rjrdomer

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About rjrdomer

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    Newbie Hunter

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    Schoharie County

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  1. That’s a nice double beard. A trophy for sure. Both beards look equal in length and thickness. Many times there is one solid beard and a few thin ones when you have a multiple bearded tom. But it’s the number of filaments that matters. One old turkey hunter once told me a multiple bearded bird is like shooting a buck with drop tines. My first bird ever was a triple bearded tom. 9.5, 8.5, 8. 3 solid beards. it was in 2011 in Schoharie County. A record book bird with the NWTF and SCI. I went turkey hunting for the first time and went with my dad who has always been an avid deer hunter but never turkey hunted. Beginners luck and the trip got us hooked on turkey hunting ever since. I know I’ll never match that bird. I got a full mount done.
  2. Third season hunting my own land and was finally able to connect today. My first NYS bird in 9 years as well. Had lots of activity before the season on cameras and scouting for early morning gobbles. Seeing mostly jakes and hens on camera. Dead quiet Saturday. Setup in a blind this morning in a small clearing with a hen decoy where I’ve had activity on my camera. My property is otherwise 95% wooded. Of course I heard gobbles at 5:20 on another end of the property deep into the hardwoods. I got up, grabbed the gun, left everything and hustled about 300 yards into the woods stopping to listen periodically for the gobbles on the roost to steer me correctly. Settled at 5:30 or so against a tree by a stone wall facing the gobbles which were about 125 yards away but it was light out and didn’t want to spook them. After a few calls, the gobbles stopped momentarily. I thought a hen had cut me off. Then I cut at them really hard, and they started again and seemed committed and then I shut up and waited. I scratched the leaves and I saw a bunch of blue heads sprinting in my direction. Possibly 3 or 4. Tough to see over the terrain and I had my gun up at the ready. They were behind some brush and the stone wall above me. Once the first bird popped his blue head over the wall to peek at the “hen” that yelped, I dropped him at 30 yards. The others scattered and I was never able to make out if they were jakes or toms. I had assumed this was a jake given how fast they charged in. I didn’t see his beard and he never strutted before I saw the blue head. Turns out he was a nice 2 year old with an 8” beard. And to top it off, today is my 38th birthday. Great day all around. Good luck to everyone and congratulations to those who bagged their bird. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. It is my understanding...of course try to confirm this with Scott Moxham....If you aren't enrolled in the program this year, then you shouldn't have to pay the 6% stumpage tax to the county. Also, you don't have to pay any back taxes, if you agree to fulfill the next 9 years of your plan (the remaining years of the form submitted last year). However, you don't get the abatement either for the next 9 years. You just have to follow the plan, but then you are released from it when the 9 years are up. If you want back into the plan, I think you may have to wait 3 years after the logging job otherwise you're on the hook for the 6% stumpage tax. The plan has its positives and negatives. I hope they heed some advice and make it a little less cumbersome for some.
  4. Thanks all. So one vote for hens and a few for jakes. I’ve attached a couple more pictures. These are all I have right now as I left the camera card at my hunting camp. One picture is a few days later than the other two but I assume it’s the same birds coming through. the more I study the heads, they look like jakes to me as well, however I usually see more pronounced beards on jakes 2-3” so that’s what threw me off.
  5. My trail cam snapped some pictures of turkeys traveling through. I had assumed these were hens all along. When I showed them to a friend, he said it may be a jake. But I’ve never seen heads so pink on hens and the jakes I’ve seen are darker feathered. Then I noticed what may be a tiny beard. I don’t see any spurs though So is it a jake? A hen with a small beard? Or just a plain old hen? Thoughts?
  6. Nope. First I use the butt-out tool. If you don't have one, get one. Cheap and easy. A couple of twists and the entire intestinal tract/anus comes out. I cut that off, toss it aside. Then I cut an incision carefully above the sex organs or udders...I pull away the skin to make sure not to puncture the stomach. Once I'm inside the cavity, i continue to cup upward with the blade facing me. I stop right at the sternum. I reach in, pull all the stomach and intestines out. Then I yank the liver out. Sometimes some cowl fat needs to be cut away. Then I yank/cut away at the diaphragm. Once that's out, I reach up into the chest cavity and cut the esophagus...hold it in one hand, knife in the other. And the lungs and heart come out together. It takes about 3-5 minutes usually. I also usually turn the deer over to let some blood drain out to the extent that I can. I leave the guts where they are in the field. I bring my deer to a processor. I've never had an issue with tainted meat.
  7. I've had a mature doe make me in a stand while a buck was following her. She stomped, snorted, and ran away taking the buck with her. She circled back 15 minutes later to eat acorns with the buck trailing her. I've shot deer from this stand several years in a row and multiple times during the same season/same day/same weekend. Short answer, keep your stand where it is if it's an area where deer are frequently seen.
  8. My observations: I hunt 4G/4R and belong to a club where guys hunt 4F as well. Its all northern Catskills type land...mountains/hills/woodland bordering agriculture (hay, corn, cattle, etc). We had 19 guns out on Opening Day and only 1 spike was taken by a youth hunter. I was told by others in the area that it was the quietest opening day weekend in recent memory, and I also heard a handful of distant shots early Saturday morning and that was all for the rest of the weekend. After opening day, a few deer were taken by our club, but not in the numbers of prior years. I took a nice 8 over Thanksgiving weekend that happened to be following a doe around while she was eating some acorns. Just dumb luck really as they were the only 2 deer I saw in 4 days of rifle hunting. I think several things may have affected this. On my cameras, I had a lot of activity at night and during foul weather in early November/late bow season. The activity in rain and wind surprised me. I hunted a couple of those late bow days that were clear and saw only 2 deer but did not have a shot at them. I did not see much activity on my camera the week after Opening Day. I'm not sure when the timing of the rut was but to those saying the rutting activity wasn't there, that's false. It is there every year in November, like clockwork. It always happens whether or not you see it is a different story. The timing varies by a few days and there are different stages of the rut, so it all depends on when you're in the woods. I think the buck I got may have been following a doe as she got closer to her second estrous. So perhaps the first estrous was in the first week of November. The late spring may have kept some deer in the ag fields longer versus in the woods on typical runs and working scrapes. As others said, some corn was still standing late into the fall. Also, there were acorns all over the place this year. So deer did not have to travel much for food, even in the later season. I also think there may be fewer hunters out there in general, at least in my part of the state. By watching YouTube videos and reading this forum, there are stark differences between the size and number of deer in the western vs eastern part of NYS and the way they are hunted too. I think due to the ARs in most of the catskills and the relative few DMPs issued, you are just seeing fewer people walking through the woods pushing deer around. That said, when I have seen bucks, they've usually been 2.5-3.5 year old 6 or 8 pointers....different than the spikes and forks we saw all over the place 5-10 years ago. So in a way that's a positive, but I do think the ARs while having some benefit, may be keeping the casual downstate/city guy from making a day or weekend trip up to the mountains pushing deer around. So I feel given the abundance of food (a positive thing for the herd) and fewer walking hunters, deer just didn't have to move very far. When they don't move, we don't see them.
  9. Congratulations! Don't feel bad at all. Any deer taken on public land from the ground is a trophy for sure. Hopefully you also learned in the process since you are new to the sport. Each time I go out, I learn something new. To me, that's the most fun about it all. Enjoy that meat!
  10. Grampy is right, but also, try to position yourself where you can see a little better. You don't want to just be shooting at something that may be legs. If you can get up from a higher vantage point, that helps you see as well. But try to hide your outline like others said. You don't want to be sitting on a peak with nothing behind you. Sit against a tree or rock..something to break you up. Is this public or private land? If it's private land, you should setup a ladder stand or tree stand of some type about 50-75 yards off of this spot maybe next year. Snow is very helpful in showing deer movement and patterns. There are obviously deer around here which is good. They likely chose that area to feed as there are oak trees mixed with some hemlocks. The hemlocks provide cover/stopped the snow from piling up. The oaks provide acorns, which deer and turkeys eat right now. So if you can position yourself over an oak flat,, that's great. What are you hunting with? If you have a good rifle, you don't need to sneak up on them. And unless you are tracking a monster buck through the snow in the Adirondacks, just sit tight. I feel that too many people walk and hunt. It's one thing if you're doing a drive, but it's tough to walk up on a deer alone. Don't get up and try to "cut them off." They know those woods better than you do and will be 150 yards ahead of you at all times just out of your sight. So get in there, sit down, and don't move until the day is over. You know where the deer are, now you just need patience and time. Patience has killed more deer than any luck or skill out there. Good luck.
  11. Yes, agreed. And if you have hunters in the woods pushing the deer on nearby properties, everything gets scrambled up even more.
  12. I don't know if it's really a second rut per se. The rut sort of continues as does go into estrous at different times...their cycles may vary by a few days. Some will be in heat on November 5, some November 15. And any doe that isn't bred during her first heat will go into a second estrous cycle 28 days later. So now you may have some does who were in heat in early November but not bred, going back into heat. So there will still be some chasing going on. I saw a mature buck chasing a doe at 2:00pm right after I got into my stand in 2017 on Thanksgiving weekend. They were galloping like horses...I was never able to get a shot off as I had just climbed in and was settling in as it unfolded. Same goes this weekend I took a buck that was a few yards behind a lone doe. He wasn't all out chasing her, but tending her from about 10 yards behind as she ate and wandered through the woods.
  13. A spring season would make a lot of sense, but NY doesn't do anything that makes sense. I can go on and on but the fish and game department should be separate from the environmental department for starters. Then maybe the game seasons would make sense. I digress.. If NY (or even NJ) really wanted to control the bear population, they'd have a spring and fall hunt. Spring hunt with bait, fall hunt as is (Basically incidental to deer hunting). They could limit the spring hunt to areas where there is a perceived bear problem....perhaps the same WMUs that have the early season in the fall. This way you don't have to worry about people baiting the deer since again, for some reason, that's a cardinal no-no in NY parlance. Many northern states and Canadian provinces have spring bear seasons with good results. I've hunted Alberta in May and had a blast. The meat may not be good, but maybe the state could setup some program where the carcasses can get donated to something...even swine feed. In Canada they use them as wolf/coyote bait. The hides are great in the early spring..nice thick coats and great for making rugs. If NY had a spring hunt, a cottage industry of guides/outfitters may even spring up and add more money to the local economies in an otherwise dead time. April/May....before summer vacation seasons, before deer hunters take over the woods, and after ski season. But like I said, why would NY do anything that makes sense?
  14. I took a 92.0 point bird in 2011, had 3 beards...but I guess that's below your criteria. There are only 12 atypical birds in NY greater than 105 and 14 greater than 75 with the NWTF. Are you limiting your book to just 26 entries?
  15. I'd just look to open it on a Saturday like they do with deer season. Allow 5 Saturdays in the season, as opposed to the 4 there are this year. . If NY wants more non-resident hunters to visit, spend money in stores, hotels, etc...they should be more flexible with the dates. But then again, NY doesn't quite want that. I do approve of lengthening predator seasons to 365 days, or at least incidental to turkey hunting. While NJ has a messed up and confusing lottery/zone system for turkey, they allow you to take coyote or fox if shot while turkey hunting.