking care of my animals once I changed into regular work clothes first, I grabbed my tree pruner and cut down some small pine branches from one of our pine trees so I could replenish my ‘Crow’s Nest’ (Tree-stand concealment hanger system) that is attached just below my ‘Western Stand’.
I also swapped out the SD card in the TC that covers the PLB at the setup right after I hung those branches just underneath my tree-stand. I use pine branches for the long-lasting concealment late into the season, and for some scent control as well since I have both the PLB and pine trees in the area.
The following video is the latest update from both my ‘Pine Licking Branches’ that I hung a months ago - 10/25-30.
Video starts off with someone unfamiliar running their Beagles in the area, right at one of my setups. This is an update of the two PLBs that I have setup at two different locations over the past five days. The first half is PLB #1 and the second half is PLB #2. One decent buck hitting PLB #2 during daylight.
This evening, with the NW wind and the outdoor temperature dropping, I headed to my ‘Northern CRP Stand’. I got settled in again with no issues about a quarter till five.
By 5:30 p.m., I see a group of four antlerless deer making their way through the CRP field from the West, heading slowly to the E-NE, in the middle of the CRP field. Each of them got within 25 yards of me at some point as they continued their journey towards E-NE corner of the CRP field and finally out of sight.
(Four antlerless deer in the top photo @35yrds., then a single deer in the bottom two within 20yrds., one antlerless and one small buck. These are just a few of several that I encountered this evening.)
As they were passing though, four more antlerless deer showed up right underneath me that came from a thick bedding area within the wooded area behind me, from the NE. They kind of caught me off guard because I was glassing that first group when I turned around in my stand and noticed them right underneath me. They were oblivious that I was above them, however I froze in place anyways and did not make any sudden movements until they got much further away from me, heading slowly towards my home/bait station, to the West.
Then it seemed like every five minutes after all of that activity, a deer would pop up out of their beds within the CRP field just to the SW, all within bow range. One right after another, from about 6:05 – 6:30 p.m. At least three or four of them came from that area, all within 20 yards of each other. Each one of them headed towards my home/bait station area.
Shortly after those deer were out of sight, I see a small buck walking down through the middle of the main creek, coming from the back of my property heading down the creek towards me. I lost sight of him momentarily until he jumped up onto the South side of creek shelf and headed towards the CRP field that I was hunting. Once he reached the CRP field, he poked through the woods approximately 25 yards away. He continued to make his way through the field heading further South straight to the other side and then out of sight.
Finally, at 6:45 p.m., another small basket rack buck hopped up onto the South creek shelf, due North of me and was heading straight to me. Once he reached the main deer trail, which crosses right in front of my tree at 15 yards and it too leads out into the CRP field, he turned onto that deer trail and did the same and the previous buck once he reached the field. He cut straight across through the CRP heading further South. He was the last deer I saw tonight.
So, today, I encountered three small bucks and approximately a dozen antlerless deer or more. Nearly all the deer were within bow range and I could have shot most anyone of them, but I didn’t. I cannot believe that not one of them winded me today because they all came at me from different directions pretty much. Not once did any of the deer acted alarmed, which is wonderful thing!
Anyways, I had a lot of fun in the stands today and learned a few things too. I am mainly after a good buck that I hope to shoot with my bow off this property. The other deer tag that I have will be for an antlerless deer harvest utilizing my muzzleloader during the muzzy season, which should tag me out for my county if I do get my buck first.
I intend to hunt all weekend long, so you should expect regular updates going forward for the next couple of weeks, or until I successfully harvest a good buck.
Saturday – October 31, 2020 – ‘BRING ON NOVEMBER!’:
Today, I hunted out my ‘Western Stand’, which another setup where I have a ‘Pine Licking Branch’ hung.
This is an area where the property that I hunt closest to my home begins and typically any cruising newcomers that makes their way to our local herd usually comes through this area and/or leaves the property through this area. I have posted examples of previous years’ big roaming bucks that were captured on my TCs in the same area.
I intend to spend a fair amount of time in this stand over the course of the next couple of weeks hoping to get an opportunity to take down any big roaming buck that attempts to hit the property.
I hunted for a few hours this morning. I had no issues getting to my stand through the creek bottom without utilizing my headlamp. The moon was full and beautiful this morning, which made it very easy to make my way to my stand.
As soon as it was legal time, I saw a yearling along the edge of the open field, approximately 70 yards away grazing in the field.
Moments later, I saw a large adult Doe making her way from the cut cornfield across the road, crossed the road and into the same open field. She hustled right to the yearling.
Both continued to graze in the field for a few more minutes before turning into the woods, much closer to my ‘Northwestern Stand’, which is approximately 200 yards away.
30 minutes after they left the area, two more deer came from across the open field, from the South, heading straight towards me, then they turned NE within the field and headed towards the woods. They entered the woods approximately 90 yards away. I was able to glass them and watched them head towards my home, most likely to the bait station.
I climbed down shortly thereafter, around 9:15 a.m. because I had some morning errands to take care of this morning.
Midafternoon, I headed back out to the same stand for the rest of the day. I got settled in with no issues around 3:00 p.m.
I ended falling asleep in the stand for about an hour and a half. It is a very comfortable stand and with the afternoon breeze in my face and the warm sunshine at my back, I got me a good nice nap in. So, I really have no idea if I had any deer action around me during that time, however I doubt that there was any really. I base my assumption on the history of TC captures during that time of day.
I ended up waking up a little bit before 5:00 p.m., bright eyed bushytailed all ready to go.
A few minutes before 6:00 p.m., I hear leaf rustling right behind me. I slowly turned my head and see a little Button Buck coming right to my tree from the West.
He ended up walking right underneath me and then stopped right out in front me at a few Honeysuckle shrubs. He ate leaves off them for a little bit and then continued to slow walk while still grazing along the way towards my home/bait station. The bait station is approximately 250 yards away from my setup I hunted out of today.
10 minutes later, I see an adult doe and a yearling cut across the open field to my South. They head straight towards my ‘Northwestern Stand’ once again. They did not bother to graze this time within the field first.
About 20 minutes later, the same button shows back up out in front of me again. I watch him continue to nibble away on any green vegetation that was near him. He slowly worked his way around to the ‘Pine Licking Branch’ and hit it too.
After that, he walked back underneath me again, right after he pulled a few more leaves of the Honeysuckle shrub just below me, then back towards the West where he originally came from about an hour earlier.
(A short 3-minute video clip of the Button hitting the PLB and walking back to his original destination.)
Then after that, I see perhaps the same two deer I saw earlier this morning once again come for the cut cornfield across the road and ran into the open field to my South, an adult Doe and yearling. The yearling then suddenly turned back around for whatever reason and wanted to go back to where it originally came from. The adult Doe was much further out into the open field when the yearling turned around. The adult Doe acted like she was freaking out when she saw the yearling trying to cross the road. The adult Doe finally caught up to the yearling at the road and both crossed back over the road again heading W-SW towards the cornfield edge.
And that was it for my evening hunt for today.
So, in total, I saw what I believe are the same four deer I saw this morning, eight separate deer sightings, but again, I think it was a total of four deer altogether for the day. I expect things to heat up more next week for my area.
Tomorrow, I intend to be back out in a stand somewhere. I just need to figure out which ones right after this post.
Sunday – November 1, 2020 – ‘What A Windy Day, & Snow TOO':
This morning I hiked to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ and got settle in early with no issues, however the NW winds were most definitely blustery and fierce the entire time throughout my hunt.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., as I just sat down under the moonlight that poked through the clouds, I could make out deer that were out into the open field straight away to the SW. At least a small group of four possibly more. I could not tell exactly how many there were even though I tried my best to glass them under those low light conditions. I estimate when I first spotted them, there were approximately 100 yards away.
Throughout the next half hour, I continued to watch them through my binoculars as the slowly made their way through the middle of the field heading E -NE.
As soon as the sun started to rise, I definitely could see them better, however by that time they made their way around the corner of the wooded finger that goes out into the field. I could tell that they were still within the open field, but I still had difficulty trying to count just how many of them there were because of the several trees that were between us that obstructed my view.
As they continued to move slowly, heading in the direction towards the North wooded/field edge, at the top of the wooded hill/ledge, I figured they were heading to the lower CRP field, which is at the bottom of the wooded hill/ledge. That lower CRP field edge is approximately 70 yards do East from the setup that I was in. Eventually, they ended up out of sight somewhere around 7:15 a.m. and I was not positive where they ended up going.
About 45 minutes later, I see a small young buck coming from the East at the bottom of that wooded hill/ledge, right where those deer previously headed, marching right towards me on a main deer trail that leads right underneath my stand. I quickly reached for my cellphone and made a short video clip of the encounter and took a couple field photographs of him as well.
Basically, the young buck appeared to be on a mission when he crossed right below me, in between the PLB and my tree, while on the main deer trail that eventually leads out to the open field to the South. After he passed the PLB, he put his nose to the ground and attempted to track whatever odor he acquired. He ended up out of sight just as fast as he approached my area. He was the only deer within bow range this morning.
I ended my morning hunt around 9:15 a.m. and headed back to my workshop, although I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see that amount of deer activity with those early morning weather conditions. Supposedly, the wind gusts exceeding 40 mph frequently and the sustained wind was somewhere around 16-20 mph throughout my morning hunt. ________________________________________
This evening, shortly before 3:00 p.m., I got settled into ‘Northern CRP Stand’. The winds were still coming from the N-NW with increased intensity over the morning hours.
I did not see any deer at all this evening, however within the very beginning of the last half hour of legal time, and after the wind conditions got much worse, even with snow flurries, and the wind direction changed, mainly coming from the West, which pushed my scent straight into the thick bedding area that is located to the E-NE from my tree, approximately 50 yards away. Shortly thereafter, I heard a deer within that bedding area do a couple of soft blows. It was not any kind of a roaring blow, more of a soft like blow, and I would say that the deer blew maybe three or four times altogether, then stopped.
Right after that, the weather became drastically much worse, like blizzard snow conditions worse!
(Photo taken @5:40 p.m., When it first started to snow and it picked up significantly shortly thereafter from when the photo was taken.)
So, as you can imagine, I immediately climbed down, approximately 15 minutes before legal quitting time, and hiked my way home through the creek bottom without seeing or hearing anymore deer. I truly felt it was not feasible to attempt any kind of a shot at any deer with those extreme type weather conditions.
In conclusion for the day, I saw at least five deer, perhaps there were even more within that first morning group of antlerless deer, but I cannot be totally sure, and I heard one this evening within 50 yards of me, and I could not see that one that was inside that thick bedding area.
Tomorrow is another in paradise and I will be in a tree somewhere, both morning and evening. You can bet on it!
This morning I made it out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ early with no issues.
As soon as it got to be legal time, I saw a big Doe to the East at the bottom of the hill heading NW, quartering towards me. Once she got within bow range, she stopped and looked back to see where her two young ones were. Both of them were lagging behind by about 30 yards, one approximately 30 yards to the East and the other was closer to the big Doe, but back further, much closer to the lower CRP field, approximately 50+ yards away.
I continued to watch them for about 10 minutes before the big Doe turned back East, straight towards the lower CRP field. The other two little ones followed, however still lagging behind by about 30-50 yards, then eventually all of them were out of sight just before sunup.
Shortly thereafter, I started to not feel very well. Both my chest area and the middle of my back started to stiffen up real tight, preventing me to take in a full breath of air. I have arthritis in both my chest and back area caused from a past injury, an auto accident back in the early 90’s where I shattered all my ribs, both front and back, plus broke my entire sternum in half. I haven’t had this problem in quite some time but do to all the cold wind and bitter cold temperatures that past couple of days, along with climbing up and down into trees, this morning my upper body got super stiff and tight. It wasn’t that I was cold per say, it was caused by the cool damp weather that we received that past couple of days and got to my inner bones and the calcium deposits from those old injuries, both my chest and back rib bones that connect to my sternum an spin got real aggravated, which caused them to stiffen up to the point where I couldn’t explained my rib cage to catch my breath. It feels like having the wind knock out of you basically, and it is pretty painful.
So, I climbed down from my tree way early, approximately 8:00 a.m., went over and swapped out the SD card in the TC that covers the PLB setup and set the clock back an hour.
Then I hiked over to my ‘Western Stand’, where the other PLB is hung, swapped the SD card in that TC and set the clock back an hour. Then I hiked home through the creek bottom afterwards.
After I changed into my regular work cloths once I made it home, I grabbed a couple of ibuprofens and quick bite for breakfast. Took it easy in the workshop for a few hours next to the warm woodstove. I started to feel a little better after a couple of hours, however I was pretty sure I couldn’t pull my bow back just yet. I was still stiff in my upper body.
Then I decided to go swap out the SD cards in all the TCs at the bait station and set the clocks back for daylight savings.
After that, I ate a sandwich for lunch and took a couple more ibuprofens. Went through all the pulled SD cards, made a couple of videos of the latest deer activity in the area.
One video is the latest of deer activity at both the PLBs, which shows more daylight bucks. The first half is PLB #1 and the second half is PLB #2. The other is of THUNDER at the bait station from last night. Both videos contain music and each of them have been added to my ‘Whitetail Deer 2020’ music playlist on my YouTube channel. The PLB video is 10 minutes long, the other is 4.
After I uploaded those videos, I went inside the house and took a long hot shower. After I got dressed once again, I grabbed my compound bow, walked out to my target range, stood 30 yards away from my target, launch a couple of arrows and it did not feel too bad by then in both my chest and back area. I felt that I could go back out for an evening hunt so, I got ready around 2:30 p.m.
I got bundled up pretty good in some of my heavy hunting clothes, then hiked my way back down through the creek bottom towards my ‘Western Stand’ once again.
I got settled in a little bit before 3:00 p.m. with no issues.
The first deer that I saw was ‘SHYBUCK’ @4:20 p.m. (in the lower right photo above). He is a buck that I named way back because he typically hung out with THUNDER most of the year, prior to the deer season. I believe he too is a three-year-old 8pt deer with a nice symmetrical rack, but the basket is still small yet. Like THUNDER, I would like to see him make it another year or two. I believe by that time; he will be a worthy mature trophy deer to harvest.
Basically, ‘SHYBUCK’ presented me a perfect opportunity at 25 yards, broadside, but he got the ‘free pass’ with no hesitation.
Then around 5:00 p.m., I saw antlerless deer out into the open field to my South on the opposite side, two different small groups. Shortly thereafter, another group stepped out from where my 'Northwestern Stand' is, approximately 200 yards away.
Throughout the course of the rest of my hunt, there was approximately 15 deer seen altogether that I watched until quitting time, including a small buck that rounded up the three different groups of antlerless of three. He literally dogged every one of them until he herded them all into one large group. Then I watched them all single file, one by one nose to tail go into the woods right where my ‘Northwestern Stand’ is set up.
Then over the last half hour, I watched three more antlerless deer walk out from the woods, approximate 40 yards away from me to the SE, and slow walked out into the South open field. They grazed within that field until it was almost quitting time. I watched them cross the road and into the cut cornfield and finally out of sight.
I climbed down right after those deer left the area and hiked back down through the creek bottom once again to my workshop.
So, for the little better of the four hours that I hunted today, I saw approximately 20 deer. Most of them antlerless. Just two bucks and one of those bucks was within bow range. Three of the antlerless, maybe six in total were within bow range for the entire day.
Tomorrow, I will be back at it again, in a tree somewhere. Still looking that big boy that will make heart throb and knees knock.
Tuesday – November 3. 2020 – ‘ELECTION DAY HUNTS’:
Basically, today hunts were somewhat identical with regards to locations, however there was a big difference in the lack luster amount of deer sightings for the day. It started off pretty much the same, however it did not end the same. This evening's hunt was extremely slow.
(Morning Moon, sunrise and sunset)
So, this morning I hunted out my ‘Northwestern Stand’ and got settled in with no issues.
At 6:45 a.m., two young bucks flew into my area from the NW on a dead run and never stopped for a moment while they passed right underneath my tree, heading SE towards the lower SW corner of CRP field.
Within seconds, another young buck came in from the same location, lagging way behind the other two, and stopped briefly before reaching the PLB area, looked around a bit, which it appeared to me he was trying to find the other two that just previously came through, then continued to fast track in the same direction as the other two, to the lower SW corner of the CRP field.
I was able to get a few quick photographs of the third young buck plus a 30 second video clip that shows him on the fast track looking for those other two bucks.
Amazingly, that was all the deer I seen this morning.
There was so much deer activity during the previous evening, I believe all the deer today decided to sleep in this morning.
Also, I noticed that the scape just underneath the PLB was freshened up quite a bit and got a whole lot bigger overnight. That activity should show up on my TC that covers it and will be in the next ‘PINE LICKING BRANCHES’ update video, which will be available in a couple more days. Ditto for the other PLB locations as well. It too got bigger with two in total freshened up scrapes that I notice this evening.
I ended my hunt about 9:15 a.m. and headed back to my workshop with a little bit of pain again in the middle of my back from arthritis, although it was not nearly as bad as it was yesterday.
Around 11:00 a.m., I went to vote at our local election polling place. I was in and out of there in a matter of minutes. The volunteers did a fantastic job in managing the entire process. It was a pleasant experience despite all the CV-19 precautions/mandates that were in place.
After I voted, I ate lunch, took care of a few chores, then got dressed again to go back out to my ‘Western Stand’ for the rest of the day and hunt.
I got settled in right at 2:00 p.m. with no issues.
I did not see my first deer until 5:15 p.m., which were three antlerless deer, one adult and two yearlings.
They came out of the same creek bottom that I was hunting, but on the other side of the road, to the West and started to graze within the cut cornfield.
I continued to watch them make there way towards the South open alfalfa field on my side of the road after about 20 minutes of grazing within the cornfield.
When they reached the field on my side of the road, they continued to graze within the alfalfa field. They got as close as 50-60 yards to me. They casually worked their way towards my ‘Northwestern Stand’ and by the time they reached that location, it was quitting time.
I climbed down shortly thereafter and headed home.
So, for today, I saw a total of six deer for the seven hours roughly of hunting. Three bucks within bow range, at 10 yards, and three antlerless that were out of bow range, just barely.
I also saw plenty of squirrels and few Cottontails right underneath me. And Oh, I almost forgot. I also watch our Mailman stop his mail-truck right along the side of the road next to the South open alfalfa field, step out of the truck and relieved himself. That was a rather unusual encounter I must say. He had no clue I was up in a tree yards away while he was intensely looking around for anyone that might be coming down the road. I thought about yelling at him for a moment, but then I immediately thought otherwise . I did not want to freak him out.
Tomorrow, I think I will attempt to mix things up just a bit. Might be in a climber somewhere for an evening hunt. We shall see.
Wednesday – November 4, 2020 – ‘POST ELECTION CHAOS’:
This morning, after one cup of coffee and seeing all the chaos regarding the post national election results on the TV news, I got dressed into my hunting clothes, grabbed my bow, then took off to my ‘Northwestern Stand’.
I got settled in with no issues about 15 minutes before legal time.
I did not see my first deer until 8:20 a.m. The best buck encounter to date this season thus far. I did however hear a loud limb snap about an hour earlier, which I believe was caused by a deer in the area that I did not see to the North within 100 yards.
( First photo is looking to the East, where this morning's buck came from. The second photo is where he stopped and turned, leaving me no opportunity really beyond the big trees.)
Basically, the decent buck came from the East, heading West right along the bottom of the hill, heading somewhat towards me, but he hugged to the very bottom of that hill, staying well within good cover.
Once he reached the area where the hill/woods reach out further into the open alfalfa field just to my South, kind of like a finger, he turned in that direction and then stopped briefly broadside at 30 yards.
His head was facing to the South, so I only got a brief look at the right side of him. I could tell that both his body size and right-side frame was enough for me to consider. He was a 10pt. frame type of buck.
I already had my bow in my hand ready to go but realized that I had no shot opportunity because of all the tree limbs that were between us. So, I watched him continue to climb the rest of the hill. I then quickly swapped the bow for my binoculars and tried to get a much better look of him, however he already reached the top of the hill at that point and all I got to see was his big ass as he walked out into the open alfalfa field, then quickly trotted straight across to the other side where he then entered those woods, right where my ‘Southwestern Stand’ is set up. He has a decent spread to his rack too, but I could not tell if it was THUNDER or not because I could not see the brow tines.
It was a very brief encounter and it all happened in a matter seconds because he was on the march and had specific destination in mind based on his behavior. The brief encounter was just long enough to raise my blood pressure though, no doubt!
I hunted for another hour afterwards and did not see any more deer so, I packed up and headed home.
At 11:00 a.m., I jumped into the truck and drove out to our alfalfa field, to the southwest side of the property, and hand hauled all the cut firewood that I cut and stacked at the bottom of the South creek a week ago. It took me two in half hours to completely fill the back of my pickup because I hand carryed each piece from the creek, through woods and placed into the bed of the truck, approximately a 50 yard hike one way. My truck looked like a low rider vehicle with all the hard-heavy walnut and other type hardwood pieces loaded in it. I have a dozen pieces left at the creek bottom that need to be split first because they were too big and too heavy for me to carry. I’ll do that tomorrow afternoon.
(Notice the mud flaps touching the ground. She was heavy. I unloaded her and stacked the wood just before this post.)
Once I got to the shop, I realized I didn’t have time to unload the truck and stack it so, I left it all in the bed of the truck until after my evening hunt, took a quick shower, got dressed again into my hunting clothes, then headed out to my ‘Southwestern Stand’ because I wanted to see if I could catch up with that buck I saw go underneath that stand earlier this morning. To read more about any of the details of my evening hunting strategy to hopefully catch up with this morning’s buck, click the following hyperlink below. I posted it in the ‘LIVE from the stand 2020-21’ thread.
I ended up getting settled into my ‘Southwestern Stand’ with no issues right around 3:00 p.m.
The first deer that I saw stepped out of the woods on the opposite side of the field, which was a nanny Doe and young one. I watched them for about 20 minutes when I noticed another deer that stepped out from the same location. It was a young 8pt buck. All three of them were grazing within the field just yards away from the northern wooded/field edge.
(The first two deer that stepped out from the woods across the field. From that moment on, the deer activity went through the roof and well after quitting time.)
After a little while, I did a few buck grunts, hoping to draw any deer out of the bedding area from the South, just on the other side of the small creek behind me, where this morning’s buck went to bed I'm certain.
Well, those few grunts drew the attention of the three deer across the field. The nanny doe crossed the field quickly and came right to me, then got within 10 yards looking intensely for where those grunts were coming from, down into the woods around me.
I thought about shooting her right then, but I recognized that she is the other targeted doe on my hitlist so, I thought otherwise because I want to keep her around for the full blown rut action and hopefully she'll help draw out those bigger bucks. Plus, I originally intended to hunt her during the muzzy season and try to get my second muzzy harvest ever with my gifted muzzleloader.
Anyways, that doe was very persistent, and she would not give me any room to move or observe any of the other deer activity taking place across the field. I had to minimize my movement tremendously while she was right underneath me, trying to find what made that noise.
I eventually looked away from her for a moment and towards the NE corner of the alfalfa field and that is when I saw three more deer step out from the woods into the corner of the field. Two decent bucks and the third I could not identify because it was behind the other two and much closer to the woods, and it was starting to get pretty dark.
Meanwhile, that nanny doe that was still underneath me, walking back and forth and sometimes in circles out in front of me within the alfalfa field just yards away, still looking intensely down towards the woods, trying to find what was making those grunts sounds. Finally, she gave up and worked her way back out into the middle of the field after several minutes.
By that time, I could only make out the just silhouettes of deer out in the middle of the alfalfa field because it was after quitting time and plenty dark. I was able to count up to roughly ten deer within the alfalfa field out in front of me grazing, watching through my binoculars, but I also seen some deer running around as well. Perhaps some of those bucks were doing some chasing too.
Then I heard movement coming from the bedding area to my South, just on the other side of the small creek. I could not see it, but I could tell it was a single deer moving slowing across the creek and up through the main deer trail that goes right underneath my tree. I heard the deer slowly make its way out into the alfalfa field right front of me, but again, I could not tell what kind of deer it was due to the darkness, even with my binoculars.
After about another 10 minutes later and not hearing any more movement underneath or around me, I packed everything up, lowered my bow to the ground and finally climbed down the tree as quietly as I could.
The only time I used my minor light was when I hit the ground to find my bow and unhook it from the handline while kneeling on the ground.
Then I quietly worked through the 10 yards of honeysuckles to get to the edge of the alfalfa field without using my minor light. After I reached the field, I paused for moment and listened to anything that sounded like deer movement near me. I did not hear any so, I slowly walked towards the road, to the West, staying within the lower elevation points of the alfalfa field, hoping that none of those deer would blow at me.
Well, not a single deer blew at me while I made it all the way through the entire field and reached the road.
Then I continued the rest of my hike all the way home, still without using my minor light with no issues.
In conclusion for today and the 5 ½ hrs. total hunted, I estimate the I saw at least 11 deer, but I bet there were more after quitting time, I just could not see them, and at least three within bow range.
One adult doe @10 yards a few times, one decent buck @30 yards and the third was right underneath me, but unidentifiable because it was too dark to tell. It could have been the same buck that I encountered this morning, but I cannot say for sure.
I gonna try to make this brief as best as I can because I am tired tonight.
Hunted out my Northwestern Stand both morning and evening.
Sunrise with 3 antlerless deer to the North and 1 buck to the West when taken.
Sunset with 3 antlerless deer along the wooded/field edge in the middle of the photograph when taken.
On my way into the stand this morning, I bumped 3 deer just to the SE by yards, completely within bow range and received two minor deer blows because I do not believe they knew what I was because I was down wind of them.
As soon as I made into my stand, I see a buck cruising right along the wooded/field edge heading W-NW. He passes by both my field shooting windows, but stopped briefly at the biggest one @6:26 a.m.
At the same time, 3 antlerless deer within bow range are slowly working their way towards my home/bait station, heading NE, at the bottom of the hill within the wooded area.
(This morning's young 8pt buck encounter.)
15 minutes later, the 8pt young buck (photo above) that cruised the wooded/field edge worked his way back, still with his nose to the ground. This time, he stepped into the woods briefly at my best shooting window, which is also the main deer trail the leads down to the PLB #1, and I got a good look at him. He only made a few steps into the woods, then turned back around and back out into the field once again to continue his journey back to where he originally came from, which was to the very back of the alfalfa field and back into the woods, SE from my setup by about 130 yards.
That was all deer activity that I saw this morning.
I climbed down at 9:00 a.m. and swapped out the SD card in the TC that covers PLB #1, then hiked over to my ‘Western Stand’ and swapped out he SD card in that TC which covers PLB #2, then I hike the rest of the way home through the creek bottom.
Below is the latest compiled TC photographs video update of the local deer activity at both the PLBs, plus a couple of coyotes. It's seven in a half minutes long. The first half is PLB #1 (Northwestern Stand), and the second half is PLB #2 (Western Stand). THUNDER has been hitting PLB #2 lately. The local closed basket rack buck is the only one out of the local deer herd I would possibly consider harvesting. He is a decent eight and the video cover is a photo pic of him.
Plus two more good tunes added to my 'Whitetail Deer 2020' music playlist.
This afternoon around 2:30 p.m., I headed back out to my ‘Northwestern Stand’ once again for an evening hunt. I got settled in just before 3:00 p.m. with no issues.
At 4:15 p.m., I see two antlerless deer to the NE, within bow range, grazing at the bottom of the hill within the wooded area. They continued to graze slowing towards the West, heading to the open alfalfa field.
I watched both the button buck and young doe step out into the alfalfa field shortly before 5:00 p.m. Moments later, I see another antlerless deer join them within the field, an adult doe. Each of them continued to graze within the field along the wooded/field edge for the next half hour. Eventually, all three of them crossed my best shooting window out to the alfalfa field at 30-35 yards away, heading South.
Shortly after all three of them made it passed that shooting window, one by one laid down and bedded within the field right along the wooded/field edge, approximately 30 yards away to the West form me. They remained bedded until shortly after quitting time, got up and began grazing once again while slowly working their way out further into the field, towards the middle.
(Same photo, but edited to show where the deer were bedded 30 yards straight out in front of me until quitting time.)
I waited until I could no longer see those deer any more through my binoculars, packed everything up and climbed down. Then I slowly and quietly worked my way up the hill, through the woods towards the alfalfa field without my miner light on. Once I reached the edge of the field, I took my tactical flashlight, turned it on and scanned the field quickly. I was able to see the three deer that were previously bedded in front of me, much further out into the middle of the field and more to the South, by about 70-80 yards away, and I also saw another deer, also to the South, but more to the SW, and closer to the opposite side of the field near the woods. After I found out where the deer were, I began to hike out into the field towards the road, which is to the West, by approximately 300 yards. I was nearly to the road when I saw three more deer that just crossed the road from the cut cornfield and into the same field I was trying to exit. Now at that time, those deer were between me and my home, so, I waited a bit to give them some time to get further out into the alfalfa field and away from the road before I continued my hike home.
I finally made back to my workshop by 7:00 p.m. due to all the deer activity right after quitting time within the immediate area, which prevented me from getting home at a normal time.
So, in conclusion for the day, I hunted roughly 6 ½ hrs. and saw 14 deer total. Two bucks and 12 antlerless with nearly everyone of them within bow range, but still no rutting taking place yet.
Hunted back out in my ‘Northwestern Stand’ for nearly the entire day today. I broke for lunch around noon, then back in it again around a quarter to three. I got settled in with no issues in each time.
I did not see my first deer today until 7:20 a.m., which was what I thought to be a shooter buck that came from the West through the wooded area, North of my tree by about 50+ yards, heading East. I watched him stop and make a new scrape, then lick the branches right above it. In fact, he did that two other times within a 30 yards radius. He also did a tree rub somewhere in between them. Most all of that took place just NE of my tree by about 50+ yards. When he completed his second scrape, he turned towards me, thinking he was going hit the PLB, but instead he went to the main deer trail and made another new scrape right in the trail and licked the branches right above it, which he was right at 30 yards away at that time, just to the East, however there where too many tree branches between us for me to make an attempted to shoot him, but I was ready to. After he completed that scrape, he turned back around to the East, towards the lower CRP field, on a mission because I tried to call him back towards me with a few buck grunts, but it didn’t faze him. He just kept right on going and finally out of sight. Perhaps he didn’t hear me because my grunt call is garbage and I need a new one.
15 minutes later, an adult nanny doe and a young doe came flying out of the CRP field and straight towards me. Both made their way out into the alfalfa field to the West. Below are a couple of cellphone image captures of those two. One photograph of the adult doe within my shooting window out to the field and the other of the young doe running for her life from what I presume is that buck that entered CRP field moments prior, perhaps both the does were bedded in there someplace? Both does continued to travel W-NW towards my ‘Western Stand’ location and finally out of sight.
Approximately a half an hour later, two more antlerless deer ran underneath my tree coming from the same are, the lower CRP field and they were on a dead run. They basically did the same as the first two, however instead of heading West, they turned South across the alfalfa field and into the woods on the opposite side.
25 minutes after those deer, two more ran out from the same area as the previous four, from the lower CRP field, coming from the NE and headed South, up through the wooded hill/ridge to the SE of me. I could not tell where exactly they went afterwards because it happened so fast, just in a matter of seconds.
Then at 10:10 a.m., I hear some leaf crunching to my S-SE, I turned to look and I see a good buck standing there in the middle of the hill/ridge side, within the wooded finger area, looking intensely into the honeysuckle patch just to my South. I recognized the buck immediately, whom I named ‘SHYBUCK’, my second encounter with him within a week. I quickly grabbed my cellphone and made another video of the entire encounter of him trailing a young doe that he was harassing. The video is just over 25 minutes in length, but it’s a good video if you like seeing any good buck track down a young doe. He literally walked right under my ladder stand, and I believe 'SHYBUCK' has allergies. If you watch the video, you see what I mean. It's a good one.
After all of that, I watched both deer bed down approximately 70 yards to the North, at the bottom of the hill within some thick cover and plenty of shade. Both just yards apart from each other.
I climbed down shortly afterwards and broke for lunch.
I headed back out at 2:30 p.m. to the same stand for the rest of the day.
After I got settle in, both 'SHYBUCK' and that young doe were no longer bedded in the same place I saw them last. Where they went, I have no idea.
So, I did not see my first deer until 4:50 p.m., which was a good buck that came out of the lower CRP field and stopped at one of the scrapes that this morning’s buck I saw make earlier. He licked the branches right above it and then checked the scrape. He may have been the very same buck I saw this morning, but I am not totally certain. We had a minor fog that hovered right above the ground by just feet. It was difficult to get a real good look at the details of that morning buck, so it could have been that same one.
After he finished up at that scrape, I could tell he was going to make a b-line for the PLB just underneath my stand. So, I grabbed my binoculars to glass him real quick. I recognized the buck immediately, which he is at least a 2 ½ year old decent looking 9pt local buck. I have several TC captures of him.
Then I grabbed my cellphone and captured another great buck encounter for the day at the PLB where he hits it hard.
After he was done with that, he headed West, straight out the alfalfa field. Once he reached the field, he turns NW towards my ‘Western Stand’ where the other PLB is located.
Then I turn back around to glass towards the lower CRP field to the NE and I see a lone antlerless deer making its way to the North around the edge of the CRP field towards my home/bait station.
At 5:20 p.m., that same 9pt buck cruised through both of my alfalfa field shooting windows, heading South, then SE around the wooded finger towards that back of the field.
As I continued to watch that 9pt buck head towards the back of the alfalfa field, I see three more antlerless deer at the very back of it, more towards the middle portion, grazing.
Then I turn to the South again while still glassing the alfalfa field and I see two antlerless deer on a full run heading towards the West with a young buck trailing. That little buck chased those young antlerless deer all over that alfalfa field for the rest of my hunt.
I climbed down immediately after quitting time, while there was still enough light to see out into the alfalfa field where all the deer action was taking place.
Once I saw the little buck and the two does on the opposite side of the field to the South, I walked out into the field, through the middle lower portions and towards the road. I saw to the North a single unidentifiable deer standing there looking towards my direction as I continued my hike to the road.
Not once did any deer blow at me because I honestly believe they could not wind me and I also believe I was far enough away from them while hiking through the low points of the field to be considered recognizable.
In conclusion, the deer sighting total count for the day is 18.
9 in the morning with two bucks within bow range and 7 antlerless with 5 of them within bow range.
9 for this evening with just one buck within bow range. The other buck and all the other antlerless were not.
To date, I believe I have had at least one encounter with nearly all of the local herd bucks thus far this season. I am still waiting for the big roamers to show up any day now. That is what I am hoping for anyways. I base that on history.
With that said, you can expect me to spend my entire weekend in a stand somewhere.