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Fall 2017 Hunting-nsfw

cmcdonald

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Been out a few times this season, but nothing so far. Haven't had the scouting and prep time this year...too many other pressing responsibilities.

But, it's nice to get out just the same. It seems winter has arrived in the mountains already and that may well bring hunting to an earlier conclusion...will see how much snow comes.

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Top of the mountain overlooking the town of Penticton, BC....-7C, windy and lightly snowing.
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Old Kettle Valley Railway bed...desert like terrain with big Ponderosa pines and sage brush.

Saw lots of does (only allowed by limited entry tag in this area though) but no 4 point or better bucks. (A 4 point buck here would be like an 8 point to you guys...we only count one side, as long as one side has a min of 4 points...so a 4x3 would work too) Some big moose tracks too, so we were keeping our eyes peeled for a spike-fork bull to fill my tag...but no dice.
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However, we did capture a pic of the ever elusive and crafty Snowy-Backed Velociraptor...........
 
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MikeD

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I never tagged a turkey this fall, the season ends this afternoon.

Our firearm deer begins tomorrow and runs through the 30th. I took the day off and despite still getting over a cold, plan on hunting opening day.

This will be the first hunt with the new 450BM. I'm limited to only a buck with 4 or more points on a side or a doe. Im hoping to see this guy...

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I saw him during the early archery season but he was just out of range.
 
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John A.

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pew pew pew.

Mmm, tasty.

Which reminds me, I made a couple more pounds of deer jerky over the weekend.

All my kids and daughter in law devoured it.
 

nitesite

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After the shot all the hard labor begins in earnest. And the wallet comes out.
 

nitesite

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I never tagged a turkey this fall, the season ends this afternoon.

Our firearm deer begins tomorrow and runs through the 30th. I took the day off and despite still getting over a cold, plan on hunting opening day.

This will be the first hunt with the new 450BM. I'm limited to only a buck with 4 or more points on a side or a doe. Im hoping to see this guy...

View attachment 17161

I saw him during the early archery season but he was just out of range.

Mike, why would you want to take a strong sire from the herd if you can just as easily take a decent doe and put meat on your table?
 

MikeD

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Mike, why would you want to take a strong sire from the herd if you can just as easily take a decent doe and put meat on your table?

Because my remaining tags is for a buck, with 4 or more points on one side or a doe.

No other reason really other than a big buck provides more meat then a doe and they are more of a challenge. But your point is not lost on me. My dad drilled it into my head that we do not shoot does, partly because the property I hunted growing up did not allow it, and still does not allow it even during the archery season. (My dad still won't shoot a doe regardless of where he hunts and gives us grief whenever we do shoot one.)

The question of QDM comes up a lot and MI has been toying with forced antler restrictions and some other ways to create a better herd. I've never really been a rack hunter nor have I ever really had to follow much restrictions in the places I hunt. When I hunt properties that have them I comply with the landowners wishes. It' is something I have been doing some research on and am still on the fence as to where I fall on this debate. I am for maintaining a healthy herd but I am not for supporting restrictions only put in place so some some guy can hang a bigger rack on his wall. The true path probably lies somewhere in the middle and is a debate for another thread as the opinions tend to vary greatly and get quite heated whenever the topic comes up.



Well I got out an hour before shooting hour yesterday to allow everything to quiet down, also I like to get out before everyone else, when the rest of the world hits the woods en mass it often gets the deer moving.

I saw a total of 24 deer and 7 bucks, some were more likely repeats but I kept a running count. I know there were at least three unique bucks. I had a small spike walk past just after light. I had a larger spike (way past the ears but still a spike, come by mid afternoon and then I saw a larger racked deer on the other side of the field. Actually I can add one more to the list. On the way home I had a large 8+ point limp across the road in front of me. I did not see blood but he had obviously injured his leg, not sure if he had been hit or not.

The only buck might have been big enough for my tag hung out at the far side of the field and never came my way. I did get to watch him chase a few does and spar with another smaller buck, that in itself made my day.

I has a doe and a small deer come out right near me, about 50 yards out and eat some of the remnants of the cut bean field. I think I have them on my action cam. I forgot to pull the card when I got home, I'll post it up when I can process it.

I could have easily taken a doe but passed. I already have one in the freezer and I was holding out for a larger buck. In addition, it was pouring rain which turned the clay field into a spongy sticky mess.

For anyone that does not hunt due to rain, you are missing out. It was POURING all day and I saw ton of deer on the move.

I may not see a lot of deer within shooting range but sitting on this huge open field allows me to see a lot of deer I would not see sitting in the woods. Personally I enjoy seeing them and watching them as much as I do tagging them.

I sat the entire day. Despite not getting my big buck, I had a blast watching them play in the field. I counted about 85 shots fired during the day which seems low but the rain and a weekday opener probably had some impact.

I tried to do some in the field updates but my signal out there is minimal....which I kind of like.



After the shot all the hard labor begins in earnest. And the wallet comes out.

Process your own and it cost very little ;-D It's time consuming, esp the first few times you do it and if you want clean burger with no fat or silver skin, but really not that hard as long as you have a place to hang it up and a grinder. I paid to have the last one done because I didn't have room in my garage and it was too warm to let it hang until I could make room.
 

John A.

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There are easily more doe than buck here too.

But I have seen years when come season, I'm only getting maybe 2 different bucks on my cameras.

In those cases, there ain't no way I'm going to take a buck. Either of them.

Seems like during middle to late august, it's like a switch gets flipped and they disperse a while. I can be getting heavy buck traffic and then all of a sudden go from seeing 6 different bucks to only 2 or 3 hanging around. And this is a pattern that I've noticed for several years now.

I have thought about it, and the only thing I can think of that may would cause it is the acorns seem to be getting ready to start dropping at or around that time and it just kicks them into high gear for a while gorging themselves. Or maybe it's something different altogether that I don't know about, but I have noticed toward the end of August their patterns change nonetheless.

I have no problem with just taking does. They often have a better taste (less glandular - or gamey if that's a word) and the only time a doe is off limits is if it looks pregnant, nursing, or has a young deer with it.

And thus the reason why I have often walked back to the truck on closing day without having a deer to show for it the whole year.

I always let their population numbers tell me which one I'm going after. Or if I go at all and take a year off to give their numbers room to grow back some if they've had a lot of pressure from predators on them.

If I have 7 bucks leading up to season, no question, I'm going after a buck. I usually have at least 4 bucks roaming around most of the time. Maybe 8-10 Does at any given time. Those seem to be pretty common numbers where I'm at.

And why I usually go after a Doe and I don't have any big racks hanging on my wall.

But if I ever do come across that big 10 that's been there for a few years, it would be hard for me not to draw down on him. Since he's been around there a while, I'm sure that he's fathered a few of his future replacement during that time and I wouldn't fret too bad over it.
 

MikeD

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I hunted 10 years before I got my first, and it was the only deer I saw, a small spike.

I hunted 10 more years before I got my second, a small 4 point.

I joked about being on a 10 year cycle.

It was another 8 years before I got my 3rd and I have taken one every year since. Last year was the first I tagged two in a season.

If I based my love of hunting on game taken I would have quite before I got my first. Had we been allowed to shoot does on the property we hunted I prob would have had one each year. Shooting of does is still prohibited there which makes it tough. There really are not a lot of deer in that area, winters are really harsh.

I finally learned the most important rule of deer hunting. Hunt where there are deer!!

Since getting access to some farm land closer to home I have been much more successfull in taking deer.

The downside is that now I can hear and see other people, cars, dogs, farm animals ,etc. I still love hunting the remote woods of northern Michigan but getting deer there is much more of a challenge then hunting farm country.
 

cmcdonald

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Mike and John are you guys hunting from blinds, stands both and/or moving around an area? I agree Mike, it seems if you can get permisssion to hunt private land...that's the surest bet. I think my partner and I will have to hit up a few ranches and see if we can get access.

Hunting the wilderness is definitely challenging. The coastal mountains here are brutal to hunt. Super thick forest and tremendous undergrowth. I've almost given up on them, except that our family cabin is located smack in the middle of them...lol....it's just brutally, rugged terrain.

So my hunting partner actually lives about 4 hours further north of the 'burbs and the terrain is much more inviting. The Okanagan territory is beautiful ranch land, more open meadows, tall Ponderosa pines, sage brush and sandy soil. There are some challenging areas still, no doubt but I think our chances are greater there.

The deer in the coastal mtns are like bloody ghosts...one second there and then gone...like vaporized gone...lol. No tracks, no poop, no nothing.

I should add that we are heavily restricted from harvesting does in much of the province for most of the year. Some areas never allow harvesting of does, even under limited entry tag draws.

We are both thinking of taking up bow hunting as that often adds weeks to the season and sometimes more opportunity for does as well.
 

MikeD

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I now hunt primarily from ground blinds. I have a permanent blind built on property I have permission to hunt on. It's a 320+ acre farm but I only have permission to hunt the one spot for deer, as he has other people hunting the woods. No one likes hunting the field but me (that is a good thing, they kicked several long time people off last year but I am safe because of this) I posted a thread when I built it a few years ago (the photos may now be blocked due to PB.) When I hunt elsewhere I tend to use a pop up or the Bush-N-A-Bag. I prefer a pop up as it masks more movement and blocks more wind.

My buddy, who has a few acres close by has elevated blinds. These are basically 6'x6' and a 5'x4' platforms with full stair cases and railing. Very stable and little chance of falling. They replace boards as soon as they see one that is rotting. The deer I shot earlier this year was from one of these blinds. Funny, the two he has are literally 35 yards apart from each other but you face different directions so you rarely see the same deer unless they happen to walk right between them. There is enough tree cover that you cannot see the person ion the other blind, even in the winter. He keeps promising he is going to enclose them but he has not done it yet (well except for the one he hunts from LOL)

When I hunt near the family cabin in upper MI I will use either a ground blind or a ladder style tree stand or a pop up. I no longer feel safe in the climbers or chain on models. I still have a few but they are just sitting in the garage. I prefer the two man ladder blinds, they are more stable and have enough room for you to move around a bit. I dislike getting into a stand and feeling like I am in the cheap seats on an airplane.
 

cmcdonald

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LOL...yeah no cheap seats thanks!! Getting too old for that crap!! Have considered using a ground blind and also a 2 man ladder. Definitely need private land to justify the effort and expense of a ladder stand. I'd be nervous about setting up a ladder stand on public lands and leaving it there for more than a few days.
 

John A.

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I have several places I can hunt from, but most of the time, I only use the one at our property. I just seem to do better there, and I know it like the back of my hand. My Grandparents bought it right before I was born, so it's been in the family for multiple generations now.

I have two stands, a burlap ground blind, a few natural deadfall blinds to choose from, and when it's really cold or rainy out, I will sometimes hunt from inside the cabin with the window open if it gets too rough and I'm not ready to leave. Especially if I'm up there hunting and I don't get off the mountain before getting soaked. A change of clothes and a heater is a welcome sight when it's cold or near dark and you're on foot.

My oldest stand I don't use anymore though. I made it years ago, from pressure treated wood mostly and I don't really trust it to use it anymore. It wouldn't hurt to replace the straps on my double seater steel stand though. Although I do have a safety chain and padlock and stuff around it for a little extra safety and security.
 

cmcdonald

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I hear ya John, I have a hard time camping out when I have a nice warm cabin and bed to sleep in!!

I saw some rolls of camo burlap the other day in Cabela's (yeah we finally got a Cabela's within a 45 min drive. Bout time!). Anyway it was dirt cheap and I think I'll pick up a couple rolls for early season hunting next year. Have lots of deadfall everywhere we hunt...would make for a super easy blind. I would have bought it this year but I spent a few more bucks than I planned to and upgraded some of my cold/wet weather gear instead, that's always money well spent. It came in handy on my 2nd trip out when the mercury dipped to a balmy -18C....brrrr. LOL
 

MikeD

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Doe down! 177 yard shot with the 450BM. Details to follow..
 

MikeD

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Doe down! 177 yard shot with the 450BM. Details to follow..
 

John A.

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Details to follow..

If you can find anything left of it except toenails and a little fur.

shoot4.jpg


Do you think your experience today will change your Dads opinion of it?

I don't think I could even see 177 yards away. That's like in the next zip code.
 

MikeD

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I hunt a open field and manage to shoot a deer in a swamp.

Had 2 does come in. I saw then from far acress the field but they turned and slowly fed their way to the swampy area down in the corner. The bigger one stopped and gave me a perfect broadside shot at 177 yards. I took it, the deer made a huge jump so I knew I had hit her.

It took me around 25 minutes to work my way down there, picking up about 50 pounds of clay along the way. The swail is all grass and water, up to 1 foot deer given all the rain.

I found where I thought she was when I shot and found not a hair or drop of blood. I zig zagged through the swamp for over an hour. Its not that big!! I even followed evey visible deer trail back out to the field or woods looking for some sign....nothing. I finally decide to head back and regroup.

Not wanting to walk the field again I pick what looks like the best trail up through the wooded section. About 40 yards up I find her right on the trail. I hit her high and she never bled out a drop that I could see.

It was just dumb luck that I found her. The 450 did an awesome job, she just bled internally.

This is a good 200 yard+ deer gun.

My buddies brother was in hunting from AZ and has yet to tag one so I let him take it so he has some venison to take home. He is leaving Friday and I can hunt til Jan 1.
 

John A.

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That is still meat on the table and full of win.

I'm so glad you got one, and almost immediately after you got it together. That is awesome.

And you did it at more than twice the range than I would consider trying using a shotgun slug.
 
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