Archive for the ‘ Bow Hunting ’ Category

Doe Down

This would have to be the shortest hunt I have ever made.  I asked Hershy if he would fly solo on the Nebraska Outdoors Radio show so I could spend an evening in the deer woods.   As it turned out, I left the office later than planned (what else is new) and found myself walking to my stand around 5pm.  Once I arrived to the my ash tree throne, I noticed I had left my safety line in the truck.  Walked back, found the line and back to the tree.  Once safely fastened to that herbaceous beauty I call a tree stand, I brought up my bow and knocked an arrow.  As I was knocking the arrow I noticed a big doe entering the woods to my left.  As luck would have it she chose a trail that would place her 20 yards in front of me but she would not stop walking.  With heart pounding and eyes wide open, I gave out my best baahh.  She stopped dead in her tracks and I let the Montec loose.  A beautiful double lung shot!  She ran under 20 yards and started for the ground.  I truly appreciate not having to blood trail any critter.  I canceled my tag and left the stand with a huge smile on my face.  I think my hunt took a total of 15 minutes but what a time!  We are now enjoying the first batch of black pepper and sweet bourbon jerky from that deer and what a treat! 

Tele-check – I absolutely love this system.  So easy to check in deer now and allow time for taking care of the meat.  Good move!

I keyed in on this stand as it sits in timber at the edge of a crick bed adjacent to a CRP field that is excellent bedding as well as harvested corn and bean fields.  I will be back in this one soon!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Sometimes things just work out!

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Pre-hunt Prep – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Sam

(…we wanted to see what our archers do “behind-the-scenes” to help prepare themselves for the hunt – successful deer hunting goes well beyond just going to the woods, especially for the bow hunter…so we asked Sam what he does to get himself ready – here is his reply…hershy)

I spend a lot of time preparing for a hunt. Most of the things I do for pre-hunt preparations focus around scent control. I wash my clothes in scent shield’s scentless laundry detergent. When they go in the dryer, I also put in an earth-scented dryer sheet. After everything is clean, I put all of my clothes in a scent controlled bin with scent killer and activated carbon. When we get to our hunting spot, I spray them down with earth scented scent-killer. But even more important than masking your scent, is playing by the wind. Playing the wind means simply being up wind of where the shot should happen. We set our tree stands up so that we have an opportunity to hunt up wind from the deer trails & crossings.

During the Rut, we use doe urine as an attractant for the bucks. We spray the scent on cotton balls that are placed on the trails. Hopefully the bucks smell it and come in looking for a doe in heat and give us the opportunity to get a good shot. Keep in mind, like anything else, they don’t ALWAYS work. But sometimes, they work like magic.

Another tactic that will also increase your chance of success is being as quiet as possible going to the stand and moving as little as possible so that you don’t spook the deer if they sneak up on you. I have had countless deer see me before I see them. Most people think that deer can’t see all that well, but they can see movement very well. Just simply moving your head can spook a deer from farther than 30 yards!

Also, I spend countless hours in the back yard or at local ranges practicing with different scenarios so that I am ready for any shot opportunity. No matter how much preparation you go through for a hunt, you aren’t ready to take a shot if you haven’t practiced and tuned your bow. Make sure your broad heads are sharp and screwed in to your arrows well. We add silencers to our bows to make them less noticeable to the deer’s ears.

Sam

Do Deer Really Study The Moon?

Much has been said about deer movement in regards to the various phases of the moon and I will offer my limited observations on this.  Now some may say….”Jeff…how can you comment on the moon having never been to the moon before?”  These observations come from the physical phenomena of being able to look UP.  Looking up, I have been able to notice when the moon is fully visible and what my hunting conditions have been like the next day or so.  Very scientific. 

Some researchers, such as Charles Alzheimer, have powerful data suggesting the full moon triggers rutting activity in deer.  From his research, some have concluded that the first full moon after the autumn equinox, the hunters moon (Oct. 23, 2010), triggers rutting activity, while the second full moon after the autumn equinox hovers around the time rutting activity peaks (Nov. 21 for 2010).  We have long known that day length is a primary trigger for changes in testosterone in deer, stimulating rutting behavior.  What we are not as clear on is how the moon may impact these changes.  One could argue it makes sense because wildlife tune into such constants that are consistent for thousands of years.  Maybe there is something to these sci-fi theories? 

Before you completely discount moon phases on animal behavior, keep in mind many law enforcement and medical facilities have documented strange behavioral abnormalities during nights with full moons.  Are we influenced by the moon?  The maternity ward at some hospitals would suggest so!

My own experience has told me that on full moon nights, morning deer movement will be subdued but mid day activity will be higher.   This may be because deer take advantage of moon lit nights and feed longer, therefor are not as active in the 6am – 10am range?  It would make sense that deer who have not been active since say…4am would need to get up and move around by noon or so the next day.    Regardless, I subscribe to the theory of hunting when you can, regardless of what the lunar tables and telescopes suggest.  One constant is for sure…you can’t shoot a deer if your not out there!”  I wonder what impact Saturn has on deer?

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Phases of the moon - can they predict deer behavior?

Must be a full moon fight?

Fall Turkey Hunting – We’re in the “good old days”

Turkeys in the early morning hours just after fly-down

 

 So you plan to start hunting fall turkey some day but just have not gotten around to it?  I can’t tell you how many times I have spent mornings with the birds while bowhunting for deer in my stand.  Those times I did not have my fall permit are regrettable as I could have added to the Rawlinson freezer and scored another awesome Nebraska turkey.  

It would be good advice for me to tell you to not venture out into  the deer woods this fall without a fall  turkey tag.  With bonus birds, increased populations across the state and don’t forget $5 youth tags, now is the perfect time to ease into a new hunting sport that will not require significant amounts of time to your schedule.  Your already out there…might as well take a turkey too!  Buy your turkey permits  today and be ready for your next outdoor adventure! 

Get Em’ Out There 

Rawly

Girls hunt too!! Number 4 & 5! – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Jessica

God is good!!!

Mentor Jeff, Me & Oct 2 Does

Saturday morning (Oct. 2) was another beautiful crisp morning. Jeff Micek (my mentor) had already harvested a doe about 15 minutes after light, which meant it was my turn now. Around 7:40am, I just so happened to glance over my right shoulder and saw a doe and her fawn standing there at 8 yards. Moving slower then ever, I reached up and grabbed my bow, and waited for her to turn away so I could draw my bow back. She kept walking and made it out to about 11 yards when I grunted at her to make her stop. As soon as I shot, she took off  like a bullet, but only made it about 70 yards before crashing. After field dressing my deer, it turned out to be a ‘CENTER’ punched heart shot! I suprised myself with that one! 

A Picture Any Deer Hunter Would Love

Courtnie & Me - Headed to HC

After a great hunt in the morning, it was all followed by a great night at my high school senior homecoming dance! That’s right…I dress up too!!

The following night (Sunday) I made it out hunting again with my mentor Neil, and made another great shot and harvested my 5th doe.  She passed Neil at about 27 yards and came close enough to lick the steps of my tree before walking out away from me at about 8 yards. She slowly turned broadside then stopped, looking the other way.  As soon as I shot, she jumped but then almost stopped like nothing happened. Then she took off running and made it about thirty yards before tipping over.  Less then 3 mins after she fell over, Neil had nice doe walk by him and he made a great double lung shot! Way to go Neil.

Mentor Neil, Me & Oct 3 Does

Jessica

October 1st – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Sam

Tonight is October 1st and it wasn’t bad for deer hunting. We got in the stand at about 5:00 p.m. The first deer that I saw was a doe and a fawn about 95 yards to the south of me just across the creek. Right at 6:05, Kevin calls on the radio and says that there is a big buck on the other side of the creek moving east, away from me. I look up and the buck wasn’t there but there was a doe just on my side of the creek about 75 yards away and slowly moving west but after 15 minutes of grazing by the creek, she angled my way and I was ready with the camera on her and my bow ready. She moved very slowly until she was 20 yards away and then she started to run right to the base of my tree. At the moment that I was about to shoot, I noticed little bumps on HIS head, I had mistaken the large button-buck for a doe – I let him go.

At 6:20, just after I let the button-buck go, I look across the creek where the first doe was and saw a white tail flicker. I pulled my 10×42 binoculars up to look and I am staring at a monster 5×5 that would score around 130 inches. I was hoping that he would decide that the grass is greener on THIS side of the creek and come close enough for a good shot on video… He decided to do just the opposite and went back in to the woods not to be seen again for the night. I wasn’t too disappointed because there was still quite a bit of daylight left.

The other side of the creek must have been the hot spot because at 6:50 I look over there again and see 3 does and 2 little 4x4s. They walked east and out of sight, too. Daylight was fading. We were starting to wrap the night up and another fawn shows up out of no-where at 30 yards and starts to come my way, but daylight was fading fast now (he was too small for me to shoot anyway).

That night didn’t end too bad, we saw a shooter buck and several does, I had one only 5 yards and had a shot opportunity, but chose not to take it. Hopefully tomorrow night will be better.

Sam

First deer of 2010 – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Sam

For the last 2 years, it has been my tradition of shooting a doe on the second hunt of the year. This year was no different. On Saturday September 25, we were in the stands by 6:15 a.m. and shooting time was 6:45. It was a cool and rainy morning, but yet the deer were some-what active.

 At 7:00, I saw a doe 7 yards away about to walk right in front of me. She walked to 11 yards, broadside; all I needed her to do was to turn away. Unfortunately, she didn’t and she cautiously walked back where she came from. Only 5 minutes later, I saw her again, but this time I saw her  when she was still in the cover where she couldn’t see me. So as slowly as possible I stood up and got ready for a shot. Once again she stopped exactly in the same spot she was before. She had her eyes on me once again. Then, she made her last mistake, she turned away just long enough for me to raise and draw my bow. She saw the movement but still didn’t move. I released my arrow and my bow’s limb bounced off a tree branch. Luckily I heard the CRACK of her shoulder and saw that my arrow had buried all the way down to the fletchings of my arrow.

I began to worry as the rain started to come down hard – off and on. Later my mentor, Kevin, called me on my radio and said that there was a doe and 2 fawns headed my way. I saw them to the north-west of me and running my way along the creek. I pulled my bow back again and grunted at her to stop. She stopped and I guessed the yardage at 30 (we only take shots 20 yards or less). So I let my bow down as she and her fawns trotted away. I got my rangefinder out and found out that she was only 20 yards – but I did the right thing by not taking the shot.

We got out of the stand early at about 9:45 to look for my doe. It was so rainy that day that there was no blood trail and that made me a little nervous. Kevin was the last one to see her just as she jumped across the field road. When we got down and went to the spot where we saw her last, we looked across and saw her white belly only 20 yards away – only 12 yards away from the property line!

When we got to her I noticed that my arrow had punched through both of the shoulders and she had only gone 90 yards (deer can run that far in a matter of seconds).  I picked her head up and she was a big doe. Since the weather wasn’t the best, a lot of hunters would have just stayed home, but we go whenever we can as long as it’s still safe.

I got to go out that afternoon as well, but our luck wasn’t quite as great. It was an amazing afternoon weather-wise, but the deer just didn’t seem to be moving quite as well as I thought they would. I only saw 2 fawns and 2 does and none of which were within 35 yards of me. No one got anything, but one member of our team got really close to a buck, but the shot just didn’t present itself.  I had a lot of fun on this hunt, and it’s only the start to a really long season, so hopefully, a lot more deer will be taken by our mentor program. 

Mentor Kevin & Me

Sam