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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.

Pennsylvania Bowhunting Buck Down!

by Scott Abbott 7. November 2008 02:14
Scott Abbott

November 6th, found me sitting in a familiar lock on locally after arriving back home the night before from camp. The action down south at camp was pretty slow. I was seeing a lot of other hunters and some bucks but nothing impressive so I decided to come home for a couple days to check the action up here. This morning I saw a couple young bucks cruising and then a text with a buddy yielded a change of scenery for the afternoon. We decided to go check out a spot in PA we have hunted in the past.

I noticed this scrape line that the bucks were keeping open and decided to set up not to far from it. 

This was the third scrape in the series, the one closest to me.

 Around 4pm I saw a good PA buck coming my direction. He stopped and hit the 3 scrapes on his way as he closed the distance. As he was thrashing the licking branch on the last scrape (the one closest to me) I tipped the can call over twice. He stopped and scanned the timber looking for his doe, with no visual confirmation he went back to tending his scrape for a moment. He then walked parallel to me for 10 yards again scanning the timber from the new vantage point. He turned around went back to the scrape and thrashed the licking branch again then turned and came right in on me. A 15 yard shot yielded a 50 yard blood trail with him going down in sight.

                                                                       Here is a section on the blood trail left by the Rage 2 blade broadheads.

Not bad for a PA buck. His neck is pretty big, maybe the biggest neck on a buck I have ever shot. Score will come later, he is at the butchers shop now. He won't score all that much though, I figure he will go mid to upper 120's. Plenty for an out of state buck with such a great body. He does have 2 broken tine tips on his right side, probably about 3 inches of damage. Now it's time to get back out there after my Ohio buck!





The all-new CamTrakker MK-8

by Todd Graf 7. September 2008 02:50
Todd Graf

Well first off I got my first two images of bucks with no velvet which is always exciting. I could scream for joy, the opener is right around the corner! My new property has yet to show any signs of big bucks, but I know they are around as I have seen them driving around the block in the evening.  I'm sure come October they'll start hitting the scrapelines pretty hard and I'm hoping to get some good trailc amera photos to share with you all. 

Speaking of trail cameras, I have been testing out the new CamTrakker MK-8 which was just recently release.  The owner of CamTrakker has been working his butt off for a few years now on this new camera and as of his latest release it is really coming together.

The Pros:  The MK-8 had a full color LCD screen which makes it super easy to use and program.  This screen is also used for reviewing images in the field.  I haven't had the opportunity to use it in cold weather yet, so I'm not sure if it will get sluggish or not. The unit includes a sealed lead-acid rechargeable battery which provides great battery life.  Although I do recommend spending the extra money on a spare battery, that way you can switch it out while in the field without losing the ability to have your camera working while you charge the battery.  The IR flash range on this camera is incredible; it reaches out the furthest of all my IR units and still provides good images.  The MK-8 also features a faster trigger than it's CamTrakker predecessors.

Another great feature of these new units is that they have firmware updates so it is easy to upgrade the software when updates are made. Simply download the firmware from the CamTrakker website, load it onto your flash card, insert it into the camera, and you're ready to go.  Each unit also comes with a free 512 MB SD flash card, which means one less thing you have to buy separately. 

The Cons:

Daytime photos don’t have as much color as I would like.  I know they are still tweaking the settings to get it better and it has been improving recently.  The IR filter could be lost or broken if you are not paying attention careful as it fits in over the regular flash.  So make sure you always know where it's at, and don't drop it on anything hard if you can avoid it.  The LCD can take awhile to view the photos in the field, especially if you have a lot to go through.  I still recommend carrying an extra card so you can get in and get out as quickly as possible.

This is the IR filter you need to keep an eye on so you don't lose it.

Here is what the CamTrakker MK-8 looks like under the hood.


This is not my photo but it shows the how well the regular flash works.

I wish these daytime photos had a little more color, but I have been ensured that the new firmware upgrade enhances the color.

Here is a great IR night shot. This particular photo was taken with the IR set on the near setting and can be increased to medium or far depending on what you're monitoring.  Like I said, the IR will reach out super far on this unit.


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