View Full Version : Observations from my first deer hunt

November 15, 2002, 04:16 PM
1. The guy with no doe permit always sees the does(that would be me).
2. Shooting an 11 lb rifle offhand isn't all that hard. Shooting well, on the other hand...
3. Sitting in a tree stand for hours isn't for me(no patience for it).
4. Maine whitetails are pretty smart.

I just got back from Maine and my first hunting trip. It started out pretty good. We were hunting on private property so we were all walked in to where ever our stand may have been. The guide told me where the deer tend to come from and you could see the paths they were using. Anyways, I'm sitting in the stand freezing my butt off when I see a strip of white about 30 yards in front of me. My first thought was, "great, a skunk." Then I realised it was in some really tall stuff so it would have been the biggest skunk ever. I also happened to see the rest of the deer at that time, except for the head. I shouldered my rifle and lined up what would have been an extremely easy shot, and I prayed that I would see some antlers when it lifted its head up. Yeah, right. See observation 1 up top. It was a doe, so I relaxed and watched as she laid down right in front of me. Apparently she was bedded down before I got there. An hour later she stood up, stretched her legs, looked around for a bit and wandered away, broadside to me the whole time.
That was the only deer I saw in 4 days until yesterday morning. Once again, I was sitting in the stand freezing. I really don't like the cold too much. The night before I had seen something in that area about 50 yds in front of me in some thick brush and trees so I went back that day. As soon as it was light, I put the magnification all the way up on my scope and looked back in that same area, to see what I could see. Nothing there so I relaxed and waited, and waited. Finally, about an hour later, I see a pretty good looking buck, 6 or 8 pointer maybe close to 200 lbs. Like I said, my first hunting trip so I don't know enough to make a good judgement. Anyway, I see him on one side and I shoulder my rifle waiting for him to come out the other side. See observation 2. I have a Remington Sendero and I haven't ever really shot it offhand and as I was waiting for this guy to come through, I was getting tired and shakey. Of course, the adrenaline probably didn't help. So, he comes through and I'm lining him up, well, trying to. I'm leading him just a little and BOOM! Remember when I said I put the magnification all the way up? Well, I never put it back and I never really saw the tree that I damn near cut in half. Needless to say, no deer.:mad: So, I got all out of breath, somewhat sweaty and my heartrate went through the roof...for nothing. Though I did learn a few things. Like the whole scope thing and tha I need a new, lighter rifle. That's a good excuse, isn't it? Oh well, it was still pretty fun, especially since I was the only guiy to actually see any deer. Nobody was happy about that. Except me, of course.

Art Eatman
November 15, 2002, 10:12 PM

I have difficulty in just sitting in a stand and waiting for Bambi to show up. I take a paperback book along, and have trained myself to read a paragraph or two and then look around and scan...Helps. Some artistic folks sketch, but that can make life awkward in putting stuff down in order to pick up the rifle...

Amazing how tree limbs can jump right out in front of you!


Will Beararms
November 15, 2002, 10:32 PM
Keep that Sendero for the nice box stand hunts where you have a good rest and get one of these (see attached file) for the stalks and ladder stands. It is tailor made for what you described. Be sure to get some of those thin socks that wick away moisture and by all means hunt with rubber insulated boots along the lines of a LaCrosse to keep your scent off the ground as you walk in. Make it a habit to count trees starting from your furtherest right to the left or vice versa if you are left handed like me. You will be surprised what you see. Plan out the next week or do a budget in your mind. Recite Bible verses, sing hymns, recite poetry or do your Christmas list in your mind (not out loud :D ) and the time will pass away.

Will Beararms
November 15, 2002, 10:44 PM
After you get that Model 94 in 30-30 Winchester, pick up some 150 grain Winchester Super X Powerpoints. Put one of these (see attached, Leupold VX1 2-7 by 33m) on your rifle mounted to the rifle---------skip the see through scope mounts and keep that scope as close to the bore line as possible.

Then practice like crazy. Sight it in nuts on at 25 yards and you will be set for any of the close range shots you may get from 50 to 100 yards. Shoot that rifle all year long. Sight it in on a bench rest and then practice off hand shots as well.

For roughly $575.00, you will have a world class short range timber rifle by following what I have said. I am no Art Eatman and will not try to be but I have hunted for 31 years since the age of seven. The first seven years, I killed nothing but saw alot and missed alot. I have been blessed to kill a few Buck including one HUGE 20" spread 8 point. I have found the 30-30 to be deadly, deadly on close in shots. I have also found it is imperative that you sight that rifle in precisely and practice frequently so that when the moment of truth comes, you will be ready.

That said, no matter how long you have hunted, you will still get excited. If I get a shot within the first two or three minutes of seeing a buck, I am calm. If it lingers then my pulse starts rising I cannot tell a lie.

Finally, eat what you kill and learn to cook that meat. It makes phenomenal Chilli by the way and the tenderloin or backstrap is incredible.

Art Eatman
November 16, 2002, 01:17 AM
Hey, I never did anything big deal; just been doin' stuff a long time, is all. :)

About deer meat: Back around 1972, I got mad because the feed lot folks weren't paying me any more for calves, but the grocery store meat prices took a jump. Bummer.

So, we ate a bunch more deer meat. In the course of getting fed up with roasts and steaks, my wife made spaghetti sauce out of ground-up Bambi scraps. WOW! There is some sort of magic between deer meat and tomatoes. Dunno why, but that sauce was the best I've ever thrown a liplock on!

I used to barbecue whole rear hams, instead of cutting them into round steaks. Took about 3-4 hours to well done. Ya do it right, the meat doesn't dry out. Scrumptious. Leftovers went to "The Unending Stew". :)


November 16, 2002, 06:27 AM
I've only been turkey and deer hunting a couple of seasons, but I have a hard time understanding how people can get bored in the woods. I'm not the most patient person most of the time, but put me in a tree stand or a fishing boat, and I turn into Job. There's always something interesting to see, whether it's a squirrel driving you crazy or a red-headed woodpecker going about his business or a heron managing his daily fishing chores. One of the best things I enjoy about hunting or fishing is that moment when you feel your pulse slow and you start to see the world with a kind of clarity that daily life in the city doesn't always afford. It's hard to explain, but the best I can do is say that you make peace with the world around you and become part of the natural surroundings. Maybe it's because I grew up in the country where this kind of meditative awareness was just part of life; now that I lead a faster-paced lifestyle, I can't think of a better way to spend three or four hours than to sit in a tree stand and just be.

November 16, 2002, 08:41 AM
There were five guys up there and we all brought a couple meals with us. I brought about 5 lbs of chili made from ground deer, with a few habaneros thrown in. I've made it a couple times with deer, thanks to my uncle, and it tastes so much better than chili made with cow. Another guy brought meatballs made from deer. They were great for subs because they just about fell apart on you.
My problem out in the woods isn't boredom. I just tend to get fidgety if I sit in one place too long like that. It made life in the Army pretty bad sometimes too. I just can't sit still for that long. I love being outdoors, I just think I would be better suited to hunting somewhere out west, where you go looking for the animals, rather than sitting somewhere and hoping they show up.

November 16, 2002, 09:18 AM
Going to have to try some of this venison chili.

My neighbor, who I took turkey hunting with me a few times this past spring, is fidgety as well. Drove me absolutely insane. I'd slowly glance over at him, and his hands would always be moving--picking at clothing, scratching, rubbing on his face. With the exception of one lost hen, we saw no other turkeys. I killed my birds when I was alone. If he goes again next year, I'm going to insist that we hunt in different spots. He seems to like the run and gun method; I like to sit still and wait for the birds.

Art Eatman
November 16, 2002, 10:43 AM
Not boredom, just hard to sit still and imitate a stump or a pet rock. I'm happiest sneaking around country that's got a good bit of topographic relief, with mixed cover. Ease along, kick Bambi out of bed, look him over...

:), Art

November 16, 2002, 02:48 PM
Ya know Art, you ought to post a receipe for some of Frank Tolbert's Texas Red Chilli. I'm sure you've encountered it, at one time or another, in Terlingua:D

Art Eatman
November 16, 2002, 05:02 PM
Aw, everybody has his own notions of what sort of spices, and how much, to add to the meat. Meat ground for chili is a bit coarser than hamburger, although hamburger meat will work. Main thing is that there not be a bunch of fat in the meat.

Back at CookOff time, I was a judge at a mini-cookoff, charity deal, a few days before the main event. Good meat, but it still hits me as odd that so many of these guys dice the meat. And they use tenderloin--which takes any "chewiness" out of it. Mush. I rated the three ground-meat samples of the 21 finalists (of 137 total entries) a bit higher. :) However, the worst I tasted was somewhere above "very good".

Mainest thing is not to add too much Chili powder. That can leave an aftertaste that'll stay with you for several days or several cases of beer, whichever comes first.

November 16, 2002, 06:23 PM
Art, I think a good deer chili can be made by starting off with a bean soup made from navy beans and bacon and onions. After the soup cooks down then well soaked red beans and black beans are added. Then when the beans are tender the sliced or ground deer meat pre-fried in bacon grease plus spices can be added.

Just my opinion but I think that a little pork is the secret to good chili and the white beans cooked down make the base thicker. Both ingredients seem to disappear and don't interfere with the chili itself if they are used in moderation. (No rock or rotton tomatoe throwing please.) :p

November 16, 2002, 08:14 PM
That kinda sucks that you couldn't shoot the doe. I do not have a doe permit either this year. But I am going to shoot one if I see it anyway. See my father has 2 permits and in NY this year it is legal to use someone elses permit :D All they really did though was make the common practace of using a permit that wasn't given to you legal. They want the deer harvested I guess.

Art Eatman
November 16, 2002, 10:06 PM
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! M&M, in the southwest, anybody who makes chili with beans in it is looked upon as having committed sacrilege. Or maybe even worse! Maybe, mopery with intent to gawk! Somebody who'd do that sorta thing would take up sheepherdin'!

Chili is served over red kidney beans, which are cooked separately. Heck, they even have bean-cooking contests, nowadays...

Folks down here might congratulate you on your stew, as long as you don't call it Chili. :D