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Journal 2016 Archive

January 2016

February 2016

Monday 29th February 2016

Kip received an email tell him his order for the Browning Range Ops was canceled because of no availability. I suggested to call and ask the place he ordered from to see if they sell him a comparable camera for the same price.

Saturday 27th February 2016

Two of the four additional cameras we purchased arrived, and we tested them out.  The camera are the Browning Dark Ops 6HD.  For the money, we think these are the best trail cameras currently on the market. Check out how we came to that opinion in Reviews.

March 2016

Sunday 3 March 2016 This weekend Kip and I swapped out the memory cards, placed two more cameras and found the South line.   Kip and I managed to find the South line and couple of nice spots to put up a new stand. We're hoping to move Wendelschaffer's stand from the line of site on the East shooting lane of The Knoll.   What we found was another 'dance party' area; lots of sign and at least three good sized 'freeways'. We’ll have make sure the location is not off the property.  Also, we can see the neighbor's house, but thought to put the stand close to the property line and then shoot into Roland's property with the hunter's back to the neighboring property.   We are both excited about the new location.  There are places to put in food plots, easily construct shooting lanes and even a couple of places to build a hunting platform, not just a tree stand.  I may hunt there in the fall from a ground blind.   Kip and I placed our other two cameras up there, one facing west along a multi-trail and another about 70 yards west of that location along the same trail. We now have nine cameras taking picture on the property. We're starting to get a pretty good feel of what happening on the property.   We searched for one of Roland's cameras for a solid 30 minutes and were not able to locate it. Kip ventured through the pines near the area, finding most of the area not only impassible, but not a single sign of deer.   The pictures on the memory cards we did retrieve - Wow!  There were lots deer of course, but we also capture some unusual activities. The man and his dog were back; two dogs running and chasing deer on the property, that concerns us; someone on an ATV drove in from the EastEnd; more turkeys, some really nice toms;  a fox; a couple of coyotes, and a pair of wolves.  Yes, wolves.  They are way too big to be coyotes. Check out the images in the gallery.   We also put down an acorn flavored lick near Kris & Jon's stand.  We don’t have camera there, but there's lots of activity in the road as the deer have pawed up and eaten the acorns. We'll see what happened with the lick when we head back in about a month.

April 2016

Sunday 14 April 2016

The Trail Camera (Rankton8, Browning DarkOps) is at the North end of the Dog Leg pointing South. Roy's stand, not seen, is to the right, near the 2 o'clock position, approximately 30 yards away. From March 13th until April 3rd, the camera captured 315 unique images(~15/day) and each image had anywhere from 1 to 3 deer. Only the highlights have be posted. I placed myself in the picture so there is a reference for size and distance.  I'm standing about 30 feet from the camera and the camera is about a foot off the ground.  The ground slopes down away from the camera, so camera appears to be about hip height on me. I walked away from the camera at 1:21pm and the first deer appeared at 6:15pm the same day. This is the first deer image; we're guessing it's a buck because of the big chest. He hung around for about two minutes, then wandered off. Overall, the deer spent a lot of time sniffing the ground where I'd been. There's a lot of deer movement during the early mornings (4am - 7am) and usually walking away from or browsing near the camera. The farthest image captured, was about 30 yards away. In Image_1043-44 near the center, a white tail of a deer came be seen disappearing behind the rise; the white spot moving slightly from left to right. On the second round of photos, April 3rd to 14th, captured 175 unique images(~35/day), with anywhere from 1 to 4 deer. Again, only the highlights have be posted. This time, I walked away from the camera at 3:02pm and the first deer appeared at 8:58pm that evening. No turkey wandered through, but we had another surprise visitor. Still much of the deer movement occurred during the early mornings and the deer were getting used to the smell of the camera.

June 2016

Wednesday 15 June 2016 Today is the big day.  We're picking up the forestry mulcher and skid loader.  We arrived on time but the skid loader wasn't there.  It apparently been rented to another group approximately 30 miles north of where we were.  It took the rental place awhile to get everything sorted out.   First they had to locate the only Bobcat with the thick Lexan windshield.  When they finally brought the Bobcat we needed, it was filthy and the tank was not full.  The rental place ask that we return the bobcat clean and with a full tank. I took pictures.   We lost an 1.5 hours of time waiting for them to swap out the skid loaders. The rental place gave us a $50.00 off for having to wait an hour and half.   We arrived on the property much later than we had anticipated, but we jumped right in. We started on the EastEnd Turnaround; we have a couple of videos and some before and after pictures. Robert was enjoying learning how to use the forestry mulcher.   Next we completed the trail that passed near my stand. I'm still trying to think of a name for it. And while we were near my stand we cleared a food plot area. It ended up being a little bigger than I wanted.   We moved on to the Oak Meadow and Dog Leg. Robert was able to clear a nice area at the end of the Dog Leg.  We discovered at that time, the mulcher was not able to chew up the grass (anything shorter than ~3" or not "brush-like:), so the rest of the Dog Leg would still have all the small growth and grass.   The Oak Meadow cleared easily; we have video, along with some before and after pictures. We stretched out the Oak Meadow to be a little bigger and we're glad for that. Robert made some nice pockets in the brush to place ground blinds.   We were able to do about 2/3 of what we wanted to accomplish today.  The rest, mostly The Knoll and some miscellaneous shooting lanes, will have to wait until next year.   What we did get done I think was amazing.  There were lots of wood chips left on the ground, and I think a Harley rake would have been good to have used to clean up the chips.   We'll try to seed the areas as soon as possible. Thursday 16 June 2016 Today I went out to the property on my own and seeded a few areas:  - The EastEnd Turnaround with Honey Hole, Autumn Harvest and Logger's Trail.  - The East End Road to Lenise's Cutoff with Logger's Trail.  - The Lenise's Cutoff with Logger's Trail.  - Lenise's Plot Arc with Honey Hole & Autumn Harvest.  - Acorn Meadow with Honey Hole & Autumn Harvest.  - The far end of the Dog Leg with Honey Hole, Autumn Harvest and Loggers trail. I also threw down a few patches here and there along the Dog Leg with Logger's Trail. I’m glad I did go out to spread seeds today. If I had waited, the ground would have been really hard and the seeds wouldn’t germinate. I was pretty heavy handed anyway with the seeding because the ground was already hard in some places. In many places, the mulcher left a lot of tree chips and not a lot of turned up soil for the seeds. The ground really needs to be Harley Raked to remove the wood chips and grass and to make more level, but that will have to be done another time, probably next Spring. I'm sure this is a learning curve on what to do to not leave so much wood chippings. Maybe the tree needs to be removed once it’s down, instead of being mulched. Though the forestry mulcher did a great job with the brush and trees, it didn't touch the grass along the Dog Leg Trail. I did run a hand rake over the seeds at first (only the EastEnd Turnaround), but grew tired and just seeded the areas and did not rake after. I didn’t rake any of the places I seeded with the Logger's Trail.   I'm hoping for rain the next few days.   I also swapped out 3 of the cameras’ memory cards; I was too tired to get the others and completely forgot the grab the memory card from the Cabin Meadow camera. Friday 17 June 2016 It's going to rain this weekend, then after that, it's not going to rain for another four or five days. So Kip and I decided we should go up and finish seeding the mulched areas. I had the day off and Kip took a vacation day.   I had purchased enough Deer Creek Seeds Autumn Buffet and Antler King's Honey Hole to cover about 2 1/2 acres worth of food plots, and enough Deer Creek Seeds Loggers Trail Mix to cover at least a 3/4 mile long at 10 feet wide road. Kip purchased a handheld seed spreader.   Since the forestry mulcher wasn't able to clear the roads, I wasn't able to plant Logger's Trail on any of the existing trails. Instead we over-seeded the newly cut trails and food plots with the Logger's Trail mixed in with Autumn Buffet and Honey Hole.  We used all the seed mixes, because we had nowhere else to plant them.   On the EastEnd Road and the trail past my stand, Kip over seeded with Logger's Trail. In the food plot around my stand, I over seeded with Autumn Buffet and Honey Hole. I also, placed two brick licks, one of them Candy Apple and one ground lick with Champion Trace mineral, in the area.   For the Oak Meadow and the Dog Leg Plot, we mixed all three seeds, Autumn Buffet, Honey Hole and Logger's Trail, and again over seeded both areas.  In the Oak Meadow we set two brick licks, and a ground lick similar to the two other ground licks in the EastEnd and near my stand.

September 2016

Saturday 17 September 2016 It’s the Archery Deer Opener and the mosquitoes were really bad. We went out in the late Saturday afternoon. Kip hunted in the blind in the Oak Meadow and I hunted in my stand at the East End. We didn't see any deer. We'll have to figure out something to do about the mosquitoes. Tuesday 20 September 2016 Well, a couple of things. We will say unequivocally that the mosquitoes in the field are varied, voracious, and downright mean. If it weren’t for the fact that my blind was anchored, I’m certain they would’ve tried to carry me away. Roy will attest I’ve gained a few pounds that those little wings will be strained to lift too. On that basis and the projected rain, we’ve decided to call this week of archery hunting as a good effort gone awry. We’ve packed up and come home. We saw no deer, bear, coyotes, and only one grey and red squirrel each.   We are going to wait for the first good hard freeze/frost to know the mosquitoes are down and maybe hunt a few long weekend afterwards.    We’ve reviewed the trail cam memory cards this weekend. I will try to post the latest ones on gallery over the next two days. I looks like there are many, many bucks that are walking through the property in the 4 to 8 point range. The 8, 10, and 12 point regulars are there, though they may be going nocturnal already. They’ve worn off their velvet. Take some twine along and make some scrape branches for the bucks if you’re afield.

October 2016

Friday 1 October 2016 Lenise: I went to the property to collect the cameras and fix up the camo on Jessie's stand.  I left early and forgot bear spray, a side arm and a few other things. Luckily, I didn't encounter any bears; I also drove through the property first before I got out of truck. As I collected the cameras, I took a video of a few areas. Jessie's Stand: When I got to Jessie's stand, I found the camo really needed to be replaced, because it was badly ripped in several spots. We may do that when we bring the cameras back up. EastEnd: The food plot has grown in really well and the deer are browsing the plot heavily. The mineral and block licks were used heavily also.  I forgot to bring replacement blocks, so Kip and I will bring fresh ones up when we bring the cameras back. From the images on teh cameras, one of the bears moved through the area like clockwork; between 4am to 5am in one direction, then, back between 9pm to 10pm in the other direction. We know there are at least 6 bears in the area, it could have been a different bear each time. The ground blind had collapsed and I propped it back up and opened two sets of windows. On the images from the camera, it appears the deer and other animals are now used to the ground blind.  When we first put up the blind, it was five days before we saw any deer in the images. Now we see deer daily and in greater numbers. LL Stand: The food plot has not come in at all.  Fallen leaves covered any plants that were growing.  There just wasn't enough sunlight and too much wood chip clutter for the plants to grow well.  I'll have to rethink what I want to do with the area. There was a pleasant and humorous surprise in a series of the pictures. Disappointingly, there were only two deer captured out of the 200 or so images. The new Archery rail on my stand is holding up well. I'll need to figure out how to drape something across the front.  I think though, with fewer deer captured on camera, I'll be hunting from the ground blind on the EastEnd Meadow. Oak Meadow: The food plot has filled in well here; there's plenty of sunlight. The deer are browsing the plot heavily and regularly, and surprisingly, rabbits, turkey and even the bear(s) are browsing the food plot. We'll have to research what kind plants turkey and rabbits like and add those seeds to the mix next year. The giant salt block, mineral and scented licks are being used heavily by the deer. The ground mineral lick is now covered by leaves and we have to figure out how to keep it fresher. The deer and other critters have gotten used to the ground blind here.  Kip left the windows open and it remained standing.  I think the reason his ground blind stayed up, was because the wind was able to blow through the blind, versus pushing against it. The Dog Leg: At the Widow Maker Corner, another tree fell on the road. The fall was caught on camera, but just the sudden appearance of the fallen tree.  The deer were surprised by the fallen tree and examined it for about five minutes, then went about their business of heavily using the ground mineral lick. I was able to move the fallen tree out of the way without the use of a chainsaw or logging chains. At the far end of the Dog Leg, the plot has grown in mostly with grasses and clover; the brassica is nearly non-existent. Again, we'll have to re-think what to plant here next year with the diminished sunlight in the area. Cabin Meadow: We set a camera here to capture videos and it caught some pretty interesting ones. We noted the time frames and the deer were around when we were up there hunting.  Darn it!! Less than a 100 yards from the cabin, deer wandering around.  I could almost sit on the veranda and harvest deer. Speaking of the veranda, we placed our two Browning Range Ops cameras on a post and a nearby tree to test them; one was giving us black images for night/IR images. I suspected it was a battery issue, so we swapped the battery trays between them. Yes, it was a battery issue, when below 50%. We brought home all the cameras and lock boxes to clean, and coat both with Permethrin as there were numerous spiders on every camera and lock box.  We'll update the firmware, place fresh batteries and swap out all the memory cards. As we move into late Fall and Winter, we may not be up as often as we had been over the Spring, Summer and early Fall, but will continue to post the more interesting images in the Gallery.

November 2016

Sunday 13 November 2016 It’s the second week of deer rifle season. There’s no snow and it’s relatively pleasant. Kip is still working out his intermediate cool/cold weather gear. I think I have it down, at least for mid-thirties temps. JT let us stay in one of the cabins for the weekend; it was wonderful. Roy wasn't feeling well and went home early on Saturday. The cabin smells of spray insulation and plywood even before you get in it. Though the cabin is warmer, there is plenty of exposed fiber glass. Neither Kip nor I have seen any deer. I suspect the deer are avoiding the open spaces like the Oak and East End Meadows. I’ll suggest to Kip we hunt in one of the stands that has more cover for the deer, but it will make for difficult and long shots for us. I nearly lost an arrow stalking through the woods trying to move deer. I did find it. However, I did lose a lighted notch somewhere and also found one of my arrow shafts is split. I'll need to purchase more notches and arrows, along with additional Toxic broad heads. As I walked through the woods, I found a couple of good spots for tree stands. I just have to figure out where Roy's stand is and get out of gun range. I’m thinking non-permanent, short, wooden stands, with a couple of spayed and seeded trail plots, would be interesting. The area is a ridge on the south end of the slough north of Roy stand. There were rubs, scraps and trails that looked like people had been walking on them.  It's an easy walk east of the Oak Meadow, as I surprised myself when I came out of the woods near Kip's ground blind. Also, one of the animal trails is the one that leads out of the west end of the Dog Leg food plot. Roland has discovered he has nothing to do in the mornings during rifle season. He's also coming to realize that he has to winterize the cabin. Sunday morning I'm sitting in Kip's ground blind, a little cold, needing to pee and having not seen any deer. I heard one loud shot fairly close by to the north, and four quick shots south-east, but still have not seen any deer or animals, but I heard a bunch. Someone with an ATV keeps driving back and forth on the road. Its eight thirty, the sun is up and so is the wind. Kip hasn't texted yet, but I suspect he is up. I found out later, it was one of the other hunters in the party. Well, it’s time to pee, get warm, clean up, switch memory cards and batteries in the cameras, if necessary then head home.

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Journal 2016 Archive

January 2016

February 2016

Monday 29th February 2016

Kip received an email tell him his order for the Browning Range Ops was canceled because of no availability. I suggested to call and ask the place he ordered from to see if they sell him a comparable camera for the same price.

Saturday 27th February 2016

Two of the four additional cameras we purchased arrived, and we tested them out.  The camera are the Browning Dark Ops 6HD.  For the money, we think these are the best trail cameras currently on the market. Check out how we came to that opinion in Reviews.

March 2016

Sunday 3 March 2016 This weekend Kip and I swapped out the memory cards, placed two more cameras and found the South line.   Kip and I managed to find the South line and couple of nice spots to put up a new stand. We're hoping to move Wendelschaffer's stand from the line of site on the East shooting lane of The Knoll.   What we found was another 'dance party' area; lots of sign and at least three good sized 'freeways'. We’ll have make sure the location is not off the property.  Also, we can see the neighbor's house, but thought to put the stand close to the property line and then shoot into Roland's property with the hunter's back to the neighboring property.   We are both excited about the new location.  There are places to put in food plots, easily construct shooting lanes and even a couple of places to build a hunting platform, not just a tree stand.  I may hunt there in the fall from a ground blind.   Kip and I placed our other two cameras up there, one facing west along a multi-trail and another about 70 yards west of that location along the same trail. We now have nine cameras taking picture on the property. We're starting to get a pretty good feel of what happening on the property.   We searched for one of Roland's cameras for a solid 30 minutes and were not able to locate it. Kip ventured through the pines near the area, finding most of the area not only impassible, but not a single sign of deer.   The pictures on the memory cards we did retrieve - Wow!  There were lots deer of course, but we also capture some unusual activities. The man and his dog were back; two dogs running and chasing deer on the property, that concerns us; someone on an ATV drove in from the EastEnd; more turkeys, some really nice toms;  a fox; a couple of coyotes, and a pair of wolves.  Yes, wolves.  They are way too big to be coyotes. Check out the images in the gallery.   We also put down an acorn flavored lick near Kris & Jon's stand.  We don’t have camera there, but there's lots of activity in the road as the deer have pawed up and eaten the acorns. We'll see what happened with the lick when we head back in about a month.

April 2016

Sunday 14 April 2016

The Trail Camera (Rankton8, Browning DarkOps) is at the North end of the Dog Leg pointing South. Roy's stand, not seen, is to the right, near the 2 o'clock position, approximately 30 yards away. From March 13th until April 3rd, the camera captured 315 unique images(~15/day) and each image had anywhere from 1 to 3 deer. Only the highlights have be posted. I placed myself in the picture so there is a reference for size and distance.  I'm standing about 30 feet from the camera and the camera is about a foot off the ground.  The ground slopes down away from the camera, so camera appears to be about hip height on me. I walked away from the camera at 1:21pm and the first deer appeared at 6:15pm the same day. This is the first deer image; we're guessing it's a buck because of the big chest. He hung around for about two minutes, then wandered off. Overall, the deer spent a lot of time sniffing the ground where I'd been. There's a lot of deer movement during the early mornings (4am - 7am) and usually walking away from or browsing near the camera. The farthest image captured, was about 30 yards away. In Image_1043-44 near the center, a white tail of a deer came be seen disappearing behind the rise; the white spot moving slightly from left to right. On the second round of photos, April 3rd to 14th, captured 175 unique images(~35/day), with anywhere from 1 to 4 deer. Again, only the highlights have be posted. This time, I walked away from the camera at 3:02pm and the first deer appeared at 8:58pm that evening. No turkey wandered through, but we had another surprise visitor. Still much of the deer movement occurred during the early mornings and the deer were getting used to the smell of the camera.

June 2016

Wednesday 15 June 2016 Today is the big day.  We're picking up the forestry mulcher and skid loader.  We arrived on time but the skid loader wasn't there.  It apparently been rented to another group approximately 30 miles north of where we were.  It took the rental place awhile to get everything sorted out.   First they had to locate the only Bobcat with the thick Lexan windshield.  When they finally brought the Bobcat we needed, it was filthy and the tank was not full.  The rental place ask that we return the bobcat clean and with a full tank. I took pictures.   We lost an 1.5 hours of time waiting for them to swap out the skid loaders. The rental place gave us a $50.00 off for having to wait an hour and half.   We arrived on the property much later than we had anticipated, but we jumped right in. We started on the EastEnd Turnaround; we have a couple of videos and some before and after pictures. Robert was enjoying learning how to use the forestry mulcher.   Next we completed the trail that passed near my stand. I'm still trying to think of a name for it. And while we were near my stand we cleared a food plot area. It ended up being a little bigger than I wanted.   We moved on to the Oak Meadow and Dog Leg. Robert was able to clear a nice area at the end of the Dog Leg.  We discovered at that time, the mulcher was not able to chew up the grass (anything shorter than ~3" or not "brush-like:), so the rest of the Dog Leg would still have all the small growth and grass.   The Oak Meadow cleared easily; we have video, along with some before and after pictures. We stretched out the Oak Meadow to be a little bigger and we're glad for that. Robert made some nice pockets in the brush to place ground blinds.   We were able to do about 2/3 of what we wanted to accomplish today.  The rest, mostly The Knoll and some miscellaneous shooting lanes, will have to wait until next year.   What we did get done I think was amazing.  There were lots of wood chips left on the ground, and I think a Harley rake would have been good to have used to clean up the chips.   We'll try to seed the areas as soon as possible. Thursday 16 June 2016 Today I went out to the property on my own and seeded a few areas:  - The EastEnd Turnaround with Honey Hole, Autumn Harvest and Logger's Trail.  - The East End Road to Lenise's Cutoff with Logger's Trail.  - The Lenise's Cutoff with Logger's Trail.  - Lenise's Plot Arc with Honey Hole & Autumn Harvest.  - Acorn Meadow with Honey Hole & Autumn Harvest.  - The far end of the Dog Leg with Honey Hole, Autumn Harvest and Loggers trail. I also threw down a few patches here and there along the Dog Leg with Logger's Trail. I’m glad I did go out to spread seeds today. If I had waited, the ground would have been really hard and the seeds wouldn’t germinate. I was pretty heavy handed anyway with the seeding because the ground was already hard in some places. In many places, the mulcher left a lot of tree chips and not a lot of turned up soil for the seeds. The ground really needs to be Harley Raked to remove the wood chips and grass and to make more level, but that will have to be done another time, probably next Spring. I'm sure this is a learning curve on what to do to not leave so much wood chippings. Maybe the tree needs to be removed once it’s down, instead of being mulched. Though the forestry mulcher did a great job with the brush and trees, it didn't touch the grass along the Dog Leg Trail. I did run a hand rake over the seeds at first (only the EastEnd Turnaround), but grew tired and just seeded the areas and did not rake after. I didn’t rake any of the places I seeded with the Logger's Trail.   I'm hoping for rain the next few days.   I also swapped out 3 of the cameras’ memory cards; I was too tired to get the others and completely forgot the grab the memory card from the Cabin Meadow camera. Friday 17 June 2016 It's going to rain this weekend, then after that, it's not going to rain for another four or five days. So Kip and I decided we should go up and finish seeding the mulched areas. I had the day off and Kip took a vacation day.   I had purchased enough Deer Creek Seeds Autumn Buffet and Antler King's Honey Hole to cover about 2 1/2 acres worth of food plots, and enough Deer Creek Seeds Loggers Trail Mix to cover at least a 3/4 mile long at 10 feet wide road. Kip purchased a handheld seed spreader.   Since the forestry mulcher wasn't able to clear the roads, I wasn't able to plant Logger's Trail on any of the existing trails. Instead we over-seeded the newly cut trails and food plots with the Logger's Trail mixed in with Autumn Buffet and Honey Hole.  We used all the seed mixes, because we had nowhere else to plant them.   On the EastEnd Road and the trail past my stand, Kip over seeded with Logger's Trail. In the food plot around my stand, I over seeded with Autumn Buffet and Honey Hole. I also, placed two brick licks, one of them Candy Apple and one ground lick with Champion Trace mineral, in the area.   For the Oak Meadow and the Dog Leg Plot, we mixed all three seeds, Autumn Buffet, Honey Hole and Logger's Trail, and again over seeded both areas.  In the Oak Meadow we set two brick licks, and a ground lick similar to the two other ground licks in the EastEnd and near my stand.

September 2016

Saturday 17 September 2016 It’s the Archery Deer Opener and the mosquitoes were really bad. We went out in the late Saturday afternoon. Kip hunted in the blind in the Oak Meadow and I hunted in my stand at the East End. We didn't see any deer. We'll have to figure out something to do about the mosquitoes. Tuesday 20 September 2016 Well, a couple of things. We will say unequivocally that the mosquitoes in the field are varied, voracious, and downright mean. If it weren’t for the fact that my blind was anchored, I’m certain they would’ve tried to carry me away. Roy will attest I’ve gained a few pounds that those little wings will be strained to lift too. On that basis and the projected rain, we’ve decided to call this week of archery hunting as a good effort gone awry. We’ve packed up and come home. We saw no deer, bear, coyotes, and only one grey and red squirrel each.   We are going to wait for the first good hard freeze/frost to know the mosquitoes are down and maybe hunt a few long weekend afterwards.    We’ve reviewed the trail cam memory cards this weekend. I will try to post the latest ones on gallery over the next two days. I looks like there are many, many bucks that are walking through the property in the 4 to 8 point range. The 8, 10, and 12 point regulars are there, though they may be going nocturnal already. They’ve worn off their velvet. Take some twine along and make some scrape branches for the bucks if you’re afield.

October 2016

Friday 1 October 2016 Lenise: I went to the property to collect the cameras and fix up the camo on Jessie's stand.  I left early and forgot bear spray, a side arm and a few other things. Luckily, I didn't encounter any bears; I also drove through the property first before I got out of truck. As I collected the cameras, I took a video of a few areas. Jessie's Stand: When I got to Jessie's stand, I found the camo really needed to be replaced, because it was badly ripped in several spots. We may do that when we bring the cameras back up. EastEnd: The food plot has grown in really well and the deer are browsing the plot heavily. The mineral and block licks were used heavily also.  I forgot to bring replacement blocks, so Kip and I will bring fresh ones up when we bring the cameras back. From the images on teh cameras, one of the bears moved through the area like clockwork; between 4am to 5am in one direction, then, back between 9pm to 10pm in the other direction. We know there are at least 6 bears in the area, it could have been a different bear each time. The ground blind had collapsed and I propped it back up and opened two sets of windows. On the images from the camera, it appears the deer and other animals are now used to the ground blind.  When we first put up the blind, it was five days before we saw any deer in the images. Now we see deer daily and in greater numbers. LL Stand: The food plot has not come in at all.  Fallen leaves covered any plants that were growing.  There just wasn't enough sunlight and too much wood chip clutter for the plants to grow well.  I'll have to rethink what I want to do with the area. There was a pleasant and humorous surprise in a series of the pictures. Disappointingly, there were only two deer captured out of the 200 or so images. The new Archery rail on my stand is holding up well. I'll need to figure out how to drape something across the front.  I think though, with fewer deer captured on camera, I'll be hunting from the ground blind on the EastEnd Meadow. Oak Meadow: The food plot has filled in well here; there's plenty of sunlight. The deer are browsing the plot heavily and regularly, and surprisingly, rabbits, turkey and even the bear(s) are browsing the food plot. We'll have to research what kind plants turkey and rabbits like and add those seeds to the mix next year. The giant salt block, mineral and scented licks are being used heavily by the deer. The ground mineral lick is now covered by leaves and we have to figure out how to keep it fresher. The deer and other critters have gotten used to the ground blind here.  Kip left the windows open and it remained standing.  I think the reason his ground blind stayed up, was because the wind was able to blow through the blind, versus pushing against it. The Dog Leg: At the Widow Maker Corner, another tree fell on the road. The fall was caught on camera, but just the sudden appearance of the fallen tree.  The deer were surprised by the fallen tree and examined it for about five minutes, then went about their business of heavily using the ground mineral lick. I was able to move the fallen tree out of the way without the use of a chainsaw or logging chains. At the far end of the Dog Leg, the plot has grown in mostly with grasses and clover; the brassica is nearly non- existent. Again, we'll have to re-think what to plant here next year with the diminished sunlight in the area. Cabin Meadow: We set a camera here to capture videos and it caught some pretty interesting ones. We noted the time frames and the deer were around when we were up there hunting.  Darn it!! Less than a 100 yards from the cabin, deer wandering around.  I could almost sit on the veranda and harvest deer. Speaking of the veranda, we placed our two Browning Range Ops cameras on a post and a nearby tree to test them; one was giving us black images for night/IR images. I suspected it was a battery issue, so we swapped the battery trays between them. Yes, it was a battery issue, when below 50%. We brought home all the cameras and lock boxes to clean, and coat both with Permethrin as there were numerous spiders on every camera and lock box.  We'll update the firmware, place fresh batteries and swap out all the memory cards. As we move into late Fall and Winter, we may not be up as often as we had been over the Spring, Summer and early Fall, but will continue to post the more interesting images in the Gallery.

November 2016

Sunday 13 November 2016 It’s the second week of deer rifle season. There’s no snow and it’s relatively pleasant. Kip is still working out his intermediate cool/cold weather gear. I think I have it down, at least for mid-thirties temps. JT let us stay in one of the cabins for the weekend; it was wonderful. Roy wasn't feeling well and went home early on Saturday. The cabin smells of spray insulation and plywood even before you get in it. Though the cabin is warmer, there is plenty of exposed fiber glass. Neither Kip nor I have seen any deer. I suspect the deer are avoiding the open spaces like the Oak and East End Meadows. I’ll suggest to Kip we hunt in one of the stands that has more cover for the deer, but it will make for difficult and long shots for us. I nearly lost an arrow stalking through the woods trying to move deer. I did find it. However, I did lose a lighted notch somewhere and also found one of my arrow shafts is split. I'll need to purchase more notches and arrows, along with additional Toxic broad heads. As I walked through the woods, I found a couple of good spots for tree stands. I just have to figure out where Roy's stand is and get out of gun range. I’m thinking non- permanent, short, wooden stands, with a couple of spayed and seeded trail plots, would be interesting. The area is a ridge on the south end of the slough north of Roy stand. There were rubs, scraps and trails that looked like people had been walking on them.  It's an easy walk east of the Oak Meadow, as I surprised myself when I came out of the woods near Kip's ground blind. Also, one of the animal trails is the one that leads out of the west end of the Dog Leg food plot. Roland has discovered he has nothing to do in the mornings during rifle season. He's also coming to realize that he has to winterize the cabin. Sunday morning I'm sitting in Kip's ground blind, a little cold, needing to pee and having not seen any deer. I heard one loud shot fairly close by to the north, and four quick shots south-east, but still have not seen any deer or animals, but I heard a bunch. Someone with an ATV keeps driving back and forth on the road. Its eight thirty, the sun is up and so is the wind. Kip hasn't texted yet, but I suspect he is up. I found out later, it was one of the other hunters in the party. Well, it’s time to pee, get warm, clean up, switch memory cards and batteries in the cameras, if necessary then head home.

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abZorba Hunting - Camping - Fishing