Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another week goes by...

Spent Thanksgiving with the in-laws this past week. We had some snowy weather, but the roads never got too bad and we were able to travel safely so that was good. On Thursday, one of my brother-in-laws met me at the land to try to see if we could shoot some pigs or turkeys, but it was snowing pretty good, and although we saw a couple deer we didn’t see any pigs or turkey. I did see a coyote but shot and missed it. The neighbors to the north of me shot 2 nice bucks on Monday and sent me a pictue on my phone but I haven't figured out how to get it from my phone to my computer. My old computer had an IR feature that I could send files from my phone to the computer with but my new computer doesn't have that feature.

I’ve been traveling quite a bit with work lately. Spent last week in Tucson, Arizona and this week in Artesia, New Mexico. It has been a bit tough traveling with a little one at home, it seems like he changes quite a bit every time I’m gone for a few days. Over the weekend he took his first few steps so it looks like he will be walking any day now.

I think my postings are going to get a little sparse as my busy season at work is here and I won’t have a whole lot going on as far as hunting and recreational stuff goes over the next few months. I’ll try to keep a weekly post going, but it may be pretty short. I am going on a pheasant hunt this Saturday so I’ll post on that next week.

That’s it for now.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Well, nothing too eventful in the past week, we made about 10lbs of jerky this week and had the rest made into sausage. This week I'm back out on the audit trail in the beautiful town of Sells, Arizona. We stay in Tucson and drive back and forth a little over 60 miles each way. We are hoping that we didn't make a major mistake coming out here this week and traveling home on one of the highest traffic days of the year on Wednesday to get home for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, one thing that I've been thinking about are the wonderful blessings that I have in my life. I'm thankful to have a wonderful wife and a healthy growing baby boy. I work at a great place and enjoy my job and the people that I work with. This year has been exceptionally good so far with Eli being such a joy this first year.

It looks like we are going to be having some bad weather coming up so I'm not sure if I will be taking my brother-in-law and two of his sons hunting down in Fisher county on Thanksgiving day or not. The forecast is for a high of about 35 with a 30% chance of snow.

Well, not much of a post this week, but I want to keep up the habit. Hope anyone reading this has a great Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Success Part 3 - First Texas Whitetail

Well, I spent the weekend down on the land hunting Texas whitetail for the first time and ended up shooting a nice young buck. I'm 99% sure that it is the one in the trail camera picture that I put on last weeks post.

I ended up buying a ground blind and set it on one of the hills on the property and it worked amazingly well. I was pretty much invisible to the animals, I had one pig come within 40 yards and I don't think it ever saw me, but it was moving too fast and there was always some obstruction that didn't allow me to shoot at it. I think I will be building a permanent wooden blind on the hill this summer and using the ground blind for Turkey hunting and other things.

I saw 3 different bucks and passed up one nice 2.5 year old 9 point on three different occasions. I saw 2 does and 2 fawns (all that the same time so I know there were 2 of each) and several pigs. I saw a group of 14 turkeys and LOTS of quail also. Leaving my blind one night I saw 2 rattlesnakes but that wasn't necessarily a good thing! Overall it was interesting to sit in a blind for 3 to 4 hours each morning and evening and watch the world go by as the sun rose and set. The first morning I did get bored toward the end of the morning, but the last morning flew by and I didn't want to leave even though I didn't see any game animals.

I spent some time with the guys who have the hunting lease on the 700 acres to the North of me and they seem like really good folks. After spending the time down there I'm not sure if I am going to shoot any does or not this year. The habitat doesn't look like the deer are overpopulated and so far the buck to doe ratio is skewed with possibly more bucks than does so I think I will wait until next year to shoot a doe.

I will still probably go down and pig hunt a few more times and turkey hunt as well now that I have shot my deer (you only get to shoot 1 buck in Fisher County). I will probably do some quail hunting possibly over Christmas break or something.

Cathy and Eli were in Weatherford for the weekend and I was happy to get home to see them. Eli sure is cute!

That's it for now.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First time deer hunting in Texas.

Deer hunting season officially started in Texas this past Saturday. This will be my first time to ever deer hunt in Texas although I've hunted deer many years growing up in Montana.

In Montana, baiting any game animal is illegal. The hunting there is nearly all spot and stalk. In Texas, baiting is perfectly legal and is very widespread. You can even buy "Deer Corn" at the Supermarket! When I moved to Texas to go to college, I was shocked at the way they hunt deer here. I joked that it wasn't "hunting" deer, it was "shooting" deer. I felt that way pretty much until last year when I got back into hunting and bought some property here in Texas. Since that time I've talked with lots of people about hunting in Texas, and now even have my own feeder running!

I primarily set the feeder up to try to get an idea of what wildlife I have on my property more so than as true bait, but my conclusion is that it doesn't really work very well as bait for anything but raccoons. The pigs that come and visit it are very sporadic and the deer that come and visit it are more regular but even though the feeder is set to only put out feed during the day the deer primarily come visit it at night. I have a camera setup to take pictures of wildlife as they visit the feeder and this does allow me to get a good idea of the wildlife that is on my property which is really my main reason for setting up the feeder.

I'm completely clueless about hunting deer where you sit somewhere and wait for them to show up or walk by, so I thought about setting up a stand to watch the feeder, but I haven't yet, and am not really sure how well that would work. Most people try to setup trying to catch the deer going to or from the feeder from what I understand.

After not seeing any all summer, I'm finally starting to get some good bucks on camera. My game cameras got pictures of 3 decent bucks within the last week and two of them are in several pics including DAYTIME pictures now that the rut is approaching.

Just a little input on how my perspective has changed on baiting/feeding. It sounds like you are going to be shooting tame animals that come running to the dinner bell when the feeder goes off, but that's not how it works out. (I spent 2 hours watching the feeder tonight and nothing showed up).

There is almost zero chance at spotting and stalking in the thick brush, and with limited agriculture with food sources there aren't really any established game trails going to and from a field where you can hang out and watch from a stand. I think that even with the feeders it may be more difficult to hunt my new land than it is to spot and stalk back in Montana.

I just went down to the land to check the cameras and hunted a couple hours this evening. I had a small 8 point walk up within 25 feet of me when I was changing the card on one of my cameras, I'm not sure he ever saw me. He walked on down the trail a little and checked and worked on a scrape and walked on. I saw him about 1/4 mile down the creek and took some pictures of him with my regular camera. By allowing the younger deer to walk and not shoot them, this allows them to grow a few more years and hopefully become fully mature and come closer to reaching their potential.

I'm going back down there this weekend and probably a couple days next week. I hope I see one of the big ones next time I'm down there!

That's it for now. Nathan