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  • Weather conditions

    My Rain songs thread on F&S led me to thinking about this.

    One thing I’ve always enjoyed is still hunting in a steady drizzle with temps in the 40’s and no wind. I say still hunting but the truth is I move too fast, it’s more of an easy walk. I don’t mind getting a wet if it’s not a total down pour or a bone chilling breeze involved. Funny thing is I can’t recall a single kill doing so, but it seems like I walk up on far more deer in those conditions.

    I guess the same can be said for a steady wet snow, the type where it’s easy to pick up on fresh tracks. The key again is no wind.

    I tend to be more confident in success on crisp, clear mornings when the temps start rising with the sun. For deer and especially turkeys. Those types of days you can’t move without making too much noise but my most vivid memories involve bluebird skies. I’ve always figured it was because I sit still better and the critters seem to be active but relaxed. In crappy conditions it seems like animals move like they’re on a mission.


    One story that sticks out happened on a Thanksgiving day a number of years back. I had the hill to myself on one of those mornings that had on and off showers. It was late morning and I was expected for a 2:00 pm dinner at my in-laws. I hadn’t seen much of anything so I’d started working my way down to the house on a log road that cuts diagonally through some thick sapling regrow. Out of nowhere a racked buck pops out in front on a dead run at no more than 15 yards. I pull up instinctively but see nothing but black, I’d been walking in the rain with the Butler Creek scope covers down. I lower the gun and within seconds a huge blast of wind hits and I’m being pelted hard with sleet. I started to laugh to myself, it almost seemed like that buck was trying to outrun that blast to get to cover.



    So what conditions do you all like to be out in, and any good tales to share?

  • #2
    Yes sir!
    My favorite mornings when I was younger was those +/-40°F days, dead still with a misty not quite fog, almost drizzle going on.
    Where I grew up hunting was hardwood "forests"(?).
    Fall with the leaves down was like trying to walk in a bowl of corn flakes.
    Like you fitch270 my "still hunt" normally turned into a slow walk! LOL!

    On those kinds of days, I liked to take my shotgun and jump shoot "woodies" off the creek. There were several bends and crooks in the creek. Slipping up on the high bank side of a bend, I would listen until I heard quack or whistle.
    Then, with shotgun at "port arms", you advance, one step at a time until the bend exploded with ducks. GAME ON!

    One rain story.
    I took Mitch with me to hunt deer. I put him in a box blind, crossed an ankle deep slough in a drizzle and climbed into a tree stand.
    It was probably 45°, no wind and a fair drizzle going on.
    I'm sitting in the tree stand and from a camp about a quarter mile away, I can here a radio playing Dolly Parton's "Love Is Like A Butterfly". WT...?
    Then I hear splashing and a small, raghorn buck stops within 20 yards of the stand. I get him field dressed and hung up into a tree and go back to get Mitch.
    The ankle deep slough is now mid-calf.
    It's still a slow, steady drizzle.
    As I start to recross the slough, Mitch sees it lapping at my boot tops.
    "I ain't going." Mitch says.
    "Which way is the truck, Mitch?" (I brought him in before daylight. Rain had since washed out any tracks.)
    "Damn you, Bubba!" Mitch cursed as we crossed the deepening slough.
    We get the deer on a pole and start out of the bottom through the drizzle.
    The slough is now just high enough to lap into our boots. I can hear Mitch grumbling behind me.
    After the slough, it's probably 1/2 mile to the truck, the drizzle steadily falling.
    Halfway to the truck, we cross a sand ridge about 20 feet wide. The only dry steps we took until we got to the truck.
    I split the deer with Mitch.
    He forgave me for the wet feet and long deer haul! LOL!

    Comment


    • #3
      FB; that reminds me of a fishing story from back in the mid 90’s. I was on a trip with two of my cousins and a couple of friends of one of them fishing the Salmon river in NY in early November. Primarily trying for steelhead. The river was up so my guide cousin decided we should try Lake Ontario instead. We set up on a gravel bar that was out from a small stream channel that was about knee deep on our waders. After a couple hours and one lost big steelie boats started hauling in off the lake. Next thing we know the storm was on us pushing water back up the channel. We had to carry gear up even with our armpits as the depth was now chest deep. Another ten minutes or so we’d been stranded on the bar in deep water.

      Comment


      • #4
        fitch270, Mitch and me became fast friends and we hunted and fished together for many years.
        In the fall of 2008, Mitch* came up to OK for the "Primitive Arms" season.
        He normally stayed for 3 to 4 days and returned home.
        This time, he stayed a week and left early in the morning of the 8th day.
        We both killed a deer.
        We both killed a turkey.
        We went squirrel hunting and even caught a few catfish out of Red River (TX/OK border).
        That was late Oct, early Nov.
        Late one evening in Feb 2009, his wife called me with news that he was not doing well and had been hospitalized.
        The next morning, I called the ICU waiting room. His oldest daughter actually answered the phone.
        He had passed away about an hour earlier.
        That was the last time Mitch and me hunted and fished together.

        * - Mitch was a "gun fixer". He apprenticed under a gunsmith in south Texas while serving in the Navy.
        He is the one I've told about several times that had a man drag an old muzzle loader into his shop and gave it to him.
        It took Mitch two years of soaking it in a bucket of WD-40 to get it apart and only lost one screw.
        When he finally got it cleaned up, he had the only known surviving rifle of the Confederate era "Kickapoo Rifle Works" in existence. The rifle works was between Frankston and Palestine, Texas (Hwy 155) and is marked only by a historical marker erected by the Texas Highway Dept. I'm not sure anybody even knows where the actual site is/was.
        Before his death, Mitch himself donated the rifle to the Sam Houston State University museum in Huntsville, Texas.

        Comment


        • #5
          It was a warm October day, and we headed to the hunting spot to “check stands.” As we pulled up to the bottom, far farther than we normally bring the vehicles, I tell my father, “hope i don’t see a big bruiser, to make me fret all night for the next month.”

          As I get out of the truck, I see tall times, bobbing through the trees. Very long tines. Very big deer.

          “Gotdammit, there he goes!”

          I had something to think about, for sure, on those dark nights for the next month. Yeah boy.


          I usually sit in a hochsitz in the morning on opening day. I usually see deer, but rarely shoot one. I think the big ones hang out across the creek, and need to be stalked. So i wait.

          That year, it was damn cold. Not just normal cold, as it is November, but DAMN cold. The bank at the last town I went through told the numbers, but not the wind chill. And the wind; she sings, that morning.

          My father stayed home, in the cold and wind, with a promise to meet me later in the day should it warm up.

          I made it on stand until 0830 or so. Then back to the truck to warm up. Nothing moving. No deer. Chattering teeth. Scary cold. West wind, making it too noisy for the deer to hear, to feel safe.

          After a bit of coffee, some running-truck heater action, I set out across the creek. I would walk through the snow, puffed up in my cold weather gear, pack, and rifle. I held to the cedars, good cover in the snow, with the wind in my face.

          Coming around a clump, I saw a butt. A deer butt. A BIG deer butt. I froze, and the rifle came off my shoulder, and the safety came off. I was 30 yards away, offhand

          When the buck cleared cover, he was nose down, tracking a doe, presumably. I saw tines, big tines, and the crosshairs centered seemingly of their own accord, and the big 30-06 spoke; challenging the rasping of the wind.

          Down he went, and I could tell for good. Sometimes you just know. I put a hand on his flank, kneeling beside, looked into his eyes and told him I was sorry.

          He gave one involuntary flex, and my deer season was over.

          It was then I recognized this buck as the one I saw back in the warmth of October. He had impossibly tall brow tines, and it gave him a look, something you remember from a fall day.

          “I’ll be damned," I whispered to myself. He had stuck around.

          Coming down the hill to the creek, with the cape and head on my shoulders, I found my father waiting on the other side.

          “Just like a blister,” I called out as a greeting. “You only show up when the work is done.”

          He looked at the antlers on either side of my orange hunting hat, and ignoring the jibe, he smiled.

          “You found him!"


          IMG_1641.jpg IMG_1663.jpg IMG_0005.jpg
          Last edited by Amflyer; 07-17-2021, 06:50 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            A buck like that deserves to have a great story behind it, shared with people who understand. Nice.

            There’s something about the blood on your right hand that adds to that photo. Just makes it all the more real I guess. Did your Dad take it or tripod and timer?

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome deer.
              Awesome story.

              I spotted one a week before season once. I can't imagine being on pins and noodles for a month! LOL!

              p.s. - did you have him scored?

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Fitch and FB. Enjoyed your stories too. My Pa took the pics. As for scoring, just informally. He was a 4 x 4, so no big score. But still the best I've ever been lucky enough to have a crack at.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
                  Thanks Fitch and FB. Enjoyed your stories too. My Pa took the pics. As for scoring, just informally. He was a 4 x 4, so no big score. But still the best I've ever been lucky enough to have a crack at.
                  That was indeed a good story. Thanks for sharing it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    12-16-2000 ... On this date, an EF4 tornado tore through the southern part of Tuscaloosa, killing eleven people and injuring over 100. I was in the woods just 14 miles away, carting a 9-point whitetail to my vehicle.

                    It was a muzzleloader only day at the WMA. My best friend and I hunted about 2 miles in - I chose a thick bottom and he went over a hill to sit among pines. There was a light rain so I sat under a poncho on a folding dove seat, protecting the in-line 50 cal. It was my first time to use buck pee and had accidently spilled it onto the camo fabric of the stool, stinking pretty badly.

                    Around 8:30, the rain had stopped and I got bored, so I slow stalked up a branching stream, looking for pigs. About 10:00, I was almost back, slowly moving and watching along the way. At the creek crossing, I eased around undergrowth and spotted a large buck, standing 40 yards upstream, looking towards where I'd left the folding stool. His nose was in the air, apparently smelling that damned buck pee.

                    Bringing my rifle to my shoulder, I had to stop raising the muzzle about halfway as he glanced my direction. I froze in place and he gave me a quick look before turning his head back upwind. That was my chance and I wasted no time getting the iron sights onto target, letting the 240gr Hornady XTP do the rest.

                    The deer only ran about 20 yards and was expired by the time I walked up. My buddy heard the shot and we talked by radio. He continued to hunt while I walked back for my homemade deer cart. All told, it was over 8 miles of walking that day. The photo was taken where the buck died, the little stream course is in the background. Notice I'm wearing snake boots

                    We got to the check-in station for weighing and the ranger told us about the Tornado destruction near Tuscaloosa which occurred around 12:45. My friend and I had noticed the bad clouds and thunder not far away while walking out and even discussed sheltering in a gully if it got worse. Had to use an alternate route home.

                    9 point 2000_12_16 r.jpg
                    Last edited by PigHunter; 07-19-2021, 06:32 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Geez! Nice buck pighunter!
                      Geez I love hunting inclement weather! ...but I don't think I could handle a tornado! LOL!

                      Anymore, I have to escape to my box blind. If I can get to it without getting soaked, I'm good to go.
                      I can remember the day when chasing woodies up and down Keechi Creek in the rain. Getting sopping g wet, going to camp and drying off and warming up by the old woodstove.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

                        Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
                          PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

                          Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.
                          I've often wondered about the extra side load on the tree with me in a climber. The ones that really worry me are the southern pines in wind gusts. I won't test my luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
                            PH; Digging the Real Tree Advantage camo we’d discussed recently. Great buck there as well, similar but larger than my split brow buck from a few years ago.

                            Twice I’ve come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds. The first a large tree came down in earshot but out of sight. The second I just couldn’t take the swaying in the tree I was in. Bow hunting anyway so wouldn’t have had a prayer if an opportunity presented itself.
                            .....”Twice I have come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds........” !

                            Was hunting elk in Colorado, tree stand placed in a tree we had used several times over the past 5-6 years. However, this year, a beaver had been working on falling that tree and was not quite half way through. It being the only available tree for a stand in the area, and the area being an excellent elk producer, we attempted to use it anyway. Who ever said that brains were more important than elk steaks, evidently never ‘ate’ elk back straps ?!? The first 3-4 sits seemed to present no problems or fears, so confidence rose and brains became less the dictator of smarts. However, the next day with higher winds, tree swaying more than normal, I left the stand on 3-4 occasions that evening until gusts lessened. The next morning when I again arrived, the tree was down, and the lack of smarts took on a whole new meaning, as did the importance of elk backstraps.
                            Last edited by bowhunter75richard; 07-21-2021, 08:58 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post

                              .....”Twice I have come down from treestands due to badly gusting winds........” !

                              Was hunting elk in Colorado, tree stand placed in a tree we had used several times over the past 5-6 years. However, this year, a beaver had been working on falling that tree and was not quite half way through. It being the only available tree for a stand in the area, and the area being an excellent elk producer, we attempted to use it anyway. Who ever said that brains were more important than elk steaks, evidently never ‘ate’ elk back straps ?!? The first 3-4 sits seemed to present no problems or fears, so confidence rose and brains became less the dictator of smarts. However, the next day with higher winds, tree swaying more than normal, I left the stand on 3-4 occasions that evening until gusts lessened. The next morning when I again arrived, the tree was down, and the lack of smarts took on a whole new meaning, as did the importance of elk backstraps.
                              I think the saying goes “Discretion is the better part of valor”, but hey, we’re talking elk here. Discretion is subjective.

                              Comment

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