The Countdown to Spring Turkey Season

 

A good rabbit hunt means a great meal and fellowship afterwards! ~postoak~

 

It is on! The month of February with it’s cold wet days will end tomorrow night and March will roar in like the Lion bringing spring weather and gobbling turkeys! At least that is what I am praying for! February is not bad for outdoor sports, Rabbit hunting, quail hunting, squirrel hunting, predator hunting Hog hunting.

Getting close to some quail! Fun in February! ~postoak~

I mean, it is a real jackpot for hunters to enjoy as they wind down from the late deer season and get to thinking about strutting turkeys and bedding bass! Not to mention those sweet tasting crappie that will soon be rising up from the winter deep water and biting with more agression than they have shown in Months!

March and April are two of my favorite months for time spent afield chasing gobblers and settn the hook on some great fish! The foliage starts to “green up” the temps start to warm up and we can dump those winter blues along with the jackets and caps!

Last Night, the Elmore County NWTF held it’s annual banquet and as a long time committee member I was very happy to participate and see a great turnout of people who were not shy about having a good time and spending some money in support of the NWTF and our efforts to raise money for the betterment of the Wild Turkey and the habitat for all of the creatures in the great outdoors, except for predators and hogs!

Tomorrow night is the Montgomery Chapter’s banquet and I hope we will see as many folks turnout and spend out to take advantage of the very unique, one of a kind outdoor items that can only be bought or won at an NWTF banquet! For more info, check the NWTF State page for Alabama and it will list the details for the Montgomery baquet TOMORROW NIGHT! COME ON OUT!

I had a number of hunters reporting some great rabbit hunts and quail hunts around the state this week. Both of these game species offer some of the very best in table-fare and if you ever get the chance to dine on either, don’t miss your chance!

Alabama Spring turkey- youth weekend is NEXT weekend! if you have not decided to take a youngster in to the spring turkey woods for a “first crack” at an old spring gobbler before they get spooked by all us adult “turkey nuts”. I urge you to take a child turkey hunting next weekend! I plan to take my granddaughter for a chance at a big gobbler and then, Saturday Afternoon, I will be giving a turkey hunting seminar at Bass Pro Shops in Prattville in the early afternoon. Come on by and I will tell you how we did and share some of my turkey hunting tricks from my more than half a century racking up gobblers around Alabama and other states.

Until next week,

POSTOAK -

“YELPING ON THE PRACTICE CALLS!”

Squirrels, Rabbits, Quail, Predators All February Choices

February Quail Hunting is Fun! ~postoak~

February may be cold, dreary winter time to most folks but, for the various creatures in outdoors Alabama, it is just another day. Squirrels are a favorite February small game that can offer a very social and spirited hunt for a lone hunter or a small group who like to go on a ”vine pull” This was a favorite tactic of ours when we were kids since it was a type of hunt where you could walk through the woods as a group, talking, laughing and enjoying the activity and when you found a tree with a vine growing up it you could often get a squirrel to move by pulling the vines to dislodge a nest or just a bit of rubble in the forks of the tree where squirrels would often hide as we approached. Many days we found great success pulling vines on large hardwood trees around in the river swamps we hunted. He literally found sacks full of the meaty limb chickens after a good morning or afternoon of vine pulling for squirrels.

Rabbits we usually found through the use of our beagles. Daddy had a small pack of 3 to 4 beagles and they could be counted on to roust the rabbits out of the thickest briar patches and brush piles or old hedge rows around our open pastures and row crop fields. Even if we did not have access to the beagles, we could do a “rabbit stomp” and wade off in the brush and briars stomping around and kicking the logs causing a rabbit, or two, to panic and run out of their hiding spot. We took pride in being a good “jump shooter” and head shots were a special source of pride for showing off your marksmanship skills. We were often rewarded with a nice haul of large swamp rabbits that were known to us as a “Cane-cutter” sometimes they were 6 or 7 pounds and had some of the finest tenderloins I ever had after mom had floured and fried them up with home-made biscuits and gravy. Rice or mashed potatoes were the interchangeable side dishes and I loved them both! Still do!

Success in Sumter County ~postoak~

Quail were abundant in the west Alabama woods of the 1960s and Dad had a good pointer so it was a great time for February “bird” hunts. The term quail and bird both meant Bob-Whites and we spent many February days enjoying the work of the dogs and the flush of the covey. Our hunt for all these wild game animals gave us two very important things that we cared deeply about in our bucolic lifestyles, Food and fun!

Back then, we had no wild hogs and no coyotes but, we did shoot the foxes and Bob-cats that we crossed pathes with. Now days, a good pig hunt or coyote hunt is a real possibility and can be a fun venue for hunters to sharpen their shooting skills. Pigs are ruining our habitat and possibly causing lower populations of turkey and other birds due to nest predation. Coyotes are simply very accomplished predators and they are destroying the population of many game animals, including Whitetail deer. I will take one “out” whenever I get the opportunity and will even stop hunting a deer or turkey to take a shot at the destructive coyote!

Get Ready !! Sumter County Quail Hunt ~postoak~

February Hunting- Many choices, Little Time, Big Fun! Go give some of it a try! Your Choice! 

~POSTOAK~

February -Still Lots of Great Hunting to Do!

This Big Buck was taken near Grady in the February season ~postoak~

February deer Season was a big success 

From all reports around south Alabama, the February deer season was an absolute knock out success.Folks got to add a few very nice bucks and lots of does were added to freezers.

I hunt in north Alabama so unfortunately was not able to get an invite down south for a February hunt.I would bet the hunting clubs in south Alabama will be able to fill their empty slots with us hunters from north Alabama who want to have a few more days to chase an old rutting buck in south Alabama!

You can count me in the mix for a south Alabama hunting club! I will not give up my sweet hunting place in north Alabama but, would like to find another spot in the South zone. 

For that same reason, I like to turkey hunt several locations in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and up to Missouri. Each location is an absolutely unique experience with its own wonders and beautiful landscapes. South Alabama has some magnificent topographical feature of what the biologists call the Coastal Plains. The area I hunt in west Alabama is on the north side of the black belt and where I grew up so it makes for some great memories from my early days afield.

After hunting in a wide range of counties and areas in Alabama and other states, I can’t tell you which is the prettiest. That is like judging a Miss America contest Lots of beauty and diversity, heck I love them all! One thing is for sure, There is not enough time in anyone’s life to get to enjoy them all. But, I plan to enjoy as many as I can and my physical stamina will allow.

February is the very best time of year for hunting some great small game species across the state, squirrel, rabbits, and of course quail hunting.

I plan to do some squirrel hunting before the season gets away and have an invite to go rabbit hunting if I can find time. Listening to a good brace of beagles as they chase a rabbit in circles through the brush and waiting for him to come hopping toward your location is a great way to introduce kids to hunting or to have a very social time in the woods.

I also have got to find time to feed the turkey on several different leases I have for this spring. That is a weekend kille, maybe two weekends and a couple hundred bucks but, I have spent so much on leases it would be silly for me to not keep the birds interested in my properties. I guarantee you that others are feeding during the off season and if you want to compete for the birds. You better provide some food to keep them on your place!

More on Turkey season next week!

~POSTOAK~

Hunting Season, It Never Really Ends

Anna Faye or "Anna Slay" with her briar patch doe! ~postoak~

All us hunters on the “upper side” of Bama are “done” with our buck chasing for this season and many of us a rethinking joining a hunting club in “Southern” section of the state so we can ejoy a few extra days in the stand. As the darkness settled in on me and my granddaughter Saturday evening, she pleaded with me to find someone to let us hunt on their land in the late season zone. I told her I did not know anyone and I considered this deer season done!

I dedicated this season to her and she went with me on every trip over to our place in Tuscaloosa. She hunted with me every afternoon and on a couple of morning hunts. I did get a couple of morning hunts alone and a afternoon hunt with a buddy in Autauga county. I did not however, pull the trigger this year. This is only the second time in the past 54 deer seasons in Alabama that I have not taken a deer. Many of my younger hunting days I took more than my share, so to not shoot this year is not a big deal.

What was a big deal for me was taking “the granddaughter”. I had more fun and enjoyment listening to her thoughts on hunting and many other subjects, her whining, praying, fussing, laughing, crying, and of course screaming for joy when she did hit the mark on her deer. She took a nice 7 point buck and a big mature doe so I consider that a really great success for her!

This past weekend’s hunt found us in a too small shooting hut we had not sat before but, I was told by my nephew others had seen a good number of does and a couple of bucks in it on previous days. We got settled in around 3pm and at 4:30 Anna Faye told me she saw a doe coming from the woods. The doe came out and walked within 40 yards of the hut but, she got nervous real quick and slowly trotted down the side of the field and out the end of it into some tall weeds. Anna Faye got “doe fever” and stated the only two does she every shot at, she missed (I knew that). She said she would love to shoot that doe if she came back out! I told her the doe probably saw her moving around inside the hut and might come back since she was slow to exit the field earlier. About 20 minutes passed and I saw the doe stick her head out of the weeds about 180 yards away. She stood there for several minutes and then slowly came back out staring intently at us in the hut. Then she dropped her head and started to graze!

Anna Faye announced that she was going to shoot that doe and started shaking in nervous anticipation! I told her to just wait, practice her breathing I taught her to calm down and let the doe get closer. The doe fed toward our stand for about 10 minutes and when she turned broadside at about 80 yards I gave her the go ahead signal to shoot.

Bang! the doe jumped straight up and ran from the field! Anna Faye was furious (again) thinking she had missed yet another doe and that surely she was jinxed about shooting a doe! I told her the doe looked hit but, let’s find blood. In her excitement, she ran about 20 yards past where the doe was standing she fired. Not finding any blood, she started to become very upset about her doe jinx and she asked me did I see any blood? When I told her I did, she jumped up about like the doe did a few minutes earlier and when I showed her the clear trail of blood crossing the field she took off!

The doe exited the field into a sawbriar patch that was about 200 yards in diameter and I could not see her, only the blood trail. As I fought my way through the head high briars, Anna Faye said she would come help me get her out. However, about two steps later, she was screaming help as the briars caught her britches and dug in her legs. I found the doe in the middle of a brush pile inside the briar patch and began to drag her back to the field. About 3,000 briar sticks later, I made it to the field and the “briarpatch doe” was ours!

Next weekend, we will be taking our annual February squirrel hunting trip, I hope!

~POSTOAK~

Deer Season, it Always Ends Too Soon!

Got this trailcam photo today of a survivor on our land in West Alabama, will be after him this Friday! ~postoak~

I am taking my last hunt for the season this Thursday and Friday with my favorite hunting partner, my granddaughter. Even though the rut has almost ended where we hunt in Tuscaloosa county, the deer have been moving well and we have high hopes of bagging that “Big Buck”. But, what hunter doesn’t? I have had a number of hunters to send me photos of big bucks that have taken or seen recently so there is always hope for a last minute trophy. Frankly, I am looking for a couple of last weekend does to put in the freezer and could care less about a rack. But my hunting partner is all about a rack with drop tines so it would be nice if her wish came true!

I have hunted less this season than anytime I can remember in my adult life since I pretty much dedicated all my season to being the guide. Anna Faye has has been the gunner and I am just the instructor and guide. And you know what? it has been the most awesome deer season I can remember. Watching her get so wound up waiting for a deer to show up, seeing the glow on her face when a buck steps out and watching the pure delight when she is standing over a nice Alabama white tail buck has been an incomparble experience for me.

Unfortunately, the down side to 55 years of shooting deer is that the “new” was worn off along time ago and for many years, I failed to recognize that fact. Anna Faye brought back the memories I once relished as a child, the trembing excitement that the first glimpse of a deer coming through the woods brought to my young heart, the rush of adrenalin brought about by a set of antlers on a deer that seemed huge immediatley before the trigger was pulled and the sensation of being a world-beater brought about by standing over a buck and lifting his head for a photo of the trophy!

WOW! It is almost as fun when it is your child or grand child who is sharing that wonderful moment with you!

I have received several photos of bucks still “out there ” on 2 different properties that I am fortunate enough to get to hunt. Check them out!

This deer is close! right here near Montgomery! Hope someone is lucky enough to get him!

Next Week my focus will shift to spring turkey hunting mode and that is my real passion as far as hunting goes, so I am always ready to get out in the spring woods and listen for the sound of a spring gobbler “rattling the trees” calling those hens!

Until next week, good hunting to you!

~Postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is Harvest Time in the Deer Woods!

This past weekend, I got numerous reports about great deer movement and rut activity. Many hunters I spoke with think it was about as good as it can get for any weekend of the season! In the western part of central Alabama.

I spent my weekend hunting with my granddaughter who has become quite a good young hunter and is so much fun to spend time in the deer woods with that it makes an old veteran hunter like me smile and remember how excited I used to get when I saw a deer not to mention how pumped up I was when a buck walked out! We hunted on a prime spot at our family farm in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon. It is a big grrenfield that is 200 yards wide and 400 yards long and is simply known as number four field. It is surrounded by a hardwood swamp just about a mile from the Warrior river and is a deer paradise!

We got in the stand early, about 2:15, and we sat patiently unitil five does came out in a small greenfield behind our stand just visible through about a 100 yard scope of woods. Not long after they came out at about 3:30, a very nice heavy racked 8 pointer stepped out in the field and Anna Faye started asking if she could try to take a shot at him. Since he was on the other side of a thick stand of small saplings, I told her I did not think it would be a good shot and she fussed that she was sure she could get him even through the trees. I asked her if she wouldn’t feel bad to miss him or even worse to wound him and allow to run off and die in the swamp. All of a sudden, they spooked and all cleared out of the field so that ended that debate. It was almost 5 pm before we saw anymore deer and She was getting mighty dissapointed the 8 pointer had not came to 4 field. About then a nice 7 pointer with a good size boddy and nice rack stepped out of the woods on the other side of the field about 200 yards away. He was soon followed by five other bucks with various small to medium racks and a single doe.

I first though he was one on the “no shoot list” but as he walked closer I could see he was not a buck with kickers that Travis told me not to shoot. Anna Faye was so excited when I told her she could shoot him and I had to tell her to calm down and take some deep breaths before she lined up her shot!

She was in a state of full blown “buck fever” and finally got her composure and I coached her to take her time, focus on the sights and squeeze the trigger. BAM! she fired and he shot straight up and then piled up dead in his tracks! She had made another great shot and the buck was hers! Excited, she handed me the rifle and ran out to get a closer look at her buck! It was a great hunt and one this old hunter will remember for years to come. I think she will too!

There were several nice bucks taken and down in South Alabama there was a couple of Monster bucks reported taken in the wiregrass. In Abbeville, a hunter took a huge buck from a peanut farm and he was a drop tined monster! At 181 and 4/8s that is quite a rack!. There have been several free range Alabama bucks taken this season that scored from 160s to almost 200 and when you can find free-range, true wild bucks across different areas of the state that is a very good sign for the future of Alabama Deer Hunting!

Rough Weekend for the Deer and Us!

Anna Faye and Me on a weekend with better results! ~postoak~

This last weekend I took my granddaughter back to the deer woods in pursuit of that “trophy-drop tine buck”  that she is convinced she will get this year because she has “prayed enough to deserve it”. I have attempted to explain to her that God is not a Genie and he does not grant the wishes of little girls to kill a big drop-tine buck no matter how much they pray in ernest. Her reply was “why not?” I really want one so bad and it would not hurt anything, (other than the buck) so, I went back over the issue again in a futile attempt to explain how rare a drop-tine buck is and that no one has every killed a drop tine buck in our place.

We have killed many very nice bucks with big racks and heavy bodies. Bucks with multiple “sticker” points, long brow tines and big knarly bases but, drop-tine bucks are very, very rare. I told her that I have personally killed hundreds of nice bucks and while a number of them had sticker points, kickers and other unique antlers, a real drop tine buck is one I have not taken. Undeterred, she continued to say she would get one as we sat in the shooting house on a huge green field down near the Black Warrior river in west Alabama.

About 3:45 a yearling stepped out of the pines and timidly fed along the edge of the field. The Yearling stayed near the safety of the pine thicket until it was joined in a few minutes by five more yearlings. Emboldened by the numbers, the yearling pranced out to the middle of the greenfield and started nibbling the winter wheat stems again. Two other youngsters butted heads and chased each other around in the field about 75 yards from our hut and just as Anna Faye was exclaiming how much fun it is to just watch the deer, she started to hiss under her breath, big buck! big Buck! BIG Buck! I  whispered for her to hush and sit still since the buck was less than 10 yards behind the shooting house standing back in the pines.

He was watching the yearling in the field and when several adult does came out and joined them, he walked away and down the row of pine woods. About 15 minutes later, he appeared in the end of the field at a distance of 270 yards on my range finder. Anna Faye watched him through the scope and was protesting about me telling her not to shoot him and lets see if he would come closer. After he fed near the end of the field about 20 minutes and the other deer slowly funnelled out of the field headed to the hardwoods behind the field, he started walking directly toward us and then started to trot toward us. I told her to get ready to shoot when I told her to and we watched the buck walk and fed unitl he was 90 yards out. At that point, he turned and started walking back toward the pines so I told her to get on him and I would whistle to stop him. I gave a short note in a shrill tone and he stopped perfectly at broadside and I told her to SHOOT! As I watched her fire, he bucked, kicked his rear legs indicating a hit and I told her she hit and I think she got him!

She handed me the gun and bolted out of the hut to go find him. I reloaded and followed her to see where he fell since he had exited the field. However after a 10 to 15 minute search and with dark arriving, I had to call off our retrieval and she was so upset, she broke down and started crying! I hated it so bad !  But, felt good she had made a good shot so I told her to stop crying and that I would find the buck in the morning. That seemed to reduce her anxiety and we headed to My father in law’s home in Eutaw to spend the night. Saturday morning, I came back and sat in the woods watching for a doe to harvest but all I saw was two young bucks and several yearlings that were probably part of the same group I saw on Friday evening.

At 8:30 with a cold wind and little deer movement, I decided to get up and find the buck she shot. I went to the field where I had marked the location I estimated he was at when she shot and walked around awhile but, found no blood at all. Concerned, I started to work my way up and down the rows of pines in the woods he ran in after the shot. I walked the pine rows back and forth for the next 2 hours covered 27 rows from one end to the other with each being about 600 yards long. Tired and disgusted, blood sugar dropping, I headed for the truck and it was nearly lunch time. A little more than 300 yards around the bend of an adjoining field, I saw a big set of ears moving as a deer watched me approach but, remained laying down. I thought it was a doe and was far too tired to want to fool with one, Although I needed to take some meat. I decided to not shoot and when the deer finally jumped up and ran, I saw it was the 6 pointer Anna Faye had shot! I was so mad at myself for that mistake, That I spent another 45 minutes trying to track him back in the pines. I caught a glimpse of him one more time but, finally gave up and went to the truck!

Anna Faye had been so distraught and them blamed the gun for the wounding that I decided to check the accuracy of the scope. Two shots hit the target near the bullseye at 135 yards as the last item for me to do as I was leaving the farm. The scope was on target. IT is hard to tell an excited and dissapointed young hunter the deer was not found and the scope checked out ok. But, that is the reality of deer hunting. I would rather miss a deer than to ever woulnd one and it have to suffer. However, this buck looked like he probably will heal! Not so sure about about her ego!

~postoak~

Control your Scent and Have More Control of your Hunt.

The Rut is on! Control the scents a big buck smells and you can find success! ~postoak~

During the rut, smells can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. It is all a matter of CONTROL!

We all know the importance of odor elimination to the success of deer hunting, especially in harvesting an older buck. One whiff of human scent can send them the other direction faster than hanging up the phone on a “robo sales-caller”. Many times the hunter never even sees the buck that would have been in his cross hairs five minutes later had their scent not given them away.

How many times have you sat in your stand and heard a deer blowing an alarm from 400 yards away? All you can do is sit tight and hope he or she was blowing at a predator or other human scent from another direction.Problem is, more often than not, they are blowing an alarm from smelling you!

So, what do you do? My advice is to get sharper at your scent control tactics!  I have hunted with guys who I really hated to even get in the truck with due to them  reeking of scent from soap, deodorant, cologne, or other poor hygiene.

The sporting goods stores sell a myriad of scent elimination products that WILL eliminate or at least mitigate your odor and they are not too expensive! I had a friend who used to hunt with me and he swore by dial soap and baking soda.

Problem was this was not effective! Yet, he refused to spend some money on professional scent control or cover scent products. This “scrimping” on equipment was part of the reason he was rarely successful when it came to bagging a trophy class buck.

He took a few does and small bucks but, even then, the shots he made were over 150 yards. He also had quit bow hunting several years before I met him since he said he “never saw anything close enough to shoot with his bow” I decided to not even discuss that issue since I enjoyed bow hunting on the lease without him out there stinking up the woods!

My scent control regimen includes every human odor hygiene product available. I use the “DEAD DOWN WIND”  brand of soap, shampoo, deodorant, mouth wash, tooth paste, hand wipes, etc.  I use pine scent or earth scent for a cover scent in spray bottles found at many sporting goods stores. I also break off pine or cedar limbs if any are eadily available on my walk into the woods. I NEVER use my hunting boots any where but out in the woods and when I get back to my truck, I bag them in a scent blocker sack and wear some rubber boots going back to camp or to town. My outer wear is also bagged in a Tink Charcoal bag and I add it when I get out of the truck headed to my stand. For attractant scents, I use the TINK’S line of deer scents such as the TINKS 69  or TINKS MOCK SCRAPE   to actively lure a buck to my location. If I am to be successful doing the luring, It is imperative to keep my human odor from mixing with the lure scents. When I do that, I can actively hunt in a “down wind” pattern and since deer prefer to move in an “upwind”  pattern, this brings them to me in a natural flow and can be very deadly. Through the years I have taken many good bucks using this scent manipulation process.  A deer trusts it nose before anything, even vision! When you defeat his scent alarms, you stand a much better chance to get him in close for that “kill shot”.

If you spend thousands on a hunting lease, a four wheeler,  hunting truck,  rifle,  clothes etc. then spending a few more bucks on scent products seems like a wise investment.

However, A word to the wise, no scent product is perfect and deer will still “bust you” sometimes. Good scent control and scent lures will help to tip the scent portion of the hunt in your favor!

~postoak~

 

Extended time on the Stand Can Pay Off During The Rut

Stay on your stand during the Rut, A big Buck might come by anytime! ~Postoak~

Unlike most people, I love Cold, Cloudy December days, especially if I am able to get out to my hunting land and spend some extended time pursuing those big old bucks that are on their feet with their nose in the air! This time of year the rut is on and this is simply the best time to be in the woods and to stay in the woods, on stand or stalking but for sure being somewhere out there where you might cross paths with a buck who is more interested in a doe rendevous than a meeting with my 30-06 or my 12 gauge.

Yes, I do shotgun hunt at times, we have some places where it is my choice due to the thick understory in our pine plantation areas as well as around some tremendous briar patches we have near the swamp areas and a big old duck slough that attracts and holds deer as well as it does the Wood ducks and Mallards.

Whether I am in big woods or a greenfield with my rifle or hunting the cover with my shotgun and slugs I pack a lunch, literally. I leave the truck before daylight and may sit the same stand all day! During the rut it is that important. I have killed a number of nice bucks during the mid-day hours, especially if the weather is cold and cloudy or with a drizzle of precip the deer often move all day and sometimes better in the middle of the day than early and late. One thing I key on is what are other animals doing? If the squirrel movement has been low or non existent and then they start to move in the late morning, instead of going to the truck for a sandwich and a nap, I am staying up the tree or in the shooting house and getting ready to tag out on a big buck who might come cruising through trailing a doe, working his scrape line or just looking for lunch.

Two years ago, I was in a small ground blind near the warrior river watching a transition area where a large section of hardwood swamp bottlenecked into a area with briars and sage along with some scrub pine. The pines were volunteers that marked where an old cotton field was some 20 years earlier before CRP and a new landowner took it out of row crop production.  I had been sitting since before daylight and although I had enjoyed an active morning, the deer moving through were mostly does and a few yearlings who were headed out of the swamps where they had fed on acorns all night and were headed to bed.

Around 9:30, and having not seen anything since a little past 8:00, not even a squirrel, I decided to eat my little package of peanut butter crackers and I washed them down with a grape power-aid zero. I sat for about another hour and thougth about the truck. But, I had nothing to get back to so I figured since I was comfortable and fed, I would stay put.

I sat until 12:30 and saw little movement. The woods had been still, the sky hung heavy with clouds and a slight breeze was fairly constant from the west, northwest, making for great scent control. I was using all my scent control measures and also using scent luring with Tink’s 69 from a couple of power-bombs.

The  wind started to pick up and shifted more to the west, southwest and the air warmed a few degrees to the low 50s. The deer movement, as well as squirrel movement ramped up quickly. in the next half hour I counted more than 20 does, yearlings, and several small rack bucks cross the trail less than 20 yards from my stand. Then, out in the swamp I saw several rack bucks running toward me! They stopped about 35 yards from my stand and sniffed, getting a big whiff of the tinks scent and a nice heavy racked 8 pointer walked out in the trail and sniffed the scent bomb! he then struck it with his antlers and knocked it from the limb! He sniffed and snorted then headed on into the thick pines. I had already decided on the buck to shoot, and old knarly buck with some stickers near the base and his body size showed he was the bull of the bunch.

He stepped out and walked straight up the trail to my second scent bomb and gave a snort wheeze. His hair was standing up on his back and he was in the process of looking for the doe when he found the 30.06! I looked down at my watch and it was a little after 1:00 in the afternoon. Staying on stand had paid off again!

Stay out there during the rut!

~POSTOAK~

Tree Stands Pose the Most Danger in the Deer Woods

Nice Buck like we all want! ~postoak~

Tragically, every hunting season we read and hear of accidents in the woods that reults in severe injuries and even deaths from hunting activities. Not to be a “downer” but it is so unfortunate when accidents occur while hunting. The most prevalent of these accidents is falls from tree stands, whether they are climbing stands, lock on stands, ladder stands, or the worst, home-made wooden stands.

Many of those who have fallen admit they were not careful, failed to plan for a safe ascent, or blamed equipment failure. All these are valid but, none are a reasonable excuse!

Several years ago, after almost becoming one of those who has fallen, I decided to just stop using climbing stands. I had recently purchased a climbing stand that was one of the most expensive and touted across the industry as “the safest climbing stand on the market”. But you are still climbing! I has ascended to about 25 feet up a tree and attached the safety harness to secure the device and my hunting harness when the whole climber slid down the tree about 5 or 6 feet! Luckily, I had not yet roped my gun up to me and I was able to turn and grab the tree trunk them re-position the climber so it clamped back to the tree.  I then carefully climbed down, removed the stand and went home. I later gave it to a friend witha a fair warning about my near accident.

I then started using only ladder stands and  this has resulted in fewer climbing incidents but, I have still had a few “moments” that could have resulted in a serious fall. Last year I started taking my granddaughter with me on nearly every hunt so I stopped using our fixed ladder stands and stuck to hunting from shooting houses we have built and placed around many of the green fields. I also have a couple of smaller huts in the woods and I have found them to be effective so long as you do a good job with your scent elimination processes and also using good cover scents to help “jam” the deer’s olfactories with a scent such as “Earth scent or Pine scent”.

For Christmas last year I was given a “pop-up” blind that was designed for a two-person occupancy. It sets up in less than 3 minutes and does a great job in providing concealment, wind blocking, amd even muffles noise (like from an I-pod game) just a little bit!  The use of these portable blinds is a great way to hunt from the ground position, attain concealment even at the edge of a green field especially if you add some cover to the blind like cedar limbs, dead brush, leaves and small limbs clipped from privet hedges, etc. We used one to set up on turkey during the spring and will be using several of them this year since I bought 2 more and plan to leave them in the field anchored down and ready to hunt from. Just add a couple of canvas folding chairs and they will make you a great ambush zone to help you bag those deer this year and you won’t have to worry about falling out of that tree stand!

Be careful, plan your hunt, tell someone where you will be and if your cell phone works where you hunt keep it with you! Just put it on silent!

Good hunting!

~POSTOAK~