Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Morning Bow Hunt

Well I finally got back out bow hunting this morning. This is only the third time out since my trip to Colorado. No excuses, just haven't got out. I made it a point to get up and ready this morning so I could spend it in the tree stand.

I tried to get everything ready and out the door, but I had a problem finding my range finder this morning. It wasn't in my backpack where I left it or so I thought. After about 5 minutes of frantic searching I said the heck with it. Out the door I went. When I arrived at the woods that I hunt, I quickly got my bow out and everything put together. Onto the trail I went. It was just beginning to break daylight. I was really about 15 minutes late getting into the woods, but man did it feel good to be back out in the outdoors.

I made my way down the trail and then I crossed into a field that ran next to the wood lot. This way I can sneak down to the tree stand without making too much noise. As I walked down the field's edge I could see something up ahead on the ground. As I approached it I could see that it was a scrape that a buck had made! There was a licking branch hanging over the scrape, this was what I needed to build some confidence in this morning's hunt. I walked another 10 to 15 yards and there was another scrape and licking branch! Another 10 to 15 yards and another one under a licking branch! Man this was getting me pumped up for the morning hunt for sure!
These were about 30 or 40 yards away from the treestand, so I slipped into the stand and began to get set up. I nocked an arrow and took my quiver off and strapped it to a tree branch, then I settled in.

From behind me across the field that I walked the edge of I heard what sounded like two bucks fighting. I looked behind me across the field and saw nothing. It sounded as if it was coming from inside the opposite woodlot. It went on for a couple of minutes and was rythmic in its sound. I knew then it was another hunter rattling trying to get a buck to come in. I've never had any success rattling bucks in. I think it is due to the fact that bucks here in this area don't have to fight for dominance to breed does. It wasn't long before I heard the hunter rattle again. It had way too much cadence to it. It sounded nothing like what a deer fight would be. I have seen them on video and heard the noise they make, and it was nothing like this guy was making.

After about an hour I heard a flight of geese coming towards me, as I watched the horizon I could see six of them flying straight for me. They buzzed the tree tops about 15 yards over my head! If I only had my shotgun! It wasn't long before I heard squirrels rustling around below me. I looked and spotted at least four different squirrels, two greys and two fox. The fox squirrels were pretty big, once again I thought if I only had my gun! One of the greys came towards my tree and stopped about 10 feet short of it. I thought he might try to climb up and visit me for a few minutes, but he turned and went back to his business.

Towards the end of the morning I noticed that three bluejays had flown into the tree right above my head. They began to pick what was left of the twigs and acorns off of the tree, the debris was falling right on me. The little buzzards kept this up for about five minutes, I was getting pelted with all the debris, once again if I only had my gun! That is always the story with hunting. You never have the right weapon to use for the game you happen to see. If I had been small game hunting I would have seen deer, but since I was bow hunting, no deer and a ton of small game! Oh well at least I got to get back out into the woods again, and boy did it feel good. The time passed quickly this morning, too quickly for my liking. I can't wait until this evening. If it isn't raining I will get back out again with the boys.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Duck Hunt of the Season

Well, I got out for my first duck hunt of the season this morning thanks to my son waking me up at 5:15am! I struggled out of bed and managed to get up and ready as he loaded everything up. We hit the water and went to a spot that we have hunted near before. We found an old blind that someone had knocked down, but the platform was still there so we made the best of it.
He dropped me off on shore like an old man who couldn't get to his hunting spot. I only had knee boots on and the water was too deep. I felt like I had to be carried into the blind, I guess that is a sign of getting old. I managed to hang our blind cloth on some branches and filled in the holes with cut sticks and branches while he put the decoys out. He then walked the boat around the point and anchored it so it wouldn't spook the birds.
I sat there with him waiting for first light, talking back and forth and enjoying each other's company. Then the time clicked to 7:16am! It was shooting time! It didn't take 2 minutes until we heard other hunters cut loose on some birds! We waited with anticipation hoping to see some flying our way. We waited until 8am until we finally saw some ducks flying, then they were too far away to even think about shooting. Once agian we heard the other hunters laying the lead to the waterfowl, then we saw four ducks coming our way. I hunkered down and Mikey began to call, this was it! Just as they began to get into range, the hunters at the other end of the lake cut loose again. The ducks we were waiting on flared and flew away! Man! That was our chance and now it's gone! We waited a few more minutes and finally saw some geese. Mikey worked his goose call and they started to fly our way but they never quite made it to our position. It was starting to get late and I knew we would have to pack up and head in. He had to be to school by 9:30 and it was now 8:15. I told him lets give it 5 more minutes. It wasn't a minute or two later and there they were, two ducks coming straight in for us! We got ready and then they turned in front of us, Mikey called "Take 'em". They were still a little far out, but I threw my three shots at them and he did the same. He rocked one but not well enough, and away they flew.
Well no ducks today, but at least we got some shooting in this morning and we got to spend a morning together in the duck blind. Not too bad for the first morning out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2nd Bowhunt of the Year

Well, I finally got back out this last week to bow hunt. It wasn't what I had anticipated, but I got out non-the-less. I took Friday off of work, since my kids had the day off of school, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out with the oldest ones and hit the woods with the bows. Boy was I wrong.
My buddy Matt from Compass Outdoors invited Mikey and I over to his spot to hunt for a Friday morning excursion. Thursday night at work I began to feel sick! Oh no I thought, this is going to wreck my weekend! I went to bed that evening with the hopes that it would pass and I would be able to hit the woods that next morning. WRONG! I felt like junk when the alarm rang. I got Mikey up and ready to go and let Matt take him out and I went back to bed. They saw a few small bucks that morning and I saw the back of my eyelids under the covers in bed.
That afternoon I began to feel a little better so I planned to hit the woods with Mikey and try it. I didn't want my day off to be a waste. We got out around 4:30 that afternoon and made our way into the woods. He went to Matt's stand and I sat in the stand I used the last time out. It wasn't long until the mosquitos began to work their fury! I thought the frost from the previous night would have done those little suckers in! WRONG AGAIN! I tried with great fury to keep them from biting me and carrying me away. Then the neighbor began to cut small trees with his lawnmower just out of sight from where I was hunting and then there were some youths running the woods on the property behind where Mikey and I were hunting. What a miserable hunt!
As soon as the sun set, I got down and Mikey called me to check and see if I was ready. The bugs were taking him on also. I told him to meet me at the trail head and off we went.
It was a miserable hunt, but I'm glad I got out. It was the only time I made it out this weekend. My sickness got worse and I stayed home while my buddy Chuck Parr and Mikey went out for the opening two days of duck season here in Michigan. Mikey bagged a duck opening morning but nothing today. I will be looking forward to next weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First Bow Hunt Of The Year

Well opening day of bow season came and went with out me getting out in the woods. It always seems as if the best laid plans always go to waste. I felt really bad that morning so I stayed at home. But never fear, I did make it out this morning to partake in day two of the season.
My buddy Matt from Compass Outdoors showed up at my place at 6:00am to pick me up. I got my gear together and I was out the door. We drove the 10 minutes it takes to get to his spot to hunt and then it was time to get suited up. I always put my hunting clothes on once I get to the parking spot where I'm going to enter the woods. Once I got my Scent-Lok, rubber boots and other gear, I grabbed my bow and found out I forgot my quiver! Well I'm supposed to only need one arrow any way, I grabbed two though just incase.
We began the walk back to the treestands, this was the first time I've hunting this property and in the dark it looked different than it did when we were there scouting. After we split up on the trail I headed to the stand I was going to hunt. Luckily I had my bow sling so I could climb the climbing sticks and hold on to the two arrows I took while doing so. I got situated on the stand and proceeded to nock an arrow. The other arrow I laid across a couple of small branches and hoped that it would stay put. It wasn't long until I felt the cold air begin to creep into my jacket and pants. It was then that I thought boy this is going to be a cold morning. I later used my range finder that has a thermometer in it to find out how cold it was, 42 degrees was the pre dawn reading. The skies were clear over head but in the distance it was starting to cloud up somewhat. Then the wind began to blow in my face, it was then that I knew that I wasn't ready for the cold weather yet. I hung my bow on a hook and buried my hands into my jacket hoping to keep them somewhat warm.
As day broke, I noticed that there was a plane flying overhead. I forgot that this property was in the flight path of Flint's airport. I counted 8 big planes this morning along with 4 trains off in the distance and numerous cars driving down the dirt roads. It wasn't like it was when we were in Colorado. Out there you didn't hear anything all day.
As the sun rose it began to warm a little bit, but the deer were not moving this morning. I kept glassing the field and treeline ahead of me to try and see some movement. I must have lost track of time along the way, because I thought it was around 8:00am when I noticed some movement behind me. It was Matt coming up to pick me up. We had made plans to leave around 9:00 or 9:30 and he was sneaking up behind me. I asked him what time it was and he told me 9:00am. Boy did I lose track of time. I guess it was the anticipation of being out for the first time hunting whitetails this season that made it go so quick.
He also wasn't able to see any deer movement, so I guess we will have to wait until next time. I hope to get out this weekend and give it another shot. But for a first day out at home it was great. I got to watch the sunrise and spend time in the field, what more could you ask for?