Archive for the 'Hunting Stories' Category

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Published by Frank Biggs on 24 Nov 2014

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Poaching of Big Game

The following statements are my opinion on the subject!

What a topic to write about, one could write a novel and it would a non-fiction totally.

This is a pair of trophy Columbia Blacktails that were killed out of season in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

This is a pair of trophy Columbia Blacktails that were killed out of season in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

First off I personally feel there are 3 types of poachers, one that will harvest year round to eat, those that will poach for the horns-rack-antlers-teeth-claws-gall bladders anytime and anyplace, and lastly those that poach for the fun (drunk & other mind-sets), only to have a check mark on a list! The latter is a fact of knowledge, as I know via ranchers and law enforcement that it went on for years in the area of Madras, Oregon (just one local to mention). Some years ago I read and saw the pictures of some 20+ elk lying dead in what looked like a killing field. They were shot for sport and left to rot. The the elk were not salvageable for human consumption.

I would say our first knowledge of poaching would be placed in our minds with the Legend, Myth, or Fictionist Character of Robin Hood who would poach game off of the land of King of England.

Since there were little game laws in the past for hunting or harvesting game for the meat, the hides and whatever else could be used for trade or survive, we will move on to the latter years of the 20th Century and on to the 21st Century.

First off I have no problem for a person or persons to harvest game for survival or subsistence of life!

There is a saying that a famous hunter by the name of Bell Lang who once told to me, “Those that poach by the cover of night shall be caught, and those that poach in broad daylight are less apt to be, though in the end greed will take over and they shall be caught!”

In my early days of hunting or thinking about hunting when I got out of the service, I heard about a great deal of hunts and how the hunts started or ended.

A story that was passed along some 50 years ago from Uncle Dave of a new comer hunting during Elk season shot a monster Mule deer out of season. In the days of past the story only became a story after many years past. In this case it was an accident, yet it still comes under the ORS statues of game violations’.

Poaching for camp meat has been going on for years and was acceptable with hunters in a deer camp or elk camp. “Who’s going to kill us a fat doe for camp meat?” I am sure at least in the 20th Century we all have heard those words from the elders of the hunt, which includes me hearing those exact words. “As long as we eat it all up in camp it is legal!” Personally I was never much into eating fresh deer meat.

Then there is the great group hunting with lots of tags in the camp, with those that didn’t care if they shot anything or not. Hunting was an escapement from the grind of 60 hours plus weeks that many of us know from the past. One or two persons might be the shooters to fill the tags. I once loan a couple of my horses to a man that I once hunted with, later he told me thanks as he drugged out 9 elk with my horses in a single day. He was the shooter of them all and he fed the wild game meat to his care home residents. He has long since left this plant to his happy hunting grounds. Many years ago I told a rancher that invited me to hunt on his ranch that held a great deal of the Rocky Mountain Elk in the sage, Juniper and rim rock country in the Oregon, I had waited a number years to get this bull tag and I will shoot my own bull! I never did hunt in his group of 9 to 12 hunters with him. It was about the meat to him and not the racks, though they did harvest dandy 300+ bulls. It was a free for all when they got into a herd of elk. I do believe that they were pretty lucky as they seem to only harvest the number of elk that they had tags for.

So many times you would hear of stories of Mule Deer hunters hunting the great state of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and even the great Steen’s Mountains in Oregon. Stories would be like the following. “Shot a dandy buck coming down to the wintering grounds, getting ready to gut it and a bigger buck came by and I shot him also.” Now this could all be hearsay or an inflated story, but usually people knowing that they have nothing to worry about, it most likely is the truth. The other line with these same stories, “we got the backstrap and hind quarters out of the canyon”. Many times a great deal of useable meat was left behind… So, is someone hunting deep in a rugged area for big bulls or bucks that only take the rake and backstrap poaching?

Well they are and now there are new laws that have slowed that down. Yet we all know it still goes on out there, just have to read the OSP (Oregon State Police) incident reports that are available on line. I am sure these reports are available to all in other states in the Union.

Here the Willamette Valley I have watched a section of land that has held monster Blacktail deer, prior to me getting permission to take pictures and later hunt the property. I would see these big 4 x 4 bucks and some dandy non-typical bucks, none of them ever carried over to the following year. I believe it was a free for all poachers that were willing to trespass the property. Now that I have put up No Trespassing Signs for more than 4 years, I have been able to watch deer that carryover. I understand that the neighbor is experiencing this in 2014. Access is easy and undetectable by the landowner.

“Come in the darkness and leave in the darkness undetected”

Have to say that some of the most humorous poaching cases are those during archery season, when the hunter has taken the game animal with a rifle and hoisted the animal in their garage or car port to skin the animal, only to have the neighbor call into the authorities that the person or persons have a deer hanging and they don’t bow hunt. It is only humorous because of the ignorance of the hunter!

Poachers can be a trespasser, not just person or persons that harvest game illegal in my opinion. This brings to mind about technology that is now used everywhere and many trespassers and poachers are now being caught. That would be trail cameras that are set out on private property as well as public lands. The new cameras available are undetectable by most, including the game. I have seen a few come onto the property that I hunt in the valley. I have asked the landowner if he know them of course before I pursue the individuals. Recently during the writing of the article, one of my hunters has noticed 2 persons coming into the trail cams range. They even have gone up into his treestand and sat. All is on camera to be seen, strange though as they caught the cams take their pictures, they were out of there. This also allows the hunter, landowners and other concerns the profiling of the game. The old cliché that all they look alike is nonsense.

Poaching will continue and poachers with be caught, they love to brag about their kills with pictures. Most are not old enough to remember a monster bull that was harvest some 30+ years ago in the Mt. Rainer National Park. It was a feature picture in the Oregon Hunting & Fishing Newspaper. It did not last long, as a hiker that frequent the area, knew the exact tree that the bull was posed in front of. It did not take long for the Washington Game Officers to be up to the spot with the picture. Oh! What a fine to poach in a National Park, now the Feds and the State are involved with the crime.

The State of Oregon the Oregon State Police have the finest Forensic Labs in the Nation. I bet most don’t know that they can tell whether a Mule deer came from the Steen’s Mts. or from The Dallas. The 21st Century is upon us and to gamble on taking an animal illegally is a big gamble, as you going to lose more than you can imagine.

Just take a look at Aronson’s in the Bend, Oregon area and thinking he and his wife was getting away with poaching and selling hunts that the animals weren’t his to sell on guided trips. More than $66,000.00 in fines, plus 23 others sited with a total of 1200 illegal game violations against the group. One thing I see he got off easy with 30 days in jail.

One can only get away with for a while; it will always catch up with you, if you don’t stop. I would call it Cold Turkey the process!

Even the once great Kirk Darner got caught in the taking of Boone & Crockett Mule Deer bucks every year for many years. In his case, I do believe his wives of few helped in the process. Be careful who you make enemies of when you are in the practice of poaching.

Remembering a customer once that got busted for harvesting a big Mule deer out of season and bull elk in the wrong area during a given year was busted because he owed money to the fellow that hunted with him on both hunts. The game officers were taken to both spots by the informant.

Some years ago while in the famous Fort Rock area of central eastern Oregon, I had spotted a monster Mule deer that had come down off from the Newberry Crater in to the stubble fields to winter. As I was leaving during the Thanksgiving holiday, driving through a foot of snow to the main highway, I noticed a pickup with a couple of guys. I had that feeling they were up to no good. They were in the heart of the wintering grounds for mule deer in this part of Oregon. I waited a couple of minutes and decided to double back, yep they were stopped, glassing and packing. My presence at that time was enough to stop the act of them making a mistake in life. So you are asking if the intent was there! It was as I left out that someone was standing along the truck with a rifle out! For that moment the buck had another lease on life. I hope he made it through the winter.

On last statement from the past in the 20th Century, is the taking of a Pronghorn – Antelope out of a helicopter with a shotgun legal?  We know it is done with wild hogs in some states, but Pronghorn. There once was a world famous hunter with a restaurant that did just that. He has long since left the world, but many of his trophies are still around, though not in the restaurant any longer…

There are all types of poaching, but in most cases it usually in my opinion it is about the rack, horns or antlers as Number 1!

In conclusion game officers’ have to have the mindset of a poacher to catch a poacher!  Law bidding hunters and citizens need to take a state in the wildlife we have and the new environment of anti-hunting and anti-guns and help put a stop to poaching!

Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 13 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Willamette Valley Archery Blacktail Hunt

The opportunity arose, take the shot or pass?

The opening weekend of the general bow (archery) season in Oregon had past by two weeks.  After the opening the bucks had become scarce.  Two of the other hunters Mark S. an Oregon State Trooper Game Division and my son Frankie had taken bucks on the opening morning with great one shot kills.  The bucks for both young men were their first bow kills for bucks and also the privilege of taking Blacktail Bucks, that are very difficult to harvest in the best conditions.

This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw.    He only came around 3 times in 6 months!
This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw. He only came around 3 times in 6 months!

I had gone out to the vineyard a 90 acre of un-fence land in rural Oregon City – Canby, Oregon area in Clackamas County, Oregon and had sat in the tree stand numerous times in vane.   The year prior it was common to see at least 2-4 bucks during the archery season any given morning or evening.  Even the crop of spikes and does were not coming anywhere near the draw, bewildering mind set.

Frankie my son came out to the vineyard a couple of times. On Monday the 9th of September he came out with me to hunt again.  He had also been lucky to draw the Oregon Willamette Valley 615 Deer Tag, which allows you to hunt from September 1st, through to February 28th, the following year.  On this Monday night I would work from the tree stand with Martin Onza 3 that has proven itself well the year before, but this year the bow sight would be the H H A Sports Optimizer with the single pin on the pendulum system.  A sight that forces one to focus on the pin and the target. With the speed of the bow, I usually leave it set for 40 yards when I am going to stalk and 30 yards when I am in three stand.  If I have time for a rangefinder, I can easy move the pin up or down on yardage with my thumb quickly.

Frankie would be packing his recently bought rifle in a 308 caliber.  He would work through the timber and see if he could drive a buck my way. If a buck were bust in a different journey then he might get a chance to get his 615 tag filled.
Both us seemed to get bored without the sighting of any deer during the evening hunt.  With about 15 minutes of light left Frankie came out of the blackberries on the northern sector of the vineyard and I would be working the tree line just west of the tree stand in the draw.

One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!

Frankie’s new rifle came with combo setup scope that would prove to be a problem! Should have taken out his Weatherby MK V with good optics!  You can have a rifle that is over the counter and inexpensive, but one should always have good optics for the conditions which includes the scope mounts!

He texts me that there is branch buck cutting through the grapes (12″ plants) and he just can’t get on him.  At that time I spot the buck, but he is 80 yards from me and just walking along.  I work in to get closer to him and when the buck was at 60 yards broadside, I decide it is to late to get a bow good shot.  Even with the greatness of the Optimizer and the Onza 3, I would have not gotten it done.
Both Frankie and I could not get on him and get a clean shot!

The positive of this, we did see a branched shooter buck, though the buck was not a resident buck to the area.  Thus ended the night of the 9th of September with the sighting of one shooter Blacktail Buck only!

On the Tuesday the 10th, I got off early from work and headed out to the vineyard. Again vineyard is a un-fenced 90 arce parcel of land that is just outside of Canby and Oregon City, Oregon. The deer come and go from many parcels of urual lands in Clackamas County.  I have seen the same bucks when scouting on lands that are about 1-2 miles line of sight feeding in the fields.
I decided to give the tree stand another go and within an hour I decided I need to do another spot and stalk. The deer just weren’t working the draw like they were the year before.

A different perspective of the this buck!
A different perspective of the this buck!

The taking of a buck in the draw during the opener and gutting the buck near the draw might have caused a problem?  I can’t see why as the coyotes and buzzards had cleaned the bones and any other evidence of the kill within days.
There was not much shooting light left so I decided to place myself next to the treeline that lead out into the grapes plants (young 1st year plants).  As I sat there, glassing, range finding spots that I though figured a buck might emerge from, I got this feeling that I had company and not of the human form.   Everyone has had the feeling that there is something close and in many instances we don’t take advantage of the sense!   In this case I moved my head and noticed a branched buck working almost in the same area that the buck the evening before.  In this case I had a bit more light and knew if I did blow the movement I could get a shot off.

In one fluid motion I move from my sitting position and swung around into the kneeling position.   The buck had his head down the whole time he was moving through the plants.   He never made notice to my movement and with ease I pull back my Martin Onza 3 at 72#, the  HHA Optimizer single pin sight was set at 40 yards and the pin focused just below the spine.   The buck did not jump at release as the Onza 3 very quiet!  His reaction when the arrow hit was that of a rock.  He just went down instantly and quivered for just a few moments.   The arrow had gone through his heart!   In my lifespan of hunting I have had this only happen twice before on bucks and both of them had been Blacktails also!  The Blacktail buck most likely didn’t even know he was dead at impact!  It doesn’t happen like this very often, but I will take it anytime I can.   One never likes to have to track game in the dense cover of Western Oregon during the evening into darkness.   A deer can go a little ways and disappear in the Blackberries, which make for difficult recovery on evening hunts.  I have to say when there is a spark of adrenalin, old bones can move without pain!He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

Archery Buck 2013  Int

Though the buck was only a 3 x 4 with the single eyeguard and most likely three (3) year, I would do it again.   After opening day it had been tough and one should never have two legal tags.  It makes it tough when your trying for the local stud buck.   The rack is a very tight rack with the main beams almost touching.    His brother the other 4 X 3 with two (2) eyeguards still roams the property.   It appears that he will take up residency on this parcel and surrounding properties.  He is a bit bigger and will make a good buck in 2014!

Since this writing I was a fortunate to harvest the Even 3 X 3 in November of this year!

Even 3 X 3 Blacktail - November 2013
Even 3 X 3 Blacktail – November 2013

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

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Published by Frank Biggs on 10 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Old Friend Mark D’s Oregon Blacktail Hunt

First off I have known Mark for about 30 years, in the days of Burns Bros., Sportsmen’s Center and Burns Bros., Travel Stops.  Mark and I hunt a number of times in the coast range for elk in those days!   Mark use to make sure that during the days of the Travel Stops we would always have the day old Hostess Pastries for a hunting trip!

Mark now lives out in the country on a dandy piece of Blacktail and Roosevelt habitat land.   It is bordered by a number of timber companies, so there is little pressure from the public!

OK! BUBBA – HERE GOES!

I JUST COULDN’T PASS UP THIS STUD BUCK!

Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net.  Roosevelt Elk1
Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net. Roosevelt Elk!

                       

This has been Mark D's target buck for 2013!  He decided not to show!
This has been Mark D’s target buck for 2013! He decided not to show!
It was the most unbelievable sight ever for us!   After spending many many hours in the blind in hopes of the monster 4 x 4 Blacktail coming in (before dark) or after light in AM, the second biggest one that I’ve gotten on Trail Cam showed up with enough daylight to get a pin on him.  The waiting in tree stand has been a tough one with extreme global warming that we have here in Oregon in the temperature in the Teens!
Frontal Shot!
Frontal Shot!
My son in law was with me to watch and witness the unfolding of a one in a lifetime shot!
The buck went broadside at 30 yards and mentally I knew my next plan was going to be in milliseconds.
As I was already at full draw, I let my new Mathews Creed go, the arrow hit high and sounded like I hit a rock.  It seemed to pick that deer up off his feet and throw him down like someone body slammed him. Then he roared like a red stag!  Wow! I have killed many animals with a bow over the years but never have spine one until now.
I shifted into panic mode as he was roaring and trying to get up so, I as quick as I could loaded another arrow and with him thrashing, shot again.

Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Well he twisted as I released the arrow and got another spine shot, this time in top…  Crap!   Double panic! I run out of the blind and as I approach him to put one in at close range, he lunges at me!   Wow!  Do they have power!  I got as close as I could and got one through both lungs and he soon expired…  Who would ever think that I could have gotten gored by a deer?
Mark D's old time friend and his buck from Mark's Place.
Mark D’s old time friend and his buck from Mark’s Place.
I hope to never spine one again, I much prefer a double lung on the first arrow…………………….
 
Mark’s 125 grain Thunderhead Broadhead went completely through the buck and severed part of the spine.
The Thunderhead was completely intact!
Mark D
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Published by admin on 18 Nov 2013

The New Bow Hunter By Kyle Roush

The New Bow Hunter
By Kyle Roush
AT member MN.Moose

I have been a life time hunter, born and raises around the sport of hunting in the great state of Minnesota. The passion of hunting has been passed down from generation to generation in the Roush house so it came to no surprise that I followed in these footsteps. By the age of 6 I began shooting firearms and by 8 I was going on small game hunts with my father and uncles. Then at the age of 12 I was legally allowed to enter the woods armed ready to take down a monster whitetail deer. As we all know that didn’t happen but none the less I was hooked on hunting. Just after my grandfather’s death, just after my 15th birthday, I finally put my first buck down, a simple eight pointer. I was sad that I couldn’t share the experience and the excitement with him but being in the woods I could still feel his presents.

It is funny the way life directs you and how you adjust to the opportunities that it presets, because in 2006 I ended up moving to Ohio with my new wife. From there I had to adjust from gun hunting 40 acres to 2.5 acres. Well with only 2.5 acres I didn’t have enough space from housing to continue to use the shotgun, so I was left with two choices: 1- give up hunting or 2- pick up a bow for the first time in my life at 22 years old. So that is what I did, I went out and purchased a cheap Bear bow and started to practice. Let me start by saying that hunting with a bow is way different then gun hunting. It is not so much the fact that I have to get the deer closer to me (even though that isn’t easy) as I have always taken deer within 50 yards, but the muscle control and accuracy that you have to have is amazing. It can be easy to say I hit the deer a little forward and blow through a shoulder with a shotgun but that just will not due with a bow.

Well that brings me to my first year of hunting with my bow. It was early October and after spending an afternoon at the local pumpkin patch with the family I still had 2 hours before dark so I thought I would go out and see if I can catch one walking by. By my luck I did, however like I said above you cannot expect to kill a deer unless your aim is dead on. Well the plan that I had laid out with the wind direction, projected walking path of the deer, cut shooting lanes, and sent control all paid off. The buck came in just before dark walking the edge of a corn field and walked right into my shooting lane. I waited until I could have full view of the body, picked my spot put my 20 yard pin on the deer and let loose my arrow. Unfortunately the arrow didn’t go where I wanted it to, I ended up hitting him high and to the front. He ran like the dickens, never got a single drop of blood and later that year we got sight of him again still alive. But I don’t have to tell other bow hunters that I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get the animal, I was upset that I had allowed myself to make such a bad shot. It was hard as a new bow hunter to talk myself into going back into the woods after hitting a deer and not killing it, this was my first time ever wounding but not killing and I didn’t like the way it felt. I vowed to never go back into the wood without knowing that I would make a better shot. So during the off season I shot and shot my bow over and over again, this time I feel extremely prepared. Sadly so far this year the winds and weather have not been in my favor. So far I have only had two good encounters, on a Friday that I had off from work I had 11 deer sighting with 2 being bucks. Both bucks stayed out about 90 years in the hunt for the does but wouldn’t respond. The other encounter was last Friday I used the last vacation day I had for the year and had my mind set on sitting all day. Just before daylight I had 3 does out in front of me and I thought what a good start. I was hoping that a buck would be trialing them about 30 minutes out so I could have a shot on him, and I was right the only problem he was on the other side of the field heading right to their final destination, he cut the corner and didn’t walk by. I called to him but there was no response. Then I sat ALL day and didn’t see anything. So I started to pray to my god and the deer gods just say, I have sat in this stand all day PLEASE PLEASE just let me see another deer. I don’t even care if I don’t get a shot on it I just want to see one. Then out of nowhere in front of me 30 yards I have a deer, one of those deer that sneak up on you in the wide open. I was amazed, it had worked! So I stand up, notice that it is a buck but a real young smaller buck, but when you hunt in my conditions you take what you can get. So I decide I am going to take a shot at him. He is down wind which didn’t make me feel too comfortable, so I decide the first chance I get I am going to take my shot. He is working his way close and close towards my lane and doe pee. I got him at 21 yards and as soon as he clears this last tree I will have my shot, so I draw back and he takes one more step right behind the tree and stops….. He is just standing there; I am holding and holding and holding. Now he has me worried, I am going to have to let down soon if he doesn’t take those last two steps out into the open. Then I see it, the tail wag and again the tail wags he proceeds to turn and walked away. What a hunt, lesions for any new bow hunter out there if you pray to your god and to the deer gods make sure that you don’t add that little line “I just want to see one” make sure you let them know that you want to “kill one”. Well if you need to find me I can be located here:

outdoorsimage

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Published by admin on 06 Nov 2013

Right stand-Right time by Ron

Right stand-Right time
By Ron aka. rjs

First of all, do you happen to know anyone that seems to connect on big deer season after season? They just seem to be in the right spot at the right time. Why do you suppose this is? It’s because they ARE in the right spot at the right time. These guys understand deer habits and how to use this knowledge to set up productive stand sites. What is the right stand at the right time you ask? I’ll explain.

I break my stand sites down into categories, early season (September), mid season (Oct. 1st-25th), rut (Oct. 25th-Nov. 25th), and my favorite, all season. Each stand has its own purpose and best time of the season to hunt it. It will also have prevailing wind direction factored in and a planned access route to get in and out. Let’s break it down even further.

10-25-2013-behind house 025

EARLY SEASON

My early season stands are typically food source stands. Crop fields, food plots and water are the most productive. I usually only hunt them in the afternoons and evenings. If I do hunt in the morning, I arrive very early to avoid bumping deer out of the fields when heading to my stand. Keep in mind that deer will migrate to different foods as the season progresses. Whitetails love soybeans, but will ignore them when they start to turn yellow and dry out. Water sources can be hit or miss. If you have a week of rain it might not make much sense to sit above your favorite pond. There will be puddles in the ditches and deer can drink without traveling very far. I won’t waste my time sitting on a yellow bean field that deer have forgotten about or overlooking a pond during a rainstorm. A productive early season stand will have a food source that is active. Again, right stand, right time. I will have a couple of stands set up over food sources. Some can be hard to hunt more than a couple of times because deer will be out in the fields and I guarantee they will bust you leaving your stand or will run into your scent trail after you leave. I will hunt these setups a couple of times then move on when the crops are harvested. I have other plans for these stands later in the season and will pull them down. Now keep in mind, if you have crops in the field that mature at different times and they become an active food source, this stand now becomes more valuable and can be used longer and becomes a mid season stand too. But, more on this later….

MID SEASON
My mid season stands will also have active agriculture food sources nearby, but also take advantage of the local acorn crop. I live in SW Wisconsin and when the acorns fall, deer sightings in the crop fields drop dramatically. A lot of people call this the dreaded “October Lull”. The deer activity seems to drop off like they left the area. Trust me, they haven’t. The deer have simply adjusted to the changing food source. I will have a stand or two that will be located off the agriculture food source and by a stand of oaks. I look for an area with an old rub line. I also look for an area that the bucks will use as a staging area this time of year. If you can find a spot that has a scrapes in it year after year, this is better yet. I wait to hunt these stands until the bucks are becoming a bit more active. Most of the local bucks will visit this spot at one time or another when the rut is just warming up. Again, right stand right time. I again only hunt these stands a couple of times. Most stands are too hard to get in and out of without being busted. The last thing you want is to alert every buck in the neighborhood that he is being hunted.

Corn, bean and Buck forage oats makes this stand productive the entire season.

THE RUT

We have now transitioned from early season to the beginning of the rut. Now for everyone’s favorite, “rut” stands. It’s no secret; the bucks go where the does are. I locate my stands just like everybody else. I look for pinch points, ditch crossings-any spot that will funnel deer to me. I set up a couple of stands between bedding areas and in travel routes that contains a rub line. I have found that there is a small window of opportunity to “mini” pattern a buck before the rut fully kicks in. Bucks are now on their feet more and will start traveling from doe group to doe group, in essence taking inventory of all the local does. More than once I have watched a buck move through a travel corridor, out of bow range, realized that I needed to adjust my stand a bit, then arrowed him later that day or a day or two later. Again, right stand right time. Another type of rut stand is for hunting “cruiser” bucks. These are the bucks that you have never seen before, have no trail camera pictures of and didn’t even know existed. I set these stands strictly off the terrain features and past buck sightings. I prefer ridge tops over valleys. I find it easier to keep the wind in my favor. I hunt this setup later in the rut, after the peak breeding is over. I might not see as many deer, hunting from this type of stand, but the ones I do are usually older age class bucks. This is the only stand that I don’t worry about overhunting and may sit these spot several days in a row. Again, right stand right time.

ALL SEASON

This brings us to my personal favorite, all season stands. Remember the early to mid season stands that have food sources that last into the late season? You can catch bucks during the rut, cruising the edges farm fields looking for does that feed in these areas. Remember the early season stand overlooking a farm pond? If November is hot and dry, this stand site might prove a winner when a rutting buck comes in for a drink. What else does a stand need to be considered all season? Well, that answer is easy, all of the above. Food, water, travel routes and bedding areas in the right locations. The best all season stands will be next to a food source with water. It will be on a travel corridor between bedding areas and have access for you to get in and out without the deer knowing it. What makes this stand special? It’s the right stand that can be hunted ANY time the wind is right. Do all properties have such spots? No, unfortunately not. You can create them with a little work, but that is a discussion for a different day. Take a look at your current stands sites, see what category they fit into and see if you are hunting the right stand at the right time.

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Published by Frank Biggs on 29 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2012 Oregon Blacktail Archery Hunt

Sunday Morning Hunt

Taking the Shot Buck!

Combat Mode! 

Though this story will end up with harvesting of a small Blacktail Buck from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, it is more about the principles and aspects of aging in the hunting scenario.

I would like to say this is the buck of harvest, but not! Right Handed Tree Stand in background!

Over the years, especially when I was younger I lived to hunt and fish.   I was very selfish and would spend most of my time either at work or doing the great outdoors.  It was a total escapement from reality after serving in the U.S. Navy and being In Country. I found great excitement with chasing and harvesting game.  My fishing was about how many fish I could catch, later finding it was more fun to catch and release.

Now later in life I find I do not have as much time to hunt and fish with the reality of still working into my 60’s.   Weekends are a thing of the past since I have been in the RV selling business.   Hunts have now turned to hunting in the valley close to home for the elusive Blacktail Deer.

What started with getting permission to take pictures of Blacktail Bucks on a parcel of land outside of Oregon City & Canby, Oregon has turned into the place to have the opportunity to harvest a Blacktail.  The landowner himself is a Vietnam Vet and I know he finds great peace to be able to walk his timbered land and in some places be able to escape the daily grind!

This year was different from the past years on the M & L Ranch as I call it.   It is the first time other than a Blackberry thicket blind, that I have setup a real tree stand and fixed ground blind.   My thoughts have always been to glass, spot and pursue the game, with an occasional wait at a nearby waterhole for Pronghorn.

I had past him up at 40 yards, but this is not what I saw from 40 yards through the Blackberries!

The 2012 Archery Season in Oregon was of great expectations in harvesting one of the Big Three Blacktail bucks that we all had captured on Trail Cams.   With Odd 3 X 3 leading the pack, “Sticker” second and finally the P & Y buck Even 3 X 3.  You do notice that I have never mentioned a 4 x 4! I have yet to see a 4 point buck western count in 2012.   In the past I have seen a number of them and have put them on film!

I truly hate to say it, but many of the big bucks I have seen have been poached.   I have heard rifle shots in the familiar sound of hunting situation before the archery season and during the season.  Poaching has become a major issue in Oregon!   It can’t be about the meat, but about the rack.

Blacktail Deer - Even 2012
P & Y Buck at probably 110″ Maybe JR can get him!

So with the missed opportunity on the Even 3 X 3 in the first couple of days really took me back mentally.   The easiest shots, can most often not work!  I am sure most know that deal in hunting.   Having hit the tree stand rail not once but twice on the 25 yard shot was embarrassing for sure.    Small note:   WHEN PUTTING UP A TREE STAND AND SETTING UP THE LINE OF THE ANIMAL TO BE POSITION, MAKE SURE YOU PUT UP YOUR STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO BEING LEFT HANDED OR RIGHT HANDED.   In this case for me being Left Handed I should have put it across the path to the opposite tree.  It is definitely a Right Handed tree stand.  Guess I will have to get another one and put it on the opposite tree 25 yards across the path!  My partner’s JR (Frankie) and Mark are right-handed!  They had decided what tree to put the stand up before I can to help!  Pretty smart guys!

As most of you know that are in the circle, with two weeks into the archery season had a second chance with a 20 yard shot on a nice heavy 3 x 3 at 20 yards (No Hesitation Either).

The one that also got away and survives another day! Flesh Wound!  He was harvested in 2013 on Opening Day!  Strange as it is, he not the first buck to take an arrow clear through and survive.

I shot through the Camo mesh of the ground blind, leading to a close Kill shot (3”) to a glancing arrow hitting the shoulder and ricocheting upward and out.   I have had someone call me unethical for not making this one buck the one find and harvest.  In this case give me a break with a Blacktail and the odds, especially with a bow!   Mark and myself spent 3 hours looking for blood on the buck, which ended with one final drop about 300 yards away in the dark at 2200.  The following morning I spent another 3 hours and found no more blood on the ferns and what appeared to be a buck with normal walk back into the forest (no broken limbs or down branches).

Great shot on a Blacktail Buck – Martin Onza 3 on display also!

So in the following weeks the buck has been on trail cams in good health.  In fact when Mark was in his tree stand with his rifle (Willamette 615 anything tag) the buck came to within 12 yards of him in good health.   As this is another story of Mark’s buck that he took at that time, all I can say is the buck might have been a vendetta for me to get him, but I was not worried about his health any longer.  Just a bad hit!

It is now Sunday September 9th in the morning about 0430 and my wife wakes me up and says “aren’t you going hunting this morning!”  Na!  I got to work and need my sleep!  I am now awake and say to myself, I am gone.   In minutes without combing my hair I headed out the door and into the darkness.  Looking at my cell found I see JR.; my son left me text messages (10) about the morning hunting.  I text back are you awake as I am already heading to my secure parking spot!  No return text, guess I got the place to myself today!  It would have been great to have him with me!

It does not take me long to get ready once there and I head off to the stand about ¼ from the parking spot.   Quickly get up in the stand with the anticipation of a good hunt, as it cooler this Sunday.   I figured I might get the spike and of course plus the one doe with twin fawns in first, with maybe a big boy coming in before 0700.   I patiently wait, which is a major problem for me as it super quite in the draw.  The only noises are the wind rusting the trees and occasional Scrub Jay squawking in the distance.  I should add the lone owl hooting in the canyon!

It is now approaching 0700 with no movement at all on the forest ground, I am extremely bored and need to get on feet and make a ground hunt.   I lower my bow and day pack to the ground, check the trail cam and see that only 6 pictures from the 12 hour period.   I thought about heading back to the house and catch a few winks before work, but I would not get any sleep.   I dropped the pack and headed over to Mark’s stand near the edge of the western sector of the farm.   No movement in the heavy grasses and I surely did not jump anything, as Mark’s stand borders the field and heavy timber.  Hmm!

I pick up my day pack and talked to myself and ask the question to drive around to the eastern sector and hunt from there and see if I can jump a Blacktail Buck.   I tell myself to go back to the stand and head up the trail that leads to the dry creek bed and the eastern sector of the farm (most of us old war dogs talk to ourselves a lot).   I decide that I wanted to go light on this expedition with only my bino’s, range finder and bow!   I am wearing a Camo long sleeve shirt and I have my booties on as it is very noisy place to walk and think you are quiet when making a good stalk.

Here I am only about 200 to 300 yards from my stand on the trail and spot a doe that had just come up out of the draw that leads down to the creek bed and the other side of the farm.  It is a warn trail now and used by the game since Frankie (JR) and his cousin had taken a D-6 Cat through the property, it has given a game when not disturb a bit easier route to feeding areas.  There are places near the creek bottom that are so thick; I would have to eat the deer there!

Ok!  I spot the doe and she is a ways out there, I would put her at about 50 yards line of sight.  Not sure if she has caught me as slither back into the Scott Broom.   I decide to range her in and use my left hand, my release hand.  Shaking a bit, I target to the left of her to a small bush and it says 48 yards.   I got the area pretty well dialed in and will wait to see what come out of the draw.  Finally a very smart move on Cobra’s part!   Her fawns that no longer have spots doodle along and up.   I can not see the doe at all during this time and I assume she did not see me!   Then I see a deer coming up, it stops and see it has a rack, I can not tell the size it all seems to blend into the background of brown grasses and the fir trees.   Knowing what my Martin Onza 3 can do for me, I am at instinct mode and without though of size or distance my eyes as they are looking through the peep side have the orange 40 yard pin set about 1-2 inches above the back bone.  The release is very smooth and no hesitation on my part.   I see the arrow in flight as the  Norway Zeon Fusion (pink) vanes are evident in flight.

I love the way these beauties fly and glow for me!

The buck has moved forward during the short time of flight of the arrow.   “Damn” is all I could say when I see the arrow hit the hind quarter forward.  What surprised me was to see the deer drop like a sack of bricks and then he shook!  Wow!  Then to my further surprise the buck go back up and struggled into the Scott Broom.  Out in the distance at about 100 yards there is a monster buck facing directly at me when I stepped out to lay the bow down!   I quickly move up to the spot and find blood.   I marked the spot with my bow and head back to the day pack to get what I needed.  I call my JR and to my surprise he answers his phone! Hoorah!  He is on his way with his truck that he can get back there and not be upset with the blackberries scrapping the side of his truck.  I do check at my launching point and range find to the spot the buck was initially standing at and it hits 63 yards.

I have a head in this picture! Keep it clean! I still have the ability to shoot some distance!

I have to tell you that during the flight of the arrow, there seem to be little arch (trajectory) in the flight.  What a strange feeling of watching the flight which was under a second, like out of a movie!  The Martin Onza 3 is most likely pushing 330fps with my setup!   Outstanding performance for me!  Martin bows have never failed me on a hunt!

I have pulled my rig near the stand, hoof back to the area with cameras and my Gerber’s.   I did not have to go very far from the hit spot, the blood trail was extensive and the buck was stretched out about 80-100 yards from the impact area.  I could see the buck is one that I had seen on camera and past up an evening before when I went to the stand and had him at 40 yards.  He was a young 3 X 3 or better 3 X 2 with no eye guards.

I was in combat mode during this time period of spot and shoot.  I truly love to spot, stalk and then kill!  I have found that the times in the field with difficult shots and I go to combat instinct mode the job usually gets done.  I do not think about anything, but the mind has allowed me to react!  One can read a book call “Blink” and understand what I am saying.  Thinking about a situation to much, I feel that you can make a dumb mistake!  Let me tell you I have made mistakes and failed number of times.  Being on the ready at all times makes for success.

The arrow did hit his hind quarter on the right side, failed to pass through.  During the Hawaiian Field Dressing operation I could see what had happen and I am most surprised, as I have never seen this before. I failed to mention that JR had given me a package of new broadheads to try and just that morning I did put one on my arrow.  The broadhead does not look like it could be as effective or un-effective as the Thunderheads I had on the rest of the arrows.   The name of this broadhead is Slick Trick 100 gr.!

This is a picture of the Slick Trick 100 gr. Magnum after hitting the ball and socket!

So during the Hawaiian field dressing using one of my gifted Gerber Gator knives I find that if the arrow had passed through there would have been pumping out even great flow of blood, but what happen once the arrow hit the flesh it angled back and somewhat down hitting the knuckle in the hip joint pulverizing the ball joint.  I have never seen this done to an animal with a Broadhead in all my years of bow hunting.   I have seen ribs cracked or cut, but for the arrow to go through that much tissue and still do that at the range of 60 yards is simply amazing.   As you know at this time I will be changing in the future to Slick Trick Broadhead.   Another thing that arrow flew as straight as if I had shot at 10 yard target.  My Onza 3 highly tuned, as all my Martin bows have been.  Reminds when I tried Barnes X bullets 225 grain in my Weatherby 340 on an elk hunt and took out the bull at 1000 yards approx (testimonial proof) and he dropped in his tracks.  I have never looked back on using the product.   Knowing that the product will do the job, if there is a mistake it is usually the hunter!  It can be equipment also if you don’t check and make sure it ready to shoot! So my deer hunting for 2012 has come to an end and I now can if time permits to focus on elk or help JR get his archery buck in the State of Oregon!

This story has been posted in Bwana Bubba which is a big deal for me to get a story posted!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 27 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Archery Hunt – Boys get their first Blacktail Bucks!

The Oregon General Archery Season Opener proved to be a successful opening day hunt in the Willamette Valley for Blacktail Deer Bucks’.  Neither of the two young men had every taken a Blacktail Buck with the bow and arrow!

The anticipation of the 2013 Oregon Archery Season Opener had been a very exciting anxiety brain thought for me. 

Having myself wanting to target two (2) different bucks during the season, I was ready for the opener on August 24th, 2013.   There would be two (2) other hunters hunting the small parcel (90 acres) of un-fenced land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the Clackamas County zone outside of Oregon City, Oregon. Neither of the other two (2) young bucks (Frankie or Mark) had ever taken a buck deer with the bow and arrow.   Considering the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the toughest to hunt, the odds are lowered.  One hunter was my son Frank Jr. who has been hunting since he was 12 years old and the other hunter Mark S. one of Oregon’s finest…

Both are experience hunters with the rifle and have taken Mule Deer, Blacktail Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. Mark would be hunting from his treestand at the far end of the property in which he can view the vineyard that the deer were still working over during the year.   Jr. would be in a ground blind in the same draw that I was in, though I would be in the treestand.  This year Jr. would be hunting for the first time with a 2013 Martin Rytrea Alien XT and also for the first time the HHA Sports 5519 Optimizer Bow Sight.  All of us would be using again for the second year the Slick Trick 100gr. Broadhead.

Mark's Blacktail in the velvet!
Mark’s Blacktail in the velvet!
WGI_0132
Frankie’s Blacktail in the velvet and how he saw him on opening day, but in the daylight!

 

Anticipation by all was at its highest with all of us to harvest a Blacktail buck, since we had many bucks working the area.  At times it would seem we would have an atmosphere of a buck pasture, as does working the area lacking! Just before shooting time, I get a silent text message from Mark, “they are all around my tree”.  My thoughts were of course those of jealousy with him getting first lick on a buck.  Legal shooting time was upon us and I get another text message from Mark “Elfi is down, I smoked him”.  Now I had a bit of relief that he did not take the Number 1 Blacktail on vineyard and there would still be a chance in the future.

Mark with his P & Y Buck!  First bow kill of big game!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!

Mark text me again that he would stay in this stand for an hour to wait on the deer and give us a chance.

Now the story gets really interesting, as Mark’s last text comes in, I see a lone deer moving through the tree to my left at a good pace.  Thinking back the deer was running a bit erratic.  This would come into play in about an hour of this sighting! It is now about 30 minutes later and I spot from the treestand about 4-5 bucks in the Douglas Firs, just milling around across the gravel road from the draw.   I see they are moving to the North and there is an opening in the blackberries.  I knew at this time they deer were heading into the draw.  The bucks and a couple does go out of sight as they go around the blackberries, travel 30 yards down the gravel road and turn east into the draw. Quickly sending Jr. a text that they were coming towards him and too be on the ready. The action is about to start, as deer are under my stand coming from the South and I can see the bucks with does coming from the West into the draw.

Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!

I am just mesmerized by the movement and the amount of game upon us.  I have my Optimizer set at 30 yards in anticipation of the bucks coming into my open shooting zone. The deer are on top of Jr.’s ground blind and I just sit there watching the action and not wanting to standup and get ready.

He still lives and looks to have made it through the rifle season in Oregon.  No one is suppose to hunt this place with a rifle!
The Even 3 X 3 has been harvest on 11-22-13 and he had a rough score of 123.   Great buck for the area and since I took him after chasing him for two (2) years, he left his blood line going into the future bucks!

The big Even 3 X 3 is at 42 yards from me, if I were to shoot at the easy shot, the arrow’s flight would have to zoom between Douglas Fir branches and then over the top of Jr.’s blind.   All the deer just stop at this point which is 2 – 10 yards from the blind.  They know something is up at this point, but still wanting to move down the draw to the creek bottom.  All of a sudden one of the bucks looks into the only open window in the portable blind.  The buck has eye contact with Jr., (should have had sunglasses on) snorts and bulks.   With that movement Even 3 X 3 and all the other bucks and deer are gone in a flash.  I was mistaken since I could not see one of the bucks that remained.  A Forked Horn with Eyeguards (only buck that is still in velvet) stands his ground at 5 yards from Jr.’s blind.   In my mind I am saying shoot, what are you waiting for Frankie!  A split second later I hear the report of the arrow hitting the buck in the zone.  The buck walks off directly away from him, turns and jogs about 40 yards and the rest is history!

 

As for myself I am still stunned that I did not take the shot, but there was something in my mind that told me not do so it.  Reasoning or Mind Drift? Quickly I am out of the stand congratulating Frankie and he find his deer in minutes. You ask why Jr. didn’t take the Even 3 X 3, same question I asked him!  “Dad that is your buck that you have been chasing for 2 years, I wasn’t going to ruin that moment!”

A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!
A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!

After finding Frankie’s buck from a good blood trail within a couple of minutes, taking pictures and High Fiving, Frankie now tells me that we need to help Mark find his deer.  This happen to be a work day for me and want to get one deer Hawaiian Quartered and then worry about Mark’s buck secondly! We do go over to Mark who was coming back to the truck to get rid of his gear.  His buck had not dropped out in the vineyard.  We all went back to help him find his buck.  A most difficult venture at first as there was little sign of blood to track.   After about 15 minutes I told Mark we would be back, as we need to get the buck taken care of now! Mark informed me and Jr. that he had called his Dad, Dan to come and help.

Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck!  4 eyes many times works better than 2!  Hoorah!
Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck! 4 eyes many times works better than 2! Hoorah!

As you read this you wonder about Mark’s hit on the deer.  It will be another story once Mark gets it written, but from the video he had taken, it was a good hit and finding the buck would come. We get Frankie’s deer done in about 30 minutes Hawaiian style of quartering, taking only the meat out.

Get with Mark and Dan, as they found some more blood.  Telling him about the deer I had seen moving through the trees just after his shot, proved to be the positive outcome of finding his buck.  The deer have had the habit of escaping or when hit to travel down into a deep canyon on the farm, that I did not even know existed until January of this year.   As soon as Mark and Dan hit the deer trail at the top of the canyon the blood trail was very heavy, but not without the buck expiring in the in heavy cover.  The dandy Pope & Young Blacktail buck didn’t travel more than 300 yards from the stand, though he made an oval track circle to the right, then straight into the canyon.

Frankie’s buck was a really nice Velvet Forked Horn with Eyeguards, with great sylemtry.  Mark’s buck was a very tall 3 X 3 with Eyeguards and would make Pope & Young.  It also was the buck that I had put an arrow completely through in 2012 that did not affect the deer.  Strange as there were no signs once skinned he had ever been hit, yet we have pictures the day after in 2012 of wounds on left and right side.

At this writing Even 3 X 3 is still alive waiting for the rut to find him.   Since opening day he has only been seen 3 times, twice on cameras at the wee hours of the darkness in the morning and once during the general rifle season out in the open field!

It is great that the two young shooters found their marks on bucks to give them the confidence of the bow and arrow on big game. 

In the State of Oregon, bowhunters have greater amount of time and opportunities to hunt for big game.

Bwana Bubba

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 30 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – On Being Field Prepared!

This article is about being prepared for the un-expected in the field.  

Then again on a well planned trip, you forget an important item that might just save your life!

Many years ago when I was leaving Vietnam after a tour with the 5th Marines and got into the back to the Duce and Half, which was supposed to be heading to the airbase in DaNang a not so funny thing happened.   As most know, since I was heading back to Naval Communications Station in the Philippines I turned in my M-16, 1911 and my M-3 Grease Gun.  The driver a young Marine Private, just In-Country forgot something very important, especially when you get lost and drive into enemy country.   Maybe he thought he was in CONUS and it was a trip into the countryside?   We came under fire, with the yelling and moving into the driver’s seat, we all survived.   His M-16 and bandoleers’ were still back at the command up on Hill 327!

In the modern day world I do not believe that anyone that goes out into the Great Outdoors should ever be in a situation of being lost and not being able to get back out on their own unless they are hurt and unable to move!  One can be lost of course, but one should be able to recover easily from being lost in the moment!

Yet so many times we hear of kids, hunters, hikers’, cross country skiers, snow mobile riders, and mountain climbers getting lost for days.   I wonder about the mine set of people, except the kids that should have help from guiding parents in the fundamentals of being in the outdoors.

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything! Bwana Bubba

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything! Bwana Bubba

Years ago mountain climbers were the direct cause of a National Guard Helicopter going down on Mt. Hood in Oregon, thus costing millions of dollars of equipment lose.

Just the recently there was a young man lost in the rugged Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  His comment after being found was “I am going right back out”, note that it was raining hard and the area is very steep and heavy timbered with many deep canyons of no return.  Of course he did not have a GPS or any other type of communications that working in the field.  I do not think he had a clue as to the cost, plus the fact he was a flatlander (from the Midwest).

Another one lost on Mt. Hood this week had forgotten this locating beacon.  Everyone said he was a very experience mountain climber.  Mt. Hood as any other mountain doesn’t care how experience you are, as Mother Nature is not forgiving!  The Air National Guard in a Blackhawk Helicopter found his body!  Terrible as he might have fallen and died on impact, but if not maybe he would be telling the story of the climb today!

I am firm believer of modern day GPS products such as Garmin GPS’s that have high sensitive antennas that will work in deep cover.  Many do not realize that many GPS products that don’t have high sensitive antenna or WASS Enabled.  If a GPS does not these features it will not record tracks or even pick up the satellites in deep timber.

Since this post, mobile technology from onX HUNT is in full swing. Your phone can now be the tool and you can even share waypoints to another user…

Families that take their young children up in the mountains prior to Christmas to look for a tree for Christmas might think about having one of the Garmin GPS or similar products for dogs.  Funny!  Not really, as kids have a habit of moving fast and panic sets in.   Many years ago (1998) in Oregon on such a trip a young boy was lost.  I do not believe he was ever found, so the possibility of him being abducted might be there.  The instance that the parent could not see him, they could have located him quickly.

There are also hand-held 2 way radios that will reach with line of sight for 25+ miles.  Years ago there was a man lost in Oregon and the searchers were able to find him as he had a 2 way radio that he was sending out for help.  It was picked up some 50+ miles away.

Persons that are going mountain climbing on such treacherous places such  Mt. Hood, Mt. Lassen, Mt St. Helens or any other place with glaciers and changing weather at moment’s notice should have a locating beacon at all times with them.  You can rent them on most mountains or just buy one.  It is not required in the liberal state of Oregon.  A few mountain climbing organizations’ feel it infringes on one’s right.  Thou it is ok to bring out a team to find the lost souls and maybe lose a person in the search or equipment.

Have I forgotten about the cell phones, which have become so good with GPS and long lasting batteries?   One can always have a solar cell and recharge the phone when there is some sun.   I know it all about the weight when climbing, hunting or hiking right!?

For some it all about the money, yet how much does a pair of cross country skis cost, the outfit, the Weatherby rifle, and the mountain climbing goggles?   Yet again is about being macho or just knowing you are the best.   I feel the same way, but I know from being turned around a few times, that it better to be safe and make it back to camp then spend the night out.  I have spent the night out in bad weather, not due to being lost, but because the conditions would put me at risk in treacherous rimrock of the John Day River Canyon!

Years ago while hunting in the Snake River Canyon I came out on the ridge road two hours after dark fell upon the Snake River and wondering where my horse was located.  It was such a relief for me that Czar whinnied and I was able to get to him quickly.  I never carried a GPS in those days, as they were new and I only packed a compass.  I could have walked out as there was the ridge road, but how about Czar.  A GPS in hand I could have plugged in the waypoint where I left Czar while I was elk hunting.

My thoughts are the following and if one ever wanted to hunt with me and I don’t have many hunt with me as I do not want the responsibility of them!

The equipment with the following attached is required!

1)      Cell Phone – GPS capabilities if you not going to have a GPS.

2)      A two way handheld communications device, similar to Motorola’s.

3)      GPS – Colored with mapping capabilities – GARMIN is preferred.

4)      onX HUNT (onXmaps) to go with the Garmin GPS and a Mobile device

5)      If in treacherous mountainous areas a locating beacon is required.

6)      Some extra batteries for devices that are not using lithium batteries

7)      Your own toilet paper!

In closing with just the GPS, one can back track to their original starting place and if the GPS has Topographic mapping, one could possibly figure out a direct route back if the terrain is manageable.

Don’t leave home with just your clothes, the basics and your bow or rifle!

Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 03 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Last Minute Oregon Blacktail Buck

Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!
Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!

THE SHOULDA –WOULDA – I DID BUCK

This hunt took place on the last day of the archery season in Oregon and it was my last and final effort to harvest a Blacktail Buck after a great deal of hunting during the season.  It also would be the first time I exposed my young daughter to an animal of majestic qualities to her dead to look at and touch!

An extremely large buck just stood there looking at me, probably wondering why anyone would be down in a hole like this!   This deer hunt was the end of a long Oregon deer season for me.  Earlier that season, I spent four days at Hart Mountain in southeastern Oregon looking for one of the famous big mule deer bucks that dwell there.  My vacation time had been changed and I was not able to hunt the first part of the season with my group.  So getting that early jump on a big velvet buck was gone.  I’d seen as many as 14 bucks in a group at one time prior to the season.  Truly the big bucks had been stirred up by earlier hunters and were keeping their distance.

I found myself seeking a buck to take home on the last day of the late November hunt in the Santiam Hunt Unit in Western Oregon, just west of the National Forest Boundary in the BLM. It seems on the last day we (empty-handed) will do some strange things. The trip in itself was similar to my earlier trips in which I covered innumerable miles looking for greener pastures.  I must have traveled 800 miles in three days only to find myself hunting in dense forest 30 miles from Portland, Oregon my home. On this trip, I was by myself, my partners having had their fill of hunting for one season. With the heavy rain & wet snow coming and going, I’d just about had enough myself. Then by mid afternoon it started to snow and by 3 PM there was about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I was glad I’d missed a 60-yard shot at a small buck I should have not taken with the wind blowing.  The small buck seemed to be playing king of the mountain standing on a ledge overlooking a deep canyon.  If I’d hit him, he surely would have taken to the canyon below – what a pack out that would have been.
So, like any other sane bowhunter, I went down into the canyon. I decided to walk the naked alders and fir trees, which seemed to surround the small creek that wound through the canyon. I noticed some large deer tracks in the snow and told myself they must belong to a big Blackie.  I hadn’t covered more than 100 yards when I just about stepped on a deer. I was so busy stepping over downed limbs and following the tracks that I didn’t even noticed the deer bedded under a fir tree.  The most beautiful Blacktail I’d ever seen jumped up and ran out 30 yards and turned broadside to me and gazed back at me. Not taking time to count points, I was already at full drew with my Martin Cougar Magnum, set the 30 yard pin on the buck’s chest, and let fly. One would have thought I was shooting with fingers, ah I was shooting with fingers.  The buck was no longer just standing, he’d flat busted out of there. He moved so fast I just shook my head and wondered if I’d missed. I went to the spot where the buck had been, no blood. Now the snow was really coming down and the wind had picked up in the canyon. My heart pounding in my chest, all I could do was follow the tracks in the direction he’d gone.  I started to notice some foamy blood spots and walked about 80 yards on the blood trail, stopped, and looked around. There, in the ferns just below me, was the butt of a deer.  He must have taken one last leap in this last breath! The broadhead had done its job; my shot was a bit high barely missing the heart. I was able to find a small road out of the canyon, thus was able to drive my truck with chains forward and aft down into the canyon.  The buck was a heavy load to pull up into the bed of the truck, especially since I was wet, tired and the snow being everywhere.
My Columbia Blacktail had one of the most beautiful basket sets of horns a person could want, a very symmetrical four point with eye guards. He scored officially at 129 7/8 P & Y Net (Pope & Young).  Never wait so long to get an animal scored!  If he had not had a small chip off of the G-4 on left side, it would have made the B & C (Boone & Crockett) book along with the P & Y book during that time frame. Now in B & C is at 135 to be listed.  I’ll bet that a great deal of hunters do not know that you can list your Archery harvested animals in Boone & Crockett also if it meets their standards.  Double the pleasure of being in both Books! Sometimes it pays to do the unexpected at the last minute.  

Hmm! Now I will check out the head!

You can see from the expression on my daughter’s about her thoughts of seeing a dead animal lying on the ground. In the future I found she would not want to harvest an animal, but would get involved with the field dressing of animals on trips that I took her on.  

Rebecca wondering what the heck dad!

Have fun hunting!  Bwana Bubba 

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Published by admin on 11 Apr 2013

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

by Ted Nugent

Kid Rock called and asked if I would teach him to bowhunt. He said Jerry Lee Lewis had taught him how to rock the piano, so he would accept only the masters to light his way. Who’s he gonna call? Tom Petty?

Game on!

As one of the world’s most talented and successful performers, I knew better than anyone how important it was for my friend to escape the mayhem of rock-n-roll and cleanse his soul with the mystical flight of the arrow. Plus we all know that the more backstraps one personally harvests and consumes, the more intense and soulful one’s music and life.

Uncle Ted, Strap Assassin1 to the rescue.

We were hot and heavy into the October bowseason up in Michigan, and as a fellow MotorCity Madman, Bob made the short trip to our sacred hunting grounds and the archery lessons began post haste.

Already tuned into the joys and marksmanship disciplines of hunting game with firearms, Bob wanted to elevate his hunting to the intense challenge of getting to fulldraw on elusive critters up close and personal, right in their face with a sharp stick.

On cue, Bob produced a brand new bow from his vehicle and told me how his buddy had set him all up with the ultimate gear for his bowhunting quest.

I tried to subdue my predictable fears, but alas, the bowhunting industries’ self -inflicted suicidal curse reared its ugly head again. Bob’s nice new bow was set at nearly 80 pound draw weight, and though we could draw it back, albeit with much effort and anti-archery gyrations, I took the matter into my own hands, drew if back and let go, dry firing the contraption causing it to blow to smithereens.

After much explanation, my archery pro-shop buddies whipped out a bow set up exactly like mine with a nice, graceful 50 pound draw weight.

Bob drew this bow back effortlessly and smiled broadly at the graceful upgrade, relieved that it was dramatically better than that other T-Rex killing machine he wrestled with a moment ago.

I tuned him into the basic archery form, mindset, touch and hand-eye coordination routine to get him on target, and within mere moments, my rock-n-roll buddy was zipping arrow after arrow into the vitals of our 3D targets. He liked it a lot.

I just so happened to have Don Williams on hand, a highly respected Olympic archery coach and all around “physics of spirituality” martial arts guru to assist Bob with the ultimate fine tuning of becoming the arrow.

I sat back and watched Don coaching Bob with his form, emphasizing precision mental focus and repetitious muscle memory.

When Don removed the sight pins from Bob’s bow, positioned him five feet from a large bale target with a small black dot in the middle, and had him repeat his shot procedure over and over again, a blinding bright light went off in my head as I recalled this exact same procedure being taught to me by my hero Fred Bear, way back in the 1970s.

With no intention of hitting the black dot, but rather concentrating on controlled, repetitious shot procedure while focusing intently on a given minute point of aim, I came to realize that my occasional missing and dreaded target panic hiccups were due to the mistake of focusing on my sight pins instead of the exact, tiny spot I needed to “will” my arrow into.

Oh glory, glory hallelujah!

I grabbed my bow, removed the pins, and stood side by side with Bob as we carefully executed killer shot after killer shot.

After a few dozen arrows like that, we re-attached our sight pins back onto our bows, stood back at the thirty yard line, and allowed our bodies and brains to celebrate the same exacting archery that we had at five feet, but now our muscle memory took over, and as we owned the black dots on each target, our sight pins magically floated onto the dot, we loaded our triggers and the bow went off.

Well, Kid was ecstatic, I was moved, and I went on to have the greatest bowhunting season of my life, making shot after shot, kill after kill, firing off the prettiest, most consistent arrows of my sixty plus years of bowhunting.

Throughout the season I continue to practice the “blind bale” routine, and constantly remind myself that I mustn’t look at the sight pin, but always the tiniest of spot on the crease behind the shoulder of my target animal.

When you watch our Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV show on Outdoor Channel this season, watch all those pretty arrows disappearing into unsuspecting herbivores’ pumpstations, and know that the procedure outlined here will dramatically upgrade you archery and bowhunting accuracy and joys.

Kid Rock is on his way, but sometimes the old dogs have to go back and remember the old tricks. Backstraps are us

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