Sams' late season log

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
I know its a little late to start a log, but, I'll be putting in a bit of time between now and when muzzle loader ends on 12/31 and thought it would be fun to document.

I am hoping that this will be the year I get my first deer. I have actually been seeing some deer on a relatively regular basis this year so that to me is some measure of success. It has been a couple of years since I have even seen a deer during hunting season.

As I am pretty new to this I am happy to have people post pointers or any other advice based on what I post.

12/17
I was pretty tied making a pirate ship cake (complete with canons that fired) for my oldest daughter's 4th birthday party today, but managed to get out for about 1.5 hours at sunset. I walked in through a hill side covered in blow down from a couple of years ago (very noisy) to get into a spot that overlooked a field and some well used trails.

As I stopped to figure out where I would set up I had a skipper pup up about 20 yards from me. Right after a doe that I had walked within 10 yards of popped up as well. I got the gun up on the doe , but, didn't have a great shot and it was back towards where there are a number of stands. Decided not to take the shot.

That is certainly a lesson learned about really looking harder even in an area where I don't expect to see deer.

12/20
I did a quick hunt this morning before an 8:30 meeting. I worked my way down to creep up wind through some thicker swampy areas. Just as I entered the woods I heard something that sounded like a deer move off at close range. It was before shooting light and I never saw anythign.

As I worked into position the wind shifted so I was no longer working down wind. I was comitted to my loop as I had some place I needed to be so I kept creeping along. Wind blew from pretty much every direction down in the low spots so I am not sure if I spooked any deer out of there or there just weren't any to be seen. Either way no deer.

Hopefully I will get back out before work one more day this week.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
12/23 -

At least it was a nice day for a quick dip in the creek. I only had a few hours from noon until 3 today to get out. As the rain had just stopped I decided to head out and do a little still hunting.

Because of the wind I had to do a big loop and tried to cross a brook that I thought got smaller further up. Well it actually gets bigger. I tried to shimmy across a dead tree on my belly and should have read the max load before doing so. About 1/3 of the way across it snaps. Luckily it snapped in a spot that I had passes so I went in feet first.

After climbing out, draining my boots and squeezing out my socks I found a better crossing. I had burned up much of my time by then and could not really work what was left of the area I was targeting.

I'm up in VT at my in laws through Sunday night and will be back at it Monday.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
12/24 - 12/25

Up in VT with the. Inlaws for Christmas so no hunting. I did do a little late season scouting at some places I've hunted in the past. Still some apples on a few trees and fresh track say the local deer are well aware of the fact.

Did see 10 deer out in a field so I did see some critters.

Heading back to the bay state in about 20 minutes. Up and at 'em first thing.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
12/26

AM Still hunted back to where I had seen a big buck twice early in the season. Really took my time and worked the wind, still no sign of deer. Long hunt and I finished up disappointed at not having seen even a hint of deer.

PM Checked out a new spot tonight. Worked my way back to a oak point in the marsh and thought what a perfect place to find a bedded deer. After the morning's frustration I was not being as stealthy as I should have and caught a flag as it took off into the marsh. Walked down the edge and saw a big the deer ( a big doe) trying to decide if she wanted to cross the river. I grunted and had her start heading back. I had a decent shot at just over 100 yards (a shot I am comfortable taking), but did not know if I would be able to recover her out there. She then bounded away across a small creek and into the woods beyond.

One interesting thing was she was feeding in the oaks when I sent her running. Saw more evidence of deer feeding in the oaks in other areas I worked through.

I know where I will be tomorrow afternoon.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
11.27

Hunted the same piece as last night. Nothing very exciting going on so not much to report.

Wednesday morning will be honey dos then off to the woods around noon for a long sit.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
12/28

Hunted two spots between 1 and end of shooting light. Jumped one in a field on the walk out. It was 10 minutes past shooting light and between me and a house. 2x no shot.

Feeling chilled and frustrated. Taking the day of tomorrow to do family stuff and get my head back in the game.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
I hunted the 29th, 30th and 31st with no deer seen. Spent most of my time hunting on the move, basically because I did not have any spot I felt really good about finishing out the season sitting on.

While I still did not get my first deer this year I did see more deer in the woods than I have in the past. This includes a big buck that I scouted, targeted and saw from my stand during bow season. I also decided not to take the a shot at a deer that still hunted up on and jumped into the marsh because I was unsure about recovery. Later I found out it was all firm ground and I should have taken the shot.

What I did learn is that I want to commit more time time deer hunting starting now to make sure that 2012 is a different story. I will be spending more time in the woods and take that info I gather from different area to start developing a database of knowledge that will help me get into the areas that hold deer at the times they are most likely to be there.

Wish me luck in 2012.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Well I finally made it into the woods. Just took a quiet walk through an area with low potential to get out there. I should get at it for real on Saturday.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
11/8 - after forgetting my bow (twice) I finally made it to my tree. Around 8:15 I hear twigs snapping and a big buck is head right under my stand. I tried very hard not to concentrate on the horns so I am not sure how many points, but it was big big.

While I thought I was being calm I guess there was some buck fever that set in and I put the 20 yard pin on him fr an 8 yard shot. Shot was high and long story short I was not able to recover the deer after about 12 hours between Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Lost blood, found blood, lost blood etc...


Had a hard time getting back out after that but finally made it back out on 11/14.


11/14


Climbed up my tree in the same spot as Saturday at about 3. I was probably hoping against hope that the buck from Saturday was still alive and would walk by the same place. Well, he didn't and neither did any other deer. I did jump a large bodied deer about 100 yards from my stand when I was walking out. Back at it in the morning.


I had been hunting near the entrance to a bedding area, but I think I will move up to a ridge line in the oaks.


Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Had kid stuff this afternoon so I only had the morning to hunt today. I was in my parking spot by 5am and headed out through the marsh to hunt a different stand location in the same wood block I've been hunting in. To avoid the area where I bumped a deer on the way out last night I took the long way in and didn't get up a tree until 6am.

No action until almost 9 when I caught a flicker of white tail out of the corner of my eye. I thought it was a doe until I got the binocs up and saw it was a decent sized spike. The spike stayed on the edge of some thicker stuff and hung out for about an hour.

As Friday night's tacos started to beg for release I lost track of the spike. As the last time I had seen him he was at the top of a small ridge I assumed he had moved along. Unfortunately as I climbed down I saw him pop up from his bed very close to where I had last seen him. He flagged when he popped up, but slink off slowly so maybe he did not get too badly spooked.

back at it as soon as possible.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Went to my spot where I hit the buck a few weeks ago this morning. Up in my tree at little before shooting light and pretty much spent the whole time swaying back and forth. This was my 4th time in this piece the first without contact of any type. I set my climber up in an area that is more exposed to the NW wind and I am thinking that the deer headed for more sheltered beds this morning.

This afternoon I plan to pop over the small ridge and hunt the oaks on the SW side. I had a nice spike at about 60 yards for an hour or so last Saturday morning. Hopefully they will be in there this afternoon as well.


Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Back at it this afternoon. Jumped a very large doe on the way in. She heard me, but did not see me and a few grunts seamed to settle her down. Got up my tree a little after 2 and heard crunch crunch. I was excited as it came from the same direction as last sighting of the big doe.

well it turns out to be idiot #1. He decides to walk right up one of the main trails and pop out into the marsh. About 5 minutes later idiot #2 comes by and does a circle through the area I am set up in. As he circle back through I got his attention and he headed out the way I indicated to him I would prefer.

About 20 minutes after that idiot #1 comes back. When I get his attention he yells to me "have you seen my buddy". I silently signal which way he went and he yells up that he must have seen me headed back out. He also saysimwas waiting for him up at the point. When it becomes apparent that I don't want to yell back and forth he crunches off breaking sticks with every step.

I am on public land and fully understand that it is open to all. While I wouldn't have been happy I would have understood if someone walked through my set up trying to actually hunt. These idiots were just tromping around the woods carrying bows. They weren't still hunting, if they were trying to push no one was even close to being ready for a shot.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Hunted my last day of archery on Friday. No deer seen in either the morning or afternoon. I was very hopeful for the area I've been bow hunting, but I am concerned that the amount of time I spent tromping through the bedding areas looking for the buck I hit has changed up their pattern.

I am in VT for the weekend and will get the ML sighted in today.

Out all day Monday for the opening of shotgun.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Spent all day in the woods without seeing anything. Broke up the day between 2 spots. One had zero pressure, but the high tide may have kept the deer out of their usual haunts. The second one had a few hunters, but no deer moving. Heard a few shots in the morning that could have been duck hunters. Zero shots in the afternoon.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Did a little exploring in a new area before work today and saw some signs of activity, but no deer. While I did not find any super hot spots I was on limited time. Some more exploring in this area is certainly warranted.

I did hear a few shots pretty close by hopefully someone got a nice one this morning.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Saturday was a a very frustrating day a I'm still not sure how I feel about it. That is most of the reason that I have not updated this log until now.

I got to the area where I have been hunting for most of bow season with a plan of my checking my camera on the way to choose which stand locations would use. As I got to the edge of the woods I saw two other guys heading in. I asked where they intended to hunt and one of them was going to sit in the spot where my camera was. I decided to hunt over a small hill from there where I had seen some fresh sign at the beginning of the week.


On the way I I heard a few deer run off in the dark. They were well up wind so I didn't think they spooked too far. After that I headed up to my spot for the day and settled in.


About 10 minutes after first light I heard a shot very close by. It also seemed to come from the spot by my camera.


About half an hour later one of the guys comes by where I was sitting (I knew he would be as we had discussed it) and asked if it was my shot. We both figures it was the other guy (his adult son). He headed off in that direction and I settled I to see if anything else happened.


After about 2 hours of sitting I curiosity got the best of me and I decided to see what had happened. I walked over and found the gut pile about 10 yards from my camera and 30 yards from the tree where I have placing my climber. Hopefully it was not the big 6 or 8 I had some new pictures of.


I did learn from the father that the son (who shot the deer) had lost his leg in April and this was his first time back in the woods. Because of that I am happy for him that he got a deer. I'm just struggling wight the fact that I have been working so hard to finally get my first deer and keep getting very close. While I had not planned to sit in that spot I would have stayed put about 60 yard away when I heard the deer spook on the way in.


I also really wish they had left a note on my truck to say what it was they shot. From our conversation they knew I had been hunting in there a bit and it would be nice to know if it was a big buck, spike, doe etc... They also knew we were parked in the same spot.


As I said I'm having a hard time chewing on this one. With snow in the forecast I'll be back at it in a different piece of woods before work tomorrow. I did check this new spot again Saturday and found where a buck and doe decided to enter a huge swamp together early Saturday. Maybe they will use the same access tomorrow.


Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Took a quick walk before work this morning to a spot where I had seen a buck and doe tracking heading into a bog swamp on Saturday morning. There were no tracks going in at that same spot so I walk a trail that was above I had back tracked the trail on Saturday. I did not see them or any other deer and didn't have time to wait them out as I had to get to work. It was a nice morning for a walk in the snow and I got back to the truck before getting soaked when it switched to "wintery mix".

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
12/13

Had a parent teacher conference at 1 and snuck out to a new spot for a quick look around. My interiors were to take a slow walk and scout, but there a few other guys and I got kind of penned so I ended up sitting over the due of a swamp. Got a quick peek at one deer thought the bino's, but no where close to a shot opportunity.

12/14

I got into the woods very early as I knew it would be loud walking and wanted to take my time and be quiet. About 7:30 I had one headed right towards me, but he took a left towards the spot I sat in last Saturday. After that things were quiet.

i did walk around and found and checked an area that had a lot of activity last year late in the season and it appears the deer are using that trail again this year. Time to pick up another camera and get it set up there so I can see when it is being used and direction of travel.

family stuff this afternoon so I'm done for the weekend. Hopefully I can get out Monday morning before my dentist appointment, but not sure how that will play out.

I did see two guys dragging a doe and saw where another deer had been shot very close to where I park. Tracked the blood back and it was shot bedded up on an island in a swamp. From the scene it looks like it was shot right out of its bed.

sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Hit the woods nice early this morning hoping to find tons of tracks in my usual spots. Well I saw a good number and they were all coyote tracks. Not a single deer track to be found. I sat for a while in a spot with good visibility and did not see anything other than wood peckers galore. There were also tons of ducks and geese flying. Enought that I was condemning the practicality of sky busting a goose with the Omega. (Between the lack of duck stamp, and safety issues regarding launching a 50 cal round into the sky I did not do it.)

After a decent sit I got up and walked the whole piece without ever crossing a track that I could confirm as a deer print. It is all acorns and I am guessing that there is just too much snow to get to them. I'll see how much snow is left Tuesday morning and decide if I should change spots or not. I would guess they will hit the acorns hard if they can get to them.

Sam
 

sams

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
Rowley, MA
Took a walk out back of my house last night with the dog to see if anything had been moving around after much of the snow melted. The area is unhuntable due to other houses, but similar in make up to the areas I hunt so I thought it would provide some worthwhile intel. Sure enough 2 doe tracks and what looks like a decent size buck track from Saturday night or early morning. They did a little digging for acorns, but more browsing on the little red berries (winter berries I think).

At the office today and back into the woods tomorrow. I will wait and see how much snow is left before I decide on a location.

Sam
 
Top