Iowa Deer Season 2016/2017. It was a
great year. Antler growth was excellent.
It appears we are well on our way back
from the 2010 winter kill and 2012 EHD
outbreak. The new farm is quite
challenging to hunt due to the terrain
but the deer quality is pretty good.
Mother Nature allowed me to hunt more in
the late season than I have the last two
produced some unbelievable whitetails
again. It's no wonder why everybody
wants to hunt in Iowa.
Just received a text
that the buck I hit on the 1st was
successfully harvested by the hunter to
the south. My hit was high. Pretty deer.
Congrat's to my friend on his harvest.
What did I learn this
year. I am too set in my old ways. Will
probably address my equipment in more
detail in a month or so. New technology
is probably a good thing but also an
expensive thing when it comes to making
Wish I was a bigwig
and had an opportunity to attend the ATA
show. For a bow only hunting junkie,
that looks like the place to be....other
than chasing trophy Iowa whitetails. If
I had to choose, the Iowa whitetail wins
What's next? Final
2016/2017 inventory for fall 2017. I
would like one last photo of #2 after
January 10 to be sure that he survived.
He's definitely a five year old if not a
six year old buck. Should still be
decent in 2017. There are some others
that will be interesting to see. A few
deer killed this year probably needed
another year or two. It's tough to make
those decisions but ones we need to make
if we want to chase a 160, a gross Boone
or a goliath 200.
Finally, it was great
to share the deer woods with my bride
and daughter. It's fun to hear their
stories after the hunt and see the
excitement when they have a close
encounter with a shooter. Let's hope
there are more days like those to come. Queue
Dandy Don...Turn out the Lights the
Party's Over... for this year. RIP Iowa
Deer Season 2016/2017.
It's shed hunting
time! Don't boot those damn deer from
your property so the neighbors find the
sheds. Be patient.
2017, Hunt #72, P.M.
Went back to #2 farm.
I am consistently getting pictures of
the old, short G2 buck at a certain
spot. However, it's in the morning or
later at night. It appeared he was
tending a doe fawn on the 8th. Wind was
bad for this spot tonight, decided to
sit at a high vantage point and just
observe. Nothing showed in my vicinity.
Did not like the spot, left early. Need
a westerly wind of some sort. Don't
think I am going to get it. Lots of
shooting on the neighbor's tonight. It's
close to the last hoorah before Dandy
Don does his thing.
2017, Hunt #71, P.M.
Good hunt. Lots of
does and bucks headed to feed. Heard a
gun shot on the neighbor. Nothing close
to a shooter passed by. Got a little bit
2017, Hunt #70, P.M.
Went back to the farm
that offered up the #1 buck. Looking for
#2 buck. I've been getting some sporadic
pictures of him the last two weeks. It
was a dud of a hunt. Deer came out to
feed but east of me. No horns. Think I
was too far east anyway.
2017, Hunt #69, P.M.
I have been doing a
fair amount of research regarding fixed
blade broadheads the last 10 days. As
you know, I'm not a mechanical broadhead
guy but want a fixed blade broadhead
that flies as good as possible from my
Carbon Spyder. I also need to shoot a
doe on my property as it is the
agreement with the landowner, for every
buck shot, a doe is to be shot, or I
write a check.
So I was on a mission
tonight to test out my new Muzzy 100
grain Trocar broadhead. I also have some
Slick Tricks and some Bass Pro Toxiks.
Arrived to my stand a little late. Cold
anyway, so a shorter sit would be OK. I
knocked my Trocar tipped FMJ. Oh by the
way, make sure when you buy broadheads,
you get the the right heads for your
arrows. My first purchase were heads
intended for Injection inserts. Damn it!
Tired of all these different arrow
sizes. Had to trade them at the
I attached my new Tru
Ball Max Pro 4 release to the string
loop. After the buck harvest a
week-and-a-half ago and my busted
release I needed a new one. I always
have two. That little rascal has
increase $20 in price since I bought my
last one. Ouch!
Deer started to move
early as expected. A wad of fawns and a
small buck came through in the 20 yard
sweet spot. Last doe was the one I
wanted. Her head vanished behind the big
oak, I drew, she appeared and stopped, I
settled the pin. The Trocar tipped FMJ
flew great! Granted it was only 20
yards, but a heck of lot better than my
last two Montec tipped FMJs. Complete
pass through. She tipped over in a very
short distance. Sweet! I was able to get
the truck within 20 yards. Hardest part
of the hunt was getting her in the
truck. Great hunt! Those Trocar heads
passed my test. One blade was a little
bent but I don't plan to reuse it
I am on an equipment
testing binge I think. That was a very
fun hunt. Everything went as well as I
hoped it would. Still have a couple of
2017, Hunt #68, P.M.
Setup after my day 2 deer search. After the rain stopped
an immediate wave of deer headed for
feed. Had a group of half-dozen bucks
show up way east of me. One was a busted
G3 4x4 with great looking potential for
next fall and the ancient buck. It's
interesting he is almost always the
first buck to feed this late season but
very cautious once he hits the edge of
the timber where he knows I spend time.
Good encounters but nothing close. My
4x4 did not show.
2017, Hunt #67, P.M.
Pretty darn nice
night. Wind out of the east. Setup in my
little cedar hideout. Love this spot.
Deer were moving early headed for feed.
One of the deer I was hoping to see was
a midrange 4x4. Had not seen him on the
hoof but had plenty of pictures. He
showed shortly after four and angled
away from my location. I sent one of the
Montec tipped FMJs at the target. Heard
the arrow hit but did not see where. Saw
the deer run up the hill. He did not
look in too bad of shape. Knew I was in
trouble. Could not find my arrow.
Tracked the deer for a half mile. I
found consistent drops (no spray) and
walked at a fairly rapid pace. I got on
the trail immediately as the next day
had rain in the forecast. Hit the deer
at 4:13 and gave up the tracking at
sometime after 5:30. No more blood. I
had not been this far back in the timber
all hunting season. I left it as a
sanctuary. It seems to be working out
this late season.
Went back the next day
and found the blood. Still visible even
though it was drizzling. Still could not
find any more blood. Began my body
search. No go. The type of bleeding led
me to believe it was not a mortal wound.
The deer was at a strong quarter away at
40 yards. My guess is I hit a high
shoulder blade and did not hit anything
internal. First time I can remember not
knowing where the arrow hit.
December 31, 2016, Hunt
Setup in a part of the
farm I have not hunted. A person will do
stuff like that when the primary tag is
filled. I even brought my old can call
along and let it rip a few times. Saw a
few does and fawns and thought I heard
something behind me runoff. This
location is close to where I've been
getting pictures of #2 buck. No antler
December 30, 2016, Hunt
Back at it with a late
season muzzleloader tag and a couple of
doe tags. I bowhunt on the late season
muzz tag. The bow is a legal weapon of
take with the late season muzz tag.
Great hunt! Had another shooter at 60
yards. Deer were very jittery tonight.
No idea why. He did the male thing and
let the does come out first. They passed
at 25 yards. He was on his way when a
doe got spastic, turned inside out and
headed back to the woods. My guess is it
was my scent. The wind was strong
out of the southwest but would shift
occasionally. Not dependable. Deer
really wanted to come to the feed I was
near. Many passed by but no shooters.
Some would almost make it to the feed
and then turn and go back to the timber.
Spastic yet persistent.
Pulled cards on 5
cameras. Captured a lot of pictures as
the cameras are on some primary trails
heading to feed. The particular deer I
am looking for has not appeared on
camera for 3 weeks. He either went back
home, the gun hunters shot him or he's
feeding somewhere else. He was
consistently on camera for the prior six
weeks. Not sure where he went to. He was
big enough that if somebody shot him I
think I would have heard about it unless
somebody shot him and did not recover
him. Would have been on the neighbors.
No gun hunting on my leases.
It was a great and fun
December 27, 2016, Hunt
Big Boy finally
offered me a shot. I setup at the south
end of a canyon. Wind out of the
southwest. Yeah I know. That's a no no.
The deer had been making a swing to west
(due to terrain features) and then out
to the feed....most of the time. The
trail was 20 yards west of my setup.
First deer I saw was my target. He
appeared straight north of me. If he
showed, that was where I expected him to
be. I think he liked bedding in that
spot out of the southwesterly winds
while absorbing the morning and
afternoon sun. He headed straight at me.
Not good. He had to drop down into a
deep gully. As he did, he started to
angle to the southeast. Again not good.
He would definitely be downwind. When he
disappeared into the gully, I moved 2
yards towards him to allow for my one
and only shot if he continued on that
path. I was hiding by an old
windfall tree. I dialed the sight pin to
40 yards (a guess). Next time he appeared,
south of the gully, he was standing in
the shooting lane. It was now or never.
He was standing like the stag he is with
his head up in the air looking
southeast. I am assuming he could smell
I drew the Carbon
Spyder, settled the 40 yard pin a little
high on the body and let the arrow fly
(distance was well over 40). He ducked
at the sound of the bow and the arrow
hit him in the spine. He dropped with a
thud. I was both elated and chapped. The
next 5-10 minutes of me finishing the
hunt were some of my worst moments in my
40+ years of hunting. Let's just say I
headed for the chaos but did not perform
well. Horrible. Not sure I remember
ever being this shookup.
He ended in the bottom
of a deep ravine in the canyon. My worst
fear all fall. I needed some strong
backs and strong minds. Those persons
were Bob, Adam and Mike. Much stronger
than me. I was very appreciative of their
After the drag, we
captured some photos. I offered my very
sincere thanks and headed for home. I
love hunting these big Iowa whitetails.
In this case a new farm and an unknown
deer until October 14th lead to a fun
hunting season. Still can't believe I
closed the deal on this buck. Beautiful
December 23, 2016, Hunt
Wow! More deer within
shooting range than ever before. No
definite shooters but was at full draw
on an old buck. He was running behind a
doe so really no chance. Nothing special
just a very old buck. Great hunt. Deer
were in the field feeding. Pedestrian
activity cleared the field. A wad of
deer came back under the stand and then
headed back out at dark. Fun hunt.
Movement was early. It's interesting to
me that I can see a fair amount of deer
yet really no quality bucks. Just too
many people whacking the smaller bucks I
guess. Field judging is difficult. Maybe
some need more practice.
December 22, 2016, Hunt
Pretty decent hunt.
Saw quite a few deer but only two small
bucks. It's often the case that the does
make an appearance early but the bucks
for some reason hold up until after
December 21, 2016, Hunt
Man it was windy. Glad
it was warm. Great hunt but no shooters.
Saw a lot of deer heading to a green
field. Lots of bucks but nothing to
write home about. Many passed well
within shooting range and on the good
side of the tree.
December 20, 2016, Hunt
First time out late
season. Some does and fawns were out in
the field when I arrived. Setup at the
spot where I saw the big one last time
he made an appearance for me. No
pictures of him in over 3 weeks. First
deer up and moving were some does and
fawns. One darn doe just had to cross
the ditch and get within about 7 yards
and I'm on the ground. Of course she saw
me and bounded back in the timber. She
and her clan stood back in the timber
about 100 yards snorting occasionally
and wondering around. My setup seemed
good. This one darn doe just took a very
odd route to the feed. As they stood
back in the timber I saw a 110 inch
buck. He appeared to be bedded close to
the does as they raised a ruckus. They
eventually wondered away down the
canyon. The buck worked his way towards
me. He was followed by a busted up 100
inch buck. Then the third buck appeared.
Big Boy. First time I have been setup
between him and the feed. He whittled on
a tree for a good five minutes but
eventually wondered towards feed but
away from my ground stand. Damn! Pretty
much dumb luck anyway that I got this
close. Not one picture of him in 3 weeks
and all the sudden he reappears. Glad to
see he's still standing.
December 2, 2016, Hunt
Last, early season
hunt. Calm. Almost too calm. Setup close
and tight to last place Big Boy showed.
No go. Had a wave of does and fawns show
up. No horns. Good time for a break and
reevaluate the late season approach.
November 29, 2016, Hunt
Headed out for the #1
buck since I had a decent wind
direction. Deer movement was a little
goofy. first deer out was a small buck.
He eventually scooted south. Then a doe
with twins came out in the wind but
shortly ventured back in the timber. Had
a doe and fawn come off the field and
into the timber. Not sure if the wind
was causing the funky movement or not.
Then Big Boy appeared but in a spot
different than I have seen him emerge
before. The grunt tube was totally
ineffective. Way too much wind. I ranged
him at 194 yards. He fed for a while. I
looked around to keep tabs on my
immediate vicinity and when I looked
back he had vanished.
Beginning to like my HCO
Spartan Verizon cell cam quite a
bit. It has some things I wish were
improved or changed but the camera holds
a Verizon signal and sends me photos.
That is the goal!
November 27, 2016, Hunt
Camera had shown me
one of the other shooters had passed by
one of my stand locations three of the
last six days. I was settled in good
time this morning. Did not spook any
deer on the way in. He was a no show
too. Lots of farming activity on the
adjacent property this morning. Not sure
if that had an affect or not. Checked
some cameras on the way out. This buck
had walked by one of my other cameras
this morning at 6:30 some distance from
where I was at. Ugh! They definitely
have me figured out. One way into this
farm. Have to punt on the morning hunts.
Best to do that this time of year
November 26, 2016, Hunt
Checked cameras before
I left the farm in the morning. Big buck
walked by one of may cameras at 2 in the
morning. Led me to believe he was still
close. Hunted the one spot I have seen
him exit the timber. Wind was barely
west enough to let me hunt the spot. If
he stayed on the one trail to exit, I
was good. If he came out of one of the
other canyons I was hosed. First deer
out were a couple of bald deer. They
followed the good trail. Next three out
made a swing downwind. But just as they
were making their swing the thermals
began to settle the air down the canyon
behind me. How lucky can I be? They
walked by at 15 yards. Not on alert at
all. Next few deer came out the good
trail. Darkness settled. He was a no
November 26, 2016, Hunt
Got out of the wind.
Had quite a few does and fawns go by. They had no clue I was perched in my
tree with all the wind. One small buck
was it. Checked a lot of cameras since
it was windy and moved a couple.
Shooters still appear to be on their
feet during shooting light but appear to
be covering some ground.
November 25, 2016, Hunt
Setup for the big buck
even with a marginal wind. Setup so the
wind would carry my scent away from the
trail but ran the risk of deer back in
the timber busting me. Had half a dozen
bald deer go right by my sweet spot. I
got darn nervous assuming the big one
was on his way. he never showed.
November 25, 2016, Hunt
different and hunted the edge of a field
in the morning. Had some pictures of a
couple of shooters. Deer emerged late
out of their night beds and fed in the
fields for over an hour and then headed
for cover. #1 buck followed a doe into
November 24, 2016, Hunt
Was about a half hour
late to my spot due to Thanksgiving
dinner. Good but full. A 130ish 4x4 was
in the field when I arrived. Soon after
getting settled the #1 buck was in the
field. He had absolutely no interest in
my grunts or snort wheezes. He fed and
checked does all night. Had a doe about
40 yards from me enter the field. He
came to check her out. He was at 60
yards and my bow was in my hand. Closest
to date. They walked over the hill and I
never saw them again.
November 24, 2016, Hunt
Absolutely dead calm.
No roadway traffic. Silence. Almost
creepy. First deer was a small buck
checking a scrape behind me. Next action
was a small buck chasing a doe in the
switch grass. This brought the busted
tined 4x4 from the opposite direction.
Soon I was looking at deer in all
directions. I would look at one and
something from another direction would
seem swiveling my head with my
binoculars. Good hunt.
November 23, 2016, Hunt
Daughter was coming
home from college. Said she wanted to go
hunting. She got home, shot a few arrows
and decided it was much too cold. Of
course I went. Great hunt. Darn deer
have been going by on the west side of
one of my stands for the last 4 weeks.
For some reason tonight they decided to
go by on the east side. I had a
northwest wind. Frustrating. When they
hit that scent wall they just turned
inside out. Some penetrate the wall and
keep going but a couple turned and
headed back. Had one of the bucks I
wanted a live view of come by at 15
yards. Thought he might be a shooter on
the low side. No go. Think I would have
easily got the shot off. He's a 4-year
old 5x4. Maybe 140. Had a fair amount of
bucks go by. Good hunt. The one I
definitely will shoot at is still
November 20, 2016, Hunt
Snuggled in my little
cedar hideaway. Love this spot with an
east wind. Usually dependable. Not
tonight. There was enough of a boomerang
affect with the wind that two does just
pinned me down most of the night.
Farm activity had
pushed some deer my way. Looked like it
was going to be a good night but the
first doe picked up the intermittent
puffs of scent from me. She knew I was
there but she eventually walked her way
to feed after a good half hour. I could
hear all this ruckus behind me in the
grass. A quick glance showed little
bucks pushing this doe all over. They
were relentless. Grunting like crazy.
Just about that time another doe/fawn
pair began to come out. The wind
betrayed me again. Damn it! The insanity
going on behind me picked up and the decibels
increased. They were getting closer and
the doe in front of me would not let the
circus change her focus from the puff of
my odor that she had picked up. Well the
old nag just had to start snorting. Damn
it! Just then the doe causing all the
insanity behind me comes into view and
sure as it is November there is a
shooter right behind her. Closest they
got was maybe 60 yards. He was right on
her tail. They zigzagged up the hill
with three other bucks in tow. My doe
just snorted and bounded away. I heard
another noise to my west and there was
another shooter on the trail of another
doe. They must have been standing close
and were headed my way but the old
snorting nag ruined the whole night for
Great night of Mother
Nature doing her thing but extremely
November 20, 2016, Hunt
How come big bulky
clothing feels so thin in 19 degree
morning air? Dang it was cold. Sat in a
transition from feed to bed. Great hunt.
Saw lots of deer headed back to cover.
At one point there were over half a
dozen deer in the switch grass. A hawk
landed in the tree next to me. It gave
out this hawk call or screech and the
darn field cleared. Never seen anything
like it. Deer took off like crazy as the
hawk continued to call. Either it was alerting
the herd that man was in the forest or
it scared the crap out of them too.
Finally saw the buck I
was there for. He was slinking through
the switch grass on the trail of the
many does and fawns that were ahead of
him. I grunted and grunted and grunted
and finally he made the turn but hung up
at 60 yards. He couldn't see the buck
making those grunting noises. Another
buck came slinking through the grass.
Shooter kind of walked him back and they
both continued away. No grunting or
wheezing was going to bring him closer.
He swung around the knob downwind and
continued to the timber. Damn it!
November 19, 2016, Hunt
Finally after two
weeks I have the one perfect night and
wind to hunt Big Boy. He never showed.
Must have been somewhere else because
the deer started piling out of the
timber early. Had a busted rack 110
follow some does out and continue on to
the field. Also had a dink chase some
does and then continue on to the field.
Those were the only bucks. Had one doe
that insisted on going downwind just
like she knew I was there. She alerted
others and the night was ruined. Also
had some farm activity that didn't help.
November 19, 2016, Hunt
First deer was a doe
with a couple of fawns. Found my entry
trail. Very curious where those lead to
but they eventually moseyed on. Had a
shooter bed at 70 yards. Grunted and
wheezed at him but no interest. He got
up and walked behind a cedar. I never
saw him come out. Got too cold. I looked
the area over when on the ground but he
was nowhere to be found. Good hunt.
November 18, 2016, Hunt
Worst wind I've ever
sat in. Ever. 2.5 hours. The gusts were absolutely
brutal. Monster bucks make us do stupid
things. On one I hand he is worth it to
try extreme things, on the other, safety
can't be thrown aside. Pretty sure the
deer stayed in the canyons....where I should
have been. Saw one fawn right at
quitting time. Not what I had in mind
when I requested a north wind. I added
one layer at the last minute, my Windshear
fleece vest. Good decision. Kept me warm
and toasty. Toughest thing all night was
dealing with my detached quiver. It was
flopping around on its
hook.....well....like....a light quiver
in a 30 mph wind. Finally took my bow
rope and lashed it to the tree.
November 18, 2016, Hunt
BRRR! Lasted about two
hours. Was in too much wind. Saw 9 bald
and 5 bucks. Biggest 135ish. All coming
off feed heading for bed.
November 17, 2016, Hunt
Two fawns and one
small buck. Saw a few on feed on the way
out. timber was very quiet. My bride saw
a few but no shooters.
November 17, 2016, Hunt
One fawn. Bust!
November 16, 2016, Hunt
Set in the same
general area as the last four evenings.
Windy! I know better than to sit out in
the wind. Deer always move later. They
did too. Critters didn't show up until
after 5. That made for a short hunt. I
did see two shooters in the short amount
of time and quite a few bald deer. Good
hunt except for the wind. I was watching
one way for deer only to turn and look
and see a buck about 20 yards away...walking
away from me. 125ish. He had to have
come up behind me (downwind) and I never
knew he was there. I was looking at the
deer in the opposite direction.
November 16, 2016, Hunt
Went to a different
farm. needed new scenery and I can
generally hunt this farm with an
easterly wind of some sort (SSE). Saw 4
bucks. A 3 yr old, a 2 year old and two
dinks. I was in the transition for feed
to bed. Checked 4 cameras. Nothing real
special. A borderline shooter.
November 15, 2016, Hunt
I climbed into the
tree with anxious optimism after the
hunt I had the night before. As the time
moved closer to primetime it was clear
that this evening hunt wasn't going to
be anywhere as eventful as the night
before. Disappointing. Shortly before
sunset I glassed way down the hill.
There was my boy but no way he would
make it to me before quitting time. Had
some farm activity about an hour before
the end of the night so the deer moved
later. Shortly after sunset I had a
shooter coming my way. I gave him a few
soft grunts, he looked but almost
appeared timid. It could be with the
bigger, more mature bucks running
around. He had a lot of points and bone
on his head. I was going to shoot. He
stepped behind a tree at about 80 yards
but then never came out. I saw him
later. He had crossed the canyon to the
other ridge. Chicken! Also had a very
mature 4x4 come out and check the bald
deer in the field. Very nice. Good hunt
but a minor let down after the night
November 15, 2016, Hunt
The morning started
off with a bang and quickly fizzled out.
I have a camera on my tree stand tree. I
pulled the SD card before climbing up.
In checking the card in the tree I saw
that one of my shooters was standing in
front of the camera at 5:41. I arrived
at 5:45. That must have been the white
flag I saw running down the hill as I
arrived. The super moon was so bright
the trees were leaving shadows. Shortly
after settling in my ears were witness
to one heck of a buck fight about 100
yards down the hill. I could hear them
grunting and groaning in the still of
the morning darkness. I eventually heard
them separate, some grunting and then
walking away. As the dark gave way to
light there wasn't anything to see. The
rest of the morning was similar. I got
down early. I didn't dress near warm
November 14, 2016, Hunt
Top 5 hunt of all
time. Holy cow! Lots of bucks. Sparring,
grunting, you name it, it was happenin'.
Had a 130 class 4x4 come from the west.
I could see his ears were laid back and
he was all puffed up. I twisted the best
I could to look behind me and there was
a 120 4x4. Neither challenged and the
130 preceded to tear up the scrape.
Finally laid eyes on Big Boy and he was
on the move early. Of course he went by
one of my other tree stands. Typical.
Wind was perfect for that stand by the
way. Lot of horn on that big body. He
was already downwind so I never made an
attempt to call. Too risky.
He was single. Went
down the hill to the south and came back
later with a lover. I think he booted a
buck I saw trending a doe earlier in
that area. Saw three shooters on my list
and a new buck, a 4x4, that is mature
and has a lot of horn on his head. If
you read the articles and believe what
the 'experts' say the peak is close but
not arrived yet. After seeing what I saw
tonight with so many single mature bucks
I would say we are on the downward
stroke. Hmmm! Guess I'm not going to
dwell on it. It was a great night and I
hope the next few days are great. Need a
shot! My iSolunar app says "4 out
of 4 racks" for the next two days.
Today was a 4.
Damn! It was an
insane night. Dream hunt for me.
November 14, 2016, Hunt
So close! First time
at full draw in 2 years. The cedar
branches were just too thick to let the
arrow fly. Shooter that's on the list.
He came to the grunt call with his ears
laid back. He was single and looking for
love. This buck is consistently going by
two cameras I have in this area. First
time to see him on the hoof. He does
have a broken G3 on the right but a guy
can fix that. He has a chocolate rack
and I love dark horned rascals. He needs
to go through my shooting lane next
time. Cleared some branches on my exit.
Will need to give this spot a rest for a
couple of days.
November 13, 2016, Hunt
Went on a mission to
look for a ghost. Lots of pictures but
seen him on the hoof. Ventured to parts
of the farm I have left alone. Crunchy!
Bumped 4 bald deer and some sort of buck
way down in a canyon. Way down! These
canyons are deep. Did not like my
location so headed back out by feed.
Timber is dry. No feed at all. Saw a handful
of bald deer in the field and one decent
looking buck once I called it quits. Too
dark to evaluate his headgear. Lots of
activity on the farm today. Nice weather
besides the wind.
November 13, 2016, Hunt
Windy again. Saw 3
bucks including a 120 at 8 yards. I was
on the ground. He just had to walk
downwind. Turned himself inside out when
he hit the scent stream. Then decided he
absolutely had to go the direction he
was going and let me off the hook. Crazy
suckers. Saw quite a few bald deer but
really nothing chasing them that I could
see. Checked three cameras. No shooters
on any of them.
November 12, 2016, Hunt
Night started off
well. A borderline shooter appeared in
the switch grass early. Again saw very
few does and they were single. Weird.
The switch grass buck was headed my way
later. My stand squeaked. That's all she
wrote. He turned and left. Had another 3
year old 4x4 come out. He heard a young
buck grunting and chasing out in the
grass. He headed to join the party.
Checked three cameras. The shooter buck
appears to have broken a G4. Damn it!
November 12, 2016, Hunt
Morning hunt was cold.
Saw a few does and they were single. Saw
a few bucks nothing close to a shooter.
Almost everything I see now has busted
up racks. It seems like an odd year as I
have seen many more single does than I
typically see. I have way overhunted
this stand. type to give it a rest.
Checked 4 cameras but no shooters.
November 11, 2016, Hunt
Hunted closer to feed
tonight but that always runs the risk of
other activity for me and I had some but
it was early enough it did not bother
the deer. I hunted a canyon and a spot
for the #1 buck. He never showed but had
two 2-year old bucks and does go by
downwind. Damn it! I'm sure smelled
pretty ripe by the end of the day. It
got a little bit chilly by quitting time
tonight. Setup a new camera location and
moved my HCO
Verizon camera at dark while deer
were feeding in the field. The camera
continues to send me pictures.
November 11, 2016, Hunt
I have been waiting to
hunt a certain spot with a morning north
wind for a long time. Finally got the
north wind but did not see the buck I
wanted to see and the camera has shown
him to be fairly regular in the morning
by this stand. Saw quite a few bucks and
a lot of does and fawns at point blank
range. Most of the activity was done by
10. The stand is in tight quarters. Had
deer 360 degrees and none of them gave
me up. Thank you! Checked 6 cameras
after leaving. Scrape activity has gone
to zero with any mature bucks.
November 10, 2016, Hunt
Pretty slow. Had three
bucks come by early headed for the green
buffet. No does showed up until really
late. heard a couple of bucks running
and grunting out in the switch grass but
could not see anything. Checked a couple
of cameras on the way in and one on the
way out. The buck I was looking for, a
wide 5x5, was not present in the photos.
November 10, 2016, Hunt
It was a bit breezy.
Deer were way down in a canyon over 100
yards from me. What a rodeo. Bucks
chasing does everywhere. No less than 6
bucks and two were on my early hit list
but one has two broken brow tines now.
He was single too. Not sure why all the
bucks are single. Early rut or later
rut? I hope later. That has been my
guess all along. Bucks chased does for
over an hour. Constant back and forth.
Fun to watch. I love it.
My #1 buck has
vanished on me. Spent some time on the
east side of the property to observe and
see if he had moved back.
November 9, 2016, Hunt
#27, All Day
Wow! Great morning
hunt. Had deer coming and going all the
way through 10 a.m. Passed one of my
early hitlister bucks. He literally
walked right under the tree. Tall 6x5
but now has a busted G3 on the right.
That pass was a tough one. He was single
too. He also had what appeared to be a
wound on his right rear leg. I could see
blood by his right tarsal gland. He had
a nasty streak it appeared too. The
middle of the day and afternoon were
slow. Too far from feed I guess.
November 8, 2016, Hunt #26, P.M.
Needed new scenery.
Had left a stand half complete about 3
weeks ago. Wanted a north wind that I
could finish hanging and then hunt.
Finally got it. It's a top five stand
location and setup. Very comfortable in
heavy cover with an awesome scrape to
Every year I see
something that just amazes me. First
deer were two buck fawns at least I
think they were fawns. The one has half
inch spikes. He either is an outstanding
fawn buck or a piss poor one year old.
Pretty sure he was a fawn. I could
actually see bone. They wondered off and
then a doe fawn appeared in the scrape.
Those first two bucks came charging up
the hill like little bullies to check
out the doe fawn. The spiker immediately
lowered his had and smacked the doe
fawn. They continued to pester her until
she finally wondered off with both of
them in tow. Crazy.
About 45 minutes
before quitting time I saw a limping
buck coming up the hill. Two year old.
Looked like he had a streak of nasty in
him too. He got up to the scrape and
then just started venting his
frustrations on a sapling. He was stoked
for some reason. All the licking
branches were high and he had a bum leg.
He couldn't stand on his back legs to
reach any of them. Then he saw something
coming from my left. It was a button
buck. He puffed up and hit his own grunt
tube and did the stiff legged stodding
thing and chased after the deer. They
went around my tree and down the hill.
They were less than 10 feet from my
Heard more chasing and
grunting down the hill and back in the
woods but could not see the vocalist.
Great hunt! Finally. This is what I
expect to see during November. We all
do. I love watching Mother Nature do her
November 8, 2016, Hunt #25, A.M.
Had great expectations
for this hunt. I read a Field and Stream
article that felt this day would be the
best day of the rut. Wrong! Worst day so
far. Can't remember a time that I had
two such poor days in a row. Definite
lock down or my poor stand selections.
Saw two little bucks with very little
energy and a couple of fawns. That was
it. Went home to vote.
November 7, 2016, Hunt #24, P.M.
Hunted the canyon my
two top hitlisters went north at dark
thirty. No go. Saw a few does and fawns
heading to feed and most all of the
movement was late. Saw a small buck
chasing up on the hill. They seem to
have endless energy. Placed a new camera
and stumbled into a couple of badgers at
dark. Set the camera near a new scrape.
Hope to learn if big boy is using it.
November 7, 2016, Hunt #23, A.M.
Day 1 of vacation.
Pretty darn slow. Definite lock down.
Hunted a stand I hung last week. Good
grief am I out in the open. Dead calm
this morning too. Whatta brain fart.
Going to want a windy day to hunt that
Saw a few does and
fawns and a few small bucks chasing but
not the classic rut time chasing I wish
Checked two cameras on
the way out. Big boy was close but went
in early and to the west of me.
November 6, 2016, Hunt #22, P.M.
You could tell the
bucks were feeling frisky tonight. They
were wondering all over and I heard a
brief antler-to-antler ruckus back in
the woods. Had a heck of nice younger
looking buck pose at 20 yards. Hope I
guessed right on his age and made the
right decision there. Lots of bone on
November 6, 2016, Hunt #21, A.M.
Much better! Morning
started slow but progressively picked
up. No shooters but grunted in a very
eager 130s 4x4. He came dashing down the
hill looking for action after I hit the
grunt tube. There is an old ladder stand
close to my newer stand location. He
literally walked between the ladder and
the tree. Isn't there an old saying
about walking under a ladder? Another
130s popped over the hill right on the
trail of a doe grunting all the way.
Good morning hunt.
November 5, 2016, Hunt #20, P.M.
Not a bad hunt. Saw 5
bucks. Heard a dandy of a buck fight
south of me. Saw the two later. One is a
mature, busted up buck. Deficient rack.
Looks nasty. One is a 3-year old that
looks like he might grow into something.
November 5, 2016, Hunt #19, A.M.
Horrible hunt. One fawn. One. Stinking. Fawn. Punted early.
Moved some cameras. Hung a stand in a spot for the #1 shooter. He's elusive but
November 4, 2016, Hunt #18, P.M.
Had a little bit of
action. A tending grunt will sure bring
you to attention. Never did get a good
look at the buck. Checked a a couple of
cameras. Definitely in lock down mode
now. Need the little rascal bucks to do
their thing and crash the party.
October 30, 2016, Hunt #17, P.M.
Slow tonight. Small
buck following a doe. Air had a definite
chill to it. Anticipated a shooter
showing up but no go. A lot of deer on
feed when I got out. Looked to be all
bald except for one small buck. Final
week of inventory then it's time to
start slinging an arrow.
October 30, 2016, Hunt #16, A.M.
Best hunt so far.
Three mature bucks. One of them is top 5
on the hit list. He is all scarred up
and looks like he's been through a war
already. Nice buck. Had a limb I needed
trimmed on the tree I'm perched in. Took
my 5 foot Hooyman and whacked off the
3-inch diameter branch and watched and
listened to it fall to the ground. I
also added a backup ratchet strap to my
treestand. Five minutes later I have a
doe and and 4-year old buck standing at
25 yards. I'm sure I rousted them out of
their night bed. They paid me very
little attention and moved on up the
Movement was a little
bit slower than yesterday morning but
the bucks were bigger this morning.
Checked two cameras that were placed
yesterday. Still good action but it is
It was damn cold for
the clothes I had on. Going to have to
break out the insulated gear.
October 29, 2016, Hunt #15, P.M.
Had the whole family
hunting tonight. That was fun. I didn't
take near enough clothes though. A windy
cold front of some sort came through.
There was definitely a wind chill.
Needed long johns. BRRRR! My wife had a
flock of turkeys in her vicinity a good
portion of the night.
My daughter was in
spot that if a shooter did show up it
would be in shooting range. Close! And
one showed up. Caught her off guard. No
shot. Chip shot type stuff but just too
close. She told me she grunted at the
buck but he never did more than look,
then continue on. Glad she had some
My hunt was slow. One
small buck. Deer moved late for the most
October 29, 2016, Hunt #14, A.M.
First morning hunt.
Wind out of the north. Saw as many bucks
as does and I saw a fair amount of does.
Nothing frantic about the movement but
heard some grunting and wheezing. Saw
some fleming gestures, saw some chasing
and saw a fair amount of scent checking.
I would say we are about 7 days from
Had a buck bed about
15 yards from the tree. A one-and-a-half
year old. Those bucks need lots of
education because I got away with a lot
of movement. However, the old doe nag
that came at the tree from downwind
snorted like..well..an old nag. She
This time of the year
the snorting doesn't disturb the herd
like it might earlier. In fact, I think
it attracts bucks as towards 10 am I had
a nice 140ish 5x5 appear and check out
the action. Great hunt this morning.
I checked a scrape
camera. Most of the action on the scrape
was at night but it was on fire! Good
action all week. Good bucks to.
October 28, 2016, Hunt #13, P.M.
Hot but good hunt.
First time in the stand for the year.
Wind was good. Saw a handful of does and
fawns and three bucks. Biggest being a
120-inch 4x4. Darn stand squeaks so I
will need to be careful with that.
Checked some cameras at dark. Two had
dead batteries. They had been on a two
week soak. I hate dealing with dead
batteries in the dark. Nothing special
on any of the cameras. Pulled one and
moved one. Have good feed close.
October 23, 2016, Hunt #12, P.M.
hunt in a stand I hadn't been in for two
weeks due to wind direction. No shooters
but decent hunt. Had a small buck
following a doe come up the trail at
quitting time. My bride went along. Saw
a fair amount of bald deer. Lots of
hunting activity and farming activity.
Met the guy and gal hunting on the
adjacent parcel. Swapped out a camera at
quitting time. Trying one of the HCO
Verizon cellular cameras. Much
better signal than the AT&T camera I
tried. Getting a few empty photos. Not
sure if it is sending me a photo from
the end of the burst or the beginning of
October 22, 2016, Hunt #11, P.M.
Beautiful fall days
like yesterday always result in a lot of
activities outdoors and for some of us;
impacts to our deer hunts. Yesterday was
one of those days. I've just learned to
live with it. We all like to recreate in
our own way. We just need to figure out
how the large racked bucks are reacting
to the activity. That is the challenge!
I do believe I am figuring it out on one
farm. Based on the photos from one
camera and the scrape I observed after
checking that camera, scraping activity
is really rollin'! Just need to find the
right scrape! I also need the right
wind. Nine of the 11 hunts so far for me
have been south winds. I need a north
wind for once!
I saw one doe and 3
fawns last night. That was it! Too much
non-hunting related activity around. It
was a beautiful night. Sunday will
probably be similar so need to act
October 21, 2016, Hunt #10, P.M.
New spot. Hunt was a
dud. Too much daytime activity while I
was gone I believe. Found a new scrape.
Not sure why I get wound up about
scrapes as most of the cameras show the
activity on a scrape is during the
night. My new scrape is well used by the
way. Pulled some camera cards that had
been on a two week soak! Yee ha! Here we
go! There is no place like Iowa for
October 17, 2016, Hunt #9, P.M.
Wow. Much better hunt
than I expected on this hot fall day. My
daughter was on fall break and wanted to
go hunting so we went. I ushered her to
her ambush location then be bopped over
the hill about 50-60 yards to sit and
observe my distant food plot. I'm
sitting in the open surrounded by little
blue stem and simply watching. I'm not
anticipating much action for myself and
hoping she gets a shot. Saw a couple of
young bucks near the food plot. First
close buck to show was a 130 inch 4x4.
He went right to a licking branch and
scrape (which I didn't know was there)
and scraped and licked and scraped and
licked for a good ten minutes. I'm only
20 yards away. Easy shooting distance.
He looked at me a few times but in no
way believed there should be a human in
that location. I heard a hell of noise
on a tree behind me less than 20 yards
away. I thought for sure it was a
squirrel or a coon crawling down a tree.
When the 130 was in the middle of his
scraping and licking I swiveled on my
stool to see what the other ruckus was
and holy cow it's a shooter. He was
tearing hell out of a licking branch
like the 130. I could not
believe he was there. He's basically on
the edge of a very steep river bluff.
Mountain goat stuff. Anyway he saw me,
wheeled and took off. Lots of horn. All
the while my daughter saw none of this
action but could hear the 130 making all
of his noise. The 130 eventually angled
by me, looked at me and then he angled
down the mountain goat bluff. Crazy. Bugs
were horrible but the hunt was
great...at least for me. My daughter
never saw any action and she's only
50-60 yards away. Next week should have
some great scraping action.
October 16, 2016, Hunt #8, P.M.
Oasis in the middle of a crp field. A
small buck emerged from his bed about a
half hour before quitting time and
shortly after a small doe. He harassed
her a little bit. At quitting time a
bigger buck showed in the distance but
his rack blended so well in the brown
grass and weeds it was impossible to
determine the full extent of his size.
Good hunt overall.
Deer moved late.
October 15, 2016, Hunt #7, P.M.
Not a good hunt. For
some reason I had major intestinal
challenges. Not good. Saw 3 does/fawns.
That was it. Left early as whatever I
had eaten during the day was owning my
body. Who gives a rat's tail about a
B&C buck when you feel like that.
I had ventured to an
area I had not been for months. Good,
green food. Basically a dud. Weather was
off anyway. Very humid. Just did not
feel very conducive to deer movement.
Four camera cards
showed decent movement but nothing
special or new and we all like new
shooter bucks to show up. That Recon
Farce Platinum takes some dandy
videos. Audio is really good with this
camera. Still photos not the best.
October 14, 2016, Hunt #6, P.M.
A little bit windy. I
prefer it that way when I'm hunting from
the ground. Saw one doe and one small
buck. Checked some cameras on the way in
and on the way out. Sometimes you just
have to keep a personal photo or two.
I like this ground sit
location. Just a little bit open but on
a good trail between bedding locations
and it's comfortable. Shot would be
about 25 yards.
Heard a couple of
eagles bantering back and forth for a
fair amount of time. They must have been
perched in some trees on the river bluff
and far enough away that I could not see
them. Not sure I remember so much
chatter between two of these birds.
October 9, 2016, Hunt #5, P.M.
Only a week into the
season and I've hunted two east winds.
Similar to last year. Had a nice line of
does and fawns file past at 25 yards as
I sat on my stool hunkered in a couple
of cedars. Wish a Booner would do that.
Pulled some camera cards before I
settled and scrolled through the
pictures the first half hour of the
hunt. No Booners but a heavy bodied 4x4
I don't think I have pictures of passed
by the Primos camera. He will look
mighty interesting on the hoof. Huge
body it appears! His brow tines look
awfully familiar. I need to look back a
couple of years to see if he's been
around before. I always wonder where
they go for a year or two. Only two small bucks
made an appearance. All the deer were headed
I jacked around in the
dark and moved a camera to a scrape and
set the camera on video and swapped a
camera that had too many blurry photos
with a different one that shouldn't have
as many blurry photos. I hate messing
with cameras in the dark but I didn't
want to wait another week either. Trail
camera addictions cause a guy to do
October 8, 2016, Hunt #4, P.M.
Saw 4 decent bucks
tonight (6 total) including one within
bow range of my daughter but I think the
old man has totally confused her. She
let him pass! Ugh! I was too far away to
provide her any guidance. She made the
decision all on her own.
I was at an
observation location watching a food
plot from afar and saw three nice bucks
including one that seemed to have really
good tine length. Had two dinks at 10
yards and of course I'm on the ground.
That usually results in a rodeo when
they are walking right at me and finally
discover what I am. Fun!
October 7, 2016, Hunt #3, P.M.
Waited for my daughter to get home from UNL. No football game
this week. She finally arrived. We had purchased her some new camo clothes and
as you might expect she spent more time evaluating how she looked than getting
ready so we could go hunting. We were running late.
What a cluster. The
trip out was fine and getting her and
her boyfriend located in a spot was fine
but right after I got settled in my
treestand I got the text "Did you
crank my bow up I can't draw my
bow". Seriously? You can't draw
your darn bow? Sow I dig in my bag for
my allen wrench tool, unhook, climb down
and crank the bow down. Extremely
aggravating but what I've come to expect
from the younger generation. They just
never seem to be prepared. They want to
do and experience everything but don't
want to take the time to prepare. Anyway
The first wad of deer
came out to the west. Sweet. Out early.
Next a flock of tom turkeys came in.
That reminds me I need a turkey tag.
Finally it's after sunset and the deer
start coming out from the north. First little
spike goes on by her but the next couple
of does busted her. It's over. She
started coughing! We had deer snorting,
running and you name it what a cluster.
Good hunt that we saw
deer. Bad hunt that it was so
unorganized. Let's hope everything
October 2, 2016, Hunt #2, P.M.
East wind. Calm. Mosquitoes still bad and I forgot the
repellent pads for my ThermaCell. I sucked one more night out of the one in the
appliance. Pure white.
Saw a handful of bald
deer and two one year old bucks heading
for a green food plot. Good hunt.
Checked a few cameras on the way in.
Nothing special for mature deer. One is
decent but want to see him on the hoof.
I'm pretty sure I
heard and saw a small buck chasing a doe
and fawn back in the trees. I suppose
that means that the last week of October
(28 days) should be exciting. Nothing
new but gives a person an indication
when the chaos will start.
I hear deer back in
the woods coughing and hacking on what I
assume is acorns. I wonder if a deer can
choke to death on an acorn? How would
you give a deer the Heimlich?
Been seeing some
vulture groups the last two weeks. Not
very excited to see that. Hopefully it's
just road kill.
Saw a young raccoon
hanging on the side of a cedar on the
way out. Cute little bugger. He
eyeballed me but let me pass without
getting too excited.
October 1, 2016, Hunt #1, P.M.
If I get West Nile I
will know why. Mosquitoes were
relentless and there were a lot. It took
half-an-hour before the ThermaCell
started to keep them away. Pesky little
critters. Hate 'em!!!
Saw one doe and two
two-year-old bucks. The last buck spied
me right away as he stopped to hit his
licking branch. I was too close to the
kill spot and on the ground. This was
more of a recon hunt anyway. I wanted to
check 4 cameras (super glad I did) and
eyeball a tree to call home for a
hanging stand. Found the tree on this
You would think after
40 years of doing this that I would be
organized and the first hunt would go
smoothly. It never does for me but at
least I remembered my boots this
time. The first hunt is always a debacle.
Too many everyday life things tend to
demand more and more of a person's time
and hunting becomes less of a focus.
Anyway, I got through it, found my tree
for a northerly wind and got pictures of
I spend a fair amount
of time trying to find the right slots
for all my backpack stuff. I try new
arrangements each year.
My 2016 backpack packing is all
different. Hope it works efficiently.
So last night I pulled
two cards before I got to my tree. I
plugged in my SD reader to my iPhone to
scroll through the pictures as I sat on
my stool. The damn
app kept stopping and closing on me.
This went on for 5 minutes. I was
absolutely pissed! Then I figured it
out. I'm in a texting group with my wife
and daughter. They can go from 0-60
texts in 60 seconds. The damn texts kept
killing my app. Finally I texted them
and told them to
take me out of the group. Then it
worked. GEESH! I was pissed: mosquitoes,
texting, apps, last second field goals,
stick tights, etc!
All-in-all it was a
good hunt. I'll take it, especially when
captures the photo of a new shooter
September 25, 2016
Cameras were a little
slow this week but I did capture one
fleeting photo of a deer that looks like
he has a lot of bone on his head. There
was a fair amount of activity on one of
the farms yesterday. I am guessing that
is what moved him over the hill.
Yesterday was kind of a pain in the
neck: battery replacements, LEDs stopped
working on one camera, mosquitoes, etc.
But on the bright side I have located
what appears to be just a killer scrape
Purchased a 5-inch
Hoyt stabilizer this week. I really
don't like stabilizers as they only add
more weight (which they are designed to
do) but I hate weight on my bow. I want
it light. I want to be able to handle it
very easily. Will try and shoot the
Carbon Spyder today to see if I like it.
Not sure where I will
spend October 1 yet. No gaggers really
to pursue that I am aware of. Might just
find an observation location to see what
is going on. Purchased my licenses
Friday. If I remember correctly, I spent
$102 for a bow tag, two antlerless tags,
a hunting license and a habitat stamp.
Cheap expense to participate in the
sport I like.
My second Bushnell
Essential E2 arrived this week also.
Let's hope the quality of photos from
this camera equal the quality of photos
#1 captured my first bobcat
pictures of the year.
September 18, 2016
Getting closer to the
beginning. Found another shooter and
he's on the farm. Yippee! Not huge but
Bought a new camera.
Essential E2. I asked the guys at
TCP for the best night photo camera. Oh
my Gosh! Best night photos I've ever
seen. Going to get me another one or two
of the E2.
Need to get my licenses here shortly.
September 11, 2016
Spent last evening
checking and deploying cameras. Wanted
the farm roads to dry a little from the
rain we had on Friday. A couple of bucks
are starting to settle in on preferred
routes. Saw a fair amount of deer on the
green stuff last night. That seems to be
a preference right now. Green!
Spent a couple of
evenings focusing on getting my backpack
ready. Bow is ready to go (I hope).
First day always identifies stuff I am
forgetting in my backpack.
Spent today checking
the final cameras, moving cameras and
deploying a new camera. I tweaked a
stand. It needed a bow rope.
I also ordered a new
camera this week (Bushnell
Essential E2). Supposed to take the
best night photos. I hope to deploy it
next week and do my own field testing.
I'm still searching
for that Booner buck but have yet to
find him. It appears to me that the herd
is recovering from EHD but it is also
quite evident we are probably still two
years away from having a lot of really
nice bucks running around. At least on
the farms I hunt. It all depends on the
discipline of all of us.
September 4, 2016
I was getting ready to
head to the woods Saturday morning and
swore the damn house was moving like a
small earthquake but wrote it off as
sinus or inner ear infection. I assumed
I was a tad bit woozy as I had not been
out of bed more than 20 minutes. So I
hit my Twitter timeline to see who had
harvested big mulies the last few days
and what do ya know, it was an
earthquake. My wife won't think I'm
losing it. Whew!
A few bucks have shed
their velvet according to the cameras
and my evening glassing trips but the
majority are still sporting the bone
growing velour. Stick tights are every
where this year and the sand burrs hurt
like hell. There's a lot of bite in
those pesky little rascals. Got another
stand hung yesterday. I tried out my new
HSS tree hanging vest. That thing is
pretty slick. You need to buy one. All
My old stand in a new
spot has a chain and a redundant strap,
my top climbing stick has redundant
straps and I have a lifelline to the
stand. Hopefully this will keep me safe
through January 10.
Many of the deer I was
getting pictures of a month ago have
vanished from vision of the cameras. I
don't know if they are tired of my
intrusions, they have moved or the
preferred food source has changed. Maybe
some of all of the above. I did have a
new two or three year old show up this
week with some impressive tine length
and abnormal growth. If he makes it two
years I will be interested in seeing his
My cameras worked a
little bit better this week. I'm pretty
sure many of my issues last week were
due to batteries. No camera card issues
this week either.
Time to put the final
touches on my hunting gear and get it
ready to go.
August 28, 2016
Cameras were a little
slow this week. The preferred food
source is probably changing and the
velvet shedding is almost here. Years
ago we had very limited knowledge of
this whole velvet shedding thing. Now is
different. I always hope I capture a
picture of a mature buck with velvet
hanging all over his horns.
It's crazy how much
knowledge we have of our whitetails now.
We know them by name, we know their age,
we just know a lot of stuff about them.
We make shoot/don't shoot decisions
based on our knowledge.
I've been able to hang
a stand each of the last two weekends
but have a few more to go. Might be more
time hunting from the ground for me this
year. I've identified some good
locations from which to sit in ambush.
Twitter has been alive
this year with lots of shooter type
bucks. Growth appears good all
throughout the midwest.
August 21, 2016
Checked cameras, moved
cameras, traded cameras and hung a
ladder stand yesterday. Long day but
good day. Captured some decent photos
last week but can't say that I captured
a picture of any new bucks. A couple of
the bucks are looking fairly decent but
no gaggers. My goal anymore is to pursue
the best buck in my area but I'm not
going to shoot a 130 inch 5 year old
buck. You guys waste your tag on that.
I'm not a believer in 1:1 to buck to doe
ratios or shooting old bucks either. I
want the entire experience: the pursuit,
the dreaming, nice buck posing at 15-20
yards, sharing with buddies and the
remembering. If it was only about 170s
or 200s then my approach would be
different but there just isn't enough
hours in the day for me to do that. My
farms have the potential but haven't
seen the whoppers this year...yet. One
farm appears to be finally recovering
from 2012. Crazy it has taken that long
but quality looks good.
Think I ruined a pair
of pants yesterday. Covered in stick
tights. I hate those little bastards. I
was moving my ladder stand to my tree. I
think my pants must have embraced/hugged
the damn weed. The whole 3 foot tall
weed looks like it is sticking to my
pants. Will try and see if they are
August 14, 2016
Cameras got a two week
soak this time. I was in Colorado on
some R & R for a little over a week.
We stayed at a VRBO home. My highlight was to make some morning
coffee. Go out on the deck in the dry
air and morning sun and watch two bedded
bull elk at 5 yards. One bull was
definitely a 6 year old bull and the
other was likely 3 or 4 years old. I
would guess one bull was in the 280
class and old bull was in the 300 class.
The younger bull tried to eat on the
neighbor's tree. the neighbor came out of
his house and chased the younger bull away. The younger
bull jumped over the split rail fence
and laid down by the deck of our home. Once the sun began to encroach on
the beds of each of the bulls, they
would get up and move to the shade.
Fascinating to watch them. Big critters.
Poop a lot.
Had some new bucks
show up on camera the last two weeks.
Captured some dandy pictures. Struggling
a little bit with the Bushnell
Wireless. Batteries were dead and
now can't seem to reacquire a signal.
Finicky darn thing. Frustrating.
Also learning that I
don't think my older Browning cameras
like the newer Sandisk cards. Not sure I
understand why. This is probably the
first camera I have had that hasn't worked
with a Sandisk card. Sandisk cards are
the go-to card!
Stopped at Cabela's
Store #1 on the way to Colorado.
Tradition. I still remember going
downtown to shop at Cabela's before they
were the big green roof up on the hill
by I-80. Sad some activist investor(s)
will most likely forever change the
store I once knew. Wish they would call
me to run the company. I would restore
the tradition! Make Cabela's great
again! :) Well...at least I can think I
Time to start hanging
stands and clearing shooting lanes. Yeah,
I know, a lot of you like to do it in the
Spring. I gave that up years ago. More
focused on where the big bucks ARE than
where they WERE. Human and other animal
activity moves the bucks around too
much between Spring and Fall. Antler
growth looks like some of the best I've
seen in a while. Equal to last year for
sure and last year was really good.
Getting close to time to Get 'em! I can officially pull the
'trigger' on my release in a little over 6 weeks.
July 31, 2016
62 days but who's
counting! My cameras were on fire this
week. Lots of buck pictures. Cooler
weather I assume. The Bushnell
Wireless has been sending me
pictures all week. Crack for this trail
camera addict. Fun! Deer seem to really
move a lot in the 4-5 a.m. time range
(plus or minus). Never really noticed it
before but my phone buzzes like crazy
that time of the day. That is when I am
getting the biggest buck pictures on
that camera setup too. I have been
adjusting settings from my easy chair
all week trying to find the right
LED/Night Shutter combination. That is
cool to make an adjustment and then see
the results on the next picture. No
waiting a week or until the next camera
Solar captured a heavy duty buck on
camera this week. I didn't like the
angle of the picture. Hard to tell how
old the buck is. Had set the camera high
due to tall grass and weeds. I modified
that setup. Hopefully get a better angle
of him this week. The solar panel had
less canopy at this setup. The onboard
battery was fully charged at check-up
My glassing trips have
not resulted in much. Still driving and
looking for the buck of a lifetime. No
go so far. Finalized the fletching on my
daughter's arrows last week and getting
closer to a broadhead choice for her.
July 24, 2016
Did a lot of camera
shuffling and deployment yesterday. Hot
and humid! Been working with the
Bushnell Wireless all week to try and
get it to hook up to an AT&T signal.
We are Verizon folk for the most part
around here. Finding a 3-bar AT&T
signal where I might capture a photo of
a shooter is difficult. Trailcampro
have provided good insight and help.
Thanks for the help guys. Deployed on
the new lease yesterday. Might have
found the right location. 60 some photos
texted this morning with one possible
shooter. Yippee! This is going to be
Two cameras waiting my
final decision are the Spypoint
Solar and Bushnell
Wireless. Photo quality is good or
at least above average with both of
these. Photo quality is always at the
top of my list. I really despise blurry
night photos but I know it's part of the
game. Next priorities for me would be
battery life and ease of use. I've never
taken a shine to the functionality and
menu navigation that Moultrie rolled out
a few years ago. The Spypoint is a
picture taking machine. No doubt about
it. Having a few video quality issues
but nothing major. The lithium batteries
are still at full charge and I have
captured thousands of photos and lots of
video. Batteries truly might last over a
year with the onboard solar panel.
Really don't know if they have been
tapped yet. As mentioned before the only
issue I am having with the Bushnell
Wireless is finding an AT&T signal
in a Verizon world.
Been testing all sorts
of fletching combos with my arrows for
this season. Think I've settled on four
4-inch vanes fletched at 75°/105°.
Still a little bit of shooting to do but
looks like it will work. Read a
broadhead article in the Iowa Sportsman
last week. Good article. I've always had
great luck with my G5 Montecs. I like
fixed blade broadheads I can resharpen
but there is another one or two on the
fixed blade list that had better
July 17, 2016
Captured some decent
bucks on photo this week and saw another
shooter while glassing. Things are
starting to look up. Captured what I
assume are coyote pups on camera too.
Also saw a pup while glassing. Must be
that time for pups to venture out on
July 10, 2016
Things picked a little
bit for me glassing. Saw a shooter last
night. Think I saw a good one off in the
distance tonight. Looked like a heck of
a velvet crown on that critter. No
opportunity for a spotting scope check
Cameras picked up a
little bit. Still haven't captured any
pictures of a true whopper. The last 5
years have really been slow. Been
watching a fair amount of hunting shows.
Programming is better than it used to
be. It seems the new normal is a 170-200
inch whitetail. I don't roll in that
July 4, 2016
I've been glassing a
fair amount on the weekends. The soybean
fields seem quiet. Not sure why. Could
be deer are coming out later or there's
another preferred food source. Don't
know. Just know I'm not seeing bucks I
would put in the shooting category. Made
a big swing last night with lots of
miles and still no shooter buck
sightings. Very few bucks at all.
June 26, 2016
It's hot! Grass is
tall. Weeds are tall. Cameras are slow.
I've spent way more time this year in
camera video mode and low picture
resolution mode than ever before. I'm
beginning to like the video mode even if
it's a pain in the neck to review them
on the laptop. It just takes a long
time. Operating in low picture
resolution mode is a belief that the
closer to native camera resolution a
person is the better the photos. The
interpolation to higher megapixel rating
any more just seems poor. Plus I can get
more photos on my cards between pulls.
It should take less time to write to the
card so batteries should last longer,
Not too many cameras
will take night color videos. The Covert
Illuminator will do just that:
June 18, 2016
Pulled my first card
from the Spypoint
Solar today. Day photos are
excellent. The camera was set to blur
reduction for night photos. Flash seemed
really short for this setting which is
to be expected. Part of it could have
been my setup. It appears to be a
picture taking machine. The solar panel
should help it last forever. Well, a
year at least before changing batteries.
June 11, 2016
Browning Strike Force Elite video. Owl on a fence post.
Beginning to see some
decent antler growth on a couple of
bucks. One or two are obviously mature.
Hopefully will turn into a couple of
shooters. The new Browning
Recon Force Platinum, Strike Force Elite
and Command Ops are performing well.
Learning that the lower pixel ratings
actually give me better photos with
these cameras. The interpolation code
isn't so good for the high megapixel
settings. Not sure why camera
manufacturers try and dupe us with that malarkey.
A 3 to 4 megapixel photo is usually more
than adequate as long as the camera lens
is decent. My cameras are set to 2 mp
this week. My gut feeling tells me
May 8, 2016
Have been laying low
for a few months. Busy at work and the
lawn mowing requirements have been
plenty. Five new cameras
in the field. Three Browning, a Moultrie
and a Stealth. The videos on the
Browning Strike Force Elite and Recon
Force Platinum are really good. The
pictures from the Recon Force are not so
good. The pictures from the Stealth
PX36NG are really poor. The Moultrie
M999i is OK. I turned off the high speed
night shutter this week to see if the
night photos improve. Night photos have
not been very good.
First time to check cameras in 2016. It's been a while and darn cold since the last card pull. One thing I have learned, the Primos
cameras have no rivals when it comes to battery life. My cameras captured quite
a few pictures since the last check and the Primos cameras performed like
troopers. Battery life for the Browning
trail cameras was not as good.
Snow was crunchy and tough walking. Frustrating to walk in it.