MGK's 2015 Hunting Log

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
I figured that I make enough updates that I might as well start a hunting log. I'm fortunate enough to have the time to hunt almost every evening.

10/7/15

Did some Google Earth scouting over the last few days about a piece that I've driven by countless times but never step foot in. The 10pt I saw trying to cross the road the other evening gave me the motivation to go and check this place out. Basically a big swail grass swamp that leads into a couple fields. I got in the woods early and walked around for a bit before I found a tree that I was able to climb. Not in an ideal spot but I didn't really have too much time to do some extra scouting and their weren't many trees that were climber friendly. I wasn't in the tree for a half hour when I hear a deer walking through the tall grass to my left. at about 50 yrds I see a deer step into and opening and instantly see bone. He quickly stepped into some alders and a doe was right on his heels. They both popped out at about 30yrds and I see it's a spike with about 8" spikes. They fed their way through for about 20 minutes before walking out of sight. Now just for an experiment since I had no intent on shooting either deer I let out a couple bleats to see if I could turn them. The spike kept walking but the doe double around and looked for a couple minutes before she followed the spike. Right before dark I heard a splash and then heard the sound of a deer in the grass. I could see it was a better buck but he was at about 80 yrds. Once again I let out a bleat and he looked right in my direction. Basket 6 or 8 well inside his ears so I didn't try to get him an closer. I might go back into this spot again but it's one hell of a long walk and I did find 2 stands which I believe to be rifle stands. I think it could be a decent spot before November.
 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/8/15

Plans changed. Was going to hunt a big oak ridge down on the ocean but after pulling my cam after a 5 day soak and only getting 3 deer I decided to check out my "Glory Field". Two nice bucks came through while I was at a candle light vigil for the crew of the El Faro. Sadly 33 fellow seafarers lost their lives including a friend. It's been a rough week and the school has been holding a number of support groups for those who are struggling with this. I'm not much for that and instead for me the best therapy comes from sitting in a treestand. I decided that the field was too hot to ignore. I got in the stand at 4:30 and the woods was alive. This Low pushing through really had the animals on their feet. Not deer sightings until 6:15ish. I adjusted in the stand and 3 deer took off from the base of my tree. Never knew they were there. Shortly after I hear deer running in every direction. Not sure what happened but they were on a tear. 7 deer enter the field behind my camera and were looking towards the corner of the field. I see a deer step out and instantly new it was a decent. buck. He pushes the other deer out of the field and starts to zig zag. He ends up at 25 yrds broadside but I elected to pass. I let him wander off before climbing down and grabbing the card in the camera. I think it's the same buck I've passed a for the 3rd time.

Hard to see but I'm in the tree right above the bucks rack



I might shoot this buck if given the chance. He's not huge but a nice deer



 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/12/15

Not much to report as far as hunting goes. I sat Saturday Morning/Evening with one deer sighted. I also hunted this morning with a big goose egg. Deer might have changed or they might be in a lull. Not too worried about it at the moment.

I went for a walk the other day and found the starts of an active scrape line. I decided to hang a camera and got a picture of a big buck but couldn't make out his rack. I had a spike horn in the same spot earlier and this deer's back was a good foot above the spikes. I decided to try a different tactic and hung the camera on a scrape and was pleasantly surprised. 3 bucks in one night (didn't post the video I got of the spike horn)

Click on the image for the video





 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/20/15

I've been hunting a decent amount but not posting much. The deer activity has slowed down around me but I'm still seeing a decent amount of deer. I decided to move some cameras around as I'm still looking for that big buck. I passed a small spike the other night and I've seen a fair amount of does and fawns. Last night I had an 8pt at 15-25 yrds for 15 minutes. Never seen this buck before but he will be a good deer next year.

I climbed a big maple just out of view of the camera to the right up on that small knoll.



This is the buck broadside to me at 15 yrds

 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/20/15 (continued)

I pulled the card on the cam literally 300yrds behind my house on a big scrape. Last buck doesn't look familiar but the other two do (90% sure the second buck is the 8pt I've passed 3 times). No time to hunt to tonight. Tough week as far as school goes. I'm shooting for a sit tomorrow evening but that one might even need to take a rain check.





 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/23/15

I snuck into my favorite Expanded spot before I headed home for the weekend. No deer sightings while sitting but the sign in there is definitely picking up and I think it will only get better as those deer get pressure from rifle season and get pushed into the expanded zone. On the way back to my place to pack up to head north I saw a big buck (8 or 10) chase a doe across the road. He was an "any day" buck. (Shoot him any day of any season)

10/24/15

I helped JDK move some stands and check some cams around deer camp. He made a good write up about it in his Log. From what I saw he would be crazy to hunt in there until the deer start heading to the yards. Maybe one set of tracks sighted and we walked a few miles. Pretty dead to say the least.

10/27/15

COLD morning. No wind. Perfect. I hung my climber yesterday before I went to a doctors appointment so all I had to do is climb into it and hunt this morning. Jumped a 4 or 5 of deer walking in. I was trying to be quiet but a fresh frost on leaves that just dropped is hard. I planned to sit until 7:15 just being quiet and then rattle until I got down. At 7:15 I let out a few grunts and rattled for about 20 seconds. 6 minutes later I hear a deer trotting towards me. I grabbed my bow because I new it was a buck. He stopped right under my stand and scanned the field for a minute looking for the "bucks" once I saw his rack and knew he wasn't a shooter so I hung the bow back up and grabbed my phone for a couple pictures. He tore up a branch right next to me and then walked across the field and licked a few more branches before walking off. First buck I have rattled in and the second buck I've called in this year. When he was messing around, a doe came in behind him but never entered the field. At 8:00 I hear more deer coming. It was about 15 minutes after my last rattle sequence so I figured they were probably does. Sure enough 4 does walk right up to me and feed under the apple tree for a few minutes. One doe entered the field but the other 3 skirted the edge as the wandered off. So all in all a great morning. The young bucks seem to be out in full force lately. Whether or not I shoot a buck this year I can honestly say that this has been my best season yet.

5 yards. Probably could have pulled this shot off.



He messed around with a few of those over hanging branches before wandering off



One of the does.

 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
Thought I'd add this. This bear has been coming in at night. I'm not good at judging them but looks to be a decent one to me



 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/27/15 (evening)

Went right from class to the stand. Was in the tree at 3:50 and hit the rattle bag and grunt tube every 20 minutes with no takers. At 5:30 two does and a fawn entered the field and fed right to the base of my tree. Next I hear what sounds like a herd of deer running. I look to my left and count 4 deer bound through and opening. They enter the field at full tilt and stop and look behind them. Not sure what that was about but they settled down and like the other 3 deer, fed right to the base of my tree. Right before dark a doe and two fawns crossed the field at about 50 yrds. So all in all, 16 deer sighted from this stand today. I'm excited for the the rest of the week.
 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/28/15

Oct. 28 isn't my day obviously. Big storm coming in tonight so I new the deer would be on their feet. I got in the stand at 4pm and around 4:45 I look up and theirs a deer in the field. She came in like a ghost but fed her way right under me and wandered off. 5:30 I see another doe skirt the edge of field the and never come any closer than 50 yrds. 5:50 I see a deer come from the same place the last doe did. Big body and too dark to make out a rack but I could smell him. He never really entered the field but more or less tried to stay with that doe. A few grunt calls were ill fated and he followed after the way she went. So legal shooting time was about 6:01 tonight and if you remember back to last year I had a buck I was after at 17yrds and couldn't see my pins on this exact day. So yes you guessed it. 5:59 a doe comes out into the field on a steady walk. About a minute later out steps a buck. Instantly from the size difference I knew he was a good buck. (Doe was about 110lbs) He turned his head and I saw a blonde rack that was out to his ears. Nose to the ground he follows that doe right to 15yrds broadside. I draw back.... can't see the pins. It was still legal shooting so I sky lined the pins and find them and then came back down on him and was less than comfortable with the shot so I let down and watched a buck that I've been hunting for a month walk by.

The doe he was following,



The buck. Not huge but I would have happily put a tag on his leg. Notice how he is thick chest to tail.



Just a random picture from last night. The doe is at 5 yrds and her fawn is right at the camera

 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
10/31/15

Opening day of Rifle season. I hunted with a bow regardless. Morning sit yield a doe and two fawns. Evening sit I saw 3 does and a small buck. Never gave me a shot (not that I would have).

11/2/15

Tonight was a lot of fun!! Hiked back into this ungoddly thick swamp. It's on the back side of a bog and has a few cuts around it. The cuts have grown up and the Christmas trees are about 8 feet tall. This is a piece that you literally can't hunt with out a stand. Found a big pine tree and climbed up about 20'. Start hitting the rattle bag and throwing out a few grunts every 20 minutes. I got a text at about 3:20 saying my buddy had missed a running shot at a big buck not too far from me. I heard the shot but didn't know he was in there. 3:30 I heard a branch break and see a deer jump over a blow down. Shoulder my rifle and see it's a spike. One of the most unique spikes I've seen. His spikes went up about 4" and then curled in and might have been touching. I'm not sure if he just came in or came to the rattling but I'm going to say he came to the rattling ;) 4:20 I hear a deer ahead of me. It was in those christmas trees and I can't see anything. I had just rattled so I grabbed the rifle again and got ready. at 4:30 a basket racked 7pt steps out into the cut road at about 50yrds. Stands there broadside and scans the cut for 10 minutes before wandering off. I tried to get a picture of him in the scope but couldn't pull it off. So That would make bucks number 2 and 3 of the year rattled in and bucks number 12 and 13 seen while hunting.
 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/3/15 AM

No class until 12:30 today. Hiked back into the piece I shot my 7pt last year. A lot less sign than in years past but still a fair amount of rubs and scrapes. Climbed a tree 25yrds from where that 7pt was standing last year and rattled until 9am. No deer sighted. I have to work on the ship until 3:30 today so I'll probably just sneak into an expanded spot before dark.
 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/7/15
AM

My CRV pretty much died on me over the last few weeks so I went home to pick up a new to me truck. I'll miss the old girl, the memories that I made in that little buggie will last a lifetime!

So dad and I took the new truck out on the woods roads for the morning hunt. Dad had gotten a tip from some moose hunters of a spot that they saw a ton of deer. New country to use both. We came to a spot where their was an old tote road and a new winter road that branched off the main road. Dad took the winter road and I took the tote road. I walked about 100yrds and it opening up into a small cut. I stepped into the cut and saw a doe right before she took off. She had a little one with her as well. The sign in there was decent and I cut a few big tracks in the mud. The road winded up a ridge and opening up into some gorgeous country but it seemed like most of the deer sign was down in the swamp.

PM

Dad and I stuck around the house. I went down into the corner of an old hay field that I had a treestand in back in high school. A number of rubs and scrapes on the wood line along with a lot of bear sign. The field has really grown up and it was impossible to sit on the ground so I climbed up a big spruce tree and sat about 15' up. It was actually really comfortable and I had a great shooting lane. Right before dark I hear a shot towards dad. Instantly I knew it was him and was hoping for the best. At dark I headed to the truck to see if he was back. I saw him walking across the field with his head down.. I knew it wasn't good. We looked for a while with no blood or hair. He said it was a full racked buck in the 200lbs range. Tough shoot, tough break

Going to miss the old girl!!





 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/9/15

Got into a honey hole of a spot. Good place to catch a buck chasing does. At 3:40 I hear a branch break and great ready. Out steps two does and a fawn. They fed their way through the field and wandered off. I noticed that one of the does was missing half her tail. It was just the bone sticking out. Not sure how that happened but I bet it wasn't pleasant. At 4:30 I hear a branch break from the same spot. Get ready as I was hoping for a big guy to be one those doe track. First deer to step out was a button buck, then a doe, then a yearling. They like the other 3 fed their way out of sight and by the time they were gone it was well past legal shooting.

10/10/15

Disaster of a morning. Hunted the same place as last night. It's such a small field that a bow will cover the entire thing so I hunt with my bow instead of a rifle. I got in the stand at 5:30 and nothing until 8:05 when I go to readjust in the stand and my bow holder pulls out. Bow and quiver fall 18'. Now I know that gravity is 9.81 m/s^2 but it felt like that bow took 10 seconds to hit the ground. Shortly followed by a loud crunch. So now I'm ripping pissed. Climb down. All my arrows are broken. My sight is canted which I can fix but now I have to re-sight in the bow. So I pick every thing up and go home. I'm so pissed when I get home that I knew I needed to take a walk and calm down. My roommate who is just getting into hunting isn't home which sucks because I've been trying to get him a buck for 2 years now. I was going to have him walk down towards the water behind the house while I poked through and tried to bump something his way. So I head out by myself. Right before I get to the field near the water I smell a buck.. STRONG. I knew he was right there but it was thick as all hell. two steps later I see a deer jump. Shoulder the rifle as he hits an opening and see it's a small buck. I'm guessing 4pt. So of course this deer stops and looks at me giving me a shot. He then walks right to where my roommate would have been standing if he was home. I've been looking for a big buck all year, put tons of hours in scouting and hunting. I called dad today in a rage and told him that the next buck I see is down. Obviously that wasn't the case but I'm going back into where I've passed that same 8pt up 4 time. His luck is going to be over if he wants to say hi for a 5th time.
 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/10/15

PM

Back into the same spot as the morning, rifle in hand. Checked my cam on the way in and saw a 4pt and a basket 8pt were on the trail of those does last night after dark. Woods were dead, no birds or squirrels. 4:30 I hear a branch break. Then foot steps. As I listen closer I can hear it's only one deer so I get ready. I can see a deer in the brush off the field but no clue what it is at this point. It stood there for a few minutes and scanned this field. Now I'm really thinking it's a buck. Deer steps out... Doe. No sooner does she step into the field I look and a fawn steps out 60 yrds away, then another one, then mom. Mom was huge 140+lbs doe. Big old grey doe. The didn't hang around long and more or less just walked through. I get home and my roommate said he went to where I saw the 4pt. He sprayed some buck bomb and rattled/ grunted like I told him to do. Half hour before dark a deer comes charging right at him. Stops in some small furs at 50 yrds and starts to snort. The deer made an almost complete circle around him but never came into view. He then says when the deer got up wind he got a strong musty smell. He asked " Do you think that was a buck?".. haha I'd say so!!!
 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/12/15

Class got out early today. Was in my stand by 2:30. Pretty dead but a good feeling night. Front was supposed to push through about 5pm and I had a feeling the deer would move. Nothing doing until 4:06. I hear a gun shot in the distance. Check my phone at 4:10, 3 missed calls and 2 text messages from my roommate. Open the first text, "BUCK DOWN" Now I'm pumped! So I text him to let me finish my sit and then I'll give him a hand. 5 minutes later I say screw it! I'm getting down to help him. I stand up and a branch breaks behind me.. close. Sit back down and a doe comes into view. Ears pinned back and tail tucked on a trot. I catch movement behind her. Now I'm getting excited because this is textbook. The deer comes into view as I pick up my rifle.. No bone. Now I'm surprised because the lead doe is acting weird. I noticed a button buck is trailing the two does. They step into the field and the big doe starts to blow and stomp. She's looking towards the opposite end of the field. They literally zig zagged this entire edge of the field. They would go into the woods and then pop back out 10 yards down the field and they kept doing this. The doe would stop and blow and stomp and then keep walking. Next thing I know the three of them come across the field at full tilt. I hear a couple more deer in the woods in the direction they are headed. They hit the other end of the field and stop. Walk into the woods, dub around for a minute and then come back into the field. I've never seen deer act like this. I'm guess their was a buck near but I never saw or smelled one. So I get down at dark and go and meet up with Charlie. He's all grins! First words out of his mouth "You were right!!! rattling works!!" So he took me to the deer and ran through the whole story with me. He was sitting on the edge of a small cut in a lawn chair and rattling/grunting every 20 minutes. He had just got done rattling and sees deer looking at him at 50yrds off the edge of the cut. Kept his cool and let the deer work the edge of the cut right into 20 yrds. The deer put his head down and he put the gun up. Deer steps out, BANG. Humps up and doesn't make it out of the cut! Nice first buck and he's beyond pumped! I'm very happy for him. This is a spot he scouted all on his own and has been hunting it for two years.

122lbs Spike with the happy hunter!

 
Last edited:

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/13/15 PM

So let me start this by admitting to everyone that I'm a liar. I have class on Fridays from until 4 which with it getting dark at 4:40 now doesn't leave much room for a hunt. Well the professor told us today that he had to cut class short so I'm out the deer at 3:20 and headed for the woods. Climb in the stand by 3:50 and get ready. Wind was swirling and it started to drizzle. 3:35 rolls around and it's almost the end of legal when I see a deer standing to my left at 30yrds. Never heard him but he was standing there proud as a peacock. I saw that he was out towards his ears and a nice buck. Gun came up as he walked 20yrds broadside to me. It's that 8pt what I've passed up 4 times. Saftey comes off, crosshairs on the front shoulder.... and I hesitate. Put the safety back on and watched him zig zag the field before he steps out of sight right at the end of legal. I wrote in my log that I would shoot this buck and I told dad I would if I saw him again but It didn't feel right. Probably should have shot him but I keep telling myself to hold out for something bigger. As I told dad on the phone last night. I'll shoot the first buck I don't hesitate on.

11/1/14 AM

Spitting rain and windy. I decided this morning was a good morning to go for a walk and boy did I go for a long one. Not sure how far I went but I bet well over 5 miles. I saw 3 does and stalked into 25 yrds of one in her bed. She never saw me and once I saw that she was alone I backed out not to spook her. This evening is going to be WINDY. I'll hit a swamp and see if they will move in a spot out of the wind.
 

MGK

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
900
Reaction score
26
Location
Smithfield, ME
11/21/15-11/24/15

11/21/15

Home for Thanksgiving break. I met dad into camp Saturday morning. The 6pt I saw chasing a doe less than a mile from the house and the 5 other does I saw before I got to the woods made me wonder why the heck I was going into camp. Dad and I hunted between the beech flats and slippery hill. Dad went on one side of the road and I went to toward the river. Walked this old tote road and found two fresh scrapes but not much for deer sign. Found a nice tree to climb and started rattling and grunting. I called in two…. People. What the heck this is Northern Maine and I’ve already seen more people in the woods in 2 hours than I have all season down by school. So needless to say, deer sightings = 0

11/23/15

Wake up to 3” of fresh snow.. the dream. I hit the farm up the road. I hurried over to one of the biggest rub lines I’ve ever seen. No lie, over 50 rubs on this rub line all from this year on trees ranging from 1” diameter to 8” diameter. I saw where a buck walked through early in the morning while the snow was coming down. I start zig zagging this wood line. I hit the old farm road that goes through the woods and connects to another series of fields. One fresh buck track on the road but it wasn’t anything worth pursuing. I zig zagged the fields and hit the back side of where dad shot his bear this year. I picked up a fresh bear track along the brook and figured I’d dog it for a while. Never tracked a bear before but It’s weird! They climb over blow downs and walk down fallen trees. Figured with the whole woods being white the bear would be easy to spot but after 2 hours I never caught up with him. So I headed back towards where I typically see some deer. Finally hit some fresh sign after not cutting a single track while I was after that bear. I’m poking through a hard wood thicket and see a moose stand up. Then another. I watched this cow and calf at 20 yrds for a few minutes before they walked off. I jumped a small bull and a cow before I got into a big overgrown field at the top of the ridge. Now I’m well over a mile from the truck as the crow flies and I have to run some errands around noon so I started back. I get back out to the field where I’m parked and see that a buck had walked in my footsteps from the morning. So I start after it knowing full well that it’s not a big buck. It starts down a soft wood thicket and then bends back towards a big field and I know he’s going to cross so I jog up the wood line and come around the corner. Start scanning and I see a deer at about 200yrds in the pucker brush. Gun up and I can see in the scope the deer was a crotch horn. No intention of shooting but still pretty cool to catch up with one. Back to the truck I go. The evening was very uneventful and I saw nothing.

11/24/15

Cold and windy. 22 with 15mph winds when I left the house. Start the day very similar to yesterday but hitting the wood line of the big field. I decided to start off by hitting this bog that sits behind the field. Got back in there a little ways and caught a doe and fawn in their bed. Shortly after I saw a cow. I found a good spot for a stand. It’s an old skid road that is all grown up with swale grass. Perfect tree for a climber at the end where you can see almost 200 yrds. I picked my way through all the way to this big brook. Followed it down to the farm road that connects the fields. I crossed the road and started up this cut hardwood ridge. Was very impressed with the deer sign. They were all through this patch. I come through this small soft wood patch and see a flash of a deer ahead of me. Hurry over to see the track and notice a big fresh scrape and a big track bounding off… IT’S ON!! I hurry after him as I know that theirs only about 200 yrds until the next field I get to where I can see the field and no deer. I’m really trying to go quietly but it’s all beech whips and it’s impossible. Next thing I know I see a deer take a bound. Gun up and he’s behind a blow down before I can shoot. From what I saw he was out to his years with a full rack. I try to run up to the field and cut the deer off but It was impossible to cover the distance to the field before he was out of sight. I sprinted across this field and hit his track on the next wood line. Now he’s in a patch about 150yrds wide and right against a paved road. I know if I can push him across the road though he will be in some bigger country. I was able to get him to cross the pavement and it was on again. I was hoping he would swing left as it went up a big hardwood ridge where you can actually see. No dice, he went into the most ungodly thick swamp in the area where I have lost many buck tracks over the years and sure enough he wandered onto posted property and that was the end of that.

So in 3 days of hunting the “county” what I took away is that the deer herd in the farm land around the house is as good as I’ve ever seen. Not only are there a good amount of deer, I saw a lot of buck tracks and some big track. The woods in around camp was less than impressive.
 
Top