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Fitz's 2015 Season Journal Thread

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Fitz, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Well, here we are again. August is here and Fall is just around to corner. So it is time to kickstart my Season Journal.

    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 from my hunting season. 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/showthread.php/64448-Fitz-s-2014-Season-Journal-Thread-*semi-live*

    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

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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.

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    Here's an image of the primary area I hunt with different spots I've named outlined in red.

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    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, though last year I did see my first ever hunter from the stand during the rifle season.

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    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 snowmobile in the late season.

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  3. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Now one exciting thing to note is that the "new" clearcut that was made last year has been growing vast amount of browse. In fact, the deer are starting to pattern a bit by using it as a destination food source (something you don't get to say much in the big woods!). Google hasn't updated it's imagery of my area yet, but here's an outline of the cut and the small timbered island they left in the middle.

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    This will make this early season interesting. This is also the area I saw that hunter last year.
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    One area I'm hoping to hunt and scout more this season is a 160 acre area I call the North Shore. While it includes Whistler's ridge (an area I've hunted a lot the last few years) to it's East, much of it I have yet to explore thoroughly. I plan to start unpacking it's mysteries with everyone's help throughout this season.

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    While the majority of my hunting is on public land, we do have about 60 acres of private land that I hunt as well. Especially when I'm strapped for time and don't want to head across the lake. New this year is a hiking trail I've been building for the resort. It's going to be a great way to access much of the land out my back door and to the South.

    Here's how the 1 1/4 mile trail is laid out.

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  5. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    My hitlist is short but sweet this year. Currently, it's sole member is Buster. Buster is 6.5 yo this year. He's still a narrow typical 10, but this year he's added a bit of mass, some more height, and a small sticker on his left G2. Unfortunately, he's still a vampire. Out of the hundreds of pics we have of him, I think we've only got him in daylight 2 or three times, and that was all during the summer.

    Here's my first picks of Buster this year:

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    ... And a couple from my brother's camera:

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    He can look so different depending on the angle you catch his rack.

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  6. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    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.

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    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.

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  7. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    There are other bucks out there, but I just don't have enough history with any of them to put them on the list. One I'll be watching for is another 10 pt that my neighbor got on camera. I believe he's the same deer that was a small young 10 last year that I saw a number of times close to home.

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    I'm digging his split G3 :tu:
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    2015 marks two big changes for me. Both have "Good news, but..." implications to my hunting season.

    First off, my wife and I had our first baby in February! Our son Caden is a fantastically content little bugger that loves being outside. He will, however, undoubtedly reduce the amount of time I spend in the woods. Especially all day sits.

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    I've already started plans for his treehouse/deerstand :busted:
     
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Second change is exciting as well. As some of you may or may not know, I'm officially filming for the BHOD Crew this year! My first segment was in Episode 8 (Season 6), and will have many more to come.

    The "but..." to this primarily has to do with this thread. With my extra concentration on the video side of things, I will most likely post less, if any, directly from the stand. I will continue to post before hand, and summarize once I'm back, but the process of uploading and posting photos takes a bit of time in the woods, so I'm going to elect to wait until I'm home at my computer.

    The upside is that I'll be able to give sneak peaks and photos prior to you seeing the footage on the show.

    I'm pretty excited to share the area and type of hunting that I do with the Bow Hunt or Die audience, as well as you suckers that follow along here :tu:

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  10. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Our season here in Minnesota opens on the 19th this year. A bit later than normal, but it will be here before I know it. Unfortunately, there is no wolf season this year (lawsuit put them back on the endangered list), so I was unable to put in for a tag. Not a big deal I guess since I have yet to draw. It's a bummer though.

    I think that's about all I have initially. As always, feel free to ask any questions. I'll be looking to get some opinions from you all as I start to dissect that North Shore Area. I'll try and get some topo images and some initial thought I have put together over the next week or so. Then we can start to formulate a plan! :ninja:

    Also, if there's something that you'd like to see me cover or do for the show, let me know. My hitlist and a DIY quick tip are in route to Brandyn as we speak.

    Thanks as always for following along!
     
  11. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Oh yeah. Two more things.

    1. Once again I'm in a 1 tag buck only zone. The does are safe :sad:

    2. In case you missed cmonsta's thread, here's a little highlight reel to wet your whistle for the upcoming season

    [video=youtube_share;3LjpRkg3gBs]https://youtu.be/3LjpRkg3gBs[/video]

    This is actually one of the videos I submitted with my application to the BHOD team.
     
  12. HuntMaine

    HuntMaine Weekend Warrior

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    Looking forward to following along!!

    Congrats on your baby boy, soon enough he will be punching his own tags with you by his side!
     
  13. cmonsta

    cmonsta Grizzled Veteran

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    Heck yes!!!! Glad you got it going brother! And congratulations on the BHOD team! I did not know that.
     
  14. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Great thread and video!

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
     
  15. BigHoss

    BigHoss Weekend Warrior

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    Awesome video Fitz! As if waiting for the BHOD episode all week while slaving a away in a cube wasn't tough before :hail:
     
  16. MnHunterr

    MnHunterr Legendary Woodsman

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    Always look forward to your journal thread!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Drivingtacks

    Drivingtacks Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Man Fitz. Your getting me pumped up! Congrats on your baby boy and the BHOD crew. Good luck and stay safe out there this fall!
     
  18. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    I'm starting to get pumped myself. It was 39* this morning! Better than that mid 90's crap this weekend :tu:
     
  19. TheHardWoods913

    TheHardWoods913 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome, Fitz! Been looking forward to this thread! :tu:
     
  20. flopdrop

    flopdrop Weekend Warrior

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    Subscribed as always.
     

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