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Old November 14, 2012, 09:27 AM   #1
Jack O'Conner
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Trophy doe in Maryland

I hunt from a climbing treestand with my friends in Maryland nearly every weekend. Typically, I climb 15 to 20 feet above the ground to see clearly yet be unseen by deer. Deer rarely seem to look up.

I'd barely settled into my stand. It was 6:30AM. The post dawn greyness had not yet left the forest. Suddenly, this doe came in on my right, then turned and walked directly in front of me. Distance was approx 40 yards or so. I bleated to stop the animal and lined up my scope sight on the chest as I squeezed the trigger. My Mossberg 12 gauge slug gun belched flame and smoke as the shot blasted through the forest. The doe acted as if struck by Thor's hammer and dropped instantly. The heavy sabot bullet did its job!

Weight after field dressing is 71 lbs - an average sized mature doe. We like to serve trophy doe with potatoes and gravy, carrots and onions. The real trophy is on the dinner plate!

I'm thankful to our Lord Jesus for providing this fine animal to us.

NOTE: This hunt took place at Aberdeen Proving Grounds where seasons, bag limits, and regs are different than off post. The hunting is heavily regulated and managed by US Fish & Wildlife Service and not by state of Maryland.

Jack

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Last edited by Jack O'Conner; November 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:56 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Nice one, Jack! Congratulations!

The deer down there way must not be used to hunters in trees, I would guess. I have to get really high in the tree to avoid detection where I hunt. I regularly get 25 feet or more and will still get picked off if I don't have cover behind me or the tree is too small to hide my shape.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:45 PM   #3
Gbro
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I have only had a Deer look at me in a tree stand when the wind was wrong and both times, seconds before they looked at me it was, Oh---O! and then i was spotted.
On the subject of high in the tree, well been there done that, but Monday afternoon we had our second tree stand incident of the season.
25 year old fell 20 ft and he was air lifted to a regional trauma center w/spinal and chest injury's. The one from opening weekend is walking and home recovering from fractured ribs back and internal lacerations from the rib fractures.
Be Smart, Be Safe!
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:56 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Yes, safety gear is ALWAYS required. No shortcuts. I'm strapped in from the moment my feet enter the climber until the moment I step out again.
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The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:55 PM   #5
wizrd
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The deer in central NY spend a lot of time looking up into the trees for stands. Lots of tree stand hunters = educated deer.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:35 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Yes, they do. I'm never confident that I won't be spotted until I get to over 25 feet. Seems almost like an invisible barrier to them above that point. I try to get 30 if I can and I don't recall ever being spotted up there. Tough to get that high in a lot of trees though.

In case anyone wonders, yes, that a measured height. I have a 25ft gear rope so I know where 25ft is.
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:00 PM   #7
Panfisher
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I would get a nosebleed if I were that high. I've been busted in a stand a couple times each time they caught me moving. Have been carefully looked at many many times but each time I averted my eyes slightly and froze in position until they decided I was a part of the tree. but I do try to take care to have a tree or better yet tree limbs behind me.
Nice doe Jack, looks delicious.
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Old November 15, 2012, 08:32 AM   #8
Jack O'Conner
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I typically climb no higher than 20 feet yet have had good luck.

Jack
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Old November 15, 2012, 10:30 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Yeah, it has a lot to do with your surroundings. Most places that I go are on one of two extremes when it comes to trees.

There's either nothing but straight, branchless, climbable trees everywhere or there's nothing but traditional, low, wide, heavily branched maple tree type things and you have to take whatever climbable tree you can hope to find.

Both areas have advantages and disadvantages.

The first area, you're almost guaranteed to be able to find a good, wide, tall, climbable tree right where you want to be but you're also not going to have any cover or branches anywhere near you so you look like a giant zit on the tree. You have tons of options for different wind and trail directions but you have to be really high to avoid detection.

The second area, if you find a tree, you will probably have background and cover but the odds of finding a tree where you want it and the odds of being able to get more than 10 or 12 feet high are much lower. Even so, with good background probably around, you don't need as much height.

I've also found it to be absolutely true that deer can see your eyes. I always try to keep my bow between my eyes and the deers eyes and I even sometimes close my eyes or squint heavily to avoid detection when the deer are close and interested. It definitely works.
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---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:01 AM   #10
Gbro
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Not to rain on your parade,

But i do a fair amount of clinics on portable deer stands.
I mentored a young lad that is now a firearms safety instructor and while doing a clinic with 120 kids 10-14 years old i took the lanyard off the climber and had him kick it free when he was 10 ft. up.
Well he being a football player and all around good athlete, he thought this was going to be easy. well he was glad to have practiced that and other safety harness mishaps low to the ground and with help at hand.
Monday when the young man fell 20 ft. I was looking up into that tall white spruce and thinking, what a job that would have been to extract anyone from that tree had he been tied in when the stand failed. How long would he have been able to live dangling in the tree?
I have been in National Rescue competitions in the past (and still wear the belt buckle) and have seen teams with all the gear money can buy not complete an extraction safely. (The safety officer of the drill stops the drill before someone else gets hurt).
The last deer i shot was at 10 yards and I was 5ft (my feet) off the ground in my API Magnum climber.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:09 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbro
How long would he have been able to live dangling in the tree?

Longer than I'd live if I fell to the ground. Long enough to use the phone in my pocket to call for help and long enough to wait for a ladder. Included in my vest is a foot strap to be used to take the weight off your groin. Plus, the odds of a mishap that leaves me with neither the top nor bottom of my stand within reach is remote. Particularly since they are attached to each other and would have to somehow fall off together. If the top falls, it lands on the bottom. If the bottom falls, the top catches it by the straps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbro
I have been in National Rescue competitions in the past (and still wear the belt buckle) and have seen teams with all the gear money can buy not complete an extraction safely.
That's hard to understand. You don't need "all the gear money can buy. You need about $80.
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Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
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Old November 15, 2012, 10:44 PM   #12
Gbro
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Well i had a very nice afternoon in the stand with my youngest daughter in a ground blind a couple hundred yards away.
I had a nice Doe come right up to my stand from the front right. It stopped about 10 ft. away from the ladder on the right when she got my sent. She sniffed and sniffed the air and looked up at me three times and looked away.
She thumped the ground 6-7 times and started to move away several times but couldn't figure out which way to go. After about 3 min she snuck away the way she had come with tail down.
I thought about trying to video her with the cell phone but was enjoying the moment to much to possibly disrupt it.
I would have taken her if I would have had my .45 Super with but last weekend I had it and when I did a little practice aim at a tree, I couldn't see the front sight. Its got a Patridge sight and it was heavy overcast, heck we had thunderstorms all morning and I got pinned down in the cedars for a while. I had some day glow pink paint out a couple nights ago and didn't get it done so both my hunting handguns were on the bench with wet paint today. There is no sport in a rifle w/scope at 20 ft.
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:16 AM   #13
Jack O'Conner
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No sport using a scoped rifle at 20 feet? How does one forecast how far his shot will be on any given situation?

Some guns don't even come with open sights. My slug barrel has a cantilever scope mount attached to the barrel. That's all. It's either scope it or no sighting whatsoever.

Handguns and modern centerfire rifles are banned at Aberdeen. Only muzzle-loaders and shotguns can be used for deer hunting.

I comprehend your wanting to challenge yourself. But there are many reasons why hunters equip their guns with scopes.

Jack
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:43 AM   #14
Gbro
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I am just making up excuses for not harvesting the Doe,
Truth be told, I could care less if I harvest a deer although I am looking forward to taking one with the Long Slide V-16.
After the little Doe snuck away there I sit shacking like a hypothermic ice fisherman. But it only lasted 15 min. That adrenalin is the bolus of choice for hunters
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