Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 MO Youth Hunt....Logan's 1st Deer hunt

Scott and Logan made the trip down from Minnesota Friday afternoon for Logan's first deer hunt as the shooter. Logan has been tagging along on hunting trips with his dad and I since he was 2 years old and has been talking about shooting his first deer and coyote for about as long. Saturday, January 7th kicked off the second portion on the Missouri youth deer season and the three of us were tucked into ground blind near The Graveyard set on our Macon Co. farm. 

We didn't have any deer movement in the area to speak of, but the nine turkeys and numerous squirrels and birds kept us plenty entertained during the sit. Logan was all eyes and ears hoping a deer would materialize, but it didn't happen. Scott did manage to catch up on some much needed sleep though....

Saturday afternoon good friend and fellow member Rob Gerling met up with us and we headed up to Millard, MO to hunt his lease property Saturday evening. The land owner had seen 10-11 does and a big buck working up his south fence line pretty regularly during the past couple of weeks. We got the Double Bull brushed in about 90yrds up the south fence and went into town for lunch. Logan, Scott, and Rob were settled into the blind by 3pm, but not before Rob had to take care of a little business....

Logan and the .06 waiting on Rob...

Once again the deer did not cooperate for Wee-man, but there was plenty of MarioKart and Yahtzee getting dominated in that blind from the sounds of it. They did have a giant owl attempt to join then in the blind...or at least they thought it was going to; Logan was pretty impressed with that! I headed up to the northwest side of the property to scout/bow hunt and had 7 does work through the area along with 17 turkeys I busted out of the field on my way in. Not sure we would have got a shot at the deer if Logan was with, but at least he would have seen some goes hunting I guess.

Sunday morning all four of us headed to good friends and also fellow members Randy and Jenny Walker's farm northeast of Atlanta, MO. They were gracious enough to allow us to bring Logan to their farm for the day, and what a day it turned out to be. I can't thank The Walker's enough for the generosity they showed Logan, he thought he was the King for a day!

Logan, Scott, and I slipped back into a shooting house over looking standing beans that were tucked in right next a 20 acre bedding area the Walker's had done some TSI work in the previous year. There were 5 does in the beans out in front of the shooting house when we entered the field. They moved off to the north as we approached, but not in too much of a hurry. It was way to early to shoot, but the bright moon allowed Logan to see them as they trotted out of the field and he was excited to see some deer.

After getting Logan settled into the Captain's shooting chair we sat back and waited for shooting light. Logan was busy playing Angry Birds around 7:20am when I caught movement about 55-60yards out in front of us. A yote was slipping through the beans headed east, but had no idea we were there. Scott got the .06 up on the window and Logan took over from there. Scott whistled once to stop the dog, but it only sat still for a brief second before moving on. Logan followed it for another 10yards in the scope before I whistled and second time. This time the dirty dog locked up and Logan didn't waste anytime laying the wood to it! The yote didn't even move and the with all the excitement and the look on Logo's face you'd have thought we killed a 160" buck!!!! It was a memory none of us will ever forget.

A little reenactment of the shot...
Logan after his first kill...
A couple of trophy pictures of his first yote...

Randy and Rob had planned to call yotes around the farm during the morning using an e-caller. We'd heard the caller fire up and a few shots throughout the morning, but hadn't received any updates from the boys. So after taking pictures of Logan and his big kill, we headed up to the house for an awesome breakfast that Jenny had prepared. Logan wasn't very impressed with the dragging process, but he was a trooper and drug his prized yote a good portion of the way back...or so he says he did!

Randy and Rob got back to the house around 10am and they had a pretty good morning calling dogs also. One set produced three dogs that came in bounding over the CRP grass looking for the pup in distress they were hearing. Another set produced more dogs responding to the call. Randy took the first shot and hit the yote back and at about 150yrds or so on the run Rob straight skull capped it!!! Great shooting Chief!

The 2 yote killers...

Sunday afternoon we all walked Randy's trap line then Scott and Logan chased a few tree rats around before taking a little siesta. That evening Logan, Scott, and I headed back to the shooting overlooking the beans. The conditions were perfect, but the deer refused to cooperate again. We had a lot of fun joking around with each other and watching the other wildlife. As shooting light came to a close we sat back and enjoyed a great moon rising over the trees.


All in all it was a great weekend shared with family and friends. Logan is already excited about coming back down to MO for the November portion of the youth season this fall, and to collect on his bill from Randy and Rob; he said to "pay up boys, lessons ain't cheap"

I wanted to thank Rob and the Walkers again for giving up their time and allowing us to hunt their properties, it was beyond generous and greatly appreciated! You made Logan's weekend one him, his dad, and I won't soon forget...THANKS!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Day Buck

Nick, Greg, and I braved the 25-35mph northwest winds Sunday night and headed to "The Winery" for a late season evening hunt. Greg set up in second field, Nick set up on the edge of the bedding cover and main field, and I hung a new set in the southeast corner of the bedding area.

I jumped five does walking in, but they just moved off into the cover without much fuss and we were all settled in by 3pm. The wind was blasting us all night and we all thought movement was going to be pretty slow...we couldn't have been more wrong! Just before 5pm Nick sent a text that several does were running around the big field and a few minutes later deer starting pouring out of the bedding cover. I had 22 deer filter by my new set during the last half hour of shooting time. They were all well inside bow range, but they stayed in the thick cover to my left which offered me zero shooting opportunities. Nick was also covered up with deer and around 5:20pm a nice buck popped out onto the field. A few grunts from the VECtor and the buck was bee-lining to Nick's stand. He worked into 10 yards but was facing the stand and didn't offer a clean kill shot. After a few minutes of staring down Nick the buck turned and headed back towards the thick stuff. He stopped briefly about 20 yards out and Nick took advantage of his mistake and slipped an arrow into him. Nick knew he hit him, but with the low light and not being positive about where the arrow connected we decided to wait until the morning to start tracking him.

Greg and I headed back out for a morning sit and Nick was going to meet us at 9:30am. The wind hadn't really let up much and it made for the coldest sit of the season for us!!! I was beyond ready to get down by the time 9:30am got here and I think Greg shared my excitement once he wasn't sitting 20ft. up a tree...

Fellow member and MO Conservation Officer Vince (VECtor Game Call Owner) also showed up and he brought his silver lab Goose along to help with the tracking job. We found Nick's arrow right off the bat and it was covered in good blood and we all thought it would be a short tracking job....we were wrong again. The buck headed straight into the thick bedding area that consisted of chest high grass, cedar trees, and more poison ivy than I've ever seen. It was pretty slow going and Goose was having trouble cutting the trail. We slowly picked our way along the blood trail heading to the northeast. About ninety minutes into the tracking job Vince took Goose upwind of us about 80yrds. As soon as Goose got the wind in her face, her nose went up and she brought Vince right to the buck. Nick's shot was good, but just a touch back and it exited through the guts on the off side. The buck was dead within minutes of Nick shooting him, but after seeing the blood trail and how slow going it was in the daylight we definitely made the right call letting him sit and waiting until the morning to track him.
The 2011 season has been amazing so far and we still have a couple weeks left! I can't thank Nick and Greg enough for allowing me to hunt with them this year. I just met these guys over the summer at an MWT event and in sort order they have become very close friends and hunting partners and I'm looking forward to many more seasons of hunting with them! 

The second portion of MO's youth deer season kicks off Saturday morning and Scott and Logan are coming down for it. I'm hoping we'll be able to post up Logan's first deer story early next week, so if the deer god's are listen "send a couple our way this weekend"