Monday, December 29, 2008

MO Antlerless Season

12-19/08 PM- I was headed out to the BS 155 farm for an evening doe hunt. BS 155 is the farm Pete and I had so much luck on during the regular rifle season. I arrived at the farm about 2:45pm. I was really hoping to sit my ladder stand, but a Northwest winds put an end to that idea. Because of the wind I decided to hunt Pete's ladder stand. I took my time getting to Pete's stand because the ice covered snow made walking extremely noisy, and I'm not to stealthy to begin with.

I had only been on stand for about 30 minutes when I heard footsteps to my left. I turned and spotted 4 big longbeards coming out into the field. I watched them feed for about thirty minutes. Around 4:00pm I looked back to the south and noticed a doe fawn looking right at me about 90 yards to the south. I was caught off guard to say the least. As she stood there I noticed there were several tree branchs in the way, so I just watched her. After a couple of minute's she went back in the timber. It was still early in the evening so my anticipation level was high.

About 4:20pm I heard footsteps coming from the south where the doe fawn had went back into the timber. I looked over and saw 5 deer coming out to the field. 3 big Does and 2 buttons. The location of the deer made for a tough shot because I am right handed. I had to just watch them and hope they would give me a shot eventually. After about 20 minutes they finally worked to about 55 yards directly in front of Pete's stand. I anchored the Remington 30-06, picked out one of the mature doe's and settled in. Booommm!

The deer scattered and ran right under the stand. The doe I shot ran about 30 yards to the north before piling up. I was fired up with another doe down and a great end to the 08 season for me. On the way back to the 4-wheeler I spotted deer in the field where my stand is located, so I took the long way back. As I got closer to the truck I saw more deer feeding in the field about a 100 yards from my truck. I took a closer look a saw 3 bucks, including one good buck and 11 doe's and fawns. What a sight 22 deer in one evening. After seeing the deer numbers on this farm, I am fired up for the 2009 season already.

Texas Whitetail/Hog Hunt 2008

We arrived at camp on Saturday morning (12/13/08) shortly before noon. Pete and I where hunting QV Ranch located just East of Throckmorton, TX. We would be targeting whitetail does, wild hogs, and anything else that was legal to shoot. "When in Texas you do as the Texans." After getting settled, stretching our legs after the 8 hour drive from Missouri and watching UMD win the DII National Football Championship we where off for our first evening hunt of the trip.

12/13/08 PM- We where hunting a new lease "The Hargrove" a couple miles north of the main ranch. The property was made up of a huge wheat field with some thick mesquite on the north end of the property. Pete and I hunted about 600 yards a part on each end of the mesquite patch. Both of us where hunting out of shooting boxes. We had temps in the 60's, mostly clear skies and light south winds. I had zero activity on the evening and Pete had a couple small bucks around his stand.

12/14/08 AM- We woke up to clear skies, temps in the mid 50's and a light south wind. We hunted another lease about 15 miles from the main ranch called the Jarman Lease. Pete and I both hunted here in February and saw lots of animals. Needless to say we where both excited to be back. Both Pete and I saw a lot of deer all morning long and could have shot several mature does. Since we had 2 ½ more days to hunt we held out and just watched the show. I had one nice 4 ½ year old buck that I grunted inside 50 yards. He ran off every deer in my area and even postured some cattle that where behind my blind. Along with all the deer I also saw a large coyote and a big bobcat. Neither of them offered me a shot. I was able to take my first Rio Turkey in the morning. At one point I had over 50 turkeys around my blind before I finally got a clear shot at a mature bird. Below is a picture of my TX Rio turkey.

12/14/08 PM- Pete and I hunted just south of the main ranch for our evening hunt. We had a slight south wind, temps close to 80 and clear sky. I was running the video camera and Pete was doing "most" of the hunting. On the way to our blind we bumped a large covey of Quail. Shortly after settling into the blind Pete saw a Monster Armadillo sneaking through the cactus to our left. Pete made room for me to slide into his window and I made an easy 40 yard shot. Varment #1 down. With about 40 minutes of video light left I noticed movement about 150 yards to our south. We glassed the brush and noticed 4 deer (3 does and a young buck) moving our direction. The buck broke off but the 3 does continued walking from south to the north. After a couple minutes the 3 does crossed about 80 yards directly in front of our blind. I stopped the last of the doe when it got centered in the video camera and Pete put a perfect heart/lung shot on the ol' girl. She held it for 30 yards before giving up the ghost. Our first Texas deer and first whitetail kill on video. Right before dark the wind switched to the north and picked up to 30 mph. Shortly after that the temp dropped from 80 degrees to 50 degrees in five minutes, and kept falling throughout the evening. Wind and cold would be the story for the rest of our trip. Below is a photo of Pete with his doe and my armadillo.

12/15/08 AM- We woke up to temps in the upper 20's and a north wind blowing from 20-30 mph. The wind was absolutely brutal! Pete and I where hunting together again in the AM but this time I had the gun and Pete had the video camera. Our morning hunt was back at the Jarman lease. As soon as you could see we where covered up in deer. At one point we literally had deer all around our box blind. There where several smaller bucks, one nice tall & wide 10 point and tons of does. After careful inspection of all the does Pete and I picked out our target for the morning. After Pete got some good video footage of all the deer I made an easy 45 yard shot on a big mature Texas doe. The 30-06 put her down in her tracks.

Below is a photo of me freezing with my first Texas whitetail.

12/15/08 PM - The wind picked up throughout the day and the temp kept dropping. Because of this Pete and I decided to shorten our afternoon sit and also hunt inside the fence at the main ranch. There is a large population of wild hogs on the ranch along with some African Plains deer. Owner Ben Koonce gave us the okay to kill an exotic doe if we wanted. The evening was pretty slow for me. I did see two sets of exotic deer but all of them where young bucks. Pete on the other hand, was covered up in critters all night long. Pete saw several fallow deer, black bucks, Rio turkeys and hogs. Pete was able to take a pure white Fallow deer doe on video and a huge 300# sow hog. Below are a couple pictures of Pete’s hog.

12/16/08 AM- The wind finally died down over the evening but temps remained in the 20's with clear skies. Pete and I setup together in the #2 box blind I killed my turkey in, at the Jarman lease. We where hoping for another parade of deer and turkeys so we could get two more kills on film. Instead we got zero. All we saw on our morning hunt was a small spike buck and 5 does cut through an opening about 130 yards to our west. Nothing else moved all morning.

12/16/08 PM- Pete and I where back at the Jarman lease for the PM hunt. On the way into the lease we saw several deer moving around. This was a good sign for the evenings hunt. The temp had warmed up into the upper 30's, we had clear sky and the wind was blowing from the south at 5 mph. We where back in the #4 box blind that I had shot my doe at the morning before. Shortly after getting settled the deer parade started. Right away we had a nice sized button buck work into 70 yards that nearly got shot. Pete and I went back and forth for several minutes trying to decide if it was a legal doe before finally getting close enough to see it was a young buck. That would be the story of the night. Every deer that worked into our blind for the first 2 hours was small buck or a button buck. Finally, with about 20 minutes of our hunt left, two mature does stepped out a 120 yards north of our blind. The Scentblocker suits earned their money as the deer were directly down wind from us and never had a clue Pete and I where in their world. After a good five minutes worth of glassing to verify the deer where not buttons I touched off a shot and made a perfect 120 yard heart shot. Slickhead thought about holding it for all of 10 yards before going face first into a cactus. That concluded out TX 08 doe/hog hunt.

12/17/08- Pete and I hit the road at 8 AM and headed for Missouri. I ended up making the entire trip all the way back to MN, because the entire family was sick. I finally black dogged into my driveway at 2 AM on 12/18/08.

Monday, December 8, 2008

MO Smoke Pole

With the Missouri Muzzle Loader season coming to a close this past Sunday and our Texas trip scheduled for this weekend, I decided to ML hunt as much as possible through the weekend in hopes of shooting another big doe for the freezer.

12/5/08 BS 155 - A.M. Sit - My Ladder Set

I was able to sneak out for a couple hours before work on Friday, so I took full advantage and was in my set by 6:30am. The temp was hoovering around 12 degrees with a northeast wind at 5-7mph. The morning was crisp and clear with frost covering everything. I had a mature doe come out in the corner of the field to the north at 7:30am. She started feeding straight away, but I didn't have a shooting lane. After a few minutes of devouring beans she went crazy, it was like her feet caught on fire! The doe started jumping around and running all over the field. She made it all the way to the east treeline before turning around and running all the way back to the west timber. She never did stop long enough for a clean shot opportunity. At 7:40am I caught movement in the east treeline. A small 4 point stepped out onto the field. His left side was broke off, but he had a good body for a 1 1/2 yr. old. He licked several branches before walking across to the west timber.

12/6/08 BS 155 A.M. Sit - Ground Action (East side of the farm)

I had to work at 10am this morning, so I was only going to be able to hunt until 8:30 or so. Brian and Brad were bow hunting the BS 70, so I decided to hunt the east side of the BS155 farm. Nobody had been in there all year, and I had personally never been over there. I set up on the north end of the bean field in some tall grass. The temp was 33 with a west breeze of 6-8mph. There was no action off the bat except for rabbits and tree rats. At 8:00am I decided to sneak into the timber and take a look around. The west timber was covered up with trails and good sign. There is a lot of under growth and big oaks throughout the draw. I setup on a little pinch point and had a good 8pnt and doe come by about 10 minutes after I was set up, but they were moving with a purpose and never presented a shot.

12/6/08 BS 155 P.M. Sit - Ground Action (East Side of the farm)

Of course I had OU fans in the store 30 minutes after closing time, so I was scrambling to get out for the evening sit. The wind switched out of the northwest during the day and was gusting at 25mph all night. I set up on the southwest corner of the field overlooking the timber draw and field. I spotted 2 huge cedar trees that had been rubbed recently. They were the biggest trees I've seen rubbed in 4-5 years (remember this!!!). No movement to speak of except tree rats and birds.

12/7/08 BS 70 A.M. Sit - North Fence Ground Blind

Dennis and a friend were hunting the BS 155 property this morning, so I decided to hunt on the BS 70 property. The temp was 22 with a southeast wind of 8-12 mph. I got to the farm early so I could get across the field before there was any light coming up. I was set up in the blind by 6:20am and sat back and waited for shooting light. At 7:00am the skunk that tried to get in the blind with me a couple weeks ago walked out in front of me at 15 yrds and headed off across the field. At 7:12am I spotted a deer coming out of the middle section of timber to the west. It was a good 2 1/2 yr old 8 point and he was quickly followed by a 1 1/2 yr old 6 point that was busted up on his left side. Both deer began to feed east towards the south set. The 8 point went on alert and quickly headed in to the east timber once he crested the ridge of the field. The smaller buck continued to feed in that direction. Once he made it to the edge of the east timber all hell broke loose. 3 mature does and a yearling doe came busting onto the field. The 8 point was hot on the trial of the smaller deer. He was chasing her all over the corner of the field. The bigger does kept chasing after the buck, almost like they were trying to protect the little one.

After several minutes of watching this circus and trying to get a deer to stand still long enough for a clean shot, I grunted one of the big does to a stop. She was slightly quartering to me at 53 yrds, so I settled the cross hairs just to the left of her brisket and squeezed of the shot. The smoke pole barked and instantly I was surrounded by a whiteout. I jumped up to get out of the smoke and almost knocked myself out on an overhanging limb above the ground blind. After regaining my composure I was able to see my doe drop about 30 yrds into the timber. She absolutely smashed a tree on her death run and went ass over tea kettle to the ground.

I was stoked since this was the first muzzle loader kill of my career that the coyotes didn't get to first!! It was a solid finish to the MO muzzle loader season and my eighth deer of the year. With Texas just around the corner I think I'll take a break this week and get back after it in Throckmorton, TX Saturday evening!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Pheasant Shoot

11/26/08- Chad, Logan and I arrived at the cabin the evening of the 25th. We woke up to clear skies, no wind and temps around 20 degrees. It looked to be a perfect day for Pheasant hunting. We actually had Pheasants running around the grain cribs in front of the cabin while we where eating breakfast and getting ready to go. Definitely a good sign.

The morning started out quickly as there seemed to be birds all over the place. As we drove towards the river we had a group of birds run into a ditch/cattail swamp. Chad was able to flush the group and make a nice shot on the first rooster to flush. We had our first bird 6 minutes into the hunt. We saw several more birds before finally making it down to the river. Once we arrived we got into another rooster almost immediately. Chad made what looked to be a good shot on the bird before it got back up and flew into the distance. Bird #2 on the day held Chad’s shot like a champ and was lost.

We worked our way back towards the cabin before finding a ton of birds around Roger’s mother’s house. After getting out smarted while trying to push a group of birds out of a wood lot we found a pair of roosters in the corner of a cattail slough/shelter belt. The birds held tight as we walked up on them and I made a nice crossing shot on the first bird to get up. After a bit of a search Chad and I had our 2nd bird in hand and "3rd" bird of the day.

200 yards from the location of the last bird killed and we where at it again. Chad had seen a bird flush into a thick ditch with little cover next to it. Chad posted about a quarter mile down the ditch while Logan and I walked towards him. I could see hens running along the edge of the ditch as soon as we got into our walk. Logan and I started flushing hens before finally flushing a rooster that came up from the grass right next to my leg. The large bird was cackling the entire way. I let him cackle all the way to 20 yards before putting a load of #2 in his back. Logan made a great retrieve on the bird and we had our 4 bird MN limit......kind of. The last bird had a tail feather slightly over 24 inches and seemed to weigh nearly twice as much as the other birds.

We saw quite a few more birds while driving home along with thousands of geese on the lake in Graceville. Another great hunt at the cabin and it was fun to get out with Chad after several years.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Final Day Success - Minny-Mo Buck #4

11/25/08 - Today was the last day of the 2008 MO modern firearms deer season. I've been hunting hard all season, but haven't seen any shooter bucks except the one I wounded during the archery season. I decided to hunt the BS70 farm, since Pete and I have taken 6 deer off the BS155 farm in the past couple of weeks. There was a slight east wind and the temperature was 26 degrees when I climbed into the south set.

Just before 7am 2 does and 2 doe fawns entered the field to my north. They milled around the field eating and playing for about an hour. Around 8am one of the big does headed south down the field edge, while the other three cut into the timber and walked right under my set. I kept thinking that a buck had to be here somewhere.

About ten minutes after the does filtered into the timber I looked to the south and spotted a deer feeding just around the point of timber I was set up in. The deer was about 75yrds away, but I couldn't tell what it was. I assumed it was the doe that had headed south earlier. To my surprise the deer turned out to be a buck and good sized buck at that. He continued feeding around the point of timber which was going to bring him within 30yrds. of the set, so I sat back and waited for him to get out in the open. Once he cleared the point I could see five points on his left side and that his right side was busted up pretty good, but he was a mature shooter. I was starting to get a pretty good case of buck fever as he approached my shooting lane. As the buck entered the lane I softly grunted and he stopped perfectly broadside at 25 yrds. I squeezed off the shot, the buck jumped and ran right at me and stopped 10yrds. from the set. I couldn't see blood or any sign of a hit, so I chambered another round. The buck had started heading south at this point, but he stopped about 40yrds. out and looked back in my direction. I took the opportunity he presented me and anchored my second shot right in the wheelhouse. Ol' boy could only hold it for about 20yrds. before taking a dirt nap right on the field edge.

I was extremely jacked-up about putting a mature shooter down and instantly started burning up the phone lines. The land owner brought his kids outs to see the buck and Pete & Brad showed up about 20 minutes later to take photos and help get the big guy loaded up. The BS farms have been great score for Pete & I this year. We have harvested 8 deer (2 mature bucks, 2 mature does, 2 doe fawns, and 2 bbs) of the two tracts this year. We only hope Dennis will keep allowing us to hunt out there!

Monday, November 24, 2008

MO Firearms - 2nd Weekend

11/22/08 - Brian and I headed up to New Cambria Saturday morning. The weather was perfect with 30 degree temps and a slight SSW wind. I had a doe and yearling doe come running by from Brian's direction around 7:00 am, neither of them ever stopped for a shot opportunity. That was the only action to speak of for the morning sit. I did jump a yote on the way out, but he never gave me a shot.

We decided to head back to the Blue Springs farm for the evening sit. Roger's brother-in-law gut shot a "big, big buck" behind the pond on the North meadow. He ran across P-Hwy and we never found him. Not sure if he was recovered after we left or not.

Brian hunted his ladder set in the P.M. and had a couple of does milling around. About 5p.m. the land owner and a buddy shot at a 9 point just NE of Brian's set. Brian saw the buck run out the south end of field about 200 yrds. out.


I met Brian at the parking area of the Blue Springs farm around 5:30am. The temperature was 32 degrees with a 8-12 mph SSW breeze. The morning started out very slow with no activity other than turkeys clucking until 8am. I had a small doe prance across the field from the SW corner by my set. She never stopped, but something most have scared her because I could hear her running in the timber for about 30 seconds before she popped out on the field. I went back to Yatz and continued scanning the area every couple of minutes. At 8:30am I spotted 2 deer working south just inside the east treeline. The two young deer eventually came out in front of my set at 150 yrds, and began to devour beans. I watched them for about 15 minutes in the bino's, it was pretty cool watching them eat anything they could find in the field. My goal going into the day was to shot one more small doe for the freezer, and one of these poor souls was going to be the unlucky recipient! I couldn't be 100% positive if the bigger of the two was a doe or a button buck, so instead of making the same mistake I did last weekend I opted to shoot the one I knew was doe. Brian sent me a text at 8:43am saying he'd seen a spike and that he had to leave by 9, and I replied "cover your ears". I made a perfect double lung shot at 141 yrds. The little girl tried to hold it, but after 40 yrds she went down right in the field.

In all it was an extremely slow weekend for deer movement, but I accomplished my goal of harvesting a small eater doe and deer #7 of the 08 season is in the freezer.

Shana came out on her 1st rifle hunt ever Sunday night. We hunted the BS-70 farm and set up on the North fence line in a ground blind. We didn't see any deer, but we had fun. Shana was dominated by Yahtz, welcome to the club! Hopefully we'll get her out a few times durning the ML season.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Afternoon Pheasant Shoot

Logan decided it was a good idea if Jake, Logan and I went pheasant hunting after lunch this afternoon. The weather wasn’t the best for pheasant hunting, 30 degrees, cloudy and a 20-25 mph winds out of the northwest. The wind chill made it feel like it was 9 degrees! I decided to try out near Dassel, MN. After a 35 minute drive we where at our hunting area. We saw one rooster 15 minutes into the hunt but he was near a couple homesteads so we just watched him strut around in a picked corn field. A couple minutes later Logan spotted some crows sitting on the backside of a down fall about 40 yards out. Logan insisted that I try and shoot the crows and I have no issue with shooting a crow. With the wind blowing so hard I was able to sneak within 25 yards of the crows before they tried taking flight into wind. Easy money! One shot and one dead crow! The next hour and a half was very slow other than watching a couple big flocks of geese and Mallards work a picked corn field. Finally around 4:15 we spotted two roosters feeding in a stubble corn field at the corner of two dirt roads, the perfect spot to put on a stock. I was able to make my way to about 20 yards before a hen took flight from the ditch. That immediately put the two roosters into the air. One bird took off with the wind and was gone in a flash. The second tried following the hen into the wind. Sucker! I quickly dispatched of the rooster with a 25 yard crossing shot with both boys watching. That put an end to our quick Wednesday afternoon hunt and both boys where all smiles. Great idea by Logan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MO "08" Gun Opener- Minny-Mo Buck #3 Down

11/15/08 - The opening morning of the 2008 Missouri firearms season greeted Brian and I with 33 degree temps, sleet, snow, rain, and 25-40 mph winds out of the NW. It was cold to say the least, probably the 2nd worst day of hunting conditions I've ever hunted in! We hunted on a new farm located in Blue Springs, MO. We didn't get permission until early November for the property, so scouting time was very limited. We went in last Tuesday before the rain and hung two ladder stands. One on the North end of the property and one on the South end.

I had 3 does come into the field before shooting light and they fed in the picked beans for 25 minutes before moving off to the northeast. They were followed shortly by 2 big does that fed into the field from the southwest corner. I was so temped to shoot the biggest one, but it was so early and we knew there were a couple good bucks on the property, because of pictures the land owner had on his trail cameras. The wind and snow/sleet kept up most of the morning, but I continued to see several does and yearlings work in and around the field.

Around 10am there was a shot on the neighbors property and at 10:30am I spotted a hunter walking through the bedding area to my south. I yelled at him twice and he turned and looked both times, but continued to walk east through the bedding cover. At 10:45am the trespasser popped out of the east side of the field with a friend (not in orange) and walked directly over to my stand spooking 2 does that had been feeding to my north. He proceed to tell me he had hit a good buck around 10am and that he'd jumped the fence to our side. He said the property owner's brother had given him permission to look and he didn't know anybody was hunting, he apologized about messing up my hunt and headed west with his buddy. I figured this would be a good time to eat lunch and try to warm up.

Brian and I were back in the stands by 12:20pm. Around 1:30pm I spotted the two big does from the morning working down the treeline to my northeast across the field. They were +200yrds out, but headed my direction. Once they worked inside 175yrds I was going to take a shot, when I noticed movement to my left. There was a good buck coming out onto the field. He started to run east across the field and I could see through the binos that his front left leg was broke just above the knee joint an flopping in the wind. The buck spotted the two does and charged another 80yrds across the field towards them. He stopped about a 190yrds. to check out the two does one more time and I touched off the shot. The ol' boy didn't even try to hold a second bullet on the day. He went down in his tracks and I was shook-up. I knew he was a good deer, but I really had no idea how big or how many points he had, it all happened so fast.

I called Brian and he came over and met me in the field. We took some photos and drug ol' boy into the treeline and climbed back up into the stands. The action slowed down for a while, but around 3:45pm I started seeing deer working around the field edges. At 3:58pm a small deer popped out 90yrds north of me in the field. I wanted to shoot an eater deer, but there were several trees and branches preventing a shot. Because of the 30 mph winds I decided I could probably climb down and slide up to the field edge undetected and get a shot. My plan worked to perfection and I was actually able to stalk up to 50yrds before putting to boots to deer #2 on the day. I called Delany to tell him the news and that I was going to go pickup the 4wheeler at his house. While we were on the phone I spotted two deer looking at me from over the top of the field. I set the phone down and let the .06 barked again, deer #3 of the day was now down in it's tracks also. Despite the wicked weather conditions it was an amazing day, with 23 deer and 13 turkeys spotted and three deer down including my 2nd biggest buck.

11/16/08- Day two of the 08 MO firearms season treated us much nicer than day 1 did. It was still cold with temps in the low 30's, but the wind had switched out of the SW and laid down to 7-10mph. My goal for the day was to harvest a mature doe. Around 7am I spotted 3 does and little 6 point about 400yrds to the north. I watched them for about 15 minutes before they headed back into cover. Around 7:40am I was writing in my journal about the day 1 events when I noticed movement straight east of me. Two matures does popped out of the draw and started feeding across the south end of the field right towards my set. I let the biggest one get to 60yrds before I dropped the hammer on her. The big doe held it like a champ and she took off running right me. She made it to about 25yrds before taking a serious nosedive right in front of me (picture from my stand).

After the doe went down I went back to finishing up my journal entries. As I was finishing my notes up the doe that had come into the field with the one I shot popped back out with another good sized doe. They couldn't figure out what happened to the downed deer and wandered around the field for 5 minuted checking everything out. They eventually moved off to the northwest. Around 8:20am I spotted two does getting dogged by a little buck about 300yrds to the northeast of my set. At 9am I shut it down and picked up the 4-wheeler, because I had some serious butchering time to put in. In all it was a great weekend in "Urban MO" with 33 deer and 13 turkeys seen, and 4 deer in the freezer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Minny-Mo Buck #2 down in MO!

Our November hunt in Missouri was a bit slower than expected, but still a good time. Our biggest hurdle all week was the weather. We had unseasonably warm temps (mid to upper 70's) the majority of the week along with 5 days of south to southeast winds blowing at 20-40 mph. Once we finally received some cool weather on Friday and Saturday we started to see the deer movement we had expected to see all week.

10/31-11/2/08- The first three days of the hunt we saw very limited deer movement. The deer we did see where early in the AM or late in the evening. Ralph saw a small spike buck up on the meadow ridge top on the evening of 11/1/08 and a descent 8 pt buck walking the ridge top of the upper pond set the morning of 11/2/08. Other than that it was very slow. Temps all three days where in the mid 50's in the AM and upper 70's in the PM. We had very little wind and when it did blow it was out of the south.

11/3/08- Woke up to warm temps and clear skies on Monday morning. Pete was hunting Poachers Pond set in the AM and I was hunting the Beach set. At 7:15 AM I heard grunting and the sound of running deer coming from the ridge across the road in front of me. Seconds later I saw a doe running full out with a huge buck and a small buck right on her tail. The doe jumped off a 8 foot washout alongside the road without breaking stride and the buck was right behind her heading directly for my set. While at full draw I tried stopping the deer several times. It got to the point where I was actually yelling at them so loud that Pete could hear me in his set. None of the deer even flinched and ran right past me at 10-12 yards. Hopefully the big boy got to pass on his genes later that morning. He looked like a wide 11 or 12 point with split brows and other junk sticking off his rack.

5 minutes after those deer had passed I heard more grunting and running coming from the same area the last group of deer came from. This time I saw another good buck with another small buck in tow. Both deer where on the same trail the doe had just been running. Once the two bucks hit the road I grunted at them which caught their attention. After a couple of seconds they both started down the road and I called to them with the can. This instantly turned the bigger buck and he came trotting into my set on a rope. At 45 yards he hung up and was looking all around for what had just made the bleat call. As the buck started away from me I hit him one more time with the can call and the deer came directly to my tree. He stood facing me for a good minute before finally turning broadside and heading to the south. I stopped him in my first shooting lane at 20 yards and made what looked like a perfect quartering away shot. My arrow hit about 6 or 7 ribs back in the high lung and passed through the deer on the crease of the opposite shoulder. I could hear the deer coughing up blood as he ran off. Try and hold that!

Pete came and met me an hour later and after a bit of an odd track job we located the buck. Other than blood at the point of the shot it didn’t start bleeding for a good 30 yards. This was very odd because the shot was perfect. Once we located the blood trail it was an easy trail to follow. Again the Spitfire had opened up another deer proper. We ended up finding the buck floating in the upper pond and I had to wade in up to my waist to fish him out. Nothing like 40 degree water in November. The deer ended up being a nice 9 pt buck that would probably score around 105-110. No Missouri Tragedies Here! Below is a picture of Pete and I with my biggest archery deer yet.

11/4-6/08- After the action on Monday morning things really settled down again. The temps remained warm and the wind was now blowing from 20-40 mph all day and all night. Other than 4 doe I saw while sitting at Trespassers pond, deer movement was zero. One Pope and Young Possum did fall victim to Pete’s bow on Thursday night. It was a true trophy possum and a no doubter for the book. On top of its size the Possum also held Pete's arrow like a champ!

11/7/08- The wind was still howling, but the temps finally dropped into the low 30's at night. Pete was hunting the beach set and I was on the upper pond set. Right out of the gate I saw 2 small bucks in the first hour of the hunt. Later that morning Pete rattled in a descent buck that had lost half his rack and his right eye in a fight. The deer offered both Pete and I numerous shot opportunities. If only he was one year older he would have been riding home in the back of Pete’s truck. Below is a photo Pete was able to snap of the beaten up buck. I left after the morning hunt and Pete stayed to hunt Friday night and Saturday morning.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Minny-MO Buck #1 Down In MN

I arrived at the Annandale property around 3 PM on 10/24/08. Had cloudy skies, cool temps in the low 50’s to upper 40’s and a south wind at 5-10 MPH. The wind was suppose to be out of the N/NW all evening but never switched until after dark. Thanks again! Because of the forecast I climbed into my center woods stand. The south wind was a bit iffy, but I should have been O.K..

After a slow first hour and a half I noticed movement to my left. I spotted what I thought was a descent 8 point buck about 60 yards south of me working the bottom of the hillside. I think the deer caught a brief whiff of my scent, but not enough to put him on alert, instead it seemed to peak his curiosity. It looks like my Scent Lock clothing was paying off! The deer started up a path that led directly to my set, the whole time it was walking dead down wind of me. At 30 yards the buck gave me a brief broadside shot but quickly turned and continued walking directly to my set. Finally at 5 feet from my set the buck turned broadside and gave me an almost straight down shot. My arrow flew straight down and never touched the deer. Everything happened so fast that the deer never new what happened. He took a quick step back and started to look around.

I think the deer caught me move for a brief second as I reached for a 2nd arrow, but after a minute or two of staring each other down the deer started working his way straight east from my stand. At 15 yards the deer stepped behind a tree and gave my a 2nd opportunity to come to full draw. When the buck stepped out from behind the tree at 17 yards my Hoyt was waiting for him. This time there was no messing around. I hit him about 6 ribs back as he was quartering away and my arrow came out perfectly on the opposite crease. "We have a broken heart!" The deer did a mule kick on impact and took off running to the east. It feels nice to be lucky once in a while!

After settling down, making a couple phone calls and waiting about 45 minutes I started my track job. The deer made it nearly 200 yards with no lungs and a hole in his heart. I guess he wanted to try and hold it. Luckily for me the spitfire opened him up proper and the track job was fairly easy once I got my big spot light. After a 30 minute track job I found my 1st buck of 2008! The deer ended up being a big bodied 7 point. Not the biggest rack in the world, but he can ride in my truck…I mean mini van any day of the week. After pulling the deer to a field edge I left him for the night and returned the following morning with Logan and Jake to take some pictures and finish the drag. With temps in the upper 30's Friday night the deer would be fine. Below is a picture with me and the two future deer killers on Saturday morning. Another highlight to my 2008 hunting season. My week trip to Missouri is next week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Delany Strikes Again - "Brooklynn's Deer"

10/21/08 - Brian and I headed out to the Blue Springs property we got permission for this year. We both had a good feeling about the evenings hunt, because a big front was moving in from the west. We got to the farm around 3:40pm suited up and headed to the stands. The temp was around 56 with strong winds out of the east/southeast at 20-30 mph. Brian was going to hunt his north stand and I decided to hunt from the ground, because of the wind and close proximity of both Brian's sets.

Brian made a couple of mock scrapes around his set and noticed a lot of rubs right around his stand. The evening started off slow with no activity until around 5:50pm. I had 11 does work in from the north of me. They were feeding in the green field about 60 yards out, but angling right at me. Another 25 yards or so and I'd have a shot. At 6:12 my phone started to vibrate and it was Delany. I sent him a quick text and asked him what his deal was. Brian texted me back and said he had a doe down, and for me to come over. I told him to stay put, because I was covered up in deer. Another 10 yards and they were going to be in range. About 2 minutes later all the deer went on alert looking back to the east, and I knew Delany was no longer in his stand. After the deer took off I packed up shop and headed over to Brian's location.

Brian had 3 big does work in behind his set, but they knew something was up because they kept looking up at him. The lead doe skirted Brian's position and headed into the field to feed. The other two does stayed back and kept eyeballing Brian. After several tense minutes the deer seemed to relax a little and Brian took advantage of the chance. The first doe was now 31 yards from his set in the bean field slightly quartering to him. Brian drew back without being detected and made a great shot on the big doe. She took the full force of the Rage and headed out the northeast end of the field, but she wasn't going far.

Once I met up with Brian he went to get the rig, so we could hopefully get her and ourselves out of the field before the rain hit. I trailed the deer for about 60 yards into the woods and found her piled up underneath a dead fall. This is were the fun starts!!!

By the time Brian got back the rain was coming down pretty good. We took a few pictures and started dragging the big doe the 300 yards to the truck. The rain continued to fall and picked up into a downpour for about 15 minutes. By the time we had the doe field dressed and everything loaded up the bean field looked like soup. Brian put the Chevy to work and after several tense minutes of tearing up mud, beans, the two track, and Brian' s transmission we finally crested the top of the field and made it home safely.

After getting back to the house and hanging the deer Brian couldn't help notice he had on his "World's Greatest Dad" shirt. It's been his lucky charm since turkey season, we've had three kills in 3 outings with that shirt. God knows it has nothing to do with Brian's outdoor skills!

Going into this fall Brian had a good feeling his luck was going to change. He had dedicated this season to Broolynn Delany, the daughter he and Melissa lost last fall prematurely. She must be looking down on dad, because he's putting a great fall together so far. Keep up the good work Brooklynn, dad needs all the help he can get!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A "Little" More MO Venison in 2008

10/18/08 - I headed over to Mid MO to hunt with Ralph and Bobby this weekend. I hunted the No Seat set Saturday morning with no activity except for the tree rats. The temperature started out around 45 with highs near 65 by mid day. The wind was all over the place at 5-12 mph. There is a lot of sign around, but with the crops still in down south of us that is were most of the deer are still hanging around.

Saturday evening I hunted the Ladder Set. Saw several turkeys, but no deer activity to speak of. The food plot looks great, but there are areas that we need to open up so the sun gets to them. Ralph had a doe and yearling come in from the north on him, but they never got close enough for a shot.

10/19/08 -After an evening of roasting dogs and cocktails at Eddy's farm, we hit the woods again. I hunted the new NW Ladder set. The temp was 41 with an east/southeast wind, but by 7:30am the wind switched and was coming mainly out of the northeast at 15-25mph. I had 4 turkeys roosted across the fence from me, but they pitched into VanDyke's field and headed north. At 9:35am I spotted two does working south in the cedars, they were about 70 yards to the east. They made it to Ralph around 10am, but he didn't see them until it was to late, and they ended up sliding past him without a shot opportunity.

I met Bobby back at the trucks around 10:30am and when Ralph made it down he said there was a "good sized" doe up on the Hill Top trail, and that she didn't spook when he walked by on the main trail. The wind was blowing hard out of the northwest at this point, so I decided to try a stalk on that deer. I took one arrow and headed back up the trail to the the Hill Top. The wind was perfect and the woods were very noisy, so any sound I made was covered up. I snuck up the trail to the Hill Top set and about 15 yards from cresting the ridge I spotted the top of the deer's back. It's head was down and it was right behind a large oak tree, so I decided to see how close I could get. At 9 1/2 yards I was directly behind the big oak and could hear the deer eating acorns. I drew back and the deer worked out from behind the tree headed west. Once the deer's shoulder past my pin I touched off the Rage tipped "Black Widow" Maximum Hunter. The shot was right on the heart and the deer only went about 15 yards before going down.

I know it's not the biggest deer in the woods, but it was a great stalk, perfect shot and will make some good eats.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BFD In Minnesota!!!

Hunted the corner set in Annandale for the afternoon sit. Strong N/NW wind blowing at 15 to 20 mph. Cloudy sky and spitting rain every now and again. A great fall afternoon. At 6:10 PM I picked up movement to my right. I saw a Red Fox sneaking towards my main shooting lane about 20 yards out. By the time I got my bow and stopped the fox it was standing in some brush. After sitting in the brush for 10 seconds the fox worked its way towards the corn field without offering me a shot. I quickly made a dying rabbit/mouse noise with my lips and hand to try and call the fox back. It worked like a charm and the fox came trotting into my set on a rope. At 13 yards the fox stopped directly in my shooting lane to have a look for the dying animal he thought he was hunting. Instead of a rabbit/mouse he got a Carbon Express arrow tipped with a Spitfire broad head directly in his face for dinner. Bon Appetit sucka! The fox didn't even think about holding it, he just dropped to the ground and gave up. That was my first fox kill with a bow. It was especially cool calling him back freestyle! BFD in MN!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Delany Finally Ends the Drought !!!! No Joke!!!!

During the summer months I was real optimistic that my 8 year drought of not getting a deer with my bow was going to come to an end. My wife and hunting buddies didn't think so, but I had a good feeling about it. I finally bucked up and bought a range finder, which limited my excuses if I did miss. Not that missing deer has been my problem, I just haven't been presented with a lot of opportunities over the past several years.

I was headed just North of Marshall, MO on October 11th to hunt a new property that I have permission for. My friend Jud and I hung a set early in September overlooking a bean field where three draws all meet up. Without a lot of scouting it looked like a good spot to start, worst case it would be a good observation stand. The temps were in the mid-50s with a slight S to SE wind. On the way up I was seeing a lot of deer in the fields which got me all worked up for the morning sit. The day started out slow with three coons being the only activity right off the bat. I am very sentimental so I decided to let the coons pass. Once there was good light I noticed some branches that I hadn't cut in September were blocking my view of the entire field edge. I kept having to lean out to check the field edge and thinking that deer would be right on top of me before I saw them.

Around 7:20am I saw 4 deer in field about 130 yards out and headed my direction. I got out my range finder and checked several yardages so I'd be ready if they kept working my direction. As the deer got closer I realized this may be the end to my long archery drought and the adrenaline started pumping. I could hear my heart pounding and the anticipation was at a fever pitch. As the deer approached the branches that had been blocking my view, I drew back the Hoyt and prepared for the shot. The first deer into the shooting lane was a doe fawn, but she was quickly followed by a mature doe. The doe stopped at 23 yards slightly quartering to me. I settled the pin just off her front shoulder and touched off the shot. The arrow flew true and I watched the Rage chew her up with a complete pass through. She tried to hold it, but after 5o yards or so she took a dirt nap.

Even though it was early and there were some fresh rubs near the stand, I had to get down and start burning up the phone lines. I was all jacked up after waiting almost a decade to end my archery drought. It was a great morning in the MO woods, and now Delany is finally on the archery board!

I have to dedicate this hunt to my idol Pete Eisentrager, without his guidance and tutelage over the years none of this would be possible. I would also like to mention Pete's brother Scott who has been my spirital guide in my quest to break my 8 year drought. Without the two of them I would still hunting with the wind at my back and storing my clothes next to my lawn mower. You guys are the greatest, seriously. BD

Sunday, October 12, 2008

MN Waterfowl- Week #2

Logan and I arrived at our cabin in Barry, MN the evening of 10/11/08. There had been showers and thunderstorms in the area all day on Saturday. Around 3 AM I woke up to a large thunderstorm that was pounding the cabin. When the alarm went off at 6 AM the storm had passed but the sky was still spitting rain and the wind had switch to an increasingly strong 10-15 mph southeast wind. Bill and Ryan Burns would be joining Logan and I for morning hunt on our Mecca Pond.

When we arrived at the slough we where greeted by about 200 hundred ducks and 100 geese busting off the pound. It looked like we where in for another good shoot. Again, I only placed about 18 ducks and a couple goose decoy out on the slough. We also added Mojo to the spread for the morning shoot, but I actually think he flared a LOT more birds then he decoyed. We set up in the exact same spot as last weekend (Southeast corner). Shooting time was roughly 7:10 and we where waiting with loaded guns when it was time. We had a strong 20-30 MPH wind and rain was falling when shooting time arrived. The rain never stopped the rest of the morning and neither did the wind.

The morning quickly started with Logan and I piling up a handful of ducks in the first couple of minutes of shooting time. After birds continued to drop into my side of the spread I switched spots with Ryan and let him chew up his dad's supply of heavy shot. Mojo's day ended around 9 AM with another flock of Mallards flaring right before committing to the spread. Goose movement was also zero for the day.

Around 9:30 AM Logan and I took a walk over to the Donut slough after watching several flocks of good birds work the Northwest corner of slough. After a short walk Logan and I set up in the northwest corner along some trees with a 30 MPH wind pounding us in the face. Just what you are looking for when picking a spot to set up for ducks! After a short sit in our new location a mallard came over the field and presented me a 20 yard shot directly overhead into the 30 MPH wind. Easy money! The highlight of the shot was Logan bailing out of the way as the duck nearly took his head off and I actually got to bat it out of the air with the barrel of my gun. I can now cross another item off my bucket list. Shortly after that I added a big, fat gray duck to the stack and got to watch Logan wrestle it down in the cut bean field. The gray duck didn't stand a chance in that fight. Just before returning to the Mecca Slough I pulled a big fat Spoonbill out of the air on a nice 45 yard shoot, that will be some good eating! Below is a photo of my retriever with our Donut Slough ducks.

After a windy, cool and wet morning we called it quits shortly before 11 AM. Over all it was a great morning of duck hunting. We ended up killing 15 of our 18 birds (1 Wood Duck, 2 Spoonbill, 4 Mallards, 4 Gadwall, 2 Widgeon, 1 Bluewing and 1 ganser). There is a chance Logan and I will make it out for one more duck shoot the weekend of Oct 25-26, but or 2008 waterfowl season most likely ended on Sunday morning. If my season did end it ended in style with my final bird of 2008 being a Spoonbill. We've had a great 2008 waterfowl season and Logan is now hooked on duck hunting.

Monday, October 6, 2008

2008 MN Duck Opener

10/04/08- Logan and I left for Barry, MN around 4:30 AM on Saturday morning. We arrived at the cabin around 7:30 AM. After quickly changing into our camo and loading our decoys into the car we where off to the North slough for the MN duck opener. On the way to the north slough I spotted a large flock of Mallards milling around in the middle of the field. We stopped the car to watch them for a minute and while we watched another large group of ducks flew up from the field. Logan and I got out of the car and walked over the hill to find the field pothole was full of water and easily holding 400 puddle ducks. We quickly parked the car, grabbed our gear and headed down to hunt our new found duck mecca! Below is a picture our mecca on Saturday evening (the black spots on the left side of the pond are ducks feeding in the field).

After putting out18 mallard, a couple wood duck and 1 goose decoy Logan and I settled in and waited for 9 AM to open the season. We had mostly sunny skies and a strong south/southeast wind at 15 to 20 MPH. Our season started with a green wing teal shortly after 9 AM. That was followed up by a bluewing teal, 2 wood ducks, a Gadwall and 1 Susie. Opening day lasted a grand total of 25 minutes. A brief gun issue cost me a chip shot at two geese right before we started picking up the decoys. Not a bad way for Logan to start his duck hunting career! Below is a picture of Logan and I with our opening day limit.

Saturday evening Logan and I set up shop on top of the hill to spend the last 45 minutes of day light observing our pot hole. Right before leaving for our scouting trip Logan noticed a Pigeon fly into one of the silos behind the cabin. Logan and I hustled inside for the 12 gauge, flushed the bird into the wind and made an easy 20 yard shot. Pigeon down! By the time we arrived (6:30) at the hill the pot hole was already holding hundreds of ducks. Over the course of the next hour another 150 to 200 ducks must have joined the flock. Needless to say expectations where high for Sunday mornings hunt. While Logan and I sat on the hillside we had 5 deer walk to within 20 yards of us. Logan managed to get a shot off with his BB gun and connected with a doe’s ass! The boy was more than pleased with himself to say the least. Below is a picture of Logan with his favorite game bird.

10/05/08- We woke up to a strong southeast wind blowing at 20 mph and pouring rain. We got down to the pothole at 6:45 and busted hundreds of Mallards off the pond. I quickly set out a dozen decoys and we settled in for a wet morning of duck hunting. We where covered up with Wood Ducks the entire morning. I could have easily killed 20 Wood Ducks if I wanted to act like I was from Arkansas. The morning started with a full dressed Green Wing Teal cart wheeling into the pound and seconds later a double on Wood Ducks. After a couple misses a Drake Mallard found his way into the bag headed for the back of our car. Another Bluewing Teal took a spanking and I couldn’t resist finishing the day with a big ole’ Spoonbill (greatest duck on the planet). 35 minutes of hunting and Logan and I where heading home soaking wet with another limit of MN ducks. Easily my best opening weekend of hunting ever and Logan is now hooked on duck hunting! We should be back next Saturday for another crack at some ducks and possibly a pheasant or two. Below is a photo of Logan with Sundays shoot.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Double The Fun In MO!

9/27/08 Clear skies and warm temps (58 degrees) welcomed us as we arrived in Cambria, MO on Saturday morning. There was absolutely no wind to speak of. Pete was hunting the hog house set, Brian was on the ridge top and I hunted the upper pond set. Pete saw no deer movement and Brian had some deer blow at him while walking into his set. I guess deer don't like his Old Spice, earth spray and gasoline cover scent, who would have guessed that?

Just after 7:00 AM a had a doe come running directly under my stand from the west. I tried stopping her with a grunt but she kept on working to the east. Seconds behind her was a young buck and my grunts did stop him in his tracks 15 yards in front of me. He was just a 1 1/2 year old 5 pt so he was granted his walking papers. As he milled around in front of me the doe started to work back towards me. She got 10 yards to my north but was in some thick cover and never presented a shot. The young buck then chased after her and both deer went running back to the east.

5 minutes later I had another doe come down the hill directly in front of me trotting from west to east. she worked about 60 yards to my right and stopped on the back side of the pond. After milling around for about 5 minutes she slowly started to walk back towards my set. After taking her sweet time she finally stepped out in front of me and presented a slightly quarter towards me 15 yard chipper. The Doe ran about 60 yards to the Northwest before crashing in site. Archery deer #1 is on the board. Below is a picture of my first deer of 2008.

While sending Pete a quick "Doe Down" text message another Doe calmly walked in from the left (south). She got into the creek bottom and I came to full draw expecting a 20 yard shot. Right before the shot presented its self she turned and walked away from me into the brush. After milling around for a couple minutes she turned around again and came right back towards me on the path I had just shot my first deer. Seconds later I released arrow #2 and double lunged my second deer of the season at 21 yards. This deer was literally standing 5 steps from the same place I had shot deer #1.

2 adult doe in 10 minutes. You have to love MO whitetail hunting. No more action for the rest of the morning unless you count mosquito kills which I am sure I limited out on by 8 AM. Below is a picture of Doe #2.

The afternoon hunt found temps in the upper 70's and a light east breeze. Not a cloud in the sky. Pete and I hunted Ground Zero after moving the Ameristep ground blind. Pete was shooting his Hoyt and I was shooting a video camera. Neither of us touched our weapons of choice. Brian hunted the North meadow and also saw nothing. Below is a picture of my two death sticks from earlier in the day.

9/28/09 Almost identical to Saturday. Clear skies, temps in the low 60's and no wind to start the morning. Pete hunted the low pond set and I hunted the beach. Nothing doing at either location.

We did hang Pete's Secret Set in the late morning. On the way to the tree we came across a shed from last year. A real nice 8 pt that would have been close to 150 last year. Here's hoping he added a couple more points and a lot more length and mass.

The afternoon hunt found Pete back in the Ameristep ground blind hoping for another glimpse of the big boy. I was hunting the North end of the bean field. On my way down the levy I spotted a doe bedded in the beans next to the small creek in the middle of the field. She kept her head down and acted like she was invisible. Temps where in the 80's and after removing a couple fallen limbs I was sweating like a fat kid in a sauna. To top it off the mosquito's where the worst I have ever dealt with. I had to get completely covered up as soon as I was in the stand to keep the bugs off me, which led to more sweat. by 6:30 I had probably lost 10 pounds in water weight and had to stink like road kill in August from all the BO. Of course I had two doe cross in front of me along the hillside and then come over the levy 50 yards to my west. The 2 doe then worked their way directly down wind from me. This lasted for about 2 seconds before they had smelled me and took off running. I should have used Brians Old Spice! The night ended with no more deer sightings and 1 coon "sighting". I got out of the stand a bit early so I didn't spook anymore deer. Simply the most miserable night of hunting in my life. Pete saw no deer in the meadow.

9/29/08 Pete and I woke up to thunder storms rolling in. We weren't able to hunt but got a couple more hours of sleep. My next trip to MO can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MO Archery 2008 - On the Board!

9/19/08 - I arrived at the North MO farm around 4:45pm. I talked with Roger a while and he said he's seen more deer this summer than ever before. This got me even more fired up to get the season started. I hunted the North set because of the SE wind at 5-10 mph. I got into the set around 5:30pm and settled in for the evening hunt. There was no deer movement at all. I did have a coon climb the tree next to me around 7pm and cause a racket the rest of the evening. A disappointing start.

9/20/08 (AM setup) - I hunted the Ridge Top set this morning. The wind was out of the East at 7-10 mph with temps around 57, which worked out perfectly for this set. There was heavy fog driving into the farm and it got worse as I headed towards the bottom fields. The acorns were pouring out of the trees and the squirrels were having a field day collecting their winter stashes. I didn't see any deer, but the ridge top was covered up with tracks and sign. The fog moving through the timber made for an exceptional sunrise and morning sit. I got down around 9:45am and hung another set west of the meadow pond and set up a ground blind on the SE edge of the meadow.

(PM setup) - I got into the ground blind set around 4:45pm. The temps were in the upper 70s with a strong E / SE wind, which was perfect for the setup. Around 6:45pm I spotted a good buck working up the levee from the north. When he was about 80 yards out several yotes topped the meadow and appeared to chase after the buck. He was not going to have anything to do with them and took off in short order to the south. He ran by the blind at about 50 yards in the bean field. It looked like a good 140+ 8 or 9 point, I couldn't get a good look at him to be positive. Right at last shooting light I was starting to pack up the video camera when I looked to the West and saw antlers approaching from the back side of the pond dam. I'm almost positive it was the same giant 10 I saw several times last year, but he added a lot of tine length and mass. He stopped on top of the dam at 36 yards, but was facing straight towards me and didn't offer a shot opportunity. He proceeded to drop down onto my side of the dam but took the wash out just South of the blind and passed me at 13 yards, but all I could see was his antlers. So close, yet so far away!!! He made it to the bean field were I glassed him for about 5 minutes until he feed North out of view. It was an amazing encounter. He had no idea I was even in the world, so I'm very optimistic he'll make another appearance before the season is out, and hopefully I'll be waiting.

9/21/08 (AM setup) - On Sunday morning I was greeted by overcast skies, temp of 63, and a SE wind around 8mph. There was a little fog in the bottom fields, but nothing like Saturday morning. I setup in the Meadow Pond set hoping to catch deer coming back from the fields to bed. I had a deer walk up on me right after I was in the stand but it was to dark to make out what it was. There was very little activity besides squirrels and acorns falling. I was only going to hunt until 9am, because several tree limbs had fallen into my shooting lanes, and I didn't check this stand before the season started. I figured I could get the shooting lanes cleaned up before the rain moved in. At 8:53am I decided it was time to get down. I took the arrow off my bow and grabbed my quiver off the hanger and set it in my lap. When I turned to grab my bow I was very surprised to see a big doe walking along the pond bank right at my set. She had me in a bind at this point. My mask and gloves were off, my quiver was laying across my lap, and I didn't have an arrow nocked. She kept heading NE and walked right into the main shooting lane. I grunted at her and she stopped perfectly broadside and looked back in my direction. I decided to give it a go. I took an arrow out of the quiver and got it nocked without her picking me off. I came to full draw with my quiver still resting across my legs and settled the 20 yard pin on her. Lights out, the shot was absolutely perfect and she didn't make it 30 yards before tipping over. The Rage in the Cage was to much for her to try an hold. I got down and picked up my arrow and decided to follow the blood trial, even though I saw her fall. There was literally blood splattered 3-4 ft. high on everything she passed before she expired. It capped a good first weekend to the 2008 MO Archery season. I'll be back next weekend with Scott and hopefully get to catch up with the big 10.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2008 Hunting Season Starts In Western MN

The 2008 MN Early Goose Season opened up saturday (9/06/08) morning around 6:25 AM. The opener found Pete, Logan and I hunting the northeast corner of the island on the north slough. We had mostly clear skies on saturday with a light wind blowing from the south. Goose movement was slow going to start the day. We hardly heard any shooting and saw no geese for the first hour and a half of the hunt. I was starting to worry that Pete drove all the way from MO to shoot doves and clay pigeons. The good news was the number of ducks we where seeing. There where hundreds of Mallards and other puddlers dropping in and out of the slough all morning long.

The first flock of geese showed up around 8:30 AM. Over the course of the next hour to an hour and half we scratched out 5 geese. Below is a photo of Logan with the mornings shoot.

Later that afternoon I managed to put a pigeon in Pete's freezer and we also added another goose to the bag right before sunset. Hardly any geese where moving during the evening. The wind picked up out of the southwest to about 15 mph before switching to a west/northwest right before dark. The single we killed came into the slough with about 5 minutes of legal shooting time left. Pete and I called him directly into the decoys and put him away with a 10 yard poke. Below is a photo of Logan and Pete retrieving the 6th bird of the day. The retrieve was Pete's first of the day!

Sunday morning had us back on the island in the North Slough. The wind switched back to the southwest and was blowing around 10 mph. The sky was clear after an over night shower had passed through. The goose action started right away Sunday morning. We called a flock of 6 birds in about 10 minutes after legal shooting time. After some less than stellar shooting we had 1 goose in the bag. A couple minutes later a pair of geese came in but broke off right before committing to the decoys. I managed to pull down one of the birds with me best shot of the weekend, a 55-60 yard poke.

Things settled down until around nine o'clock. We had two more singles come in and Pete promptly put both of them into the meat wagon. We saw several other flocks of geese but they wouldn't commit to the island after the wind stopped blowing. The weekend ended with Pete and I putting the tacks to one last goose that tried to settle in just outside our decoys. We finished up with 11 geese for the weekend. We probably should have added about 5 more birds to that total, but you can't complain about 11 birds. It was a great weekend and a perfect start to the 2008 hunting season! Logan and I will be back in Western MN on Saturday to try and add a couple more geese to the freezer. Below is a picture of Logan with Sundays kill.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pete's Fall 2008 Hunting Road Trips

9/6 - 9/8 - Early Goose Season, Barry, MN (Scott, Logan, Pete)
9/19 - 9/21 - Bowhunting, New Cambria, MO (Pete)
9/26 - 9/29 - Bowhunting, New Cambria, MO (Scott & Pete)

10/10 - 10/12 - Bowhunting, Williamburg, MO (Ralph & Pete)
10/18 - 10/19 - Bowhunting, Williamsburg, MO (Ralph, Bobby, Pete)
10/25 - 10/26 - Bowhunting, New Cambria, Mo (Pete & Brian)

10/31 - 11-9 - Bowhunting, New Cambria, Mo (Scott, Pete, Ralph)
11/15 -11/17 - Rifle, New Cambria, MO (Pete)
11/21 - 11/23 - Rifle, Williamsburg, MO (Ralph, Bobby, Pete, Shana)
11/27 - Bowhunting, New Bloomfield, MO (Pete)
11/28 - 11/30 - Muzzleloader, Williamsburg, Mo (Ralph & Pete)

12/6 - 12/7 - Muzzleloader, New Cambria, MO (Pete)
12/12 - 12/16 - Bow & Rifle Hunt, Throckmorton, TX (Scott & Pete)
12/20 - 12/21 - Duck hunt, Rockville, MO (Brian & Pete)
12/24 - Duck hunt, Rockville, MO (Pete, Shana, Brian)
12/25 - 12/28 - Bowhunt, Williamsburg, MO (Ralph & Pete)

1/3 - 1/4 - Bowhunting, New Cambria, Mo (Pete)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Scott's 2008 Hunting Schedule

-September 6 -7- MN Early Goose Hunt- Barry, MN (Logan and Pete)
-September 13- MN Early Goose Hunt- Barry, MN (Logan)
-September 14- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN
-September 26-28- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Macon, MO (Pete)

-October 4-5- MN Duck Opener- Barry, MN (Logan)
-October 11-12- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN
-October 25-26- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN
-October 29- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN

-November 1-8- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Macon, MO (Pete)
-November 15-16- MN Rifle Hunt Whitetail- Garrison, MN
-November 22-23- Archery Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN
-November 29-30- Muzzleloader Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN

-December 7- Muzzlelaoder Hunt Whitetail- Annandale, MN
-December 13-17- Texas Deer/Hog Hunt- Throckmorton, TX (Pete)
-December 24- Pheasant Hunt- Western, MN (Logan)