Last year sucked........I tagged a nice buck and we killed plenty of deer, but the clock starting winning the battle with my dad and he had some health issues as well as just a relatively sudden inability to handle even mildly tough weather. I have hunted with my dad for 25 years, I may not even be a hunter if he wasn't, who knows?? I have taken everything he has taught me and used it to make a good life for myself in and out of the woods. I owe him and my mom more then I could ever repay.
It was like a never ending punch in the gut to see him struggle through last season........father time beats us all but I wasn't about to throw in the towel that easily.
We had already tried to make his hunting life easier 4 years ago by acquiring 300 acres with a nice cabin in prime NY hunting land........even that wasn't enough as the weather was beating him up.
Screw it!!........called my brothers and said "Dad's not making it through another season, we either let him hang it up or do something about it" The decision was easy.
Construction of the Death Star began!!
Floor is 14 feet off ground, 8' x 8', fully carpeted for silence and comfort, 9,000 BTU portable heater, 2 office chairs and a Caldwell Deadshot to make it one serious battle station.
We set it up on what we call the "hidden field", 10+ acres of ragweed in the middle of our woods. Perfect spot for the deer to feel comfortable yet be exposed............the issue was the field was more of a bedding area because of the tall grass then it was an attractant or food source.
We fixed that.
Out left window is 1 1/2 acres of oats, chickory, clover, sugar beets, radishes, and turnips.
Out right window is 2 1/2 acres of the same but heavier on the winter brasica.
Our turnip growth in September........some are the size of volleyballs now.
Dad was so excited about this year he couldn't even wait for gun season to arrive........he was with us most of archery just watching and getting an idea how the deer were using "his" field LOL What an awesome change from last year.
I tagged my best buck ever with the bow this year on my own land and having dad there to share that one with was pretty special.
I also took a doe with my bow so as far as I was concerned the season was a great success already but the fun was just getting started.
Opening day of gun.........I am just hoping everyone else fills a tag and I stay out of the way. I am in the stand where I killed my archery doe and the day I shot her I saw a beast I was hoping poked his head out for my 30 '06 to say hello. At 7:15 I hear steps coming my way from my left and see 4 does about to walk right past my stand.......the Heater Body Suit unzips and I am waiting for her as she steps into the clear at maybe 10 yards.
30 '06 at close range with home cooked ammo........ouch!!
At 7:30 I hear a shot ring out from in front of me and I get a text saying my nephew just got his first deer!!!
I finish gutting my doe and climb back up to just enjoy the rest of the cold sunny morning..........about 9:00 I hear leaves stirring and see a couple does hopping around to my right, I am happy deer are still on their feet as a couple minutes later I see a single doe a little lower then the others scanning the woods.........Then I hear him coming, thumping steps and nose to the ground..........appearing like a ghost right from the spot I saw him last and he his headed right for her. I drop to a knee and anchor my rifle on the stand........I look over the scope and find a decent open spot he is headed for and wait for him to get there. My next view of him is through my Leupold VX-R with the red dot glowing on his chest.........the home cooked Nosler Accubond is away and his face kisses the ground, his back legs try to get him away and he snow plows down in front of me and slams into a blow down flipping head over heels in the most violent crash I have ever seen/heard in the woods. As I slumped down into my seat I was amazed at how fast the silence returned as all I could hear as I look down on my buck is the buzzing of my phone by everyone who knew I only had a buck tag left. Special buck for me as he was actually the one I was after from 2 weeks earlier. I also hadn't pulled the trigger on a buck for 6 years.
Next to full sized doe.........he was a hog.
The Kubota with a full payload
Amazing he could run at all..........I'll never shoot ammo off the shelf again.
We head home after a serious butchering session and the boys are all tired..........I keep pestering them that I am still on vacation and we should go back out before Thanksgiving. They finally realize I'm never going to shut up and they give in.......we turn and burn back out for Wednesday morning. I go for a walk around 9:00 and my phone rings at 9:30, it's my dad wondering where we are and so on so he finishes by saying "Well, I need help whenever you can get here"........I never heard the shot.
Dad was also very upset last year because he missed a nice 8..........This year I had him shooting clover leafs at the range with my home loads. He didn't miss this time, dropped him in his tracks with a mouth full of turnips. Nice poke too, about 140 yards. Death Star in background.
He also piped a doe in the other plot
Yea.........the Death Star worked out just fine. Dad is absolutely giddy over the freakin thing and we are just happy to have him with us in the woods again.
My brother takes his 10 year old daughter with him and hits the Death Start at night since it's now vacant. At 4:30 I hear a shot ring out that I know is him and I get a text that he just shot a "messed up buck". He doesn't know who Rob is so forgive his poor description of an obvious Rob buck LOL
Since I had to practically drag both those tools out there I named these two bucks "You're Welcome!!!" LOL
3 out of 4 of us tagged out and personal bests on the ground for me.........best of all my dad is back and excited again. Wish I had a tag for my new Accura V2 but not complaining at all. Gotta get my other brother a buck now!!
We have been blessed with a season to treasure.