Archive for October, 2012

Posted: 10/31/2012 in Hunting

This is an awesome tale – closest I can come is being 18 in a bunk house with most of the NCO’s and two officers from the 324th MP Co., all of whom were CHAMPIONS at percussive snoring. As in ‘the rest of the week, I put earplugs in before going to bed.’

Hunt Forever

gallagher-treesMy first hunt in Alaska was a long time ago. Things were different then. The Captain Cook Hotel had just opened up, and eggs were two dollars each.

The town was a lot smaller than now, and when we went to the Malamute Saloon for a drink, a bunch of boys were whooping it up as a piano player was hammering out a ragtime tune. There were actually some characters walking around with guns and knives in their belts, and rowdy, semi-attractive women seemed to be everywhere. Ah, for the good old days.

A friend and I had signed up for a 10-day hunt with a wild man who called himself an outfitter. Many interesting things happened before and during this hunt. First of all, about three weeks before we left, my friend asked a friend of his to join our parade, and then the friend of a friend asked…

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October 27, 2010 by Tony Hansen

The rut is almost upon us. Which means the world has pretty much seen the last of me for a bit. I’ll be in the woods. And if you have any interest in tagging a mature buck, you will be too.

I’ve read and heard plenty about how big bucks let down their guard and act “stupid” during the breeding season. Well, that’s not exactly true. What they do, however, is move in daylight. And that makes life just a bit easier. But if you think you can just jump into any tree and kill a big buck, you’d better think again. That only happens in Iowa. Just kidding. Sort of. But if you hunt an area that receives fairly heavy hunting pressure, you still need to do just about everything right to put a truly mature deer on the ground.

Keep that in mind — I’m talking about mature deer. For the purposes of this discussion, that means bucks that are age 3 1/2 or older. I don’t kill bucks that are younger than three. To me, it simply doesn’t make sense. We all talk about tagging a big buck. We all dream of that Buck of a Lifetime — well, here’s a little tip. Those bucks aren’t Bucks of a Lifetime. They are simply older deer in most cases. See, if we’d allow bucks to reach age 3 before targeting them, there would be a whole lot more big bucks running around. Because a buck with large antlers is not a genetic freak. He’s simply older than most of the bucks hunters are targeting. Anyway, let’s focus on 10 tips for making this rut a success.

1. Don’t Jump the Gun: I have pretty much stopped reading forums frequented by hunters. Why? Because it drives me crazy when guys starting posting on October 20 that “The Rut Is Here!!!!!!” And it’s not just because they insist on using 30 exclamation points. It’s because they are dead wrong. Young bucks are stupid. They are easy to kill because of it. They will chase a doe on October 1. They will chase does on October 10. And they certainly chase them on October 20. The rut, however, has not begun. It’s simply drawing near.

Mature bucks in heavily pressured areas do not chase does. They cruise for them. They look for them. They do not chase them. They don’t need to in most areas because there are plenty of does and few mature bucks. When a big buck knows a doe is ready to breed, he simply finds her and claims her. End of story. If you start hunting your best rut stands too early, you will educate those mature bucks that are still in a nocturnal routine. Halloween is the day. Hunt your best stands any time in November. Not before.

2. Smell Like Nothing: I am not a fan of urine. There are all manner of urine-based scents available. I’m sure at some point they work to some degree. But we’re talking about pheromones — those are what permeate the air when a doe is in estrus — and pheromones last only a matter of seconds when exposed to air. It can’t be bottled. I’m not saying that urine scents don’t work. I’m sure they can in some cases. But for my money, I prefer to simply be 100 percent scent free and allow my stand locations to pay off. In pressured areas, bucks have seen, heard and smelled just about everything. I want them to neither see me, hear me or smell me.

3. Hunt the Ground, Not the Sign: Like everyone else, I love to see big rubs and scrapes. During the rut, they mean almost nothing to me. I don’t care if the area I hunt has buck sign or not. Because I’m not hunting sign. I’m going to hunt areas that funnel deer movement through a specific area. I can absolutely guarantee that somewhere on the land you hunt is one tree that the majority of deer in the area pass by. It might be a pinch point, a natural funnel or some other terrain feature that forces them there. But that tree exists. And that’s the one to hunt in the rut — even if there isn’t any buck sign nearby.

4. Get Out of Bed: It amazes me that we wait all year for these few magical days in November and then slip into the stand just before daylight. That’s a big mistake. Two of the bucks I killed — a 4-year-old drop-tine buck and a 150-class 12-point — walked by my stand in the dark. Both passed by about an hour before the first hint of daylight. I had already been in the stand about 45 minutes when they went by. How do I know it was them? Because I use quality Nikon binoculars and you can see deer at 30 yards in the moonlight. Had I not gotten on stand long before daylight, I may well have bumped those deer. I was hunting near bedding areas and beat them back home. Do the same. Get out of bed. You can sleep in December.

5. Stick it Out: I killed my 2008 droptine buck at 1 p.m. That means I had been in the stand for about seven hours. I had not seen a single deer before then. Did I think about leaving? Oh yes. In fact, I was almost ready to call it quits because the action had been so slow. Then I looked up and saw the buck cruising past. That’s how the rut works. It’s fits and starts of intense action. To be honest, I’d rather hunt from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. during November than just about any time of day. Early morning is great as well. But that midday period can be awesome. That’s when the big deer roam because they seldom see hunters then. Well, if they walk midday this November, they’re going to see me. Right after they hear the the soft twang of my Hoyt.

Read the rest at Great Northern Outdoors

10/29/2012  From BMG Outdoors

The leaves are just about off; the nights are getting cooler and the days shorter. The time of year whitetail hunters dream about all year is just about here. Many hunters don’t fully understand the different phases of the rut and how to go about hunting them. We’re going to try and iron out the different stages, attempt to attach some approximate dates to them (obviously it can vary substantially given your location) and lastly give you some tips on where you should be.

Stage One: The Prelude October 15th-October 25th 
This stage is usually one that gets many hunters prematurely excited. Scrapes and rubs are starting to show up all throughout the woods and you may see bucks sparring to strengthen their muscles and align the pecking order. Most of these sparring battles take place at dusk or dawn and if mature bucks are involved it’s in the overnight hours. If you spend a lot of time in the woods you may even see some rut like activity from the smaller bucks chasing does around. I recommend staying out of the woods in this time frame unless you have evidence that your target buck is moving in daylight hours.

Stage Two: Seeking (October 25th-November 7th) 
This is our favorite time to be in the woods; the time of year whitetail hunters dream of all year. Anticipation runs high and the woods can break loose at anytime of the day. We hunt whenever we can; even if it means we can only get out for 3 hours in the middle of the day, it could spell success. We sit patiently awaiting the highly anticipated crashing of limbs followed by deep grunts and that big rack running toward the set. Something like 70% of pope and young bucks are shot in this time period. Mature bucks act like teenage boys chasing does around often temporarily letting down their senses. Remember just because bucks let their senses down it doesn’t mean the doe’s do; you still have to watch the wind and remain stealthy to avoid ruining your hunt. During this small window of opportunity it pays to be in areas with does around.

During the seeking stage we generally sit the downwind side of known doe bedding areas or funnels that act as travel corridors for bucks to stay hidden throughout their high speed pursuits. It pays to be where the doe’s are so if you know a certain area where doe’s like to hang out, set up shop somewhere close and your chances of seeing bucks will increase dramatically. Mornings and mid afternoon generally tend to produce more sightings versus evening hunts but again anytime you can be in a tree increases your odds!

Visit BMG Outdoors for the rest of the article

Oh, by the way….

Posted: 10/29/2012 in Hunting, Hunting Camp
Tags: ,

…I’d like to thank the Plague Bearer at work who brought me this illness…


…and I’m certain the folks who hunt the property next to us are convinced that there is a swamp ape in the area, since I spent at least ten minutes “HEURRRRGHHH!”ing my guts out Sunday morning…

From Frontiers of Zoology – click image to visit their site.

I absolutely GUARANTEE you I didn’t look fierce during the heaves.

Sorry for the ‘silence’ over the weekend, I had to have a factory reset done on my HTC Incredible (*spit*) last week, and since I’m replacing it this week, I didn’t set up all of my apps and accounts to be able to post from the field.  I spent the weekend in Middle Georgia again, part of it hunting, part of it sick to my stomach with the flu, and part of it working on improving our hunting property.

The gallery below has photographs of two decoy setups I used this weekend, same flat, folding decoy at both sites.  The first site is one of our hot spots for deer, the owner harvested a small doe from the same stand in the evening, while I was on the opposite side of the property with the decoy set up near a food plot.  Our plots did terrible this year, it hasn’t rained on our camp in nearly six weeks, and what had already sprouted, the deer ate right up, which is why those photos look like I’m in a desert.

Saturday night I cooked everybody’s favorite sausage with peppers and onions, with acorn squash on the side.

Sunday, I spent a good part of the day sick, however we worked on removing one of the unsafe stands in the afternoon – we have a solid replacement ready to go, we just didn’t have all of the equipment on hand to finish it and put it up.

Click the “Top 100” button on the left side of the screen, at the top of the sidebar, to keep 323 Archery moving up!

Posted: 10/26/2012 in Hunting

I STILL don’t own a trail camera: the trail camera photos I share are passed on to me by my friend, Jason.

PSE Archery Blog

By Will Jenkins

Move Your Cameras!
If you’re a deer hunter and you have a trail camera, you need to go put them over a scrape. Scrapes are popping up everywhere and being visited by bucks every night and soon during the day. Rubs are starting to show up as well as bucks are starting to get even more fired up for the rut.

Putting a trail camera over a scrape can do a lot in the way of helping you understand the buck activity on your property. As you can see from the pictures and video in this post all of the activity shown was within one week over one scrape! At one point I had 4 bucks hit the same scrape in one night. While you can’t hunt at night you can gain a lot of knowledge about those bucks and their habits. Simply by focusing on…

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Posted: 10/26/2012 in Hunting

I’ve seen the same thing – and I’m going to middle Georgia this weekend for two days of pin-the-ammo-on-the-swamp-donkey!

Life At Tombstone Creek

We’ve seen an uptick of daytime movement over the past week.  The October lull is coming to an end and a cold front is about to hit Northern Missouri.  We’re looking forward to seeing more movement from mature bucks.  We’ve had some really fun groups in camp and we’re looking forward to some new groups coming into camp for rut hunts.  One of our early season clients recently sent us this note:

Paul, I wanted to thank you and Seth for a great week.  Your hospitality was great.  The facilities are basic but that is part of the charm.  We’re there to hunt and see game, not sit around at camp.  This was a first time hunting camp experience that I was able to enjoy with my son… and that we did.  It was especially great to be able to hunt relatively close to him on the same location so…

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I wish I’d thought of filming this 🙂


12:30 PM / October 25, 2012
/ Posted by Bon Appetit

I’ve brined pork chops at camp before using 1-2 gallon ZipLoc bags, never thought of doing larger birds this way.

(Credit: Zach Desart)

We love to brine, but around Thanksgiving the fridge can get too packed to fit the bird-in-a-bag. When that happens, a cooler can be your best friend. –Kay Chun
Read More at Bon Appetit

(*Note: I’ve brined thick-cut pork chops at camp before, some salt, sugar, spices and water in a large zip lock bag, place your chop in the bag for a few hours-to-overnight, drain, pat dry, re-season with dry seasonings and grill. They come out VERY juicy! – Niko*)