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Minnesota 2021 Season

MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
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597
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Apple Valley, MN
I didn't compare public to private, I just used it as an example. I even said, this is private, but public is good too. I know public land bowhunters in western MN that routinely see 5+ deer per sit. That is not uncommon at all. I totally agree in eastern MN though with all the pressure. It was just a suggestion, sorry to ruffle your feathers.
Planning to hunt a new to me piece of state land in bluff country on Saturday. About an hour south of me, which will hopefully eliminate some of that pressure. Plus, a first sit is always a good thing!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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597
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Apple Valley, MN
Got out once this past weekend. Flushed a few grouse on my way into a pinch point on a new piece of land for me. Didn’t see any deer, but the spot looked very promising, and I’m betting that a little more time in there, probably in the prerut would yield some deer sightings.

In other news, I found out that I drew a muzzleloader special hunt this year. It was my first time applying for those with the dnr system. Wasn’t expecting much, but happy to have drawn!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Messages
597
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Apple Valley, MN
Got out for a quick after work sit last night. I went to a WMA close to my house, but that I hadn’t been to since spring. Apparently the dnr has been doing some thinning in there, because what was once a pretty substantial hardwood ridge was rather barren.

I found a spot with intersecting trails and sat for a few hours without seeing much of anything. I think this one can officially be crossed off the list for a few years. Once some regeneration happens, I bet it’ll be a decent spot, but until then, moving on.

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BrentD

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Do you always nock your arrows like that? @#)(# feather in? Never seen that before.

Good luck.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
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Location
Apple Valley, MN
Do you always nock your arrows like that? @#)(# feather in? Never seen that before.

Good luck.
Yep. Get the best flight doing that through paper and bare shaft. Seemed weird to me too, but it works! I nock @#)(# feather up on my compound, but for some reason @#)(# in off the shelf just works better.
 

BrentD

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Yep. Get the best flight doing that through paper and bare shaft. Seemed weird to me too, but it works! I nock @#)(# feather up on my compound, but for some reason @#)(# in off the shelf just works better.
Maybe I should try it. Never have done it on purpose.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
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597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
@BoomerUSAF and I had been talking about getting together for a hunt for a while now, and finally made it happen on Saturday!

Our morning got off to a weird start when apple navigation took me to a road that parallels the actual one, which turned into me being later than intended. We hustled out to brush in our blind and settled in for the morning. Birds were definitely flying, but they were either too high or too far out, and neither one of us ever pulled the trigger. Despite the lack of shooting, I still learned a ton about duck hunting and am very grateful for @BoomerUSAF being willing to show a newb the ropes. We’re left the lot with a loose plan to try it again in the very near future!

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MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
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597
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Apple Valley, MN
Sunday morning I snuck into a new spot where a patch of trees jutted into a corn field. The beans drying up all but shut my best spot down, so I was thinking the corn might be a good attractant at this point in the year. I had my saddle gear to hunt from a tree, but didn’t find any place to set up that was in a good position for both the wind and the trails through the area.

I ended up jumping into a giant cottonwood tree and using it as a natural ground blind for the morning. I lasted about 2 hours before getting down and scouting my way back to the parking lot. Along the way I marked what looks like a dynamite spot, as well as a major doe bedding area. Good intel for the next hunt in there!

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MN_Bowhunter4

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597
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Apple Valley, MN
I got out this morning for a quick duck hunt before work. This is the spot I kicked up a few woodies while dove hunting. I got a few decoys set up, and hunkered into a downed tree for cover. Birds were flying this morning. I think I saw around 20 woodies in all, but I missed the X by about 500 yards. I decided to make a play on them, but the long grass along the creek made it tough to be quiet. I successfully jumped them, but they were about 75 yards away when they got up. Dang!

I marked the spot where they first landed for another trip, likely next week sometime.

The sunrise was crazy good this morning. “Red skies at dawn…”

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MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
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597
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Apple Valley, MN
This past weekend was the second period of the MBRB hunt. I had my stand set on Thursday afternoon and was excited for 3 days of prerut hunting.

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Friday morning was nice and chilly. First frost of the year when I woke up had me pretty excited. I was a little later than I’d hoped getting to the park, but was settled and ready well before first light. It was a slow morning without any deer seen. The afternoon was much the same. Although I did hear a deer walking behind me after sunset, I could never make it out through the brush. The day ended uneventfully.

Saturday morning was again cool. And, like Friday, no deer seen in he morning hunt. I was getting a little frustrated at this point, as the park was slow for everyone. This second weekend is typically the better one, but it was slow all around. I kept reminding myself that it only takes a few seconds for things to change. With that in mind, I returned for the evening hunt. The evening played out like the one before. No deer for the bulk of the sit. Then, with 20 minutes of shooting light left a small buck came into my area. He approached from my 2 o’clock and I got drawn. He turned and crossed my face, and I tracked him through the peep over to 10 o’clock. He stopped a few times, but each time his vitals were covered by trees. I held out for as long as I could, but eventually had to let down. He walked off unscathed, having never offered a shot.

Sunday morning was a carbon copy of the other two mornings. Having some home obligations I’d been ignoring, I pulled stakes and called it a hunt. In total, I saw one deer for the weekend. Pretty rough.

The group as a whole didn’t fare much better. I think we took 6 deer total, over 6 hunting days with 24 hunters. Needless to say, I am planning to move on from this hunt next year. I told my wife to remind me of this frustration when I’m applying next year.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
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Apple Valley, MN
Saturday morning I went to the gun range to check the zero on my rifle, and sight in my muzzleloader. 2 shots from the rifle, both in the same hole. Done on that front! The muzzy took a half dozen shots to zero in on the bull, but I walked away dialed and ready for the firearm opener next weekend.

While I was at the range, I bought 2 raffle tickets for a firearm. I ended up getting a call yesterday that my name had been pulled! I was pretty surprised, because stuff like that just doesn’t happen to me. I now need to fill out the proper paperwork and submit to the authorities so that I can take possession of my new pistol.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Jan 24, 2018
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597
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Apple Valley, MN
Sunday morning I hunted an area that I’ve been to many times, but not yet this year. I’d kind of been saving this spot for this time of year. It’s an archery only location, with a pretty serious thick spot in the middle. Prior scouting years ago suggested that deer bedded in the thick stuff, so I planned to hunt the edges.

I bumped one deer on my way to the stand in the dark. Not 5 minutes after I got all set up and settled, the distinct crunch of two deer came from in front of me. Still dark, I could just barely make the outline of 2 deer, likely does, feeding on the transition line. As legal light neared, I shifted for a weak side shot. Once we crossed the threshold into legal light, they had made their way well out of range, and eventually out of sight.

The first hour of daylight brought 3 different bucks past my setup. They each came from the same direction, heading directly down the edge, and into the thickness. Passing by at 50 or so yards, there was no shot. Before I climbed down, I took note of a tree closer to the line they all walked. I got out as quietly as I could, with a plan to hunt that tree before work this week.

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MN_Bowhunter4

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Got out this morning to the same general area I was at on Sunday. I shifted about 40 yards closer to where the action was. I got settled before first light, and ended up sitting for a few hours. I saw one forkhorn, and I’m pretty sure I saw him on Sunday morning as well. He stayed behind me in super thick cover, but was about 30 yards away. This spot is definitely worth remembering and hunting again, and it’s on an archery only property. I will definitely come back at some point this season.

However, with firearm season starting on Saturday, and a special hunt muzzleloader tag in my pocket following that, it’s time to hang up the bow and get the gun out. It’s been a while since I’ve had a gun tag in my pocket, so should be interesting to say the least.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
597
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Great question! November has been hectic with life, and I apparently haven’t updated this in a while!

With gun hunting opening in the first Saturday of November, I hit the ground running. The morning of opener was pretty quiet without much shooting in the piece I was on. For the evening hunt, I changed it up and hunted a spot I’d been to previously in archery season. I set up about 50 yards off a swamp where I thought they might be bedding. I ended up having a couple deer coming out of the swamp at last light, but they didn’t make it to me in time. I hunted with a gun for a few more outings, without much luck.

After the pressure of gun hunting, I decided to grab my bow and hunt the archery only pieces around me. I’ve been doing that the last few times out and it’s much more enjoyable than the firearm madness! I plan to keep hunting archery, until my special ML tag starts on 12/5.

November has been unusually slow. I’m not sure what is causing that, but compared to years past, it’s been kind of a dud. I plan to get out Thursday morning so we will see what happens.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
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815
Location
Minnesota
Enjoying following along! I'm up in Brainerd and have been noticing that this year has been better than average for us!

I shot the buck in my profile pic in the beginning of October, my cousin shot a nice goofy looking 9 on opening morning of gun season. Then my dad shot a big 8 on Friday after opener. We've had a really good year. Not normally this good!
 
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