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Zem's tall tales


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Hey all - Im back at it again this year just like the rest of you. Last year my heart wasn't into it and it just didn't feel right. I vowed to make it a better year and try to get serious about hunting again. Then came the floods. I'm sure some of you were affected by them personally. My house was high and dry but many others were not. My warehouse was used as a water and dry ice location for many victims and it has only gotten busier and busier since. I am keeping a positive attitude and accepting that my time afield will be limited to weekend warrior status (part time too as I coach soccer for the kids)

Well enough of my pitiful story, lets get to the hunting tales shall we

Opening morning was a tad breezy with wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph in my area. DId I crawl back to bed, HELL NO. I climbed into my stand about 610ish and held on for the ride. Saw a rabbit just as it got light and a few squirrels and that was it. I got down around 9 am as I had my daughters game to coach at 10.

That afternoon I planned to leave the house at 3 or 330. I chose 330 as I was comfy on the couch at 3. As I headed out into the field I was scanning my way to my stand. 40 yards to go and I look up and there is a young doe staring at me. The wind is howling in my face and we are 25 yards apart. I was freezing standing there for almost 10 minutes. She would look at me and then feed. Then the radar ears would work one at a time, and then both in unison. She finally thought nothing of me and fed away and to my left. I was elated that I could finally move to warm up. I squatted down and then caught a glimpse of her through the brush moving away. I moved slowly towards the stand, watching her as she was headed in a circle to get downwind of me. Little did I know that it was a second deer because when I got to the corner she turned, she was still there. Scared the crap out of both of us. I could have tapped her on the tush. The two took off but slowed a bit and just fed away into the deeper woods. I got on stand and braved the afternoon winds.

An hour later I looked behind me and I caught a deer sneaking in behind me. It looked to be the same two from earlier, and they were headed back to get to the crabapples on the tree. DId I mention it was windy? The larger doe was spooky and the gusts would blow leaves at here and she would turn and run away, and then feed her way back from where she just ran from. It was fun to watch. She got to within 35 yards but no shot presented itself. I decided to call it a badhair day due to windy conditions at 6:10pm. Seeing deer on a day like that was definately a bonus and getting that close got the heart pumping.

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Day 2 - Sunday the 16th

My buddy did not get out Saturday so I told him to hunt one of the other stands by me in the morning. We rode up together and pulled into my inlaws driveway. He says "Holy $hit , did you see that?" I was like see what, a buck? He goes no look. He turns the lights off and I see a "FLASH", then another, and another. My trail camera is going off that is 25 yards from my stand. We wait one minute, and then 3 more flashes. We start laughing that it is 6:05am and the deer are already feeding and we can't get to the stand without spooking them. At this point I said, lets spook them now and maybe they will come back. So we went for it. I made it past the camera and I heard the leaves rustle a little behind my stand but no snorting. I crawled up the tree and waited.

About 7:15 I saw movement and sure enough, here comes two doe from the direction the ones this morning went. The first one was a little skipper, this years deer, and a button buck to boot. He came by at 10 yards. His little sister came next and she came by at 8 yards. I took pictures of them feeding out in front of me for almost 20 minutes. My trail camera flash was going off too as it was shady in under the trees. The button walked back into the woods first, directly under my stand about 4 feet from the base of the tree. His sister followed about 1 minute later. What I never saw was Mom or Dad but I knew Mom was around. Sure enough as I was scanning the woods behind me about 20 minutes after I lost sight of them, I caught 3 deer moving away from me back in the thick stuff. Not nearly as windy today thankfully but Mom wouldn't commit. Not sure if she was there earlier in the morning and remembered so she sent the kids to do her dirty work so she wouldn't get arrowed or not. HUnted until 10am and then checked my trail cam. Only 529 pictures in 2 weeks. There are two 6 points, a 4 point, and spike. Lots of does and little ones too. And the raccoon is back again this year. Can't hunt Sunday afternoons so no reports there. Looking forward to Saturday morning but it will be a short hunt. Got a game at 9am.

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Hey Zem!! Looks like you had some action anyway. I had one deer sighting in my first 7 days in the stand! I am coaching my daughters basketball team. Just practices for now but games start middle of next month on Saturdays! I wondering if we can set them all for after dark!! :-)

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I hear ya Fletch on the Saturday games. I took July off from coaching but my daughter still played once a week but I have been at it for 11 months and we have one last outdoor game this Saturday and then 6 months of indoors, right into 2 months of outdoors in the spring. I still get my morning and evening hunts in and Thanksgiving week everyone knows I am MIA.

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Saturday 10-22-11

Got on stand at 6:30am and was hoping for a quick sighting before I had to head to a soccer game at 9. It happened quick alright. At 7:15am I saw one small unidentified cruise through at about 35 yards and then disappeared 10 seconds later. No clue where it went but it wasn't behind my stand. Stayed until 8:30 and snuck out to get to the game.

Last week the deer were out early o I said I would leave the house by 2:30pm. I was in my stand by 2:40pm and it was nice and quiet except for the chipmunks and squirrels. At 5pm the guy a few houses over decides he is going to mow the rocks in his dirt driveway. I'm not kidding, that tractor was draggin and slingin rocks everywhere. I could hear it echoing off the hillside behind me. He stopped about 5:30 thankfully so I was hoping for the best until dark. I heard my father in law pull up in his truck about 6:10pm. And then I heard the mower yell his name. At this point I hear the leaves just a thrashing at the deer running away from the mower who was yelling. I was ticked that I got skunked but thats what hunting in the backyard is about. Checked the trail cam and the deer came down about 18 minutes later and it was dark so good thing I got down or I would've spooked them.

Sunday morning was nice and my buddy and I hit the stands at the inlaws again. I had 4 doe come down out of the woods between 7:15 and 7:30am. I finally caught them back in the woods farther so now I know which trail they have been "disappearing" to. My eyes can catch the spot easily now as they walk right past the only white POSTED sign on the neighbors property. All the others are yellow if you were wondering. Buddy saw nothing. We were going to head to check another trail camera and headed down the road from my in laws. We get about 400yards down and there in some open woods 400 yards from the nearest house is a 6pt, and a nice one, about 50 yards from the road and the truck. We stop to snap some pictures and that sucker starts to head right to us. I decided to get out and sneak into a little corner of woods across the road where the buck was going to cross. I made it and had an arrow nocked but couldn't see the buck from across the street. My buddy picks up the rest of the story by telling me that he was about 5 feet from breaking through the brush and crossing the road 15 yards in front of me when a girl came flying down the road trying to get to work and scared him off. I needed 2 more minutes, thats it, 2 minutes. Why couldn't she have been running late this morning. I'll try to get the pic my buddy took after the deer ran and crossed down by the houses. I do have some trail pics of him somewhere too.

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That would be the famous tree once again. I was getting alot of a$$ shots and the tops of their backs so I moved the camera back this year to the 3rd apple tree. The little tree you see was where I had the camera for the last 2 years. My pictures have doubled this year week by week. I had almost 400 last week alone.

We had heavy rain this morning and the cold front moved in this afternoon. It was rain/snowing for quite sometime but not sticking. I was bummed to be at work but the weekend it supposed to be chilly too. They are calling for a heavy freeze tonight and tomorrow night. Lows in the 20s. That should get them up and moving. Going to be a short hunt on Saturday and SUnday morning with the usual 3 to 4 hour hunt Saturday afternoon into evening. I can't wait to get out there. Thanks for the good luck wishes and same to you all.

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I woke up early this morning before the alarm so I got up and got in the shower. I decided that I would go out even though it would be short. I had a good feeling and I was right. I was in my stand by 6:45 am and it was just in time. At 7:10 the silence was broken to the sound of rustling leaves. The next thing I know I am surrounded by deer. Deer to the left, deer to the right, and deer behind me. There were 5 does that came down to feed. Then I hear more leaves flying and I see a deer chasing another, and BINGO was his NAMEO.

At first I thought it was one of the smaller does but it turned out to be a medium sized spike. He was off to my left about 70 yards out and he made a beeline towards my stand. He stopped about 20 to 25 yards away and raked a small tree. It was cool to watch him. When he did stop, it was only for a second to pull a leaf off the tree to eat and then he was moving again. What a great morning. WIshed I could've stayed but soccer was calling, last outdoor game of the year. I'm headed back out in about an hour. it's spittin and sputterin rain/snow here so hopefully they'll be feeding before the big storm.

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10/29 Saturday

Well the rain/snow that was falling changed over to all snow in a hurry so I packed up my stuff and headed out to the in laws place by 2:30pm. I was sneaking through the field to my stand and got to the crabapple tree and to my surprise, there was a doe feeding about 10 feet away from me. I snuck right up in on it as it was wet and good for sneaking. It noticed me pretty quickly and took off down through the field. I had a good feeling about this snow falling so I climbed into the ladder stand and took watch.

At 3:50pm the deer started moving, a doe and 2 little skippers, came out of the Posted land behind me and they stopped to feed. 3 minuted later, their tails went up and back into the woods they went. The wind was perfect, blowing out of the woods into my face, so not sure what spooked them. I didn't see anything else until ust after 5PM and then it was all just a blur. I counted 13 more deer that evening on stand with several of them well in shooting range. I had a small doe, eating olive leaves off the base of my tree. I could have leaned an inch forward and spit right between her ears on the flat of her head. And my ladder stand is only a 10 footer so I was darn close. At one point I had 5 does all within 20 yards surrounding my stand. I had the bow up and release hooked but two of the doe were nervous.They looked to be last years, hanging with momma and her other two from this year. I was trying to draw on either of them but it just didn't happen.

Those 5 moved on and I look back and here are another 3 about 60 yards out. One is pretty decent sized and he starts nudging a small doe. The doe runs away and he turns to make a beeline right to me. He walked by at 7 yards, and if he had his full rack, I would've taken him, but he got a free pass. It was a half racked 8 pt. He was missing his right side and his ear was drooping over so it was hurting him. He walked right past the camera so here is his pic


Looks like he has a little palmation going as well. I'd like to see him next year but who knows.

I'd say it was a great day in the woods. I spent 5 hours on stand that day and saw 23 deer. That is success in my book even if I didn't draw the bow. I haven't enjoyed a day like that in quite awhile. I did have over 600 pictures on the camera from that week and I found me a new target. Now if I can get him in the daylight when I am on stand, things will be good. Enjoy the pics.






Does this camera make his ass look big? LOL


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10-30 - Sunday

Man was it crunchy this morning. I had to wait for the window to defrost so I ended up getting to the inlaws at 6:40ish. The snow covering the field and the light from the moon was bright. Not bright enough once I got to the woods and heard the deer crashing away into the darkness. I braved the chilling wind as long as I could until 8:45AM and I saw nothing that morning.

Seven of us had plans to head down to rifle camp to cut some wood and hang a few Posted signs for our friendly tresspassers from last year. We headed the hour away southeast and they had gotten 7 or 8 inches of snow on Saturday. We received about an inch or two. Quite a difference down there but we had a good time getting things ready. We stopped at the Diner in town to have lunch and headed home. On the way home, all of the snow had melted in the 4 hours we spent down there.

Looking forward to this weekend. Can't make the Saturday morning hunt, have our first two indoor soccer games at 830 and 930. Once I get home, I am changing and heading to the stand for the rest of the day. And of course Sunday morning it is on as well.

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So I went to the in laws for homemade pizza tonight. I was tired from work and was talking with my brother in law about how my buddy hunted the last 3 afternons (Tues. Wed. & Thurs. ) at my inlaws. My mother in law comes over and says "Oh hey, I saw that huge buck today". I was like what? When? She said he came out of the woods and was headed down the fenceline to my FIL's apple orchard right in the middle of the field. And this was at 4:45pm today. I was dying because I knew my buddy wasn't up there today. I debated whether or not to tell him but I had to. He hasn't texted me back yet but I am sure it will have plenty of @#$%&^$#@!!)*(&^^%#$^ in it. Good to know he is on his feet during daylight, and he is strollin by where the ladies are hanging out. Hopefully he will show when I am there. B)

Good luck to you guys this weekend.

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Had a soccer game at 8:30 and another at 9:30 this morning so no hunt for me. Lost both games too. What a bummer. Girls played pretty good for their first games though. It was pretty warm in the afternoon but I was thinking that the deer would be moving so I was able to get out int he stand by 1pm so I could enjoy the day and hunt until dark. By 2pm is was so hot and I forgot to bring a drink that I got down out of my stand and went to the in laws to steal some iced tea for the stand. Was back up within 10 minutes and feeling refreshed. At 3pm I spotted a small doe coming down out of the posted property behind me. Like clock work, two more followed on the same trail but they were headed away from me towards the neighbors house. They made it to the apple tree in the back yard and then the neighbor came outside and the gig was up. They high tailed in back up the trail and into the posted land.

The next few hours were brutal watching the neighbors, who always seem to come out at primetime, collect firewood and twigs and make a loud racket. I swear they opened and closed the car door in the garage over 25 times in an hour. My stand is about 70 yards away in the woods but man you could hear every little noise echo out there. I know the deer hear it too but again they are like clock work. About 5:45pm and I spot movement in the same spot as earlier and here omes the little piggy. This little doe is always first to come down and hits the crab apple tree by my stand. I have seen her almost every hunt this year and it is always the same route. I laugh everytime I see her. Tonight, she was joined by her sister and her mom. The mom had made it past me and was walking the field edge headed right to the apples but she must've caught my wind. She stopped, sniffed for a second, and then turned around and fed away from me. She headed back into the woods and was just about to step into a lane and she was eating and eating, and eating. Finally she stepped into an opening broadside at 20 yards. I had my bow in hand and when I lifted it up, I could barely see my pins. I checked my watch and it was 6:11pm. I contemplated it for a few minutes and by then I knew I had talked myself right out of it. It was the smart thing to do. I got down and bumped them in the field when I was leaving but no snorting so they just spooked.

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My buddy and I headed up to the inlaws again this morning as we have been seeing tons of deer so thought, why not? He took the low stand and I took the ladder in the woods where I was yesterday. As I headed in I could hear deer bounding away in the leaves. They didn't go far because I had just gotten up to the top of the ladder and hung my bow when I hear a deer coming back down through the leaves. I am watching the area and I hear "grunt" then the leaves are rustling as he walks and I hear "gruuuunt" I can barely make him out and he is only 12 yards away but it is still too dark. I can see his white rack and I believe he is the half racked 8point I passed on the snowy Saturday last week. He grunted a few more times and then headed into the field before it got light. My buddy saw him cross about 40 yards out in front of him but could not make him out fully as it was too dark still. He disappeared intot he darkness.

I had 2 doe and a spike come down a little later once it got light. I had the spike broadside at 12 yards, right where the other buck walked this morning but I passed on him. He worked past me and was headed towards my buddy. At that point a dog starting barking from somewhere when the spike got to the spot where I had walked in this morning. Not sure if the dog or my scent spooked him but he turned around and ran straight into the woods and stopped broadside again at 20 or so yards this time. I didn't even pick up my bow. I watched him take off back into the woods and he took one of the does with him. The little piggy was still down eating and eventually she headed back into the woods about 15 minutes later. Was a good morning.

On the way out of the woods we ran into my Mother in law. My FIL is in Colorado mule deer and elk hunting so she was a chatty cathy. I took the opportunity and said hey, you want company this afternoon, I will bring the kids up so I can hunt. She said sure.

At 215pm I took the kids up and my buddy and I headed to the stands again. It was warm again and the wind was blowing just enough so you couldn't hear so good. About half an hour passed and I look down to my left and there is piggy and his sister under the apple trees. They are gnawing away at the apples and enjoying the afternoon. They headed back into the woods after the feeding binge that last almost 20 minutes. I was in my hang on stand on the edge of the field and decided for a chance of scenery and got down and went to the ladder stand. No sooner did I get up in there and hung my bow and I hear a deer bounding into the woods from the field behind me. It was the spike from this morning. This dude mut've been running all day because he stopped about 15 to 20 yards away and his mouth was wide open and he was laboring hard to breathe. He stopped for 20 seconds and he was off looking for the ladies. This was at 420 or so. Just before dark at around 4:50, I see piggy and her sister heading back down to the apples and who is following them, the spike. Man he is all horned up sniffing away at them. It was cool to watch. He didn;t follow them to the apples though, and he headed back into the posted land. The does were feeding and I wanted to get down so I just said the heck with it and started walking right at them. They scurried off at the sounds of my footsteps and when I got out into the field, they had stopped to watch me walk back to the house to get the kids.

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I had 566 pics on the camera from Tuesday to Saturday of last week. My buddy changed cards on Tuesday and then reset the camera on Wednesday as it was locked up so he didn't set the date and time. Thought I'd share a few pics. Last year was the first year I had ever seen a fox in the wild and I saw him 2 to 3 times while hunting. Although I haven't seen him this year, I know he is still around from all the piles he has been leaving and I finally caught him on camera.



And my MIL did see the "BIG ONE" last Friday during daylight hours. I was hoping for some good pics and wasn't too disappointed

This one isn't the best


But this one was perfect


If only I didn't have to work for a living I could've been out there on Friday afternoon.

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