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My 2011 Deer Hunts

My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:43 pm

Starting with Hunt 13, I will post my hunts stories here in this journal. For those who have not subscribed to get my posts as they appear or who have not followed the prior 12 hunts during the first full week of the season, will summarize the result briefly:

"Nothing, nada, zip, zilch!" No venison in the freezer yet. In fact I did not even see any deer the first 6 days but did get to take a shot at a lone doe on Hunt 11 (she bolted before the arrow arrived and I missed) and I bumped one deer on Hunt 12 from its bed but did not get a shot.

So I start in the morning with Hunt "Lucky 13" and hope for good results!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:00 am

For Hunt 13 the course I decided to take was to hunt a major crossing at a large ravine at the NW corner of my land. This hunt is from a natural groung blind made behind.the stump of a large blown down tree improved with natural foliage. I donned my leafy camouflage suit with full head net as when I turkey hunt from this blind.

Its really windy and way too warm but I am hoping to see deer and not just be breakfast for these starved mosquitoes. So far after more than an hour I have seen nothing but squirrels.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:53 am

Trying out my new Tapatalk app and so far it is great!

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Bow stayed propped against the tree stump I was behind as there were no deer. Here is the view from the blind looking at an opening on my side of the ravine crossing where two deer trails branch about 20 yards from the blind.

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To my left overlooks a section of the ravine with the creek below.

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uploadfromtaptalk1318178897366.jpg
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:41 am

October 10, Columbus Day. Day 10; Hunt 14. 6:30 AM. 63 degrees. Wind is dead calm; to be from ENE later. Hunting from my main stand today. This is the last day of my vacation time. Back to the slave pit tomorrow. Ugh!

Daylight is coming fast. Time to be alert. I sure hope there is a hungry deer in here somewhere.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:20 am

Two hours into the hunt and nothing seen so far except Chester the chipmunk who returned to his burrow with a lady friend following behind him. Should be a bunch of baby chipmunks by spring.

Here is a photo from inside my tree house. I sit in the far back corner the greatest distance from the front windows making it harder for the deer to see in.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:31 am

Looking out the east window immediately to my right this is what I see down the new entrance and shooting lane. The lush green in my plot you see is the Bob oats.

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Looking out the front windows to the north this is what I see. The front green section is Austrian Winter Peas and Elbon Rye. The back section is Winter Wheat.

uploadfromtaptalk1318253695595.jpg


The breeze has started up intermittently. I will give it another hour maybe and if nothing appears then head on in.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:20 pm

My morning hunt ended with nothing seen except the two chipmunks, several squirrels, and one red tailed hawk who came to the food plot looking for a meal.

This afternoon, I made a new hunting stool for my deer stand. I mounted a nicely padded seat from an old truck to the lower pneumatic lift from an office chair. What I have now is a seat with thick padding, moulded in side and back support cushioning, vinyl upholstery, and a map pocket behind the seat back. :D

This new stool will adjust up and down. The stool will raise high enough to pick my feet off the floor. The seat swivels 360 degrees effortlessly and silently. Plus the new stool has five rollers so it can roll around on the tree stand floor. I took it to the stand late in the afternoon and it sits very comfortably. When positioned in the middle of my 5' x 7' tree stand, I can rotate in a full circle to look out any of the four windows without making any noise at all. It cost me an afternoon's time to on a good day for hunting but it is one COOL STOOL!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:24 pm

October 11. Tuesday, 5:00 PM. An almost perfect afternoon with 72 degrees and occasional 5-10 MPH gusts. If the wind lays down soon this is the day I have been waiting on.

Hunt 15 is letting me try out my new stool. This thing is really great! Very comfortable! Effortlessly swivels. I should have built this years ago.

The skeeters are out in full force but my long sleeves and Thermocell are doing the job. A big squirrel is busy in the 32 inch oak 10 yards in front of me. He is making too much noise causing my to keep checking for deer. I'm hoping the doe I missed last Friday will show up. Good chance she might!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby huntall » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:27 pm

Good luck FireCloud!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:44 pm

My super nice hunting conditions lasted 30 minutes until the extremely noisy neighbors got home from work. Hubby, wife, and dog all processes to walk around in the yard, talk loudly, and fuss at the dog about every 15 seconds. I think the woman and dog just went inside. The guy is moving straw bales from his front to back yard thus constantly walking around. Unless he goes in soon seeing any deer today is now unlikely. It is very difficult to love this neighbor as myself. Looks like I need to spend more time in the stand praying for him to win the lottery and move somewhere else!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:26 pm

Not going to call this a hunt but I did sneak out to my stand after the rain passed through. Only got maybe 30 minutes before dark but maybe the deer want to stir after the rain too.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:30 pm

October 13. Hunt 16. 5:05 pm. Wind has mostly died down with only a light SE gust now and then. The woods are noisy with bluejays and assorted birds. It's too wet to hear deer footsteps so I am on visual radar today.

The rain has made the plot look better but it hatched at least a few hundred more skeeters too. Work has been heavy for me so my hunting time has been very limited. Today would be a good day to put one in the freezer. So I am going to munch on this nice scented apple and see how the evening goes.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:46 pm

The wind died completely down and the woods became very quiet and still. The conditions were good for seeing a deer slip into the food plot right before dark...but none did. Guess I will have to hope for a good weekend.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:37 pm

October 14. Hunt 17? Too many hunts to be sure of the number! Got in the stand late about 5:20. Wind is dead calm but dogs are barking everywhere. Ate two apples today hoping more scent would make up for no wind. Deer do like the scent of apples don't they?

I am mentally telling the squirrels they are going to die sometime tomorrow. Well let's hope the doe I missed last friday makes a repeat visit. I am ready for some deer meat!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:54 am

Saturday October 15. 6:30 AM. Very light variable wind. 54 degrees. Conditions for Hunt 17 are good. Going to do some combo hunting today....deer and squirrel. Will deer hunt for a couple hours then pop off a few tree rats for tonight's dinner. Should be a Good day for both.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:27 am

9:45: Here's what came to the food plot to eat acorns and browse. They stayed in the area for 28 minutes coming right under my stand several times. What I want to know is where is Mama Doe?

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uploadfromtaptalk1318692686520.jpg
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:54 am

The two spotted fawns originally came up the east trail approaching the food plot from the south. They turned when they arrived at the ravine and did not cross it. Instead they took a short trail along the north bank of the ravine and went down to the creek.

They were gone for about 10 to 15 minutes likely getting a drink then walking north up the creek. After that they climbed out of the creek and circled until they hit the north trail. Then the doubled back down the north trail this time approaching the food plot from the north. I saw the hanging around the entrance just inside the woodline.

Soon they moved into the plot and began to browse. As expected they headed for the biggest oak that is raining acorns. Both fawns moved within 5 yards of my stand crunching acorns like crazy. I put down my bow and took dozens of pictures. Here are a couple more including one as the walked across the footbridge I built.

uploadfromtaptalk1318693987181.jpg


uploadfromtaptalk1318694100620.jpg
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby chadbragg » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:34 am

Good pics! That was something to watch I'm sure.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:08 pm

It's always fun to see the little ones. Sure wish mother doe had been with them but likely someone else has killed her.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:53 pm

Hunt 18; same day. 4:30 pm. Occasional light breeze but mostly calm but warm. Am hoping all the acorns falling will bring in some full grown deer. Babies are fun to watch but I want meat for the table and points on the board.

Forgot to mention one tree rat died today. A diner is being planned in his memory.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby TiteGrpR » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:53 pm

good pics...glad to know you are seeing deer. How are you preparing the tree rat?
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:52 pm

TiteGrpR wrote:good pics...glad to know you are seeing deer. How are you preparing the tree rat?


Glad you asked. Obtaining good tasting squirrel starts with how you handle the meat from the time of kill.

First, I allowed the squirrel to lay in the mud at the bottom of the ravine for an hour or so before I finished my hunt and climbed down to retrieve him. (Somehow all the squirrels manage to fall in the ravine.) Then I carefully placed him in a bucket I used to carry seed to my food plot and toted him to the house. Arriving home, I showed my kill to Mija and allowed her to play with the dead squirrel for a while. In training a cat to hunt it is necessary for them to "mouth" the kill for a while. She dutifuly kicked the squirrel with her back claws a number of times, bit him and tossed him about, etc. to help "tenderize" the meat.

Next, I refrigerated the squirrel for the rest of the day and cleaned him about 8 pm tonight. I clean my squirrels the way my grandmother taught me to and cut them into six pieces (four legs, rib cage, and lower abdomen.) I wash away all blood, cut out all the glands under the front legs, and soak the pieces in salt water overnight or longer.

Tomorrow I will bake the squirrel pieces at 350 degrees for one hour. I pour a little olive oil over the pieces, dash on some Worchestershire sauce and soy sauce, sprinkle with seasoning salt, black pepper, and just a little of Zatarains Cajun Spices. I add a little water to mix all the ingredients, cover with tin foil, poke holes in the foil, and put in the oven.

The squirrel will be tender and done in one hour. I remove from the oven, let sit a couple of minutes, then serve. The drippings make decent gravy "as is" for spreading over rice but I like to stir in a little all purpose flour while heating the pan and make a thick, "biscuit dipping" gravey. A pan of home made biscuits is essential, along with veggies of your choice.

Just remember the key is not in the recipe. It's being sure to let the squirrel age in the mud, let the cat chew on him to tenderize, and do the other preliminary things that make for a great tasting squirrel dinner! :2TU:
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:22 am

October 16. Hunt 19. Wind calm. Temp 54 degrees. A clear, cool, and still morning but noisy. Bluejays screaming and dogs barking. Today's plan is to deer hunt a couple hours then shoot a squirrel or two followed by finishing my #3 blind construction. Then lunch And a nap plus doing bookwork before slipping in on the north end for an afternoon hunt. Plan B is to skip all that and skin a deer I stick this morning.

I was a little late leaving for the stand arriving only about 15 minutes before sunrise. Hopefully the deer are running late too!
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:54 am

So much for Plan B...skinning out a nice deer kill. Guess I will be sticking with Plan A. Next up is lunch and a nap. I think that sounds like a good enough plan. My morning hunt was not all bad however.

About 9:15 after a couple hours in the stand and no deer showing up, I switched gears and did a little squirrel hunting. I like to pick them off one by one with my .22 using a neat little subsonic solid bullet that hardly makes any noise. It only travels at 710 fps and has just 29 grains. But it will do the job nicely and it does not scare the daylights out of everything in the woods. In fact a pellet rifle is louder because those bullets break the sound barrier and mine travels way slower than that.

One pair of squirrels attempted to create more squirrels on a small oak about 20 yards out. I selected the male and ended his pleasure before he really got started. He was a small but clearly ambitious runt. It was best I culled him out of the gene pool. Don't want to raise small squirrels on my land.

The disturbance caused his partner plus two more similarly eager baby makers to run for cover. I sat back in my new comfy shooting stool and waited for a while. When my head tilted back and caused me to awake, I resumed squirrel hunting. By this time one of the squirrels had reappeared behind my stand and was searching for acorns on the ground. I shot at him as he paused at the base of a tree but a twig in the way partialy deflected my bullet slightly. I heard the bullet hit the twig but it still hit the squirrel...just not where I aimed. It hit him on his tail apparently as he was having trouble balancing and running off. Unfortunately stuff like that happens, especially in my woods which are pretty thick. He got away and should live even if his tail is injured.

It was getting hot in my camo coveralls plus the mosquites were buzzing everywhere so I gathered my one squirrel and headed for the house.
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Re: My 2011 Deer Hunts

Postby FireCloud » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:53 pm

Due to a huge amount of work to do on both my two jobs, plus CE classwork do to complete by the end of October, and being sick some of the time, I have not been able to hunt much. In fact, until this weekend, I have only hunted once on Saturday morning, October 22 which was Hunt 20. It was a calm, quiet, and cool morning great for deer hunting but nothing moved at all that morning. Even the squirrels were scarce.

However, after returning to the house, I got my .22 and decided to sit under a couple of oaks usually good for a squirrel or two. There is a large rock under one of them which I sat on. Mija, my kitten, followed me for this portion of my hunting. Only a few minutes after we were there, I heard something walking along the creek bank about 30 yards in front of me. I soon made out the outline of a deer, who simply got behind some brush and began peering down the west trail at Mija and I. This deer was very curious about what was going on, as many of the urban deer here often are. So after a couple minutes of not being able to see me clearly due to being behind a pile for fallen limbs and in full camo, he decided to move in for a closer look.

He walked out from behing the brush and began slowly easing up the trail straight toward me. I checked him through the scope of my .22 and discovered he had two small spikes may be 3 inches tall. This young buck was not at all afraid but he was cautious. He continued walking up the trail a step or two at a time until he got about 25 to 30 feet from me. Yes, that not a misprint. He was not any farther away than 10 yards when he stopped. And he was totally in the open. This young buck then did something funny. His ears were alert and he was looking hard at the scene trying to figure out what this human and cat were doing sitting motionless looking at him. I was behind a small sapling and the buck began to "lean" to his left, further and further trying to peer around the tree. I actually almost laughed because I thought he might tip over, as in "cow tipping."

Satisfied that we were not doing anything disturbing, he then just turned around and slowly walked back behing his original brush pile. He continued to watch us from that point for two or three more minutes before meandering off into the woods. I continued to here him moving around in the leaves just out of easy eyesight for several more minute. Since it was about 11:30 in the morning, we may have moved him out of his bed when we entered the woods and he appeared to want us to leave so he could bed back down.

I'm not sure where the buck went, as Mija stalked a chipmunk and caught it, causing a lot of thrashing in a thicket and chipmunk squealing. By the time I got through investigating the chipmunk incident, the buck had moved on off. That was deer #5 for the year sighted so far on my land.
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