Friday, December 3, 2010

Finally on the Board

It was Dec. 2, 2010 and I hunted MA with a muzzleloader in the morning again having a deer slip by behind me. I've been chasing deer for 2.5 months and have yet to get one due mostly in part to my own stupidity.

After sitting the morning in MA I decided I would go to NH and check my camera to see if there was any recent activity. I threw my bow in the car and went up. If it looked promising I would stay up there otherwise I would return to MA and waste my time down here. I have been hunting NH since Sept 15 and have not seen a deer. Why would I think it could ever look promising.

Early I posted pictures of a big 7 PT that I got on my camera last week. It had rained hard and heavy for most of the day Wednesday, so when I arrived and found fresh tracks I thought I would have some pictures that would tell me how recently the deer had been there. I pulled the SD card and found the batteries were dead and there were no pictures.

I'm here and the tracks look fresh so screw it I thought. Something might come. I changed, and climbed into the treestand just before 2 PM. I hadn't been in the tree 45 minutes when I heard a noise to my left. I glanced over and saw the body of a deer behind a hemlock. When it stepped out I could see it was the beast.

He started toward me and was no more than 30 yards and he stopped. I had switched out the batteries in the camera and I thought he might have caught my scent. I had used this scent I saw on TV called Calm A Herd, it's supposed to be a cover scent and smell like deer. The stuff is a stick and is $20 for 2.5 oz. I rubbed some on the nearby trees to cover my scent from changing out the batteries before I got in the stand.

The buck acted cautious but didn't seem to scared. He would start in, then walk back, he was after the acorns that were under my stand. He circled behind me and in front of me just out of range for an hour and a half. He was just taking his time never acted scared, but very cautious. He was back in the hemlocks behind me and I could hear him, but not see him. It was getting late 4:40 when I heard a deer walking steady toward me. I thought it was a different deer.

The beast never stopped and walked right under my treestand. He was broadside at 15 feet when I drew back. I had watched him for so long that I was completely calm and I was telling myself to take my time and not blow it. It was gray light, and I could see the green dot from my sight as I lowered it onto his form. I touched the trigger on my release and he bolted going about 100 MPH. I had no idea where the arrow hit as I couldn't see it when it released.

The string on my string tracker was going out, so I knew the arrow was in him. I climbed down and was going to look for him in the morning since I was unsure where he was hit, and I had a detail at 6:30 I had to get to. As I was walking out I came across my string. I noticed the blood trail at that point was heavy and I only went about 20 yards and I saw him piled up.

His inside spread is just about 21 inches. He weighed 168 lbs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NH Buck

These are pictures I got of a 7 PT under my treestand in NH. I have not seen a single deer in that state and I have over 100 hours in trees. The beast is wide and probably close to 200 LBs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

There are at least a few deer in Massachusetts!

       Yesterday Nov. 12th I saw deer! I haven't seen a deer since Nov. 2nd. I would have never thought it would be possible. That I could spend virtually every day in a stand, during the first two weeks of November, and not see a deer, but it has happened. I don't know what happened to the rut. I don't know why I haven't been seeing deer, but I do know that I am not the only one experiencing this problem. 
    Yesterday at 8:30am out in front of my stand about 80yds I could see a large doe heading my way, with this years fawn leading the way. My stand is located on a ridge that runs north and south. I come in on the east side of the ridge, which is very steep but it allows me to get into my stand without the fear of any deer cutting my track. The deer were coming from the north on a run that travels 20 yds to the left of my stand. The wind was out of the Northwest, which meant there was no chance these deer were going to wind me, it looked like I may fill my doe tag. The deer were feeding on acorns and slowly walking toward me. When the fawn reached the 40 yd mark she dipped into some thick brush that is a little further west of the run and disappeared, the mother did the same. I could hear them in the leaves and within minutes the fawn came out almost dead left of me, still heading south past my stand. I let her pass waiting for the mother. The fawn fed within 20yds of my stand behind me and continued south. The mother never came filled doe tag.
    At 9:30 I could hear a deer walking from the same area the does had come from, maybe the mother was bedded and was coming out. Nope, I could see a buck, that I thought was a big spike heading my way. Like I said the does came from the same area but he did not seem to be trailing them. He was not searching, he would sniff the ground but he didn't seem to be on the hunt. At 40 yds, where the does had gone left, he went right. He did not seem to even notice that the doe's were there, and that they had gone the other way. He continued toward me until he was directly in front of me at 20yds (the only place I don't have a shot due to the pine trees that hide my stand). He stood there and ate acorns for about 5 minutes. During this time I realized that he was not a spike but a small six point, he had 10 or 12 inch beams, each had two small (less that 2'' tines). He ate acorns, cleaned himself, shook off, he basically didn't seem like a buck looking for doe's, more like a deer that just woke up from a nap. After eating some acorns I figured he would continue his trek south past my stand either on the right, or left on the main run. Nope, he walked straight to my stand, under the pines that hide me, until he was sniffing my tree steps. One good sniff and a quick look up, and he was off to the races, blowing loud enough to alert every deer in the area (not that there were anymore). If you asked me on November 2nd if I would fill my 2nd tag on another small buck, I would have said "no way". Seeing a deer has been so difficult, the thought had crossed my mind, and if I had been given the opportunity...I may have ended my season on a 120lb 6pt. But.... I didn't... and now I'll have to keep hunting, hopefully not for another 10 days without a deer sighting.                                                       

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Monday, November 8, 2010

Where NOT to go in New York

I just returned from a much anticipated 3 day bow hunt in Central New York with a guide service by the name of CP's Guide Service ( The crux of this message is to never consider using this guide service while searching for trips in NY. I had the misfortune of learning the hard way.
This was not my first guided hunt in NY and I have had several decent hunts. However our group decided to change it up this year and found this guy at the Outdoors Show at the Big E last Spring. He had everything to offer, archery and gun hunting, on-site butchering, a country inn with 2000 adjoining acres and 50 stands. All this less than three hours away and for only $650. Sounded like a good deal so I checked several references who all gave the guide high marks.
Well...., that was before the guides wife took out a restraining order against him so that he lost the property and everything that came with it. That left him scrambling for lodging which turned out to be an absolute dump where we slept on stretchers. No lie.
We could have dealt with less than ideal living quarters, but what he did next was abysmal. The guide had yet to step in the woods this year and this is his full time job. His stands (which turned out to be 18 and not 50) had not been touched since last year. Most of them were not even close to where the deer had been traveling. Thank god I brought my climber to make adjustments. He didn't talk to us to see what we've been seeing, if we wanted to move, if we needed help,...etc. He didn't talk to us period! After three days, this guy still didn't even know our names!!! He basically took $650 from the six of us and just took off each day. Getting out to all of the stands was our own dilemma and several were over a half hours drive.
The weather was terrible which I can accept, that's part of hunting. There were deer in this area in good numbers too. But his lack of preparation, professionalism, his rudeness and the fact that he was not honest about his situation is what ticked off all of us. So much so, that we all abandoned the hunt on the last afternoon. The one guy who took a deer called the guide to ask for help after it crossed onto private property, he was told to just trespass and get the deer back to camp. Sorry, but isn't that the guides responsibility to help out in that situation?
Alright, enough whining. Just wanted to let people know to stay clear of this clown.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Close but no cigar! Miss on Nov 05, 2010 and no shot on Nov 06, 2010!

On November 5, I climbed into my stand with the belief that there was a strong likelihood that I would see deer. As fate would have at approximately 5pm a big mass 4PT buck rolled in from the south. It appeared that he was going to come right down the funnel in front of me and present a 25 YD broadside shot. At 40YDS he turned slightly up the hill (At this point I would have had a wide open shot had I prepared myself). He slowly walked across the hillside at about 40YDS. I prepared myself for a shot and picked my lane (which appeared to be open). He came across the hillside almost level with my stand at what I estimated to be 40YDS. I let my arrow fly. He went about 50 YDS then began to look back. I though I hit him. I grunted twice and he walked up this steep hill out of sight. A few min latter I made a phone call (which the deer must of heard) and I watched him bound up over the top of the hill. A few min later I climbed down. I found my arrow and no blood. I tracked the deer up the hill about 75YDS but found no blood. The event left me with a knot in my stomach. Based on what I saw I believe the shot was low.I am unsure whether I hit a branch, the shot was further than I thought, or I just blew it.

On Nov 06, 2010 I woke up at 4am thinking about the night before. Knowing without a doubt that I would be headed for the same stand shortly after my shift ended at 3PM. I was in stand a little after 330. It was getting late and getting a little hard to see when I herd what sounded like deer to the south. For the first time all day I stood up and watched in that direction for about ten minutes. As a went to turn back around a deer was standing ten yards to my north he startled and bounded out to about 45YDS. I was surprisingly calm and relaxed. I could not tell if this was a buck or a doe. I let out a couple of soft bleats. I could see this deer relax and within ten seconds it slowly began walking directly toward me. At about 20 yards it turned east toward a little knob were it came to a stop. Its head was behind a small hemlock and it body in full view. At this point I had a 20YD broadside shot. Unfortunately It was a shot I couldn't take. Due to the light condition I could not be 100% certain this was a buck. I think I saw some horns but just couldn't be sure. I trued a couple of soft grunts but couldn't get him to budge and the daylight continued to fade. After about 15-20 long minutes this deer walked away heading SW. He stopped at about 60YDS and looked back for another min or two before walking off out of sight. At this point it was getting dark and I was glad to have him away from my stand so I could climb down without spooking him any further. Time to give this stand a cool down.

Overall these were both great encounters and encounters I came away from learning many lessons. I'm trying to keep telling myself that today didn't happen so tomorrow could( maybe that big 8 will roll through).

Week One Over! the first week of November is over. I shot a deer on Monday Morn, and on my way out that afternoon at 10:50am I saw a nice 8point with two does in a nearby field.  MW shot his 9 point Monday Eve. I saw a couple of does on Tuesday Morning in a stand near where I saw the big 8 the afternoon before. The stand is an Oak ridge that deer love to bed on top of. I have a second stand on the very top of that ridge closer to the bedding area, but I wasn't ready to get in that close yet. KS shot his 8pt on Tuesday Eve. Wednesday morn I hunted the stand I shot my buck last year out of, and although there is a lot of sign around, I saw nothing. Thursday and half of the day Friday it rained cats and dogs and I did not go out. Friday evening I did go out and went back to the stand I shot the spike out of, nothing. That same evening KS missed a 4pt that would have tagged him out of the season. Saturday morning I went back to the stand I had killed out of last year. Again there was a lot of fresh sign, there were 3 scrapes within 100yds of the stand, one of them was at 15yds in shooting lane. It is good to see sign around the stand, but it takes me an hour to hike out there...I don't know how many times I can make that hike without seeing deer. Saturday evening KS saw another deer out of the stand he had missed out of the night before, but could not tell if it had horns. That's it...still seems a little slow, I am hoping this next week will get deer moving, I haven't seen a deer since Tuesday, and other than KS, most guys have experienced the same slow action.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The 10 Minute Sit

Got in my stand I call Conlon's Crossing at 4:15pm on Monday Nov 1st. Perfect NW wind. While I was texting my brother, I heard what I believed to be deer walking. Nah, couldn't be I just got into the stand. Then I heard that unmistakable sound of deer walking and when I looking up from my text, I almost fell out of the tree as I saw this bruiser at 55 yds! He was walking towards me, acting very cautious. I was able to grab my bow when he got to 45yds. I drew when he went behind an oak tree and when he stepped out, he was angling towards me at what I thought was 35 yds. I had to relax my draw as the angle was bad and he wasn't budging. He took three more steps and was broadside at what I thought was 30 yds ( I later paced it at 41 yds! Time for a range finder) He was acting awfully spooky as he was right where I had just walked in 10 minutes prior. I put the pin on his shoulder about halfway up the body and released. An immediate hit on the shoulder, but I thought it was low. He bounded off 35 yds and wobbled a bit. He could barely walk with the left front leg damaged and I could see alot of blood. I heard him thrash a couple times about 60 yds away in a ravine. Left him until 7pm when I returned with my tracking crew (brother Kevin and sons Austin & Dalton) He only went 35 yds from where I last found blood and he was piled up! The arrow NEVER entered the chest cavity! It must have struck an artery in the front leg right near the armpit. Boy, somebody was watching over me. Nice 9pt, 170lbs. Great way to start the season.

MA bow season 2nd deer, What a story!

I had planned to get out to my stand about 1400hrs this afternoon. My truck was in the shop and I didn't get home until about 1545hrs.

I immediately geared up and headed for the woods. I had planned to hunt a stand off the northwest face of the mountain. I parked on the east side of the mountain and began my hike in. I was about 3/4 of the way in when I began to climb the last steep hill. When I say steep I mean steep (about a 50-70 degree angle). About half way up the hill I came to an old logging road that zigzags up the mountain. My ears quickly perked up when I heard the sound of a deer running directly toward me. I froze in my tracks.

Approximately 60 yards strait ahead of me a buck crested the top of the mountain. It was a mature buck(I could see 6 points and couldn't tell if it had any brow tines). He slowly continued toward me. I drew my bow, but I knew this deer was well out of my range. I thought better of taking a shot. He stepped behind a small white pine which allowed me to let my string down.

He stood there for a minute looking in my direction . As he began to move toward me again I drew my bow. He took a couple steps and came to a stop at 40 yards +/-. He was now straight on staring directly at me. I knew it was now or never. I put my 40YD pin at the base of his neck, hoping to hit him in the chest. I let my arrow fly. It paralleled the steep grade and appeared to be a good shot. He quickly spun and went 10 yards up the hill where he disappeared behind a ledge.

I made phone calls to BK and MW and told them my story. I checked the area of my shot and found my arrow. The first five inches of my arrow was missing, and broken again about 8 more inches up. There was blood that would have been 3/4 of a way up the arrow had in not been broken. I found good blood on the ground near the arrow. I called BK and MW back and both agreed to meet me at my house an hour later to start looking for this deer.

An hour later BK,MW, and AS were at the house ready to start our search. It wasn't long before we were on the blood trail. It was good at first, slowed a little, but then really picked up. Long story short it had gone about 200YDS. I can't even tell you how happy I was when I saw this big bodied buck on the ground.

This was truly a special moment in my life. Probably only a few of you reading this can truly understand. To harvest this awesome deer in such a unique way and to share this moment with three great friends only made it that much more special.

Back at the house we were joined by MK. I was enjoying the moment over some suds with my friends when I said how great it was to harvest this deer because I had so many things to do. BK said he doesn't know anyone who has tagged out with two bucks and a doe during bow season. I know that I won't be able to stay out of the woods for long.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Down

     Today was the actual first day I had taken off to hunt. It was only my third time out. I went back to the same stand I had hunted the first two times out. The morning was cold, and the wind was pretty calm out of the northwest (which was prefect for the spot I was in). Daylight came and went without any sign of a deer. I had watched about 2 dozen squirrels feed in and out of the area for most of the morning. At 9am I had pretty much written off the morning, and was only going to stay until 10. I had just texted a couple people the usual "seen anything". I turned back to my left and caught a little movement out at about 70yds. It  was a deer, and in the sun I quickly saw spikes. He was heading in my direction, slowly...feeding a little, and wandering. At 35yds he turned broadside, I thought to myself I wasn't going to make a medium long shot at this spike. I would have loved freezer meat, but at the same time...if he walked away I wouldn't have been brokenhearted. He didn't walk away...he continued in to about 20yds. Although I wouldn't have minded if he walked away...I wasn't going to turn down freezer meat at 20yds.
     He quartered away and I picked my spot...A little back with the idea that it would come out well on the otherside. THWACK...perfect...he took one good bound and stood out in front of me at about 40yds. I waited for him to fall over....I waited...and waited....and waited...he didn't fall. He just stood there...the hole looked good, but he didn't fall. He bedded at 50yds, right in front of me, 10 minutes later he got up, and bedded again...10minutes later he did the same....10 minutes later he labored to get up and walked out of sight. I did'n't know what to think. I got down and backed out. I called some friends and KS left work to join my at 12:30.
    We went back in and quickly found the arrow, and then lots of blood. We walked to where I had last seen him....nothing. We then decided to make a small circle before returning to square one. It didn't take long before KS spotted him rolled up, no more than 100yds from the stand. A trip to the checking station found him to be 105lbs. He's no monster, but it all tastes the same. While cleaning the deer we noticed the arrow entered the chest cavity but missed the lungs and heart. The arrow had passed through the liver upon entry and provided the fatal wound. I threw in a pic of the exit wound, If you look at the pic with me in it you can see the entry hole behind the bow...I don't know how he lived so long.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ready to go!

I wasn't supposed to have any time off until Nov. 1st, but I couldn't wait and took today off. I have only hunted once this year, and I went to a ridge with some oaks hoping to maybe find a doe. First time out was about about a week ago, and although I saw no deer, there was a lot of sign. This past Thursday it rained and was very warm so i decided to set my cameras back out instead of hunt. I set one of them up on the ridge I had hunted. There was a fresh scrape about 100yds below my stand on the side hill. I doctored a new scrape right next to the old one and set the camera. When I walked to my stand this morning I walked within 5 yds of the camera, and from my stand I can almost see the camera. On my way out I noticed a fairly fresh scrape on top of the one I had made. I assumed it was made yesterday.. I pulled the SD card to see...I was wrong...lets just say I should have had the stand down there this morning.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Bucks & Bears

These two bucks were at my stand 530 am thursday morning and the bears were there later that afternoon. I still haven't seen a deer and my stress level is at an all time high.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Opening Day 2010 Massachusetts Bow Season @0800...100LB Doe 30YDS!

Got out to one of my favorite spots for opening day of bow season. The weather was cool and the wind was forcasted to be WNW. Hunting this area last year and talking with BK about this spot we felt the wind was going to swirl of the ridge essentualy reversing the wind direction.

On my way into my stand this morning I'm pretty sure I bumped a deer(didn't blow, but I could hear one moving away). I altered my route slightly and got into my stand. The weather was perfect and it wasn't long before I could hear a deer moving and feeding 50-60YDS away. I began to doubt what I heard and began to think it may be squirrels. I quickly got that thought out of my mind as a couple of twigs broke.

Like that there was a nice mature doe walking directly at me. As she disappeared behind some brush I drew my bow. Much to my disappointment she went under a hemlock were I had no shot. A minute of two passed and she emerged heading right for a lane BK and I trimmed. I took the first good shot I got. It was about 30 yards slightly quartering away. I heard a good thud.

It was only a minute or two before I was on the ground looking for my arrow and some blood. I didn't see either. My heart sank... Could I have blown it?. ...Could I have jerked?.....

It wasn't long before I was on the phone with BK and MW. Both thought I should look for the arrow and look for blood 50-100yds out. I checked the area good, no arrow. It was a couple of minutes before my mind slowed down long enough for me to recognize that a was fairly certain that the arrow was hanging out of the deer as she fled.

I went in the direction she left in. About 30YDS down the run I had fairly good blood trail. I pulled out for about an hour and a half. MK came over to the house to give me a hand tracking the gal. We found the arrow a short distance down the trail. Another couple of steps and we could see her piled up. She had only got about 100YDS. What a great feeling.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hog VT bear

This is a pic of a bear my brother saw while bow hunting VT on Oct 3rd. It wouldn't come any closer than 45 yds and never presented a shot. He figures 350-400lbs. That rock behind it is close to 6 ft long and 2 1/2 ft high! He also saw another bear that night that was about 150 lbs, but no shot. A cow and rutting bull moose came in also. No deer though.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First Blood of 2010

My 17 year old son Ryan headed to NH on Saturday Oct. 2 and climbed into the stand about 1:15 PM. The stand sits back about 75 yards from an area that was clear cut about 2 years ago. The stand is located in a hemlock and there are a number of oaks around the tree. The acorns are limited in NH this year but this area still has some. About 6:35 PM a button appeared and shortly after a doe walked into the opening and stopped. She was broadside and reached for an acorn as the 100 grain thunderhead pierced her lungs and stuck in the ground. She ran about 200 yards and dropped dead in the clear cut. It was only the 16th deer checked at Trader Johns and the season opened Sept. 15. The doe weighed an even 100 lbs empty. I still have not seen a deer and I have at least 40 hours in tree stands.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Almost here!

Only a couple weeks left! I got out today and set up one new stand, and checked all my cameras. I have a total of four buck pictures, but one is such a blurry pic that its hard to tell what the buck is. I have another blurry pic that I posted below, and although its not clear, you can see the buck is pretty decent. The most active camera was a camera on a big oak ridge. The camera had 33 pics in 10 days. 4 of the pics were bucks. Three were the spike below and one was of the decent 8 pointer below. I do have one stand near the camera, but I think I am going to get another close by, so that I can hunt it early and maybe get a crack at one of the does I have pics of. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Going to be a great year....

This weather the last couple days has been great. I only wish the season was here and I was sitting in a stand.Last night I spent a couple of hours with BK dialing in my bow. Today I went out and checked my trail cameras. I got several pics of both bucks and does. The best is a 8 pt buck with a very wide rack. I sure hope I get a crack at him!

More Movement

I went out and checked 3 of my cameras today. There were a lot of pictures over the past 8 days I had a total of 77 pictures. The cold weather has the deer on there feet and I got a lot of my pictures under licking branches and places where scrapes usually are. I got a couple more pictures of what I think is the same nine point I posted in velvet. The only thing is...I am not so sure he is a nine point. I think he may be a big 7 point. I have one pic of him facing the camera and I don't see brow tines, there is some glare so I guess they could be there, but if they are....they aren't very big. Either way he is a good buck and I don't eat the horns anyway!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another good buck

I got out today and was able to check a couple cameras, and get a couple more out. I didn't get a lot of pictures, but I did get one good 9 pointer feeding in the oaks. I had a bunch of doe pics, but only the one buck. I shifted the cameras all into the oaks. There are a lot of nuts dropping and good sign in those areas. I did find one fresh rub but i didn't spend a lot of time poking around, I just got in and out. I have four cameras out now, and should start getting more pics as the weather gets cool and October approaches.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2010 Bucks

My cameras have been out since the first part of July. I got one decent buck on July 5 but haven't had any buck activity until about the last two weeks. Plenty of does and fawns a bear with two cubs and a bobcat carrying a squirrel. These pictures are all from MA. I haven't been to NH yet.