Day 3 – 10/11/14
Time: 5pm to dark
Conditions – Partly cloudy light wind out of the north, Temps mid to low 60s
After the excitement of Thursday evening, my anticipation to get back in my stand on my property was running pretty high. I unfortunately had to go out of town Friday through midday Saturday, so my next hunt would have to wait until Saturday evening, which just so happened to also be a good wind. The evening progressed very slowly. A few squirrels barked in the trees behind me, a decent amount of doves and geese flew out in front of me in the main field, but the deer remained fairly quiet. Around 6:45pm, I caught movement at the far end of the back field right around where you would normally enter the back field. I pulled up the binoculars, but was only able to see the back end of a deer moving towards the main field. Fortunately, I have a trail camera sitting right there, so I was later able to determine that it was the browtine-less buck from Thursday evening. After the deer disappeared, I began glassing the cut corn field in the distance and spotted between 5 or 6 deer feeding. They were probably either bedding in the nearby bean fields or my fencerow woods. Pretty soon darkness fell and it was time to call it a night.
Trail camera picture of the buck that I caught a glimpse of tonight
On Sunday, I came back over to the property to assess the deer activity and try to see if I could possibly identify trails that I had not seen in the summer months. A check of the cameras revealed quite the influx of deer activity from the previous week, especially on Thursday morning. Over the course of Thursday, I caught 6 different legal bucks on camera in various locations of the property. The best buck was an 8 point that I assume was the buck I saw running with the 9 point on Thursday, although he definitely looked bigger in person. The camera revealed a 13-14” 8 point with good point length. I think I got the 9 point on camera 20 minutes before the 8 point came through, but all you can see is the body of a decent-sized deer.
Another picture of the browless buck, who is making himself right at home
Additional scouting revealed two trails that I was unaware of that came from the area that I have deemed to be the “off-limits” bedding area on the western end of the property. I set up one of the trail cameras at the junction with my mowed path and decided to see what the results of that would hold at the end of this week. Neither trail was in a spot that would allow me to set up a treestand with good vision of both trails and the mowed path. I followed both new trails to see where they ended up and each of them seemed to end up in either the western edge of the back field, where you can enter the back field, or popped out in my main field just out of sight from my current stand. With this new information, I decided to put up a new hang-on stand where the road from the front field enters the back field. This stand will allow me to catch anything heading into the main field and anything that funnels from the back field to the main field. The only bad thing about this stand is I will have to expose myself to the main field when walking to and from it. I feel like today brought up more questions than answers. Hopefully I can pinpoint things before the rest of the neighboring corn gets cut. I have a feeling once that happens I will need to be pretty precise with every stand setup to avoid spooking deer.
Days 5 & 6 – October 24 & 25, 2013
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.