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2022 Wolc Journal

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Just (2) more keeper largemouth bass this evening (13”  & 14-1/2”), which made another small vacuum pack for the freezer.  We also got 4 or 5 short ones, 2 short pike and three “legal sized” pike (over 22”). 


The two largest pike were 26” & 28”.  I don’t keep them because they are a pia to clean.  We use double 8 lb flourocarbon leaders to keep them from breaking off.  They still end up tearing the skirts off spinnerbaits once in a while.  The biggest one went for a silver rattletrap cast over the weeds in 6 ft of water.  



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They were biting better this morning, with a light west wind.  We tried for smallmouth, in 45 - 66 ft, on a shoal out in the River,  for 1/2 hour with no bites.  The wind picked up a little, so we went back in the bay for largemouth.  

We landed (7) keepers (12-1/8” - 17”) there, over the next (2) hours, along with 4 or 5 short bass and 5 or 6 pike.   We might try for our last (3) bass this evening.  This morning’s catch added (3) more packs to the freezer.  



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We never got around to trying for more bass yesterday afternoon.  I stayed up late last night, polishing off the remaining beers, over at my siblings cottage on the other side of the bay, across from where we camped.  

They set me up in a spare room over there, as my tent wasn’t quite up to another night. 


 My brother in law and I got out  fishing for a couple hours this morning, before I had to go help my wife and our girls break camp in the State park.  We landed (4) keepers and about (6) short largemouth.  He got (3) of them, but I managed to edge out his 17 incher from yesterday, with a 17-1/2 incher this morning. 

Today’s catch added (2) more quart-sized freezer packs to the tally, which I left there for him.  I brought home (8), meaning I need to come up with (4) more packs of smallmouth bass, up at the in-laws Adirondack home, over Labor Day weekend and early ML week.  Shouldn’t be a problem.




Finally, there is more packs of bass in our freezer than there are venison backstrap.  I still need to get out on the upper Niagara and add (9) more packs of smallmouth bass for my wife and girls, in addition to those (4) for me. 

The boat ran good and all the equipment on it worked well.  The only trouble was the live well pump acted up a little and I had to back the boat up to get it primed a couple times.  Also, it was weedy and shallow at my siblings dock, so I had to clear the intakes on the Johnson 70 a few times.
Running it in reverse caused trouble, but spinning it around with ropes at the dock, and running it out in forward was ok.  

Some years, they apply herbicide to the bay, to kill all the weeds, but that adversely affects the fishing and turns the bass an ugly fluorescent greenish yellow color.  I much prefer dealing with the weeds. 

  The ride home was quick and uneventful, compared to the ride up, when we blew a trailer tire in the construction on rt 90.  


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Some “multitasking” with the Durango this afternoon.  On my way back from fertilizing a new turnip plot, and delivering the cutipacker way out back, I noted a “flag down” on one of the box traps in my sweetcorn.

The night before, the marshmallows got swiped out of all three box traps, but none of the doors were down.  Today, there was a big boar coon in one, an open door and no bait left in another, and the third still had a marshmellow in it, with the door open.   

Suprisingly, he was still alive in the trap, despite being out in the hot sun all day.  I went back for my .22, but the Durango made short work of that.  

The coons wiped out my earliest corn, over the 4 days that I was out of town fishing.  Hopefully, I can whittle their numbers down, before they get the next three batches of sweetcorn.  Or worse yet, get into my 2 acre rr field corn plot, that I am depending on for the Holiday ML season.  I can’t rely on rabies to kill them, because vaccine pods were recently air-dropped in the area.  

I will target the bait-snatchers this weekend, with some dog/proof traps baited with cat food.  I only like using those on the weekends, because it takes longer to check them.  I can spot a sprung box-trap from 200 yards away.  




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I put a couple Duke dog-proof traps out tonight, one next to the three box traps, where marshmallows have been getting swiped.  Hopefully, a little cat food, in the bottom of a dog-proof, will catch the culprit that has been swiping marshmallows.  

I put the other one way out back, on the far corner of my 2 acre RR corn plot.  A few ears have been damaged back there, and I am not sure if it was from coons or deer.  Hopefully, I will find out in the morning.  I plan on cutting the hay in the front and side of that field tomorrow.  


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Posted (edited)

Scratch one bait bandit.  Apparently, he liked cat food more than marshmallows.  Last night was the first night, since I put three box traps in the sweet corn, that there were no marshmallow baits swiped out any of them.

This was another big male coon.  Just like last year, I think the local coyotes are keeping the females and juveniles in check.  Similar to General Custer, the coyotes don’t struggle much with the females and  the immature, but they have a tough time with the adult males.  


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They were dropping the coon rabies bait via helicopter this week.   Thursday I think it was….flying east then west progressing south with each pass.  Saw them over our office then more passes going south. 

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20 minutes ago, Lawdwaz said:

They were dropping the coon rabies bait via helicopter this week.   Thursday I think it was….flying east then west progressing south with each pass.  Saw them over our office then more passes going south. 

I heard they were going to be doing that.   This one seemed very healthy. It took a couple extra .22 lead pills to put him down.  

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No action in the coon traps this morning.  I finally finished the last of the bush-hogging yesterday afternoon.  I still have a couple acres of wheat/clover/alfalfa mix plots that I want to get in after September 1, then I should be set for the season as far as food plots.

There are still a few tasks remaining out back, prior to the early September antlerless gun season.  I need to clear away a dead ash that fell near my two story blind, blocking the view from the upper deck.

 I am going to move a truck cap blind to a new location where I just bush-hogged some nice shooting lanes.  After that, I will set up a pop up blind, with a nice comfy chair that I just garbage picked, near the intersection of corn, turnip, old clover, and fresh wheat/clover plots.  I will only be able to hunt that one with NE winds. 

I also need to finish dialing in my Marlin 512, for longer range shots,  and check the zeros on my crossbows.  I have one stand location over at my parents place, on the opposite corner of wmu 9F that is too close to buildings owned by others for firearms, but ok for crossbow (250 ft setback required while guns are 500 ft).  That stand is 400 ft from the nearest double-wide mobile home.  

It’s supposed to be a scorcher this afternoon, so I think I will run into town and pick up my license, doe-tags, and do a little more shopping in the air conditioned stores.  

The water level in the pond our back is looking low.  There is rain predicted over the next two days.  That should help the plots and the pond.  


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I did ok shopping at Runnings in Lockport this afternoon.  They had everything that I was looking for, except bullets (30/30 and Hornady 2-3/4” 12 ga SST sabots).  I might have to use my 16 ga, crossbow, and ML a little more than I intended to this year.  

I picked up my Hunting Licence with (2) wmu 9F dmp tags, bow/ml buck tag, regular buck tag, bow/ml antlerless tag, bear tag, and (3) turkey tags for $ 72.  They threw in a free blaze orange ball cap with the deal.  I bet you “lifetime guys” don’t get that.  

I also picked up a new battery for my tractor or truck (it’s got top and side posts). It’s got a few more CCA than the NAPA legend battery that I picked up last year for that purpose.  That one cranked my 4wd diesel tractor pretty slow, when it was real cold last winter, (now it’s a backup battery in my summer Silverado).

 It will be interesting to see if this one does any better in the tractor this winter.  Our new next door neighbor wants me to plow his driveway, so I will have about twice as much plowing to do.  

I am working on trying to get another snowplow tractor for backup.  If that deal don’t pan out, I’ll set up my antique Ford 8n for that “backup” service.  I used it the first few years we were here, for snow plowing,  and it worked pretty good with a rear blade.  It’s only 2wd, but the rears were both loaded (now only one is), and I have chains for them.  

I also bought a neutral post knife switch for the Durango field car.  Taking the 3/8 wrench off the keychain will make it easier to carry anyhow, and it should speed up my starts.  That will be handy for working the coon/corn trap line every day until mid October.  

Other items in the Runnings cart included cowhide work gloves.  I hope they hold up longer than the Buffalo hide ones that I bought there many months ago and wore out on my barn demolition projects.  I also got a Gallon of pink rv antifreeze, which will be needed with the new camper (old one lacked plumbing and didn’t need it), and filters for the two furnaces in our house.



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Scratch one more bait/corn  snatcher.  Another adult male coon today.  This one swiped the marshmallow, out of one box traps, before he went for the cat food in the dog proof.  


The new negative post knife switch on the Durango worked good.  I don’t even need to prop open the hood to use it.  

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The Whitetail Institute “Tall Tine Tubers”, that I planted last Wednesday, look like they germinated pretty good.  It was at least 3 year old seed, so I wasn’t sure how they would do.  


This plot is about it 1/2 acre and I seeded it at about half the recommended rate.  It is on the end of a good looking 2 acre RR corn plot.  I plan on planting an adjacent 2 acre wheat/clover plot after September 1.  I have 50 lbs of wheat leftover from last year and a couple pounds of Whitetail Institute Imperial Whitetail clover, that should work good for that spot.  

I am going to set up a pop up blind, with a comfortable padded chair, in the middle of a small old clover plot, that is on the inside corner of the corn, TT tuber, and new wheat/clover plots.

 As long as the wind is from the NE, that should be a good spot.  With that wind,  I will need to drive the Durango to the west property line, and park on the north end, in order to avoid spooking the deer on the walk back to that blind. 

The tires it came with look like they have some decent tread, but I am going to put some chains on all four, as soon as it starts getting muddy or cold, so it will be good to go in all weather conditions.  The drainage is very good along that route, because it is all right along the creek bank.  
I also think I will put my hitch reciever cargo carrier on the back, so I don’t mess up the carpet, if I need to haul out a deer carcass.

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Posted (edited)


This female possum got the last of my marshmallow the night before last.  Our kids used up all the rest, at a campfire with their friends.  Now I get to see how stale bread with a little peanut butter works for bait. 

This was the first opossum for me in a few years.  I was going to release them, to eat ticks, but some of our resident experts said that was a suburban myth.  Instead, more fertilizer for the next foodplot.  


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The traps were all untouched last night.  I did see a couple young bucks (looked like 1.3 year 4-points) run into the tall grass on my drive back.  Hopefully, there will be some does back there for the September 10th antlerless gun opener.  

It’s weird seeing them young bucks, because I also had a pair like that, the same age,  here last year at this time.  I never saw them after hunting season opened.  
I picked out a spot to put my pop up blind, near the food plots, and to move my truck cap blind to.  I need to get shooting sticks, to use with my Marlin 512 from that pop up.  A 200 yard shot, down the gas line, is a definite possibility from that location.  I need a very good rest for that.  I hope to get those two blinds into position, over the next couple weeks, so the deer become accustomed to them.   

If the weather and mosquitos cooperate, I hope do some practice with my Marlin 512 shotgun and crossbows this weekend.  The battery was dead in my rangefinder, but 2 new ones arrived today.  

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There was nothing in the traps again this morning.  I must have crossed one of the ditches a little too fast and I broke the muffler and tailpipe off the back of the cat on the Durango.  

I heard it dragging across the concrete bridge over the creek on my way back.  I couldn’t extract it over the rear axle without lifting the back up a little.  



All better now.  It’s just a little louder than it was before.  The cat has a pretty good rear support and hanger, so I should be good to go.  

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My September 10, opening day of early gun season, target doe made an appearance as I was clearing shooting lanes.  She looks like a good healthy momma.  Her fawn is almost 1/2 her size.  Plenty big enough to make it on its own, after the 10th, if she makes it to deer heaven (my freezer).  

I cleared a dead ash tree that fell last winter, blocking the view from the upper deck of my 2-story blind, along with some other brush that was obstructing shooting lanes at a few locations.  

If we get the rain they are predicting next week, I will cut the clover in front of that double decker, and in a few other spots.  Then it will be nice and tender on September 10.  

I will need the bush hog on back for ballast, to move another truck cap blind with the tractor, but it is too dusty to mow clover until after we get a good rain (plus it’s not good to cut it when it is real dry).  



Here is how that stand looked before.  I also replaced the missing sideboard up top.


 I will be ready to hunt on the 10th, after I finish a few more small tasks: 1) plant (2) more fresh wheat/clover plots, 2) set up my pop up blind, 3) move the truck cap blind, 4) purchase shooting sticks, 5) A little more target practice with my 12 ga bolt action shotgun and my crossbows.  

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I identified the source of the limited damage that I have been seeing in my 2 acre RR corn plot this morning, on my way back to check the dog-proof trap, that I set in it a week ago.  

There was a bachelor group of (3) bucks back there.  The largest one, on the far right in the picture, looked like a 2.4 yr old 8-point.  He was standing next to the ditch, a 1.4 yr old 4 or 6-point was about half way between him and the corn, and another 1.4 year old was deep in the corn, when I first drove up in the Durango. 

Most of the corn in this plot is fairly well developed, but still has a way to go, before it reaches the “full-dent” stage.  I have never seen deer damage in field corn this early in the season.

 I am guessing that the drought has dried up most of their preferred food sources.  This plot is a hybrid seed that sets deep roots and it is relatively weed free, making it extremely drought resistant. Unlike my early sweetcorn, which really suffered from the drought and was finished off by the coons, while I was away on summer vacation.  

Deer are very efficient users of corn.  Even so, if they keep up the pressure on this small plot, then it is unlikely that it will last until January 1 as I had hoped that it would.  

Part of the problem is that there is very little corn around close by this year.  Usually there is hundreds of acres within a few miles.  High fertilizer, fuel, and seed prices took a huge bite out of that this spring.  

The larger buck would be a “shooter” for me, starting the last two weeks of archery - peak rut / crossbow time.  Hopefully, I can take out a couple of mature does with my shotgun between September 10 and 18.  That will help, but I still doubt there will be any corn left back there by the start of ML season, in December.  

There were also some turkeys out in the adjacent hay field, when I drove back there this morning.  Turkeys don’t bother field corn at all, as long as the coons don’t first nock it down for them.  I am staying well ahead of that issue, with my sweetcorn, traps,  .22, and shovel.  



Edited by wolc123
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Nothing in the traps again today.  I saw the bachelor group of three gobblers when I drove back to check them. They had moved from the neighbor’s hay field, where I seen them yesterday morning, to about the center of our place.  This one, in the middle of the gas line, looked to have a pretty big beard. 

Maybe I will try to squeeze in a little fall turkey hunting back there, between Northern zone big-game opening weekend, and the southern zone crossbow deer season.  I picked up (3) turkey tags, along with (5) deer tags, when I got my license last week.  Only one is good on the fall.

I will need to use my 12 ga 870, with extra full choke 28” bead sight barrel, because I put the smooth bore deerslayer barrel back on my scoped 16 ga Ithaca model 37.  

If I can’t get my Marlin 512 dialed in where I want it, with my limited supply of 2-3/4” Hornady SST sabots, then that old Ithaca will need to be my primary September doe killer.  

The young fall hen, that I shot back there a few years ago, was pretty good.  I imagine that even the old toms would be a lot better eating in the fall than they are in the spring.  I bet that the three today were after grasshoppers.  They were all over back there this afternoon.  


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I ran over to Runnings this morning and picked up shooting sticks.  They still don’t have any 12 ga Hornady SST slugs, nor does Lockport Walmart.   Those have always grouped ok out of my rifled Marlin 512, except for the last time, on the range in adverse conditions (real hot, lots of mosquitoes).  I have less than 20 left.  

Hopefully, I can get that gun hitting right where I want it, using less than half of those.  I would like to try a few from the shooting sticks, at a 150 yard range.   That is about double the range, where I am comfortable with my smoothbore Ithaca 16 gauge.  I have plenty of ammo for that one.  

I plan on simultaneous squirrel hunting, during many deer and turkey hunts this year (especially the September antlerless ones).  I will bring along my open-sighted pellet gun for that, and limit shots to under 15 yards, when there is no deer around.

 I got that Marksman dialed in with (6) .177 pellets this morning, off the back porch.  Hopefully, I will need less SST’s than that, to dial in the Marlin 12 ga deer gun, back on the range.  If not, I will be using the Ithaca 16 ga, and keeping shots well under 100 yards.

I guess I could break out my in-line T/C Omega ML, if the September does won’t get in close enough for the Ithaca 16 shotgun.  I also have plenty of bullets, powder, and primers for that.  It was right in the mark on a deer I used it on last year and one on New Year’s Day this year (as was the Marlin 12 and the Ithaca 16 on the other (2) last year).
It’s a little more of a pain to clean that ML though, and I am not crazy about the one shot limitation.  I will throw it in the Durango, and confirm the 100 yard zero, on my next trip back to the range.  I have no intention on going for a double on deer in September anyhow, because I only have room for one in my deer fridge. 



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The Imperial Whitetail tall tine tube tubers are starting to pop pretty good from the morning dew and the few brief showers we have had over the last couple weeks.  I sure hope we get the rain they are calling for early next week though, so I can start cutting some old clover plots.    


I have seen droughts a lot worse than we are in right now.  My little pond is still holding some water (it dried up completely about 5 years ago), and even the creek bed still has a little water in it.



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