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.