Flannelman's 2009 Deer Hunting Journal.

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by flannelman, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

    Joined:
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    1,176
    Location:
    Rural Arkansas. But isn't all of Arkansas rural?
    For those of you who may be interested I decided to post up my hunting journal for 2009. I hope it turns out successful!!

    2009 Hunting Journal

    Thursday, October 8th

    The weather was partly cloudy and very warm for October. The high was 86 degrees and it was very humid. The moon was in the last quarter. There was a cold front moving into the state from the north but it did not pass my hunting area till Friday morning. I set up my climbing stand in a double trunk white oak tree in the fringe of woods along the east side of the Big Field. The woods were about 20 yards wide where I set up my stand. There is a big cutover outside the property line that has 15-20 foot pine trees and a lot of undergrowth. The placement of my stand was such that I could take advantage of a deer trail coming through a hole in the fence. The trail came though the fence about 10 yards directly east of my stand and then forked to pass my stand on the north and the south. The longest shot from this stand is about 15 yards. I positioned the stand to face northwest since that would offer me the best bow shots. I trimmed a few shooting lanes and was settled in the stand by 5:00 pm. The wind was blowing from the east north east and only varied occasionally. I hunted till dark in mosquito infested woods without seeing any deer. At dark I got down and spooked a deer that was just outside of the property line to the north of me. I think the noise I was making was what spooked the deer and not any scent from me because the wind was in my favor.

    Saturday, October 10th

    After the cold front passed through Friday the temperatures were much cooler and better for hunting. At 4:00 pm it was 50 degrees and at 7:00 pm it was 48 degrees. There was a slight breeze but it wasn’t constant and swirling. The sky was completely overcast. I got to the Buck Stand behind my house at about 4:30. There wasn’t much activity other than squirrels and birds. I used my doe can call about every 15 minutes to see if I could call anything in. Several times I thought I had heard deer moving but was unable to see anything and I wasn’t sure of what I heard because the rain on Friday had left the leaves soaked. At about 6:30 pm I noticed movement in front of me slightly off to my left. There was a doe moving out of the thicket at about 25 feet. She had completely taken me by surprise. As she continued by me I got my bow and attempted to prepare for a shot. My release slipped off the string and made a noise and she caught me. She was only a few feet from an open shooting lane. As I watched the doe I heard more footsteps from the direction she had come. I chanced a look back and saw another doe moving up the same trail but she caught me also. After the second deer saw me I could hear more footsteps coming up the trail. Finally a third deer appeared. The last one was a button buck. I never got a shot at any of them because the second doe turned and hopped off and then blew at me several times. I blew back at her and seemed to confuse her for a while but I was unable to calm the deer down enough for a chance at a shot. It was uneventful from then till dark.
  2. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Thursday, October 15th

    The rain finally ended this morning but I couldn’t hunt till the afternoon. By 4 pm the sun had started to break out and I could see blue sky for the first time in a week. It was warmer after the front moved through from the south. The high was about 67. The wind was variable in both direction and speed. Not a good wind for hunting but I had to go anyway. I got to the Buck stand at about 4:30 and cut a few limbs that I noticed were in the way during my last hunt. I was settled in the stand by 5:00 pm. The wind would occasionally die down to nothing and when it would the mosquitoes would attack in full force. I decided to pull out the trusty Thermacel to keep the skeeters at bay. Not long after getting settled in I heard an awful squeak followed by the sound of squirrels chasing each other around a pine tree. Not long after the fight started one of the little buggers came sailing out of the tree in a less than graceful way. I guess he was the loser!
    At about 6:30 I heard a deer blow about 200 yards north of me. I’m not sure what got into that deer but it blew again about ten minutes later. I know it didn’t wind me because I had taken scent precautions and the wind was in my favor at the time. When the deer blew the second time it had moved west toward a thicket. About ten minutes after the deer blew the second time it did it again but this time it was closer to me. The wind was still in my favor at this point. I think there may have been some predator in the area that had the deer riled up. I never saw a deer but I had a fun hunt anyway.

    From the Buck Stand!
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    [​IMG]
  3. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Friday, October 16th

    Friday’s dawn led to a beautiful day! It was 50 degrees at 6:00 am and only warmed to 53 degrees by 11:00 am. It was partly cloudy with variable breezes. There was no hint of the rain that has soaked this area over the last week. I got settled into the stand after getting my children on the bus. It was just after 7:00 am when I got ready to look for a deer. I watched many squirrels playing and feeding in the trees. There was one very large fox squirrel working the tops of some white oaks. He was one of the biggest squirrels I have ever seen! At about 7:30 I heard a dog working the thicket to my north. He wasn’t hot on a trail but he was searching out game and barking just enough to be a nuisance. The dog continued to work back and forth throughout the morning. I stayed on the Buck Stand till about 10:00 am and decided to call it quits for the morning. I hadn’t put on enough layers and was a little chilled.
  4. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Monday, October 19th

    What a beautiful Monday. It was 40 degrees at 6:00 am and the sky was clear. I saw Orion while heading out to take the kids to the bus. There was no wind to speak of. I got my gear together and headed out to the Buck Stand. Today is the third day of muzzle loading season so I have my CVA Optima primed and ready for the first legal deer that walks by. I heard a couple of shots early. They were far to the north. After sunrise the breeze started to pick up and was coming from the north and west. By 10:00 am it was windy and swirling. I didn’t see any deer this morning so I decided to look around the area a bit. There are a lot of squirrels working the area but I haven’t seen any acorns in this spot. The ridge where my house is located is covered with acorns! I’ll probably try a different spot this afternoon.

    The afternoon hunt didn’t end with any more success than the morning hunt did. I found a nice creek that had a lot of white oak trees along the banks. Some of the trees were dropping acorns and I found fresh tracks under those trees. It looked like a promising spot. The area was thick with underbrush but I was able to find a spot to sit that offered a couple of shooting lanes and with the help of a folding saw I was able to clear another lane without much effort. I used the cut limbs to fashion a small blind and I sat down to wait for a deer. It was windy and warm and the mosquitoes were out. It would have been miserable had I not used my Thermacel. I watched several squirrels, including two big fox squirrels, as they worked the trees. One little gray crossed the creek about 10 feet from me. I also watched a couple of chipmunks gathering food for the winter. They would scurry about back and forth collecting seeds. One of them ended up quite close to me when he went for a drink in the creek. He came up out of the creek about 3 feet behind me. The little feller was a bit shocked to see me there but he continued on his way after checking me out for a few seconds. Even though I didn’t see a deer I still had a good day.
  5. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Wednesday, October 21st

    It was a little warmer this morning and clouds were moving in. It was 48 degrees at 6:00 am. I got out a little later than I wanted to and when I did head for the woods I was a bit indecisive about where to hunt. I got to a split in the trail and was trying to decide where to go. Right would take me to the Buck Stand and left would take me to a draw full of white oaks that I had bow hunted last year. As I was trying to decide a little breeze blew through the treetops and acorns started to rain down from the left. I followed the sound of acorns. As I approached the place I would leave the trail I though I heard something moving in the bushes. I stopped to listen and then heard what I thought was a coyote in the distance. It yelped again and I soon realized it was a dog. The dog got hot on a trail and was soon running the deer that I heard out of the county. Dogs aren’t allowed during muzzleloader season but some people around here run them all the time. I decided to go on in and at least sit a while in hopes that another deer might feed in the area. I was distracted by some things going on in my life right now so I didn’t stay long. At about 9:00 am I decided to head back home.

    The afternoon hunt was a little better than the morning hunt. The rain was fast approaching and I knew the deer would be moving. I went back to the same draw but sat on the north side instead of the south side like I had in the morning. The wind has been my nemesis all week and this afternoon was no different. It would blow a little from the west then the north finally from the east. It even blew a little from the south. The prevailing wind was out of the northwest. I sat till dark and never saw a deer but I did have one or maybe two come in behind me from the north. I could hear them in the brush but I could never see them. I heard one of them grunt a little. As the last rays of light faded so did my hopes of getting a deer. Once it got completely dark I packed up and headed home. Once I got through the thicket I jumped another deer that had been feeding to my east. The area seems to be popular with the deer and I may be back in here again before season closes but first I’m going to friendlier places. I plan to head to the family farm a couple of counties over where there are a lot of deer and not too many dogs.

    Views of the oak draw.....
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    [​IMG]
  6. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Friday, October 23rd
    Morning

    It was a cool and cloudy morning. The morning temperature was 49 degrees and the high for the day was 59 degrees. There was a very strong west wind all day. The wind would occasionally blow from the northwest also. I had made the trip to the family farm and I was expecting a great hunt. I got to my hunting area a little later than I wanted to but I wasn’t exactly sure where the stand my cousin had told me about was located. I knew the general area but not the exact tree. The area is one that I have killed quite a few deer in over the years. I found the stand quickly and looked over the setup. It was facing east and was setup for bow hunting. Since the wind was from the west I wanted to be facing the wind and this stand was not. I chose to stay on the ground and moved a few yards west of the stand to overlook a place I call Hickory Mound. The land in this area is only a couple of hundred feet of elevation and occasionally there is a mound that rises up a little above the rest of the land. This one was covered with hickory trees. I watched the west waiting for deer to begin filtering in from a nearby pine thicket. I had only just settled in when a deer began blowing at me. I knew the wind was in my favor so I guess she must not have liked the large pumpkin colored object sitting on that log. The deer blew several times but continued toward me. As it approached I got ready for a shot. I looked and saw that the deer was a doe and a little small but I figured if I was offered a good shot then I’d take it. She stepped into a little opening but there was some brush in the way and she didn’t stay still long. I had a bead on her but I chose not to take the questionable shot. The rest of the morning was uneventful so I scouted a little and headed in for lunch.

    Afternoon

    The afternoon hunt was under the same conditions as the morning hunt. I decided to go to another area that is known for holding a lot of deer. This area has good buck sign almost every year and this year was no exception. I entered the strip of hardwoods from the field and began seeing deer tracks and then I saw some fresh rubs. There were a lot of acorns on the ground so I knew that would draw the deer out of the pine thicket to my west. I climbed up into the stand just after 2:30 and got ready for what I hoped would be a short wait. There was a lot of activity in the area this afternoon. There were fighting squirrels, a lot of songbirds, and several woodpeckers. I waited and the wind got colder but I didn’t see a deer early in the afternoon like I had hoped. At about 6:10 I noticed an odd brown line just above the edge of some limbs in front of me. After just a few seconds it moved and I realized I was looking at a deer. It moved out from under cover and I readied myself for a shot. I had a pretty good lane to shoot through but I needed to be sure of what I was looking at. As the deer took another step forward it swung its head toward me and then I saw antlers. I was excited for just a few seconds until I realized that the deer was too small and not legal to shoot. He only had a fork on one side and a single tine on the other. I watched him feed on through and I left at dark.


    Saturday, October 24th

    Saturday dawned clear and cooler. It was 44 degrees at 6:00 am. The wind finally settled down after the front that moved through on Thursday. Since there was no wind I decided to the East Stand. It is on the east side of our property along the edge of a field. There is a strip of timber between our field and the timber company pine thicket that always draws deer because of the oaks. I got in the area a little later than I wanted but still before sunrise. As I got to my stand I heard deer running in the timber. I was disappointed because I was sure I had blown my opportunity. I got in the stand, got my gear settled in, and began to watch for deer. As the sun rose I heard some movement in the thicket behind me and I got excited because it sounded like a deer. Soon I saw a squirrel climbing through the tops of the sweet gums in the thicket and my hopes failed. I was a little disappointed in my hunt at the farm so far because of the lack of deer movement. I usually have a little better luck there. I keep vigilant though since a deer could show up at any moment. I saw a lot of squirrels and there were many annoying crows in the area today but it was the beginning of a beautiful day so I didn’t mind. I alternated between watching the north/south wood line and the east/west thicket that my stand was located at the end of. I was watching the thicket when I saw a sweet gum leaf move at the other end of the thicket. I watched it for a moment because I had a feeling. As I watched the leaf it became clear to me that it was actually a deer’s ear. I got my muzzleloader ready for the shot at the deer began to come out of the opening between the thicket and the wood line. As the doe cleared the thicket I lined up my scope and squeezed the trigger. After the smoke cleared I saw the white belly of the doe shining back at me some forty yards distant. Finally success!! I decided no to reload since the doe was not going any where and I began preparing my gear to leave. It was early, 7:53 am, but I wanted to go ahead and get the deer taken care of and in the cooler. As I prepared to get down I heard something I in the thicket next to me. I looked down and there was another doe within fifteen yards of me. She was making her way to the field right in front of me. As I watched her I saw another doe a few yards behind her. They both came out to the edge of the thicket and I got my camera ready to get some close up shots. Just before they got clear of the thicket they turned back and didn’t give me a shot. I guess they were camera shy! As I watched them I saw another deer coming through the thicket. This one was a bigger than the other two and I noticed antlers on his head. As he got closer I saw a fork on one side and thought he wasn’t a shooter. He was a young buck but I’d take him for the meat if he were legal. As I watched him I noticed the other side of his antlers had three points. He was legal after all! I was mad at myself for not reloading the muzzleloader and I began trying to reload as quietly as possible. Unfortunately the deer heard me and took off. It is hard to be quiet while reloading a muzzleloader when you have three deer within fifteen yards of you! It was 8:12 when the buck came out and by 8:30 I was able to go retrieve my doe. As I walked toward her I was another deer in the woods ahead. She saw me too but I was able to get to the wood line when she stepped behind a tree. She blew at me a lot but didn’t take off. I got in position to watch and then I saw another deer. It turned out to be the two does that were in the thicket by my stand. I had several chances to shoot either one but I passed because both deer were a little small.
  7. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    Rural Arkansas. But isn't all of Arkansas rural?
    It has been a while since I have posted but I have been a little sick and busy hunting and working so posting hasn't been on the top of the list. Here is the latest installment of my hunting journal. More to come......

    Saturday, November 7th

    Today is the opening day of the youth hunt. It was a clear, calm day with the morning temp in the mid 40’s. I had my daughter with me in the East stand looking for her first deer. She has been hunting before but this was the first time she would really be hunting. I had a Remington 700 in .222Rem borrowed for her to use. We went to the range to get her familiar with it and she shot well. We got in the stand before daylight and I got her tucked into a sleeping bag to stay warm. I hoped that some deer would come out close but they didn’t. At about 7:00 am I saw a doe by the far pond. I could barely see her so I got my binoculars up to take a look. While I was looking at her two more deer came up the pond bank. They both appeared to be does also. They appeared to be does also. My daughter could see them but had no chance for a good shot since they were about 300 yards away. The lead doe was watching the back corner of the field where I could not see. I told my daughter that there was another deer coming because of the way the doe was acting. It wasn’t long before a little forked horn buck ran out into the field and scattered the does. He ran them around a bit and then began feeding. He fed to within about 200 yards before leaving. We didn’t see any more deer that day. We hunted my Uncle’s stand in the afternoon. It was a warm and sunny afternoon and all the bugs were out buzzing. There were a lot of ladybugs and wasps flying around the stand and my daughter kept busy chasing ladybugs while I looked for deer. We didn’t see any deer but had a fun time with the bugs.

    Saturday, November 14th

    Today was the opener of rifle season here. My daughter is intent on getting a deer so she is tagging along with me for a chance at her first. We were sitting in my cousin’s stand for the morning hunt. It was another cool morning in the low 40’s. It was calm and there were no clouds in the sky. We got in the stand good and early and were there when the feeder went off. The feeder is located about 15 yards in front of the stand. As it was getting light I thought I saw a deer approaching from across the field but I couldn’t be sure. As it got a little more light I could see the deer moving trough the woods right at us. I told Dana, “Here’s your deer!” It moved in to about 20 yards and was feeding broadside under a white oak tree. I saw that it was a nice 6 pointer and told Dana to get the scope on him and shoot. She tried to get lined up but had a real hard time finding the deer in the scope and when she finally did the buck was behind the tree and she couldn’t shoot. The buck moved into about 10 yards and she never could find it before it spotted us and moved out. Later that morning, at about 8 am, we saw another moving the field to the pine thicket behind us. I thought it was a doe so I tried to get Dana lined up on it but it was on our right and she would have had to shoot left handed and across me so I decided not to let her try that. I decided to shoot the deer so we would have some more meat for the freezer. I had to stand up and turn to shoot the deer but I got a spine shot and went over and finished him off. Yep it turned out to be a button buck but he was really big so we got a lot of good meat out of him.