Only 3.5 days to hunt on land never before scouted.
Six hunting day trip done in a day and a half.
Seen for shot, ran off before draw was complete.
I had another fairly successful archery hunt last week. This is my 4th year in the association and I'm just now beginning to spend more time hunting than looking. I returned to the same property I hunted last year hoping I could tag out within 4 days so I could try another state on the way home. The week was tough because of the warmer temps brought by the southern winds. I placed a couple stands which I could hunt with northern or western winds. Both stands were hot spots last year, unfortunately I never got to hunt from them. I had two other stands for southern winds and spent most of my time on those. I saw several young bucks during the week but nothing of any interest. I did get this one after 3.5 days of hunting. He’s not my best but it is a perfect rack. Probably in the low 130’s and is definitely an offspring of the 148 inch buck I took there last year. I probably should have passed on him but it appeared nothing was happening there and after talking to several other hunters I have met over the years, nothing was happening for them either. One day I hope to get to the point where I feel confident enough to pass on mid 130 bucks. I talked to two other members who hunted the property after me and they never saw another shooter the rest of the week so I guess my decision to take him worked out. I did manage to hit the second state for 3 days on the way home. I saw much more buck sign on that farm and I saw tons more bucks. Actually I saw 17 bucks and 2 does. Two of the bucks were shooters but I managed to bungle one of them, can’t get them all. Overall I had a great week though and would like to express my thanks. Steven
I had a strenuous but successful hunt this year. This is my third year with the association so I'm still exploring properties. I harvested this guy on a piece of property I've never hunted before. My plan was to try the property for three days; if I was unsuccessful I'd move to property I hunted last year. When I got to the property, I couldn't believe it. Most of the properties I hunted in my previous two years contained a lot less wood line. This property afforded me to place several stands. If I felt I pressured the deer too much, I could easily move to another area on the property. Last year I had to move to another property because the deer were traveling the same wood line which usually was the only wood line. And honestly, I only saw sign of one other hunter ever being on the property. Foot travel was nearly non-existent, no cut lines, no red ribbons leading to previously placed stands, no shooting lane trimmings, only 1 limbed out tree which was only hunted once. You could say I had to settle for a piece of property with promising deer sign which nobody wanted to hunt. Jeez, how bad can it get! Am I that unlucky! The only down side, I did have a couple coon dogs running around here and there but the deer didn't seem to mind.
One thing I had to keep telling myself though, more woods makes it a little harder to get one in close. The weather wasn't great, SE winds and warm temps. I should have brought a swim suit and sun tan lotion. I only had a north wind twice during the week; both times I had a shooter in close. One passed me without stopping. I did stop him with a grunt followed by a couple bleats. He came back within 15 yards for at least 2 minutes. Only problem, there we a couple ¼ inch limbs right in front of the vitals. The second buck 3 days later wasn't as lucky. I actually passed him up at 35 yards because he was down hill and I was 16 feet up a tree and he didn't look that big. I decided to take a closer look so I drew him in with a powerful grunt followed by 2 bleats. He came back from 45 to within 18 yards and I corrected my error in judgment 5 minutes prior. It was a clean and quick kill.
For other new members (especially singles like me), here's my lessons learned:
- Even small wood lines produce.
- Get proficient in locating the properties, not all have signage.
- Get a deer cart, you can’t drag these monsters by yourself.
- Don't be afraid to rattle, grunt, bleat (anything to get one in).
- No matter how dejected you get, keep hunting hard If conditions are bad where you’re hunting, they're probably the same 10 miles away (don't bounce around).
- Oh, most importantly, stay off the un-graveled roads when they’re wet even if they don't look that bad (learned the hard way) If you do place stands on un-graveled roads, make sure you have a back up property on a graveled road.
Thanks MAHA, can't wait to come back.
Thank you Steven for the pictures and great story to go with it.