What if the deer would've come out 10 yards further down the plot? What if I would've just had my gun already propped on the shooting rail? What if the deer would've kept walking toward the decoy? What if my gun barrel didn't get caught in the burlap? These were the questions running through my mind moments after blowing a perfect chance to harvest a nice 9 pt. Let's rewind?
This past weekend, I had the privilege to sit in the deer stand a few times. Saturday morning didn't offer any luck even though I felt like I was in the perfect setup. I called Clint to see if he wanted to film me hunting over the Tecomate Seed Food Plot on the power line Saturday afternoon. We decided were going to setup a buck decoy and use a rut smoking stick by Tink's. I placed the decoy and smoke stick about 60 yards down the plot. About halfway between the decoy and the stand, there was a fresh scrape on the edge of the food plot. The wind was blowing in our face at an angle, which was good considering the deer should be coming out in front of us. The deer we have been seeing have been coming out close to the scrape or at the very bottom of the plot. It was around 3:30 pm when we finally got situated in the tower stand. Clint and I were whispering what we hoped would happen and just texting people on our phones, trying to kill time until the ?golden hour? arrived.
Since there hasn?t been much rain, the squirrels were making a ridiculous amount of noise in the leaves to our left and right. Around 4:40 pm, the sporadic scampering from the squirrels had ceased and a rhythmic pattern of steps started resonating from the hardwoods to our right. I instantly looked at Clint and said ?That?s a deer!? Adrenaline suddenly rushed through my body and heightened my senses. I could hear every twig snap and every leaf crackle as the deer approached. He was walking right towards our stand! As the deer approached the food plot, he was so close that we couldn?t even see him. At this point, Clint and I were so excited that we literally felt like puking. Finally, Clint saw some antlers moving below us. Since I was in the right corner of the stand, I didn?t see the deer until he was a step away from entering the food plot. First thing I spotted was antlers. So I started taping Clint on the leg for him to let me know if it was a shooter. Clint gave me a thumbs up!!! It was game time! The deer was so close we had to be extremely quiet in our movements. I gently sat my binoculars on the floor and started to get my gun raised. By this time, the deer had spotted the decoy and had taken a few steps toward it. Perfect! I was thinking the deer was going to head straight for the decoy and Clint was going to capture the magic. The deer suddenly got spooked. He paused, turning his ears in every direction trying to pick up the slightest noise. I was frozen! I still hadn?t gotten my gun raised. The deer started walking toward the woods instead of the decoy. It?s was now or never! I quietly, but frantically tried to get my gun positioned on the shooting rail. The deer was just a few steps from disappearing into the woods when my gun barrel got tangled in the burlap on the top railing. As I untangled the barrel and clicked the safety off, the deer darted for the woods. BANG!!! ?Did you get him!?!? Clint whispers. My heart sank. I just had the greatest opportunity to take a nice buck and failed. I?m pretty sure in my rushed state of mind; I shot over the deer?s back at 15yds! We sat until dark and then got down to make sure I didn?t hit the deer. We didn?t find any sign of the deer being hit. This was the greatest hunt, with the worst outcome, in my life.
The image of the buck spotting the decoy & getting all stiff-legged
Even though I missed the deer, I had to show my family this awesome hunt. So when I got home, I played the footage for my dad, mom, sisters, and brother-in-law. As soon as the buck came into the screen, my sister was like I can?t believe you missed that nice buck. Great! Here we go, time for the clowning to commence. Then my dad chimes in, ?That deer about licked your barrel!? Now I?m trying to defend myself by describing what is happening behind the camera. My dad said he was going to get in that same stand in the morning. I said that was cool because I could just film him. He said that I wouldn?t have to worry about that deer again if he came out on him because he would ?put him to sleep?. So Sunday morning we headed back out to the tower stand. After getting in the stand, my dad couldn?t be still. His back was bothering him and he was on a bucket seat that didn?t have any back support. He kept squirming around and occasionally stood up. By this point I thought there was no way we are going to see a deer. So I just started playing on my phone and started texting people. Suddenly dad whispered ?Don?t move! A doe just stepped out.? By the time I get the camera turned on and zoomed down the plot, two more does stepped out. None of these does where on high alert like a buck was with them, so I immediately tell dad to pick one out and shoot. Before he can put the binoculars down and grab his gun, there were six does in the food plot. Three of these does are at least 120 lbs. Dad got his gun on the shooting rail and we pick out which doe he is going to shoot. ?Ready?? he whispered. BANG!!! ?Haha? I chuckled. The deer bounded off. Dad asks ?Did I hit her?? Then you hear me kind of laugh and say ?I don?t know?. I started picking on him because that is the first deer I?ve ever seen or heard of my dad missing. For some reason, he placed the cross hairs on top of the does back and shot over the top of her. I was like why would you do that, she was only 140 yards out. Then I realized that was the first deer my dad had ever attempted to shoot with a rifle. We decided to get down and check for blood just to make sure. As I waited for my turn to climb down the stand, I glanced back down the food plot and another deer had just walked out after all the commotion. I started whispering to dad to hand me the gun, but obviously he didn?t hear me. By the time he finally handed me the gun, the deer had run off. Now it was time for dad to get clowned by the family. Luckily for him, it was only mom there. So all he got was, ?I can?t believe ya?ll missed those deer.?
Even though pops and I were 0 for 2, those were two of the best hunts I?ve experienced in my life. I have to give special thanks to Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, Atsko Scent Elimination Products, True Timber Camo and Tecomate Seed. Without the Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and Atsko?s Scent elimination products, I don?t think Clint and I would?ve ever been able to get that close to the 9 pt. To be in a stand that is about 12 feet high and get within 5 yards of a buck like that speaks volumes for these two products. True Timber has great camo patterns for our area and the material is quiet. I will be purchasing more from them soon! Tecomate Seed just keeps bringing these deer in. We haven?t hunted that stand much, but now we have seen 3 or 4 bucks on it and a lot of does. So I highly recommend you guys try these products.
Below is the video of my first hunt
Below is the video of my dad?s hunt
These are 2 hunts I'll never forget!
This past weekend I was blessed to be able to sit a few times in the woods. The weather was pretty nice. The mornings and evenings were nice and cool, just the way I like it. Most of the weekend I sat in an old wooden stand my dad and I built a few years ago. It overlooks about a 5 acre field that is usually planted in corn. This year however, it was not planted and is pretty grown up. I didn't end up getting to bed until about 3 a.m Friday night/Saturday morning and "attempted" to get up around 5:30 a.m. I awoke with rays of sunlight peaking through my blinds. Once I was fully conscious, I jumped out of bed in a panic. I looked on my phone and it was 8:30 a.m. Now at this point I could've easily just went back to sleep and just hunted in the evening, but I love hunting too much to do that. So I unplugged my Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, grabbed my clothes out (which was washed in Atsko's scent free detergent), and started getting dressed. Luckily, the hunting land is just across the road so I was dressed and in the stand by 9:15 a.m.
After spraying down with Atsko's scent spray, I headed for my stand. I was skeptical about hunting the old wooden stand since there was no corn planted, but decided to try it out anyways. Once I got in the stand, I suddenly was annoyed. Two branches had grown substantially since last year, one on each side. The one to my left wasn't that bad because I could still see the majority of the areas I needed to see. The branch to my right blocked a major inside corner of the field. The majority of the deer travel comes from my right, so I was definitely disappointed.
After about 45 minutes of sitting in silence, I decided I would try my hand at a little rattling. As I got ready to bang the rattle pack together for a third time, I saw ears sticking up in the middle of the field. I didn't see any horns, but I still looked in the binoculars to see if it was a big doe. If it was a big doe, then I was going to try to get on the board. When I peered in the binoculars, I actually found out that it was a little button buck. At this point I knew I'm wasn?t shooting the deer so I grabbed the video camera and just filmed. When I first saw the deer, it was straight ahead out in the field (it had been bedded down there). He browsed as he headed for the woods to my right. I filmed him until he got behind the tree branch and then forgot about him. I figured he just kept going into the woods. About 10 minutes later, I caught a glimpse of something about 15 yards to my right through the branch. The button buck had circled back toward me and entered the woods just to my right and kept circling until he got right behind my stand. This wasn't good because the wind was blowing directly in my face straight to him. However, he never knew I was there because of the dual threat of Mckenzie and Atsko. I sat until about a quarter to 12 and then got down for some lunch.
Saturday afternoon I decided to try my luck in a new ground blind I put out a week before. I like the setup I got going there, but unfortunately I didn't see any deer. When I was exiting the blind, I bumped a few deer that were trying to make their way to the deer feed but didn't get there before dark. Sunday morning, I decided to sit in the old wooden stand again. I have been choosing stands on the outskirts of the woods or just inside the woods because it has been too dry to walk deep in the woods. I would scare every deer in a country mile. About 8:30 a.m., I heard deer coming to the field on the same trail the button buck exited. When they popped out into the field, I could tell right away there were not shooters. When I zoomed in with the video camera, I noticed that it was a pair of button bucks. I filmed them for a while. They kept bedding down and then about 10 minutes later stand up and browse some more. They never were further than about 80 yards away. I looked at my phone and it was 10:30 a.m. and these deer still hadn't left. They both finally bedded down and didn't get back up. So I slipped out the stand and quietly headed to the truck. Sunday evening, I sat in a two-man stand that is about 30 yards inside the woods at the inside corner of the field. There has been a lot of deer travel there, but it just wasn't in the cards for me to see one that moment in time.
Even though I didn't see a shooter, I still had a productive weekend. Anytime I can have the privilege to sit out in the woods and enjoy God's beauty, then I consider myself thankful. Seeing deer was just icing on the cake. If you notice, the deer I did see this weekend were all pretty close encounters. There are several factors that helped me achieve this interaction. Paying attention to wind is a big one. I know a lot of guys that will just go to a stand no matter what the wind is doing. A deer relies on its sense of smell, hearing, and eyesight to survive. Do what you can to fool these and you'll have a better chance at seeing deer. I washed my clothes in Atsko scent free detergent, stored my clothes in my Mckenzie bag (it ran all night), and then sprayed down with the Atsko scent spray. So when that deer got downwind of me, I was pretty confident I would not get winded. Like I said early, I have been picking stands that I can get to without having to step on a lot of dry leaves. Deceiving their eyesight is a little easier. I have a lot of back drop behind me to break up my outline. I also have another arsenal.....I have a camo made for the Carolinas! I wear my True Timber Southern Pine camo and just blend in with my surroundings.
I hope you guys are enjoying this hunting season as much as I am. Remember to cherish every moment you get to spend out in the outdoors because you never know when it will be your last. Also, spread the fun and show others how fun hunting can be. There is nothing any better than getting in the woods well before daylight and listening and seeing the woods wake up. That's a scene I will never get tired of!!!
Good luck, be safe, and God bless!
I would like to introduce you guys to a personal friend of mine, Gavin Jackson. Gavin is a childhood friend of mine that resides in Jefferson, SC, which is where we grew up. He fits in very well with the WeHuntSC crew because he has a great passion for the outdoors. If he isn't working or hanging out with his family, he is in the woods hunting or fishing. Gavin is like me, it's not as much about killing the animal, but the work and homework you put in beforehand. To me, that is what true hunting is all about.
Gavin is going to help us blog about deer, turkey, boar, coyote, and ducks, but he will mainly be blogging about duck hunting and coyote hunting. He said those two are his favorite types of hunting. I just got off the phone with him a little while ago and you can tell he really loves to duck hunt and coyote hunt. By the time he finished describing duck hunting and coyote hunting, I was ready to go and I don't really hunt either. Anyways, I will let you guys learn more about him when he post his first blog tomorrow. We are thankful for him helping us out and we look forward to reading about his hunting experiences this year. Good luck hunting and be safe!!!
This past weekend?s weather conditions were exactly what I have been waiting on all hunting season. We finally received some cold and calm weather. I could barely sleep from the anticipation of that first morning hunt on Saturday. I chose the lock-on stand across from my house because the wind was perfect and I have been getting pictures from my trail camera all during the morning hours. Though, these pictures have not been of a buck I would like to take, there have been some nice size does. So I opted to take my bow and see if I could get my first bow kill. It rained for the most part that morning, but it was a very light rain and it tapered off around mid-morning. I just knew with the cold morning and the rain deceasing, I would see some action. I was wrong I didn?t see anything. I sat until about 11 a.m. and got down and grabbed my trail camera. My camera had some good pictures, but again, not of any bucks I would like to kill. There was one promising young six point that is going to be nice in a year or two. But the majority of the pics were between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and had several between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Even though theses deer have been coming out between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., I opted to wait until 3 p.m. to go hunting because COLLEGE FOOTBALL was on! Even though most games did not go the way I wanted them to, I still enjoyed watching them. After watching a little bit of football, I went back to the same stand in hopes to kill a big doe with my bow. Still nothing. At this point, I was getting discouraged.
First of all, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I have been on the road for work, so I am just now getting to my weekend blog. I hunted Thursday through Sunday and wasn?t all that successful. However, I did get some video to share with you guys. And even though there was not many deer sightings, I did get to spend time in the woods and that is a gift in itself.
Thursday morning I sat in the stand across from my house and right next to my uncle?s house. Walking into the woods I spooked some deer and felt the aftershock. I sat from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. and all I saw was squirrels. I got in the stand around 2 p.m. that evening. My dad sat in the wooden stand that overlooks a 2 acre plot of Biologic. I sat in a 20-ft metal buddy stand overlooking a half acre of Biologic. Again, no luck. When am I going to see some deer!
Friday morning was no better. I got situated in the wooden stand, in the field, about 6 a.m. When the sun rose, all I saw was FOG! I sat until about 10 a.m. and decided to get out because the fog was not any better. Friday evening I did not end up going hunting because I fell asleep from 12 p.m. til 4 p.m. So I just got ready to go watch them Eagles beat down Abbeville for the Upper State Championship. On that note, good luck to you guys this Saturday for the State Championship.
Saturday morning I faired a little better. I did not see multiple deer, but at least I saw A DEER. I went back to the lock-on stand across from my house. When I stepped into the woods, I was praying I would not hear deer running away. Luckily I didn?t. It was about 5:50 a.m. when I got situated into the stand. Around 8:30 a.m., I had all but given up on seeing a deer when I spotted a body coming out of the thicket in front of me. As it approached the corn pile, I thought it was a doe. I pushed the safety off of my .44 Mag because I had made up my mind that I was going to shoot a doe if I saw one. Just to make sure the deer was a doe, I picked up the binoculars. Good thing I did because I spotted inch long horns on top of the deer?s head. So I put the safety back on and just enjoyed watching the deer. I really wish I would have had a camera because it was very neat watching him eat the corn on the cob. He would eat all the corn on one section of the cob and then roll it with his nose and eat another section. Something I did not understand was why he was being picky on which cobs he would eat. He literally sifted through all the corn to eat certain pieces. At one point his nose was itching, so he used his right back leg to scratch it. When he finished scratching, he must have irritated his nose because he sneezed. When his belly was full, the deer started moving toward my stand headed to the road behind me. Soon as he started my way, I reached for my phone because he was going to walk within 5 yds of me and that would be close enough for my phone to pick him up. He passes really close to me and heads across the road. I sat until around 11 a.m. and then got down. Before getting down, I shot a 360° view of from my stand so you guys could see just how close it is to the road and my uncle?s house. I am not sure if you can?t distinguish my the house, but you definitely can see the road. The clips of the deer and the scenery from the stand are below.
Saturday evening I went hunting with the rest of the WeHuntSC Team on Will?s property. But first, I had to watch them Gamecocks own the Tigers. GO GAMECOCKS!!! Even though none of us had any luck, it was cool to have a change in scenery. Will and his dad really have a nice setup out there. Hopefully the next time I get down, we will have a little more luck.
Sunday morning, I again suffered from the disease called laziness. I had my alarm set for 5 a.m., but I must have turned it off and went back to sleep. I didn?t end up waking up until close to 10 a.m. At least I got caught up on my sleep! Sunday evening, I went and sat in the wooden stand in the field. I didn?t have any luck, but I did get some good footage from the stand. Check out the video below.
If I get to hunt this coming weekend, hopefully I will have some footage of deer. Not scenery!!!
Have a nice week and good luck hunting!
This weekend turned out to be a pretty good weekend of hunting. I didn't see a lot of deer, but I did have an interesting encounter.
Saturday morning I decided to get in the stand right across the road from my house. Let me take a second to describe the location and setup of this stand. The stand is a lock-on that is 16 feet high, but on the edge of a little ridge. The road to my house is literally about 60 yards behind the stand. I can watch the cars go by while in the stand. If that wasn't enough, my uncle's house is maybe 80 yards to the back right of the stand. So as I watch cars go by, I can also watch what's going on at my uncle's house. Before leaving to go get in my stand, I chained my dog up (more on her in a moment). I got in the stand right at 6 a.m. Not long after getting in the stand, I thought I heard some deer blowing at me off in the distance. I thought to myself, "There is no way these deer are winding me". The only way I hunt in that stand is if there is a Northern wind, which means the wind is blowing in my face toward the road. Around 6:30 a.m. I hear deer blowing, only this time they are not far in front of me down the ridge. I thought my hunt was over, which sucked because I expected the rut was on. After hearing the deer blow a few times, I remembered something I read in a book called 101 Deer Hunting Tips: Practical Advice from a Master Hunter (Peter Fiduccia). In the book, Peter talks about what to do if a deer starts blowing at you. He says you can blow back at the deer. If I knew where my book was I would quote the actual sequence. The gist is that you let the deer blow twice and you blow back once, something to that effect. I blew back at the deer after it blew several times. I traded a few more blows and the deer finally quit. Shortly after, I heard a deer grunting and caught a glimpse of a deer moving through and opening in front of me. I peered through the binoculars and could see horns on the deer's head, but couldn't tell how big it was because it was standing broadside. While maintaining visual of the deer with the binoculars, I reached in my pocket, pulled out a primos estruous can, and let out at few bleats. The buck did nothing. I tried the grunt call, still nothing. He just stood there broadside and eventually walked behind some trees and I thought he had left the scene. Soon as he disappeared behind the trees I saw a doe cross the opening. Right after she left, the buck crossed on her trail trotting and grunting. That was the coolest thing I have ever seen. As much as I have hunted, I had never seen a buck chasing a doe and grunting. Unfortunately, that was my only encounter with deer for the rest of the morning. When I got out of the stand, I quietly went and grabbed my camera that was down by the little ridge. I check my camera and found that my dog, Daisy, has been going down to my corn pile pretty much on a daily basis. On top of the corn, I poured a couple of bags of Buck Grub and apparently Daisy likes it as much as the deer. However, her visits to the corn pile didn't deter the deer from visiting it as well. I got a lot of pictures of yearling bucks with does coming out between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., which is a positive sign for hunting the middle of the day. I only had one picture of a decent size buck, but it was taken at night time. Let me take a minute to say that even though I only had one picture of a bigger buck at night, it doesn't mean he wasn't out there with the other deer during the middle of the day. It just means that the bigger buck didn't happen to walk by the camera.
Saturday evening, I went and sat in the stand overlooking the 2 acre food plot of Biologic. I had a deer wind me right before stepping out into the plot and ran off. That was the only deer for the evening. That night, I met up with Clint and Will to do some brainstorming. While we chatted, Clint and I drank us a Wild Life Energy Drink. I thought it tasted good and it definitely gives you some energy. I think I drank it around 9 p.m. and couldn't get wound down until close to 1 a.m.
Sunday was just a wash, literally. I sat in the rain and cold all evening and didn't see anything. My mom and dad think I'm crazy for sitting out in the rain like that, but you can't see the deer if you ain't out there. So it doesn't matter what kind of weather it is, I'm going to be in the stand! Even though I didn't see but two deer, I had a blast hunting. Anytime I can spend out in the woods is a blessing to me, deer or no deer. I hope to get a lot of hunting done between this coming Thursday and Sunday. Hopefully my next blog will be me telling you about the monster buck I killed, but we'll see. One can only hope. I did get my camera back out and I still have my other camera out that I haven't checked. Maybe I will have some pictures I think are worth sharing next time.
Well first of all, I would like to apologize for my tardiness. It?s the middle of the week and I?m just now writing my weekend recap. I have been traveling a lot for work and haven?t been around a computer. The rain helped me stay in the office today, so let?s make good use with our time.
This past weekend was just bad all around. I didn?t get a chance to put my trail cameras out so I didn?t have any pictures to share on the site, nor did I gain any knowledge of what was roaming in the woods I hunt. And this weather, man it is terrible. Where is the cold weather? I hate when you get in the stand in the morning and it?s like 40°, but by mid-morning it?s 75°. Not only am I sweating profusely because I have too many clothes on, now I have freaking mosquitoes attacking me like crazy.
Saturday morning I got into the stand about 40 minutes before daylight. This particular stand is with-in walking distance of my house, so it doesn?t take me long to get there. However, since it is within walking distance I have to chain my dog or she will be right behind me. I get situated in the stand and within a few minutes I can hear the deer moving around me. I?m thinking, "Man this is going to be a good morning. The wind is right in my face and the deer are up and moving. This is perfect!" Wrong. Shortly after daybreak, the wind started swirling. One minute it?s blowing in my face and the next it?s blowing on my back toward the bedding area. Luckily, I had brought a Tink?s Doe Estrous bomb. So I dispersed it to hopefully mask my scent and attract any curious bucks. About 30 minutes after the bomb had finished dispersing, I decided to do a sequence of calling. Not even five minutes after calling I heard something coming from my right down the deer trail. As I was turning to get in position, I caught a flash of brown. Now my heart is pumping!! All I could do was imagine how big this buck was going to be. It was the size of my dog because it was my dog. Here came Daisy with her nose in the air, winding the doe estrous that I had recently put out. She didn't stay long, so I figured something could still happen during the rest of the morning. Oh no. Daisy ended up coming back down several more times. My hunt was shot.
For the afternoon hunt, I decided to try something a little different. The stand I chose to hunt overlooks a two acre plot of a mixture of Biologic products. I placed a decoy in the edge of the food plot right in front of me. I lit a Rut Smoking Stick by Tink's and placed it upwind of the decoy. That way, any human scent left on the decoy would be masked by the scent from the smoking stick. I was in the stand less than 30 minutes when I caught something coming out of the woods right beside my stand. It was a bobcat. I went from hunting deer to bobcats within a matter of seconds. One bobcat down, but no deer. Since I shot the bobcat so early, I decided I would sit the rest of the evening out. Who knows, anything can happen! It was getting pretty dark and I was getting ready to leave, but I decided to scan the field one last time with the binoculalrs. I spotted what I thought was a deer walking away from me on the left edge of the plot. So while I was watching the deer in the binoculars, I was reaching for my grunt call. Before I could reach the call, I realized the deer was actually walking toward me. Not only that, it was a Nice Buck!!! Now my heart is pumping for the right reason, not because of my lovely dog. The buck spotted the decoy and I thought he was going to head straight to it. So I dropped the binoculars to grab my gun. When I looked up, I couldn't find the buck! He walked into the high grass and I don't know if he laid down or what, but I had no clue where he went. Now it is getting dark and it's time to get out of the stand, but I DO NOT want to show my presence to this buck. He would never come back if he saw me getting out the stand. So I sat until pitch black, then I called my Dad to come drive his truck into the hayfield adjacent to the plot. That way the buck would be spooked away by his truck, not me. I don't know if that was the smartest thing to do, but I guess will find out.
Sunday morning I went back to the same stand as Saturday morning. No luck. I didn't even hear anything moving. The evening wasn't any better. I went back to the 2 acre food plot stand and guess what I saw, another freaking dog! So as you can see, I had some bad luck all around this past weekend. On the bright side, I did see a nice buck. So I know they are out there, just need a little luck. I did get my trail cameras out this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some good pics for you guys soon. I don't know if I will get to check it this weekend because I'm headed to Charleston to see my wonderful girlfriend.
Let's move on to college football. If the Tigers can take care of the Cavaliers this weekend, they will face the Yellow Jackets in the ACC championship. Unfortunately, my Gamecocks let another one slip away. See I'm what you would call a hybrid. I grew up a die hard Gamecocks fan, but decided to go to college at Clemson because of the engineering. Now I pull for both teams. So who will I pull for Saturday November 28th, them Gamecocks! I got to give quick shout outs to Sadat Chambers and Justice Cunningham representing them Eagles.
Good Luck Hunting, Be Safe, and God Bless,