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 money...no 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.