Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Minnesota Mini Goes Down In The Fog!

I decided to sneak out for a quick afternoon hunt on Sunday. The temp was 51, with a light southwest wind (2 mph), cloudy, with fog, and spitting rain off and on. Other than the warm temp the weather was perfect. I ran over to my metro area farm at half time of the Vikings whooping of Seattle in hopes of filling my management tag.

I climbed up in a permanent stand that sits in the middle of the hard woods on the farm. Most of the crops in the area seemed to be out but a nearby farmer was picking a cornfield that deer in the area most likely used for food and cover. My thought was any deer in the area would either funnel through the woods to get into the corn field or the farmer would bump some deer out of the field if he continued to combine until dark.

I was settled into my stand by 3 PM. The first hour was slow and I spent most of the time catching up on the book I had started reading while in Missouri. The fog in the area became really thick around 3:45 and I could only see about 65 yards into the woods. At 4 PM I put my book away and settled in for the last hour of the hunt. This was a good decision on my part because at 4:05 I caught movement to my right. I saw a nice mature doe work out of some thick cover and start working her way towards my stand location. She got to about 25 yards and I prepared for my shot. Just as I was about to draw I caught more movement to my right. I glanced over to see a younger doe working a trail towards my stand that would bring her to 15 yards. I decided to take the younger doe since she was going to present a chip shot and the bigger doe was back in some thicker cover. I let the young doe get to 15 yards and released my arrow after grunting her to a stop at a slightly quartering away angle.

My shot was on the money, it entered 5 ribs back and exited out the shoulder crease on the opposite side. I could see blood pouring out both sides of the deer 5 yards after she took off. She made it 50 to 60 yards and took a header into the dirt. Lights out! Below is a picture of the boys and I before hanging up the deer. This will most likely put an end to my 2009 deer season unless I can sneak away to Missouri one more time before they close up shop.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Missouri Marathon Ends with 2 Bucks and 2 Doe

I arrived in KC, MO the evening of Friday, November 6th. Pete and I decided to sleep in Saturday morning and drive to Macon, check in to the hotel and get out for the evening sit.

Of course the weather was windy and warm, like it is every time I hunt in Missouri. The first nights hunt was very eventful. I was setup in the Gash Set. I spotted what looked like a good buck clear across the bottom field walking along the river edge. I couldn't tell exactly how big the buck was because it was probably close to a mile away. Right around 5 PM I had a small spike/fork buck come down the hillside in front of me and work into the field. Twice I had him at 20 yards.

As I was watching the small buck I heard foot steps coming through the gash. After a couple minutes a nice 2 1/2 year old 8 pt came out and stood in my shooting lane at 23 yards. I looked him over and had to talk myself out of shooting him several times. He had a nice tall rack but wasn't very wide and was lacking good mass. Great looking deer for an MN boy! I grunted at him with my Vector call and this stirred up trouble between him and the little buck in the field. At one point the two deer came nose to nose before the young guy finally realized he was seconds away from a tail kicking and quickly put a 100 yards between himself and the 8 pt. I was able to call the 8 pt. back into 20 yards three seperate times with my vector grunt call before he finally worked into the field to eat.

Right at dark I had a Doe and her two mini's come off the hillside about 150 yards out in front of my set and work across the field. Not a bad first nights sit, to bad it would be my only good sit for the next 5 days. Below is a photo the spike/fork buck I was able to snap.

Things really slowed down as far as deer movement the next couple of days. The only deer I saw the rest of the time in Macon was a doe who got spooked off a hillside by a falling tree. She came running past me at 60 mph scared out of her skin.

Things were also slow for Pete most of the week although he was seeing deer almost every sit. On the morning of 11/11/09 Pete had a great encounter with a huge Macon Co. giant. Right after getting into the oak ridge top set Pete heard running and grunting in the draw in front of his stand. Shortly after that two doe crested over the top of the draw. Shortly there after Pete heard more grunting and a huge 150 class eight came over the ridge bumping the does. For several minutes Pete had the big 8 bumping the does around his stand. The whole time the BIG BOY was grunting and lip curling at the two does. Pete finally got the buck to stop at 31 yards and he released his arrow. The shot looked great until the big guy dropped and spun to his right after hearing the string. Pete's arrow hit him high in the left shoulder and never penetrated the bone. Another kick to the groin for Pete's 2009 archery season!

We did track the deer all afternoon to make sure it wasn't hit better than we thought. I did catch a glimpse of the big fella once in the afternoon as he ran off over 200 yards away. Even at 200 yards I could tell he was a true giant. Hopefully we will see him again later this fall or next.

We returned to KC on Wednesday night because Pete had to be in Columbia for meetings the next two days. I hunted the Blue Springs farm Thursday evening and Friday morning but still couldn't shake my curse. The good news was the farm was littered with sign. The bad news was I only saw deer while walking back to my car after dark.

Saturday, November 14th. The Missouri firearms opener finally arrived and we would finally get a chance to even the score after a week of getting our tails kick.

Opening day found Brian, Pete and I hunting the Blue Springs farm. We had cloudy skies, cool temps, a good northwest wind and periods of light rain. Finally some good weather had arrived in MO!

I had a deer in my field prior to first light but that deer was quickly run off by a grunting buck who either wanted a fight or some tail. Pete and Brian where seeing deer and turkeys right at first shooting light and pretty much the rest of the morning. I started to feel like my curse was for real as I wasn't seeing anything while those two where covered up in critters. At 7:15 my curse was finally lifted. I caught movement to my left and looked over to see a doe coming out of the woods at full tilt with a very good buck right on her tail. I tried stopping the deer 4 or 5 times and finally yelled at the top of my lungs which got there attention. Both deer stopped briefly at 65 yards to see what all the noise was about. I quickly settled in on the buck but had to rush my shot because his doe started to take off again. I thought my first shot found its spot but the buck reacted oddly. I quickly reloaded and took a running shot as the deer went for the woods. After the 2nd shot the buck stopped one more time and allowed my to settle in and take a relaxed shot. My 3rd shot hit home and the big guy gimped into the woods about 20 yards before I lost sight of him. Everything happened so fast that I was rattled worse than I have ever been by a deer.

I sat tight and waited until 9am for Pete and Brian to come over to look for the buck. The wait was brutal as I wasn't positive of my shots although I knew the 3rd shot hit home. After arriving, Brian walked into the woods where I saw the deer enter and quickly spotted him laying in a heap 30 yards past the edge of the field. It was quite a relief after having to rush my shot and not have the deer drop immediately. Below are some pictures of the big jacked up MO Una-buck.

Brian and I met for lunch around 11:45 and treated ourselves to a bag full of BK while Pete decided to stay put on the 70. At 12:30pm we headed back to the stands for the rest of the afternoon. On the way to our stands Brian spotted a deer halfway down the cul-d-sac field. After verifying it was a doe the stalk was on! Brian and I got around the field and slowly worked our way down a hedge row. With the wind in our favor and great cover between us we were able to slide all the way down to the end of the hedge row. Brian gave me the green light so I dropped my pack and Brian held back 10 yards. I slowly slid into the field and popped out in a sitting position ready to fire. The doe had no idea I was in her world. After a couple seconds she turned perfectly broadside and I let the .06 speak its peace. As soon as the shot went off I heard Brian giggling behind me and letting me know she went right down in her tracks. We quickly pulled her into the hedge row we had just stalked down and made our way to our stands for the evening sit. Below is a photo of the doe we stalked.

Sunday, November 15. Although we all saw deer Saturday night no more shots were fired. Sunday greeted us with a strong north wind, rain, and temps in the mid 40's. Pete was in the cul-d-sac set, Brian was in his ladder stand and I was in the killing tree. All of us where sitting well before shooting time. I had a deer come through my field shortly after sitting down and Brian once again had deer in his field all morning. Shortly after legal shooting time it started to rain, so I made the move to my Ameristep ground blind that sat only 150 yards away. Shortly after settling into my dry, wind free ground blind I spotted a doe trotting onto the field to my right. I quickly grabbed my gun and settled it on my shooting stick. Ol girl must have seen me move because she stopped at 75 yards and looked directly at me. School girl mistake! The .06 spoke its peace again and deer #3 was down in her tracks. Below is a photo of my 3rd deer. With that my 2009 MO deer season was complete.

Later that evening after I headed back to MN Pete got himself dressed in his frogtogs and set up shop in on the BS 70. He arrived at his natural ground blind right around 2 PM and settled in for an evening sit in the rain. Around 4:30pm after seeing a couple smaller deer things really picked up and in a hurry. As he was watching the field Pete heard a noise directly to his right. He turned to see a big bodied buck jumping the fence and landing within 4ft of him, literally knocking the right side of hsi bling over. After a few seconds the buck realized soethign wasn't right and he ran out into the field 60 yards or so. Pete settled the .06 on him and let it bark. The big guy went down but got up and gimped into the cedar thicket east of the field. Pete returned to the thicket the following morning and made a quick recovery of his deer after only 5 minutes of tracking. Below is a photo of Pete and his 09 MO rifle buck. We will be adding some better pics when he returns next week from his Montana trip.

Not a bad MO opening weekend. 2 mature bucks and 2 nice doe. Overall the BS property has produced 4 mature bucks and 8 doe so far this season, plus Brian still has his tag(s) to fill. Below is a pic of a bobcat I got at the BS farm on sunday morning. Easily one of the coolest pics I have gotten on my cuddyback.

Pete is off to Montana this week with a small game license, whitetail doe tag and a prized either species (Muley or Whitetail) buck tag in his pocket. I am taking the weekend off before getting after some MN pheasants next week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CO Duck Hunting 11/11/09

Wednesday morning Forrest and I made our way back to Hillrose, Colorado for our opener to the second split. We found ourselves in 31 degrees and a dense fog that almost saw the silverado end up in a ditch as the road disappeared. After navigating over some closed railroad tracks we had to set up quick.

Luckily the fog delayed shooting light about ten minutes which allowed us to settle in. Right away we had ducks working our area. This lead to the first great duck of the day, a Drake North American Shoveler, a beauty no doubt, Forrest is still contemplating putting it on the wall. Thanks to the blizzard 10 days ago a lot of the ducks had moved on to warmer areas. All day it seemed as if ducks were working the area. The next duck to meet it's end was a Gadwall, unfortunately I was spraying some breakup into the 1187. After settling back in, I decided we needed a hen spooney to go with that drake, by 6:40, mission accompished. At this point Forrest noticed a leak in his waders which forced a move to the nearby levee. Once reaching the levee I put on a shooting display. First a hen Pintail met her end at about 55 yards and then two minutes later we added another Gadwall to the bag, me cleaning up Forrests mess.

In an attempt to warm up his legs Forrest walked the property. At this time I had a greenhead and two fully dressed Pintails working the spread. Luck would have it they all landed right where Forrest was walking. After sneaking through the grass Forrest polished off one of the two pinnys.

We added one more Gadwall to the bag before packing up around 11:00. A good day, and I will be back at it Sat and Sun while Forrest goes out to Maryland for the World Goose.