Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Nov. 29, 2011

I've always wanted to get a second trail camera to experiment with, but not until lately when Moultrie ran a special was I able to make this possible. One thing I have always wanted to try was during hunting season and luckily this past week I was able to try it. Around this part of West Virginia gut piles don't last long, but rarely do you get to see much more than a coon running from them. Everyone knows that there has to be more than coons that eat it, but I wanted to know what else would show up. I finally have an answer, well at least one example of this. Thanks to the buck that I harvested last Monday I was able to put my new trail camera over this gut pile and get some great pictures for everyone.

Like I said, I knew there would be some coons, but there where up to seven in one picture.
I had an idea that a bear would show up, but there was only
one bear that showed up for a short period of time.
This one took me by surprise, I never thought I'd be able to get a capture like this, a Red Tailed Hawk.
And the last one, I've got captures of gray foxes, but never a red fox.
Not only did I finally get a red fox, I got a mature adult.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The First Week of Rifle Season: Part 2

After what started as a slow, wet morning, opening day turned out to be a pretty interesting day. Then again, any day hunting is better than sitting on the couch. Once I got the deer checked in and hung, I pulled up the forecast to find out that Tuesday was going to be nothing but rain. A quick call to my uncle Rick to make sure he was still going to come up and make sure of the meeting time and I was off to dry out my gear and repack for the next day.

Tuesday - 11/22 - BSing with Rick

Rick and his blind
After taking a deer on the first day and adding more meat to the freezer there was little to no pressure. At least that's what I was telling myself considering the day was looking to be a totally wash out. It started out the same way as Monday, the fog was heavy and didn't lift until nearly 9:00 AM. I had radioed Rick and told him if I hadn't seen any deer and the rain didn't let up I was going to take a hike around the property in the hopes of pushing some deer his way. As 11:00 AM rolled around, the only thing in my sight line were a few gray squirrels and rain drops. At this point I knew that there wasn't much point of sitting on stand as I knew no one else was out, due to the lack of shots and text messages, to push the deer around, so I thought the best chance Rick or I had at seeing a deer was if I bumped one up. I proceeded to hike around Foggy Mountain, until I met up with Rick at his lean-to ground blind. The only thing I managed to see was a pair of Grouse that have taken to Foggy Mountain the past year. On a day like today, Rick had the best idea. He was held up under his homemade lean-to blind that was big enough for the two of use to comfortable sit in and stay dry. So what else is left to do on a wash out day like this other than have a nice hot lunch, he has everything in this blind, sometimes those old-timers still have a few tricks up their sleeves that we've never even thought of. As we sat there and waited for our lunch, we BS'ed about everything from the early days that Rick hunted this property to the current state of Foggy Mountain and the hopes for its future. Then after we ate, he talked about his hunting trips out west and even still had a few pictures on his camera that he showed me. All in all, this had to be one of my favorite days hunting even without seeing a deer.

Wednesday - 11/23 - Butchering

This was another rainy day that I used as day to catch up with everyone that'd had been hunting this week and hadn't been able to talk to. I also finished butchering my deer and got it into the freezer, by the way it's looking I have enough room for one, maybe two if I'm lucky, but who knows. The second half of the day was used to travel to Cassie's parents for Thanksgiving.

Thursday - 11/24 - Thanksgiving

This was the first time I was able to hunt on Cassie's parents land. I was very eager as this land is close the Ohio River and I knew that a few of the locals had told me about some great looking deer in the area. At day break, Cassie's dad and I heading out. He went to his stand, which he saw a bobcat at Monday, and I headed to the furthest field edge from his stand in hopes of pushing a few deer this way on my walk back in to another stand. I felt like a little kid exploring a new world trying to hunt this area. As soon as I cut down into the woods I jumped up two does and then a moment later I saw a rabbit take off. I slowly crept through the woods until I made it to the stand I was using that day. Shortly after getting into stand I saw a figure of a deer in the creek bed, roughly 150 yards from me. At this point the fog was so thick I couldn't see much more than a figure. Around 9:00 AM, her dad texted me to see what I saw thus far, I told him and he told me he had 6 turkeys, 3 long beards included in front of him for the last 45 minutes. We proceeded to text as I had a doe walk up the hill in front of me towards his stand. In hopes that it would work its way towards him I let the deer walk. Around 10:30 AM the fog finally broke and I texted him that I was going to continue  heading towards him trying to push him that doe I saw earlier. Before I even made it out of stand 25 yards I bumped up a young doe, At this point Cassie's brother texted me that he'd gladly take a deer if felt like shooting one for him considering he didn't hunt much or at all. I decided to head to the field to wait for it to make its way out. After waiting for it for a while I decided to slowly head back down the path to see if it was still there. I didn't even make it five yards back into the woods before I had a 48 yard chip shot. Normally in this situation I wouldn't be taking a doe this young, but someone else was wanting the meat. I laid the cross-hairs on it's neck and dropped it in it's tracks. This left me just enough time to take it to the processors and get back and get a shower before turkey time!

Kick Off
Friday - 11/25 - Backyard Brawl

With taking my second deer of the week and still trying to recover from the tryptophan, I slept in and took it easy as we packed up to leave and head to the last WVU home game of the season, The Backyard Brawl, WVU vs. Pitt. I know I didn't get to hunt, but I did get to watch WVU beat Pitt in possibly the last Backyard Brawl so I'll take it.

Saturday - 11/26 - Exploring Foggy Mountain

I had plans of getting up and hunting all day on Saturday, but after a late game and not getting home until nearly 2:00 AM, I slept in again and went breakfast with Cassie, something we rarely get to do in hunting season. I still managed to get in an afternoon hunt. Late in the first week of the rifle season I prefer to still hunt and explore more of the property, mainly because you never know at this point and time where the deer are going to be hiding. This also gave me time to look for where I want to put my own lean-to blind next year, like I said I'm learning and staying dry this past week would have been nice. My hunting strategy paid offed, I ended up seeing two does, I had a shot on both, but with only being able to take one more buck and doe I held of considering I still have a week of buck season left and two in doe. I also stumbled onto those same two grouse again as well as a massive gray squirrel. I also pulled the camera cards from my trail cameras and I must say that everyone is in for a treat tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The First Week of Rifle Season: Part 1

With the forecast calling for warm, rainy weather in the early part of the week, I wasn't looking to have much success if any at all. But as the saying goes, "You can't kill 'em from the couch." The first week of rifle season always sounds like a World War 3 is starting, just one of those things one gets use to hunting rifle season in WV. Past the first morning, the deer are running scared as well as a few hunters. But there are two parts to this season, the openings week (this past week) that everyone has time off to hunt a portion of the week and the second week when there is rarely anyone out and the deer start to get back on their patterns and the start of the second half of the rut. Luckily, this year I had the whole week off and  a few days in the second week to hunt also. As for how my week turned out, you may have got a clue in the past TCT, but I'll give an overview of the past week over the next two posts.

Monday - 11/21 - Opening Day

Mainly being a bow hunter, I still get excited for this time of year. Even with only starting my reemergence into the outdoor world five years ago, there is still a little bit of tradition here. As a little kid I always went hunting with my grandpa this week, now that he's beyond the point of being able to tote a gun and run the ridges, Foggy Mountain is mainly left to my uncle and myself.

As with any eager morning I got to my stand early, I met my uncle Rick at the bottom of the mountain as he was unloading his ATV and we wished each other luck and we were on our way. With a heavy mist in the air, that quickly turned back into a drizzle, we both knew this would be a long day. This proved to be true, on any normal opening morning, you can normally count 75 to a 100 shots by noon. This wasn't the case, I didn't hear my first shot that morning until nearly 8:00 AM, that wasn't as shocking as it was to not hear a second shot until 10:28 AM. Shortly after hearing that second faint shot of the morning, I saw my first deer. Well, more like a tail, it was a deer that was bumped up by someone, it was off to the races and  nothing was stopping it. Luckily I was able to see that it was a doe. That was my only action all morning. The rain was still coming down and I wasn't getting any drier so I decided to take a 20 minute lunch break. I climbed down and still hunted my way back to my Jeep for a quick lunch, I was hopeful to at least jump something up on the way out, but still no luck.

It wasn't until a little after 3:00 PM that I saw my next deer. It was a 3-point that I had been seeing on and off all of bow season, to be honest I thought it was 6-point I had pictures of from the previous weekend. I actually have some video footage of this deer, from bow season. This deer snuck in behind me before I even saw it. It was already at 75 yards when I saw it and heading towards a thicket with little to no visibility. I proceeded to watch this deer with my binoculars for 45 minutes after it bedded down in the thicket. This deer wasn't moving, I ranged it at 111 yards, but no matter how I looked at it, I didn't have a shot. I had a choice to make, watch this deer until it was to dark to shoot or try and sneak out of my stand and get a clean shot on it. After weighing my options, I decided if I could make it out of my stand I'd have a good shot at making it through another thicket adjacent to the buck on the opposite side of the creek.

I made it out of my stand without spooking the buck. I knew the rest should be easy, right? Over the next 20 minutes I managed to close in on buck at 45 yards, this was the first spot I was able to get a clear shot. Luckily, I was able to stalk crawl through the thicket on my side of the creek. This should like a lot of work for a 3-point I know, but at this point it was more about seeing if I could do it or not, plus I was this thinking it was that six point. After closing in and getting set up for the shot, the buck was still bedded down when I was able to get my cross-hairs on him. No matter what I did, he wasn't getting up, so at this point I decided my best option would be a neck shot, not my first choice, but there wasn't much left to choose from. As I bore down on fire my shot, another close shot rang out only seconds before I pulled the trigger. Finally that made the deer stand up, of course I wasn't ready for this. I was already firing my shot, in that split second I fired the buck, he stood and my shot fired right under him completely missing him. This was the first time I have ever missed a deer on a first shot, hell the only time I had to use more than one bullet on a deer period. I thought this chance was over and he was gone, but he only took three steps in the opposite direction into a hard quartering away shot and paused that's all I needed, I let another shot ring out and he buckled and he was done. I had successfully stalked and harvested one of the only deer taken this past week on Foggy  Mountain. This was the third consecutive year (you can read about last year's here) I was able to take a deer on opening day of rifle season.

My trophy from Rifle Season... So far...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - 11/22/11

This is the "Gone Hunting" Edition... 

Between it being opening week of Rifle Season here in WV and trying to finish processing my deer, I am going to forgo this week's TCT. Look for a new one next week. And if you haven't guessed or heard on Twitter yet, I got a deer, but you'll have to wait a little bit longer for the full write up......

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Many Points!?!?!

If you remember back a couple weeks ago when I posted a TCT that lead with a picture of a non-typical buck taken on a property next to Foggy Mountain, you're in for a treat. If not then you can look to the right a see the same picture that lead that post. Now you many be sitting there wondering why you are in for a treat.. It's not because it's almost rifle season in WV. It is not because The Will to Hunt finally posted on how I can save money on outdoor gear, however,  this will allow me to keep breathing once Cassie sees my next purchase, haha. Is it because we finally have a better idea of many points the buck (pictured right) has, were getting warmer. Is it because we finally have some quality pictures of it, you're starting to burn up. Who know this would turn into a game of Hotter/Colder? Not I... (Side note, Cassie says I am a dork.)

 Any ways on to the point of this, this buck that we have been chasing has 15 score-able points, or should I said had. That's right, he was harvested this past weekend. Yet again I didn't have any part in the harvesting of a buck on Foggy Mountain, but James (the one who originally had the Trail Cam pictures) took him on this past Saturday evening. Sorry for the quality of the first picture, it was taken with a cell phone, but the second pictures makes up for it and gives a better prospective of a head on shot. I think this just proves, even though WV is only known for having average deer hunting, we can still a few quality bucks hidden up our sleeves.

Look at the mass!!!

Talk about a freak!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Nov. 15, 2011

This past weekend was a little trying in the aspect that one minute that it felt like the rut hadn't even started and then the next that it was in full swing, but I got a some interesting pictures this past week that say that it's here and in full swing. I got a set of pictures of these two bucks sparing for nearly ten minutes. Then after this there is a does scent checking a licking branch and scrape (not pictured).

Also we are starting to get some pictures of a few bucks that we've never seen before. This isn't the best picture, but this buck looks to have an interesting rack.

I couldn't resist posting this picture. Any one have the need for a new coonskin hat? I know where you can find a few coons at.

This bear isn't as cute as the rest, this is one big bear! From what we can tell from the picture and the one encounter someone had with him, we are estimating him to be at around 300 pounds give or take.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Nov. 8, 2011

Click to Enlarge
Considering last week's TCT left a lot to the imagination this weeks made up for it. I didn't manage to get any pictures of that buck, but my buddy, James, did get a great looking one on the next property. This buck is looking to be a non-typical 13 point. I apologize for the quality, but this is a great looking deer. This wasn't the end of the surprises for this week, after having just a few does and small bucks on camera for the majority of last week, I got a great surprise on Friday evening/night. This was after I moved my camera around to get a better angle on the bucks entering my food plot. 

Shortly after getting out of my tree stand this guy shows up...

I believe this is Slick,  a buck we have been watching for three years now...
 Normally this time of year Slick goes completely nocturnal and also starts cruising. He uses our property as a home base, but normally only frequents the area of this trail cam once a week if that. Much to my surprise, I got another set of great picture of him around three hours later...

And as always it wouldn't be a TCT without having a bear picture or two. After looking at this pictures a few times I think I might be agreeing with Cassie. She said she has money on the fact that this bear is pregnant due to its size and rounded belly. I'll let you guys be the judge.

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the winner is..

It's time to announce the winner of the Boone & Crockett Club Membership Giveaway and it is..

The lucky #1 entry belongs to Tony of the The Bearded Boar. Congratulations and please contact me with your name, email, and mailing address. You can do this by using my Contact Me page or at foggy.mountain.productions(at)gmail.com. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't forget...

... there is under 48 hours to sign up for a Boone & Crockett Club Membership. Click on the link and proceed to sign up from there. Look for a new video and a product review in the upcoming week. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Nov. 1, 2011

This one is going to be short and sweet, before I start to cuss or have to keep thinking about it. No, nothing bad happened, it's more along the lines of something really good happened. Some how I either shifted my trail cam or well, I don't know. I had been getting decent pictures on it. I' ll let everybody see for themselves what has me so frustrated, I think the only thing  better than a picture would be getting a shot a him.

I can see a little bit of his back sticking up there above the 50 in 3:50AM
Then I get this.. I think I know which one he is from last year. If he is, he's nothing less than a 10-pointer. 
Just  another little buck, but still shows how jacked my camera was this last go around. 

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