Legacy

Legacy- 2017 Deer Season

355 posts in this topic

Legacy- 2017 Deer Season

 

Fall is coming! Thats right, Its time for the start of the 2017 hunting thread. Ill be honest, I have done nothing in the past 6 months to prepare for the upcoming season. That needs to change. Fall is in the air and its time to get ready. Its almost impossible to try to do anything hunting related during the fishing season but in my defense at the end of last season I did do a lot of things (some post season scouting, moved some stands, post signs etc). Over the next few days I plan on getting my cameras out, and Im planning on doing some walking and completing stand maintenance over the next two weeks. There is not a ton of things to do and nothing that cant be done over the course of a few days. I just need to find the time to it. GOOD LUCK TO ALL IN 2017!!!

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2016 SEASON RECAP!

 

Well, put another season in the books! Its crazy how long the season seems and then just like that, its over. Im sure my wife is glad its over! Nice thing about deer season is it cuts the off season for fishing in half. So we will be fishing in 3 months!

This season has been a lot different for me. I took a different approach and decided to stop playing around and get very aggressive this year. I saw a record number of deer this season and I owe it to being aggressive. I stopped being conservative with sets and just put them where I thought they needed to be. This year I moved more stands in season then I ever have in all other years combined. Although it didnt exactly put deer on the ground for me it did give me chances that I would have never had. No doubt a grunt tube continues to be the best tool in my pack. It was responsible for putting 3 shooters within bow range of my tree (2 during bow season and one during gun season). I did not seal the deal with any of those three deer but it solidified the importance of calling and how effective it really is. Dont ever leave home without it. Cameras have also become an important part of the game. The truth is you cant shoot them if they arent there and cameras prove this. Used correctly, they really can be great tool to help you judge your resident deer herd.

 

Here's some great camera footage on a primary scrape

 

Here's some season highlights

 

The biggest moments of the season came from sharing the woods with my 14 year old kid. With two seasons under his belt, one of my goals this year was to get him in a good position to harvest his first deer. On October 3, he started off the season by missing a 6pt with his bow. His quote to me after missing was I never felt my heart beat so fast, I guess thats what they call buck fever. Wow that happened fast A couple weeks later during youth weekend he missed a doe. Mid October and hes 0 for 2. But he stuck with it. He saw a bunch of deer in bow season and later he was busted drawing his bow on a doe. But it finally came together for him during the regular season and he shot a 7pt and a button buck on opening morning. Pretty awesome dad/son moment!! That made my season. One thing that is important that I did realize during the season is that I needed to make sure that I was promoting hunting properly to him. I certainly dont want him thinking he needs to shoot a Pope & Young buck to be considered successful and I refuse to give him restrictions on what he can harvest. Someday he will enter my hunting grounds with the same QDM ideology but not anytime soon. I will continue to teach him about QDM but I think its important for him to enjoy success and let him naturally strive for bigger deer. The best news for me is this past year, I really saw him anticipating the upcoming season and now that hes had a bit of success I know hes hooked!!!

 

 

To my surprise, I didnt lay eyes on a shooter buck until October 30. I had a dozen shooters on camera from a six different properties but yet zero daylight footage. The action that the first half of bow season lacked, the second half made up for. From October 30- November 18, I laid eyes 15 shooters (this includes multiple sightings of the same bucks). I had repeated run ins with a big 8pt. The first time, I grunted him into bow ranged but he approached me from downwind and quickly figured me out. After two more sightings, I hung a stand on his entry point to the field. The second night in the set, I spotted him walking the deer trail just inside the woods that is parallel to the field. Some aggressive grunting got his attention, he made a scrape, and he quickly walked out to the field. My arrow sailed a foot over his back and I missed him at 31 yards after clipping a branch. It was a brand new stand and I never really did much trimming. That would be the only shot I took during the archery season. Plenty of chances at does but in the end, archery season = tag soup. Lots of chasing this year. I had over a dozen days that I witnessed chasing this year and that was more than I have ever seen in the woods. One of those days was Thanksgiving morning. I could hear the chaos of chasing in the thicket behind me and caught a glimpse of the biggest buck I have on camera this season. After they disappeared, I picked up the grunt tube and started doing a series of tending grunts. Before I had a chance to put the call down I had a very wide racked, short tined, shooter 10 point run to my tree. He looked like he hit a brick wall once he caught my wind and was gone before I knew what to do. Shotgun season has a tendency to burn me out and after the first week, I gave myself some time off. The last couple of weeks of the regular season I only hunted a handful of times. Once again I had my chances at does but in the end, regular season = tag soup. I was optimistic for muzzleloader season because with snow on the ground, deer would be easy to pattern. Prime food sources are the answer and I was pretty sure I had one. The second afternoon of the muzzleloader season I had a 150 class buck walk across the north end of the field. As I reached for my binoculars, I lost sight of him in the woods. With all of my attention on where he was I didnt notice the doe standing 50 yards to my right. Once it raised its head, I quickly realized that it wasnt a doe but instead a shooter buck. He continued out into the field and gave me a 55 yard broadside shot. My first kill with a muzzleloader and my biggest buck to date. No tag soup for me! With all tags valid I continued to hunt that same setup in hopes of another shot at that giant. On the last hunt of the season he made another appearance. Almost step for step where he walked a week ago but he made his way across the field with no chance at a shot. Great deer to see to end the season though!

 

 

 

PICT0045_zps2h9eenuh.jpg

 

 

My season in numbers

Bow Season

October 1 -November 18 (49 day season)

63 hunts (32 am and 31 pm)

297 total deer sightings (80 antlered bucks including 15 shooters)

Best days- November 2-15

Opportunities= missed good 8pt @ 31 yards

Regular Season

November 19- December 11 (23 day season)

14 hunts (9 am and 5 pm)

37 total deer sightings (4 antlered bucks including 2 shooters)

Best day- Thanksgiving morning

Opportunities= wide and busted up 10pt couldnt get a good clean shot

Muzzleloader Season

December 12- 20 (9 day season)

5 hunts (5 pm)

24 total deer sightings (7 antlered bucks including 3 shooters)

Best days- December 13 and December 20

Opportunities- Shot big 10 and also saw biggest deer of the season on two occasions

 

 

The season may have just ended but I am already thinking of the next. Each year I make myself a list of hunting notes for the next season and for the first time this past year I actually completed it. I am hoping to do the same before next season. Probably a good idea for every avid hunter to do. I have some posted signs to put up, apple trees to trim, trees to cut, stands to move, etc. I think i am also purchasing new cameras. The biggest thing to do is scouting some new ground with snow on the ground. Hopefully I can get to that after the holidays.

 

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has followed this thread and also to those who have contributed. It really has been fun to do a play by play of the season. See you all again in 2017!

 

1481688358951.jpg

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I shot my bow yesterday for the 1st time since March archery league....2 arrows 25 yds 2 bullseyes I put it away. Cameras will go out next week

I've been happy with my Browning Cameras. 

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x3 on the Browning cameras. Reasonably-priced, easy to deploy, bulletproof. Mine had been out for ~2 weeks when I collected the SD cards after mowing the trails with the pull-behind on Tuesday evening. No shooters, but that's no surprise. I don't plot and we don't see "other guy's deer" in August-September--knowing that they will disperse over the course of the season. There were plenty of doe/fawn/small buck and turkeys though. All of the stands are having strap replacements this year on my property as well as where we lease. We started, but it's going to be a process. And I have ~100 trees that I've grown over the summer that need to be planted--several types of oak, chestnut, crabapple, Siberian peashrub, and hazelnut. Again, a process. What doesn't go into the ground this fall will end up being planted next spring. After two years of putting 1000 trees and shrubs in the ground each spring, I haven't ordered anything...well, six crabapple from Cummins, but nothing else...and I can easily plant what I overwinter in pots. Land management is a seemingly never-ending task. But just as rewarding as the actual hunting, IMHO.

 

 

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Well I did some stand maintenance and put out a few cameras late yesterday. In the process I drove around a bit and say my first shooter of the year in soy beans. He very well could be the giant I saw twice during muzzleloader season last year. Great to see but it changes my thinking a bit and now I need to hang a new stand!!!

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Thanks for starting this up.  i had a blown out knee and this thread made it easier to deal with.  i am going to finish setting up cameras this week and scout pretty heavy.  Good luck to all this season . 

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shredding season is among us just one of many that ive been watchin grow since may ALOT of mature bucks around

9 -1.JPG

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I'm locked in for the season!!! I have hadn't 4 cameras running for the last month or so and have 6 more to deploy! Only one decent 3 yr old so far and lots of first rack bucks with a ton of does with multiple fawns. Plots are all doing great and with this mornings rain my turnips should really start taking off! Can't wait for the middle -end of October to hit!

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I have a Browning Recon Force and a Dark Ops. They both take amazing video. I actually use one just to monitor for trespassing.

I am also playing with the Moultrie Mobile and a Spypoint Cellular cam. They both work okay but the quality is not even close to Browning.


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Let's not shoot after Legal shooting light this year boys..... lol...... couldn't pass it Up....... love this thread in the all day sits....


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All the stand straps replaced and lanes cleared this morning on my property. Onto the lease over the next two weeks to do the same, and lots of trees to be planted too. We managed to throw six two-year old chestnut into the ground Sunday between rains and to get them caged.

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3 hours ago, Gator said:

All the stand straps replaced and lanes cleared this morning on my property. Onto the lease over the next two weeks to do the same, and lots of trees to be planted too. We managed to throw six two-year old chestnut into the ground Sunday between rains and to get them caged.

 

Whats the intent of the tree planting, just a source of food for them? How long does it take for a nut bering tree to give its first crop?? I would think a long time, no?

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Habitat, native food source, timber value (for the grandkids, if and when). Chestnut and oak provide nut crops, evergreens are thermal cover, fruit trees (lots of named crabapple because they're low maintenance), and thicketing shrubs screen where I walk in. My buddy calls it "Gator's 50 acre petri dish". He's not wrong.

 

As for nut crops, some of the hybrid oaks can produce in less than 10 years, but it'll take a long time until they're mature. Shrubs like Allegheny Chinkapin are faster. You know they say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Yup! They should all be hard horned by the end of the week

 

 

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All the stand straps replaced


Something that most people overlook. When ever I check stands I make it a point to loosen all the straps and retighten them. This year I had two main straps break from the ratchet to the stand. Scary stuff.

Sent from my XT1585 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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1 hour ago, Legacy said:

 


Something that most people overlook. When ever I check stands I make it a point to loosen all the straps and retighten them. This year I had two main straps break from the ratchet to the stand. Scary stuff.

Sent from my XT1585 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

 

 

I've tried the past few years to loosen straps after the season so the trees have room to grow, then tightening them prior to the next fall. I don't know if it helps, but I've never had a strap break. Lifelines are great when climbing up, too.  And don't forget that climbing sticks need their straps replaced every few years.

 

This year we ordered a bunch from Tuff Straps (http://tuff-straps.com/) and I was impressed. Ridiculously hard to cut, even with a sharp knife, and the ratchets are quality stuff. How do I know they're hard to cut? I ordered a case of 8' straps and they sent me 16' straps :rofl:.  That'd be one big tree... $8 each, 3300 lb breaking strength and 1100 lb working load limit. 

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Did you just cut the existing strap off the stand and replace with these?

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Also would want to check the steel cables ? They rust out a buddy of mine fell last year and broke his back just after he took his harness off to get down?


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11 hours ago, JakeyBaby said:

Did you just cut the existing strap off the stand and replace with these?

Yeah, I use my climbing sticks to get up there, cut the existing strap, and reposition the ladder on the tree to account for growth. For hang-ons, I use a cheap strap to hold the stand while I cut the old one off and put a new one on. Depending on whether it's grown into the tree, I may have to reposition it as well. Lifelines that you attach to prior to climbing and until you get down are excellent tools, and your buddy's story is whey I prefer ladders to hang-ons.

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Yes true


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Pulled the boat today, have been working on stands for weeks but whenever I pull the boat it's always felt like it's almost hunting season.
Can't wait


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Terra firma for me.  But in the 100 acres I hunt there are 50 little hiddie spots that I have made over the years.....jk

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