Deer Season is OVER! Too Soon For Sure!

Nice November Buck from the BlackBelt!

The season has once again closed quickly and if you didn’t fill your freezer then you will just have to “Eat More Beef” like the cattleman’s association says. The season for me was just a blur since I was sick from September until December and just did not feel like hunting as much as I normally do each year. While I did get out to hunt a few times, it was a struggle and I did not really feel like hunting as hard as I am accustom to at anytime this season. I did enjoy hunting this season with my nephews and especially my granddaughter who has picked up the buck fever with the gusto and determination that we all remember from our childhood hunting days. I bought her an archery set for her birthday and a new turkey caller so she has shifted her focus to target practice and turkey calling practice. I plan to make a few squirrel hunting trips in February and hope to bag a rabbit or two. But, I will quickly be drawn into preparation for my very favorite season, Spring Gobbler hunting! I will hold off on that for a little while longer though.

I did get some great deer pictures this past season from various readers around the state and hope you enjoy looking at the deer taken by some lucky Alabama Hunters this past season.

He knew it was over! He is safe until next fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two big Bucks taken near Oneonta recently!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bruiser from East Alabama Taken recently!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you Missed! Maybe not! Look at the hole in this one that is walking around!

 

Hope you enjoyed the deer pictures! Lots of big deer were taken in Alabama this year! Hope you got yours! Or at least a doe or two for the freezer!

Until next week, POSTOAK out….doors..

Deer Season Over Soon! Did you Get Your Buck?

Did you get your Buck this season? Wilson Murphy of Prattville sure got his! a nice 7 pointer that weighed over 200lbs! ~postoak~

This weekend is the last of the season and like most folks, I am not ready for it to end! A major illness kept me out of the woods as much as I would have liked and with the Christmas committments we all make to family and church, the time has just rolled on by! Hopefully, lots of you have your freezers filled with fresh venison and are ready to move on to our February hunting seasons of small game, which is very entertaining hunting and can provide some very fine winter meal starters.

Squirrel hunting in February is fantastic. The trees are bare and the bushy tails are much easier to spot,stalk and shoot! This past weekend I walked the perimeter road on the lower end of a tract we hunt in Tuscaloosa near the Black Warrior river, As I slowly stalked along the trail looking at the activity on the many scrapes along the way, most of which were showing the rut is mostly over in that area. I noticed the squirrels were in a very active feeding mode and I saw no less than 25 to 30 at various locations along the two miles of trail. I have seen this type of activity many times through the years but, this was happening from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on a bright sunny day! I found myself wishing I had my Remington 22 rifle instead of the 30-06 I was toting.

These squirrels seemed as brazen as the ones on that commercial that attack the guy in the park! They would sit on limbs or hang off the sides of trees, barking and shaking their tails in protest as they watched me go by. It was great! I stopped several times and chatted out some squirrel barks and whines and that really set them off! Squirrels cames out of hiding to join in the cacaphony and they seemed to cheer when I walked on, like they had succeeded in driving some big predator away! But, this big predator will return in a couple of weeks with that 22 rifle and silence a few of the squirrels. I can taste that fried squirrel and gravy already!

I finally stalked on around to my chosen deer stand and after placing a couple of Tink’s scent bombs in some limbs near the stand and I got settled in for the hunt. From 3:00 until 4:30 there was not a deer on the field. Then the does came piling out of the pine thicket until 12 of them were out in the green field over to my right, about 20 minutes later they were joined by a young spike. Then, they all paused feeding and looked back toward the thicket and I thought, now, here comes that “wall hanger” but, out stepped a nice 8 pointer who was clearly a young buck. He was a very nice young buck but, not the kind we shoot so I just enjoyed the rest of the hunt in a great stand at a beautiful place. That was a nice hunt! I love to just sit and enjoy the act of hunting sometimes without taking an animal, just soaking up the solitude of the great Alabama we all love so much!

Other activities to check out in outdoor news for our area! ALABAMA BLACKBELT ADVENTURES HAS SEVERAL INTERESTING ITEMS -JUST CLICK IT!  http://www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org/about/our-monthly-newsletter

My good friends at the ALABAMA WILDLIFE FEDERATION  have some wonderful family centered activities coming to Lanark in Millbrook! Check out the info for more details!

Make Plans to Come Run Wild at the Critter Crawl Get ready to run, walk or even crawl at the Alabama Nature Center’s Fourth Annual Critter Crawl on Saturday, February 15. This year, the Critter Crawl has expanded with a brand new mapped 10K run in addition to the 5K run along beautiful trails located at Lanark in Millbrook.

“We’re excited to expand the course this year in order to accommodate all ages, abilities and endurance,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Critter Crawl Coordinator. ”Bring the family and make plans to enjoy the great outdoors and nature at its’ best.”

The Critter Crawl is a 10K and 5K TRAIL RUN benefiting the Alabama Nature Center that takes runners through a portion of the Alabama Nature Center’s 5 mile trail system. There will also be a 1 mile race beginning at 10:00 am. Tech shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before February 1, 2014. Shirts come in Mens, Ladies and Kids sizes! Extras will be ordered but run out fast.
Pre-registration cost is $25 (10K and 5K) or $20 (1 Mile). Day-Of Registration we will add an additional $5.00.Prizes will be awarded for male and female overall, Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+). Also, three deep in the following age groups: 8 and under, 9-12, 13-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-69, 70+.
Don’t forget to dress the part and run in your most creative Alabama critter costume – prizes will be awarded so be creative! Music and food will be provided, plus door prizes and lots of room for kids to play. The 5k starts at 9:00 am and 1 mile starts at 10:00 am; both races start and finish at the ANC pavilion. Please visit www.alabamawildlife.org or call Elizabeth Johnson at 334-285-4550 for more information or register online at www.active.com. Participants may pick up race packets at the ANC Pavilion Friday, February 14 from 1pm-5pm.

The Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility located at Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama, is a joint project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and benefactors Isabel and Wiley Hill. The Lanark property, State Headquarters for the Alabama Wildlife Federation, contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of trails and boardwalks including a tree top viewing platform. The Alabama Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs including Lanark Field Days events for youth and school groups, Expedition Lanark Summer Day Camp for children aged  5 – 15, and monthly weekend events for the general public.For more information about the Alabama Nature Center and the Alabama Wildlife Federation, call 334-285-4550 or visit www.alabamawildlife.org.

Hope you get your buck, or doe before the season is gone! and when you do, send me a photo so I can share your good hunt! Just email me postoakman@gmail.com

Good Hunting and Good Times are waiting, in Central Alabama Outdoors!

~Postoak~

 

 

 

 

Big Bucks Being Taken Across Bama!

Rut reports have been pouring in from across central Alabama through my network of dedicated deer hunters . It certainly seems to me that the overall size improvements, both in body size and rack size is showing the reduction in antlered deer harvest numbers is working across Alabama. This bodes very well for the future of deer hunting if everyone will “buy in” as they should. I have a lot of confidence in the leadership at the ALDCNR and believe they have got the best interest of the majority of hunters in mind for overall game management in the state, both for game and non-game animals.

These photos show some of the nice bucks taken this past few weeks from all around central Alabama. Hope you enjoy viewing them and if you want me to post your  photo, send me that trophy photo! or that first deer, or big doe, or big hog!  Send to- postoakman@gmail.com and I will include it on a future blog of Gobbles and Grunts with Postoak!

This Nice buck was taken near Fort Deposit, lots of mass!

 

Hunter Nolan shows off these two East Alabama Bruiser Bucks taken near Alex City recently. The one on the left is a stooge of a buck! Congratulations Hunter! ~postoak~

 

Norman Turnipseed of Millbrook shared this photo with me of a buck his brother took recently. This great looking typical 8 in Lowndes county ~postoak~

Doctor "Joe" shows off a very nice Sumter county buck he recently took in his farm

 

No doubt, the rut is on in central and north Alabama with a few reports coming in from Crenshaw, Bullock and Butler of rut activity showing up in the early stages. Hope you take the time to get out and hunt some during the rut! I know I WILL!

~POSTOAK~

Hunting with Kids, Best Hunting of All!

Anna Faye and her buck taken this past weekend! ~postoak~

I took my granddaughter hunting this past weekend and I am still trying to figure out which of us had the best time and made the most memories! On Saturday afternoon we went to “the barn field” stand and waited patiently for a doe to come out. We were hunting on a tract my family owns and one where we have declared a “no bucks” season since the doe to buck ratio is way out of balance according to the bioligist who manages the property’s wildlife. Well, according to my nephew, they have taken about half the number of does they expect to take this year from the place to put the ratio back in order which is 49 does taken. However, they might want to reconsider because we only saw one doe, who appeared to be panic sticken as she darted across the far end of the field over 300 yards away! We did see 5 bucks cross the field in a trot and they appeared to be in pursuit of the doe. Later two more bucks crossed and My grandaughter just sighed and told me “you know I could kill them, even at that distance” “Right?” 

I told her “I know you could but, we do not break hunting rules, and there will be more chances later”. However, later did not mean that afternoon and as we walked back to the truck without getting a shot, I explained to her that is how most hunts are. “There is not a deer to be shot on every hunt, or even on most hunts, and hunting is more about enjoying the woods and the company of a good hunting partner or the solace of being alone when you get old enough to sit on a stand by yourself”. She said “I know pop-pop and I had a great time sitting with you watching for a deer but, shooting a deer is alot more fun!” We laughed and walked on to the truck.

Sunday morning, we all slept late at my father in law’s home in Eutaw and then enjoyed a great country breakfast prepared by my sweet wife “deb-deb”. Anna Faye was ready to go hunting so I agreed we would go on up to “deer town” as she likes to call it. This time we hunted on a different tract where we have hunter’s choice if it is a child hunting. Adults are supposed to be adults and shoot only wall hanger bucks or mature does.

I took the opportunity to teach her some mid-day hunting lessons as we walked to the stand I had signed out for that is way out in a hardwood flat on the Warrior River. I reminded her of how to “sneak” or stalk-walk” and what it means to hunt on the way to and from your stand. I told her about the many encounters I had with deer while walking to a deer blind or stalking a section of woods and she did a good job of “stalk-walking” out to where the stand overlooks an old farm lane.

As we got about 20 yards from the stand, slipping along quietly, I whispered to her, “I see a buck” and we crouched down to watch him. It was a young, but good sized 6 point buck and he was working a scrape about 35 yards out in front of the stand and hooking some branches above the scrape had just been pawing in. I chambered a round in my 30-06 and handed the gun to her. I then showed he how to use the oak tree we were hiding behind as a rest aim and told her to “fire when ready”.

Bang! she took his feet off the ground and he laid there kicking while she was letting her “girl side ” show by squealing and high fiving me. I told her “Anna Faye, I need to put another shot in him to finish him off or he might get away”. “Don’t you shoot my deer pop-pop! I want him to be 100% taken by me! I said “OK” and about then he jumped up and lurched out of the lane into the thick undergrowth of the swamp.

Convinced she had made a good shot and the buck had been knocked totally down and stayed on the ground a couple of minutes, I told her we needed to sit and give him time to bleed out and expire in peace. After 45 minutes in the blind, she was figiting so much, and wanting to “go see him”, that I agreed. Where he hit the ground there was plenty of blood and his trail was easily trackable with lots of big splotches to follow. We trailed him about 250 yards out through the swamp and the trail was showing almost no blood. I took the time to teach her about taking a good shot and making a followup as needed and about the way to track a wounded deer as my dad has taught me. I was having more fun than I should have since she was in tears and sick that her buck might get away. But I knew it was a very teacheable moment..She would get encouraged when we would spot another mark of blood on the trail and when we lost any signs of him, she would start to whine again and get angry.

I felt like I would be able to trail him up and make a “finish shot” but, knew the time was getting late  so I told her to stand at the last blood sign and I would be back in a few minutes. I walked down the path I had a hunch he had taken and in about 50 more yards, I spotted him slowly hobbling away through a patch of small canes where he had good cover heading toward a small creek bank. I was able to pick a spot  with just enough clearance to make the shot when he stepped through it and dropped him.

About that time, I heard a sound that I first thought was the siren of an ambulance on the other side of the river, It started light in volume but steady and increased in volume and tone for almost 30 seconds until it was a loud whoooooooooo!!! Then I thought no, It must be a coyote howling! Then Anna Faye screamed, POP_POP! did you get him?!?! and I knew it was her shrieking as she stood out on the blood trail where I had left her!

Then, I just lost it! I laughed so hard as I walked back to her and she was standing there crying and looking like she had lost her best friend and looking at me with that “did you get him!” look that it was priceless! I hugged her and told her I just finished him off for her but he was 100% her deer. She was crying and laughing at the same time and I just realized I had experienced a very special hunt that would be a memory for both of us forever! That is a special hunt! Take a child or grandchild hunting! It just might be one of your best days, EVER! 

~postoak~