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  1. Default

    Good on her for donating,It's better than letting a tag go to waste.Someone needs the meat.

  2. #177
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Colorado Springs, Co


    Quote Originally Posted by dirtclod Az. View Post
    Good on her for donating,It's better than letting a tag go to waste.Someone needs the meat.
    Thinking he was talking the price of the tag donation to CPW
    I'm turning off Real Life Drive and thats right I'm hittin Easy Street on mud tires

  3. Default

    I don't understand.If I have a tag in Az.I can turn it back in and keep my bonus points but I can't turn it in to cash to make a donation.

  4. #179


    Quote Originally Posted by dirtclod Az. View Post
    I don't understand.If I have a tag in Az.I can turn it back in and keep my bonus points but I can't turn it in to cash to make a donation.
    Mudranger was right. I was trying to say that by buying the tag off the reissue list but not getting out to hunt it, it was essentially a donation to CPW. There's a 30 day window here before the season for turning a tag back in and getting money back. At that time, she was still planning on hunting it. Its a 6 hour drive to the middle of nowhere, so not exactly a hunt one could just go do on a whim easily.

    Its going to be cool this weekend with highs in the 30s. I'm excited for everything except the drive. I'll be honest, I'm getting burned out on the driving.

  5. #180


    Quote Originally Posted by dirtclod Az. View Post
    Wow!Very Nice Buck.Congratulations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudranger1 View Post
    Bruiser! Congrats
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBenHoyle View Post
    Nice buck. Awesome encounter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbowguy View Post
    That is a dandy of a buck! I was hoping you were going to hit it right and punch the tag on a good one and you did! awesome hunt fella!
    Quote Originally Posted by Crumb View Post
    Nice buck, congrats!
    Thanks everyone! The encounter was really awesome. I'll be honest, he looked enormous when he stepped into the ravine on the other side of my tree. I think because he was WAY closer than I was anticipating. I went into total kill mode and never looked at him again after making the decision to shoot (which happened in about a nanosecond), just focusing on my spot. I was honestly a bit surprised to find out he was only a 2.5 year old buck, but I wouldn't trade that encounter/shot for anything.

  6. #181


    This is not a joke. This is the wind forecast for my two day trip this weekend:

    N > SE > S > SW > NE > NW > N > SW

    I think "hunt the wind" might get tossed in favor of "cross your fingers" ...

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vanish View Post
    This is not a joke. This is the wind forecast for my two day trip this weekend:

    N > SE > S > SW > NE > NW > N > SW

    I think "hunt the wind" might get tossed in favor of "cross your fingers" ...
    If you can get them running in circles because the wind is chasing your scent after them, you just have to wait for them to come around again.

  8. #183


    Friday night, I stopped in at Scheels and grabbed their last set of cheap climbing sticks. I had a tree near my log blind where I wanted to set up. This would allow me to overlook the dry creek bed where it seemed most of the animals had been traveling in my last visits. Its hard to get a shot into there from the blind.

    Saturday morning, I woke up 45 minutes after my alarm was supposed to go off. Dang, it was set for Sunday only! I flew out of the back of the truck and started hauling towards my spot. No time for breakfast or coffee! I got all my stuff together and was only about 20 minutes late getting to my spot. There was about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground and you could see where the deer had been moving through. There was a trail about 15 yards in front of my stand, perfect!

    After a bit of struggling to get the stand up, and probably far more noise than was desired, I was finally settled. I had missed the initial pre-dawn time, which sucked, but what can you do?

    I was doing a bit of glassing of the hills to my right when I heard the familiar "crunch crunch" of an approaching deer...

  9. #184


    I desperately wanted to get my binos on him, but I was surrounded by turkeys. There was probably 200 of them, from 5 yards to 50 yards in that creek bottom. So, I just kept my eyes looking where I could hear the steps, and finally a deer started to materialize.

    It looked like a good framed, but young ~4x4 buck. Having taken a nice deer in Nebraska, I elected to just watch him. He was on the trail I was set up over, but at 40 yards he hooked down into the creek bottom instead of staying on my trail. This ends up being a very important detail. He circled around to a 40 yard opening and then, probably due to the unstable wind I referenced last week, looped back around up the drainage instead of continuing on past me.

    The red line is the heavy trail, but the green line is where the buck walked. Blue circle comes into pay later.

    I got to watch some more turkeys and squirrels for the next couple of hours, but at quarter to 11, I heard that same familiar sound. Sure enough, a buck was coming right down the same trail. I believe it was the brother of the buck I had watched earlier, but with a little wider set of antlers. I grabbed my bow but put it back as he was young as well. The buck walked the same exact trail (green line) as the one from earlier.

    I got a lot of reading done over the next 5 hours, as that seemed to be the end of the action until the last hour, aside from watching some turkeys feed right inside my log blind. I even had time to take a selfie.

    Deer started appearing in the wide open country up out of the creek bottom, something I would never have been able to see from my blind. I could swear I heard a rifle shot, followed by 5 minutes later 3 deer running my way, but they may have been unrelated events. The third deer was the largest buck I have ever seen alive. At 300+ yards I could clearly see his 5x5 frame without my binoculars. His tines looked like the were carved from baseball bats.

    The deer ran until they hit a thin strip of trees, where the does started feeding and the buck seemed to vanish. I would catch a glimpse of a third deer every once in awhile but I could never really establish that it was him. Unfortunately, they were 50 yards from the fence, so all I could do was watch. While watching, I caught sight of another mature buck hounding a doe along the fenceline. If I'd had any reservations about being in the wrong area, they were gone now.

    Later that evening while prepping for bed I was looking at OnX and realized that the trees the big buck stopped in had been on public land. There are several fences and I had blindly mistook the closest one for the property border, but its was nearly 1/4 mile to the true border! It was pretty unlikely that I could have slipped in on them before dark, but I would have liked to try.

    It was a dang cold hike out, but to say I was jazzed for the next day would be an understatement.

  10. Default

    Sounds like a good sit.Good luck in the morning.

  11. #186


    Sunday morning, the alarm went off at the proper 4am wake up. Dang, I hate daylight savings. I arrived at the parking lot with seemingly time to spare, so I actually made some coffee and oatmeal. I put most of the coffee in a Nalgene and packed it in with me. This time I added a second set of base layers and the hoody, as I was a bit chilly the day before and it was supposed to be 10 degrees cooler. By the time I was in the stand, I had 7 layers on top and was feeling a little silly, but I was warm and could still draw my bow just fine.

    As I climbed into the stand, my release hit the climbing stick "TINK" and a deer right near me jumped up and started blowing. Off to a good start!

    It seemed I had a steady NW wind this morning, which is absolutely perfect for this spot. At 6:40, I had the first visitor of the morning as a goofy ~2.5 year old 7 point cruised down the green line. It was really starting to get to me. I could shoot a buck on the green line, but I'd much rather be half the distance or closer. Should I move to the blue circle tree? I think I can get my stand in there.

    No, no time now. Its prime time. I can't go disturbing things.

    Come 7:45 and I hear that same sound and know exactly where the deer is going to appear. There he is ... and "I am going to shoot that buck" instantly resolves in my head. I can't tell exactly what he's got for headgear but I can tell its an older, heavy antlered buck. He drops in the bottom to follow the same line as all the others. After a few steps, he stops to chew on a bush, but I still hear footsteps.

    As the newcomer exits the portal, my mind changes tune; "No, I am going to shoot THAT buck!" He looked like the even older, bigger brother of the first one. As they worked their way to the left, I again ranged the bush where I knew they would step out. 40 yards. I'm plenty practiced at 40 and completely confident in hitting my mark. My only concern is how jumpy whitetails can be.

    As the second buck hits the opening, I give a quick "BRAAP" and he stops to look behind him. Perfect, he's not looking my way. I settle the 40 yard pin and touch off the release. I watch as my arrow sails exactly where I am aiming, but keeps going and THWOK!! The buck whirls and disappears in the brush. I listen as they bolt opposite directions, hoping for a crash, but silence quickly falls.

    I've gotten pretty good at going into "kill mode" the last couple of years and get hyper focused rather than panicked. After the shot, however, the adrenaline really kicks in at this point and I know I need to wait, but there's no way I can sit still in this stand. So, I give it 5 minutes, and then I ease down. No, I didn't go check for blood, I walked a mile away from the whole scene, climbing out of the bottom, so I'd have signal to text Lostinthewoods. Anything to distract me from going in there too soon. I jump a very nice buck from a ditch as I near the top, and wonder about what I'm missing being down in the bottoms.

    As I'm texting Dan, the reality of the shot kicks in to me. The arrow went exactly where I aimed, but was I aiming at the right spot? I ranged the bush at 40 yards, but the buck hadn't stepped out from the bush itself, rather he had walked out from behind the bush. The buck didn't move an inch while that arrow was on its way. Just how far was the buck behind the bush?

    As the one hour mark rolls around, I give my best to Dan and tell him I'm going back down. I take some pics of my treestand and such to keep distracting me, as I figure more time is better. ( wow, the compression makes it look terrible, but you can make out my safety strap above the bushy tree in the middle )

    Last edited by vanish; 11-12-2018 at 04:19 PM.

  12. #187


    Finally, its time to go look for my arrow. I get over to the opening and there's nothing. No arrow, no blood, just nothing and I'll be honest, I panicked a little already. I know I need to get my head on straight, so I head back to my stand and take off a couple of layers.

    Alright, time to look for running tracks. I do find them, and after about 30 yards I finally find a spec of blood. I follow the tracks for another 20 yards and just about impale myself with my broadhead hanging from a bush.

    There's a little splash of blood right where I found my arrow, but looking at the arrow I knew it was true. Only a couple inches of blood on the arrow. Tip broken off. Fatty meat on the broadhead... Brisket hit. So, I walk back to where I found the first tracks and range my treestand; 46.5 yards. Yeah, that'll do it. Boy did I ( and DO I ) feel like a bonehead. I got back to the track and follow it all the way to the edge of the property. There were a few other specs of blood but nothing to speak of. GAH! At least I know it was just a flesh wound. But I really blew it.

    Its now almost 11am and I have a decision to make. I just walked all over the river bottom where the deer have been moving through, but I have confidence in this spot. Then again, the evening before, the deer were moving in the open and I had found what seemed like a good spot to set up on a corridor they were moving through the night before.

    Fresh Scrape? Yeah, like the night before!

    I pull my treestand and decide I am staying in the funnel, but moving it to the blue circle I showed earlier. Its pretty thick, but the buck trail is only 10 yards away, and I have shooting lanes in 4 directions, including down into the creek bottom.

    A pretty sweet spot, really...

  13. #188


    Oh, I almost forgot this very important part of the hunt. When I pulled my treestand, I set up two of the climbing sticks, went back to get the third, and realized my bow hook was still all the way up in the original tree. Argh. So I move the sticks back to tree 1, get my bow hook, take down two sticks, go back to tree 2 and set them up. Now, let's hang the third sticks, hey wait where is it? I go back to tree 1, and there it is, halfway up the tree. How the heck did I manage to take down sticks 1 and 3, and not stick 2? At this point I'm so annoyed with myself that I just bear hug my way up, unhook the stick and shimmy back down. Looking back on it now, hot dang was that a dumb idea and a good way to hurt myself!

  14. Default

    Kind crazy day...

  15. #190


    Not long after getting into the new stand site, the wind started switching to NE and back again. Sometimes it would even gust from the East. This was not so good. It would not affect anything coming down the trail the bucks had all come down before, but anything coming from the other way up the creek bed would likely smell me. Once again, I should have taken this as a sign to move, but I remained hardheaded.

    With a light snow falling, around 2pm, I just happened to look well behind me and I see a deer moving around in the creek bed. It steps out and walks right in front of where my stand used to be. I could swear I saw a good set of antlers, but the deer turned out to be a button buck. He merged into the trail I was set up over and walked perfectly where I wanted a deer to walk. As he passed me, a different deer back behind me started blowing. I don't think it was a buck, as I caught some glimpses of it, but who can say. The button buck decided this was a good place to bed down.

    Not long after he bedded down, I saw some coyotes going to opposite direction down the creek bottom. As they passed the little deer, they circled up onto the bank and spread out. To me, it looked like they were stalking in on the bedded deer. I started doing some squeaking sounds with my mouth, and they came right over. I switched arrows and nailed this first one. I almost was able to get a second, but I fumbled with my quiver in the tree. I really should just leave it attached.

    This is the first coyote I've ever taken. Honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about predator hunting. It doesn't quite sit right with me to kill something and not eat it. His pelt is way more pretty and soft (winter fur?) than I expected, but I mucked some of it up while skinning him, so now I'm not even sure I can make use of that.

    Around 3pm, I had a doe come down the creek bed past me at 22 yards. This got me excited for the prospect of a buck following, but none came. Sometime around 430pm I spotted a buck out in the tall grass around 150 yards away. I believe it was the first brother from the morning. I tried grunting and the snort wheeze, which got his attention, but did not change his direction of travel.

    Darkness fell and I had to head home. Even without a deer, the packout was heavy with the coyote and my treestand gear and all the clothes I had packed in. There's an obvious trail about 4-600 yards from where I had been set up. It got dark fast. The light on my hat was getting a bit dim. My phone is borked and activating GPS causes it to reboot. I did have a flashlight in my pack, but I my hands were a bit full. In the minimal light, I hit what I thought was the trail and followed it for a ways. Things just didn't look right. I was definitely off track. Eventually, I hit a fence and had a pretty good idea of where I was. I made it out fine, but it took almost 45 minutes of slightly freaked walking instead of the 20 minutes it should have taken. I was totally soaked! A little scary but everything was fine.

  16. #191


    As good as the hunting was, it may have been my last chance to hunt that tag this year. Thanksgiving weekend if I am lucky, but it'll be hard to justify going alone. Maybe a split deer / pheasant hunt where FireTiger and Hank join me. The tag goes all the way to the end of 2018 but I've got to travel for work in early December and to visit family in late December. I'm also not sure its a good spot outside of the rut. There's not really food sources to hunt. I sooo want to take off work and it was very tempting to stay another day, but there's just too much important happening right now. Its also not a place I can half-day hunt.

    FireTiger has a bull elk tag for 4th season. Unfortunately, we can't leave until Thursday night as I've got to work and we already had a Wednesday commitment. It'll be an adventure as we've never been to the area before. Its in a migration corridor and we've gotten a good amount of snow up high this year so it could work out.

  17. #192


    I finished FireTiger's mule deer euro last night. She wasn't sure he was really that much bigger than her 2016 buck until I put them side by side.

    Unfortunately, the flat angle on the wall just doesn't work well for him. We're going to have to try a skull hooker or something.

  18. #193
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Newhartford Iowa


    Thats a huge difference in size.

  19. Default

    That was a great story. Sorry you didn't pull out a buck but that coyote is awfully pretty.

  20. #195
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    1000 islands area


    Pretty Yote and nice mounts!

  21. #196


    We showed up in the unit late Thursday night and just went to bed. We accidentally set the alarm for the weekend only, and missed a tiny bit Friday morning, but it was essentially going to be a recon day. Drive the unit until we figure out where the animals are located, or where they're most likely located due to hunters. Being a migration hunt with few resident animals, there isn't a huge reason to avoid areas where hunters are concentrated, as that's most likely where the migrating elk are located, too.

    We ended up driving around 150 miles and covered much of the unit. I spotted one small group of elk several miles away from the last vantage point. It did not look like it contained a legal bull. As last light approached while we were headed to the place we thought we should be in the morning, I spotted a herd of elk on private, probably 3/4 of a mile from a piece of public. Instead of stopping what we were doing, we tried to get another vantage point. We couldn't find them again. Instead of going back to where we originally saw them, we continued to where we wanted to be for the morning. We now both believe this was a mistake.

  22. #197


    We awoke to the sound of vehicles passing our truck. I started to wonder if we were surrounded by elk as the tenth vehicle drove past us. As the sun lit up the valley we were overlooking, I started spotting more vehicles. By the first hour after light, every high point had one, if not three, vehicles parked on it. There also were no elk immediately visible. I knew there were a lot of tags, but I didn't expect this. Now I know. At the height, I was able to count 37 vehicles within 2 miles from our vantage. I'm sure there were plenty more I couldn't see.

    Amazingly, I saw two elk crossing through the middle. I would have thought insanity would ensue, but either everyone was asleep, or they all had bull tags as they were both cows. One truck certainly must have had a cow tag, as it practically launched off its glassing point down the hill towards the elk. Picture Dukes of Hazard when thinking of how the vehicle was careening down the hill. They still misjudged and were not able to get their guns set up across the hood fast enough.

    By 10am the vehicles were dwindling. I just happened to put the spotter facing behind us, and boom, elk!

    Unfortunately, it was 3 sublegal bulls and 2 cows. I asked the first vehicle leaving if they were looking for a cow, and they said yes, but they didn't seem real motivated to go after them, which I found odd. Maybe because they would have to walk a couple hundred yards? I kept half an eye on them and at one point it was reduced to 3 bulls and one cow, so somebody saw them and I'm assuming succeeded in taking home a cow.

    As most of the vehicles left, we decided to check out more of the property. I was amazed at the amount of roads. I knew there were a lot, but there were two-tracks every 200 yards crisscrossing the whole section. The weather came in and dropped a few inches of snow on us. We had some fun watching snowshoe hares before finally deciding to go check out a couple other sections.

    We weren't happy with what we found, so we kept on moving. Darkness was starting to fall, and we were only about 2 miles from where we wanted to camp for the evening when disaster struck. Even though we were only going 15-20 mph, the temps were falling quickly and when I hit a small washboard section, the back end of the truck kicked out. Even with 4WD, we were heading downhill and there was no recovery, just preparation. I kept us on the uphill side of the road and we spun backwards. We slammed into the ditch / bank on the lefthand side of the road. After checking on FireTiger and Hank, we pulled back up onto the road. Phew, truck still works, but it wasn't unscathed.

    It appeared that we only suffered a blown tire and ruined rim. There was a BLM section only about 300 yards away, so I limped us over ( the rim was ruined anyway ) and was just camped right there for the night. I didn't want to mess with changing out a tire with the temps dropping into the single digits.

  23. Default

    Glad you guys are safe. I hope you get it all sorted out.

  24. #199
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Newhartford Iowa


    Glad it was only a rim and tire.

  25. #200


    Well, I hadn't finished this as I've been putting in extra time at work, and as I've been working on computers for dang near 20 years, I think I'm starting to get carpal tunnel syndrome. I took the 4 day break off the computer.


    We slept in a bit in the morning, and awoke to a thick blanket of fog. I guess FireTiger wasn't going to miss much elk hunting anyway. In opposition to my fears, the tire change went very smoothly. We were on the road by 8am. Frosty would be an understatement.

    We glassed our way back to the most likely area, finding just deer, until finally...

    We found them. That photos isn't even half of the herd. As you can guess, they were plenty far away and on private land, though they were moving. Try as we might though, we could not will them onto public. We couldn't even get a closer vantage point. They really didn't have any reason to move. FireTiger stuck it out as we were the last vehicle on the hills, but it just wasn't meant to be.

    As we drove home, a noise in the brakes for that wheel started, so its not as simple as just a rim and tire, but we made it home without incident.


    This Thanksgiving weekend, we were excited to spend a few days looking for a mule deer for FireTiger in Nebraska, but we got hit with a storm with gusts over 70 mph. That squashed that plan. I have to travel for work starting this Sunday, but FireTiger told me to go hit eastern Colorado for one last chance at my deer tag. I'll be there with the bow on Friday and if necessary, will pull out her .270 on the opener of late rifle on Saturday.

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