Contributors to this thread:
Ambush - Nov-05 Mobile live hunt from BC
3:51 PM LIVE from BC*
The Disclaimer: This hunt will involve trail cams, (a now useless) food plot, some alfalfa and sitting on my butt in a blind for days. And hopefully some mule deer. If that's not hunting to you, then you've been warned. And technically, it will be a semi live hunt.
With about three inches of fresh snow overnight, I went out this morning to wander around and maybe find a bull moose on the last day of my season. Didn't even cut a track. Not ready to leave the peace of the early winter woods, I decided to make a loop over to pick up a trail cam card in my deer spot. The plot got eaten right off in mid September, but it is a natural funnel from several directions and a staging area for bedding to feeding activity. And more importantly an area that bucks cruise, taking inventory. There's a few young, up and comer's hanging around and one buck that will likely be 160" made a couple of nocturnal visits earlier.
Now my mind hasn't really been on deer yet this season. Mountain hunts take up all my time and focus from mid August on and deer hunting seems so far away. But when I popped the card in the computer, the first pic was in the daytime of one of the stubby thick 4X4's from last season. Just like that, it's deer season!! Now I'm excited and anxious to get at it! Last year, I kind of had in mind to shoot one of these bucks this year, given the opportunity, And it looks like I might get that chance!
I won't shoot anything right away because I like to drag it out a bit and also to see if there is something special that may show up. Old, thick and ugly will definitely get the nod over most anything else. Score is not a priority, but always a factor.
Anyway, tomorrow morning it all starts again and I will have regular updates throughout the day and there could be many days.
Awesome. Was a thread that i looked forward to each hunt last year. Good luck and enjoy your time out there. A blessed man you are....
This guy is around somewhere, but given as these are "Gypsy" bucks, I may never see him again. But on the flip side, I will see bucks that I had no clue were alive. The little fellow is the prodigy of a beautiful double drop tine buck that I chased for three years. Happy to see his genes carry on.
Not sure that you can top that last one, Ambush! What fabulous buck! Looking forward to your reports! Good luck!
Thanks Tavis, not even trying.
Hopefully the snow and colder temps have put Mr-Fat-Ass-Blind-Wrecker to bed. His options are in bed or dead.
Alright, Rod! Glad to see this going on! Best of luck to you. I'm not going live this year but my season starts Wednesday and I'll be out there in big muley land with you, in spirit, a couple thousand miles away. For what also could be many days.....
Looking forward to your posts during my hunt. Whack a toad!!
Loved the last one. Looking forward to following along. You have my support in the "bed or dead" ultimatum.
Good luck Lou. Don’t make it look too easy, it’s hard on the rest of us.
I’m all settled in and morning has showed up. It’s about 26F with three inches of soft snow. I cut one set of big tracks from a toe dragger, long stride and straight line. He’s cruising and filling out his dance card for rut hoe-down coming soon.
His anticipation is not unlike ours. Ours is more sophisticated, but no less visceral. Anticipation for the season, then the week, then the day or moment. We will both have battles, some lost some won, and many of us will limp off with nothing to show for it but tired bodies and dissapountment.
But, in a few scant days we’re already having the “Next Year” dreams. Even the little beam from my headlamp this morning seemed to be dancing on the snow, eagerly urging me to “keep up, we’re almost there!”
Good luck to everyone out this morning!! It’s a magical time for hunters
Dead here so far. I’ve discovered that I didn’t bring enough clothes or coffee. Also apparently, toe warmers have a shelf life. But still not near as bad as sitting in a treestand for nine hours when it’s so cold your pee freezes before it hits ground. And having to break the peecicle off before you can do up your zipper.
Rod... you forgot to add in your disclaimer that some of the animals will be given names as well, ala “Mr-Fat-Ass-Blind-Wrecker”, etc ;-)
What was planted in your food plot?
Looking forward to following along, Rod. Good luck!!
Looking forward to this one as well. And Lou, sure hope you give a recap of yours. Good luck guys!!
Troy, I did forget about the naming things, my bad. I planted mostly turnips, radish and beets and a mixture of “winter bulbs” Weather and timing usually give me a beat down as I never get it right. This year I did one piece early and one on time. Both matured too early and then early frost made the tops appetizing. They literally ate the plots down to short stocks in about eight days. But they are still picking through the meagre leftovers.
Just had two does and a fawn through My Deer Per Hour (DPH) meter just got its first needle bump. Hope some bone is next!
Day is done. Ten hours in the blind, nine deer total and no antlers.
Rod, get another gnarly old buck. Your Mulie collection is dang awesome already.
Bet it is chilly this AM! Kurt
Thanks guys, but I wont be hunting today, family obligations. Its the coldest morning yet this fall and it just seems right to be hunting, but a higher priority duty calls.
I am encouraged by the amount of buck (big, dragging) tracks criss-crossing the area. It's my belief, the dominate bucks are inventorying the does so they can efficiently run checks for hot ones all through their areas, which could easily be twenty five square miles.
Back at it tomorrow and pretty steady from there on.
Thanks for taking us along; really enjoy your hunts.
I think you're right-on with the "inventory" stage right now. Same exact thing happening here.
Take care of your family obligations and get back out there!
Ok, back in the blind waiting for light. 21F this morning and overcast, perfect November day for deer hunting. Hopefully my day will be cut short with a text from a buddy who has a very good 6X6 muley passing by his blind. A few new, small bucks showed up in the past 36 hours, hanging with the does. That’s a very good sign. They know there is magic in those does, but they have no idea what it is yet. Like a ten year old boy looking at the ladies underwear section in the catalogs.
Whatever the day brings, I’m blessed and grateful to live the life I do.
First doe of the day just showed up at 9:40. Hopefully she is the Parade leader.
Well that “parade” was a let down. The players I was hoping for must still be polishing their horns. Back to talking to my feet.
My F5 key is getting a work out with your thread. Hang in there, good things will come.
Will the excitement never end!! Well maybe two exclamation marks was a bit overkill. Two does and a fawn just showed up.
Ok, back up to one exclamation mark. A yearling fork just showed up. Boss buck, right now!
Sounds like you got a big one coming in! Hope you get a good shot!
“Oh yeah, you want me”
“Oh yeah, you want me”
The young 4X4 with little double droppers is here. Getting better.
Almost time pack it in for the day.
Good luck, glad to see this again this year.
Ok, another day. Hoovering around freezing, snowing lightly and looks like that’s going to last all day. Pulled a card on my way out last night and one buck of interest has been making nocturnal visits. Have to see him in person to make a decision and it’s still early.
It’s pretty predictable. Always starts with smaller bucks hanging with the does, making you think there’s nothing mature around. But then when the does actually become receptive those aloof big guys just come striding in, large and in charge. That’s the small window I wait so patiently for. And it’s always worth the days and days of sitting!
Maybe today! Good luck to everyone out there doing the same.
This guy is going to be a cranker if he can live past his fourth birthday.
10:48 and first doe of the day. She looks sexy without being slutty. The kinda girl a big buck would like to take home to meet his mom.
Rod, is "young dropper" 2-1/2 or 3-1/2 yrs old? He has the genetic makings of a dandy! Kurt
This 2X3 is lip curling behind the doe, convinced she’s in love with him.
Cute young buck! Looks like he will grow into one of those tall heavy fellers. Is that common there, or do you get some wide spreaders like we see on the plains?
Enjoying your great posts while experiencing much of the same down here. Just now figuring out where to commit for my decoy/calling/rattling setups in the mornings. Backpack loaded, ready to hike in.
Good luck and keep up the good work!!
Kurt, I believe he is 2 1/2. I have a few years of pictures of his sire or grand sire. If he’s a chip off the old block, he’ll be a great buck.
Lou, we don’t get those tremendous spreads your deer do. Bush bucks, I guess? Hope you get into them!
Not sure how I missed this. Good luck, Ambush!
Dang!! Just got busted by a coyote as I was switching to a junk arrow. Shoulda just wrecked a good broadhead.
This is always one of my favorite threads of the year! Good Luck!
Three does and a fawn just came running in and looking backwards. Hopefully a big ole buck pushing them and not coyotes.
I missed this thread. I’m in now!
Well they must have been running from their own farts! But the best part of the day is about here, so anything can happen.
About ten minutes of shooting light left and real quiet. Looks like me and the little forky are going to have the same luck. Neither one of us is going to get anything today.
Enjoying this one, best of luck!
One doe came by just after dark. So seven deer total, one small buck for ten hours of “work”. The needle on the DPH meter is going to seize up.
The next two days are afternoons only. Hate to miss any time at this crucial stage, but family first.
Headed out at noon today. Weather is just above freezing and slightly sunny, not how it should be. I'll have my longtime hunting partner, Adam, with me. He's a dedicated and accomplished (as in three each DIY Stone sheep, grizzlies,etc) but he has a P&Y mule deer monkey on his back. He has first dibs on any 150" plus bucks at my stand. Hopefully he can kick that monkey to the curb this season.
Pretty much a blowout today. Three does total.
Pulled a couple of cam cards and of course there was a big buck there in the mid morning, when I wasn't. There was only one pic and the buck was behind a tree with just the ear and one side of the rack showing. The antler was well past the ear and looked fairly thick. I believe it was the buck that was around earlier and should be about 160". Or possibly a newcomer checking out the girls. Hopefully I get to see him in person. Maybe tomorrow!
This is a pic from 2015 of the drop-tine buck that I believe fathered the young drop tine buck above. He was going down hill by now and never reappeared. First year I hunted him he had double droppers, then he disappeared for a year only to return with a single drop on the right side 2014.
He did provide me with a lot of anticipation and also tag soup for a few years.
Rod, this is fun stuff watching from the warmth of my office,now that my deer season is over so thanks for the entertainment. Hang in there as I know you will hang a good one.
my best, Paul
Wow! I can see why you didn’t burn your tag waiting on that guy, Rod!
And “First Deer of the Day” award goes to this little fork. He’s wondering why nobody wants to hang out with him anymore
Nobody likes him because one antler is shorter than the other! Weirdo. I called-decoyed five of those little buggers into bow range this morning. I tried spraying my Montana decoys with Nose Jammer instead of deer scent, and couldnt get anybody to leave. One doe was even licking my decoy. Another group left, then came back for a second time. Crazy.
Love following your thread. Great work!
I really enjoy Ambush’s mule deer hunt threads! So cool to have a spot where you can see the herd dynamics over a number of years and see those bucks grow up.
Now either you or Lou need to get busy finding one of the big boys!
Well, looks like the smart money should be on Lou. He’s getting lots of action anyway and he’ll trip up a big horny bugger.
Lou, your the third solid endorsement, for Nose Jammer, I’ve heard on bowsite this season. Are you convinced?
Rod, I have no connection to Nose Jammer, not even a hat. But I'm absolutely convinced there's something to it and not sure why. I sit in fallen log pile blinds in staging areas and spray some on either side of me about shoulder height. This morning I had a buck and five does feeding directly downwind between 15-30 yards and all they did was sniff the air a few times. I havent had a shower since Tuesday and have been cowboying in the afternoons a few days so not exactly "scent free". Cheaper and more portable than Ozonics...
Lou is pretty tall, but lanky... not what I’d call a “big” guy. Since he’s out in the prairie away from all the little gals in the yoga pants, maybe he can stay focused and not trip over his own two feet and get an arrow in a big ‘ol buck!
That nose jammer stuff sounds interesting from the reports. May have to look into it...
Should just keep getting better for you late season guys! We have a good cold front down here in Colorado that should get them moving... Hopefully we get to see one of those big boys on the ground soon!
Interesting stuff. I’ll probably pick up some Jammer. I wonder if it would work on coyotes and cats?
Two more does and a fawn came by right at dark. We could be in lockdown stage right now. If so, all heck should break loose in the next few days. Back in for a full day tomorrow.
I am a firm believer in nose jammer. It doesn’t hurt that’s for sure!! Good luck!!
I don't know about other critters but it has worked on elk when hunting a natural ground blind at a waterhole.
Are you in a place where you can glass during lockdown, or do the mature bucks simply disappear and all you see are frantic little bucks pushing does around?
Good luck Ambush, one of my favourite annual threads!
This particular area is fairly thick bush with lots of undergrowth. I’m along an east west drainage on the north side of a high ridge. The ridge is carved with many gully’s and spring runoff drainages. Wind goes every which direction. Still hunting or long range spotting is about impossible. It’s a matter of being on a travel route and patience. I just hunt the does.
Yep, as I preach in articles and seminars, does are your bait. Me too. Good luck!!
28F this morning and no wind. It’s one of those mornings where there is no actual sunrise, just a slow barely perceptible dispersal of the dark. In the far off east it looks better. It should be way colder and more snow by now, but it’s definitely more pleasant sitting for ten hours. Maybe today is the day!
Good luck to all out enjoying the gift of nature and the love of it. I wonder what would be a WAG as to how many bow hunters are out this morning across NA
I throw another vote out for Nose Jammer, along with Ever Calm. I've never had great luck with "lure" type scents but these two seem to be very helpful as masking scents. I have never seen deer have a bad reaction to them.
Wish I was out there but I have to be at work so I'll just keep checking in on you. Good luck!!
Definitely jealous of the lucky guys getting to spend a lot of time in the woods hunting deer across North America!
Cooped up in an office and not getting much of any time in the woods this fall.
Love these threads with good pictures and details of your observations and thoughts as you enjoy all of nature’s glory. Helps me cope with my sterile, drab surroundings!
I just ran a couple of cards, from last night, through the viewer. A fork and the 2X3 came by and the buck in the first pic on this thread was sniffing does as well. He’ll be know as Crab4 because of his weak left front. We don’t count brows on mule deer here, but we like to see them for score because you count them in and you get a better H1.
Crab4 is a DOI (deer of interest) but not a big buck at all. Only a personal, up close appraisal can decide yay or nay. His general confirmation does appeal to me.
I have here now what must be the Ugly Step Sisters of the deer world. No Prince Charming wanting to take these gals to the Ball.
Hang in there, even the ugly girls get asked to dance once in a while!
I’m wearing more down than a huge flick of geese.
I’m wearing more down than a huge flick of geese.
One more lone doe came by. I was starting to feel sorry for myself because it’s not “wintery” enough to keep the deer up and feeding. But then I was thinking back two years when it was cold. I’d spend nine hours in a treestand, day after day, week after week for all of November. Temps were 10F below zero,and colder, all day. I saw more deer, but man I was suffering!! Every pocket had hand warmers in it. Needed a pickle fork to take a leak.
One cow moose so far this morning. Right at the freezing mark and an ugly east wind with rain/snow predicted for this afternoon.
But I got a text from good Buddy that he just put an arrow through the big 6X6 he’s been waiting on. He’s going to give it half an hour then go get him. Said the shot was perfect.
"Needed a pickle fork to take a leak."
Back when I lived up in N Minnesota, we called this situation 'The three -four'
3" of foreskin and 4" of clothing... :>)
Yesterday was a yawner. One moose, one coyote and three does over ten hours. It’s above freezing today and likely get some rain.
Over the last two nights there has been a small fork, a big fork, two different 2X3’s and the Crab4. Last night a 5X6 showed up that is pretty much a carbon copy of the 6X7 I shot last season when he was that age. He’s not a big buck, just nice and it would be cool to hang him next to his Dad on the wall. Knowing his potential, but also that he likely won’t be around next year, I’m not sure if I should shoot him, given the chance.
Right now I’m leaning toward the Crab4. He’ll never be a cranker and I do like his looks. There’s also the 160” somewhere around here. Plus the chance of the Wild Card buck that could waltz through.
It’s great to be blessed with tough decisions!!
Cnelk- Some of us would be more along the lines of calling it the one-four... just saying.
Can't wait to see a wild card pop up! Show us a picture of your buddies buck!
This young 3X3 just walked straight through without breaking stride. On a mission. Hopefully on a mission to get his ass kicked by a big buck on a hot doe.
Yeah, the “perfect shot” on my Buddies 6X6 turned out to be not perfect. He was quartering away and the arrow hit to far forward. Looks like one lung. They jumped him out of his first bed. They watched him bed again within one hundred yards. Repeated the process one more time then backed out till this morning. They should be on the trail now.
My Buddy found his buck in the last bed they saw him in. Nice old character buck. Good clean fronts and the backs look more like a Roosevelt.
Oh, man, great buck....congrats to your buddy!
There is a fawn wandering around all by her lonesome. I’m hoping that Mr. Big Rack gave her a quarter to go to the store while he and Mama “visit”.
This spot has five trails that all intersect a long creek bottom. When the bucks are chasing, the does do long figure 8’s, clover leafs and loop-D-loops that often come right past me. It’s not unusual to see the same young bucks four or five times a day as they chase scent and hope for a (get) lucky break. It doesn’t seem to be happening yet this year though. Not in the daytime anyway.
One of the 2X3’s that’s been hanging around at night came through. He’s on walk-about and making the circuit. I need a big boy to do that. I can feel it getting closer!
Could be the son of or a half brother or even full brother to the buck I shot last year. Potential there.
Could be the son of or a half brother or even full brother to the buck I shot last year. Potential there.
So the day ended with three small bucks, one lone fawn and one lone doe. I think it's getting better. Back in the saddle early in the morning.
It can definitely be a struggle trying to figure out which layers go “up” and which layers go “down” when it’s super cold out and ya gotta tinkle! Cold hands don’t help matters either.
To midwest’s Seinfeld reference. “Like a frightened turtle”
That buck definitely has potential and also looks like he’s related to last year’s buck. If he can make another year or two he’ll be huge!
Tavis, the problem is I might be tempted to shoot him. He is hanging around here at night. Him and the Crab4 are dogging does through here several times during dark hours. I also think the 5X6 may be bigger than the pics show. A different, stubby, thick 4X4 showed up to the party last night too.
It’s about 35F and raining steady for the day. But the temp is supposed to dive well below freezing for a couple of days and night. I firmly believe that the temps have no effect on rut/breeding timing. But when it gets real cold here the deer simply have to put more fuel in the stove and that means they are on their feet and moving. And that means more sightings and chances.
Anyway, I have two more days, then my buddy, Adam, is off work for three days and he’ll sit this blind. The timing should be perfect for him to body slam his mule deer monkey.
First deer of the day came early. A doe came squirting up out of the creek bottom and kept right on running. Her behaviour was consistent with being chased by a buck, but if so, he stayed down where I wouldn’t see him.
The rain has turned to snow. It’s dark, dreary, wet and chilly. Just not much friendly in the weather today. But a warm carcass with improve things greatly!
Good luck. Still following with anticipation and have enjoyed it so far. Thanks for continuing to take us along? I'm thinkin it wont be long.....
Great thread Rod!
Thanks for taking us along!
"There is hope when carbon is in the air!"
-An Old Canadian Proverb
Thanks guys! It’s snowing so hard now, I’m not sure I could take a thirty yard shot.
Good luck man. That cold front you have must be moving our way. Here in Alberta it's supposed to get much colder tonight and start snowing after dark sometime.
This is cool.... well, flippin' frigid actually..... thanks much for taking us along again, really look forward to this thread. Very well done, very entertaining style.... =D
Another Canadian bowhunter once told me something similar to what Mark said "if arrows aren't flyin' nothin's dyin'...." I forgot who told me "they all get prettier at closing time...." =D
Yesterday ended with one more doe right at dark, so six deer total, no bucks.
17F this morning and that soft, wet three inch blanket of snow is now a crunchy crust. Cams show lots of nighttime activity and I’m hoping the cold keeps the doe’s up and padding their hips. The bucks will just tag senselessly, but aggressively along behind.
A BILS showed up Wednesday night. A 4X5 with nice long brows, for a muley. He might be (dare I say) a shooter, or shootee or some other acceptable term.
Hope the deer run as much as my nose today.
A fork walked through without breaking stride. Fifteen minutes later a young 4X4 came out of the bush, nose to the ground like a hound and lined out up one of the trails. Looking up!
Love this annual thread! Keep at it!
Great thread.... good luck!
I somehow manage to miss this thread until now. I love it! Good luck and thank you for keeping us in the loop and on the edge of our seats.