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Fall Deer Hunts
Page - 2005 A Deerhunt In Progress
by Robert Hoague
Creek Outfitters | Double Kicker Buck
| Hunt w/ Billy
Don | Double G Outfitting
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November Hunts | December
Dec 29 Jan 1 - Recap
The saying goes, "In like
a lion, out like a lamb." That was last week's huntinig. I saw a few young
bucks and does, but no turkeys. And no shots.
Dec 28 - Back In The Trees
marking tree limbs and I get lucky.
Everything comes down right
this morning. GO..
Dec 26 - Uploaded
From The Blind
A little after 7:00 a bomber
walked out of the trees, came up and drank my water at what's left of my
food plot, looked around, and not seeing anything of interest, casually
walked away. It was too early for my camera to take a clear picture. He
was a wide, heavy 9 point. A big, fat boy too. I returned to the
Food Plot in the afternoon and saw a young 8-point.
Dec 24 - The Convention Returns
gobblers and me get wild on the ridge.
The 24th was one for my
record book of great days in the woods in terms of wild turkeys and monster
bucks. I'm working on the pics and will have them up asap. GO...
Dec 23 - Wild Turkey Convention
bearded visitors today. One's a hen!
I've been promising that
the 23 was a biggie. I think you will agree that the pics prove it. GO...
Dec 22 - A Disappointment
An unexpected turn of events.
Dec 21 - Afternoon, The
Ridge Pays Off
My turkey and deer plan
falls in place. GO...
Dec 21 - Morning Hunt
This morning I went to New
Secret Stand. GO...
Dec 18 & 19 - The Short Version
I hunted almost all day
both days. Saturday, as I started my draw on a doe 10 yards away she jerked
around, took a few steps backward and looked into the woods behind her.
Then she snuck off into the woods. Minutes later a large flock of wild
turkeys came walking by. One was a big longbeard. I drew and put my pin
on him. Released. And shot under him.
Sunday a few does came through
my area but not close.
Dec 17, Afternoon - Fighter #2
This afternoon I saw a buck
fight, and there wasn't any antler tickling. GO...
Dec 17 - The Fighter
I put my camera in Play
mode to check out the last pic. It was in good focus ... and there was
more in the picture than the lantern. GO...
Dec 15 - It happens sometimes.
Today I didn't get to do
Dec 14 - Wow!!!
This morning I watched a
bunch of does as they came and went from my food plot. But nothing came
up on the hill with me. At 2:00 I went to the Ridge. Soon after 4:00 I
saw wild turkeys walk out of the trees 60 yards away. They continued down
the hill to the river. More and more came during the next 20 minutes and
left me wishing I was over there instead of here.
At 5:15 I saw a buck walking
behind the group of cedar trees 15 yards from my Double Bull blind. Holy
Cow, this was a huge buck ... with a big, heavy rack with very long tines.
I pointed my camera at a narrow open space in the cedars as he stepped
into it. But the camera didn't reconcile the focusing in time and he strolled
leisurely down the hill and left me photoless.
I waited silently until dark
and slipped out quietly.
Dec 13 - A HotTrails Hot Trail
Bucks, does, wild hogs and
8 longbeard gobblers make for an exciting day. Pics too. GO...
Dec 12 - TrailTimer Pics @ the Point
I took the latest TrailTimer
EZ-CAM film to Wal Mart and got it put on CD. Wild turkeys are definitely
coming to my water. GO...
Dec 11 - Mid Day Deer
Deer moved after 9:00. A
doe with a trailing buck, 2 wandering bucks, 3 wandering does and two doe
groups. But the afternoon was uneventful.
Dec 10 - "No Seeum"
The morning hunt was a "no
seeum". My bud Perry Wicker wants to hunt hogs so he went with me in the
afternoon to the Point. As he got in the Double Bull blind I noticed lots
of turkey tracks around the water. Then I walked over and got the film
from the TrailTimer game camera. I intended to put film in it too, but
something shiny caught my eye. The sun was shining on the backs of wild
turkeys coming through the brush 80 yards away. They hadn't seen me and
I wasted no time getting in the blind. But they crossed somewhere other
than the Point. So did the deer and hogs.
Dec 9 - Freezing Morning, Hoggy Afternoon
A 12 degree morning bowhunt
is the perfect way to start a winter day. GO...
On the Afternoon hunt at
the Point things thawed out and my self made water hole got unexpected
Dec 8 - Coldsville
This morning we had some
frozen pipes from yesterday's big freeze. By noon the sun was out and generated
enough heat to unfreeze them. By afternoon's hunting time it turned cloudy
and dropped into the low 20's. But me, and several deer were out.
The deer seem to have darkened
up and gotten winter coats overnight.
This year and a half buck
was out at deer thirty. His neck is thickening up and he looks pretty buff
in his winter coat.
Cold weather causes my camera's
battery to loose some of its charge and my camera gave out. But not before
it gave me these two cool pictures. Life is good. Cold. But good.
December - Water Where There Isn't Any
||Early Spring was the last
time it rained and it's December now. Everything has dried up into shades
of tan or brown. Except for my poor food plot. It is barely green but it
still brings deer. It has another strong point, my home made 30 inch by
6 inch water trough. Here's the pics...
Last Week Of November
The remaining 4 days of
the week I switched areas from the Point, Secret Stand #5, and my Food
Plot. Basically it went like this, young bucks and does were on the move,
even during the day. Two afternoons were eventless. I saw one group of
wild turkeys several steps before I was to get in my blind. But they saw
me and moved away. I didn't see them any more this week.
Day 3 - Dickie Wicker
arrived bright and early. The temperature was in the 30's and it was calm
and foggy. A good hunting day. Go...
Last Week Of November - Day 2
Some days you just feel
like it's gonna happen. This was one of those days. GO...
Last Week Of November
After noticing turkey tracks
at the edge of the water I've been making at the Point I went there to
hunt. It was a good idea. GO...
Making Water Where There Isn't Any
After the Illinois bowhunt
I started up my watering program at an area I call the Point and set up
to monitor it's activity as well as hunt it. Here's the pics of how I did
Nov 26 - Rain ... But
Not For Long
When I woke up to go hunting
it was raining. We really need it, it's been a long time without any. I
went back to sleep.
At 8:53 the rain had stopped
and I checked with John and see if he hunted. He had and saw a nice buck
before it was light enough to see his pins.
We drove to Peacock Archery.
Both John and Emily needed a dozen new arrows and we wanted Roger Peacock
to check out Emily's bow setup and give her a little shooting advice.
John Askew shoots them
in the bullseye with his new Carbon Express arrows.
Roger Peacock checks
Emily's arrow flight.
Roger made a couple of shooting
suggestions and Emily drilled the target, arrow after arrow. This was only
the second time she had ever shot a bow and she was definitely in control
of her arrows.
When we returned to the lease
John had a change of plans and he and Emily returned home. Emily said she
will keep practicing until she feels comfortable enough with the bow to
Once again, I hunted Secret
Stand #5. A doe walked by my Double Bull blind. Today there was no buck
behind her. Earlier, I saw turkey scratching and tracks at the Point and
will go there tomorrow.
Nov 25 - A New Bowhunter?
bud John Askew came down to hunt with his youngest daughter Emily. We met
for lunch at the Red Barn Restaurant and after the hellos Emily said she
had a bow and wants to bowhunt. After eating we went to my house so Emily
could check her sights. They were on and she stacked most of her arrows
in my Cube target's bullseye from 7 to 20 yards.
Then we drove around looking
for armadillo's and Emily snuck up on three and got the last one. However
she lost 2 arrows and the armadillo broke one, which was all she had, so
in the morning we are going to Peacock Archery for more arrows and also
have Roger check her bow setup.
Emily wanted to set in a
stand anyway and she saw a nice 8-point. John saw several does. I returned
to secret Stand #5 and zipped. (That's Emily with the guitar at the jam
session we had after dinner.)
Nov 23 - Wow!
My plan was to locate wild
turkeys so I put up a Double Bull Matrix at Secret Stand #5. This afternoon
was the first opportunity to hunt it. I took along my Pro Ears because
they are good at picking up the soft travel vocalizations turkeys sometimes
make in the Fall. As the sun dangled above the distant tree tops I heard
a deer walking behind and to my right. A doe came into view 15 yards away
and continued my way, getting closer with every step.
Holy Moley! Twenty yards
behind the doe a buck walked out of the trees. And I mean a big buck ...
with the biggest rack I've ever seen on the home hunting grounds -- long
main beams, long tines, and heavy beams.
I turned on my camera and
raised it to my eye. It touched the brim on my hat, making a very slight
sound. The doe stopped and looked my way, she was 5 yards -- close -- and
getting jittery. The buck walked behind some oak trees and I lost sight
The doe turned, took a few
steps and stopped -- looking the opposite way. The buck stepped out of
the trees. What a set of antlers! The doe walked away and he followed.
I tried for a pic but didn't get him in focus.
They were gone. The doe had
not spooked and the buck's attention was on the doe. Maybe she will bring
For Illinois Trophy Bucks At Wells Creek Outfitters
Nov 11 - 17 Bowhunting
the Illinois rut in the famous Golden Triangle with Rob & Bob McNeff
at Wells Creek Outfitters. Daily hunt logs and trophy pics. TO
Rick Philippi's Illinois
Rick is reporting
in on his cell phone (from Alhambra, IL)
Nov 9 - Returning
to his truck Rick noticed a slight movement 8 yards away and saw a doe
hiding in the brush. Rick knew if he stopped it would run so kept walking
and nocked an arrow. Then he drew, stopped and made a 15 yard double lung
shot and harvested a 160 pound doe.
Nov 8 - He has seen
several bucks and they were all chasing does. The rut is on.
Double Kicker Hunt - Pictures
& Hunt Comments
At 5:30 I woke up, didn't
have to do it this morning but I was too antsy to sleep any more. The outside
temperature display on our atomic clock read 29 degrees -- the first cold
day of the season. Pictures and Hunt
Double Kicker Hunt - Last
Hunt - It All Comes Down To This ...
He took off after a doe
and chased her all around the place. Then they both stopped and stood apart.
I range findered him at 27.5 yards. There were several deer closer to my
Double Bull blind and he walked over to them. I pushed the yardage button
... 18 yards. To the Hunt &
Double Kicker Hunt - Day
A 6-point came from my right
and the Buddy started toward the deer and Double Kicker followed. I can't
believe my good luck. No time to fool around now. GO...
Double Kicker Hunt - Day
I was early. The deer were
late. Both Double Kicker and his Buddy walked through the high grass surrounding
my food plot. I took a quick pic of each of them, set down my camera, and
got my BowTech and waited at the ready. Several times, I checked him with
the Nikon rangefinder. I don't like to shoot past 20 yards and prefer closer
and Double Kicker stayed out of reach. No other deer were in sight and
they left in a few minutes for some place unknown. Like I said yesterday,
I better get some shooting done.
Double Kicker Hunt - Day
5 - Banging Heads
The Double Kicker buck walked
in my direction and when he stopped and watched the other two bucks I checked
him with my Nikon rangefinder, 24.5 yards. I stayed behind the camera tripod
but carefully picked up my BowTech. I wanted him a few yards closer and
if he did I was ready. GO...
Double Kicker Hunt (Day
2 - 4)
On the second day I switched
to a treestand 90 yards from the food plot. I've had a North Starr Treestands
"Steel Starr" in this tree for 3 years and hop in and out of it at will.
Treestands) In the woods I saw the Double Kicker buck and his gray
running buddy. I don't have a clear view of the food plot from here but
I saw deer parts in it.
I moved to a different stand
where I can watch the back fence corner of my corral. This fence line and
corner is a good deer funnel and the trail I saw the bucks on yesterday
goes through here. I have a "Boss Star" treestand from North Starr in this
tree because the seat turns and I need that here because there are shooting
lanes to the left, right and in front of my tree.
Several does walked right
by me before I saw the Double Kicker bucks tall antlers a little further
in the woods than I wanted them to be.
He was alone and seemed
interested in something ahead of him.
An 8-point walked into view
and the two bucks watched each other.
Then they both looked into
the woods and walked in that direction.
As darkness came several
deer slipped through my area in the fading light. The Double Kicker walked
right under my tree but I could not see my pins clearly. He headed toward
the food plot. I didn't want to spook him so I sat in the woods an hour
after dark -- until I felt deer were out of the area. When I finally got
down I made it to the house without hearing any deer snorts. Tomorrow I'm
going back to the Double Bull.
4th Day - Here He Comes...
Two sixers came to the food
plot and drank water from my water tube. They walked around and saw something
and left. Before long the Double Kicker buck walked into my view and I
took its picture as it got closer.
It stopped and looked in
my direction. There was time for another picture so I took it. The buck
seemed to be staring at me.
And just as quickly and
deliberately as it came up it walked away. My thoughts felt scrambled.
I did not expect this. Did he leave because there were no does or other
deer. Or because he had seen me or the camera? And is he gonna be back?
Food And Water
Before the season began
my neighbor Dale Morris plowed and planted my seed for my small food plot
area. Over the years I've tried large and small food plots and in my experience
the smaller variety with good cover around the perimeter draws deer better.
By small I really mean small. It's only 22 by 14 yards. But when the plants
are growing it brings them in good, as you saw during last December's
Here is Dale Morris fixing
up the food plot. And my experimental water trough.
In the fall does come to
eat the greenery and the bucks come to check out the does. But in the spring
and summer the bucks don't generally show up regularly. But once their
velvet is shed, based on my observations, I believe they come to see and
be seen. The younger ones march around and find out which bucks they can
intimidate. They chase and spar with each other. The older bucks come in
like they own the place and constantly intimidate the younger bucks.
Buck "Buddy Groups" are a
big part of some bucks life in late August, September and early October.
It's as common to see the biggest bucks go around together as it is for
two or three similar sixes and eights. When they all go solo the first
rut action is not far away.
As a rule my food plot activity
draws good in October, slows down in November, and picks back up in December.
Water Where There Isn't Water
This year I had some water
holders made (picture above) with 4 foot lengths of black plastic pipe.
At first deer didn't use them but at the suggestion of a local sheep rancher
I tossed some dirt in the bottom and deer used it right away. A nearby
55 gallon drum with a hose in it supplies it with water. Here is one of
the does drinking from it.
Back Home - Saturday
Robbie Cramer's Hunt
Robbie Cramer came down
Friday to hunt. He saw several does yesterday and 3 does this morning but
had no shot opportunity. On the afternoon hunt a group of wild hogs walked
down the trail near his tripod stand. He drew and put his pin on the largest
one and double lunged it. The hog charged into the thick cedars and suddenly
Robbie heard a violent commotion.
At dark Robbie came to get
me and we went to track it. We parked my truck and got out. This area is
very thick with young scrub oaks and cedars. Getting where you want to
go is not easy.
Robbie said, "Watch this."
And turned his flashlight into the woods. Wow!
White FireTacks show
up vibrantly to light our way to Robbie's stand.
The first day of season I
gave Robbie some white FireTacks and he had pinned them on limbs and marked
his way to his tripod stand with them. The 3 FireTacks you see in the above
picture led us 50 yards into the trees! A right turn and another
4 FireTacks and we were at the stand. Bright! Quick to tack up! Easy to
see. A product that does what it claims to do. (FireTacks)
Robbie picked up the blood
trail and I circled to the boundary fence 50 yards away and walked along
it. The hog was hung in the fence and was quite dead. Then we drove to
the Red Barn Restaurant and ordered inch and a half thick steaks. They
Here is a picture taken after
the next morning's hunt.
Robbie Cramer and his
first wild hog of the year
Double Kicker Buck
Saturday's temperature drop
made the difference, the deer started moving. Saturday afternoon the Double
Kicker Buck came into my hunt area ripped up a tree, and more. Here's what
happened and the pics. GO...
Annual Bowhunting.net Deerhunt With Bill Don
Hunt logs and pics for the
2005 bowhunting event with Billy Don at Wild Horse Prairie Ranch in the
Texas Hill Country. GO...
At Double G Outfitting
THE HUNT HOME PAGE
met our Taxidermy columnists Larry Reese as well as Mike Glanden and John
& Whatt McBride at the Double G Outfitting and our host Garrett George
gave us all a 4 day hunt to hang on the wall. GO...
Between 6:30 and 7:00 the
Freak buck walked by my position and I got a picture of him with my new
infrared night camera.
At 7:13 a new 8-point appeared
at the edge of the woods and walked in my direction.
Cool. It passed by meat
about 10 yards.
Then it turned around and
It stopped for a few minutes
(12-14 yards) and looked the area over. Then it moved off to the East.
9:30 - Robby Creamer just
came in from his morning hunt. He was in the Thicket stand and saw 5 does
between 7:15 and 8:00.
John Askew also had good
luck at the Middle Tank. Before daylight a handful of huge wild hogs came
down his trail. Things were calm until after 8:30. A big bus doe came down
the trail in front of John. He drew and as it stepped clear of a small
cedar tree he put the arrow where it should go. He got down at 9:00 and
followed a good blood trail to the doe. He came in and we returned to load
it in my pickup instead of John's ATV.
We drove into town and ate
a great lunch at the Red Barn Restaurant. After lunch Robby and I both
ate the home made Pecan Pie. A lot of restaurants have pecan pie but you'd
have to look long and hard to find any that are this good.
John jumped a doe on the
way to his stand at the Rock Ledge. Robbie hunted the Big Foot stand. I
got ready for my trip tomorrow to Double G Outfitters. We all saw the same
amount of deer ... none.