Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Crossbow and a Deer Down!!!

Well this was my first crossbow hunt and I am 1:1.  This doe is on the small side and nothing to brag about...Except in great eating.  Which is what I was after.  My three year drought was dragging on like a bad reunion or something.  Glad it's gone and just in time with only a couple weeks in the bow season left.  I was fortunate enough to be gifted a crossbow at Christmas and while they probably make the bow hunting purist throw-up.  I have to say I like them and they do the job fine.  I may do a post later on the bow.  We'll see.  Anyways.  Just a few pics for this one of my spot and the harvest.  The convex Redlore knife worked great in boning out the meat.  It was the perfect size and the point was dropped enough it wasn't an issue.  Couldn't have been more pleased with it. 

The deer came up and was right behind that downed tree to the right in the below pic, and left in the above pic

Getting to work with the redlore!

Well I got it home and just got done butchering it up nice and in the freezer.  It was a great evening to take in and I am happy.  This is probably the smallest deer I have taken and it feels like the hardest earned.  Funny how that goes...

thanks for looking

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rifle Hunt

Well I got out for a quick hunt trip last week.  11/21 was the Gun season opener here in OK so I thought I would pass on the opening weekend since I am primarily a public land hunter, not by choice of course.  But the opening weekend is always a nightmare so I thought timing it for the week days would be the way to go.  Well it was still packed with hunters.  I didn't get any of the spots I wanted to hunt.  I finally found an area that didn't already have hunters there.  Though gut piles at the entrances assured me they were.  So I tried to make the best of it.  I headed out and found a nice spot bordering some private land and was able to watch a couple wood thickets and monitor the trails connecting them.  Here was the spot and the view.  It was a darn good natural blind.  It required minimal trimming with the axe and saw.

here's the full side to side views for ya

sunset was gorgeous as usual

Didn't see any deer.  I headed back out of that direct area and decided to hunt it again the next morning since it was the only spot I knew I had and it seemed awfully good.  I got back to the entrance of the area and made camp in the dark.  These next shots didn't turn out so great in the dark but they give the idea I was dealing with to get a suitable spot to hang the hammock.  First off was sawing up a deadfall tree and then clearing out some underbrush.

this was my first hang and I had to get creative.  That forked tree on the left was to be one end and to the right you can barely make out a couple trees and that was the other end.  The left tree was not the size you want.  I just decided to hang low in case it gave.  It was the only hang option in this area.

all cleared out

The wind this whole trip was blowing around 20-30mph and gusting at 40mph.  It wasn't letting up so I pitched the tarp ultra low on the hammock to try and block most of the wind.

once in the hammock with my weight the ridgeline was about an inch lower than the tarp

dinner was a big cup of noodles and a can of chicken added to it.  This is actually a pretty hardy and easy meal to make.  I used the little alcohol stove.  Which was a pain in this wind.  I had it in the back of the truck and it was still kind of a pain but did work out.

after dinner I crawled in the hammock.  Temps started out around 40 and then got down to about 30 with the wind blowing.  I wore a layer of fleece pants and shirt and was too hot for the first couple hours.  I used an Italian wool blanket under the MSS with just the bivy and patrol bag.  I was plenty warm all night but the constant wind kept me awake most of the night.  The trees haven't dropped all their leaves yet here so it was a noisy night. 

morning came and I packed down camp and headed back out to the same spot and enjoyed a sunrise

Well the morning came and went and no deer.  I decided to head out and see what other spots might be open.  Found one and headed in to settle in for the afternoon and evening.  Decided to setup on a spot that had a brutalized rub next to a feeder.  This was the first feeder I have come across that the Wildlife Department setup.  On the map it was marked as a food plot and they are usually little green wheat fields that are small in size.  I thought this spot had a lot going for it so I sat it out in hopes the deer hadn't been ran out of the area.

That was the last photo I took.  Lots of animal activity went on but no deer.  Had multiple possums go by and a lot of owls in the woods and I did get to see one drop down and get a rabbit.  That was cool to see.  But that's how this hunt ended.  I'll get back out around Christmas for another crack at them and hit the woods as much as I can on my break.

 For now though it's Deer 1  OutdoorEnvy 0. 

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quick muzzleloader hunt

Well I had an evening come open so I grabbed the front stuffer and hit the woods, public woods  :rolleyes:.  I had it mind to find a spot that other hunters would have not hunted so I went to an oil well that is loud and no one's first choice.  I hadn't been there before but I wanted to find a spot quick with some sign and was able to do just that.  Found a little clearing with plenty of heavy trails crossing.  The oil rig was about 300 yards away and clanking something awful.  It was perfect!  I found a spot on a slight ridge with a small bush/tree to break up my outline.

Used the old Plumb hatchet to clear out a quick spot then settled in.  For you traditional muzzle-loading enthusiast avert your eyes from my setup.  I love the vintage ones too but I need all the help a hunter can get on my few trips I make it out.  Rifle is a CVA Optima Pro Elite .50cal with a Bushnell 4x32 scope shotgun scope.  So it's basically a single shot 30-30. 

Well my plan of hunting the spot no one else probably has to find the deer looking to avoid a hunter WORKED!  Except too well  :-\

About 30 mins before shooting light expired a doe came up from behind on basically the same path I walked in on.  She came up on my right so quiet I never heard her.  Just saw the flicker of movement from the corner of my eye.  Knew immediately it was a deer.  Plan was to sit still, let her get by me and then make a clean shot.  Instead she stopped dead even with me about 3 yards or so and locked eyes with me.  Since I'm right handed that made shoulder the rifle in any subtle fashion impossible.  She bounded off after a few seconds and turned to look back at me from just inside the treeline.  I could have taken a shot but there was a lot of debris I would have been shooting through.  So the right call was to pass on the shot.  I sat in hopes that maybe the rut started early and buck would be following but no luck. 

So overall it was a good time and in spite of the oil rig it was relaxing and peaceful and the fresh air and smells felt good and I love those heart attack encounters.  I would do it all over again!  Hopefully the next hunt ends with meat cooking pics instead of gear...

Thanks for looking 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jack's first hatchet, new cook kit, hanging and relaxing

Well Jack and I had some new stuff we needed to hit the woods with to try out. So we headed out and killed an afternoon and early evening.

Entering the trail

Jack's hatchet is an old Plumb scout hatchet. It's well worn and so blunt it only qualifies as a small hammer. But Jack knows no different and he was mighty proud to be toting this baby a long. He always picks up a stick and says it's his axe and bangs around camp with it. I figured I'd hang this one and let him have something he can do a little damage with and not worry about him accidently cutting himself. Plus he just thought is the coolest thing ever.

Well we found a nice spot that didn't have too much undergrowth and shrubs around so we made our little camp and dad got to hang the DIY hammock in the woods for the first time.

hammock packs to about 10 x 5" in the stuff sack. Handy little size.

ridgeline view

One thing that I found surprising with the hammock is just how comfortable they are to sit in in multiple ways. Heck it's a lounge chair and you can sit upright and lean back a little and that works too! I'm wishing I would have tried hammocks years ago.

Jack was dead set on making sure any downed tree around had it's bark knocked off or any loose pieces needed chopping on.

I usually make a small twig/stick fire in the woods so Jack was constantly bringing me his bark and wood chip pieces to use for the fire. It was cute and assured me I was influencing him correctly so far But I brought out a cook kit with an alcohol stove this time to try out. I ordered this from minibull design. It is the 12cm Bios #5 kit.

Comes with a 12cm Imusa pot with lid(aluminum), a carbon felt handle wrap and windscreen, and a Bios #5 stove. It's made from an aluminum beer bottle. This kit is very light. I added a 4oz fuel bottle and the green rimmed cup is from my thermos, it fit perfectly in the big pot.

to light this stove you prime th fiberglass wick on the outside then fill it with the amount of alcohol you want and light the wick. Within seconds it blossoms out and you are ready

soon enough we had our hot chocolate ready to go with our chocolate peanut butter pop-tarts

Jack approves

Well we relaxed for a bit and Jack used his hatchet some more. Then on the way out we saw a handful of deer and heard some owls. It was a good time.

thanks for looking