Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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may21581
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Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby may21581 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:02 pm

Every year my season runs like a stream through the woods taking turns along the way and flowing from point a to point b. I sit down prior to the start of the season and set some realistic goals. A certain age class buck for myself, learning new locations, learning how to hunt certain stands and so forth. I keep things very realistic for the areas I hunt and know the potential of certain areas.
Its been a rough season so far, I muffed a shot at a potential booner buck on the opening week of archery on public and fast forward to the first week or two of November and I was able to get on two 150" class deer on public again. This time on public my stand was out of position by 20 yards or so and my shot opportunity at last light in the hollows was reduced to where I was unable to make the shot.
I have one private piece I hunt and have had some good encounters there in the past. This year again I was able to set up and predict the buck movement based on the wind and direction of travel. During the peak of the rut I was able to grunt a mature buck in over a primary scrape from the neighboring property but again I ran out of light. My season has been filled with close calls, muffed shots, and spectacular encounters.
One goal of mine I had this year is I wanted to take my dad out and get him on to some deer. My dad was a good gun hunter in his hayday and hadn't shot a deer since 2002. In the last 18 years my dad has overcome shoulder surgeries, hernia operation, copd respiratory issues, and a few other medical issues. These issues were not life threatening but enough to drag a man down. I know there are others that have it much worse and I feel for them. My goal with my dad was to push his abilities and get him back in the hunt. I wanted him to experience nature at its fullest and embrace the hunt.
The gun opener this year was tough. We fought a heavy cold downpour and sat in the rain all day. My stands that were hot in years past were zilch this year. Day two was a whiteout with 5-7" of snow. Winds blew over 20 mph and windchills sank to 15 degrees. We pushed through it and seen a few does back in a deep hollow. We decided this would be a tough haul out of there and we held out for a mature buck. Nothing else showed that day.
Wednesday we headed to another piece of public. We scouted our way in, hunted the best sign we could find, and still hunted the area. We got away from the crowds and put my skills to the test. We hunted based on sign, terrain and pressure. Again we found some does and a small buck but nothing worthy of a drag from that deep hollow either.
Thursday my dad needed a day off and I hunted alone. I went back to my day 1 opener spot and sat it out till dark. Nothing showed and the woods were quiet. While sitting there I realized what was working for us and what we needed to do. Sitting stands based on the past got us no closer to reaching our goals. We were finding deer when moving around, hunting the sign, and playing the wind. When we did this we were getting on deer concistantly.
Today we headed out and I wanted to keep trying new spots. We walked till we found sign, away from the crowds, in areas that were overlooked very secure bedding areas. We pulled in and there was about 5 trucks in the lot. Most the boot tracks were circling the easy to get to places and the obvious spots everyone goes to. We talked and planned a strategy based on the wind. We headed the opposite direction of the other hunters and headed to the points and ridges and away from the open flat thick areas where most of the attention was.
Within an hour we were on deer. We bumped two out of a hollow and stopped and watched there direction of travel. The wind was in our favor and we very slowly still hunted our way across the point. 15 minutes later we caught up to the deer. We watched them for a minute and we both agreed it was time to shoot something. We elected to take the shot and the deer fell where it stood. It was the only shot I heard all day and boy did it feel good.
18 years is a long time for a hunter to go without taking an animal. Today I met a goal and my dad harvested a deer. I know this deer isn't a wallhanger but what a trophy it is! It was a good feeling dragging that deer back to the truck. Goals and trophies come in all shapes, sizes, and ways. We pushed ourselves to the limits, scouted hard, and earned this deer! Its been a tough season so far, but today I can put a check mark in the success column!
In the last year I come to meet a family in need. The husband is handicapped and the wife has endured some job issues with everything going on. They both love deer meat and are in a financial hardship. We both decided to donate this deer to the family so they have food. This animals life has gone to a good cause and its life will allow others to live theirs.
Hunting has brought on a new meaning to me in the last several years. So the next time we tell someone we are going hunting, what is it that we are really hunting? Scout scout scout
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"Failure is the price for entry for achieving something great"
mipubbucks24
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby mipubbucks24 » Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:25 am

Congrats to your dad, and to meeting your goals your story is what hunting is all about.
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headgear
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby headgear » Sun Dec 06, 2020 4:49 am

Congrats!
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greenhorndave
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby greenhorndave » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:32 am

Great story and congrats!
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hunting_dad
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby hunting_dad » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:50 am

Congrats! That’s what it’s all about right there :dance:
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Huntress13
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby Huntress13 » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:59 pm

This is great. Glad you got to experience that with your dad. And good on you for donating!
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby oldrank » Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:15 am

Sounds like what memories are made of. Congrats to both of you.
Rich M
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby Rich M » Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:10 am

Good read. Enjoy those trips.
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby KPillinois » Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:25 pm

Great story !!!! I'm glad you and your dad were able to get out and have some great quality time together and that you got to drag a deer out !!! And your story is a great reminder for myself to scout for hot sign rather than to just rely on previous spots where i've had success, because i've seen the disappointment that comes from that method wayyy too many times.
I've changed my ways, I'm now looking for big bucks on public land.
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may21581
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Re: Goals, success, and fails, a journey of a hunter

Unread postby may21581 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:01 pm

So far this season i have been fortunate enough to of been blessed with some great encounters, unfortunately my stand has been out of position by a few yards or an obstruction has blocked an ethical shot on some great deer. The ones I have had shot opportunities on where just not up to my par and I found much enjoyment watching them stroll by unaware of my presence. I feel humbled so far this year and blessed. Its a special feeling knowing you give it all and still nature has a way of fighting back and only giving what she allows you to have.
I set out this year with some strong goals, obtainable but strong. As I had already wrote in this post one was getting my dad out and experiencing the hunt again. During our gun season we endured some nasty weather the first several days along with the rest of the hunters in the midwest. For someone not used to these conditions my hats go off to you. While some stayed snuggled in their warm beds the determined headed out to face it head on.
My goal was to get my dad on a deer this year, we hit that goal so why stop there! Keep going and set the bar higher, keeping small goals will only net you small rewards so time to raise it and push yourself.
I set dad up on some good stands, we did some great still hunting and seen alot of does and small bucks. We worked our tails off all week. I would of loved to have shot a nice buck but it just wasn't meant to be I guess. Fowards the end of the week we decided to take a doe. The plan was to hunt the sign, hunt the wind, hunt smart and I would still hunt the bottom of a hollow and do a gentle push hopefully sending them his way.
By hunting the sign we got on the heavy tracks in the snow and determined a direction of travel. I had to circle back and drop down into a bottom where it was tougher access. The old boot tracks where on the ridges and no one braved the hike into this area. Once I got in there I started to kick deer up. In total I kicked out eight doe from what I could see. All were in shooting range and mature. I seen no bucks and only does. I contemplated shooting one but deep inside I wanted my dad to shoot one and I didn't feel like dragging it out of a hollow.
About ten minutes later I heard his double barrel bark, not once but twice. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. When I got to him I asked if he had shot and he said yes. I asked if he got it and he said yes. He ended up shooting a doe and got her in the neck. It was the best blood trail I ever seen but unfortunately she ran downhill to the very bottom I had dredded dragging a deer from.
Needless to say it was a long drag up out of there, my legs were beat, my knees were killing me, and I think I strained my back! I guess sometimes this is what it takes to reach goals, if you arent willing to get a little beat up I guess you should stay home!
There are no guarantees when you give it your all. Sometimes you come home with wallhangers and sometimes you come home with memories! I'm starting to cherish those memories more these days, however I still have another goal to hit this year. Come on late season! Go big or go home!
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"Failure is the price for entry for achieving something great"


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