12/8/2012 Morning Bow / Evening Muzzleloader Hunt

I made a day of hunting yesterday, Saturday the 8th of December, it was the final day of the two week gun season in Maryland.  Took my bow out to Loch Raven  into the fog and sat for a while in the morning, I tell you it was hard to see and impossible to  hear anything!  Well with the lack of hearing them coming or seeing them coming I really blew it.  I had 5 does come in around 7:30 and I didn't have a clue, until one ran past me.  Stopping about 20 yards away I started to think I might get a shot, but she took off.  So I turned to look up the hill because my friend that was hunting with me had texted me to tell me these does were coming down the hill too me.  Well, as I turned I found that I had 4 sets of eyes all on me, they had picked my movement out and found me before I found them.  They didn't really spook but they made there way back up the hill and in the totally wrong direction for me or my friend.  About 10 minutes later here comes the 1 doe that had passed me, she came back up out of this bottom on the same trail she came down.  She stopped in the same spot she had before, I got ready and was just waiting on her to come out from behind this one tree, haha yeah right.  When she finally did come out after she spent a good 5 minutes looking back toward the bottom where she just ran from she took off back up the hill and was gone.  Well, I know rut has really slowed down or even in fact might be done at least where I am hunting but I kept hoping whatever she was watching in the bottom would follow her up.  Well nothing came up to me, so I never did figure out what spooked her back up to me, but if it was a buck he stayed out of sight of me.  That was all I saw the whole morning,.

I headed back out in the afternoon to the land I can gun hunt on,  beautiful evening, nice and warm.  I heard a lot of shots across the street and off in the distance but nothing real close to me, and I didn't see a single deer before dark.  I will however note that I saw 9 deer on the way home..  Deer seem to be acting very odd right now maybe because of the time of year and the weather but makes hunting very hard.  I have also started to notice the does seem to be grouping up already, not sure if that means the weather is going to change soon or if they are just herding up already for the winter.  Regardless I have started to see  does in groups of 4, 5, up to as many as 8.

No trail cam photo's of bucks it's like the last week of November they all just vanished! Other than a couple little guys which have been traveling with the does anyway...  Odd, try again with the bow later this week or weekend and then heading to Maryland's eastern shore for a few days of muzzleloader hunting next week.

Anyone else get out this weekend? What did you see or not see?

10 Responses

  1. Adam
    I haven't made it out here in southern maryland (st. mary's) but i did buy my first trail camera. I found a few deer behind the house, including this guy here.
    • Adam
      It seems all the pictures I've gotten have been nocturnal. I'm going to try and take a doe or buck the next few days.
      • admin
        Adam, thanks for sharing the pictures with us and our readers. He looks like a nice size buck. Glad you are getting pictures of bucks are cameras have been void of bucks other than real little guys for the past 2 weeks. Good luck to you over the next week, we are headed down to public land on the lower eastern shore for the first time next week. We are excited, hopefully we see something, we know how public land hunting can go. Keep us posted on pictures (now that you have cam) and if you harvest something and again good luck!
        • Adam
          Thanks for the reply, good luck on the eastern shore!! I've captured this buck 5 nights in a row but zero during daylight.
  2. Ramsay
    Just this week, I started seeing bucks on camera again. Also, last week I put some estrus urine near my stand and a young buck came charging in looking for the doe. He could care less about the corn that was there he just kept sniffing and looking for the doe that didn't exist. So, those two hinges lead me to believe that the second rut has begun and we're in the middle of it. I think Sandy made the primary rut very intense and appreciated. Moreover, some of my does didn't have their fawns until almost summer this year (from last years late third rut) - so those does were still with their fawns throughout the prime rut. Which leads me to believe that they hadn't gone into estrus yet. Let me know what you see out there, but my prediction is that you should see some bucks for the next week or 2.
    • admin
      Ramsay, Been hearing stories of bucks still following does but haven't heard or seen anything that would say they are still chasing. Maybe still breeding? Sorry for the delayed response was out of town hunting. Been seeing anything else good in the woods? Back in town now and will be heading back into local woods, hopefully I see some of the action I have been hearing about!
  3. Ramsay
    Abbreviated - not appreciated. Darn spell correct.
  4. Brian
    I'm new to hunting Loch Raven and public land hunting in general and was curious to know how crowded it gets. I did some scouting this past Sunday of an area I would like to hunt on Friday. The area is pretty far from a road and parking area...about a mile or so. Do you often find that someone else is in an area you would like to hunt causing you to move somewhere else? Is this just the facts of life with public land hunting or does it get better as the season goes on?
  5. Ramsay
    I saw 6 young bucks last Saturday evening. 2 button bucks, 2 spike bucks, a young 4 point, and a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year old 5 point. I keep seeing the big 8 point on cam and he often travels with this bachelor group, but he wasn't with them on Saturday. The group was on a rutting mission - nothing crazy, no hard chasing. But they came out of the woods, across the field and directly towards the group of about 7 does eating in the field. The youngest spike stirred up a little head down chasing, and the older ones just steadily pushed and followed the does out of the field and back into the woods. It was definitely rutting activity. Like I said - nothing like in late Oct/early Nov., but some of those does were definitely in estrus and they definitely sparked the interest of those bucks. Good luck this weekend. I plan to bow hunt from a ground blind in the middle of the big field tomorrow. It is a rush to be surrounded by about 15 deer, hoping none of them see/smell through the blind and that the shooter (doe or buck) gets within 40 yards!
    • admin
      Ramsay, That is very interesting that you are seeing that. I have been seeing does but no bucks other than one little spike. I have been hearing of others seeing bucks with does but nothing like what you are seeing. I wish you the very best luck and keep us posted and let us know if you manage to harvest something.

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