A Couple Half Days

Gwlambo

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Well I managed to get out in NJ for two mornings this year. 12/23 and 12/31. My first morning I was excited to get out to an area I like along the Del Gap Area. I got off exit 1 off Rt 80, which is Old Mine Rd. About 1 mile north there was a light blanket of snow, that was a pleasant surprise. I believe this road runs all the way up to NY, but I only take it between 12-20 miles. About 5 miles up the rd I see a bunch of tail lights and suspect a crash. As I pull up I see that the road is gated and closed. I hop out to see what is up and the other hunters are all pissed off. This is the border of state land and federal land. I made a suggestion of whether or not this could be our governor at work again (he closed state land to bear hunting last year). Oh boy, did I set off a bomb. People cussing and swearing about the politicians. Apparently this road was incidentally shut down the week earlier just before the firearms season opener. A federal land supervisor comes by later and opens the gate when he is on duty. This gate essentially shut down thousands and thousands of acres for hunting. But some think it was for needed road repairs. What a disappointment. I decided, rather than giving up a precious day in the woods, to drive back a ways and hike up the mountain. I have to admit I was not into the hunt and was just plain bummed about the state of things. I hiked up the mountain and just before reaching the peak I could here foot steps. A deer was coming down off the mountain. Soon seven doe funneled down the hill about 75 yards away. they were all small and I took a few videos and watched them for about 5 minutes. I hit the top of the Kittattiny range and bounced a few small deer out of their beds and the beds were quite small. It was a little weird hunting along and suddenly crossing a hiking trail, this happened frequently. Later that day I head back along the ridge towards the truck and was trying to make my way down the slick rocky cliffs. I suddenly heard a commotion ahead and ducked behind a boulder and waited. This was 4.5 hrs later and along come 7 doe. I have to imagine that they were the dame group even though we were about 3/4's of a mile apart and 4.5 hrs later. This time they came with 25-30 yards and fed around me for nearly 20 mins. I just could not drop the hammer on the does with fawns. Also, the doe were small, I think the largest may have been 60#. On my way down the mountain I continued to check out watch each nob for deer. There was one ridge area of whips that I wanted to check out. From about 100 yards away I spotted a deer lying down and the binoculars proved it to be true. What looked like a big buck initially turned out to be a small doe. I put some trees in between us and decided to see how close I could get. I got almost to 30 yards - in a very crunchy environment. The doe looked too small - I just did not want to shoot. hopefully you can see herin the photo.

Today i got out for a few hrs and ran along a ridge I like. i hiked to the top and was immediately enveloped with clouds. i was certain they would break so I stayed up high. i was wrong the clouds hung around. I poked along the ridge just outside the dense mountain laurel. I bumped into three deer but could barely even see the flags in the cloud/fog. It rained all morning but i had a nice hunt. I must have seen close to 50 rubs but those deer were in the thickest Mt Laurel and Rhodies that, as a lone hunter, just does not make sense to hunt. I found this cool rub on a fallen tree and a branch was now vertical had been rubbed well. And with that - my 2019 hunting season is in the books. 2020 is going to be epic!
 

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longbow

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Sounds like a good hunt. They close that darn road at the drop of a hat and without warning. If you need to go north of Millbrook it is better to go up thru Blairstown and Millbrook Village , because you never know if you will get thru from I-80. I have hiked up on the hill where you were quite a bit. My backyard faces the east side of that ridge. I can watch bucks walking the top of the ridge with my spotting scope, after it snows. They are about 3 miles away. You have to quite a ways, about 2 miles off Old Mine road to get to where you can see out to the East. Some nice bucks up there..IMG_2991.jpg
 
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SportsmanNH

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Always a fine day in the woods when you are seeing deer !

Ok so I take it the Doe is in the center picture.
Is that her just to the right of the big tree with the sun on it
just to the right of the middle of the pic ?
 

Gwlambo

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Sounds like a good hunt. They close that darn road at the drop of a hat and without warning. If you need to go north of Millbrook it is better to go up thru Blairstown and Millbrook Village , because you never know if you will get thru from I-80. I have hiked up on the hill where you were quite a bit. My backyard faces the east side of that ridge. I can watch bucks walking the top of the ridge with my spotting scope, after it snows. They are about 3 miles away. You have to quite a ways, about 2 miles off Old Mine road to get to where you can see out to the East. Some nice bucks up there..View attachment 22923
Looks like the same ridge for sure. It is tough hunting in the mountain laurel and rhodies but there sure is a pile of deer up there. What I have found is that if you can get a cold windy day out of the east or west then the opposite side will hold all the deer. And there is some good shelves at the top you can poke along and see a bunch. You just have to be able to shoot straight to be successful! If I had a view like that at home I would be late to work every morning.
 

Gwlambo

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Always a fine day in the woods when you are seeing deer !

Ok so I take it the Doe is in the center picture.
Is that her just to the right of the big tree with the sun on it
just to the right of the middle of the pic ?
yes as LB pointed out that was the doe. I was certain it was not a lone doe and there was a buck around. I got closer and then videoed her running away as soon as she realized my presence. I phones are not great past 10 yards.
 

johnrr65

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yes as LB pointed out that was the doe. I was certain it was not a lone doe and there was a buck around. I got closer and then videoed her running away as soon as she realized my presence. I phones are not great past 10 yards.
+1
 
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