Thursday, June 30, 2011

When Turkeys Attack!

Dennis and I were able to take a day away from the daily grind of work to run up to the property located just north of the cities earlier this week.

Pictures from the trip are located in the post here.

As often happens on trips into the woods, there are some light hearted, downright comical moments. This trip was no exception. Located on the north end of the property is a natural field. It has about knee high grass covering it, with some sparse trees that are a little over head height surrounding the border. In the middle of this field is a massive bush. I don’t know what it is but at this time of year, it is big and you cannot see in or through it.

As Dennis and I were crossing this field to go and look at the “eye in the sky” tree stand, we were crossing about 10 feet in front of this bush. Dennis spotted a little head pop up, look at us and come bolting out of the bush. In one graceful and completely athletic maneuver, Dennis jumped, kicked his legs, flailed his arms and yelled “TTTTTUUUURRRKKKKEEEEYYYYY”. I was standing behind him looking the other direction and completed the only reaction a man can do at that time, yell out a couple of words I won’t put in print, cover my head, and get away from the not so small man charging towards me with his arms flailing.

As I looked back over my shoulder, I see this extremely large turkey run out of the bush, get about 5 feet away from us, and take off barely making it over our heads before heading to the trees. After about 5 minutes of catching our breath, and laughing hysterically, we were finally about to continue on and complete what we were trying to do in the first place.

This just goes to show you that you never know what kind of wildlife is on your land unless you put in the time and energy to be in the woods. I have never seen nor heard a turkey on our property in all of the 28 years that I have had access to the land.

You know what this means though. Time to apply for a turkey permit!!!!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trail Cam Lessons

The last time we made our way to our northern MN property, we put out two trail cams.  One was over a freshly planted food plot and in front of Eric's stand.  This camera is there to mainly measure our success in food plot planting and how quickly the deer start to attract to it.  You can read about the food plot we used here.  We collected the pictures yesterday.  There were not a ton of pics, but we did get two younger bucks:

The second camera was placed in between Matt and Dennis' stands on an intersection of two major trail sections.  The deer sign in this location was heavy.  This is the location we decided to test the Hunter's Specialties® Vita-Rack® 26 Lick Site.  

This camera only got pictures for two days as you can tell and then ran out of memory.  I had forgotten our memory card at home, so I blew it a bit there.  We did reset the camera with a fresh memory card.  As for the mineral lick site, the deer hit it hard.   They dig a hole about 4 inches deep in the ground.  I really am bummed to have missed the action at this spot after our camera filled up.  We did not put down more mineral lick on this trip, I want to see how long they frequent the area after it is gone.  Here is an updated view of the spot:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Metro Property Cam Update

I went to our metro area hunting spot to pull our pictures off of the trail cam and had to pull the whole cam.  Not only did I have 61 pics of grass waving in the wind, but I also had an ant infestation in the camera and dead batteries!

I will clean the camera up, get some new batteries in it and start over in a few days.  Here are a few pics from this camera that I pulled a couple weeks ago:

Monday Morning Recap

This weekend I spent some time cruising blogs and educating myself even more.  Here are some articles and websites I found that were interesting:

Midwest Whitetail -  When Scrapes Work   One of my favorite writers and websites is Bill Winke over at Midwest Whitetail.  I read and watch anything this guy puts up.

Wired to Hunt - Antler Growth Coming Along Well  W2H is a new favorite of mine.  In this article we have some early season trail cam pics.

Hunt -  Trail Cameras: A Key to Whitetail Success  Ok I am seeing a pattern here, but that's just to bad.  If deer voyeurism isn't your thing, go read a book.  Here are some more trail cams pic for the rest of us.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Second Weekend of Work

We were fortunate enough to make a trip last weekend up to the property that Eric talked about here, to continue our work getting the area ready to hunt. The property has a network of trails from previous generations that has been neglected and is now overgrown. We spent all of our time this weekend working on opening up those trails. These trails are key in that they allow us to maneuver our way in and out of our hunting areas with little to no disruption. Not only do these trails allow for us to have easy travel, but the deer use them as well. Some of the best sign we have found is littered up and down these trails as they circle the property.

We were able to round up a group of people (6 guys and Dennis and my wife) to go and work for the day. This turned out to be a big deal, as we quickly found out that there were trails leading in places that we didn't realize trails went. In all 3 chainsaws, a weed whip, a riding lawnmower, an ATV, two metal rakes and a shovel all contributed to the success of our trip that day. After a long, 6 hours of cutting, trimming, cleaning and grooming we were able to clear all but 2 trails.

While we were cutting ,a massive need for our hunting purposes was accomplished by the ladies that came with us. They took a solid 3 hour time frame and cleared, scraped and planted the second food plot that we were hoping to get done. We again used the Evolved Harvest No-Till Easy Plot for this area. After checking the first food plots we had made and found some growth already, we are confident enough in the product to use it again. This spot is likely to grow and be the most productive as the ladies did a phenomenal job of cleaning out the area and making it prime for planting.

Dennis was able to create a mineral lick site using Hunter's Specialties® Vita-Rack® 26 Lick Site. We followed the directions on the bag which included: clearing a 3-4 foot circle and digging down 2-3 inches. Then we spread 3/4 of the product into the hole and mixed it in with the dirt. We covered the area back up and spread the remaining product over the area. A trail/game camera was placed over this area to document the use of the site and determine how this product worked for us.

Over the original food plot we planted two weeks ago, we placed the Wildgame Innovation Model IR2 Digital Game Scouting Camera that I mentioned purchasing here. We placed this camera just off of a game trail that was leading through the woods and looked to be getting some constant use. It also led directly across our main trail, right through the middle of our growing food plot! Our plan is to allow those cameras to work for a couple of weeks, and then give them a check to ensure they are working properly and we are getting the type of pictures that we are wanting.

We did take some pictures of the uncut trails that we worked over. In future posts we will update with some new pictures showing the cleared trails, and the progress of future land improvements. Our next trip will be made in a couple of weeks. This trip will start to begin the assessment of the current stands we have in the trees, and any improvements that need to be made on them for the upcoming hunting seasons.

Below are the pictures from this weekend. We had planned on getting before and after pictures, but I forgot to bring extra batteries for the camera. Lesson learned

And some after shots of the trails and food plots:

Eric's Food Plot

Food Plot #2

Close Up of Food Plot

Close Up Of Food Plot