Hunting Thanksgiving Day Can Pay Off!

Hunting Thanksgiving Day Can Pay Off!

    Many of you know that I normally hunt Thanksgiving day if you read our Happy Thanksgiving Post, this is true, it is my tradition to hunt Thanksgiving morning.  However, this year I decided to not to hunt since I was assigned to frying a turkey for the family dinner.  Well, I learned over the weekend that I really should have been hunting Thanksgiving evening.  I looked at our trail cam photo’s from Thanksgiving day over the weekend, and let me tell you, I sure wish I was hunting that evening.  The pictures below will tell you the whole story, but I must say that that picture is something you would expect to see on one of those hunting shows that we all believe are fake!  So on that note, the pictures below are real and no, I have never seen that many mature bucks in the same place at the same time during the month of November.  These photo’s are what prompted me to hunt on the small piece of private land where our trail cams are located.  Saturday evening, my good friend was lucky enough to harvest one of those 8 points as you saw in my 11/25 – 11/26 Hunting Trip Post.  I guess we shall see if I can get a shot at one of them before the end of the hunting season.  I will say with colder weather quickly approaching (I hope)  that no more does will be walking past me this season, time to fill the freezers.  I will continue to hunt those big boys that you see below, but my focus changes now that the cold weather has arrived. ( Please ignore the date and time on the pictures, I realized it was wrong after they were taken) Hope you enjoyed the pictures, what do you think of these big boys?  Do you think they will return before the end of the hunting...
A Reader’s Harvests in Liberty Watershed

A Reader’s Harvests in Liberty Watershed...

We wanted to share a successful hunting story that was emailed to us by one of our readers, Zach Wolfe.  Zach had a successful hunt on Thursday 11-17-2011 at Liberty Watershed and shared his story and some photos with us. Here is Zach’s story:  Well, the season for the most part started off slow. I also do not have private land to hunt locally, so I decided to test my ability hunting at Liberty Watershed. I found some decent spots in the beginning of the season, but the spots didn’t seem to be producing the number of deer that I was hoping to see. Well, I’m lucky enough to work in the hunting department at Dick’s Sporting Goods and I get daily insights and knowledge of hot spots at Liberty from educated hunters in the area. So, I scouted the first location mentioned to me by about four different customers. I set up for the first time at the spot the Saturday evening it was snowing/raining. This part of Liberty backs up to a big privately owned horse farm. The deer were moving early to stay warm. I saw about fifteen deer, which resulted in my adrenaline reaching its climax. Sure enough a decent doe that I had been watching took those long anticipated steps within bow range. At this point in the hunt, it was almost past shooting light. So, I struggled to turn on the black light on my sights to light up my pins. I pulled back, got a natural sight alignment, and let my arrow fly. I made a good pass through shot, and came back the following morning to recover my first deer taken on public land. I was immediately hooked!  I put in my time in that area in the weeks to come. I rattled in a monstrous nine point which decided to walk underneath my buddy’s climber who was set up thirty yards from me. Long story short… he missed the eight yard shot at the monster, buck fever at its best I guess. Two days ago, I decided to take up another location at Liberty which I had been told numerous successful stories about from the customers in my department. I had not had a chance to scout the area at all. So with rain expected in the forecast and going in blind, I made it out to the location extra early the morning of 11-17-2011. I walked a good way back and kept to my right as I was told by my customers. I found a location about seventy yards from the water. It had a huge clearing with a huge thicket leading up to the woods behind it. I decided this was the spot, hoping to pull a possible bedding buck from the thick. I got up in my climber, and waited about an hour before sun light.  Around seven a.m. I decided to do my signature sequence. This included the primo’s long can doe estrus call, followed by some tandem grunts, ending with a rattling sequence. Sure enough about twenty minutes later I heard some ruckus in the thick. I respectable eight point appeared out of bow range. I tried to draw his attention my way with a few grunt calls and some rattling, but he wasn’t interested. About twenty five minutes later, I heard what I thought was a grunt coming from my left.  I picked my grunt call up and hit it a few times. Sure...
Reader’s Photo of a Very Nice Buck

Reader’s Photo of a Very Nice Buck

  One of our readers emailed us the picture below of a very nice Maryland buck.  He is a very nice deer and a trophy in anyone’s book.  Hopefully the reader gets a chance at this brute and we will be able to share more photo’s with us.  Until then, this photo was clearly taken on one of Maryland’s  many rainy days, goes to show you rainy days can sometimes be a good time to look for a buck...
Gino’s Hunting Adventure: A Perfect Wind and Stealthy Foliage Can Lead to Big Surprises!

Gino’s Hunting Adventure: A Perfect Wind and Stealthy Foliage Can Lead to Big Surprises!...

    Both Andy and I love to hear about your hunting adventures, both typical days and those exciting days that you harvest a trophy, especially a nice buck.  We were lucky enough to have one of our readers, Gino, send us a summary of his harvest and some great pictures of a nice 8 pt trophy.  I will let you read about his adventure in his own words, but I wanted to take a minute to congratulate Gino on his trophy and thank him for giving us the privilege to share his story with you. We believe that early season is sometimes the best time of year to harvest a curious buck and we are excited that Gino was able to take such a nice deer early in the season.  It is refreshing to know that bigger bucks do still exist on public hunting lands and hopefully this story will serve as a reminder that Loch Raven has the right environment to generate some beautiful bucks.   Here is a little summary of Gino’s hunt…   I was able to sneak out of work around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, October 5th.  I got home, got scent free and headed out towards Loch Raven.  We finally had a perfect NW wind for one of my key stand locations, so I headed there for the first time in a of couple weeks.  I made it to my tree at about 4:15 p.m., tied off, pulled up my bow and pack and settled in.  I let everything settle down for about 20 minutes or so, then let out a few grunt calls into the hollow to my right.  It wasn’t 5 minutes later and I turn to my right and there is a nice buck standing on the edge of the clearing about 35 yards away.  Now its 4:45 p.m., so needless to say I was a little shocked to see such a nice buck so early in the evening.  With all the greenery still on the ground, he snuck in and I never heard him which only added to the surprise.  I immediately knew he was a shooter, so I quickly composed myself, got my bow ready, and he slowly fed through the clearing in front of me.  In the meantime (which was about 30 seconds), I heard another deer coming in behind him.  As you all know, typically this time of year the bucks are still in their bachelor groups and typically the smaller ones are leading the way.  This got me a little excited thinking maybe there was even a bigger buck behind him.  That excitement was quickly squashed as a small 4pt showed his face.  Oh well…my focus instantly turned back on the 8pt in front of me.  He fed right down the trail and I stopped him at 19 yards.  I let the arrow fly and I absolutely smoked him.  Double lunged him, complete pass through…he only went about 50 yards and expired. 16-3/4″ inside spread, 8 pt, I believe he is 3-1/2″ years old.  He is by no means a giant, but I couldn’t be happier with this deer from the heavily pressured Loch Raven grounds.  I saw a bigger 10 pt before the season in this same general area, but there was no way I was going to be able to pass this guy up when he presented the perfect shot. This proves that there are “good” deer out there at the local reservoirs that many of us hunt.  With some good...
Attack of The Fox

Attack of The Fox

  So the Fighting Fox picture that we posted yesterday reminded me of my favorite hunting story and I thought I would share it with all of you.  After all, soon hunting season will be upon us again and hopefully we will have new hunting stories to share…so for today, I will tell you about the very first time I hit the woods and my eventful encounter with a wily fox. As you may remember from my Beginner Bow hunter story, I used to live in Virginia where I was born and raised.  I visited Andy on the weekends during our first couple of years dating and therefore, I couldn’t hunt in Maryland without an expense that a college student couldn’t afford.  The very first time that Andy took me out to chase a blood trail was a very cold Saturday night in January.  Andy had been out in the woods near our house hunting by himself, when he shot a nice doe at sunset.  He decided to hike back for me to get my first experience trailing and field dressing a deer. I bundled up in a pair of his old camo overalls and put about a thousand layers on underneath for warmth.  I remember thinking that I had to feel like the marshmallow man from the movie, Ghostbusters.   However, as soon as Andy showed me what a blood trail on the dry leaves looked like, I was hooked.  I forgot all about the cold wind, or anything else for that matter, I was just entranced on finding his trophy.  After about 45 minutes, we located his doe in a bunch of brush that partially hide her. This is where my story differs from any other hunting adventure.  A few minutes before we found our doe, we noticed that a fox was following us always keeping about 20 yards between it and us.  Andy assured me that the fox was more scared of us than we were of it.  However, not this fox!! About the same time that we noticed our doe, so did the fox and he beat us to it.  Andy tried to scare it off but it was either sick or really hungry because that fox stood his ground.  Obviously, he thought that our trophy was his dinner.  Andy finally fought the fox off of the doe and we start dragging her out of the woods as fast as we can run pulling a large doe.  The fox decided that he was not going to give his dinner up without a fight and followed us all the way into our yard and up on our deck!!.  A large stick and buck knife were our only weapons since Andy had dropped off his bow when he had come home to get me.  We ended up field dressing that doe on a tarp on our deck that night and lost part of the hindquarter thanks to that fox.    I’m still not sure how we managed it but somehow we got our doe field dressed, wrapped in the tarp and kept in the trunk of our car to protect it from that fox.  Usually, we would have hung her in a tree for a couple days, but not that night. To this day it is one of the strangest events that I have had happen in the woods yet.  As a result, I have a new found respect for hungry foxes.  Seeing our trial cam photo this week...
2 Bucks versus 1 Hunter

2 Bucks versus 1 Hunter

  This hunting story is so true that I bet a lot of our readers can relate and maybe have been in a similar position at some point during their hunting career. The story begins on the last day of muzzleloader season in 2005. I headed out into the woods to one of my favorite spots that I had hunted for years.  I had no idea what might be traveling this area (I had not hunted in the area for several weeks) so I was taking a blind shot at hoping to see something.  I should mention that I did not own a muzzleloader at this time, so I was still bowing hunting. Rut that year was a trickle rut in my neck of the woods, because of that it was prolonged well into December that year.  I put a scent wick out with one of my favorite scents just to see what would happen.   The weather was perfect, and even the wind was cooperating by blowing towards a bedding area.  I got up in my tree around 2 pm and settled in for the evening.  I had not seen anything by 4pm, so I started grunting a little just to see if any bucks might be in the area.  After a few minutes, I heard a grunt from over in the thicket. I had no idea how big the buck was, but I knew I had his interest and he was headed in my direction.  Finally, around 4:30 a very respectable 9 point buck walked out of the thicket grunting.  When he came out into the clearing, he had no idea what was grunting back at him, but he was looking to fight. After a few minutes of him walking back and forth just out of shooting range, I started to think with the sun going down behind the trees that I may never get a shot.  I watched this 9 point buck walk around grunting looking for his opponent for what seemed like forever (about 20 minutes).  Finally, he started walking towards me, I just needed him to walk 15 yards and he would be within bow range.  As he got closer, I got a better look at him and he would have been a nice trophy for any hunter. I was guessing him to score between 120 – 130 inches.  Finally, he was getting ready to turn broadside within bow range.  I got ready to draw my bow and just as I do I hear another grunt, not from me, not from the 9 point, but another buck!! My first thought was should I attempt to draw and shoot the 9 point or turn around to see what else has walked in from the other side of me.  My first thought was that no smaller buck would have come in grunting that deep, so it had to be something willing to challenge the 9 point.  So…I turned my head very slowly, not moving anything else,  as I turned my head the deer grunted again and as my eyes found the source of the grunting I could not believe my eyes….. My eyes saw a monster buck, pawing at the ground and grunting, he was ready to fight the 9 point.  This deer made the 9 point look like a baby.  I had to make a choice, I now have a 9 point buck 35 yards off to my left,  and off to the right I have...