Father and son time in the woods
October 28, 2011
I picked my son up a little early from school today to head to the woods. Heís only 5 so we decided to hit some park land armed only with the grunt call, a rattle bag, windicator and a bleet can. Letís just see how well these things work. Well, it was exciting from the start. This stream valley section in Montgomery County is so polluted with deer itís stupid. No hunting what so ever as itís a popular horse trail system. It was about 5:30 when we started and immediately spooked a herd of deer from a field. They were working up wind from us and spooked far up a steep hill. We settled in with our backs up against a cedar tree and partially hidden in some dying golden rod. I immediately started rattling with a small shed pair I found. Then moved to the rattle bag which is much louder. This almost immediately got some attention. The same herd of deer we spooked circled back around on us. It seemed that the more I hit the bag, the calmer the deer became and started moving through the woods less cautiously. They circled completely back around on us. IT was a group of about 10 does and 4 bucks. The bucks looked like 1.5 and 2.5 year olds, some 4 pt, barely passed the ears and two eight points at the ears or so. We were not wearing camo and some of the does stomped a foot or two but for the most part could care less. Again, the more I hit the bag, the closer they all came. This was exciting to say the least and Ryan thought so too. Ryan hit the grunt call a few times too, a reed type call that if you blow it too hard, the noise is more like a dying cat. But I think I taught him to gently produce the appropriate grunt.
Everything from the bleet to the grunt seemed to calm the deer but the rattle bag definitely got the best response. One doe, a small doe, worked straight to us. All the deer were still up wind throwing out an occasional blow. The small doe circled around us but took her time staying about 20 yards from our position and closing. She eventually got down wind but had to come completely around us with my son not able to sit completely still either. Heck I was rattling with her less than 20 yards out. Some of the other does were snorting, theyíd often spook off a few yards but once I hit the rattle, it got the attention of everyone, bucks included. Finally the close doe made it within 10 yards and got our wind. Thatís when most of the herd took off. But we had all 4 bucks within 30 yards at one point. Well, we kept hitting the grunt, bleet and rattle bag and called them all back again! I Couldnít believe it. Iíve never been this close before. Eventually the bucks started chasing. Nose to the ground, hair sticking up on their backs and the does looked to be flerting. But they ended up in full out sprint chasing most of the does across the stream and out of the area. This was after we had spooked most of the deer too. Unbelievable! AT one point I almost think I saw one of the larger bucks mount a doe too. Iím not kidding. His hair on his back changed color as it flared and all I saw was his hind legs crunched over as if he tried to mount a doe but she kept running off and dragged him. After a few minutes he broke out into a full on sprint after a doe and vanished several hundred yards down the power line chasing a doe. The same group of does they were with all evening, the same group we spooked on the way in. Crazy night and I didnít even have a bow in my hand. But I did have my best friend with me and we got to share a special father and son time together. I had Ryan whispering, taught him how to slowly turn his head while mostly only moving his eyes and even got him to sit on my lap and stay still for a lot longer than I thought.
On the way out we found a fresh scrape, I think the first Iíve seen too. I spent quite some time today after my morning hunt looking for scrapes and didnít find any. Rubs yes, but no scrapes until this evening. We didnít see any giants that often frequent this area but respectable deer and lots of them.
One more quick comment, during my morning hunt a friend of mine hunting 100 yards from me started rattling when he saw a group of doe. They immediately spooked off and fled the area. But behind them was an enormous buck. He took his time following the doe and after the rattle he hit a good size tree, violently shaking it as he rubbed. He eventually paid little attention to the rattle and left the area following the does but staying far behind, in no hurry. Later we investigated the tree he rubbed and it was practically destroyed. But we never did see how big his horns were. This area we hunted this morning receives a fair amount of hunting pressure. The property immediately to the south of the 5 acre lot I have permission to is off limits to hunt as the owner refers to the deer as his pets. But there are some massive deer on his property which adjoins the property Iím hunting on the same forested stream valley. Iím hoping some of those bucks will move around in the next few weeks but my cameras are coming up empty. When I drive around to view the neighboring field, there they all are, like clock work every evening.
Good rutting people,
good deal glaD to see ou got some bonding time in the outdoors
Nothing beats time outdoors with your kids. I remember going ground hog hunting and taking my Son. Shot 2 and then changed his diaper. He is 11 now and it just keeps getting better. Before long you will be posting Ryan' first buck. We will be hunting Stream Valley Park soon in the Montgomery Co. managed hunt...............Gary
Every rose has it's thorns.
That's the best part, just sitting there quietly and watching the drama unfold.
I watched 6 does chasing each other in circles Friday wondering what the hell they were doing...fascinating.
Not this stream valley but yes they have a lot of area they close to a scheduled managed hunt right around now. For some reason not this area though. So, you experts, I'd say it's on like you wouldn't believe. Halloween is always a good kick off point. Last year on Oct. 29th I did basically the same thing on my way to work and followed a buck into the woods just with a grunt call. This is the time. Far too many hunters wait till peak time, you know, when they are all locked down.
Originally Posted by crabby and son
Last Friday the 28th we saw some good action in Crabby and son's neck of the woods. Big old buck with a group of doe. The doe spooked when we rattled but the buck stuck around and shook the living daylights out of a 4" diameter tree. But he wouldn't step out in the open for a shot and continued on his way.