Open up the season baby!
A year has passed already and the wait is over! Opening day tomorrow, oh boy!
Usually, I make some stupid mistakes every opening week of bow season but this year, I’ve already made them out-of-state. So, I should be ready to go! Unfortunately, I don’t have too much patterned here where I hunt, so I’m going to have to hunt differently. I don’t have anything big on trail cameras, nothing worth mentioning that I’ve seen recently or any massive sign that’s worth looking in to. Given that much info, I’ll have to switch strategies. Although I did see some nice bucks in the vicinity earlier in the late summer, they weren’t really dominant to my hunting area, so maybe I’ll see them in the rut.
It’s time to wipe the rust off everyone. Remember, clean clothes, safety harness, wind direction, noise control (especially when you approach the woods) and of course, patience. If you are lucky enough to harvest a deer, gut it quickly to preserve the flavor and if it’s a mountable buck, COOL down that hide fast! When cutting the deer, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, cut away from you! Unfortunately, there always seem to be a serious injury every year. Lets make this year different! It’s just not worth it to leave family and friends behind all because of laziness. The same goes with the safety harness!
I think we’re going to have a good opener. That’s my gut feeling and I hope it unfolds that way. Please remember, if anyone needs advice, recommendations, etc., please contact one of us here at PSO. Tim Walmsley and Kevin Chapman are both official scorers and will happily assist you if needed! We can also point you to some local taxidermist (central IL is blessed with several great taxidermist), meat processers & packing facilities and so forth. Of course, if you have a story worth sharing, we all here can assist you with that also!
Good luck and let her rip!Permalink
Making friends on the road
This trip I’m on was really an eye opener on how fun it is to meet other hunters from different parts of the U.S. It’s not that I’ve been locked up into a cage for the last 51 years but traveling in itself doesn’t really mean you’ll be in the same company of “like kind” either. Writing and reading in hunting forums has opened the door of communications for the outdoor enthusiasts, not to mention the many relationships it has built. Aside from the characters that use these forums as a dating service, the internet forums have opened up a medium to carry hunter’s interests throughout North America. I can say first hand that is has opened up a whole new way to hunt the U.S. that before a decade or so ago, wasn’t that attainable.
When planning my hunt to Kentucky and Ohio recently, I used the internet. Often, I get emails from readers that ask this or that, or are simply responding to questions I’ve asked them. Before you know it, relationships were built. Building relationships are the key to anyone’s success when obtaining future places to hunt. With the added frustration in trying to find a place to hunt for most people, a different approach can achieve amazing results. People who live out of our state, often express their desire to hunt whitetails here in IL. Many hunters here in IL. dream of hunting big game, far from the flat fields of golden, that we call corn. Can there be a solution here? I think so. Trading places to hunt can be very rewarding! Some might say “I don’t have a place to trade”. My advice to you is, “Not so fast”.
Illinois, despite it’s political infiltration of our sport, still has a lot to offer. Everyone knows our Midwest, corn fed bruisers are some of the most sought after game animals anywhere to be found. Most out of state hunters aren’t necessarily looking for private land to hunt on, as they are for a location. Inside advice can be worth it’s weight in gold if it is obtained from a reliable source. That’s where you come in! Believe it or not, Illinois DOES have many promising state owned parks (although keeping them open could be an issue) that are easy to access and provide quality whitetail hunting, without the crowds. Any person doing some basic due diligence, can easily find these parcels I’m referring to. Don’t expect the DNR to do your homework for you as you probably won’t find more than the technical data on their website but use the information they provide you as a starting point. If you can locate a quality, low traffic state park to offer for exchange, bets are you’ll have an interested party on the other end. After all, it’s Illinois you’re talking about here! My bet is and experience has proven, most out of state hunters look at Illinois hunting as an opportunity. Use this tool! Believe it or not, many of our state parks have little to no traffic during many parts of the season…..FIND THE TIMES!
When working on a deal, try to put yourself in the other’s position. Would you want to open the door up to some well mannered, respectful hunter who shares the same goals that you do, or rather a haphazard type who spends much of his time bragging about how many deer he’s killed in 1 week, how he/she has “tricked” the system, etc? It doesn’t take long to capture another person’s ideals or goals. It’s the first step to building a respectful relationship! Once achieved, most relationships are ever lasting and can be very rewarding. The relationships I’ve built over the years with other hunters has been nothing short of enjoyable. I was amazed by the hospitality and the willingness to help, by the very strangers I met WHILE hunting out of state. One would think there would be some animosity between the local hunters and the out of state hunters, especially once a trophy buck was harvested. If there was, I surely didn’t see it! In fact, it was quite the contrary! I don’t think I could have met nicer people hunting afar as I did recently. I hope I can return the favor to our out of state guests!
Words of wisdom that I can recommend to anyone who might be fortunate enough to hunt another’s property would be, stay in tuned with THEIR goals for THEIR property and to respect the fact that they might have different opinions than you with regard to what to shoot! Also remember, don’t think for a minute that you can get sloppy on your last days with them as I’ll almost guarantee, you’re behavior is being monitored for any possible future visits! One example happened last night when I passed on a 140 class buck that came within shooting distance from me. Although the landowner gave me his blessing to shoot anything over 130”, it was evident through discussion, his goal was to save as many bucks that would have possibilities to become 150” class next year. Low and behold, as the evening was coming to a close last night, a buck matching the aforementioned description came strutting by me with no clue that my arrow was aiming right at him! It was tough but I opted to let him pass. Although I captured most of it on video, SO DID HE! He expressed his gratitude later for that decision to respect his property. Little did I know he had a motion detected video camera running not far from where I was on the ground. After watching the video, I could see on his face he felt good about what had happened. Another relationship built!
I’ll be back into the woods here shortly, so hopefully, I’ll see that buckeye bruiser I’ve been waiting for! This was a great time on the road hunting my dream animal! The nice thing is I’ll be able to come home and do it all over again! Looking forward to hunting my home state!
Opening day in OH.
Saw a ton of deer last night in OH. from my truck in the very farm I was hunting today. Today, I saw one doe…period. This is hunting! Going back in the P.M. to have another shot at it, no pun intended. Dropped a nice buck in KY. but I’m not equiped to post the pictures as of today, until I get my high speed back online. Tim Walmsley or Jeff Lampe has access to the photos, maybe they’ll post the pictures this weekend somewhere in the PSO site.
Going to take a well needed nap! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Updates will follow!
UPDATE: I passed on a 140” buck but I did get him on video pasing by me by holding my bow. Other than that, I saw 5 does but they were too far out to shoot or I would have dusted one of them. Will try it again tomorrow!Permalink