Friday Sept 30, 2011. I’ll call this the “I hate light and variable winds weekend”
Headed up North early on Friday to get an evening hunt in. It had rained all week in the Rosholt area so I knew it would be wet but the forecast for the weekend looked good. I hunted the location of the swamp site for the scent trials but at 5:30, the neighbor came in with his 4 wheeler to do some bear hunting. The wind would put him in a position to alert any deer in the swamp not to come out until after dark. Oh well, it was a nice sit even if the deer don’t show. Here is a view from the stand. You can see the trail camera. To the right of my stand is a small creek. Straight in front of my location is a large pond in the river created by beavers a few years ago.
The only action I had was wood ducks. The nice thing about hunting near a body of water is there is going to be something to entertain me. There are ducks and geese landing and taking off at all times. I took a short video of the wood ducks. (all videos can be improved by clicking on the 360P in the lower left and setting the quality to 720P)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yx3JLEThjA
With a half hour of good hunting left, the bear hunter fired up his 4 wheeler and left, cementing the fact that I would not be seeing any deer tonight. I hunted until I could not see well enough to shoot and walked the 400 yards back to my truck. I headed back to the farm, enjoyed a supper made by my dad then looked through the trail camera pictures from both cameras. It seems the deer are getting more nocturnal as the rut gets closer. I talked with my parents for a while and then hit the sheets.
Sat. Oct. 1, 2011 AM. Its cold. The digital thermometer read 30F. There was a frosty coating on everything.
The forecast was for light and variable winds which must mean that the winds will constantly shift to your disadvantage. While there was no wind to speak of, the currents were shifting my scent every which way based on the cloud of fog my breath created. One minute it was from the East and then West, North and South. This was not going to be good. I was in the stand in the pre-dawn darkness and at 6:40 I hear hoofs on the frosty leaves. I think it was my Saturday morning doe that I have seen every weekend. She has no fawns. This time, she paused when the current shifted to her. That caused her to circle back out to the edge of the field. It was too dark to get any sort of video in the woods but when she hit the field edge, there was enough daylight to take a short video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfzSIqDXG0E
At 8:00 I could hear splashing in the river behind me. I assumed it was a deer crossing the river to head to the bedding area but the splashing continued and continued and continued so I turned to see if I could make out what all the splashing was about, I expected to see wood ducks. The sound was coming from at least 100 yards behind me so I had to use every bit of zoom my camera has to pick up who the splashy culprit was. Due to the high level of zoom, the video is a bit shakey. The sound was too far for the tiny camera mic to pick up but rest assured it was loud enough to get your attention.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sayc_V9NTBE
It turned out to be two adult does and two fawns that were just playing in the water before heading to bed. This went on for about 20 minutes and was funny to watch them play. I saw this same thing last year but it was two young bucks playing in the water that time. I was just happy to see some fawns. These are the first fawns I have seen all season.
At 8:20, I saw a buck fawn approaching from the West. My breath showed my scent would be heading right towards him. Sure enough, he stopped and when I scanned the back trail, the doe had already caught my scent. After a minute she turned and headed into the swamp to cross the river at a different location. The nub buck saw mamma leaving then followed. I made a short video of our encounterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B5U_WtNI08
At 9:15, I spotted a fawn coming through the swamp. The lead deer was a nub buck followed by a doe fawn and then an adult doe. Their feet were black from the swamp mud. Again, it was good to see fawns. I noticed there was some sort of growth under the chin of the doe. It is about the size of a golf ball. Here is a video and a still image I snapped from the video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fcjff8afCA
I watched them head to the river to wash their hoofs before heading to bed. I sat until 10:00 am and then headed back to the farm for breakfast. My Mother made French toast and sausage. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Sat. Oct. 1, 2011 PM. More adventures with light a variable winds.
On the way to my stand I encountered a few does already in the field.
I placed a small pad with my homemade scent on the side of the tree in front of my trail camera. I intended to remove it at the end of the night but forgot to do so so it stayed out overnight and through the morning.
It seems I could not catch a break tonight. I had a small buck bust me when he came from a direction I would not expect and the breeze carried my scent to him. He bolted before I could get any video footage. Right before dark, I spotted a doe which also caught my scent with the swirling currents. I was entertained by grey and red squirrels who dont seem to care how bad I smell. I shot a video of a grey squirrel trying to find the perfect spot to burry a portion of corn cab he harvested from the nearby field. He spent the entire evening going back and forth from the field to the woods burying his treasures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNknatnhTP8
This little red came up my tree and got his picture taken when he reached my seat. He turned inside out when he realized what I was. That chuckle made the night worth it even if the deer did not cooperate.
Sunday Oct. 2, 2011 AM. Another hard frost. 31 F. A good wind but the deer are early
I got to my stand while it was still dark but busted a deer already in the woods near my stand. I heard it run off and splash across the river. I guess it was a buck as they tend to head back to bed earlier than the does. While it was still dark another deer walked under my stand but it was only a grey blob. It too splashed across the river.
At 8:20 2 does came the usual direction and filtered past my stand. They two became youtube starshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RAEX4PsQak
2 more does showed up about 5 minutes later. These deer got their picture taken by my trail camera when they rached the scent patch I have on the tree. The last one had either burrs in her hind quarter or ticks. You can see the bumps on her hair in the video and the still pic.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlcNJCHNU6w
Those were the last deer to show up. I sat until 10:00 and headed back to the farm to pack for the trip home. I have a bear skull to boil and make a mount for member of our archery club and I want to get it done this week.
My thinking in not taking any of these doe is that the bucks tend to come into the woods before daylight but once the rut hits, I hope the bucks will let their guard down and will be following the does that tend to come in under full daylight. I can only hope that plan works out. It was a good weekend even if no deer were harvested. The trail camera pics show a few bucks and a couple are nice mature deer that may someday get a ride in my truck. Here is one of them. His neck is already swollen.