Sunday, November 30, 2014

First buck of the season

I didn't get nearly the ammount of time I wanted to to hunt this November but I was fortunate enough to take the 3rd week off. The last week off work before my vacation dragged on and I found myself debating where to go i hadn't been getting pictures but I knew both my stands were good cruise spots. Saturday morning I found myself hiking up to a stand I call the passage it's in a saddle on too of a very steep mountain and there's nothing pleasant about getting to it but the deer love it up there. I made a few mock scrapes as I made my way in and coated them with a buck bomb along with some saplings and brush then climbed into my stand. About a half hour after it got light I started doing some light calling doe bleats mixed with grunts every so often. At about 815 I heard something crashing up on the ledges to my left the last place I expected deer to come out of but sure enough I caught movement then horns and this deer was on a bee line straight down the ledges right at me. It was all I could do to stand up and grab my bow and this deer was at 5 yards sniffing around at the buck bomb all wound up he wouldn't sit still. Finally he turned and went to a mock scrape a had at 10 yards but was facing directly away from me so I wouldn't shoot then he made his fatal mistake he turned to the right took a step and at that he was broadside at 10 yards and I was at full draw and let one fly. He took a couple bounds then stopped with no idea what happened then I saw him get the wobbly legs and he was in the dirt... An awesome way to start my week off a nice 130 lb 5 pointer 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Decisions, Decisions!

  Sometimes an entire Massachusetts deer season comes down to making one right decision or maybe encountering one small piece of luck. This season I didn't seem to make a good decision, or have any luck. We all know that we're not living in the midwest, we don't really know the rut is happening until its too late. By the time your friends are telling you that they saw bucks cruising or got a crack at a good buck, or that your trail cameras are showing daylight's too've missed it. Based on these two pieces of information this years activity started to pick up slowly on Nov. 6th. I had a nice 8 point cruising later into the morning on that date and also had late morning cruising on the 8th at that camera as well. The majority of activity seem to ramp up around the 10th and ended around the 14th or so.
     During this time frame we had numerous bucks on there feet all day. with a couple good bucks at 10am, 11am,  and 1pm. in that date range. Those deer were at my stands, just not the stands that I was hunting on those particular days. Some I can excuse because maybe the winds weren't good for hunting those spots on the particular days, but for others that wasn't the case. One particular stand is a stand that I have had plenty of activity at and was one of the few stands that I had deer sightings at this year. I was waiting until I could confirm the rut was one before going to that stand. This stand and another were two stands that I could hunt on westerly or northwesterly winds. When that wind came I flipped a coin and ended up in one of the stands (not the right one) for one all day sit, and then a typical morning then evening hunt (never seeing a single deer) on the 12th and 13th of November. Meanwhile the other stand had deer at it at all hours on those days.
   That simple decision during a couple of the highest activity days may have cost me a deer this year. It's been a rough season, its not over but its getting awful close. Below are a couple videos and pics of some daylight deer at the stands that I wasn't hunting.

Nov. 6th @ 7:30am - the video whited out but you can still see its  a good buck. This buck is cruising a shelf in a funnel. This location had another buck come through on 11/8 @ 9am. This location had almost no doe activity so I hadn't been hunting it, but the bucks still cruised through checking.
Nove. 6th @ 4:30pm this buck we called the skinny 8, he didn't have much mass but looks to have good genetics if he survives. We had a lot of pics of this buck so we hope he survives.
Nov. 10th @ 8am this spike walked past one of my stands along the back of a clear cut. That same morning at 11am a nine point came through the same spot. I had pics of the big brow-tined 9 at another stand on 10/27 but hadn't seen him again until this video showed up. I also ended up getting a few more of him on 10/13 just before daylight.

Nov. 12th @ 4:49pm another spike wandered by one of my stands.

Nov. 13th @ 11:17am and 1pm the same buck cruised past two cameras in the same area. 

Then on the 14th following a morning hunt I returned to this stand for an evening hunt to see tracks in the snow. A doe had come though at 9am and a buck trailed her a half an hour later.

 I still have a couple cameras that I haven't checked in while...I'll update if I get something good.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Not A Deer

   Its not Sunday the 9th and I still haven't seen a deer. Today one friend reported seeing a buck chasing 3 does but he was the only one with a sighting. I sat the same stand that I hit my big 9 pointer from 2 years ago. This stand only seems to produce when deer are on the move, then the swamp edges push the deer past me. At about 9:30am I heard some footsteps coming down the edge of the swamp. They were very loud and I did not think it was a deer, and it wasn't. I large cow moose followed the script and walked down the swamp edge and walked right into my shooting lane just like the deer do. She stepped directly in front of my trail camera and showed me her best side before show moved off....only to come back up through a few minutes later. Let's hope that a deer does the same before this season is over. I shot some pretty good video on my phone but the file is too large to put on the blog. I had to chop it into a pieces to get it on the blog. Here are some of the vids and the view from the trail camera (see below).
    As far as deer movement, it may actually be starting to happen. I had a small buck come through this same stand 2 days ago at 3:30pm, and my brother got pics of one of the 8 pointers we've been getting pics of near one of my other stands at 3:30pm on this past Thursday (the day of the storm).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5th Update

Well it's November 5th and as I sit in my stand I am wondering where all the deer are because it's definitely not near me.  I know several guys who have been at it hard and are in the same boat.  We have a lot of different bucks in the area, but none that seem to be cruising yet.  We are still getting pictures, but only after dark.  The last two days have been warm with highs in the mid 60's. The next two days are supposed to be stormy and windy. Then starting Saturday the daytime highs are only supposed to be in the 40's with nighttime lows in the upper 20's,  let's hope that gets things moving.

The Traveler

   As many of you know there is a buck that I have been hunting for about 4 years. I have posted about him several times.  He started as a decent 8pt., then became a very big 8pt.,  then a big 11pt. , last year he was a massive 9pt., this year he is a huge and massive 8pt.   
   I thought I had this deer pretty well figured out.  I have always got his picture in the same area around a big mountain laurel thicket.  Last year I got hundreds of pics of him right through the season,  minus one week in mid November when I figured he had found a doe. This area is difficult to access and hunt,  I need an east wind to hunt the area. I was able to get relatively close to him last year but swirling winds are also a problem in this area,  and they cost me.
    This year I got his picture on cue within just a few days of setting the camera in September.  I thought I was on my way to another season with possibilities of killing this monster.  I had moved the stand slightly in the spring to hopefully help with the wind issues.  Much to my disappointment, I never got his picture again from September through mid October. There are tons of acorns this year and I assumed he had shifted his range to take advantage. 
   As late October rolled around I decided to set a camera on some big scrapes I had located post season last year while shed hunting.  I had never got pics of  this buck rutting and have never found the type of sign that you would expect to go along with a buck this size. 
   On November 1st I checked the camera and sure enough there he was opening the scrape on October 31st at 7pm (see video below).  I also had a huge bodied 5pt as well the day prior (see video below). I was excited to see him again, but would still need an east wind to hunt this spot, and this location was even further out.  
    The following morning the winds were blowing northwest. I hunted another stand quite a distance away where I had been getting numerous buck pictures, and had seen a 6pt and some does earlier in the season.  After an uneventful morning I hopped down and checked the camera overlooking a popular scrape.  Much to my suprise at 5:30am on November 2nd the big buck was at this scrape.  I couldn't believe it,  I had never seen this buck anywhere but the small area where I had got his picture for the previous 4 years.
    When I got home that evening I needed to know just how far it was.  I pulled up google maps and measured it out.  From one camera to the next in a straight line was 1.8 miles.  I didn't know what to think and still don't. Was this normal,  is this his regular rutting area or was this a brief wander.  It is not peak rut, deer really have not been cruising yet.  I guess I need to move a few more cameras into this area and see if he hangs around.  If he does it will open up some possibilities.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Vermont bow kill

I decided to hunt Vermont this year for the first time in about 8 years. I decided to look over some new territory that my family had hunted years ago but I never had. I was able to find a lot of feed and some good runs. I a lot of pictures of does on camera all through the summer. I was able to harvest a 105 lb doe on October 11th the second weekend of the season. All in all I had a lot of action saw 9 deer passed on some smaller ones and couldn't get shots at others due to not wanting to cut more then I had to here's a picture of my doe 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

First night results

Last night turned out to be a pretty good night. It was very windy and chilly, but as the night went on the wind at least took a few breaks. At about 5:30 two skippers ran by me like the were on fire. I had several pics of a doe with a button buck and doe fawn,  so I immediately assumed it was them playing around.  Not too far behind the fawns was the mother.  She was in the Laurel feeding on acorns at about 30 yds. As she reached my shooting lane she turned and walked away from me out to about 45 yds before turning and walking to my left out of sight followed by the two little ones.
   Just as they moved off I looked back to where they had come from and there was a decent 4 pointer now feeding about 30yds away. He was very nervous with the windy conditions but he was perfectly up wind so I wasn't too worried. He stayed in the thick brush as it continued to get dark, at times as close as 20 yds. He then moved back out to thirty yds before walking away on the path the doe took.  I have had 6 different bucks on the camera at this stand, but I don't think he was one of them.  I plan on checking the camera when I get down this morning and will post a pick if he's on there.
....well, I checked the camera and the buck I saw last night did not show up on it. But two other bucks that I had previously captured were. One was a decent 8 point, he came during the heavy rain and wind on the 21st and appears to be a little jumpy because of it.The second buck was a tiny 5 pointer that I have got several pics of at this location. 

First Night

Well I'm in a tree for the first sit  of the year.  I know I haven't thrown any posts up yet but I'm going to get on it. As far as big bucks for this year, i really don't have any slammers.
   There is 1 really big 8 (the big nine I hunted last year). He is huge but as soon as acorns started falling he disappeared, I haven't had a pic of him in almost a month. There is another 8 that might go 130", after that there are a lot of smaller bucks (more than usual).
   Scrape activity is just getting going.  Tonight I'm sitting on a scrape line that just opened up this past week. I had six different bucks checking the scrapes along with some does.  I do have a doe tag, so maybe I'll get a chance to fill it.
   It's been pouring rain and windy for the last 3 days.  I'm hoping something comes through to freshen up the scrapes.  It's a little windy but not hopefully it dies down a bit before dark.