WNYBuckHunter

2019 HuntingNY Gun Harvest Thread

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November 18, 2019.  Got to work very early so I could bust out in time for a short sit in the “nest stand” behind my house in 9F.  I had all my hunting gear laid out for the quick switcheroo from my dress clothes to my hunting wool.  Once changed, I literally ran the ¼ mile to my stand.  I no longer got to the top of my ladder when I caught a glimpse of a doe feeding in some old wild apple trees about 60 yards out.  I prepped myself and watched it through my scope until I had an opportunity to thread the proverbial needle.  I believe the deer was quartering to me slightly when I shot (12 gauge Rem 870).  I watched the deer run about 30 yards and lost sight of it.  Seconds later, I saw “it” again standing broadside except this time it had antlers.  I shot and he fell instantly.  After an hour, just before dark, I started to look for the first deer I shot…I saw were the deer took off running after I shot and then saw the blood…so much blood I was convinced it was piled up very close.  I started to track and went about another 50-60 yards when I saw it sitting down…I stopped and as I slowly backed away, I saw it get up and run like it wasn’t hit.  I started wondering if I just had saw a different deer, so, knowing the deer ran out of sight, I went to where I saw the deer, and low and behold, the ground was covered in blood…lots of blood!  At this point, I went back to the buck, gutted and tagged him, and dragged him up to the house.  After about 3 hours after my first shot, I went back out with my sled to track and hopefully retrieve the doe.  It was very easy tracking with all the blood on the sparse snow cover, and I never expected I would have needed to track so far.  I finally found the deer and saw it was still alive.  I watched the deer jump up, run, swim across the creek, climb up a very steep back and lay down.  I sat there for a half hour, intermittently shinning my very weak light and catching its eyes bobbing around.  At this point , knowing it was still alive, I headed back home to plan my next move.  Around 10:00PM, after killing time butchering my archery deer and cleaning up some toe bones, my brother met me, and we hiked back out.  We grabbed the canoe and paddled down the creek (a very swift ~1/4 mile paddle down stream in the rising water), portaging around some rapids, to where I saw the deer cross.  Just yesterday, the creek was iced up…that evening, the creek was starting to flood after the warm up we had earlier that day.  Upstream of where I last saw the deer, we beached the canoe and started to stalk up.  I spotted the deer in the same spot, stiff as a board, with the front leg almost chewed off as well as several bite marks on the hind quarters…the coyotes beat me to the deer …luckily only minor damage and salvageable.  It appeared that the slug went through the neck and out the front shoulder.  After gutting, tagging, and loading the deer in the canoe, we started our even more treacherous trip back up-current…I have paddled many deer in a canoe and they always make the canoe very unstable.  Again, a very strenuous paddle back, up-current, portaging back around rapids, and somehow getting the deer out of the canoe and up a steep bank to my sled.  Following a relatively easy pull on my sled the ¼ mile back to my house (except the long hill and snow-less sections of the trail), I hung it up, grabbed the tenderloins, washed up, and went to bed.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get many action photos…it was the last thing on my mind at the time.  Looking forward to muzzle loading season!   Congrats to those who harvested and good luck to those who are still trying! 

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Long Story, I apologize ahead of time..

Saturday was a bittersweet day for me.. This entire fall has been a roller coaster ride for my wife and I. Losing our child care provider for our children right before season begins, meant we had to change our work schedules completely to make sure kids were cared for 24 7. In the meantime my wife became quite ill and still slowly recovering, all on top of trying to raise 3 kids and one being a special needs child, and getting him to his 12 therapists appointments throughout every single week.. Leaves no time for anything besides tending to needs and more needs... 

Deer season finally opens, I get my step son out just twice for about 1 hr per sit within the first 2 weeks( he missed a doe, on film the 2nd week). My goal was to get him a deer while he was home with us and not at his dads. Finally mid October comes and I got out once myself for about an hour and a half, I planned to just call coyotes before dark instead of bowhunting. While driving out and realizing I grabbed everything I needed but ammo for the gun, I had to turn around and make another decision( get ammo,  grab the bow and go or just stay home), Instead grabbed the bow and ditched my calling gear.... The new plan now was to still hunt (wind in my favor) into a big buck bedroom.. Long story short i got to well within bow range of the hammer of a buck for quite some time, as he was browsing, rubbing and making scrapes.. I just could not get an ethical shot off. Its pretty thick in here when the leaves are still on and vegetation standing. I've lost a few deer in my day and refuse to take non ethical shots. Anyways, the deer slips out and i can no longer get ahead of him without risking spooking.. i let him leave and sneak out as darkness slowly approached..

Thursday before the opener, I haven't hunted since slipping in on the big buck in his bedroom.. My wifes mother calls and offers to watch my kids until noonish on opening morning. It took a bit but i finally agreed to let her. I am not one to ask or pawn my kids off on anyone so I can go do something. They are my miracles, I brought them into this world, and I take full responsibility of them.. but she offered and for once I let her watch them so I can enjoy a couple hours free time.. Which still caught me off guard because Having no free time whatsoever, left me with no time to reassure my rifles were dialed in.. besides my coyote setups..  So I opted for the 6.5bleedmoor with 95gr vmax(windy day coyote gun). I know not ideal but ethical if bone is avoided. It was my best option at the time.   

Saturday Gun Opener, I finally made it out for my second outing in the Deer Woods this season.. I shared a few words with my dad and granddad upstairs, shed a tear and wiped my face laughed and asked them to watch over me.. That they did, After reaching my blind I felt this morning could be magical calm, quite and the setup looks good.. bedding to the left and straight ahead.. corn behind me and hay/clover all around me.. I told myself today we are lowering the standards some, since I was most certain I may not make it back out for another sit this year. And if I do, my step son would probably be in tow for our final outing.. Lowering standards meant that I will take the first 3.5 yr old that strolls through.. since i typically hold out for 4.5yr old deer or better.. Times like these told me to be thankful for time afield and not so picky.. Its not what huntings about.. Not to me anymore.. Shoot what makes you happy.. And just finally getting out was a blessing in itself. I can watch these fine critters all day and not harvest one and still be thrilled. Back to it..  On my walk in I blew a ton of deer out, my hopes dropped quickly, there were deer literally everywhere and fresh fresh scrapes all over .. I finally reach the blind and settle, before 7am i have watched a total of 8 deer including 1 small buck.. Just after 2 doe just barreled by at a quick clip I knew something had to have been chasing them, in reality I really wished it was a coyote lol, but It was a buck, and the closer he got I could see his harvest potential grow.. he neared the field edge and I could see a big goofy looking right side and a nice wide sweeping left with 2 or 3 tines.. (now Im thinking he may be the big mature 3 main beam 7 pt we have on camera) Its happening fast, He made it to the field edge turned broadside and I immediately said hes a 3.5yr old and not the 3 main beam buck.. At this point he still got the pass, and it was until he was approaching my last good opportunity for a harvest that I quickly changed my mind and remembered to be Thankful... Thankful I was!  I did all I could to stop him since he was in pursuit or a local hot doe.. It finally took a "HEYYYY"" at the top of my voice to get his attention.. I settled the crosshairs behind the shoulder and squeezed.... The rest is history..  

Id like to think my dad and granddad for making my morning turn out the way it did... The buck ran about 40 yards and piled up... The 95gr vmax out of the 6.5bleedmoor destroyed everything inside this deer's chest, It was an absolute mess to field dress.. bullet shrapnel went up the hide of the neck and down the inside of the first front leg and everywhere in between..  I cant believe the deer still made it another 40 yards before falling.  It literally exploded every organ from the heart to the stomach, But no damage to the off side of the rib cage.  

For this day and everyday I am Thankful! 

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11-18 I awoke few minutes before alarm at   3:30. Why are no open 24 hours open Tim Hortons open ? Quick crappy gas station coffee and arrive at Gman’s before dawn. Almost hit a big 10 point at end of the 400 . He walked me down to a stand I’ve never sat before nor knew exactly where or how to get to it. Late morning he put on one heck of an effort push the creek bottom but nothing emerged my way. Them hills are a chore all geared up to sit in cold weather. Tapped out at noon or so. Had one fawn real close early on and then saw one unknown on way out. Ran some errands at home and boogied out local to friends. Arrived at 3:15. Sat down in blind overlooking brassicas which thru binocs they’ve been hitting hard. Within 3 minutes I glass a 4 point looking my way. Had just opened the window, single fed a round , no mag in yet and big ole swamp donkey emerged. Buck was not letting her go   Flipped up scope covers , rested gun out window , can’t shoot another buck there as I killed a 4 point with bow there and he’d rather I not kill another buck but this guy was little anyhow. Settle crosshairs of Leupold v3 2.5x 8 on her pit as she’s slightly quartering away feeding , cheekweld , tucked in shoulder , estimated a good ish 9 iron so 150 yards. Exhale half and squeeze after safety of savage axis 7mm08 switched to go position. Aimed dead on and sighted in at 100 yards thanks to Treeguy ( I’ve burnt more money on moving adjustments wrong way over  the years)  She does a little donkey kick and one hops into field edge. Buck scoots fast outta there. At closing I walk to hit sight , what a mess in the snow , follow carnage blood trail for about 20-25 yards. She piled up next to a little ditch   Big ole girl  Shot one last year and thought this one was bigger but to my dismay on The Real TC’s scale it was not. First blood on this gun.  Have more room in the freezer and tags. Just hoping daughter has chance to “ send it “ Heard a barred owl at 11:30 in the morning. Last 2 deer I’ve killed ive heard one. My big brother is looking over me . My best season ever was a buck n 2 doe during gun season. This year I’ve punched a archery buck tag , doe tag and now gun doe tag totaling 3. Epic year so far. She had elf feet and needed a pedicure. Ended up one lung and top of heart.  Love this round 

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Edited by turkeyfeathers
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Shot this 8 pointer Tuesday afternoon at 3:30. Been passing quite a few small bucks all season because I knew there were a couple monsters in the area. Saw this guy about 80 yards moving at a steady pace towards one of my shooting lanes. Had to make the choice real quick and he looked a little bigger through the scope but I'm happy with him. Had a pretty incredible season. Got a Maine bull moose, a 34lb coyote and now an 8 pointer. Can't complain!ca4c23912b07d826ea55674eed321556.jpg3a7312e311c4fa5e780e2ea935ab0586.jpg884e0d03181edd0c75f0b7e373c14522.jpg

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Doe came up the hill at 7:30 and got hit with a 6.5 Grendel bullet at 70 yards. She went 50 yards and fell over. Pass through great hole. Had a lung chunk 20 yards into blood trail. Officially tagged out, until my neighbor signs over a second doe tag to me. 

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ced05c6bae5fc87fe566778474a92f4c.jpg3ff25f12dae73bbb689f82ca1a8c873f.jpg Couple does came in and at 75ish yards I squeezed one off with the muzzle loader. When the smoke cleared I thought I missed her! She just stood there while I calmly and coolly reloaded (opposite of that) then she started walking toward me, I looked down to put the primer in and when I looked back up she was down. Perfect double lung shot


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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Yesterday afternoon I was headed out for the evening sit......the south wind had me pondering where to go but I settled on one stand close to a bedding area.  Before I got to my stand, I heard and then saw two deer busting out at a good clip.  They were quartering away and I knew I had to get to a tree for a rest PDQ if I had a remote chance at the second of the two. The first buck passed through an opening and I quickly got a rest on the side of the tree and focused the cross hairs on the opening then let my left eye cheat over and see the second buck coming to the opening.  I brought my left eye back to the scope and let 'er rip, tater chip.  The entire sequence didn't take more than 5 seconds from the first I heard them till the buck was down.

Although he was down, he wasn't out.  I chambered another round and as he wiggled around I had to wait for an opening to get another round into the vitals, within seconds the coup de grace was on the way. 

The shots were from about 100 yards, maybe a touch more?  My rifle is a 7mm-08 shooting 120gr Ballistic Tips, handloaded.

He went 175lbs on the scale and has 9pts.  I am getting him mounted and asked the taxidermist to hang onto the lower jaw as I'd like to get an age on him if possible.

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Please support the hunting of Mourning Dove In New York State.  For information, visit nydovehunting.weebly.com/

 

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Not too much of a story.  He stepped out into the field 15 min before he should have for his own good.  Had a few pics of him dating back to mid summer.   

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This year we decided to do 2 straight weeks, 1 week of Bow and 1 week of Gun. Typically we do a week of Bow and then come back a few weeks later for Gun. I was able to get full draw on a Shooter at 15 yards during Bow but, couldn't get the pin on him quick enough as he was in hot pursuit of a doe. Fast forward to the last morning of our 2 week adventure, this guy steps out broadside at 50 yards in an open field! I put in over 100 hours in the stand thru some bitter cold temps and high winds but, it all came together in a matter of seconds.

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6S. Oneida County. Town of Marshall. 150 gr .308 Win handload.

Sunday 11.17. 7:35AM. 20 yd shot, 40 yd recovery. 180# dressed.

Doe #1. Sunday 11.24. 4:15PM. 40 yd shot, 5 yd recovery. 110# dressed.

Doe #2. Sunday 11.24. 4:15PM. 50 yd shot, 5 yd recovery. 130# dressed.

Very fortunate, grateful and lucky! We shall not want for jerky lol. Congrats to all the others with great deer. 

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Not a ton of motivation to gun hunt but my parents were heading to my grandparents today and I wanted to send a bunch more meat down to them so I resolved to shoot anything but an obvious button-or-yearling buck to keep the freezer at max capacity.

Same stand as my archery buck this guy came in just after legal and gave me a bit of time to check out his half rack at close range which I thought was whitetailope like and cool and his body was excellent.

I dropped him at 10 yards with 20 ga light fields out of the DS2...I’m on an 11 year NY gun harvest streak never been skunked in NY, still got a dmp I love it.  

His face was messed up and he had puss at the broke pedicle almost definitely lost in battle..cool.

First Thanksgiving deer for me.  First 2 buck year for me as well. 

Congrats all on the great harvests everyone, biz’s dad, stud for Grampy, another bruiser for Moog, treeguy, tall ones Jj and Lawd, great mass enigma!

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Edited by OtiscoPaul
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Happy Thanksgiving !

 

We used to do a family hunt Thanksgiving morning, which was a tradition in my family dating back well before I was even thought of. My uncle is the only remaining blood that hunts and he's had a pile of surgery's and side effects won't allow him in the stand. My bro in law and father in law hunt, but aren't typically able to make it so this year I decided I was going outside the "legal" family and just asking my buddy's who love to put in stand time. So,[mention=5278]The_Real_TCIII[/mention] , my fishing buddy and my dad headed down to our camp in Franklinville. We were greeted with high winds, some rain, some snow, some more winds and some ice pellets. It was a tough sit this am for sure. Once the wind died down I had a great feeling we were gonna have some action. All I kept hoping for was to hear somebody's gun roar, all am long.... Not a deer seen by the 4 of us, so TCiii and I did a slow mooch towards my dad and my buddy. Cell service is awful and TCiii and I were slowly making our way along when I got a text from him and knew I was a bit ahead of him on our parallel drive. Then the phone rang, and TCiii had a a couple doe sneak between us right back to where we had come from. I decided to get up a touch higher where I could see a clearing in the hardwoods and wait. A few minutes went by when I caught a glimpse of a deer heading up the hill right at me from the opposite direction. I saw a rack, that was at/outside the ears and looked fairly tall. At that moment, regardless of age, size, or inches I knew I wanted to take him. I dialed in the scope and waited for a shot. The only one I got was a walking, heavy quarter too, and when I sent it I immediately saw a giant hole in his side as he piled away right down towards TCiii. I started my track and had good blood right away and a clear disturbance from him running. He went about 80-100 yards and I found him laying under an apple tree trying to get up. I gave him some time to "go to the light" and he finally mustered up enough to get up on all fours so I sent another round his way (still have to do autopsy to verify I hit/missed). He gave up and I waiting to TC to come so we could walk up together. Turns out, my dad had gotten out of his stand and headed to the ridge for a better view and must have bumped this deer back to me. He was full of #1 and #2 more than I've ever seen on any deer, so he must have been laying there all morning. What a great Thanksgiving it was, and I was glad to spend it with my hunting Family. I am blessed to have punched 2 buck tags, that's for sure !

 

First kill with the 308. Hornady SST 165grain did awful things to him....

 

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I have been blessed with 2 gun kills this year on top of my bow deer. No doubt this is my best season ever filled with a list of firsts including first bow deer, first rifle deer, first thanksgiving deer and the best first is having my daughter in the stand with me for that first thanksgiving deer kill. We cheered we high fived and hugged!

First rifle deer was the very first day I decided to take the 30-.06 out into the field after some heavy persuasion from my friend Jack Daniels. As usual Mr. Jack was not wrong and at 9am I had 2 doe walk into my shooting lane at 150 yards and only one walk out.
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My second harvest of the season came on Thanksgiving Morning at 10am. I had my daughter in the stand with me a very nice enclosed box with heat that a friend was nice enough to let us use. We where only hunting until 10am due to dinner plans and that’s about as long as you can expect a 9 year old to last even with heat. As we where counting down the final few minutes she spots a deer working it’s way to us and to her credit calmly and quietly lets me know. Right away I notice that it looks like a 1.5 year old tall spike, a deer that normally gets a pass but not this day. This day is special. I move her into position so I can position myself and my rifle out one of the windows and tell her to cover her ears. When the buck steps into the shooting lane I let that .06 bark and the buck drops to the ground DOA. We cheered, we high fived and hugged in celebration. To give the buck time to be sure he’s dead I walk her through the process of filling out the tags why it’s important and then rearranging the box stand as it was when we arrived. Much to my surprise when we got to the buck he was a small little basket 6 pointer. A very respectable deer for a 9 year old on her first harvest! The smiles say it all!
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Ok I don’t usually post doe kills but ..... this one is a bit special.  For what it’s worth, Natalie was kicking my butt at Descendants trivia when 3 walked in.  2 left.  

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I’ve posted before that we’ve got a four year tradition of filling my landowner’s tag on Black Friday with our grandson Jake from Rochester. On Friday we got a little screwed up with the combine cutting the corn that we border. We sat in our money spot overlooking a five acre old hayfield that I keep brush hogged, but didn’t see a deer on that sit.

They were cutting again Saturday morning so we didn’t go out and figured we’d go for an afternoon sit over the cut cornfield. They were still cutting in the afternoon, but on the other side of the field so we opted to go back to the same stand we sat in on Friday. About 4:00 pm we had a short snouter come out milling around, followed by another, and then mommy joined them. Kept checking them out through the scope and mommy wasn’t much bigger than her fawns. I told him let’s be patient and wait for others. A few minutes later he spots a bigger deer slinking through the woods following the doe group. Get the scope on it and see small antlers. He comes out sniffing around the doe and she takes off back into the woods with her fawns following. Deer are gone from the field. Damn. 

4:25 now and I’m regretting my decision to be patient. Legal time was 4:38, so Jake is watching the clock, and a couple of minutes later we see a small doe come out of the far corner about 200 yds. Watch it through the scope and see mommy in the tree line. She comes out to feed with her fawn and they are facing us, no shot opportunity. Clock is ticking and she will not turn broadside. Head down feeding, occasionally up to look around and back to feeding always facing directly toward us. 4:36 now and Jake calls the two minute warning. Cmon doe, turn, will ya? Finally she quarters slightly, and Jake says is that your shot? Bang - doe drops in place. What time is it Jake? 4:37, no, just clicked to 4:38. Shot clock expires and so did the doe.

Forgot to take a field pic, and he was cold so we went back to the house and I went to get it with the tractor. Four years/four does in a row with him now. Can’t wait til he’s old enough to pull the trigger himself!

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Edited by Steuben Jerry
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I got out Thanksgiving Morning with my stepson for our 3rd, and possibly final sit for the year together. The 35 mph winds and snow squalls wasn't stopping him from wanting to fill a tag. We chose a ground blind that i felt would be tucked in out of the wind more than most places and not far from a bedding area.. First whitetail to show was a fawn, it stepped out from cover and fed out in front of us, a few moments after entering, another bigger bodied deer appeared right behind it feeding away. We watched them for awhile waiting on more. After 15-20 minutes, nothing else showed up. And these 2 had made their minds up that they were moving on, So we decided to attempt a shot at the bigger of the 2. He had a buck tag, a doe tag, and I had 2 doe tags that could be filled for the area. So we elected to get him his first deer by rifle regardless. Well what we thought was a doe, especially by how it was acting with and around the fawn. Ended up being his first buck ever, he was super pumped. I can't explain how happy I am for him, how happy he was for himself! We could literally see zero sign of antlers over the deer's head, Not that it matters it was his first and he is pumped to say the least! I couldnt be more happy for him. Bucks tagged legal and in the freezer!

I brought my tripod I use for predator hunting to help him to my best ability. He split that bucks ticker in 3 pieces with a 140gr ELD at 120 yrds and it still ran a good 50 yards!! Kids a sniper in the making! 

That morning he learned what it was like to enter the tip of a sharp knife into a nice warm deer stomach! that irreplaceable sound and instant smell of a stomach deflating! LOL!! i hadn't laughed so hard in a long time, I tried to warn him to turn his knife around that you'd be better this way especially working around that stomach of his with the initial incision lol. He insisted it was how his dad showed him.. Lucky for him Im a good guy, and instead of only one set of blessed field dressing covered arms, there were 2 since he couldn't hold his own stomach together lol!!   It'd be nice to get out and fill a doe tag or 2 before seasons end together.  And a selfie after the shot!

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On Sunday morning (12/1/19) while sitting in my tree stand I heard a crunching movement off in the distance.  The ground was frosted with a temperature of 21* and the crunching sound was real brief so I actually wasn't sure if it was a couple steps from a deer or just a squirrel.  I turned my head scanning the area in the direction of the sound for about 3 to 4 minutes looking for the source of the crunching that I heard.  I didn't see anything or hear anymore movement and figured that it must have been a squirrel.  Then about a minute after I turned my head away, I heard two buck grunts coming from the same general area where I had heard the brief movement a few minutes beforehand.  The area where I heard the movement and now heard the buck grunts from, consists of a decent sized pond situated about 115 yards from my tree stand. The area bordering the east side of the pond is a thick bedding area that I leave as a sanctuary on my property, only going through there if I have to track a hit deer through that area.  Scanning this area from my stand, I still didn’t  see any deer and I didn't hear anymore movement, so I believed that the buck I heard was slowly cruising through the bedding area looking for any receptive does.  I waited another couple minutes to see if the buck that made the grunts would come into view to determine if he was traveling away from my stand area or towards my stand area.  I still wasn’t hearing any more movement and still had no deer come into view.  So, at this point I grabbed my deer call and made two doe in estrous bleats with it.  After about 30 seconds, I could hear the crunching movement of a deer walking on the frosted leaves on the forest floor in my direction from the pond area.  Then, after about another 30 seconds the buck finally came into view.  It was an 8 point buck, slowly walking down towards my stand area.  At this point the buck was about 40 yards away moving through some brush and was walking slowly, stopping every few steps, turning his head looking back and forth trying to find the doe that he heard make the doe in estrous bleats.  Within a few more seconds, the buck eventually worked his way down to an opening in front of my stand offering me a 35 yard shot.  My shot hit its mark and I harvested an 8 point buck that I called in with my deer call. I've experienced success calling some deer to my calls but this was the first time that I actually harvested a deer that I called in...pretty exciting to say the least.  I had passed on this buck during bow season at about 11 yards and I passed on a 70 yard shot at him yesterday chasing a group of does, but now this late in the season and offering such a chip shot he was out of passes.

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Still fighting a miserable cold that went into a lung infection,  another night of coughing almost convinced me to throw in the towel for this gun season. With the sound of the wind outside, the warmth of my bed seemed much more appealing than waving about side to side tied to a tree. However, after a few moments I managed to muster enough resolve to get up,  hack a few more times, hit the asthma puffer, get a drink of water, brush my teeth, and start slowly climbing  into my hunting clothes that at this time of year more resemble a cocoon. The argument in my head about staying in bed or tackling another day in the cold, windy, snowy woods, was in the end won I think in large part by my refusal to accept the thought of getting too old and slowing down. Call it pride, ego, or stubbornness, I reminded myself I did not come all the way back to New York to live from Alaska to wimp out from doing something that has been such an important part of my life and something I desperately missed  while I was away. 

Once my clothes were on, I quickly  started to build a sweat as I wrangled with and swore at the cheap safety belt harness system I have been using because I couldn't find my much nicer (and safer) one buried for the past 5 years in my garage someplace. What a fiasco this pile of loose belts and buckles that seem to have no rhyme or reason and require the physical stamina and contortion skills of a Cirque du Soleil athlete/artist. Definitely not an easy task for a guy my size, age, movement restricted by a laundry basket worth of clothes, coughing and gasping for breath. God I hate this harness,  but I don't dare climb up into ladder stands anymore, wind or not without one on. Did I mention 3 years ago, after some 40 years of climbing some pretty sketchy deer stands without incident,  I fell off a brand new eight foot ladder while I was painting around a window frame? The end result was surgery on my arm to put in 13 screws and 2 or 3 (I can't remember) metal plates that hurts to this day. No more climbing anything without being secured. 

Once finally dressed and with the safety harness gripping and pinching me in all the worse possible places, I left the house without looking back. I climbed on my 4 wheeler and made my way up the hill through the snow covered fields. All of my fiddling around got me started rather late by most peoples standards here, but to be honest these days I actually prefer getting on stand just before shooting time. I hate sitting in the dark listening and hoping to hear nothing. When I entered the woods on my wheeler I had to stop and back up to grab my blaze orange hat that was ripped off my head by a rogue blackberry bush, and then onward up the hill to my stand.

The snow was deep in the woods and being close to 7 am I could see the deer tracks seemed to be everywhere I looked. Many of them looked fresh, which worried me a bit that I bumped the deer out of the area on my way in to the stand. Regardless, I was now there so I parked my wheeler up a bit from my ladder stand, hidden as best as possible in some brush, and I walked the few yards through the knee deep snow to my stand. Grasping the rungs of the ladder, up I went, while trying to not to keep stepping on my insulated coverall bib pant legs that are too long for me. At the top of the ladder I reached for the tree to hug it to steady myself in the wind. When I pulled, then tossed the belt that goes around the tree to secure myself, the stupid thing pulled out of its loop in the back of me. Rather than risk falling out of the tree trying to get it back behind me I decided to improvise and tried to secure it to the tree but through a different part of the harness.

As I monkeyed around with the belt trying to figure out a way to tie myself to the tree, I suddenly caught a glimpse of a coyote moving quickly through the dense saplings on the hillside above me. I'll admit that I have no love for coyotes after losing a beagle to one years ago and several other close calls with my beagles with them while rabbit hunting after that. So, I immediately stopped messing with the belt and sat down, pulled a bullet from my pocket, chambered the round and tried to put and end to this one. At the shot, he/she kicked it into high gear and was gone in a flash, clearly a miss. Gathering my thoughts for a moment, the wind gusting against my face reminded me I was still not secured to the tree, so I stood and turned around to resume once more figuring out this dilemma.  

It seemed like I was at it forever in the tree, and I was beginning to think I would just climb down and hunt from the ground rather than continue to huff, puff and swear under my breath. It had been about a half hour since the coyote deal and I still was not secured to the tree. Then again out of the corner of my eye I caught movement. This time coming up from the stand of hemlocks below me, just as I had hoped would happen, I see a big doe all by herself. She looked alert but not frightened and was clearly on her way up towards me. As with the coyote I was standing untied to the tree and with my rifle still unloaded. This time though, my back was to the deer and she was walking straight uphill towards me rather than off to the side like the coyote. I knew my movement had to be seamless and with some haste to pull this off successfully. 

With that, I turned, sat down, all the while watching her pick up some speed as she came up the hill in front of me and in a diagonal direction she would pass me at about 50 yards. I fumbled quickly in my coat pocket for a round and quickly got it chambered. The wind was in my favor but she clearly began to sense something was going on, perhaps hearing the rifle bolt close, and she picked up her speed to a trot. At her pace it was going to be iffy to keep the scope  steady on her, so as she started across an open area above me I let out a loud squeak noise from my pursed lips. At the sound she stopped, I put the cross hairs where they needed to be and I fired.

At the shot she whirled around and sped back down the hill towards the hemlocks she had come from. I couldn't see where she went but did see a giant cloud of snow following her movement down the hill. Rather than risk getting down and pushing her if still alive and then having to track further in the deep snow, I sat for another half hour. Interesting to note was, while I was waiting in the tree, a single crow flew over making a weird croaking sound, circling the entire time. By the time I got down, there had to be fifty of them circling above me and it was eerie, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock movie "the birds"! It didn't seem possible the crows could have that quickly identified my dead deer if she was in fact dead.

Once I got down I slogged through the knee deep snow in the direction of where she ran rather than walk up the hill to where she was standing. It was quickly obvious I hit her hard, as the blood spray on the snow looked like spray paint. When I turned my sight down the hill I could see her laying on her back, feet in the air and with her head buried in the snow. There was no tracking needed for this one because even without the blood it looked like a bobsled run where she slid and plowed all the way down the hill. When I got to her I was impressed with her size and knelt down to pull her head out of the snow, brushed her free of snow, and as I always do spend I few moments quietly reflecting and giving thanks for opportunity to take such an animal. 

 While it was again this time a one shot one kill situation,  and again thankfully she died within sight of my stand and four wheeler, the old saying about the work starting after the shot has never been more true. 

 

Pics include:  my stand, my wheeler in plain view from my stand and only a few yards from where she was shot, single shot behind the elbow that passed through totally taking out the heart, and the bobsled run where I found her. 

 

 

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Edited by New York Hillbilly
pics and spell check
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We covered 5 miles in the snow today according to my brothers app. We had fresh snow on top of the 8-10 that was already there so I’d guess it was close to or over a foot deep. 
 

My Dad, Brother and I were all still hunting along the side of our mountain when I cut a set of tracks/jumped one. I followed them down off until it slowed down then I stopped to have lunch and let it settle down a bit. 
 

As I progressed on the track I noticed it was heading to an area I have caught them bedded before so I circled up wind and also higher up on the mountain. I slowed way down and was looking for a deer as I got into the bedding area on a mini ridge that descended into a thicker area. Just then as I scanned I caught a deer moving and quickly got over against a tree to rest against in case I got a shot. Sure enough as I watched more doe came into view and they quickly headed up hill to me. I got on the lead doe and dropped her when she stopped broad side @70 yards. Then the trailing doe and fawn ran closer and stopped and I reset for another shot and let it rip. That’s when the rest of the herd ran, 10 total took off and seconds later I heard my Dad touch one off which got me more excited.

He’s 73 and my brother and I cherish each hunt he comes on. Where we hunt and how we hunt is not easy so for a guy of his age and shape to do it is impressive to say the least. 

Turns out his went down in a hurry, @75 yards with his iron sight 50 year old Remington semi auto. 
 

My second shot led us on a short track to the doe that was within of my first. 
 

Then we had to drag the things out which took 3 hours and a lot of work and man are we beat. I leap frogged my two while my brother took care of pops doe and eventually came back to help me. 
 

Weights were 110, 132 and 135 tying my biggest doe. It’s a hunt to remember for sure. 
 

That’s a truck load of meat. ; )

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Thought I put that post above in the live from the wood thread. Shows how good I can see without my reading glasses. 

Got too Dunkin donuts this morning at 5:30. Our agreed upon meeting time. Get a coffee and sit down. Nobody is showing up. I send out a group text no answers. Now I am agrivated since 4 guys said they were hunting this morning and I drive by far the farthest to the lease. It is freezing cold and I am contemplating cutting my loses and driving back home and going to bed. I start making phone calls and my friend Tommy is the only one that answered. He said he is coming but he is running late as always and he still had to load his sled. So I just go to his house and put his sled in my trailer knowing it will be faster than waiting for him. So finally we are ready to head out as it is now past sunrise. We get there and ride our sleds out to the power line to come up with a plan. Tommy tells me to climb in the stand we call the Remington stand and he is going to take a slow walk and try to get something moving towards me. About 20 minutes after I am in the stand I can see two deer moving through the woods heading from where I was expecting if Tommy pushed something. It is going to be a long shot so crank my scope up, get on them, they both look the same size so I decide I am going to shoot whichever one gives me the best shot. One stops directly in the middle of the power line, I hold high and squeeze off a shot. There was no reaction that I could tell, they both just ran off. I wait for Tommy to finish the drive and nothing more comes out. I climb down and jump on my sled and ride to find the tracks in the snow. I find what I think are the tracks and follow them about 30 yds and no blood. Well it was a long poke and I blew it. So this time Tommy is going to sit in a tripod stand and I am going to walk to him. I do and push nothing. As I get to him he says he is going to go look for blood again, that all the time I have been hunting with him I have never missed. So he takes off as I walk back to my sled where I started my walk. I get there and get back out to the power line and my phone rings and its Tommy saying get over here, I hit the deer and he has blood. So I go to where he is and sure enough, there is blood, not much but its there. I look back at the stand and I am thinking holy crap, that is a long ways. I asked how far he thinks that is and he says all of 300 yds. Now I feel sick to my stomach, I am wishing I missed or didn't take the instead of taking such a long poke and making a terrible shot. We come up with a plan that he is going to follow blood and I am going to take my sled and go all the way around incase he bumps her. So I do that, call him and tell him I am in position. He says ok he is going to start on the track. Seemed like 30 seconds went by (it was probably 5 minutes) and he calls me and calls me and calls me a &%÷#×$+*. He says he has her but she is at the very bottom of the steep ravine. So I go back around wondering how we are going to get her out of there. Luckily Tommy had 100 foot rope in his truck and I was able to get my sled to the edge of the top of the ravine. I pulled her with my sled 30 feet or so, backed up and retied the rope until she was at the top. Sled pulled her like nothing. I know this is a long post for a doe but I enjoy reading the stories so hopefully nobody minds. First two pics are her at the bottom of the ravine. Much easier getting her in the snowmobile trailer than the back of a truck. This was by far my longest shot. I don't think I have ever taken a shot more than 100 yds before, probably more like 75.

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Finally able to at least climb and be more mobile while awaiting neurosurgeon appointment next week. Had one of those hunts Sunday morning with a plan to get this guy and it worked. There's a couple more opportunities for late season MZ; finishing strong!

 

 

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