Deer Blog Photos 2019 Trail Cameras Hunting in Iowa About Us

 

 

 

Deer Blog

 

November 12, 2019, Hunt #33, P.M.

Windy. Cold. Trying to figure out the best wind for my new stand location. I'm trying them all. Deer can come from 360 degrees so pick one. Big boy didn't show tonight. Had about ten young turkey in the bottom of the ravine near me. It was so cold and windy that they just fluffed up their feathers and kind of hung out for a good hour. That's how I felt. I had so many clothes I just hung out. Not sure I could shoot. Saw a buck chasing a doe way down in the canyon. Deer just never came out of the deep draw. Stayed out of the ridiculous wind. I left shortly after sunset. Well over three hours in the wind did me in. A disappointing day.

 

November 12, 2019, Hunt #32, A.M.

Brutally cold. Two hours is all I could handle. Saw a few deer but no running around and nothing close to a shooter. Highlight of the morning was when I rattled in ole Dagger. He seems to cover all parts of the farm and is usually single. Next year will be different.

 

November 11, 2019, Hunt #31, P.M.

No hunt this morning. Had some family stuff to attend to and the weather was beyond ridiculous. Some minor drifting on east-west roads on the way out. Hope this doesn't set-in until March.

As soon as I parked, I saw a shooter run into a deep draw. No idea if a doe was ahead of him or not. I threw on three layers of windproof gear, grabbed my stool and headed for my ground location. No way I was going to sit in a tree with below zero feel-like temps.

Had a doe come blasting by less than five yards like her fur was on fire. She was headed southeast. I saw a small buck to the east about 70 yards headed northwest. Soon he popped out of the draw straight north of me and on the scent. Dang they have a hell of nose. You tell me how any spray, scent proof garment or rubber boots are going to fool that nose. He was minutes behind her going in the wrong direction. He still managed to go by at three yards right on her fur-on-fire trail.

The wind was so loud I couldn't hear anything. I was rubber necking badly. I glimpsed to the east and there he was. Early too. Hundred yards. This deer has gotten under my skin. He glimpsed down in the draw like he was keeping an eye on his doe. No way to call as I was hunting an off-wind. If he responded he would definitely came at me and got down wind easily. No way he could hear me anyway. He vanished!

Deer finally started to come out to feed. He was about the sixth deer to follow. He vanished. Eventually he appeared again. It was very unclear if he was tending a doe or not. I would venture a guess no. I got a good look at him at a hundred yards. Wow! He vanished into the canyon. I never saw him again. I would love to put my tag on this critter. Not sure it is going to happen. A deer like this can cause a person to make dumb decisions. Patience is probably the right answer for now.

I have a stand earmarked for that location (seen him there twice) but have not decided the exact right tree. I even spent a bunch of time in September one day trying to pick a tree. I'm glad I didn't hang it. I would have guessed wrong by about fifty yards.

 

November 10, 2019, Hunt #30, P.M.

Went back to my new location but hunted it with a northeast wind instead of a southwest wind...trial and error. Good hunt. Had the dagger buck walk under the tree again. Looked like he was frustrated and definitely looking for trouble. Saw a bunch of turkey, a few small bucks and a few bald deer. One small buck had a very deep grunt. You can hear it for some distance even with the wind. Fun to see Mother Nature do her thing. The wind was bitey tonight.

Saw something a couple of days ago. About 50 crows. I don't know maybe a 100. They were raising a ruckus. Crows are nasty birds. In the midst of the group I could see an immature bald eagle. They were harassing him and making all sorts of noise but he just kept flying along, maintaining his course like the symbol of the US that he is. Does that remind you of anything in our world today? Crows appeared to me to be a bunch of whining little crybaby bullies. Eagle was a monster compared to those bird. Neat to see.

 

November 10, 2019, Hunt #29, A.M.

Tried something different. Sat on a field edge for an hour and a half first thing in the morning. Goal to lay eyes on a target. A few small bucks and does. Relatively quiet. Relocated to deep woods out of the wind. Immediately had a small 4x4 chasing doe. Saw a few more deer including a dink buck until 1 p.m. Disappointing for a November 10 hunt.

 

November 9, 2019, Hunt #28, P.M.

Hunt started slow. I was not paying attention. I was deleting pictures on my cell cam server via my app. Takes forever. I looked to the west about 120 yards. That looks like a deer looking at me. Sure was. My target. Glassed him quick. Dang he is stout. He was tending. A short time later he bred the doe. They didn't move to far all night and the direction was away from me. He ran off two younger bucks. He would walk them off. They would move some distance away but not leave. He finally went running at them like the bull that he is. then they left. Dang he is stout. Did I say that already?

Heard lots of ruckus back in the timber. I assumed bucks were harassing does and they were. First doe and fawn came by ion the downwind side. she smelled me but continued on. Saw two bucks about 100 yards away. It was so quiet that they just stood motionless listening for the tell tale noises of bucks running does. Finally the squirrel behind me made enough noise that they headed my way. Not shooters but I've watched numerous bucks just stop, look and listen looking for the party. When they hear it, they head for the action.

Just before quitting time I had a doe, fawn and a buck trailing behind. The doe got hinky when she passed on the upwind side of my freshly hung stand at five yards. I am guessing there was plenty of human odor in the air. The buck trailing was one of targets. He had no clue I was in the cedar about twelve foot off the ground. He was only interested in the doe. He passed by, I drew....and passed. In his full form he was a standing 6x5, deep into the 60s by my estimation. His six point side was shaved off to the beam except for half of the 2. Dang it! If he doesn't walk in front of a slug or get hit by a car he should be a dandy in 2020. Let him pass people. He's not a shooter.

Last I saw of the target he was walking west into the sunset with his doe. I wheezed at him a couple of times earlier. He looked but no chance he was leaving his girl. I hoped for a kamikaze buck but nobody challenged him. Dang nice buck. He's probably the one that shaved the tines off the 6x5. They were hanging out together in September

 

November 9, 2019, Hunt #27, A.M.

I anticipated lots of property activity today but also expected the morning would be activity free. Nope. Activity started at 9. I did have a few deer go by but not near what I expected for November 9. One buck lower on the target list went by at 40 yards. This is the second time he has ignored any of my calls. He heard me but was not interested at all.

Chapped at the activity I decided to pull down a stand, pull two cameras and relocate all of it to an area closer to the action. I picked a cedar which I thought would hide me well. Only problem is that it's right on top of the trail. Five yard shot. Only option. By the time I got the cedar trimmed, most of my cover was gone. Dumb ass! Checked two cameras and then ate lunch and changed my sweaty clothes.

 

November 8, 2019, Hunt #26, P.M.

High risk hunt. I have never hunted this location with a south wind of any sort. Figured I would try it and give up hopes of any deer coming out of one particular draw. I needed an observation hunt from this location anyway to try and figure out my target buck. Dang it was windy. When it's this windy deer never usually hit the field until late. First deer never showed up until after sunset. Long sit for that. Doe came running out of the draw I had hoped. A small buck followed later. No target buck. Had a doe and fawn walk right under the tree and of course on the downwind side. The doe smelled my but kept going. Out of the draw came a buck I have lots of pictures of. There is something wrong with his left pedicle. He's a mature buck. He has a six to eight inch dagger that projects straight forward. It would definitely put an eye out of an opposing deer. He followed the doe and fawn trail and he too walked right under the tree...downwind of course. He smelled me. Jumped to the north but continued on. My target did not show. It was a high risk hunt but I learned quite a bit in the few deer that passed by. Will definitely try it again.

I hate wind. I know better than to sit on top of a hill in the crap for three hours but did it anyway. The target buck is making do stupid stuff.

 

November 8, 2019, Hunt #25, A.M.

I got about 50 yards from the stand back in the woods and the place erupted with deer. I couldn't see them but I assumed it was a buck or bucks and a doe. Scared the crap out of me. Especially when it's dark. I figured I blew it for the morning but climbed the ladder anyway. First buck over the hill was the wide 10. Dang is he wide but his tines are pitiful. He was close to downwind and kept poking his nose in the air. Over the hill came a running doe. Behind her a ways was a very mature 4x4. She ran him all over the bluff. He was doing all he could to keep up. At one point she went out of his sight and he was bird-dogging trying to find her scent. He was going up the hill when he literally put on the brakes and backed up a good fifteen to twenty feet. I've never seen a deer back up like that. It was like he was moon-walking. He found the scent and then he was off to the races again. After about five minutes they went out of sight. The rest of the morning was a steady stream of does and bucks until about 9 then quiet. Cold again. Below 20 degrees feel like temperature. Dang cold. Been using the Ultra hand warmers. They last me most of the day. I headed for the truck about 10:30 to warm up.

 

November 7, 2019, Hunt #24, P.M.

Posted up on the ground after lunch expecting where the doe might lead my target to the field. I glassed way down in the canyon for a good hour. Eventually saw the couple moving around. No urgency or chasing. Just hanging out eating nuts. They were moseying towards the east which led me to believe they would exit the canyon and pass by the stand I was in this morning. I relocated to the stand hoping for a 27 yard shot or less. Ha! Guess where they came out after sunset? Right where I was initially. It was absolutely quiet. Don't think I could have got a shot off from the ground anyway. Probably for the best.

I used to love quiet and the sound of footsteps crunching in the leaves. Not any more. Give me some wind to cover the sound of my synthetic, windproof clothing fibers. If it isn't windproof I rarely wear it.

Satisfying hunt even if I guessed wrong. He looks bigger in person. First time I've got to see him through the binoculars in all his glory. Every other sighting has been bits and pieces, quick and short. Actually thought the rodeo was over early as a hunter hunting the neighboring property booted some turkey into the draw the buck and doe were in. Those birds look huge when they lift off and they make a lot of noise crashing through the timber.

Still need to get him within 20 yards. Definitely have work to do.

 

November 7, 2019, Hunt #23, A.M.

Holy cold weather batman! Damn! I am getting way too old for this. Lasted a short three hours. Lots of bucks and lots of chasing. Saw my target way down in a canyon west of me. Tending to a doe. Had another dandy come in behind me and downwind. He was single. Lots of roaming and looking. Great hunt. Pretty much shutdown after an hour or so. I was near a field edge so I expected that. Knew I couldn't last in the cold so figured I would hang out by a field edge. There are so many acorns and hickory nuts on the forest floor I think they like them as well as the beans and corn right now. You can hear the nuts rolling around in their mouth when they try and crack them and swallow them.

 

November 6, 2019, Hunt #22, P.M.

Headed for my squeaky ratchet strap stand at noon. Replaced old straps with new straps. No more squeaks. Those dang Big Game straps seem to always squeak on the bark of a tree. I have another one that does the same.

Wind strong out of the north. This stand was specifically setup for that. Solid consistent wind down in a valley. It's a funnel. It worked to perfection. It was a buck parade from noon to 5. The wide 10 cruised by at about forty yards (single) and worked over a big tree. Looked like he had done that before. Dang he looks big. I might be having second thoughts about him. The final buck was a dandy three year old 5x5 (single). Did exactly what I wanted the deer to do. Great way to end the day. He got practice drawed.

This was the best day of the season for me so far. Great movement most of the time I was in a tree. Wished the target bucks would have shown. Dang snow was a pain, gets the bow and everything else wet. Need to dry it all out. If the next few days match this day, it should be fun. 

 

November 6, 2019, Hunt #21, A.M.

Who has a stand you can hunt and stay put when the wind does a 180 in about three hours? Not me. I knew it was going to happen so hunted accordingly. Deer did exactly what I hoped. Had a nice 5x4 tending a doe right near the tree and he walked right under the tree. Numerous other bucks but no shooters. Great morning. Best of the vacation so far. Lots of sticks breaking back in the woods. You know there is action when you hear that. Movement lasted until about 10 at my location then I relocated due to the wind change.

 

November 5, 2019, Hunt #20, P.M.

Slowwww! Where are the deer? Finally showed up about twenty minutes before quitting time. I decided I needed a break from climbing stands so sat on my stool on the ground. Twenty five yards to a well used scrape. A small buck chased a doe downwind. Bastard! Busted. Had a spike come by later following the same route. He must have plugged up nostrils because he walked all the way around me, including downwind. For some reason I never bothered him. Why can't a shooter do that?

Heard some grunting and branches busting as I was texting the boss. Out squirted a doe or fawn to the east of me and behind her was my target. Then some snorting north of me. They were not anywhere close to downwind. Not sure what was going on. I hit the grunt tube and the whole party busted up. I barely use my grunt tube. For some reason these deer seem awfully call shy. Long sit for a short period of excitement. Kind of why we do it though I guess. 

 

November 5, 2019, Hunt #19, A.M.

First morning hunt in a new stand. Wow! Good hunt. Hope I don't regret my decision. Passed a mature 5x4. Tank of a body and good bone. Had the bow in hand but just couldn't do it. He is a dandy! Had a super wide 5x5 fly by right behind a doe. Also had a three year old 5x5 cruisin'. The big one showed up single at 10 a.m.  He was the last one for the morning. Wind switched so I relocated.

Had a very small fawn with her mama hanging out at 20-30 yards. The fawn bedded down and watched me move around in my stand trying to stay warm. She didn't seem to care. Even the doe let me off the hook. Weird. The big buck sent checked my doe and fawn friends, tore up a licking branch, hit the scrape and moved on.

The stand is a double trunked hickory tree. For seem reason I must blend into the double trunks. Have had numerous deer look but immediately dismiss what they see.

 

November 4, 2019, Hunt #18, P.M.

Total cluster. Decided to check two cameras I had let soak since 9/15. Holy smokes! Big rubs everywhere with a well used scrape to boot. Wind was right but the stand is in a bottom and wind can be a major problem. It was. I set the stand here for a 25 mph + wind out of the northwest. That wasn't the case today. First thing I noticed was the straps squeaking loudly on the tree bark. Holy loud noises batman. I tried to readjust and move them around but to no avail. Wind was a swirling little bugger and the stand made too much noise. I relocated. That was a wasted hour.

The new location was fairly uneventful. Saw some small bucks and a few bald deer in the field but nothing special. Lots of turkey.

The SD card was loaded with nice bucks. A few I had never seen before. Worth the camera check but not worth getting in the stand.

 

November 4, 2019, Hunt #17, A.M.

One of the target bucks continues to show up at a spot in the morning. Thank goodness for trail cameras. I hunted there. I arrived at the stand in pitch black. A buck was standing five yards from the tree while I got my gear ready. For some reason I didn't concern him. Wind was in my favor of course. He moseyed off in the dark and I continued up the tree.

Four bald deer were going by as they headed for bed. Heard a noise to the south. A doe went running to the west. Target buck was behind here. 80 yards. It's only the second time in three seasons I can for sure say I've seen him and they've all been quick glimpses. Definitely him though. Waited another 3 hours but the doe never came back my way. Headed out.

 

November 3, 2019, Hunt #16, P.M.

Went back after one of the top target bucks. He showed up on one of my cell cameras this morning. I set the camera last night. I had just sat that stand for two nights straight. Dang it! They must have me figured out. Need to change up a bit. Probably all the noise I've been making adjusting the dang stand. The tree is located perfectly but it is pesky (crooked). The darn straps seem to squeak on the bark when they get too tight and I have a major limb in the way that would be nice if it wasn't there. Figured I would do my best to get it set now than deal with it for two weeks.

Had a doe relentlessly trying to lose a 140 inch 5x5 for an hour. She just insisted that he's not the right buck for the job. He hung in there though. Chased her everywhere she went. Grunting like crazy while she snorted like crazy. Last time I saw them they were running north heading for the feed. Entertaining for sure. Just wish it would have been one of the shooters. Saw two bucks and a handful of does. Started raining at quitting time. Headed for home.

Final inventory and the list is done after reviewing cards in the middle of the day. Nice bucks but no world beaters unless a surprise buck shows up.

 

November 3, 2019, Hunt #15, A.M.

High hopes this morning. Definitely a shooting stand with a south wind. Deer stayed in the well down in the deep draw including one buck I only have nighttime photos of until this week. Main frame 4x4. Decently wide. Chocolate rack. Short space between the 2s and 3s. Quick glimpse and he moved on. Need a closer look, he might be a shooter. One eye does not reflect flash from the cameras. I assume he's blind in that eye.

Checked the camera at this location later. Nice bucks are going by on a regular basis and close. Not sure why they didn't go by today. Four hours of no show. Had a doe way back in the woods and upwind see me change to a heavier facemask when it got a little chilly. Old nag. Snorted like crazy. She couldn't smell me but she was staring laser beams right through me. One thing about deer snorting this time of year is that it draws a crowd, the buck type of crowd. A little buck came running down the hill. Funny how that works. Left after a while to check cameras and reset clocks.

 

November 2, 2019, Hunt #14, P.M.

Beautiful weather. Flurry of action. No shooters. Three bucks. None interested in any grunting or rattling either. Seemed like there were always bald deer around. They got all of the interest.

I hunted this spot two nights in a row. Perfect for a west wind. Target buck was under the tree at high noon this week. Time to give it a rest. Better morning spot on return from feed.

Had a doe coming running by and looking behind her. But she appeared more spooked than trying to evade a suitor. Nice day. Wouldn't be surprised there was some sort of human activity that sent her for cover.

The best days are near.

 

November 2, 2019, Hunt #13, A.M.

Hunt started slow. First deer was a doe. Behind her a was was a 130 class three year old. Wind was doing some funky things in my spot. Busted.

Next group of deer included a doe with twins and three smaller bucks. All two year olds. Again wind was funky.

This spot is a new stand location. Can still hunt it but probably need more south than north in the westerly component. Stand is low too. Ended up resetting the stand and checking cameras after the hunt. Hunt was OK. I like the location.

 

November 1, 2019, Hunt #12, P.M.

Somewhat slow. Most all of the action was the last 30 minutes. Saw three bucks including something that looked fairly decent well back in the deer woods. No confirmation. Just a hunch based on a quick look. Watched a 130 inch 4x4 really work over a horizontal limb. He was wound up.

As a person gets older he notices different things in the deer woods. Tonight there were all sorts of robins and other birds feeding on the fruit of the cedar trees right next to my oak perch. The little blue berries must have tasted good. All sorts of little birds just kept landing and pecking away.

Did some stand and ladder readjustment on the climb out, hung a rope over my scrape and checked a camera. My target buck was standing under my stand at high noon on 10/29. Pig of a body. Seems to be a lot of big bodied bucks this year. I like it. Rutcation has begun.

 

October 27, 2019, Hunt #11, P.M.

Slept in this morning. Planned to leave early to hang a stand on one farm and then hunt another. Got the stand hung and checked two cameras. Glad I checked those cameras. Good results. Glad I hung the stand too. High hopes for that location. The Browning Strike Force Pro camera is pointed at a large scrape below a cedar tree. Perennial location. My camera captured multiple mature bucks hitting the scrape and licking branches at the same time. Not sure I've ever seen that. Time will tell if my stand set is good.

Headed for the second farm. Changed clothes. Plenty of sweat after hanging a stand. Slow night. Saw a few deer and one very mature 4x4 in the distance. One old nag caught me moving. Too many leaves yet. Deer are generally close before I see them.

#Rutcation is close. Activity is definitely picking up.

 

October 26, 2019, Hunt #10, P.M.

Hunted a stand for the first time this year. I really like the location but probably a better morning stand. Saw four bucks. Two spikes and a couple of two year olds.

Whiffed on a coyote. Actually I think the yote ducked and whirled before my arrow got there. Arrows sure are easy to find with lighted nocks.

Checked cameras after quitting time. Had a buck show up that I captured some pictures and video of last year. Canadian deer sized body. Definitely a shooter. Should be a good week next week for those of you in the tree stand. Scrapes are crazy active right now.

 

October 25, 2019, Hunt #9, P.M.

Went to a stand that I wanted to replace some climbing sticks with a ladder. Got that accomplished with some effort. Wore me out. Darn strap would not go through the buckle. There has to be an easier way.

Hunt was good. Saw one real nice buck and he was moving early. Almost a shooter. 30 yards but no shot. Checked two cameras. No new bucks.

 

October 20, 2019, Hunt #8, P.M.

Full draw at quitting time. Could see my pin but could not see the pin settled on the vitals at 20 yards. Not a shooter. Just practice. Went through the process. Practice. Had two bucks come in from the field. Something had spooked them. My buck was a three year old 130 class. Beefy. Built. Grabbed my bow. Mouth grunted to get him to stop. He turned to leave. I did it again. Settled the pin where I thought the vitals were but too dark. Overcast skies after sunset and quitting time comes early. Fun. I always worry that my 'D-Loop' will break or my thumb will hit the trigger. But I feel the need to practice the execution always outweighs the risks. It's not uncommon for my initial pin location to be low at full draw. I know that, that's why I practice. The mental part of the process is usually where I fail. Settling the pin is the last piece of the shot execution. need to settle. A 'pass-by' might result in a high shot. Need to settle and sometimes it is hard to settle when the action is happening quickly like this was.

Had a doe with twins come in behind me. Saw two other dink bucks. Good hunt. 

 

October 19, 2019, Hunt #7, P.M.

I hit the woods Friday night with intent to hunt but spent the late afternoon hanging a new stand and two cameras. Before getting in the stand Saturday I checked a half-dozen cameras. No new bucks. Had to replace batteries in one camera. I've had to replace a lot of batteries the last week or so. Cameras have been running most of the summer. It was time I guess. I received my order of AA lithiums from Trailcampro. I was getting low.

Final inventory is pretty clear now. Two bucks I was hoping to appear on camera have not showed. I assume they are dead or are calling a different property home this year.

Had a good hunt. Saw quite a few deer the last half hour including six bucks. No shooters but all two and three year olds. Some property activity impacted the hunt some. Mainly in that the deer moved later. Dang wind switched to a bad direction for me. I know I checked my weather app and it indicated I should be good until the end of the hunt. Wrong. Dang that frustrates me, especially when I checked in advance.

Had some long bearded toms coming out. Would have been a close shot if I had a tag. Forgot to buy one. Need to get that purchased. I was fairly well hidden but they spied me right away. No movement on my part either. Tough to fool that eyesight.

It was definitely a great night. October seems like it is passing way to quickly. Hope the vacation doesn't pass so quickly.

 

October 13, 2019, Hunt #6, P.M.

Great hunt. Saw half-a-dozen bucks including a 4x4 that I've never seen on the hoof and I have four seasons of pictures. Deer has to be six or seven years old. He usually vacates but the cameras show that he's all over one part of the property on a regular basis. He posed at 15 yards at quitting time. He gets a pass for now. Lots of other bigger bucks to see on the hoof first. Hopefully anyway.

Had another 4x4 with a tall and wide rack, very short tines. He was hacking up something under the tree. The other deer deer looked at him like he had some sort of plague. He moseyed on out to the corn to feed. Big body. Appeared to be an old deer too.

Weather was perfect. 50 degrees but a little windy until sunset. Wind direction was little questionable. Had a doe snort at me. Nag! I'm trying to hunt more off winds this year. I usually see more deer when I hunt that way. Problem with off winds is a downwind snorting doe.

The stand location is one of my favorites but I need a north to northeast wind for best results. A northwest wind works unless deer come up the draw and they did. Wind was supposed to rotate from WNW to NW by 6 pm. It did which helped. The old, spindly 4x4 knew I was there but seemed to let me off the hook.

 

October 12, 2019, Hunt #5, P.M.

Left early to check cameras and hopefully put up a new stand. Couldn't make a decision on stand placement. No stand set. Installed a firmware update on my Spypoint LinkDark cell camera. I always worry that something will go wrong and I will end up with a camera that needs to be sent in. This install went OK. Other problem with cell cameras is if you don't install firmware update sometimes they might stop communicating with my iPhone app. That really pisses me off. Has to be a better way.

Hunt was OK. Had four bald deer pass by the tree after sunset. It's a new spot so I'm learning travel patterns and movement timing. Wind was brutal until sunset then fell off significantly. Finally. Two days of high winds suck.

The stand I was in included a new foam seat, cut and installed by me. I had used some construction adhesive to adhere the new piece of foam to the wood base a few weeks ago. For some reason the adhesive had not completely cured. Yes, you are correct. I stood up and sat back down and for some reason the foam slid off the wood base and I sat in sticky construction adhesive. What a mess. I had an extra web strap in my backpack to strap it down. Not sure I can salvage the pants.

Have been hoping for two bucks to show back up on camera. One posed for my Browning Recon Force Advantage last week. Man did he grow up! Nice!

Two more weeks for final inventory. Hopefully the grass stops growing by then. The newness of mowing the lawn wore off back in June. Need to spend more time in the deer woods and hang more cameras. 

 

October 11, 2019, Hunt #4, P.M.

Wow! Windy. Cold. I wimped out after two hours. Saw a few does and fawns and one small buck at some distance. Got down about sunset time. Not near enough clothes and I doubled up on the base layers. Too much wind. Had some trimming and camera work to do anyway before I left. Cut down some new growth that was definitely in a shooting lane, updated my Spypoint Link Micro with the latest firmware and tied a hemp rope to a licking branch over an active scrape to see if the bucks like it.

Had checked a camera right when I arrived. Still have some nice bucks in the area. Mainly going by this location in the morning. Feeding pattern. I noticed one of them already has a busted brow tine. Dang it!

Still have a couple of stands to hang but honestly not sure where I want to put them.

 

October 6, 2019, Hunt #3, P.M.

Coyote 1, GP 0. Well so I thought. Checked my arrow closer when I got home. I had blood on all my vanes but I know I never got into the vitals. Distance was 22 yards. My pin was set at 20. I must have got under the skin. Windage was good. I saw the arrow fly right in line with the vitals. Coyotes/GP = Tie on round one. No kill but I drew blood.

I finished setting up a new stand set today. It hunts a part of the farm I have left alone for three years. Hard to hunt. Deep draw. Deer have lots of vision if I try and ingress during an evening hunt once the leaves have fallen. Saw a doe and fawn immediately after getting settled. Later on had a doe come running from the north. I assumed a small buck or coyotes were harassing her. It ended up being a group of three coyotes. Everything was working to my favor. One single mouth squeak encouraged the group my way. One in particular was meandering my way. At 20 yards I came to full draw. That movement unsettled the crew. I got the closer one to stop but my 20 yard shot turned into a 22 yard shot and I had to get the 'yote to stop. He did, but I never settled the pin. The arrow flew low...at least so I thought. I must have nicked him or a little more than nicked him. He never yipped and I never heard the familiar sound of an arrow getting into the vitals. Close. Blood getting close. Arrow flew good. found the arrow via the bright red lighted nock under the brome grass. Never would have found it otherwise.

Beautiful night. I like this stand. Should be a good morning sit or even an all-day sit with a northerly wind of some sort as long as it's not a gale. It's a double trunked shagbark hickory. I am very well hidden in this setup. The first doe and fawn looked right at me numerous times but never saw me. 

Saw quite a few deer in the field on the way out. Good hunt.

 

October 5, 2019, Hunt #2, P.M.

I did not wear enough clothes. BRRR! It was warm but the west wind had a little bite in it. Saw one small buck come into the scrape I was watching. Windy but quiet night for me.

 

October 4, 2019, Hunt #1, P.M.

And so it begins. The pursuit many of us love so well. Wind ESE. Good hunt. New stand location. Fifty yards from my location last year but hopefully closer to the regular sweet spot. It was. 

Saw six or seven deer. Three bucks. Stand location is a bottleneck from cover to feed. One year old buck and a doe in the beans early. Feeding hard. A few more bald deer showed up in the beans. A two year old and three year old buck showed up about fifteen minutes before dark. The younger buck strolled past right where I expected and wanted. A short thirty yards. Nice. The three year old stopped to tear up a licking branch and scrape. Lots of noise from busting of branches. When he was done at the scrape, he ran around like a frisky fawn. Had never seen an older buck do that before. Posed at twenty yards then moseyed to the west.

Pulled one card on the way out. Checked it at home. One new buck. Normal five on his right and a moose paddle on his left. Not a shooter but funky. He definitely earned the name of Moose. Have lots of those bucks this year for some reason. 

A

 

September 28, 2019

Spent the last week in Rocky Mountain National Park. Family vacation. Off the local grid for a week. It's my annual reminder how old and out of shape I am. Hard for this old body to find oxygen at 8,000 feet. First time in a long time to visit during the elk rut. Timing was good. Elk were really wound up in the afternoons after the sun set and the temperatures fell. Watched one beast of a bull do his rutting thing. Huge! Fun time. The Phone Skope got a good workout. 

Checked cameras for the first time in a couple of weeks. Scrapes are active if you have them. Finally getting some decent buck pictures. Finished the stand portion on two sets this morning. I usually put up my ladder sticks first and make a return trip. Just easier that way for a one-man-band and an old one at that. My lineman's belt got a workout this morning. Trying new spots this year. It's all part of the learning process. I try and get in a shot zone but also in a place to do some recon. Definitely short on east wind stand locations but have some picked out.

Who are the snowflakes you ask (and many of you have asked)? Nobody specific (well, that might be a fib). Just snowflakes in general. You know the type, they want you to work and then share in your wealth. 

Have my cameras captured some nice buck photos many have asked? Why yes, yes they have (private stock). No Day-One bucks but a couple are definitely making their case for a first day arrow launch. Really need to see them on the hoof. Hope they survive an EHD outbreak if we have one. Hunters down south are having a rough go this year. It sucks. I watched for large groups of vultures this morning but didn't see any.

Video contest time at Trailcampro. Get your entries submitted. Outstanding entries so far. Did you see the one of the mountain lion pouncing on the deer. Crazy camera trap catch! Mother Nature can be cruel.

Three days to opening day. You only get so many opening days. Looks like the weather might prohibit an opening day hunt. I'm honestly not sure what to expect this year. My year has been unusual to say the least. Still have some stands that need to be put up but plan to do those the next month or so and keep one in reserve for a potential hotspot. If not, I'll just find a spot on the ground, and hunt. My biggest bucks have all been killed from the ground. No ground blinds. Stands are rarely in the right location and they are often overhunted. Yes, I'm guilty of the overhunting. A willingness to hunt from the ground always keeps me in the game and the opportunity to close the distance. Just need to find the right hidey-hole. Many hunters just do not want to hunt from the ground. I get it. It seems more official elevated. One thing I can't bring myself to do is hunt out of a box. Maybe some day but not right now. Boxes look obtrusive on the landscape. Just my opinion. Don't take it personal. When I see TV stars hunting out of a box I fast-forward to the next hunt or change the channel. Boring. Even the ground blind hunting seems boring to me. To each his own I guess. I sure would like a ground blind when it's cold. I don't think Ishi hunted out of a box or fabric blind.

Be safe everyone. The time we have waited for is near. For those that have been hunting out west. I hope your hunt was successful. Just don't call me to pack out an elk. I'm fascinated by the public ground elk hunters. That is work and one heck of an accomplishment. Those suckers are big!

Make sure and let your spouse or buddy know where you are at.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!

 

September 8, 2019

EHD, velvet, acorns and snowflakes. What do they all have in common? Nothing. Just stuff that's on my mind I guess. Unfortunately EHD is making the rounds again. Hope your target bucks survive the the little midge fly. Velvet is mostly gone by now but still a few bucks that have not shed. Acorns are definitely a preferred food source right now. Move your cameras if you have them to move. Snowflakes? You know who you are. Please stay in your lane. If you try and get in my lane beware of the rumble strip. No patience for arrogance or nonsense any more. You might be imparted with 56 years of wisdom if not careful.

Good story from yesterday. Setup some ladder sticks a week ago. Went back yesterday to hang the stand. Set the stand and went to sit on it and the seat had problems. Took it down, walked back to the truck and got another stand. Simple fix, just surprised I didn't notice it when I put it in my truck. Live and learn I guess. Frustrating.

Still working with the Silverback back tension release. It's fun and frustrating at the same time. The release really shows an archer how irregular their form is. I have yet to get consistent breaks. Some rounds are better than others but some not so good. Have the Glendel Full Rut setup at 30+ yards. When the release breaks perfectly the arrow hits right in the vitals. When my form is bad and the break is other than when I thought it should be? Not so good. 

Can you believe we are two games into the college football season already? Deer season will be here soon and gone before we want it to be. Be ready. Enjoy the therapy. And please can we have an extended period of nice fall weather to hunt in? I will take 25 degrees for lows and 50 degrees for highs. Somewhere in that ball park. Maybe 55 for a high. Wind is OK just not relentless pounding wind. Good for all the wind turbines but not good for me.

Got my Spypoint Link Dark V cell cam back this week. Squirrels had chewed a hole in my PIR and my antenna. 10 friggin' weeks to repair and lots of persistence and favors to get it back in 10 weeks. Crazy slow! FedEx also required a signature. Frustrating. Tried the camera shortly after I received it. It worked for 5 minutes then stopped communicating with my app. Damn it! I watched the camera go through an update process shortly after it was connected to the network. Then nothing. It took photos just fine but would not communicate with my app. That crap pisses me off. All the cell cams have the same problems. And don't tell me they don't because they do. If our cell phones functioned that way we would all be pissed. It's deployed and working now but good grief! That was absolutely ridiculous. Every single one of my cell cameras have had the same thing happen regarding connectivity and I own cameras from three manufacturers.

23 days until go time in this state. There are some nice ones out there and one or two dang nice ones if ya know what I mean. Keep after it, time is getting close.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

August 25, 2019

What's up everybody. Some of you might be out west chasing antelope or mulies. Wish I was. Still working out with the Silverback back tension release. Getting better. Have not used a trigger release in 4 weeks and have shot practically every day. Picked my sight tape last weekend. First time using the back tension release at 50 yards. Had significant form break down. Understandable as I put up a tree stand shortly before.

Cameras didn't show me much last weekend but picked up quite a bit this week. Not great but better. Was aware of a pretty decent buck about a mile and a half away from my farm. His summer pasture. Looks like he or his twin showed up two days ago on the farm. Weather was rainy and stormy this week. I suppose that could have moved him. Shooter! Deployed my Browning Recon Force Advantage cameras last week. By far my favorite camera the last couple of years. Takes good photos and great videos. Did you see the winning pictures from Trailcampro's photo contest? Outstanding!

Tightened straps, put up safety line and installed bow hooks on three ladder stands. They are ready. Lots of trimming to do due to all the rain this this year. Trees put on a lot of growth. Deployed climbing sticks on another tree. New location. Moved 40 yards from last year's position. Need to hang the stand and safety line yet. Still have plenty of new sets planned. Just need time to deploy.

It appears that antler growth will be better than expected. Many anticipated the rough winter of 2018/2019 to limit antler growth. In some cases yes but in many cases antler growth improved on many deer. That's good. For all you food plot connoisseurs, hurry up the calendar is turning. I'm not much of a food plot hunter. I prefer transition areas and scrapes

Deer are returning from summer pastures and beginning to change from their summer colors to their fall colors. Just make sure you enjoy opening day. You have a limited number to enjoy.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

August 3, 2019

Deployed a couple of cameras this morning and stumbled across what appears to be some animal on animal carnage. No dead critter body but a large area in the grass was matted down with definite blood remnants. It was still wet. No dried out spots. No large pools of blood but enough to know it was probably a predator and prey type of affair. One day late with my camera deployments. Darn it. I had not been to this area for a good three months.

Cameras have been kind of slow. Cell cameras have been a real pain in the neck recently with firmware updates, Verizon updates, squirrels chewing on pieces and parts, no signal, tree canopy interfering with signals, app updates, out of the country repair shops, etc. Make sure you really, really want a cell camera as it seems like there is always some challenge with the darn things. What really chaps my hide is when a field visit is required for a firmware upgrade. Isn't that what a cell signal is for? Lots of e-mails between me and technical support the last month or so.

My new Phone Skope adapter has been getting a workout. I like it. Had a bunch of bucks on some corn field terraces Friday night. Lots of practice and footage. Nothing big. Mostly two and three year olds.

Starting to feel comfortable with Silverback tension release. It's been a month of relentless use and practice. It requires focus. No doubt it will help a person with their form. The more I watch hunting shows and all of the trigger punching it's a wonder any of us can hit a critter at all. Just a flick of the index finger or thumb and the arrow is sent. That's not how it is supposed to work people. Definitely funny though.

Time to get focused and get ready for October 1. 

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

July 28, 2019

After months of looking, I found the setup sweet spot on my RX3 Ultra. Last night was the first night I felt in full control with my Silverback back tension release. It was fun shooting.

Cameras are slow for me right now. I don't have any cameras close to bean fields. I haven't used anything like a mineral lick for years either. I want all of my movement to be natural except that movement that results from my intrusions and farming activity intrusions.

I sent my Spypoint Link Dark to Des Moines for repair 3.5 weeks ago. Haven't heard a peep out of them other than responses to my e-mails...."what's the status of my repair"... Supposedly Des Moines sends it to Canada after they receive it. It goes to the repair center. Frustrating. Just want my camera back. Dam squirrels. Little bastards chewed a hole through my PIR sensor/cover and chewed up my antenna cover.

Hopefully you all entered your photo in the Trailcampro Photo Contest. Last day to enter is today. Send them in.

Pulled one of my ladder stands down yesterday and hauled it to the other side of the farm. Will need help putting it up but got it moved. That's half the battle. It always gets a little loosy-goosy when you pull the ratchet strap off up top. Not very wise, I know, but I wanted it down. One of the straps that go around the tree and and tie to the steps was broke from endless flopping in the wind. Mother Nature's a relentless old nag. Can't seem to leave anything outside in the deer woods. She will do something to it.

My Covert Blackhawk Verizon LTE camera stopped sending me photos the first of the week. Changing batteries did not fix it. Covert told me Verizon made some changes to their network. It required a firmware update and I had to make a field visit. That happens a fair amount with cell cameras. Dam frustrating especially when it requires a field visit. You would think camera manufacturers would be able to figure out a way to get the update download to all cameras without a field visit, else where is the real advantage of the cell camera? Right? For those that have to travel hours or across state lines I would be pissed! Anyway, got it updated and it is working now.

Gave my new Phone Skope adapter and phone case a workout last weekend. It worked well. It lined up the camera of my iPhone perfectly over the eyepiece of the spotting scope. No more free handing. Had a couple of bucks pose nicely in the sunlight. I don't have HD glass on my old spotting scope but I was more than happy with the quality of my video. It will work.

A little over two months and counting. Still looking for my first no-doubter shooter on camera. Hope you all are ready. I don't feel sorry for you if not. You have as much time as I do to get ready. 

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

July 14, 2019

Dismantled my new RX-3 Ultra this week. First time dismantling a bow. Had a noise in the limb pockets somewhere. Used some knowledge I gleaned from YouTube, AT and Hoyt to tackle the effort. My bow was laying in many parts on my workbench when I began to wonder what I had just done. I greased up some of the hidden spots, added some bow wax here and there, put it back together and now it is quiet and smooth. My wife is hoping I don't kill somebody if the bow blows up on me. Me too. Hoyt has made the dismantling of these bows pretty straight forward and they can only go together one way. I've been checking the bow every day before I shoot it. It seems to be staying within specification but more importantly it is quiet.

Checked cameras yesterday. Damn coons. They are really starting to piss me off. Wish I knew of an easy way to electrify my cameras. I moved a camera last week and assumed it might be a raccoon target so I spent some extra time to tighten it down. They still flipped it over. Frustrating but also funny. They sure are pesky rascals.

I don't have too many cameras deployed yet. I plan to do that in August. Sent a cell camera back for repair a week and a half ago. My tech support e-mail follow ups lead me to believe they haven't come close to starting any repair work yet. It's frustrating. Patience is the name of the game I guess.

Still working on consistency with my Silverback back tension release. Emotions have hit both peaks and valleys. A couple of nights ago everything was good. Yesterday not so good. Still learning.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

July 6, 2019

Big news of the week for me? I received my Nockon Silverback back tension release. Going to try and undo 40 years of backyard habits. First two days were rough including a bloody nose and some major flinching. Third day was better. Release seemed really inconsistent first two days. Added some Limbsaver lube last night. Seemed to help it a whole bunch. The release came with four springs. I replaced the 43# spring with the 30# spring 'cuz I shoot low poundage...my RX-3 Ultra is set at 58 lbs with 80% letoff. My lower holding weight (11.6 lbs) should work OK with the 30# spring. Only problem is now I can't tell the difference between the 43# and the 50# spring if I decide to change back. Had the 43# spring launch in the air when I swapped it out with the 30# spring. Total lucky bastard to find it laying on the floor. It definitely requires some finesse to replace springs. At times the release fires almost too easily and others it feels like I might pull the bow apart and it will not fire. Just goes to show how inconsistent a person's form is. Using a safety requires focus every shot....or a person will get smacked in the bridge of the nose....by themselves.

Received some wraps and vanes this week for the hunting arrows. Arrows have been cut. Just need wrapped and fletched. It's going to be a flo green year for me. The arrows are Easton HEXX 330 spine with 75 grains of brass in the front. I plan to use 125 grain Exodus broadheads....again. They seem to be a very durable broadhead. That setup seems to work for me.

Antler growth is looking gooooood! No monsters in front of my cameras but some that are looking better. Still curious to see how the extreme winter will impact the final growth. Beans are up far enough now that deer should be feeding on them every night. Need to start my summer regimen of looking for a buck of a lifetime...seems I've been doing that for a lot of years but haven't found one yet.

It's less than three months until we are legal to sling an arrow. For the western hunters it's less than two months. Dang! Still have work to do, cameras to deploy and strategies to figure out. I've been looking for trees in new spots but have not settled yet. Will depend on what the cameras tell me.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

June 30, 2019

Good grief it is hot! Been buried deep in the man cave when off work. Much cooler there than outside. Did check cameras yesterday. It was sweltering by 10 a.m. Gross. Better pictures than the prior week. No monsters yet. Moved some cameras around. A few just have not been capturing any antlered deer. After checking photos at home it appears I have a couple of others to move. Preferred food sources continue to change.

The Bushnell Core is not holding any custom settings. It started acting funky a couple of weeks ago. Not sure what the deal is. I usually move the switch to SETUP, change the settings, turn it to OFF and then switch it to ON. It loses all my changes and I've been very deliberate about hitting the OK button to accept the change. Tried resetting to default and took the batteries out yesterday for half the day. No go.

The Browning Apex has some interference in the audio with the night videos. Not sure what would cause the issue other than the night flash but it is definitely causing unwanted audio sounds. 

The camera that surprises me in both quality of photo and dependability is the Moultrie M4000i. Nice photos. I don't like the menu but as long as it keeps taking pictures I'm good.

Read an article that says a small piece of dryer sheet in a trail camera door will keep the ants out. I am trying it, lets hope it works.

Received my new flo green and black bowstring for the RX-3 Ultra this week. I had nicked my prior new one with my lighter flame and cut a strand. If that doesn't piss an archer off nothing will.

My bows are easier to tune now that I understand some unwritten rules manufacturers design and build by. Lots of info on centershot but it's more than a measurement it's bullet holes, consistent groups, arrow specific tuning, archer specific tuning. Easier now, but I still have plenty to learn. Bullet holes are pretty easy to earn if I put in the work early.

I've been checking my old arrows with my new $30 arrow spinner. Good grief, do I have some lopsided spinners. To try and fix an arrow, I usually change the field point or straighten the end with my arrow finisher. Those two things take most of the lopsided spinning out but still may not end up perfect. The amount of glue on the vanes has impact too. I can tell when the arrow stops spinning and settles. One or two of the vanes seem heavier. Will keep a closer eye on my fletching of the new Easton HEXX 330s. My guess is the Platinum glue on the end of the vanes is causing the out of balance spinning on the vane end. Seems logical.

It's only three months until legal shooting hours. Woohoo! Seems like lots of things to do yet. Twenty yard pin is basically set and that is it. Lots of stands to move or hang. Hoping for a big one to move in from a distant summer pasture. Never sure it will happen but can always hope.

Have fun. Be sage. GP out.

 

June 23, 2019

Long week. Many letdowns.

Lots of anticipation for the card pull and it was a total letdown. Batteries dead on the new Bushnell Core Cam. Those batteries didn't last long. Squirrels chewed up my antenna on the Link Dark and chewed a hole in the PIR cover. That's a new one. Half a tree fell less than 20 foot in front of one of my Browning cameras. Whew! AND I forgot to pull the card on a camera. No decent horn pictures or videos either. Dang it! And one last thing, I am getting some audio interference on the night videos fr9om the new Browning Apex. I don't remember hearing the interference a few weeks ago. I think the issue is new.

Put new 60X strings and cables on my RX-3. Flo green and black. Things seemed to go smoothly. I was burning the very last knot on my peep sight and I nicked the string with the flame. Damn it! Cut a strand. Where's my backup string?

After months of jacking around with the RX-3 I have realized that my bow's draw length just reads long. I want 30-inch max. The draw board reads 30.25 inches. That's too long. I did try twisting the string to get my draw length. Ten twists shorter (lots of twists) I achieved my 30-inch draw length but the peep was out of control. Unwound that option. I moved the mods and draw strop pegs to the 29.5 inch slots. Draw board read 29.75. Best I can get. Don't have jumpy cams either. I hate jumpy cams. I've read many articles that say shortening up the draw length a smidge should tighten up the groups....unless your draw length is already too short. We will see. So how do I do I get a 30-inch draw length? Not sure I can without sacrificing something else. I know there are options for the 30-inch just do not like the trade-offs.

Ordered some new Easton Hexx 330 (6 mm) arrows from Lancaster. Cut those to length yesterday and installed a 75 grain brass insert. Will decide soon on fletching color and layout. Most likely 4-fletch AAE Max Stealth. Love those vanes. My Archer's Advantage software says the spine is OPTIMUM for my setup. I am right around 500 grains with the final setup. The lighted nock seems to always put me over the 500 grain limit. I like the extra FOC when I twist a 125 grain head onto the arrow. Seems to work for me. I also order an arrow spinner to check for arrow wobble. Inexpensive tester. Had one of the new arrows show a slight wobble. Marked it. Will see if I can find the issue later. 

Sent my QAD MXT back to QAD a couple of weeks ago. Lifetime warranty on QAD rests. They couldn't fix it. QAD returned a refurbished replacement. Let's hope the refurbished replacement doesn't need refurbished again.

Not sure I will return to check the forgotten camera. It's in a totally new spot. Never had a camera there before.

Here's to hoping next week goes better than last week.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

June 16, 2019

Checked cameras yesterday. Seems like the antler growth is picking up as one would expect. The Moultrie M4000i sure seems like a cheaply made camera (maybe it is?) but the picture and video quality are decent. Surprising to me. The Browning BTC5HDPX and BTC5HDAPX work like all the past Browning BTC5 cameras....Solid. The Spypoint Force 20 is a decent camera for under $100. Comes with a card reader and SD card. I don't think it has a microphone for the video files. Documentation doesn't say anything that I can find. Not sure I like videos without audio. The Spypoint Link Micro keeps sending me pictures. Awesome for a $150 cell camera. The Bushnell Core DS is a really nice camera. Above average quality in my opinion.

Moved cameras around to test them in different lighting and background setups. Weather has turned warmer, the heat of the sun and the brome grass result in a lot of empty photos and videos. Sensitive PIR sensors.

Worked with the bow again all week. The RX-3 Ultra was purchased with 85% let-off modules. The dump-over wasn't very comfortable so I ordered some 80% and 75% modules. The 75% is a draw stop kit of some sort. After the 5-minute install the 80% mods feels better. Never did like that sudden, big drop to the holding weight with the 85% mods. Hope it helps the grouping. Only problem I had with the new modules was jumpy cams at first but think I resolved that. 

Still haven't got the draw length to work correctly. I think this bow is a quarter-inch long on the length. I can reduce the length by quarter-inch by twisting cables but something else always gets out of spec. Anyway, long story short. Been working with strings and cables all week. Learning a lot about the bow's reaction to twists/untwists. Ordered a new string/cable set from 60X. Hopefully will help. I like green. Can get about any color I want from 60X. Fuse doesn't make the green/black.

Lots of vultures in the air yesterday. With the hay harvest and the fawn birth the last few weeks I'm sure many-a-fawn have succumbed to the hay cutting and baling. It's that time of year. That's a deer's life in the midwest this time of year. A fawn has a lot of obstacles right now....coyotes, bobcats, hay harvest, etc.

Do you know it's only three-and-a-half months to opening day? Lots of antler growing to happen and lots of camera deployments to do in that time.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

June 9, 2019

Poison ivy is growing, mosquitoes are relentless and anything over 80 degrees seems hot to me. After yesterday's trip will probably get a case of West Nile. Darn little harpoon carriers were relentless.

Redeployed a cell camera that was infested by ants. Little bastards. Double bagged the camera last week and gave them the 24 hour freezer treatment. Camera still works. Have been using a lot of the Combat gel for ants to treat my cameras but for some reason the little suckers still invaded this camera. Stepped up my game this week and ground up some mothballs. We had a debate during supper last night as to whether the naphtha or naphthalene or whatever is in those things will kill me. Probably. But I'm not dealing with the ants again if I can help it.

May have also got a touch of poison ivy. Leaves of three were everywhere by the one camera. Calamined up this morning. Hopefully will arrest the spread if it is ivy.

Fawns are dropping. Little critters right now. The coyotes know it too. Lots of coyote pictures where I am getting fawn pictures. I also captured a bobcat picture in a spot I haven't before. Predator competition. Will be interesting to see if fawn recruitment is decent this year. Long winter, hungry predators. Maybe. Maybe not.

The bucks are coming along. No pictures of anything that appears jaw-dropping. Have a Picture of one buck that's been around a few years. Full shoulder, definitely mature, but hasn't seemed to taken any big antler growth steps the last two years. He usually vacates in September/October. Will be interesting to see if he hangs around. Feed is decent.

Deer finally appear to have shed the winter hair. They seemed to carry it a long time this year. Understandable. Cool weather up until last week. will the rainy weather give us a little break please. It's OK to rain just prefer if it wasn't every day.

Dr. Grant Woods mentioned on Growing Deer TV that ragweed has 20% protein in it. Wow! Who needs alfalfa or soybeans? That's why I see big bucks hanging out in fields or draws full of ragweed. He was discussing the growth of the plants after a prescribed burn.

The cameras seem to be working well for the most part. Will be somewhat of a slow period the next month or so. Deer spread out. Feed everywhere. Big bucks seem to like open ground this time of year. Don't really need any thermal cover except of shade.

Spending time almost nightly tuning on my bows. Learning. Educating myself. It's interesting to see what affects certain changes have. Lots of string and cable twisting, lots rest adjustments and lots of D-loop tying.

Sent my QAD MXT rest back to the factory. Something wasn't right with that rest. Will be interesting to see what they tell me. Spent some real money for that rest.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

May 26, 2019

Well. Same thing different day. Rain and more rain. Finding a time-window to mow the lawn is challenging. Washed the floor of my garage after the winter from hell. Floor was gross. Got out to check the new cameras after two weeks. Road back to the farm was kind of dry. I made it back anyway. 

All the cameras seem to sense well and take decent pictures. One setup gave me a lot of false readings (i.e. empty pictures). The location for that camera will most likely need changed. Sun on swaying grass in the heat of the day leads to lots of false triggers.

The photo quality from the $150 Spypoint Link Micro (Verizon model) is good. Better than expected. Thumbnails are OK. Do not like the micro SD card. Easy to lose. Phone app is the only way to change settings. No onboard menu screen or menu buttons. Fit-n-finish seems good.

The Bushnell Core DS seems rock solid with very good night photos so far. The Spypoint Force 20 is a darn nice camera with a price point under $100. The Moultrie I'm trying seems to take decent photos. The case is below average. Door is flimsy. Limited menu options. Cheesy looking display too.

Still doing lots of tuning with my bows. YouTube University has been my friend the last few months. Trying to find the "perfect" tune. My bow tune is always close. It shoots a bullet hole within a few shots of new strings/cables or changes to my setup but I am striving for perfection. What is center shot? What is the power path of the bow? Why 13/16ths from the face of the riser? It seems to be common knowledge but published proof is limited. Hoyt is very cryptic about many of their recommended settings. "Talk to a dealer!" Still haven't figured a trusted way to measure from the face of the riser to the center of the arrow. The rubber shelf pad is in the way. I've purchased some smaller rulers and and other measuring tools but nothing works as perfectly as this engineer wants it to work. 

Currently trying to figure out why my sight pin doesn't line up with my arrow on the RX3. My sight pin has always lined up with my arrows on other bows. My assumption has been that my center shot was off. The grip on this model is below center. That major change is the only thing I can think of that might be causing me issues. Could be hand torque.

Working on my grip, left shoulder and release arm. Getting closer to a consistent shot. Focusing on fewer arrows during practice and more on form and release.

Purchased an annual subscription to Archer's Advantage. Love it so far. It's a tool for pros and archery geeks. You input your bow and arrow setup and the software tells you how close to an optimum spine your arrows are. It is pretty darn accurate in my limited use. I've compared my actual measured weights and other comparable parameters and are definitely in the ball park. Learned my FMJs with 125 grain points/broadheads are definitely on the weak side. My long wingspan and long arrows are the problem. My overall arrow weight get's pretty high plus I don't like to shoot a lot of pounds. If I want to add a lot of point weight for high FOC, I need to go a 300 or 260 spine arrow. My overall arrow weight gets pretty lofty then. Need to decide how important a high FOC is to my setup. Have also been trying lots of different fletching setups including a short length, short height 6-vane setup. Arrows fly great but there isn't much room on a 5 mm shaft to set all the vane bases. Think I've decided that option is a no go.

Lot's of velvet on camera so far. Only one buck seems to be growing rapidly. Might be an early bloomer or might be something special. Who knows? Have three months to figure that out.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

May 12, 2019

Last day of turkey season. Yes I did buy a tag but only got out a couple of times. Lots of work and family stuff going on that limits any significant effort at chasing a bird. Exchanged calls and gobbles with a tom yesterday afternoon but he never closed the distance. It was great to listen to him respond.

The two new Browning cameras are sensing machines. Lots of pictures. Deployed a Spypoint Link Micro yesterday in a remote location. For a $150 cellular camera the fit-n-finish and photo quality doesn't seem too bad. Could be a game changer in the trail camera world. Only thing I don't like about it is the micro SD card. Those little cards are difficult to deal with in the woods with cold fingers.

I bought a subscription to the on-line version of Archer's Advantage last week. Been plugging and chugging lots of arrow/bow setup scenarios into the software. Think I learned my arrows are not optimally spined for my hunting rigs. The 340 FMJ's seem to tend towards a marginally weak spine. My 30-inch draw length usually throws me to the next heavier spine (340 versus 300) and those arrows weigh quite a bit more. I've never purchased a set of 300 or 260 spine arrows but have been thinking about it. I like my 200 grains of weight setting on the business end of the arrow.

Also purchased a Alaskan Guide Creations binocular pack last week. Wanted my go-to stuff a little more accessible in the stand. Man are there lots of choices for this type of pack.

Do you believe it is only four-and-a-half months until Iowa bow season? Seems like we just turned the corner from 2018 to 2019 and that was four-and-a-half months ago. Velvet is growing.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

April 28, 2019

Not much time to chase turkeys so far. Busy with work. Have a decent number of bucks going by the cameras. Many of the bucks appear mature. I assume they will disperse once the soybeans start growing. 

Put new strings and cables on the backup bow. The tuning process seemed to go better this time compared to last. Hard to get outside and shoot at any distance. It's been windy every darn day.

Been trying to decide on a binocular pack. Have it narrowed down to two or three. Each one has a different item I like better than on the others. Prices about the same on all of them. 

Sent one of the cellular cameras in for repair. The LCD stopped working.

Three months and we will know if we have any shooters or even better yet a buck of a lifetime.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.

 

April 14, 2019

No I'm not dead. Just dealing with the winter from hell. As you get older it takes more to recover from nasty winters. All my tree stands are down except for the ladders. They will stay. Found a few sheds. Nothing big. Checked two new cameras for the first time. Both Browning cameras. Been tuning my new RX-3 Ultra. Fighting some nasty tendonitis. This darn bow uses different muscles than I'm used to. Been a long two months to deal with that.

 

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