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Zem's tall tales


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Haha I knew I could keep someone is suspense. OK here's the story:


Woke up at 5am and got ready to head out with my buddy this morning. Got outside at 530 and the moon was bright and it didn't feel too cold. We made the short drive to the inlaws and headed to the stands. The wind on top of the hill was a howling this morning and it seemed like the sun was never going to come up. It finally got light around 6:15 or so but the wind didn't want to cooperate at all. I received a text saying "This wind blows, literally". I chuckled and texted him back and said that if we didn't see anything by 730 we could leave as I had two soccer games to coach starting at 930 and I told the wife I would be home by 815. This was at 6:55am.

At 7am I can hear my buddy using his grunt call to try and stir up some action. No sooner did he grunt and I look to my left and there is a deer that snuck in on me heading right in his direction. I could see it was a basket racked buck and at first glance, I thought he was a 3pt. I wasn't fixed on the horns but the body size was definately decent but he was out of range. He stopped to feed under the apples trees for a few minutes but I knew he had other places to go. He went straight down the path I walked in on which goes directly to my buddy's stand. I sat there and waited to hear Thwack but the sound never came. I was thinking to myself, no way he passed on him so what gives. And then I see the buck coming right back up the trail and into the woods to come right passed me broadside at 15 to 20 yards. I judged his body again and picked up the bow. I hooked my release and said to myself, If he stops, he's done. I mouth bleated once and he kept moving so I drew and bleated louder and he stopped. I settled the pin and touched the trigger and Thwack the arrow was a pass through. I watched him bound away and do a stutter step about 30 yards out but he didn't stop.

At this point I hung my bow and sat down for a second to text my buddy with two words - Double Lung. I was positive it was but was surprised he ran so far and out of sight. As I sat there collecting myself and replaying the shot I hear "Pssst" and I look to my right and there is my buddy with a thumbs up so I gave him one back. I hadn't realized that almost 10 minutes had passed since I shot and he was waiting to hear from me. The text didn't go through until almost 5 minutes after he came up. I got down from stand and we went to look for my arrow. As I stepped closer to where he was I saw hair and blood and on the other side of the trail was my blood soaked arrow stuck into a branch laying on the ground. I soon came to the conclusion that I am a dumbass for leaving my pack in the truck, thinking I wasn't going to need it. It contained my knife, drag rope, towel, plastic bags, Butt-out tool, bleat can, knife sharpener, binos, ya know nothing really important. Well we walked to the house and got my pack, and shed a few layers and then started back to the point of impact.

On the way into the trail, there was a single deer coming at us but we saw it too late and couldn't identify what it was. I picked up the blood trail and we moved onward to the logging road seperating our property and the Posted land. The buck had run straight down the road. When the road reaches the neighbors property, there is a well used trail heading uphill and right on the poster line. I have permission to hunt the neighbors land so we continued to follow the blood trail up the deer trail. My buddy was lower than me and moving out in front of me as I followed the blood. Just as I was about to crest the top of the 20 foot hill, my buddy had sprinted up the hill and beat me to it and said, he's done. There he was laying just at the top next to a small log. When I reached him, four other deer to our left had been watching about 40 yards away and they bolted.

We were 150 yards from where I shot and I looked at my placement. I hit about 4 inches to the right of where I thought I was aiming. My anchor was solid and I didn't jerk the release. I'm thinking I was hyped up a touch and not sure what happened. I clipped the back of the lungs and not sure what else I hit in there but it was a little messy and not low, thank god. Dead center of the body basically instead of right behind the shoulder. I picked his head up and was surprised to see that he had 7 points. I did see the one Y before I had shot and thought it was seriously a 3pt. I had lost most of my venison when we were without power for 5 days during the floods in September. Now the freezer will be full again.

Here's the funny part of this - I shot approximately at 7:05am. We waited 15 minutes and then walked to the truck to get my pack and then back to track. Found the deer, field dressed it, drug it down the hill and across the neighbors garden to my inlaws house and hung it in the garage. Guess what time it was when we left to head home? 8:02am. That's right, I told the wife I'd be home by 8:15 and dammit I was home early, 8:14 to be exact when we pulled in the driveway!! Now thats getting it done on limited time.

The pictures turned out goofy, I was holding it's ears back and didn't realize it, and the expression on my face and the deer in the headlights look I have top it all off. I'm happy and my stomach will be happy tomorrow night at dinner time when I have some fresh venison. Here's the pics.



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Thanks fellas - Not a giant by any means but he will make alot of people happy. I had every intention of keeping this deer for my freezer. My schedule did not allow me to butcher him last night and I had to work today for a few hours or so I thought. I ended up putting in a full day and had other plans this evening. So I did the next best thing. I donated the deer to the Hunters for the Hungry program in our area. With gun season coming and a DMP for that along with an Antlerless for Muzzloader, I am sure I can get some meat for myself.

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You are right, I usually give the second one but I just don't have the time. Work is insanely busy and I am on vacation after Friday so alot on my plate and just couldn't get it done. I try to be confident but we will see, I may be eating tag soup the rest of the year.

Wooly - I had to re-read the post . I thought yoy were calling Zem a Horny Old Goat ! B) ... B)

Haha he would've had it right either way!!!

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Well I am washing the hunting clothes right now and am starting to get excited about heading to camp Friday night. I will have to pack most of my stuff tomorrow as I am headed to bed early tonight. I have next week off but this week I am paying for it at work. Good lord I can't believe how busy things are right now. It is a good thing and a bad thing, Iam looking forward to some r&r when I come back home Tuesday. Should be a good time with a full camp. Now if the weather and deer cooperate, things will be good. Good luck to you all this weekend and be safe.

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I made it back Monday night. That was not my original plan but things change.

Saturday the 19th - Opening Day

Had to be my most unproductive Opening Day that I can remember. I sat for 5 hours straight on stand as it was too crunchy to walk. Didn't even see a bird or squirrel. The afternoon was just as unproductive, no sightings even after taking a little walk and then finishing the day in my favorite spot. Brother in law shot a medium sized doe today and two others scored as well, 1 doe and a spike. One guy missed a 6 point at 7:10am. With limited hunting time for must of us, it looks like the brown its down theory came into play.

Sunday - I broke out the Bermuda shorts and flip flops and headed into the woods. Damn it was hot today with temps in the mid 60s. I did sleep in this morning as I was exhausted from a tough work week and stayed up late playing cards Friday night. I was in my spot by 9:30am and hunted until dark. Zippo deer sighted today so frustration was setting in. At 11:30am I heard shots across the valley and it sounded like a gun fight. 6 shots going every which way. I made it down to the cabin at dark only to find that my BIL and I were the only two guys left at camp. Four others had packed up and headed home. There was a note that at 11:30am one of the guys shot an 8point. Funny because when I left to go out at 9:15am that morning, he was still snoring away in his bunk. Right place at the right time I guess. I'm happy for him as he had rotator cuff surgery in September and he could not bow hunt at all this year.

Monday - My BIL and I made a plan to hunt the back part of the property. There was a 3rd hunter from up the road who headed up back on his 4 wheeler at 515am. We headed up there at 6:10am and made the 1/2mile walk. We split up and picked two spots where the deer cross regularly and get pushed of an adjacent property when they perform drives. The wind was bone chilling and my stomach was a rumbling. No one had any Imodium AD in camp but it spread like wild fire between 4 of us over the weekend. Needless to say I was headed back the 1/2 mile to camp by 9am. I was moving fairly quickly and the leaves were crucnchy and I bumped 3 doe off their bed about 30 yards over the property line. I scoped all 3 and kept moving. I'll spare you the rest of the details and just begin with , I was back at my favorite spot, close to the cabin and outhouse, by 10am. It was still a little chilly and windy and I was actually feeling bored so I thought of this story my Dad had told me years ago. He knew a guy who would shoot his buck by 9am every opening day. His secret was to build a little fire and let the wind take the smoke through the woods and the deer get curious and come to investigate. I looked at my watch and it was 11:15 and I thought, what the heck. There is a huge 400lb rock next to my spot so I cleared a little area and found some sticks and tinder. One match later and I had a little fire started and the wind did the rest. I put some twigs on it at least twice as they burned quick and then the third time I actually sat on the ground next to the rock with my back to a tree and was snapping twigs and blowing on the coals. I happened to look up and 50 yards away are momma and two little skippers coming right at me. I reached over and grabbed the rifle and just sat there as they came closer and closer. With the smoke blowing at them and me behind it, they came to within 15 feet of me and just stood there. I got the head bob movement for over a minute but I didn't flinch. Then they decided they wanted to feed right there too. This lasted about 4 to 5 minutes and then they decided to go around me. They continued on their path walking only 10 feet away from me this time. I was thinking, man that was so cool. I thought they were still headed away and I peeked back and got busted moving but it gave me a chance to get up and watch where they were headed. They did hang around for another 5 minutes and moved on.

I stayed in that spot the rest of the day wondering if the fire actually worked or if it was coincidence but I haven't convinced myself of either yet. I did see two small skippers at 4pm that came from the same direction the three did this morning but nothing was trailing them and they skirted me by 70 to 8o yards in some thick stuff. I made up for no sightings over the weekend and saw 8 today, all doe.

The stomach situation was still plauging my BIL and I so we packed up at dark and headed home. Felt great to take a hot shower and relax a little with the kids.

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Tuesday - 1015am

I told the kids I would get them on the school bus this morning and then my son had a special Thanksgiving morning program where his class was singing songs. He begged me to go and it was at 9:10am so I went. It was awesome and am glad I didn't miss it. I got home around 9:45 and got dressed to head to my in laws where I bow hunt. I usually do not sit in my bow stands for gun season but the adjacent property I can hunt had 3 vehicles over there so I had no choice. I headed up the field and was about 15 to 20 yards from my stand, right next to the apples tree when I see a doe coming out of the woods right from under my stand. I stopped and froze. This little doe kept coming and ended up 10 to 12 feet away just staring and trying to get me to move. She finally decided she was hungry enough and I wasn't a threat that she went to the apples and started feeding. I saw the second one coming behind her and that one popped out from under my stand and proceeded to get just as close to me but she didn't take her eyes off me. I got the foot stomps, the head bobs, the I'm going to eat and snap my head back up to try and catch you moving. It was quite entertaining. My MIL told me later that she was watching me from the house and could'nt figure out why I was just standing there so she got out the binos and saw why. She was like man you could reach out and touch them and I said yeah they were close. Finally I told them it was there lucky day and to go get their big brother or mom and dad and then come back. They dashed about 40 yards into the woods and I climbed up in my stand. They fed their way back into the woods after about 15 minutes. I sat until the rain was coming down in buckets and when I was about to get down my two friends came back to feed. They didn't see me get down out of my stand so with the rain masking any noise I would make, I snuck around them as not to spook them like this morning. Was a relaxing day in the woods.

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Wednesday - 8am

My buddy called me and said three of us were headed to a new spot about 20 minutes away. I was excited as the rain had stopped and I always love a new spot to hunt. We made the drive and got ready to head up to the stands that were in place from bow season at this property. I drew the double seater 15ft ladder stand. It's fairly close to the horse barn and pasture but the bottom in the hardwoods behind me looked awesome and I felt good that some deer would be sneaking in and out of this bedding area. The other two moved further down the field and sat in a stand in the woodline near a hedgerow between two fields and the other sat ont he ground in the hardwoods across the field looking towards the back of the land. Not 20 minutes into the sit the fog rolled in and then rains came. It poured for 20 minutes just enough to soak the outer layer and dampen the second layers of clothes and then the 15 to 20 mph winds kicked in. By 1030 I was a freeze pop in that ladder stand and I had seen the boys moving around on the ground towards the back field. Our plan was to stay until noon but we were out of there by 11am. No deer sighted but a promising new hunting spot.

I usually do not hunt on Thanksgiving and this year will not be any different. My wife works retail and she works nights, including tonight and then has to be in early tomorrow night for Black Friday. She will be napping and I will be entertaining the kids. When she gets home from work Friday morning, I will have the Explorer packed and pick up my Dad to head back down to camp for the rest of Friday and Saturday. Should be at least 6 to 7 of us down there for the weekend not including guests so maybe the deer will be moving better this weekend. I'm trying to think positive because the forecast is calling for mid to upper 50s again and the deer don't seem to come into the valley in the mountains when it's that warm. We will see though.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and good luck this weekend.

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Hi Zem,

That smoke deal was really cool, no doe tag?? It might be a bit warm but not as warm as last Sunday, it was 64 by me. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! I'll see my kids this morning and then head out to eastern Long Island to my parents house. I'll be back at camp next weekend and then for smoke pole. BTW what type of camp do you guys have? Is it a club and how many acres?

Good luck!

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Burt - I did have a doe tag and it is still unfilled. I knew my Dad was coming down with me after Thanksgiving to the camp (It's not a club just a bunch of guys who like to hunt and we have a rough and rustic cabin on 270+ acres that we lease) so I was saving it so he could take a shot. He hasn't shot at a deer in years.

Last year we tried the same thing, he gets the tag on Friday, and I get it on Saturday. I see deer Friday and did not shoot, he sees nothing. We hunt Saturday and neither of us see anything.

11-25 & 11-26

Same thing happened this year. I wasn't in the woods 5 minutes on Friday morning and I have 3 doe less than 50 yards with the rifle. I don't shoot and hope they run to Dad. He sees nothing all day Friday. We both hunted hard on Saturday too and saw nothing. Was way too warm and the deer just didn't come out of their hiding spots. I hiked up and down the hills and ridges and pushed the thick spots trying to at least see a flag but nadda.

I had 9 days off and I hunted 8 of them. In those 8 days of hunting I saw 18 doe and not a single buck. Next weekend I will take a doe whether my Dad goes with me or not, that is if I see any.


Day 8

My buddy called me on the way home from camp Saturday night and said we are hunting in the morning at 9am at his place (317 acre lease) He had already asked my wife for permission as he is my neighbor, HAHA. She said OK. So we headed up and we had 7 guys there to do some drives. I lucked out and was a sitter on all four drives we did. One the first one, I had 3 small doe come in to about 30 yards and stop. They stayed for about 3 minutes and moved on. No tag for this area but was funto see some deer none the less. The next two drives were a bust. On the last one is where it got interesting.

I was dropped off by 4 wheeler and told to walk about 50 yards at an angle and stop on top of a small ridge that overlooked a bowl that comes out of some pines. The swamp is beyond the pines and the drivers where headed through the swamp and pines towards my location and the other sitters. AS soon as I got comfy I heard the leaves rustling below me in the pines. I look over and see a deer headed my way at about 50 yards but the drive hadn't started. I am watching this deer act nervously and then it turms away and starts to trot off. It is now about 80 to 100 yards away and it turns back and heads back towards me again closing the distance to about 40 to 50 yards but not a good angle for a shot. Once again it is all jumpy and then it hits the afterburners straight into the swamp and the on coming drivers. I was confused for about 30 seconds and then I see something running straight at me in the same little window I saw this deer in. It is small, low to the ground, and moving quickly. By the time I realize it is a coyote I get the scope up on the shotgun and whistle to stop it but it doesn't stop. I tried to lead it and I squeezed the trigger when it got to 20 yards away. Instantly it rolled over and I knew I had hit it. It tried to get up and I shot again but missed. It laid motionless for the next 4 to 5 minutes so I waited to see if any deer would pop up in the drive. Just as I saw one of the drivers, I hear the leaves rustling and I look and the coyote is trying to get up. I walked over to it and from behind the tree I took another shot and missed at like 10 feet after one of the drivers had just said , Don't miss. The fourth slug I fired was at point blank behind the shoulder and that finished it off. What can I say, I hate my shotgun and love my rifle.

The only reason I shot this coyote is because my buddy had said if I ever saw one, let alone one chasing deer, that I had better take a shot at it. I mangled her up pretty bad with my crappy shooting but I did get some pictures as this is my first one. It was a female and another guy at there camp shot a nice male on opening day. Hopefully we eliminated a litter of pups for next year.

Here are the pics:




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Unfortunately I mangled the hide up pretty bad, rear shot, glancing blow which I thought was a miss, and then a point blanker right behind he shoulder. The glancing blow sliced a nice part of it over 12 inches long across the top of the back. It was not worth saving so the entire thing was dumped. I wish I was able to keep it and get the hide tanned but there was no saving it.

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I was in taxidermist years ago and he had a bunch of hides from yotes and the top was was so cool. The color was

yellowish tan and had white in some areas. I look at him and say 'Man this is so soft and cool looking is it a wolf?"

He replies "no Golden Retriever!" Yikes, he will do pets for people who want it done. Little creepy for me. The hide was going to an old lady so she could put it at the foot of her bed. Guess thats where the dog slept!

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Zem ----- How come that dog has a collar and tag hanging from it ? LOL j/k

Nice job getting the yote ! Do they really stink like everyone says ?

I have taken quite a few over the past few years and never really noticed them stinking too bad. Now skinning one out may be another story!! I let the taxi do that! Or a trapper down the road.

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