Monday, February 04, 2019

Hunting Notes 2018 (and into 2019)

Looking pumped about trying to make a scrape.  

Second night of early antlerless season.  We were in same tree; agreed that he had 270 degrees of shooting radius.  Two does came to me and simply wouldn't get out of my 90 degrees afforded.  Shot one of them.  Pretty good for him to be in tree while it happened, and then help out with all subsequent steps.

This exact position he had a staredown 30-45 seconds with the biggest buck I've ever seen from a stand.  I watched over his shoulder hiding behind the tree.  He just wasn't quite ready and figured (he said later) that if he moved gun into position the buck would bolt.  The deer had us made; was coming upslope and only his neck and head were visible; stopped dead and stared at us.  Made a conscious decision; turned a 180 back out way he came, went horizontal (out of sight) and crossed the fence a ways to the east, still within sight but out of range.  Kid said he was having a heart attack the entire time; as it should go down.  A top memory for both of us.

Some scraps right from hanging to the skillet.

Some interesting tracking this season.  November showed many deer, including five different bucks, four of which gave me broadside parades begging to be shot dead.  All illegals; too small; forkies up to six pointers.  Buddy shot a doe that we tracked at night on a steep steep sideslope.  One of the most interesting engagements I've had in a while.  We were on hands and knees to avoid falling downhill.  We gave it what we had; couldn't find the doe.

This was the view of my friend as I looked downslope through the cedars.  Pretty memorable.  One would stand at the last found-blood while the other cut about looking for next indicator. 

Ballistics study; here talking about elk out west.

Bobcat came up on me.  Rare sighting down here, especially during daylight hours.

Safe place for deer.  Cedar on steep sidehills. 

Hoping the buck would show again. 
No better way to study a place and appreciate it than to hunt it.  We are pretty fortunate to have friends who welcome us to hunting parties and campaigns in three different counties of southeast Minnesota.

We put the secret weapon out in the forky-world, thinking he could shoot one (antler point restrictions to not apply to kids).  Of course that was the only night in November that as a party we saw zero deer.  Figures.

Good stand of grass going all the way to the trout stream and the limestone outcrop in the distance.

One thing I like a lot is walking out at night.

From that ground seat I shot another doe right at dusk.  Tracked her across the road and into the neighbor's pasture.  Talked with neighbor on the phone and it was determined that I would not be granted access to continue tracking.  It was a good exchange and he had some careful reasons; still tough to take though; kind of a hollow ending.

We deer hunted as we were able from late October all the way up to Feb 2 (date of these last three photos).  The seasons ranged discontinuously from early antlerless through normal firearms, and on through special CWD hunts in different places.  Pretty interesting and fun campaign.  Odd to say I've already sat the stand in 2019.  Saturday night of this past weekend.  So foggy that on my way home up out of the valley I probably had around 20-30 feet visibility.  Just go slow.

Walking out last night in the stand; coming up on yard light.