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Bowhunting For Deer  2002
Robert Hoague The Digital Logs Of The 2002 Deerhunt In Progress - by Robert Hoague
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2002 Deerhunt - A Bowhunt In Progress

2002 Deerhunt - A Bowhunt In Progress

Jan 1, 2003 - The first "wild turkey music" was at 5:52am. Soon a group of gobblers flew down and assembled in the adjacent field. They were very vocal. On the far side of the field dozens of birds flew down and made a mass move to the West. (Yikes! That's the wrong direction, I'm to the East.) Soon the gobbler group began walking to the West. (Oh. Oh.) They were still gobbling so I picked up my gobbler shaker call and gobbled twice. They answered but kept walking West. (I shut up and made a mental note to throw away the shaker.) NEXT

Dec 31 - Nobody hunted this morning. The Duck & Matthew went home. At the new blind near the River I didn't see any wild turkeys until 5:47 and the bottom fell out. They were everywhere ... hurriedly flying up all around. I waited until dark and snuck out. I'll be back before sunrise in the morning.

Dec 30 - I was at my new river blind location before sunrise. Turkeys started talkin' at 6:42. They flew down all over the place but none showed up in my area until 8:30. First a group of hens and jakes. Then 8 jakes. Matthew saw several deer and almost had a shot. 

Dec 29 - I moved 150 yards to the East of the turkey crossing at Rick's River stand to see if they continue east or turn. They turn. I moved the blind to the turn. I also put a Double Bull blind at the Point for Matthew. He went out at 1:45 and saw 30 turkeys, 3 were ground draggers but he couldn't get a shot at one. Meanwhile I saw a 5 inch jake and a hen with a very long beard, plus other hens and jakes. The turkeys flew up on the opposite side of the river. I'll be back before the 7:31 sunrise tomorrow.

Dec 28 - Donald Duck, his grandson Matthew and me all deer hunted this morning and afternoon. Some days no one sees any deer. This was one of those days.

Dec 27 - Daylight at the Mound brought me 3 bucks. One had an extra good rack with wide, long tines. I couldn't get my camera going quick enough and they got by me. Meanwhile Rick & Ricky Philippi slipped into the blind at the River. Turkeys flew down into the adjacent field and came on over. But none were Toms. At 8:45 three Jakes walked out of the field and passed by the blind. Ricky drew and dropped the turkey in his tracks. We took pictures at my house they returned home. Here are Ricky & Rick and the Tom. And guys here's a wallpaper of you two for your computer. 
Afternoon: Nothing happened until 5:54 when the turkeys entered the field some 300 yards from the River blind and flew up on the far river bank. I watched with my binoculars and the trees were full of them. After dark I moved the blind 65 yards to the East so I can watch them come into and go from the area.

Dec 26 - I zipped this morning. Rick & Ricky Philippi came down and hunted the River stand. The birds arrived late, 5:45, and flew up along the river. Meanwhile, at the Hammer Hole a deer came up below me in the brush. As I checked it out for antlers a deer I hadn't seen nailed me and both deer walked away.

Sunset on Christmas 2002. Tonight was a massave sunset, fire in the trees, for sure. Here it is in computer wallpaper sizes. Through the turkey roost trees (1024x768) (800x600) (640x480) and From a nearby hill (1024x768) (800x600) (640x480).

Dec 25 - Today I set up a new ground blind 200 yards from the point where I last saw the July Big Boy buck. No one has seen him since then. The rut is over and he should return to his home area soon.
Hunt: When I went in at 2:50pm wild turkeys sounds were near the area. I zipped up the blind and the first birds, hens and gobblers, came before I could sit down. Later two more flocks passed about 50 yards to my right. 

Dec 24 - By 8:15 at the Mound I had seen 3 bucks and 8 does. Then the wind picked up big time. It was 27 degrees and I froze out. Still can't get the chill out. 
Afternoon: Back to the river, 3 does walked by the blind only steps away. We heard wild turkeys on both sides of the blind but they didn't use our trail. 

Dec 23 - It poured rain this morning. 
Afternoon: Perry Wicker went with me to video. We saw 2 good bucks, 4 does, and 37 wild turkeys hen and jakes. They walked by the blind just a few feet away.

Dec 22 - At the Rollled Wire I saw a young buck with a wide, long tined rack and 6 does. 
Afternoon: I returned to Rick's River stand and moved the Double Bull blind to the top of the hill. I saw dozens of turkeys on a trail 60 yards away. One was a ground dragger gobbler. Tomorrow I'll move there.

Dec 20 - Rick Philippi Gets A Double Header

I had business stuff to do so I missed the morning hunt. My bud Rick Philippi was hunting at Rick's River Stand. At 8:00 Rick knocked on my door. He had a grin a bulldozer couldn't get off his face and I knew he had a gobbler. Here is the story in Rick's own words. We drove to the Point to pick up Rick's brother in law Billy. He had seen a flock of wild turkeys and got out of the treestand to stalk them! Hmmmm ... so maybe Billy will know better next time.
Afternoon: I zipped at the Hammer Hole and drove to pick up Rick. A wild boar had charged at him when he got to his stand. It veered off at the last second and sped into the brush. Later, two does came down a nearby trail and Rick made a perfect double lung shot. It ran 25 yards, uphill too, which made it a closer drag to my truck. Here is a larger pic of Rick and the doe. And, Rick, Here is a Wallpaper for your computer of you and your 14th wild turkey with your bow. Congratulations my man.

Dec 19 - Longbeards .... And I Get Lucky!

At 3:00pm I was at Rick's River Stand inside my Double Bull blind, waiting patiently for wild turkeys. I had no way of knowing, but today I was going to get some of the longbeard action I've been looking for ... with my camera and my bow.  MORE

Dec 16, When The Goin' Gets Rough, Crawl On In!
I parked my truck in the thick cedars and made my way through them to the edge of the 30 yard opening I would have to cross to get to my blind. In the faint light I could see the wild turkeys still on their roosts. Yesterday afternoon I had purposely left my bow in the blind and the entrance slit unzipped so I could get in quietly. 
I dropped to all fours and crawled across the opening and down the hill, right up to the blind. I crawled in ... and listened to see if the turkeys would spook. They didn't. I got ready. TO TODAY'S HUNT

Dec 15, Sunday - Everybody Loves A Good fight
Half a dozen were longbeards. The flock started coming under the fence at the turkey crossing in front of me. Suddenly two longbeard gobblers started fighting, jumping in the air, pecking the other Tom and beating the dickens out of each other with their wings. I set my camera down and picked up my bow. The fight lasted over 40 minutes and the area was flooded with wild turkeys that rushed in from the field as well as the East and West. They wanted to see the fight and they raced back and forth as the fight moved around. MORE

Dec 14, Saturday:  Gobblers & My Nemesis
On the opposite side of the fence on the adjacent property, in the trees by the river, dozens of wild turkeys began talking as I waited in my Double Bull blind at Rick's River stand. They flew down as daylight improved and some started toward the fence crossing they have been using to come on our place, which is exactly where I am waiting. The Turkeys Came Right To Me.

Dec 13, Friday:  Catching Up
Dec 13 - At first good light a big group of wild turkeys came off the roost and crossed the field, I counted 57. They ducked under the fence crossing near my blind at Rick's River stand and turned East. Another big flock came from the West and went the same way. The afternoon hunt was jazzed up with a loud turkey fight. I tried to get pictures but they were jumping around too much and their pics were out of focus. Several bunches of turkeys came through. Finally I saw a group of Longbeards.

Dec 12, Thursday:  More Gobblers
The turkeys started talking at 4:38pm and kept it up somewhere uphill from me. They got real loud and I clearly heard a couple of gobbler's voices. At 5:12 I saw the first turkey, a hen. The rest all came down hill on the right side of my blind. Yesterday's pictures of the white hen and bearded hen didn't come out good. But a different white hen came through today and I got its picture. Again, close to 100 birds passed by and entered the field to go to their roosts. All the boy turkeys were jakes. Here are 6 pictures of today's action. Click on the Thumbnail to see the larger picture.

Dec 11, Wednesday
Morning: Rick, the deer are back in your "hot" stand area. I watched 15 cross Alex's road there this morning.
Afternoon: Finally, Longbeards
I am definitely on the runway for wild turkeys. My blind overlooks 3 trails that they use in the late afternoon to enter the adjacent large field where they eventually go to the river and roost in the large trees. Right now it is the turkey freeway. I'm positive I saw over 100 turkeys this afternoon as one group after another came through. The last players were 12 boss gobblers, longbeards. They used a different trail than the others and were just out of range. They ducked under the fence and approached some hens that were already in the field. I got a few pics of them. This is one of the best, the gobblers are showing off for the hens. (There are 22 turkeys in this picture).

Dec 10, Tuesday - Wild Hogs At The Hammer Hole
The wild hog I shot yesterday afternoon wasn't where I heard him fall down. Its trail led under the fence and onto my neighbors property and straight into the absolutely thickest, densest brush and cedar break imaginable. We're talking spending "on your hands and knees" time on the muggy ground through an ocean of branches. It wasn't a hard trail, just very slow going. The trail stopped in about 150 yards, in the middle of a real maize of brush. It took a while, but it was a dozen yards away under some dead limbs. I had left my bow and and camera tripod in my truck. The hog was heavy and in 10 yards I was give out. I was muddy and wet too and suddenly a picture of me and the hog didn't seem like a priority anymore. I took a picture of the boar, boned it out, stuffed the meat in my backpack and drug it out.
Afternoon: There was good deer and turkey sign at the Point so I hunted there. I saw 1 doe and 40 cows. 

Dec 9, Monday Afternoon - Rematch with the 25
Birds, mostly cardinals and doves, flew up in the brush in front of me! I caught glimpses of two rabbits running away. In one second my release was hooked up. I hadn't heard a sound but I wasn't a bit surprised when I saw the black body of a wild hog back in the underbrush. Instantly wild hogs were spread out ahead of me in the brush, I recognized the spotted hog and the brown one. This was the 25 from Dec 6. (This time I wasn't sightseeing.) A big black boar walked into the clear and I came to full draw. The boar turned straight away, a bad angle. Then he turned quickly and came closer, 8 yards away. Brush was in the way. Another big one walked out and stopped broadside. I switched dancing partners and did the 15 yard aluminum boogie with this one. All the hogs retreated, pronto. I heard the hog go down. I waited quietly for fifteen minutes. Daylight was fading fast and I circled for the hog but didn't see it. Inside the thick cedars and brush it got dark quickly and I didn't have a flashlight so I angled back to the Hammer Hole road and went to my truck. I'll get the hog in the morning. 

Dec 8, Sunday Afternoon - Wild Turkeys, lots of 'em
These turkeys were silent but a turkey behind me sounded off, clucking loud and clear. All the turkeys ran toward the sound. Minutes later I heard soft contentment sounds and the wild turkeys came back There were between 80 and 100 turkeys in this group and I checked them for beards, fast, before they got out of range. Jakes were all over the place. I spotted a long beard, a ten incher, on a bird five yards away! To The Hunt.

Dec 7, Saturday Afternoon
I moved in at the Hammer Hole, looking for the 25 wild hogs from Wednesday. I saw two cows, one looked just like this. I heard hog grunts in the distance but none visited me.

Dec 6, Wed Afternoon - A "Picture" Perfect Hunt
On the way to the Hammer Hole I realized I had left my camera at home. I considered turning back for it but didn't. I shoud have. In the small clearing past my tripod I saw wild hogs approaching on the opposite side. I hid in the brush on the edge and waited. Wild hogs filed into the open, 15 yards from me. There were all sizes, I counted 25. Six were big, fat, mature hogs. I could still see more in the brush so I waited to see them. Someone fired a shot a couple hundred yards away on the neighboring property. In two seconds I was staring at an empty clearing, every hog gone! Then I got on the tripod and a young buck walked around the area sporting his first 7-point rack.
Hunting is just like life, some times you think you've got it in the bag, ahhh, it's yours for the picking, but something unexpected leaves you empty handed. Today was one of those days, but that's ok, I wouldn't have it any other way. Heck, they'll be back ... and so will I. Like I said, hunting is just like life, and some times things don't mess up.

Dec 1: A Little Unplanned Stalking
I slipped along with the buck for about 100 yards and took a couple more pictures. Then he led me into much thicker brush and I lost him. So I angled to where I thought the hill top was and skulked slowly along. Grunt! A wild hog grunted and movement stirred in the brush ten yards in front of me. I'd snuck up on a group of bedded wild hogs. They fanned out around me in a half circle. Right then, my bow was in a sling and across my right shoulder and I was carrying my camera and jacket. MORE

Dec 4, Wed Afternoon: As I drove up on the dam to our tank, wild turkeys ran and flew on the blind side. I continued on to Rick's River Stand. No turkeys or deer had come by but as I gathered my stuff I heard turkeys flying up closeby. I waited fifteen minutes and poked my head out to the Double Bull blind. Forty yards away I made out the dark bodies of wild turkeys roosted in the large trees by the river. I eased out quietly.

Dec 3, Tues: It was raining this morning so I rolled over and kept on sleeping. The rest of the day was a mixture of rain and drizzle. It was in the light drizzle mode at 3:30 this afternoon so I went to the Hammer Hole. The dirt road was very slick and I considered turning back, but I made it through the two tough spots. On the way out I only made it through one and had to walk in. I saw 4 does at HH.

Nov 30, 12:31pm: Robbie was the only one who woke up in time to hunt. He hunted Myran's corner and watched 4 different bucks, making and working scrapes and checking out the does that came through the area. The rut should be on here, and it appears to be.
12:31pm: Tony Dukes hunted the December Tree area and saw 4 does. Robbie hunted the Canyon and around 4:00, without a sound, a bomber buck appeared below the stand and moved through the area. Another buck came through an hour later. At the Dry Up Tank I saw several does and a bomber buck 70 yards away.

Nov 29, 2:31am:  I just got back from Dallas. Tony Dukes is with me. We drove by the deer lease and Donald Duck's truck is there, so he and his son Robbie are down to hunt. We will see what happens.

Nov 28, Morning Hunt:  Rick & Ricky Philippi hunted the Back 200 but didn't see any deer. I drove to Dallas.
Nov 27, Afternoon Hunt:  Rick & Ricky Philippi are down for the afternoon & tomorrow morning. Rick hunted his River Stand, in my Double Bull blind, and had a flock of wild turkey hens and a big 8-point come within a few yards of the blind. Ricky hunted in the Horse Pasture stand and saw does, lots of them, 10 total, all out of range. I hunted my Jack Frost stand and saw the  8-point again, and this time I had my camera (see pic above). This young buck will be a big one in 3 years. The coolest thing about him is he knows where one of my stands is.  :-)
Morning Hunt:  It was right on the freezing 32 mark so I sat in a stand inside the woods that overlook my food plot. Besides a frosty visit with Jack Frost, I saw a doe and a fawn -- pretty good sized now. And a nice buck stayed in the area for half an hour. The buck has a just outside his ears 8-point rack, he's young and it's still a little thin, but this buck will be a big boy in another 3 years. It was great to see him. (I left my camera, when I went out I was kinda sleepy and forgot it, too bad, because this buck was really cool looking.)

2002 Deerhunt - A Bowhunt In Progress
Nov 25, Afternoon: Ricky Philippi, check this out and get your bad self down here with your bow! I parked my truck by a gully and got my stuff out to go Rick's River Stand. Twenty yards from me a bomber buck strolled leisurely across the woods road and walked into the gully, without seeing me. I waited 10 minutes, so I wouldn't spook the buck, and went to my blind, where I saw 5 does up close and 2 gobblers 60 or so yards away. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Catching up on Oct 26
October 26, Afternoon Hunt: 
The first visitor on my side of the hill was, again, the young 8-point. Here are 6 photos of it as he walks from one side of the blind to the other. Only one group of wild turkeys came through, but no longbeards. Then I saw a doe in the brush. I took a picture, set down my camera, quietly picked up my bow and waited to see if it would get closer. It did. Eight yards close. My arrow was a solid double lung shot and it ran 60 yards and dropped. The picture of me and the doe was taken he next morning. To Picture Gallery.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Catching up on Oct 25
Oct 25 - The buck was so close I could have poked him with the end of my bow. He walked up the hill behind me and disappeared. It was an absolutely great morning hunt, I saw dozens of wild turkeys and stayed until 11:00am and then started back to my truck. On the hill overlooking my pickup I saw something I definitely did NOT want to see ...

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Catching up on Oct 24
Oct 24 - Rain was drizzling when I went to the river. It stopped off and on as the morning progressed. I saw 4 different flocks of wild turkeys but still no longbeards. Rick and Doug hunted the Back 200 and both saw deer.
Afternoon: Doug Whittebury went to the river and hunted my Double Bull blind. A large flock of turkeys came in he spotted a longbeard and shot it at 15 yards. He collected his gobbler (9-inch beard and 1 inch spurs) and waited for Rick to pick him up. Rick hunted the Hammer Hole and I went to the Point. We both saw does and young bucks. (Doug, here is a larger picture for you.)

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Catching up on Oct 23
Oct 23 - What's Going On Here?
Why are these wild turkeys here? I wanted to know so I went in extra early this afternoon and looked around. It didn't take long to discover why this area is hot right now, and possibly all the time. So that you can see what I learned I took a few pictures to show you what's up. Scouting the river stand.

DSC06083Oct 23, Afternoon - I went in at 3:30. It was drizzly with a very light rain. A small group of wild turkeys came through a few minutes after I got situated. More followed. Here are the pics and rundown on what happened. Meanwhile Rick Philippi hunted the Hammer Hole and saw several nice bucks, but he is looking for a bigger one. Doug Whittebury hunted the Casablanca stand and saw deer and hogs but couldn't get a shot.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 29
Oct 27 - Last Day Of Bow Only Season - Robbie Cramer hunted a new Field stand in the morning and near the Point in the afternoon. He saw several does and young bucks but no mature bucks. I returned to the river for both hunts. A longbeard finally came in. I have a few pictures to work that go with the day's events and I'll finish this report as soon as I get them up.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 28
Oct 26 - 5:42am - It's as dark as a crow in a coal mine, 50 degrees with a light breeze. Oatmeal, pop tarts, coffee and a shower gets us out of here and on stand before daybreak. 
11:30am - At 9:57 I started getting my stuff together and a large group of wild turkeys began walking by -- hens and a few jakes. No longbeards. An hour later I moved my blind 10 yards and returned home. Robbie saw several does and a sixer and eight at Myron's Corner.
9:52pm - I went to the river at 3:00pm. An  8-point wandered around the area and I took some pictures (still to come). Two large flocks of turkeys passed through, still hens and jakes. Turkeys began flying up along the river. A mature doe came down the 20 yard hill and stopped when turkeys sounded off nearby. The doe turned and walked past my shooting window 8 yards away. I was ready and the shot was a perfect double lunger. It ran back up the short but steep hill. I got my stuff together, found my arrow, walked up the hill and saw the doe. (pic coming). Robbie Cramer set a new stand and saw several bucks and does and one large wild boar. He was on the wrong side of the tree to make a shot, but he fixed that before he left. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 27
Oct 25 - 5:48am - It's a dark, 48 degree morning with a little breeze. I'm gonna eat some oatmeal and pop tarts, take a shower, and head out to the river. 
3:08pm:  This morning I saw two groups of wild turkeys and a very photogenic 8-point (pics coming). When I got back to my truck I had 2 flat tires and had to go to town to get them fixed. Robbie Cramer is on his way down. I am leaving now to return to the river.
9:29 pm: Robbie hunted near the Point and saw 2 young bucks. For the first time this week, nothing came through at Rick's river stand.

I am missing the afternoon of Oct 23 and the 24th. Rick Philippi and Doug Whittebury were down then and I've got super pictures and stuff definitely happened. I will get it on the page asap, just hang with me while I catch up. Thanks.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 26
Oct 23: 11:05am - Wild turkey music filled the air and daylight came soon after. As the morning progressed I saw dozens of birds, some close, some too close. No longbeards though. My blind is in the way, sometimes the turkeys walk within inches of it. That's so close that I can't risk moving to keep track of the other birds, I could miss a longbeard because of it. So at 10:15am I moved the Double Bull blind into some brush where I can watch the main traffic flow but not be in the middle of it. I'll be back this afternoon.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 25
Oct 22: 9:05am -- When my alarm went off at 5:50 it was raining. I rolled over and went back to sleep.
 Afternoon -- At 4:05 when I got to the Point so many wild turkeys were talking that I stopped there instead of driving past them to the river. None came where I was but I saw a bunch in the distance. It was a really neat, mid 60's, cloudy, and turkey music all afternoon.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 24
Oct 21: Afternoon -- It rained off and on all day. I went out during a lull at 4:00. It started raining on the way to the blind so I was more interested in getting inside it than moving it. A group of hens passed by very close to the blind. A gazillion turkeys moved through the adjacent field on their way to roost. Several longbeards were out there and they really gobbled a lot -- the first I've heard at Rick's River stand. Several jakes & hens came from the field, slipped under the nearby fence, and passed so close I could have grabbed them. They walked 80 yards to the river and flew up.

Oct 21: The Bucks Are Chasing, Pics Of A Buck Fight
Deer moved good this morning, I saw 17. Every time a buck saw a doe he put the run on her. Two bucks fought nearby. Up to now they have just been sparing but these bucks were going at it. In the picture here the buck is loosing ground and is caught in a neck twist that is gonna get him pinned to the ground. Buck Fight Pics

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 23
Oct 20: Wild Turkeys -- Toooo Close
I moved myself right in the thick of it at Rick's River stand. Truthfully, I'm too close, they pass a couple of arms lengths away -- like the one in this pic. Mostly I sat still and watched. I didn't spook any birds so that was a good thing. Three groups came, at least 30 of them: jakes and hens with only one longbeard around and it would not give me a shot. Two gobblers had a heck of a fight, feathers flew as they pecked and clawed and beating the dickens out of each other with their wings. All the birds I saw walked to the river and flew up. I snuck out through the woods. Tomorrow when I go in I have to relocate the blind so I am not on their main street. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 22
Oct 19: Wild Turkeys Again.
At Rick's River stand I am not in the right place yet. It's real thick here and my visibility is not so hot. Three groups of turkeys came from my area and crossed the adjacent field and roosted on the river. Here is a pic of the first groups Sentinel turkey checking out the field for the flock. Before I left I moved the blind again.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 21
Oct 18: This afternoon I took a Double Bull blind to Rick's River stand and waited. Again several flocks came into the area but I was about 35 yards from where I need to be to have a shot. Before I left I moved the Double Bull to a more likely spot. We'll find out tomorrow if it's in the zone.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 20
Oct 17:Morning: Seven wild hogs walked a trail past Donnavon Cheek at Rick's Cassablanca stand. Donnovan locked in on the largest and sent his arrow through the hogs vitals. It ran 30 yards and dropped. (Donnovan is well known around here for his short blood trails.) Donnovan, here is a larger picture for you. Meanwhile Rick Philippi hunted the Point and saw several does and a young, but good 8-point. 
Afternoon: Rick Philippi and Donnavon Cheek saw several more deer but had no shot opportunities. Rick arrowed a wild boar. I hunted wild turkeys at Rick's river stand. I saw around 50 in an adjacent field. I'll be back. Rick & Donnovan left for home.

Treesuit Buck Photo Gallery: Here is a 5 picture photo gallery of the Treesuit buck taken on October 12. GO

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 19
Oct 16: Morning: Deer are back at my main photo area. Bucks are nosing around the does now and I saw a buck fight.
Afternoon: Rick Philippi and Donnavon Cheek are down to hunt. Rick hunted the Point and saw a big 8-point, a smaller 8 and some does. Donnavon had wild hogs come up behind him but they smelled him and left. I zipped at the Pocket.
2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 16 & 17
Oct 13 - 14: The weather changed from the 50's to mid 90's and the deer movement all but stopped for the last two days.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 15 - Bingo!
Oct 12: Morning - Continued:
I felt incredibly in the "zone", it could all happen right here, right now. I did not move a muscle. The July buck leisurely followed the other bucks, walking the 65 yards that led to me. The instant he was under the leaves of the live oak tree between us I closed my hand around my bow handle, silently slipped it off it's hook, and locked my release on the shooting loop. Several big racked bucks were there, 10 to 12 yards away and I looked through the leaves at the maize of antlers and found the tell tale kicker on the antler, the long brow tines and that big body -- broadside -- and two steps would put him in my doughnut hole shooting lane. He took the steps...

Without a sound I pivoted slightly to my left in the Treesuit and drew. I was already focused on the buck's vitals behind the leg and I put my pin there ... my arrow followed. There was an uncustomary loud cracking sound and all the bucks ran into their back trail. My arrow should have passed through but it didn't. But it didn't matter, I was 100% positive my shot was exactly where I wanted it. I knew the buck would be down already.  I looked at my watch, it was 8:23am. 

Tradition has it between Robbie, the Duck, and I that when one of us arrows a big buck we all find it together. 

Now that my search for the July buck was over I was pumped, I had to tell someone. I drove home and phoned Rick Philippi, John Askew and Jim Autrey, telling all of them that I had just bagged the July buck. Jim said he was on his way over.

We picked up the Duck and Robbie Cramer at their stands. They both had seen several deer. At the Point Robbie and I fanned out 40 yards apart and walked in the direction the buck had ran.

"Here he is." Robbie said. 
The buck had gone 80 yards. I cut over toward Robbie and saw the antlers sticking out of the range grass & weeds as everyone converged here. I reached down and pulled up his head up by the antlers. 

Jim Autrey spoke, "Robert, that's not the July buck in the pictures!"

It wasn't. It was an 8 point, not a 9. Somehow I'd shot the wrong buck!

This is my Treesuit Buck. There were 8 bucks together and the July Big Boy buck was positively with them, along with two other fine bucks like this one. When I looked away to get my bow and hook up my release I lost track of him in all the leaves and when I saw the right antler kicker and big body on this buck that was stepping into my shooting lane I thought it was the July buck. My shot was a perfect double lunger. 
A beautiful buck and, although I was completely surprised that he was not the buck I intended to shoot, I'm lucky to get him. He weighed 152 pounds and had several battle scars on his face, neck and ears. He was in great shape.

1. The Broadhead: The entry and exit wounds were perfectly in the ribs. This really made me wonder why I didn't get complete penetration, I use the double tough Innerloc Broadheads and they've been shooting accurately and doing a fine job for me ever since I started using them in my Ohio hunt in 2000. A close inspection of the area where I shot the buck revealed that my arrow had hit a steel fence T-Post the deer had been right next to. That accounted for the loud noise and it kept the arrow from passing through. (But the broadhead stayed together and is ok. When you see how securely the Innerloc goes together you know why it is so tough!) 
2. The Treesuit: Jason Nolz's cool Treesuit got me in the right tree, in the right place, at the right time. An ordinary treestand would not go in the tree up where I needed to be to intercept these bucks who had eluded me two days ago. The Treesuit got me where I could get a shot. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 14
Oct 11: Morning: Fog crawled along the ground as deer moved through my area, July's Big Boy didn't show but I saw 15 does and 6 bucks. At 10:00 I changed trees so I could cover the area the bucks used last night. I set up with my Treesuit, high in a 20 foot tree, in the crooked limbs, so I could look down through the live oaks at where the large bucks had come yesterday. This Treesuit is one awesome tree hunting device, I could not get a stand where I put it and I need to be where it is. When this 8 buck buddy group breaks up it will be hard to find the July buck. I trimmed some branches and now have a doughnut hole like shooting lane below me through the leaves in a live oak tree. I'm ready for this evening's hunt.
The Duck hunted the "L" and saw three 8-points, a spike and a doe with 2 fawns.
Afternoon: Robbie Cramer came down. At 4:30pm the 3 of us got in my truck and Robbie said, "Oh, oh your bowstring's broke." They hunted and saw a few does. Meanwhile, I drove to Peacock Archery in Belton for a new bowstring, peep and stuff. So at 10:00 tonight I was in my front yard sighting in my bow.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 13
Oct 10: Afternoon: John Askew watched a long tined 8-point as he finished making a scrape. A few more steps and John released his arrow for a perfect shot. The buck ran 40 yards. (John, here's a bigger picture.) The Duck saw two bomber bucks and Rick had a flock of turkeys fly up near him. The rancher starting up the turkey do-do operation and since Ricky was on the truck hauling route it ruined his hunt.
I took a Treesuit with me to the Point so I could set up lower and in a different tree and see if I could tell better what was happening. I keep water in a puddle here and soon 11 wild turkeys came running to it. I drew on a longbeard but another bird yelped me. They retreated and watched the area for awhile. (Turkeys don't like movement in a tree. They hadn't seen me, just the movement.) At 7:15 I counted 8 bucks coming my way, two big 8's and a very wide buck. I watched through the live oak leaves as they came within 12 yards of me. I could not ID the July buck because of the leaves and all the different antlers. When they came out of the brush 35 yds away I recognized him. 
Morning: What a cool morning! By 8:30 seven different bucks had walked by within 10 yards, I lost count of the does. July's Big Boy passed through, again 60 yards away. I stayed until 10:30 and saw several more deer. Rick Philippi hunted the Hammer Hole and a wide, tall, heavy beamed bomber walked up to the opposite side of a nearby tree and passed on without giving Rick a chance to shoot. The Duck saw a big 8. Ricky and John saw a few deer.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 12
Oct 9: Afternoon: "Big Boy is at the Point!," said the Duck. He was with an 8-point that was just as big. Don was unable to get drawn in time as the 2 bucks passed through the brush 15 yards away. "You need to be there," Don added. Before leaving I took some practice shots. I was 18 inches high. A bow inspection showed that my peep had slipped. The Duck changed my peep and I resighted. At the Point I saw 10 does and 7 bucks, all close up. But when July's Big Boy passed he was 60 yards away. The other deer lease members Rick & Ricky Phillipi, Robbie Cramer, the Duck and John Askew all hunted and saw deer.

Oct 9: Wednesday Morning: - It's 6:01am and old man rain is doing his thing. We will hang tight and wait to see if it breaks so we can hunt this morning.
9:02am - It stopped raining at 7:07 and I went out. I saw 6 does. A cow came up from behind me and I got a short video of the deer's reaction.
10:39am - Robbie shot a doe at Myron's corner. The deer was 40 yards from the stand. That's Robbie and the doe in the picture. (Robbie, here's a full size picture.)

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 11
Oct 8: Afternoon: - I had to go to Bodoodle today. The Duck hunted the Point and saw several bucks & does. But not the big one he saw yesterday. Robbie Cramer came down and went to the Hammer Hole. Nothing moved there.
Oct 8: Tuesday Morning: - At daybreak, in my photo blind, it was like old times. Five does, a fawn and 2 young bucks were in view and other deer parts were moving in the woods. Then the sky broke and it poured rain. Hmmm, that means the neighbor rancher has to wait longer to run all that loud do-do spreading equipment that has ran the deer off here. Gee, that's too bad. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 10
Oct 7: Monday Afternoon: - After a quiet day deer moved at last light; from the Trailtimer stand I saw 7 does and a young 8. Back in the woods I caught a glipse of a wide racked buck. It was him. The Duck saw 5 bucks and 2 does water at the Point. The large buck from this morning did not show.
Monday Morning: - Early this morning it rained. I went to the Trailtimer stand. It rained off and on. A lone doe walked by me, looking like a drowned rat, which was exactly how I looked. When she was out of sight I took my soggy self home.
The Duck (Don Beckwith) hunted the Point. In this order he saw 3 does and a sixer, 8 does, 5 bucks, 3 does and a flock of wild turkeys. A long beamed, long tined, wide 8-point was with the bucks, broadside 15 yards away. As Don drew on the big 8 another buck hopped the nearby fence and hung himself up and thrashed himself loose. The noise spooked all the deer before Don could shoot.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 9
Monday Morning: - Early this morning it rained. I went to the Trailtimer stand. It rained off and on. A lone doe walked by me, looking like a drowned rat, which was exactly how I looked. When she was out of sight I took my soggy self home.
The Duck (Don Beckwith) hunted the Point. In this order he saw 3 does and a sixer, 8 does, 5 bucks, 3 does and a flock of wild turkeys. A long beamed, long tined, wide 8-point was with the bucks, broadside 15 yards away. As Don drew on the big 8 another buck hopped the nearby fence and hung himself up and thrashed himself loose. The noise spooked all the deer before Don could shoot.
Oct 7: Monday Afternoon: - After a quiet day deer moved at last light; from the Trailtimer stand I saw 7 does and a young 8. Back in the woods I caught a glipse of a wide racked buck. It was him. The Duck saw 5 bucks and 2 does water at the Point. The large buck from this morning did not show.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 8
Oct 6: Sunday Morning: -  An unidentified deer snorted me near my stand at the Pocket. Later I saw 3 does there. At 9:00 I put up a ladderstand 40 yards from the stand I hunted. I picked Timm Getts up at the Point. He saw a yearling doe and 6 bucks, including the 8-point he saw yesterday. The Duck saw 2 does at Myron's Corner. Timm returned to his home and then we tilled for a food plot at Myron's Corner.
Oct 6: Afternoon - It's been quiet at my place for a day and a half. I'm hunting here this afternoon, maybe July's Big Boy will wander through. (8:45pm) No such luck, a group of does were in sight at 6:42 but the ranchers started clanking and stuff. The deer melted back into the woods. Near his stand the Duck walked up on a group of wild hogs. They ran away. Later he saw 4 does.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 7
Oct 5: Afternoon - The Duck hunted the "L" and I went to the Hammer Hole. We both zipped. 
Timm Getts, however was covered up ... with bucks, 8 or 'em. He videoed most of them, including a nice, outside it's ears 8-point that was 10 yards away. Plus, Timm saw a bomber buck that he range findered at 150 yards. He checked it with his binoculars and it was a thick necked heavy beamed 8 with long tines. (Timm is hunting as a does only guest.) We are on our way to the Red Barn to eat and will be at it again in the morning.
Oct 5: Morning - The Duck spooked some deer close to his stand at Myron's Corner. An hour later a lone mature doe came by and he bagged it at 8 yards. (No picture this time. The temperature is in the high 80's and he processed the deer before we came in form hunting.) Timm Getts hunted the point and a 6-pouint, 2 spikes, and 2 young does and a big, longhead doe. He almost got a shot at the longhead but it turned wrong at the last minute. I saw 10 does and one fawn.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 6
Oct 4: Afternoon (8:21pm) - Tim Getts saw 3 doe at the Point. The Duck saw one doe at Myron's Corner. I hunted the Pocket and had 3 does come through. I left my video camera on at my camera blind where we saw July's Big Boy so many times. No deer were on the tape.
Mid Afternoon - Tim Getts and the Duck arrived (separately but at the same time) to bowhunt for the weekend. THE WIND JUST CHANGED AND IS OUT OF THE NORTH. Relief at last. 
Morning - This morning at daybreak they started loading the turkey manure into a pick up truck and taking it somewhere else. Loading is a very loud, clanking process. I hung in on my stand but nothing moved. This turkey deal has fouled the hunting and apparently driven the deer out of the immediate area.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 5
Oct 3: Morning - Again, the trucks started at daylight. I got down and returned to the house and started doing web stuff.
Afternoon - I talked to the turkey farm manager and they finished hauling earlier today. This turkey do-do deal has messed up my hunting big time. But things will be better now. I'm on my way. 
Afternoon hunt: Without the pressure of the trucks in the area I saw a few does this afternoon. About 6:30 a monster black, wild boar came up out of the gulch. The deer all ran, pronto. Ordinarily I would have shot the boar, but I don't want to track up the area, to say nothing of the sign that would be left from the 4 or 5 people it would take to drag him out.

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 4
Oct 2: Morning (6:01am) - Another hot day, temperature wise,  in the works. Maybe the deer will move this morning anyway. 
(7:54am) Several deer were in the area at daylight time. The turkey manure 18-wheeler rolled in across the road. At first the deer went uphill and watched. Then they left, quickly. Trucks are going back and forth so I came back to the house. Wheew, that turkey do-do is upwind and it smells real stout. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 3
Oct 1: Afternoon - The rancher across the road purchased the manure from a nearby turkey farm and they've been unloading truckloads of turkey manure all day. They are still at it. Heck, I'm going hunting anyway. Hunt Results - Nothing moved. 
Morning - Jim Autrey came over again to video. We saw 3 does and 1 fawn that has nearly lost it's spots. 

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 2

Sept 29, Morning: In the faint pre-dawn light I watched 5 bucks file under my TrailTimer stand. Sunlight came gradually and I recognized July's Big Boy and his 2 buddy bucks. A big 8 point was with them. Eleven does circulated around. They browsed around the area for nearly an hour. When Big boy left he walked by my stand, some 40 plus yards away. I saw a sixer and some does in the next two hours. But that was just the beginning of an eventful day ... MORE

2002 Deerhunt In Progress - Day 1
5:33am: Jim Autrey (Texas Deer Hunter TV Show) is here and we are going to our stands now so we can get to them before deer are in the area, I don't want to be spooking any deer. My hunting buddies Robbie Cramer and John Askew are down for opening weekend. I got a good night's sleep and ready if July's Big Boy shows. As in year's past, since 1996, I will log in after the morning and afternoon hunts with today's results.
9:01am: Jim & I are back in. After daybreak  6-point walked under my tree and later on we saw a lone doe. Robbie & John should be in shortly.
1:01am: Robbie hunted the leaning tree. On the way out, in the dark, he ran into a group of wild hogs. They growled and snapped at him and Robbie retreated. Later, on the stand, a young 8-point with a nice rack and a scraggly racked buck came by within shooting range. John hunted the back 200 and saw a 6-point, two does and a fawn. We all went to town and ate at the Red Barn Restaurant. 
4:14am: We are all going out for the afternoon hunt.
9:17pm: At 7:14 the July's Big Boy buck walked out of the  brush and browsed along the edge 80 yards from me. He gradually came close to my position, but by then the light had faded and I could not see my pins clearly. I had to let him walk by at under 20 yards. Robbie and John both saw bucks and does.

2002 Scouting Pics & Field Notes:

May, June & July | August & September

Wild Turkey 2002

I lucked up and found a wild turkey hot spot and got my camera and me into plenty of action. GO

Wild Hogs 2002

It's always wild hog hunting time around here. 2002 is the best year ever. Pics & Logs

2001 Deerhunt
The daily logs and lots of pictures of the 2001 bowhunt for Deer.

5 Months Of Scouting Pays Off

The 10-point didn't show opening morning but he came by an hour before sunset. An unexpected interferance kept me from getting a shot. The next morning I only saw one deer. That afternoon was a carbon copy of the day before. I knew I was running out of chances and changed tactics. Here's what happened.GO

2001 Scouting Pictues: 
June - September 
The pictures and logs of the 5 months of scouting I did for this buck -- see pictures of him and many other bucks and deer Click Here.

Wild Hog Bowhunt at the Texas-S Bowhunting Ranch

A Hog With An Attitude
Water and mud flew everywhere as the red boar came out of the mud. He stopped. He looked for me and saw me. Right then, it was clear to me that he wasn't going to run this time. Everything went into slow motion -- things started happening one frame at a time. I already had an arrow out. Fifteen yards behind me I heard Merle say, "God, he's going to charge." GO

 Wild Hogs & Javelina With Chad Edwards
Javelina were in the road, about 80 yards from the Curve blind and 200 yards from us. Chad stopped and turned off the pickup's engine. He took their picture as I grabbed my bow. An old, rusty fence is to the right, along the side of the road, so I slipped over to it and stepped over a low place in the wire. Brush and mesquite grow along much of the fence. They provided good cover so I walked briskly for half the distance, but then the cover ran out. More...

Bowhunting The Ohio Rut - 2000

Count To 100 - It Worked!
It was time to leave so I started counting. Mid way to 100 I heard what could have been a step in the leaves. I waited briefly, I didn't want to make Dennis late to his own fish fry. I started counting again. A step, for sure. A big Ohio 8-point came from the brush and went to the scrape and worked the overhead branches and pawed the scrape. It finished and moved in my general direction. I was ready to draw. But the buck stopped and looked right and left, trying to decide which way to go. Right or left wouldn't work for me. In my thoughts I talked to it calmly, repeating, "come to me, come to me." More Ohio Hunt

Venado Loco's Great West Texas Bowhunt - 2000
Earlier this year I received an email inviting the Duck and I back on the annual bowhunt with Venado Loco at his 6,300 acre deer lease in the desert near Del Rio, Texas. This is as far West as Whitetails go and this bowhunt is different from other deer hunts most of us are familiar with ... there are no trees!  It's ground hunting only. The 2000 Venado Loco Bowhunt.

Antelope In Wyoming - 2000
Here are pics and logs from this September's Antelope bowhunt on the Hornbuckle Ranch near Douglas, Wyoming. JimboTX, Ande Rushing and I met Dave Brennan and Kurt Laddich and other bowhunters. We all had a ball hunting for antelope and enjoying seeing the plethora of game that lives on the prairies of Wyoming. More...

Digital Log of the Bow/Deer Season - 1999

My bowhunting logs and on the spot digital pictures for Oct, Nov and Dec of '99. A lot of people bowhunted with me and it was a super season. 
OCT - A big 8 shows up and I get lucky. Brian, Chrissy & Turtle bowhunt. The Duck & I bowhunt with Venado Loco in Del Rio.
NOV - The rut heats up and I record it with my digital camera. The Duck, JimboTX and I bowhunt at Wells Creek Outfitters in the big buck country of Brown County, Illinois.
DEC - The Duck's Mudslide buck. Tink returns from Africa and bowhunts with me for a couple of weeks and comes up with his Homecoming Buck. And more...

1999 - Bowhunting Whitetails @ Wells Creek Outfitters - in Brown County, IL.This area consistently produces trophy class Whitetail Bucks for bowhunters.

1999 - Venado Loco's Great West Texas Bowhunt
By email I received an invitation for myself and one friend to bowhunt with Venado Loco at his 6,300 acre deer lease in the desert near Del Rio, Texas. This is as far West as Whitetails go in the Southwest and Venado said that this bowhunt would be different from other deer hunts I was familiar with ... he wasn't kidding. Logs & Pics of the Venado Loco hunt
1999 - Brian Pullam & Chrissy of the YBC Bowhunt Texas -
Brian Pullam, YBC Team Leader, and Chrissy, YBC Columnists bowhunted Whitetails at my place in Texas and 16 year old Chrissy brings home her first bow harvest.

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