Saturday, November 22, 2008

Deer Camp 08

As most of you know I am a nut when it comes to bow hunting, but my passion for hunting started long ago during the Minnesota firearms season. Since I was about 4 years old me and Dad have made the trek to Deerwood MN to partake in the opening weekend hunt. We are lucky that my grandparents have a good chunck of land that we can hunt. I personally haven't carried a gun into the woods for 7 years now but I still go up north and hang out with the family and listen to the same hunting stories I have been hearing since I was a little kid. Also don't forget about grandmas cooking I look forward to that meal all year long. I rate it higher on the scale than thanksgiving or any Christmas meal.

We have had some banner seasons on the Sharp Ranch, We have put more than one deer head on the wall from the back 40. This year however was a little different. With only 2 people having Doe tags and a cold Northwest wind that ripped right threw you the hunting was about as slow as I have ever seen. We all seen does but it seemed the ones with the doe tags could never get into range with one. I had one literally 5 yards from me on the opening night sitting in my food plot. Out of the 5 of us hunting only the great white hunter himself shot the only buck.(my uncle Al, no really he is very white Ha Ha) Even though the hunting was slow it was still fun, I had the chance to share the stand with my cousin Monica the opening morning and I gave her a lesson on how to rattle and grunt a buck in, but the bucks didn't quite cooperate.

This was somewhere like my 20th year of Deer Camp up north and I am looking forward to passing the tradition on to my kids some day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What have I done

My long time hunting buddy and best friend going on a good 18 years is on a roll and I don't mean just a good streak it is quite honestly something that doesn't happen much here in central Minnesota. Lets go way back to the first years of Eric and I hunting. We all have good seasons and bad seasons well I would sum Erics career thus this far as good, or maybe that's awesome. Erics first years of hunting were all with the shotgun and he put some real nice deer down his first 2 were 115 - 120 inch 8 points not bad for a little squirt that had a hard time lugging his 870 around in the woods. Know this Eric is very picky with his deer, he has watched many bucks walk by his stand to let grow another year and I have to give him credit for that is not an easy thing to do as a young kid. Fast forward a few years of eating tag sandwiches and it brings us to his first wall hanger a beautiful 10 point tight racked whitetail at the time none of us thought he was wrong in mounting that buck but boy what we didn't know. About the time Eric got that deer back from the shop he had another on the ground that well whats a nice way to put it, dwarfed his 10 pointer. I don't know if I have ever seen a 8 point that big I believe he scored in the high 140's or even 150. That gets to be pretty expensive shooting big deer back to back just ask Eric I don't really have much experience in that department. One more good buck with the shotgun and that is the end of Erics gun hunting career. I thought it would be cool to share the bowhunting woods with Eric, longer seasons and much more challenging got Eric hooked right off the bat. Erics first deer with a bow was a great eating doe. The second, Third and fourth have all been bucks and not one will score under 135 and this brute pictured will go around 150-155. I had this buck on film a year and a half ago in full velvet and he is everything I thought he was. Congrats Eric I am happy one of us three can put the big ones in the freezer.

I don't know if I mentioned this but everyone of theses bucks have been shot within 100 yards of Erics house. When you have a good spot you have a good spot.

Not so sweet november, for some of us.

Well after all the scouting and practicing and time spent tuning your bow the season really comes down to one or two weeks. These two weeks are usually called the rut. The rut? I am starting to wonder what happened to the rut, don't get me wrong I see signs of it the rubs the scrapes and every once and a while a small young and dumb buck will come to the horns. Honestly for the last 3 years I haven't seen much of a intense rut type of activity. This fall was suppose to be different, the end of October was awesome, good pre rut activity and temps in the 30's and low 40's it all seemed it was coming together beautifully. I headed to Peppin county Wisconsin on the 2nd of November and my timing was horrible the next 3 days the temps were in the 70's not the best for deer to be moving in, heck I didn't feel like walking up and down those hills. My last night I finally heard some grunts and seen a few deer. Unfortunately my short time in Wisconsin didn't produce a deer but I did learn some of the terrain and found some awesome areas to mark in the GPS.

I rolled into the central part of MN about 1:00 on Wed. the 5th and headed right to the woods to set it up for a hunt the next day. I found a tree I used to hunt way back in the day and it looked hot. The following morning I only got about 2 hours of hunting in before the skies opened up on me. After a good breakfast and about 4 hours of hunting DVD's the rain finally let up so Forrest and I headed to the woods. I was only hunting for a short time before I had a nice doe come in. I only thought about shooting her for maybe a second and decided the best thing to do was let the Montec loose! it did its job and the rest is history. As I write this I am proud to say that my dad put the smack down on a beautiful 8 point tonight with the old smoke pole. Congrats Dad