Northeastern Public Land Site
Since the move from our previous location, we have only hunted this spot one time. So, we don’t have much to report from this site. However, the first time we hunted this stand we didn’t see any deer. We plan on hunting this site again within the next few days. We also have a trail camera on this property, so we will grab the SD card from it and give you a trail camera update next Tuesday if there is anything good to report.
Southern Public Land Site
With reports in the area talking about some initial pre-rut activity we decided to split up during this last weekend’s hunt. Chance sat over the ag field we had already been hunting up to this point and I sat in our “rut” location for the first time. We hunted one morning sit and two evenings. The morning sit came with a lot of surprises and not good ones. I got in early to the stand because of its proximity to doe bedding areas, I wanted to make sure things were quiet well before shooting light. About ten minutes till shooting light another hunter walked past my stand and continued to walk only about 50-60 yards away and climb up in a stand. So, we are no longer the only ones in this area. Activity was slow throughout the morning and I only saw one doe walking down the creek. But I was in for yet another surprise as I climbed down from my stand. I walked 20 yards to the creek to walk out and there was another hunters ladder stand. When we put these stands up we were the only stands in the area. We had scouted the entire area around us and found no other stands. Within two weeks we now have stands 60 yards from us and even an absurd 20 yards away. There is no doubt these hunters saw our stands and put theirs up anyway. So, we left that first day disappointed in our fellow hunters and the situation we were in.
Chance checked the trail camera we still have out and got pictures of the two bucks pictured below. The camera showed that movement over the last two weeks has been slow because of the uncommonly warm temps for this time of year and any buck movement that did happen was still concentrated during the nighttime hours. The camera also showed bucks making a scrape in front of our camera. We created a mock scrape when we first put this camera out and the deer have now created another scrape next to our mock scrape.
That evening we again sat in separate stands. As I reached my stand and was about to climb up, I heard two bucks sparing just across the creek. I quickly climbed into my stand and grunted a few times, but no deer came into view. I continued to watch across the river and 15 minutes later I was in for another one of public lands great surprises. Another person was walking down the middle of the creek towards me. No bow, no backpack, no stand, just walking. As he got closer to the spot where I heard the bucks sparing he scared a deer out of the small grassy island in the middle of the creek and then continued to walk down the creek. This is about 5:45 and within another 30 minutes or so, here he comes, walking back up the river right at the worst time of day. Needless to say, I didn’t see another deer. Chance’s sits on the ag field didn’t produce any sightings either.
We returned the following evening with a less then optimistic attitude, but this time we both sat in our “rut” setup. We were about 45 minutes into our sit, with thankfully no other hunters around us, and saw two does come down to the creek from the opposite side. They walked about 40 yards down the creek and the jumped back into the woods. Not 5 minutes after they disappeared back into the woods, Chance caught a glimpse of movement from a sandbar in front of us. It was a buck and a dandy one at that!!! He stood up from his bed in the sand bar, stretched, and then proceed to walk across the creek away from us. With the pre-rut starting I threw a few grunts his way. He gave us a courtesy glance and then jumped onto the bank and went after the does we had just seen.
Our plans are to return this weekend and hunt this set again, maybe even an all-day sit. The rut is definitely starting to heat up in this area and it showed during our last evening sit that, if we can get lucky and keep the hunting pressure down, bucks will be on their feet in daylight near this stand. We are contemplating another move to get just across the river, directly across from where we are now, but we are going to put the brakes on this until we get a few more sits in. The area across the river is more appealing because it lacks the hunting pressure our current side of the river receives. So, if we see more deer movement on that side we might just make the move, but for now we will remain where we are.
As I mentioned earlier we will be hunting the southern public land site again this weekend and with the rut getting ever closer, now is the time to be in a stand!!! Good luck and get after’em!!!!!