Monday, November 14, 2011

Season Update

This season has not gone as expected but overall it hasn't been all bad.  We spent a lot of time scouting and preparing our main hunting area this year and thought that we had the deer patterns and movement all figured out.  We had plenty of good encounters just out of bow range for the first month of the season.  When gun season opened Nov. 5th, everything changed.  The deer were simply gone.

We hunted hard through 20 mph winds and very warm temps the first two days of gun season and did not see one deer.  Considering we had encounters with deer every day we were in the field up until than, it threw us off to say the least.  On our third day in the field we adjusted strategy a bit after the morning hunt and switched stands.  The switch paid off and I shot the first deer of the season Monday night.  I had a second shot from the same spot on Tuesday morning and couldn't pull it off.  A buck and a doe came in a lot closer than I expected and I couldn't get my gun up for a shot.  When I tried the deer bolted and I missed my chance.  We were back out yesterday to wrap up our gun hunt for this property and my brother Matt shot two does out of a herd that ran into his stand during the evening hunt.

We feel like after we adjusted our strategy we were on the deer patterns, we lost them in the middle and picked it back up at the end.  Overall this was a learning experience for us and I hope we get the chance to build off it in the future.  The property we are hunting is a pass-thru area for the deer so it is very important for us to pattern where they are going in and out at any given time.  We hope to develop more food sources for them in the future as we move forward.

Our focus now shifts to our metro property which is shotgun and bow only.  We are very limited as to where and how we can shoot on this property because of houses and buildings in the area.  We are extra careful to be safe and make the best of our hunts.  I hope to have pictures of something large we knock down over the next couple of weeks.  We will also be heading back up periodically to bow hunt on our northern property.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rainy Days and Sundays

In the words of the Carpenters circa 1971:
"Hangin' around, nothing do to but frown.  Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

In this case it was Sunday, but the hangin around, rain, and frown part was about right.  Eric and I hit the woods again yesterday in northern MN.  The weather has been warm the last couple of days but was scheduled to cool off with a 30% chance of rain.  I should know by now that 30% to a weather man is basically saying it is going to rain but if it doesn't, I don't want to be blamed.

We got to the property early and pulled some trail cam cards and checked on our stands.  We had minimal pictures, which we expected due to the changing weather and deer patterns happening here.  The pictures we did have were good news.  In the area of our back food plot, we still have deer coming out and into the field even though most of the good clover is gone already.  In front of Eric's permanent stand we had another pic of a buck.  We have seen consistent buck activity on this camera and it is situated in the middle of the property.  The chance that we see those bucks moving in and out of that area are very good as we move forward.  We also took the time to get up a hanging stand in an area we have observed getting some activity that our current stands could not see.  It was a bold move so close to the gun season, but we really want to get some deer in the freezer, so we are doing what we have to do.

The portable hanging stand we have is not your fancy, light weight version.  I may have Eric do a review on the stand as a whole and how it worked being that he was the person who sat in it.  Just from the chore of hanging it in the tree, I can tell you these things take some practice just to hang them.  Climbing in is another story all together.  We were using screw in steps and watching Eric do this reinforced the fact that strap-on steps are worth the matter what they cost.  I'm sure a lighter weight stand would have made this process a lot easier, but you work with what you have, so we made due.  After the stand was hung we cleared some shooting lanes quickly and backed out to let the area calm down.

During lunch the rain started and didn't stop.  It was a light sprinkle, followed by a harder rain, and than light sprinkle again.  We waited for a few hours and the rain slowed and stopped, so we headed out to our stands for the evening sit.  Three quarters of the way to the stands it started to pour again.  Eric saw a pile of does on the way to his stand and a couple sitting underneath it that bailed when they saw him.  The rain stopped just in time for the sun to go down and it to get cold.  We sat out the night with no shots fired and went back home empty handed.

Over all it was a good day.  We hung a stand in clearly a great spot, than found out we need to work on our exit and entrance strategies for the stand.  We also continue to see the need to shoot as many does as we can on this property to try and get the herd managed some.  Gun season is in two weeks, the rut is going to kick off very soon and hopefully some deer will be hitting the ground.    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No News is Good News?

WRONG!  We have finally started hunting our metro area and it has not been a friendly task.  Our stand is not in a very happy place right now.  The tree is to exposed and doesn't offer the shots we had hoped for now that the leaves are mostly down.  So, we have to move it.  In the mean time we have been sitting on the ground in a natural blind to try and get lucky.  The deer have been moving in and around us, but not in the places we can shoot.

The land we hunt is small and we do not have permission to hunt on neighbors land, so we are very limited with the options we have.  That means we have to do more waiting and hoping that they go where we want them to than we would like.  It also means we have to be in the stand a lot in order to make it happen.  At this time we are just biding our time and hoping it will pick up some and we can get our first deer on the ground soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Deer 1 - Dennis 0

Sunday was our first day of actually sitting in a stand hunting this season.  As you can read here, it has been a tough start to the season but all of our work paid off in a big way.  The day didn't go perfectly as planned though.

The plan was to get up in the morning and make our way north without being in a huge rush.  We had a few things to get finished up on our gun stands, grabbed lunch and some fantasy football stats, and headed out to the stands to sit for the evening.  Upon arriving to my stand, which is over a small Evolved Harvest No-Till Easy Plot food plot that we planted back in June, I realized my first problem was the plot itself, at this point it is really nothing more than a really nice grass clearing with huge trails running into and out of it.  The deer have eaten any clover that grew, which may be a hint that we need to rethink our food plots for next year in order to get them to last to the season.  The heavy trail sign, great wind direction and perfect natural funnel of the location made me think it was still going to be a hot spot, and it was, just not as I thought it was going to be.  The second problem made itself known to me when I tried to tie my bow and back pack to the rope hanging from the stand, that had gone missing.  After getting into the stand and securing all of my gear, I got settled in, sat back and enjoyed my first moments in the stand.

The first deer appeared about 1.5 hours into my sit.  It crossed about 40 yards in front of me (my longest comfortable shot is 30 yards) and moved past the trail opening I wanted her to come down and into the thick woods.  She was a good sized doe and trailing her was a fawn.  They wandered slowly into the oaks to my right and took their sweet time picking through the acorns and brush.  As I was watching these two, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  Another doe was walking past the opening, and she paused to sniff the trail I was sitting only 40 yards down.  I stood and watched her, ready to draw if need be.  After a minute or so, she turned and followed the same path the other two had gone.  I sat down and watched as she took the slow walk leading away from me.  My heart was racing at this point from just seeing my first 3 deer of the season.

Half an hour later I looked to my right and the second doe I had seen come by was heading back my direction.  She was slowly meandering through the woods feeding on acorns and broadleaf plants as she walked.  I stood and got myself ready, only to see there was really no place for me to shoot in the direction she was walking.  At 30 yards out, I was confident I had the distance, the direction was one we hadn't anticipated needing to shoot in.  The trails we could see when we had been doing our scouting and planning the last few months were thick and clearly used, but not the ones she was on.  She was walking a smaller trail in a direction we had no clear shooting lanes cut.  I scanned ahead of her frantically looking for a hole to shoot in.  As she closed the gap to about 25 yards, broadside, walking so slow it seemed like a pause in between each individual step, I found a small opening I thought I could squeeze an arrow through.

The confidence in my own abilities took a step back on Sunday.  My shot was right on until it hit a huge bush in front of the deer and was deflected harmlessly aside.  The deer took two steps backwards, collected itself and turned to walk directly at me.  After taking the shot and watching it bounce away, I was stunned to say the least.  When the deer started walking directly at me, I thought I was back in the game.  I fumbled around until I had a second arrow loaded up and ready to go.  I thought for sure she was going to feel me staring at her as she made her way within 20 yards.  She must have been able to hear my heart beating at 15 yards, and surely she was going to smell me at 10 yards.  At this point she is directly down wind of me, head down, giving me no good shot what so ever.  I thought about grunting to stop her, but I wouldn't have a shot even if I did.  I figured maybe I could just wait it out and she would pass right under me and I could shoot her on the other side, but that angle would be even worse.

In the end I just stood there watching as she got to about 6 feet out, winded me and bound off in the direction she came.  I lost an arrow and broadhead, missed my first ever shot at a deer with my bow, and we walked away empty handed for the group on the day and yet at the same time it was AMAZING!  I have gun hunted for a lot of years and have never had a deer get within 6 feet of me.  Not to mention I actually took a shot, missed, and the deer didn't take off like it was shot out of a cannon but instead turned and walked RIGHT AT ME.  It really doesn't get any better than this....until I shoot one of course....          

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally Final

We are finally, officially, really, actually hunting!  Ok, it was actually just a short visit to the stand to get organized, but I am going to call it hunting after the season I've had so far.

As I chronicled last week, the season has not started all that well for me.  I did get the arrow situation sorted out with some very easy to use broadhead adapters.  So now I have all of the gear I need, the stands are up, the pictures are rolling in, and the weather is getting cooler.  I still have a nasty cold that makes sitting for long times hard.  After a few hours I start coughing uncontrollably, which is not a great bow hunting tactic as far as I have seen.

Yesterday I got out and climbed into our metro stand for the first time.  We have a mineral site near by the set up that we decided to try Primos Red Spot in.  It was on sale, so we decided to give it a shot.  We didn't pay a whole lot of attention to shooting distances when we put up our stand as we typically have hunted it with shotguns in the past.  Amazingly, all of the shots we have from the stand are around 20-30 yards.  That is perfect for us beginners.  Now we just sit and wait for something unlucky to be our first customer!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where in the World Is....

This was supposed to be the season I started hunting early and pushed hard through the season to down a big old hog of a buck.  Well the season opened 9 days ago here in MN and I have yet to hit the woods with my bow.  What the heck happened?  It has been a combo platter of things, some I could have done differently and some that were beyond my control or knowledge base.  The thing I could have changed on my own was how late I got the stand up on our metro property.  Our northern MN property is a 1.5 hour drive so that isn't happening during the work week but most of our prep time and efforts have been on that property.  The metro stand wasn't even hung until last Friday, and it still isn't completely finished.

I went out last Friday to throw the stand in the tree and see if I could get the brush and shooting lanes cleared.  The stand is a 12 foot ladder stand and not easy to handle by one person.  I got it up in the tree and situated where I wanted it before realizing I couldn't secure it fully myself.  The tree is leaning into the direction the stand is facing, so in order to get the stand level and strapped in I needed someone to hold the ladder steady while I pushed off the tree and settled the seat in.  I was by myself, so this didn't happen.  On top of all that, I had a show at work opening weekend that had me on the clock for 12 hour days all week.  After getting done with the show on Sunday, we got up early Monday morning and took off for a visit to the manufacturers plant in Indiana.  We spent 2 days down there before a whirlwind couple of weeks found me back at home exhausted.

In spite of all that, I was pumped to finally get out in the stand and get my season underway.  I have been practicing with my new Easton ST Axis arrows and field tips, while doing research on which broadheads I wanted to shoot.  I settled on and ordered the Rocket Stealhead from Eagle Archery.  In all honesty, I took the advice of Bill Winke from  On returning from my trip I started prepping the rest of my gear for the first time and realized the Rockets did not fit in to my arrows.   I am really new to bow hunting, so a lot of what I do is based on the recommendation of others.

My arrow choice was a direct recommendation from my local archery shop.  I have yet to buy anything from them in this adventure but I felt it was important to start a relationship with a shop that was only a few blocks from my house.  I walked in and told the guy working my situation, that I was new to bow hunting and needed  my first set of arrows.  He got me set up with the right length and weight of Easton ST Axis carbon arrows fitted with field tips and blazers.  They shot beautifully right off the bat with no sight adjustments needed on my part.  The part they left out at the archery shop is apparently the arrows need a broadhead adapter ring in order for some broadheads to fit on them.  So when I went to install my new Rocket's, I was out of luck.

I finally found the time to get into the shop again yesterday to get this sorted out and as fate would have it, they didn't have any of the adapters in stock.  At this point I am fully frustrated with the whole situation and have not spent a minute in the stand so far this season.  I understand this is just the beginning of the learning curve for me and it could get worse before it gets better.  At the same time, being in the stand would automatically make me feel better about all of this.  The shop should have my adapters in a couple of days and I will hopefully make it out this week still.  With a full slate of fall projects to complete around the house and at our camper, time could be at a premium in the next few weeks.

This is definitely not the dream start to the season that I expected, on the other hand, it can't get a whole lot worse can it?    

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trail Camera Review

You might remember Eric commenting back in June that he had purchased a Wildgame Innovations IR2 game camera on sale for $49.95.  In August we purchased a second cam and pulled our first batch of pictures last weekend.  We wanted to post a short review of our initial impressions of this camera.

The set up on this camera is super easy.  Basically install four C batteries, a memory card and strap it to a tree.   That sounds too easy and really it is, as we all know there are some things we want to know about our pictures, like the date and time.

The settings are pretty basic compared to more expensive cameras.  You can set the date and time and that is it.   There are no options for taking more or less pictures and video.  It just does what it does.  

Day Pictures
The daytime pictures are exceptional quality.  They are clear and it seems to have a good but not great shutter speed.  We do not get a lot of pictures of butts fleeing the area, but at the same time we don't get a lot of the deer as it comes into view.  

Night Pictures
Night pictures are decent quality most of the time but can get poor when the batteries start to die.  The IR seems to reach pretty far without being impressive.

Speaking of batteries, the life of the camera increases and decreases drastically depending on how many pictures it is taking.  We had the two cameras up for 2 months, one took 560 pics and the other 110.  The 560 pic camera died 8 days before the other and started taking poor night pictures a full 13 days sooner than the other camera.  Based on just this one trial, you can get about 530 pics on one full battery charge over almost 2 months.  

Overall, these cams are a great value for the price.  If you are in a spot where you get under 500 pics in between camera checks, you should be able to keep the batteries fresh.  Based on the current price of $10 for 12 C-cell batteries, if we figure we are going to go through 4 every two months, we will use $20 worth of batteries in a year.  The pictures are great quality during the day and serviceable at night.  Durability is still a question mark at this point, but if I get two years out of this camera I will be happy.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hard Work Pays Off

We have put in a summer of hard work and as you can see above, it is paying off!  We went back to our northern MN property to check on our trail cameras, hang our last two stands and cut our trails one more time.  Even though we have been working on a strict budget, with no large machinery or equipment, the payoff is huge!  Our trail cams produced an abundance of eye candy, including two nice bucks.  Both of the bucks were found on our Evolved Harvest No Till Easy Plot food plots.

The first one is probably a 2 year old 8 pointer that I've named Crabby.  He is not a shooter if you are hunting for mature large bucks, but he may end up a shooter for us.  The last few years we have not had a lot of luck waiting for larger bucks and have only taken does.  The guys are itching to shoot something with some bone sticking out of its head.  Here are a few pictures of Crabby:

We also have a nice 8 pointer that is definitely a shooter for us named Booker T.  He is a large bodied deer that seems to love the camera.  We have plenty of pictures of him during the day and night at this stand.  He came past quite a few times over the time we had the cam out.  Here is our main attraction for this summer so far:

One thing we have seen consistently is the presence of does on this property.  We have some that are distinguishable and quite a few more that are present all the time.  One of the groups that was at our camera almost every day, was 2 Baby Momma and her fawns:

We also have 1Baby Momma who has appeared on our other cam as well:
Last but not least, we have Rosie and Ellen who appear a ton of times and always together:

All of these pictures are from the one camera over looking Eric's stand and the first food plot we planted.  Needless to say, he is extremely excited to get out and hunt these deer.  We also put a camera out over our second food plot to start patterning the deer on the other side of the property.  We didn't get anything as nice as Crabby or BookerT, but we did get a full compliment of does yet again, and a couple of younger bucks that will easily be passed up this year.  First off we have the Broken Y buck:
This was the only picture of him for sure.  When we put out this cam it was for scouting purposes, not for great picture taking.  It is facing into the sun, but we wanted to see what time of day deer were coming out this trail and through this area.  A lot of our pictures ended up getting washed out by the sun because of this.  Another young buck we got a couple of pictures of is a small just starting to get a Y called the Rookie:

Finally we had just one pic of this guy that may be the broken Y buck, but I cant tell based on the angle.  

We have quite a few does again on this camera including a single fawn and doe that might be 1Baby Momma.  This camera was only about 20 acres away from the one by Eric's stand, so I expected more crossover.  Here is what could possibly be 1Baby Momma and her fawn:
Pretty sure Rosie and Ellen make an appearance over here based on the multiple pics I have of these two:

Overall I am extremely happy with the work we have done over the course of this summer.  As you can see it is panning out and it should make for an exciting year.  If I get time I am going to talk about our strategy for hunting these bucks in the coming week.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Doing Laundry

We have been all caught up in preparing our hunting sight for the season.  Cutting grass, fixing stands, planting food plots and shooting our bows have been top priority.  It would be easy to get swept along in the process and forget some of the other things that need to get done.  I started this weekend with kicking out some laundry.  Here are some other things I need to make sure and not forget to do:

Check Portable Deer Stands
We have three ladder stands and two hanging stands that need to be maintained.  The bolts all could use a tightening and the straps have to be checked.  This is easiest done in the garage where I have all the tools I need to make adjustments.  

Clean Knives and Gear
After the season ended last year all of my gear was cleaned and put away, but it never hurts to pull out all of the knives, binos etc and make sure they are in good working order.  Those blades do not sharpen themselves so get to it!  

Trucks and Trailers
It's not just the gear that needs checking, but the method of getting the gear to your hunting spot.  Take a look at your tires, brakes and fluids on your truck and trailers.  Again, it's easier to fix the stuff now than on the side of the road when it breaks.  Don't forget the lights and windshield wipers while you're at it.

Physical Fitness
It may be to late for some of us to do anything about our beer belly's but it is something to think about.  People die every year from over exerting themselves in the woods.  Even if you just take a walk every night from here until the season starts, you will improve your chances of staying out of the hospital. 

These are just some of the things I have tried to keep in mind while getting ready for the season.  I am sure there are plenty more out there.  The key is to not lose focus on the laundry that has piled up while you were planting food plots!    

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pulled Pics...Not Happy

That seems to be the norm for us this summer so far.  It is the first year we have run any sort of trail cams so we should be happy with anything I guess.  Unfortunately I am not a patient person and I do not take failure well.

I pulled the pics from our metro area hunting spot today.  There were a good amount of pics of does and fawns and only one non-shooter buck.  Eric is threatening to put him down in order to satisfy his drought from the last few years, but this guy is no shooter.  Getting a buck on camera at all would be great if we were in our northern property but here in the metro I know there are some brutes in the area.

Where we hunt is a natural funnel that the deer have to go through between a corn field and their bedding area.  They run by at all times of the day and are nearly impossible to pattern.  We have learned over the years that shooting a doe is as simple as putting your butt in the stand for a few days.  On the other hand, shooting a buck has been completely hit and miss mixed with some dumb luck.  I feel like there is a pattern out there, I just can't find it.

Here are a few pics for you:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Past Comes Back

Part of the reason we started this blog is to entertain ourselves of course.  One of the other reasons is to keep a record of things we have done and are doing.  In keeping with that idea I dug up some pictures of our hunt from last year.  I am going to try and find some additional pictures to post in this thread from past years.  

Matt and Dennis
Dennis Doe

Matt and Dennis dragging deer

Dennis' 2nd Doe

Thursday, August 25, 2011


OK, maybe it is the second most wonderful day right behind hunting opener, be either way, top 2 for sure!

That day, FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT DAY! We are outdoorsmen, but we are also avid sports fans. Hockey, football and baseball mainly, but we have been known to dabble in whatever catches our eye at the time (Examples: table tennis, curling, and for me, the Little League World Series!)

Last year unfortunately Dennis brought home the championship trophy in our highly competitive, extremely intense, ultra trash-talking league. This means from the day he claimed the trophy, until Sunday of Labor Day weekend, we all have had to listen to him spew his garbage! "King of the World". "Fantasy Football God". "Fantasy Gridiron Legend". "Best there is, Best there was, Best there ever will be!". Blah blah blah!

As we continue to post updates on our hunting progress and success's, I will also post recaps of my fantasy football triumphs, especially when I beat Dennis so bad his wife feels it!

To everyone else out there in Fantasy Football land, good luck this year. To Dennis, I hope your team is good this year, I dont want you to have any excuses to use when I get done stompin a mud hole in ya!!!!

Two weeks and 3 days till draft day, let the countdown begin!!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bass Pro Shops

I recently celebrated a birthday and that means one thing to a guy hunting on a budget:  NEW STUFF!

Finding their way to my doorstep are some great items from Bass Pro Shops and one from Gander Mountain:

RedHead Enduraskin All Season -  I contemplated going all out and buying the Under Armour cold gear, but decided I could make a dollar stretch further and go with the RedHead all season gear.  So far, so good.  The shirt and pants both fit great.  They are comfortable and look great.  The quality seems on par with the UA gear although they feel a little bit thinner.  I will do a follow up review after I wear them in the field.

Dream Season Vest  -  Scent Blocker's Dream Season vest is really nice.  Again the fit was perfect and it seems like it is good quality.  The fleece should be warm enough to give me a good mid-layer and the extra scent protection is always nice.

Hunter Safety System Ultra Lite Harness  -  The piece from Gander was on sale for $79.95 from $99.95, so I couldn't pass it up.  I was really wanting the Muddy Outdoors harness, but this one seems like it will do what I need it to do for now, which is keep me safe in the tree.  I've never worn a safety harness in the tree prior to this year, so this could be interesting.  Again, a full review will come after I get a chance to use it outside of my garage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Repairs, Updates and Pictures

Eric and I made a trek to our northern MN hunting property a couple weeks back.  With all of the pre-season rush and summer wrapping up we haven't had a chance to discuss it.  We went with the intent of repairing three of the permanent stands on the property and clearing spots for our two portables we will be hanging, along with cutting grass and trimming out our trails a little more.  If we had time we had planned on starting to clear shooting lanes.  The weekend didn't go exactly as planned but we made due.

We got at it early Sunday morning at 6am loading up the trailer with the lawn mower, gas cans, ladder, generator, weed whip, and the wood/tools needed to repair or stands.  As we have talked about many times in this blog, we are doing everything as cheap as we can.  That means using my home riding lawn mower to cut trails, a small generator my brother owns for power and wood that we salvaged out of the construction dumpster at my Dad's new house.  All together we spent $20 on wood and screws that we would need.

When we arrived at the property we found out that it had rained a significant amount recently.  The grass was wet and there was a lot of mud on the trails.  We decided to cut what we could back to where we were going to be working on Eric's stand and use the mower to haul materials for us.  That plan was dead when the lawn mower battery decided it was going to take the day off.  No back up pull start option left us sitting and staring at a useless mode of transportation and a pile of 2x4's that needed hauling.  We fired up the old brain cells and decided to walk out to Eric's stand measure the pieces we needed to cut, cut them at the truck and than haul them in by hand.  Our plan was sailing along smoothly at first, we lugged the ladder and our tape measure out to the stand and measured the pieces we would need.  When we got back to our camp area we fired up the generator and plugged in the skill saw to do some cutting.  Of course the generator didn't like the load the skill saw was pulling and died every time we started a cut.  After some creative milking of the generator throttle we got it so we could zip through a 2x4 and than rev the gen. engine to build up some juice and zip through the next one.  It wasn't ideal but again, we got the job done.

After 7 hours of trekking back and forth from stands to the truck, we finished Eric's stand and my own.  We cut some brush and put out a new trail cam.  We did not get to Matt's stand and did not do any work on our portable locations.  It was a long, hard day of walking under less than ideal conditions.  Sometimes when you are working on a budget you have to make compromises and work a little harder.  Overall we did get a lot done and are planning one last trip to finish our stands and hopefully cut grass.

Updates on some things:
Food Plots -  As we talked about in past posts, we do not have access to machinery of any kind so we tried a throw and grow type product with minimal ground prep work.  We also did not spray for weeds or fertilize at all.  We could have afforded to do those things, but wanted to see how the seed would grow if we skipped those steps.  The results are mixed, in my mind.  We have some really nice grass growing that has some very small clover mixed into it.  It is better than a pile of weeds, but not the lush clover patch we had hoped for.  We are already making plans to take our plots to the next level next year.  Here is a close up of the food plot and the hole the deer have dug where we put Acorn Rage and the Mineral Lick product.

Trail Cams  -  We had only one cam out and working to collect pics from.  Originally we put out two.  One was the Wildgame Innovations that Eric bought and the other was an old relic we found buried in a box at my Mom's house.  The relic died and did not give us any pictures at all.  Eric's cam ran out of battery after only 4 days of pics.  He should have probably changed the batteries the last time he collected the memory card, but hindsight is always 20/20.  We did hang a second Wildgame Innovation IR2 over the second food plot we planted.  These cameras were on sale at Gander Mountain for $49.95 and for that price, if they last us a season each, we feel the return on investment is good.

Enough talking, lets see some deer!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trail Cam Buck

This pic was sent to us from one of my uncles.  You can bet it is going to rate up there on his hit list this year.  Let's hope he gets some pics of this big guy during the day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bow Hunting Here I Come

I have been gun hunting since I was 13 years old.  The first 3 years I was not allowed to carry a firearm of my own.  I sat in the woods and watched my Dad or Aunt while they hunted.  The biggest thrill I had was when my Dad had to pee so I got to hold his gun.  I always dreamed about a big buck running out at the perfect moment for me to get a shot off.  Twenty-one years later, I am expanding on that dream.

For years I have been contemplating taking up bow hunting.  This year I finally decided to jump in the water and so far it feels great.  It all started with the mighty bow search.  Eric and I started making trips to the local archery shops in our spare time.  We were looking for ideas and just absorbing the atmosphere.  I started to form an idea of what I wanted, unfortunately those wants did not fit into my budget.  Adjusting fire was very hard for me in this area.  My thought process was fixated on finding a great deal on a new high end bow.  Months went by and my dreams of being ready for this year's season were starting to fade.  In June all of that changed.  I found a great deal on a used Mission by Mathews Eliminator II bow and immediately set off to take a look at it.  

The bow had been fired a minimum number of times, was a couple years old, and came with all of the needed accessories including:  Plano hard case, Whisker Biscuit rest, Cobra Archery 5-pin sight, Kwikee Quiver, Cobra Archery release, 4 Easton and 3 Beman arrows, and a handful of field points.  The price was one I couldn't pass up, so I bought it on the spot.  My journey had just begun, but at the time I felt as if I had arrived as a hunter.

Over the last 2 months I have already learned many lessons and have many more to go.  I bruised my forearm the first time shooting the bow and learned the lesson of proper grip.  I have broken 3 arrows and learned the lesson of anchor points.  I have worked hard on using correct form and getting comfortable with my bow.  Right now I am consistently shooting a nice tight grouping at 15 yards with the arrows that came with my Mission.  I will be purchasing new arrows in the next few weeks in order to get sighted in with the arrows I will be hunting with.  The arrows will finish off my set and I can sight in my 20, 30 and 40 yard pins.  

The bow purchase was probably the most exciting one I have made in a long time.  It was just the beginning of a long list that I needed in order to take up bow hunting.  I will be chronically some of the other purchases I have made to get ready over the next few weeks.  My budget and wife will not be too happy with that, but my deer hunting itch will.  The thought of being able to finally hunt all aspects of the rut, coupled with expanding my season from 2 weeks to 3 months has me smiling thinking about it.  

Update-  I purchased 6 Easton Axis arrows from my local archery shop last week.  They shoot a lot like the original Easton's I have so I didnt need to adjust my sights much.  

Thank you to my lovely bride who made all of this possible. 


 Here are some pics of my set up: