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  • Downtime

    What do you all do to help pass the time on stand or in the blind when your quarry is proving to be elusive?

  • #2
    Good timing for question. This will be first hunting season since completely done with school, and I often took hunting time as a chance to study in peace. I like to use my phone and unfortunately missed out on an amazing buck due to it(not sure if anyone remembers but I told the short version of the story last year). I'll attempt to keep it in my pocket this year. Recently I've been trying to get into a habit of keeping a journal. I suggest you doing the same, HFT. We could be hunting 50 years from now and be able to look back to these days. I will also draw or carve on wood while sitting down hunting. A lot of times the squirrels alone are enough to keep me occupied(although sometimes they are annoying enough you have to convince yourself not to blow then up lol).
    -
    Edit: And sometimes I just take a nap haha. That's the best way to pass time on a slow day.

    Comment


    • #3
      Assuming you mean sitting in a deer stand. I watch it all. Animals, birds, insects, and I'm listening to everything I can. However sometimes I think about the hunting companions I had growing up and the fields, forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and plains we hunted and fished. Think about future hunts too. There just ain't enough time if you hunt and fish. I wish I would've taken my kids even more. I wish every single time I was asked to go hunting or fishing I would have said yes. That's what I daydream about when it gets really slow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I always take a book with me to my stand. The last couple of years, it has been a Kindle. I'll read half a page and look up---have missed a couple of opportunities, yeah, but as much time as I spend in the woods, I get bored with the birds and squirrels, after all, our season lasts some 86 days, not counting bow season (which I don't do). I have my own place to hunt, so I have to be careful not to drink too deeply from that cup and spoil it for myself. Sometimes I will text with my buddy on the next ridge over. I don't dare nap since I snore like a horny alligator and would frighten all the wildlife and some of the spirits. When I'm in a ladder stand, I like to scatter bird feed around and keep an eye out for unusual feathered visitors.

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        • #5
          jm1993, took me awhile, but I started my journal in 2002 at the age of 52. I'm working on my third notebook.
          I blog if I can get service...or write in my journal...or take pictures...watch the turkeys, cows, squirrels, armadillos or whatever else is "moving".
          Missed out on a pretty nice buck myself last year while blogging.
          Most evening hunts, I text with my kids...until about 4 o'clock, they know that's the "witching" hour and pop has his eyes peeled!

          My dad warned me once about napping on the stand.
          Back about 1973 or 74, I took a friend on an afternoon hunt. I had worked a night shift from midnight to 8AM, slept a couple of hours, grabbed my buddy and drove the hundred miles to the lease. I put him on stand, then walked to my own box blind, sat down, yawned at the balmy October afternoon and relaxed!
          Next thing I remember is opening my eyes to total darkness! LOL!
          It took me about 5 minutes of fumbling around to figure out which blind I was in and stumble out of the bottom in total darkness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
            jm1993, took me awhile, but I started my journal in 2002 at the age of 52. I'm working on my third notebook.
            I blog if I can get service...or write in my journal...or take pictures...watch the turkeys, cows, squirrels, armadillos or whatever else is "moving".
            Missed out on a pretty nice buck myself last year while blogging.
            Most evening hunts, I text with my kids...until about 4 o'clock, they know that's the "witching" hour and pop has his eyes peeled!

            My dad warned me once about napping on the stand.
            Back about 1973 or 74, I took a friend on an afternoon hunt. I had worked a night shift from midnight to 8AM, slept a couple of hours, grabbed my buddy and drove the hundred miles to the lease. I put him on stand, then walked to my own box blind, sat down, yawned at the balmy October afternoon and relaxed!
            Next thing I remember is opening my eyes to total darkness! LOL!
            It took me about 5 minutes of fumbling around to figure out which blind I was in and stumble out of the bottom in total darkness.
            Would you say that you wish you would've started to journal/blog hunts at a younger age? I am just now realizing that my crisp memory might not always be there so I need to document events.

            Comment


            • #7
              1 out of 5 times while driving my 4x4 to my stand @ 4:30am I pass deer in my food plot and Momma Doe will Blow at me, I wait till daybreak and the deer go back to feeding, BANG...Flop by 6:45Am! In Fl, their is no shorted of deer. Fl, has one of the longest deer seasons. From Sept:18th 2017 to Jan 20th 2018. Not counting Hogs & Turkey by "Rifle Legal"

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              • #8
                Like most of you, I've tried a variety of things to help pass the time while waiting. In the last couple of years, playing with the phone has become the favorite, especially if within cell coverage. The phone is unique in being able to text, email, shop, catch up on news, take photos, modify those photos, etc. etc. Recently I purchased a nice sound recorder and I plan to also take it into the woods to record birds, frogs, running streams, etc.

                Sometimes I use my dedicated camera to take still photos and video if something interesting strikes my fancy. I was doing just that last year when two deer came within 20 yards. I'd been on my feet since sunrise, stalk hunting for pigs along a small wooded valley. There I was, kneeling beside the stream, taking a video of water spilling over a beaver dam, crossbow leaned against a tree, and here comes a doe being pursued by a young buck. They never knew I was there before moving on. Oh well, time for a hearty laugh!

                I've found that reading anything and then looking up for game causes a lot of strain on my eyes, probably due to all that refocusing. So, the cell phone and any other reading material stays put away when I'm serious about the hunt.

                Some people have trouble being alone with just their own thoughts and memories and thus need a distraction. Fortunately I'm not one of those and can sit for hours watching the woods. However, it's time to go home if the internal dialog causes me to lose interest in the moment and in the hunt. Might as well do something else if your heart is not in it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think about family, work and looking forward to my noontime lunch in my tree stand.
                  I think about the next day bear bait, I plan to bring into my bait pile the following morning.
                  At midday, I text my brothers with an morning hunting update.
                  If I had any wildlife encounters or small yearling bears and sows with Cubs walking around underneath my tree stand.
                  I may even check the Outdoor Life website at noon with my iPhone.
                  My eyes are always looking out for Bears and both my hearing aids are turned up to max power.
                  BTW, during Bear season I stay in my tree stand from dark to dark for the six day season.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by country road View Post
                    I always take a book with me to my stand. The last couple of years, it has been a Kindle. I'll read half a page and look up---have missed a couple of opportunities, yeah, but as much time as I spend in the woods, I get bored with the birds and squirrels, after all, our season lasts some 86 days, not counting bow season (which I don't do). I have my own place to hunt, so I have to be careful not to drink too deeply from that cup and spoil it for myself. Sometimes I will text with my buddy on the next ridge over. I don't dare nap since I snore like a horny alligator and would frighten all the wildlife and some of the spirits. When I'm in a ladder stand, I like to scatter bird feed around and keep an eye out for unusual feathered visitors.
                    My oldest brother took a book with him, during Pennsylvania rifle season for whitetail bucks.
                    He heard a twig break and a nice rack antlered buck was looking up at him sitting in his tree stand.
                    He never got shot off, and he never took a book in the woods again.
                    That buck still haunts him today.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Treestand View Post
                      1 out of 5 times while driving my 4x4 to my stand @ 4:30am I pass deer in my food plot and Momma Doe will Blow at me, I wait till daybreak and the deer go back to feeding, BANG...Flop by 6:45Am! In Fl, their is no shorted of deer. Fl, has one of the longest deer seasons. From Sept:18th 2017 to Jan 20th 2018. Not counting Hogs & Turkey by "Rifle Legal"
                      Tree, I hate to pee on your parade but New Jersey is longer. Winter archery goes to the end of January. Fall archery starts in early September but you need to shoot a doe first to get a buck tag. Some hunters will claim a road kill doe just to get the buck tag.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                        jm1993, took me awhile, but I started my journal in 2002 at the age of 52. I'm working on my third notebook.
                        I blog if I can get service...or write in my journal...or take pictures...watch the turkeys, cows, squirrels, armadillos or whatever else is "moving".
                        Missed out on a pretty nice buck myself last year while blogging.
                        Most evening hunts, I text with my kids...until about 4 o'clock, they know that's the "witching" hour and pop has his eyes peeled!

                        My dad warned me once about napping on the stand.
                        Back about 1973 or 74, I took a friend on an afternoon hunt. I had worked a night shift from midnight to 8AM, slept a couple of hours, grabbed my buddy and drove the hundred miles to the lease. I put him on stand, then walked to my own box blind, sat down, yawned at the balmy October afternoon and relaxed!
                        Next thing I remember is opening my eyes to total darkness! LOL!
                        It took me about 5 minutes of fumbling around to figure out which blind I was in and stumble out of the bottom in total darkness.
                        I've been thinking of that quite a bit since I've been in my forties. I'm still not writing a real journal, but I did start a notebook in which I'll jot down anything interesting I happened to see. "Twin fawns, came within ten feet, apple orchard off Taylor Hill state land road," for example, or more often just the species, like when I see a bald eagle or a fisher or anything else that isn't an everyday occurrence. I probably should start writing more because that's still depending quite a bit on a sharp memory.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't use treestands, so sometimes I take the risk of getting up and walking around a bit, still-hunting around my spot and then sitting again for another couple of hours. I'm more likely to do that on the wet days, naturally, and won't do it if there's no snow and the leaves are crunchy. All of my favorite spots are near a deep-cut creekbed or a gully, so often I'll use them for a little cover while I'm up and moving. When I am sitting still and need some diversion, I'll think about anything and everything. I've found that trying to remember certain things, in detail, helps keep me there longer, rather than just thinking or daydreaming. Sometimes I'll even recite my lines to the high-school and college plays I was in -- not out loud, of course. One year I sat there trying to get an accurate count of all the squirrels I've ever shot, and where they were, what the weather was like that day, etc, and another time, I tried to remember every buck I've ever seen during deer season, then every buck I've ever seen at any time of the fall. Funny, these are things I sometimes do to fall asleep, too, yet they're also the things I do to keep me awake when I'm in the woods.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                            jm1993, took me awhile, but I started my journal in 2002 at the age of 52. I'm working on my third notebook.
                            I blog if I can get service...or write in my journal...or take pictures...watch the turkeys, cows, squirrels, armadillos or whatever else is "moving".
                            Missed out on a pretty nice buck myself last year while blogging.
                            Most evening hunts, I text with my kids...until about 4 o'clock, they know that's the "witching" hour and pop has his eyes peeled!

                            My dad warned me once about napping on the stand.
                            Back about 1973 or 74, I took a friend on an afternoon hunt. I had worked a night shift from midnight to 8AM, slept a couple of hours, grabbed my buddy and drove the hundred miles to the lease. I put him on stand, then walked to my own box blind, sat down, yawned at the balmy October afternoon and relaxed!
                            Next thing I remember is opening my eyes to total darkness! LOL!
                            It took me about 5 minutes of fumbling around to figure out which blind I was in and stumble out of the bottom in total darkness.
                            jm1993, without a doubt, YES!
                            I spent hours afield with my gramps (1891-1973) who was a WW I vet and an amazing woodsman and deadly with shotgun or rifle.
                            I've written down some of the stories I can remember, but I know I've forgotten slot.

                            MattM37, that's really all that's necessary. You don't need to rewrite "GWTW" every time you go afield.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              10 years ago I definitely fell asleep on stand pretty often. Doesn't happen much any more. Occassionally I do read something on paper or phone. Mostly I watch and listen. One thing that has been nice (and I didn't think it would be a positive) is the ability to get update from friends, whether they're 600 yards away and you rode in with them, or 300 miles but out in the woods on their own.
                              I like the solitude, but it's still cool to be able to reach out with one of the other guys on the dawn patrol.

                              Comment

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