October 29, 2013
Weather: Clear skies, temperatures in the mid 30s
Wind: Light and variable
Time: Dawn – 9:15am
With the heavy winds finally died down and temperatures still on the cool side, I knew that I had to get out in the woods this morning. I set up in the same stand that I hunted on Day 5, which will most likely be my go-to rut spot. The morning started off rather slowly with squirrels running in every direction and a loud murder of crows behind me. Around 8:30am I heard a branch snap behind me. I turned around to see a lone hen turkey working her way across the flat. She seemed to be looking for something as she was chattering the whole way.
At about 8:45, I figured I would not be seeing any deer for today. I was texting a friend to see how his morning hunt was going, when I spotted movement across the trail from me. I could see a decent body size on the deer, so I threw up the binoculars and spotted two more deer behind her. A doe and two button bucks. As they were feeding, I continued to scan the hollow below me for movement, when I realized that there was another deer standing over there as well. I brought up the binoculars again and spotted a decent rack. It looked to be a 12-13″ 7 point with a fairly thick rack. While watching him in the binoculars to judge whether or not I would consider a shot if he came over another deer crossed in front of him. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s the buck that missed two Fridays ago. He walks past the smaller buck, lowers his head at him, drops his ears and takes two steps towards him. The smaller buck immediately backed up, wanting nothing to do with the bigger buck. The big buck then straightened up and turned up the hill. No sooner did he go out of sight did the 7 point start chasing the doe. As soon as they started running, the button bucks took off. The one walked in front of me and stood about 20 yards away. The buck and doe disappeared down over the hill and the woods went silent for a minute or two. The button bucks continued to feed as I once again caught movement on the flat. I spotted through the binoculars the 7 point had come back from the chase and was now munching on acorns. I then spotted the doe about 50 yards up over the hill feeding under an oak tree as well.
While watching to see what the deer would do, I heard a branch snap down over the hill. The button buck in front of me took off running across the road, meeting up with the other button buck before running off to the hollow on the other side of the flat. I scanned the hill below me for movement when I spotted a large bodied deer moving through the saplings. It was another good buck. It looked to be an 8 point with a spread of about 15-16″. A shooter in my book, but as he worked his way up the hill, he also worked away from me, before finally walking out of sight. It was now 9am and the woods were once again quiet. I sat in the tree for another 15 minutes before deciding to call it a day. After all of the action on the other side of the road, I think it is safe to say that I will be hunting over there tomorrow morning.
October 30, 2013
Weather: Cloudy with temperatures in the mid-upper 40s
Wind: Light and mostly out of the East/Northeast
Time Dawn – 9:30am
After yesterday’s action, I moved across the ATV trail and set up in my opening morning spot. On the walk in I jumped a deer along the road. It ran a few yards and then just starred at me as I continued down the trail. As I was climbing my tree, I could hear walking. I turn around and here comes the same deer down the ATV trail. Thinking nothing of it, I continued up the tree with my climbing treestand. Not much longer, I hear the walking again. I turned around and deer is heading right for me on the exact path that I had just walked. I was maybe 12 feet off the ground and I knew it was only a doe, so I continued up the tree and figured if I spook it, it’s not a big deal. Plus, I figured it was probably a fawn with how curious it was acting. I am moving up the tree when I realize that the walking is eerily close. I look down and the deer is at the base of the tree sniffing my bow. It then walks down the hill a little and looks up at me. I was almost done with my climb at this point, but was still adjusting the positioning and the deer was completely unfazed by me. What really surprised me now that it was up close and I could fully see it in my headlamp, it was a definite adult doe. As I continued to get ready for the morning, she worked her way out the flat eating acorns before she finally disappeared before daylight. Definitely one of the stranger pre-light encounters I’ve ever experienced.
Once it got light out, it was a slow morning. The dozens of squirrels that populate the area sounded like elephants as they ran around the flat gathering acorns. Three hen turkeys passed through out of range around 8:30, but other than that it was a quiet morning. The deer never showed up. I climbed down around 9:15am and spent the last 15 minutes opening a few new spotting lanes in preparation for the days ahead. While yesterday made it feel like we were very close to the rut, today made it seem like we are no where close to the rut. With plans to hunt every day for the remainder of the season starting on November 2nd, the best is yet to come and this should be my last double post.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, temperatures in the mid 30s
Wind: 10-15mph swirling between West, South, and North.
Time: Dawn – 10am
I decided that it was time for a change of scenery today and headed up the mountain to a spot that I haven’t hunted since 2010. I have done a lot of scouting each year up here, but always find intriguing sign closer to the truck. The spot rest on the very edge of the property that I hunt and allows me to see for long distances. It also is about 50 yards from a bedding area, so it is only an option in the morning or during an all day hunt. I was hoping to catch a buck heading to the bedding area early on. The winds started blowing hard right away and I knew right then I had made the wrong choice on stand location for the day. I spotted a group of 10-12 does about 150 yards away on the neighboring property, but they never made their way up the mountain and instead bedding in a thicket on the lower flat.
My view from the stand
I sat at the spot until 10am, when I received a text message from a friend of mine about going pheasant hunting. The cold winds made sitting in a tree very much longer pretty undesirable, so I opted for some pheasant hunting. On my way out of the hunting spot, I made sure to take notice of the freshness of the sign in the area. I found a number of fresh scrapes and rubs, which let me know that this area should produce once the winds die down and the rut ramps up.
A nice rub
The pheasant hunting was fun, as we were able to flush quite a few birds. However, not having a dog with us, hurt our chances of actually being able to get shots at the birds. Many of them were flushing way out ahead of us or were running in the opposite direction of us prior to flushing. In the end, we did a lot of walking and each of the three of us were able to take a rooster. With as much bow hunting as I have been doing the last few years, it was a nice change of pace to do something different. It was 4pm until we finished hunting, so I opted to sit out of the tree stand for the evening as the winds were still blowing pretty good.
October 24, 2013
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Temperatures in the mid-upper 30s
Wind: 10-15 mph out of the west
Time: Dawn – 9:30am
I opted for a quick hunt this morning considering I had been hearing about a lot of good deer movement from friends. I set up directly across the road from my opening morning spot in one of my hang-on stands. The wind was blowing hard from the start and the deer stayed low. Even the amount of squirrel activity on the flat was nearly void.
October 25, 2013
Weather: Mostly Sunny with temperatures in the low 50s
Wind: 10-15mph swirling between West and South.
Time: 4pm – Dark
This evening I decided to attempt to slip into my day 2 spot for a chance at hunting close to a bedding area. With the heavy winds, I knew that I could probably slip into the stand undetected. On the walk in, I decided to check my lone trail camera, which is at the day 3 stand. Low and behold I had four different pictures of the buck I ALMOST had last year. Oddly enough he almost looks exactly the same. He was about a 22-23″ wide 7 point last year and this year he appears to be about 25″ wide and again a 7 point with almost identical point length. Definitely a buck that I hope to see this season.
After checking the camera, I made my way down the trail towards my spot. I came up on a thicket that boarders the road when I heard the sound of a deer jumping up in the brush. I quickly threw up my binoculars and wouldn’t you know it, it was the big 8 point that I had missed last Friday. He was bedded approximately 40 yards from where I sat during rifle season last year. That gave me great relief to see that I definitely did not wound him last week and that he was still using the area.
Once he moved out of sight, I continued to my stand. With the loud, crunchy leaves, every step was carefully planned out to ensure that I was as quiet as possible. Fortunately, I made it to my stand without spooking anything. About 30 minutes after getting settled in the stand, I caught movement below me. Here came about twelve turkeys up through the woods. All of them were either hens or this year’s young. Unfortunately, turkey season doesn’t start until the 2nd so I could was watch.
Around 5:30, I heard a branch break behind me. I turned around to see a small deer making its way down the trail. I pulled up my binoculars and sure enough it was a small button buck. I watched him wander around for about 15 minutes, before watching the mother stand up from her bed maybe 50 yards away. I couldn’t believe that she never heard or saw me coming into the spot. The two of them stayed just out of range for the most part before the button buck decided to come to about 5 yards from the base of my tree. Being young, he never looked up and continued down the hill until he was out of sight. The mother doe came to within 25 yards, but it was a little thick for a shot, plus I knew this was the doe and fawn that I had so many pictures of in the summer, so they would be safe tonight.
I spent the remainder of the evening scanning the brush and hillside waiting for something to come down the hill, but that was not to happen tonight. Around 6pm, I about jumped out of my stand at the sound of my Dad’s in-line muzzleloader going offer about 200 yards across the hill. Ten minutes later, I got the “big doe down” text. Once it got dark, I climbed down and went over to help him load up his doe. A nice evening on stand, hopefully the winds will die down soon.