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

 

 

 

Deer Blog

 

November 25, 2018, Hunt #55, P.M.

Did not hunt in the morning. Decided to sleep in and then check condition of the weather when I woke up. We missed all but a skiff of snow. Thank goodness. Man was it windy though. No way was I going to sit in a stand in this wind. Arrived early enough to check a couple of cameras and to see just how "out of the wind" certain locations were. Headed for the bottom. Wind swirling bad at first location. Headed up the hill to find an elevation with a consistent wind direction. Setup a new ground hideout. This spot would give me a shot to the trail consistently used by three shooters. This was the only camera I have producing shooters. I did lots of trimming. No worries as the wind was roaring. I had one great shooting lane. It was twenty yards to the trail. Secondary shooting lanes were about the same but more branches to deal with. It felt like an awesome setup.

First group of deer through was a doe with twins. They had no idea I was there. Twenty yards. This might just work. Second group of deer through was a doe and fawn. No idea I was there. The doe squatted and peed right in my preferred shooting lane. This is looking too good to be true. How lucky can I be? Fifteen minutes later here comes one of the shooters. I grabbed my bow. Guess what he did? He stuck is nose in the doe urine. I can't be this lucky. I was at full draw by then. His left leg was back. My pin first settled on the shoulder blade. I wasn't about to let that happen again after last Sunday's no penetration fiasco. I was concerned about my whole front of center experiment. I had lots of time and money invested in that. 

I moved the pin over, right behind the shoulder blade, settled the pin and tripped the Nock 2 It. The arrow blew through the hide and lungs and landed darn near twenty yards past the buck. The Nocturnal lighted nock told the story. Fifty-six pounds, a five hundred grain arrow with two hundred grains on the front....Smoked! Wow! Maybe this experiment is going to pan out? The buck ran less than fifty yards and tipped over. And just like that it was over. Finally! I had two other full draw encounters with this buck a couple of weeks ago but they didn't work out.

I have three seasons of pictures of this buck starting when I believe he was three. The 4x4 produced a similar rack the last three growing seasons. Never showed any signs of significant growth. He wasn't my preferred shooter but definitely on the list. Wow was I happy! I get enjoyment from the entire process not just the harvest. I love the archery component, the scouting, the decision making, the narrowing of the pursuit but mostly the chasing of Iowa whitetails. It's in my blood. I love it. I have a great place to hunt. A place I get to share with my family and great friends that help and do most of the work I might add. They did all the dragging.

I like pursuing big bucks just like the next guy but I like the whole process as well. I'm still amazed that arrow went through the deer like it did and I'm amazed the move and hunt from a new ground blind hideout worked perfectly. It's a great spot!

What a great feeling!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 24, 2018, Hunt #54, P.M.

In stand early. I assumed with the light winds deer would hit the feed early. They did. Saw one shooter. All of the deer were feeding. No harassing or chasing. Had a line of small bucks go by at quitting time. I kept hoping to see a deer with a limp coming my way. No go. Coyotes really let loose and the last two bald deer pranced on out to the cornfield. If I was a deer I would get tired of hearing those howling little bastards every night. Great night. Hoping to see the deer I hit.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 24, 2018, Hunt #53, A.M.

Hunted close to feed again. Saw a bunch at daylight but none I would qualify as a shooter. Coyotes cleared one field and it had a lot of deer feeding in the morning sun. Pulled cameras, pulled cards and relocated a cell camera. Nothing on cards that would point me in a direction. No sighting of the buck I hit. Still looking.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 23, 2018, Hunt #52, P.M.

Late to the tree. Spooked deer on the way in. Had a curious fawn watch me climb in. A doe busted me while I tried to turn the darn lighted nock off that seems to want to turn on every time I attach it to the string. Damn that chaps my hide. Just started doing that the last two days. That pretty much ruined the night along with the non-hunting activity. Got down early to check some cameras. Had some pleasant surprises on the SD cards.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 23, 2018, Hunt #51, A.M.

Saw half a dozen bald deer. Glad to see deer but disappointed in the overall hunt. Short hunt. Had Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Things seem to be slowing down.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 22, 2018, Hunt #50, P.M.

Father-daughter hunt. Went to the camera spot showing the shooters. Dud hunt. Just some deer snorting and a buck in the distance. Left early. Lots of deer out feeding. Note to self. Stay close to feed in the evenings. Disappointed I couldn't get my daughter closer to some antlers. At least the weather was warm. Full moon makes it tough.

 

November 22, 2018, Hunt #49, A.M.

Quite a few deer on feed shortly after daylight. One shooter. No bucks were doing anything other than feed. Bucks headed for cover right at sunrise. checked a bunch of camera cards. Only one camera showed any shooters.

 

November 21, 2018, Hunt #48, P.M.

ESE wind. Movement was late but did have a decent buck come out after sunset. Grunted and wheezed at him but no luck. He looked but went straight to feed. Checked two cameras. Not much excitement on the cameras.

Follow up: the buck I hit last Sunday is still standing. Limping. Must have hit shoulder blade. That would explain the limited arrow penetration.

 

November 18, 2018, Hunt #47, A.M.

Cameras from the day before had shown that #1 buck was tending a doe within 25 yards of one of my favorite stands. It works best with a northeast wind during the afternoons. Morning hunts would probably work best with a westerly wind of some sort. I had that. What there was of one anyway. It was basically dead calm. I always worry about the half-mile walk and bumping deer on the walk to this stand. Cameras are showing me it's a good morning stand. I got settled in relatively unscathed. At daylight the cornfield came alive with deer. They had to have been bedded close but did not vacate on my trek in. I looked to the west and here came a shooter. He veered to the cornfield. No shot. There were deer everywhere and the wind was dead calm. Too quiet. My ladder stand wasn't being totally silent either. Man, there were deer everywhere. Did I say that already?

I have a blind spot to my southeast due to trees. Saw a doe with a buck at about sixty yards. Took a quick check with my binos. It's #1. Doe wanted to come in the timber but not where I wanted her to. She was sensitive to my presence. She slowly worked her way in. Big boy was coming in with her. I reached around to grab my boy. Not silently either. Just way to calm. My hand had a conflict with my safety line but I eventually got the bow, got turned 90 degrees so I could shoot. He was wondering what all the commotion was in that tree. OH. And I had my boot blankets on. They are like space boots. Big and bulky. No time to range him or adjust the pin on the slider. It was going to be a poke. At least forty yards. I drew but could not see him in the peep. Sun was at the exact wrong alignment for that shot. He moved about five yards. I drew again. Now I can see him. Held the pin high. I had it set at thirty yards for the shot that was supposed to occur on the other side of me. Settled the pin and tripped the trigger on the Nock-2-It. Thwack! Sounded good. Sure sounded like I entered the vital cavity. Arrow was in the front half of the body and about mid height. At least that's what I thought I saw. Looked good. Penetration not very good. I could see the lighted nock bouncing around as he ran off. He crashed down the canyon. Then silence. I waited a full hour before climbing down. Took a quick look. Didn't see anything. Backed out and headed for the truck. Another full hour later I'm tracking.

Right off the bat blood looked really good. I'm going to find this deer. Two hours later still no deer. Backed out again. Waited another hour-and-a-half. Went back in. Looked for another three hours. Blood was minimal by this time. Walked a long distance. He was consistently following a trail that paralleled the river. Followed the trail another three hundred yards past the last blood drop. 
Checked other trails assuming he left the trail. No find. Lots of body searching within a large distance of the last blood drop. Damn it!

Hindsight. I probably should not have taken the shot. Distance too far. I think his body is so big that the distance fooled me.

Lots of effort went into the pursuit of that buck. He is nice. Passed him last year. Based on the terrain he traversed my gut feeling is he's still standing. River bluff terrain. He jumped some side ditches that I struggled to get across. I just hope he shows up later. Not sure where I hit him now???

Dang it!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 17, 2018, Hunt #46, P.M.

BRRR! Cold northeast wind. Planned on a shorter hunt than normal due to the cold. I may have watched a football game that delayed me too. Lots of deer moving early. Looked to be another good hunt but my #1 buck never showed. Plenty of deer on the fields but no shooters. Good hunt.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 17, 2018, Hunt #45, A.M.

Wind out of NE and strong! Setup for about an hour-and-a-half. Saw some fawns scurrying around north of me but very little movement. Decided to bail and check all my trail cameras. Well worth the effort. Shooters are on the move and appear to be single. My top two bucks are daylight visible.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 16, 2018, Hunt #44, P.M.

Very calm afternoon. Was going to be tough to execute a shot without being seen and heard. Action started out good when I saw a couple of does and a huge bodied deer right behind them. Damn it! His whole left antler was gone and he was definitely a shooter. They vanished into the switch grass. I thought they were headed my way but they veered off to the west. Had other small bucks in the area as the big buck was tending a doe. He did come to about eighty yards at one point but turned around and headed back to watch over his girl friend.

I have a green field to my east. I never really saw many deer go into the field but about forty-five minutes before quitting time I turned to see a wad of deer running my way. No idea where they came from unless they were bedded north of me. Something had cleared the field. When that happens, the night is basically over. Not sure what it was. I was downwind.

At quitting time I had a small racked three or four year old go by in my shooting lane. Both G2 s broken off. Practice draw time! I did. Tried to get him to stop at twenty eight yards but he did not. He was headed for the field. On a mission.

Good hunt. It's a shame the big buck is half-a-buck now. Hate it when that happens.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 15, 2018, Hunt #43, P.M.

Good hunt. Saw lots of deer. All feeding on corn. Not sure where all of these deer have been the last four weeks but not near me. The bucks that showed up came out after sunset. Two shooters. One is limping now, the other has a G3 missing and a G4 partially gone.

One shooter was single when he came out. The bigger one came running out about sixty seconds after a small buck chased a doe into the field. I assume that was his doe. I hit the grunt tube and wheezed at him. I must suck at a snort wheeze cuz he snorted and headed for the field. Sounds good enough to me but obviously not to them.

It was about quitting time. Most of the deer moved on over the hill so I bailed out of the tree, checked a camera and moved out. The shooter I'm looking for was not on camera. Apaprently he continues to hold tight in a forty acre area. Last year he was all over the farm. Great hunt!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 11, 2018, Hunt #42, P.M.

Had the perfect wind tonight...so I thought. Hit the stand early. Threw on my boot blankets and settled in. One other I can do to help myself stay warm is to wear my Kenetrek gaiters. They add an additional layer of warmth from the knees down. It sucks trying to put them on but the they keep the lower part of my legs warm. Really warm. Add on the boot blankets and I was toasty the entire three plus hour sit.

Action started right away. Had a spike buck come from the field side heading for the timber. Next a doe came blasting from the field followed by a big framed shooter. Heading right at me. I turned my back to grab my bow. She was beneath me by then and gettin' it. I swung and started to draw as the buck was rolling right on her heals. I yelled multiple mouth grunts to get him to stop. Wasn't happening. Here and gone in less than ten seconds and I still don't know if I recognized the buck. Looked like a big framed ten. Exciting!

Things quieted down a bit. I had another 130 class eight come chasing a doe into the timber. Wow! Fun. Again things quieted down. I eventually turned around to see how many deer were on the field. There were a fair amount of bald deer feeding around a hundred yards out. I occasionally turned around to check on antler status. One dink was all.

About twenty minutes before quitting time I heard a snort from down wind direction. It was a doe giving me hell. My wind had switched a smidge on me. I was no longer in the scent free zone. She turned and walked back into the deeper timber. I took a quick look to see if she was alone. Dang it! My target buck was with her. My binoculars should not have let me see that. He is a stag! Frustrating. The wind had only switched a few degrees but enough to give me grief.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 11, 2018, Hunt #41, A.M.

The hunt this morning was not as good as yesterday. Rarely do I have really good hunts two days in a row or at least the morning and night alternate.

As night becomes day it never ceases to amaze me the deer that are close to me when I can finally see. I know they probably watched and heard me climb into that stand and listened to me get settled in. This morning was no different. When I could finally see there was a deer looking right at me at thirty yards. I think it's fascinating what they put up with in the dark.

My hunt was relatively slow until one of my shooter bucks appeared. My first sighting was approximately fifty yards. He was closing on my position at eight o'clock and headed to my six o'clock. Not a good route for me. I grabbed my bow. Drew it. Just as he was hitting my only shooting lane. I mouth grunted to get him to stop. No go. By that time my bow stopped swinging as it ran into the limb protruding from that side of the tree. Darn it! He continued on following whatever scent he was following and oblivious to the contortions going on in the tree.

He did get down wind. Gave me the old evil eyeball and continued his route down the steep hill. Close again. My grunt tube was no match for his love intentions.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 10, 2018, Hunt #40, P.M.

Dressed differently and the boot blankets found their way to my feet. Much better. It was warmer, but a different layering system and the boot blankets helped to survive the elements much better. The feet stayed warm and toasty. Does were headed to feed early. The buck movement started early too. Had a shooter coming in slowly. He listened to my grunts when he was one hundred yards out. He was looking for the source but as some do, he circled downwind to investigate. Closest he ever got was forty-five to fifty yards. The more mature bucks were definitely on the move. 

First deer to stroll by was a doe with three fawns in tow headed for the green field. I assume they were her triplets as they were all about the same size and acting like siblings to one another. Assuming they were hers, a person doesn't see that too often. I thought for sure I would have bucks following that route to feed but it wasn't to be. Would have had a very desirable shot opportunity if so.

Last deer to show up was a small buck. A dink. No other deer were around. I wanted to practice draw and settle the pin. I stealthily grabbed my bow and began the drawing process. Holy cow! He took off like a rocket. He had come in very tentative and seemed to be quite on edge. I had used my grunt tube earlier to respond to the snorting deer downwind and over the hill from me. Had to be a hundred yards a way. Opposite direction from where this little buck came. I am guessing he was looking for the source of the grunting. Darn it! Wanted to settle the pin behind the shoulder. Very satisfying hunt except for lack of shooting an arrow.

Checked a couple of cameras on exit.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 10, 2018, Hunt #39, A.M.

Finally! A hunt that felt like it's the whitetail rut in Iowa. My first one believe it or not. I've waited quite a while to hunt this spot. Needed a south wind of some sort. Good Lord was it cold. I did not last long. Maybe two-and-a-half hours. I'm sure I was going to miss out on some movement but my toes cried uncle. time for the boot blankets.

Saw quite a few bucks, including one shooter. He was at thirty yards, quartering to me. Just wasn't going to risk that shot with all the clothes I had on and the fact my extremities were surrendering to the cold. Close! He was on the scent of a doe and small buck that had passed by earlier. The doe had come my way but for some reason the bigger buck turned around and followed the scent from where she came. None of my grunts when he was further away seemed to interest him. Doe scent is what interested him.

I know that deer were bedded within ear-shot of me climbing the stand in the dark. It's always funny to me that once light arrives, the deer come to investigate what that noise was. A three-year-old buck was first on the scene this morning. He was looking for me. He looked up at me once but dismissed the lump in the tree. A doe soon caught his attention and he was off to harass the poor thing. LOL! There appeared to be lots of harassment on this day.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 9, 2018, Hunt #38, P.M.

It got colder in the afternoon. What the heck? Headed for a deep valley to get out of the wind. Good choice. Wind was roaring up high but much less at my level. Had two cameras close. Was going to wait until I left to check them but changed my mind. Checked the Stealth camera first. Darn near got run over by a buck and doe at five yards. They had no clue I was there as they dashed through the heqavy cedar thicket. Weirdest thing was the doe was following the buck. Almost like she was chasing the buck. As I was heading back to my hideout another buck came around the corner. He was decent. Dang it! Too antsy. Definitely an estrous doe in the area. He heady for dense cover when he saw me.

Sat down and forwarded through the cards on my Stealth Reader. Darn it. No shooters the last three days. What do I do? I left. I headed back to the truck and the location that had shooters on the SD card. Dang was it cold walking across the ridge...in the open. Deer did not move until late, as expected with this wind. Windchill was just brutal completely until quitting time. Packed up and got the heck out of Dodge. Glad the heater in the truck worked. Saw three or four bucks but all small.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

P.S. The nontypical on the front page is dead. If he wasn't, he wouldn't be on the front page. We have four seasons of history with this buck. I passed him as a 150-inch three year old in 2015. he beasted a beam off in 2016 and we had one set of blurry photos in 2017. He was blind in his left eye. No flash reflection. I am somewhat curious if that is the reason for all the growth on the right antler. Food for thought anyway. About twenty inches of antler was broken off too, yes, including the drop tine. Dang it! Fully intact on November 1. November 7th he's lost twenty inches.

 

November 9, 2018, Hunt #37, A.M.

Wow! colder than I thought it was going to be. I picked a bad location. Saw a couple of deer in the distance. Moved around some and then decided to just check trail cameras and make a plan for the evening. It was too darn cold and all of the deer I did see were bedded...including the bucks. I have days like this, when it is difficult to choose a location. I think a person wants the choice to be right but unfortunately there are too many influences that move deer around during the day and they have nothing to do with bedding and feeding in a normal pattern.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 8, 2018, Hunt #36, P.M.

Indecision to the max for me on which stand to hunt. I have a couple of stands about two hundred yards apart. Went to the furthest one. The light and VARIABLE wind was making hunting that stand a not so good of an idea. I checked it with my windicator a couple of times. As the snow flakes fell I watched the flakes fall towards where my shot would be. Not good. I journeyed on. I went so far as to climb the stand and hook in. No way was this going to work especially when a sentinel doe would probably be the first one to the field. I baled.

Something kept telling me to go to the other stand. If somebody would have video recorded me as I went forward then turned around then forward, climbed the stand and hooked in, then climbed down and then played it in fast forward I would have looked like more of a dumb ass than was I feeling at the moment.

I slogged to the other stand as snow was falling, hooked onto my lifeline then climbed up and in. I saw deer as soon as I settled. For some reason that stand was pulling me back west. Had a couple of three year old bucks do a complete 360 degree path around my stand as they pursued their doe. Fun but how do you win the wind wars when that happens? You don't. Saw another buck back in the woods. Pretty sure it was a shooter but the light and variable wind made any movement high risk to raise my binoculars and take a closer look. Bald deer had me pinned down. The buck and his doe ended up going the other way.

The light snow made my stand wet. The below freezing temperatures caused my boots to freeze to the stand making a sticking sound as I twisted to see around me in the stand. The does were all over that. My back still hurts as I contorted, shifted my weight to be as motionless as possible. Pressure! Stress! Great time?

The last group of does did not let me off the hook and trotted over the hill to the west. There were other bucks chasing does in the cornfield. It was an enjoyable hunt but very nerve-racking trying not to alert the prey.

Have fun be safe. GP out.

 

November 8, 2018, Hunt #35, A.M.

My behind was dragging after last night's events. Extremely calm and quiet. I used to love no-wind hunts. I hate them now. Impossible to get away with movement, especially since I do not hunt twenty-five feet high. Deer were milling in the freshly cut cornfield. Saw a few bucks and plenty of bald deer. Activity to the south sent a wave my way. My target buck was not seen anywhere. Plenty of season left yet. May not close the deal on my rut-cation, no need to get trigger happy which I tend to do when the hours of sleep dwindle.

Farming activity ended the hunt. I visited with the tractor driver a bit. Its always enjoyable to talk with quality people. Well worth the time.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 7, 2018, Hunt #34, P.M.

Nestled into a cedar I have eyeballed in the past. Hoped the target was in the draw and would follow his doe by me on her way to feed. Saw two does and a fawn first. That told me that my spooking of the group did minimal harm. The does and fawn fed off to my right at about 40 yards. Finally I saw the head gear of the target at 70 yards. This might just work. Unfortunately, he wasn't moving much. That told me his doe wasn't moving either. I finally saw her to his right. She was bedded. I lost hope at that point as darkness was coming fast and the combine had just moved into the field. He was looking my way as I headed for the truck. I needed to hit the trail to help a friend track a buck of a lifetime. Target buck will have to wait until tomorrow. Generally a good day but the all day movement was minimal at my location.

I do believe the corn being harvested will help me quite a bit. Fresh corn on the ground and no restrictive movement. Corn's not in the way any more.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 7, 2018, Hunt #33, A.M.

The morning started off on fire but slowly fizzled out. Saw a handful of bucks. Had a 140 at twenty yards. There was plenty of other bucks feeling their oats. Heard lots of sticks breaking in the forest. Did not see a shooter. Saw a coyote though. He got through my shooting lane before I was ready. My mouth squeaks did not distract him from his mission or his destination. He kept going. The cold got the best of me by 11 a.m. I decided to move about 300 yards to observe the draw my target buck seems to spend a lot of time in. Saw two bucks cruising including one at high noon as I sat on the forest floor and ate my sandwich. At one o'clock I decided to head back to the truck. Guess who was bedded eighty yards from my truck? The target himself. He and quite a few other deer were bedded out of the wind. Makes total sense. They ran over the hill to the next draw.

I have a plan.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 6, 2018, Hunt #32, P.M.

Crawled up the tree and immediately had multiple bucks within a hundred yards. It was so windy they never heard me climb the ladder stand. Good for me. Big buck tending a doe at one hundred and fifteen yards. He's a toad. Looking around I could see multiple other bucks. They were out of the wind and staying close to the prize but not too close. She was bringing the buck my way then they vanished down a gully and I never saw them again. Not sure where they went. had a 125 class go by at 30 yards and some others in the distance. In general it was a cold hunt. Good but not quite what I expected for November 6. This season has been underwhelming for me so far. Have had some good encounters but not what I expected.

have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 6, 2018, Hunt #31, A.M.

Hunt started out fast. Captured glimpses of a buck back in the cedars chasing some does. That was about it. The spot was protected from the wind. My expectations were high the deer would be finding cover out of the wind. Didn't pan out. Moved a camera to a scrape at a very remote trail intersection. Be interesting to see what I get for video. Did a little bit of scouting on the trip back to the truck.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 5, 2018, Hunt #30, P.M.

Will the rain please stop! Good grief. Headed to a spot I haven't hunted in a few years. Decided to go in tight and stop hunt around the fringes. Again to try and locate the herd. Found them. Had an old 4x4 I first captured pictures of four seasons ago. He was right on the tail of a doe. Grunting all the way. I was on the ground and they went by at five yards. Exciting. Buck has to be at least six if not seven or eight. He has a smallish rack for an old timer. Maybe 140. I rarely see him. No shot. they went to my bad side.

Had two fawns absolutely mesmerized with that 'thing' by the cedar tree. I thought I was going to get to touch a deer for the first time. At first I stayed motionless. They stared at me from ten yards away and downwind. They continued to stare but did not get excited one little bit. Amazing. I need to hang a stand in this spot. The fawns just wondered off.

Towards quitting time I had another 130 class 4x4 doing that front foot stomping thing as he chased a doe five yards past my ground position. Again. Exciting. Great hunt. As bad as last night was this one was fun. I just wish the mature does would leave me alone. They never, ever give a guy a second chance.

One last thing. Don't remember if I have mentioned this. We all know that with a scrape comes a licking branch. After the leaves fall, the missing weight causes the limbs to raise higher in the air. Deer struggle to reach them and often stand on their hind legs to reach them. Well. I have been taking one or two of the limbs and breaking them so they hang down to a deer's nose level. Oh my gosh! That is like crack to them! Unbelievable. They absolutely cannot resist it. Try it and set a camera on it. Crazy! I captured video of a dandy buck following a doe the other morning. He saw that limb I had lowered for him and he immediately changed directions and headed for that limb. Nuts! Talk about deer in the headlights! Note to self. I need to take some zip ties with me to make it even more intriguing. Cut a limb and zip tie it lower yet. This is fun!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

P.S. Don't forget to change the times on your trail cameras.

 

November 5, 2018, Hunt #29, A.M.

Had an east wind. Hunted the ground in a pair of cedars I have hunted from in the past. Close to feed again. Saw two bucks. Both seemed to be cruising. Wind was good for me. Just not seeing shooters at this location. Relocated after two hours again. Went deep again to a southeast wind location. Zero. What's additionally frustrating was the relentless light rain. My rain gear worked but everything is wet again. Four to five hours can wear on a person when the rain just doesn't let up. The midday movement has been zero for me this year. I would classify this hunt as one of my top five worst hunts the last 10 years. It's most likely due to my anticipation of the hunt but still a bad hunt on a good farm.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 4, 2018, Hunt #28, P.M.

Horrible hunt. Saw one doe, and one fawn. Crazy slow. Bad stand choice.

What is going on??? Do I have a clue what I am doing?

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 4, 2018, Hunt #27, A.M.

Sat close to feed to see if I was missing the herd by going to deep in the woods. Saw one buck and a couple of bald deer. The buck walked by one of my cameras but no picture. HHMMM? What's up with that? 

Relocated deeper after an hour and a half. With the wind out of the northwest I could access a spot and be fairly undetected. Wrong. Spooked a doe, fawn and small buck. Figured after an hour things would calm down. The woods came alive with activity about 10. I had bucks everywhere. One borderline shooter. He is nice! He was some distance away though. After everything calmed down I headed out to a different farm. At least I know where they are spending their time.

And one last thing. I whiffed on a turkey. Actually there was a big pile of feathers with my arrow. I barely whiffed. Shot him for 20 yards. Ranged the spot after at 23 yards.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!

 

November 3, 2018, Hunt #26, P.M.

Checked my radar app. Decided to change the scenery. Looked like rain would lighten up the last couple of hours. It did but it didn't quit. The rain gear kept me dry but all of my gear is wet. Goal before I hit the hay is to make sure it is all dry for the morning. 

As I sat next to my tree I played the planned shot scenario over and over in my head. I was ready. Saw two fawns was all. Checked one camera. Target buck not on scrape camera the last three days. Time for plan B. With his girl friend(s) I assume. 

Was concerned with forty degree temps and rain that my layering would need to be adequate to stay warm. Everything worked but learned I need a good pair of waterproof gloves. I do have some but they don't seem to work well.

Time to bear down.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 3, 2018, Hunt #25, A.M.

Due to the weather forecast, planned a short hunt in the morning until the rain started. My access road is tough to navigate after any significant rain. Went back to same spot as night before. Assumption was the target buck would be close with his doe. He was. Within one hundred yards of where I left him as I snuck away the night before. Saw four other bucks. Nothing close and nothing urgent in the movement. Rain started about nine. I don't have any fancy boxes to sit in and did not bring my rain gear so called the hunt.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 2, 2018, Hunt #24, P.M.

After my lunch, I decided to check a timbered canyon for stand options with this northeast wind. I call them canyons because they are deep and wide. Not draws like in the rolling hills. These canyons dump into a river and are a bitch to drag a deer out of. This particular canyon is fairly open timbered. I have identified two particular canyons as ones my primary target likes to call home.

As I peaked over the edge on my recon trip, I saw a buck bound off. Two-year-old. As I continued to look, I saw my target. He had not seen me. Rack still intact. He was definitely giving all the signals of tending a doe.

I backed out of his line of sight and went back to my staging location a quarter mile away. Pulled my bag target out, shot some arrows. I had always wanted to hunt this area with a northeast wind. Lots of cedars for me to melt into and close to feed. My hope? She would bring the big fella to the field at the end of the day. If too far, I would try and call him to shooting distance. I setup so I could see as much of the timbered area as possible and still provide myself a forty yard shot. Settled-in.

I intently watched the area of his last sighting. Based on my best guess I was less than 100 yards from that spot. I cannot see the bottom of the canyon where I last saw him. He finally appeared, but at a much higher elevation than where I last saw him. Hell, he probably saw me trim my hidey-hole. Damn it! He was moving ever so slowly. I finally saw his doe. I watched him for a good two hours. Most of the time he hung around the one hundred yard range. She was not travelling too far and no kamikaze bucks had ventured close. I could hear noise down in the bottom of the canyon but could not see or identify the noise maker. He would vanish from my sight on occasion then reappear to check on his doe. He was fending off other suitors which I could not see. I heard a ruckus at one point and his head popped up above the field/canyon edge at forty-five yards. He had just walked-off a buck (which I did not see) and then rushed back to his doe a good fifty yards away. That was the closest he got.

The last half hour I saw two fawns coming from the north. They should walk by right in my sweet spot. Another deer was dragging up the rear. Close scrutiny with the binos resulted in the sighting of the life insurance buck (busted G3 buck). He should walk by at twenty yards. He did. No idea I was there. Dang it! I would have threw an arrow at him if he was still intact. They continued on into the field. Great encounter!

My target buck and his girl friend never made it to the field. She must have bedded within twenty yards of the field edge. The bush is pretty thick at the location. I could not see them. Only surmised they were still there. They were about a hundred yards away from my position (my best guess) as I headed for the truck. Great hunt. Let's do this again. Great encounter(s).

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 2, 2018, Hunt #23, A.M.

Morning started out like gangbusters. Had a buck at 20 yards. Just a little early. Legal time but my night vision is poor. Thought it was one of my shooter bucks. Just about pulled on the Nock-2-It release. Took a second look. Not my guy. Whew! It's hell to get old. Saw a fawn the rest of the morning. Ouch! got my hopes up and then Mother Nature stabbed me in the back. Got cold too. Needed one more light layer and some hand warmers. Checked a few cameras on the way out.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 1, 2018, Hunt #22, P.M.

In the stand relatively early for an afternoon hunt. Good movement. Bucks hit the trail early. Had two 125 class go by. A 140 came plowing through the switch grass and the last was a possible 150 class. He did not offer me a good enough look to know for sure. All were single but looking.

Had some darn barking dogs that were loose, maybe wild and just friggin' annoying. Not sure they want to come my way. They were raising hell 200-300 yards southeast of my stand for a good part of the night. One of my cell cams captured pictures of some dogs about an hour ago. My guess is them. They don't appear to have collars. Somebody better shackle them bastards!

Besides the damn dogs it was a good hunt. The deer I saw, surprisingly, ignored them. Hopefully the pace of the buck movement continues to pickup. Barring any damn dogs.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

November 1, 2018, Hunt #21, A.M.

Sat in the open on a hill with the calm winds. Wanted to see if deer stayed in the field for an extended period. Hoped to call in one of the shooters. No go. Deer left the field well before sunrise. Saw one 130 class. Sat for an hour-and-a-half then relocated.

New spot was heavy cover. Heard some chasing with a doe coming my way but the calm thermals were violating the Weather Channel's supposed wind direction. Busted! Screw this noise. I'm out of here. Had a camera that needed new juice and more that needed checked. Hit the road. Got the cameras checked. There was a pleasant surprise or two.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 31, 2018, Hunt #20, P.M.

Man was it quiet. Checked two cameras. Lots of buck activity on camera though most all of it still at night. My target shooter was a regular.

Saw a spike and and a fawn early then nothing but turkeys until the last 20 minutes. Deer were coming out late again. I think the temperature needs to drop about 10 degrees.

Checked a couple of cameras on the way out that were set to video. Lots of chasing by the cameras. Lots at night still. Got great video of the life insurance buck (busted G3). Damn he's big. He was definitely a shooter. Chaps my hide.

Might try and change things up in the morning.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 31, 2018, Hunt #19, A.M.

The morning started off well. Had a small buck walk right under the tree. Didn't know there was a scrape there. It's not heavily used but none-the-less still there. Had a second small buck do the exact same thing. I did not want a shooter to do that. Way too quiet. Stand is low. Saw a few other bucks down in the bottom. No shooters.

Answer this question. How does a doe see me from two hundred yards away in my tree? I must have been moving. I think I had my face in my smart phone. She was upwind and started snorting like crazy. I couldn't even find her in the woods. When I finally found her in my binoculars she was staring a laser beam right through me. Dang it!

Then the chainsaws started on the neighbors. My morning was done. Still saw couple of deer but they were working themselves away from my location. Hung another camera at this location then left.

I carry a bag target with me and some arrows. Had my lunch at the truck and then shot some arrows. Wind was light so I could get some good shooting accomplished.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 30, 2018, Hunt #18, P.M.

Another crappy hunt. Windy! Deer finally moved late but for some darn reason, the doe with the buck in toe used the minor trail on the downwind side. Two beat down trails are to the west of me on the upwind side including a well used scrape. She was five yards from the tree and got a big whiff of me. Snorting old nag! It was a fitting end to a crappy hunt day. She must have snorted twenty times. She needed a QAD in the cage. Next time.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 30, 2018, Hunt #17, A.M.

Yesterday was good. Today was bad. Did not see a deer from stand. Did some recon. Pulled two cameras. Checked two other cameras that have been unchecked for a couple of weeks. The camera at the stand showed that two nice bucks went by yesterday. Today nothing. Wind was opposite. Booted a buck with a doe while on recon. Might have been 140. Needed to check that spot. Trying to decide if I hunt that location with a northwest wind or southwest wind. Either will work.

One camera checked had been pointed at a scrape. Good number of bucks tending to that scrape including a couple of nice ones but the one I am in pursuit of did not tend to that scrape. Been a long time since I've been skunked from the stand on this farm.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 29, 2018, Hunt #16, All Day

Great hunt. Mainly morning and night movement. Very little midday movement. I love sitting in a stand all day. As long as the weather is decent you can see all sorts of things away from civilization. Saw one of my shooter bucks three times at 100 yards. Pretty sure he was with a doe but I never did see her. Saw four other bucks though. Watched him run off a buck in the afternoon. Lots of snorting when that happens.

Saw my first bobcat from the tree. Little sucker sat down right under the tree. I think he was looking at my camera. Great encounter. He eventually slinked off into the woods. A chattering squirrel and a doe snorting gave away his location.

What's the best form of life insurance for a mature buck? Busted tines! I checked a couple of cameras after my all day hunt. A darn nice buck that showed up last week has a busted G3. Dang it! I hate busted tines. His tines are long too.

Tough to stand on a hang-on stand all day but when a person witnesses critters in the woods it's worth it.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 28, 2018, Hunt #15, P.M.

High anticipation hunt. Low results. Got the wind I wanted for one of the shooter's hangouts. Dud. Saw small bucks west of me after sunset. No deer came by my location. Pulled two SD cards before climbing the tree. Plugged the first card into my Stealth card reader. Darn thing locked up. Couldn't even get it to shut off. Had to pull batteries once I got home. It works fine now.

Battery also went dead in my range finder. Been a long time on that battery. Texted my wife. Asked her if she could run downtown and find a CR2 battery. She did. Range finder works again. What are the odds of all that crap going wrong at once? In my world, it seems like a regular occurence.

Looked at SD cards when I returned home. Not very much buck activity. Captured a couple of photos of the shooter in that area but not too many.

Hoping for a fun week.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 27, 2018, Hunt #14, P.M.

Disappointing hunt. Saw a flock of tom turkeys. Most of the deer movement was late. Did see a mature 4x4 in the distance.

 

October 27, 2018, Hunt #13, A.M.

Walked back to a more remote location this morning. Decent hunt. since the wind was not supposed to be too strong, I decided to hunt on top of a ridge. Saw a half-dozen does and fawns, a small buck and had one of the local three-year-old bucks cruise by at 15 yards. He walked past, worked a scrape at 30 yards and then took off after the doe and twins hanging out in my area. Captured some good cell phone video as he walked by. He's a little bit bigger in person than he appears to be on trail camera photos. Checked some cameras after the hunt. Did not appear to be any new bucks that showed up this week.

 

October 26, 2018, Hunt #12, P.M.

Nice night. Light west to southwest wind. Needed a tad bit more clothes. I dressed light. Purchased some new light and heavy base layers this week. Need to figure out the best combination.

Had not been back to this stand for three weeks. Climbed into this comfortable and well hidden stand for next two-and-a-half hours.

First deer were two fawns dashing through like their tales were on fire. Nothing following them so I assume they were just feeling frisky. The rest of the deer movement was the last 45 minutes. Had a doe and fawn go by at ten yards, downwind. No idea why she let me off the hook but she did. Had another single doe go by. She stopped and urinated at 23 yards. Had a one-year-old buck follow the scent trail of the doe and fawn. When he got down wind of the where the single doe urinated he sidetracked about five yards, stuck his nose in the urine and then lip curled. Mother Nature doing her thing. Fascinating.

He got the whiff that he wanted and then moseyed on to the north on the path of the doe and fawn. Also downwind. He never acknowledged I was even around. Winner. Winner. Chicken dinner. Saw more deer 150 yards south of me. Bingo. Nice buck. There's another one. Four total bucks. Two were nice. One was a buck I had captured pictures of the last 3 months. Long, long beams. Might be a shooter. Want a close-up view. One was a nice ten. First time I saw him was on the SD card I pulled on the way in. I scrolled through the 2990 pictures on my new Stealth card reader as I began my sit. This Version 2 Stealth reader is much better than Version 1 card reader. It has touch screen and the scrolling keys seem to work better.

Two new bucks introduced themselves to me this week on the new two lens Browning Strike Force camera. One is an old 4x4 that I have pictures of the last three or four seasons. Not a whopper but age and antlers make him a shooter. Very short split brows but definitely a shooter. Last time I saw him was this summer. Saw him over a mile to the west as I was driving down the road one night glassing.

Two of the bucks were doing some hard sparring. The deep tone of the larger racks is definitely noticeable. They worked their way through the switch grass, the 5x5 was in the rear. He worked a licking branch pretty well. They all crossed the creek and hit the green field. Two of the bucks went back to some hard sparring when the hit the field. No urgency in any movement yet but it's obvious stuff is escalating. Surprised they were all somewhat hanging out together. Great hunt though most of it was the 45 minutes of the hunt.

Hunt number one of my rut-cation. All-in now.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 21, 2018, Hunt #11, P.M.

Observation hunt. Too much activity on the normal farms today. Saw three bald deer and heard one deer run off behind me. Down wind. No antlers tonight.

Checked three cards. The scrape card was on fire this week. Lots of activity. I almost decided to sit at this location tonight but posted up on a hill instead to watch and learn. Fun hunt. Just limited deer sightings. I probably spend more time than most people just watching and learning.

One more week for final pairings. I just hope one on the list walks by when I am there.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 21, 2018, Hunt #10, A.M.

First morning hunt. Got in without spooking a lot of deer. At least I think I did. Who really knows? First time in this stand. It's a new setup. Dang timber rats have been feasting on my stand. The powder coat is all chewed up. The knobs for the straps are almost chewed down to the bolts. Glad I always secure my stands with redundant straps. Could be the engineer in me. We like redundancy, but this is ridiculous. Never seen anything like it. Stand is low on the south, shooting side (12 foot) but damn near 100 feet down to the river on the north side. I'm on top of the bluff. Have seen shooter bucks go by this spot the prior two seasons. I like it. When there is a south wind, I think they are scent checking everything north of them. That's where the bulk of the cover is. This route is secluded and connects what I think are doe bedding areas. Saw three bucks (biggest a 130) and some does and fawns.

I did NOT wear enough wind stopper gear. It ended up being a short hunt. Cold! First time I used hand warmers too. Note to self. Need to buy a bag of hand warmers before vacation. These old ones didn't develop heat like new ones.

Deployed a camera at this stand. Will check it next time in. It's a morning, south wind setup. Two scrapes at 30 yards. Checked the closest camera on the way out. My shooter at this location was a visitor on the 17th. Close. Not busted up yet either. Long tines!

Took my 10-foot saw and whacked a limb on another stand on the way out. That stand should be good to go too. Have hunted that stand twice and one limb was in my way for a 30 yard shot. Gone now. Had visitors at that scrape since my Friday sit. Everything at night.

I'm getting anxious. Time to go but the buck movement isn't anything special yet.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 20, 2018, Hunt #9, P.M.

First time in this particular stand. Pulled two SD cards prior to climbing in. My target buck at this location was a regular. Not every day regular but showed up a few times during the week. Expected to see him while I was on stand. No go. Saw one small buck and some does with fawns. OK hunt but nothing extraordinary. No new bucks on camera this week. Pulled multiple SD cards on the way out. Have some great video from the Browning Recon Force Advantage. Those cameras take great video. 

Tried to shoot a few arrows at my bag target when I got out of the truck. Man it was windy! Couldn't hold the bow steady. Shot max would have been 20 yards.

Final week of inventory. Still hoping for a bonus buck to show up.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

 

October 19, 2018, Hunt #8, P.M.

Hunted an edge stand for the second time. Scrape at 15 yards. Dud hunt. Saw a couple of bald deer after sunset. That was it. Pulled SD card of camera pointed at the scrape. My target buck was not on the scrape this week. HHMMMM! Plan B.

Beautiful night. Just windy. Didn't have to load up with clothes which was nice.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 14, 2018, Hunt #7, P.M.

Did not hunt in the morning. Committed myself to pulling SD cards, checking batteries and deploying two more cameras to very remote locations. Have planned this for a couple of weeks. Wanted it done by the middle of October. It was going to rain/snow so I hustled up and spent three hours working on my goal. Goal accomplished. Snow should eliminate any traces of my scent. Found two more scrape locations worthy of cameras. Now let's hope a bonus buck shows up and poses for the camera(s).

Had a north to northwest wind tonight. Sat on a field edge primarily as an observation hunt. Think I saw half the herd tonight after the snow finally quit. They headed for the standing corn first then the alfalfa. Had one of the target stags at about 100 yards. He looks like a keeper. Saggy back. Pot belly. Crown on his head. Beautiful buck. He scent checked about 10 bald deer. Stuck his nose in the urine of a doe. Lip curled. Mother Nature just doing her thing. He let one subordinate buck lick his neck for about five minutes. He appears to be the King in that part of the farm.

A couple of does always have to get down wind. They didn't seem to upset the field clan too badly. All-in-all a good hunt but I got much too cold for this early in the season. Forgot my hand warmers. Temperature was 34 degrees. Definitely hand warmer weather with two inches of snow on the ground. Rain gear just does nut keep the cold out like insulated clothing. Keeps a person dry but very noisy. Two weeks for final inventory.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 13, 2018, Hunt #6, P.M.

Wind out of the south to southwest. Went back to the same area as last night. Setup on the ground. First action I saw was a lone thistle in the middle of a switch grass field flailing back and forth. We all know what that is. A buck taking out its frustration on a defenseless weed. Soon it disappeared. Five minutes later a group of three adolescent bucks appeared out of the tall prairie grass. Ike, Mike and Mustard. My setup was good. One of the young bucks fed my way and was honestly 2 yards from my ground position before he saw me. If he got any closer my intent was to whack him in the antlers with a stick. Man that would be funny!

Had a second motive on this hunt. Wanted to deploy a couple of cameras. Picked up my gear at sunset. Got one camera deployed. Found a scrape with heavy use. Camera deployed. Now I hope to get a picture of the buck I saw last night. Beast!

As I was walking out saw a bunch of deer feeding where I was setup last night. One looked decent at a quarter mile. My have been my boy.

Good hunt. Saw enough deer to keep me entertained for the duration of my hunt even though the anticipation of seeing the buck I saw last night was enough.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 12, 2018, Hunt #5, P.M.

Sometimes the encounter is enough. It was damp with an occasional sprinkle in my area of the Iowa farmland tonight. Observation hunt. Wish I could use emojis with this old software. I would put a bug-eyed emoji after that first statement. WOW! I know why I love hunting whitetails in Iowa. No place better. Don't let anybody tell you different. I listened to two bucks wrench and twist for a long time tonight. No wonder they end up with busted racks. Great hunt!

Had a guy call me today to discuss rut timing and vacation timing. Good question? First. I am definitely not an expert. But I do know what I have observed on my farms the last 5 years and what the so-called experts say. In Iowa, the commonly accepted time when most does are bred is November 15...plus or minus. The TV stars believe that November 7-10 are the best days. That would be the run-up to the peak. Saw my biggest buck last year on November 9. My camera observations the last few years show the end of October as the time when the top-end bucks are on their feet, alone, cruising and not so busted up. I've always believed the last 3 or so days of October are probably the best to strike on a big one if the weather is right, farming activity doesn't screw-up a hunt and things like coyotes don't mess up your hunt. My rut-cation this year will be a smidge earlier than the last few years. My cameras have consistently shown me those last days of October seem the best on the farms I hunt...assuming I get decent weather. Plus I'm tired of busted up racks. Shot my first Halloween buck in 2014. All day sit. Brutally cold. Froze my fat behind off.

We are only two weeks away from that time. Can't believe it is almost here already. Weather has been perfect the last few days just a little early in a deer's breeding cycle. Not sure I'm ready. Are you ready?

Nice bucks continue to fall to a hunter's arrow. Saw new pictures today. Gitty-up!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 11, 2018, Hunt #4, P.M.

Wind out of the northwest. Coolish to coldish. At quitting time it was coldish. Would have been perfect weather for a November hunt. Pressure was high as was my anticipation. Saw 3 bucks early. Working out slow, stopping to feed on acorns as they came out. Had two mature does go by with a fawn. Lead nag hit my entry trail and ran back where she came from. She was already 50 yards past me. Note to self. Need to take an even wider swing to get into the stand. My bad. I assumed once they were by me, no matter what, they would head for the alfalfa. No go. First time in that stand. Even at close range I should be well hidden by the tree's larger trunk.

The does walked by in top pin alley. Heck it was 10 yard alley. Too close to even execute a shot. My setup was 22 yards to the scrape and licking branch to my west.

More deer showed up downwind heading for the alfalfa. For the most part they continued to the feed and ignored my stench except one buck that was the most mature. He looked like a new buck. No pictures of him. He was three or four. No mercy. He ran back to the north.

Checked two cameras on my exit. On my arrival at the truck, I heard two bucks going at it 150 yards north of me in the alfalfa. It wasn't a couple of one year olds either. I'm sure if I could have seen them they would have been 140 class bucks :-).

Lots of deer will be shot tonight. No doubt. It was perfect weather to sit in a tree waiting on that Iowa giant.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 6, 2018, Hunt #3, P.M.

Wind out of the north northeast. I have stands for that. If this weather keeps up, we will be hunting a lot of northeast wind stands. Daughter came along. Set her up in a location that gave her a good chance of seeing a shooter. No go. She saw a few does and fawns and few small bucks. My hunt mirrored her observations. A few bald deer and three little trouble makers that came in shortly before quitting time. The one year old bucks came running in like their hair was on fire. They were all wound up from the weather. They jacked around my tree and got down wind. Glad they were young and stupid. They tried to find me but eventually moved on.

Checked cameras after the hunt. Three cameras produced some decent results. Others nothing special. My Browning Recon Force Advantage captured some great video at a scrape. Most all of it night time stuff. I think the Ultra setting is 60 frames per second. Normal is 30 fps. Nice video!

Heard a long range forecast this week that we might get out of this rainy spell in a week or two then turn warm. Not sure I like the heat for November but I know I don't like rain every darn day.

My hunt was in a new stand setup. It's a highly comfortable setup but maybe not as good as I thought it would be. We will see. The scrape is really active.

I always end up moving my bow hooks on my first time in. I think I have it figured out during the setup then I seem to have a better idea once I first hunt out of it. Whether it's better or not, not sure, but I always end up moving hooks around.

One last thing. I have never captured so many raccoon pictures. Every night. Multiples. The darn things must have crawled up my ladder because there was raccoon crap all over the steps. Bastards!

OK. One more thing. How many of you take coffee to your stand? Or some big drink container? I see it on the "TV Shows" or "Web Shows" on a regular basis. Seriously! The only time I take something is on an all day sit. Otherwise, zero. Read something the other day asking, "what do you do in the stand to pass the time...read, listen to music, homework, etc". Seriously! I'm constantly watching the woods and not drinking a cup of coffee or taking a hit on a Gatorade. Good grief people. Focus on the hunt. Enjoy the hunt. Watch Mother Nature do her thing. That. Is. Why. We. Are. There.

End of week one. On to week two.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

October 5, 2018, Hunt #2, P.M.

Wind out of the south. Humid and warm. Wants to rain but radar app shows storms staying south. Thunder is rumbling so I know it is close but should miss me. Crazy amount of rain the last few weeks.

First time in stand. I'm in a CRP transition area to a green field. Very nice looking green field. Saw some deer in the distance fairly early so I knew they were moving to feed. After being on stand for a while, I heard a bunch of running in the green field. No idea where the deer came from that must have been in the field. I can't see it due to trees but could hear deer running and could hear the splash of their hooves as they crossed the creek headed for cover. Sounded like a fair amount of deer. Had a doe and fawn come my way. Must have been activity of some sort I could not see. Oh well. That's the way it goes.

Had four mature does and two very little fawns go by right in my sweet spot. They acted like they could smell me but eventually moved through my scent stream...if there was one. Could only have been thermals as they were theoretically upwind of me. Good hunt. Saw deer. In my shooting lane. New stand for this year. Stood where deer stopped and looked my way. No way they could see me. This spot could be really good in a few weeks. Stand is low but really doesn't matter if they can't see me. I like it.

Checked one camera. Showed good activity all week. This spot should be good.

 

October 1, 2018, Hunt #1, P.M.

The first trip of the year was wet. Wind out of the north. Went to a farm I had not been to all summer. Two motives. Observation hunt. Set two cameras. Accomplished both. Saw Mother Nature do her thing tonight.

Hopped a fence and walked through some prairie grass the last 60 yards. Booted a doe. She ran way to the southwest. Watched her disappear about 300 yards from me. A half hour before sunset a doe came down the hill west of me along the prairie grass. She disappeared behind a pond dam. Next time I saw her she was 50 yards southwest of me. Wasn't sure at the time if she was the one I spooked earlier. She was intent to either see what had spooked her (me) or to trace her path back to where I had spooked her. She saw me peak around from behind my cedar but she kept coming. She was on a mission. She posed at 30 yards but my bow was not in my hand. I soon learned her intent focus was to find the fawn she had left in a haste. She continued northeast and soon the fawn popped up from  the grass and continued north with mother in tow. The fawn had let me walk right by it without moving AND stayed put for over 2 hours. Mothers are relentless in finding their young ones.

As a person gets older each one of these hunts becomes more precious. Enjoyment of just 'being there' is half the battle. Watching the doe look for and find her fawn was neat.

No horns were seen. One camera was deployed on a scrape and one camera was deployed on an alfalfa fire break. Hope to check them within a couple of weeks to see what the inventory looks like.

I always forget one or two things in my backpack on the first hunt. This hunt was no different. Was setting on my stool by my cedar and finally figured out what I had forgotten. My darn hat light! I've never forgot that before. Too much jacking around yesterday. Wasn't focused on what I needed to focus on. It's attached to my hat now with a spare in the backpack. I have a goal of lightening the load of the pack. So far so good...but a guy should never forget his light.

 

September 30, 2018

Hey everybody. Is tomorrow the first day of bow season already? I'm less than ready to go. Weather might make it tough to get out this week...at least on the first day.

So here is my archery setup: Hoyt RX1 Ultra, QAD MXT rest, Black Gold Pure Driven 75 one-pin slider sight, Hoyt 6-inch Carbon Pro stabilizer, Hoyt Pro Hunter Deluxe wrist sling, Hoyt Carbon Pro In-Line 6-arrow quiver. Bow has a 30-inch draw length and is set at 56 pounds. The arrows are Easton Hexx 330s tipped with 75 grain brass inserts and 125 grain QAD swept wing fixed-blade broadheads (they actually weigh 120 grains on m yscale). The nock end of the arrow will be guided by three AAE Max Stealth vanes (flo-yellow), ISU arrow wrap (red and yellow) and a red Nocturnal lighted nock. The arrows weigh exactly 500 grains (I did not try to do that). It's darn tough to get below 500 grains with a 30-inch arrow while trying to achieve a 15% FOC. The brass up front should help with down-range accuracy and arrow penetration but bottom line is it adds weight to the arrow. To stay below 500 grains I had to drop one of the AAE Max Stealth vanes. They are a very durable vane but also quite heavy. It was tough to drop a vane. I like four-fletched arrows. Four-fletch arrows have always flown and grouped the best for me.

Checked cameras yesterday. It seems they are picking up a little. That's to be expected with the cool and damp weather. Have one buck for sure at the top of the list. I am aware of a couple of others in the area. Just need to see if they walk by. Final inventory begins tomorrow. How many of you have a Day-1 buck in your area? What is a Day-1 buck? One that you no doubt will shoot on October 1. People tell me they would shoot on October 1 but the truth-be-told most avoid hunting that day and any time early so they are not tempted.

I deployed the new two-lens Browning Strike Force last week. Looked at first pictures yesterday. As I expected, the night photos are good, above average. Great contrast. Crispy! I like it! I setup two new cameras yesterday and moved one. Tired of raccoon pictures so I moved the one. Furry little bastards! They are everywhere! The Spypoint LinkDark was not sending photos last week. Was not sure of the reason? Full SD card was the reason. Nice! Scrapes are being freshened on a regular basis. More-so than I remember in past years. Don't know what it means but I like it.

Washed all of my clothes the last two days....at least the early season clothes. I used some flowery smelling laundry detergent my wife likes....jk. I sorted through all of my base layers. Can't believe how long I've owned some of the stuff. They need to be thrown away. Plan to purchase some new base layers this year. Everybody has their preference with most of that preference a function of $$$$. I may ignore the cost this year and buy some base layers that actually do what they say they will do. One last thing on clothing. Why did it take so many years to figure out that four-way stretch material is the only way to go for camo clothing? That stuff is awesome. It makes the effort in the field a lot less than it normally would be. Love that stuff, especially when hanging a treestand. Super comfy!

Picked up two more antlerless bow tags and a turkey tag yesterday. Some stupid regulation that I had to wait until after September 15 to get my 2nd and 3rd antlerless bow license. I get it. Everybody should have a chance right? I disagree. Most people jack around and wait until the last minute anyway. Not my problem they wait. It cost me more fuel and time. My time is billable. Is yours?

I know I'm not fully ready to go but I'm going anyway. Did some major jacking around with my bow late last night. What am I thinking? I'm thinking "why in the hell do my arrows constantly shoot one inch to the left." Bottom line I know it's my grip or my release but I can't figure it out. I damn well better. Monday is go-time.

For all of you that are wondering about pictures of bigger deer (there are a lot of you by the way).....there might be one or two. There is always one....or two....that are personal stock. Private. BIG!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

September 23, 2018

Hey everybody. It's close to go time. Please make sure your stands and climbing sticks are safe. 

Beautiful weather in my neck of the woods yesterday. Spent most of the day checking cameras, doing a little scouting and hanging another stand. I love being in the deer woods.

Had some serious camera frustrations with dead batteries and cameras mauled and misaligned by raccoons. I had 4 cameras that needed new batteries. I spent a fair amount of time with my battery tester checking to see if It was all the batteries that lost power or just one. It's usually just one or two. Broke out some 9' camera straps for the large diameter trees and put the Slate River mounts back on the shelf. No more tipped forward cameras for me. Dang raccoons!

Put a stand in a cedar that's been void of my stands for a few years. It's a good spot. All day stand when the wind is strong out of the northwest. Actually any westerly wind will probably work. Left a camera there. Probably will not be back until November.

My wife asked me yesterday where all the stands went that usually hang on my garage wall. In the deer woods I guess. I'm a little more focused this year towards getting the steel and aluminum in the woods. I have one set I usually hold and wait on deployment. It's my aluminum rapid rails and aluminum stand. Light to carry and deploy at a later date when I see some deer movement that doesn't fit my current stand setups.

Added a couple of Browning Recon Force Advantage to my camera inventory this week. They capture the best video of any camera and the photos are top notch. Hope to deploy the cameras to an active scrape on video mode in a week or two. I'm trying the new version of the Stealth Card Reader. One of the buttons (right arrow key) on my old one is giving me fits. Heavy use I guess. This new one is nice. It has a touch screen as well as buttons. Buttons seem to be more stout. I always give my reader a workout when setting up cameras. I want the "aiming" of the camera to be the best it can be at the location. If I am patient in my setup I am usually rewarded with some nice photos later. I stopped using a point and shoot camera as my card reader a couple of years ago. When I was using the point and shoot cameras I regularly had SD cards that would become corrupt. After I stopped using the point and shoot cameras to view SD cards, my corrupt SD cards went to zero. Almost zero anyway.

Still waiting on a monster buck to pose for one of my cameras. It hasn't happened yet. Hoping the flow of testosterone moves one to my neck of the woods in the next month. If not, will prioritize the bucks I know are locals. That's the way it works.

Eight days and I will be legal to launch an arrow. Can't believe it's almost arrived.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

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 Bowhunting.com 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 far....as 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 year...off 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 lifetime....you 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 bowhunting.com (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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