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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Following through with the Second Half

The extra weekend of gun season came & went without firing a shot, let along seeing a deer. Well, I can say that I did see a flicker of what appeared to be a whitetail's white tail off in the distance, through the gray brush, as the minutes of legal shooting light ticked away on the clock. The subtle flicker that a deer will make to signal everything is alright is what it looked like, but I was never able to clearly see a body attached to the flickering white. Granted, I hunted Sunday afternoon, which by then I didn't expect deer to be just roaming the woods in a care free manner like they do in say June, but I always try to keep an optimistic outlook when I'm heading out.

The weather conditions on Sunday: The low for the day was 34, with the afternoon high reaching 39 degrees. The light snow from Saturday was still present on the scattered logs laying throughout the woods, but it was already melted away just about anywhere else. Winds were mostly out of the west between 5 to 13 mph, but there were times that they blew from the south, and times that they blew from the north. Overall pressure was at 30.20 with fairly clear, bright blue skies.

With my expectations positive, yet realistic, I headed up to the "G" farm which I haven't hunted since the last day of the regular shot gun season. The overall plan was simply to get another ground blind set up, hang a trail camera back out, and if the stars all aligned, shoot a deer. Although as I drove around the perimeter of the farm, I could tell yet again that somebody else had likely done a deer drive through the property, so the percentage chance of accomplishing the third objective was probably a low one. Muddy tire tracks, and boot prints were again present at the north & south end pull offs.

I walked along the bottom edge of the woods, cutting in at roughly the half way point, following a drainage through the timber for roughly 80 yards to the predetermined area that I would set up the ground blind. The area has quite a few heavily used trails that intersect here, along with edge habitat that changes from thick under growth with select cut tree top remains, vines, and briars that intermix with slightly rolling terrain in the open woods.

The damp forest floor made it a somewhat quiet job to clear off the area where the blind would sit, as well as for dragging over branches and such to try and brush things in. The small saplings that I clipped off at their bases while creating a few shooting lanes were all carried back the the blind and stuck in the ground in an attempt to help conceal the new house in the neighborhood.

The intersection of trails, plenty of fresh sign, tracks, and transition habitat looked like a good spot to set things up for the afternoon, and to leave the ground blind in for the rest of the archery season. With the blind situated on the top of a small knoll, there is a 15 yard shot directly to the heavily used trail to the south.

This trail intersects another trail that runs north to south, that is located 20 yards to the west of the blind.

Another slightly used trail branches off of this trail, and dog legs behind the blind at 10 yards before angling back to the north west toward the more open section of timber.

We'll see if things pan out over the next month and a half, and if the deer can settle back down after the past few weeks of gun hunting and deer drives that have taken place. If anything, I'll have a comfortable place to take my son out for a few more bow hunts & checks of the trail camera.

The view from a deer's perspective at 15 yards. A trail camera is set up 5 yards behind the trail from which this picture was taken.

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