wolc123

Early ML season opener tomorrow.

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Anyone else heading out ?  I drove up today, but by the time I got everything unloaded, there was only 15 minutes of legal light left.  I did not get out with my crossbow.  That will be my backup deer weapon, starting tomorrow up in the northern zone, unless it is too rainy for my ML. 

It looks like they are calling for light SW winds, temps in the low 40's and a chance of rain.  I will be looking to fill my antlerless tag, on the north side of route 3,  where they are legal.  A buck will need to have 3 or more points on a side, or clearly be at least a 2.5 year old, to earn my antlered tag.  

I forgot my evercalm, but I am going to bring some hot cider as an attractant/cover scent.  I know it works for deer, but I am hoping it might bring in a bear.  My father in law really wants a rug. 

Rain at home prevented me from getting any milkweed pods, so I will have to use my normal method of watching falling leaves to determine wind direction.  It looks like about 2/3 of them are down now up here, so visibility should be ok in the hardwoods.

  

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I had to modify the plan a bit this morning.  There is only one other guy who hunts the 500 acre property I am on.   His weekend place is on the north end of the lake.   I planned on hunting that end this morning based on the predicted sw wind.

A couple years ago, on opening day of ML, I tried a little rattling in that area.  I did not fool any bucks, but I did draw him up out of the swamp.  At first I thought it might be a bear approaching, up on its hind legs.  The chartreuse hat it was wearing finally tipped me off.

When I ran to him later that day, he said he thought he was sneaking in on a couple of bucks. He is a great guy and fellow Yankees fan. We still get laughs out of that one now and then.

I am right up in the center this morning and there is very little wind based on the steam from my breath going straight up.  No leaves are falling.  Since I forgot the evercalm, I am sipping hot cider hoping that it covers my scent.

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Good luck! Are you going to wet a line while you're up there?


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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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30 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

Good luck! Are you going to wet a line while you're up there?


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I am planning on it.  I brought up a couple of outboards that I want to get out on the lake and try.  One is a 1964 Johnson 5.5, very similar to my 1956 Evinrude, only it has a single line fuel hose. I traded my father in law's old busted gamefisher 7.5 and $ 250 for that one.

I also brought up my ancient Mercury K-5 for backup, and because I like to run it at least once per year.  We have plenty of fish in the freezer now, but a friend back home said he would mount a 22 in plus smallmouth for me if I can get one.  The last time I did that was up here on this date in 2016.  I will definitely be attempting a "repeat" this year.

Presently, I am a little more interested in filling a deer tag.  We are getting low on grind.  Got to go because I hear some leaves rustling behind me.  Good luck to all the hunters out there.

 

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Fished for a couple hours.  No action at all on my go-to bait of 1/8 oz bucktail jigs.  Maybe they are getting wise to them after 8 years of seeing them. 

A buddy gave me some old lures that were his grandfathers.  The little Johnson idled down good and purred like a kitten trolling.  I caught 2 smallies that were going on 22 inches (they had about 6 inches to go) before I snagged bottom and lost this crainckbait.  

I will have to see if I can find any more like that and try again for a 22 incher at midday tomorrow, and every day this week.  Time now to head back into the woods for the afternoon hunt.

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41 minutes ago, Bionic said:

I am out with the crossbow in the NZ as well.  

How is the weather where you are at ?

There is  good 10-15 mph south wind where I am now, but the leaves are all dried up. Conditions still ain't quite right for still hunting.   This morning, the leaves were damp but it was dead calm.

I am finding trees in good spots and hoping I can ambush a deer from my comfy tree hammock seat.  Mother in law is bringing home pizza and wings for dinner later.  She was out at a craft show all day today.  The chile she made me for lunch was good but will probably stop any deer from approaching from downwind.

 Father in law said he is giving me just one small task a day to get the place ready for winter.  Lifting his heavy Honda electric start 4-stroke off his barge was not too bad but my back is a little sore now.  Tomorrow I get to pound in snow fence stakes.  I aint complaining with the free food and lodging.  Watching the sun set over the mountains and waiting for a deer to show up is pretty cool.

 

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13 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

How is the weather where you are at ?

There is  good 10-15 mph south wind where I am now, but the leaves are all dried up. Conditions still ain't quite right for still hunting.   This morning, the leaves were damp but it was dead calm.

I am finding trees in good spots and hoping I can ambush a deer from my comfy tree hammock seat.  Mother in law is bringing home pizza and wings for dinner later.  She was out at a craft show all day today.  The chile she made me for lunch was good but will probably stop any deer from approaching from downwind.

 Father in law said he is giving me just one small task a day to get the place ready for winter.  Lifting his heavy Honda electric start 4-stroke off his barge was not too bad but my back is a little sore now.  Tomorrow I get to pound in snow fence stakes.  I aint complaining with the free food and lodging.  Watching the sun set over the mountains and waiting for a deer to show up is pretty cool.

That sounds exactly how the weather has been all day here as well.  That all sounds great, enjoy yourself, good luck, and I hope your back feels better.  I too, am hoping for a bear, and one of the two big bucks on cams.  It’s just my dad, and I up here at camp this weekend.  Hopefully we both get deer, but still learning this place.  Great time either way.  

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10 minutes ago, Bionic said:

That sounds exactly how the weather has been all day here as well.  That all sounds great, enjoy yourself, good luck, and I hope your back feels better.  I too, am hoping for a bear, and one of the two big bucks on cams.  It’s just my dad, and I up here at camp this weekend.  Hopefully we both get deer, but still learning this place.  Great time either way.  

Good luck to you guys.  Maybe the wind will drop off near dusk and the critters will come out.  I am liking the ridge I am on now and will probably stay right here until dark (I think that is around 6:15 where I am at).  I will pull the cap off at that time and walk on down the mountain for some leftover pizza.

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Better late then never. I’m in going to hunt my property today then hit the state land. I also have two days planned to fish.
Good luck fellow big woods hunter’s.


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I just had some deer action on the walk in.  There is a good steady south wind this morning but the leaves are dry and crunchy.  I waited until legal sun up (7:15), to cap and walk up into the woods, trying to "still hunt".

   I had not gone 100 yards when I noted the familiar horizontal back line and deep body of a mature deer about 70 yards off to my right.  The head was completely hid behind a tree, but the shoulder lung area was relatively clear.

I settled the crosshairs on the chest and drew the hammer back.  I would say my odds of making that shot exceeded 90 % but I held off until I could see the head.  My fear was burning my antler tag on a 1.5 year old buck.  After a couple minutes, it moved forward fast, raised its tail and another smaller deer followed.

No horns were visible and chances are I would have orphaned a fawn or two had I let the hammer fall.  As I continued up the hill, after the pair disappeared over the other side, a third deer lifted its tail, snorted and ran away further behind where the first pair came from.

I am in some young hardwoods that were timbered about 30 years ago. There seems to be plenty of nuts and other forage around.  I am going to stay up here for a while in my tree hammock chair and hope to catch some more traveling by to feed in the area.

 

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My last deer sighting was about 7:20 am, up on the north end of a ridge and almost directly under the sun in my previous photo. I worked my way around that ridge.  Now I am seated at the south end and getting down to the last of my hot cider.  

Maybe those deer I saw earlier, headed for the nuts, will want some apples for dessert.  If not, it looks like a good mid-day for unloading lumber, pounding in stakes, and trolling for a big smallmouth.  It is also looking like it will be a bit on the warm side for hanging a deer.

Good luck to you folks staying up in the big woods.  My plan for the 3 antlerless deer I saw this morning is to give that spot a few days rest.  I dont think I spooked them too bad.  I will wait for another morning with a south wind and try to get in position before sunup.  Screw that waiting for sunup, and trying to sneak up on them.  I am a lot better at ambushing than I am at sneaking.

 

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I ended up seeing 2 doe up there yesterday at last light.  They looked old, huge, and raddy.  I was happy with that since its big woods, and I was in a ladder stand.  It was the first deer seen in the 3 yrs of ownership of our camp.  

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Screw that waiting for sunup, and trying to sneak up on them.  I am a lot better at ambushing than I am at sneaking.
 
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After two four hour sits I’m ready to stretch my legs. Going to hit the park tomorrow if it’s not raining to hard. Time to breakout the smoke pole. There’s no way I’m walking around with the crossbow.


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1 hour ago, Bionic said:

I ended up seeing 2 doe up there yesterday at last light.  They looked old, huge, and raddy.  I was happy with that since its big woods, and I was in a ladder stand.  It was the first deer seen in the 3 yrs of ownership of our camp.  

The doe that I had my crosshairs on, from 70 yards away, looked very big also. The profile of her body, sticking out from behind that tree, looked like a 4 × 8 sheet of plywood.  I would have let the hammer fall on her for sure, if I did not still have 1-1/2 deer left in the freezer from last season.

It sounds like there will be lots of rain tomorrow, with more later in the day.  In the morning, I am going to head to an old leanto that has a chair in it.  I will use that as a "spike camp" if the wind and rain get too bad,otherwise I will rely on my tree umbrella and gortex camo rain jacket.  I am also  going to seal up my muzzle with electric tape before heading out.

 

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4 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

The doe that I had my crosshairs on, from 70 yards away, looked very big also. The profile of her body, sticking out from behind that tree, looked like a 4 × 8 sheet of plywood.  I would have let the hammer fall on her for sure, if I did not still have 1-1/2 deer left in the freezer from last season.

 

 

 

That’s funny about the sheet of plywood reference.  Definitely large deer for sure.  We just don’t know what to look for, as far as where to find deer somewhat often, up there in bigger woods, hence the 1st sighting in 3 seasons.  However, I have only hunted up there, 5-10 times.  

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10 minutes ago, Bionic said:

That’s funny about the sheet of plywood reference.  Definitely large deer for sure.  We just don’t know what to look for, as far as where to find deer somewhat often, up there in bigger woods, hence the 1st sighting in 3 seasons.  However, I have only hunted up there, 5-10 times.  

It seems like the deer can be found in the same places, at the same times, almost every year.  The more years you get under your belt, the more you will learn.

 I probably wasted my late afternoon hunt, because I sat in a spot where I have never seen deer until mid November when there is snow.  It is just such a comfortable spot, and close by so I could not resist.  I did not want to be too late for my mother in laws outstanding dinner.  The coolest thing tonight was hearing a big widow-maker crash down in the wind.

No deer seen after lunch however, and just one 18 inch smallmouth caught on a short mid-day troll.  I did not have much time for fishing because my father in law had a few "extra" tasks for me to get done prior to all the rain that is predicted for this week.

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1 minute ago, wolc123 said:

It seems like the deer can be found in the same places, at the same times, almost every year.  The more years you get under your belt, the more you will learn.

  I probably wasted my afternoon hunt, because I sat in a spot where I have never seen deer until mid November when there is snow.  It is just such a comfortable spot, and close by so I could not resist.  I did not want to be too late for my mother in laws outstanding dinner.  The coolest thing tonight was hearing a big widow-maker crash down in the wind.

No deer seen after lunch however, and just one 18 inch smallmouth caught on a short mid-day troll.  I did not have much time for fishing because my father in law had a few "extra" tasks for me to get done prior to all the rain that is predicted for this week.

This is what I hope to pick up on, is learning where deer frequent more often than others.  I just struggle with it no matter where I hunt, even at home, but it’s basically big woods here as well.  When I do connect, it just makes it that much more special.  I enjoy the time out there regardless, but do get frustrated at times.  
 

It sounds like a special place you have up there with the family,  enjoy yourself, hope your back is feeling better than yesterday.  

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22 minutes ago, Bionic said:

This is what I hope to pick up on, is learning where deer frequent more often than others.  I just struggle with it no matter where I hunt, even at home, but it’s basically big woods here as well.  When I do connect, it just makes it that much more special.  I enjoy the time out there regardless, but do get frustrated at times.  
 

It sounds like a special place you have up there with the family,  enjoy yourself, hope your back is feeling better than yesterday.  

My back feels good today.  I got to test it pretty good, loading the bed of the plow truck with sand bags. 

The pile driver my father on law had, for putting in the snow fence stakes, worked great but man was it loud.  Fortunately, he had some ear plugs in his shop.

 I can't afford to damage my hearing, because I hear about 4 deer first before every one that I see first.  This morning's big  "plywood sheet" doe was a rare exception.  

 

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On 10/17/2020 at 4:47 PM, Bionic said:

It’s just my dad, and I up here at camp this weekend.  Hopefully we both get deer, but still learning this place.  Great time either way.  

It is great that you have a hunting partner like that.  It is about 5 times easier for 2 guys working together, to get a deer in the big woods, than it is by yourself.   It is also about 4 times easier to get one one when there is snow on the ground. 

The odds are stacked against a guy by himself when there is no snow.  My father in law was never into deer hunting , but he is very eager to help out on the carcass recoveries and that helps out.  He also let's me borrow his scoped Marlin 336, which I hope to put to use on a buck this weekend. 

I will use my own open-sighted one if it is rainy.  He is very particular about his stuff, so I won't dare take it out if it might get wet.

When it comes to teamwork, I was very blessed to have been helped out by a great guy who showed me the ropes in this area of wmu 6c.  He was a young real estate agent, and he sold my in laws their spot up here.  He was very energetic and competed in iron- man events. He loved to walk and "push" deer, which I suppose helped keep him in shape for those contests.

I will never forget my first hunt up here with him.  He dropped his elderly uncle and myself off, near the end of the ridge and told us to stand at the edges of the point.  Then he walked back to the other side and pushed the swampy bottom, all the way back towards us.  A huge doe walked out and passed leisurely by, just 10 yards from me.  It was gun season and I had no doe permit, so I could only watch her.

Both those guys have passed on now. The uncle passed the following year of natural causes. Thanks in large part to my friend, and the hot spots he showed me, I was able to take my first and best Adirondack buck while he was still around. 

He got to see pictures, but he was not up here when I killed it.  Unfortunately, he drowned before I got the mount back.  It is not my biggest buck, but is my most cherished and my first from the "big woods".  I named it after him, and it hangs alone on a wall up here in his honor. 

RIP Jake:

 

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I am back out  under the tree umbrella this morning.  I slept in a little.  I was not real excited about heading back out in the rain after about 7 hours of that yesterday. 

It is supposed to stop raining at 10:00, so I am sticking close to the in-laws lake house so that I can get out after that big smallmouth again.  

I think I had a buck in close to me yesterday, based on a freshly worked scrape that I found and sounds that I heard.  

I am set up on a powerline cut this morning, maybe 500 yards from that scrape.  I have seen lots of antlerless deer at this area, later in the seasons on Thanksgiving weekends, when there has been snow.  They must like to browse on grass and other greens that sprout up here.

I have yet to hunt this spot in the morning, nor have I ever seem any antlers here.  Hopefully, this will be the day for two firsts.  Three unidentified  deer must have been watching me walk in just before sunrise. 

I saw 3 white flags go up (one longer and taller than the other two), and heard some snorts as they bolted deeper into those pines on my left.   I am guessing they may be the same big doe and two fawns that I saw Sunday, less than a mile away.  They were about 50 yards from me when they took off.

 

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Wolc try the Ned rig, my buddy murdered on on Lake George with it https://shopkarls.com/blog/how-to-fish-the-ned-rig/

The best part is you can use all the senkos that get ripped in half


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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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26 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

Wolc try the Ned rig, my buddy murdered on on Lake George with it https://shopkarls.com/blog/how-to-fish-the-ned-rig/

The best part is you can use all the senkos that get ripped in half


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I might have to, I lost my second last, non-rattling deep diving crankbait on a snag on Sunday, shortly after landing an 18 incher on it.  I have a perch finish countdown Rapala that I was thinking of trying, from the same batch of my buddy's grandpa's lures.  

32 minutes ago, Bionic said:

Enjoying the posts Wolc.

Glad to here that.  Are you and your dad coming up to camp for the gun opener this Saturday ?

I was wishing I had my fiber-optic open sighted Marlin 336BL under the tree umbrella yesterday afternoon.  I had to keep wiping the fog off my ML scope lenses every 10 minutes or so. 

No trouble with that this morning though.  The humidity must be lower. The scope had not needed wiping yet.  I am currently waiting for the rain to let up, so I can go back to the house for a warm, hearty brunch, and then head out on the lake to try for that elusive 22 inch plus smallmouth.

This tree umbrella is keeping me dry but is very loud.  I wonder if anyone has been able to kill a deer from under one while it was raining.  

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I saw some movement in the pines off to my left, but I suppose whatever it was was frightened off by the snare drum that forms my "roof".   It started raining a bit harder again, but the closest weather station (about 20 miles east) is calling for a 10:00 stop. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer.

I am down to my last cup of hot cider.  The south breeze has also picked up a bit, so hopefully that will make things warm up for out on the boat. I just finished reading up on the fine points of ned rig fishing (thanks for that tip Tacs).

 I  also just completed a field modification of my camp chair drink holder.  After carrying that space blanket around I'm my pack for 10 years I finally found a use for it.  The drink holder must have been designed for a beer can, but now it works a lot better for a little thermos cup:

20201020_100506.jpg

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