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:

Monday Morning Reads

This section is turning into more of a "Monday Morning Watch" than read.  I seem to find more things on the net to watch that are extremely interesting these days than I do to read.  Here are a few I liked:

Deer Hunting Big Bucks  -  Easy to read breakdown of the different ways deer communicate.

Midwest Whitetail -  This is a read and watch entry.  The guys over at Midwest Whitetail are introducing us to a new short series called Whitetail Season.

Midwest Bowhunter  -  Some musings and thoughts about the upcoming season along with a good group of trail cam pics.

I also want to talk about a show on Sportsman Channel that I started watching and followed to their website to watch past episodes.  Hallowed Ground Outdoors has quickly become one of my favorite shows on TV/net.  Their camera work, music, and storytelling make this show jump off the screen to me.  It is one of the few shows that my wife (a non-hunter) will sit down and enjoy watching.  Please check it out and while you are at it Like them on Facebook.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Morning Reads

I didn't get as much surfing the hunting blog world in as I usually would this weekend but I did find some gems:

Wired to Hunt -  Putting two of my favorite sources together and getting some amazing insight on nocturnal bucks from Bill Winke.

Big Buck Zone -  On the same general subject, we have an article on daytime hunting for nighttime bucks.

Deer and Deer Hunting  -  One of the reasons we started this blog is to keep all the memories of our hunting in one place.  This article shows someone else's view of that exact thing.