Hunting Season Review

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
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Hunting Season Review

Postby Goose » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:02 pm

Kinda going off of JPH's fitness review but more of a hunting year in review. What did you like and not like. What did you do that worked and what did you do that didn't work?

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby Goose » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:31 pm

On the 50 acres we have and hunt I am very happy with the year in review. We planted 3 acres in soybeans and left them standing. The deer hit them all year and between pictures and sightings we got 14 different 2.5's or better. I know they all didn't live there but its good to know they're around. The does seemed to kind of move on once the beans turned brown but the bucks hung around. Next year we're gonna try to put in some cool season plots to hopefully keep the does around. We hunted it very low impact and I think it paid off good. Made sure the wind was right even if it meant sitting in a stand you knew wasn't the greatest. Walked in and out different ways to not bother anything and parked 30 acres away. We ended up getting a 2.5yo 7pt, a 3.5yo 8pt, and 3.5yo 10pt off of this land. I'm happy with that.
The other piece I hunt is about 250 acres in size and some of it is agriculture. This land gets a little more pressure and I think it shows. Good land but theres 3 other people that hunt it that are not real concerned with the wind or scent control. I saw some nice bucks here but nothing was close enough. This land has a lot of deer on it so I saw a lot of deer and passed on a lot of bucks but just didn't get the big ones close enough. Next year if I'm blessed enough to be able to hunt it again I think I'm gonna put my own sets up in areas where the others dont hunt. Ill hopefully catch the bucks avoiding the permanent stand areas and take them by surprise. This is where I spent most of my time this year but next year I might hunt this less and hunt the 50 a little more.
I was happy with my bow(Mathews dxt) arrows (cx maxima hunters 350 wf) and broadheads ( rage 2's) so I wont change anything there.
My scent control was good as far as I know. I stored everything in Zip loc bags and then in tubs. I used scent blocker camo in Mossy Oak new break up and will use them again next year. I might try to get away from the big zip loc bags because they didn't last real long and are noisy. My brother got some charcoal lined sacs from tinks that seemed to work good ( I see scent blocker has them as well now) so I might try them next year. I wore rubber boots and sprayed a little natural doe urine on them each time out and that seemed to work good. I had a lot of deer sniff my trail and not mind at all. I'm also gonna try some wool clothes next year to hopefully keep me a little warmer. I also showered before each sit in scent free soap and also used scent killer spray when I got all my clothes on. I changed everything except my boxers at the truck before I went out and when I got back.  Ill also be doing that again next year.
Thats all I can think of now I'm sure theirs more though......

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby gunther89 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:44 pm

I really focused on trying to be scent free and the wind.  I thought that played a big role in the amount of deer I saw.  I thought I did a good job in not over using a spot like I used to.  One spot was a spot that I knew was a rut only stand and had only been hunted twice before late october and november.  That stand produced the most sightings out of any of our stands and will be left there for next year.  I think our hunting group did ok for the amount of deer that was seen.  Got 2 1.5 year old bucks and 1 doe fawn.  Had lots of good bucks on camera but just couldn't get it done.  Should be alot of mature bucks next year if they make it through the winter.  

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby JPH » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:23 pm

If I began to post what went well, we'd be here all day, but there are a few changes I need to make.

-I need to watch my rotator cuff and begin shooting my bow by May (if not sooner).
-I need to put my muzzleloader through some vigorous testing. If the firing pin fails again, it's getting replaced.
-I need to open a few shooting lanes near the "old clear-cut" and "east end" stands. (Sorry for the Shaman-like references to places only I know [;)])
-I need to follow up with my neighbors and make sure they know I will not go along with any game violations (see other thread).
-I need to remember that I need my wife more than I need to hunt. I need to make more time for her.

Otherwise I hope next year is exactly like this one.

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby buckhunter21 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:35 pm

Where to start...I hunt two properties.  One is 40 acres with about 30 acres of it woods.  It's adjoined on three sides by 100s of acres of woods at all.  This is a real nice property, but gets pretty heavy gun pressure during the gun season, which I think has had an effect on the deer herd the last few years here in WI, considering the brilliancy of the DNR handing out doe tags like they're candy, but that's a whole 'nother thread as most of you from WI know!  Anyways, I used to see quite a few deer on this property but the last few years not so much, and this year has been the worst as far as deer sightings.  I did see a few 'shooters' but just never got a good shot opportunity at one.  I did shoot a doe off this property this year.
My other property is 80 acres, with about half of it woods.  This is bordered on one side by another 80 of all woods/pines...Another side by ag fields, and then the other two sides roads but have some big woods just on the other side of the roads.  The 80 acres that borders this property has very little hunting pressure, so the deer sightings are there every time I go out...Plus with the low hunting pressure, there are a few bruisers that I've seen but was never able to get a shot off.  I did take a doe during the bow season on this property.
Food plots...We have a hobby farm, so there has always been 'food' for the deer at both these locations, but this was the first year that I experimented with some food plots.  On the 40 acres, I put in about an acre of Whitetail Institute's Alpha Rack Plus, an acre of Biologic Maximum for a late season plot, and an acre of Biologic Biomaxx (Soybeans/Corn).   Besides this, we had about three acres of corn, and another four or so of hay.  Thinking that the pH would be fine on this property due to it being in ag plots for the longest time, I just went ahead and planted these plots and left them the way they.  This turned out to be a big mistake.  All three failed miserably.  My Biomaxx corn only made it about four feet, and had weed problems in my maximum and alpha rack plots.  I guess you live and learn...This next spring there will be a lot more sweat involved in making these the way I want them!  On the 80, I planted Alpha Rack and Maximum.  These fared a bit better, which is surprising since where I planted these this soil just came out of the CRP program that it's been in for the last 20 years.  I should have sprayed fertilzer on these and put some lime out, but never did and they did pretty good.  We just had both properties limed at 3 ton/acre, and I'll be frost seeding both clover plots with Whitetail Institute Extreme this spring, along with the fertilizer and spraying to get rid of the weeds.
Scent Control...I took a shower before going out every time, as well as stored all my clothes in Zip Loc XXL plastic bags, and then put them in hard plastic bins.  I never wore my clothes out in the vehicle out hunting and always changed when I got to my location.  Sprayed down with Scent Killer every time as well.  This was my first year using ScentBlocker as well, and was very impressed.  I have the XLT line, so it worked very well in the early season when the weather was warmer, and then when the weather turned cooler I just wore it underneath my heavier coat/pants. 
Probably wrote a book here, and I'm sure there is more...See what everyone else has to say!  [:)]

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby Woody » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:02 pm

Well I sure can't complain about the year we had. We put our time in, not only during the hunting season, but it all started in spring when we put in the 3 acre food plot. Then runnin cameras all thru the summer and scouting to try to figure the deer out. One thing I learned this year and I will take with me next year is that it pays off to try new things and not be afraid to be a little "aggresive". Playing the wind was a big part of my success this year. Leaving "Good" stands alone with a bad wind and sitting somewhere else will always pay off in the end. Already looking forward to next year !

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby Robert Rowland » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:27 pm

I tell myself every year that I will spend more time scouting. This year I really did and it paid off, but I should do even more.
Started using the trail cams (2)earlier this year (early Aug) and that is fun but had to quit using the old 35mm because it is just too expensive. I need to buy another good digital trail cam.
One thing that did not work well for me was using my river bottom stand for doe hunting during the second weekend of rifle season. All of the closest fields had been tilled during the middle of the week and the deer moved to other places. I wanted to take a doe with my .44 revolver and the other stands did not work well for getting close enough. I have two places in mind to put up new stands next year that will work well for handguns.

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby Demoderby4 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:40 pm

Well this was one of my most successful years in, well, probably ever (i haven't gotten a buck yet either) ;) and with that being said i also was very disapppointing as well, i have WAY much more to do to make next year the type of year i want. Although i saw more deer than i ever have in a season (im sure hunting all 3 seasons is why lol) i also went a few hunts without seeing a deer and that always sucks.

The year started off with me getting access to bow hunting land (400+ acres) with my buddy, just for us. So that was great! But it was already mid-late sept by the time i figured i would be hunting there (opening day is oct 1) not much time to prepare at all :/ so i knew that was going to be tough to make this year successful.

Me and my buddy went out one day and looked over a small section of woods and it had a lot of oaks and apple trees and a small creek for water, so knowing i had little time to pick a spot i just took that spot, it seemed like great spot for preseason. So i set up overlooking the oaks, a great trail off to my right and the creek bed as well. This is only about 10-15 acres on the whole land so i have a lot of ground to cover during the off-season.

I saw 10 does and 3 bucks from that stand (about 15 trips or so) ( not a lot of action to some people but it was much more action than i have gotten in the last few years during gun seasons) (this was my first year for bow) never got a shot off at the bucks but i took a shot at the doe, hit a branch and missed.

Gun season i only went out about 3 times, that was disappointing but i shot a doe on opening day as well as my dad, so that was cool, we hunted on state land for gun season. I saw about 4 deer total during those days.

ML season is underway and i love this time of the year to hunt, its the most exciting for me. Some people say its hard to hunt and it is, but i focus on the food plots or whats left of them and its always exciting, im going back up a few time next week! (i missed a doe last night :/

what i learned...

-I knew i didnt do anywhere near enough scouting, i plan on scouting come january until about the end of summer trying to pattern deer and what they are doing on this land, by the end of summer i will just be glassing and checking trail camera's every so often and trying to stay out of the woods as much as possible.
- As stated above me and my buddy will be getting at least 1 trail camera each, so those will be out in the woods come the new year.
-We will have our stands set up, properly hidden, and shooting lanes cut by the end of spring.
-Me and my buddy are implementing probably about 5 or maybe less acres, depending on cash flow, of food plots this spring and fall for our deer, as well as doing some hedge cutting and what not, i have ordered a couple books to read by spring to get a better grasp of what to do come the time. And our land owner generously offered us his tractor and equipment, something we had no intention of having to use, but that was great news! (I'm really excited about this!)
- I will shoot my bow a lot earlier than the end of August, i will practice religiously starting when the weather gets warmer until the opener in october and during the season as well. I will get the proper arrows (not carbon express) that don't break with extreme ease, and match up my practice arrows and tips with my broadhead and shooting arrow weights. I think my arrows wern't the same weights or the equivelant of one another (2 different brands) I will also buy some bails of hay/straw to put behind my target so im not scared to practice longer range shot without my arrows flying into my neighbors back yard lol!
- I will really sight my muzzleloader in for the late season so i don't miss the deer that i missed last night :/ lol! hopefully with the aide of a scope for next year.
- And as you all hear just about everyone say im trying to loose some weight for the upcoming season and get in better shape, yesterday proved i needed to by walking through 8inches of snow, it wasn't pretty lol, i have gained about 40lbs this year because of some pills i had to take for blood pressure and other things and i need to shed that and plus some if i want to be where i want to be.
-I was pretty good about scent control this year, only thing missing is a scent free tote i will obtain sometime in the off season.

As everyone else has said, i could prob write a novel about each of my hunting years but these were the main things i learned and will do to help next year be my best yet!

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby JOEL » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:07 pm

while i saw some success  i was upset by the small amount of time spent in the woods this year.from family problems to health issues i didn't get out as much as i normally would.I'm hoping things are resolved before the next season rolls around.Its funny used to be getting a deer was a great season now two is a so-so season
"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." - Fred Bear

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RE: Hunting Season Review

Postby Goose » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:09 pm

Demoderby4- sounds like you have some great land and a great landowner as well. Make sure you maintain that,its hard to come by. Good luck with the scouting and weight loss, hope everything works out for ya.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....


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