2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
  • Advertisement

HB Store


User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:44 pm

August 13thJosh had been asking me to go scouting with him, so I decided to invite him to go shining with me. We hit up the public in his area and some of his private spots. NOTHING DOING. Couple does and I think 3 yearling bucks in 1.5 hours of shining.


August 14th

For the first time in 5.5 years my wife left me home alone for the weekend :lol: she took the kids to her sisters so I could do some uninterrupted remodeling on our basement.

So of course, Friday night I remodeled a little and then went scouting :lol: :lol:

I had a great feeling about Wasteland. (The property is a riverbottom choked out with thickets, canary grass, cattails and shatter cane. Lots of river oxbows, tons of bedding). I hadn’t been around there yet this year so I decided to sit on the hill and observe. I’ve yet to see a shooter from this observation spot early season, but I know they’re around. I’ve had a few times where I’ve gotten impatient and left early, but I was feeling good so I stayed until dark.

I only saw a doe and fawn. That’s it. :think:

I came to the realization that although I know good bucks are around, they’re just too nomadic and too spread out for a property with loose bedding. Odds wise, it’s not a good early season spot. I’m super close to crossing it off the list until rut, but I have an idea or two I need to investigate yet. More on that some other day. I shined a little afterwards but that was largely unproductive as well.

That’s the thing about hunting around here. It seems you’re either in a small pocket of REALLY good hunting, or it’s mediocre at best.


I finally got my cameras out and have been checking to make sure they and the cards all work. My Cuddeback attack is on the outs... every other night pic is taken without flash. My 11 year old Cuddeback Excite is still working though! I thought it finally crapped out but it turns out I accidentally but some bad batteries in it at the end of the year last year. I’ve also got two Moultries.

I might put a couple out this weekend, we’ll see how far I get with the remodeling. I’m hoping to make it out scouting as well. Fingers crossed :pray:

I’ve got plenty on the to do list. Need a ghillie suit, need to mount my muzzleloader scope and sight that in, shoot my rifle, and shoot more bow! Season is getting close!


RiverBottoms
500 Club
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:33 am
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:03 am

Awesome journal. Subscribed
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:23 pm

August 22nd

After my lackluster scouting trips closer to home, I found a quick opportunity to race out to check the big open CRP field for that wide buck.

I was pressed for time in a major way. I was halfway there when I realized it was getting awfully dark :? With the cloud cover I was going to lose about a half hour of daylight :twisted:

I could see when I made it there but BARELY. No wife buck... no deer at all. They could have easily been there and moved off with as late as it was. Oh well... that’s how it goes sometimes!

I shined my way home and I didn’t see anything pertinent minus the prime property by the donut hole. Good lord that place is chock full of bucks. I saw another solid 3.5 yr old and I’m pretty sure it was a new buck. It’s so insane.

Again, this is the property I mentioned in the podcast with Seaz. I’ll just call it “Private paradise”. You can tell from the aerial they put a lot of effort into that land. And apparently their standards are high for around here.

Let’s hope some of them head to the nearby public :pray:



September 3rd

Getting close to season :L:

I took my daughters out scouting with me. I stopped by the south end of the donut hole (I never mentioned that last time I was out I stopped here real quick and the field was empty). There was half a dozen deer out there including two 2 yr olds. Nothing close to a shooter.

I stopped by Location X. Still nothing doing there. I’m seeing lots of does and quite a few yearlings there but so far it’s only been that one shooter the very first time there in July.

I hit up the CRP with 20-25 mins of light. I saw 2 dink bucks with a doe, and then in my area of interest I saw a yearling and a two year old. That’s what the wide one was with both times I saw him. “C’mon big boy where you at...”

I was hoping he was late to the party but he was a no show. My gut is telling me he has moved off his summer pattern, but my stubbornness doesn’t want to accept that :lol: part of me wants to learn more about their bedding tendencies on this property. Part of me thinks he might show back up.

Time to shine. By the way my girls fought the whole time and it wasn’t exactly enjoyable :lol: I was just happy to be out of the house again.

I let the girls share my battery powered spotlight and I used my own. We saw quite a few deer! No shooters until we hit up private paradise. I saw a wide short tined ten that I’m pretty sure I saw once before. Probably a 3 yr old that would go 130’s. Solid deer that I’d be happy to shoot.

About a mile away we shined an almost shooter. High and tight 8 in that 115-120ish range. “Well sweet! Seeing some deer and the girls are enjoying themselves.”

I had one spot to hit up on the way home. The field next to the bedding where I shot my buck at the Sugar patch last year. There’s does and dink bucks in the alfalfa probably 75% of the time if not more. But I have never shined a big one there and it blows my mind. Even last year when I KNEW those bucks were there.

I light up the field and nothing... nothing... nothing... “huh... this spot is dead this year.” (Keep in mind there’s a junk crop adjacent to the bedding.)

Then I see eyes near the tree line at the end of the field. NICE BUCK!! I got my binos on him for a couple jumps as he ran right to left. He ducked into the trees then stopped. All I could see was half of his right antler as he looked at me.

He doesn’t have a lot of mass, but he’s a no brainer shooter for me. I want to say a 130s maybe 140’s ten point but that’s just a guess. It’s not impossible he’s even bigger than that I just didn’t get a good look at all.

Regardless, I’m PUMPED!! All I can say is if he sticks around I’m in great shape. I prepped ground sets for multiple winds and also that observation tree this spring. He was only a couple hundred yards from the best bedding.

For the time being, I will be targeting this buck for opener. Season opens the 19th.
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:10 pm

September 6th

I got to thinking and knowing the sugar patch as well as I do, I decided to head back to the CRP to observe in the field. I knew I’d be able to see tons of ground much more effectively than I could from the road. I felt I’d wait on the sugar patch, because I still had time to observe it multiple times. Between that and checking for tracks near bedding, I decided to go and learn elsewhere. The risk was worth the reward.

I bumped a hard horned 6 pt on the way in. Also saw 3 does heading toward Ag way down in the corner. When I reached my spot, I couldn’t see bedding as good as I thought. I REALLY didn’t want to get any closer, but decided I needed answers. I was 200 yards from potential bedding which to me is too close.

Just before dark I saw a two year old way on the east side. None of these 5 deer were visible from the road.

Nothing came out of the two suspected bedding areas.

I decided this spot wasn’t getting any more of my time pre-season. Not caring where I left scent, I swung through one of the pinch points between two sloughs. Figured there would be bedding there too. As I was walking through the green horse tail (I think that’s what it’s called, take note in the pic) I thought to myself “man this stuff is LOUD.”

Instantly my mind went to bedding. Whether it’s tall 8’ hollow shatter cane, dry cattails, dry tumbleweed out west, or whatever... if it’s super noisy deer will want to bed in it. They like it for the audible advantage. They simply hear danger approaching.

Just then I noticed a couple bushes to my left. “There’s gotta be a bed under those.” I soon found a trail and when it headed toward them I knew I was in business. SURE ENOUGH!! Nice big bed with a chest high rub in it 8-)

Image

There was another small clump 50 yards away on dryer land that was completely ripped up with old rubs. No new ones. Now, my first thought is staging, which is likely true, but as far as the number of rubs is concerned, any time you’re in a monstrous CRP field scenario and trees are lacking in an extreme way, almost any clump of trees will be ripped up with sign post rubs. I see that a lot.

Regardless, this bed and these rubs are right in the mix of where I saw the wide one and the other bucks. There were some similar clumps on the other side but they didn’t have near the number of rubs :think:

From there I circled the section shining. Seeing good numbers of deer! I’m excited. I did see a decent buck in a little grove of trees but I didn’t get a good look at him.

My new plan for this piece of public is in season scouting. I’m sure it gets duck hunted, as I could have shot a few. But I’m not going to wait until spring. I’m going to learn it now. I know there’s been good bucks here so I want to know where those rubs are NOW. That way I have a time line.

Here’s a pic I snapped on the way out. Lots of really tall big blue stem out there in certain areas. Deer LOVE big blue stem. Bowhunters that hunt from the ground... not so much ;) it’s 5’ tall
Image


From there I saw decent numbers of does and a few small bucks. I ended up not seeing ANY deer in the beets near private paradise and the donut hole. Luckily, I THINK they moved north. Possibly even to the public. I did have a bachelor group at the very end of my spotlight beam and one looked like a shooter 8-) so that’s great news!

I’ve never had a summer like this. It’s insane.

Lastly I headed to the alfalfa at the sugar patch. EYES everywhere!! The big one was out there and also the almost shooter high and tight ten that I shined in July. I thought the big one had a drop tine but it turned out it was velvet hanging :mrgreen:

He’s big. Would likely be my biggest whitetail with a bow. I think he’s 140ish.

There was 8-10 deer out there. Saw LOTS of deer on alfalfa last night. So keep that in mind if you’ve got any near your bedding areas. So the big ten was there, the high and tight almost shooter, then a nice 100-110” 8 point. How crazy is that?

I’m pumped. Season opens in 12 days. I’m going to concentrate here for sure now. I’m REALLY hoping the big one just showed up due to fall/velvet shift. Cross your fingers that he sticks around :pray:
User avatar
Quest1001
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 12:21 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Quest1001 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:22 am

Things are shaping up nicely!!
User avatar
BRoth82
500 Club
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:00 am
Location: Southern MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby BRoth82 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:24 am

Sounds like you found yourself a good spot, good luck out there and tag that big bugger on the first sit like last year.
User avatar
MN_DeerHunter
500 Club
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:00 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby MN_DeerHunter » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:01 am

Very excited for you, you found yourself the honey hole! What are you gonna do all fall if you tag out early again?
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:08 pm

MN_DeerHunter wrote:Very excited for you, you found yourself the honey hole! What are you gonna do all fall if you tag out early again?


In season scout and make sure my rifle is dialed for SD :L:

I’m going to try like crazy to kill a doe with Elli too. Will do that whether I kill a good buck early or not.


That said, I’m absolutely not counting my chickens here. One of the biggest issues is the field they’re hitting is a different direction from bedding than the beans they were hitting last year, so I don’t know for sure how they’re accessing it.

If they’re heading north out of bedding and we have a NW wind I’ll be in trouble because of the lay of the land. If they’re heading South, then they’re walking right into my trap ;) .
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:18 pm

Sept 12th


(Copied from live from the field with details added)


Lockdown wrote:Observation sit from the LW tonight. There’s 2 main bedding areas I was interested in. At 7:00 I had a yearling buck come right off the tip of the peninsula in the cats. Took him 20 minutes to hit the field edge which was only 75+ yards away. It’s always fun when they read the script even if it’s a little one.

I just about started packing up when out comes the deer parade from the other bedding! I could tell two of the bucks were decent, but it was too dark to see if one was my target buck. There were 6-7 deer total.

Unfortunately I couldn’t tell exactly where they hit the field at... I THINK they took the funnel I wanted them to but I think a follow up sit is necessary. If I guess wrong and hunt it with a SE wind my hunt would be over before it started.



I had a NW wind so sat South of the alfalfa field at the Sugar Patch looking for that nice ten. Idk if one of those bucks was him or not... it’s bugging me.

My main issue was a tree obstructing my view. I think what happened is they took the east travel corridor right past my sets. But I could see the mouth of that corridor really well or so I thought, and I was watching that area obsessively. Next thing I know they’re paralleling the field edge :? How did they make it through?

Either:
A) they hugged the west side of it and it’s WAY lower than I realized.

Or

B) They used the other travel corridor.

I need to adjust my observation location and get a different angle. I’m going to try and observe the last two days before season. If I do, one will certainly be from this same area watching that edge.



I shined afterward and went back and forth on whether or not to shine those bucks. If one was the big one, I’d shined him twice in the last 10 days or so. I don’t want to overdo it. I decided a drive by at 45-50 mph wouldn’t spook them too bad.

Several does and little bucks were on the alfalfa... nothing 2.5 or bigger :think:

I went and shined private paradise and donut hole area. I did see a familiar face back on the sugar beets. A dandy 9 with a shallow split left g2 that id shined in the same spot a month ago.

Went to the alfalfa by the donut hole... nothing. Still seeing good numbers of does and little bucks though.

On the way home I had to pass the sugar patch alfalfa again. I figured an hour went by so I did another fast pass... 2 does. So who knows where the bucks went.

By the way, where did the lone yearling buck and the group of deer hang out on the south side? LOW SPOT. They all headed right for it. I’ve said it a million times. If you’re in “flat” farm country and you can’t see the lowest spot in the field you’re missing a lot of action. Maybe even ALL the action? :think:

Wife has plans with a friend tomorrow and Elli is bugging me to go scouting (she was mad I left her home today :lol: ) so we are planning on observing from the truck tomorrow evening. Not sure where yet, but i’ll have another update tomorrow night 8-)
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:07 am

September 13th

Elli wanted to go scouting so I invited my Dad to come with the girls and I. We sat at location X and used my binos and my spotter on the tripod. Elli actually found deer using both.

“I see three of them!!” And she’d be right. 8-)

We saw quite a few does. Probably 20 all together. One little buck. Most came off the private to the south, but we did see a few around the kill tree I plan on taking her to.

We shined our way home and for the first time in a while, no shooters! FINALLY... back to normal :lol:

We shined past the sugar patch alfalfa (going fast again) and saw one two year old buck, and a few does, and several in the back that we couldn’t ID... :think:

I’m hoping to observe there tomorrow night to get the last of the details. HOPEFULLY THE BIG ONE SHOWS.

Season opens Saturday.
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:08 pm

Sept 17th

Had to work out of town and bring my truck and the lift back to the shop late. Worked out to shine afterwards so I took a trip around Josh’s area... not much doing. Saw a half dozen does, no bucks.



Sept 18th

Headed back to the Sugar Patch to see if I could figure out EXACTLY where those deer came from. I brought extra sticks and used 4 full sized Beast sticks and 2 LW. Not sure what height I was at, but if I fell, death was likely :lol:

This time I hoisted my camera arm and the spotter up. When I was just about set up I look over and there was a buck standing in the field already, right in the exact spot I was going to focus on :twisted:

I don’t think he came out of the bedding I wanted him to. Didn’t really matter, he was just a 6 pointer and the night was young.

With the Southerly wind, I thought about setting up in my other observation tree, but decided against it due to the fact that they’re feeding in the alfalfa next to it. I was worried one would end up down wind. Good call on my part as I saw a glimpse of a few does over there. I would have been busted for sure.

Later I saw 4 does and fawns come from remote bedding. They’re bedding close to a half mile from food.

Unfortunately, that ended up being it!

No little buck in the south bedding, no does or two year olds came out of either travel corridor :think: movement was very different from what I witnessed last weekend. Nothing new I guess.

I had a feeling the big one wasn’t in the alfalfa at all, so I gave it a good look with the spotlight. 4 does.

I headed over to private paradise and the donut hole. I saw a pretty decent buck on the alfalfa again. I THINK he was an average three year old... probably 120ish with a decent body. He had a tiny split on his right g2.

I saw two nice two year olds near private paradise.

On the way home I shined the sugar patch alfalfa again to see if the ten was late to the party. A decent buck showed up but I didn’t get a good look at him. I didn’t want to booger him. It could have easily been one of the two nicer bucks I saw while observing last weekend.

The interesting thing is I think he and a couple does came out of the standing corn...

Speaking of crops the farmers are taking soybeans :dance: corn is looking real dry. They’ll be going full bore within a week for sure 8-)


So tomorrow is opener and I’m going back to the drawing board! The one thing that’s throwing a wrench in my plans is that Elli has been bugging me really bad to take her hunting. I’m all about it, but I’d rather not take her opening weekend. If I don’t find anything good regarding big buck sign, I’ll just set up with her and we’ll chase some does around! I told her I’d take her scouting to look for tracks and she’s all excited. I promised her I’d take her Sunday for sure, which might be morning. I’ve got a few doe spots that would work.

It’s maybe not exciting for you guys, but I’ve dreamt of taking my kid(s) hunting since before I was a Dad. I had her out the last two years but she was so little it wasn’t even really hunting.

We’ll see if she likes it. It would be epic to tag something while she’s with. I’d be more proud of that than a big buck!

Good luck to everyone who is starting their season tomorrow.
User avatar
Lockdown
Moderator
Posts: 9547
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Lockdown » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:47 pm

Ok fellas. I met another Beast this weekend and now I’m a little paranoid. Turns out we hunt a lot of the same spots...

Unfortunately I am going to discontinue my journal. I’ll still be posting plenty, and sharing what I can. But I feel my journal gets too descriptive at times and makes it too easy for lurkers to connect the dots and cop spots ;)
RiverBottoms
500 Club
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:33 am
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:10 am

Bummer man, but I get it. I often wonder how many lurkers are out there just looking for intel, but I haven't had any first hand experience with lurker issues. Your journal was fun while it lasted, and well written.
User avatar
Quest1001
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 12:21 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby Quest1001 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:39 am

Makes sense. It will be fun to read about once you get one down. Good luck.
User avatar
jkelley1487
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:19 pm
Location: Indiana
Status: Offline

Re: 2020 Whitetail “Die”ary

Unread postby jkelley1487 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:23 am

Dang it. I enjoyed these updates.


  • Advertisement

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: justdirtyfun, ThePreBanMan and 34 guests