First week shotgun season report

lester2

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My buddy and I headed south from VT at O-dark thirty on 12/1 to our spot in north central Mass. We arrived just before daylight and headed in. We hunt a area with a mix of about 1500 acres of public land and private land easements that are open to hunting. We’ve had 5 cameras out since September so we spent the day still hunting, scouting for fresh acorn feeding areas and checking cameras. We had several nice bucks on cams in a couple of areas and while there were plenty of nuts on the ground it was tough to find this years crop, plenty of old rotten ones. He saw a couple of deer, none for me. The next morning we arrived to a dusting of snow. I took a different route in from the truck thru a known bedding area and immediately pushed 6 deer past him. He saw heads on a few but didn’t get a good look at them all. We followed tracks for a while just to see where they headed but with so little snow it was difficult at best. By mid morning it had warmed up enough that most of the snow was gone. We ended the day sitting at a couple feeding spots, he saw a couple and I saw one flag right at last legal light walking back to the truck. That night my son arrived from RI to hunt Friday and Saturday with us. Friday morning my son and I headed in to a couple oak flats to sit. I was moving from one spot to another and jumped 3 deer but only got a good look at one doe. My son was about 800 yards away and they came right to him and he saw they were two doe and a skipper. My buddy saw 3 also that day, all bald. Saturday started good, by 11am we had all seen deer up and on their feet feeding but again, not a buck to be had despite an abundance of rubs and a few scrapes. At noon with time running out we decided to do a couple of pushes. The first resulted in my buddy seeing one running deer with no chance to see if it had horns. On the second attempt we set my son in a spot and we pushed the bedding area I’d moved the deer from on Thursday. He had a big doe come to within 30 yards and I saw another slipping out the side of the area but again, no bucks. All in all it was a fun 4 days. Between the 3 of us we saw 33 deer. In years past we’ve learned that when we get significant snow in the area our deer and buck sightings go way up as they really concentrate on feeding areas post rut. We’ll be back down later this month for muzzleloader season with the hopes of more snow.
 

mowbizz

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My buddy and I headed south from VT at O-dark thirty on 12/1 to our spot in north central Mass. We arrived just before daylight and headed in. We hunt a area with a mix of about 1500 acres of public land and private land easements that are open to hunting. We’ve had 5 cameras out since September so we spent the day still hunting, scouting for fresh acorn feeding areas and checking cameras. We had several nice bucks on cams in a couple of areas and while there were plenty of nuts on the ground it was tough to find this years crop, plenty of old rotten ones. He saw a couple of deer, none for me. The next morning we arrived to a dusting of snow. I took a different route in from the truck thru a known bedding area and immediately pushed 6 deer past him. He saw heads on a few but didn’t get a good look at them all. We followed tracks for a while just to see where they headed but with so little snow it was difficult at best. By mid morning it had warmed up enough that most of the snow was gone. We ended the day sitting at a couple feeding spots, he saw a couple and I saw one flag right at last legal light walking back to the truck. That night my son arrived from RI to hunt Friday and Saturday with us. Friday morning my son and I headed in to a couple oak flats to sit. I was moving from one spot to another and jumped 3 deer but only got a good look at one doe. My son was about 800 yards away and they came right to him and he saw they were two doe and a skipper. My buddy saw 3 also that day, all bald. Saturday started good, by 11am we had all seen deer up and on their feet feeding but again, not a buck to be had despite an abundance of rubs and a few scrapes. At noon with time running out we decided to do a couple of pushes. The first resulted in my buddy seeing one running deer with no chance to see if it had horns. On the second attempt we set my son in a spot and we pushed the bedding area I’d moved the deer from on Thursday. He had a big doe come to within 30 yards and I saw another slipping out the side of the area but again, no bucks. All in all it was a fun 4 days. Between the 3 of us we saw 33 deer. In years past we’ve learned that when we get significant snow in the area our deer and buck sightings go way up as they really concentrate on feeding areas post rut. We’ll be back down later this month for muzzleloader season with the hopes of more snow.
Seeing them is “almost” a good as shooting them!😂 more than 80 hours in the woods here in central NH and zero deer sighted. The bucks started showing up on cameras from 11/25 -11/30 with a couple in daylight. Of course I wasn’t there🤣
Last day of firearms today and I’m babysitting my injured pup. I’ll be out with the crossbow tomorrow until the15th of Dec.
 

mowbizz

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My buddy and I headed south from VT at O-dark thirty on 12/1 to our spot in north central Mass. We arrived just before daylight and headed in. We hunt a area with a mix of about 1500 acres of public land and private land easements that are open to hunting. We’ve had 5 cameras out since September so we spent the day still hunting, scouting for fresh acorn feeding areas and checking cameras. We had several nice bucks on cams in a couple of areas and while there were plenty of nuts on the ground it was tough to find this years crop, plenty of old rotten ones. He saw a couple of deer, none for me. The next morning we arrived to a dusting of snow. I took a different route in from the truck thru a known bedding area and immediately pushed 6 deer past him. He saw heads on a few but didn’t get a good look at them all. We followed tracks for a while just to see where they headed but with so little snow it was difficult at best. By mid morning it had warmed up enough that most of the snow was gone. We ended the day sitting at a couple feeding spots, he saw a couple and I saw one flag right at last legal light walking back to the truck. That night my son arrived from RI to hunt Friday and Saturday with us. Friday morning my son and I headed in to a couple oak flats to sit. I was moving from one spot to another and jumped 3 deer but only got a good look at one doe. My son was about 800 yards away and they came right to him and he saw they were two doe and a skipper. My buddy saw 3 also that day, all bald. Saturday started good, by 11am we had all seen deer up and on their feet feeding but again, not a buck to be had despite an abundance of rubs and a few scrapes. At noon with time running out we decided to do a couple of pushes. The first resulted in my buddy seeing one running deer with no chance to see if it had horns. On the second attempt we set my son in a spot and we pushed the bedding area I’d moved the deer from on Thursday. He had a big doe come to within 30 yards and I saw another slipping out the side of the area but again, no bucks. All in all it was a fun 4 days. Between the 3 of us we saw 33 deer. In years past we’ve learned that when we get significant snow in the area our deer and buck sightings go way up as they really concentrate on feeding areas post rut. We’ll be back down later this month for muzzleloader season with the hopes of more snow.
By the way, I used to make the trip out to western MA 50 years ago but after a few years I moved to NH, never to set foot into the “orange army” territory again…I was successful once out in Great Barrington in the pouring rain…dumped a little fork horn in a puddle! 😂
 

lester2

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By the way, I used to make the trip out to western MA 50 years ago but after a few years I moved to NH, never to set foot into the “orange army” territory again…I was successful once out in Great Barrington in the pouring rain…dumped a little fork horn in a puddle! 😂
I should have mentioned in my initial post that in the 9 years we’ve been going down we’ve only encountered a handful of other hunters in the woods. Yesterday I came across a young guy headed in to a spot at about 3:10pm carrying a muzzleloader and GoPro camera mounted on his back. I think he’s only the 5th or 6th other hunter I’ve seen in all these years. There is a father and two sons from southern MA who come up for the first week. They rarely venture more than a quarter mile or so from the road and then stick pretty close to established trails. Most days we pretty much have the place to ourselves.
 

mowbizz

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I should have mentioned in my initial post that in the 9 years we’ve been going down we’ve only encountered a handful of other hunters in the woods. Yesterday I came across a young guy headed in to a spot at about 3:10pm carrying a muzzleloader and GoPro camera mounted on his back. I think he’s only the 5th or 6th other hunter I’ve seen in all these years. There is a father and two sons from southern MA who come up for the first week. They rarely venture more than a quarter mile or so from the road and then stick pretty close to established trails. Most days we pretty much have the place to ourselves.
Yup… Back then the orange army would be marching out of the woods at 10am then back in at 3 pm…rarely did they leave trails or logging roads. Like clockwork, the motel would empty out for the morning then fill back up at sunset (with the 4-5 hour “lunch” in between!
😂
 

NH Hunter

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Sounds like a great time. Seeing deer is the name of the game. I wonder if you ran into Jeff Doyle? He does a YouTube show with a camera mounted to his back.
 

groundtender

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L2 - Great report, thanks. I have done a fair amount of research and was fortunate enough to get a district wildlife manager on the phone who filled me in, and a hunting friend who lived in Montague for 25 years before recently retiring to Fla. I hope to get there for MZ, but you know how that can go. If weather conditions improve for hunting that might might be the game changer. Good luck to you
 

lester2

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Sounds like a great time. Seeing deer is the name of the game. I wonder if you ran into Jeff Doyle? He does a YouTube show with a camera mounted to his back.
Don’t think it was him, I went to his YouTube channel and checked. The young hunter I ran into is probably taking his cue from him tho! Yes, it was a great 4 day hunt. I hunt VT, ME, OH, and NH also and I look forward to MA the most.
 




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