I am scouting the woods by stallion hill this afternoon. This is in Sturbridge. Some of the biggest bucks I've ever seen hang out here. Usually they vanish by the time hunting season comes around. I will update this afternoon with the results of the scout.
The terrain here is very tough to navigate. We'll see what type of shape I am in.
There are many fall traditions in New England. There's Thanksgiving, Apple Picking, Football, watching the Red Sox blow a huge lead and miss out on the playoffs... Well... that's not really a good one. My favorite tradition is sighting in my bow for opening day. There's nothing worse than having to adjust your sights but lets face it, no matter how often you shoot you're bound to want to improve your aim/sights. Some blame it on their aim and some blame it on their sights... the only way to tell is to perfectly sight in your bow over a period of a few weeks between October 1 and October 17th (opening day).
Sighting in your bow.
1. Start with the 15 yard pin. Take 4 shots no matter what and if your grouping is tight and on target do not adjust. If the grouping is scattered, that's a good indication of user error. Shoot until a definite grouping is visible and adjust sights accordingly. I suggest starting at 15 yards since almost any hunter regardless of age should be capable of a tight grouping within this distance.
2. Set up around 20-25 yards for your second pin. Repeat the steps for the 15 yard pin, it's okay if the grouping is a little larger this is natural.
3. Set up around 30-35 yards for this pin. This is usually my last pin, I rarely like a shot any longer than 35 yards. If you believe you're comfortable with a 40 yard shot, take 4 shots at 40 yards and if your grouping is really tight then consider taking this shot in the woods. Otherwise in my opinion wait until the deer comes closer or let him live another day. Way too many shots are taken from this distance and deer are wounded but never found. Shoot to kill, not to wound.
***Some advice that was taught at a young age was to color code your distances. 10-15 Green... Green means take this shot without hesitation. (Also green sights are easier to see in the dark...if it's just getting light or dark out)
20-25 Yellow... Yellow means proceed with caution...(Shoot but make sure you've got a good clear shot)
35+ Red... Stop, think about this shot before you take it. Is there no chance this deer comes within closer range... Is this shot going to kill swiftly? If you're second guessing yourself hold off a minute longer and see if he's heading your way.
Today was the most encouraging day of the season. I walked a few hundred yards to an area which I feel should be hunted on opening day. I was able to locate a mature deer bed along with a few small rubs. This is very good, the branches are still laid down pretty well and I'm getting excited for opening day October 17th.
I think the more time you spend in the woods the better your odds of finding a good deer. This year I've made it a point to focus on this large buck I caught feeding under an apple tree in an open field. Sounds like an easy task tracking this guy down but believe me he's big for a reason.
I laid some feed down about 150 yards from the deers bed and I'm hoping he'll come out to feed and get rather comfortable. I have a few concerns about the trees nearby and whether or not they will provide ample cover during the winter months.
I was able to bring a hunting buddy in with me to show him a few basic signs. For those new to hunting there are what I call 4 Basic Deer Signs.
Tracks/Pellets- A mature buck will leave a track that is about 5 inches from "toe to heel" Scrapes- Scrapes are one of the best indicators of where a buck will be, as long as he doesn't get wind of you Rubs- Rubs mean a little less. It's hard to indicate how long the rub may have been on the tree and unless there are a bunch in a straight line it's simply the way a deer communicates with other bucks that this is his territory. Beds-Beds are a fun find in the woods. If you can find fresh fur or urine in the beds it will indicate the sex of the deer. Often times surrounding rubs and the size of the bed indicates the size of the deer. 45+inches usually indicates a large buck.
For a better more in depth explanation of the main deer signs check out http://www.pabucks.com/deer_signs.html
Isn't it funny how people talk about hunting? I met a guy this weekend who seemed to know a ton about hunting. He seemed to know where the deer were, he seemed to have it all.
He lives just down the street from me and was telling me about how he sees deer in his field all the time. I said yeah, that's the easy part to see them at night or dawn during the summer. Wait until Fall and those whitetails start getting smart.
Anyways he tells me he likes to hunt right next to his house, because that's the only way he can sneak out and get one. He said "there are so many deer in the woods, it really doesn't matter (where he goes)".
Today is September 12th, We've just surpassed the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
I'm debating where to start putting down some feed for the deer. I should have started probably a month or so ago but I didn't have the time.
I am planning on putting down some horse feed since that seems to attract the most deer. I also have some plot spike that claims it doesn't need tilling or any water. I am anxious to see how that works. Keep in mind if you're hunting in MA you cannot bait 2 weeks prior to hunting season.
I haven't seen much sign and I'm still not sure where to hunt, I think I need to spend a little more time in the woods and less on the computer.
It's been almost a year since my last post but I actually thought of a topic to write about.
There's an old tale that many golfers talk about. It's call "the one that brings you back". I think this story is true of a lot of things. Alcoholics can quit for years and they have that one beer that brings them back. The one I'm most familiar with is the comparison in golf. I golf a lot with my buddies and one of my good friends always tells me..."It only takes one shot to bring you back". It's so true, in so many ways. I'll be playing a terrible game of golf... shooting a million strokes over par.... but that one shot that goes a few hundred yards straight down the fairway. THAT'S the one that brings you back.
Now this isn't a golfing blog, that's for damn sure... cause to be honest... I don't like golf. I forgot about hunting for the past 10 months and I was driving home from work a few weeks ago and I looked to my left under an apple tree at about 7PM and there were 2 bucks munching on dinner... I was immediately back into hunting mode. I've been scouting quite a bit lately trying to find a decent place to hunt opening day of bow season. A tornado came directly through some of my old stomping grounds so the territory has changed significantly. Can anyone tell me what effect a tornado has on the animals who live in the area? I'm sure animals change their habitat and never return but I'm curious.