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Hunting Season 2012-13: Scootman's Journal

1956 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  scootman
Hunting season officially begins for me tomorrow. Over the next 2 days, I will be hunting in 2 states and 4 counties....I will have my phone with me and journal the hunts along the way.

Wishing all the other bow hunters out there luck this upcoming season and I'm praying for everyone's safety.

1 - 8 of 15 Posts
Morning hunt: Santa Rosa County Florida

Arrived in the stand just before 6:00 am. Temp was 48 degrees and the wind was WNW @ 5mph....I was definately rusty. I made too much noise getting into the stand. 1st: I tripped over a stump I had forgotten was there and then the buckle on my safety strap banged against the metal ladder stand. So much for a stealthy enter/exit from the woods.

All I saw was a bunch of birds and two frisky squirrels "doing the deed". Guess I can't be too surprised considering the noise I had made earlier.

Evening hunt: Washington Co. Alabama

Temp: 79 degrees, winds: NNE

Right at last light I had a total of 6 does come out. They were all within 20 yards and I couldn't draw back because they knew something was in the tree. One blew at me and ran off. 2 others stayed at the very edge of the food plot while another 2 circled behind me trying to get downwind.....the last deer stayed approx 10 yards in front of me and intensely stared at me for nearly 10 minutes. They would communicate with each other by one blowing, then another...and another and so on. As they would walk around my tree, they would stomp the ground loudly and continue blowing.

I was in a stuck position because if I drew back, they would know I was there.....I just watched them until the light faded to the point I could no longer see them. They eventually strolled off and the lead doe would blow and the others would blow back to her. once all 6 left the area, I climbed down and headed back to camp.

I didn't shoot anything, but it was a great hunt.

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2nd morning hunt: Washington Co., Alabama

Temp: 48 degrees @ dawn
Wind: N @ 1 mph

30 minutes after sunrise, I had a cow horn and 5 does enter the plot. scenario was similar to last night because they knew I was in the tree and at all times at least one was looking at me. After a few minutes, the were walking away from me so I tried to draw back my bow. My movement must have caught their attention because they all bolted off......ughhhhh! Now the only critters keeping me company is these dang squirrels.

Gotta go load up and drive 3 hours to my evening hunt tonight.

Late Post....

Had to make a few last minute changes last night due to logistics and wind direction. Instead of hunting the threshold of Covington Co., Al & Okaloosa Co., Florida...I ended up in a climbing stand in Santa Rosa Co., Fl.

Temp: Approx 80 degrees
Wind: NNE

Got into my stand and up the tree a bit later than I had hoped, but I was settled in by 4:45pm. For the most part, I was only seeing squirrels and @ last light I noticed some movement to my right. It was a doe and she was grazing at the edge of my comfort zone...right @ 40 yards. I had to turn to the right and re-position myself. I drew back and let the arrow fly. I use luminocks so I could see the arrow trailing through the air. Well she ducked the arrow. I knew to aim low, but in the adreneline rush moment, I aimed about mid shoulder and the moment I released the arrow, she flentched and I watched the arrow zip just over her back....She bolted out of there...never blew at me, just boogeyed out of there in a flash. I probably missed her by no more than 2 inches....It was close, but no deer taken. Needless to say, I was bummed out and thus the long delay in writing this post. I'm still re-living the moment.....

Lesson learned....aim low, especially with longer shots. Those critters have amazing reflexes.

As for the comments about the stand location on the Deer Park, Alabama property. I'm gonna set a different stand ON THAT PLOT with better cover. There are other archery spots and stands established, but I just love the spot I was hunting and the wind was right....

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Evening hunt 11/4/2012

Milton, Fl
Temp: 80 degrees
wind: W @ about 5mph

Spent the late morning @ the Quintette shooting range dialing in the new scope I mounted on my girl's rifle and making sure my rifle is still on the mark @ 100 yards. Next weekend we'll be in Deer Park, Al for the youth hunting weekend. Their 7mm-08 is ready for some deer slayin' action. My youngest drew the straw for next Saturday afternoon whereas my oldest daughter will be doing the morning hunt.....

Nov 12th-15th, I will be in Fort Stockton Texas for a trophy whitetail hunt and possibly elk, mule deer or African exotic...we'll see. Either way, my Browning .270 A bolt and Leupold VX-R is ready to go.

Early afternoon, got some 13-13-13 fertilizer on all of my food plots and then rested for a bit......Hopefully some rain will take place tomorrow.....

Late Afternoon, I went and sat in a tree which I don't usually hunt since we don't have a feeder nor a food plot in place.....well the hunt was bust. didn't see a deer while in the stand....however I nearly ran over 2 on the drive home.....go figure.

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11/12/2012 - 11/15/2012
Pecos County Texas

I just returned from a hunt in the SW Texas desert. I was hunting a huge ranch (approx 100,000 acres). I hunted the low fence areas and probably saw 200 deer while I was there. I drew a tag for one buck and it could be either a whitetail or a mule deer buck. We were instructed to take out all the pigs, havalinas, whitetail does, mule deer does or cow elk which presented themselves.

Unfortunately for me, I passed on some buck opportunities which I now wish I had taken; however I did manage to drop 2 mule deer does. Somehow I managed to have horses and/or cows hanging around my stands and crowding the feeders....they would chase off deer as they approached the feeders. Others in my hunting party harvested nice bucks...They were all 10 pointers ranging from the 140 class to low 160's. They were VERY nice deer. I passed on a huge Mule Deer because it only had a forked G2 on one side. Kind of regretting that decision now. Most of the whitetail bucks I saw were 8 pointers in the 120 - 130 class and appeared to be young.

Perhaps next year.

BTW, if any of you ever get a chance to spend time in the SW desert, do it!!! Absolutely a gorgeous place to spend a few days.

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Okaloosa County Florida

My cousin owns 120 acres along the Alabama/Florida state line...80 of the acres is in Alabama and 40 is in Florida. He took his rifle and stayed on the Alabama portion whereas I took my bow and walked down into the Florida section.

The wind as virtually non existent with an occassional breeze out of the NNW. Approx 4:50 pm I had a doe step out @ 20 yards. She was standing broadside and I slowly positioned my release into the D loop and was about to draw back the bow. Then I heard another deer about to step out, so I opted to wait for it to come out in hopes it might be a buck. Well it was a little fawn....It was almost blended, but I could barely see a couple of very faint spots on it's hind quarter so I then knew I would NOT be shooting this doe. They hung out with me for about 20 minutes. At one point they got spooked and the Doe jumped back into the thick brush whereas the fawn/yearling ran and took cover under my ladder stand. I'm not giving the event enough justice, but it was an enjoyable experience to me.....Perhaps the right opportunity will present itself another time.

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