Well bow season has finally arrived and my 12 year old son has been crazy waiting for this to happen. He has passed up a deer the last 2 season and this year he was what my buddy and I called 'River's Buck'. That is my son's name. The last several weeks my son has been monitioring trail cams and we had this deer patterned pretty good. My buddy was going to do the filming of the hunt and decided as much as I wanted to be there with my son. I would go on the other side of the property and sit in another stand and wait for the text. Everything is going good and I'm seeing some deer moving through randomly eating on acorns. A little after six my buddy text me and wants to know if I had moved River's cameras and was I seeing anything. I really didn't think much about it but did find it odd that the message wasn't about the kill shot. A few minutes later I decide to get things going and let an arrow fly at a nice doe. I'm thinking fresh backstraps and me and my son double on opening day. I don't wait long to pack up even though it is still early but I'm still thinking there is going to be a second deer. I go get mine and drag her down the ridge back to the 4wheeler and ease back down to the truck and wait. After an hour wait I hear the 4 wheeler coming from th other side of the property and know my son has not got his deer. When they pull up I can tell something is wrong. My son walks up and says my cameras are gone and someone has trashed the ridge. All the deer are gone. To make matters worst then my buddy says 'yah and I dropped my $3000 video camera off the tree mount and busted it all to Sh@$#. My son got these cameras for Christmas last year and this was his first season using his own stuff and not mine. HE had even gone to the trouble to chain them to the tree and lock them so they could not be opened. 2 locks per camera. At the time I was making fun of all the security. Not only was there the thief and broken video camera but the they discover when they got out of the stand and were looking around in the dark with lights that the thiefs had also put mouthballs all over the ridge where all the acorns are falling. Guess this is why no deer last night. So to the thiefs in Mill's River that stole and ruined my 12 year old's hunt and one of our better property's I want to commend you. We know most of the folks in the area and live here also. When I find you it will not be pretty. You probably consider yourself sportsman also......When I went up to check on my son before bed he said to me ' I guesss my seaason is over and it just started' He was totally commented to this deer and site. It about broke my heart. If anyone knows anything please contact me.
I thought with bow season just a few days away I would share a funny video of my son a few years ago when he shot his first archery deer. It was just a doe but he made a great shot and she only went about 25 yards before pilling up. He has killed several since that day with a bow and is only 13 now. Hopefully everyone will experience some 'red bubbles' in the coming season. Stay safe and wear a safety harness if in a tree stand.
As much as I love deer hunting with my bow I would love for these to come by in three weeks so I could stick them. The yotes around here are putting a real hurt on the fawns. I got a picture of a fawn last week off one of my cameras that had a huge bite in its thigh. It was one of the lucky ones. My wife is a trail runner and she and the dogs find remains of fawns that the yotes have gotten way to often.
To say it has been a tough year turkey hunting would be an understatement. I have been working real hard this season trying to get my son his first bird. He is very accomplished when it comes to deer hunting and has harvested severel deer with a bow but the ole TZom has eluded him for 4 years. We had lots of birds located back in March and early April and then they all disappeared. The last few weeks the only birds we could find were hens that seemed to be nested up already and no Gobblers talking. Friday I picked him up at school and told him I had a new place to go on a buddies property that had some birds. He was not sure he wanted to go and said yes I've heard that before. HE was getting very discouraged about turkey hunting to say the lease. We arrived at the property and were looking over one of the pastures when he said I see a bird down in the lower part coming out of the woods. I told I would get the stuff and and we would sneak through the woods and set up on it. Before I new what was going on he had grabbed his gun (not his bow)out of the truck and he took off through the woods circling the field without ole dad. About this time my buddy who owned the property came rolling in on his ATV to see what was going on. I told him the deal so we just stod by the fence and watched what happened. I grabbed my binos and found my son stalking through the woods towards the Gobbler who was still working the pasture. I'm thinking this is never going to happen and that bird is going to bust him. Ten more minutes go by and I'm still watching them both. My son gets mutch closer than I ever expected and I'm thinking damn he is close enough for a shot what is he waiting on. Then the bird starts acting nervous and I think it is about to be over when the bird starts to run. The next thing I hear is Boom when the Tom stops for a split second. My son runs from the woods and I had no idea at this point how close he had gotten. He starts jumping up and down and yelling I got him. We waited by the barn as my proud 12 year old comes walking back with his prize. The bird weighed 21.5 pounds had 1' spurs and a 11' beard. Not a bad first bird. Of couse my son said as soon as he calmed down I should have taken my bow. Saturday we were hanging out in my shop when my buddy called to replay the story from the previous day and he says you need to get over here. There is another good bird in the upper pasture that has been here all morning. I had several things on my to do list for the day but decided I would run over with my bow and calls and see. I got there with my son and the bird was gone. I got out of the truck and made some yelps. Nothing. After a few minutes I got out the gobbler call and made a loud thunder. I hear a bird respond over in the next valley. It was a long way off and on property we could not hunt. I set out a few decoys in the pasture and decided to see what would happen. I got set up and started calling every 10 minutes of so. The bird would answer each time but was not moving. After an hour it started moving our direction. He took his time but always responded to the call. After another thirty minutes he appeared on the edge of the woods on the opposite side from where we were set up. He slowly worked his way up the fence line and was looking at the decoys. He was getting close but he would not come out from behind the split rail fence. At 15 yards I was having a decision moment on what to do since the vitals were behind the bottom rail of the fence. I stepped out bow at full draw and when he stuck his heard straigh up I released my arrow between the two rails. The bird went nuts and I felt like I made a great sot but then the bird starts running wide open across the pasture and towards a steap wooded ridge. My son who had his bow makes a 80 yard hell mary shot at a running bird and his arrow misses by a foot. I decide to go back to the truck and get the gun and go after my bird. When I'm at the truck I realise my son is gone chasing the bird. I start over to where I last saw both of them and I hear my son up the mountian yelling for me. I climb the ridge and find him. I'm thinking this bird is gone and I did not make a good shot when my son says he has blood. I have never tracked a turkey by blood trail and still didn't know if I believed him. I get over to him and sure enough the leaves and rocks are sprayed with blood. We stay with the tracking for and hour and things are running dry and its getting late in the day. I look at my son and say I think this bird is gone. He must not be hurt to bad. We had covered over a mile of mountian at this point. I head back to the truck disappointed but my son is persistant and a great tracker. I tell OK but to get back to the truck in thirty minutes because we have a date with mom. I'm back at the truck and the time goes by and no son. I'm starting to get a bit worried and head back up th mountain to look for him when I look down the road and here he comes carry my bird. When he gets to the truck he is tired and hot and out of breath but with a big grin on face. 'I found your bird' 'They sure are tough'. I look at the bird and cannot get over its size or the damage my broadhead did The whole bottom of the troat was cut wide open and the windpipe cut clean throgh. The gapping whole was about 10'. I could not believe how far this bird traveled but did understand the blood trial. This was my best bird ever and with a great story. I will never doubt my son's ability in the woods again. Teh bird weighed 24.5 pounds had 11.5' beard and 1 1/4' spurs. It also had the blueist head I have ever seen. It was a great weekend. Went to a 3D shoot on Sunday to round things out!
Since our season ended 3 weeks ago and I was going to be down in the Wilmington area right after Christmas I decided I would throw in the gear with the bows and some stands. My son and I have access to some private property west of Wilmington so we went Tuesday during the middle of the day and set some stands between a bean field and cutdown down in the creek bottom. My son is twelve years old and has been hunting with me out of trees for 5 years all over the midwest and here. The last 2 years he has been gun hunting because I would not let him bow hunt deer yet due to draw weight. He shoots 3D tournments regularly and this year was ready when the season opened. Several of the guys we shoot with are pros in the industry and they have all been very impressed with his maturity and patience while deer hunting. This season he killed 4 deer with his bow and we tracked none farther than 20 yards. I have always had him close to me this season or both of us in the same tree. I just wasn't comfortable being a long distance yet even though I have full confidence in him and his safty practices. The reason I'm telling you all of this is because I experienced the worst thing a parent can expience this week. Wednesday afternoon was going as planned and I decided to hunt another stand just over a ridge from my son. We were about 70 yards apart but I could not see him through all the thick cover. We both were seeing deer but nothing we wanted to shoot. About 4:30 I heard a scream yelling DAD through the woods. It was like nothing I have ever heard before and I went into a cold sweat as I quickly climbed down from my stand and took off in a hard run through the thicket towards my son. When I broke out of the thicket I was relieved and horified by what I saw. My son was hanging off the opposite side of his stand by his safty harness. I quickly climbed the sticks and clipped in myself and then helped him use his prusik to get back on the stand. He was shaking to say the least. I had him climb down and sit on a log while I got his bow and gear out of the stand. BY then he had calmed down and he said to me I really messed up this hunt. Of course I was not the least bit interested in the hunt at this point but what had happened. He told me that he had a shooter coming in and he was reaching for the bow when he slipped off the edge. When I looked into it I realised I had screwed in his hanger to far for him to reach comfortably. The bottom line folks is his Jr. Hunter Safty System harness saved his life. We all think this will never happen to us but it can. I have preached to my son since he first started to never leave the ground without being secured. Folks is the extra 30 seconds to be secure or the extra $100 bucks to much to spend to save your life? I don't think so. Please folks use the gear that is out there for our safety. I don't want any parent or buddy to expience what I did Wednesday afternnon. On a plus note the hunt ended well for my son. He was hard back at it Thursday morning and kept telling me he would be fine. He killed that shooter Friday morning. It was a decent late season 8 that we scored in the low 120's. It was a good end to the season considering my wife is still mad at me for letting this happen.....
Hey Guys, first time posting here but have been reading for awhile. I have been bow hunting for almost 30 years and have a question concerning the rut here in the western part of the state. I have always felt that the rut really doesn't get started in this part of the state till late November (After I'm back from Kansas and Kentucky). Usually by now the young bucks are showing sign of pre rut with small scrapes and horning trees. So far this year I have not seen or found any sign of this activity. Has anyone else in the mountians found any sign yet of pre rut activity? Maybe the moon this week will fire things up a bit.
I've had the these brothers come in on me several times this fall. Hope they stick around till Spring.