2006-2007 Hunting Season


July 12th (Sat) Bummer!  The web host rolled back my website to November 26, 2006.  I lost everything from that date forward.  I updated some of the stuff but the details are lost.  My daily log of updates are gone!  They claim to backup the site but it seems they did not.  Lessons learned - I'll perform my own backups from now on.

Amber Smith - Age 13

Deer: 9 pt.
Weight: 165 lbs.
Date: January 28, 2007
Time: Afternoon - 5:10 pm
Location: Morgan County
Weapon: Remington Model 7
Scope: Zeiss Conquest 3x9 40mm
Caliber: 243Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 85gr.
Range: 120 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 70 yards
Stand: Shooting House
Hunters: Kim and Amber (Austin and Jeff at another field)

Amber Smith - Age 13

Deer: 5 pt.
Weight: 130 lbs.
Date:
2006
Time: Afternoon - 5:00pm
Location: Morgan County
Weapon:
Remington Model 7
Scope: Zeiss Conquest 3x9 40mm
Caliber: 243Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 85gr.
Range: 80 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 0 yards
Stand: Shooting House
Hunters: Jim, Michael and Amber (Austin, Brooke and Jeff at another field)

 

Amber Smith - Age 13

Deer: Doe
Weight: 100 lbs.
Date:
November 25, 2006
Time: Afternoon - 5:00pm
Location: Jackson County
Weapon:
Remington Model 7
Scope: Zeiss Conquest 3x9 40mm
Caliber: 243Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 85gr.
Range: 120 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 0 yards
Stand: WigWam Blind
Hunters: Amber and Kim (Austin and Jeff at another field)

 

Austin Smith - Age 9

Deer: 8 pt.
Weight: 165 lbs.
Date: January 28, 2007
Time: Afternoon - 4:55 pm
Location: Morgan County
Weapon: Remington Model 7
Scope: Leupold VXII 2x7 33mm
Caliber: 243Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 85gr.
Range: 75 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 80 yards
Stand: Shooting House
Hunters: Austin and Jeff Smith (Kim and Amber at another field)

 

Austin Smith - Age 9

Deer: Buck
Weight: 50 lbs.
Date:
November 12, 2006
Time: 4:40pm
Location: Morgan County, AL
Weapon:
Remington Model 7
Scope: Leupold VXII 2x7 33mm
Caliber: 243Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 85gr.
Range: 90 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 10 yards
Stand: Ground Blind - Sniper Blind
Hunters: Austin and Jeff

 

Jeff Smith

Deer: Doe
Weight: 120 lbs.
Date:
January 10, 2007
Time: 5:15pm
Location: Madison County, AL
Weapon:
T/C Omega
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 50 Cal.
Bullet: Barnes Spitfire 285 gr.
Stand: Ground Blind
Range: 70 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 20 yard
Hunters: Jeff Smith

 

Jeff Smith

Deer: Doe
Weight: 125 lbs.
Date:
December 13, 2006
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Madison County, AL
Weapon:
T/C Omega
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 50 Cal.
Bullet: Barnes Spitfire 285 gr.
Stand: Summit Goliath
Range: 140 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 0 yard
Hunters: Jeff Smith

 

Jeff Smith

Deer: Doe
Weight: 88 lbs.
Date:
November 14, 2006
Time: 4:40pm
Location: Jackson County, AL
Weapon:
T/C Omega
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 50 Cal.
Bullet: Barnes Spitfire 285 gr.
Stand: Summit Cobra
Range: 88 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 0 yard
Hunters: Jeff Smith and Jim Childers

 

Jeff Smith

Deer: Doe
Weight:
120 lbs.
Date:
October 29, 2006
Time:
5:30pm
Location:
Jackson County, AL
Weapon:
Matthews Switchback Bow
Arrow: Beman Carbon ICS Hunter - 300
Broadhead: Muzzy 115gr. - 4 blade
Treestand: Summit Climbing Stand
Range: 30 yards
Distance Deer Traveled: 100 yards

 

Jeff Smith

Deer: 5 pt.
Weight: 135 lbs.
Date:
December 28, 2006
Time: 9:30am
Location: Morgan County, AL
Weapon:
Remington Model 700
Scope: Zeiss 2.5x10x50mm
Caliber: 270Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 70 yards
Treestand: Gorilla Hanging Stand
Distance Deer Traveled: 0 yards
Hunters: Jeff Smith


Weekend at the Hunting Club (November 25th and 26th) - To sum up the weekend: Amber harvested her first deer of the season!

November 26th (Sun-PM) - Austin and I hunted in the WigWam Blind.  We had a button head come out at 3:45 and stay for almost an hour.  It was great as Austin was able to watch the deer all afternoon.  That's all we saw.  Kim and Amber hunted a shooting house and saw zero deer.  For the weekend, we saw 6 deer on 5 hunts.  Not good!  I'm sure the warm weather had something to do with it.  No one saw much of anything however Dewayne harvested a nice 9-pt.

November 26th (Sun-AM) - I hunted in the morning - one of those great plans that looks good on paper but don't pan out.  There's a 10 acre corn field on the property that hasn't been picked - it's standing corn left for the deer.  The wind was out of the SE.  I took the road on the Northern side of the corn which is a quarter mile north of the corn.  I continued well past the corn and parked.  I went through some cutover and setup in a hardwood draw below the corn.  The draw runs right up to the corn field.  I hoped the deer was in the corn and would leave the corn by walking down the draw at daylight.  The wind was perfect - the plan was perfect - the deer didn't cooperate.  I always get a laugh out of the drawings in hunting magazines that list all the areas and say "HUNT HERE" - this was almost like that kind of setup. After 3 hours of sitting there, I walked down the road and sat looking in another draw.  I saw a doe and yearling within 10 minutes - a spike came by later. I didn't shoot the doe - saving them for the kids.  At least I saw some deer - it's great just to see them.  They looked slick and healthy in the hardwoods with the sunlight on them - they're beautiful animals.

November 25th (Sat-PM) - Amber hit pay dirt!  She harvested her first deer of the season.  Click on the link below for pictures and story.  Austin and I hunted a double ladder stand and saw zero deer.  Shon harvested a nice 190lb. 9-pt.

  Link to Picture and Story

Amber harvested her first deer of the season!  Kim and Amber hunted together quite a bit last year and earlier this season, this is Amber's first deer harvest with Kim.  This whole deal with Kim hunting started last year when Austin got a rifle and started hunting.  It basically doubles our chances for success if we split up and hunt.  Kim and Amber started hunting together so I can help Austin. Amber is a quick learner and already a good hunter.  The wind was out of the SE, I set them up on a long narrow food plot with a hedge row in the middle.  Each side of the plot is roughly 150 yards long and 30 yards wide.  It's covered up with deer sign.  We setup in the North end with them looking down a hill in the plot.  At 4::55pm, a deer came out in the field 120 yards away.  It was a medium sized deer.  A few minutes later a larger deer came out and Amber shot her from the shooting sticks in the blind.  The deer never made it a step or two out of the field.  The shot was 120 yards and perfect.  She's probably the best shot in the family and quickly becoming the best hunter :)  They were both very excited!  The kids swear the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. autographed hat is a good luck charm!

This was a first for:
    1) Amber first deer of the season
    2) Amber's first deer with Kim
    3) First deer with her new Zeiss Scope
    4) First deer from the WigWam Blind

I use the old saying, "Give a person a fish and they eat for a day - teach them to fish and eat the rest of their life".  I try to teach the kids how and why we do certain things in hunting.  I hope they continue to hunt and pass down the sport to their children.  When we took the Hunter Safety Course (Amber had just turned 10-years old), out of the 30 or so people there - only three students made an A - one was Amber with a 92 - she got 46 out of 50 questions correct.  There were only two kids there - it was neat that she out scored all those men :)  We both missed one of the questions - I still think we got it correct :)  I made a 98, Amber a 92 and one other man a 90 - not bad for the Smith Family.  The instructor, who was very knowledgeable and a veteran hunter, told Amber he'd hunt with her any day.  She's been hunting with me since she was 3-years old.  For the last 10-years, you can ask her the most important thing about deer hunting and she'd say, "The Wind".  I had to "reprogram" her for the Hunter Safety Course as the answer to the question is "Safety" not "The Wind" :)  I know Safety is Number One but that's a given.

Link to Information about her Hunter Safety Class

I want Kim to enjoy the outdoors plus it's good for her to spend time with Amber - the kids grow up way to fast!  She's set up with real good clothing to keep her warm and comfortable.  She has top of the line stuff - Cabela's Late Season Coveralls, Thermax and Polypropyline thermals, Smartwool socks, Chamois Cloth pants, Danner Gore-Tex boots, etc... essentially the same stuff I wear. She really enjoys the camping side as she rents movies to watch at night and we grill out - it's a relaxing time.  I think she enjoys the hunting also.  Maybe they'll have some luck in seeing deer this year - who knows she may harvest her first deer this year.

November 25th (Sat-AM) - Amber had basketball practice from 8-10am.  We left for the Jackson County club at 11:30.  I haven't seen a deer at the farm all week - time for a change in scenery.

November 25th (Sat) - Judson Crump got is first deer with Ronnie Smith - this hunting event will air on Ronnie Smith Outdoors.  Click on link below for pictures and information.

  Link to Pictures and Information

November 24th (Fri-PM) - Hunted on the farm - saw zero deer.

November 24th (Fri-Noon) - Kim's grandfather died on Tuesday - he was 101 years old and a great man. His funeral was today at 1:00pm.

November 24th (Fri-AM) - Finished up front brakes and put new brake shoes on the back brakes - front and back work great - seems strange to ride with brakes!

November 23rd (Thurs-PM) - Hunted with Amber and Austin on the farm - saw zero deer.

November 23rd (Thurs-AM) - Put new front brake and wheel cylinders on the Honda 300.

November 22nd (Wed) - Didn't hunt due to Thanksgiving activities.  Picked up parts for older 4-wheeler - 1996 Honda 300 4x4 Fourman.  I bought it new in September of 1996 - it's been a great 4-wheeler.  I put new tires on it last year.  Rebuilt the carburetor when a dirt dabber built a nest in the air vent.  Other than that - it's been perfect.  I plan to put new 4 new brake cylinders in the front and new shoes on the front - new shoes on the back.  I've never had any work done at the Honda place - labor is very expensive - kind of learn as I go. 

November 21st (Tues-PM) - Hunted on the farm - saw zero deer.  Was kind of surprised - hunted a good area with feeding sign on an acorn flat.  Thought I'd see a deer or two.

November 21st (Tues-AM) - Bought a new 4-wheeler - Honda Rubicon.  The four of us (Kim, Amber, Austin and myself) have been hunting off of one 4-wheeler.  It's tough to carry four people and gear for hunting on one 4-wheeler.  The new one is a nice bike.

November 20th (Mon) - Spent the entire day scouting and hanging stands.  Put up several hanging stands and a double ladder for the kids.  Also, put up my new Stealth Cam Inferred Trail Camera.  It will interesting to see if I get any pictures of deer.

November 19th (Sun-PM) - Hunted with Austin on the farm - saw zero deer.

November 18th (Sat-PM) - Opening day of rifle season.  Had basketball practice in the morning - bummer.  Hunting the afternoon and a found a homeless shelter on part of our land.  OK, picture this - On some private land that gets no hunting pressure - I stay out of this area waiting for gun season.  The valley below gets hard pressure once gun season opens.  The worse thing I can do is pressure the deer during bow season and run them down to the valley below during bow season.  The rifle hunters come in and shoot the deer I ran off.  I wait until gun season and let the opposite work for me - they come in and run the deer up the mountain to my "refuge area".  So I was a little shocked to setup on the side of the mountain and spot a small tent in the distance.  I watched it for 30 minutes and saw no movement.  I moved a little closer and sat for awhile and still no movement.  I moved to within 50 yards and saw something under the bluff overhang.  The tent is setup right against the bluff with a rock overhang next to it - whomever is using it can get under the bluff for protection from the rain.  I finally walked up the tent and it's a tarp rolled up under the bluff.  I didn't see anyone but someone had been living there - ruined my hunt and probably ran all the deer down the mountain while they've been there.  Not a good situation as this is a mile from the nearest road.  Something for farther investigation.  I heard Jeff Jackson harvested a nice 9-point at the hunting club and his wife, Nicole, got a doe - Congrats!

November 17th (Fri) - Got a new Summit Goliath treestand today.  I a huge Summit fan for climbing treestands.  My Summit Cobra stand is great for bowhunting without the front rail but tough on rifle hunting.  I'm a prop man - like shooting with a good prop.  I think this will be a wise investment.  With the price of stands these days, it's an investment alright.

November 16th (Thurs) - Shot my rifle a little to make sure everything is still setup.  I switched to Norma brass and expected the group to shift.  It did - tighter - but no adjustment was needed on the scope - still 1.5" high at 100 yards.  I've been so focused on getting the kids some target practice, muzzleloader setup and bowhunting - I haven't had time to shoot my rifle this season.

November 16th (Thurs) - Of course the jury is still out until gun season gets going but I think this is going to be a good club.  The members, including the officers, are some nice people.  The land is good with cutover and hardwood SMZ's.  It's ugly but great for deer.  The land will support many, many times more deer with cutover than hardwoods.  I'm basically seeing deer every hunt.  Not the large numbers like good South Alabama clubs but seeing deer never-the-less.  I have some concern about the large amount of members and how much hunting pressure will be applied.  The cutover can be a blessing or curse - with high pressure, the deer can easily hide in 3-7 year cutover and go completely nocturnal.  I've seen this occur in the past where deer disappear from Thanksgiving until January when the rut breaks out. Most good South Alabama clubs have one member per 200-300 acres.  We have one member per 140 acres.  Plus, almost all South Alabama (flat) land is huntable.  Here there's lots of steep mountain slope with large chunks not being "unhuntable" but with almost all hunters elected not to hunt.  These can be good areas if you're prepared to carry the meat out in quarters.  Anything I shoot in a place like that will need to be caped also :) 

What I'm looking for in a club: In general, Im looking for a place to do some early season bow hunting and a place to carry the kids where they can see a few deer.  I have several other places to hunt that are not suited for kids (tough hunting on both deer numbers and land). At a club, I'm not at all concerned about harvesting a buck - I have good property to "trophy hunt".  I'm looking for a place where I can harvest some meat and the kids can have a chance to see deer and harvest a couple of doe a piece.

I'll let you know how it's going throughout the season - so far - so good.

November 15th (Wed) - A front moved in overnight with steady rain.  High winds (60-70 mph) and heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon - we headed home around noon.  Stopped at the Campfire Cafe for lunch - good food!  As usual, the meteorologists missed the weather and it was huntable by late afternoon.  Oh well, I should've known better.

November 14th (Tues-PM) - Jim and I arrived at the hunting camp around noon.  We planned to hunt Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday.  On Tuesday afternoon, Jim hunted an area close to a large greenfield over looking a drain and cutover.  I hunted 20 yards from a large greenfield overlooking a hardwood bottom.

My Hunt: A little after 4pm, I saw a large doe and yearly come out into the greenfield from the opposite right corner.  I had shot that side of the plot with my rangefinder - it was 150 yards.  For me, that's a long shot with a muzzleloader.  With over an hour of daylight remaining, I saw no reason to take a shot of that distance.  After a few minutes, the deer settled down and started to feed.  Within five minutes, they both threw their head up and started to stare at the lower corner of the plot.  That's the beauty of having deer on the plot, just watch them and they'll let you know if other deer are around.  Several other deer walked out into the lower left side of the plot.  I'm 20 yards in the woods and cannot see well in that corner.  The plot curves around to that side.  Basically, I'm hunting deer coming from my left entering the field on the lower side.  There were some good trails leading from the hardwood bottom, up the side and out in the field.  So far, deer have only came out from the opposite side of the plot well over 100 yards away.  At 4:30pm, a fawn came racing down the food plot and ran right by me - it cut a doughnut and went back up the hill - another doughnut and back down the hill ... back and forth - having a big time.  I'm smiling watching this little dude have fun - right after he finally settled down, one of the deer from the left side of the plot had stepped out from behind this big cedar tree that was blocking part of the plot. She was just inside this ridge that was 100 yards from the stand.  I looked at her in the binoculars to make sure it was a doe and large enough to shoot.  I don't want to risk shooting a spike or button head.  It was medium sized doe.  I put the gun up and ran the scope up to a little higher power.  I had her in the crosshairs, cocked the hammer and was contemplating shooting her.  Just then Jim shot and I decided to pull the trigger.  She never took a step - I love those Barnes Spitfire 285 grain bullets.  Pushed by three 50gr pellets, they really do well on deer.  The deer was shot through the 10-ring - she weighed 88 lbs.  I plan to smoke one of the hams and make some "Poppers" - I'm sure they'll not be as good as Jeff Ramsey's - he has that to a fine art :)

Jim's Hunt: Jim had a small doe come by right after he climbed the tree and setup.  He decided not to shoot as she was on the smaller side.  Around 4:40pm, he heard the undeniable sound of deer walking in the woods.  Many times, I sit there all afternoon hearing movement and wandering if it's a deer - it'll turn out to be a squirrel, armadillo, possum, etc... When it really is a deer, it's no doubt the first time you hear it.  I love that sound.  There were several deer coming including a large doe.  He shot the large doe at 20 yards.  She ran a short distance and piled up.

There's been many times that Jim and I have both harvested deer on the same day.  The story above is similar to another muzzleloader hunt about 4 miles from this land in Jackson County. It was 10-12 years ago and we both harvested a deer.  It was the first year Alabama had a "Special Muzzleloader Season".  A few years ago, we both harvested 8 point bucks on the same afternoon - it was right at 400 lbs. of deer.

Link to Picture and Story    

November 12th (Sun-PM) - Austin got his first deer!  We hunted on the farm.  I'd been seeing a few deer come out in this field in the late afternoon.  The wind was good for a ground blind at the opposite side of the field.  When we arrived and setup, we had nothing to lean back against.  Austin stayed on his knees the whole time hunkered behind the blind - I laid back in the briars and looked out one of the holes in the blind.  At 4:30, Austin was looking out a hole in the blind and pointed toward the field.  A deer came out from the opposite side and was looking around.  We were very still until the deer had settled down and started to feed.  When we first setup, I shot the opposite side with a range finder and it was 110 yards.  That's a long shot for him.  The deer was at 90 yards.  I eased the rifle up on the shooting sticks and he took over.  I was holding one leg of the shooting sticks and the barrel was two feet left of my ear just slightly forward.  I had to decide to cover my ear or hold the shooting sticks steadier - I held the shooting sticks - I still hear a ringing in my left ear :)  It took him a good minute, seemed like an eternity, to shoot.  He said later that he couldn't get the crosshairs to stop moving - every time it would the deer would walk a little.  He shot and the deer went maybe 10 feet.  It was a perfect shot through both shoulders!  We were excited - high fives and acting stupid.  It's always a lot of fun hunting with the kids - it's a joy to see all his hard work pay off.  He's spent countless hours in the woods hunting with me and Amber.  It's good to see him get his first deer.  I wore an autographed Dale Earnhardt, Jr orange hat - he said that must be the lucky charm :)  I've told him over the last few years that I always thank God every time I see a deer and when I harvest one.  As we walked out of the field, he said, "Thank-you God for giving me this deer". He's learning.

Link to Picture and Story

Weekend at the Hunting Club (November 10th and 12th) - To sum up the weekend: I'm a 20-year deer hunting veteran and made three rookie mistakes that cost Amber, Austin and I a deer each.  Oh, well - live, learn and move on. 

November 12th (Sun-AM) - It was cold and very windy!  Amber and I tried to hunt a shooting house overlooking some cutover but the wind was blowing the shooting house so much I was afraid it would blow it over.  It' around 8 feet off the ground but only has two legs in the ground.  The other two are sitting on 2x6 blocks.  We hunted for an hour or so and headed back.  She had basketball practice at 7:30-9:00 so we will head back home.

November 11th (Sat-PM) - Kim and Amber hunted a large food plot from a double ladder stand.  They were facing due North into the teeth of the wind :)  I thought they'd see some deer in the plot but only saw one deer back in the brush.  Austin and I hunted a small food plot out of the booger hut (pop-up blind like a small tent).  I put the hut back off the field and setup Austin on the shooting sticks.  We ran off at least one deer on the way in.  At 4:30, a big doe and fawn came in the field.  We waited a couple of minutes for them to settle down and start to feed.  I eased Austin's gun up and put it on the shooting sticks.  The doe was broadside at 50 yards.  He didn't shoot.  I couldn't figure out why - he whispered that the sage grass was to high on the left side of the blind.  He could only shoot the right side of the plot.  The fawn came on around but the big doe stayed behind the sage for 15 minutes.  She needed to take another step or two and would clear the sage - she eased back in the woods and they were gone.  He was heart broken.  That's the closest he'd been to getting a deer.  I felt really bad for him.  Rookie Mistake #3: Double check the setup with kids hunting.  Had I put Austin on the right side of me - he'd been high enough to shoot.  Had I checked his line of fire, I'd seen the sage and moved him or knocked the sage down.

November 11th (Sat-AM) - Amber and I hunted in the woods - it was a rough morning!  She's a tough cookie!!  It was raining, the wind was blowing - it was 61 degrees when we left before daylight - the temperature had dropped to 41 degrees when we returned at 10:30am.  Wet and 41 degrees is tough.  She never complained and soldiered on.  We walked through some cutover to hardwood drain.  It went down 60 yards to a small creek then up the other side 100 yards or so to another section of cutover.  At the bottom of the ridge, were numerous white oaks.  I hoped the deer would come out of the cutover and feed on the acorns.  With a front moving in, I hoped they would feed on the acorns in the bottom of the draw out of the wind.   I had her setup to shoot the bottom of the draw using a brush pile and fallen lop for a prop. We saw 9 deer total but all were at the top of the opposite ridge.  She didn't have a good enough prop to shoot one on the opposite ridge at 130-150 yards.  Rookie Mistake #2: Be prepared for all options.  I had two sets of shooting sticks on the 4-wheeler.  I didn't think we'd need them with the fallen tree and limbs.

November 10th (Fri-PM) - Amber had basketball practice in the morning (7:00-8:30) - the four of us left after practice and headed to the club.  I hunted a food plot in the afternoon.  At 4:00, I had a small doe come by the stand skirting the plot in the woods.  She looked to be around 70 lbs. - I decided to not try a shot.  She was within range but to small.  Looked to be a 1.5 year old deer.  At 4:30, I had a couple of fawns, a yearling doe and mature doe come in the field.  They came out just as I had hoped but a couple of the younger deer were about to get downwind - I had good shot opportunities at them.  Just as the mature doe moved into an opening in the limbs, I drew the bow and put the 30 yard pin in the kill zone.  The shooting hole was very tight - basically, hit a limb or the 10-ring.  I thought the limbs were at the 20 yard mark.  I checked the 20-yard pin and it was just inside the top of the shooting hole.  I released the arrow and it hit the bottom side of a limb the size of your wrist.  It kicked the arrow straight down.  The hole was 15 yards away and not 20.  Just enough for the arrow to not make it through.  Rookie Mistake #1: I should've aimed lower on the deer - I had the 30-yard pin at the bottom of the 10-ring just above the heart in the bottom of the lungs.  Had I aimed at the heart - I would've missed the limbs.  I had some room to work at the bottom of the hole but none at the top.  I should've aimed lower and gave myself some fluff room at the top of the hole.  Rookie mistake that cost me a good eating deer.  A little later 3 more deer came in the plot but were no closer than 70 yards the rest of the afternoon. I saw 8 deer total.

November - With all the football and basketball going on, I haven't had time to do much scouting at the Jackson County club.  I finally decided to spend the day at the club looking around and getting accustom to the land.  I spent 10 hours just walking and riding.  Found a few good places to bowhunt and some good spots for the kids to hunt.  It should be an interesting hunting season.

November 4th (Sat-PM) - Hunted on the farm - saw 3 deer (doe, yearling and fawn).

Weekend at the Hunting Club (October 28th and 29th) - To sum up the weekend: It started off bad and stayed bad until the last 10 minutes of daylight on Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the week, I was debating on going to the NASCAR race in Atlanta or hunting camp - both with the wife and kids.  We decided to go to the hunting camp - with 15 minutes of daylight remaining - I decided it was a bad choice to hunt.

October 28th (Sun-PM) - I hunted the edge of a food plot overlooking a drain with cutover on the other side.  I thought the deer would come out of the cutover, cross the drain and enter the field by my treestand.  I thought it would be the ideal spot - the wind was perfect.  I got in the treestand with 3 hours of daylight remaining. All afternoon, I expected to see deer coming out.  The food plot had lots of fresh sign - it's a big 2-acre plot.  At 4:50pm, a spike entered the field 75 yards away.  A few minutes later a doe came out close to him.  She was a medium sized doe and didn't appear to have fawns.  He chased her around a couple of times and ran her once within 35 yards but she was quartering hard toward me - 35 yards my absolute max for a shot.  Just before it was to dark to see, I heard deer coming from behind me.  A couple of small deer came in the field at 15 yards.  A big doe came out at 15 yards but it was to thick too shoot.  She walked on out in the field and stopped broadside at 30 yards.  I use a very small peep site hole and knew it was to late too see through the peep sight. I looked just beside my peep sight and aimed a little to the right.  I pulled the trigger and heard the arrow hit hard.  She ran about a 100 yards and I heard her crash.  It took about 20 minutes to track her with an almost dead flashlight.  She down into the drain and up the other side about 30 yards into the cutover.  She was shot dead through the 10-ring. Man, Muzzy broadheads are hard to beat! That's at least 30-40 deer I've shot since switching to Muzzy's - the 115gr 4-blade is awesome.  The drag down to bottom of the drain was a snap - up the other side was tough.  It was steep.  I had a hard time loading her on the 4-wheeler.  I stood in the front basket and pulled her up - she weighed 120lbs on the scale.  I'm not as young as I use to be :)

Link to Picture and Story

October 29th (Sun-AM) - I hunted an area with a drain and hardwoods.  It has cutover on both sides with 3 food plots in the cutover.  I overlooked the hardwoods at an area with a bluff wall.  Had the deer traveled down the drain, they would have to cross close to my stand.  I didn't see a single deer.

October 28th (Sat-PM) - Austin had a football in the morning.  Drove to the camp with the family for the weekend. I arrived at the camp a little late, quickly unloaded the truck, changed clothes and headed out.  I pegged out for the same place I hunted the previous Sunday afternoon and saw 7 deer.  The wind was good to hunt farther down the knob in hopes the deer came back through.  It's a long 4-wheeler ride to that area.  I arrived, parked the 4-wheeler, got all my junk together, put the climbing stand on my back and headed out.  When I walked up to the area, I couldn't believe my luck - the loggers had clear cut the entire area.  The tree I hunted from 6 days earlier and the red oaks the deer were feeding on were gone.  I wasn't to happy about the situation.  I marched back to the 4-wheeler and hunted close by in the same area as I had pegged out for area 22.  I didn't see a single deer all afternoon.

October 25th (Wed) - Hunted on the farm in the afternoon.  Saw three deer on the way in but none from the stand.

October 23rd (Mon) - Austin has his first tournament game on Thursday night.  If they win, they'll play on Saturday at 10:30am.  They should win as we'll be heavily favored in the game.  I'm debating on whether to drive up to the club and hunt Saturday afternoon and Sunday or get tickets to the NASCAR race in Atlanta.  I'd like carry the family to Atlanta but would like to hunt also.  It's 50/50 right now.

October 22nd (Sun-PM) - Hunted at the club in Jackson County. There's a little knob that creates a horseshoe like flat.  The flat is approximately 100 yards long and 80 yards wide.  It's all hardwoods as I've yet to see a pine tree anywhere on the land.  The sides that drop off is not very steep but pretty deep with probably 100 feet of elevation change.  I was 80 yards from the other end of the flat with several red oaks and a couple of smaller white oaks within bow range.  I was in the stand at 3:00pm ready to hunt.  It was very windy and cool - the wind is blowing from my left to right.  At 4:45pm, I saw a doe and fawn slowly cross the lower edge of the flat from left to right.  They were only in view for 30 seconds or so as they picked up acorns and moved on.  I can't find a very large source of acorns.  There's a few acorns under all the trees but I've yet to find a tree that's loaded.  At 5:00pm, a doe and two fawns come from the left and feed on the flat for 45 minutes.  They wandered around and ate browse and acorns.  The closest they got was around 60 yards.  They went back and forth on the ridge and never came up my way.  At 6:00pm, I caught movement to my right - it's still very windy.  I couldn't hear the previous deer due to the damp leaves and high wind. It was a big doe and she's right behind a tree that I'd shot with my rangefinder - 30 yards. The wind string on my bow is pointing right at her.  Just as I saw her, she stopped and starting sniffing the wind with her head held up.  She turned and trotted off with a fawn.  You just can't beat their nose at 30 yards.  She came up from the right and the canopy was thick.  Had I seen or heard her coming, I could've been ready to shoot at 30 yards - knowing she would smell me right after I saw her.  It was an exciting afternoon as I saw seven deer and had deer around from 4:45 until 6:00.  I didn't see any additional deer after 6:00pm.

October 21st (Sat-PM) - Hunted on the refuge in the afternoon - saw no deer.

October 20th (Fri) - Hunted on the refuge in the afternoon.  Had a weird situation - I was walking in with my climbing stand on my back.  Looked out in this cornfield and saw 3 deer standing in the edge.  The wind was blowing pretty hard and I was walking on an old road.  They didn't know I was there.  I eased the rangefinder up and they were 32 yards away.  I slipped an arrow on the bow and just as I started to draw - they took off.  One of them saw me and they didn't hang around.  I hunted the rest of the afternoon from the treestand and saw no deer.

October 18th (Wed) - Scouted/Stalk Hunted on Wheeler Wildlife refuge late in the afternoon.  Where I parked, there was not another vehicle.  Didn't have to worry about bothering someone else by walking in late in the afternoon.  Saw no deer and limited sign.

October 15th (Sun) - Hunted farm in the afternoon (Morgan County).  Saw one young doe around 5:00pm.  She milled around for 20 minutes or so and wandered off.  I saw her again a little later and she stayed around until dark.  She was from 60 to 120 yards the entire time.

October 14th (Sat-PM) - Hunted on the farm (Morgan County) - jumped some deer on the way in - they ran off and blew a couple of times.  Saw no deer the remainder of the afternoon.  Hunted until dark then went to Austin's football party - watched the race and football games.

October 14th (Sat-Midday) - Attended Austin's football game - they played Hartselle and both teams were undefeated.  Priceville won 14-0 :)

October 14th (Sat-AM) - Hunted the farm (Morgan County).  Saw 9 deer - only one buck - 8-10" thin spike.  All the deer were 75-150 yards away.  I hunted the hot white oak that's on the border of some clear cut.  All the deer came out in the clear cut and ate the fresh browse.  I can see over 300 yards in several directions.  It was exciting to see that many deer.  It was cold - 35 degrees when I got out of the truck - first opening day of bow season in a while where even a jacket is needed.  I didn't get cold until the sun came up - once the sun was up the wind picked up and I got a little cold.  Hunted until 9:30am and left for Austin's football game.

October 8th (Sun) - Attended race at Talladega with Kim, Amber and Austin - it was awesome until Vickers decided to wreck his way to victory :)

October 7th (Sat) - Spent a lot of time scouting - found a red hot white oak.  Most of the white oaks had a few acorns under them - this one tree has lots of acorns, tracks and dropping.  I hung two hanging stands for different winds.  With a cold front moving in - I expect a West wind - could be NW during and just before front - SW after the front.  It's a week until I'll hunt the stand - 50/50 on either wind direction.

October - Been doing a lot of shooting with the new bow.  Overall, I like it but it's hard to get use to.  It has a very short valley at full draw - just a twitch and it's trying to release the arrow.  That's great for targets but not sure how it will be in a treestand with coveralls.  I can practice that exact scenario but it's a whole new ballgame with a deer out there in a real situation.

September (End of Month) - Got Septic System and Electricity put in for camper - it's ready to go.  I'm still not sure about the water situation.  I have the

September 24th (Sun) For Christmas last year, Santa brought me a new Matthews Switchback bow.  The bow had the wrong cam on it for my draw length - I guess I grew from the time Santa made the bow in his workshop at the North Pole :)  By the time the bow was returned and fixed, it was the last week of hunting season.  I didn't setup the new bow until this last week.  I tied the peep sight in today and shot a little.  It seems fast and quiet.  I didn't have time to setup the chronograph and test Beman 300, 340 and 400 arrows through it - I want the see the difference.  I have several dozen Beman 300 (the heaviest of the three) but this bow should shoot all three well.  If the speed is greatly increased with the 400's, I'll probably switch.  The chronograph needs good sunlight to function correctly - I have football practice Monday at 5:00pm - no way to get home in time to test.  Maybe one day later in the week.

September 22nd (Fri) Amber and I attended the North Jackson vs. Priceville football at North Jackson. After the game, we drove the travel trailer at the hunting camp to spend the night.  Saturday morning, a member of the club dug several septic systems for the camp including ours.  We now have septic system complete with field lines.  It's basically the same as in a house just a little smaller scale.

September 10th (Sun) Austin and I carried Travel Trailer to the hunting club for the season.  We some really nice people at the camp and look forward to the season.

September 1st (Fri) I'm excited about the upcoming season.  The new club sounds and looks like it could be good.  They have some quality management rules in place and harvested some nice bucks last season.  The land is privately owned by an attorney in Atlanta.  He owns an 11,000 acre block and this club leases 5,600 acres.  The entire 11,000 acres has the same rules for deer harvest. The land is in Jackson County, Alabama - around 75 minutes (67 miles) from home.  It has 30 or so food plots and two corn fields.  Approximately 75% of the land is on top of the mountain and remainder on the sides.  Only time will tell, but I think it will be good hunting for the kids.

        My main objective for a club is two things: 1) Bow season 2) Place to carry the kids

August 27th (Sun) Joined new hunting club - information details coming.

New articles posted under My way of Thinking.


Hit Counter