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Fitz's 2013 Season Journal Thread *semi-live*

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Fitz, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Well here we are, just under 34 days until I get to start chasing whitetail in the Northern reaches of Minnesota.

    For those of you new to the site, or that have missed my Journal Threads in the past two years, the idea is to cover my season from start to finish in a journal. It honestly started as another way for me to log my hunts so I could relive them later on. I've been surprised & humbled by those that have been following me through the ups & downs offering their support the whole way!

    This thread will be full of trail cam pics, photos and updates from the field, short videos (from my iPhone), and possibly, if everthing goes well, a live broadcast of the Big Buck Recovery :rock:

    So, We'll start off with a refresher of where I'm hunting, and then move on to this years hit-list and hired guns :evilgrin:
     
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    So I live near Ely, Minnesota. We're about 14 miles south of the Canadian border, near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and in the heart of the Superior National Forest. This area is definately Big Woods hunting. There aren't any crops, and very few hardwoods. We're actually on the southern edge of the boreal forest. The landscape is littered with lakes, bogs, swamps and pines. Birch, aspen, ash and moutain maples are mixed throughout.

    Here's an image of the primary area I hunt.

    [​IMG]

    Our lake does not have a public access and there are very few private lots/cabins along it's shores. 3/4 of the lakeshore is either State Forest or National Forest. Basically I get to hunt a couple thousand acres of public land that is near impossible for the public to get to :tu:

    Much of my hunting time is spent across the lake on its Western side. I access these spots by canoe in the early season, and if we get cold enough, fast enough, I can use my bike or a snomobile in the late season.

    [​IMG]

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  3. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Hit-list Buck #1: Blade

    This Fall with be the 4th season that I've been chasing this mainframe 10 with Bladed G2s.

    Here's the hightlights from 2012:

    [video=youtube_share;MInOoE4tsHU]http://youtu.be/MInOoE4tsHU[/video]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Blade is a complete ghost. I've only seen him once on the hoof back in 2010 when he looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    I know I was close to him once last year. I was checking one of my cameras before leaving for WI, and found a photo from 10 minutes before I pulled the card (the image second to last in the previous post).

    Each year I learn more and more about where this buck travels and when. He has a huge home range, easily over 2000 acres, with photos more than 2 miles apart year round.

    He is the focus. He is the dream.

    I only have to be right once.... right??
     
  5. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Hit-list Buck #2: Buster

    Buster has been on my radar since late in the 2011 season, when I got a bunch of photos of him which gave him his name.

    [​IMG]

    (side note, I'm getting more & more convinced that Blade may have been the one the busted him up. They seem to have a love hate relationship... but more on that later)

    Buster's notched ear makes him easy to pick out year round, and last year he grew into a nice typical 10.

    [​IMG]

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    My brother had Buster come in at dark during the rifle season, but there wasn't enough light to see for the shot. I know he would love to drop the hammer on Buster!
     
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Hit-list Buck #3: Whistler

    Whistler came out of nowhere last year! He's another mainframe 10 with a little added character. When first scrolling through photos on my phone, I thought he was Blade.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a nice comparison of the two:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Whistler should be dead.... Twice!

    On Halloween last year, I had Whistler come in to 23 yards. I flinched at the release and my arrow sailed safely over the top of his back. :sad:

    Here's the iPhone footage (hard to see I know):

    [video=youtube_share;Hv9uAklvyyI]http://youtu.be/Hv9uAklvyyI[/video]

    7 days later, 80 yards away, I got a chance for redemption... and failed. This time it was a 21 yards shot and I hit him in the front shoulder with only a couple inches of penetration. 1 drop of blood, a day & a half of tracking and no sign of him.

    A couple week later, he shows up in front of our lodge feeding under the bird feeder, looking seemingly no worse for wear.
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Now looking back at my old cam videos from 2010, Whistler may have been hanging around with Blade, but I can't say for sure. Whistler could be the first buck in this video?

    [video=youtube_share;YY4QDySPBw8]http://youtu.be/YY4QDySPBw8[/video]
     
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Now, so far this year I've gotten hundreds of photos of Blade & Buster. They were hanging out at first, even grooming each other. But as the summer has progresses, Buster has gotten less tolerable of his buddy Blade. Here's a couple video slideshows of them together, with Buster chasing off Blade.

    [video=youtube_share;_E5PKUON4ho]http://youtu.be/_E5PKUON4ho[/video]

    [video=youtube_share;WWj4f_KsEig]http://youtu.be/WWj4f_KsEig[/video]
     
  10. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Here's the latest photos from this summer.

    Blade
    [​IMG]

    and Buster:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    So far, I don't have any confirmed photos of Whistler this year. I have one photo that could be him, but I'm not sure that it is.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Now, like in years past, my buddy Nick will be coming up a couple times over the course the the season to chase these deer with me.

    What's new is the fact that there are some hired guns coming up here to help in tracking down one or more of these bucks. Chase & Todd Larson (xtreme16 & ttraveler) from the BHOD crew are going to make it up for a couple hunts. So you just might be seeing some of our Northwoods antics on an episode of :bhod: !

    I can't wait for these guy to get up here. Sounds like they're coming up in a couple weeks to do a little scouting and hang some stands. Sounds like a late Oct / early Nov hunt is planned and possibly another trip sometime late Sept or early Oct. I met these two guys at the 2012 G2G, and have nothing but great things to say about this father son duo!
     
  13. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Well, that should have everyone all caught up. Today is trail camera day, and I'm going to be pre-scouting one or two spots while I'm out there.

    I'll be updating as I find more information, and I'm sure I'll be posting pics when the guys come up a visit.

    I'm getting sooo pumped for this season!

    Tic-tock, tic-tock......
     
  14. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    As always, questions, advice, etc, is always welcome :tu:

    Just waiting for my wife to get home so I can hit the woods!
     
  15. Matt

    Matt Grizzled Veteran

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    Favorite thread of the year, looking forward to it as usual! Good luck :tu:
     
  16. Dawn Assassin

    Dawn Assassin Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome story cant wait to see what comes next:tu:
     
  17. Just Passin thru

    Just Passin thru Grizzled Veteran

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    Sweet Fitz! I went back and read through your Journal last year and I can't wait to follow along this year! Blade is going down!! :woot:
     
  18. okcaveman

    okcaveman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Good luck this year fitz! Ill be following along again
     
  19. JakeD

    JakeD Grizzled Veteran

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    I'll be following along again this year as well, glad to see this thread back up and going. Good luck!
     
  20. bwebb2

    bwebb2 Weekend Warrior

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    Can't wait to follow this thread again this year. Keep it coming Fitz!
     

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