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Looking ahead

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  • Looking ahead

    I’m finally getting around to this after mulling things over the past few weeks. Taking personal inventory I guess, nothing you fellas haven’t probably already figured out for yourself. Just using this forum as a way to put it in perspective for me.

    Multiple factors lined up for me to get here, not the least of which has been following you guys over time. Much of what you’ve been sharing the past few years I’m starting to catch up with. Knowing some of your experiences has helped me not only understand where I’m at but to also have a good attitude about.

    I have to say PigHunter’s outdoor pursuits in particular has had my interest lately. (Never mind the extra curricular stuff, definitely entertaining but out of my wheel house, lol). I have to give you credit PH, to me it seems like you’ve been staying with it despite less than satisfying results. In particular your mentioning of not liking sits in box blinds and trying to avoid them when possible. This has resonated with me since I’ve spent so much time in the “shacks” the past two seasons.

    I’ve never been much of a stand hunter. Sitting still is not one of my strong points. I learned to tolerate it when I began bow hunting but the colder it gets the less time I can hack. I’m not a good still hunter either as I move way too quickly. I notice about as many deer unaware as I do running away but I’m sure many more are gone without me ever having a clue were there. Mostly I like to sit for 15-30 minutes then relocate a few hundred yards away. Probably not the wisest plan but it’s what I enjoy doing.

    Couple problems with that these days. One is my hearing is shot. Not only do I not hear critters but I think I’m quiet as a ninja. Advantage critters. Second thing is there’s almost no one hunting the surrounding properties to push deer around like they used to. Add to it that weather conditions haven’t been favorable and my old style of hunting isn’t a productive undertaking.

    Enter kids the past 6 years and having to regroup to get them in a position for success. Started out with the pop up blind that turned out to be genius. Not only could you get away with a ridiculous amount of movement (properly timed of course) but the kids were able to get homework done as well. Turns out in the right locations you can see a bunch more game, and be comfortable while doing so.

    What I’ve figured out is I like having the prospect of being successful. Seeing and passing on deer is rewarding in its own right. I’d still rather walk one up but I’m ok with adjusting to conditions. I’d much prefer sitting when necessary to pushing them onto other property where they won’t be pressured back over.

    This reinforces posts from Dewman and FB and the adjustments they’ve made due to circumstances. It’s not just about deer either. If grouse and woodcock hunting doesn’t rebound around here I may just take up waterfowl in a couple years once my younger Brit (now 8) can’t go anymore.

    I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed in this season. With it being the last having The Kid at home before college I was hoping for better memories. Turned out my cousin never made it down for not only deer season but last spring turkey either. I believe it’s the first time in 48 years he didn’t hunt here at all. His good friend hasn’t been down in almost 2 years either.

    Point is we adjust or quit. Sometimes there’s a wait involved but the fire still smolders just waiting on an opportunity to rekindle. Reading stories here has helped me keep a positive outlook for what’s next. Just want to thank you guys for that.

  • #2
    Heater body suits, comforters, even a camo blanket can add stand time, which is very important. Hearing enhancing ear muffs curtail the number of sudden surprise encounters. We did good this year again because we know where the deer will come through though we don't know when (the rut means literally any minute) so we STAY IN THE WOODS. Many days 4:30 A.M. To 5:30 P.M. Pop ups mean rain or shine. My health deteriorated badly this year but I kept going back because deer hunting is like a bunch of unmarked presents under the Christmas tree. You don't know what you're getting or how many are earmarked for you. BUT. Some always are😉. Never know what you'll see any one day. Some days it's coyotes, some days turkeys, maybe coons or squirrels. If God really loves you it's BEARS!
    All time spent in the outdoors, in a free country, is to be cherished.
    We are blessed. Stay safe, aim small
    Fitch: Hope the league is bringing you some joy this new year


    • #3
      Box stands.

      I spent my first 10+ years deer hunting, humped up on a limb anywhere from 5 to 20 feet up in the air. No wind break. No rain cover and only whatever clothing you could bundle on.
      Made climbing trees safely a real challenge. Over 30 years, not a single soul was ever injured due to tree stand falls on our lease! 👍

      As my grampa approached 80, one of the fellas on the lease built a box blind, just for him. (you were a good man Charlie C.!)
      It was, expectedly, dubbed "The Hotel". The old WWI vet who had been reluctant to climb trees and face bad weather soon began killing deer comfortably while the rest of us climbed trees, froze and got soaked and wind burn. We suffered for our deer. Grampa had the luxury of a kerosene heater and weather proof accommodations! LOL!

      Soon, box blinds began to pop up all over ther lease. You could still get a sheet of 3/8" CDX for about three bucks.
      Dewman is right, the longer you can stay "on stand", the better chance you have of connecting. You pretty much proved that point with the "Friday" buck.
      If being comfortable means more time on stand? Sobeit!

      Fitch270, no doubt you're going to miss seeing "some" deer, but you ain't gonna see 'em all anyway!
      ...and that's just a fact.
      I had a renowned TPW game biologist tell me one time, "For every deer you see, there are approximately 7 you don't see."
      They are sneaky little critters.

      As I get older, comfort is becoming almost as important as just hunting!
      Sadly, turkey hunting doesn't lend itself well to "box blinds"! I've had turkeys all around my box deer season! They seem to avoid the same during turkey season. 🤬

      Growing up in the 50's, if a deer hunter wasn't "MAN" enough to be brutalized by the weather, he wasn't much of a hunter anyway. Hunting wasn't a "sissy" endeavor.

      I've got 68 years of "memories". Some good. Some bad. A few that are just downright hilarious.
      It wasn't until about '05, it dawned on me to keep a hunting journal. Now I've got them on paper! Love it.

      "... adjust or quit. ..."
      Yes sir. I can do anything today I did when I was 20 years old. It just takes me twice as long and a different thought train! LOL!

      fitch270, great conversation mi amigo!


      • #4
        Dewman; Another league update.

        Pretty good night overall, The Kid shot a 285, my SiL 274, daughter 273, me 272 and my wife 257. Looks like my daughter will edge me out of the fifth spot on the team again. Going back to last year you are probably right about the gun fit with the slip on pad, since then her scores have been consistently better. Just had to knock some rust off at the beginning of this season.

        My wife and I both lost points on our last targets. I started out with a 7, and three 8’s out of my first 5 shots but managed to pull it together with three bulls and two 9’s to salvage an 89. Had a 90 and 93 on the first two targets. Kinda bummed with the 7 especially but pleased I didn’t completely fall apart. My goal has always been a 270 average so tonight was a win overall. I won’t be able to achieve that this year so it sort of takes the pressure off. Hopefully I’ll relax the remaining 6 matches and pull it up a couple points.

        I should have gotten a picture of the Kid’s first target, it was a 98 with two 9’s that missed the bull by about 1/16’th of an inch.
        I pull the targets and cringed a little, felt bad he was so close to a 100. You get a special patch anytime that happens. He took it well, wasn’t sure looking through the scope.


        • #5
          Fitch, thank you so much for the compliment of mentioning me in your post. I also enjoy hearing of your adventures and they are a bright addition to this site and the main reason I stay on.

          I came to deer hunting and serious shooting a little late, starting in my 30's. My skills/wants/preferences were developed the hard way by trying different methods, and failing too many times to count. Hunting public land was very challenging, but rewarding in so many ways even though the success ratio has always always low. When it gets right down to it, the challenge is what really motivates me - not the meat or having another trophy on the wall.

          Slipping through the woods has probably spooked several times more deer than I could ever know. I learned to be slower and quieter, choosing paths for concealment. Over time, I learned better how to guess deer travel patterns and increased my success. Also, I learned that it's better to sit still when you find the right spots. Patience and stubbornness are great traits to have hunting deer that way.

          The doe I shot a couple of weeks ago happen to come along a travel pinch point in a little valley as I watched from above. But I'd spooked a deer from there just an hour before as I'd eased into position, despite trying to be quiet and watching the wind. When the doe came along, I was sitting on a collapsible three-legged stool with back. I had adequate clothing on for the cool temps and a small camo blanket across my legs to block the wind.

          Sure, a little luck was involved but I was sitting in the right position at the right time. Executed the shot well because of knowing my rifle and where to aim. And, I'd walked right past a box blind, field, and feeder to get to that wooded valley instead of taking the easy option.

          You're totally right, we either adjust or it's time to quit. I'm going through many transitions in life that are very challenging. Hunting is my main escape and I don't want to give it up. So, I'll adjust and thrive as much as possible. Even if it means more time in a box blind.


          • #6
            So there you have it! We hope that, if nothing else, we’ve managed to encourage you to explore - and even embrace - some of these new digital trends, especially in areas like video marketing, infographics, and design project management.


            • #7
              I used to burn a lot of shoe leather still hunting timber for deer and elk. Once I figured out they were smarter and more wily than I was, I changed my tactics to do more sitting and glassing. They will come by sooner or later…




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