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Wednesday, 26 March 2008
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Deer Season 2005
Deer Season 2005 PDF Print E-mail
Another deer season is upon us.  Bob and I started hunting this year on a friend’s property in the Puslinch area.  We have about 160 acres to hunt.

We have been going out every week or so through the summer and scanning the property from a distance to watch for deer and their feeding patterns.  The more scouting we do on the property the better chance of our success.  The property is great.  The deer have lots of woodlot shelter and also fields of corn and wheat.  There is also a nice pond on the property for water.  We went out in August and set up our ground blinds in a place we thought would give us the best chance of harvesting deer and also the ease of accessibility.

The last few weeks before the opener we would go out a couple times a week at different times and watch the property from the road.  Each time we were out we would see a few deer especially one doe and her two fawns.  They seemed to be always there.  We both have a buck tag and also a doe tag for the upcoming season.

October 1st was opening day.  I picked Bob up at around 4am and then hit Tim’s for a coffee and bagel for breakfast.  We got set up in our blinds around 5am and with loads of anticipation waited for first light.  We would stay in contact with each other with our radios and ear pieces.  The first morning was pretty uneventful other then the anticipation with each passing moment.  No matter what it was amazing to be out hunting again.  The day passed by until about 5pm when Bob called me on the radio and alerted me that there were two bucks crossing the field behind me.  I watched as they trotted across the field behind me and then thru a little woodlot into the field I was facing.  They stayed about 80 yards out and too far for a crossbow.  I watched as the bigger 12 point buck kept watching the field as the smaller 6 point buck would feed without a care.  They continued across the field and never got closer then about 80 yards.  They continued into the woodlot across the field and disappeared.  At that time my heart slowed down to about 100 beats per minute.  It was a beautiful site and only enhanced the anticipation for the coming weeks.

Bob was out again this week and spotted a doe but never got a chance to get a shot at her.  He also repositioned our blinds to where we now think would be a better spot.  I spend my week days with my 3 year old son Colton so I can’t get out during the weekdays.  Bob and I went out again on the Saturday the 8th.  The usual routine again with Tim’s and coffee and then headed to the property.  I had got into my blind and Bob had taken my 4Runner back out and then walked back in.  He stopped by my blind to pick up his crossbow and then headed to his blind about 5 minutes away.  Bob was just gone a few minutes when I heard a rustle in the trees behind me.  It was still quite dark so I had no idea what it was.  I kept looking out over the dark field and then noticed about 15-20 yards to my left a dark spot on the field.  I kept my eyes on it and as it turned I knew it was a deer.   Still too dark to get a good look I just watched as she walked across in front of me about 15 yards out.  I radioed Bob and let him know and he was shocked because he had just left me and walked by there.  I told him I would keep him posted.  I watched as the deer walked up to my right and then turned and walked back.  When she got back to my left again I noticed two more had come out to join her.  I was guessing it was the doe and her two fawns that by now had grown to almost her size.  They stayed within about 20 yards of me for about 15 minutes or so but still way to dark for me to make a safe and ethical shot.  I then watched as they walked up towards where Bob was so I radioed him and let him know.  They got about 60 yards or so away from me and then turned and headed back again and standing about 15 yards out for another few minutes.  I watched and waited and hoped they would stay a few more minutes or until it was light enough but no such luck; they headed off across the field into the timber.  I knew we would have many more opportunities this season.  The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  We would be back again Monday afternoon for the evening hunt.

Monday the 10th and we headed out again to Puslinch.  We got in our blinds around 2pm and settled in for the evening.  It was a beautiful cool afternoon and a little overcast and a little wind which was perfect for our positions.  This time we decided to set up decoys and try a little calling also.  It would be a couple more weeks before the start of the Rut. We waited until about 5pm when Bob called on the radio and said that the time was getting close and this is about the same time we always seem to see them.  It was no more then 5 minutes after that when I seen a doe break thru the timber across the field in full stride and head up towards Bob.  I radioed Bob and gave him the heads up.  The doe stopped about 50 yards from the timber and then looked back towards where she had just come out.  Then I noticed the second doe break thru the woods onto the field and headed towards the other.  They both grazed around the field about 90 yards away from me and kept looking back to where they had both come out.  I kept waiting to see the other doe come out but she never did.  The two does fed around there on the field for about 10 minutes and then left and went into the timber on the opposite corner.  I am not sure what happened to the other doe or if has already been taken.  She may have stayed back in the timber just out of my eyesight or she may have been shot earlier that day.  All in all it was a nice evening hunt and it only fuels the fire for the coming weeks.  We have until the 1st of November to hunt with bows until the shotgun season opens for a week.  Bob will be coming out on Thursday to hunt with a friend. 

Bob has prior plans for Saturday and I have plans for Sunday so I will not be able to get out this weekend unless we come out for the morning hunt on Sunday.

Bob was out on Thursday and hunted the evening.  It was a quiet day and he had to pack in a little early due to an unusual foggy evening.  He was out again on Sunday afternoon and stayed for the evening.  It was a really windy day and the high winds have taken a lot of the leaves off the trees and have opened up the woods.  The weather has started to turn a little colder and this should make for a lot better hunting.  We are planning to hunt again on Saturday all day and maybe Sunday.  Bob may go out another day this week for an evening or morning hunt.

Thursday October 20th.  Bob was out this morning early and stayed until about 1030.  It was pretty quiet all morning but the action should soon pick up with the rut starting.  Last night got down to 3 degrees Celsius and all the leaves have just about turned.  With the high winds the last few days the trees are becoming bare.  We will both be going out on Saturday and then again Sunday.  We are hoping to tag a couple before shotgun season starts.

Saturday the 22nd and we decided to hunt the afternoon.  On our way to our area we dropped into Bass Pro and picked up our digital trail cam that finally arrived.  It was a nasty day with rain and wind and the temperature hovering around 5 degrees.  We stayed until dark without seeing or hearing a deer.  No surprise due to the wind we figured they would be staying in the timber.  We set up our cam before we left.

Sunday the 23rd we did our usual routine with Tim's and bagel and arrived at our blinds by 0600.  It was a weird day with wind rain and sometimes sunshine.  We stayed in our blinds until about 1100 when Bob decided to take a little walk in the timber.  He radioed me shortly after leaving saying that he had just jumped a Buck.  Then on his was back to his blind he also saw a doe that was standing within 30 yards of his blind but still too far for a shot from where he was standing.   We stayed until dark without seeing or hearing anything else.  Bob will be going out again Tuesday morning.  Every time he goes out and I am home I keep expecting the call saying that he has one.   Always the eternal optimist.   We will be adding pictures from the trail cam asap. (see Trail Cam Gallery)
Saturday the 29th and Bob and I headed out our hunting spot and was set up in our blinds by 0600.  It was a beautiful cool morning with just a touch of frost.  As the sun came up we could see the fields covered in a light frost.  It was a beautiful day and warmed up to around 12 degrees with a little WNW wind which was perfect for our setup.   The morning went by pretty fast but with no action.  The afternoon came and around 1400 we met 5 guys that came on the property to set up their tree stands for the upcoming shotgun hunt.  We introduced ourselves and made sure they knew where we would be stationed during the week of the shotgun hunt.

Later in the evening after Bob had taken a walk through the timber and noticed a few more major scrapes we decided to sit in our blinds and try what Bob likes to call our "Tag Team" tactic.  Just before dusk and when we were getting ready to head home it worked.  Out on the field walked a young spike buck and walked right up to our decoys.  If he had been a little bigger we may have took him but we decided to let him go and maybe get him next year.  That's if he lives through the shotgun hunt!

Saturday, November 5th and I picked up Bob at 0430 and headed to our blinds.  It was a warm morning again at about 10 degrees.  We got set up in our blinds about 0515 and waited with anticipation as the sun rose. 

The first couple hours there was nothing moving.  Bob radioed at 0930 and said he was going to take a short walk through the timber.  About 20 minutes later I was looking toward the west end of the field and slowly panned to the east.  I caught movement to my right and when I looked there was a young 6 point buck stood about 30 yards out.  I slowly lifted my crossbow and as I did I seen him start to walk.  He was walking with a major limp.  I watched as he walked a few yards behind some brush between the fields and he was definitely favouring his right front leg.  My first thought was that Bob may have already shot him and he made it out of the timber.  I gave a grunt on my call and he turned and walked back towards me with the same major limp.  I could not shoot now because he was facing me at about 35 yards.  I continued to watch him and he started to walk a little ways up the field and then began to spin around in circles a couple of  times and I thought he was about to fall.  Several times just keeping himself up.  He was a little out of shot now and he would not come any closer.  If he had come back closer again I would have taken him just to stop the misery.  I radioed Bob and he informed me that he hadn’t shot at anything.  I watched as he walked through the brush again and then headed up the opposite field to the north.  I never saw him again.  When Bob came by a few minutes later I got him to check for signs of him or blood.  There was neither. 

The rest of the day went by pretty fast with the weather turning from overcast to rain later in the day.  All day Bob and I kept communicating on the radio and we both had the feeling today was the day.  At around 1645 it was beginning to get dark and I seen a doe run out of the timber on the northwest end of the field.  It skirted the field for about twenty yards in the rain and then headed into the timber again.  I radioed Bob and kept him up on what was happening because he didn’t have as good a view of the field.  About 5 minutes later another doe ran out of the woods on the northeast corner and skirted the field for about 20 yards going west then disappeared into the timber.   Only a couple minutes had passed as I was looking to where it had gone into the timber when I seen a young spike buck jump out about 70 yards in front of me and headed across the field towards Bob.  It stopped out in front of me and shook leaving nothing but a spray of water.  I radioed Bob and let him know a young buck was on his way to him.  I knew once it got to a hill 80 yards west of me Bob should be able to see him.   He asked if he should take it or not.  All I could say was “take it”.  He tipped over the hill and out of my view and Bob radioed and said he could see him now.  A few seconds later I seen the buck race off across the field to the north and then I thought I seen him tumble with a flash of his white belly.  I radioed Bob and he confirmed he had just shot him.  I asked how far away and Bob said with a chuckle “about 5 yards”.  I think it was more like 3 after we looked at it.  It was so close Bob said he heard it hit.  All this thanks to scent control, ground blinds and the tag team method!

We waited for about 30 minutes and then headed up to where I had seen him fall. By now it was really pouring rain and dark and the field was all mud.  We decided to toss him in my new 2005 4Runner and clean him when we got home.  We never had our tarp so we laid out all our jackets and clothes we could spare without driving home naked, pulled the deer into the back and headed home.  We got home and pulled it out and cleaned it all in Bob’s garage.  Needless to say today I had to get my truck detailed but would do it again in a heartbeat!  Pictures of Bob’s trophy whitetail to follow!

The Trophy!

Nov. 7th and it's the first day of shotgun season.  The season only runs until Saturday the 12th.  Bob went out around lunchtime for the afternoon hunt.  He walked in around the property and was getting ready to spend the time in my blind which had a better view of the field we hunt.  The only problem was my blind was no longer there!  Gone!  I was pretty confident that fellow hunters would not take one of our blinds but that was not the case.  Bob searched high and low and walked all around the field and in the timber and came to one conclusion.  Someone decided to walk off with our blind.

Bob spent part of the afternoon repositioning his blind out to where mine was because he was able to walk into the timber and hide better then I could in a wheelchair.  He never seen any sign of animals that afternoon but ran into a couple more hunters that hunt the property and they said they had not known about the blind.

Saturday, Nov. 12th and Bob and I went out for the last day of shotgun season.  It was a nice day but still not cold enough for our liking.  The day was pretty uneventful and there wasn't a deer to be seen.  I know the property had been hunted hard for the past week.  We packed it in around 1800 and headed home.

The week of Nov. 13th to Nov. 20th Bob and I will be hosting a whitetail hunt for 4 disabled guys through  Buckmaster's American Deer Foundation.  We will have pictures and stories shorty after we get back.  (read more)

Nov. 26th and I picked up Bob around 0515 and did the usual Tim’s thing.  Only now it was half coffee and half hot chocolate.  This seems to give us a kick start like coffee but warm the insides like hot chocolate.  It was a beautiful morning with snow falling and not a draft of wind.  The field was covered in about 6” and it seemed like a postcard as the morning broke over the field.

We were set up in our blinds (Bob bought another one) around 0615 and wasn’t sure what to expect after the place being hunted hard by others guys over the one week of shotgun season.  The morning went by pretty fast and without much action at all.  The snow kept falling and Bob’s tracks up toward his blind were almost covered in.  Bob headed down towards me at about 1130 and we both jumped in my truck and headed out for a coffee from the closest Tim’s.

We got back and set up in our blinds by about 1230 and settled in for the afternoon.  We were not in our blinds very long when I heard some rustling behind me in the timber.  I could hear the deer walking and expected him to break out of the timber about 30 yards west of me which was a major thoroughfare.  I radioed Bob and let him know and then continued to listen.  It continued for a minute or so as it sounded like he would take a step or two and then stop.  Bob then radioed me and said he had heard something hit the fence just down from him.  We figured he had jumped the fence.  The afternoon continued without any more action other then me hearing another deer walking in behind me for a few minutes then disappearing. 

When it was too late too shoot Bob headed down towards me and we were going to pack it in for the day.  Bob stopped about 70 yards up from me and motioned to the ground then explained to me on the radio that this was where the Buck had jumped the fence.  He had jumped the fence not at the thoroughfare but through the thickest cover he could find and being as smart as he was came out in the only place that neither of us could have seen him.  Bob could actually fit his fist down inside the tracks he had left in the snow.  I guess they don’t get that big and live through shotgun season without being long on smarts.  Bob had thought he had jumped the fence and then got wind of him from his tracks and then jumped back into the timber.  After Bob got my truck and got our gear all packed in I drove up to where he had jumped the fence.  I was turned the truck to head out and as I turned my headlights hit other tracks in the field about 20’out.  He had not only jumped the fence where we could not see him but had somehow raced across the field without either of us seeing him.  His tracks were spaced amazingly far apart.  It would have been nice to have seen him but he had come out in the one spot where he was out of range for both of us.  Let’s score it Buck = 1 and Bob and Wylie = 0.  We have now named him "The Ghost”.  Maybe next time!

Then as Bob and I drove across the field and up to the main road we saw another set of tracks that had come out of the timber about 60 yards behind me and then followed the tracks from my truck up to the road.  He jumped across the road and headed into the timber.

On Sunday December 4th Bob went out to a friends of his in Guelph to hunt.....(see The Wilson Homestead for future updates)

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