The 4 Month Bow Hunt

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
The weekend was uneventful, I saw a spike Saturday morning. He was fun to watch as he fed 20 feet from the ground blind I was in. He is the only deer I’ve seen since last Saturday when I lost the doe.

Saturday evening as I was watching empty woods my dad text me “I just shot Hank”. Hank is a buck named after the former landowner of a small block of property he just bought last year. It is adjoining his property and he was hunting about 500 yards from his front door. He was worried about the shot, it was hard quartering away, but his arrow buried completely past the fletching so we knew he got at least 28.5” of penetration. We waited 2.5 hours, ate supper and hung out at the house a little bit before we went looking. Blood was sparse but my brother immediately found the broadhead and about a foot of arrow covered in good blood so we knew he had an exit. It took about 30 minutes to parse out the trail with so little blood but we found him 125 yards away. The arrow had passed from well behind his ribs and out the front of the offside shoulder hitting everything in between.

As we walked up to him, I could see the exit in the shoulder and gut material all over his belly on the same side, an entry and exit on the same side of a deer is a difficult task to pull off! Then we realized hind quarter was almost buried in pine straw. A bobcat had beat us to the carcass and claimed the kill as his own. We probably ran him off the carcass as we walked up. Had we waited a few more hours he likely would’ve buried the whole thing. This was dads best bow kill and one of his best whitetails overall. Dad and my brother have a history with this deer, tons of trail camera pics over the last several years. My brother had been hunting him on another adjacent property pretty hard this year. Hank was a 5.5 year old buck, weighing in at 200 lbs. Congratulations Dad!

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Here you can see the start of the bobcats work, with the guts torn open and the burying started. 8F25A1B7-2E60-4301-A1F0-EEDD0577EA64.jpeg
 

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KipCarson

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
November is over and I still haven't had much action. In Nov. I sat on stand 17 times month and saw 16 deer total, 8 does and 8 bucks. All of the bucks were just 1.5 year olds.

I got to do a bunch of hunting over the long Thanksgiving weekend and saw 5 different bucks running around looking for love and the last remaining acorns but alas like I said they were all immature. Fun to watch anyway. The rut is just getting going good here. My hopes are high and the property where I prefer to hunt finally had 2 big ones show up. I’ve gotten quite a few pictures of them but haven’t gotten dialed in on anything that I feel is a sure bet. Usually early December I see the most rutting activity if I see any at all. The rut activity is always minimal around here, I can go years at a time and never see a single chase, if it wasn’t for scrapes and rubs you would think all the does were bred around here through immaculate conception.

Here’s the bigger of the two new bucks. It’s funny how trailcam pics keep hope alive. The odds of seeing any of the big boys in daylight are depressingly low but knowing they’re around has saved the life of piles of young’uns over the years! 5B3A89F6-E830-41C6-8E6B-D70FC75ABE64.jpeg 8DD66FC0-E19A-4A31-8E3F-748955EAD159.jpeg

In other news I was just given permission to hunt hunt one of the properties I manage for waterfowl. He said shoot all the does I want and listed 3 different cull bucks he wanted killed, so I now have an option to get in a little more stand time after work mid-week.

I won’t get to hunt much this coming weekend since I have a Christmas market going on in the afternoon where I have a booth selling honey from my side beekeeping business. Why does there have to be so much stuff going on in deer season?! Hopefully my next post will have some sort of grip n grin even if it’s just a doe. I checked my freezer and I’m out of snack sticks…
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Snack sticks coming right up! I’m a little behind on posting but there hasn’t been much to talk about anyway. It’s been hot and dry overall and deer movement has been at a minimum but we finally got some great weather and the deer were on their feet this past Saturday morning. I didn’t see any of my target bucks, in fact with the exception of a crippled 2.5 year old cull I want to take out, I haven’t even gotten any of the shooters on cam in over a week and a half. It’s definitely still going pretty slow but I did manage to find a nice doe on Saturday morning. I could tell she had some age on her so when she turned quartering away at 18 yards I let it rip. Within a few seconds I heard her crash. Perfect heart shot that left a blood trail that blind Bartimaeus could have followed! That was a nice feeling after the last screw up. 7DFC912F-1666-45BB-BB1C-98199C0CB6A0.jpeg 9AB9182E-A8F9-46E1-B388-78F77B54E14E.jpeg

In other news dad got another good one. The little property he bought by his house is paying off big time. Location, location, location! Isn’t that what the realtors say? It’s definitely the right spot. He’s been getting pictures of this buck since late October and he finally made a mistake. Some of the neighbors a mile away were getting pics of him too and it seems as if he was rutting all over the country. Tuesday evening he came through dads thicket grunting loudly following a doe. That was his last mistake! Dad barely ever picks up a bow and I’m not sure what tripped his trigger about it this year, but he’s having so much more fun doing that than sitting in a box stand watching for deer crossing a pipeline hundreds of yards away. He said he’s going to keep bow hunting the rest of the season to fill his doe tags. I wish him the best of luck! CB55F826-AA7E-4E5F-8867-2D79DAD7F706.jpeg
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Some of the last doe is being put to good use. I’m blessed to have access to a full scale commercial butcher shop at work that I take full advantage of. This is what 25 lbs of snack sticks looks like, Willies snack stick seasoning blend from Walton’s. I used 10% ribeye fat from another local butcher. Delicious! I may have eaten a very unhealthy amount of these today… AB76825F-6983-44CF-BA80-E17C5BB726D1.jpeg
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
It’s been rough the past couple of weeks. Day time highs of almost 80 degrees haven’t hindered overall deer movement as much as I would expect but all buck activity has come to a screeching halt. I’m usually a hopeful person but the idea of putting a tag on some antlers is a pretty slim hope right now. I’ve been passing does since I shot the last one but at this point my efforts will probably shift into filling my last doe tags and quit worrying about a buck unless one just blunders into the way.

My in-laws want me to get them a deer, they want a young one because my mom in law “doesn’t like how the older ones taste”. Don’t even get me started on that lol. I’ve got a pile of 70 ish lb doe fawns running around and I’ll likely be obliging and shoot one of those. And I have a coworker who I’ll give one too also. The hunt continues…
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Well crud, my plans for the long weekend may be completely in the dumpster. I just tested positive for the ol ‘Rona. If the fever goes away I will still spend a lot of time sitting in a tree stand, but right now I’ve been running fever close to 102 for more than 24 hours and feel like pooh. Treestand therapy should help if I feel like it, from what we hear the deer already have corona anyway, so I will go quarantine with them lol!
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I ended up not getting to hunt 10 days straight which was more troublesome than the covid. I was really only sick 2 days but other things kept coming up keeping me from the woods.

I ended up hunting 21 times in December and saw 21 deer for my efforts. No bucks older than 1.5 years old. At this point I’m just trying to fill 2 more doe tags. No bucks are really on the my radar right now except for one crippled 2.5 year old that I’d be thrilled to take out.

I’m hunting now and just had a doe and fawn come by, could have shot the fawn but was waiting on a shot at the doe. Then the swirling wind got me. Oh well, she behaved herself and didn’t snort everywhere so that’s good.

Took a break from the treestand yesterday morning and went woodcock hunting. Hunted about 4 hours and found about 12 birds, 5 of which came home with us. Not as many as we usually get into in January but it’s been the hottest driest winter I can remember which isn’t helping things for sure.
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Good grief this season is kicking my tail. I got to hunt 3 times this weekend and ended up seeing 3 deer which is a win overall for January hunting around here. Problem is all 3 of them spooked long before getting in shooting range. 2 came in down wind and then this afternoon as I was standing in my treestand I simply shifted my weight to my other leg and had a deer that was coming from up wind see the slight movement and bolt. I never even knew it was there til I saw the white flag. It was 50-60 yards out with a good bit of brush between us but they’re just so turned on after being harassed for the past 3.5 month and the woods are bare as can be right now. Very frustrating. Who knew filling doe tags could be so hard?

I wonder why there are no Hunting TV shows filmed anywhere in this part of the country? the hunting is so incredible!! Said no one ever…
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
It was a good weekend, I took Saturday morning off from the deer stand and took my brother and a friend duck hunting on one of the properties I manage. It took all morning but we got our limits. It was about as cold as Louisiana gets in the low 20s and there was ice everywhere. All the flooded corn fields were solid ice so the mallards had gone somewhere else, the spoonies however liked the open water we found. I have a chip on my shoulder when I hear people talking down on them, a drake shoveler in full plumage is arguably one of the prettier ducks on the water IMO. And they don’t taste like mud contrary to misinformed popular opinion. 14 spoonies, 4 green wing teal, and a merganser made for a great morning in the blind! My buddy Colten shot a banded green wing. It was one I banded as an adult on the same property back in January of 2017.
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That evening I went to fill a doe tag which is proving to more difficult than it should be. About 25 minutes before dark I had a trio of does come down the trail. They were lead by a young doe, next was a giant old doe and trailing far behind was a doe fawn. They were angled toward me to pass on my left and weren’t in range until they got right in my scent stream. Of course they got nervous and hung up. These girls were more tightly wound up than a piano string. After about 10 minutes of nosing the wind, the fawn lost interest in any possible danger and walked on by nonchalantly. The others really wanted to pass but weren’t going until I passed the smell test. At this point they were under 20 yards and I was afraid to blink, both of them would occasionally look up directly at me and stare into my soul it felt like and then do the same at all the other trees upwind too. Highly pressured whitetails are no joke. No way I was ever getting drawn back without being busted. Finally the younger one looked away toward a sound in the opposite direction and I knew the second old mama would turn her head I was going to draw. The woods were so still you could hear a mouse licking ice! Instead of looking away, something finally made the tension break and they scattered, I was ready and instantly drew back knowing one might stop. I got really lucky, the old doe stopped in the brush at 30 and looked back and the younger one held up for a second a bit closer. She was quartering hard away but there was a clear hole to her vitals and I capitalized on the briefest of opportunities!

Then a miracle happed! By the time the deer had ran off and died it had grown fuzzy buttons on its head lol! The young doe was actually a large buck fawn. I looked at this deer for a good 15 minutes in bow range and never saw them. I think what mainly fooled me was the size disparity between it and the obvious fawn. On the scale he weighed 85 lbs so the other fawn couldn’t have been more than 50. I’m guessing it was one of the few fawns I had on camera that still had spots in November. Years ago I would’ve been aggravated I made that mistake but it’s only the second one I’ve killed in my life and biologically it was a drop in the bucket. I won’t be losing sleep over it. And then there’s my father-in-law who has been specifically wanting me to kill him a real young one, wish granted. I doubt I’ll get an opportunity at another deer with so little time left but I’ll keep trying til the bitter end of January.
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KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Very cool to once again have a bird in hand that you yourself banded Years before.
It is cool, but the novelty has long worn off. I’ve been fortunate and banded so many in the past 10 years that during the late parts of hunting season we end usually have our banded birds shot almost every week on the property and some of my catches in banding season have been over 10% banded from previous years, so getting birds back in hand is pretty common.
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Well it ended Monday and for the first time ever I’m okay with that. I can’t ever make myself stop hunting no matter how frustrating it is and usually I am having fun, but this year has been a mind-numbing grind. Mainly it was due to the lack of deer seen, the entire month of January I only saw six deer.
The total tally for the year was 50 deer seen in 55 hunts. I know what good quality hunting is, and that is not it! I am very grateful for the three deer I killed but with all of the good quality bucks completely vanishing for the last couple of months it makes it hard to get excited about going out. Overall from what I can tell our population is only slightly lower than it was last year but the dynamics of it are drastically different. From camera surveys and the browse line in many parts of the woods we know we still have some doe shooting work to do, but they just would not hardly move in daylight. Our sex ratio is more in balance than it has ever been, but with most of the neighbors all around constantly shooting anything that has an antler sticking above the hairline our age classes are all out of whack. The one very positive thing I have seen as far as bucks go is the freshman class of 21–22 looks awesome, there are more 4,5 and 6 point yearling bucks than I have ever seen, with only about 30% of them being spikes. Usually 90% of the yearling bucks are spikes in. The biggest problem management wise is not controlling enough acreage to gain any real traction. Apparently many of the neighbors gave up sooner than usual because a large portion of the yearling bucks actually made it through this year and we’re still on camera after rifle season. It’s time to start planning and working towards next year, I have a lot of habitat projects I want to do and some controlled burns I want to do if I can talk the landowners into letting me! I am not sure how far I will get but now I should probably take a break and stay home for a while, especially with our baby showing up any day now! Having two kids I suspect next season will be drastically different…
 
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