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NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67!

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NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67!
Guys... and Dani,
I have a confession to make to my Duckboats.net comrades: I have wandered from our passion into deer hunting. I have no good excuse save the fact that there are more deer than ducks in the Piedmont of North Carolina. And many more places to deer hunt than duck hunt. The latter is especially stressing to one who lived in Michigan near Lake St. Clair for 26 years and travelled annually to the UP and northern Ontario in search of marsh magic. So I ask your pardon at my wandering. I do plan on returning to the marsh and creeks in December and January.


Here is my deer hunting story today, November 17, 2021. It is the day I got my first deer. Ever.


Last year was my first year deer hunting. I used a shotgun and slugs. I didn't like that weapon. Over the summer I purchased a CVA Optima muzzleloader. I like that weapon. I approached this season with confidence about my shooting knowing I still had much to learn about the whitetail.

Since the opening of muzzle loader season for Wake County I have probably hunted ten times with no success. I?ve had a blast scouting and hunting. I've seen deer but none that offered a good shot.

One thing is for sure about my personality and deer hunting: sitting still for long periods is not my forte!!

Today I tried a new strategy: instead of setting up in one spot that I previously scouted and staying in that one spot, I planned to "mobile stand hunt." I took my three legged chair, my bipod, and my gun and a little hip pack. My plan was to walk in a short distance, sit for 30 minutes, then walk in a ways more as quietly as possible. Sit again. Repeat through the morning.

Around 8:30 I spotted my first deer that I evidently spooked. Be more careful Larry! I began working northeast with the wind coming from the south. The cover was good. Not thick but certainly not open in this creek bottom on public game land. Lots of oaks. Grey squirrels were having a convention.

Around 10:00 I spotted a doe with an injured leg walking towards me about 125 yards away. The cover was too thick to shoot. The doe was upwind. After flirting around in one place the doe gradually moved back the way it came, tail wagging without alarm.

I walked closer and sat for a while, hoping that doe would return. It did not. I walked to where the deer was browsing and found acorn caps all over the ground from the red oak trees nearby. I realized those trees were hot for deer. I backed away, found a spot to sit and decided to remain there for an hour. 15 minutes later the following happened:

I heard a noise over my left shoulder that I assumed was a squirrel. No. It was a buck that managed to walk within 25' (that's FEET!) of my left shoulder and downwind at that. What the heck? When I turned he was as startled as me. He took off but for some reason stopped and looked back at me about 30 yards away. I couldn't believe it. I drew up my muzzle loader, sighted quickly , and for whatever reason, he still didn't run. I shot. He reeled from the impact, ran 30 yards and dropped. Amazing! All this at 11:00. All this in about 30 seconds!

Ah! Don't run over and look at the deer Larry. Just sit there. I wrote this report sitting in the woods in the moments after the shot.

15 minutes later I walked over to open eyes. Smile. Satisfaction.

I've cleaned many an animal before but never a deer. I would say I did OK but not great. The drag out with a jet sled, 1/3 mile, was not too bad. I just stopped whenever my bones got tired. I must say I'm not sure I would be able to drag a 200 pounder.

Thanks for reading,

Larry

30 yard shot; 30 yard recovery.
80 grains by volume Blackhorn 209
240 grain Hornady XTP
CVA Optima




Last edited by:

Larry Eckart: Nov 17, 2021, 6:59 PM
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Congradulations on the deer. Still hunting deer at one time was my favorite way to hunt when I had private farms to hunt. Can,t say i,m brave enough to try it on public ground especially during rifle season. To many idiots in the woods that will shoot at anything. May have to go to that though. Have had a game cart and a ladder stand stolen in past month both on swamp areas only accesable by boat. The work in deer hunting starts after you pull the trigger!
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Larry Eckart wrote:



I heard a noise over my left shoulder that I assumed was a squirrel. No. It was a buck that managed to walk within 25' (that's FEET!) of my left shoulder and downwind at that. What the heck? When I turned he was as startled as me. He took off but for some reason stopped and looked back at me about 30 yards away. I couldn't believe it. I drew up my muzzle loader, sighted quickly , and for whatever reason, he still didn't run. I shot. He reeled from the impact, ran 30 yards and dropped. Amazing! All this at 11:00. All this in about 30 seconds!

Larry


Larry,
Congrats on a successful hunt.

As you have found out deer can be very curios creatures. I have actually had them walk closer to me once I had been "discovered" yet "unidentified". Got a nice fat doe with my bow one time, because she closed the gap from 100 yards to 30 yards, all while I was exposed along an open fence line. (I had been walking to my stand when she come over the horizon and spotted me. I dropped to my knees, she kept trying to get me to move, so she could determine just what I was. She kept quartering back and forth getting closer all the time, trying to figure out just what I was. When I felt she was in range, I slowly raised and drew my bow. I don't think see even saw the arrow speeding her way.)

But enough about my hunt, Extremely happy for you on your great hunt. Thanks for sharing.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Lot of us here are multi season hunters.

Nice deer, good eater, so you should be happy! I like it.

Last edited by:

tod osier: Nov 18, 2021, 9:51 AM
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Excellent!! Nice young buck, good eats

Back when I deer hunted, I loved stalk hunting like you describe, much more fun than sitting in a stand. And it works!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Congrats!!

You know the next big step in your deer hunting future will to harvest one with a bow. Promise you will love that challenge!!
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Congratulations on your first deer!!!!! He is a nice young fella and will be great eating!!!
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Congratulations, Larry, on your first buck!! Like you, I always wanted to shoot a 200lb buck. When I did, the fist thing I discovered was what a bugger he was to tow out. I was in very good shape then, but getting him to start to slide along required quite a bit of umph each time to overcome inertia.

The hunter I learned this style of hunting from called it "poke hunting". Ralph would either work across the wind or into it, stopping for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how much deer sign he encountered. Two things he always stressed: When he stopped to post, he always made a point of clearing the leaf litter around his feet back to bare earth to enable him to shift or move to better position himself for a shot. He also maintained that you should always set-up so that your rifle was held in a 20 degree arc downwind of your position so you could make the shot quickly, if presented. Plus,most bucks will work into a piece of cover by moving across or upwind, enabling you to see them first before they smell your scent plume and blow. Over the years of hunting via this technique, I have combined this style of hunting with the use of a Hunter's Specialties Estrus bleat can, which is very effective in pulling a cruising buck in for a better shot, or stopping one that has spooked. I've killed over a dozen bucks using this technique, with five of them heavy racked individuals.

Cabela's used to sell a large roll-up sheet of heavy plastic with grommets arrayed around the outside edge, called a "Deer Sleigh"r". I bought a magnum model good for cervids up to elk size so that I could completely enclose a deer should I encounteer a water crossing on the drag out to a skidder road. They have a small lip in the front that works well to keep debris out while dragging a deer out. Through trial and error I discovered that, with large racked deer they towed best by "sitiching them in" with their hind legs up front and the head and antlers at the back end which minimized snagging of aspen and maple whips as well as eliminating the dead buck from skewering you in the back of the calf on downhills in snow when the deer carcass you are towing picks up speed quickly. The other advantage is that you can use the hind legs as tow handles to pull the deer and steer it through thick brush. With a Jet Sled I generally cut a solid piece of hardwood about log splitting maul diameter and wrap that in the tow loop to minimize hand fatigue. This technique also enables two people to pull a deer out simultaneously.

If you pick-up one of those enclosed foam 2" seat cushions with a velcro strap to attach it to your belt buckle to hang inside your coat, it will add a layer of comfort as well as keep you dry. I like to sit against the base of large tree or stump to break-up my outline. Another really nice accesory to add is a pair of shooting stixs, the ones made from anodized aluminum rods about a quarter inch in diameter that articulate via rubber grommet that serves as the run rest work well. They have internal bungie cord that enables you to fold them up in a compact carry bundle, but I generally just walk with them interlocked to be able to take a quick stable shot.
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Roy,
I understand what you are saying about the potential danger still hunting/mobile stand hunting on public land.

I wouldn't do it in Michigan during the 15 day rifle season there.

Where I now live in NC, I can legally hunt with my muzzle loader from October 3-January 1. Thus, hunters are crunched into a small time frame as they are in so many northern states. I feel and have observed the difference in hunting pressure.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't do this on Saturday, nor in easily accessible areas. Being a duck hunter, I am used to going further, or at the very least, go where other guys aren't.

When I see other cars at a game land parking lot I frequently go to another spot.

In this my second year, I have yet to run into another hunter or be run into.

Larry
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Rick,
Very good thoughts. Thank you. You seem to be having a good year on ducks in Da UP, eh?

Larry
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
This is one nice thing about the long deer seasons here in the south: it spreads out the pressure.
See any hogs??


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
 
Larry,

Ya did good. That's a good buck (tasty) for yer first deer. Congratulations.

Jet sled drags ain't easy without wet ground, or snow. Just take yer time once ya get the deer cooled as much as possible.

Long drags give a hunter plenty of time to ponder what just happened, where, and why. Thank God.

Deer guttin' is like a big rabbit or squirrel. Everything in the same place, just more correct work to get it all out.


I use a CVA Optima as well. Very deadly, and for sure not primitive weapons. I'm a still hunter & stump sitter. Never used a tree stand.

Deer are very curious animals. My uncle Frank taught me that, and it has paid off since 1964.


Welcome to the crew of American Deer Hunters.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to



These deer were all taken via "poke hunting" . Ralph's monster 8pt. as shot on Neebish island inlandfrom the Hen nd Chicken Islands. It weighed 254lbs. The Marquette islanddeer pair has Ralph's 205lb buck.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Nov 18, 2021, 9:44 AM
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Fun deer pics Rick and speaking from experience dragging a 200 pounder by yourself is no fun at all, even a 180 pounder is a handful and my back is still feeling that one.
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Carl,
Hogs are not common in the Piedmont. They tend to be in southern NC and closer to the coast.

Larry

PS: I bet there are times you miss hunting in your Mobile Bay. I enjoyed the stories of your hunts there.
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to

Quote
PS: I bet there are times you miss hunting in your Mobile Bay.



Yes, definitely. :(


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Larry,

if you want your sled to slide a little better, look into a product called GatorGlide. They put it on the bottom of airboats and mudboats down here to really help the boats move over mud and vegetation. Might make moving the sled through the woods a little easier. There are several other similar products out there I am sure....

it might make pulling your big monster deer you shoot next time much easier

Dani
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Nice job Larry! Nothing better on a cold winter night than some seared venison right out of the skillet, or a hearty venison stew with some homemade cornbread and lots of butter.....you have a lot of good eating to look forward to!




------------------------------------------------
"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
RL-I could swear I've seen elk on the ground that were smaller than that monster deer in the bottom photo-holy cow that's a whopper!




------------------------------------------------
"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Congrats, Larry!!


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: NDR: First Deer At Age 67... And First 1/3 Mile Drag of Said Deer At Age 67! In reply to
Ralph and his brother Dale were camping on MSU land (University owns the north haff of Neebish as a portion of the Dunbar Forest ResearchFfacility) when he located the sign of this buck. He initially thought that the rubs and scrapes were those of a moose, since they migrate across the river channel from St, Joseph Island where there is a large population and winter yard. He said he and Dale spent about a half-hour moving the deer to a spot where they could get their Deer Sleigh'r under him and get him "stiched-in" after gutting him. It took them the rest of the day to get him dragged to a skidder road that they could get the truck into but still had to drag him behind the truck on the woods roads back to their camp site about a mile west. They ended-up driving down to Cliff Tyner's ( Neebish Island Ferry captain at that time) farm asking him to use his front end loader to get the deer loaded into the truck prior departure on the ferry. The deer was never weighed until several days after he killed it...

We frequently saw deer swimming across the shipping channel from Sugar Island to Neebish in fall, as well as from St. Joseph Island back-and-forth to Neebish down by Moon Hill where there was a large dense conifer swamp. Several times when we would kill the lights on the Montauk and pole it inshore prior doing shoreline sampling tows to assess larval fish abundance we would blow a feeding moose out of the marshland along the shore-always an exciting encounter in the dark as we marked them with our hand-held dive lights as they pounded inland.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Nov 19, 2021, 5:11 AM