Contributors to this thread:
Grossklw's 2017 Bowsite Blog
Lovely pack-out compared to last year!
Lovely pack-out compared to last year!
Other people seem to enjoy the rest of everyone else's blog so I thought I'd start one as it appears quite a few people enjoyed my Wyoming recap last year so I might as well make one for MT/SD/WI combo this year. I'll do a more extensive write-up on Montana on the elk forum and link it to this page, but long story short we had some brutal weather (lots and lots of snow), but was able to shoot a raghorn and put some meat in the freezer, but it is a very interesting story and I'm excited to write it (there is a LOT more to the story than just shooting an elk).
I absolutely love bowhunting, but another rather large passion of mine is chasing pheasants with my golden retriever as well, so be forewarned there will be some gunshot birds making it in here as well (I get it, this is bowsite but shield your eyes if you must).
My activity will pick up towards the end of October with a trip to SD pheasant hunting followed by a week of chasing whitetails here at home during the rut. I'm not a big early-season hunter. Love that some guys do well early, but sitting in a hot treestand with mosquitos eating me alive kills me. Also keeps the Mrs. happy for me being MIA come end of October. Enjoy.
Looking forward to your updates man!
Yep, let's hear your stories. Looking forward to it!
Next few weeks may be a bit quiet other than checking cameras. My mind has been on elk hunting all summer so whitetails have been on the back burner.
Side note I have buddies bating bears on the land I hunt and left them a little surprise on one of their trail cameras. I did get a call two days later asking if anyone has been on my parents land. I laughed a lot as I texted back, "no what's going on". I was at work and got a voicemail saying someone was messing with his cameras and a picture of someone's bare ass was on one of em. I eventually spilled the beans after work but I let him stew over it for a few hours, all in good fun.
I'll hopefully get to checking cameras for the first time sometime in the next week or two. Until then it's keeping me and the puppy in shape and in-sync with daily short training sessions and keeping around our 25-30 mile/week running average. This is his second year and I'm hoping to avoid more of the 80 yard flushes he had as a 5 month old puppy. My wife is a bit of an amateur photographer and this is my favorite pic of us. I like shooting pheasants, but watching my dog hit a hot scent may be my favorite thing on the planet (or at least tied with a pissed off elk or rut crazed buck).
Nice shot. Thought it was stolen from a dog food commercial.
I started bird hunting out there in 2002, along the river by Lebanon, the grasslands, were incredible,,,,, but take your bow,,,,,,, lots of good bowhunting there,,,,,,,,
I know what you mean, I am a grouse nut......
Looking forward to yours and everyone else's hunts. Have fun.
There's not a lot of good threads here on the WI forum anymore. This will be one of them. Congrats on the tough trip Luke. Can't wait to get together to talk smack :)
Finally got around to checking my trail-cameras yesterday after a month of sitting. Unfortunately at this point I do not have any deer on camera that I would consider shooting, thus I have no immediate plans to hunt any of my primary "rut" areas. Have several very nice 2.5 year old 10 pointers, do have one odd looking what I would guess is a 3.5 year old 7, but shooting him does not interest me. Hoping what was a 130 inch 11 pointer that didn't show up until the end of October last year will follow the same pattern and appear same time again this year. Have pictures of him into December so I'm hoping he made it through.
Pheasant opener is Saturday and I'll be chasing roosters every night once that hits. Will check cameras again in 2 weeks and see if anything is worth stinking up my good spots yet. Leave for SD in about 3 weeks for 5 days of pheasants, if nothing shows my first time in the stand will likely not be until November 2nd when I will have my normal rut bowhunt and will likely be in stand 8 out of 10 days. Never thought I'd see the day when I'd give up a weekend of whitetails during the rut to go chase stupid birds, and yet here I am. Hope everyone else is getting some opportunities!
Hopefully he comes around in 2017 again
Hopefully he comes around in 2017 again
Good luck to you. I used to feel guilty if I wasn't in the whitetail woods every opportunity I had. I'm adjusting that view and taking on a quality vs quantity approach. Pheasants sound like fun. Enjoy
Kind of what I switched to last year as well, if I did have anything that I wanted to shoot showing up on cameras I may consider hoping in a tree. Stupid dog changed me on the pheasant thing, only really got heavy into it last year when I trained my first bird dog. And fortunately or unfortunately (however you want to look at it) I enjoy the dog-work close to or as much as bowhunting so I try and get out as much as humanly possible.
Yesterday was a bust with rain all day but this morning was smoking. Flushed a dozen and four roosters. Unfortunately can only kill 1/day opening weekend. Pup did fantastic, this guy was a cripple that he wasn’t able to mark because he had just flushed a hen. Brought him down wind and he hit the scent trail and managed to run him down 300 or so yards. Could see the rooster attempt to flush but with a broken wing he was done for now that Lambeau had his scent. Flushed 3 more roosters on the walk back to thto truck for good measure.
Will be getting out for my first sit of the year this afternoon. I’ve got doe on the mind for an Alaskan friends wife that doesn’t hunt. I’ve got 200lbs of halibut in my freezer, least I can do is hopefully auger a doe for them.
Don’t know why that pic is rotated. Will have to fix it later, can not figure out for the life of me how to do it on mobile.
Sat last night and saw 11. 2 little bucks trying to chase does. Actually saw a pretty nice 8 pointer, could only see him for a split second and never had a chance to really look at him. Will be chasing pheasants again this afternoon and likely all week. Might sneak out for another afternoon sit next weekend.
Killed 3 roosters in 3 days and flushed 26 birds opening weekend. A good start to the week ended not so good. Was very excited last night as my pup got birdie the first 5 minutes of our hunt, my anticipation went up as I expected to hear a cackle and have a rooster come tearing out of the long switchgrass.
But instead I was met with a horrible smell, my dog sprinting back to me and him instantly rolling around trying to get the awful smell out of his mouth and eyes. A*&hole got his first genuine skunk experience. Threw him under the tonneau cover and had my peroxide mixture ready once I got home. Literally almost threw up when I opened the tailgate as he had thrown up in the back as well on the way back. If you've never smelt a dog fart that is a combination of skunk spray and vomit, I wouldn't recommend it. Was hard to let him in the house last night. Peroxide/baking soda/soap mixture at least makes him passable, but good lord what a way to ruin a pheasant hunt.
I have to laugh at the description, although not a funny experience.
Maybe I should say that's what you get for pheasant hunting during bow season :)
You're probably right, the archery gods punishing me for switching my priorities to birds in October (if it happened to anyone other than me I'd be laughing as well). I'll finally get out Sunday afternoon for one more sit before leaving for SD next weekend for a 4-day bird hunt on public land (will likely bring a few more skunk kits). Then will have all-day sits November 2nd-6th, and 11th-13th. Just flat out don't have anything showing up on cameras that interests me so I'm staying out until the rut. I'll likely only have 2 sits in October, a new low for me.
GREAT STORY for us. Good memory for you.
Been there several times. The smell of a direct hit, is unlike what you smell while driving down the road. It is a cross between analysis gland and sulphur. I used some suff from farm N fleet last time, and it worked amazingly well.
Skunks are my worse nightmare.
Can still smell it on his chest as of this am, eyes and nose are a little raw but I can’t smell it there at least. At this point just time, stupid tonneau cover still smells like death. Flushed 3 roosters last night, windy and dry so some pretty bad scenting conditions. 2 long flushes at 60+ yards at no fault of the dog. One gimme that I blew the easy shot but luckily peppered him on round 2. Up to 29 birds flushed and 4 dead roosters after 5 days hunting, young of the year are finally turning (one I killed last night was). No hunting today with rain and a wedding, pheasant tomorrow am and an afternoon archery sit.
If you have an ozone unit run it sealed up under the tonneau overnight. You will be amazed at what a decent little ozone machine can do.
And we found another skunk this morning. Anyone want a well trained skunk dog???
Of course on the walk back to the truck he flushed 2 roosters close, I did not shoot as I’m hoping at some point he gets it through his head that the day is over if he wants to chase those damn things!
Off to the bowstand this afternoon and hopefully won’t find any skunks for once.
Kind of slow last night. Did see 5, one 2.5 year old 8 pointer put on a good show with raking, grunting, and chasing. I finally have one on camera that I'd consider shooting, looks like a 130ish 8 pointer. Have daily pictures of a really nice 2.5 year old ten pointer that I have decided I won't be shooting, could be really nice as a 3.5 year old.
No bowhunting for me until November 2nd, leave for SD on Friday for a 4 day pheasant hunt. Good luck to all this weekend, should be dynamite with the weather change!
Leave for SD in the AM for 4 days chasing pheasants. Starting November 2nd I've got 5 straight all-day sits planned. Lambeau had a gorgeous 300 yard trail-out into a gimme flush that I blew, first one of the year I've missed, he was not impressed, if dogs looks could throw daggers I'd be dead. Up to 32 birds flushed, 4 roosters killed, it's been a nice start other than the skunks. I've had issues with my 870 not always completely clearing the spent load and the brass has a tendency to get caught as I eject. If anyone on here is an amateur gunsmith I'm open to suggestions. When I slam it open after a shot it clears no problem, or if I'm clearing at the end of the hunt I can do it soft and same thing, no problem. For some reason when I shoot a bird I don't have a tendency to slam it however and I think a fresh load I would've had a makeable 40 yard shot on round #2.
Was hunting a small chunk of public (40 acres) of nice tall switchgrass with cornfields galore, two yahoo's came in with their overweight lab 10 minutes after I had started hunting. Dog was running wild, poorly trained, constantly yelling at him to get him back, I brought him back once as he was messing with our hunt. I politely asked if they knew that I was hunting in here, and they replied they did but there was no where else to hunt. There is literally 3000+ public acres within a 5 mile radius of where I'm hunting, with most of it holding pheasants, I wasn't going to send them to my better spots, but I did suggest they try and not hunt a small piece like this when someone else is there as it can get dangerous for both dogs/humans alike. They shrugged it off and kept hunting so I took my pup and got out of there (don't love their chances of flushing anything anyway with the amount of screaming they were doing).
Long story short, these looked like guys that had never hunted pheasants or prepared their dog for such an event. Hopefully they take it as a learning experience as I was not attempting to be a d*%k, no matter how bad I wanted to cuss them out for hunting on top of me. The joys of public land.
Day one was fantastic. 30 plus birds flushed and managed to pick up number 6 with ten minutes of legal light left. Some excellent dog work with Lambeau trailing out the last two roosters several hundred yards before having some nice close flushes. My buddy ended up one short of a limit due to some poor shooting haha. Kicked up a gorgeous 140ish buck out of the cattails.
Some extremely poor shooting but we managed to get our 3. Had a double flush and I hit them both but for the life of him he couldn’t figure out where the 2nd one went. Last rooster died in a hell hole cattail slough. Took him 15 min to find him as with no wind he had a hard time getting a scent, persistence pays. 9 roosters flushed within shotgun range, should’ve been done an hour into the hunt but still good fun. One more night hunt tomorrow and try and pick one or two up in the middle of the day Monday and back to Wisconsin.
Where are you in SD? I leave for the Mitchell area on Thursday.
West of Aberdeen. Today was slow. Killed one, flushed and rolled another one that landed in the thick thick cattails and for the life of him the dog couldn’t come up with it. Most birds being flushed last hour of daylight in heavy cover near corn and beans.
Got back late last night. Had 30-35 mph winds and high 20's for temp's yesterday, didn't get to hunt the "golden hour", but did have a pretty good hunt surprisingly. Birds were extremely spooky, did flush 20-15 birds during the day with 7-8 of those being roosters, but with that wind they were in the air 80-90 yards out. Did find one dumb brood that sat way too long and did kill one easy young of the year. Ended up with 21 birds between the 3 of us over 4 days. My uncle's golden in the top pic is at 490 roosters flushed and retrieved for her career, will turn 8 in January so a pretty impressive feat. We're headed back out first weekend in December for a 5 day hunt.
I've got to work today and tomorrow, but then 5 days to bowhunt!
First rutcation day was good/bad. Good news is I saw 22 deer and 6 different bucks. Bad news is I had a nice 130ish ten at 15 yards and he took another 2 steps after I stopped him (didn’t have much of a shooting lane but thought I’d make it work). I had a 1/2 inch branch about 6 feet from me that I was sure in my head I was going to clear. I was wrong. Arrow exploded on impact and the 3.5 year old ten will live to see another day. I’m not too terribly mad, was a fun sit that just didn’t work out.
I’ll take shooting a limb over my 80 year old fibromyalgia patients any day of the week! Life is good, 7 more days to try and get it done before rifle.
Bummer. Sounds like a great day, though. Sweet picture!
Back at it. The wind is good to sit one of my favorite sets. Edge of 35 year old CRP pines on one side of me and a thick bedding area on the other. This is the spot I shot my buck the 2nd (and final) time last year. Morning of dreams, favorite spot, cool, crunching leaves, light wind. Just need the big guy to show up!
Today was fantastic. Saw 8 bucks before 930 this morning. Ended up seeing 11 on the day. One borderline shooter that is either a big bodied 2.5 or smaller racked 3.5 8 that is about 18 inches wide. Had him at 5 yards 3 separate times but just couldn’t let my finger hit the trigger. Could be a really nice buck next year and I knew I wouldn’t be excited if I shot him. My cousin got his first crossbow kill tonight, a doe. He had literally zero interest in horns and likes to get one doe a year for his freezer. It’s a win win for us, we can’t keep up with the Does and he likes them. Saw 25+ deer today. Big guys are close, lots of grunting and chasing today.
Sad post of the day. Had a legitimate high 150s ten at 8 yards and I couldn’t get it done. Came in from the left and I was fumbling around trying to figure out which side of the tree the shot was going to present itself. He got nervous and moved around directly behind the tree and stopped broadside at 15 yards but could not shoot with the angle of the tree. A left handed archer would’ve killed him. He looped around through some thicker stuff and the shot never presented. I’m borderline sick, one of the biggest bucks I’ve ever seen while on stand and I had him at 8 yards! 23-24 inch ten pointer with great mass and length. No pictures of him. Pretty sure he ended up winding me but you never know, still have 5.5 days to bowhunt.
Got a nice little 8 pointer this afternoon...with my truck. Scared the hell out of me, was looking out the right side and he can’t out of the corn, didn’t even get a chance the brakes. Airbags deployed, smashed my hand on god knows what. Claim is filed, my sis thinks it’ll be totaled (she’s my agent). Stole one of my dads farm trucks for the next couple weeks. Did see 6 bucks tonight, all little guys. One more day before back to work.
Today was the end to my 2017 archery season. Older age class was on their feet today. Passed on at least 5 different bucks over age 2.5. Unfortunately it needed to be 6. Watched a nice 130 class ten chase a doe into a thicket and about 10 min later this guy came out and I had it in the back of my mind that it wasn’t the same deer, but the excitement of the situation clouded my judgement. Did make a nice 25 yard shot and he was dead within 40 yards, slick trick sliced through opposite leg.
Makes it even worse is I passed on this deer 3 different times in the last 10 days and was excited to see what 3.5 would bring. Sadly I won’t find out. I’m not going to minimize a kill, I’m happy, meat in the freezer even if it’s not one of my “target” bucks.
One of the 2.5 year olds I saw today.
Congress grossklw. Enjoyed following along on your season.
Lambeau put a pep in my step this afternoon. Finally got the elusive Wisconsin limit. Up to 7 birds in Wisconsin and 64 flushes. Will likely get him out a couple times during rifle season. SD again first week of December.
Glad you are ok from the Deer accident
When sprinting trying to keep up with your birdie golden and you take a digger; I’d highly recommend looking at the end of the barrel to make sure there is no dirt in it before pulling up on the first rooster of the day. I was very lucky tonight, already ordered a new barrel and a fresh pair of boxers...butthole puckered.
Glad your ok. Not sure what your going to do with that barrel but would bet your local huntersafety instructors would love it for a teaching aid.
My cousin is a hunter safety instructor and he gets first dibs, but yes I will be giving it to someone who teaches. Scary scary stuff.
Man I am glad your okay,,,,, I saw that once on the job, where the shooter was not okay,,,,, your archangel was looking out for you........ No bird, is worth it, slow down, do not run, its just a bird,,,,,,,,,,
Some years ago the Wi Game Preserve Association had a series of bird hunting tournaments that I was very involved with. One of the rules was no running, one foot on the ground at all times. It was strictly enforced as it is a serious safety issue in a number of different ways. This rule also resulted in better trained dogs as competitors needed to train their dog to sit or stop on command and wait to be released when the hunter caught up to the dog to continue trailing.
Agreed, was really silly and am just glad it didn't actually cost me something like myself or my dog. I have good control of my dog, and I can generally tell when he gets to the point when he's expecting the bird to flush and he was at that point. I need to do a better job of stopping him when he gets too far ahead, completely my fault, not his. One well placed fox-hole took care of it. Thanks for all the well wishes guys, could've turned out a lot worse and I'll have to chalk it up to a scary learning experience. Hopefully the new barrel will be in this week and we can go redeem ourselves next weekend before we leave for SD again in DEC.
That is the main reason I changed back to pointers. When I was young I would chase a flushing dog but there is nothing safe about running with a loaded gun. Now I enjoy letting the dogs get way out there and all honor a point until I mosey over and circle around them. Glad your OK
Good luck with the upcoming hunts and enjoy the heck out of your dog!
Leave Friday for 5 days in SD. My dad ended up taking his best buck ever this weekend, a 133" 8 pointer (nice and heavy/wide 5.5 inch bases and 18 inches). He's not a big hunter, and he was for once excited and I was happy for him, a likely a nice 3.5 year old buck. We ended up killing 3 does, one nice buck, and our friendly neighbors gut-shot a small buck that hey never bothered looking for that died within ear-shot so we tagged and processed so the meat didn't get wasted at least (80 acre farm and they shot 13 deer, frustrating!)
I think Lambeau got fed up with my antics so yesterday so he took matters into his own hands. Caught his first cripple, was a tough old rooster, both wings were broke from earlier in the season, always nice when you don't have to even shoot to get one in the game bag! Up to 15 birds for the year (WI+SD), and 74 birds flushed in WI (flushed 4 other hens in shotgun range last night as well).
Day 1 of my 2nd trip out here ended with a nice limit. Birds were spooky to start the day but we found at least 3 dummies that sat a little too tight. 4 more days!
Day 2 was great. Missed one rooster but still ended with a limit, only counts if you end up with less than 3 right? Probably flushed close to 30 birds, quite a few wild ones but enough sat plenty right as well. Up to 21 birds for the year. 3 more days out here, weather should be good tomorrow but then 2 days of misery.
Had to leave SD two days early to beat the blizzard home. Last day Sunday flushed about a dozen hens but not a rooster in the bunch, my uncled ended with 3; I can’t complain as it was the opposite Saturday.
Hunted for a couple hours yesterday in a t shirt and flushed 5 hens, we were due for a rooster.
Only flushed two tonight but we got our moneys worth. Absolute favorite hunt is always the first snow. Young of the year birds sit really tight and generally don’t flush until the dog is right on top of them.
Current total, 10 WI roosters, 13 SD. I’ll probably post a couple more updates towards the end of the month and will pull cams to see what survived.
Don’t know why it flips them
I am not really a bird Hunter, always too busy with deer in the fall. But I can appreciate watching a good dog work. Love the pictures.
If you guys are bored my 2017 montana elk hunt story is up on the elk page.
Nice story. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing.