December 6, 2019,
Hunt #40, P.M.
UFF! DAH! (Holy Moly!)
Two years of nighttime pictures of a
buck. First on-the-hoof sighting
tonight. Early. Wow! He needs to survive
16 days for me to have a chance play tag
with him. Monster body! 100 yards.
I was on a doe mission
again. Dang light and variable wind
screwed me over plus it was just way,
way too quiet. Had two mature does and
three fawns come by after sunset. QUIET!
The darn thermals were all over the
place. Lead nag was at 20+ yards. Bow
was in my hand. I just knew when I
started to draw it was over. Oh yeah!
She turned totally inside out and headed
back in the timber with her clan. That
was it. I climbed down and closed the
early season chapter of 2019. I just
hope the weather holds for some late
season treestand perches. If not so be
it. Will be keeping tight tabs on the
property the next two weeks. Would be
nice if a surprise buck moves in. Ya
just never know.
Be safe orange army
and no cheating. Mind your manners and
obey those fences! Discipline.
November 30, 2019,
Hunt #39, P.M.
Still on a doe
Had a spike buck look
up at me in the tree. If he's a fawn
buck, he has great potential. If he's a
one year old buck, not so good. Hard to
tell. One inch spikes. He played in the
creek like a toddler playing in a mud
puddle. He was twisting and hopping like
the water was brand new to him.
Checked three trail
cameras. Three busted up bucks. My guess
is I need to move my position 100+ yards
to get in the game. Everything is about
food now. Picking the right food source
and the path from bedding is the
strategy now. Sounds easy but for some
reason it has not been easy for me.
Did receive a little
intel this week that one of the shooters
might have relocated. Location seems
logical. Probably more girl friends and
fewer bullies. The food is probably
better too. One thing I noticed about
the time big boy disappeared. There is a
mature nine pointer with a stout body
and blind in one eye (true). I
gave him a pass early. It was a hard
pass too. Darn nice buck. He's busted to crap now as is
typical for this buck. Last year the
same. One day in mid-November I had a bunch of trail
camera video at a scrape. He was all
wound up. Steam emitting from his nose
and mouth. Breathing heavy. He hit the scrape multiple
times that day. Could be he tackled the bigger
racked deer and was the victor?
Also have an
old, spindly eight that is busted up now. At
least six and maybe seven. Four seasons
of pictures. Guessed him to be at least
three in the first picture. He was on the
late season shoot list but not now.
Still plenty of fighting going on. Fewer
girl friends evidently.
November 24, 2019,
Hunt #38, P.M.
What a beautiful
night. Great deer movement. Had a fawn
park under the ladder stand and eat
acorns. I could see the row of spots paralleling
her spine. She had no clue I was there
as I tried to hit her with some tree
bark. Had a tough time trying to play
the wind with the bark.
First doe came from
the northwest but her and her fawn made
a path around and downwind of my tree.
Dang it! Another doe was further
downwind and of course she had to let
out some snorts. All the sudden there
were antlers everywhere. Crazy how
snorting is a buck magnet in November.
There were five bucks all in the 100-130
range and one spiker. More bald deer
found their way around the tree. Hmmm!
This tree was a bad choice. Bucks began
to chase and scent check. Great
encounter. No doe offered a shot. Might
have been tough to execute on anyway
with all the eyeballs.
Now I think I know how
the deer are exiting the bedding area
and entering the field. need to get a
stand up in the next four weeks. Pulled
two SD cards on the way out. Still no
shooters. Hope they show up before the
late season begins. Do not want to hunt
Lots of deer in the
fields on the way out. It was one of
those nights when deer came to feed
early. Great night.
November 23, 2019,
Hunt #37, P.M.
Doe mission. No does
came anywhere close to my position. One
small buck. Checked a bunch of cameras
midday. No sign of #1. No pictures since
the 12th and he was consistent for a
good 10 days or more prior to that.
Would be really surprised if he
relocated but definitely possible. Just
hope he isn't laying dead somewhere.
Will not know until Spring if that is
the case. A new wad of bucks have taken
up residence. It seems odd to me for
this location. The bucks were not around as
much the first part of the month but now
seem to be on camera every day and
multiple times. When the boss leaves
things change. It is clear to me
something has changed.
Chaps my hide when I
have camera problems. One of my Browning
Strike Force Pro cameras read over
90% on the battery meter but the date
and time had reset. WTH! I installed new
batteries. My Spypoint
LinkDark just insisted that AA batteries
were installed when in reality I had a
rechargeable lithium installed. Bastard
kept resetting on me. My experience has
shown that if that isn't right it does
not operate correctly. Again. WTH!
Again. Installed new batteries. I am
also having some interference with the
audio of my nighttime video files on a
couple of Browning cameras but I'm
hoping it's the SD card. Cold weather
and moisture seem to bring out the worst
Two weeks and the
bowhunter only crowd takes a break. Then
it's wait and see what is left for late
season. That reminds me, I need to buy
November 22, 2019,
Hunt #36, P.M.
Doe mission. Saw 5
bucks and four does. Saw one of the
shooters. If he's still standing in five
weeks, hopefully we will play tag again.
Not counting on any of the shooters
still standing in five weeks.
Absolutely dead calm.
No way I could have executed a shot if a
deer stood close. Tough to hunt on the
calm days. Deer like moving early but
definitely a challenge for the hunter.
Deer were definitely edgy too. Not sure
if they knew I was around or how calm it
was. Coyotes let loose real close. Did
not see them but the does had their ears
standing at attention.
Checked two cameras
but the shooter never passed by either
for nine days. He does appear a little
bit consistent based on the live sightings.
Hopefully he will exhibit the same
consistency during late season when I
can hunt horns again. He has definitely
lost weight. Antlers still intact
Had a couple of nice
surprises on the cell
cameras this week. Just hope they
are still standing for late season. If
not, will go somewhere else. Goal is to
have a couple of shooters to pursue late
season. Will keep practicing in the mean
Put new 60X strings
and cables on the RX3 last weekend. Bow
seems to be shooting good. Need some
distance shooting after the string and
cable set change. Confident I'm close
but need to verify. Also changed from a
quarter-inch peep to a three
sixteenths-inch peep. That's a tight
window! Not sure I like that but plan to
give it a try. Only goal is to tighten
Really beginning to
believe the November 10-20 dates are the
best on these farms. Can't believe how
many years I've hunted the first part of
November with limited luck. Damn
lockdown. Weather is the main issue the
later a person waits.
What a challenge it is
to hunt whitetails with a bow. Not sure
we would do it year after year if it was
easy. Is there a better place to hunt
giant whitetails than Iowa?
November 13, 2019,
Hunt #35, P.M.
Temperature reached 32
by the time I was ready to head to the
woods for my afternoon sit. Roads were
fine. I had pulled a SD card on my
morning egress. Checked it during lunch.
My target was all over this general
location the last few days, always with
a doe, by multiple stands. I knew my
location for the afternoon sit. My new
stand setup. West wind. I assumed my
target was close during my access
(within 200 yards) so went slowly. Sit
should be comfortable.
First deer was a small
buck. He was moving early. Hoping this
will be a good hunt. Heard a grunt but
with my darn face mask I could not tell
the direction. Dang it. Saw a doe
feeding southwest of me in the trees.
She began to slowly move towards feed.
She was a good fifty yards along and out
pops the target. Both moving slowly. No
chasing. She laid down. He strolled up
to her in the grass and booted her up.
He did not like the bedding down for
some reason. He followed way behind.
Both moving slowly. Tending.
Snort wheeze they say.
It works for them. So I did. They are
about 120 yards out. No acknowledgement.
They continued on. Headed for feed.
Waited a bit and did it again. That got
his attention. Weird reaction. He stood
there and snorted. No idea if he was
alarmed, pissed or what. Wind was
totally in my favor. Doe hung tight. He
worked towards me to less than 100
yards. Holy crap this might just happen.
Nope he turned and went back to his doe.
He snorted some more. They headed over
the hill. Gone. Very unique reaction.
So now what? Do I
leave or not? I knew of two additional
bucks that were still targets on this
farm so decided to hang tight. Middle of
the month already and the weather the
last few days had sucked. I have never
seen the one buck, nighttime photos are
the norm the last two years. The body
tripped my trigger on this deer. It is
huge! Full blown rut neck.
Had a doe headed my
way. Moving slowly. Heard a noise behind
me. It's the monster bodied 5x5. Wow!
His body is huge! Rack looks still
intact. Go time. He's tending the doe
but at a distance. This new stand was
hung a week ago and he is going to pose
perfectly at 30+ yards just like I hoped
they would. He's watching his doe. No
clue I'm close.
I had ranged the
general location earlier and set the one
pin slider to 30 yards. He was close to
the location, maybe a smidge further (32
yards or so). While at full draw I was
asking myself, do I shoot. Do I not
shoot? He was definitely on the list
(top 5) but not one of the top two. Body
was really big! Hell yeah! Let her fly!
Pin was on the target, off the target, I
settled the pin. Target acquired!
Punched the trigger on the Nock2It!
Arrow flight looked good. ThwacK!
Placement looked a little lower than I
wanted but in the heart location. He ran
off 30 yards and did the stop, slow-motion
tip over thing. Got back up and headed
my way. It was starting to get a little
western. I nocked another arrow but by
that time he was down for good. Yes! I
like it! Great hunt. Great memory.
Drug him 150-200 yards
to my truck access location (10 foot at
a time), field-dressed him and texted a
friend (thanks Mike) to help get the buck lifted in
the truck and take a few pictures.
Loading him was the issue. Have I said
his body was big yet? Only one other of
my deer exceeded this buck in body. That
was my 2003 buck.
Classic how this hunt
happened. New stand location, deer
unaware of my presence, pin on target,
arrow flight good, lighted nock,
slow-motion tip over. Easy recovery.
This was one of those hunts.
November 13, 2019,
Hunt #34, A.M.
Now that's what I'm
talking about. Once the deer started
trickling in back to my location, it was
a steady stream of bucks. My busted up
6x5 showed too. He needs to survive. As
long as the rut and the winter are
normal he should be a goodern' next
So this is what I've
observed the last 5 years or so. I don't
care what people say about Halloween,
November 1, November 7-10, etc. The
absolute best days on the properties I
hunt are after November 10. In fact I
would say the best days are November
13-17. Every year movement is great as
long as the weather is somewhat decent.
Problem is busted up racks and cold
weather for the hunters can make it
tough. Definite lockdown the first 10
days of November. I need to punt on the
early November time frame. Sure big bucks are killed at
other times but if you believe November
15 is the peak doe breeding day in Iowa
then the maximum in craziness is around
that time and it has consistently been
those times on the properties I hunt.
Burnout is often an issue by then.
Patience is important.
One other thing. It is
clear that the biggest of the big bucks
rarely stray from a 40-50 acre area on
the properties I frequent during the
lockdown time. It could be the doe, it
might be the buck but this has held true
the last 5 years. My observations.
Nothing scientific. Wind cover always plays into this. Deer hate
heavy wind for the most part. Sure they
travel and the does run away but it is
consistently held true. If the cameras
don't show your target on a regular
basis I would say you are not in the
target zone. You need to move. This year
has totally followed that script for me.
Problem is one property is easier to
hunt than the other due to prevailing
winds and access.
The rain started. I
climbed down. Temperature was inviting for
freezing rain. Didn't want to descend a
ladder with frozen steps. Glad I left
early, the trip home was treacherous.
Slow rollin'. Crazy slick.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
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.
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
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
June 23, 2019
Long week. Many
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
Not sure I will return
to check the forgotten camera. It's in a
totally new spot. Never had a camera
Here's to hoping next
week goes better than last week.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
June 16, 2019
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.
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
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,
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
The two new Browning
cameras are sensing machines. Lots of
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
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
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
Sent one of the
cellular cameras in for repair. The LCD
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
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