wreckless448's 2014 Season Thread

Discussion in 'West' started by bowhunter448, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    View attachment 51304 View attachment 51305

    Here's a couple of deer taken by some co-workers last weekend. I believe that they were close to where I am planning to hunt. Hopefully there is a couple deer of this caliber up there come November!
     
  2. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    I'm planning in a little route clearance mission tomorrow. With the first wet snow at the higher elevations coming this weekend, I'm starting to get the fever. Marshall will be home today, so hopefully we can kick up our scouting efforts over the month of October. The plan is to run our trail cameras during the last couple of weeks of October thru the first of November to determine the deer activity in our area.


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  3. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    Here is the forecast for tomorrow's trip.


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  4. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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  5. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Here are a few things I learned yesterday after scouting:L

    1. The deer are there. A lot of the deer dropping on trails I walked was 12 - 24 hours old.
    2. The weather is pushing them lower and earlier than I expected.
    3. If I want to see deer, I need to be on the mountain earlier than 9 am. Or, take time to look en route.
    4. Fully charge the phone/GPS tracker prior to leaving. I thought about dropping down and going to the next draw, until I looked at my charge (20%). Good thing I went back, my phone died about 20 minutes away from the truck.
     
  6. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    It starts!!! Rifle season is in full swing right now and that means it's time for some serious scouting and the final preparations. Marshall and I both have the next two weekends off so we'll try and get up on the mountain as much as possible. We are talking about looking at a different area tomorrow. Weather will be nice and chill tomorrow so hopefully we can get out early enough to see some deer.
     
  7. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    View attachment 52726

    I had to change on the fly this morning. The area we wanted to look at had a gate with "Private Access w/ Fee" on the gate. So here is the route we took. We crossed through the draw we were in as we worked our way up. I missed marking one glassing spot on the way up. We only passed two other vehicles while we were out, which was a surprise considering where we were.

    Here is my scouting summary:
    1. We need to look into Forest Service rules. The map I posted yesterday had a gate with a sign saying "Private Access w/ Fee". All the maps we looked on had the road marked as a FS road.
    2. The deer are still high. Marshall said they were about where they were this time last year.
    3. Having the 13th off will be a benefit. It gives us an extra day to move if needed. We are still hoping to hunt our original spot, but have an excellent area if we aren't.

    I have pictures on my phone and will post in a little bit.
     
  8. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pictures from last weekends outing. After talking to Marshall this week, I think we are going to hunt our original spot with a contingency plan of packing further in if the hunters are in our area.


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  9. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Putting together our plans for the upcoming hunt. I've been shooting with broad heads on the last couple of weeks and I'm fairly confident that if I can get into range, I'll fill my tag this year.
     
  10. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Good luck out there Tim!
     
  11. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Thanks man. Good luck to you too.
     
  12. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Marshall is out shopping for food right now. I'm sitting at home playing with my pack situation. I've got a detachable day pack on my internal frame that I'll use for the stalk. It fits my hydration bladder, radio, tags and license, field spray, and optics (little binos and the range finder). My only problem is it is red. It's semi solved by wearing my jacket over it, but I'm still trying to figure out how I'll access my optics without wearing them also. The big bag will sit at the the campsite and carry food, clothes, spare water jug, and other misc. camp stuff. I just have to figure out where my game cleaning gear will go.

    On another note, my broadheads are all tuned up. The night before I head out, I'll switch out the practice blades for the killing blades. Marshall will be down this afternoon with his bow to broadhead tune, make finally packing arrangements and put together our hunting plan on a map. Once we get the plan in place, I'll use the ACME mapper to mark them up and then will print the topographic maps of the area and the satellite imagery for the areas.

    13 more days until we're both on the mountains. Can't wait.
     
  13. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    It's been awhile since I've posted. Our season started on the 10th and Marshall was out that morning. He was able to get to 30 yards on a 3x4 and have a staring contest. He passed on him when he saw the 4x4 sitting about 100 yards beyond that. So he chased the big guy and got ghosted.

    We got out for the first time of the season together yesterday. We saw roughly 8 does and 3 bucks, including the 4x4 from Monday and were able to sneak on some. Marshall put the sneak on a real tall, thick 2x2. We started about 150 yards away and he snuck to about 100 and used the fog that was rolling in to make a run close to the deer. Unfortunately, the deer thought the same thing. By that point, we were both soaked to the bone (snow and ~30 mph winds in the bowl we were in) so we decided to pull out and try and make a fire to warm up and wait it out before trying again. With the snow coming in the night before, we couldn't get anything dry enough to start. I ended up cutting myself in the finger with my knife and bled pretty good, so we decided to head back to the truck.

    We split up along the way as Marshall went to recover the dead head we had found earlier in the morning. As I got closer to the truck, my finger stopped bleeding and I started seeing tracks. After a couple of quail scared the life out of me, I decided to follow the tracks. I never saw anything, but from the tracks, it would have been a big doe or a 1.5 - 2 year old buck (shooter in my book).

    We came home and warmed up and changed into dryer clothes and planned to check out another spot. We were able to the Rhino from my father-in-law, so we headed out. We got to where we were going with about 1.5 hours left of shooting light, so we unloaded the Rhino and took a drive. Midway up the canyon, we started to get rained on, so we broke and made for camp, which we still had to set up. We decided while debriefing the day that we would look where we were in the morning, and if nothing promising, head home for the night.

    We woke up around 5, had some breakfast and warmed up around the fire before taking off. The watering hole we were going to set up on was dry, so we headed back down. On the way back down, we jumped 4 does. After following them from the road in the Rhino and not seeing a buck with them, we decided to head out of the canyon to the flats. Once there, we drove around looking for anything fresh. We hit a point where we were so cold we needed to walk. We walked for about 45 minutes and didn't see one ounce of fresh sign, so we came home, showered and warmed up.

    Tomorrow I think we are going to go back into our spot and see what we can get. I'm not sure if getting out later will have any effect with the snow on the ground or not just yet. I'll keep you guys posted
     
  14. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Good luck out there Tim!

    I hate it when grouse or ravens scare the crap out of me :busted:
     
  15. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    I thought of taking a shot, since they're in season. I just didn't want to waste an arrow.


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  16. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Day pack is almost ready to go, still need to put water and some food in. Waxed my string and wiped my bow down (took on a little mud in the side by side yesterday). Weather looks to be clearing up a little bit. I haven't talked to Marshall to see how he is feeling. Really pumped for tomorrow's hunt. Right now it looks like the big storm will push south of where we want to hunt. Looks like it will be clear and cold tomorrow.
     
  17. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Storm has dissipated! Looking like a clear and cold hunt in the AM!
     
  18. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    So for today's hunt we went back to our spot. We started walking in just as first light was coming and we didn't see anything. It took almost an hour and a half in before we saw any does (saw a total of 27 does today). We finally started pushing does around but didn't see any bucks with them. We watched for a little bit, but nothing. It was about 9 when we saw a little button buck walking towards us. Wanting to fill my tag, I told Marshall I'd take a shot. He disappeared underneath our feet and when Marshall popped up he took off. We then sat on the watering hole for about an hour. I watched 2 does at 175 yards just mosey on over the hill.

    Marshall came up to where I was set in and we decided to keep heading south. Over the next ridge we saw a little forky (best guess is a 1 year old buck) and a big 3x3. The forky walked over in front of us, roughly 30 yards. I was at full draw, but the bush I was using as cover blocked any shot. Marshall then set out on an 1.5 hour stalk on the 3x3, in which the closest he got was 100 yards. There was a doe underneath Marshall that we thought would bring the buck to him, but she ended up luring him away.

    We jumped up and proceeded to chase (mind you at this point we're about 6 miles as the crow flies to the truck) until we see that the 3x3 has gone over the other side of the mountain. Being at the foothill of the mountains and knowing there was a road close, we decided to call my father-in-law for a ride. About 2.5 miles later, we had a couple of cold beers, swapped some stories, and got ready for the afternoon hunt.

    We followed some tracks to a decent vantage point and waited for 45 minutes. We walked a little bit further up the mountains then where we started the morning and just took a stroll back in. We jumped 6 more does and what we believe to be a little spike. We made it to a turn around point and decided to joke around and just walk back. We found some mountain loin tracks along the way back, and two of the does and the spike were back to where we jumped them.

    The day was long and we walked ~9 miles today. Both of us are beat, but optimistic that we have a good spot. Our problem is now we are running out of time. We both have commitments on Tuesday which will prevent us from hunting and Marshall goes back to work on the 20th (the last day).

    Oh, and the temps never got above 30 today*
     
  19. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Quick recap of this morning's hunt:

    We hit our parking spot just after 4:30 and started in. We moved in rather quickly as we noted that we had beaten the light. We got in where I had scouted and posted the video from at 6:00, about 30 minutes prior to sunrise. We sat in place for 30 minutes before we noticed a group of does about 175 yards above us. We dropped a little lower and tried to come up and around and we jumped a decent buck. I never got eyes on his rack, but Marshall said he was a good one. We split up to try and get around him and Marshall watched him tend a doe in the other direction.

    We continued up the mountain and watched three separate groups of does, ranging from 204 to 400+ yards away. Looking at how high we were and the lack of buck action, we decided to call it a day. We walked back and got talking about changing our approach from "tagging out" to "having a good time" by loading up the Rhino, a cooler and our bows and seeing what would happen.

    We started to drive out of our spot when Marshall noticed a little forky. I fumbled for my release and bow and Marshall ranged him at 40 yards. Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for the buck) he moved about 6 yards closer and the arrow went right over his back. I followed in pursuit for about 5 minutes before realizing that our best chance of seeing him again was to continue the drive out. No luck.

    We planned on taking tomorrow off for my niece's birthday, so we won't be back in the field again until Wednesday, which will be our last day. We will be loading up the Rhino and taking off early in the morning, since Wednesday afternoon filled up with an interview and some last minute studying (I applied for an IT position within my company, and am a little out of practice in the field. IT was my military specialty and Networks were my function during a deployment to Afghanistan)

    My wife is convinced that going out by myself is a bad thing, but I might try to go find that little buck down low Thursday morning, the last day of the season.

    It's been an enjoyable hunt so far, with hopefully a couple of outings left. I'll end up posting my season breakdown after I get it all figured out.
     
  20. bowhunter448

    bowhunter448 Grizzled Veteran

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    Tomorrow's hunt will be the last of the season. It will be a morning hunt, also. I was going to try and go out Thursday morning, but my interview changed from tomorrow afternoon to Thursday morning. Hopefully we can tag out on the last day.
     

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