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Old 03-02-2015, 06:53 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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'14 season

Nov 1st..ish.

My ML opening day started early. The rumor of snow had me out of bed before the alarm...psych...low 50's and light rain. Well...I'll be quiet getting to the stand anyway...dark out too. Low clouds took care of the moon. The rain dropping from the leaves made a static, white noise. A herd of bison coulda walked by me and I never woulda heard or seen anything different. As dawn broke, the misty drizzle built up to light rain. Started to worry about my powder. I didn't wear my gloves because it was so warm....mistake. It's warm enough when you don't have to touch cold wet steel...but when you do? Ah well.

A coupla years back I took a spill and busted my azz. That little bruise lit an arthritis fire in my hip. Well...for some reason this mornin...I couldn't sit still for two minutes. Getting old...I can see this putting and end to my hunting faster than anything else....anyway...

The light rain eased up and quit..then the wind started. Steady 10-15mph mostly outa the north. As cold as it's been lately here...the Beech haven't even turned yellow...let alone dropped any leaves. Visibility sucked on 2 of 3 new shootin lanes I started early this year.

Long about noon I saw a rack go past a tree 70yds to my front. Then I made out the doe in front of him. I put the scope on a break in the trees and watched her. She wasn't runnin...she was leadin him on. I jumped ahead to a spot that in the past I've hung scent drippers on...none this year...forgot. She cruised on thru lookin back to make sure ol' studly was still there. When he showed up....I could tell he wasn't a wall hanger...an 8pt basket rack...almost touching. He dropped where I hit him....a lil high and behind the shoulder....both lungs...didn't hit the spine...but he never moved his hind legs. She circled around him for the next 10min...wondering why romeo was taking a nap...then eased back into the mt laurel.

dressed out at a bit under 165lbs. and a decent start to my '14 season.

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Old 03-02-2015, 06:58 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 9th....ish

Frost on the pumpkin this mornin. 38* and calm as could be. Didn't make too much of a racket on the way in...nuthin busted away from so I figured all was good. About 7am had a deer walkin up Wolf creek. Came up to the neighbor's 5strand..didn't wanna jump it goin up hill so backed up along the fence and crawled under mine. I couldn't see well with the Beech still in leaves...it made it through one lane and stepped into the second. Eyes are goin bad...long about the time it's starting to pay attention to the noisy tree up the hill, 2 does and 2 fawns cross the line at my 4o'clock. The first deer turns out to be a 5pt...with only eyes for the ladies. He chased them around underneath my stand for the next 20min. He went one way they went another. I swear the last doe knew I was about...but just kept her head down and trotted out back of me. Had another young buck chasin does...just a spike. Finally had a 4pt come down the hill above me and posted up in the corner of the pasture. Real young...he wasn't interested in nuthin but clover. No ladies wanted to test that out though and no older bucks showed to push him around.

Not a bad day in the woods and not a bad first day hunting on a Sunday.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:01 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 14th

Woke to cloudy skies...no moon....relatively calm. Then I stepped out the door...to clear skies and a fitful early wind. Figures. By the time the sun come up...the wind was rollin in from the north...with a high expected in the low 40's...this 25* wind chill was doin it's level best keeping everything in the thick stuff on south facing slopes. The squirrel that came out today...stayed in the leaves...looked like a rat in a garbage dump....when it finally had enough and went back to bed I thought it wasn't such a bad idea either. 1015 I was back in the house.

I hate whitetail hunting in the wind.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:02 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 15th

This morning started off clear and cold...beautiful, especially after the frigid blast from yesterday. Got to my stand w/o kicking anything outa bed..always a good thing. Early...just as the sky was lightening behind me...I heard someone coming down the far hill opposite the creek. Listened to him make one long, low grunt. Yeah...sure...that'll bring all the deer right to you...idiot. Then I listened to him....somehow get across the neighbors fence...and back up the hill to the east...way too fast and quiet for a man. Dang...and I didn't even get a doe bleet out. Ah well...there may be something to do this mornin anyway.

An hr later I catch a glimpse of a small buck 70yds at my 12.....catch sight of him again as he makes his way passed the first shooting gap...gone. Another...this one a spike..maybe a fork...goes the same way. He's movin sneakier...don't see him after the first. Half an hr later the first buck shows in the second lane. He's a 6pntr...pretty lil rack..will be a nice one in 2-3yrs. He takes his time cruising on by....I lose sight of him to my 6 and comeback to the spike...he finally shows in the second lane..took him 30min to go 50yds...yeah..he's not a happy camper. He comes down to the bottom...don't like somethin and heads back into the mt laurel.

I hear somethin to my left and 15yds away coming to the edge of the pasture is a 3pntr. Musta come from the salt lick...wanted to rub his eyes in the bushes...then he calmly made his way back up the hill toward my old stand. I couldn't believe it...deer everywhere..and not a single doe.

The 6pt comes back nice and easy on the fence line. He takes his time...rubs a small tree. Kinda cool when you see them do that. Then makes his way on down the fence line toward the creek. Just as he reaches my 3o'clock...I hear something farther up the north hill...like lumber being beat on...once...twice...two, three more times. The 6pt has now turned around and faced the far hill. Nice and easy I swing my leg around to the right of my stand's seat frame so that I can bring my rifle to bear. Just as I ease into my new position a deer starts blowing across the way. Dang..I didn't see a thing...evidently he saw me though. After 15-20min of trying to locate a twitching ear I ease back toward the left. 6pt is gone...never heard him leave.

As I sip a lil coffee...still not feeling too bad...I'm warm today...extra clothes and toe warmers..."I can sit here all day at this rate" I thought to myself. Then I heard something to my 6o'clock. I look back toward my 5 as far as I can....nuthin....except the shadow of somethin moving, on the creek bottom! That means he's on the tree line to my 7o'clock! With my tree between me and whatever's moving I swing quickly to my left. Got worried when nuthin showed...then I heard him closer....45yds...he steps away from my back trail gonna go up the hill toward my old stand.

He didn't make it. Thought the shot was a bit low but it was a both shoulder/heart shot...he made 30yds back into the cedars.

Not the biggest. But it was one of my best days in the deer woods. 8pt dressed at 188lbs.

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Old 03-02-2015, 07:13 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 21st

I got out early...fitful breeze...not bad..maybe low to mid 30's. Before dawn I swore I was hearing squirrels, too dark though for them so somethin else was movin around. About 0730 had a doe cruise down my back trail with company in tow. A 7pt, 4pt, and a coupla spikes. 15yds and none of them looked twice at me. I swear though...the doe was hoping I would take one out to give her a break. Had a doe pop outa nowhere to my 12 an hr later...then the wind started in earnest. Couldn't hear much of anything after that and called it a day. Checked my cam...everyone I saw today made an appearance...as well as another young 8pt. Hoping for a turn in the weather for Sun.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:14 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 23rd

At 11 had a small doe come in from the western side of Wolf creek. She crossed my northern neighbor's fence and kept on goin to the east. Rain started around 2pm. About 4pm had two does cross my 12 at 75yds. Young doe w/yearling. Got me all pumped...expecting company to be a few minutes behind. She wasn't in a hurry though...had both of them under my scent dripper at my mock scrape. Both eased on to the northeast and outa sight and sound. Still held out hope for a travelin bruiser. Not.

Didn't happen for me today.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:18 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 28th

Had a fox trot by right under the stand before dawn. An hr later he came back...sniffed around the 2nd-3rd lanes. Right as I was deciding to put the scope on him, he takes off up the creek and gone. Sure can put some distance on without even putting any effort into it. Right about then the wind picked up nice and steady. Could barely hear the squirrel 10yds in front of me. The best part of my day was having two hawks stop by and take a look at me. First lit on a branch 4yds and a bit higher than me. The second chose a branch right behind my head...skeered the livin shiite outa me. That was it...nuthin with four legs movin after that...I had stuff on my mind and called it an early day.

Tomorrow's another day.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:19 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Nov 29th

Realized I had company across the road behind me when the shot rang out, dang near goosin me from my stand. Hate when the neighbor gives permission to hunt that land w/o tellin me. Not that he has to...but dang would be nice to know before the shot goes off. Might explain why things have been slowin down. Hate bein squeezed.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:22 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Dec 13th

I had somethin cross the northern neighbor's fence in the dark...sounded like more than one...buck pushin a doe maybe. An hr after sunrise had 4 bucks...2-8's a 6 and a 5 come back from where I heard earlier...wondered if it was these just guys out searchin for the ladies. They all made their way across the NE fence and then on down the creek to the south. Had a herd of elepha....okay...flock of turkeys tearing it up behind me for most of the mornin..around noon they finally eased up to my 3oclock...made a left on up the hill and into the pines. Just before dark had an 8pt head back north up the creek...he was wider than my last..but thinner shorter tines. About the time I left the crosshairs off his shoulder a tagalong caught up with him and then both were gone.

Never had a season like this. Seen 2 maybe 3 does all season so far...bucks everywhere with most being too small to shoot. Needing a few does to fill the freezer...maybe next week.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:25 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Dec 22nd

Something changed this year...or more likely...a combination of. Best acorn crop in years...in my mind, (with the exception of a coupla does with bucks in tow) kept everything 'cept young bucks to the thick stuff all season.

Was out yesterday...just before legal light had what I believe is one of the last two 8pt'rs in the area cruise 40yds past the stand...even stopped under my old scent dripper before headin into the thick stuff just before light. Celebrated the mrs' BDay so was outa the woods by 10a.m. Check the game cam...no deer for the past coupla weeks in the pasture during the day light hrs.

As I was walkin back from the cam I paid special attention to the leavings....acorns are gone...nuthin but shells and skins. And sure enough...long about 4pm had three does checkin out my back trail from my stand. Put some glass on them...2older one yearling.

Heard talk of bear still active in the higher elevations. I was starting to wonder if I had company next door. This fri mornin I'm expecting to see a bit more than what I've seen this season to date. Need three more in the next two weeks...gonna be a close thing.

The other change...prolly self inflicted....

I'd put a hurtin on the does the last coupla years...taking 3 or so and letting the lil bucks walk. It's been an effort to see more bucks. Well.....last year I struggled to see does as well...had to re-read my posts. A good thing. Anyway....A thought that maybe all those lil bucks are squeezin the does outa their normal bedding areas. Maybe I gotta do a more "balanced" harvest.

I dunno....I'm not the only hunter in the area so....would I make that much of a difference....dunno.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:27 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Dec 27th

What a freakin year....

Was in the stand early today....35*...calm...no moon. After psyching myself out on the route I'd been taking to my stand...I changed things up a bit this mornin. A coupla years back I had gotten busted as soon as I cleared the Ashe out back. They had gone north so I'd headed the long way around...once I got to my old tree I headed straight out into the pasture and bee-lined to my stand. Later that day I took a buck pushing some does outa the pines to the north.

Well...I'd been looking to take a doe today...figured if I replayed that route I could maybe get by any deer bedded close to that North fence line...let them be confident that down creek was a safe corridor. That was the plan anyway.

About 9a.m. the neighbor to the west fired up a skid-steer and hauled a low-boy trailer down his pasture. Evidently he had a couple trees crossing his fence. He was finished beepin and sawin and gone an hr later. About 30min later I spied movement to the North. Caught sight of a tail and rump as it passed an old blow down oak. Being as high on that spur as he was I didn't sweat turning to face him...he was headed to my fence line...only a matter of time....or so I thought. Just about the time I had given him up for heading north not south...I saw another...this one a 4pt...nibblin some brouse on the fence line...then another deer to match the first showed...2 8ptr's and a 4. They promptly bedded down...2;30, 3:00 and the 4 at 4:00. right on the fence line...for two hrs. I was dyin. The muscle that runs up the right side of my neck to my shoulder blade was on fire. On top of that...the temp had climbed easily to 65*.

Movin slowly as possible...I started opening up the coat, bibs, hoodie....as I took my stocking cap off and replace my cap...and re-size it...twice...the wind shifted. All of a sudden one 8pt was up. I'd lost him when he'd bedded down..but since he hadn't walked away I couldn't move for fear he'd see me..the other two had had their heads behind trees. Anyway....20min later he bedded back on down. Just as I was starting to relax cramped side ways like I was...wind picked up...this time all three got up and started higher up the spur away from me. Just as the last 8 was walkin outa sight I let out a soft fawn bleet...then a couple more. He stopped...then I sprayed some doe estrous on my knee. A coupla min later when that hit...all hell broke loose...there wern't 3 bucks bedded down within 75yds of me, there were 6. 4 8's, a 6 and a 4. I haven't seen that much horn in one place in my entire career. Still couldn't move to face them. They milled around a bit then turned away and started back into the pines...I let out with a few more grunts and bleats...more scent...nuthin. They headed on to the east and gone.

I took that opportunity to stand and do an about face...hoping they'd pull the same compass boxing maneuver that last buck tried....nada.

Didn't see another deer the rest of the day.

It dawned on my though on my way outa the woods...me opening up all my clothes to let some cool air in prolly let some of my scent out too.

With all these bucks around...it's no wonder the does are scarce. Had been feelin bad for taking a small buck...now....not so much. I've never encountered this many bucks...I'm at a loss..dunno how to hunt them. They're acting like a pre-rut bachelor group. No interest in doin nuthin but feedin and sleepin.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:28 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Jan 1, '15

The old axiom....hunt with the wind...couldn'tve been more true today. Sucks though I only had the one stand to go with.

Cold and clear this a.m....still...30*...beautiful. With the exception of the frost heaved trail I used on my way to the stand...couldn't ask for much better. Sounded like walkin on gravel. I settled in....and just before light...somethin came outa the creek bed and crossed the first lane. I heard it go on into the second before losing it in the laurel. When I cut those lanes last spring, I wove/stacked the brush into the edges...low and wide....not threatening...but not quiet. They tip toe through frozen leaves just fine...but dead frozen sticks will tell you where they are even in a breeze.

Here's where I was wishin for a different stand. The wind started out of the s and sw. Second hunting day in a row...and sure enough along about 9a.m. I had three does? cross my northern fence and head my way...before I could stand to face them I had one 15yds at my 5o'clock. It stopped dead....and that pretty much ended it right there...everyone beat feet back the way they came...and that was the last deer I saw for the day.

With Saturday being my last day I won't move my stand. But this spring, if I don't replace it with a better one...I'll be re-orienting it from the w to the nw. This'll at least give me the opportunity to swing further to the E on the creek w/o having to move too much in the stand...engage them sooner...before any errant breeze betrays me. At least if it does I'll already be putting cross hairs on one even if it should rethink it's path...it'll be too late.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:29 PM
VaRedneck VaRedneck is offline
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Jan 3rd

Light rain this mornin....high 30's...didn't see a thing move 'cept 3 squirrels. Called it a day. Not the happy ending to the season I had hoped for.

Discouraged...for now.

Improvements will be made before next season.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:42 AM
Jack Jack is offline
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Sounds like you had a great season. Those are some big deer!
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:07 PM
Gil Martin Gil Martin is offline
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VaRedneck

Very nice pictures and a great story. Thanks for sharing. All the best...
Gil
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