Sunday, September 25, 2011

Setting Stands and Awaiting Opening Day

The last two weekends Matt and I have setup a total of 7 stand locations. Last weekend we setup 4. We have to climbable trees within 50 yards of each other in a funnel that has produced deer in the past. Why have trees that close? With the drought we've been in for 2 years, water levels near this area have dropped dramatically. Having these two trees cleared for this year give us an opportunity to move in the funnel depending on deer movement without having to intrude and clear shooting lanes during the season. Plus, we can hunt the area together if we want and have a possibility at two points of view video-wise for a kill on camera should the deer take the trail between the stands.

Our third stand is roughly 200 yards to the ENE. It is a ladder located in a cedar tree. I don't recommend trying to setup a stand in a cedar unless it is just after the season as this tree was infested with ticks. The stand overlooks a small field with several 5-15 foot trees spaced throughout.

The fourth stand is about 75 yards to the ENE again. It is another ladder, but in a scrub-oak on a point of trees that overlooks 3 deer trails and the spot where they converge. The only rough thing about this spot is the deer will show up out of nowhere and not offer much in the way of video prior to having to take a shot.

This weekend we went to a different location and setup a ground blind in a travel corridor. I laugh when looking at it as you'd expect to shoot ducks out of it rather than deer, but it is about 70 yards from a large scrap from last year and will allow us to catch deer as they move just inside the treeline from an overgrown area. This will allow for some great filming opportunities as long as the deer travel from the south to north. If it is reversed, they'll come from behind us and will make filming interesting .

About 700 yards to the south, we setup a tree for a climber with another tree nearby should we want to try and both hunt/film the spot. It is another funnel, but a pretty open area. I would say that this location is probably our biggest gamble for being off from where the deer actually are.

The last location is my favorite setup. It is a ladder stand in an immature pecan tree. The tree overlooks a small field that is partially overgrown in the middle as well as a fence crossing from private land. There are about 6 deer trails within 30 yards and they all funnel into 2 main trails. While we were clearing out the tree, I look into the field and there is a doe not 20 yards from us. She spooked a bit, but only ran about 15 yards. I won't be surprised to find myself in this stand next Saturday on opening morning, but I do not look forward to a drag from there as it's about a mile from the parking area over rough terrain.

One more week and we'll be looking to get some deer on film for you guys. Let's Make it Happen!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Opening Day for Dove

4:45am, my alarms started going off. It's a 45 minute drive to the spot I had chosen to hunt, it's opening day for dove, and I'm hunting a populated area. I get there at 5:45 and there's already a vehicle parked. Shooting light is at 6:30am. As I walk into the field, 3 others vehicles pull up.

Due to my previous scouting, I know exactly where I am setting up. I am using a half-dozen Game Winner inflatable foam dove decoys as well as a Mojo motorized teal decoy. Why in the heck am I using a teal decoy? They are closer to the size of a dove and Mojo has made the wings spin faster on the teal version. Dove are attracted to the flash of the wings, and Mojo has created a dove version, but I like to have more than one use for the items that I purchase and early teal season starts on the 10th of this month. I place 3 of the dove decoys on the top of the tall brush that I am sitting in and 3 on the ground roughly 10 yards away and the teal Mojo in the  middle of them.

I sit and watch the clock to shooting light. The dove start following what I planned for them to do and funnel toward me. I miss the first bird, but after that I'm connecting on the first shot. I manage to take a 15 bird limit on opening day with only shooting 1 box of shells. Here's a video of the hunt: