Deer Season Updates
It has been a very busy (hunting) month since the last Whitetail update. October closed out as one of the top 10 coldest Octobers on record for our area with many frosts and freezes and even a bit of snow twice! November on the other hand has been downright balmy... go figure! Drought conditions persist which have made hunting very pleasant indeed.
The tooth aging results from the October Update are in! Wildlife Analytical Labs (DeerAge.com) cementum annuli test results arrived right on schedule as usual. The results are as follows:
- "Little Beast" 6½ years old.
- "Tall Tines Brother" The Matt Soehn Buck 5½ years old
- "Great Non-Typ" The Dave Ferris Buck 4½ years old
This type of information is of great assistance in validating harvest decisions, and provides another educational opportunity for us to learn more about these remarkable animals we love so much! Check out Volumes 4A & 4B segments on cementum annuli, and visit www.deerage.com for additional info and educational articles!
Coyotes continue to taunt Bob at new levels and will be a topic in next years BWP Volume 5.
A morning with major rutting action quickly turned into a comedic disaster thanks to unexpected visitors. "The frosty morning in early November was the prototypical day for tagging a big boy. Simply awesome buck action with bird dogging, chasing and flat out rut intensity that stopped on a dime at 9 A.M." said Bob. "I was set-up on a native grass bedding area when Pheasants began busting like crazy, but only flying 40 or 50 yards before diving back into the heavy cover afforded by the tall grasses."
"Deer were scattering in all directions, and I felt a coyote had to be working the area for a late breakfast. Shortly not one, but a full six pack of these critters ran by at about 80 yards," Bob said. It took a bit of time to dig out my predator call, but after a quick rendition of "The Best of the Dying Rabbits", I thought I was at a greyhound track! Here they come, all six of these rascals. I set the camera for a 20 yard shot, but the closest coyote screeched to a stop at 40 yards. I go for it and draw my bow and the alpha dog starts barking from 100 yards away. The other 5 head for the hills before I can release an arrow."
And the band played on... "This coyote stood and barked for ten full minutes. I've never been yelled at by a coyote before, and boy it was really getting to me. How high is the hold for a 100 yard bow shot? I launched a long range missile and barely missed my mark. The dog runs off and barks a few times... and comes right back to the same spot, and let's me have it again for a full 5 minutes! Long story short... I climbed down and literally chased that barking hussy out of there... and went home to regroup. Payback is a -----!" said Bob. Stay tuned.
On to the deer...
Neighbor Rob Diehl's 6 year quest to improve his 50 acre property through QDM continues to pay dividends. 2 friends tagged beautiful bucks, with the larger being Tim Hasara's stunning main frame 8 pointer, sporting sticker points and great mass. One brow tine was broken (est. 6 incher with 5" missing) but still grosses 170 4/8 P & Y! WOW WHAT A BUCK!
Dr. Mickey Hellickson (Chief Wildlife Biologist of the King Ranch) flew up from Texas and joined us for our 3 day firearm season. What a treat to learn many amazing things from one of the leading Whitetail researchers in the world. Mick assisted our QDM program by tagging a mature doe and enjoyed daytime sightings of all age groups of bucks.
Eddie Paneque (Vol.'s 1 & 4b) kicked off opening day by scoring on a brute of a 9 pointer named "The One Eyed Jack". Eddie was actually hoping to shoot a doe that came through an open field to a woods edge, but stopped with brush blocking her vitals. Rather than take a risky shot, he chose to wait a moment and see what would develop. What developed was a big ole buck followed her trail, he stopped the deer, took careful aim and squeezed the trigger.
This dandy buck sported a double white throat patch, great mass and several war wounds including the complete loss of one eye, a broken beam tip and busted g-1. A great single shot anchored him within 50 yards or so. You can see this buck on video from last year in Volume 4b, switchgrass bucks. He really added mass this year!
The action slowed late morning for Rocco Marzullo (Vol.'s 1 & 4b) having seen a good buck early and a doe. Foregoing his traditional noon-time nap in or by his tree paid dividends this year for Roc. Following a sandwich in his tree, he spied a wide-racked buck as it passed out of range of Mick Hellickson, and patiently waited for him to "Come to Papa". At 95 yards, Roc let this moving, fully mature buck have it, and dropped him in his tracks with a 12 gauge slug! This gorgeous 20" inside 8 pointer also sported war wounds, having taken an antler to his nose, with some serious swelling apparent. 12:45 P.M. was the magic time, mid-day mature buck movement!
On the radio Roc was asked how far the shot was, and he replied "40 or 50 yards". Amazing what excitement can do when judging distance! Upon arrival Bob and Eddie measured the distance of the shot at 95 yards!
Day 2 was very good to Daniel Sheely. Patiently sitting every minute of day one, and prepared to do the same on day 2 (without food), Dan spied our "Big 7" (See switchgrass bucks Vol 4b) at 3:00 P.M. Yelling at the buck over the wind in order to stop him did the trick. Dan's Muzzleloader made smoke and a perfect 80 yard shot allowed Daniel once again to tag a terrific fully mature monster buck! George Noble in a tree 300 yards distant heard Daniel yell also! He never did tell anyone what he yelled though...
Day 3 was Bob's turn... Rutting activity was in overdrive on November 19th. By 11:00 A.M. 20 Does and fawns and all kinds of bucks (22 sightings) passed into the bedding thickets. Hoping to fill a pocket full of doe tags, but not able to get a surefire clean shot at so many does due to the brush was driving him crazy!
Finally a doe presented a broadside shot at 60 yards, standing in the heavy cover, with a very small opening to her chest area. While getting the camera into a position to record the shot, he glimpsed sunlight reflecting off an antler just behind the doe. Then another and another... This doe and fawn had attracted quite a following, barely visible through the cover.
He decided to wait to see if a mature buck would hit the same opening. Bob patiently waited as the camera rolled, and finally the doe moved on. One mature 8 point buck followed immediately, but passed just uphill of the small shooting window through the heavy cover. After several long seconds another 8 point buck moved forward, and as soon as he hit the tiny opening... bang! A perfect hit dropped the buck within seconds. All the exciting action was recorded for the upcoming BWP 5!
News from around the Country...
Bob Schuknecht (BWP4b) of Michigan can scratch a swamp buck off his Christmas Wish List. Bob is a very passionate QDM'r on his and other MI properties, who seldom has the opportunity to see a mature buck due to the Traditional Deer Hunting habits of many in the State of Michigan.
Bob has steadfastly believed that a small landowner who sticks to his QDM beliefs can eventually harvest a mature buck. Year after year of hammering does instead of young bucks paid off big this season, as Bob tagged a bruiser of a swamp buck! Perfect symmetry, long beams and ten points on this mature buck! Great job Bob!
Tom Mayers (BWP Vol. 1) down in Georgia had a heck of a day recently as well! Limited time afield has been the story for this avid deer hunter. A recent November afternoon found Tom in a treestand hoping for an opportunity to score. At 3:15 P.M. Tom grunted softly several times and directly a tall tined buck responded aggressively, but stopped behind a tree that conveniently blocked his vitals. His neck and head were visible though, and at 60 yards Tom drew a bead on the exposed neck and squeezed, dropping this beautiful buck where he stood! He had suffered a broken g-1 from fighting, but thankfully those other tall points are intact!
We are all thankful for a safe and very enjoyable fall to date with more exciting QDM hunting to follow. Everyone here hopes that all our friends had a very Happy Thanksgiving. Until next time, happy hunting from us here in Whitetail Paradise!