Hunting Deer And Antelope by Canoe

Mustangs Rule

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332
Hunting Deer And Antelope by Canoe.



My family’s New England dairy farm was a rectangle about a mile by half a mile. Running all along one long side there was a beaver damn pond. At most it was 150 yards wide but what a world it was, with lots of dead trees and a depth of 5 or 6 feet at the center.



A few times when it got very cold suddenly the ice got thick enough to walk on and was almost as clear as glass. Kinda wavy. It froze so quickly that small air bubbles did not cloud it. I would ice skate on it and look at turtles, fish, beaver even a rare otter swimming under me. During the fall I would drag a 17 foot Grumman aluminum canoe to the pond with a 1948 Farmall Tractor.



I made a gun rack for my canoe which held three firearms, a Remington model 14 .22 Pump, a double barrel 12 gauge Le fever Nitro express shotgun and some type of a center fire rifle. The first was clunky mail order 7.65 Argentine Mauser, and later I went to a Marlin 336 T in.35 Remington.



With the .22 I shot sitting ducks and geese, with the shotgun I shot incoming ducks and geese and grouse along the edge of the pond, and with the rifle I shot deer, who seemed to pay no attention to me while I was in the water. My being even pretty close did not push any predator response button.



When I moved to Wyoming nearly 40 years ago I built many a hunt for both deer and antelope around the use of a canoe. Sometimes to just cross a river, at other times, after glassing and seeing game near the river, I would float down and tie off along a high bank, climb up and go “bang”.



One time I saw a herd of antelope way up high on a bench next to timber. I floated down about a mile, tied off at a dry creek bed, hiked up under cover of the creek bed, then stalked the buck antelope though the forest. I shot him at about 60 yards with my 35 Whelen. I was on a big boulder under a fir tree



I dressed him out, skinned him and used a plastic roll “Deer Sleigher” to drag him to the river. It was steep and covered with smooth dry grass. An easy drag. Next I put him on the wooden rack I made for the bottom of the aluminum canoe. The metal really transferred the cold well



There was a wide shallow place in the river. I tied my canoe off and let him cool down real well all night. This was grizzly country and it seemed the safest place to leave my carcass.



Water can be hunters friend even with streams too small for a canoe. Twice I have shot a buck deer near such a mall stream in marshes, gutted and skinned him then brought out the truck tire tube I had in my pack. I pumped it up, tied the carcass on the tube, attached a long line to and floated my critter back to my camp.



I recall one time when I saw a herd of mostly does right next to the river. The bank was pretty high and I stalked them while walking right in the river along the edge. They kept moving and moving and moving as I kept walking in the water. Finally I took my shot, just as snow was falling and thw wind picked up bronging a storm in with it



There was a kid with me on the other side of the river. I yelled to him to go downstream and get the truck.



The river was narrow but deeper where I was now, and my canoe way down stream. So I just tied my rifle to the doe and floated her across. Antelope hair is very hollow. She made a good raft



I changed my clothes right away but had the deepest cold in my body after being wet for about a half hour. This was 7,200 in the Wyoming Rockies. Te best tasting anteple come from such high country with the best forage



I never did this before, usually i just throw the liver away. This time how ever I ate about half of it. Soft, raw. blood filled easy to chew and so warm.



I never warmed up quicker.
 

Gellar

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The Driftless Area
Water can be hunters friend even with streams too small for a canoe. Twice I have shot a buck deer near such a mall stream in marshes, gutted and skinned him then brought out the truck tire tube I had in my pack. I pumped it up, tied the carcass on the tube, attached a long line to and floated my critter back to my camp.
that sounds like packrafting before packrafting was cool!
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
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332
that sounds like packrafting before packrafting was cool!
One of my favorite places to go for brook trout are little streams that meander back and forth with a bunch of “S” turns in mountain marshes. I was fishing such a small stream one summer not too many years back and I saw a little hump about 50 yards in. Even had a few small trees there.



It was unpleasant going in. I wish I had split hooves like a deer. I kept going deep into the muck and endless small willow roots and grasses. Now and then there was even vertical beaver holes which could easy break a leg if stepped into it and was falling forwards.



I got to the hump and realized it was a hide out honey hole for deer. Lots of old droppings, plenty of browsing on small willow twigs. The deer had it all there, even a little trail to the creek. They did not have to go anywhere. Actually the whole marsh filled with deer, bucks and does.



So I came back in the late fall for deer season, and had on rubber ankle high LL Bean insulated Canoe shoes for the many, up to my knees, creek crossings.



I brought along a pair of those military surplus light metal framed wired webbed snowshoes for crossing the muck to the hump and just took my time. Two bucks got up at 20 to 25 yards away and I shot one with my .308 carbine with a fixed 2.5 power scope.



Then I floated him back to truck on the tire tube.



There were lots of hunters in big burly 4X4’s going back and forth to the high country.



I think I was 68 or 69 years old when I did this hunt. Too many hunters are afraid of getting thier feet wet.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
332
that sounds like packrafting before packrafting was cool!
SORRY< I not mean to send the opening post twice. This is my response to your comment.

One of my favorite places to go for brook trout are little streams that meander back and forth with a bunch of “S” turns in mountain marshes. I was fishing such a small stream one summer not too many years back and I saw a little hump about 50 yards in. Even had a few small trees there.



It was unpleasant going in. I wish I had split hooves like a deer. I kept going deep into the muck and endless small willow roots and grasses. Now and then there was even vertical beaver holes which could easy break a leg if stepped into it and was falling forwards.



I got to the hump and realized it was a hide out honey hole for deer. Lots of old droppings, plenty of browsing on small willow twigs. The deer had it all there, even a little trail to the creek. They did not have to go anywhere. Actually the whole marsh filled with deer, bucks and does.



So I came back in the late fall for deer season, and had on rubber ankle high LL Bean insulated Canoe shoes for the many, up to my knees, creek crossings.



I brought along a pair of those military surplus light metal framed wired webbed snowshoes for crossing the muck to the hump and just took my time. Two bucks got up at 20 to 25 yards away and I shot one with my .308 carbine with a fixed 2.5 power scope.



Then I floated him back to truck on the tire tube.



There were lots of hunters in big burly 4X4’s going back and forth to the high country. Too many hunters are afraid if getting their feet wet.

What brought topic up my mind was finding another potential great honey hole for deer and elk too. There is this fine river here in the west with a huge "U" that dips down for a mile and ends with a super green raparian zone. No road follows it, just goes across the top.

I called two friends of mine, all of us are over 70, and told them about it. One already has an elk tag for that zone and this real funky homemade canoe he made himself. This should be fun
 

Mustangs Rule

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Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
332
SORRY< I not mean to send the opening post twice. This is my response to your comment.

One of my favorite places to go for brook trout are little streams that meander back and forth with a bunch of “S” turns in mountain marshes. I was fishing such a small stream one summer not too many years back and I saw a little hump about 50 yards in. Even had a few small trees there.



It was unpleasant going in. I wish I had split hooves like a deer. I kept going deep into the muck and endless small willow roots and grasses. Now and then there was even vertical beaver holes which could easy break a leg if stepped into it and was falling forwards.



I got to the hump and realized it was a hide out honey hole for deer. Lots of old droppings, plenty of browsing on small willow twigs. The deer had it all there, even a little trail to the creek. They did not have to go anywhere. Actually the whole marsh filled with deer, bucks and does.



So I came back in the late fall for deer season, and had on rubber ankle high LL Bean insulated Canoe shoes for the many, up to my knees, creek crossings.



I brought along a pair of those military surplus light metal framed wired webbed snowshoes for crossing the muck to the hump and just took my time. Two bucks got up at 20 to 25 yards away and I shot one with my .308 carbine with a fixed 2.5 power scope.



Then I floated him back to truck on the tire tube.



There were lots of hunters in big burly 4X4’s going back and forth to the high country. Too many hunters are afraid if getting their feet wet.

What brought topic up my mind was finding another potential great honey hole for deer and elk too. There is this fine river here in the west with a huge "U" that dips down for a mile and ends with a super green raparian zone. No road follows it, just goes across the top.

I called two friends of mine, all of us are over 70, and told them about it. One already has an elk tag for that zone and this real funky homemade canoe he made himself.

that sounds like packrafting before packrafting was cool!
SORRY AGAIN AND AGAIN MY COMPUTER IS MIXING UP WHAT I WRITE AND RE-SENDING OTHER STUFF
 

mdcrossbow

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Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
827
Location
Gaithersburg Md
I need to get an early start by accessing the back of the lake by the Canoe. The Canoe gets me past the bedding areas and back to the swamp We're taken 4 nice bucks over the years. Farm I hunt in the middle of Va horse country.
 

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Mustangs Rule

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Joined
Feb 4, 2021
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332
Sometimes all you can do to fix your computer is open the window and kick that sob out!
The problem was not the computer. I was coming down big time with covid. My eyes were burning up and trobbing, my focus was way off. Concentration was not there. I passed out the next day. Went the hospital.

My lungs are working fine and there wil be no permanent damage to them, they were protected by being vaccinated.

Food taste so horible, even water, Drinking or eating is like throwing up backwards. Can barely eat watermelon that was just delicious the day before.

I figure I got it in the caferteria of a hotel. While eating so many people had their mask, if they had one, under thier chin.
Being there for ten minutes was a "covid blast moment"

Just turning over in bed would create total body nausea. Sometimes even just standing up was not possible

While in the hospital I was told how lucky I was. Other people were on respirators.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
332
I need to get an early start by accessing the back of the lake by the Canoe. The Canoe gets me past the betting areas and back to the swamp We're taken 4 nice bucks over the years. Farm I hunt in the middle of Va horse country.
very very cool This is the quality hunting experience I am talking about
 

FLS

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Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
419
I use a canoe to access some WMAs along our local rivers. It’s a very quiet way to access your hunting area and makes for an easy pack out. I can’t count how many deer, hogs and turkeys I’ve paddled up on. Canoes and longbows or lever guns seem a natural match.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
332
I use a canoe to access some WMAs along our local rivers. It’s a very quiet way to access your hunting area and makes for an easy pack out. I can’t count how many deer, hogs and turkeys I’ve paddled up on. Canoes and longbows or lever guns seem a natural match.
Most folks just have no experinece how cool canoe hunting can be. Good for you FLS. I have pretty much ended up using one rifle for all my big game hunting, deer, elk, antelope. A Sako Finnlight .308 carbine with a 2-7 Leopold ultralight scope. It is fast and handy. Works great as a canoe gun.

Unless there is a motor on a canoe, it is legal to shoot from it too. Always check state regs of course.
 
Yeti

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