Glad to see you getting back at it. Sounds like next maybe 3 days are supposed to pretty decent weather. Hopeful the wind will stay low and you have time to spend in the woods. Still hoping you can get your shot.
Headed out here in a bit. Is 56F with WNW 6-10 wind predicted to continue for the next couple of days, I will sit in either the blind or the NE stand again today. The wind will be all wrong for the NW stand. Plan on checking the cameras again today, between those results and after seeing what the deer do tonight, will determine where I hunt tomorrow morning if I don't get it done tonight. I had considered hunting the South stand tonight, but think it will be better saved for one of the next two mornings. I said I wasn't going to be hunting any more mornings, but 40f at sunrise in late December is hard to pass up on. Can hunt until 5:37 tonight, days are already starting to get longer.
3:22- Have been in the NE stand for about an hour now, another beautiful afternoon in middle America. Changed memory cards on the cameras before climbing up. Scrapes along the edges have been worked recently. Found the feathers of a turkey that had been eaten over by the walnut scrape. The target shooters have been shooting non-stop since I got here.
Just had a doe fawn come from the NE, went behind me along the West side of the brush pile, thru the ef, then went South thru the timber towards the walnut scrape. Hope she brings company
5:50- Back at the truck. The last five deer went SE to start their night. The first nine does and fawns exited the field at the SW creek crossing.
Was hoping the deer would give me a clue about where to be tomorrow morning as the sun rises. Will see if there are clues on the trail cam pics. The deer basically told me to flip a coin or roll the dice.
9:02- Settled into the blind well before first light. Something broke the tie down rope on the East side of it since I was in it last, wind? squirrel? deer? Who knows. Have only seen two large owls, some crows, a large flock of snow geese, and a few birds so far this morning. Have not seen any deer at all. I cannot see well to the East, they may or may not have came in from that way. They sure haven't came from the South nor I have seen any to the West thru the timber.
10:30- Well it happened, zero deer seen for the first time this season. Back at the truck, have to go get some things done before coming back this afternoon. Beautiful morning to be out, the deer just chose to go somewhere else
Randy: my day went real well, can't hunt cause the eye surgery says no. But, drove along east side of tuttle today, can look across three quarter mile of mud flats and with the binos can tell the difference from a batch of snows and a batch of pelicans, life is good. Stick one big guy.
5:50- Back at the truck. The does fed across the field towards the SE but below the first terrace. A little better outing than this morning, but not what I had hoped for.
Big wind forecasted again tomorrow afternoon. If I go at all tomorrow it will be in the morning. I don't plan to hunt anymore this week otherwise, have plans to spend more time with family thru the weekend. Temperatures will determine if I stand hunt anymore at all thru the 31st.
Going out this afternoon, after 2 sometime. It’s in the lower 50’s, with a 8-15 mph NNW wind that is supposed to slowly decline thru the afternoon hours. Can shoot until 5:41 tonight. I will either hunt from the blind or the NE stand depending on the wind when I get there. Have had a nice break from it, wanted to go out yesterday and the day before but had company that I don’t get to see enough of, my kids. Weather sounds a bit ugly this next week, rain, ice and snow, so will check my cameras today and be sure they have good batteries.
3:00- Cameras serviced and settled into the NE stand. I said the wind would decide where I hunted today, indeed it did.
When I pulled in the drive, I immediately recognized that my blind was gone, only thing there was my bucket. Seems my anchors were not rated for the 55mph winds we had the other day. My blind is wadded up in the brush pile to my West. Too late in the day to mess with it now
3:40- Doe and doe fawn just ran out of the cedar grove across the main field into the timber 40yds East of me. I parked up there today when I got here, but they ran out of the East side of the grove. Hope the neighbor and his dog walk it all out.
6:05- Back at the truck. Field was clear of deer by 5:45. Tried to locate the stakes used to hold down the blind using my phone light, only found two. Doesn't appear that the blind suffered much if any damage, but the tie down ropes look like they may have snapped. Will come out mid morning tomorrow and reset the blind or pack it up for the year depending on what I find in the daylight. Pictures later.
Final two days of hunting for a buck in the 2020 season. Today's weather is forecasted to have 41f for a high temp with 7-12 mph NNW winds. Tomorrow it is supposed to reach 42f for a high with 7-9 mph ENE winds. I will be able to shoot up until 5:43pm today, 5:44 tomorrow, gaining about a minute a day with Mother Earth tilting back the other direction each day. Most likely won't hunt both days, but today's wind says NE stand or ground hunt from hedge row, NW stand tomorrow.
I went in to put my blind back up the day after my last hunt. When I got there, I discovered it had not been damaged thankfully. Five of the eight tie down stakes were not found. I looked for them for quite awhile. They evidently were thrown very hard when they got pulled up out of the ground, they were not located. Will take a magnet along to try and find them later. Three of the four tie down ropes had snapped off. I went ahead and packed it and my other hunting tools up for the year, will have to get some more stakes and replace the ropes before spring.
I honestly considered raising the white flag on my buck hunt after the last sit, letting the tag revert to antlerless to manage the doe population a bit. Everyone following my hunt should recognize that there are plenty of does there. It would be beneficial to the buck/doe ratio to thin their numbers a bit. I have kicked around the idea of taking others in with me to kill more than one. KBA members will get first chance, best case scenario would be a first year youth hunter. Stick, recurve or compound bow, or firearm, doesn't matter to me. I will have to be available (afternoon hunt only) and able to go along on the hunt, advance arrangements will have to be taken care of ahead of the day of the hunt (written permission slips filled out), etc. Send me a private reply if interested, will see if something can be worked out.
3:35- Settled into the NE stand after walking in from the East along the hedge row. Flushed up a covey of about a dozen or so quail halfway in. We had light rain most of the day yesterday, the walk had been quiet up to that point. The mud told on the deer, coyotes, and other critters that had used the same route in since it stopped raining late last evening. A doe and fawn had came from the East just as I had done. A large buck had came from the SE crossing thru the hedge row about the same place I encountered the quail. Numerous deer had came from the SE crossing the hedge row on both sides of where I ground hunted a couple of times. There were lots of tracks around the scrape but none in it. There were a lot of tracks at the corner post where three separate properties meet. There were tracks showing deer came from the South entering the timber 30-40 yds East of this stand. There was only one set of tracks out in front of this stand, a small buck had went thru the crossing headed East at some point after the rain stopped.
5:39- Buck came from the North, hung up below me looking at does in field, and up at me. He was a young broken tined 8pt, most of his rack busted up. He got brave and walked right under me in my shooting lane. I was standing already, but my bow was on the hook still. I decided to let him walk, never reached for the bow.
5:41- Second 8pt came down same trail, could hear a third coming behind him. Slowly reached for my bow easing it off the hook. He was a mature 8pt, made my decision to shoot him if given a shot. He stopped at the same spot as the previous buck had, looked right up at me. He got nervous, trotted about 10 yds to the East, turned and looked right at me again. There was too many tree limbs in between us to shoot. All of the does, and the first buck took off running to the East, the buck I was watching took off to the SE not giving me a shot.
6:02- Back at the truck. As I was walking out, a doe and fawn followed by a BIG buck ran out of the cedar grove towards the SW creek crossing at a sprint. Didn't take many pictures tonight, but I guarantee you my battery has been recharged, will come out tomorrow to hunt for sure!
Final day of the regular archery season for 2020. It's 37f with a ENE 7-8mph wind. I said yesterday that I would likely hunt the NW stand this afternoon but have changed my mind. The majority of the bucks come from the North of an evening, a couple from the NE, one from the SE. That SE buck is kind of an anomaly, have not figured out where he is bedding for sure, lots of residences that way, open fields with little to no cover, he is very sneaky and very nocturnal. He either travels a great distance to arrive there when he does late evening, crossing several busy roads while getting there, or has found a cover spot that I have not seen. He has on occasion come out of the cedar grove like last night, but that landowner and his dogs frequently walk it out enough that I cannot see that being the buck's home comfort zone. I'm going to stick with the NE stand following what took place yesterday and due to above comments. It's between and South of two highly used bedding areas. Am going to wait to go in until around 3pm, rarely is there any movement until after that time of day even during the rut (which was pretty uneventful this season compared to past years)
3:55- Have been in the NE stand since about 3:15. It was 37f at the truck, virtually no wind, skies overcast. No quail today to get the heart rate up, a few more tracks in the mud noticed though. Is real still and quiet, calm before the storm? They say we are to get up to or over 4" of snow and some ice tonight and tomorrow. I fueled up the generator and put the snow blade on my SXS to be ready, probably won't happen now.
5:18- A total of nine does crossed thru the ef. Something spooked them, kept them from wanting to cross thru wooded neck like they have been. Two of the fawns went thru the crossing. But all nine took off running back towards the NW bedding area. I see nothing SW of here to bother them.
5:44- O-quitting thirty, thought I was done seeing deer when the does headed out. Four more heavy does came from the NW, and a deer came up out of the slough at the South end of the crossing. I waited awhile to let it decide what it was going to do, then started climbing down. It watched me walk out into the field, and head East, guess it thought it was invisible. 2020 is a no buck season for me.
On my drive home, 3/4 of mile West of our field, I had to stop to let a busted up 8pt buck cross the road in front of me. He was blinded by my bright lights, was nervous but not in a hurry to cross the road. I set and watched him head South thru a cut corn field smiling about the timing of his appearance
Good to know that you enjoyed it and were following along John, Michael, Jason, Brian, James and others who have contacted me via private messages.
Am sure there are many more that have followed Kyle and I thru the season. It would be interesting to see just how many website hits we produced for Bowsite doing them. I know we used up a lot of their servor space doing them with the videos and pictures. On my hunt there were multiple threads of 100-150 posts each, 913 posts so far, 1061 posts on the Sito Safari.
I ran multiple trail cameras for the entire year, they were out there Jan1-Dec 31. I scouted the property monthly in person all year as well, from the road with binocs at different times of the day, and in the field when checking the cameras. I was not very optimistic about the season as there had not been many bucks showing up on the cameras, very few does were seen-most were small/young deer, a lot fewer fawn pictures, trails that had been heavily used in the past were abandoned and overgrown. I looked at other properties that I can hunt, I found much the same on those properties as well, very little deer activity.
My first hunt this year was in the middle of October, earlier than I had started in the previous 2-3 years. I saw deer on nearly every hunt, only one time this season did I not see one. Initially there were 6-8 resident deer, does and fawns seen regularly. I only saw one button buck fawn this year. Daytime buck sightings were rare, with the exception of the young dink bucks that most all of us see regularly. There were very few rubs and scrapes found there this year. The majority of the rubs found were AFTER the main rut push. Keep in mind, the property is a staging/feed field/travel route that the deer cross thru, rarely do they bed anywhere on it. I saw very little rut activity, most that I did see was with the smaller bucks. My best chance at killing a mature buck on this property is during the chase phase, which often attracts and brings in bucks I had not seen previously or had trail camera pictures of. That did not happen this season. The initial chase phase typically lasts a full week on this property, this year 2-3 days tops. I only saw 2nd-3rd stage chasing happening twice, for one day each time. With the number of does and doe fawns present in the middle of November to the end of the season, that was very disappointing. The mature bucks I had seen in person, had pictures of, remained nocturnal for the most part. They showed up on the cameras typically 30 min to an hour after dark, were seen 1-2 hrs before sunrise headed back the other direction. My years of hunting experience told me that they were either aware of my presence or were traveling a fair distance to get to this field to visit the does. With me not hunting nearly everyday, the trail cameras should show if their patterns change now that I will not be there as often. I did not see a single daytime roaming buck, at my spot, nor while driving anywhere this season. Anyone that knows me, know that I am obsessed when it comes to watching for deer while driving, or riding in a vehicle, am always on the look out for them wherever I go. I saw them following does at night, but not during the day like we typically do during the peak rut. I did get to shoot at (thankfully cleanly missing TWICE) one mature buck that was dogging some does, he had no clue that his life had been threatened, that the shots even happened. That was the only "normal" rut activity I witnessed this year while on the hunt.
Off Season plans; I'm going to again leave the cameras out all year(may move a couple of them). I plan on moving the South stand to another spot. It's on a good travel route, but just too close to the road for my liking. I'm going to take down the stand that my daughter shot her buck from in her first year, upgrade it then move it to another spot. I'm going to do some maintenance work to the NE stand, raise it higher before next season. I'm going to cut firewood out of the brush pile under it and remove some more trees around it that kept me from being able to shoot at a couple other bucks this year. I plan to raise the NW stand higher or possibly move it further back into the funnel. There are a few fallen trees around it that will be cleaned up this winter as well. I'm going to spend more time shooting and tuning the bow, correct the tip drop off at a distance. I'm going to experiment with my camo, test my belief that light refraction/radiation off them IS an issue with them. I'm going to try to secure permission on additional properties to hunt before next season. I need to have more options, to add more variety to my hunts. I currently can hunt four different locations. I only hunted the one. The other three properties had no sign at all this year.
Ended my deer season tonight when I shot a 2-3yr old dry doe right at sunset tonight. I had sat within the brush pile expecting the usual doe parade thru the ef. The only deer that showed up there was a very small doe fawn, not even knee high in height. That fawn smelled me and went back into cover. I saw three other does go straight East thru the timber North of me right after the fawn had went that way. Six does came out into the main field East of me at the first terrace. The doe I shot led the pack, she ended up coming West towards me, bad mistake for her. I will post some more recent trail camera pictures later tonight. Will be eating some fresh tenderloin tomorrow.