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1023's Seasonal Exploits - 2020 Edition

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Fun hunt behind the house tonight. One of the fun things about hunting over bait is the bird watching aspect. The woods were full of different birds tonight hammering the cracked corn. I spent the better part of the 2 hours identifying more than a dozen different species of birds. And of course, any hunt where you witness this, is a good hunt...

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Tonight's lesson comes in the form of scent control. I've all but abandoned the smoker and when I do use it, I set it away from me so that it's just a light wafting. I didn't use any smoke tonight, just showered, clean clothes, and some HS scent-free spray. The doe followed the same path as the BB in the pic above, which took her completely downwind and into the sinking thermals. She never flinched tonight. Granted, this is a doe that's living 150 yards from houses and was within 75 yards of both me and my neighbor's barns, but it was still good enough not to spook her. My confidence in the "less is more" approach is growing. Add in a smear of Evercalm and a couple drops of Black Widow Branch Butter and I feel good about my scent game at the moment.
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Tonight's hunt was boring. The lesson learned is that E winds are terrible. I wish that I'd have kept detailed notes for all of my hunting career to put a number to it, but I feel like I never see deer on E winds. It was warm too. Knock off 15 degrees and give me a N wind and I bet tonight would have been rocking. The rain was perfectly timed, but it was a seriously uneventful evening other than watching birds.
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Got a few lessons to report from my last 3 hunts.

Last Friday evening, I hunted at Strouds and saw 3 does. Even though I'm the son of a surveyor and have been looking at and reading topo maps since I was 6, I'm still amazed at how nuanced topography can be in terms of impacting deer movement. The spot I hunted was a textbook saddle/bowl combo at the head of a drainage. But there was no replacing boot leather in terms of understanding why that saddle was so good, so it served as a good reminder to trust, but verify.

I hunted one evening early in the week with a slight easterly wind, which I know not to do, but did it anyway because the conditions were good. Didn't see a deer. When will I learn to stay home on an E wind here?!?

This morning's hunt should have been better than it was, but that's just the perspective from where I sat. When I checked cams, I saw lots of fresh sign and likely would have had a great hunt from another stand. I rarely move stands during a hunt, but it's something I'm going to work on. Just because it's not happening by you, doesn't mean it's not happening near you.
 

bowhunter1023

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46,290
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Appalachia
No hunting tonight, but school is in session. Chilling in the garage sorting/washing clothes and repacking gear. She needed some more coaching after her last shot, so we've been drilling all evening. This front should put a deer in front of her very soon. We may even hunt before school on Thursday. She's got the fever!

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bowhunter1023

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46,290
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Appalachia
Got the new blind set up in our traditional gun season spot. Pretty slick little blind that was easy to setup. Should be several fun sits here over the next couple of months. Took advantage of one of our big cedars and brushed it in really good. I have half a bale of peat moss to put down, then a bale of fine pine shavings to make a nice "floor". Having this on a trailer will be super cool.

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This is the deer's view from both trails that lead into the plot.

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And this is the view from the blind.

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This is the deer's view from the trail leading from the sanctuary to the beans. If a deer is standing where I was when I snapped the pic, it'll be below the crest of the hill and safe to shoot.

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This is your view as the hunter.

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