Bowhunting.com Submit your photo

The four main beam buck: A story of Almost.

by Scott Abbott 20. November 2008 08:30
Scott Abbott

Sunday November, 16th started no differently than any other morning.  I got settled into my stand 15 minutes prior to legal shooting light, bundled up to fight off the below freezing temps.  Roughly a half hour later I hear it; the tell tale sign of deer chasing.  Although the ground was wet and quiet, it is a sound I have come to know all to well in the month of November.  This was the kind of chasing you just know will fly right past your stand with no shot opportunity, it was fast and aggressive.  Just as I suspected, right past me they went with a half rack three point leading the chase with a good buck lagging 30 yards behind.  The big buck couldn't keep the pace with the yearling buck and doe. 

After I "knew" I had no chance to stop them in my shooting lanes at their pace, 50 yards later they stopped chasing....  I could then hear more running behind me, I saw two more bucks flying into the area.  Then another buck comes in.  Again, I can hear deer running.... Another buck and finally the final buck to the party showed up.  In the mist of all the activity converging on my stand at once I lost track of the doe, I figured she kept going.  I then took my attention back to the big buck to get my first good look, HOLY CRAP! That's the four main beam buck!  As I attempt to formulate a plan to try to call him to me, he bedded down 60 yards from my stand.  It was a sigh of relief at the time having him bed as I knew better to attempt to call to him with now 6 other bucks, all yearlings and 2.5's all within 30 yards of my stand.

 

I only got one set of photos of him all summer, all in one night.  I never saw him

again until last Sunday morning.

For the next hour I was really unable to move as the bucks were still all around me.  The young ones were rubbing and sparring like they had nothing better to do.  Movement from the big buck caught my eye so I slowly raised my binos up on him.  He took a few steps to the south and bedded back down, THERE'S THE DOE!  It was all starting to make sense now, he was on lock down with this doe.  The doe stood up walked a few steps and browsed on some green brier then bedded back down next to the big buck.  This got the attention of the younger bucks and gave them the courage to attempt to approach her.  The dominate buck would not have this, he bluffed charged them when ever they would get with in 40 or so yards of he and his does location.  A couple times he would stand up and show his dominance to the younger bucks by thrashing some of the saplings and pawing at the ground as if to make a scrape, although he did not urinate in the fresh dirt.  While he was on his feet I attempted a couple doe calls, he snapped his head staring intently in my direction but would no commit.  I then tried a series of aggressive grunts followed by a couple snort wheezes.  He acted as he never heard them.  My best guess is he figured the grunting and snort wheezing was from one of his subordinates he had been fending off all morning.

Again the doe rose from her bed and started to walk from their bedding location, I needed them to come 20 yards East to my location for a possible opportunity for a shot but they traveled around 50 yards to the South and bedded again.  I could now feel the opportunity slipping away.  Once the doe and dominate buck cleared the old bedding site, each of the small bucks cautiously worked their way over there and spent a while sniffing and flemming the two areas she had bed down.

 

Rather than brow tines, he seemed to grow double main beams in their place.

 

The morning had flown by, I checked the time and it was already after 10.  The next hour and a half they were still bedding in the location around 100 yards from my set.  This is when I see it.  A trespasser from later to find out from Michigan who has permission on the neighboring property was trespassing.  Little does he know what he did from his trespassing escapade, all of the deer scattered to the North.  He never heard or saw them. 

I was furious.  I waited until he hit an area I knew I could catch up to him on as it is rather thick on this property and I have lost trespassers in the past getting down to soon losing them in the under brush. With him finally on an old skidder trail, I got down and made my approach.  I am not getting into the conversation we had, but I made it clear to him he was trespassing. At first he denied it only to admit a few minutes later he crossed the posted signs to "see where the buck he had saw that morning had come from". 

I did not tell him that he had ran those deer off me, when he asked had I saw anything I told him no. 

Looking at the encounter in hind sight, there is no telling where that doe would have went after she rose from her bed.  What were the odds that she would have brought the big buck back to my set?  What would have happened had another buck busting them from their beds? Which way would they have ran?  Would it have ended in a big buck for me? I really do not have the answers.   All I know is I would have liked to have the opportunity to play it out to see how it would have ended. 

He would have been a welcome addition had the opportunity arose.

Making a Mock Scrape.

by John Mueller 2. November 2008 14:58
John Mueller

Making a Mock Scrape 

Last Saturday I found a great spot for a mock Scrape. There is a long ridge that slopes down along a small creek on my property, creating a natural funnel. At the end of the ridge is a nice trail leading from my field that crosses the creek. I found a small branch that overhung the trail. This is very important. There must be a low overhanging branch to make the scrape under. The deer also leave scent on the branch with their forehead glands. As you can see in this picture I also broke the branch to add a little visual effect.

 

Notice the broken branch above the deer.

 

 

Then I brushed all of the leaves from a 3’ diameter circle under the branch with a stick. After removing the leaf litter I made some long scrapes in the dirt like a deer’s hooves would make. I like to make it look as real as possible. You can add some scent if you want, but I have found it is not necessary.

 

When I returned on Sunday to check the scrape a deer had worked it and added another a few feet away. I then went and got my trail camera and set it up on the new scrape. I had lots of action in just a few days. Right now is a great time to make mock scrapes. The bucks are really hitting the scrapes hard at this time. It’s a great way to see what bucks are in your area. Here are a few that worked my mock scrape.

 

 

This guy looks like an old bruiser.

 

Another big bodied visitor.

 

A good young buck working the scrape.

Notice that all of this activity is under the cover of darkness. That is why I usually don't hunt over scrapes. But it is a great way to get an inventory of your bucks. You can get your trail cameras and scents right here on Bowhunting.com in the shopping section if you need one.

2008 season off to a slow start.

by Scott Abbott 6. October 2008 15:21
Scott Abbott

With a little more than a week of my 2008 Ohio archery season in the books, I don't have much to report.  The early season has been real slow for me with only 5 shot opportunities so far, two does, two yearling 8 points and a button buck is all that has come into shooting range.  After the first week last year I had 20 shot opportunities with a couple being decent looking two and a half year old bucks.  While shot opportunities isn't meat in the freezer or a slammer on my wall they can be a gage on how your season is panning out.

I have only hunted fresh setups with the wind blowing in my favor....  Sooner or later things will start to come together.  You cannot sit in good locations with proper conditions and keep striking out like this.  It is give and take, I have been giving my time and hopefully soon it will be my turn to take.  I decided to only sit where I feel I will have a chance at seeing a mature buck on the hoof during daylight hours and not necessarily where I will just see deer and my sightings are really lacking from it.  I believe once we get a little deeper into October this strategy will pay off.

 

Some fall colors.

Trail Camera Review - Predator Evolution

by Todd Graf 7. September 2008 06:19
Todd Graf

Predator Evolution digital trail camera –First and foremost, please don’t get this post confused.  This review is on the Predator Evolution trail camera, not the new Predator Xtinction trail camera. We are still waiting to get a new unit in our hands for testing. I heard they are having some difficulties getting parts but they are on the way shortly.  As soon as we get a new unit and have a chance to try it out we will let you know.

The Pros:

The video mode is super cool on mineral licks and scrapes! This is probably one of my favorite features of this camera.  Still photos are great, but there's just something about watching a big buck working a scrape from close up that gets me excited.  Plus having multiple angles of the buck's rack can allow you to see all those little  stickers and kickers that are sometimes hiddenin standard photos.  The LCD touchscreen is cool for programming the unit and viewing photos in the field.  More than once I have found myself heading out for an evening's hunt only to stop and check my photos on the way in.  The Predator Evolution is a very compact trail camera which makes it easy to carry around the woods in a fanny pack. The unit comes with a screw-in bracket for attaching the camera to trees easily.  What makes this particular bracket nice is that by simply removing a pin you can take the camera off the tree to making changing batteries and reviewing photos easy, and simply replace the pin to secure the camera when you are done. It works well and is one of the better attaching mechanicsms that I have used.

The trigger speed on the Predator Evolution is also a huge plus.  To put it simply, it's probably the fastest trigger speed of any camera I've ever tested or owned.  I've gotten a ton of pictures of birds as they fly by the front of the camera, which is pretty impressive.

The Cons:

The battery life of this unit is not the best in the world, and replacing 10 AA batteries every few weeks can get expensive quick.  My advice would be to buy rechargeables as soon as possible.  You'll thank me later!  Also, the images are kind of small. I wish you got a little larger picture so you could blow them up if you got a cool shot.  Sometimes it can be difficult to see all the details of a buck's rack or body, especially if they are a little further away.  The last downside to this camera is the performance of the LCD screen in really cold weather.  Just like your cell phone if you leave it in your truck by accident, the LCD screen gets extremely sluggish when it's cold, which can make reviewing images tedious.  And when it's that cold, you don't have much patience for staying still too long!

This photo shows how good the day time photos can be.

 

Here I must have had the unit programmed improperly, as there was plenty of daylight but yet it still took an IR shot.

Not sure why these bucks bucks got freaked out, the unit is very quiet and has no flash.

The IR flash range on the Evolution is decent, but not great.  I am hoping in the new Xteniction unit's IR will reach out further.

Of course I save the best for last - All bowhunters and dee hunters in general  will like this - if you want to get some great videos, this unit can do it!

Check out some of these videos....

Struting Turkey Video

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3310603642800468404

20 Plus deer in Field - Pretty cool. You know at least one good buck has to be out there somewhere!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9007518874748441970

Buck at Licking Branch

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8990171210984315572

 




About the Authors

The Bowhunting.com staff is made up of "Average Joe" bowhunters from around the country who are serious about one thing - BOWHUNTING.  Keep up to date with them as they work year-round at persuing their passion and bring you the most up-to-date information on bowhunting gear and archery equipment.

» Click here to learn more about the Bowhunting.com Staff.

Editorial Disclaimer

The opinions expressed by Hunting Network LLC bloggers and by those members providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Hunting Network LLC. Hunting Network LLC is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by bloggers or forum participants. Hunting Network LLC is not responsible for any offense caused inadvertently through interpretation of grammar, punctuation or language.


Sitemap