Friday, April 30, 2010

Seed Is Planted In MN!

Logan and I made it out to the Annandale property Friday afternoon. Things couldn't have worked out better. The area received a nice rainfall this morning and another light rain this afternoon. Perfect conditions for spreading seed on my food plot.

Logan and I arrived at the property around 4 PM. After raking out bumps and removing any grass that was on the plot it was time to spread seed. I planted 1/2 the plot with Evolve Habitat clover with a small bag of Biologic Brassica mixed in. The other half of the plot was seeded with Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover. Just for fun Logan and I also planted a small pack of sweet corn and sunflowers in the plot. We are suppose to receive another rain this evening which should be perfect for the plot.

I need to make another trip out to the property on Monday to fertiize the plot with a 13-13-13 fertilizer.

Logan and I walked the property a bit before heading home. The deer sign in the area looks good and my mineral sites are really getting hit hard. I pulled both the cards from my trail cameras but found out I had a bad pack of batteries. Both camera's died after a couple of days. I did get several good pics. Below are a couple of the photos from the Cuddybacks.

Logan fired a couple .22 shots in the dump and we called it a night. We got a lot of work done and had a fun afternoon.

Update 5/2/10- I ended up having a couple free hours on Sunday afternoon so I headed back to the Annandale property. I fertilized the new plot and also hit my existing plot with some 10-10-10 fertilizer. I also updated the software on both of my Cuddybacks to help insure longer battery life. The mineral sites are continuing to get hit hard. I also walked the far southeast corner of the porperty and found a nice location for another set. Otherwise nothing much had changed since Friday afternoon. I won't be back until June 1.

Monday, April 26, 2010

First Minny-Mo gobbler of the 2010 season

The day started with me driving the girls to school and daycare. After dropping off my two baby dolls I headed to the office. On my way to the office I decided to drive by the new farm and check the fields. As I drove by one of the fields I spotted three toms and five hens. Instead of heading into work, I was heading out huntin! I raced back home, grabbed my gear and within 30 minutes I was back at the farm.

The birds were still in the field, so I made a big loop along the north side of the property. By the time I got to my first ambush point the birds had moved off the field. I could see the field to the east with no sign of the birds, so I started my sneak towards the western fields. I got to the second glassing spot so I could see in the west field and sure enough the birds were about 125yrds to the south. A big, deep ditch ran along the field edge the birds were working, so I decided to put the sneak on. I figured there was no chance of the Toms leaving their ladies so a sneak was my best and only option.

The ditch was massive with 15–20" sides, but luckily there was a tree about halfway up the west edge where the birds had hung up. Once I got a ways down the ditch I raised up over the ditch lip and spotted the long beards about 45 yrds. out and feeding right to me. I repositioned myself for a shot and waited as the birds closed another 15yrds on my position. After picking out the largest bird, I touched off the shot! The Nelli and Federal #5’s put the hurt on the ol' long Dong Tom and team MinnyMo had bird number one ready for a ride in the back of the truck!

Right after the shot the other two Tom birds jumped on their fallen comrade and started gobbling, pecking, and scratching the dead bird. It was an amazing sight! I've been hunting turkeys for a long time and this is the first time I'd ever seen that. It was great ending to another successful turkey hunt!

22 Lbs.
10' Beard

1" spurs

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Pheasant Shoot

Once again Deny purchased my birds at a game farm in Ogilvy, MN as a birthday present. Logan and I headed up to the game farm along with Denny and six others on Sunday morning, 4/11/10. After shooting a couple clay pigeons we headed out to our fields for the mornings “hunt.”

We had great weather and warm temps, an absolutely perfect spring morning. The fields we walked where a mix of sorghum and cut corn. The fields where in great shape and had plenty of cover. This made for some realistic conditions and a great backdrop for watching the two dogs work. As a group we purchased 32 birds and ended up bagging 31 of them. Not to bad considering some of the shots that where in the crew. Below are a few photos of the days shoot.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MO 2010 Pre-season preperation

4/10/10 - I headed up to the North MO property early Saturday to scout turkeys, work on stands, freshen up the mineral sites, and hopefully locate a shed or two. I had planned to be at the farm before sunrise, but that didn't happen. So most the turkey scouting was put on the back burner. I did see several strutters right around the property, so there should be plenty of action for the 2010 season.

My first task was to freshen up the mineral site from last year and put the Cuddy up to start documenting antler development. I was pleasantly suprised at the amount of sign around the area. The deer had the trail leading to the site worn slick with tracks and the ground around the lick was covered in tracks and fur. I reset the Cuddy in the same spot that I captured all of bucks on last season.

Task #2 on the day was to hang a new set in the immediate area of the lick, however there isn't a tree within 80yrds. that is suitable for hanging a stand. So I used the natural surroundings and created a wicked ground blind from a cedar that lost it's top this winter. I still need to do little work on it, but I'm excited about the potential for this fall. We've had a lot of activity in this part on the farm over the past two seasons.

After working on the new ground blind I started in on adjusting and hanging some new sets. I pulled the north field set and moved it up onto the river bank. This new postion will allow us to hunt the set with any type of south, west, or east wind. It also puts us behind the two main trails that cut the corner of the field. There will be some does in trouble if they repeat last years travel patterns.

I also hung a new set 90yrds east of the "Beach" set. The amount of sign in the area was crazy and there are three major trials that meet up about 23yrds in front of the new location. It will be ideal for late October - November when we start getting hit with the north winds.

After that I pulled down several of the non-producing sets and the two stands that need to be repaired. I also created another mineral site up in the north wood lot. There is a bunch of sign up there also and several good trials leading into the back side of the pond. I'm hoping to make it back up for the first weekend of turkey season...hopefully we can get Shana on her first MO Turkey!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Minny Pre-Season 2010 Begins

I made it out to the Annandale Property on Saturday, April 3. I walked the entire property looking for sign and just checking things out. I also set out four 50# trace mineral blocks and set up both of my Cuddyback camera’s. I added a new flash Cuddyback to my arsenal this spring. Next, I staked off the area I will be planting my two food plots this coming spring. I am planning a mix of clover and brassica this year. I finished the day by loosening all of the straps on my portables. Below are a couple photos of my mineral block locations. You can see the deer have been keeping them clean.

Below is a photo of my food plot location . I made it a little bigger this year. The grass on the right side will be tilled under in the coming weeks.

Overall the property looked great. The location I had my Rock mineral block last year is getting completely torn up. The spot I had the rock sitting now has a 6 inch deep hole from the deer working over the area. I found plenty of deer sign. I also have a spot picked out for a new stand location on the Northeast side of the property. I plan to monitor the area throughout the spring and summer with one of the Cuddybacks and see if it will be worth hunting. The new Cuddyback is keeping an eye on it right now.

Jake and I returned to the Annandale property on Tuesday, 4/6/10. The goal for the day was to recover my harness (which I left on Saturday) setup two Trophy Rock mineral locations and mark the trail to my new ground blind location. Mission complete!

I also stopped by and talked to the farmer about prepping my food plot areas. Farmer Jack said he would have the plot locations tilled and ready to plant for me by May 1. Nothing beats just showing up with fertilizer and seed and putting them right in the ground!

Below are pictures of my Trophy Rock locations. The first picture is my Cuddyback setup from last year. The Cuddyback is already monitoring the same area in hopes of spotting una-buck again.

Here is a photo of my new ground blind setup. The area is drop dead sexy. The blind its self is made from a fallen tree. The root area is standing up and makes a perfect wall to my right (west)when sitting. The tree fell on top of some willows, which have grown around the tree ends and make perfect cover. The creek runs directly in front of the blind with a long strip of CRP in front of the that. A large cornfield sits on the back side of the CRP. The CRP field and directly behind the blind location are tore up with deer trails. This will be a deadly area for management tags in the fall!

Jake and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking the woods and checking things out. We walked by the money stand just before leaving and I came across a huge rub. Below are a couple pictures of the rub. I am hoping this guy made it through the winter and comes back to the area this summer!

I will be back out around May 1 to pull my first camera cards of the year and plant my food plots.