Sounds like you had some fun. Good luck tomorrow.
The blind was a bust as well. Down in the fields the deer come out right around 8:00pm and it's too dark to shoot at 8:15. I got the blind set up at 6:00 and just waited. At 7:55 I seen a set of headlights moving toward the fields from a private land field. I assumes someone had permission to hunt there. Well, the farmer sent one of his workers out to turn on the irrigation valves and the truck drives up the side of the field I'm on the edge of. I tucked the blind inside some thorn bushes 2 feet off the edge of the field. The truck drives right in front of me and stops 50 yards away. Guy jumps out and walks 3/4 across the field to open valves, comes back, turns the truck around, and leaves the way he came in. Never even looking my way. I'm upset cause my hunt was blown, there is a road on all 4 sides of these fields and it was closer to the valves on the other side. I guess that's hunting on public land??
This morning I went to the river which is directly behind the fields in the pictures with all the bucks. The deer frequently cross the river back & forth. I get in to a set up I laid out the night before at 5:00 am. It is daylight at 5:30, at 6:30 I see another hunter walking on the trail. He walks by at 10 yards and never seen me and looked like he was moving up river so I never got his attention. Well, 70 yards from me he leaves the trail and sets up under a large cottonwood tree. We can't see each other because there are two large bushes between us. I picked this spot because there are two drainage's and two trails leading to the river on my side. There are also 3 trails leading to the river on the other bank, a natural crossing point. At 7:00 am I hear lots of splashing and it's getting closer. I stand and get into pre draw mode. I see horns at 35 yards and draw. The 3x3 stops and looks to his right. It's been my experience that when deer look at something they usually turn to face it first. He sees the other hunter and I'm at full draw, pin in the chest waiting for him to turn and face the guy so I can shoot. Well something didn't seem right to him and he bailed back into the river for the other side. Once there he hung out 5 minutes or so before heading back into the brush. I swear they know where it's safe on that river.
I never said anything to the other guy, he didn't know I was there and here again......... That's hunting on public land for ya.
I went to the same place tonight and guess what? The same guy was there, closer to the river and had the nerve to wave me off. I promptly waved him to come to the trail, showed him my set up, and thanked him for blowing my 35 yard shot this morning then left. Gonna try a different area in the morning. That's huntin...... I sure would have loved to stick that buck while the other guy was helplessly watching..
Great story even with no deer taken. :)
That is the chance you take on public lands. Its happen to me quite a few times as well. I hope it works out for you in your new area.
Went out this morning and caught 10 leaving a field 70 - 80 yards off the road. They were alearted when I stopped to glass them. Two took off and the others followed. I waited behind a big bush for them to cross the road and only a doe & fawn came out. I found the rest feeding up the fence line of the field. So I get back in the truck and head up the road quite a ways and park. I have alott of sagebrush as cover and am working my way towards them 25 yards off the fence line. I figured they would continue up the fence line to the corner of the field so kept my focus in that general direction.
Well, they decided to head back to the road. I found this out as I looked up to place my step and had a fork horn looking right at me 25 yards away. I had plenty of time to draw but the vitals were behind sagebrush. I was trying to figure out which way to take a step so I could get a shot and one of the does bolted for the field. As expected, they all headed for the field and stopped 75 yards out. There were two bucks, the fork, and a spike. They all headed to the corner of the field to cross. I beat feet back to the truck and got ahead of them again. Using a hay stack to cover my movement I head towards the field where they should be. When I get to the hay stack they are 55 yards out and confused as to which way they want to go. I am using a tree on the edge of the field as cover to get closer and head out. Half way there, a truck goes by on the main road where my truck is and all I see is 8 mule deer bouncing away.
If I'd been paying better attention earlier, I may have had a two point in the truck. No worries, I had a good time today and seen in the neighborhood of 40 deer, granted only two with horns, but that's not what it's all about for me. I'll keep pluggin along.
Had an awesome encounter this morning. I been seeing the same deer every time I go to my other spot. Usually too far out in an open field, feeding in the opposite direction. There are 3 doe's and two 2 points. I seen them on the edge of the field at 5:40am so I keep driving on by and parked about 400 yards away and started the stalk.
The fields are surrounded by tall, thick sagebrush and willow. There are trails all throughout it. I quickly spray down, grab the bow and head out. When I near the field the two bucks are 45 yards out and I need to get past a few willows for an open shot. I have bad knees and don't stoop or bend over too easy so I started crawling to make the last 10 yards undetected.
When I reach a spot that I can see, the bucks are gone. They moved down field 60 yards to where the doe's were. No problem, I'll just back track and circle around them because I think they are eventually going to the far corner anyway. Wrong, when I get to the far corner they are in the middle feeding. So now I play the waiting game. They go to the far edge and turn down my direction. I have kept them in my sight up to this point. When they are half way down I need to move where I will have cover to shoot. I set myself inside and off right in a thorn bush and wait.
Thirty minutes later and no deer, I get up on my knees to locate them. Well, they crossed the fence and were headed into another field. Not to worry, I'll just circle back around them and watch what's going on. I get over to the other fence line and just watch them feed in the other field. For some reason they were very aware of me watching them. They got a little weird and headed back to the first place I thought they were going.
I snuck back into the corner and hid in the bushes about 20 yards to the right of where I first was. Setting up for a 20 yard shot when they cross from one field to the other. When I hadn't seen them for a bit I slowly stood. I can only see one buck about 50 yards away heading up the other side of the bushes I'm hiding behind. I start moving in the same direction looking for a shooting lane in the tall brush. They are headed down a trail on the other side of me looking to cross the road.
This stuff is so tall and thick that I have to use a 2” hole in the brush to get a 12 yard shot. Three to five minutes later, all the birds that are in the bushes fly out as if spooked. That tells me the deer are coming so I took one last deep breath and got ready. I see an ear so I draw. It's a doe, and she stops right in my shooting lane and is checking me out. She stayed there for what felt like forever before continuing down the trail. The next deer is a buck and he stops ONE foot from my lane. I'm still holding, getting positive thoughts. Where he is standing there are several small willow branches covering the vitals. I briefly considered letting it fly and decided to wait for that last step. Now I'm starting to get a little tired from holding the draw, he lifts a front foot to take a step and the doe behind him jumps to the field. I swear he turned his body toward the field in mid step.
The last time I seen them they were 80 or so yards and heading out. I look at my watch for time and it's now 8:45. Seemed like it had only been an hour. WHAT A RUSH, I had a blast. I have no deer to show for it but look at it as a success because I waited for a CLEAR shot. Yes, I could have shot through the willows and the arrow may have pushed it's way to the mark, BUT, it also could have done many other things. I don't feel remorseful about it in the least!!!
I'm going to give em' another whirl in the morning then I have to work for three night shifts before I can go back out.
Those are some good stories, made for a great read. I can't wait to find out how you go in three days time :D
And to echo the above post, props for waiting on the shot.
Well, been back to my little herd the last few days. That area gets a lot of pressure on the weekends and I wasn't sure if they were still hanging around. I got down there before day break and there was another truck parked where I normally park. I figured they were in the corner where I wanted to go so I pulled past their truck 200 yards and quickly formed plan B.
I was happy to see the deer feeding in the field as I headed to a known exit trail they use after feeding. I set up for a 25 yard shot tucked into some willows. I can see half the deer on the left of the willows and the rest on the right of them. I'm slowly bouncing from left to right to see their progress every 5 minutes or so. Twenty minutes into the wait I hear a snort and a stomp. I bob left & right to find my deer and they are still 100 yards out in the field. I slowly turn my head and there is a spike 35-40 yards directly behind me checking me out.
I had set my bow on a fence post to glass my herd in the field and was two steps from it. I slowly take a step towards it while moving my hand to the sling and he just raises his head to get a better look. On the second step I have the bow in my left hand and my right is on the release, ever so slowly trying to get a shooting position as I turn. He let me get facing him before he walked behind the brush never to be seen again.
That done, I turn my attention back to the field and locate the deer. They are now 60 yards out and feeding towards the corner of the field to my right. Where they are headed is out of range 70+ yards down the road. I can't pursue them without being seen from the front and there's a fence behind me That I'll need to climb over. I wait till I have an opening and clear the fence and start sneaking down the road that was behind me.
I see them cross the main dirt road at the corner they were headed to earlier. Sadly, that was the last time I seen them. These things are good at disappearing in sage brush. I decide to walk down to where they crossed to figure out an ambush point for the following morning. There are large cottonwood trees along the road with a steep bank. I made a simple natural blind from sage and tree limbs where I had shooting lanes ranging from 15-35 yards.
Went down this morning as planned. The deer were feeding as usual and heading my way. For some reason they were heading towards the other crossing (where I was yesterday) and I was trying to figure out how to beat them there without being picked off. Well, I thought my luck was changing. The deer were 20 yards off the road and a car is coming in the distance. I figure they'll just move faster to cross and I'm done. Not so, they went back into the field heading straight to me. They continue to feed until all noise from the car is gone. I can't see them at this point because there in a 15 yard strip of brush between us. I couldn't take it any longer and peeked over the brush and there was a doe at about 40 yards still coming.
I'm thinking “this is gonna work as planned”. I see another doe come out at 35 yards and right behind her is one of the two points. They stop and all I can see is their heads. Five more yards and they will be on the bank in full view. This is where I got busted, still don't know what happened. If I was winded, they seen movement, or just changed their mind about crossing there. I seen what I thought was an ear headed in the opposite direction but wasn't sure. Ten minutes later and no deer and I was sure.
They had went back up field and crossed where the car spooked them and I couldn't see them. So I again assessed the situation and came up with a new plan for in the morning. Going to set up for a 20 yard shot where they cross the fence not the road. Who knows, the spike my make another appearance while I'm waiting for them.
Well my season ended today and this is all I have to show for it. I had a great time trying to learn these Nevada mule deer as this was my first year hunting them. My hunting partner was busy with his step dad's California bighorn hunt, which was successful Sunday.