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2001 ONLINE BOWHUNT FOR DEER
Last Day Of The Season
(Sunday, January 6, 2001)
Afternoon Hunt: A
full hour before sunset I saw a buck in the the brush, walking toward the
narrow, grown over, woods road that my tripod stand overlooks (at
the Hammer Hole). He entered the road 30 yards away -- a big 9-point --
and walked straight toward me, stopped 12 yards from me, turned broadside,
and waited breifly as he surveyed the trail ahead of him. Then he moved
into the brush. The only tags I had left were doe tags so I couldn't take
a shot, but it was cool seeing the buck. No does showed up.
The Duck had a large, longhead
doe come into his area and browse all around under his treestand in the
Canyon. But he was out of doe tags and hoping a nice buck would show up,
but it didn't.
Morning Hunt: the
Duck saw 6 does. I zipped.
A Deer Season In Progress
(Friday - Saturday)
The weather clouded up,
got cold, and it rained whenever the temperature wasn't below freezing.
Deer movement was poor and it was plenty chilly sitting out there waiting
to not see any.
A Deer Season In Progress
I heard the deer coming,
loud and closing fast, in the thick brush by my Hammer Hole stand. His
body and antlers took shape ahead of me, a bomber. The biggest buck I've
seen this year. He blew through my shooting lane and sped up a trail so
close he was almost underneath me. And he was gone. My brain is still flashing
images of his heavy beams and very wide long tined rack, 6 on a side. I
don't know what put the run to him but he was in overdrive. The Duck hunted
the Canyon and had a shot opportunity botched because 6 wild hogs came
into the area and spooked the buck.
Wednesday, Dec 26 (Afternoon
Robbie Cramer saw 3 deer
in the distance, walking in the large coastal field that borders the thick
finger of woods where the December Tree area is. The deer slipped under
the fence and walked downhill. In a few minutes they walked right under
Robbie's tree. The trail they were on turned right in 12 yards, so Robbie
waited until the turn put the lead doe broadside. HIs arrow hit perfectly
and the doe bolted into it's back trail and dropped 10 yards behind Robbie's
Tuesday, Dec 25 (Afternoon
I hunted my tripod above
the Rock Ledge. The deer were really on the move and I saw 34 deer. One
group had 11 in it. That means the does groups are back together. It also
means the rut is 99% over.
Saturday, Dec 22 (Afternoon
Don Beckwith (the Duck)
watched two does bust out of the brush and run by his stand on the trail
to his left. Ten minutes later he heard a loud squeal, the reason for their
flight, wild hogs. Their grunts and shrieks came closer and closer. A dozen
wild hogs took form in the same trail the deer had used. Some of them were
grunting loudly. The Duck was ready for them, he put his pin on a large
black one and put his arrow in the vitals. The hog veered off the trail
and ran behind Don. The other hogs stopped, apparently confused. Then they
continued down the trail. The hog had fled to a very thick area. Tracking
was slow and we lost the trail before we had gone 20 yards. So, since the
temperature was in the 30's we decided to wait and recover it in the morning,
when visibility was good. Morning came and the Duck and his grandson Matthew
took up the trail. The hog had immediately changed directions and gone
to a dry creek bed and expired. That's Matthew on the left and the Duck
on the right.
Friday, Dec 21
After an uneventful morning
hunt the Duck 's grandson Matthew Fogarty went to the Hammer Hole for the
afternoon. He's never seen or heard a wild hog before, but that was gonna
change quick. Wild hogs love to root up Johnson grass routs and this area
is loaded with it. Sometimes the hogs get real noisy. As the sun dropped
into the treeline Matthew suddenly heard their grunts, growls, teeth snapping
and squeels somehere in the vicinity. When they got to the Hammer Hole
daylight was fading. Soon wild hogs were everywhere, in the brush and in
the shooting lane. But he couldn't see his pins clearly so he didn't shoot
(good choice). It got dark. The noise from the hogs was very close. Matthew
sat tight (once again, good choice). Suddenly the hogs rushed away and
Matthew saw the headlights of the duck's truck as he drove up to pich him
Thursday, Dec 20
During his frosty morning
bowhunt at the Mudslide stand the Duck 's grandson Matthew Fogarty watched
several does pull the branches and lick the leaves on the same tree. They
all left the same way. Later, he checked it out and noticed a trail that
all the deer had used. He followed it and came out at the toe of our boot
shaped grain field. Six does and a buck were in the field 150 yards away.
The buck saw Matthew first. Matthew was partially hidden so he froze. The
buck came closer. Matthew laid down. The buck, and 8-point, advanced and
stopped 20 yards away. Matthew didn't move a muscle. The buck moved away.
Matthew tried to sit up and see if he could get into shooting position.
The buck saw him move and trotted back. He left returned 3 more times.
On the last trip back he walked within 2 steps from Matthew. At that point
Matthew got anxious about what was going on and stood up. The surprised
buck bolted away, leaving Matthew with a memory he will always remember.
He had a pretty cool hunt yesterday, too. Ahhh, life is good.
Thursday, Dec 20
The Duck picked up his grandson
Matthew Fogarty. He hunted the Dry Up Pond but nothing happened. I saw
6 deer from the mound stand. Afterward, Matthew drove around the camp area
looking for rabbits and he spotted, stalked and bagged a cottontail. He
took the rabbit to the 4-wheeler and saw another rabbit and he tried for
it. But that didn't work out. When he went back to his ride a varmint had
eaten most of the rabbit.
Wednesday, Dec 19
I was getting in my pickup
to zip out to the December Tree when the Duck drove up. He had gone out
early and had hunted one of his stands on the edge of our lease's 250 acre
oat field. He had seen a handful of deer when a spike and a doe walked
through the creek behind him. For several minutes they stood right below
the Duck and observed the field. Then they walked 15 yards into the field.
Don drew and aimed carefully. His arrow was perfect and the doe bolted
back across the creek and collapsed on the opposite side of the bank. Don
got down immediately and came to get me. We took pictures and field dressed
Sunday, Dec 16
rained hard all night but stopped at 5:30am as we were trying to figure
whether we would be able to hunt or not. We did. A little after daylight,
at the Hammer Hole, Tim Getts noticed a large doe in the thick brush, at
the edge of the narrow opening that his tripod stand overlooks. The doe
moved into the clear and eventually presented an angling away shot opportunity.
Timm drew, aimed and released. A miss. Later he saw a big 8-point. Steffin
and Brian Guest hunted the ground blind near the Mound. Afterward, we took
a photo and the guests went home. The Duck and I went to the December Tree
area for the afternoon hunt. I saw 14 deer and the duck saw 9. But none
were 20 yards close.
Saturday, Dec 15
Steffin and Brian Guest
hunted the Point and Big Tree and saw one doe and a flock of wild turkeys.
Timm Getts saw an opportunity unfolding at the Hammer Hole and as he drew
on a doe he bumped his recurve's lower bow limb on a branch and the deer
Friday, Dec 14
I had a busy day scheduled,
business wise, so the Duck hunted the December Tree this morning. Three
does hung out in the area but no bucks came up. This afternoon I hunted
the Pocket and, unfortunately, a doe that I never saw or heard smelt me
and snorted it's alert. The Duck hunted the canyon and zipped. Robbie Cramer
zipped down for afternoon hunt and I dropped him off at the December Tree.
Again, 3 does hung out in the area, but no bucks.
Tonight Timm Getts and his
friends Brian Guest and his son Steffen met the Duck at the Red Barn. They
will start hunting tomorrow morning.
Thursday, Dec 13 - THE
RUT IS BACK!!!
Rick Philippi watched a
flock of 17 wild turkeys work their way across the nearby open field and
duck under the fence 30 yards behind his treestand. Rick was already in
position and ready if they came past him. A gobbler and a hen walked right
under Rick's tree. Ten yards further Rick drew slowly. One of the flock
yelped. The gobbler ran. The jake didn't. Rick's arrow hit him perfectly
and the jake piled up. Half an hour later 25 more turkeys came through,
but a little too far away.
The Duck saw several deer
today, to include a buck fight. Doug also saw a few deer.
This afternoon I hunted
the stand on the hill overlooking the December Tree (core rut area). Deer
passed through the area but not close to me. When the sunlight faded I
climbed down and quietly walked to the December Tree. Under it's limbs
I saw a freshly pawed scrape. It rained hard at 9:00 this morning and the
scrape was worked after that. Every year, this same tree becomes a hot
spot for the 2nd Rut. As of the end of the season last year I had 5 stands
in this area. So I'm ready.
Wednesday, Dec 12 - Fire
In The Sky
afternoon Doug Whitteburry saw 5 does near his Strip stand but failed to
get a shot. The Duck saw a sixer at the "L." This morning he hunted the
Hammer Hole and saw two young bucks. Rick Philippi hunted the Hammer Hole
this afternoon. A button buck walked by. An hour before dark Rick heard
a loud wild hog fight nearby. Later on two small black pigs walked out
of the brush and waited as more hogs approached. A large brown one walked
into the clear. Rick drew and shot, but his arrow missed. Meanwhile I was
in my ground blind near the scrape on my own property. I didn't see any
deer but I saw a million dollar sunset and got a picture of it from the
blind's shooting window. I put it on my computer as wallpaper, maybe you'll
like it too. I call it Fire In The Sky. (1024x768)
Tuesday, Dec 11
Rain ... a steady, all day
ground soaking rain. It really muddied the roads up. Bowhunting and rain
don't mix, it is too risky. Rain can wash away the recovery trail.
The Duck came back down
this afternoon and we kept our eye on the weather to see if the rain would
stop, but it didn't. Rick Philippi will arrive tomorrow. Normally, after
a long rain the deer move great. Things are lookin' good.
Monday, Dec 10 -- Put
A Little Twist On It !!
What attracted my attention
to it was the doe's head bobbing as it surveyed the area all around me.
The deer stood patiently, sticking out over some brush, at the edge of
the rusty, worn out fence that divides my property. Ten minutes passed
before it hopped the fence. It casually walked behind my blind (10 yards
yet) and out of sight. I'm good to go for harvesting a doe but I didn't
have a chance because I've got the blind set up to shoot toward the scrape
and not behind me.
I've seen several deer here,
both bucks and does, and they all have used the route behind me (which
is the opposite of what I thought it would be). The remedy is to pivot
the blind and line up a couple of the shooting windows with the places
where I have shots, and then close the windows to my back. Once the deer
was gone I did it right away. Then I clipped a few branches and walked
back home and stood in my front yard, enjoying the beautiful sunset we
Dec 7, Bowhunt - A
slow rain, all day. Didn't hunt.
Dec 6, Bowhunt - I
was 50 yards from my truck when the sky broke open and dropped a surprise
gully washer. I splashed back to my front seat and waited. No luck. I drove
home and got out of my wet clothes. The rain slacked off the last hour
Dec 5, Bowhunt - The
Duck hunted the Canyon again today but saw no deer. Paul Beckwith moved
to the Mudslide stand and had a spike buck come in. They loaded up and
the Duck took Paul back to the real world in Dallas. He'll be back.
Dec 4, Bowhunt - The
Duck hunted the Canyon today and saw some does at a distance. Cows were
down in the canyon all day and the deer avoided the area. Paul Beckwith
hunted a stand on our the 300 acre grain (wheat) field. He saw a large
buck a couple hundred yards away. Two does passed by but not where he could
get a shot. I hunted the Point and saw 4 does and a button head. They were
all from this year's crop.
Dec 3, Afternoon Bowhunt
- The Duck and his brother Paul Beckwith came down at noon. I hunted the
Hammer Hole. It was a perfect deerhunting afternoon, overcast, low 40's,
and a light wind. The area has been pounded by wild hogs. They have even
rooted up the dirt road in places. But nothing showed. Paul, however saw
a bomber 10 point and several does from one of the stands the Duck has
on a grain field. The Duck saw 5 does and a spike. Neither of them were
able to take a shot.
Dec 1, Afternoon Bowhunt
- I went to my ground blind on my property, it's near a scrape. I propped
my bow up and was getting ready when I heard a noise and looked through
one of the blind's shooting windows. A buck was urinating in the scrape.
Quickly, but still careful to be quiet, I slipped my digital camera out
of it's case and pushed the On button. Now the buck was pawing in the scrape.
The camera made a faint noise as the CD inside it booted up. I slipped
the lens cap off the buck moved away from the scrape and walked to the
right side of my blind. The windows on this side were closed so I unhooked
the window flap on one and let the fabric fall. Only 10 yards away, the
buck saw the motion and stopped and looked for a few seconds. Unconcerned,
he started walking again. As he moved away I poked the camera lens through
the window and when I saw his movement in the LCD display I
took his pic. My guess is that this buck is 1 1/2. He has an outside
his ears 8-point rack. This buck will be a champ in 4 more years.
Wednesday Nov 28
The temperature dropped
below freezing and sleet and icy rain blew in on the cold North wind. The
trees and ground turned to ice and the thermometer logged temperatures
in the mid 20's. It looked like snow had fallen but it didn't. Although,
the weather report says it will tomorrow. Today wasn't a good day to hunt.
Tuesday Nov 27
The morning hunt at the
Point was uneventful but I saw 11 deer on the drive back to my house. The
temperature was already dropping and when it hit the mid 30's it started
raining, followed by lightening and thunder. Those are undesirable conditions
for sitting on a metal treestand in a tree, so I didn't.
Friday: Nov 22 - Sunday
Over the holidays we hunted
hard. But the deer were not moving good, although everyone did see a few
deer, no one got any shot opportunities, and mature bucks were non existent.
The rut is on but the activity is mainly at night. However, the extra pressure
in both or area and the surrounding properties (due to the holidays) is
now over. The Duck is down and he reported that he located a large, very
fresh, scrape and set up to hunt it this week, starting Monday morning.
Thursday: Nov 22
(Morning) Once again, Doug
Whitteberry had buck and doe activity near his stand. The rest of us didn't
see any deer. John and Linda Askew came down with a super Thanksgiving
dinner, after which we got ready for the afternoon hunt.
(Afternoon) I hunted the
Pocket. I had barely sat down when an 8-point hopped the fence and passed
by me. Twenty minutes later a sixer walked a few yards behind me, his nose
was on the ground as he trailed a doe. Later a doe walked through, a young
buck was walking behind her. I saw other movement, deer legs, tails, and
backs in the thick brush around me.
Robbie got covered up with
cows. John Askew shot at a wild hog but missed. His son Bryant saw a doe
and a spike. John's young daughter Emily wanted to see deer so we set her
up in my ground blind at the Point. She saw a six-point approaching and
it drank water only ten yards from her. Later a doe appeared near the water,
it drank and browsed for a good while. Emily sat very quiet and still,
this was the first time she has seen deer so close. I picked her up at
dusk and she was very excited about seeing the deer.
After the hunt we all went
over to my neighbor Stan Alexander's house and played guitars and sang.
Wednesday: Nov 21
(Morning) The temperature
was a surprising 26 degrees with a heavy frost. My double bull ground blind
looked like an iceberg. A doe worked the scrape after sunrise. We both
heard grunts in the gully below us and as the deer's rapid footsteps got
nearer the doe ran, with the grunting deer in hot pursuit. Another half
dozen deer, does, passed through. It was a cold morning hunt. Doug just
came in and he got plenty cold but didn't see any deer.
(Afternoon) Doug Whitteberry
and his young son Conner saw 7 does this afternoon at his Horsepasture
stand. Robbie Cramer hunted the Point and saw 5 does. I went to the Hammer
Hole and saw a spike buck. No shot opportunities for anyone.
Tuesday: Nov 20
I returned to the ground
blind to watch the scrape area by my middle fence. Around 4:30pm a lone
doe parked in the area. At one point it walked behind my blind and stopped
and looked at it. Then the doe walked right up to the blind and looked
it over. Inside, I didn't bat an eye but I couldn't help but think about
what would happen if would have reached out and thumped her on the nose.
Then she bedded down nearby. She stayed until two cows came up, then she
Friday: Nov 16
I had sat comfortably in
my ground blind for an hour when I heard a gunshot on my neighbor's property
across the road. Although I'm hunting with my bow it is also rifle season,
so I didn't think anything of it. An hour and a half of steady shooting
later -- and no deer -- I walked out to the road and saw 3 trucks and several
people shooting, practicing, or whatever. I would prefer that they practice
earlier in the day instead of at "deer thirty." Oh well.
Thursday: Nov 15
Two words cover the days
hunt. Rained out! It poured. The rut is beginning in our area and I intend
to get with the progarm, broken ribs or not, I'm getting back in the woods.
Wednesday: Nov 14
My favorite time to scout
(during the season) is when it rains. Generally the deer aren't moving
around, you don't make any noise, and your scent is washed away. So I took
advantage of this morning's steady rain to check things out. I found what
I was searching for, an active scrape.
I returned at 3:40pm with my Double Bull ground blind and a chair and set
up where I can watch the scrape
and the surrounding area. No deer came to the scrape, however I did see
a nice buck walking with a doe and a big fawn, plus a young buck and 1
Tuesday: Nov 13
- Very overcast again. I saw 7 deer in the Mound stand area, all does.
A rain shower brought me in early.
(Afternoon) - A Familiar
I got out late. The
ground was still wet from the morning shower and as soon as I got in the
woods I walked up on a buck that was making a rub and marking limbs. Luckily
it didn't see me and I hid and glassed it from about 40 yards. This buck
has a nice rack and when I got it in focus I recognized it as one of the
bucks I took pictures in August when it was in velvet. It
was this 7-point. When the buck moved on I slipped back to my house.
I didn't want to risk spooking any deer.
Monday: Nov 12
- 54 degrees, no wind and very overcast. A light rain started while I was
taking a shower. I waited a while and it stopped. So it's off to the deer
9:05am - Drizzling
rain, on and off. But deer were around. 3 does first, a lone doe, and this
- Rut Check
I hopped the fence
above the December Tree and checked it for signs of the rut. Some pawing
in the grass under the tree that historically becomes a hot spot during
the rut. I climbed the ladder stand near the scrape so I could watch the
small clearing in front of the bare beginnings of a scrape, as well as
see down the defunct road bed that splits this finger of woods. (It
looks like this.) An hour before dark I spotted the dreaded beasts
that all bowhunters who hunt in cattle country fear ... cows -- munching
the natural grass and walking, yikes, down the road toward me. I call this
event, "getting the cows" and I got 'em good. Here
are the first 4 ... of about 60.
Sunday, Nov 11: Deer Everywhere
We got a much needed rain
storm this morning. Usually, after a rain, the deer move real good. Today
was no exception. I had barely sat down in my ground blind near the Rolled
Wire when 6 does hopped the fence onto my property and walked by. The buck
with only one antler was next and he followed the does step for step. A
doe with two fawns, both of who are now pretty big, browsed all around.
Bingo, a buck walked up behind me and bedded down 15 yards away from me,
in the edge of a cedar tree. I counted 11 points on it's rack. It was the
same buck I saw on Friday. The main beams are just inside it's ears and
I estimate his age to be 2 1/2. In 2 more years this buck will be something
to see. Later a lone doe hopped the fence and took it's time walking by
me. When I checked for the 11-point it was gone. That was it for today.
Friday, Nov 9: An 11-Point
- This afternoon I went to the Rolled Wire stand. I saw so many does
I lost track, probably at least 20. Two deer were bucks. One had only one
antler on the right side. The other was an 11-point but it was inside it's
ears. It was a young deer, I estamate it was a 2 1/2 year old. In two years
it will be a "champ." My bud Robbie Cramer came down this afternoon and
hunted at the Point. No deer showed there.
Nov 5, Tuesday - I
dropped Tony Dukes off at the Pocket and I went to the Hammer Hole. Driving
out we saw 9 deer. But on stand Tony saw one doe and I saw nothing. Our
stands are on the perimeter of a bedding area. Apparently the deer left
Nov 4, Sunday - First
Sign On The Rut - Tony Dukes bowhunted at the Mound stand this morning
and saw 6 does. One doe was very nervous; but stayed in the same 100 yard
area, moving back and forth, for over an hour. That's one of the tell tale
signs that a doe is in rut. No bucks came through and the doe eventually
left. That afternoon, in my ground blind 200 yards away a fat 2
1/2 year old 8-point walked right by me. Then it walked to some trees
50 yards away and and went to work
on an overhead limb and then make
a scrape. I also saw 5 does and Tony saw 7 does and an 8-point that
he identified as the same one in my pictures.
Nov 3, Saturday -
Tony Dukes came down and we bowhunted the Hammer Hole. Collectively we
saw 3 bucks and 8 does. Actually, I was hoping the wild hogs would show
up, but they didn't.
Oct 27, Saturday:
The 8-Point Blues!
Last night Mike Ditchler
phoned American Airlines and changed his ticket to a mid afternoon departure.
At dawn he was in the Rolled Wire treestand. He saw 12 deer this morning.
The big 8-point came through early but out of range. The buck was still
in view when a goup of does passed by. At 9:30 Mike spotted the 8-point
walking behind another group of does. They meandered through the Rolled
Wire area, just out of comfortable shooting range. At 11:30 Mike walked
back to my house, packed his bow, and he and the Duck rushed to the DFW
Oct 26, Friday: "The biggest
buck I've Ever Seen!"
hunted the Mudslide stand. The Duck's food plot is nearby and 14 deer visited
it during the morning. Unseen, a huge 9 point buck approached from the
opposite direction Mike was looking. When Mike first saw it, the bomber
buck was right under his tree, he described it to me as, "Bigger than any
buck I've ever seen where I hunt in Illinois." But Mike couldn't shoot.
Later a large doe left the food plot and presented a broadside shot. But
Mike's shot was high.
Mike returned to the Rolled Wire area. Three does came close by and Mike
prepared to take his shot. All 3 does looked downhill so Mike checked that
out, a big bodied, wide racked 8-point was 50 yards away and walking towards
the does. Briskly, the does moved away and hopped the fence at the roll
of rusty, barbed wire that caused me to gives this area it's name. Last
minute, the buck cut to right and circled too wide for a shot.
Oct 25, Thursday:
Rick Philippi sat in his
River stand, silently watching 4 does, when he heard a loud CRASHING sound
as an object fell through the limbs of a tree and hit the ground -- in
the direction of the Big Tree area -- precisely where he had let Mike Ditchler
off before daylight. He was certain Mike had fallen and immediately climbed
down the tree and ran the 300 yards to Mike's tree. Mike was still in the
tree, fortunately something else had fallen. Rick returned to his stand.
Once back at camp Mike practiced
shooting and his release went on the fritz. So we had to rush to Lone Star
Archery in Waco and Calvin Ross fixed Mike up with a Scent Loc suit. We
returned in time for Mike to hunt at the Mound stand at my place. He saw
2 does and 3 young bucks. And this time they didn't smell him.
Oct 25, Wednesday:
In the dark Mike couldn't
tell that the rancher's truck had only moved a short ways the night before.
But Mike figured it out when ranch hands showed up to bang and clang to
fix it. So the morning hunt was a bust.
Mike hunted the Rolled Wire stand. A yearling doe came up the rock ledge
and walked under Mike's tree. Behind it, Mike saw a sixer and two more
does. Mike waited for them to get closer. Suddenly the lead doe's nose
went up and she snorted a very loud alert. The deer cleared out.
Oct 24, Tuesday: Luck
can always be a factor when you hunt!
Mike hunted at the Point, which is a heavily traveled deer area. Two hours
before dark the neighboring cattle rancher drove through the area with
a flatbed truck. This, of course, was not a problem, the deer are used
to seeing his ranch vehicles. The problem came when the truck broke down
100 yards from the stand. The ranch hands worked on it (very loudly) and
finally got it going ... after dark. So the luck this afternoon was bad
Mike returned to the stand at the Big Tree. A young doe fawn came under
the tree. A mature doe watched it from a distance. The Duck had a flock
of wild turkeys pass by 50 yards away for his stand at the Canyon.
Oct 23, Monday: (9:59am)
Mike hunted the stand in the Big Tree. Before long he was watching a wide
and long tined 8-point work his way through the area. Three does came up
under the tree. Eventually the largest doe turned broadside and Mike shot,
but the arrow went low.
I took Mike Ditchler to the Shoemaker's fence stand. It's 60 degrees and
a heavy dew is falling. (9:39am) Mike saw 4 does this morning but they
were too far away.
Oct 21, Sunday: Adjusting
To Life In The Slow Lane!
Saturday, Mike Ditchler
(from this Fall's bear
hunt) flew in from Chicago to bowhunt. The Duck picked him up at DFW
and they arrived too late to hunt. Mike owns the Chef Klaus restaurants
on the Southside of Chicago. He is a very busy guy in his real life and
he was all keyed up to deer hunt. The way I see things it is not an asset
to have your "business mind" running a mile a minute when you're hunting
deer. Fortunately, I discovered a cure for the "plugged in city life" back
when I was a businessman in Dallas. The cure is simple, it's called "a
good night's sleep." So I didn't set the alarm this morning! Mike woke
up a little before 1:00pm. Mission accomplished!
(4:57pm) Mike is hunting the Mudslide stand. The Duck is at the dry up
(9:44pm) Mike saw one doe
and the Duck zipped. We cooked up a small mountain of chicken fried venison
and ate a big dinner.
I'm still sore and can't
climb a tree yet so I'm sitting it out one day at a time. It's time to
turn in. Tomorrow morning I'm taking Mike to my tripod stand at Shoemaker's
Oct 19, day 21:
On the recent mule deer
hunt I broke two ribs. Wednesday I overdid it and I am one very sore puppy.
I'm thinking I need to take a couple of days and not do anything that is
movement intensive. Saturday Mike Ditchler from this
Fall's bear hunt is coming down from Chicago to hunt. I'll report on
his hunt, starting Sunday.
Oct 17, day 19:
Afternoon hunt: I
dropped Tony Dukes off at the Point. There were deer tracks everywhere.
He climbed into the tripod I have there. The first deer down the trail
was a button buck. Later on a doe and a fawn came. The fawn was still small,
meaning it was late born, so Tony enjoyed seeing them and didn't shoot.
Morning: This morning
was a welcome, and chilly 38 degrees. I saw 5 does and a forky at the mound.
Tony Dukes hunted the Rolled Wire treestand and he saw the same deer.
Oct 16, Day #18 (A bowhunt
in progress): Tony Dukes, notable Texas blues musician and long time
bowhunting buddy of mine, came down to hunt for a few days. We wound up
going to Waco for bow parts and didn't get to bowhunt this afternoon. We'll
get after it tomorrow.
Oct 15, Day #17 (A bowhunt
Doug Whitteberry, the 5th
member on our deer lease, was barely in his tripod stand on the edge of
a cedar break when a buddy group of 7 young bucks came out of the thick
brush and walked by him on a trail running parallel to the cedar's edge.
In unison, the bucks looked into the cedars to the right of Doug. A high
8-point walked into the clear. It laid it's ears back and approached the
young bucks. Doug realized that, with the attention of the 8-point and
the 7 other sets of eyes all diverted, his window of opportunity
was wide open. He drew, aimed and shot at the broadside 8-point. His arrow
passed through the buck's ribs and all the bucks bounded away. Doug's eyes
followed the 8-point and saw it go down in 50 yards.
Oct 14, Day #16 (A bowhunt
Robbie hunted the treestand
at the Mound and noticed several deer survey the area before passing through.
Four does moved out and one walked right under Robbie's tree. He drew as
the doe stepped into the clear space between two limbs. A deer behind him,
that he hadn't seen, snorted. Both deer bounded off, leaving Robbie still
at full draw. Dusty saw a 7-point, a spike, and 3 does. One of the does
stopped and turned broadside when it was 20 yards away. Dusty saw his opportunity
for his first bow harvest and drew, aimed and shot. The arrow was low and
the does scattered. In a few minutes they returned on the same trail. Dusty
aimed at the same doe and took a 2nd shot ... and stuck his arrow in a
It just goes to show ya,
when you're bowhunting it is never in the bag. The way I see it, even though
some of the disappointments seem awful at the time, they truly sweeten
the times when you do everything right. :-)
Oct 13, Day #15 (A bowhunt
Morning Hunt (10:32am):
hunted the big live oak tree we call the Big Tree. Dusty returned to the
Point. Robbie saw 2 sixers, an eight that was just outside his ears, and
9 does. One of the sixers charged the other one, on sight, and they locked
horns and fought right under Robbie. Dusty saw 4 young bucks, a big 9 point
and two fawns.
Afternoon Hunt: Robbie
saw 4 does and a fawn at the Big Tree. At the Point Dusty saw and videoed
a button buck. I saw 8 does at the Mound stand.
Oct 12, Day #14 (A bowhunt
Morning Hunt: Rick
& Ricky hunted the Hammer Hole and saw a few does. They returned home
Afternoon Hunt: Robbie
Cramer and Dusty Gentzel came down. Dusty hunted the Point's ground blind
and 3 young bucks and a button buck walked by about 10 yards away. Robbie
was at the Big Tree and saw deer bet too far away.
Oct 11, Day #13 (A bowhunt
Morning Hunt: Rick
& Ricky Philippi were in their stands at daylight, just in time for
a heck of a rain and thunder storm.
Afternoon Hunt: The
Duck saw several does in his food plot stand. Ricky Philippi hunted the
Hammer Hole. Deer and a group of wild hogs passed through in the heavy
brush. His dad, Rick saw several does. Then he heard wild hogs approaching.
A group, that he estimated to be about 30 started filing by. He spotted
a large black hog and waited for it to get within range. Rick aimed and
put his arrow in the vitals. The hog charged off. Rick picked up the blood
trail and tracked it to the hog, a big boar. It was too heavy for him to
drag (a 300 pounder) so he drove to camp to get the Duck to help.
10 - Day #12
Morning & Afternoon
Hunt: Rick & Ricky Philippi are down to bowhunt. They both saw
does from their stands but no shot opportunities.
8 - Day #10
Morning & Afternoon
Hunt: John Askew came with a friend and he got his first bow harvest,
a young doe.
2 - Day #4
Light from the sunrise crept
into the dark treeline. Full daylight came on painfully slow. The Duck
and I took up our search for the 10-point.
Because I hadn't pressured
him I felt that the buck would not go far. Our plan was for the Duck to
start working a grid, back and forth, in the area at the bottom of the
hill, below where I had seen it, looking in every brush pile and cedar
clump (there are plenty of those). I went to the edge of the open area
where I had located the buck late yesterday afternoon and looked for a
probable route for it to take. I quickly found a well traveled, prominent
trail that wound through the thick cedars and brush. Fifty yards further
I discovered another large opening on the hillside. I continued on the
trail to the far side and surveyed the thick brush along the edge. Forty
yards uphill, in a clump of cedars, I saw a buck laying down with it's
back to me! I glassed it and and saw a forked antler. It was the 10-point.
My arrow had hit low in
it's rib cage. Only inches lower than the shot I had wanted and still lethal.
The buck was not stiff yet and when I field dressed it the meat looked
and smelt perfect, but to be certain and I took it to Bagwell's Deer Processing
in Hamilton, TX to be 100% sure. Bagwell said it was A-ok and took my order
for his famous jalpina cheese sausage, chops and steaks and capped the
buck for me to send to our Taxidermy
columnist Larry Reese at Wildlife
And here are pictures of
the buck and me that will fill up your computer screen: (1024x768),
And if you missed the pictures and logs of the scouting I did for this
buck Click Here.
A Further Note: The 10-point's
The ground was smoothed
out and clear of debris under the cedars where the buck lay. It was still
cool, chilly actually, because of the deep shade of the cedars and the
light breeze coming up the hill to the buck's bed. This was indeed the
10-point's "home." It was half way up a hill, near the edge of an opening
where he could see and smell any intruders from downhill or the opposite
edge of the clearing. And he had several escape routs with lots of cover
if he decided to move to another place.
1 - Day #3
When I left my house
I had accidentally left my watch at home so I wasn't clear about the exact
time. I was seriously concerned about the recent pressure on the deer.
It doesn't take much to make a buck decide to avoid an area and my guess
was that my window of opportunity with the 10-point was nearly up, if not
already gone. I decided to hunt all day today. Several hours passed and
a couple dozen deer had moved through my immediate area much earlier. Surprisingly,
I had an unexpected surge of traffic later on and was watching 2 young
bucks and 7 does and 4 fawns when I saw the antlers of a nice rack in the
gully. I glassed the buck. It was an impressive 8-point. It came up out
of the gully with another buck behind it, this one was the 10-point I've
been taking scouting pictures of.
He walked right to me!
He stopped by a tree I had
previously paced off at 16 yards.
I aimed at the right spot
in the ribs and shot and the 10-point jumped high into the air ... the
impact of the arrow was very loud, but in the swirl of the buck's fast
motion I didn't get a mental picture of where the arrow hit. The 10-point
ran 45 yards along the edge of the gully, and stopped ... and looked back.
Then he walked out of my sight. I glassed him. I really couldn't see if
he was hit or not.
My arrow had only 3 pinhead
sized drops of blood between two of the vanes and a little white tallow
on one vane. I kept playing it over and over in my mind, my aim was on,
the shot felt 100% right, the buck jumped into the air -- that was all
ok. But the walking and the condition of my arrow did not add up. I looked
where the buck had walked and didn't see anything. I went and got the Duck.
He inspected my arrow and
looked at me, "It doesn't look good," he said.
We went to the gully's edge
where the buck had walked. The Duck stopped.
"Here's blood!" Don said.
We followed a few little
splotches of red blood and then saw fist sized splashes of blood.
For the first time since
my shot I felt there was hope.
The area is thick and the
trail was not easy but we stayed on it. Downhill from my Rolled Wire stand
I found two CD sized blood spots, one on my side of the fence, one on the
opposite. The buck had gone into an extremely dense area, jammed full of
cedars, young hard wood trees and other thick brush. Tracking in this thick
cover was slow.
The Duck continued on the
blood trail and I walked ahead. Quickly, I came to an open area in the
side of the rocky hill. Many times I have had deer cross an open area,
or go to a fence, and expire right there. I walked to the far edge on the
opening, at the bottom of the hill and slipped quietly along, uphill, looking
into every pile of brush and cedar.
Suddenly a deer snorted,
not an alert snort, but a surprised snort, like it had not heard me until
now and was surprised. I looked and the 10-point buck stood up, and, almost
in slow motion, faded into the thick cedar trees and brush.
I stopped trailing right
then and back tracked to the Duck. It was late afternoon and we couldn't
risk going one inch further on the track today, tomorrow morning will tell
the ending to this episode.
30 - day #2
Robbie, Robert, the Duck
and John all saw deer today, both bucks and does. No one took any shots.
A big 8-point came by my stand in the morning. On afternoon hunt I saw
quite a few does, two young bucks and the big 6-point I took scouting pictures
of earlier. The 10-point slipped up out of the gully. He headed down a
trail the led to me. As if on cue my neighbor came driving a tractor rig
down the road. All the deer moved out of sight. Half an hour later I could
account for a handful of deer in the trees around me. At last light the
10-point slipped up from the gully, again, and moved cautiously toward
my area. When he got close, I figured him for 15 yards, I held my bow up
to the ground blind's window to see if I could still see my top pin. It
was an indistinct shadow. I lowered my bow and waited until Robbie came
back to my house and moved the deer out of the area.
29 - A deerhunt In Progress, Day #1
is the big "first day"!!!
This morning 3 does
and a young 8-point came through by my blind. I saw 2 more does in the
distant trees. Robbie and Robert Cramer hunted at the Point and saw 12
does and 10 bucks. Three were very big bucks but Robert is hunting and
because he is a guest he is limited to does only. John Askew saw a lone
six point. The Duck saw a spotted wild boar, but no deer. Well ... in spite
of my high expectations it was a slow morning in my area. We all drove
into town and ate lunch at the Red Barn Restaurant and we're back. Everyone
is practicing shooting. I shot a few arrows and came inside to update.
Next thing, I'm taking a nap so I'll be fresh on the long sit in my blind
Afternoon hunt: Robert
Cramer and his dad sat in the Double Bull blind at the Point watching 5
young bucks interacting with themselves and other deer. They spared amongst
each other several times and ran off the does that wanted to pass through
the area. Finally the bucks moved off and at 7:20 two does slipped through.
Robert drew as they walked along slowly 10 yards from him, they stopped
and the first one turned toward him, but the 2nd turned quartering away.
Robert slid his feet to the right and lined up with the blind's shooting
window. He took aim and released. The shot looked good. The deer ran into
it's back trail. In 30 minutes it was dark and they drove back to my house
and we went to recover the doe. It had raced 45 yards and dropped in it's
Here are father and son
Robert and Robbie Cramer with the first deer of our 2001 bow season and
Robert's first bow harvest.
ROBBIE & ROBERT: Here
are wallpaper for your computer: Robert
& doe and Robbie
& Robert & doe.
Two wild hogs came by the
Duck's stand near the canyon. 5 deer were next, two were spike bucks. Later
he saw a big doe and 3 fawns. John Askew hunted the Rock Ledge stand and
saw one doe and 40 million man eating mosquitoes.
I'd been in my blind for
2 hours when I saw the first deer, a big doe walking along the edge of
the woods toward me. Three more does were next. Behind them 100 yards I
saw two bucks were coming, I glassed them. The first was an 8-point. The
next was "the" 10-point. They came closer, slowly and cautiously. In the
distance I faintly heard a vehicle, almost like an itch in my ear. The
bucks stopped and looked toward the sound. My blind is a couple hundred
yards from the gravel road that passes by my house. There is very little
traffic on this road, and what there is, is mostly farming activity. However,
the deer always run for cover when a vehicle passes here and this time
was no exception.
At 7:17 I saw the two bucks
again. They worked their way within bow range. The 10-point stopped broadside
with his vitals behind a tree that I had paced off as 17 yards. I was ready
to draw as soon as it was in the clear.
Once again, in the distance
I heard vehicle noises in the road, this time from the opposite direction.
The deer trotted away and stopped in the thick brush and watched as a big
tractor lumbered, loudly -- and all too slowly -- down the road and out
of hearing range.
Daylight was fading fast
and the deer were shadowy images when they came out of the cover and started
down the trail toward me. My binoculars are great in low light and I focused
on them and saw the 10-point on his way again. He walked into the open
15 yards away. By then he was only a barely discernible shadow of an image
and I could not see a single pin on my bowsight. When I was sure they were
gone I came back to the house.
Close! Real close!
It almost happened. But the
deer don't know I am in their game, and I am definitely in the right spot.
My plan is working.