Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2013 Mo Gun Season – Sticker 8 Finale!!!!

In early October I ran my cameras at the KC property and it turned out to be a good card pull.  I came across a nice 8 pointer with 2" kicker on his right G2. He immediately jumped out at me as a shooter.

The Friday evening before the MO Youth season. I took my oldest daughter Makenna on her second  bow hunt and with the new shooting house completed we decided to set up there for the evening. It was a beautiful, cool, clear fall evening and about 90 minutes before dark deer started pouring into the food plot. As luck would have it Sticker 8 decided to show himself. He was chasing does all over the field just begging to be shot that night, but I had already filled my early season buck tag so all we could do was sit back and watch the show.

Opening weekend of the 2013 MO firearms season came and went with no shots fired. I had the Sticker 8 on my mind as I headed to the KC property for a quick morning hunt. I decided to hunt the middle timber stand straight east of the shooting house. Right out of the gates I had two does come in from the direction of the food plot. They fed around a bit then headed south. About 20 minutes later I notice movement to the north. A doe was heading right to me, but she kept stopping and checking her back trail. She angled south and about the time I lost sight of her in the timber I caught another flash  of movement to the north.It was a good buck coming my way so I got myself positioned for a shot. As soon as the buck got into better view I immediately realized that it was Sticker 8 and he was headed straight for me. I tried to keep clam as he closed the distance until he finally made it into 12 yards. I let out a “Meerrrpp” to stop him settled the cross hairs the let the Tikka bark!!! After the shot he took off and I immediately saw blood dumping out of him. He was hit hard and I knew he wouldn’t make it far. In disbelief of what had just happened I text Pete and Scott to tell them that Sticker 8 was a dead deer!

After giving him plenty of time, I got down and started the recovery. The track job was short and sweet and the Sticker 8 was finally down! This is the third mature buck taken off the farm this year and hopefully won't be the last!!!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Logan's 2013 MO Youth Hunt

Logan, Scott and Adam arrived Friday evening from Minnesota for the 2013 MO youth season. Scott and I hung a double ladder set this summer just west of The Beach set for Logan. There had been a lot of movement during day light in the bottom for several weeks leading up to the hunt.

Logan and Scott settled into Double Trouble for the first morning's sit, Adam settle into Poachers Pond and I crawled into the Forgotten set. Adam had a small buck work a rub early, but that was the only action for the morning. We headed back to the cabin around 11am for a quick lunch. Adam elected to sit all day and Logan and I headed back into Double Trouble for the evening sit. We didn't see any deer by us, but Adam had four small bucks work past him and Scott had an encounter with a nice 125" eight pointer.

Sunday morning Scott and Logan settled back into Double Trouble, Adam headed into the North Oak Ridge set, and I hunted the Poop Pond ladder. Just after first light I had a spike work into 10yrds before heading back north after three does that crossed onto my ridge. There was a big shooter bumping them around, but they worked back to the northwest. Logan and Scott didn't see a deer again, so we started discussing options for the Sunday night hunt.

Brian offered to let Logan sit over his food plot on a small KC tract he has permission on. Friday evening he'd seen three big shooters in the field while bow hunting. The last hurdle was finding Adam a spot to hunt and our good friend Greg Cole offered to let Adam sit on his KC lease, so we pulled up stales and burned back to KC. We dropped Adam off with Greg and rolled out to meet Brian.

We were settled in the shooting house by 3:15pm and the waiting game started. Within an hour I'd spotted several does filtering through the timber just off the food plot, which was a nice change since Logan had hunted almost 13 hours without seeing a deer. Around 4:50pm Scott said "good buck out front" and we all spotted a nice 2.5 year old ten pointer enter the plot, make a scrape and start bumping other bucks and does around. We got Logan on the shooting sticks but the buck wouldn't stop chasing deer long enough for a good shot. He ended up pushing a group of does off the field. Logan was pretty disappointed, but we told him to keep his head up and more deer would show up. From 5pm on the action was fast and furious...several bucks entered the plot and started bumping does around. We had Logan set up on two other bucks, but the the earlier scenario kept playing out; they wouldn't stop chasing long enough for a clean shot.

With 16 minutes of legal shooting light remaining the last buck in the field pushed several does off and Logan looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes and said " I blew it uncle Pete, that was my last chance at a buck". Right then Scott spotted a small six point enter the back of the field. He started to get Logan set up on the sticks and started glassing the six point. Right when I got the little buck into view through the binos I saw a big set of antlers start to materialize out of the timber behind the little guy and said to Logan and Scott "Holy shit, big shooter coming"  Logan was setting up out the right window, so he couldn't see the big deer and Scott had this perplexed look like...what the F are you talking about, it's a basket racked sixer! He took one look through his binos and realized another much bigger buck was now in the field and told Logan "yep, he's a big 6 point". The big deer worked right down a cut lane in the plot and at 85yrds. he cut right to check on a couple does. I grunted at him and he locked up and looked our direction. Logan was already settled in and touched off the shot. Logan and Scott lost sight of the deer while chambering another round and the deer started clearing the field. I had my binos locked on the buck the entire time and watched the bullet hit home. Ol' Boy pulled up in a small dip on the edge of the field, did a little death wobble and tipped over dead! I looked back at Logan and Scott and said "Buddy you just crushed a giant buck, he's down right on the edge of the plot". Logan went into meltdown mode and Scott and I did a little celebrating ourselves. Brian was actually sitting in my Double Bull blind just behind us and got to see all of the action and help in the recovery process.

Just when we thought the night couldn't get any better we received a text from Adam; buck down! Right at last light a nice young eight point worked into the rye plot he was sitting over. A great shot and short tracking job later and Adam had his hands on his first MO archery deer.

I can't thank Brian and Greg enough for helping us out and getting Logan on his first antlered buck...none of this could have happened without their generosity and Logan is going to owe them both for a long time!!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

KC Killing

I'd planned to hunt with Greg on his KC lease October, 26 along with fellow MWT member Jeff Reddy. Jeff just started archery hunting this year and had yet to see a buck while on stand. The  evening before Greg texted me and said Jeff shot a young buck that night, but they let in lay because the shot looked back a touch.

Saturday morning we'd planned to hunt until 10am then go track Jeff's deer. Greg had a buck work in early, but he moved off to the north. I was blanked and Jeff had a big doe come into his plot and mill around for a while. Greg and I met up just before 10am and headed to meet Jeff, we didn't expect to find him sleeping in the middle of the food plot....rookies got some learning to do still.

After we woke Jeff up the real fun started. We knew the deer was liver hit at best, so the trailing was slow but steady. After about 90 minutes and 250yrds of tough tracking I looked up and saw a white belly in the brush ahead. Jeff has his first buck down and the celebrating started!

Sunday morning I hit up The U and crawled into The Killing tree. For the first time in ny hunting career I slept right through the alarm, so when Shana woke me up at 6:35am there may have been a 2-3 minute tirade of expletives unleashed. Regardless I wasn't staying home so after a quick shower and excessive speeding. I arrived at my stand about 15 minutes after sunrise and the action started immediately. Little bucks were cruising and around 9am I heard more deer approaching from the northeast. A little buck and two minis crested the ridge and dropped right into my bowl. I've been waiting on a nice mini all fall the the second one was the perfect candidate. All three deer walked within a foot of my tree and let them get about 9yrds away before drawing back. I burned the pin and touched off the shot which hit the mark perfectly....heart shot and little guy wasn't about to pack it. I watched him tip over after a short 50yrd run.

Nebraska 2013

October 12 - October 18, 2013

Rob, Seth, Darrin, Scott and I headed back out to NW Nebraska for a week of chasing mule deer, whitetails, and turkeys. We arrived late Saturday afternoon and headed out scouting. A lot of the burn areas from last year have started to rebound, which meant more areas to hunt for us this year.

Seth and I had a close encounter the first morning out with two shooter mule deer in the canyons, but high winds and their ability to scale canyon walls that we have to walk around saved them this time around. We ended up seeing 20-25 mule deer that morning in the canyons, compared to zero last year the entire week. We hunted some private ground that evening, but nobody killed.

Monday was a virtual washout with heavy rains overnight and all morning and afternoon, so we took in some local sight seeing and museum tours. That evening we headed back to the private ground and sat through several hours of rain, sleet, and wind...no deer were killed.

Tuesday morning found Seth and I back in the canyons chasing mule deer. We had several deer work through, but no shooters this time around. That evening we all hit up private ground again. Seth killed a doe and nubber on Dexter's place and I was covered up with deer at the Columbia ladies; both mulies and whitetails. I had several whitetails work inside 2' of the blind before one finally angled out front and offered a good shot. My arrow entered on the last rib and exited the off shoulder. There would be no holding it for this little guy, he took a dirt nap 80yrds into his death run. I had several more close encounters that evening, but my blind should have been facing straight west, instead of north mule deer would have been shanked.

Wednesday we had high winds to deal with...so Seth and I headed back into the canyons. We had 4 bucks and several does below us in a bowl. One of them was a tank and decided to start a fight with one of the younger bucks. We had a front row seat to a 4-5 minute brawl. All the deer ended up skirting around us and working back up into the bedding areas on private ground. Seth and I headed back to the Columbia ladies that evening and readjusted the blind based on the previous evenings travel routes. Unfortunately the farmer who leases the hay field decided it was a good night to stack round bales on the south end of the field. He finished about 10 minutes before legal shooting light ended and deer started to pour out, they were just too far away.

Thursday we encountered high winds, rain, and eventually rain. We tried spot & stalking a nasty draw, but the high winds and snow made it virtually impossible to see. That evening we all hunted private ground again. I had 18 whitetails feed into my field, but they stayed about 70yrds out until shooting time was up. On the way to pick up Seth that night I saw eyes in the ditch as a rounded a corner. To my surprise it was a herd of 16 elk with a huge 7x7 bull leading the way. It was a cool way to close out our trip. We still had a great week despite the weather and I look forward to going back in the future.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Does Hit the Dirt

Good friend Greg Cole and I headed up to the north MO property October 5-6 with the goal of killing some more does off the farm. Saturday morning's hunt was basically a washout. The rain moved in as we were walking into our stands and kept after it most of the afternoon.

Saturday evening we focused our efforts around the cut corn fields. Greg hunted in the "Coon Pop" stand and I crawled up into the "Do North" stand. Almost every deer I saw the weekend before fed right in front of the stand Greg was hunting. Around 4:20pm the first deer popped out in my corner of the field and the parade continued for the rest of the night. Does and minis kept filtering into the field and working in close without offering a good shot. Finally around 5:50pm a doe and mini broke and walked directly into my 17yrd shooting lane. The Hoyt did it's job and the nanny didn't know what hit her. She piled up 70yrds into the field.

We celebrated by the fire pit a bit too long Saturday night, so Sunday morning's start was a bit rough. Greg headed into the "North Oak" stand and I settled into "Double Trouble". Just after legal shooting light I spotted deer working off the fields to the east. A nice 140"s ten point and a younger eight point worked into the bottom, but their path kept them about 55yrds out and in cover. I just watched them head into the security cover. Before my adrenaline slowed down I had more deer headed my direction. This time two big slickheads were on the move. They took a closer trail than the bucks did, so when the lead nanny put her head down to browse at 33yrds, it was all over but the crying. The arrow hit the mark and the ol' girl only carried the shot 40yrds. 

For three years in a row I've tried to get Greg on a deer while hunting this farm and for the third straight year...he was jinxed. At least he got to watch me shank the doe Saturday night from across the field; sorry brother!

Friday, October 4, 2013

New MO Farm Produces Early and Often

I was lucky enough to pick up a new local farm to hunt this year. It’s only 52 acres but it hunts much larger. Ironically it is only about 300 yards from the Blue Springs Honey Hole farm we used to hunt with a lot of success from 2006-2008.

      The landowner let me plant a +1 acre food plot in a mix of Biologic Maximum, Winter Bulbs/Sugar Beets, and Outfitters Blend. The day after the field was planted we got about 1.5" of rain and the plot has blown up! I have been monitoring my trail cams and have had a lot of pics but nothing real big. After doing some scouting I found a perfect funnel on the northeast side of the farm. There is also a huge oak tree that is absolutely loaded with acorns and I knew as soon as they started dropping that this would be a magical spot.

September 22
The first morning I hunted set was Sunday morning September 22nd. It was an absolute beautiful, cool, clear morning. Around 8:00am I looked over to see two does coming in. At 12 yards I let the arrow fly and it found it's mark. Boom I was officially on the board with my first kill off the new property.

September 27th
I was able to slip out of work early. I had dinner plans with the family, but it was hot and I knew that I would be done early enough to get to the stand. I arrived at the stand at 5:45pm. I had literally just climbed into the set and got my pack squared away when I noticed movement to the east. Out popped two a nice 2.5 year old bucks that I had on camera. One was a smaller 8 pointer and the other a solid 9 pointer. I was kind of in a panic because I didn’t even have my bow in the tree yet, but after five long minutes I was finally able to ease my bow up and get an arrow knocked.

 For nearly an hour I watched the young bucks eat around the base of the giant oak tree. Both were solid bucks with great potential, but knowing there were much bigger bucks roaming around I elected to give them a pass. Just before 7:00pm I noticed movement from the east again. Another buck was running towards the other two. I could tell immediately that he was a good one and bigger than the other two. Once he got closer I grabbed the binoculars and saw that he was 10 pointer with nice tall tines. Definately a shooter! I had some branches between me and him so I had to sit back and watch the show. The smaller 8 pointer came up to the big 10 and they started sparring. It was awesome and a first for me to see bucks fighting. Finally the big 10 made it to one of my shooting lanes and turned broadside at 33 yards. I slowly drew back, zeroed in on my pin and let the arrow fly. As I saw the arrow track I knew it was really low and not a lethal hit, so I knocked another arrow. The buck had bounded off about 15 yards farther away and stopped in another opening. At 38 yards I sent arrow #2 on it's way. As soon as I shot the buck ducked and turned; obviously jumping the string since he was alert. I heard a loud crack and he took off like his tail was on fire.

 Not knowing exactly where the arrow hit him I waited another 30 minutes before picking up the trail. As soon as I walked up to where he was standing at there was blood everywhere. He'd run about 200 yards before piling up in the bottom of a large ditch. The MO archery season has barley gotten started and my first buck tag is filled; not a bad start to the season!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The U Pays off with #1 of the MO 2013 Season...

I headed up to hunt The U for the first time this season. I arrived at 5am so I could get a set hung in The Killing Tree and let things settle down before shooting time. The first deer showed up just after 6:45am and a parade of little bucks continued for the first hour; six in total all headed east. Around 8:35am I heard deer coming up the NW ridge like they have some many times before. There was a mini and two big does in the group; one with a bad front left leg. They were skirting me to the north at 55yards, so I decided to give the new VECtor doe bleat a shake. Two soft grunts and the mini was running my direction with the does in tow. They literally ran to the base of my tree and stopped to look for their missing friend that was talking to them. After a little while they started working back north directly behind the stand. At 21yrds I had a good quartering away shot on the doe with a bum leg. The arrow entered on the last rib and exited through the front off shoulder. After 17yrds the lights went out on her, which made for an easy tracking job on the first deer of the 2013 season for me.

I'll be back up at the north MO property this weekend with one of my best and oldest hunting friends; Josh Bergeron and his boy Preston. We haven't hunted together since out MT trip in 2009.

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 KS Youth Hunt

After some crazy travel and arriving in Missouri to find out my turkey gear and bow where still in Minnesota, Logan and I finally arrived in Topeka, KS at 5:15 AM on Friday, April 5. After saying some quick “Hello’s” to the Bale’s family we piled into Nick’s truck and drove to the site of an urban hunt Logan was drawn for.

Nick had scouted the field we would be hunting for the past couple of days. Each night Nick scouted the field it was loaded with birds. We arrived at a blind which Nick had setup after dark the previous evening. We settled in well before first light. It was cool, clear and we had a West wind blowing 5-10. Right at shooting time we could see the silhouettes of roasted turkeys at the far south end of the field. Shortly after that birds flooded into our field. Logan got to experience a little bit of everything his first morning in the turkey blind. He saw plenty of turkeys (and other game), got to see birds strut, gobble and take a shot. The only bad part was his shot missed. We can chalk the miss up to some poor shooting stick placement from the guides!

After a quick lunch and nap we got back into the blind around 1:30 in the afternoon. We moved the blind about 100 yards further north after our morning hunt. It was warm and the wind was absolutely howling in the afternoon. Logan caught another nap on the floor of the blind while Nick and I kept watch. Finally around 5:30 PM turkeys started working back into the field.

Around 5:45 PM we had a Tom working into our spread from the north. Just as he was about to commit to our spread the boss bird on the field saw what was taking place and wasn’t going to let anyone have first crack at any ladies on his field. The boss bird came charging in a spooked the smaller bird off.

With the boss bird concentrating on the smaller gobbler Nick and I were able to move Logan to East facing window. As Logan prepared for the shot a large Kansas wind gust hit the blind and almost blew the blind away. I quickly dropped to the floor and pinned the blind back onto the field. Once I secured the blind I looked up to see the Gobbler walking inline with Logan’s gun barrel. I told Nick to stop the bird at which point Nicky talked some sweet turkey love and stopped the Gobbler in his tracks. Logan took aim for a couple seconds before letting his 870 bark. The big bird rolled over like a ton of bricks and the celebration began!

Logan’s bird weighed in at 23.5 pounds, had an 11 inch beard and 1.25 hooks. That is one hell of a first bird!