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.
Good read Ambush, enjoying it. Hope a big BYLS finds his way into your shooting lane.
24F here this morning, overcast and some ice fog. It was supposed to get a bit colder overnight, but it didn’t. Too bad for me.
Well, there isn’t much Live in this live hunt. My total for the day was six deer, two being bucks and no BILS. I did see the fork four times throughout the day , so at least he has started doing loop-d-loops. Hope a good buck does the same.
“What do we have if we don’t have hope.”
Yes, a warm body! I was starting to think I’d been sent to deer hunting purgatory. That is a perpetual CT Live Hunt.
At 9:40 he wandered casually past my blind. He’s been rubbing the poplar saplings by the green on his bases. Hard to see but this is the other 2X3. They’re nearly identical, but the third point is on opposite sides.
So excited, I posted twice!!
Ct live hunt!!! Blaugh... hahahaha haha
Almost looks as if he’s been rubbing :). Keep it coming Ambush! Very fun read along Hunt along
Ok, to recap the day. The two 2X3 bucks from hence forth shall be called The Twins collectively and individually know as Righty and Lefty. Their third point is on opposite sides, but we won't get real hung up on which one is which.
So Righty shows up at 9:40, again at 12:20 and one more time comes following a doe and fawn in right at dark, at which point he decides to bed twenty five yards in front of my blind. I had to wait to well after dark and then run the whole works off. Meanwhile Lefty had a pass through at about half hour before dark and I saw another deer coming down the hill just at dark likely to join up with the others. I think that was Lefty also, seeing if his twin wanted to share, but I couldn't identify him in the dark.
So all in all I saw four different deer in ten hours. But being the optimist I'm going to say it was a great day 'cause i saw just as many bucks as does!
I'm going to take a couple days off. One of my daughters just donated a kidney and her husband is home with their three little boys now, so I'll help out with my grandkids. I guess if she can go through all that to give someone the gift of life, I can take a few days off trying to deliver the Kiss of Death.
But my Buddy will takeover. Maybe I just stink and he'll have better luck. I should be back after them Wednesday and hopefully there is one less.
Good day. Good luck to ur buddy. Lovin the thread, as usual!
Got a name picked out for the 4x5 with the nice long brows yet, in case he shows back up?
I’ve got a new buck I’ve seen a couple of times this year. I call him “Harvey Weinstein”. I watched him sexually harass every doe on the bedding flat the other morning. Not a single word about it on the morning talk shows, either.
Troy, you better get those does to start their own #MeTo campaign. Then you be judge, jury and executioner.
I might go all “democrat” on him and just skip the judge and jury part.
Great thread. I'll be sure to follow along now that I'm caught up.
Good for your daughter! Thats a big deal.
My wife donated a kidney several years back. Amazing gift that will change a life for the better!
Alyssa Milano offered to donate BOTH her kidneys to Ruth Bader Ginsberg if it keeps her alive and on the USSC longer....
Back in the blind this morning. A little below freezing, overcast with a skiff of snow predicted. The cam shows very little daytime activity, but one good looking 4X4 made an appearance Sunday night. Could be the MIA, wide 160” or a new buck. Just going to have to have a lucky daytime encounter. The Blind Squirrel is ready and waiting for Lady Luck to smile.
My week will be chopped up a bit with helping out my daughter and some volunteer commitments. On a happy note, my daughter is doing well and the kidney receipient is doing fabulous. Near perfect match and perfect kidney.
One doe so far this morning and I just caught a flash of fur farther out in the bush. Good luck to all the others lucky enough to be out today!!
Any luck for your buddy in your absence, Ambush?
No Nick. A one horned spike was his best buck. It was rubbing up a storm and hanging with the ladies.
But the buddy (these two buddies are brothers) that got the 6X6 mule deer a few days ago, got a beautiful old whitetail yesterday from the same blind.
Good to hear everyone is doing well, Rod! Many kudos to your daughter for such a sacrifice!
Thanks Troy, we are proud of her.
Another slow day so far and when I’m bored I eat. Bowsite is slow, no live hunts and Elkman is too busy to really put out the hate for Votex and Mathews. I solemnly promised myself this morning to use all my resolve to NOT eat my lunch before 12:00.
I’m happy to say I lasted till 10:30! Started with the peanut butter, honey, Nutella and bacon on toasted whole wheat. I wonder if there is a propane powered George Foreman grill? A little heat in it would have made it perfect.
Put a hand warmer on each side and wrap in foil. ;-)
Doe just came running in with this tiny fork’s nose glued right to her. He chased her in circles for about five minutes before she took off for the bush. I’m hoping he keeps pushing and she trolls past a mature buck before heading back. I’ll save the poor damsel in distress.
The little guy has one side broke off. Must be fighting up a weight class or two.
Following along... good luck, Rod!
Thanks guys, I can use some luck right now. Nothing for hours.
Rick, I’d love to have an excuse to get as excited as you did on your video. Unequivocal comes to mind!
Hang in there - it will happen! My rut is in full swing, new bucks showing up every day, others roaming for miles. I'm sure thats going on where you are too. You'll get a big guy!
Hope you’re right Lou. Great you’re having action and fun!
At 4:00 the same doe and dink came back for an exact repeat performance. Dark brought two more does. At the end of the day, I’m starting to feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the football away again.
AAAARRRRGGHH!! I can’t stand it!
Keep the faith Ambush! A big buck will show up soon!
Be persist one will show up.
Keep after them, Good luck.
Ok Lucy, set that football up, the Blockhead is set to take another run at it.
It’s about 40F this morning and that’s WAY too warm. I guess it’s good for all the pussy’s putting up Christmas lights instead of hunting ‘cause their wives told them to. I’d rather see it around 15F, but at least my hands won’t freeze when I’m gutting and skinning. Just have to see what the day brings. Good luck to everyone.
Good luck out there. I killed my biggest buck ever on a day when I almost did not go because it was way to warm for November!!!
Good luck! Warm or cold, the deer are still out there. (Whether they move is debatable. I know if I only got laid once a year, weather would be the least of my concerns! But I am not a deer! LOL!) I will begin my hunt on Nov 25th. I hope to see plenty of roaming and chasing.
One hot doe!!!
Keep the reports rolling and good luck!
Still following, keep the faith! Z, I almost peed a little laughing at that comment! LOL
10:40 had the first deer show up, a doe and a dink. He seemed to be tailing her on the way in but after a few minutes, he just lost any interest and kinda aimlessly wandered away. She left on one of the other trails. Strange behaviour for what should still be rutting activity.
And just now another small buck marched straight through, nose down, almost like he’s backtracking the doe. I guess if a dink can walk past, so can (forgive me) a shooter.
I forgive ya, Rod. Heck, if you need help giving him a name, just pm me!
Haha, thanks Troy. So far there are three possibles and I have secretly named them already. But for fear someone may start a #HENAMESBUCKS and I get shamed off the site, the names are only available through PM’s.
Dang Rod, not sure how you can stay out there so long! Hell, I’d be snoozing and miss that big buck coming through, especially if it was warm! You have great tenacity and it will pay off - hoping for a big one that you haven’t named:-)
Tavis, being naturally lazy really helps in cases like this. I got this.
It was pretty entertaining for a bit watching a magpie and a red squirrel trying to bluff each other off an apple core I threw out. They took turns charging each other until they both turned tail and left at the same time. Core is still there. Now, how does a squirrel know a magpie is not a hawk? And how does a magpie know a squirrel is not a weasel. I’m sure they don’t have that much interaction.
I watched a fawn nose bump a rabbit around the clover for a few minutes here once too. Rabbit had no concern.
AWESOME! NO idea how I missed this thread until today! Glad I caught wind of it before the good ending :) Great annual thread Rod, and glad I can wish you good luck before it all comes together. You've got some bruisers out there.
Love your observations, Rod! Actually busted out a laugh just now visualizing the interactions you described. Felt like I was there! Thank you for describing your awesome experiences with some of us that are not able to be in the wonderful outdoors.
Thanks again guys for the well wishes.
The day was another in the series of bad beat downs. I saw nothing after 11:00 until I was just about to close the window. Three does came from the east and within a couple of minutes the dink fork came trotting in, for the second time, from the west. “Whoa, lucky break for you girls, you almost missed me.”
After a chilly reception, he wandered on his lonesome way, muttering to his hooves that someday they’re going be chasing him.
Dumb question here.. any whitetails in your woods?
Buddy shot this one two days ago. Probably five miles as the crow flies.
Buddy shot this one two days ago. Probably five miles as the crow flies.
I had a whitetail doe that hung with a couple of mule bucks all one summer and early fall. Two pics of whitetails bucks over quite a few years. But there are pockets of them all around the area. I shot one last year not that far away. They just don’t seem to like this particular spot.
What a coincidence. Just checking some can pics and I have two pics of a fork whitetail or more likely a hybrid.
Wow, that was quite a morning!! Only way the second half of the day could get any better is if I actually see a deer.
Beautiful day, sunny and just below freezing. Didn’t need the headlamp walking in with the full moon on the snow. Just seems like such a great day to kill a deer. And I’m sure once a deer got used to it, he wouldn’t mind either.
I have to take tomorrow off and look after grandkids. Twin, four year old boys and a very mobile one year old boy. It’s like herding cats with a garden hose sprayer. I’ll be very happy to get back to the peace and quiet of the blind on Saturday.
Be still my beating heart! I saw a deer! And five minutes later another one!!
I’ve never seen this little guy before. The top of one point is kinked ninety degrees and looks like it has an acorn stuck on it. It’s not ‘cause we don’t have acorns. He snort wheezed the doe and she just fired out of there.
About forty five minutes of shooting light left.
Nothing after those two. Another ten hours in the blind and two deer. The only good thing I can say about that is that at least half the deer I saw today were bucks.
Mule deer coming.
Mule deer coming.
Ok, time for an update and it won’t be a very exciting one.
It’s Monday and the start of the last five days of my season. I’ll be spending ten hours a day with my blind or until death do us part. Cam pics have been disappointing, with no decent bucks recorded for several days. But like I tell people, cam pics are a lot like tracks, encouraging and somewhat informing, but they make a thin soup. Just keeep putting the time in.
The little hybrid buck is bedded thirty five yards away. I could legally shoot him as a whitetail, but as a yearling, not much meat to risk missing a mule deer buck.
And whitetail going.
And whitetail going.
Monday is done. Two small bucks and six does. Four days to go.
You should move to Connecticut Rod! All kidding aside I’ve enjoyed following along and hope your persistence pays off soon.
Hang in there buddy! I'm right with you. Four days to go. It will happen! I've killed a bunch of big animals in the last few days of the hunt and I'm sure you have too. Keep the faith and believe...
I check this every day, knowing that soon I will open this to find that one of those giant, scary, deep bush dwelling fawn eaters with canine teeth came out of the dark and gave Ambush a perfect opportunity.
Just a matter of time. Thursday, I think.
Thanks guys. It’s nice to have the Bowsite “campfire” at the end of the day and even during the day, to unwind and rewind. I start everyday, no matter how many have past, with the anticipation that today is the day. And without past defeats, there’d be little thrill in victory. I’ve sat through November’s without ever taking my bow off the hook. The only real disappointments are when everything is coming together and I screw it up at the shot.
Lou, are you in a post rut situation there too and changing tactics? This must be kinda like riding a (e)bike for you by now where actions come naturally. Keep on them and be smiling when the sun goes down.
The wearher here is terrible. One of the warmest November’s I can remember. It should be routinely close to 0F at night, instead it’s raining. The worst part of this is the aftermath if the temps suddenly drop and the ground gets an icy layer. Much of the deer’s feed is on very steep hillsides which they can’t access with the ice cover. That’s far worse than severe cold. Hopefully we get some drying before the winter weather hits.
So Tuesday starts. Good luck to everybody lucky enough to be out in this marvellous creation!
Good luck today Ambush. I feel good karma coming your way this week. Those that hunt hard seem to make their own luck!
Rod, You are due...and paying your dues! Good luck the rest of the way! Kurt
Shot my Arizona mule deer on the last day this year. You will make it happen. And if for some reason the big one doesn't come by please take pride in how much enjoyment you have brought to all of us that keep checking in on you! Good Luck!!
Hoping that today’s the day! Like Kurt says, you are definitely paying your dues! Good luck!
Keep at it, Rod. Besides, what else ya got to do?!!
BOWNBIRDHNTER, congrats on your buck!! Thanks for the encouragement.
Tuesday is done and it turned out to be a four doe day. It rained until about 2:00, quit for half an hour then started up heavier till dark. A dark, cheerless day that offered only the comfort of eventually being over. Can't wait for tomorrow! Temperature should be just below freezing for the morning.
Three days left and like t-roy says; What else I got to do?!!
You are putting in some time, it'll happen and I can't wait to hear about it!
Rod, we're having a "trickle rut" like I've never seen before. Charles Alsheimer believes its because the full moon phase happens during the peak rut. No matter, the only thing I can figure out is that the mature bucks havent done the same the same thing twice in the past two weeks.
Two days ago three of the biggest bucks in the area were staging with seven does only 500 yards from my camp. Snuck in on top of them but no no recurve shot. None spooked, but I havent seen any of them since.
The good news is that I'm calling and decoying bucks into range pretty much every morning. Keep the faith. We still have three days!
Encouraging update, Lou. We didn’t really notice a lot of hard rut action here either. Could it be that there are still things we don’t know about deer behaviour? ;) Go hard to the end Friend!
Walking in this morning was uplifting. The leftover snow, that yesterday was sloppy wet and made a depressing “schluk” with each step, this morning crunched under foot and glittered in the clear half moon. Stars were out to wish me well as their night shift was nearly over. As much as yesterday’s mood seemed to say “sorry bud, better luck next time”, today’s is reassuringly positive.
I have a good feeling about today! Happy hunting, all.
Before I could see, I heard a deer very slowly browsing along the edge. As it slowly got lighter, I could make out a deer and ten minutes later confirm it was Lefty of the Twins. He milled around on a little knoll about forty yards away for about forty five minutes. He reminded me of a teenager who had very carefully planned a “chance” meeting with a girl he has a crush on. Looking nervous, self conscious and expectant, while trying to appear cool and casual. His jitters finally got the better of him and he left deflated.
But at least I’ve seen a buck before noon!
Sitting for ten hours in a tiny space gives one’s mind time to wander. Now mine shouldn’t wander because it’s too small to be out by it’s self , but it does.
Digging through my lunch, I pulled out some meat leftover from last night’s BBQ. A memory from my childhood came to me. When I was a toddler, I was so homely my Mom had to tie a pork chop around my neck to get the dog to play with me and it worked great until the bone was clean.
It’s been about an hour now and so far it’s not working with deer. But the chop is getting warmed up a bit and will be better eating, so not a total loss.
Just wanted to let you know I've been following this, and enjoying it. I'm pulling for you!
Pull harder uteangler! Please!!
Looks like my optimism for the day was a bit misplaced. Besides the buck at first light, two does and a fawn showed up at last light. That’s a long time between deer. Tomorrow is another day and two days left.
Rod, I have enjoyed following this thread. This is real world hunting with no guarantees. You have surely paid your dues and I hope it comes together in the last 2 days for you.
I called it...today is the day. Tie a carrot around your neck......lol
Good luck Rod! Hoping it works out for you today!
Keep it coming...we are all really enjoying this thread!
I hope ki-ke has the win and today does it!
Just above freezing, overcast, foggy and damp. The ground is icey and that’s not good for the critters big and small and not good for hunting either. But you only have a chance if you’re out.
If the hybrid buck shows up today, I’ll have to consider my freezer situation and maybe cut a whitetail tag. If I was convinced he’d taste more like whitetail than muledeer, it would be an easier choice. I really like whitetail meat.
There’s an old Dutch saying that goes “Do not praise the day before it is done.” But any day that’ll be spent hunting is going to be a great day. For those fortunate enough to be out today, good luck, hunt hard and let the sunset find you still smiling.
Little Lefty is so sure of his First Deer of the Day position that he slept in till 9:30. I hope old grandpa is out looking for him.
Yesterday was dismal as far as deer are concerned with a total of three. Not exactly like the Primos Boys being “covered up in deer!” Looks like the cold weather I needed three weeks ago will show up just after the season closes today.
This morning is 28F and low, fast moving clouds with plenty of holes to see the stars and waning moon. Feels like a really good deer day!
If the hybrid buck comes in today and I can get a shot where he will run either east or west I’ll try to kill him. I don’t want him to go south or west and create a commotion where ninety percent of the mule deer come from. East is toward my truck and an easy, quiet drag out.
Last day is here!
Taking it to the wire!
Today’s the day, Rod!
Thanks for taking us along!
Good luck! Really enjoy your thread. Thanks for posting
Good luck Rod, I ended my season about 2 weeks ago without shooting one as I was too picky (too many big ones around but none every close enough.
Hoping you connect today, but even if you don't, thanks for almost a month of looking forward to your updates.
Wishing you the best of luck on the last day! I have checked on this thread every day and appreciate you taking the time to share.
Gonna happen today! Then again I've been wrong many times but I'm hopeful! Ha!
Make a quick call to Bryan Fantana and get him to lend you some sex panther. Game over… ;^)
The first half of the last day is over and I’ve seen one coyote, no deer. This can mean only one thing. The deer are going to flood in all at once and overwhelm me. The old “safety in numbers” trick. Hopefully I can hold it together to pick a target and not lose it and just “flock shoot”!! 4 1/2 hours to go.
Stick n string. Would I take it immediately and text my wife or wait till I get home and surprise her?
Thats ur call. I was just tryna get u a buck.... Haha
Down to the last hour of the last day. Haven’t seen a deer yet!!
Hoping for that herd to rumble in any minute! Or at least one last minute buck!
Rod, hope it happens today, it if not you can take pride in the monster from last year and the other dandies you’ve taken. Kurt
Nick your probably right!
I wish I was packing meat.
Saw four does at last light. And that is it for the 2018 mule deer quest.
Dang! You sure put in a valiant effort.
Well hell you hunted your tail off.. next year he’ll go over 200.. love the thread every year and thank u for keeping us riding along..
Well man, thanks for giving us all something to look forward to checking in on each day. You are a trooper man. Much appreciated from the comfort of my recliner!
Awesome effort. Thanks for taking us along.
Great read , can't wait for next year!!
Thanks for taking us on the ride! I sure enjoyed following along during my muley season down here.
Well, at least it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort, Rod!
I've been following this thread daily with high expectations. But really, you should move to Connecticut. ;-)
Certainly put in the time and obviously enjoyed your time in the woods for yet another year. Thank you for the chance to enjoy a bit of it with you! There is always next year to look forward to! Thank you!
Matt, he saw way more deer than those poor persevering CT souls see....
HOLY CRAP! Incredible perseverance. Thanks for the daily anticipation! Thanks for taking us along.
BTW, on Thursday, when I was sure you would kill him, he was 40 yards away on the wrong side of the blind and caught you scratching your nethers.....he snickered, killed and ate "Lefty" and slunk back into the bush.....
Good news is, he now weighs 425 lbs.....
Thanks for the daily updates. You are a beast to stick it out like that!
Amazing that you were able to do what you did. Since 2010 I've only killed 3 deer and feel seasons like what you just went through only serve to make the harvest years that much sweeter.
First off, thanks for all the encouragement, e-fellowship and laughs along the way. I had a few days in the blind before I started the "Live" hunt and I figure for November I have twenty four dark to dark days and two half days in the blind. It was great to have some good company and some solid entertainment from other Bowsiter's adventures to keep what little is left of my sanity.
Why so little deer action in a historically good spot? Warm weather is a factor, for sure. But all summer and fall, I've had the nagging feeling that numbers were just down. We had two big dumps of snow in February, but it was cold, fluffy snow, and from snowshoeing around it looked like the deer and certainly the moose were still moving freely. Coyotes, on the other hand, were hit hard, not being able to dig deep enough for mice or stay on top for rabbits. That was good news for fawn survival!
I have checked back on trail cam inventory and December '16 and '17 there were about eight to ten 3 1/2 year old bucks using the area and multiple younger bucks. They are just not here this year. I'll run cams all through the winter to see if anymore show up. I put out bales of alfalfa hay under big spruce trees and very cold weather finds them bedding in it for hours. Fawns in particular benefit from the thermal protection. Any energy reserves they can store for the rest of winter means a better chance of survival.
Hopefully December/January pics turn up good news. I don't mind not killing a deer, but I don't want it to be because the herd is suffering. Lots of yearling bucks and the fawns look to be in good shape, so that bodes well for the future, but missing an age class in the structure is not good either. The 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 year old's have a high mortality rate normally anyway with likely half not seeing their fourth birthday. A "natural' rise in mortality can wreak havoc for a few years. I hope they are just laying low!
Ambush, I've been away from my computer and Bowsite for the past 5 days. Just got to catch up on the conclusion of your hunt. You did a great job of entertaining the masses! Thanks again for sharing your season!! Jeff
24 dark to dark sits in one month is bad@ss! Thanks for taking the time to share this with us Ambush!