Escouting...

Escout711

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5/14/16

Pretty fun hunt today. Haven't been out much this season, went out on Opening Day, had a little bit of a frustrating morning when I missed 2 gobblers due to a busted front sight on my shotgun. Then, I shot a huge gobbler with my bow, only to watch him disappear into a swamp with 2 busted wings, never to be found. Anyway, I decided to go out today and see what I could find. It was a warm morning, started about 65, and got up to 75 pretty quickly, with very brilliant and intense sunshine. I went to a couple of my favorite spots, and found other hunters, so I decided to go my friend's house. There was a guy up the street in a pickup photographing turkeys in the woods with the biggest camo telephoto lens I have ever seen. I pulled my truck up next to him, and he showed me photos of several gobblers inside the edge of the woods. I decided to hunt the edge of the field, hoping to call one of the gobblers across the field to me. Eventually, one popped into view, I could see him strutting on the far edge. I was well hidden behind a small bushy birch tree, so I watched him through my binos. The sun really lit him up, his head was glowing like neon, visible from over 100 yards. I decided to not get very aggressive with the calling, he knew where I was. eventually he started closing the distance. I let him come closer, when he hit 50 yards he started to pick up speed, still in full strut the whole way. Then I noticed he was following a hen that I hadn't noticed before. He got under 20 yards and started to zig zag to my right. I shot quickly and missed, he flew up over the hedgerow and started running. This was 8:20am.

Frustrated with another miss, I headed to the building supply store for some lumber I need for a project. One my way back, I looked into the field and the turkey was out there strutting in the corner where I missed him and hour before! I parked, grabbed my stuff, and ran back into the woods. When I got about 20 yards from the edge of the field, and made soft run of yelps. I saw the tom strut into view, and then the hen that was with him spotted me and bolted. The tom didn't come out of strut and I shot quickly. At first I thought I missed AGAIN, until I got on top of the wall and could see him flopping in some taller grass. Killed the bird at 9:40am. Funny enough, I drove by later in the afternoon, and there was ANOTHER tom strutting in the exact spot where I killed the bird in the morning!

20.5#, 10" beard, 7/8" spurs







 

Escout711

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10/17/2016- MA Archery Opener

It is 80 degrees today, and will be for the next few days. Yuck! No chance I will be hunting for at least another week or 2. It is a strange year here. drought conditions all summer, and the acorn crop is a total fail this year. I have slow action on my cams. Took a few scouting hikes and no sign yet in any of my spots.
 

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10/26/16- First Sit

I went out this morning for the first sit of the season. Woke up at 4:15, and there was a loud racket coming from the basement. Went down to check the furnace, and sure enough the fan in the furnace was busted. Anyway... I got to my spot and parked in friend's driveway at 5:35am. On my way in I found a smoking fresh scrape. I headed in deeper to the woods, and when I got to the tree I wanted to hunt from, my headlamp lit up the eyes of a deer about 40 yards ahead of. I turned off the light, climbed the tree, and was ready to hunt at 6:15. Shooting light wasn't until 6:40, so I leaned back to relax for a bit. Nothing appeared, and at 8:35 I climbed down. Cams have no action going, so I moved one over to the new scrape.
 

Escout711

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10/29/16

Spent the morning on the the Plante stand. Nothing moving at all. Took a midday nap at home, woke up feeling pretty cruddy. Spent the afternoon hunting on public land with a fellow HC'er, thanks for the invite!
 

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Halloween Treat! 10/31/16

I was feeling sick all weekend, and today was a little better. I was able to leave work at 2, and decided to grab my climber and go back behind my friend Jim's house and hunt where I had jumped a couple deer on recent trips back there. On the way in I checked my camera and got a nice surprise, a big buck on camera a couple nights before. It's been a bad season for trail cams so far, this was actually the first buck I got on camera. As I neared the spot next to the break in the rock wall I wanted to hunt, I squirted a little Tink's 69 on my boots and walked the last 40 yards to the stand. It took me a few minutes to pick a tree to climb, but I settled on a nice oak that had some decent back cover. I dribbled a little Tink's Trophy Buck piss on the ground, and climbed up to at least 20'. I got on stand right at 4pm. I sent a text to few friends saying that "deer season can start now, finally got a good buck on camera!" After about 5 minutes on stand, I blew the grunt call 3 times, URRP, URRP, URRRPPP, and settled in. I've been out a few times this season, but tonight was the first time where I really felt myself in full hunt mode, I had a feeling something might happen. Right at 4:20pm, I caught some movement 40 yards to my left, heading straight my way. It was a deer, and I grabbed my bow from the hanger. I saw antlers, and noticed that the buck was totally relaxed so I slowly stood up. He was walking straight for the Tink's trail, and I was waiting for him to turn broadside. He turned and his chest pocket opened up. He was slightly quartered to me at 28 yards, and I probably should have waited another couple seconds for him to turn more, but i sent it anyway. The Exodus blew right through him, and I watched him run straight down the trail I came in on, and then take a hard a left out of sight. I know the area well, and knew which way he was heading. I pulled my phone out to check the time, and at 4:21pm I got a text from my friend TJ. He replied to my text about deer season finally being able to start because I got a buck on cam by saying "Beautiful. Get That Buck." I immediately replied "I just did! Holy FUCK!!"

I climbed out of the tree, went and checked the arrow. Blood on the the arrow was a mixed bag. I suspected a single lung and liver due to the angle of the quarter. I followed the blood trail to where I lost sight of him, and there were bubbles in some of the blood. I realized he was circling back around to where he came from before I shot him, and I knew he was headed into some really thick and nasty crap and decided to not push it just in case the buck was alive. Talked to Jake on the phone and he offered to come help after he took his kids trick or treating. I backed out, went home for dinner and a beer. We met up at 9pm, went in and to pick up the trail. Right where I backed out, I lit up one my Nockturnals and hung the arrow from a tree branch to mark the spot. It gave us a good reference when we got in the thick stuff. Jake followed the blood and I was behind him shining my light up ahead to see if I could spot the buck. Probably 40 yards past where I originally backed out, I spotted him lying dead. What a great feeling of relief it was finding him! Coyotes were yipping around us, and not wanting to contaminate the area, we wound up dragging that deer out whole. What a rough drag, the rack and the sled caught on every shrub, beech whip, and rock. We had to go over a couple rock walls. It was a half mile drag, that felt like much more. Got the deer to my house, gutted him in my headlights, and went to bed. The Exodus Swept broadhead definitely did it's job. My shot placement could have been better, but I took out a lung, the liver, and the gut. The entire cavity was full of blood, he was really wiped out.

The buck wound up being pretty darn heavy, 175 pounds dressed, loads of fat on him. Really excited to get this buck, and I don't think he is the one I had on camera either! The rest of the season is gravy from here on out, I am going to relax and enjoy it.

Halloween 1.JPG

Halloween 2.JPG

Halloween 4.JPG

My hunting knife "Uncle Ralph" right next to the entrance hole...

Halloween 3.JPG
 
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Escout711

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11/2/16- Angry Doe

Well, I made it out for the last hour of the day. I had a doe and skipper come in, and I wasn't planning on shooting, so I kept my bow on the hanger. I was standing, facing the tree, and they were coming to left. They passed through a great shooting lane, and thought maybe a buck would come behind them. Unfortunately, the doe picks up my scent, turns and walks right under my stand. She was looking up at me and stamping her foot, pacing back and forth for an eternity. Finally, they busted me peeking. They snorted and only went about 10 yards, getting behind some brush. I could here them walking and then they started blowing over and over. Cool to see and hear. Pretty warm temps on stand.
 

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11/3/16- Backyard Explosion!

Went to check my camera in the backyard after work. What a difference a week makes! Half a dozen scrapes opened up, and one had fresh piss in it. That scrape is 5 yards from the tree I prepped for my climber. Got a nice medium sized buck on camera cruising on Halloween, which is funny, because I had told some friends that I GUARANTEE the first buck will show up in the dark on Halloween, and he did!
 

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11/4/16- Electric morning!

Warm this morning, about 50 degrees. I got on stand a little later than I wanted, about 6:45am. I really only had until 7:30 to hunt because of work, but I figured I would give it a shot. right at 7:30, I hear 10-12 deep grunts moving through the woods. I couldn't locate where it was coming from, and I never saw the deer. I hope it was the Big 10! I tried grunting and a snort wheeze, no joy. The woods felt electric today after hearing those grunts!

Went back in the the evening, and I heard a deer walking in, thrashing his antlers and raking the leaves. I sat motionless in the tree, and waited for him to step out. It felt like he was RIGHT under me, but I never spotted him until he walked off and I saw his rear end. Very exciting.
 
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11/5 Hung Up Buck

Hunted all day Saturday and I started off the morning in the same tree as the past few days. The morning was a bust, and no action. I got off stand at 10, went to check the camera I had one scrape, and it was not a good check, no action. Went home, and got ready for the afternoon hunt. I moved trees, about 20 yards closer to where the buck was hung up the night before. About 30 minutes before dark, I heard a deer moving in and loud grunting. I thought I was about to see a buck, but again he hung up. The steps in the leaves were all around me, couldn't locate the buck. I waited until dark and climbed down.
 
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11/7/16 Buck #2!

Today was my first day of Rutcation, it was also the first day the clocks rolled back, so waking up at 4am was tough. It was 36 degrees and windy, and I was having trouble staying focused on stand. At 8:25, I saw a doe and skipper walk a trail that was parallel to a stone wall, and cross through the break in the wall. I decided that for the afternoon, I would move my stand to that opening. At 4pm I looked left and saw a deer walking to me. It was a nice looking buck, so I drew back and hit him quartering to at 12 yards. I saw him walk off slowly, tail flicking, and was unsure of what happened. I waited 45 minutes on stand, climbed down and saw from the arrow that it was a gut hit. I backed out of the woods, and decided that it would be 30 degrees so the buck would be fine. My buddy Keith met me in the morning, and the tracking got off to a rough start. I left my arrow stuck right in the ground as a starting point for the tracking. When we got in at 9am, the arrow was GONE. No blood to speak of, just a tuft of hair. We started canvassing the area, and went right to a swamp. I was really disappointed in myself and thought we wouldn't find the buck. After an hour and a half, we looped back to the stand and found him dead 60 yards from the stand. Couldn't believe he only went 60 yards, was ecstatic to find the buck! My buddy Keith brought his deer cart, and getting him out of the woods was much easier. Buck weighed 150 pounds fully dressed.

2016 Buck #2.jpg

BW Buck.jpg
 
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Escout711

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11/10/16

Made it on stand in grey light this morning. At 7:30 a doe popped up 20 yards in front of me. Very much thought about shooting, but decided I just wanted to enjoy the show today. She walked around with her tail held high. 15 minutes later, a small buck wandered through, I believe he came to the sound of my rattling. No other deer sighted and I hunted until dark.

 

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11/11- Veterans Day

What a day today was! I got back in the same tree that I shot my second buck out of. I was feeling really antsy, and sent a good friend a text at 7am that I was thinking of making a move somewhere a little different. At 7:20, he sent me a text that he just shot a huge buck. I climbed down at a record pace, and met him at his spot at 9am. He was really confident in the shot, and we quickly found the front 2/3 of the arrow, and great blood. We soon found the other half of the arrow, and his white wrap and white vanes looked like they were dipped in red paint. We found a bloody bed, and then started to get a bad feeling. We kept up the trail, and the buck took us through greenbrier, across a stream, into a swamp that thankfully was dry this year. We found a spot where it looked the buck coughed up blood and saliva. We got taken through open hardwoods where it looked as if he was moving quickly. We hit a powerline, and this was the lowest of the low points. we lost the blood in the middle of the powerline and searched for 45 minutes for more blood without luck. It was hot, we were overdressed, and we didn't bring food or water because we thought it was going to be a quick recovery. We were at a loss about what to do, so my my buddy suggested we just look in the woods on the other side. We wandered into the woods, and split up. I got about 50 yards into the woods and was texting a friend that we had lost the blood trail. As I was texting, I looked down and spotted a tiny pin drop of blood, talk about a needle in a haystack! We got back on the trail and followed through more open hardwoods. At one point we lost the blood, and figured that he would cross through a break in a stone wall, and he did. We got into another very thick area that was a dried up swamp. We found a good bloody bed, and then the blood vanished again. We were right behind a strip of houses, and figured he would skirt the yards. My buddy picked up another drop of blood about 20 yards past the bed, and we were back in business. We got into more open hardwoods and the buck looked like he stumbled a couple times. We crossed a cart road, and then the blood just stopped. We circled around looking for more but it was gone. We decided to split up and just look for the deer. I saw a little green pasture, and decided to look into it just in case the deer was laying dead in the field. I got to the edge of the field, looked down, and spotted another bloody bed! We kept up on trail, and quickly found another bed. We split up again, and a few minutes later I heard buddy yell "Brian, I found him, I found him!" What a great moment it was walking up to that buck. He was still very limber, hadn't stiffened up a bit, he must have just died. Great buck, great moment, great memory with a friend!
 

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11/16/16

Perfect conditions this morning. It rained hard all day yesterday and last night. The rain stopped overnight, and it was a 50 degree morning. Felt like a perfect morning to kill a deer, but I could only hunt until 7:30 because of work. Still, it felt good to get out for what is most likely my last bowhunt of the season. Switching to guns on Saturday!
 

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2016 NY Rifle Opening Weekend 11/19-11/20

What a great weekend of deer hunting! The Opener on Saturday was cool in the morning, about 35 degrees, but it hit 70 in the afternoon. I had my mom with me, and we parked up high by the cell tower road. We were running a little late, and on our way in at 6:15, 2 deer jumped across the road ahead of us. I had mom setup with my Millennium tree seat, and I picked a spot for my climber where I had good views down a cart road, and fresh tracks through the beech leaves. After sitting until 8:30, I decided to move my climber down the hill slightly to get out of the sun which was blinding me. At 10:30 I saw 2 does run by. A little while later my friend Jason sent a text that I had a buck and doe headed my way. At 11:20 I had the doe being chased by a buck, and I thought I drilled the buck. 2 hours of searching and didn't even find a single speck of blood anywhere. I moved downhill for the evening and saw 2 deer right at last light.

What a difference a day made for Sunday! We woke up to 4" of heavy snow. I againhad my mom with me and I got set up close to where I was yesterday when I missed the buck. I was leaning against a tree and apparently wound up under a flock of turkeys. It was so great to hear the yelping of the hens and the gobbles from the toms. Watching the birds fly down was quite entertaining, and I watched them walking in my binos. At 7am, my buddy Jason sent me a text saying "This is Benoit Christmas!" A while later I saw 3 deer feeding 100 yards below me. Not seeing any antlers, I decided to sneak closer, and got within 30 yards before they busted me. I followed their tracks through the snow which lead toward where my mother was sitting. When I got to my mothers spot she was gone and I could see that she had left early. I worked my way back up the hill and then down to where I had seen the three does earlier. I sat for a while but the snow was falling so hard and fast that I could not see through my scope at all. I decided to walk back to the truck and head down to the store to buy some scope caps. On my way I came across a set of tracks that were fresh so I decided to follow them. After about 150 yards I saw a doe looking at me. I was having a lot of difficulty seeing her through the scope because of the snow and water. After about 10 minutes of her looking at me and me looking at her she took a few jumps down hill. Then I saw a bigger deer get up out of his bed and thought I saw antler. Looking through my scope was like looking through a kaleidoscope and I could not see him even though he was only 30 or 40 yards away. I was doing my best to find him with my eyes and then try to find them again in the scope. Finally I got the crosshairs on his neck and fired. he dropped right in his tracks, dead about 5 yards from his bed. Nice little 8 pointer, about 130-140 pounds or so. My friend Jason came to take some nice photos and we had a nice long downhill drag it back to the truck. What really made everything so great was that it was a very rare snow day in the early New York rifle season. We haven't had a day like this in years. It was just an amazing day to be in the woods from start to finish!

NY Buck 1.jpg

NY Buck 2.jpg
NY Buck 3.jpg
 
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Escout711

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11/21-11/25 ny

After killing a nice buck on the second day, I took advantage of my doe tag and bear tag to be able to keep hunting with Mom, and my friends Jason, Bob, and Tom. The snow was magnificent, up to 2 feet in places. On Monday morning, I sat with my mom until she got cold and we left. In the afternoon, Bob and Tom, and I went to Delaware County to hunt some public land. It was snowing when we got there, and in the brief 3 hours we were in there, 6" of additional snow fell. Tom and I got stuck in a nasty blown down hillside covered in brambles, just awful. This place had one of the prettiest stone walls I have ever seen. On our way home, Route 28 was closed due to weather conditions and multiple accidents. We wound up having to re-route to get home, and a 20 minute ride took 2 hours. We had been in Bob's minivan, and I was really happy to hop in my truck and motor through in 4 hi, I dropped Tom off at home.





 

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On Tuesday 11/22, Bob and I went to the range to sight in his muzzleloader in the morning. We hung my buck up to cut in his garage, and his wife wasn't very happy about it. I pulled the hide off, cut off 2 big rear leg roasts for her, and gave them to her. Bob said "Come on, let's go kill another" and we rushed off to hunt public land in Morris. We got in under some hemlocks, and the amount of tracks and beds was incredible. I followed a track to a buck bedded with 2 does. With a full buck tag, I just had to say "Pow!" Not sure why I didn't shoot one of the does. Followed them another 40 yards and spotted one of the does, it was just a little fuzzy faced deer. When I put my gun down, it bounded off and I saw the buck and doe again, but they were gone too fast. We followed the tracks around until 4pm and headed home.







On Wednesday, 11/23 Bob and Tom and I went back to Morris. We were walking up the powerline, and we spotted a very unique track. It was the chest and belly of a deer swimming through the deep snow. Tom had gone in ahead of us, and was waiting at the top of the hill. Bob and I made a quick plan, he would follow the track and poke through the pines, while I went up to Tom, and watched for what popped out with him. I got to the top and was trying to wave Tom over. When he got over to me, I asked him to put something in my backpack. As he he did that, a doe shot across the powerline 30 yards from us, right where I had been facing 20 seconds earlier. We hunted the rest of the day, Bob caught a glimpse of a buck and that was it.

 
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