Russell Report 2012

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Left Boston early this year for once which allowed us to get into camp at 6pm. Uncle Gary was already at camp and had the woodstove cranking.




We were surprised that there were 3 inches of snow on the ground. Plans for the next day changed completely…. No scouting, no cam checking. We’d be tracking in the morning! By the time we were done unloading, the old man pulls in. We got his gear unpacked and we all had either Jack or Sam in hand by 7pm. Lights out at 8 but the excitement for the days ahead kept my eyes open well past 10. Alarm sounds at 2:15am in the Russell camp to allow ample time for the coffee to kick in and the bowels to get blazing. Out the door at 3:15… Day 1 2012 Saturday the 10th. Unfortunately, 30 miles north of camp marked the southern border of the area we usually hunt and also marked the snowline. Just patchy snow here and there… not enough to track. Back to Plan A. We scouted along the edges of a big lake where a doe group was hanging out last year… bunch of sign in there. Back to the truck at 8am to go check spot #2 10 miles away.



Bit more snow there and I tracked a young buck through some mature woods to a 2 year old cut that had sign everywhere. Josh saw the same amount of activity. We’d be back.

I sat the afternoon over my favorite sign post and, though the cam didn’t show a bunch of activity, “Too Tall” had visited this tree again as he has for the last 3 years. Rack went a bit downhill… I got him at 6.5yrs old and way the hell over 200lbs.


 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Few does there too but no other bucks



Josh had a bunch of does and one decent buck on a cam a mile away.


 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA








No deer seen day one. Ziti and meat sauce tasted good before we went to bunk.
 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Sunday the 11th
We got to sleep in. Breakfast was ready at 5 and by 6 we had the docks out of the water for our camp and our neighbors as well. Then off to check some cameras. Josh saw 2 deer while changing a card. One was a good doe and he couldn’t tell what the other one was. While some cams were a disappointment (either malfunctions or lack of activity) we were quite pleased with the inventory of bucks that we’d be chasing in the days ahead. (Lil John, I’m sure you were w/in a mile of one or more of these bruisers during your hunt).


I hunted these two bucks for much of the trip


 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
"The Wallo" is an annual scrape that Josh kept an eye on for a few days during the trip... you'll see why in a bit



The unheard of "400" on the Pounds and Points scale

 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA


For you trackers, take a look how flat footed he is.



The better doe shots


 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA



Boy was it exciting going through all those cards!
Cam checking ain't as easy as it looks. Busted my nose pretty good checking one, not sure how exactly.


Massive steak feed that night as has become tradition on Sundays at deer camp.

 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Monday the 12th
Temp was to reach the 50’s, and without snow in the forecast, we decided to hunt closer to camp so we could track on what we figured might be the only snow we’d see for our trip. Out the door at 2:30 to go find a track. As it was breaking day, we were still looking for a fresh track.


The one Josh is looking at is of a real good buck but was too old to take.


We’re not used to being in the truck so long after sunrise but finally, at 9am, we found a fresh enough track to mess with for the day… not a definite shooter, but we figured he might bring us to another buck. This guy liked to make scrapes and we came across a half dozen that looked like this...



 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
After an hour double teaming the track, I got nervous we’d missed something as it seemed we were heading back for the truck, sure enough, I’d missed where he double backed on his track. Since there was so much sign in this big cutting, we decided to head to the back of the cut to find the trail of a better buck heading to bed. Our suspicions were correct and we found a very respectable track. As the day heated up, so did the big buck sign, and we figured that with the fog and the wind, we’d have a good chance at this guy.



Unfortunately, after 4 miles of tracking, we found ourselves at the base of the opposite side of the mountain from where the truck was without any more snow to track on down low. As we started heading back up over the mountain to the truck, Josh and I simultaneously locked eyes on this skull from a young bull. Too far to lug out, his final resting place will be on the northeast side of that mountain.



 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
We met up with dad in the afternoon and we stand hunted the last few hours of the day. No sightings. On the ride out we saw a beauty cross the road at about 5pm. Real good buck maybe 180lbs with a 125+ inch rack.
Tuesday’s forecast of rain held true. I got to my favorite stand at 5:40 and closed my eyes while waiting for legal light… a small moment that I’ve remembered from the trip. The rain was pretty wet and I think even the receiver on my pump had absorbed a bit of moisture.



A little after 7 I catch a flash to the left on the trail coming from the sign post with the 2 big bucks. The 7600 is shouldered and the safety comes off as I could see it was a deer. A young doe stepped into view at about 20yds beneath the edge of the “hogback” I was sitting on.
My enthusiasm falter but after taking a couple steps she turned to look at her back trail. My heart was in my throat! She hung out by the scent I put out and continued on down that trail. 2 then 5 then 10 mins go by and there just wasn’t a big one behind her. Shows how quick it can happen though. I got a pic of her as she sniffed the sign post just 4 mins before she came into view.



This is the trail she came down... left to right at the base of the knob I'm sitting on

 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
After that excitement I figured it was time to find a shed. I headed to still hunt a cedar swamp. The wintering trails in there were amazing and in 30 mins I came across this guy. It’s off a buck we know, I found the same side off him last year 300yds away.



I kept still hunting through there and as I emerged out of the swamp I could smell a buck and I held still for 10 mins. He wasn’t around any longer but I found his fresh track, a good one too, and took him as long as I could on bare ground… maybe 30yds tops… before I lost the trail.
 

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Still pouring at noon so I met up with Josh at the truck and we put on some dry clothes and headed to check out another area. On the way we spotted a big doe off the road. She stayed in this same exact position as we watched and photographed her for over 25mins. No bucky behind her unfortunately.


The rain switched to snow for a few minutes early afternoon and then stopped altogether. It was this afternoon that I made a bad mistake that cost me a good buck. At about 4pm I was slowly working my way back to the truck when I came to a new road I didn’t recognize… with my head down looking at the GPS I missed my chance at a big buck (judging by the track). He was standing at the corner of a road watching me walking towards him with my head down. That one hurt… definitely could have killed him.

 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Wednesday the 14th was pretty uneventful other than the pork chop feed that night.

We saw a spike on the way in on Thursday. And I jumped up a deer at last light… had it in the scope, pretty sure that was a doe. Uncle Gary had a doe feeding directly under his tree stand for 30mins. After she got out of sight he could hear a buck chasing her around but the buck never came into view. Dad makes a mean chili and I had more than I should have that night.

Friday was dead. I’m pretty sure that all the deer were in New Hampshire this particular day.

On Saturday I checked a camera and the stand I’d spent the most time on had a buck come by trailing a doe, an event I’d been waiting for all week. However she took him there in the cover of darkness… hate it when they do that.





The other big buck on this spot came by too
 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
This is what it looked like after he came through...

Had an awesome afternoon hunt. I was covered up in deer from 2pm until closing. Incredibly noisy conditions made me slow to an absolute crawl once I got into some really heavy sign. While marking this signpost as a waypoint I let out a couple grunts and heard a deer take 3 or 4 steps.


Another hit on the grunt tube and now he’s trotting my way. I’m looking over the top of the Leupold waiting for him to appear any minute… the shot would be at 20 paces. He however winded me, blew once and took off to the left. I blew back at him and held tight. Then I heard a different deer trot off slowly to the right. “That has to be the doe” I figured. I waited a few more minutes and then split up the middle and started turning the can call over a few times. That buck made a complete circle around me until he was on the other side of a knoll. As light was fading fast I decided I needed to make a move at him and began walking towards him, varying my steps to sound like a deer walking and turning the can call over. The rifle was at my shoulder as I crested the top of the knoll in a crouch position. There he was at 30 yds. He took off and I had him in the scope for 4 or five bounds. The rack wasn’t pronounced so I held off. I saw 2 other deer during that still hunt. Both does. Josh jumped up a doe and believes there was a buck with her but he never made an appearance (that was the trend for the week). It was a great afternoon.

Sunday we went back into scout mode but didn’t find anything too interesting. The encouraging thing this year was that there were deer in every pocket of woods we checkout out… some more than less but in years past there were definitely some areas void of any whitetails… I think last winter helped a lot.
With a 9 month old at home I’d be leaving early, heading back south (very) early Thanksgiving morning.
I decided that for the last 3 days (for me) I’d stay in the stand I’d hunted a bunch the week before… bunch of nighttime activity but no deer seen these final days. Took the BLR out a couple times.


 
Last edited:

RussellBro2

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
63
Location
MA
Felt really good to squeeze the kid when I got back home but certainly had hoped for a bit more action this year.

Josh and Dad hunted the last 3 days of the season without me. Just the 2 of them had a traditional thanksgiving feed


The next morning they were tripping over moose sheds.



 
Last edited:




Latest posts

Top