In the Zone with Zem 2016

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Ok so I promised some pictures of working on my Euro mount. First we let it simmer. Take it out and scrape off anything that looks like it will smell as it dries cuz believe me it will smell. Dig into the nasal cavity like you are digging for gold and get everything out of there. It's hard to get all the black stuff out so keep digging and get as much out as possible. The peroxide will help clean it up as well later on and eat away at some of the hidden nasties you can't see. 

On the back of the skull, I did a few where you put a coat hanger in the brain hole and scramble them around. What a PITA that was. Now I just saw that last vertebrae off and it opens up a much larger area to help clean it out. No one will see that part and you can still hang it on a plaque or wall with whatever you want to hang it with. 

I did a little more scraping tonight to get the slimy stuff off and that stubborn meat on the top back portion of the skull. Again the peroxide will eat away at that later on so if it dries, no huge deal. I simmer mine on Saturday and then let it sit in clean soapy water until tonight. Then to get that slimy off I used a plastic bristle dish brush loaded with Dawn dish soap and scrubbed. 

Going to let it dry a little and scrape once more and then off to peroxide stage most likely this weekend. I'll post more on that later. 








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12.3.16 - Morning

My BIL invited me up to his place for Saturday morning. He has 5 acres that is bordered by several other plots he has permission on. I got there at 7 and he was out back already. Load the rifle and head to the side of the house and look out at the hedgehog and there is a deer feeding along. I called my BIL and told him I'll try to push it to him. Well I did and there were 2 of them but they snuck through in the only spot he had not shot at. Figures. Started snowing pretty steady and watched a small bowl area from the ridge until 930 and didn't see anything. 

Headed to my in laws house and went to my bow stand. Sat for 5 minutes and then still hunted onto the neighbors where I have permission. Saw a new treestand up there and a gut pile not too far from it. Stood until Noon and then headed home as had errands and soccer. 

12.4.16 Sunday

Hunted the 100 acre wood with my buddy and his Dad this morning. This is where I shot a button last year with my muzzleloader on the last Sunday of the late season. Got there at 7 a full 20 minutes before sun up. Saw two other hunters headed into the same patch of woods so I figured if the deer were there, someone would get them moving. I crunched down to my favorite lookout and cleared the leaves around a big Hemlock. Lots of shooting all around us and one shot close but no deer sighted. I saw one of the two hunters twice in the 3 hours I was there. The second time I saw him, he sat 60 yards to my left for 10 minutes before he saw me.  Then he moved 20 yards further and was sitting within 50 yards of my buddy and his 9 year old son. He was a younger teenage hunter and most likely was cold and wandered to get warm. I headed towards him to let him know he could sit where I was as I had to leave but he headed in the other direction. 

Worked on the 9pt Euro for a bit this afternoon. I stripped my 7pt before I simmered it and wished I had done the same with the 9pt. Wow what a major PITA this one was. Then I cut the last vertebrae off crooked. Hoping it will hang straight. Still have more scraping unfortunately. 

Work all week and will see what next week brings. Sunday will be drives at my buddy's camp to fill doe tags for sure.

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Hunted the 100acre wood with my buddy and his Dad this morning. We were trying to get his Dad a deer as he has only seen 1 doe all season and missed a shot at her. It was the noisy walk ever so I just went for it to get to my lookout spot as quickly as possible. Was there just before first light and the snow was falling. Had high hopes. Lots of vehicles driving into the hunting camp that borders the opposite side of the property I was sitting on. Around 8 or so I heard a muzzleloader go off at the camp land. Then 3 shots from a shotgun. Then 2 shots from a pistol. Then several more shotgun blasts for about half an hour. They have a range over there and I was like WTF are they sighting in before doing drives? No idea what they were doing but no deer ran onto the property we were watching. Sat until 1145 and then headed to the car. Had errands and took my son to a birthday party at the skating rink. 

Going to hit the same spot in the morning. Can't be any worse than today was says my buddy via text earlier, lol. Can only hunt til about 1030, then soccer. 

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My buddy cancelled on me last night for this morning so I texted my other buddy and him an his Dad were headed to the 100 acre wood property. We tried yesterday to get a deer for his Dad with no success after trying for 5 hours. As I'm about 150 yards from parking, a small deer almost bolts in front of me but stops nd heads back into the hemlocks. That was a good sign. Parked and got out to shoot the bull and wait for sun up. I like to be able to see what I running away from me so I wait. I start to head up the road to where i head in and my buddy and his Dad go in right by the vehicles. I get about 5 feet from going in and my buddy says ,fresh tracks heading towards you. I take a few more steps and just get off the road and there stands a deer. Umm i was like, Holy $HIT they are fresh tracks. I put the cross hairs on the front shoulder and squeeze. Deer mule kicks and heads downhill and I hear a crash. Meanwhile another deer I hadn't seen ran following the one I shot. 

I slowly made my way to where the deer was standing and saw an amazing blood trail sprayed all over the snow. I follow and get to about 10 feet from my deer and look past him to see the second deer standing broadside looking back at me. I actually called my buddy and said hey, you want another? He said yes. I had two tags in my pocket so I tried to get a twofer. The second one moved after i hung up so he was quartering away and I hit a branch and got a clean miss. I followed the tracks for 100 yards across a ridge and no sign of a hit. 

Went back and field dressed the button buck, tagged it and went to my spot to hunt for a few hours. Within 10 minutes the crows were squawking at the kill site which was about 40 yards above my spot I was watching. I decided i didn't want them dirty birds picking away at the deer so I drug him up hill to the truck. 

Spent the next hour zig zagging the hemlocks for my buddy and his Dad to see if I could bump something to them. No dice. Left at 10am to head to soccer with my daughter. They won 2-1 against a U17 team and they are mainly a U14 team. Was a darn good day all the way around. 

I gave the deer to my buddy's Dad. He has hunted hard all year, bow and gun, and has only seen 1 deer, a doe, all gun season and missed it. He was very thankful for the venison and said thank you like 6 times. Glad he will enjoy it. Here are a few pics.





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Thanks. That is the first one I have shot that had it spraying out over the snow like that , at least that I can remember so I took pics. I know someone posted one like that earlier this season in a thread and I was like Wow. Pretty cool to follow.

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Woke up to 6+ inches of snow and it is still falling. A perfect day to still hunt through the woods. There are 4 of us headed to the 100acre wood this morning. We arrived at about 7:20am after the usual 20 minute drive took about 40 minutes. Got out of the truck and it was sleeting and the wind was gusting. Got our gear together and headed into the woods. I stepped off the road and sank into 10+ inches of fresh quiet walking snow. As I was headed to an area I wanted to watch, up pops a deer and runs straight away from me. It was a doe fawn that was bedded in the spot where I shot the BB last weekend. I believe it was the one I missed after hitting the BB. It stopped and I tried to get steady and was shaking a touch. I took a deep breath and yanked the trigger. Yup. Puff o smoke and no deer in sight. I watched the spot and reloaded and then slowly headed to where the deer was standing.

As I got closer, the deer was off to my right, and headed in a semi circle off to my left. It stopped about 60 yards out behind some trees and all I could see was its head and neck but no clear shot between us. I knelt down and waited for it to make the first move. In a minute or so I hear a BOOM, and the deer hunches up and runs towards me and falls dead about 15 feet from me. My buddy was heading down to a spot and saw the body but not the head and took the shot. One down and more meat for our friends.

Spent another few hours still hunting my way through the property and had 3 doe come running at me to about 40 yards but they stayed tucked into the pines and never presented a shot opp.

Went home, got lunch and was back out by 1:30pm. Decided to put my buddy back by our bow stands on the ground and I was going to do a big wide sweeping push that would take me about 2 hours to get to him. He saw 2 right off the bat and I jumped 3 as I entered across the street to start the push. The 3 I bumped headed in the right direction but then veered off in the wrong direction when I bumped them again a little while later. Ended up pushing 2 more in the right direction and they made it past my buddy but too far out and moving too fast for a clean shot. I did see a single that I could have shot but it was standing on the poster line and I opted to pass. Was a great day in the woods and got lots of exercise.



Woke up and it had rained but was not raining. Got dressed and started the drive and it starts raining. Figures. I should have turned around but said Im awake, Im going. Fog, rain, pouring rain, dripping rain, more fog, some wind, and some more stronger winds were the story this morning. In the end I was soaked to the bone in rain and sweat and ended up seeing a dead doe someone had lost about 30 yards over the poster line. My buddy didn't see anything either but at least we can say we tried.

Took tomorrow off from work. Plan to hit the Honey Hole at first light with my FIL and seal the deal on the last day. May hit another spot midday and then back to the honey hole for the afternoon. The last 3 years I believe I have written that I've seen a buck on the last day and have not been successful. Hope this is my year. 

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12.20.16 sorry for any typos (Damn kindle)

I took today off from work like I have the past 3 years. I have a spot across from my in laws that I call the honey hole. I swear that I see deer down there EVERY TIME I hunt down there. My FIL was headed down there first thing so my buddy and I set up in spots that lead away from down where he was headed. I knew if he bumped anything down there that my buddy and I would get a chance at seeing something at least. 

It was 9 degrees with a real feel of 4 and it was cold and crunchy. We headed in and got set up on the ground. Within 30 minutes I could hear deer crunching their way towards me. I was in a small woodlot next to the neighbors house. Of course the two does came between me and the house so I never even raised the ML. They were headed past me and up towards my buddy who could get a shot from his position. They turned and he could hear them but never saw them. 

Within 15 minutes I heard more deer running and I see a herd of at least 7 running out in front of me over 120 yards away through the hardwoods. I scoped a few but the shot opp just wasn't there with as fast as they were moving. As they headed up the ridge I tried to backtrack and see if I could catch them sneaking above me. Never saw them and I was 40 yards up the hill from my original spot. I hear more deer below me down where I just left. I see one headed up the hill towards my buddy. I wait and don't hear any shooting. I decide to walk back down and end up bumping 3 back down hill to my FIL. My buddy did tell me he saw those 3 headed to him but turned back before coming into a decent range for him. 

Met back at the house for lunch at noon to warm up. Drank a lot of coffee between the 3 of us and FIL got a fire going. We ate and shot the bull and decided where to go for the afternoon. I went down where my FIL had in the morning. I knew he didn't go as low as I usually do so I headed in. As I am about 10 yards from the line I stand under, 2 unknown deer blow across the creek from me and head up hill away. I'm now at 15 deer spotted for the day and am ecstatic. At 3 my buddy was going g to drop down into the upper area that I was in. At 315 I can hear a deer blowing and I catch a glimpse of one above and behind me heading away. I continue to scan the area and can hear deer coming my way about 15 minutes later. I get the ML up and scope the lead doe as she stops behind a tree. I'm waiting for her to step out and she finally does about 35 yards away broadside. I settled the crosshairs and squeezed. I see she is hit but walks a few feet and beds down. I reload as quickly and quietly as I can and stand up as I was kneeling. I take one step to the left in the cruise achy snow and she stands up. Second shot put her down right there. Hit low and back on first one. Need to straighten that out this off season. 

Ended up seeing 17 total today. Couldn't have asked for a better day afield. Plan to share the meat with some hunting neighbors that couldn't get out this year due to work and a few co workers that could use some help. Looking forward to next year ready. Can't wait!!!

BTW, I know the pipe wrench on the right is crooked in the last pic. I plan to give my FIL hell for it. Thanks Larry!!!





Edited by Zem18
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Thanks Fletch. It was a good fun season for me. Looking forward to next season already. You have a great Holiday as well and to everyone who read my journal I hope you enjoyed it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!!

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Enjoy the holidays and the venison…don't know which one comes first! lol

"We Feed 'em"

"He Breeds 'em"

Legends Lodge, "Where Legends are born"

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