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Recent entries


Non-Typical Hunter

I’ve got the itch again!

Mon, October 18, 2010

After last week’s BBD, I told myself I’ll take some time off and rest a bit. OK, I’m rested!

This cooler weather is really getting me fired up. Although I’m hearing the same complaint from many hunters regarding low sightings, I have to reiterate to hunt differently this time of year. The key here is to change your times and your locations!

One of the reasons I got so burnt out last week was because I was so obessed in getting one of the two bucks I was after. I definitely pushed the outer envelope with that one! I was in the timber from dawn until dusk, trying to catch them in route. I got to the point where I was starting to take the fun away from the sport. Never again! What I have decided to do is to hunt the optimum times instead of the all day thing. What you need to know now is to hunt the bucks in the late morning and early afternoon IN THE TIMBER, not on the field edges. Around here, try working the timber around 9:30 am. - noon and then again around 1:30 pm. to 3:30 pm or longer. Some hunters just don’t get this concept but they DO MOVE in the middle of the day this time of year. Get in the middle of the acorn masts that are near water and preferably in the lower lying elevations. The does will move in the mornings more than the bucks will now I believe. So do yourself a favor, sleep in, eat a good breakfast and hunt in the late morning.

I have been using my time off this week wisely by revamping my non typical hunter website. It’s not finished yet but I’m offering new services and am going to add an interactive question and answer page. It will save me 50 emails a day if a reader posts his/her question on the site and for me to answer it online for the others to read. I’ll even be posting the details about a new trade show I’m organizing for next year in the Peoria area! Once I get the details ironed out, I’ll let everybody in on it. A few more days on the computer and I’ll be back in the timber!

This weekend is gun turkey season, so I’m going to grab the old cannon, AKA the 10 gauge, and head out with my son to bag some Thanksgiving vittles! It should be fun.


The calm before the storm

Sat, October 16, 2010

Some hunters refer to the third week of October here in Illinois as the “lull” period. There are several factors which are responsible for this so-called “lack of activity” but in reality, it’s a great time to hunt. For deer, it’s a major transition time. Crops are being harvested, smaller bucks are testing their dominance and deer in general are changing patterns. If you understand why they are changing, you’re back in the game!

This year in Illinois, we’re having a great acorn mast. What does that mean for you? It means as the crops are being pulled out, deer are now finding an ample food source in the timber. So instead of cruising to and from their favorite crop field, they’re merrily walking slower and grazing as they move. This is a great time to hunt! With their heads down most of the time and their slow pace, it becomes a bow hunter’s dream. The only draw back is you don’t hear them coming! It’s a time for glassing and being alert.

This so called “lull” doesn’t last very long. By the end of October, the pre-rut will be in full swing and bucks will start dropping their appetites and looking for love. Why wait until then? Next week will offer some of the best hunting all year. Relaxed animals, noses to the ground and slower movements are ideal circumstances for any bow hunter. Add cooler weather to the equation and you’re living the dream. 

When hunting this period, make sure you plan on hunting as much as your body can take. Don’t think for one minute that your only chances of dropping a buck in the middle of the day, will happen during the rut only.  Deer WILL be moving all day during the lull but not as rambunctious. KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED! They’re there! Bring snacks and water and if you have to, rotate into different stands. I think a ground hunt would be especially beneficial for the simple fact of mobility and comfort. Bottom line: Don’t sit back and wait for the rut! This is colorful October when the weather is great, colors are vibrant and deer are calm! Get out and enjoy it!

I’m going to do something I thought I would never do the next time I go out and that is film a hunt. Although I’m scheduled for a filmed hunt in Kansas next month, I have never done any filming myself. I have a device called a Bowpix that will mount my digital camera to my bow. Without having to take the risk of having another person tag along, I think this set-up might work. My only fear is trying to fumble with the camera while attempting to make a shot on a deer thus losing the opportunity altogether. We’ll see how that works! It could be fun or it could be disastrous. If it works, the Heartland readers will be one of the first to know!

OK, get out and forget this lull nonsense!


The cooler weather paid off

Wed, October 13, 2010

What a day! Nearly 2 weeks in the timber and 2 does to show for it, before today. I like does, so that wasn’t a derogatory remark,  it just wasn’t what I was after. I had a hunch, with the weather change and temps dropping this morning, that it would cause these deer to move. Boy did they! At least where I was hunting.

Got out of bed at 3:00 am.showered, drank coffee and made the 2 hour drive to the farm. Made it to the woods at 6:20 am. At first light, which was only 25 or so minutes later, a couple of does walked by me just a few yards away. They meandered around for about 10 minutes (OK, maybe 5 but it seemed like 10) until one of them got nervous and moved over about 40 yards. The other does then followed. A forky walked by me at 10 yards making me think I set-up way to close to the action. 20 minutes later, a buck (that I thought was a doe) moved into my area, again at 10 yards. This was THE monster! He was too close for me to shoot, so I let him walk out to the 15-20 yard mark and punched both shoulder blades out and literally dropped him in his tracks! What a rush!

It doesn’t get much better than that! So I packed up and headed home for some much needed rest. I’ve been getting up too early for too long and needed a nap! When recreation becomes work, it’s time to back off. I’m looking forward to more cooler weather and shorter days. It’s getting good now and I have some more tags to fill, so looking forward to some more action!

Anyone else have any luck today?


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