Fitz's 2014 Season Journal Thread *semi-live*

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Fitz, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Hard to believe another year has gone by and the time has come to fire up this thread!

    For those of you new to the site, or that have missed my Journal Threads in the past few 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, videos, updates from the field. It will be much the same as previous years, with a few new twists.

    I'll start off as always showcasing the area I hunt, then move on to this years hitlist.

    For those that are interested, here's the links for my previous journals:
    http://forums.bowhunting.com/bowhunting-talk/51226-fitzs-2013-season-journal-thread-*semi-live*.html

    http://forums.bowhunting.com/bowhunting-talk/37367-fitzs-2012-season-journal-thread-*semi-live*.html

    http://forums.bowhunting.com/whitetail-deer-hunting/25140-fitzs-2011-season-journal-*semi-live.html
     
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    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]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    One of the first changes this year is that I'll be heading out to Colorado with my dad and two of our friends. We'll be hunting in unit 14 during the last 10 days or so of the bow season (18-28th of Sept).

    This will be my first time ever hunting elk. I'm looking forward to the change of scenery and the challenge of mountain hunting!

    This will mean, however, that I probably won't hunt much (or at all) in MN the month of September.
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Change #2 is my hitlist.

    For the first time in 4 years, I will have a new buck in my number one spot. Now that epic story of Blade is done and he is resting comfortably on my brother's wall...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    .... I have moved Buster to the #1 spot.


    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]

    Buster's notched ear makes him easy to pick out year round, and over the years he grew into a nice typical 10 with a huge body.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Buster's range has been somewhat of a mystery, one I had hoped to crack with trail cams this summer. Well, as often happens summer flies by with the business of the resort, and I didn't have the time I was hoping to get out and scout.

    In the end, I think that was a good thing. Last week I went back to check the area with my brother and low and behold, 90% of where I thought he was bedding and hanging out was logged! In fact, the cut came within 20 yards of taking out my buddy's Lone Wolf that I hung last late season to hunt Buster.

    Here's the view from the stand when I took it down last week.

    [​IMG]


    So now, the area I had planned to hang cameras (the area where Chase and I hunted one night last Fall) now looks like this.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    The silver lining is that between the new cut and the front beaver dam blowing out, I think there's going to be a better funnel closer to the lake :tu: I'm all about not having to hump 3/4 of a mile or more for each hunt.

    I've only gotten a few pics of Buster this year, but it's still good to know he's alive and well. With the environment change and Blade gone, I'm going to be lucky to figure this guy out!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Hit-lister #2:

    6-Pack

    We got a hand full of photos last year of this big 6 pt (8 without brows).

    [​IMG]

    He hasn't shown up yet this season, but if he does, I will not hesitate to let one fly.
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    That's really it for bucks this year. Whistler and Lucky have been MIA for almost two years now, so I've officially given up on them.

    There were a handful of nice young baskets, both 8 & 9 ptrs, that were hanging around last year. Two definitely have potential to be shooters this year. Between getting such a late start with my cams and only checking them every 3-4 weeks (unlike my previous once a week schedule), I just don't have much on camera yet.

    However, my hitlist is not done yet...
     
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Hitlister # 3.

    Smokey.

    She's going to be my goal if I draw a late season wolf tag this year. We've gotten her on camera quite a few times and my wife came across her and two greys while out running this spring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    She's young (I'm guessing about a year and a half), but I'd love to have a black fur. I'm not sure that I'd pass up an opportunity on any adult wolf though, unless I saw her coming in also.
     
  10. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    The last change for this season is this...

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to be doing my best to get some quality video while I'm out there this year. I've been loving my 70D so far and I'm looking forward to figuring out the ins and outs of filming throughout the season.
     
  11. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    As always, questions are welcomed!

    It sounds like the Larson boys are going to be coming back up this Fall for a hunt or two. Maybe more since they just lost their new lease in WI.

    Dad will be hunting more, now that he's retired, and my brother and buddy Nick are sure to make it up as well.

    Now all I have to do is wait for the season to begin :tu:
     
  12. Schuls

    Schuls Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Posts:
    2,350
    Likes Received:
    20
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Adamsville, TN
    That's when you know the season is approaching, when we get to see the next installment of the Fitz journals! Always a great read, awesome pics too. I'm jealous, I'll be moved to Texas come hunting season...bunch of sand everywhere
     
  13. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Posts:
    2,400
    Likes Received:
    559
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Northern CA, United States
    This is my first year to the site and am really looking forward to this. Thanks for taking the time to do this Fitz! Good luck this season!
     
  14. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Posts:
    3,706
    Likes Received:
    245
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northeastern NV
    I'm with Schuls. This is the season kickoff right here. I'll be following along again Fitz!
     
  15. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Posts:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    74
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springtown TX
    Awesome, one of my favorite threads every year.
     
  16. donut757

    donut757 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Posts:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    VA
    looking forward to it again this year.


    I tell ya, them necks really swell up come winter time. The difference in the neck on Buster between June and November is absurd... Makes them antlers look so tiny. How much do typical bucks weigh up there?
     
  17. Matt

    Matt Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Posts:
    7,080
    Likes Received:
    146
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NC/GA
    Love...this....thread....
     
  18. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    If I had to right now, I'd say that this is where something is going to die this season. Right in the grassy spot :tu:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Posts:
    19,215
    Likes Received:
    447
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    That reminds me. I can't shoot does this year. Buck only zone for 2014.


    ... Lucky does!
     
  20. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Posts:
    3,706
    Likes Received:
    245
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northeastern NV
    How many deer tags do you get this year?
     

Share This Page