Catskill adventures hunting log

catskill adventures1

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I started prep work about a weekand a half or 2weeks ago. Scouted out a lot of areas within the NYC watershed in Delaware county. Put on a few miles around the Pepacton Reservoir. There's a website with maps of all NYC watershed property. I think there's as much open land now as there is private land. Been keeping in touch with postedboy to let him know new areas. More later
 

catskill adventures1

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I started prep work about a weekand a half or 2weeks ago. Scouted out a lot of areas within the NYC watershed in Delaware county. Put on a few miles around the Pepacton Reservoir. There's a website with maps of all NYC watershed property. I think there's as much open land now as there is private land. Been keeping in touch with postedboy to let him know new areas. More later
I have 2 guys to take archery hunting from Nov.1-Nov.8. I started making mock scrapes last Monday. added some cheap scent on Tuesday. Yesterday I bought a trail cam and some active scrape scent. I made 7 more mock scrapes today. When I walked into one area where I made 6 different scrapes to mfreshen them up there stood a big doe right in my last scrape. I can't wait to see whats running around when I set up my trail cam!!
 

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Finally got the pics off of my SD card. This is fun. I only had to fix the date. Today I moved the camera to a clearing across the road where I made 5 or 6 other mock scrapes. I'll leave the camera there until Tuesday. If theres some good pics I'll move it to a small piece of NYC watershed property that adjoins 1100 acres of State land. I sent the photos to my customers. They're psyched!:bowsmiley:
 

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I went over to Andes today. Checked some of the scrapes I made, not much activity that I could see but I didn't go down in to them. Went to my mother's house for coffee and asked her if she wanted to see some of the areas I was going to hunt. I only took her for a short loop but she was amazed at how much land is now open land. She said that if I were to take guys out hunting every day from now until the end of rifle season I could hunt a new spot every day. I have 3 or 4 spots targeted where I want to concentrate my energy. I haven't seen any scrapes or rubs yet but I know that Deer are there. Pulling my camera tomorrow to set into another area. We'll see what's around.
 

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Moved my camera yesterday into a spot that I used to hunt a lot. It takes about 45minutes to get there but there are lots of edge areas. Fields surrounded by stone walls, apple trees and woods all around. I used to take turkey hunters up there during the spring season and they killed lots of turkeys. I set the camera at the intersection of 3 deer trails. Didn't make any mock scrapes yet. There was lots of Deer sign plus bear and coyote sign also. This is a real sweet spot. I'll pull the camera tomorrow and move to another spot. I'll let you know what happens!!
 

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I'm beginning to feel really good about myself and what I've done since 1983, i.e. being a guide. I thought I was losing interest in the woods and would just concentrate on fishermen. Getting landowner permission was a pain in the ass. I could always tell who my friends were when deer season rolled around. Now the New York City DEP has bought almost 1/4 of Delaware county in strategic spots to keep their water clean. The DEP has helped the economy by opening their land to hunters, trappers, fishermen and hikers. They even advertise it and many more visitors from downstate and other states have showed up. The only tradeoff is higher taxes but this is New York so I'm used to it.
I have archery hunters coming on November 1. When they first contacted me I was apprehensive because I hadn't guided deer hunters in about 10 or 12 years. I've been busy for the last month when I committed myself. I miss having my dad around to give me advice.
I feel good about myself. I'm getting back into shape and roaming the woods every afternoon looking for sign and figuring out game plans for different areas. All it took to get me going was a little motivation. I'm looking forward to this and I'm hoping that these guys get a deer or two.
Scouted an area that I went into yesterday. Lots of sign. I'll post Pics if we get anything. More later!:D
 

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Went into the new spot, swapped SD cards and moved the camera about half a mile into an old apple orchard. I set the camera so Its facing the intersection of 2or 3 trails pointed right at a rub and a scrape. I came home to see what pictures were on the card. Nothing, Nada! The only thing I can think of is that the camera wasn't on for 5 days. I'm new to this and find it hard to tell if the camera is actually on. I'll see on Sunday when I go in to move the camera. Then off to another spot!
 

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My hunters come in tomorrow from Manhattan. Scouted another DEP unit within walking distance of where I'll be staying. Jumped 4 deer on the way in. Its dark in there. A lot of big hemlocks and real brushy once you get past them. There's snow and cold weather in the forecast. The bucks should be running the does. Its a beautiful spot and I'd like to concentrate about 2 days in there. These guys are both 33 years old. I hope they stay where I tell them. I don't relish looking for a lost hunter!
My wife is thinking really positive. She stopped at Wal Mart today in Oneonta and picked up a box of Foodsaver rolls so that I can vacuum pack the venison! LOL!! This should be one of the best hunts I ever put on!
 
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:buck:Well, I'm back after a week of guiding 2 bowhunters. Nice fellows. Young and with the attitude that they knew it all. I showed them different access points to almost 7000 acres of DEP owned property. I wanted to make short pushes to them but they didn't want that. By the 3rd day they were getting very discouraged because they weren't seeing deer. They went off on their own and wouldn't tell me where they went. I didn't see them for 2 days. I want to know where my people are hunting so I gave them 2 way radios. They turned them off or would leave them in their truck. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall.
They acted like they didn't need me because they both had GPS. One of them told me about the great hunting in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. They both came with the expectations of seeing a lot of deer. I didn't misrepresent the area or myself when I told them I couldn't guarantee that they would even see a deer.
Last Wednesday while I was out looking for them I came on an 8 pointer and a doe standing in one of my mock scrapes! The buck was rubbing his eye on a branch. I was 20 yards away and never spooked them. They were 30 yards from a dirt road and just STROLLED across the road after I watched them for 5 minutes, then hopped over a small berm to visit a couple of my other scrapes. I was pissed because nobody was there. I finally came upon their truck on Friday and told them about the deer. They seemed a little arrogant and said there was no deer around. I took them in yesterday afternoon and they said that spot held more deer sign than they saw anywhere. I told them to hunt the edges of corn and hay fields.They had been trying to kill deer a mile into the woods when they only had to go 300-400 yards. I gave them maps of all of DEP holdings in Andes and Margaretville, probably 10,000 acres. Hopefully they'll come back on their own to hunt. I really would have liked to see them get a deer though.
Now I'll tell Postedboy where he can kill a nice buck. If anyone wants to reply to this post, do it in the New York forum. This hunt would have been a lot better if these boys (they were only 32 years old) listened to me more.
 

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Today I worked on my guide boat then split and stacked some firewood. Tomorrow I'll work on my boat a little then do a bit of scouting in a "sweet spot" that I never took my hunters into. Its only 104 acres but its a nice spot. I'm very friendly with the guy that owns the adjacent property. Before my hunters came he said "I can't stop you from going in there but as friends, I wish you wouldn't take others." I'm glad I didn't go in there. I wanted to save this one spot for me. Saw 5 deer in there on Sunday morning. Wednesday is a meeting and roundtable discussion about recreational access and its effect on tourism. I've been invited.
My wife starts her treatments on Thursday and Friday is her birthday. I have a pretty full plate this week!! Good luck to all New York gun hunters on Saturday!
 

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Well, another deer season is almost here. I started scouting on Sept. 23but only walked in about 1/4 mile. I went to a different spot on the 25th and walked in about 3/4 mile looking for sign. its a big wilderness tract and there's a leanto at the top of this loop trail. I saw one half hearted rub on a small sapling.On the 27th I hiked the entire trail, 4.1 miles. Great area on both sides of the loop more to report later on.
 

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I posted a thread in the NY forum about Kelley Hollow on the Delaware-Ulster county line. Nice area. Today I hiked on the other side of the Millbrook ridge on the trail from Alder Lake toward Balsam lake Mt. Many of the leaves are down but there is still quite a bit of green.
I used to guide hunters in that expanse of woods back in the mid 90's when I was about 40 years old. I haven't been back there since 1997 so today I decided to take a hike and look for deer sign. The area looks like it can hold deer and bear. There used to be A LOT of deer in there but the woods have changed from what I remembered.
I remember quite a bit of brush. Now there's lots of big trees. Very little understory just big canopy. I did see some oaks with acorns and lots of beeches. I couldn't tell if there were beechnuts because of the leaves. There used to be a lot of striped maple but I didn't see much today.
I had to hike a mile to the opposite end of the lake then proceeded uphill for about 1.5 miles. Unless all the sign was covered up by leaves, I saw almost no sign. No scrapes, no rubs, no tracks. I took it real easy as I went, I know there are some nice bucks back there. I finally turned around and came back. I kept thinking "If I shot a big buck that far back, how the hell do I get him out if I'm alone?" It would take half a day just to get him out. Shooting a bear would take even longer to get out.
Its hard for me to believe that in 1997, when I was 44 years old, I could run up that trail two or three times in a day. Today was hard. I'm hurting a bit and the mountains are steeper. I won't go in there alone during rifle season . I'll report more in the next few days. This area gets hit hard by hikers so maybe there's more sign once your off the trail.
 

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I've decided to switch my log over from hunting to boatbuilding. I've been cooped up for so long even though I don't have this coronavirus I have to do something. I contemplated building another boat from scratch but I didn't have a big enough workplace. Then I went to my Mom's house and saw my baby, a 17' square stern Rangeley guide boat. It needs work. I started reading books and going over plans and discovered that I made mistakes(this boat was only my 2nd build) that need to be corrected. I have all the time in the world. Maybe I rushed it the 1st time. I'll go over this boat from stem to stern and make it a classic. I ve already removed a full length Keel which it wasn't supposed to have. I also took off a bronze stem band that I'll refit later. Can't do any fiberglass work until the temperature goes into the 70's . I'll post pictures as the work progresses. I'll probably be sanding for the next few weeks. It'll be a fun project that I don't want to rush. If you want to reply to this please do it in the New York forum. I'm attaching some pictures of the boat from a few years ago if I can figure this out. Stay safe everyone!
 

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Went over to start my work yesterday. Spent 3 hours using a belt and orbital sander. I looked like a snowman from all the dust. Its not exactly what I wanted so I've decided to sand the entire boat by hand. Tis way I'll get into all the nooks and crannies that I cant get into with power tools. I took sme nice pics but I can't remember how to transfer them from my camera to a folder. I'll post pics when I figure things out.
 




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