Deer Blog Photos 2018 Success 2017 Trail Cameras Hunting in Iowa About Us




Deer Blog


September 16, 2018

Good morning everybody. So it appears that what I thought was a horizontal rub is actually a raccoon playground toy and wow do they appear to have fun pulling the branch to the ground. No wonder the grass is all matted down underneath it and no wonder the branch looked like it had heavy use. Go figure. At least I have a scrape that is within shooting distance of the tree. Lots of pictures of a group of five raccoons going at it with the branch. Way too funny.

Putting the final touches on arrows, bows, tree stands, etc. Erected another stand yesterday. Good grief it was hot. Too hot for me. Planned to leave the equipment by the tree and erect it some other day but couldn't resist the urge to complete the task. Stand needs an adjustment I think but it's up.

Did my 20/60 yard pin setting yesterday for site tape selection. Did I mention it was hot yesterday? Too windy too but it seems that I am close. Just hard for me to get a good release for the 60 yard distance. Forty yards, it appears, is my max range and that is iffy. I watch quite a bit on YouTube. The distance debate has been going on for a few months. Long story short, for most of us it appears max distance is under 40 yards. Me? I want the distance under 30 yards and preferably 18 yards. For some reason 18 yards has always been a highly confident sweet spot. To get the shots under 30 yards, just need to focus some effort on stand placement, ingress and egress to get the shots closer.

Cameras produced fairly well this week. Regulars. Nothing new to speak of. Lots of activity yesterday on the farm. Last cutting of alfalfa. Baling. Crops started coming out this week in our area of the world. I would expect the pace to pickup rapidly. That will move the deer around.

Have already seen pictures of successful youth hunters. To all of them, have fun even if you are just doing it for Mom and/or Dad. Kind of hot to set in a box blind yesterday however.

Lots of hard horn pictures this week. Velvet should be shed by now. Amazing how the velvet on some bucks makes them look like a shooter and then after the shedding they look like a thin-horned 3-year old. Darn it.

Moved the Covert cell camera yesterday. For some reason it's location has been slow this year. Unusual. Not sure why. Usually have had numerous buck pictures by now but not in 2018. I expect that to change. Just hasn't happened yet.

I had two cameras (M50 and Strike Force) on Slate River mounts but had to figure out a way to go to straps last weekend. Something kept tipping the Slate River mounted cameras over. Frustrating. Used a long strap on the monster oak and a twisted strap on the other location. It worked. The cameras were in the same position I left them this week though I did capture some raccoon whiskers on camera trying to maul the camera. They are pesky.

One thing I notice on my camera setups is the length of time my scent lingers in the area. Deer are always sniffing the ground near the cameras. It appears it lingers for days without rain to wash it away. No rocket science there, just keep that in mind as you do what you do in the deer woods. Never stop enjoying the fresh air just know your odor lingers for all the critters to enjoy.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


September 9, 2018

Hey everybody. It's hard horn time. One step closer to the prize. New bucks showed up on camera this week. One buck has some funky stuff going on including a drop tine. Not sure if he's old or young. I would lean to a small-bodied, old deer. If he's young, wow, hope he lives a couple more years.

Weather was beautiful yesterday. Spent most of the time in the deer woods. Checked cameras, hung two stands, put one stand together. It's ready to be tipped up against a tree. The scrapes were used pretty well last week. Also found my own horizontal rub within 10 yards of a well used scrape. A stand set has been erected at this location! Night stand with north wind of some sort would be my guess. New location I have never tried. Will see in October. Pretty sure I could smell a buck northeast of me at this location. I put a camera on the scrape and a camera on the horizontal rub. The horizontal rub is a branch of an oak tree that is a couple of feet off the ground. Rubbed hard already!

The cell cameras texted quite a few photos this week. Active. Still hoping to wake up in the morning to a photo of a giant that has walked by one of the cell cameras. I don't know of any bucks I would qualify as giants. Just hoping. It's Iowa

I have two cameras on Slate River Mounts. Darn critters keep tipping them over. One is attached to a giant oak tree shedding acorns. Raccoons keep climbing that tree. The other is on a deadfall tree. Not sure what keeps tipping that camera over. The mounts have been retired. I broke out a big strap for the large oak tree. Nine-footer. Used the supplied strap on the other one. It is attached to a small horizontal branch. Had to use some ingenuity to attach the strap to a horizontal branch and keep the camera vertical. Hope they both are more dependable now. Raccoons really give me fits. Maybe I need to stop putting cameras on trees with acorns. It's common to get pictures of deer taking a whack at a raccoon when they are all vying for acorns.

After a year of thinking about it, I ordered and received my Nock 2 It two-finger release this week. It will take a while to get used to using two fingers in lieu of four fingers. Just need some time. The combination of the release and the high FOC, HEXX Easton arrows has me shooting pretty tight groups so long as my release anticipation is handled. Less is more in my case. The more I shoot the worse it gets. The anticipation is much less the less I shoot. 

I have 200 grains of weight on the front of a 330 spine HEXX arrow. Just need to finalize my fletching configuration. Trying to keep the back end of my arrow as light as possible and still steer a fixed blade broadhead out to 40 yards. BUT keeping the backend of the arrow as low as possible is a challenge. I like four fletched arrows with lighted nocks. My Nocturnal nocks weigh more than 20 grains and close to 25 grains with the new universal fit nocks. That's a lot. I have not installed them yet. I need to decide my final fletching first. Four AAE Max Stealth vanes weigh quite a bit too. Might shoot three, or go with four EP26 AAE vanes. The vane material is much lighter but it also appears to be less durable.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. You could feel the fall in the air. I literally smelled a buck upwind of a new stand and camera setup. The skies in my area of the world were true blue all day long. Gorgeous day. Keep workin'. Our time has almost arrived.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


September 2, 2018

Good morning everybody. 28 days. 29 days. Whatever. It's close. Still have things to do. Hung a stand yesterday in the afternoon. That's work for this guy. Not young any more. I like the spot. Just hope it is a good spot. South wind stand. The tree has never held a stand. Virgin.

Cameras slowly picking up the pace. Acorns are the lure I believe. Soybean leaves are turning yellow. Crops reaching maturity quick. My Spypoint cell camera is in a remote location. Next trip there will require a dead camera battery. Limited buck pictures the first few weeks of deployment. This week has shown more buck pictures. Hopefully an indication that the mature bucks will show up soon. My DS4K was moved to a scrape last week. Great activity all week. Dark-thirty movement for now.

Received my Easton Hexx 330 arrows yesterday. Carbon. 7.9 gpi. I'm all-in on a FOC setup. Unboxed them and went straight to the arrow saw. 30-inches long. These arrows did not come with any epoxy. HHMMM? Went to ACE to get some slower setting epoxy. Inserted my 75 grain brass inserts in the end. Should be good to go. My goal is to have an arrow that is 15% or more FOC for balance and less than 500 grains. I talked with Easton this week to confirm spine and see how close I will be to less than 500 grains. Should be under 500 grains but close. Put my wraps on last night. Plan to fletch multiple configurations today. A guy just never knows how the arrows will respond to a bow and it's setup. Note to self. Be very cautious about a 6-inch brace height bow in the future.

I mounted broadheads on the arrows for the back-up bows yesterday. Still need to final tune the sights but been too windy or rainy to do so. Dang grass returned from its dormancy this week too. Means mowing is taking up some free time again.

I've got some shooters running around this year. Just not sure they will walk by when I'm on stand. Will see. Still a couple I'm hoping return from last year. Should be big!

Read an on-line article the other day about minimum Boone & Crockett score. Everybody talks about gross-Boone as 170. Minimum net score to enter B&C is 160. Change your lingo folks. Received my B&C measurer's news letter this week too with a great article on abnormal points in the normal position. Long-story short, the only un-matched normal point can be on the end. If you have a normal point at say the G2 or G3 location but unmatched on the other side, it is scored as abnormal.

The B&C system was setup to reward symmetry. Keep that in mind. B&C was not intended just to add inches to come up with one final number. I see/measure quite a few bucks with normal points that are measured as abnormal or should be measured as abnormal. Remember symmetry.

Will probably start to wash my clothes this month. Wow! They need it too. Skanky! Hope to purchase my licenses shortly. Things to do. Don't you just love it?

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


August 25, 2018

About 35 days people. Cannot believe it is almost here. For those of you lucky enough to hunt big velvet bucks, good for you, time is very near.

Nice bucks continue to move back from their summer pastures. My cameras were active with bucks this week. Two bucks look good. One buck in particular is one I questionably let pass in 2017. No passing in 2018. He's nice. Wish I knew where he had been all summer. I looked but never saw him.

One buck has grown significantly...if I guessed correctly who he was in 2017. Growth seems really good in my neck of the woods, though I have not seen anything exceptional yet. 

My M50 has been on a Slate River mount on a big oak tree. Tree is way too big for straps. Darn raccoons tipped it over and that location has the beginnings of a scrape or two. Darn raccoons can be a pain in the neck. Two of my camera spots showed the beginnings of some scrapes which were there last year. I'm excited to see what shows up as we near velvet shedding time. Just hope the raccoons leave my camera alone.

Trimmed a new stand location yesterday. Setting it up for a south wind. It will be low but extremely well hidden. Only problem is deer will cross my entry trail as they go by. No choice in the matter. Goal is to swing wide enough on my entry to allow my shot before they cross my entry. Will see if it works. The location has consistently had shooter bucks go by the last two seasons during the first two weeks of November.

Have had a camera at a certain location for quite a while. No bucks of any significance have walked by that camera. Another trail is about 30 yards away. Setup a Browning Strike Force Pro last week. Had a buck parade go by that camera. In the daylight no less. Darn things must be camera shy of the other one. Learning. Constantly learning.

Corresponded with Phone Skope this week trying to determine which adapter was appropriate for my spotting scope's eyepiece. Think I have it figured out. The iPhones now can capture 60 frames per second video...or better...that's good! I have a universal mount but difficult to get the phone camera perfectly lined up with the scopes eyepiece.

Still messing with my arrows. Thought I had my 15% F.O.C. figured out on my 340 Axis but then I put a Nocturnal lighted nock on the back end. The strobe style. Heavy nock. Moved my F.O.C. to 13%. Acceptable but not where I wanted to be.

Watched the Born and Raised Outdoors guys shoot broadheads through wood, aluminum and beef shoulder blade this week. Wow! Gives you an idea of what heads can survive a big shoulder hit, especially on an elk. For those of you that have never seen their YouTube Channel, you might check them out. It's good info. Not scientific of course but good enough info for me.

Next few weeks will be focused on stand erection. Time to get them up. No value sitting in my garage. We have one month for final inventory if you like to go out day one like I do or two months for final inventory for those of you that seem to only like to hunt the rut. You know who you are.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


August 19, 2018

Hey everybody. Bucks are slowly showing up back on the farms. Nice ones too. Hope they stay around through November. No need to get too excited until they consistently call my hunting grounds home base for October and November. Waiting (hoping) for the first shooter that shows up in front of my Spypoint Link-Dark. It is in a remote location. My scent should have dissipated by now.

Finally got a little rain this week. For those of you that have planted food plots, good for you. You got some rain. For those yet to plant, the soil has some moisture for seed germination. You might want to get your seed in the ground.

Received my 60X fluorescent yellow and neon red strings for my Carbon Defiant 34 this week. Candy corn colored. I like 'em. Took my time and installed the string, buss cable and control cable, careful not to damage them. So far so good. My bow finally feels like it did when I originally bought it. It is a sweet shooting bow. 

Worked with my new 5 mm Axis most of the week. Have three out of twelve that for some reason the HIT insert moved on me. Only one field point will work but believe I'm OK with the QAD Broadheads. 

Will probably need to go with a 100 grain point weight in lieu of 125. I didn't read the fine print on Easton's Spine chart. The fine print says for a bow with a 6-inch brace height you are supposed to add 5 lbs to your chart bow weight. For a 125 grain broadhead I need to add 3 pounds. So the bow was set at 59 pounds. That would put me at 67 pounds. Darn it! Should have ordered 300 spine. OH well. I have a solution that will get me close but not all the way back. Dropped the bow down to 56 pounds (plus or minus) and then dropped the point weight to 100 grain. Close to the ball park. I still may order some 300 spine arrows. Depends if I can get these to consistently fly. I've never owned a bow with a 6-inch brace height before. Did not realize all the challenges it can create. No doubt I prefer 7-inch brace height bows. Feel much better to me.

Spent an hour-and-a-half or so at our local outdoor store yesterday. They were having an open house. Had the opportunity to visit with the archery product representative for quite a bit.  He was very patient with m questions. Gave me some ideas and insight this archery addict will have to consider in the near future.

Hung a stand yesterday. Bow rope and bow hooks included. It should be good to go. This is the location I use the ladder stand for ascent and then a hang-on stand to sit in. The ladder stand just makes too much noise to use it as the primary stand. Bought A new ladder stand last week. Need to get it put together. Maybe today.

I keep finding new YouTube web shows to subscribe to. Lots of deer hunting and archery "how-tos". I love educational archery stuff. I don't take them as gospel but do watch them to see if they make sense. Most of the time they are OK. Lots of people like you and me just trying to be more knowledgeable. I like the "Recently Uplodaded" ones that show video of velvet Iowa stags from just days prior. Gets a guy to focus with a purpose 'cuz it's go time in 42 days.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


August 12, 2018

Hey everybody. It's been a good week. I am taking a leap of faith and possibly changing my whole thought process as it relates to the arrows in my quiver. Possibly. I have always wanted my FOC to be near the recommended max of 15% for my hunting arrows. My FMJs have always ran around 10-11% FOC. I wanted more.

I ordered and received some Easton Axis Pro Match Grade (+/- 0.001) arrows this week with 75 grain brass inserts. Now we are talking! First time I have used straight carbon in a long time. The light arrow with the heavy brass inserts will hopefully improve my accuracy down range. That really throws the weight forward.

Cut my arrows, set my brass inserts with epoxy and began fletching. Started attaching my field points. I have a problem. Some of the inserts slid too far in the shaft. The threads on the 125 grain field point barely catch. Not all of them but some of them. For some reason that little green HIT insert tool isn't treating me right. I double checked all of these arrows with that tool during the epoxy curing process. I even took my nocks off to release any air in the shaft. Something is inconsistent in my process. Not sure what but I need a solution. I ended up cutting one-eighth of an inch off my brand new Match Grade Easton Axis arrows. Not desirable but it worked. Fletched three arrows with four AAE Max Hunters and three with four AAE Max Stealth vanes. Am also doing some bare shaft tuning with the other six arrows I haven't fletched yet. After all of that, my FOC is around 15%. Hallelujah!! Now it's time to determine if this whole FOC thing is worth the money I spent.

Tuning that arrow has proven to be a little bit of a challenge. I'm close but not perfect. My bow is set around 59 pounds. With that heavy front weight, the 340 spine of the arrow might be a little light. Might need to crank the bow down. Fun! I love learning new archery "things" but in this case I hope the effort pays off.

I added two cameras to my inventory this week. My preferences are always a camera that takes good photos, day and night, and has long battery life. The Moultrie M50 and the Browning Recon Force Advantage meet those criteria. The Browning is just top notch. The older Recon Force took great videos but crappy photos. The 2018 version does both well. Videos are the best of any camera! The Moultrie does well also. Colors are a little extreme like the greens but I can live with that. The night photos are really good in my opinion. Great contrast. I do get blurry night photos but nowhere close to what I get with other cameras. They are both priced right too.

I deployed my Spypoint LinkDark camera to a location where I believe the mature bucks call home during hunting season. It might be a little early but wanted any of my scent to be gone well before they start to wonder back from summer pastures. I hope they do anyway. For you camera addicts, you need to look at this cell camera. It's solid.

The Covert Blackhawk is sending me pictures but some commands do not work yet which includes the Real-Time Photo request command. The app is in the process of being updated.

Freshened-up one of my ladder stands yesterday. Checked straps and added a redundant strap on the top of the ladder. Added bow hooks and a bow rope. Felt good to climb up in a stand and get it ready to go. It was funny to find a deer bed right by my stand. It had been used quite a bit. I'm sure if I would have saw him he would have been in the 160 class :-).

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


August 5, 2018

Two months until go time. Should be fun. Cameras did not produce much this week. One cell cam captured a photo of two people with a flashlight at 4:54 in the morning. No idea what they were doing at dark thirty. Neither did the land manager. Camera stopped working a couple of hours later. Assumed it was gone or batteries were dead. Was able to get to the site a couple of days later in the evening. Still there. Batteries were dead.

Have had a new Browning Strike Force with less than desirable picture quality. Not as good as past years. Brought it back home this weekend. Set to defaults and plan to start over with different settings to see if improvements are possible.

My Moultrie M50 has taken some outstanding photos the entire time I've had it. The last two weeks it has done some goofy things. It stopped working one week. It switched over to Time Lapse mode on its own. I changed batteries. Hopefully that was the issue and it works fine from here on out.

Finally saw a decent one glassing last weekend. Appeared to be a "no doubter". Will need another sighting to confirm. Big frame with tine length. My glassing trips have not produced many mature buck sightings. Think I need to change my route.

Lots of work last week limited my time with the bows. I did install my lighted nocks yesterday. They all seem to work. Should be good to go. Think I am going to purchase some Broadhead Adapter Rings (BAR). Should add a few grains to the front and strengthen the end of the arrow.

Just got done adjusting my peep on the RX1 Ultra. For some reason that peep is moving on me. Removed the old thread and tied on some new red 3D serving thread. Hopefully it stays put.

Big bucks definitely look big now. Almost full grown. Horns should be in the finishing mode before they shed velvet in 3-4 weeks. Have seen lots of nice pictures from others that lead me to believe antler growth will be top notch this year. Rain has been plentiful in my area of the world except the last two weeks. Dry now.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


July 28, 2018

Hey everybody. Good week last week. Got some things accomplished. I have a little more cam lean in my Carbon Defiant 34 than I want but after many attempts to lessen it, I have decided to live with it. It's not terrible but the "wrapped tightness" in me says I can do better. I can get it out but then my arrow flight goes away. I have a nasty left paper tear when fully removed. The rule of thumb is for your cam to be straight when at full draw and possibly to lean towards the cables when at brace. When I place an arrow on the shelf side of my top cam, the arrow crosses the string before my D-Loop. Not what I want but my paper tuning and modified French tuning work best with this setting. It's not leaning so much that I think the string will derail but it leans enough that it drives this engineer nuts!

My bride picked up a new McKenzie Wedge target for me on Friday. I wanted something to move around the yard instead of my big range target. The Wedge is designed to easily stand on its own. It does. However, it is a heavy sucker. The density of its stuffing is evidently pretty good. Put it through some serious testing yesterday. It was a great low-wind day. Got some 20/30/40 yard pin setting done. Air mailed one arrow at 40 yards that I had to search for...on the neighbor's...but I found the flo-yellow, fletched arrow. They always slide a little further under the grass than a person thinks. 

What's nice about low-wind days is I can also get some micro-windage, rest adjustments made. I made a one click adjustment that seemed to help with my RX 1 Ultra. My slider tapes are good for 20 and 30 yards now but I need more time for the 40 yard marks. Mother Nature was pesky yesterday with some light rain showers. My 40-yard group needs some work.

Pulled camera cards on Friday evening in case the rains stopped me from driving back over the weekend. No extraordinary bucks on the SD cards. I think most bucks are in open country right now or at least spending time close to a soybean field. No soybeans close to my cameras. I hope at least one or two return my way come October. Glassed a couple of nights but no shooters observed yet. Will keep looking.

Deployed a Covert Blackhawk Cell Cam and a Spypoint Link-Dark Cell Cam. They are both 4G/LTE cams. They connect well to Verizon towers on my one farm. My Covert is working but I don't have access to a Real-Time photo through my app yet. Covert Customer Support tell me they are working on an app upgrade. The Spypoint Link-Dark seems to work well but I don't have a web-portal or nor can I request a photo. 

Both cameras sent me photos yesterday, but today, thus far, they have been silent. They are in remote locations. My Spartan 3G has about a year's-worth of cell life left as Verizon plans to eliminate 3G. I should be able to use the camera as a camera. Just not able to send pictures anymore.

I captured some outstanding video with my Browning Recon Force Advantage. Of the cameras I have used, this camera takes unquestionably the best videos. Outstanding! What is really cool is the audio is fantastic. I've been running all my cams on video this and on...but none of them capture audio like the Recon Force. My bride was gone yesterday so as I watched my videos I turned up the volume. My cat was on full alert looking for the flock of birds that was in her house. She could not find the flock. Long story short, audio is really, really, really good on this camera. Along with the video quality, it definitely makes you feel like you are on your farm watching these critters as they walk by.

Trailcampro is requesting photos for their 2018 contest. Send them in! Final day of entry is close. 

Keep peddlin'!.....see what I did there? It was RAGBRAI week in Iowa :)

Have Fun. Be safe. GP out.


July 22, 2018

Hey everybody. Up and at 'em on this fine morning with a cup of black coffee. It was a good week. Captured some decent buck photos although they mostly are of the same fine buck. He's growing fast and seems to be all over the farm. I glassed a couple of times this week. One night was better than the other.

Finally got my Carbon Defiant 34 at specification. Took all of my cables and strings off and twisted them to specification length which was a little shorter than they were when I took them off the bow. I'm pretty sure my string length was causing the A-A length to be long. Everything I read says the buss cable controls 90% of the A-A length. I got tired of being out of spec so I started over with the entire string and cable set. The string had evidently stretched some. When I took it off and measured it was well over spec length of 61.5 inches. For those of you that listen to string maker ads and the "no stretch" string and cable hype. They all stretch. ALL. OF. THEM!. They all use the same BCY material. It isn't a big deal. A bow owner just needs to understand and check on it every so often (if they care).

When you take a sting off, twist it and then reconnect it to the cams your peep and loop do all sorts of crazy stuff. I had to rotate and reinstall my peep numerous times before it was aligned properly. It's not perfect yet but it is close and rotates correctly. Need to keep working on it.

Here is my brief process of what I did. Removed the string, buss cable and control cable. 
All measured long so I twisted to shorten lengths. Correct length is measured under a 100 lb load but I have no way to do that so I adjusted the cables one-eighth inch shorter and the string about three-sixteenths inch shorter. I had read that on-line somewhere about the one-eighth and three-sixteenths thing. I gave it a try. Immediately the bow was much closer to spec than it had been. A-A was almost perfect (within a sixteenth). Brace was a smidge long but I had changed grips so I knew it would be a fuzz long. It was. I put the new X-ACT Grip on the Carbon Defiant 34.

I put the bow in the Pro Draw and checked draw length and draw weight. Almost perfect. One thing to note is that this is usually done with the limb bolts turned all the way in. You in essence are checking your max poundage and your draw length. My max bow weight is 60 lbs so the interweb and all the experts say to be in that 60-62 lb range and I should be good. My scale says I'm 60.0 to 60.4 and my draw length says 30-inches. Can't get any closer than perfect. Checked my top cam lean. Adjusted the yokes so that an arrow placed on the shelf side of the top cam crosses the string at the D-Loop. Checked the draw stop timing. Made adjustments. Set rest at thirteen-sixteenths for center shot and arrow at level or perpendicular to the string. Good to go! Shot it through paper. Holy crap! Serious left tear. Adjust yokes. Tighten the left. Lengthen the right. Holy cam lean batman! Half a cam width. Shoot through paper. Perfect bullet hole. Well now what?? That's too much lean. So I adjusted the lean where I thought it should be and then spent time with level nock travel using the rest and the control cable to get my timing. Tried to avoid using the buss cable. Small adjustments here and there. After a couple of nights of fussing with it it finally is where I want it to be. Paper tuning and modified French tuning tell me I am close. Need some field time now. This bow has been my learning bow. Lots of frustration but now I get it. One interesting thing to note. I looked for a book to buy or something to help but I can't find anything. Lots of info out there. Much of it older. Most of it good for guys and gals like me asking questions and listening from those that have been through the process. Thank goodness for John Dudley and his web show. Lots of great stuff learned there. He makes everything look so darn easy but it is not unless you have 20 years experience using a bow press. I made the investment and refuse not to not learn.

Fletched my Easton FMJ hunting arrows for this year. I found some Iowa State wraps (my alma mater). The wraps have some flames and yellow cresting. The wraps will be the base for four flo-yellow vanes to give me the Cyclone color experience for this fall. Lighted nocks will be red.

Cameras are getting dialed in. Have one decent buck that seems to be everywhere almost every night. I have three seasons of history with the buck and would guess him at 5 years old. Seems to have taken a big jump in antler growth this year.

My Spartan cell cam captured a photo of what appears to be a coyote with a deer head in its jaws. See below. You be the judge.

072118-HCO-02.JPG (196102 bytes)

Trailcampro just finished the shootout and is going right into the 2018 photo contest. Looks like Spypoint took the prize!

I moved the cell cam to a different farm as it's current location had only produced one buck picture. Also took down a ladder stand while I was there. Moved the ladder stand to a different farm. Did not hang it. Just left it close to my anticipated hunting spot. Pretty sure I know where I want it but have two other spots I am considering. Need time to think.

It's about 70 days until we can hunt again. Wow! I need to pick up the pace.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.


July 15, 2018

Hey everybody. Hot and dry this week. Been super tuning the Hoyts. Best that I can anyway with some target anxiety that gets in the way. Learned some new stuff this week. Installed a new QAD MXT on the Ultra. Micro-adjustability is nice! Just not sure the rest is worth the price. We will see?

Cameras produced a bit better this week even with the heat. Maybe the heat was the reason. Not sure. Had the new Recon Force set to video. Captured some really neat video. The Hawk continues to capture some high quality photos. Main challenges I have with that camera are the micro SD card, blue tooth connectivity and sensitive PIR. I get a fair amount of false triggers during the heat of the day.

Settled on my color and fletching configuration for one bow yesterday. Fletched some arrows. Need to do some sight adjusting with that bow before I can say it is ready. Been doing a fair amount of bare shaft shooting. After lots of reading that seems to be a fairly effective way of fine tuning the rest. It is mainly a check on the spine of the arrow which a lot of tuning is. Most of my adjustments right now are around one thirty second of an inch. Small. Thought about some torque tuning but I think I will leave that to the target archers.

Hunting shows started this week. Watched some good stuff and some not so good stuff yesterday. Some red necks just do not belong on TV. And most elitists do not belong on TV either. Do you ever wonder if City folk have ever truly been more than 10 minutes outside a City? I've had some contacts in my the job the last couple of years that lead me to believe that is the case. Some people have absolutely no clue what life is like outside their City job. That's OK until they are in a decision making position that affects people outside the limits of "The City". Anyway, another debate for another day.

Only two-and-a-half months until go-time. Wow! Big bucks look big now. Let's just hope they walk through one of our shooting lanes in about 3 months.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


July 8, 2018

Just got back from Estes after a week of relaxation. Dry air. Nice mountain vistas. Just can't picture myself chasing critters in that terrain. You have to be in top shape to do it. I am NOT!

My cell camera stopped sending me pictures on July 3rd. Figured it was batteries again. Oh no! Ants had shut down my camera. That takes a lot of ants! Damn. That will be a mess to clean up. Did what I could to clean it up in the field. Double bagged in zip lock bags. Put it in the freezer. My bride wasn't too thrilled about putting ants in the freezer but I convinced her it would be fine. I sure hope it will be fine??? Have not opened the freezer door as of this writing. Have only had to do this once before and it was a wet year. We have had a lot of rain.

I usually treat my cameras with some sort of ant killing gel or liquid in the field. I will usually place it on the top of the camera or in the bark crevices. Forgot to treat this camera for some reason. My bad. The other cameras are fine. Nick at Trailcampro told me to put crushed/powdered moth balls in the latches/doors. I've done that before. It works.

The cameras seem to be working well. I forgot to check a camera yesterday (hell to get old) and the date is off by a month on my new Recon Force but otherwise they seem to be working well. The hot weather has many of them capturing swaying grass photos but I expect that due to some of my setups. Hope to achieve full deployment sometime in August. For now, just working in easy access areas. Need to move my new Browning Strike Force to see if my concerns are valid regarding picture quality. Just have not gotten around to it.

Learned something with my bow setups a couple of weeks ago regarding center shot. My assumption was that the power path of the bow would travel through the limb bolts. In fact had read that and seen that in some YouTube videos. However, I also had read in a few on-line articles that center shot on Hoyt bows is around 13/16 inches from the riser face at the Berger hole. The manuals actually give a dimension plus a tolerance. Most technicians seem to start around 3/4 inches (12/16 inches) from the riser face (not the rubber pad) and then yoke tune. I checked mine. They were all much less than 13/16 or 3/4 inches. My Carbon Spyder 34 had been giving me fits so it volunteered as the guinea pig. Wow! After a couple of yoke cable twists a bullet hole! I checked paper with a bare shaft, a 400 spine and a 340 spine. All good. Did the same with all of them! Easy peasy! Paper tuned easily. I modify French tuned (3 and 9 yards) to check. Check. Needed to adjust sight pin windage again but it seems good to go. Final check is some bare shaft tuning. My main reason for NOT spending more time with bare shaft tuning is the target anxiety. It's easier to paper tune and focus on the shot execution at 6 feet, 3 yards and 9 yards.

Put some B-mods on my Carbon Spyder 34 to reduce the draw length by half-an-inch. Felt a little short but I know in the fall my draw length shortens with all my clothes so I have been setting them a smidge short of a good summertime feel. Next, paper tuned. Horrible vertical tear. Couldn't move the rest far enough down to change the tear. WTH!! Knew something wasn't right. Then I figured out my brain fart. Forgot to move the draw stop peg. Moved it. Retimed the cams. Got it! Think I'm still foggy from the drive to Estes Park and back.

Learning a lot as a DIYer. Love my press. Added a bow vise to my bow vise bench last week. Added some string and sight levels to the inventory this week. Cannot believe how far out of whack most of my stuff was and I spend more time than most tinkering with my bows and arrows. You guys and gals that don't check your stuff need to check your stuff. Crazy how far out of sync or out of level stuff gets and all we do is move the sight pins. Tinkering with my bows is fun but also frustrating at times. Finding dependable levels to attach to the string, the sights, etc. is challenging. In other words, make sure when the level says it is level that it is actually level.

Understanding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd axis of a site is interesting to this engineer but how YouTubers describe them is confusing at times. For those of you that have a level bubble on your sight housing (2nd axis), hold the bow to where it feels level, if the bubble vial shows level then I probably wouldn't change it or have it checked. If it seems way off, you need to have it checked unless you don't plan to shoot over 15-20 yards. For you guys that want to reach out to 40 or 50 yards (or longer), the sight needs leveled up in all three axis'.

For those of you that watch a lot of hunting shows, do you watch the arrow flight when they slo-mo the video. Most of the time it is bad! I would call it horrible. It's more than the typical arrow bending around the riser we all know about. With drop-away rests that should be significantly less. You can tell the guys that spend time with their equipment. I laugh at the TV stars with perplexed look and wonder as to why they don't get good arrow penetration or miss their mark. Good grief! Check your bows! You change oil in your trucks don't you? When T-Bone shoots a critter his arrows seem to always hit the mark with a complete pass-through. He knows what he is doing! The time of the animal demise is short. He is a bow technician! His bows work like they are supposed to and he is a very articulate instructor in his YouTube videos.

Time is getting closer. Lots of stuff to do yet and most of it is fun stuff!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 24, 2018

Interesting week. Traversed the torn up farm lane back to the farm. No way I make it back even one day earlier. Farmer has the advantage of tractors. I do not. My cell camera sent me some photos last Sunday afternoon that looked like a squirrel was mauling the front of the camera or somebody's palm was over the front of the camera. Couldn't tell. Too dark and blurry. About 17 minutes after the first blurry close encounter I get another photo in which my camera has been rotated but not tilted. Dang it! That means I have to visit the cell camera site. My intent is not to visit the cell camera site. As I walked up to the camera yesterday it all made sense. Whether it was a squirrel or raccoon, one of them had opened the latch on the Spartan and the open camera was rotated about 20 degrees. And it rained like crazy on that farm all of last week! Lucky the camera still worked. Camera has some small padlocks on it now to keep it closed. Just need to remember the keys. Checked the rest of the cameras but limited buck photos this week. No soybeans on this farm but have some top notch alfalfa and corn. The corn had a big growth spurt this week with all of the rain. My guess is the bucks are on the beans on another farm. Summer pasture.

It was calm in the morning so I loaded up the range target, the RX 1 Ultra, my 340 Full Metal Jackets, may range finder and began the process of setting my 20 and 60 yard marks on the the one-pin slider. Did some walk back and modified French tuning first to confirm my rest windage. Got that set and started launching arrows. I thought I had figured out what my fletching configuration was going to be prior to yesterday. My shooting told me a different story. I had assumed an AAE Max Hunter, 3-fletch with right helical set about 1-3/4" from the nock groove but my best groupings were with the AAE Max Hunter 4-fletch, noticeably better and with limited elevation drop at 60 yards...if any. Usually my Hoyt's have liked the AAE Max Stealth vanes but this bow seem to like the Max Hunter vanes. I like them too but they are taller vanes than most thus requiring that you make sure of the cable clearance. It's tight on my bow. Have the rest set in line with the limb bolts for center shot. I knew the AAE max Hunters would make more noise than the Max Stealth vanes and they do. Definitely do. I'll take the accuracy over the noise any day due to the limited distances that I shoot. The fletching configurations included 3-fletch AAE Max Hunters, 4-fletch AAE Max Hunters, 4-fletch AAE Pro Max vanes and 3-flecth AAE Max Stealth vanes. Dudley has always said that different bows like different fletching configurations. They definitely do. What surprised me was with my relatively low draw weight of 58 pounds and the heavy arrow that the drag on the 4-fletch Max Hunters really didn't exhibit significant drop at 60 yards. Can You say MOMENTUM!? I shot a lot of arrows. My back muscles were spent by about 11 but it was fun. Started picking up some minor cross-wind of a few miles per hour. It makes a difference. Went home.

Unloaded my stuff and immediately paper tested my 4-fletch Max Hunter. Bullet hole. Yippee! Think I have a plan. The 4-fletch Max Hunter should do the best job of steering my fixed blade broadheads too. I might try some bare shaft tuning but my trigger punching anticipation is at an all time high right now. Need to get that under control. I still plan to try some 4-fletch AAE Max Stealth (they are much quieter). I left those arrows at home yesterday. Stupid me! They are what I shoot out of the Carbon Defiant 34. Yes! I am addicted to archery and the dreams of 170 class Iowa whitetails!

Prior to my pin setting shooting yesterday, I checked my cameras. Checked one and it was set to OFF (the new Browning Strike Force). All a guy can do is laugh. How many of you have forgot to turn a camera on? That's why I try not to hurry when checking cameras. It's easy to forget something. I can't count all the times I have swapped cards, closed the latch, left and then walked back to the camera to make sure that I turned it on! More than 10 and less than a hundred but a lot! Forgot one last time. Darn it!

The new Reconyx Hyperfire 2 is setup in a better place now. I didn't give it a fair chance before. Hopefully capture some decent photos in the next few weeks. Still don't like the menu navigation on this camera. The Hawk camera timed me out again. Had to connect in the field. Camera takes good enough photos but the this whole connectivity thing is getting somewhat annoying. It is the smallest camera by far. Should be able to hide it well. Oh and one last thing. I deployed lots of ant killer yesterday. Don't forget to take some with you.

It was an eventful week.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 17, 2018

Hey everybody! Whew is it hot. Was in the deer woods well before any heat arrived yesterday checking cameras. Struggling a bit finding a location that is fair to the cameras. Grass is growing rapidly and creates a lot of false triggers. Also struggling to capture consistent buck photos. Trying to maintain a small footprint the last couple of years. Camera locations not always the most desirable but easy access. 

So far I have two cameras that seem like very nice cameras, the Browning Recon Force and the Moultrie M50. Both capture good videos and pictures. The Hawk Ghost could be a nice little camera. Stealthy. But you have to remember your login info to bluetooth connect with your camera in the field. IMHO, that's a king size pain in the behind. They need to change that. I assume it's done for security but still a king size pain in the behind. Don't like it at all. Don't mind the app just don't like the login requirement.

I do believe my bows are close to tuned. Need to set some pins next. Communicated with the guys at ABB this week. My Carbon Defiant 34 was just a little bit far out of specs for me after the new sting set install. Started over. Then I really created a mess. I took a deep breath, pulled the buss cable off the bow, twisted as per Tim's recommendation, put it back on and within 30 minutes I was close. My A-A is still a bit long but have accepted the fact I can't quite get there. My draw length and max weight are good but my A-A just will not cooperate and my buss cable is twisted up quite a bit now. I love that bow. Favorite bow of all time. Might need to acquire another one someday.

Spent a good amount of time working on my daughter's and wife's bows yesterday. Center shot and and arrow level. Also installed a Whisker Biscuit on my wife's bow with both windage and elevation micro adjustment capability. Now just hope when they shoot the tuning is close. Not quite sure how to time these bows as they don't have cable stop pegs. Need to do more research. Trimmed about an inch off my daughter's 500 FMJs. They were too long. Setting up the WB on those Hoyt Ignites moves the rest pretty close to the riser so need to be cautious with vane clearance. It was tight with the high profile Blazer vanes. Installed some Bohning Heat vanes and AAE Pro Max (4 fletch) on sets of 4 arrows. Need her to shoot to see what works the best. I'm hoping they all work.

Finished my bow vise bench last week. Now need a bow vise. 

Thinking about starting some glassing. Should be some decent bucks around but no gaggers that I'm aware of. Maybe I'll get lucky and stumble into a B & C in the quiet part of farm country. Maybe I will setup in a grassy draw in the middle of the planted forest we call cornfields. And maybe I'll get a 25 yard shot at the buck of a just never know. Wink! Wink!

And don't forget to checkout TCP and their new Rewards Program. Yes!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 10, 2018

Hey everybody! Second week of June already. A little over 3.5 months and we will be back at it. I Have some arrows to build and sights to set. Time to

Cameras have produced some pictures of bucks with potential but nothing out of the ordinary. Much like last year. Deployed a new Reconyx and new Hawk camera last week. The Hawk is very compact and runs by an app on your phone. Only wrinkles I've had so far is the Hawk website logged me out and I forgot my login info. Could not connect in the field. And the 30 foot of distance for the bluetooth is more like 15. Pictures are decent. Still hard for my fat fingers to deal with micro SD cards in the field. Small! The Reconyx is typical for a Reconyx. I'm trying to decide if the menu system is like the older models. Not sure. Haven't used it enough. I'm mainly focused on pictures and video. My setup isn't the best with this camera. Will most likely move it. Need to give it a fair shake.

Went to the farm to check cameras yesterday. Saw a half dozen vultures sitting on six fence posts in a row. Mother Nature doing her thing. Must have been something dead. New fawn maybe? It's that time. Captured pictures of a little tyke that must have only been a day or two old. Little! The one camera that seems to have separated itself from the others so far is the new Browning Recon Force. Great video and pictures. Keeper! You need to buy one. I do like the Moultrie M50 also.

Purchased some new custom arrow wraps. Anxious to get them on my arrows. Once they are on, I can finish the sight setup and fine tuning of the bow. Then the RX-1 is ready.

A word to all of you archery addicts like me. If you need new strings and cables. Get on it. I had a less than desirable experience the last two months in timeliness from a past manufacturer. I tried two new manufacturers because of this un-timeliness and am very pleased with the quality of the strings and the timeliness. I received strings in less than a week. I tried America's Best Bowstrings and 60X Bowstrings. Very happy. The ABB Platinum series is a top notch set of strings and cables.

I'm still learning the proper procedure to change the strings and cables but getting faster. The first go was a big cluster for me but I got it done. Getting the strings and cables on and off was simple but getting the bow back to spec AND shooting bullet holes was the challenge. Now it is fairly simple. I know how the bow responds to twists and untwists. I have watched a lot of YouTube and read a lot of AT and Rokslide info that zeros in on tuning. Fantastic info. If you get a chance do an internet search and look for the Nuts and Bolts of Archery. Great stuff. A little old but info still applies. I know more about cam lean than I ever knew before. Good stuff!

For all you fishermen and fisherwomen out there, deer season is close. Yes it's hot but in today's world with all the distractions it's hard to be ready on time. You need to focus. October 1 is 112 days away....if I did my math right. If not, so be-it, I will blame it on architects.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


May 28, 2018

I do believe I may finally get into a rhythm checking cameras. However, this heat is for the birds. Wish it would migrate back south. Captured my first fawn photo on May 19. Earliest I remember. Don't really know if it means anything. First time I have put a camera at the location.

I have a unique set of cameras deployed so far. The menu interface is different on all of them. It takes some getting used to and definitely an understanding how each manufacturer works. The Moultrie M50 is a nice camera. It takes nice pictures and videos. The Browning Recon Force, 2018 version, surprised me by it's very nice photos. Videos have always been outstanding on this camera but the photos are above average now. Disappointed with my my 2018 Strike Force. Quality I have seen in the past with this camera isn't there. Videos were below average and pictures were average or below. I did have three pictures

Finally have my bows back. I could go on and on about my bad experience(s) the last 6 weeks but lets just say that I'm not sure I'm a fan of bow manufacturer business models that require you to use a dealer. Hell, I know I'm not. I was quite pushy the last two weeks but my dealers hung in there and got their assigned (paid) tasks done. I thank them for that. I wasn't easy to deal with especially when the issues were not their issues. They were supplier issues.

That's why I bought a bow press with an attached draw board. More DIY stuff. Still lots of stuff to learn with control cable and buss cable adjustments but I'm getting there. What my literature says and how the bow reacts are two different things it seems. I do have two bows shooting bullet holes. And talk about peep rolls. OMG! If a guy isn't careful a half turn with the bow string and the peep might walk all over the place. I bought some new strings from a new supplier a couple of weeks ago. So far so good with the string and customer service. High quality string. Love the clear serving on the end loops. Anyway, Tim was gracious enough to talk with me for a long time and the whole peep adjustment discussion led me to believe that peep adjustments can be difficult at times.......UNDERSTATEMENT! And that is one of the main reasons for the bow press. I hate it when my peep rolls!!! Minor adjustments can be challenging.

And now yoke tuning. In the past, I have always tried to make rest adjustments while paper tuning. It worked most of the time. It is oh so nice to be able to make yoke adjustments. Each adjustment makes a noticeable difference. Yoke tuning allows me to work from the power path of the bow. This is awesome! Just line the arrow up with the limb bolts and begin the process. Seems to work well. Fletching clearance can get tight at times but I have low profile vanes if clearance becomes limited.

The last few weeks have been challenging for this persnickety, full figured Iowa boy but it appears things are getting better. Bring on the antler growth and some Boone and Crockett velvet horns!!!


May 15, 2018

Been awhile. I've been hammering away shooting my bows, making arrows and working...and mowing my lawn. Also been watching tons of YouTube videos on bow tuning, whitetail hunting, etc. Thanks to all of those equipment suppliers that spend the time to make the videos. Bought a new Pro Press from Specialty Archery. It is a well built piece of equipment AND will press any bow I believe. I am very satisfied with my purchase. Also purchased the Pro Draw. It's all-in-one. Nice! Thanks Michael and all the staff for making my purchase an easy one.

Cameras were on hold until the burning season was completed. Redeployed a little over a week ago. Cameras deployed include: 2018 Browning Recon Force and Strike Force. 2018 Moultrie A25 and M50. And my Spartan cell cam. Dam battery meter read full when deployed now it won't send pictures. Hopefully it's still there? Just need to track the GPS if not :) Ordered some nifty SD card holders from Trailcampro. Can't have enough of those. The summer Christmas season is here for us camera junkies. Can't wait.

Been having horrible luck recently with strings, cables and servings. Trying a new supplier for one bow. I am quite confident they will work well. I think the wise choice is to have a backup set of strings and cables for every bow you own otherwise you will wait a minimum of a week for new or replacement parts.

Hopefully will do better keeping this up to date. Haven't been this busy at work and at home in a long time.


April 8, 2018

Good Grief. Winter just will not go away. I want to shoot my new bow outside already! My camera checks were limited in March. Frustrating weather! Had a couple of bucks carry antlers well into March. Good health I am guessing.

Have a couple of new Browning cameras to deploy, just waiting on some maintenance burning by the land owner to occur. Captured a bunch of video last month. The new Moultrie M50 did a good job. Nice camera. Camera manufacturers continue to make improvements with their cameras. That's good for you and me. Case designs seem to be rock solid but they are plastic. Fire is not good for plastic. Need to wait on my deployment.

Still getting used to my RX-1 Ultra. Draw cycle is probably the main thing to get used to. Different than my DFX cams on the last bow. I like smooth draw cycles. The new bow points well and the grip is outstanding. Have shot a lot of arrows at 10 yards in my basement. Focusing on my grip, sight level and back tension on the release. Have shot some arrows through my new Saunders Archery paper tuner. It seems to work well. 

Almost time to start mowing the lawn! That's another reason we love November so much...lawn mowing is over by then.


March 4, 2018

Sorry. Been away from the site for a few weeks. Still been checking cameras. Bucks carried their horns a little longer than past years. Some still holding. Have been looking for antlers some but little to no feed on my properties. Most deer on neighboring properties.

My Redwrx RX-1 Ultra has been ordered. Damn expensive anymore. Have been spending a lot of time tuning on the old bows too. Was very frustrated a week or so ago then realized my draw length adjustment mod was loose. I had adjusted from 30 inches down to 29.5 inches. I think that is a better draw length for me especially as I get older and especially when wearing a bunch of hunting clothes.

Also cut half-an-inch of length off my arrows and been spending some time with different fletching combinations in my tuning pit in the basement. Still going to be hard to beat the AAE Max Stealth vanes. For some reason they work very well for my shooting style and setup.

Installed a firmware update on the Stealth DS4K. Major improvement. The native resolution of this camera makes it a keeper. High quality daytime photos. The pictures hold their resolution when you zoom in on the computer. Very nice!. Thanks to Nick at TCP.


January 21, 2018

Pulled some camera cards yesterday. Bucks still carrying antlers for the most part. My cameras even captured a couple of sparring matches with real pushing and twisting and the antlers stayed connected. Spent quite a few evenings last week cleaning up archery equipment. I clean my bows and arrows like you gun hunters clean your guns. No different. There was dust, dirt, mud and weeds in places on my bow that required removal. Already replaced the nock points, D-loop, QAD felt pads, and other items to get ready for 2018. Pulled a safety line, bow rope and hooks from one stand yesterday. Going to move the ladder. Bad setup.

What did I learn in 2017? The main lesson was that deer can be on your property all summer, vanish in October and return in January. Crazy. Wish I understood that better. It plays havoc with a hit-list. I can also have a big, big bonus buck show up one day in November and then never reappear...ever. Damn. That can really affect the decision matrix. You can't shoot a buck if he doesn't spend any time on your property. Lastly, to have good, late season hunting, I need a high quality late season food source...which I have always known but turkeys can really impact the quality of a late season food source (corn or bean stubble) with their daily visits to the field stubble. 

I hunted much less this year than in years past. Just not enough time. None of my stands except one hosted a lot of hunts. It was a northeast wind ground blind with super easy access. I don't remember having as many northeast winds as we did this year. I left large chunks of my properties as sanctuaries. But. My personal opinion is that sanctuaries are overrated. Deer will go there no matter what if it provides good security and relief from the wind. If not? It really can't be qualified as a sanctuary. Timing is everything any more. Moon phases, weather, farming activity, it all has an impact. I was a little late this year. Missed the peak of the run-up when the big bucks were roaming early and free and not busted all to heck. Par for the course. Asked a very trusted friend the other day why he thinks we see busted up racks in any given year. He believes it is more a function of quality of food. Low nutrients result in low quality bone on the buck's head. I had never thought of that. We had limited rain this year. Could be!

My archery setup executed just like I hoped. The bow was smooth and quiet, the arrows flew as desired, the broadhead executed as advertised and my new release worked as it should have. I have been shooting the new Hoyt Redwrx series the last couple of months at a dealer that has them in stock. Man do I like that bow. It points way better than my other Hoyt bows due to the lower grip position.  The 32-inch RX-1 does not pull as smooth as the Ultra. Did not like the feel at all. The Hyperforce felt the same to me. Too aggressive in the beginning of the draw cycle. The draw cycle of the Redwrx Ultra I shot did not feel that way to me. Pointing of that bow is the one thing that stands out. I can only imagine how well it will shoot with a sight and with my preferred release. Yes, I have started saving my pennies for a new Redwrx Series RX-1 Ultra. I am addicted to archery. If you knew how many ATA show videos I have watched the last week or so you would think I am nuts. The guys at (Bowhunt or Die) did a great job getting videos posted for all of us that like to see the latest and greatest archery gizmos and gadgets.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.



Deer Blog 2017


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