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Deer Hunt - A Bowhunt In Progress
During the 2003 Deer Season
I used & evaluated the following equipment: Grim
Reaper Broadheads | BowTech Pro 40
A Four Day Late Season
Bowhunt from January 2 thru the 5th.
An action packed 4 days
of bowhunting with Zan Christensen (Zano) in the San Antonio suburbs. Big
bucks, good company and deerhunting done right. We got into the "Warrior
Buck", the "Blurry Buck", the "El Toro Buck", the "Windy Meadow Buck",
and "Big Boy". To The Hunt...
Back To Bowhunt
With Billy Don
by Tony Dukes
Tony Dukes returns to bowhunt
Billy Don Van Cleave's Wild Horse Prairie Ranch on New Year's day and huntsthru
Jan 4. Here are some big buck pics and the eventful daily hunt logs.
Dec 30, Morning - 24
degree and all is well ...
Wild turkeys were gobbling
and talking at daybreak.
At good light 2 does came
along the fence on my side. I'm ready to shoot another doe but I like to
let the first deer that I see pass on through. It puts "safe" scent in
the area for other deer. So let them through I did.
the sixer from yesterday came up and stopped and looked back. I took a
of it and noticed another deer's shoulder in the brush. It stepped
into the open and the sun shown on it's antlers. A 1 1/2 year old with
a nice 8-pt rack. Three more years and this
nice buck should be a real bomber.
big flock of wild turkeys came in without a sound and I spotted one with
a long beard. They milled around everywhere and I couldn't find the longbeard,
several of them drank in my small homemade water hole and others picked
around and I got
this pic of some. Then the birds started leaving. I saw the longbeard
and drew. They were bunched up and, not wanting to risk shooting some hens,
I had to let down.
Right then two does walked
into the group of turkeys. The does turned in my direction. I moved out
of the Double Bull's shooting window and drew. Just a minute ago I drew
and my without a sound. But this time my arrow rest made a metallic sound.
The closest doe got jittery and backed up. Then they left.
A doe with two fawns walked
down the fence in front of me. Then a second group of wild turkeys came
through and walked under the fence and disappeared on the opposite side.
There were some very young, undeveloped jakes, so I passed them by. A button
buck and two doe fawns came from the other side and walked in front of
me. A longhead doe was with them but it went behind me. Two more does appeared
in the distance but didn't come my way.
The Duck and his brother
Paul arrived. Duck saw a good 8-pt but passed because it had short brow
Mid Day: I checked
my arrow rest and the Muff material that I put on the fins had come off
of one, which accounts for the noise when I drew. I use a Bodoodle Zapper
so I removed the material form all 3 fins and applied nice, quiet, soft,
new Muffs to the fins.
Afternoon: The wind
began blowing hard and nothing happened at the Point. The Duck saw 3 does
enter the oat field at last light. Paul zipped.
Dec 29, Morning - Back
At The Point
Nothing moved until after
9:00 when 3 does came down the opposite side of the fence. I was ready
but I didn't get a shot.
Afternoon: At 1:30
I was back in my Double Bull blind at the Point. No turkeys came through
today but I saw 15 deer. A sixer drank water 3 yards from me. I tried to
get a picture but my camera battery went on the fritz. Later a doe came
toward the water. I drew when it was 12 yards from me. The doe co-operated
nicely and turned broadside. I put my sight pin on the right "spot" and
released. The arrow went over the deer! At dark I found my arrow, it was
sticking in a steel pole on the gate. That Grim Reaper is a tough broadhead.
Back at home I turned on
the outdoor lights and shot and arrow at my target. Ten inches high! The
next three arrows did the same. I reset the sight and am back on target.
All this traveling can be tough on the equipment.
Dec 28, Morning -
Double Beard Wild Turkey To Go Please! - I zipped at the Hammer Hole
but saw a bunch of wild turkeys near the Point when I drove to pick up
Timm. He had a good morning. First he saw a wide 8-point that was dogging
a doe through his section of woods, they didn't get close enough. Later
a 6-pt with an injured foot bedded down within sight. Then Timm saw two
does coming toward his stand. Things were looking good until I drove up
and spooked them.
Mid Day: Timm helped
me set up my Double Bull ground blind at the Point.
Afternoon: Timm hunted
the Hammer Hole. A bunch of wild hogs came in but they smelled him and
spooked. At dark he got down and on the way to the truck Timm walked into
a bunch of wild hogs, they grunted and thrashed around and Timm kept right
the Point, I had been in the Double Bull 10 minutes when the white hen
group orf wild turkeys came in to my water hole. Birds surrounded my
blind and I spotted two gobblers with 5-inch beards. I got ready and then
noticed a longbeard gobbler with a double beard. It was on the opposite
side of the fence at the Point and I didn't want to shoot through the fence
so I waited. The longbeard didn't cross to my side and all the birds left
in the direction of the river. Twenty minutes later another group came,
this one was mainly jakes and some had visible beards. Then, back in the
woods, I saw a fan ... and another. Five longbeard Toms were coming but
they didn't cross the fence to my side. (Here's
a pic of 3.)
As times passed I saw 5
does and 1 black boar. They were close but not close enough.
Dec 27, Morning -
I dropped Timm off at T.E.'s Folly and I went to the river. At daybreak
the wild turkeys spoke up. Their beautiful music filled the air amd continued
as dozens of them flew down and gathered up their groups. I saw a bunch
but no gobblers came close. Timm saw a doe and a yearling and the doe pegged
him when he tried to draw.
Mid Day: We set two
new stands, one at the Point and a 2nd at the Slew Hole. And we saw 2 bucks
at the Point.
Afternoon: Timm hunted
at the Point. He saw the group of wild turkeys that has the white hen,
he counted 48 of them. They passed by 65 yards away. I zipped at Shoemaker's
Dec 26, Afternoon
- I just dropped Timm Getts off at the Point. We saw two large flocks of
wild turkeys on the way out. A gobbler was strutting around, showing off.
Now I'm gonna take a shower and decide where to hunt.
After The Hunt: -
Timm saw dozens of wild turkey for most of the afternoon but not close
enough for a shot. A big wild boar, a black one weighing 250 pounds or
more, walked by on a trail 15 yards uphill from my stand. It had it's nose
to the ground and was trailing something. Trees and limbs were in the way
of a shot. Just before dark some hogs smelt me and spooked. My clothes
are in the washer right now. Timm and I ate nachos and other good stuff
at Ortega's Mexican Restaurant in Hamilton. (If you go there tell Debbie
that Robert sent ya.)
Billy Don Van
The Hunt Home Page
Two bucks from the hunt.
Nov 19-21 Tony Dukes and I both had thrilling bowhunts with Billy Don Van
Cleave. His 7,500 acre
Horse Prairie Ranch by Burnet Texas has definitely got the "mucho grandes"
type bucks. Day #1 got off to a big buck start and put me on 5 bombers.
Tony Dukes changed his stand until he found the buck he has been looking
for this season, he got a little surprise too, a mountain lion at 3 yards!
Check the hunt on its Home
13 - Saturday: (Morning) At sunrise I was just about to the river
stand ground blind when I surprised a big bodied buck. It jumped the fence
into the adjacent field and stopped. I stayed behind cover and got in the
blind. At better light a buck came up on the right side of the blind and
stopped 5 yards away. It was large but had a narrow 6-pt rack. As I reached
for my camera a flock of wild turkeys walked out of the woods to the West.
They boldly walked right past the buck. He got visibly nervous and moved
on as did the turkeys. Fifteen minutes later the hunt turned to "All
Good." To The Hunt
Wild Turkeys Out When It Rains?
Dec 12 - Friday:
The weather was mid 30's and overcast with frequent rain showers all day.
On the morning hunt I saw a black wild hog on a nearby trail. When it was
15 yards, but still in the brush, it smelled me and retreated. The afternoon
hunt and pics were way better. NEXT
Dec 11 - Thursday:
The moon is full, the rut is over and all the deer are laid up during the
day. Didn't see a deer today. I'm switching to wild turkey hunting for
a few days until the deer get off the noctournal kick.
Dec 10 - Wednesday Afternoon:
A lone doe was on the scene this afternoon. When I got in my truck and
turned around I saw a bomber, a real Big Boy buck. He just stepped back
into the shadows and let me drive away.
Dec 9 - Tuesday Afternoon:
High winds, the air was full of clouds of swirling sand much of the day.
I hunted in the afternoon and the temp dropped 20 degrees. No deer but
I saw a huge flock of wild turkeys in a cedar break.
Dec 8 - Monday Afternoon:
A full moon again. It's in sight before sunset too. I hunted Shoemaker's
Fence and heard a big wild hog commotion. Didn't see them. No deer either.
BUT I did have a surprise visitor trot by, at 8-10 yards, the big gray
fox that kills the kittens of my mouser cat, litter after litter.
I hunted at December Tree this morning and afternoon. There was no activity
at the scrape.
I saw one doe. It is full moon time again.
Friday: Broken Tine Buck ... Again
Afternoon: At Showmaker's
Fence I had 3 does come in close, two were mature longheads. The "broken
tine" buck (see below) approached them when I first saw them. He was way
bigger and heavier than they were! That got me thinking that if he came
into range I outta put my tag on him. But he kept his distance.
Morning: At the Point
this morning I saw over 20 deer on the travel trails that are too far away
for a shot. The temperature was droping fastt and it put the deer on the
go. This afternoon I'm hunting at Shoemaker's Fence.
Thursday: Nice crisp,
cool morning. Pleasant afternoon. I heard a lot of wild turkeys but didn't
get any hunting action of the deer or turkey kind.
Afternoon: The instant I saw the buck in the trees and noticed its
stiff legged walk and the width of what I could see of the antlers
I hooked my release to my bow's string loup. As he stepped clear of the
brush I got a clearer look at the rack. Four points on the right side and
two on the left! He put the pressure on me too, he walked up close
to my Double Bull blind. Then I saw the deal, he has a broken brow tine
on the right and two broken points on the left. Quietly, I sat my bow down
and got my camera. Here are 3 pics of the Broken Tine Buck. When I first
saw him and the low sun angle lit
his face up. Next when he was standing
very close by. And last, several minutes later when he was looking
I had web site business stuff to do most of the day but made it out late
so I went to the river and got in my Double Bull blind. I saw one group
of jakes and heard several fly up about 100 yards away. On the way to my
truck I stopped on a hill and glassed the big trees along the river. Wild
turkeys were roosted all over the place in those trees.
Mr. Big Stuff!
This time of year if you
see a large, dominant buck like this big 10 point you can never count on
ever seeing it again. But you might, it can happen. We'll see.
Two does and a sixer came to the December Tree scrape. Mr. Big Stuff didn't
Sunday - Mr. Big Stuff!
Sunday afternoon I sat in
a stand on the hillside above December Tree's scrape. It had visitors;
5 does, a couple of young bucks and ... Mr. Big Stuff -- the wide and tall
10 point that I wasn't able to get a pic of before season. I didn't grunt
or call, I have a stand near the scrape and I'll be there all this week.
This deerhunt looks like a hog hunt!
The last few days when we
go out to a deer stand we see more wild hogs than deer.
Thanksgiving Weekend 2003
Bryant Gets A
Twenty minutes after Bryant Askew sat down in his tripod seat by the middle
pond 4 wild boars appeared on a nearby cross trail. They were all the same
size so he picked the one with the best broadside shot angle. His arrow
went through the ribs and the hog ran back down the trail and fell down
in 50 yards. Two hours later he saw another group of hogs coming.
degrees this morning! Pretty cold. John and I zipped. Emily saw three flocks
of wild turkeys. Bryant saw turkeys and a distant doe.
November 28, 2003 - Right
place -- Right time!
Askew settled into his tripod deer stand at the bottom of the Rock Ledge
area. Soon a 9-point walked by on the woods trail near John's stand. He
was a nice 2 1/2 year old but John wanted an older buck. Later 9 wild hogs
came down hill to the trail. John drew, aimed and shot the lead hog. It
grunted one time and dropped on the spot. TO John's
Pic & Hunt. He walked back to camp and we recovered the hog
and took this pic. His daughter Emily sat at the Point and saw 40 wild
turkeys and several deer. John's son Bryant hunted the back and saw some
does and a young 8-point.
24: Deerhunt Turns Into Wild Hog Hunt
was driving out to deer hunt and a group of hogs crossed the farm road
a good ways ahead of me. I parked. I didn't have my camo on yet but I didn't
take time to put it on. I scooted along after the hogs in a black T-shirt
and jeans. They stopped regularly so I caught up with them pretty soon.
Ohio Rut With Crabby
Crabtree with his 2003 Ohio buck.
12-20: Our 10 day online coverage of the November bowhunt during the
Ohio rut. Photos and logs: 2003
10 - Afternoon: A lone doe walked down the fence line and doddled around
about 12 yards away from my Double Bull blind. I took a pic
of the doe. and since it was by itself, and it wouldn't spook any
deer, I had the perfect opportunity to harvest a mature doe. I drew, put
my pin on the deer's vital area, and touched the trigger on my release.
The doe jumped in the air and ran down the fenceline and jumped the fence.
My shot was right on and I was sure the doe was down already. I didn't
blood trail, instead I walked along the fence looking for it. No doe was
in sight so I circled through the woods. Nothing. So I went back to the
fence and crossed it. The doe was laying 10 yards from the fence in a shallow
ditch and had been our of sight. After tagging and field dressing it I
the doe up with a Hang Em' High hoist from Rope
Ratchet and let it cool down overnight.
Nov 9 - Afternoon:
Still overcast and drizzly. Another perfect "deer" afternoon. A young
buck was the first deer through my area. Later on an 8-pt
Nov 7 - Afternoon:
Very overcast and occasional light drizzle. A perfect afternoon. I hunted
the Rolled Wire and saw 5 does and did the "yes" and "no" thing when an
impressive 8-pt walked under me. But I settled with "no".
Tony Dukes Bowhunting
Report From Sweetwater Creek Bowhunting Ranch
Tony bowhunts with Tyge
Floyd, of Texasoutdoorsman.com
and reports in about their 2 1/2 day hunt. To
Tony's Bowhunt Report
Bucks With "Possum"
Dukes & I bowhunted deer at Possum's
Trading Post Outfitters. To the hunt
Bucks In North East Missouri
from Possum's Trading Post Outfitters trophy photo book. The pic above
is Jamie Anders and his Missouri bomber. GO
took us on a tour of local area big bucks. I gotta say these deer are a
must see. This area in Missouri is trophy country. Buck
Interview With "Possum"
interview the man with his finger on the pulse of those famous North East
Missouri Big Bucks. GO
Warren invited me to bowhunt on his TV show. We hunted Hidden Valley Ranch
and saw lots of mature bucks and took some fine deer pics. We hunted too,
and it was all good. Mark Denman videoed.
Warren Hunt Home Page
Oct 16 - Day 20
- Rick's Birthday Hog
Hunt: Crash, in the dark a group of wild hogs startled Rick
Philippi as he made his way to his stand this morning. The hogs left. Rick
waited and after good daylight came he heard more hogs. They appeared on
a nearby trail. Rick drew and put an arrow through the vitals of the largest
hog. To Rick's Hunt Pic.
Meanwhile the Duck saw several does at Myron''s Corner.
Afternoon Hunt: The
Duck & I saw does. Rick saw a mature, big bodied, heavy racked 8-pt.
It walked by 8 yards away, directly down wind, (the Scent Loc suit really
works) but Rick passed.
Oct 15 - Day 19
The Duck, Rick Philippi
and I hunted today. We all saw deer but no mature bucks.
How Is Steve Bartylla Doing This Season?
I'm sure you're wondering
if Deerhuinting.net Q&A answer man and outdoor writer Steve
Bartylla is getting any whitetail action this season. Steve's
Oct 14 - Day 18
I hunted the Rolled Wire
(no deer seen) and Shoemaker's fence (3 does). The Duck went to the Canyon
(lots of wild turkeys) and the Dry Up Pond (2 bucks and 2 does).
Oct 13 - Day 17
- Buck Fight
13: Early in the afternoon Donald Duck heard a buck fight in the brush
behind him. The noise stopped and deer came toward him. Two bucks and a
doe appeared. One of the bucks stopped in front of Don's stand and smelt
the ground where Don had laid a scent trail with his drag. Then the two
bucks commenced sparing, but they were out of sight again. They shoved
one another back and forth for a long time. Finally they worked their way
around in front of Don and he
took these pictures.
Oct 12 - Day 16
- The Duck Takes A Walk
Duck watched as a doe came into view in the brush 15 yards to his right.
Behind it he saw antlers, nice ones. But not the set he saw yesterday.
(That Buck.) Don raised his camera
and took a few pictures. Later at camp when we looked at them I recognized
the June buck. I hunted December
Tree and saw nothing. John Askew came down and he didn't see any deer until
dark. Here is the buck Don Saw.
Oct 11 - Day 15
- A Big One
Hunt: The Duck & I both zipped.
Hunt: 4 flocks of wild turkeys came through my area at the Point.
The Duck again saw 3 mature bucks at last light. He took pics of them and
2 of these bucks are looking good.
Out The Bucks Here.
Oct 10 - Day 14
Hunt: The Duck took pictures of wild turkey and deer, does and
a young buck, near the Dry Up pond.
Hunt: Early in the afternoon 2 does cruised through my area.
Later, as the sun neared the horizon, 5 does came from the South. One doe
walked right up to my blind. Then a lone Spike buck checked them out. One
of the older does walked up to him and stood in front of him. I got pictures
of it, here are the best of today's
deer pics. The Duck saw 3 mature bucks. One was a bomber 10. But
daylight faded before it was in range and he didn't shoot.
Oct 9 - Day 13
Rick Philippi hunted the Casablanca and river stands. He saw
a couple of does and 2 flocks of wild turkey hens. The Duck saw a doe at
the dry tank. I zipped.
Oct 7 - Day 11
saw 10 deer. He got a shot at a big doe ... but missed. I zipped.
Hunt: June's Biggest Buck
Comes on Down
June buck walked out of the woods and came to me like I had him on a string.
He really put me to the test but I passed. He will really be something
special the next few years and I am still wanting to see one of the 10
points. Here are the pics. Later on the Spike waunder through and stoopped
to work a scrape on the wood's edge.
saw 2 does this afternoon. This is his last day to hunt.
Philippi and Donald Duck will be down to hunt tomorrow.
How Is Doug Crabtree Doing This Bow Season?
Without a doubt I;m sure
you are wondering what kind of season my Grand Slam wild turkey hunting
bud Doug Crabtree is having this year. And, judging from the picture you
can safely conclude he is having a great one. Here is the story about how
he located this buck, scouted it and put himself in the right place on
opening morning. To Doug's Hunt...
Oct 6 - Day 10
3 words cover the morning hunt ... rain, thunder and lightning. The wrong
recipe for hunting in treestands.
Hunt: Roger saw 4 does in the December Tree area. A Spike came into
my area and chased after two does who came up (separately). Three others
appeared on the hill he went after them. The lead doe intercepted him and
routed his horny self out of the area.
Oct 5 - Day 9
Roger hunted the December Tree area and saw a doe urinate under the tree.
That's means rut activity is beginning right now. He also saw a llarge
black hog. No shots though. I saw one doe.
Hunt: Roger and I passed several deer driving to our stands but didn't
see any while hunting.
Oct 4 - Day 8
deer sightings this morning.
Hunt: Roger hunted the Hammer Hole and saw a buck in the nearby trees.
Wild hogs came into the area. Several young pigs crossed close to Roger.
A large hog stopped in the brush and waited several minutes before shorting
loudly and calling back the young pigs. The all left. I zipped this afternoon.
Oct 3 - Day 7
At the Treesuit stand a bunch of wild hogs walked close to my tree. I didn't
want to shoot and risk spooking deer that might possibly be in the area,
I should have. The rats went to my food plot and dug up a 20 yard square
of peas and oats. The Duck saw 2 does and a flock of wild turkeys. Robbie
saw 2 bucks and 4 does. After the hunt the Duck set up a bow he used to
shoot so Roger could shot it.
Hunt: Robbie went to the bottom of the Canyon at 1:30. I took Roger
to the December Tree area. The Duck went to the Dry Tank. Robbie saw 2
bucks and 4 does. Roger saw 3 bomber bucks out of bow range. I saw 9 does,
a spike and the long tined 6-pt that has been hanging around.
Oct 2 - Day 6
drove to the airport and picked Roger Mullins up there. He had sent his
bow & arrows via UPS but the package did not arrive yet so he could
not hunt today.
Hunt: I hunted with the Treesuit in a tree that is right where Big
Boy came from. No deer showed today. The Duck had a big group of wild
hogs circle his area. One walked up underneath his tree. A mistake,
a well placed shot, almost straight down, and he got turned into pork chops.
Sept 30 - Day
Day 5 - Big Boy!
Hunt: The 6-pt with the high rack and long tines was the first deer
I saw. Later 4 does came to the food plot. Daylight faded as 5 mature bucks
entered the area. One was a huge 9 or 10 with a wide, tall, heavy rack.
It locked horns and fought with a buck. Every buck was within bow range
but there wasn't enough light for a sure shot. Still, it was all good --
just seeing these fine bucks this afternoon.
Morning Hunt: A Bomber
10 Point: He came out of the gulch to my
left, his tail was up and he was trying to cut off a doe. She ran behind
me and he zipped by in front, right through my shooting lane, but too fast
for a shot. The biggest buck I've seen all year. Ten points on a light
colored, almost ivory rack.
Sept 29 - Day 4
Afternoon Hunt: 5
does got close to me the last half hour of daylight. A buck watched them
from the woods as dark thirty came.
Morning Hunt: The
Duck and Paul left this morning. I set my alarm for PM instead of AM and
consequently didn't wake up.
Sept 28 - Day 3
Afternoon Hunt: A
young buck walked by the Duck's stand at the Canyon. Paul saw 2 flocks
of wild turkeys. I zipped.
Morning Hunt: Turkeys
flew down nearby at the Duck's stand by the dam. Paul and I zipped. Returning
to camp they saw wild hogs and stalked them. Paul got a shot at a 300 pounder
Sept 28 - Day 2
Hunt: Pics Too
No deer sightings for the
Duck and Paul. I was in the thick of it and got deer
pictures of them including 2 of of the bucks I saw. A bomber 8-pt
buck came in at last light. I didn't shoot.
Morning Hunt: The
3 of us saw exactly no deer. Paul had hogs come through Myron's Corner
but when one was a couple of steps from getting shot it smelled him and
they retreated. The Duck saw a group of 15 wild turkeys at the Canyon.
Sept 27 - Opening Day
Afternoon Hunt: The
Duck hunted the Dry Tank and saw more turkeys. Paul saw a wild hog at Myron's
Corner. Neither saw any deer. I hunted the treestand on the far south side
of my food plot. A dozen plus deer hung out on the north side. Two 8-pts,
the June Buck 9-pt. Then a bomber buck with a bigger body, and a wider
and higher rack chased off the bucks. It was hard to tell because of the
brush but through my binoculars I counted 10 points.
Morning Hunt: The impossible
happened this morning. The Duck and his brother Paul are down. No one
saw any deer this morning. The rancher is planting oats in the fields right
now and that might have had something to do with it since we were all in
adjacent areas. The Duck had 3 flocks of wild turkeys work through his
stand area, so that was a good thing. After the hunt we ate at the Red
Barn Restaurant. We'll see what happens this afternoon.