How has Everyone’s Hunting Season at Home been?

Aaron Nietfeld

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I think it was two years ago, a similar thread was started for everyone to share their season successes at home. I found it interesting and a good read, so with today being the first day of rifle season in my neck of the woods, I felt the need to start a new one!

Share your stories from this hunting season!
 

CAustin

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Should Be a good thread Aaron. Mine hasn't started yet but will in a week!
 

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Well I will jump in. Our muzzleloader season started Saturday with temps 22deg. watched a lot of deer but nothing to push the safety off for. Sunday much the same. Monday I was watching a large deer out my window at home before daylight, just kept watching as it ran around chasing does. As it got light, I could see the flash of antlers, and began to make out a really nice rack on one side. as he turned, the other side looked odd and narrow. I watched until I had to go to work, he disappeared into the creekbed a hundred yards from the house. That evening I was finishing up supper when began to see deer moving early. I began watching intently and saw movement exactly where I saw him last. He hadn't moved 5 yards all day. I decided that he should be out of the gene pool even though you only get one buck tag during muzzleloader season. I grabbed my T/C omega and went out in my socks through the garage and past the barn to about 80 yards, squeezed the trigger and through the cloud of smoke watched him drop in his tracks. Got my shoes on and went to get the tractor with loader bucket as I am extremely lazy about dragging deer if I don't have to. (I think Africa has spoiled me when it comes to packing out game) When I drove up to the deer I thought was a good cull deer, I could see the side I thought was 5 points was actually 6, and the gnarly side was actually 9 points. This deer was well over 200 lbs as well. After looking at the teeth I could tell he was a 6 yr old and I was very happy to take him. Pictures aren't posed like Africa, but well, I told you I was lazy.
Thanks for starting this post!
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MAdcox

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Our muzzleloader season also started Saturday with a big cold front- 28°. Deer were moving early and some chasing already going on. Saw several small bucks then a nice, heavy mature 8 point. But he was 300 yards off with no chance to close the distance. That's a bit out of range for my old iron sights Hawkins. Unfortunately it is warming back up quickly with temps in the mid 80s and a near full moon. Deer have been pretty nocturnal since Sunday. Still good to be in the woods.
Although my PH told me deer season wouldn't be the same after my first trip to Africa and dang if he's not right. I keep wishing to spot a Steenbok or Impala from my blind while waiting on a shooter deer, anything.
 

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Great "cull" deer @K-man ! Congrats and I'm jealous!!!!
 

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Have made two sits on East Texas public land with my bow. The deer are not cooperating but I did have a very interesting experience watching a bobcat try to take down some squirrels.
 

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Kman, Good story and I wouldn't have let that one pass either. Haven't been out yet, recently back from four weeks in Africa and it's been unseasonably warm here in PA and DE, the warmest October on record, most days in the 70s or higher. Deer ticks and flys, ugh.
 

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Mine has'nt started yet............flying out from Saudi tonight, landing in Houston tomorrow afternoon and in the stand Saturday morning for opening day. That's one nice deer, I would'nt hesitate pulling the trigger on him for sure. Congrats @K-man
 

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Like K-man, I too have rural property that occasionally has deer on it. About two weeks ago, I had seen a two point Mule deer, and tried to plug him for meat but he evaded me. I decided I knew where he was crossing, built a blind in a good location, and early the next morning sat there coffee in hand waiting. The day slowly dawned, I finished my coffee, and after a few hours decided to pack it in. I stood up, and turned towards the house about 130 yards away and instantly froze. There he was looking through the front window! Of course I couldn't shoot, and watched helplessly as he walked around the end of the house between the house and the truck. As he disapeared, I quietly took one step forward, that somehow he heard, causing him to dart back the way he had come, and stopping in front of the house, locked eyes on me standing right in the open.
Once again I froze, a ten minute long Mexican standoff ensued, I couldn't shoot, and although he could see me, he was not sure what I was. Finally he relaxed and walked behind some trees heading for the orchard. I transferred the weight from one foot to the other, with an almost imperceptible crunch of gravel. Somehow, he heard that too, and darting out from behind the trees, locked on me again. This time though, there was nothing behind him, I was kneeling and had a clear shot between the rails of the riding arena. The range was just under 100 yards, and I sent a .223 round through the top of his heart. Like K-man I am not fond of dragging either, so I hooked a rope to the truck and dragged him out of the copse of trees he had fallen in, and over to the barn where I set up a block and tackle, where I proceeded to hoist, gut, and skin the deer.
I could not help but appreciate the irony. This year I drove 650 miles North to hunt elk or moose for eight days or so with my brother, with not so much as a missed opportunity. Then a friend and I drove six hours East to the Kootaneys to hunt elk for five days, and came home with one small deer. My wife says I should save the time and aggravation and just stay home and hunt from the deck...
 

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Sitting in my stand right now, for the third time this year. Still haven’t seen anything.
 

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375 Ruger Fan

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Heading to Montana in 10 days for an elk/deer combo hunt. Hope to have a good story to share afterwards.
 

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160 Whitetail deer reviewed with the binos and spotting scope and there was absolutely nothing I am willing to tag on opening day. Great fun looking.

This is the best trophy from opening day. First shots with a .22. Only 7 more years to wait for his own hunting license. Until then, I have an enthusiastic spotter.

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MAdcox

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Good shooting. My 9 year old is going with me for the first time come rifle season. Worth more than the biggest deer I could imagine.
 

Aaron Nietfeld

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Where I hunt, it takes about five years to get a tag for a bull moose, and this year was the third time I had been drawn, the other two seasons I never got a shot off at a moose. I figured that I would try with my bow, so that I could gain a two month advantage, and somehow get lucky. Dad had been seeing a big bull (40"+) hanging around a section of land we farm during harvest, so two weekends ago I finally had time to get down and check things out. I had never had the chance to actually get out hunting with my bow prior to this, or any experience calling/stalking moose up to this point, but in the morning I headed out with my gear to see how things would play out. After two hours of calling with no real action, I took a stroll through one arm of the bush, which was really more of a slough at this point from all the rain we had this year. With nothing doing there I went home. Later in the afternoon I decided to head out and walk the main bush hoping I might see something. Well luck was on my side (sort of), and about halfway through the bush, I saw the big bull about 100 yards a head of me standing there. I side stepped behind a tree, nocked an arrow, gave a grunt, and stepped back out, only to see him running away. He was the biggest bull that I had seen in our area, to be fair I might see one bull a year, but he was big, and I never bumped him again.

Fast forward to Nov 1, opening day of rifle season! I decided that hunting was much more important that work, duh!, and took the day off. We had freezing rain, snow, hail all night, and it made the almost two hour drive to my parents a little more interesting than usual, but as soon as I pulled up, dad was running out and we were off. We headed to the usual section of land, fresh snow to look for tracks in, and it took about ten min to see a young bull standing in a slough bottom not concerned by us at all. We sat watching him, as I tried to make up my mind with what to do. We decided to keep on truckin', as we were 15 min into opening day. We toured around a few other hot spots we know of without seeing anything but a cow and a couple white tail doe's, and decided to head back and check out that bush a little more. We picked up the bulls tracks and followed then across a road and into another piece of land where we bumped him, and again decided to pass. We figured our best bet was to walk the bush and see what came out and go from there. My dad saw another young bull run out, but I saw nothing, but there were big tracks that were maybe from earlier in the morning in the bush, and I checked all around, they never came out. We decided to track the smaller bull that came out and followed him for a mile or so to another piece of land we farm. There is a bush in the corner that is small and hell to walk through, but always seems to have a moose of some sort in it. Dad said he would push it, so I set up on the other side and waited. It didn't take long for two cows and a young bull to come running at me, but I let them pass. Shortly after that I saw another bull run to the edge, stopping dead in his tracks. I was hoping this was the wise old bull just from the hesitation, and then he ran out, proving to be a younger bull, but bigger than the ones we had come across so far, so I decided that a beer in hand is better that two in the fridge. I dropped him in his tracks with a neck shot from my .375 H&H and it was all over! This was the first animal I have hunted with the rifle, and I have to say the more I shoot it, the more I love it!

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Recovered 250gr TTSX, weighing 241.9gr.

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