2001-2002 Gun Hunting

The gun season is right around the corner and to be honest I'm not to excited about it. I've only found one area that has any buck sign in it and I've hunted it off-and-on for the last couple weeks without seeing a single deer. I have around 15 trees ready to hunt from - some already have stands up and some only have steps - I guess only time will tell.

It has been a very tough season. I've seen very few deer and actually hunted 23 straight times from a treestand without seeing a deer. I haven't seen a buck on our land since October 21st! I normally harvest 5-8 bucks off our land a season with most of them being racked bucks. Not this year!! It's not the harvesting that's really bothering me ... it's the not seeing any does and fawns. From my viewpoint, our deer numbers have really dropped from last year.

For updates on my hunting season - click on this link.


Talk about a plush wheat field!!

Weapon: Remington 700
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 270Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 20 yards
Deer Traveled: 0 yards
Size: Spike
Weight: 150 lbs.
Date: January 06, 2002

I was hunting a food plot with a friend on January 06, 2002 and harvested this spike. The afternoon was cold and windy with the wind chill in the 20's. At 5:15 I saw movement to the right of me. This deer and another buck was walking down the access road to the green field. I didn't see the deer until they were within 10 yards of my stand. At first, I thought it was doe and fawn until I saw spikes on the little one. As the larger deer walked out from behind a tree in front of me into the field, I saw spikes on him. I shot the deer through the shoulder at 20 yards and he dropped on the spot. He weighed 150lbs on the hoof and was considered a cull buck by the land owner. He appeared to be 2.5 years old and should be removed from the herd before passing his gene on to other deer.


Weapon: Remington 700
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 270Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 70 yards
Deer Traveled: 0 yards
Size: 4 pt.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Date: January 16, 2002

I harvested this deer in Greene County while hunting with friends. We arrived at the club land around 11:00am, unpacked and headed out to the woods around Noon. I was in my treestand and ready to hunt at 12:30pm. That's a record time to sit this year! Heck, that may be an all-time record - 5 hours!! We were hunting in a swamp that's full of cane, briars and saplings. To say it's thick would be an understatement. The 400-acre swamp had small openings in it that were around 75 yards long by 40 yards wide. I would bust through the cane and then scout the openings. I found this one opening that had a few rubs in it and quite a few fresh tracks. I climbed on the side that would blow my scent out of the opening in the cane and settled in to hunt the afternoon. As time dragged on, the deer were not moving and my body was starting to hurt from the hours of inactivity. Around 4:50pm, I saw this buck licking a branch at the far end of the opening. Just as I saw him, he started to move out of the opening. He stopped walking behind some vines and I placed the crosshairs on his shoulder - just as I got the crosshairs on him he started to walk again and I fired. I didn't see him drop or run. I didn't hear him crash or move. It was almost like he was an image and had disappeared. It's so thick that I couldn't see the ground very well were he was standing. I looked through my scope and binoculars but he didn't appear to be there. About 5 minutes later, I saw a squirrel jumping through the woods right where the deer had been standing. I couldn't believe that a squirrel would go right by deer on the ground. I started to get the feeling that I had missed and the deer took a couple of quick steps back in the cane to sneak off without making a sound. Finally I had all I could take and climbed down. I walked to the spot and he was lying right where he had been standing. It was so thick, I couldn't even see him from the treestand and he was laying belly side to me with all that white hair. The bullet had centered both front shoulders.

This next part is really wild and I learned a valuable lesson from it. I always keep five feet or so of trail marker tape in my fanny pack for marking a spot. I hunted in the rain the weekend before and everything got soaking wet. I had cleaned out my pack to allow it to dry and didn't put the tape back in it. I found a nightglow tie in the pack and tied it on a tree limb 8 feet or so up. I looked at my compass and needed to walk directly south to exit the area to the 4-wheeler trail. I didn't want to drag the deer out because I thought one of the other guys was hunting 500 yards or so from me and I didn't want to cause that much noise. As it turned out, this guy was a lot farther than that from me and had shot a buck at 1:45pm. He had been sitting around all afternoon waiting on us. I'll bet he took a nap ... I would have :) I walked directly out of the woods with plenty of light remaining. I waited at the 4-wheeler for them and then we went back in the swamp to drag the deer out. Even though the deer was 100 yards or so from the trail, we couldn't find the spot that I was in. We searched for an hour in there for the opening I was in and finally gave up to come back the next day. After dark, everything in that swamp looked totally different. Even with the compass bearing and glowing tie we couldn't located the deer. We had to have walked all around the deer - probably almost stepped on him. The next day I went directly to the spot and dragged him out to where I could get the 4-wheeler to him. From the time I left the 4-wheeler to look for him until he was loaded and back on the trail was less than 30 minutes.

When hunting in a swamp, I'll carry a compass, trail marker tape and possibly a GPS next time. Once you're at ground level and surrounded by 10-foot walls of cane and briers, it's hard to navigate.


21" Spread - 24" Beams - 185lbs. - @140B&C

Weapon:
Remington 700
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 270Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 100 yards
Deer Traveled: 40 yards
Size: 9 pt.
Weight: 185 lbs.
Date: January 27, 2002

I was hunting in the afternoon and saw this deer cross the creek right at dark. From the time I saw him until he was down was only 15 seconds or so. When I saw him, he was angling hard towards me. I put the crosshairs on the right front shoulder. The bullet went in at the back of the right shoulder and exited in front of the back ham on the left side. It didn't bust a shoulder and he ran 40 yards before collapsing. That's about it for the story. I would like to have watched him for a while but there was no time to wait around.

I loaded him on the 4-wheeler, by myself, and he fell off the other side. Bummer, he was pretty heavy to load for one person and I had to do it twice! I had to cross the creek going back out and it almost washed me away the first time. Now I'm thinking, "Will a 185 lb. deer help or hurt?" I found out real quick ... hurt! It washed me completely around and I was heading directly into the current. I keep the wheels turned toward the bank and finally got into less current. I made it out of the creek and headed back to the truck.

He was really run down from the rut and had very little fat on him. He had lots of battle scars on his ears and neck from other bucks.

The end of his right antler is broken off. As he is, he green scores around 140B&C. If the end was not broken and matched the other side, he would score around 150B&C. He has a great spread of 21", good mass and some long points. He would be a great buck if the end were not broken off.


Weapon: Remington 700
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Caliber: 270Win
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 210 yards
Deer Traveled: 60 yards
Size: 4 pt.
Weight: 120 lbs.
Date: January 29, 2002

I harvested this deer one afternoon while hunting on a ridge overlooking a draw. The deer came out into a pasture 200 yards or so from my stand. I was not hunting the field ... he was an afternoon bonus :) I was able to get a good prop out of the stand and make a clean shot directly through the heart.