Opening Day of Spring Turkey Season 2014

Today marked the opening day of the 2014 Spring Turkey season in most parts of Maryland.   Last weekend featured the youth hunt, and today marked the first day all us old folks could go hit the woods after a turkey.  I was sadly away and could not hunt today, but I sure wished I could have been in the woods.  I was away earlier this week and was in southern Virginia and Maryland’s eastern shore and during my time driving I saw a number of turkeys out strutting around fields and 3 different times I saw big groups (some had 4 – 6 and one  group must have had 12 – 15 birds).  It made me jealous and made me realize how much having (a) private farm land and (b) the lack of turkey population in central Maryland. I surely hope that everyone that could  got out today and HOPEFULLY had success!  It was a beautiful morning for turkey hunting as it was cool and crisp and not very windy and with all the new growth there is lots for them to eat! I hope to get out soon and I really hope anyone that got out today, or is planning to get out tomorrow has some success!  If you are lucky enough to harvest a turkey please let us know and leave a picture with a comment or send us an email for us to post! Good luck everyone!...
Shed Hunting April 2014

Shed Hunting April 2014

Shed hunting has been slow this year and I have only found 1 shed earlier in the year. I went out last week and I was able to find a dead Spike buck that looks like he passed away sometime over the past 2 – 4 weeks based on what was left (Pictured Below).  He was in a pile of brush and was likely the result of either a car (most likely) or illness.  Otherwise I have seen lots and lots of dead fawns likely from the very cold weather and the snow this winter.  I think I have seen 9 dead fawns and a couple does so far this spring..  However, now that the weather is turning around and food is coming out for the deer, I have started to see large groups of deer between 10 – 20 deer at a time. I will continue to do some more shed hunting over the next few weeks before the grass and brush start growing up too high to find the sheds anymore.   However, I have gotten several reports from people that they are still seeing bucks with 1 or both their antlers as late as about a week ago. That is crazy late for bucks to still have their antlers, but it has been a strange winter after several years of really no winter so anything is possible and everything is hard to explain. Anyone else been out shed hunting the past couple weeks and had success?  Love to see some sheds, and cannot wait to start sharing trail camera pictures in just a few short months as normally end of May and into June we start to see antlers growing!...
Sheds 2014

Sheds 2014

2014 has been a slow year for me in shed hunting.. I have been out a few times when there is not snow on the ground and had little success.   What I have found a number of is dead fawns, I probably found 6 – 8 including the one that appeared to freeze to death on our private land which I found back when it was super cold.  So, lots of bones, but not so many antlers this year.  On a side note to this, with the large number of fawns that did not make over this winter, that is going to reduce the number of young deer, so you will likely see less yearling does and small bucks this year than in the past few years when we had non-existent winters. As for the shed hunting,  I have found 1 shed those far this spring and it looked to be fairly newly dropped last week.  It was the side of what I would guess to be a 6 point, pretty small but good mass for a little guy (picture below).  I found it walking a section of Loch Raven I walk each year and normally find at least something and that held true this year. The next picture is of a shed a good friend found about 2 weeks ago before the snow came. It is a single side of what looks like it would of been a 10 or 11 point if the other side matched (pictured below). He was telling me he wished he had taken a picture, (but didn’t think about it so didn’t), but that the antler was actually hanging in a small tree/bush.  The deer must have been walking by or he rubbed his antlers on the bush and when it fell off it got caught in the branches and just hung there. I wanted to share the story with you as he did with me since that isn’t common and pretty cool since I have never seen one hanging in a tree. I will likely get out a few more times over the next couple weeks as it warms up in hopes of finding one or two more sheds before the other animals chew them up or others find them. Has anyone else been out shed hunting this spring and found anything good?  Love to hear or see some pictures!!! You can either attach them to a comment or email them to...
Shed Hunting 2014

Shed Hunting 2014

Well,  March is here and man does it sound like it’s coming in with a bang.  As I am writing this post I am also listening to the weather channel about how winter storm Titian is going to hit the east coast tomorrow evening into Monday with heavy snow, maybe ice and who knows what else since long range forecasts are not so reliable these days.  I think it is anyone’s guess on what we will get but the map below are the projected snow totals from weather.com.  So it’s looks like we could get 8+ some are saying less, some are saying a lot more so just wait and see.   Never the less this snow has really hurt shed hunting, until this all melted the past few days sheds were buried in snow and it has been so cold or raining and so muddy no one would want to head out in the woods looking for sheds.  But with March here most or all of the deer should have shed by now and it’s time to get out there looking.  I plan to start getting out this week after the snow melts and hopefully find a few sheds before they are all gone.  Shed hunting is one of my favorite things to do, it allows me to get back out in the woods, finding a shed is always exciting now matter how big or small, and it is an amazing scouting tool for next season.  This time of year, rubs, scraps, even bedding areas are very visible and it allows you to see what was going on during rut and to some point what is currently going on in terms of trails and bedding areas. Now is also a great time of year to pick out trees, and look at travel routes in and out of your stand, granted you will have to do this again in August because once the foliage returns everything is different. But it gives you a heads up start if you can go straight to a tree in August and decide if it is still somewhere you want to hunt, if so is the tree viable for early season or must you wait until the foliage drops to hunt that area. Knowing trees, travel patterns and knowing how get back to them from your point of entry is key and this is a great time of year to figure out all those details.  If you are hunting private property this is also a great time of year to do trimming, for shooting lanes or make new clearings.  Clearings can be hard to find and some land owners / hunters make their own to give the deer a feeding area, why do it in the hot summer heat when you can do it now and then just touch it up then! Finally, shed hunting this time of year gives you knowledge on the deer your hunting.  Find a shed that looks like a slightly bigger version of what you saw last season, you know you have a deer living on your property.  Find a lot of little sheds or even a monster shed that you haven’t seen and maybe you have new deer coming into the property and have something to look forward to next fall.  However, if your looking on public land it makes things a little harder, those deer may live there now and may be there until August and be gone...
After Hunting Season Blues 2014

After Hunting Season Blues 2014

Hunting season ended almost 2 weeks ago here in central Maryland.  It was a season I learned a lot and got to enjoy as friends of mine were successful, and sometimes seeing others be successful is more rewarding then being so yourself.   I have been told I would be a great guide as this is one of my better qualities. However,  I would also need my time in the woods if that were the case.  I know it has only been a couple weeks, but I am already bummed I cannot go enjoy the woods and some nice time sitting in a tree trying to out smart an animal that is clearly far more in tune with it’s surroundings, and how to survive than we could begin imagine.  But hey, we try anyway and sometimes it works, and this time of year when all you can do is look, take pictures and hope you maybe find some soon to be shedding antlers you can sometimes get bummed that the bow cant go into the woods with you. With several months until opening day of trout season (March 29) for me to be exact, I have a good 6 weeks to kill with nothing but maybe some shed hunting to do with my weekends.  Maybe this is a good thing, time to spend around the house catching up on projects, spending time with the family etc…  Well, that still doesn’t fill my void for being in the outdoors, but those are all good things as well. As I sit here I am looking at a winter storm watch that was issued for our area this afternoon.. Looks like Wednesday night and Thursday could be snowy.  As you can see below, weather.com is calling for a snowy 12 to 24 hours.  I have seen anywhere from 4 – 12+ inches of snow called for with this winter storm “Pax”. I love the snow and normally enjoy hunting in it, as hunting season has ended I turn to another quality of snow.  I hope we finally get enough I can make some extra cash! You have to love weather you can make money off,haha. I am getting tried of these wimpy dusting snows that are more of a pain in the butt than anything.  Either bring on the real snow or I think it could be time for spring. Nevertheless, my after hunting season blues has prompted me to use my free time to do things such as pack all my gear away for the off season.  I have started looking at things I am planning to replace or upgrade between now and next season.  I have also started looking for property to lease in the off-season to finally get somewhere I can manage the deer I am hunting.  It keeps me entertained and allows me to continue my passion for hunting even though it is not hunting season. Just a couple more weeks and with a little less snow it will be time to shed hunt! Anyone else having after hunting season blues?  What are you doing to keep your mind on the...

Last Day of 2013 – 2014 Hunting Season Recap...

Well,   before I go into the awful details I will just say that today about summed up my entire season… Just kind of off base, strange, lack luster, and in general not so great. Headed out into Loch Raven this morning to one of my typical spots.. Got in early and I must say it was a beautiful morning, the sunrise was beautiful..  I saw a squirrel at first light, followed by tons of birds, from blue jays, to cardinals, wood peckers of a couple sorts, and a very loud red tail hawk.  That however, was the good part of my morning…. Sun came up and the woods got still and that was my morning…. Nothing moved other than birds not even a fox.. So, I headed out of the woods got some food and killed some time and then went to head back out… Got to the location in Loch Raven I was planning to go, it was already full of people.  SO I KNOW THERE WERE PLENTY OF PEOPLE OUT HUNTING! 🙂 So, I went to another spot that had less people..  Walked into the woods found lots of sign of deer over the past few days, but nothing that was real fresh. I also came across a blood trail so someone had some success over the last day or two.  Finally, I headed back to where I was planning to hunt and there was no sign of deer movement. So, I quickly got out of the woods and went to our private property in hopes something would come past my stand.. Well something came by for sure, it wasn’t deer it was in the form of 2 trespassers around 4:15…  Which I scared off, but they went all through the woods and scared all the deer off.  But with it being the first sort of warm day in a while there seemed to be people out and about everywhere.  So, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked too much about people out walking and such, just stay the heck off private land, that’s what they make fire trails for in Loch Raven! OR SIDEWALKS 🙂 So, I stayed and hoped some deer would come out at last light, but that wasn’t the case at all,  nothing came out at all and that wrapped up my season. I know there were tons of people out hunting Loch Raven today, anyone have better luck than me?  Love to hear one or two final stories from this season even see a picture or two! Happy off-season everyone.. Time to start thinking about turkey season and trout...