Steve/NH Hunting log

Steve/NH

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Gonna give this journal thing a whirl.

08/18/2011 - My good friends (Paul, Greyson, and Shawn) and I are getting geared up for a bear hunting trip to Maine. E-mail chatter is picking up and can tell everyone is itching to get going. Can't wait....should be an absolute blast.

Trip date - 08.27.11 - 09.04.11
 

Steve/NH

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...........So we leave tommorrow and hurricane Irene is really pressing on my nerves as well as the rest of the crew. We'll be ahead of her but she is expected to hit home (S.NH) sometime Sunday during daylight hours which is good :rolleyes: (better than nighttime). We are all a little concerned about leaving the families alone during this but no one including myself wants to postpone departure either. Projected path at the moment goes right thru our area, hopefully west of us, and is expected to die off to a tropical storm before it's gets here. Here's hoping. Everyone is a little on edge. Gonna be an interesting weekend.
 

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Monday, night 1 was my 1st night ever on bear stand.
<cell phone pic of the setup> Had some camera issues.

....no thats no sasquach....just a weird shadow around the bait. he...he...he...

Around 7:15, a solo bear walks into my shooting lane, left to right....checking everything out, sniffing, pacing up and down the runs before snacking.
Finally it stood up to the bait and had it dead to rights 5 times but being the very 1st day of the hunt, my 1st ever bear sighting, and hearing stories of ground shrinkage by mis-judging the size of bears I decided I would pass on this one. Great show! About 7:45 I was "entertained" by 3 coyotes just out of sight making a short meal out of something....what an eeery and a little un-nerving experience but quite a rush.

Day two, same stand. No bear but I did see a yote pup cross my shooting lane, 10 feet in front of me and at 7:30 the yotes did their thing again. Crazy stuff but pretty cool.

Wednesday I was moved to another stand,...a tree stand...more open in all directions. At 7:15 a couple snapped twiggs told me a bear was on the move and sure enough the jet black coat appeared 40 yards beyond the bait. Once it popped into the bait area I realized this bear was bigger than the one Monday night so I made the decision this was going to be my bear. After letting it get comfortable at the bait, She stood up to the bait facing away from me. I took her right between the shoulder blades. She ran in a "c" shaped death run and piled up 20 yards from the bait. The blood went from the bucket to the bear. Great Hunt.

125 lb. Sow
.308 nosler partition, 180 gr.



Fishing was outstanding ......


 
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Steve/NH

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No deer hunting for me yet so this is just some notes of the going's on to date for the record.....

This year will be Brads 1st bow hunt so pretty pumped as is he. He is 15 and been shooting a bow for 5 years now.....hope he's ready....I think so. We have a double stand set up in town for us and I'm still trying to get my hangon set for me but almost there.

Brads bow will not shoot Fixed blade BH's worth a dam so had to resort to mechanicals for this season....hope it's not a mistake.

Brads going to check his cam today thats set up on the double stand so maybe some pics to add later tonight.....

< update- His cam took 1027pics of nothing in 2 days :mad:. These friggin cams are for the birds...:rolleyes:. He did say there were some good tracks in there. Gonna give it a go on Sat morning.
 
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Wednesday....9/21
I put my single stand in on the other side of town. Found this note on my truck :mad:. Lands not posted so I went and got permission. Seems some hackers want this piece to themselves.;)



Sunday....9/25
Temp was 70 at 5:30am. Overcast, no wind and very humid. Brad was hunting today so I never brought my bow. Sat till 9:00 with no action.
Got down and were greeted by a porky just passin thru at about 15 feet. never knew we were there. Touched up the tack line a bit on the way out.
(3 hours on stand)
 
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Steve/NH

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Saturday 10/01/11
Temp was near 70, very light occasional breeze from the south, overcast and humid. Chance of showers.

Look out Does!! your fair game now!!

Off to Brads stand again for his 2nd sit. Brad hunted for the second time. Sat from 4:30 to 6:45. Mosquitos did not disapoint tonight....Thanks Therma-cell....great product. Hate using it deer hunting but no choice tonight. Re-touched the tack line on the way out. Nothing sighted.

2.25 hours tonight
5.25 hours total
 
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Sat. Oct 8....temp was 42 at 5:30am and rising fast.

Just before bed last night I hear "STEVE......THERE"S WATER FLOODING THE BASEMENT!! COME QUICK!!!" Never Fails.....try to get to bed early for hunting in the am. :rolleyes: Water heater blew and luckily she caught it minutes after it started to flood the basement. I shut the feed to it and the leak stopped. Wet-vac till midnight and finally got to sleep about 1:00.

Went hunting anyway. Went to my solo spot that I set up a few weeks ago. Nice morning to hunt but no love from the deer. Gave in at 8:45 as I need to get home and arange for the plumber.:mad:

2.75 hours
8 hours total
 

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Tuesday 10/11/11
65 degree's, light to no wind

After my 2:00 dentist app today, Brad and I were able to sneak out to the double stand about 4:30-4:45. Got settled and 20 minutes into the sit we heard movement behind us.
With brad on the left and me on the right, I’m hearing movement over my right shoulder when brad whispers “deer” over his left shoulder. He is already standing so I begin my super slow head turn to see over my left shoulder.
Sure enough….doe about 20 yards behind us feeding her way in. She got to about 10 yards left of the stand but there’s a hemlock branch that covers out to 10-12 yards. Brad started to draw….I can’t see the deer and I’m thinking “I need to see where he hits this deer” just in case. So as he’s drawing, I slowly moved and she bolted. Brads now at full draw and she stops at about 20 yards, broadside and on full alert. Nice mature doe too. He let it fly and she ducked the shot as she tore ass out of there. She again stopped at about 60-70 yards away so as a last ditch effort I hit "the can" once and she started blowing and never stopped till she and the 3 other deer with her were out of ear shot.

I think two things worked against him…..1.) the fact she was on full alert and ready to spring at a pin drop….and 2.) he misjudged the distance a little. She was 20 yards IMO…… after, he said he was thinking more like 25 so he used his 30 yard pin. Well 3 things if you count me being in the stand and rubber necking to see the deer the 1st time L.

Pretty awesome night even though he missed.

2.0 hours
10 hrs total
 

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Maine youth day 2011

Friday afternoon we packed up and head to Pauls camp for Brads 3rd and final youth day. Paul and Andrew accompanied us. Last two years we had all the rain and wind we could ask for so overcast, calm winds and forty degree temps had expectations way up there. We headed to that ground blinds that had proven themselves over that last few years. Got settled in at 5:30am. Had something sneak past us in the dark but could not see it. The sun came up and by 9:00 a light drizzle made for a perfect oportunity to do a little still hunting before heading back to camp for lunch. With Brad in the lead, and air movement hitting us on the right cheek we poked up and over the hill littered with hemlock blowdowns, and big green patches of moss. Awesome area to catch a glipse of a bedded deer. 4-10 steps, pause and repeat...I was pretty impressed at Brads pace. We arrived at camp about 10:30a with no deer sightings. Same report from Andrew and Paul. Nothing!! I lied....Andrew saw a grouse.:D
Hot dogs for lunch, a quick nap and soon it was ready to get back in there. Brad and I went to a new blind that Paul and I setup over the summer. Andrew and Paul decided to stay in the same spot as the morning sit. 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 and soon it was dark again without a glimpse of that elusive white tail we all had mental images of seeing.

Dinner was outstanding as usual with marinated bear tips and marinated Tuna loins, a camp fire, our drinks of choice, topped with a fine cigar.

Another great weekend at camp and another day of hunting while the youths pay their due's. ;)
Thanks Paul
 

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Sat Morning Oct 29th was the time to be out sitting before the storm but I was down the cape Friday night helping my Dad close up my aunts cottage. :mad:
Brad and I did get out in time to sit from 3-6 Sat evening from the time it started snowing till dark. Nothing moving at all, which was my hunch before going in but gotta get out when you can. Sunday was a bust also....had to cut up all the down limbs and clean up the yard a bit.

3hrs
13 NH total
 

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Saturday Nov 5th.
Brad and I got into the double at 1st light. Sat till 10. No sightings.

I went solo this evening. Only had 2 hours but figured can't kill one if your not in the woods. Drove by the spot I had planned to find 3 trucks. :(
On to plan b....Went in to a different spot, found a nice little cedar on the edge of this field overlooking a swamp. Wind was right but nothing showed.

6 hours today
19 total
 

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Sunday Nov 6th

Got off to a late start after winterizing the boat took a little longer than expected. Anyway, got in at 2:45 and sat till 5:00. Tonight I convinced Brad to hang up the bow and carry the muzzy. He has been trying to redeem himself from missing the doe during bow season :redface: so he was still carrying his bow until tonight. No deer sightings however we did have a few exciting moments we thought sounded like deer but turned out to be Grey sqirrels :D. Aslo see http://www.huntingchat.net/forum/showthread.php?p=397721#post397721

2.75 hours tonight
21.75 hours total
 

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Thursday Nov. 10th

Got into Camp late Wed...had a few drinks and laughs with the crew and off to bed. Sat from dark to about 9:00 when I got the news Greyson had dropped his 1st deer at camp. Nice 4 pt buck that Paul had predicted the night before.

Our area was very light this year with sign of any kind so I made the decision to do some still hunting and ended up back at camp about noon. Quick lunch, cup of coffee and off to another spot to look for buck sign. It was raining most of the afternoon. Found some scrapes but nothing too fresh or exciting. Sat from 3 - 4:30 with no action. Greyson brought Swedish meatballs for dinner (Mmmm), had some drinks before hitting the sack.

Friday Nov. 11th
Rain picked up over night and when the alarms went off at 4:30 everyone rolled over and went back to sleep as the forcast was for heavy rain all morning. Well would'nt you know it I woke at 7:30 to no rain, or at least it was just drizzle. Made the pot of coffee and some breakfast and we were all in the woods but 8:30. Good morning for still hunting, (or so we thought). No action near camp and again, no sign of any buck activity. Off to another spot I wanted to check out. Found a nice intersection with 2 scrapes. Made a quick blind down wind and sat till dark. Another day with not even a doe sighting. Heck I couldn't even find them in the headlights driving back to camp. Paul made a wild turkey cachatore (sp) tonight that was excellent. More drinks, Paul made a prediction our crew would go 3 for 4.

Sat Nov. 12th
Weather was perfect for sitting so that was the plan. 34 degrees with almost no wind. Back to the blind I sat in Thursday morning behind camp.
Got a text from Paul a skipper had come in but gave him no shot. 20 minutes later, BOOM from across the beaver pond. I smiled. Got the text he had a skipper down.
At about 9:00 nature was calling.... Grabbed my gun and walked down behind my stand about 30 yards into a cedar swamp, dug a hole and took a leak. While I'm standing there I'm thinking I should walk a little walk to warm up a bit, then come back to sit till noon. Something told me to go back and sit. Literally 3 minutes after sitting down this spike appears 15-20 yards in front of me. He's facing me so I waited for a slight turn and shot him right between the shoulder and the chest bone. He coiled backwards a little before taking off like a rocket, up the hill and dropped 50-60 yards away. I giggled a little and shook my head as I ejected the spend shell at how I was going to take a walk.:rolleyes: 87 lb spike.



Paul called it...we were 3-4 but still had Moe out there so we were all pulling for him in hopes Paul was not psychic after all but it never came together for him.


Brad helping with the cutting back at home.
 
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Weekend before thanksgiving Brad and I hunted his regular spot. He was tired so we bagged it about 8:30am. We checked his cam and headed out. 1st pic is my arm. Second pic is what came thru a few hours later.:rolleyes: elapsed time. Clock was off


 
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Friday after Thansgiving, Paul and Andrew, Me and Brad headed to Maine for a last chance effort to let the boys dump their 1st ever deer. Not much excitement from our side to post but Saturday morning Andrew dumped his 1st deer ever and we were close by. A nice spiker herding a group of does and skips came by his stand, and a lethal 40yd shot in the lower neck assured no tracking necessary. I was honored to coach Drew thru his 1st gutting ever. Very little assistance required....Nice job Drew. 105lb's

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Sat. Dec 3. - last weekend of the gun season.
Back at it today. Up in the double blind at 6:15... got a whistle from a guy on the way in but not close to stand.
No action at all. Very quiet, and crisp. I did enjoy the sit watching the sun rise. For some reason Brad wanted to hang in a little longer this morning :D....Headed out at 10:30.
 
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Last weekend of Bow season in NH.

This year has been fun. I put all my NH and Maine hunting time (except 1 weekend in Maine) into hunting/mentoring Brad. Next year he will be legal to hunt alone and I wanted to make sure he's ready. I was hoping he could have dumped a deer in the process but that didn't happen and it's fine. He saw plenty of deer and had one bow shot (miss) so thats more than you could ask with two guys sitting and walking side by side. We ended the season this weekend hunting in the back 40 acres with bows, from the ground. I broke the rules a little today :redface: by letting him sit alone while I was 80 yards away. I pushed 5 to him but no shot...they walked about 35 yards from his blind, he had set up on Saturday. He had the calmness and maturity NOT to shoot and wait for them to get within his comfort range but they didn't. Makes me feel good. :smile:

25+ NH hunting hours together
and....about 15 hours in Maine together
1 deer, my spike from Maine
Lots of memories and lots of fun.

Can't wait till next year.
 

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2012 Maine turkey season

Youth - Sat April 28
Started the Turkey season off with NH youth days, Sat and Sunday.
Got set up early Sat and heard a few gobbles but nothing was coming in. Took a short drive to find 3 males packing in a fressly tilled field. Set up quick and had two of them within 35 yards in minutes. They strutted a little but they seemed to be decoy shy as they would not come closer. As soon as I gave a purr they deflated and moved off. Pretty much it for Sat.

Youth - Sun April 29
Set up in a little different spot to start. Again, the bird were there and vocal but really were not to interested in closing in so we jockeyed around a little to get closer but still could get them to move. Back to the truck and drove down the road to find 4 nice toms in full strutt in the field 200 yards from where we were. Set up and again had them come in to maybe 25 yards but again they seemed shy of the deke and Brad could not get a clean shot so he held off. They circled us at about 30 yards gobbling there heads off. At that very moment Paul/NH and his son texted me and said he just drove by my truck. I called him and told him where to set up and within 10 minutes "BANG". I called him to congratulate them but Paul told me he missed..... They were in some thick stuff. Anyway I was glad to have set them up as Paul has on more than a few occasions, set me up and I was happy to return the favor.

Brad and I set up on one more Tom that morning but again he came in, saw the deke and started putt-ing before Brad could get a bead on him and that was that. Exciting weekend but couldnt get in done for him.

Maine Opener -
Drove to Pauls camp Sunday evening to try and put a few birds to bed. Not many huntable birds found so back to camp to make dinner. Word was similar from everyone, tons of deer around but Turkeys were scarce.

Up at 3:30 and had a bird calling to an owl call from roost at about 4:50 am. NICE! Set up the blind and a lone hen decoy about 100 yards from him. 1/2 hour later 2 hens fly down and then the tom but game is over before it started. Listened to him gobble as he disappeared in the distance. Time to run and gun....Set up on a field edge where I saw two birds run into the woods. Nothing answered from that direction but next field down was a gobble so I close the distance to maybe 120 yards, called him right in, no decoy. 19.5 lbs, 9.5" beard.





As I am walking back to the truck, another bird gobbles. Stop, drop everything in the bushes, give a quick purr and here's come one down the field edge from the direction of my truck....He was closing fast in full strutt, spitting and drumming. Very cool. He got to within 15 yards and started putt'ing so BOOM. Down goes #2 and I am tagged out. Sweet!!

He was the same exact stats as the 1st but has one spurr a tad longer at maybe 7/8".



 
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Sat 5/4/12 NH

-Brad and I went out today to our favorite hot spot in the fog. Set up the blind at 5:15 and climbed in. 6:10 heard the first gobble but long ways off and not getting closer. Things really got quiet till about 10:45. We had moved to a different spot and finally had one gobbling behind us and closing in. (no decoy out :( as youth weekend they were deke shy). Turned out to be two males...1 tom and 1 jake as they entered the field about 50 yards off. Anyway I need to learn to put the damn calls down when they are close. One light purr and they got nervous as they looked right at the blind and turning into the woods. Stayed just out of sight and gobbled till we left at 12:00.


Sun 5/5/12 NH
- Slept in this morning till 4:45. On the drive out to our spot we saw 9 deer in three different spots. 400 yds before getting to our spot, two toms crossing the road. Very nice.
Got a few gobbles from them but they never showed up. Had a loner come in to 40 yards from across the field but never closer. Found a massive group of males in a totally new spot found by driving around. They actually busted us getting into the woods but man what nice spot. Stay tuned!!
 
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