Date:12/13/2008 - 12/13/2008
Hunting season really snuck up on me this fall. I fished pretty hard right up to mid-October and had barely shot my Parker before climbing up into a tree stand. Little did I know what was in store for me this fall.
Mike and I took a weekend and traveled down to Pattonsburg to get things started, do a little tree work, and hang some cameras. On the south end of our farm they had planted winter wheat so the fields were bare when we pulled in. Mike had been in contact with the farm hand and we met up with Matt to discuss some food plots for 08'. Matt let us know that the co-op would be in later that week to lime and we decided that I would head down the following week to plant. However, the rains hit hard for the next several weeks and the fields never dried out to get the food plots in.
Another stop we made was to visit with the farmer to the north of our farm. Last fall we met him and his two sons. We stopped in and asked for permission to go on to their property if we harvested something and it ran crossed on to theirs. They said yes and back home we went.
We were able to get the same apartment we stayed in last fall, so I grabbed my Dad and headed down for the weekend. Mike had sold the gun rights to his cousin, so Warren headed down with Mike. Saturday was spent running around cleaning out trees and some other prep work. Saturday night found me climbing up in a tree down by the creek where I had seen some deer last fall. About 5:30 a doe and 3 fawns came in right down the trail. As the adult doe stepped into one of my shooting lanes I drew back and fired off a Rage. For some reason my arrow found her shoulder blade and I quickly saw that I had zero penetration. I climbed down and soon found my arrow with almost no blood. We ended up looking for about 2 hours without a spec of blood. We finally surmised that she wasn't dead and took for Camaro's in Bethany.
Mike and I had scheduled to be gone from November 1-15. As the weather report got closer and we saw that temperatures would be hovering close to 75 we decided to wait until November 4 before leaving. November 5th would be the finally really warm day so Mike and I decided to sleep in, get groceries, and make sure we were ready to hunt hard for the next 10 days.
November 6, I climbed up in a stand we had on the south side of the farm. This stand is in a fence row that connects our big block of timber to the north with a smaller block to the south. That morning went by quickly with just a few does passing by.
The previous day as Mike and I were out messing around, we realized the Rhino had a flat tire. We stopped at the farm house of the farmer to our north, the same farmer who told us we could cross his property earlier that fall. Well he let us borrow some metric wrenches to remove the tire. Once we brought the tools back he pulled us aside and told Mike and I that we could hunt his 1000+ acres during bow season. Wow!! Mike and I now had over 1300 continous acres to hunt. So on the evening of November 6 I climbed into a tree where 3 big timbered draws all come in together. There was the creek and a major runway running through it. I could see around pretty good and was thinking this was more of a scouting sit than an area where I could harvest a big buck.
I was nestled up in the tree for about an hour and a half and had been dousing in and out as the cold front was roaring in. The wind was whipping at about 25-30mph and hearing anything wasn't easy. Suddenly, to my right at 30 yards was a monster! I never saw him!!! I quickly grabbed my bow and settled the 20 yard pin behind his shoulder. This time the Rage found its mark. He mule kicked and I could see it was a powerfull hit as he ran across the little opening. I sent a text off to Mike that I had connected on a slob and called home to my wife to let them know.
I gave him about an hour and was soon on the blood trail. I had taken out both lungs and the blood trail was easy. He didn't make it 60 yards and was piled up next to the two track. He is a main frame 10pt but did grow a G-5 on his right side. He green scores 156" net and is my biggest buck to date.
Mike and I pulled the Rhino up to him and took him for a free ride in the bed of my truck!
To say the next week was hot is an understatement. I hunted a handful of nights before heading home a little early. Mike had an encounter on the 8th with a young 8pt that made our decoy his girlfreind. He topped her twice and finally knocked her over. At 5pm Mike hit the doe-in-heat can and from the same spot my buck came in, appeared a monster that Mike feels was 180"+. When he didn't see the doe he refused to come out of the brush. Mike had encounters with numerous 125-135" bucks at almost every sit. The decoy burnt him late in the hunt when a 150" class buck came past the stand I hunted my first morning. He was headed right to Mike in another tree, he crested the little hill, and boogered badly when he saw the decoy.
Unfortunately, Mike and I can't pull of both of us tagging out on the same trip. Gun season came and went with Warren, his brother, and dad seeing lots of big bucks but no shot opportunities.
Thanksgiving weekend my cousin, Steve, and I headed down. Steve helped out our doe population on Thanksgiving morning. Friday morning I had Steve in the same tree where Mike killed his 164" with the previous fall. Steve said a group of little bucks were pushing some does when a 180"+ monster stepped out at 25yds. Steve reported that this buck had stuff growing out everywhere! Well the bow gods didn't shine down on Steve as he hit a little limb with his arrow and he missed cleanly. The final night of our hunt, Steve was about 100 yards away from where I killed mine. Right at dark two bucks over 150" came pushing a hot doe. However, once again a little tree got in the way and Steve stuck his arrow squarly in it.
Mike and his cousins came down the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and hunted until the following Monday. A handful of good bucks were scene but no deer down.
So as I sit and write this my deer season is over! We really got a chance to learn our property this fall. 1 buck and 1 doe were killed. Our sightings showed that the buck/doe ratio is really pretty good. We saw 2 deer that we feel were over 180" and another 13 sightings of bucks that were in the 140"-160" range. It looks like we have permission to continue to bow hunt the 1000 acres to the north so it really opens up what we can manage. There is talk of trips to scout in February and March so deer season really never is over.