Wednesday, November 25, 2009

VT buck & fresh sign

Hunted Vernon, VT today with Austin and Chris Bruneau. Bruneau shot a nice 8pt 130lb buck at 7:30 this morning. He was in the woods only 1/2 hour! Buck walked by him at 100 yds on a run. Heart shot took him. I found a few scrapes that had been reopened since last Monday. Their movin again! This afternoon, Austin and I set up a ladder stand for him for shotgun. On the way up, I checked my camera set over a scrape that hadn't been freshened in a couple of weeks. I had pics of does and a spike and small six checking the scrape. At 1pm, there were 15 pics on the camera, no fresh sign at the scrape. On the way back at 2:30pm, I pulled the chip and the scrape had been freshened! A check showed a nice 4pt with a broken main beam on the 21st at 10:30am and a nice six (no brows) at 1:34 pm! The buck had been there while we were up on the mountain scouting! I know where Austin will be set up on Monday. Happy turkey day. Shoot straight.

Getting ready for Shotgun

I got out for a few hours this morning to move a treestand and have one last look around before opening day of shotgun and thanksgiving. It would have been a great morning to be out hunting. There was a light drizzle, and it was mild, it was quiet walking in the woods, lets hope we can get some of that come Monday.
I was able to find a couple of fresh scrapes up on the ridge where I was moving my stand, and it looked like the deer were starting to feed pretty heavy in the acorns. On my way out I stopped to take my camera out of the woods. The scrape my camera was on had been hit lightly and there was another scrape about 50 yds up the run that was fairly fresh. After checking the camera I found that I should have been in that stand on Friday the 20th. A nice 6 point that I have never got a picture of showed up.
That morning I did not go out because it was supposed to poor all day according to the weather the night before. I woke that morning to a pretty heavy rain that ended by about 8:30 or 9:00am. I remember thinking It would have been a great morning to be sitting on a scrape, assuming that bucks would want to freshen them after the hard rain. If I only listened to myself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Awesome bow season

My bow season started out with two does during the first week. I was hunting an oak flat north of a saddle where I'd seen deer in the past. A NW wind blew my first hunt and I was unable to fill my 4N doe tag. The next night Oct 16th, I set up in a stand south east of the saddle and at 5:20pm I heard that unmistakable sound of deer moving. Two does (I assume the same two from the night before) came in from my left. A NW wind was perfect. Both does looked mature, probably 110-120 lbs. As they fed in the oaks towards me, I heard a branch break in the direction from where they came and they both snapped to. Suddenly, all hell broke loose and they went running under my stand just as I saw another deer coming down the run. I thought "monster buck". Not quite. A small basket racked six comes running in on their trail, grunted once. I could tell he was smaller than the does, but I had never shot a deer with my new bow. As a matter of fact, I had never shot a deer with a bow in MA in all of the years I had been hunting so this was his unlucky night. As he walked up the run, I came to full draw and stopped him broadside at 15 yards with a bleat. The release of the arrow seemed like it was in slow motion as I watched the arrow pass through right behind the front shoulder. I watched him do the death run an pile up 50 yds away! My first MA bow kill. 100lb 6pt.
After a few uneventful sits, I was in my stand on Nov 9th well before daylight. At 8:00 am I caught a coyote jumping a stonewall to my left at 75 yds. A couple of bleats and he was working his way to me. At 35 yds I released and watch him scramble. Thought I missed. At 8:30 am, I was day dreaming when I caught a glimpse of a deer working along a ridge 80 yds to my left. Once it was out of sight, I gave a couple of grunts. A minute later I saw a decent buck appear above me in the oaks a t 100yds walking away. When he stopped, I gave 2 grunts and he almost turned inside out, spinning around in my direction. He immediately pawed the ground and pissed on his hocks. He then started heading in my direction! When he was about 45 yds out, he pawed the ground again and racked a tree branch. At 30 yds, he caught wind of the arrow I shot at the coyote and stopped broadside dead in his tracks. I released and he took 3-4 bounds and stopped. I immediately knew I had made a marginal shot. Low and farther back possibly a gut shot. He walked off. After waiting a few hours, my dad brother and I picked up the trail. Good blood for the first 150 yds. He bedded several times and then the blood trail dried up, One drop every 10 yds. We left him in the afternoon when he started heading up hill. The next morning I went in and resumed the trail. After a couple of hours and 150 tedious yds, I found him dead! 148 lb 7pt. Now it's just a doe tag in MA. First time I every tagged out with two bucks. Lucky year for me. I forgot to add in that I did hit the coyote. Found a big pool of blood but no dirty dog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

End of Bowseason Review

I didn't see too much to end the season. The deer really seemed to be locked down from the 12th through the 17th or so. I went out on the 19th to move a treestand to get ready for the shotgun season and came across at least a dozen fresh scrapes. Some of the scrapes were reopened scrapes and some were brand new. I have not been back to my scrape camera to check on its activity, but I did refill the dripper on that scrape back on the 17th, and at that time it only had a couple pics of does on it.

While setting my stand on the 19th I did find a leg (still hair covered) of a small deer. It must have been killed by coyotes. The leg was small, I took a picture of it next to my GPS so everyone can see how small it was. Makes me feel better about laying the smack on the coyote on the 11th.

Now I'll have to wait until shotgun season to see if I can tag out for the first time ever. I have also started the process of cleaning my deer skull to make a european mount. I will post photos and an update on how the process went when I am done.

My bow season

This is my third year hunting this area(my first year with a bow). There are plenty of deer but the terrain is tough. I spent a lot of time out in the woods Pre-season checking for sign and setting my trail cameras. I was excited to see the number of pictures I got.

Once the season was underway I primarily sat two stands. One on the east side of the mountain and one on the west side of the mountain(About 1.5 miles apart).

On the morning of Nov 2, I had a close encounter with a spike we named crazy(he has one straight spike and one that twisted like a unicorn). I had trail cam pics of him on the west side of the mountain during pre-season, almost 1 1/2 miles away. He caught me off guard as he came in over my left shoulder, and came right to my tree with his nose in the air. He went directly under my stand and got away without a shot.

Later that evening before dark, I, for an unknown reason, stood up in my stand looking up the hillside. A short time later I saw a big bodied buck with a nice rack travelling south (about 70 yds above me). I attempted a couple of bleats and grunts without success. About ten Minutes later another big bodied buck with a nice rack crossed in the same spot. I was determined to make sure he heard my grunts, so I gave it a little umph. Which resulted in a horrifying sound. The buck stopped momentarily but never came my way. The kicker is I have a stand on the run they were travelling but chose to go to the lower stand.

The next morning I sat the same stand. At daylight I had three does come over my left shoulder going on a 45% angle away from me. No chance for a shot.

Though I didn't get a kill I had a great season so far.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It has been very warm with a southerly wind for the last few days. I haven't seen much the last few days and I have had no pics at the scrape where I have had so many over the last few weeks. Last night the warm front moved out and the wind switched to the north, so this morning I went back to the stand where I missed the other day. I was about 15 minutes later than I wanted to be, i was in the stand by a bit after 6am ( I could already see). At 6:15 I could hear see something running up the run toward me. I could just see enough to shoot, as 3 coyotes came running up the run. One of them made the mistake of stopping for a lip squeak at 10 yds. I let the arrow go and I knew it found its mark and he ran off. At 6:20 I could hear something else coming up the run, I assumed it was another coyote, I was wrong. A big bodied deer was approaching, I readied myself as he slowly walked up the run. He walked past my stand at 15 yds, I gave him a soft "errp", and he stopped, THWACK!! This time I didn't miss, a double lung shot, and I knew he wasn't going far. He ran about 50 yds behind the stand and I heard the great sound of a deer falling down. The real fun was getting him out. I was a long way from a road, and had some rough terrain between me and civilization. Thankfully I had a willing friend who wanted to help, I could have never done it without his help, thank you Kevin. The buck which I thought was an 8pt turned out to be a 7pt, he had never grown a brow tine on his left side. The buck weighed in at 180lbs dressed. We found the coyote about 50 yds further than the deer. The coyote had only 3 legs. The right front leg only had about a 3 inch stump, it was well healed and covered in fur. It must have been caught in a trap at a young age.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Old Deer

Later in the day today I got a call from my brother saying that he had shot a large buck. He was hunting off the ground, on a hard wood ridge where he had seen two decent bucks yesterday. He had made a mock scrape, and filled it with some Tinks69. At 10:30 he heard a deer approaching. As it came into view he saw it was a large buck. The buck was very cautious as he made his way in, at one point causing my brother to have to draw, and then let it back down. Eventually the buck stepped into the scrape at 30yds..THWACK!! My brother thought he had made a gut shot. 4 hours later and about 250yds, what he thought was a gut shot was a liver and off lung shot resulted in a 6 1/2 or more year old, 10pt, that tipped the scales at 205lbs. And I thought I had a good morning..Congrats Mike you deserve it!!

Strike One

During the spring/summer I found a new stand location. It is way up on a ridge on a growth line between mature oaks and hemlocks. There is also a deep cut ravine that runs through ridge which pinches deer through the area. There is a good run leading around the ravine, and when I found it in the spring a line of about 8 good scrapes ran up the run. The catch is that, in the dark it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to, and it is at the top of a large ridge. I have been saving the spot for the rut, and a good north wind (today was going to be the first day to give it a try, Fri Nov. 6). I left my truck at 4:30 (that's AM), I was in the stand at 5:45. At 7:00 I heard deer coming up the run toward me from the ravine crossing. Two small fawns with no mother came right down the run just like they are supposed to, as they worked past the stand they kept looking, and turning ears toward the north. As they got to 15 yds they continued to look north (which is away from me), and then they turned around and went back the way they came. At 7:15 out of nowhere a decent 8pt came running up the run, I quickly picked up my bow, drew, and now hes passing at less than 15 yds. I give him the standard mouth "errp", nothing, again a louder "errp!!", nothing, now a "HEY!!", he stops, maybe 15 yds......swing and a MISS!! Man do I suck! He trotted a bit north and stopped and I tried to grunt him back to no avail. At 7:30 I hear another deer coming from the north. As it approaches I see its a button buck, he walked by at about 25yds and hung around for a bit before walking all the way around me and walking down the ridge behind me. At 7:45 I look to my right to see another deer working its way toward me...It stops in the hemlocks and I couldn't see if it had horns. The wind was quartering towards it a little, and I think it may have caught my wind, because it turned around and walked away. As it walked away I could see that it was a spike horn with about 8 or 9 inch spikes. That was all for the morn but that was far better than my average morning.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Close but no cigar

On my way out yesterday I swung past my camera over the scrape and found it had several new pics. I decided to hunt that stand in the morning today. At 7:15am I heard a deer approaching from out and to my left. It was the steady cadence of a buck on the prowl. I readied expecting the deer to hopefully come into the scrape. As the deer came into view I could see It was a decent 8pt. The deer was quartering in my direction but was online to move past out of range. As he reached the shelf I was on I gave him a couple soft grunts. He stopped and stared for about 30 seconds. He then began to walk on the same route. I tried again, he again stopped and stared but would not come. He dipped into the ravine behind me and out of sight. After a minute or two went by I heard a grunt from that direction and I grunted back. Immediately a deer began running in my direction, i readied myself again. Instead of the buck coming to me a doe came running up the hill to about 35yds (again I have no doe permit). She began to feed and worked away from me down the run. It became obvious that the buck wouldn't come to me because he wanted her instead. I checked my camera when I got down and found it had numerous pics from the night before, one of which I believe was the buck I saw this morning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Does without fawns

November is here, It is time to start hunting some of my better stands. This morning I hunted a stand along a small oak ridge hoping to find a buck cruising, looking for a doe. On my way in I laid a scent trail of Tinks69 with boot pads. At 7:00am A lone doe followed the trail to 30 yds right in front of me. She looked to be a 1 1/2 doe, maybe 100-110lbs (of course I have no doe permit). She worked her way over the hill and out of sight. At 7:15 I heard a deer coming from the same direction the doe had gone. I could see what I thought was the same doe coming back, the deer basically backtracked where the doe had come down. As the deer got in front of me I realized that it was a small spike horn that I have pics of. Not exactly the deer I want to shoot.