Archive for the ‘Hunts’ Category

That’s ‘5’ as in ‘5 years now, and counting.’  I’m not done this year, but at this point, I’ve started thinking about turkey hunting more in terms of ‘how far am I going to hike with my Remington 1100 today?’

I hit Paulding Forest both days last weekend, Saturday I hunted north of highway 278, Sunday I headed south of the highway.  I didn’t hear a bird on Saturday, but I did find a couple of sets of tracks and dust wallows.  I also  practiced with my handheld GPS: I’ve had the unit for years (it’s a Garmin eTrex about eight years old,) but never really used it or studied how to use it properly, so shame on me for not learning how to use a good piece of gear.  I also took my Remington 1100, a pair of VERY CHEAP decoys, a slate-style call and water.

Saturday, I followed the WMA ranger road for roughly a mile, calling softly every few minutes to see if I could get a gobble, with no luck.  At the end of that particular road, I hiked out to a point where I could sit and call into the bottom.

Nothing.

After an hour and a half, I used the GPS to navigate back to the truck using the most direct route.  I had started my fitness app on the phone when I left the truck, and paused it every time I stopped, at the end of going up and down all of those hollows, my fitness app told me I burned 2,190 calories.  My legs told me they wanted a divorce. (If you don’t know me personally, I look like the result of Sasquatch going on an all pizza diet for a decade. Yes, I can probably curl an economy car, but anyone who can sprint would easily get away if I was chasing them. 🙂 )

So, I consulted with my Paulding Forest WMA expert, and he said ‘you look tired.’ *insert drumroll here* – Just kidding, he said to scout SOUTH of 278 because the hunting pressure is much lighter on that side of the highway.   So Sunday, that’s where I hunted.

After finding a WMA marker (which is somewhat difficult in places), near a small power line, I decided to pop out of the truck and walk into the woods for a bit.

I would like to point out, both days I entered the woods after dawn – I like to get into the woods an hour BEFORE dawn, but when I don’t know a location, I don’t like taking the risk of an injury, or screwing up somebody else’s hunt, or even ending up on the wrong side of a property line.  Being safe, courteous, and legal is more important to me than what time I get in the woods.

So the power line was a small one, single pole, maybe three actual cables, it doesn’t show up on the WMA maps I printed, and it wasn’t what we think of as a power line cut here in Georgia, which are usually large enough to park an aircraft carrier inside of without touching the trees on either side.  I started walking down the hill, and immediately found wildlife.

Turtle_Paulding_forest

Just after taking the photograph, I heard a gobble, and my heart started thumping.  Working quickly and quietly, I moved to a bend in the cut and set up my hen and jake decoys, then found a patch of thorn bushes to sit behind where I could see and shoot if I had the opportunity.

I hit my slate call with a few clucks, and three gobblers responded.  Three.  One across the road behind the strip of woods behind me, one down the hollow that was a fair distance away, and one that sounded remarkably close.  I waited forever (three or four minutes) and hit the call again, more aggressively this time, and again, three gobblers responded immediately.  I should point out that my skill at using a turkey call is minimal.  As in ‘I can get it to make noises that sound turkey-like.’  For all I know, what the gobblers were hearing is ‘Bug water tree rock! Fat leaf dirt dirt!’ instead of ‘Hey big boys!’

Based on an hour and a half of calling, and an hour and fifteen minutes of gobblers responding, I’m pretty sure I confused all three of the birds to no end.  Yes, I’m sure these weren’t other hunters, the chances of three other hunters ONLY using gobble calls, in those three directions, are very slight.

An hour after the gobblers stopped responding, I decided to pick up the decoys and wander down the hollow to see if I could either tease a gobble after moving a few hundred yards, or locate some tracks or other game sign for information.  I did find some interesting spots in the little creek bottom, but no sign of turkey or other critters.

But there’s always next week.

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Sorry for the delay, I’ve been trying to retrieve the photographs from my camera, which was accidentally sacrificed in the line of duty during my week at Joe Kurz this November.

We (Clay, Kevin the Elder, Kevin the Younger, Jesus, and a whole bunch o’ other folks) had a great time, though we actually didn’t see many deer this year.  We found some good sign, not great, but decent, and Clay did harvest a deer at the end of the week, but after the firearm quota hunt, the deer were definately moving more at night.

Sadly, with the demise of my camera on day three, I have very few photos to share compared to a normal, week long trip, but here they are.

We had a great time, hanging out with Jesus (hunting buddy we met last year at camp) and a bunch of other folks, but only Clay and Jesus managed to get any action: The deer I saw driving in on Saturday in somebody’s front yard, and some deer at dusk that night as Jesus and I drove around looking for critters, were almost the only deer I saw the entire week.   I did see a deer Sunday evening when I was in the stand – I managed to draw my bow three times on a small doe, and just couldn’t get a good, clear shot.

It was cold again this year mid-week, very cold in fact, though not into the teens like last year.  My Zippo Outdoor 4-in-1 came in very handy, since Kevin (Clay’s step-son) loves cutting up firewood. I brought a chainsaw, and we never had to use it, Kevin just used the saw feature on the Zippo axe and we were all set for a bonfire every night.

One thing is for sure, if you love to hunt coyotes, you need to head to Joe Kurz WMA and take some out, they are all over the place. I don’t think I saw a single patch of dirt that didn’t have a paw print in it the whole week.

Here is a link to Big John’s Awesome Google Calendar. 

Governor’s Gun Club shoots indoor Tuesdays and Thursdays

Both Days

3D- Full Draw Archery – (Rocky Face, GA)

 

Saturday

3D – 323 Archery SHOOT FOR A CURE: Cystic Fibrosis Benefit (Douglasville, GA)

3D – Soul Hunters Church Archery Shoot – (Toccoa, GA)

3D – Elbert County Archery Club – (Elberton, GA)

3D – Christian Bowhunters/Ace Award shoot – (Social Circle, GA?)

 

Sunday

3D – Riverbottom Outdoors Hunt Shoot – (Franklin, GA)

3D – NGA Shooter of the Year – (Gainsville, GA) ***This is also a charity shoot***

3D – Satilla River Archery Club – (Douglas, GA)

3D – Fort Gordon Outdoor Recreation – (Fort Gordon, GA)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Click to donate!

Click to donate!

More details:

2 GIVEAWAYS for all Participants

 

(Every participant will receive 1 FREE chance to win)

*A 2-Day Bow Hunt for Deer in Western Kentucky (DONALDSON CREEK OUTFITTERS)

OR

*An Elite Bow of your choice ($850 value)

DRAWING AT 3:30pm

Extra chances can be bought for $5/chance

2014 SHOOTING FOR A CURE CLASSES

Money Classes: (60% payback) $25 

  • Open Money – 45 yd
  • Known 45 – 45 yd

Trophy Classes: $20 (Trophies presented at 4:30pm)

  • Hunter – Max 40 yd
  • Women’s Hunter – Max 30 yd
  • Bow Novice – Max 30 yd

Fun Shoot  $10

Youth (12 & under) FREE w/paying adult*

*Family of  3 or more $40 max

ADD $5 at registration AND RECIEVE A DISCOUNTED LUNCH TICKET GOOD FOR:

BBQ Plate: BBQ Sandwich, bowl of stew, slaw, chips, pickle

IRON BUCK COMPETITION – $5 to enter

  • First shot at 20 yd
  • Contintue at 10 yd increments until you miss
  • Prizes for the winner (longest distance)
  • 3 Classes: *Money *Hunter/Women & *Youth
Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to GON.com

From deer to dove to ducks, you’re missing out if you don’t take a kid on some of these special hunts.

By Danny Leigh
Originally published in the August 2014 issue of GON

GON_Youth

Brian (left) and Josh Leigh spend some time with their dog Gracie at the 2006 Walton Public Dove Field.

Georgia is truly blessed with a variety of public hunting opportunities. From the mountains in the north, Piedmont hills in the central part of the state and to sandy hills and swamps in the south, we truly have a huge variety of land to hunt.

Having two boys born in the 1990s and watching them grow up made me want to get them in the woods. I first started taking the boys dove hunting when they were 5 and 7, and even though they were not big enough to shoot yet, they enjoyed being in the field and fetching the few doves I knocked down. We started hunting the adult/child hunts at J.L. Lester, and eventually moved over to the Walton Public Dove Field.

One of the most memorable dove hunts we had was when I was accompanied by my dad, my two boys and two other dads and their sons. We were hunting the Walton field, and the birds were flying fairly well most of the day, but by 4 p.m. the birds were pouring into the field. One of the adults limited out and gradually the kids started reaching their limits. At the end of the hunt, the DNR staff always has a raffle for the kids and even a chance at a shotgun.

We hunted Walton for several years, and for a little more variety, we tried Redlands WMA’s adult/child dove hunt. The hunts at Redlands and Walton are very similar, and both usually have a good number of birds.

Dove hunting for us is traditionally the start of the hunting season, but before the first dove season even ends, we are planning for deer and hog hunting. One of best public places in Georgia to take both deer and hogs is Ossabaw Island. Its adult/child hunt falls during Thanksgiving when the kids are out of school. With the great hunting success on Ossabaw comes high demand to hunt the island. Most years it takes at least one rejection to be picked for the adult/child hunt on Ossabaw, but when the kids do get picked, it’s like winning the lottery. The first year the boys hunted the island they were 9 and 11, and they had two other buddies along for the hunt.

Read more at Georgia Outdoor News

There is a shoot in Alabama this weekend to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama:

BREAST CANCER BENEFIT

Click the image above to visit the website – this is at the Cullman Archery Park

Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to GON.com

Kill a coyote, save a fawn… and you might win!

By Daryl Kirby
Originally published in the May 2014 issue of GON
 

Click to go to the original article

Click to go to the original article

It’s time to do something. 

The days of denying coyotes have a dramatic impact on wildlife are over. It took studies by top university researchers to convince some folks of what hunters have been saying for years. Coyotes, without a doubt, are hammering fawns.

It’s not just deer that are taking a hit. Turkey reproduction numbers have dropped off the map. Are dramatically fewer poults being seen the past five years the result of turkeys suddenly having “filled their habitat range” so they are “self-regulating” their numbers and having fewer poults? Tell my buddy who has beautiful hardwood bottoms and ridges mixed with green fields, but very rarely does a turkey pass through. A hen did try to nest in a food plot last year—he found a pile of feathers and broken-up turkey eggs.

I know rabbit hunters who have tracts they’ve run dogs on for years—without killing rabbits—where the dogs now never strike a trail.

What changed in the Georgia woods? It’s the coyotes.

Yet, for whatever reason, there are still those in the hunting/conservation community who dismiss the coyote issue. We have to learn to live with coyotes, they say. 

Coyotes are not native to Georgia. We—and our wildlife—don’t have to find a way to be neighborly with yotes. 

Quite frankly, we’re weary of the excuses on why not to do something about coyotes. Heaven forbid if an invasive mollusk showed up in a stream or an invasive weed was found in a stand of longleaf pines—there would be enough federal money to sink a ship pouring in to get rid of those invasives.
Coyotes? We get shrugs of indifference. I personally heard a wildlife biologist tell a group of landowners that research indicates coyotes might have an impact in some areas, but that in other areas where hunting isn’t prevalent, coyotes are probably doing everyone a favor. Let that sink in a bit as you ponder the quality of your hunting the past five years.

It’s time to do something. 

The 1st inaugural GON Coyote Cull isn’t going to solve the coyote problem, but it’s a start. Go kill one. Read the trapping article in the June issue of GON. It includes detail that could get you started running a few traps, even if just for a weekend. If trapping is not your thing, go coyote hunting.

The idea behind the Coyote Cull is simply to give everyone a little extra incentive to spend a weekend at the hunting property this time of year working on the coyotes.

Kill one. Have someone take a picture of you with the dead coyote, and you need to be holding a copy of this month’s GON. This is simply so folks can’t enter with a picture of a coyote killed last year. Don’t share your coyote so your buddy can enter—we’ll have a polygraph.

Consider this. A professional trapper just caught 11 coyotes on a Morgan County tract. He removed them to a live pen. That night, one female had seven pups and another had nine. Think about that next time you hear someone say killing a coyote will somehow just make things worse.

It’s fawning time, and turkey poults are about to hatch. Take out a coyote right now, and it will make a difference. 

Read more and learn how to enter HERE.

by Tony J. Peterson   |  March 20th, 2014

bowhunter

While whitetails, elk, and other ungulates seem to get all of the love from bowhunters, the dirty little secret amongst many of us is that hogs are the most fun to hunt. They may not be the most brag-worthy trophies, but they do represent hunting opportunities laced with pure enjoyment.

Sandwiched between the end of deer season and the onset of turkey season is a window of time that is best dedicated to the procurement of fresh pork chops. Currently, feral hogs exist in appreciable populations in well over half of the states. Sightings of wild pigs have occurred in nearly every state. This leads many of us to believe that hog hunting opportunities are widespread and easy to come by, but that’s not entirely the case.

 

Click to go to Bowhunter.com and the slideshow.

Click to go to Bowhunter.com and the slideshow.

Read More Here

 

 

I was at Gable Sporting Goods this morning to talk to Clay about archery (shocking, I know) and we had several folks show up to get their birds measured for the West Georgia Longbeard Challenge, so I snapped a few photos:

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Help catch these thieves! Five stands stolen in Crawford County where a Wounded Warrior hunt was going to be hosted.

By GON Staff
Posted Thursday January 2 2014, 3:27 PM

Click to go to the GON.COM story and reward information

Click to go to the GON.COM story and reward information

A $1,000 reward is being offered with hopes to catch the lowlifes who stole five deer stands in Crawford County from a group that puts on hunts for wounded veterans. The stands were stolen near Lizella from the non-profit group Americans Helping Wounded Veterans—which uses 100 percent of all funds to put on hunts, with no organizational expenses at all unrelated to the hunts for veterans. The stands were stolen just before a hunt, which then had to be canceled.

CLICK the photo or THIS LINK to go to the full story.