Drenalin 2020 Season

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Drenalin
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:00 am

knapptime wrote:
Drenalin wrote:Well, I've got people to keep the kids Sunday evening, but just checked wind and it will be straight into where I believe they're bedding. Wind is perfect tomorrow evening. Going to have to try the ole "I don't feel so good" routine tomorrow about lunch. We'll see!

Hit em with the old fake dentist appointment :lol:

VA appointment. Leave office at 1:00, VA hospital is 45 minutes away, always takes a couple hours or so in there, wouldn't get back to the office in time to get anything done anyway. If only I could plan my hunts this well...


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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:10 am

Hunt 9, October 23 - Evening

Got out of work early on Friday and hunted the private where the big buck was spotted. I got in a little after 2:00 and there were already a couple of does working along the fingers adjacent to the hayfield where the buck was spotted. I gave them some time to work off and then settled in. Shortly after that, they filtered back through, crossing below me and up the ridge toward suspected bedding. I had planned on the wind carrying my scent off into that bottom and wasn't expecting movement there, especially not that early in the day. Ended up with four does crossing down there, and I'm sure they got my wind even though none ever acted alarmed or blew. But no deer showed at the oak that evening either.

Didn't hunt Saturday. Forecast was calling for rain all day and I thought it would be a good time to catch up on chores. Turned out to be a pretty nice day weather-wise, and I felt like an idiot for letting the forecast keep me out of the woods. Was planning to get back after it Sunday evening, but the babysitter fell through and I ended up on daddy duty. Which was great - my daughter and I had a blast. Next weekend is the juvenile hunt in TN and I'm not planning on burning any vacation days to get back out with the crossbow, so my goal of taking an archery deer this year will go unchecked I guess. That should probably bother me more, but I'm so not in love with the crossbow at this point. Got a buddy who's interested in buying that thing and I'm seriously considering selling it and doing stuff other than hunting whitetails in October - like hunting out west, bear hunting, trout fishing, maybe even small game hunting. We'll see. For now, I'm looking forward to muzzleloader season in a couple of weeks. I've got my first backpack hunt of the year planned for that weekend and I'm really looking forward to it.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:41 pm

Hunt 10, October 30 - Evening

Didn’t have to burn a vacation day, but managed to get out of the office a couple hours early and sneak in a hunt tonight. I set up on the ground near oaks on a mission to take a doe. About an hour before dark I caught movement off to my left at about 40 yards through the brush. As I’m watching that doe trying to figure out what she’s going to do, I heard something behind me just a little down the ridge, maybe 20 yards. Terrain right here doesn’t allow me to see much from the ground until they’re right on me, and I got caught not paying attention. Sure enough, there were two more does at my 6:00. Now I’m caught in a situation where if I move this whole thing probably blows up on me. As I’m listening for these does behind me to move off, l lost track of the one on my left and she got through my shooting lane before I picked her up again. Total amateur hour, surrounded by deer and it’s starting to look like they’ll all survive this goat rope. Then I spot more movement where I initially picked up that first doe - two more slick heads, maybe this ain’t so bad after all. The first one worked toward my shooting lane, and at 15 yards I sent it.

Great POP at impact and she kicked hard as she took off. I lost sight of her over a rise, but was sure I heard her fall. I collected my stuff and my nerves and headed toward her. She went about 60 yards total, and I was very impressed with the damage this little crossbow bolt and Exodus head did on her. Seriously looked like I hit her with a slug gun. The shot was great, took out both lungs but left the heart and liver intact - those will make a great meal this weekend. In spite of my griping about the crossbow, I’m really glad I got out and checked this goal off the list tonight.

This weekend is our juvenile hunt, so if I get in the woods again before Monday it will be a scouting trip. Which I’d really like to do, but also need to spend a bunch of time with the family before I disappear for a few days next weekend.

Here are pics of the entry and exit:
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby backstraps » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:47 pm

WOW!! Now that’s impressive entry and exit wounds! Congratulations on the doe D!!
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:43 am

This Saturday is the opening day of muzzleloader here, and I'll be hiking in a couple of miles and staying till Tuesday. Forecasted wind for the days I'm out sets up well for the area I want to hunt, and weather looks really mild. I'd rather be a little cold, but hopefully deer will be moving anyway. I'm hoping the higher elevations in the area I'll be hunting mean cooler temps and possibly even a little cruising. Last night I packed all my gear, food, and weapon and loaded it the car. Pack feels like it weighs a ton, but comes out to about 34 pounds on the scale, plus my rifle. Not bad really. It's been a little dry here and I'm not certain my planned water source will actually be wet, so I've got 8 pounds of water in the pack. I think I've got all the details covered, now I'm just waiting - impatiently - for the alarm to go off Saturday morning so I can get underway. I've got a lot of ground up there I can cover, and a couple of backup plans that I can hike to if things aren't what I want in my first area. Good luck to everyone with tags left to fill - November is finally here!

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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:38 pm

Hunt 11, November 7 - All Stinkin Day

Today was the big day when I headed in for my first backpack whitetail hunt of the year. Got up at 3:00, drove out to the NF and started hiking in at 5:30. The first spot I wanted to hit was a mile and half hike, and put me on the edge of doe bedding. I really expected to take a deer before lunch today, but I must have forgotten to send out the script. No deer were seen. By midday I was ready to hike on to the main area I planned to hunt this weekend. The hike was terrible...right at two miles according to my tracker, all uphill on nearly 1:1 slope. But I just knew this area I’ve been scouting on maps would be worth the punishment so I took my time and kept my feet moving. When I finally got there, things were not so good. Aerial imagery couldn’t show me the massive amounts of blowdown and waist to head high brush. In most places I couldn’t see more than about 15 feet. I was also surprised at just how dry it is...that whole mountain is like a tinderbox right now, especially with all the standing and fallen dead stuff. Thick is normally ok, but I found virtually no deer sign up there.

After a couple hours of scouting the edges, I decided to hike back down and hunt near the creek bottoms since it would be cooler there, and since deer need water. I was also down to about half a liter of water at this point and badly needed to refill. I took a slightly different route down and got caught in a very rocky draw, which made it about as slow going down as it had been coming up. I did find a great rub on the way down (about belly button height), but not enough sign or enough concentrated sign to convince me I needed to stay on the side of that steep ridge and try to navigate my way through those boulders at night. Here’s the rub:

4D973534-BE6C-4499-AB41-7118627BE385.jpeg


Finally got back down and started looking for water. I had four creek options on the map, and all four turned out to be bone dry. I went to a seep I knew about; also dry. I was flat out of water at this point, so I decided to hunt the evening and then come back out and relocate. Didn’t see any deer, though I heard one coming in that hung up out of sight. No way it had my wind, so I suspect it got to the edge of its comfort zone and started munching acorns. This was at last light, so I packed up and started the hike out. About 3/4 of a mile from the car I bumped a buck. Too dark to see, but I could hear branches banging his antlers as he hightailed it out of there.

By the time I got the car, I was bushed. Definitely a little dehydrated and my head was pounding. I headed home to resupply and make a new plan for tomorrow. Driving off the mountain, I came within inches of hitting probably the biggest bucks I’ve ever seen in person. He ran off onto private and, wonder of wonders, my wife knows the landowner. I’ll be working on getting permission to hunt there.

Back home now. I’m footsore, my knees feel like jello, I’m a little discouraged how this “trip” played out. But I can’t wait for the alarm to go off in the morning so I can do it all again in another area.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:54 am

Hunt 12, November 8th - Evening

Took it easy after the big day yesterday. Did more scouting than hunting, didn’t find much and ended up sitting on a doe trail. No deer seen.

Hunt 13, November 9th - Morning

Shot a doe with the muzzleloader at first light. Must have hit her low; she was at 15 feet and I’m zeroed at 50 yards. Trailed her 324 yards before she crossed onto property I can’t access. This is probably the only thing I hate about hunting, and no matter how hard we try, there are still days like this.

Hunt 14, November 9th - Evening

Pretty much a repeat of yesterday evening. Scout, scout, scout, set up on mediocre sign, go home empty handed.

Hunt 15, November 10th - Morning to Afternoon

Hiked a bunch today, working edges and trying to find areas that haven’t been pressured. All the sign I found seemed a little old. Spent the evening with the family, back to work tomorrow.

Hunt 16, November 15th - Morning

Missed a Saturday of hunting to do a Veteran’s Day service project, so I snuck out for a quick hunt on private before church. Watched some does for a bit and worked on a plan for next weekend. Wife is out of town, so I had the kids for the afternoon and didn’t hunt.

Hunt 17, November 21st - Morning

First day of my vacation today; I don’t go back to the office till the 30th. Hiked a couple of miles to hunt an area I’ve been interested in for a while now. About mid-morning had three does pass through about 150 yards from me. Wanted to move down after they passed to try and put myself where the deer were moving, but heard a lone deer marching around on the next spur, so I held tight and tried to get eyes on it. No luck on that, so after about an hour I did a little scouting and hiked back out.

Hunt 18, November 21st -Evening

Link to Kill Zone post: http://www.thehuntingbeast.com/viewtopic.php?f=287&t=57292

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Hunt 19, November 23rd - Morning

Hunting another private piece today, the same one I over hunted last season. I’ve done a lot better about staying out of here, so there should still be does around and hopefully a good buck. Saw a total of six does this morning and then did a little scouting. Found some good rubs and based on history with the property, I think I know what they’re doing. Setting back up for the afternoon and evening. This rub is about waist high.

8287E3D2-B14A-4A3D-AB2A-CDD32964DC9E.jpeg
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:45 am

Hunt 20, November 23rd - Evening

Had to relocate last night. Saw one doe at last light acting jumpy and looking behind her. I have doe tags, but thought a buck might be in tow and held my fire. There probably was a buck, but I never saw him.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:17 am

Hunt 21, November 24th - Morning

Went out this morning to hunt an area I know holds some does. Figured the cold (28 when I walked in) would have deer on their feet. I misjudged where they would come from and got winded from behind. Relocated and rode it out till after 11:00, but didn’t see anything else. Headed to where I found all the rubs yesterday, about 120 yards from a bedding area. Depending on how things look when deer start showing up, I may take a doe.

Also got a text this morning that a big 10 is pushing does around on a private piece I kind of have permission to hunt. I have to check in and made sure it’s ok to hunt on such-and-such day. I’m waiting on a call back about getting over there tomorrow, we’ll see.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:40 pm

Hunt 22, November 24th - Evening

Got in early this afternoon and set up about 120 yards outside a known bedding area. Maybe 15 minutes after I got in, a funky five point looped through giving me a few 30 yard shot opportunities. He went down the ridge and worked a scrape I didn’t know about, then moved along. Based on his travel pattern and that I had about an 80 yard shot to the scrape, with thermals pulling toward me, I felt good about the setup. Ended up not seeing anything else till about half hour before dark when the five point came back through from a totally different direction (from another small bedding area). He worked the ridges all around me till dark, and unfortunately for both of us nothing else showed.

I did get permission to hunt the property where the big 10 was spotted this morning, but I’ll have to pull out of there for an appointment about 12:00 and probably won’t have time to make it back for the evening. So the morning may turn into more of a scouting trip for later than a hunt, but I’ll give it a try.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:36 am

Hunt 23, November 25th - Morning

The property I hunted this morning is one that I had hunted for a few years, till it changed hands last year and was logged extensively. I started out the morning near the head of a draw hoping that being on a bare east slope, with light winds forecasted, would get thermals pulling up early and help conceal me from deer moving up from fields below. Saw a couple of does from there, but it was early so I decided not to take one. Waited a little longer and moved toward a saddle close to the property line. Had a doe come through, followed by a spike about 20 minutes behind her. Another group of three does worked through there about an hour later, but they were on the wrong side of the property line. Got in some valuable scouting time, got permission to come back Friday, and made a couple plans for different wind conditions.

When I walked through that saddle, I found a maple tree that had been rubbed from the ground to about belly button high all the way around. Tree was probably 4” diameter. That area also smelled strongly of rutty buck - when the smell hit me, I made a quick check upwind to be sure I was alone then backed out of there as carefully as I could. Hopefully the wind will be right for me to post up on this Friday.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:56 am

Hunt 24, November 25th - Evening

Doe hunt this evening on private. Had a little rain and strong winds come in, ended up not seeing anything.

Hunt 25, November 27th - Morning

Link to Kill Zone post:
viewtopic.php?f=287&t=57351&p=873773#p873773

Taking the evening off.
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Re: Drenalin 2020 Season

Unread postby Drenalin » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:19 am

Hunt 26, November 28th - Morning

Thanks to Tennessee’s generous harvest limits where I hunt, I still had one doe tag in one unit and two doe tags in another unit. Both are private land only, and I decided to try and fill one today while I’m on a roll. All the scouting and hunting over the last week gave me real good idea where they’d be and when. I got setup about 45 minutes before I expected them, and when they came in I picked the biggest one and dropped her. Took a few minutes to enjoy the morning and have a cup of coffee before field dressing her and pulling her out.

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I was home by about 9:30, so I got a batch of jerky on the dehydrator. If I’m being honest, this past week feels like it’s been a lot of work. A great week, and a ton of fun, but still a lot of work. Going to spend the rest of the day cleaning gear and putting things back in order, maybe prep another batch of jerky, and just relax.

96C493EA-B214-4BFD-A963-A7214694E1AE.jpeg
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