I think it's safe to say that we're all pulling for ya, Chuck! Can't wait to see the "pic heavy" post, with the Elkhart laid across some fresh pork!
Posts: 1328 | From: Muskogee, OK | Registered: Dec 2012
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Good luck on ur hunt hope it goes good for u look like a great spot!!!
-------------------- "Its their world out there, we're the tourist " " they sacrifise for our family , that deserves great respect n honor !!! " "Move like a tree, smell like the dirt, and sound like an acorn." Posts: 83 | From: Cleveland, Texas | Registered: Jul 2014
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I'ts been my experience that the hogs seem to move more in rainy weather. I've taken lots of hogs in drizzly weather but Ive never stayed for long in a steady downpour. Tho I need to clarify that I've only taken 1 hog with trad gear and it wasn't raining. I would be out as soon as the rain lets up! Good luck!!
-------------------- www.primaltechbows.com An elitist mentality creates discord, even among the elite! "I went jackalope hunting but all I saw was does!" Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity, I just need more opportunities! Posts: 2060 | From: East Texas | Registered: Nov 2013
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-------------------- ASL's, Selfbows, and Wood Arra's Just because you are passionate about something, doesn't mean you don't suck at it. Posts: 3365 | From: Kempner, TX | Registered: Nov 2010
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Well I waited out the worst of the steady rain. I got out late afternoon today for evening #1 and the rain was mostly stopped and becoming a drizzle. I parked and headed down the logging road that leads to my favorite area parallel to the river. It is a wonderful mix of habitat. Things started out well. As I came down the logging road working my way slowly along the edge of the weeds and brush I studied the puddles and ditches along the side being alert to perhaps catch an animal drinking after the storm. Sure enough I saw a nice looking raccoon sitting at the edge of a ditch before he saw me. This was a hog only quota hunt so I couldn't take the coon, but I could tease him a little. I walked toward him quietly until about 15 ft. away and then he finally saw me. Well needless to say I surprised him pretty good and instead of running away he went straight up a small tree right next to the ditch and spat and chattered at me. From the time I saw him on the ground to the time he got in the tree I could have taken him at will. So, first 10 minutes out and I counted coup on a raccoon! Haha. Kept on going, getting closer to my intended destination, a nice little cypress swamp that intersected with a mixed pine and oak forest and the logging road. There is a nice pond/ watering hole there where the woods meet the swamp, with many game trails to be seen crisscrossing if you look carefully. I neared the swamp and noticed a patch of light brown off to my left in the palmettos that looked out of place...whoa, deer at 10 o'clock!! We both saw each other at the same time and he/she actually didn't do a full on 'bust', just kind of a 'WTF are you?? Well I'm not really gonna wait to meet ya, adios' and turned around and trotted into the brush. I realized that the deer by heading in the direction it was going was going to hit the swamp I was headed to. I thought perhaps we'd meet again in just a little bit...
I walked another few minutes and got to my intersection point and crossed into the beginning of the swamp off to my left. If the deer I initially encountered kept on its original heading away from me, with my new heading we would surely intersect. The swamp has a thick canopy so it is quite a bit darker than the rest of the area. It was a little after 6pm and the sun was low in the sky and sunbeams cut like white laser beams through the shadowy murk of the cypress and swamp oaks. The trees were spaced closely together, most within 10-15 feet of each other, or closer. Very little undergrowth meant it was clear vision for several hundred yards excepting the closely spaced tree trunks. Not 5 minutes in, moving stealthily inbetween the tree trunks and keeping my noise level near silent AND trying to avoid the gigantic orb weaver spiders and their huge webs, what to I suddenly spot about 75 yds up ahead??? A twitching tail!! I froze and studied the mark carefully. Movement...bingo! The deer. At least I'm fairly certain it was the same deer. No matter. This time I saw him/her before it saw me. Game on. Now it wouldn't be legal to take it, but I was gonna do my best to get as close as possible just to hone my skills!
What unfolded next was one of my the most exhilarating experiences of my life. And the first true SPOT and STALK of my hunting life. I have had a bunch of close encounters in the past couple years, but all of them were when sitting a spot and engaging in an ambush situation. This was different. All the conditions were perfect in my favor. I had been checking the wind during my whole journey toward my spot. The all day rain ensured the ground was soft and that ground cover would yield to my careful steps without making noise. The light was right. The frogs, birds, and dripping foliage provided background noise to mask the sound of my movement. I played cat and mouse with this deer through the trees for the next 15-20 minutes. Honestly I was so hyperfocused I can't be certain how long it took. All I know is I used every bit of my senses and muscle control to step closer and closer. We danced a dance through the cypresses and I took full advantage of the trees, adjusting my angle to this deer constantly and using the trunks as cover while closing the gap between us. This deer wasn't complacent either. Several times it did the old 'head shoots up to listen and scan". Each time I had to freeze. I made sure never to look it directly in the eye. I dunno if its true but I feel like eye contact will blow your cover.
Long story short, I am proud to say I made it within 20 yards of this beautiful deer. Not only did I do that, but I was able to position myself for a clear shot while the deer munched and dug in the ground with its nose looking for morsels. I was able to draw down on it with the Elkheart for a perfect broadside shot. Of course it was not legal, this was hogs only remember, so I didn't come to full draw and let it down again. How freakin awesome!!! Counted coup on a deer!!! Talk about some validation.
I quietly slipped away as the deer kept munching its way from the swamp back into the forest. I proceeded toward my spot by the pond directly and then spent the next two hours sitting waiting for pigs. There was hog sign/tracks around the pond, but it was hard to tell how fresh. Dark arrived and nothing showed. Time to head home.
No hogs today but between counting coup on that coon and that beautiful deer I'd say it was a great evening!! I know for sure that if they had been in season the coon and deer would have likely been great kills. I think its safe to say the St. Jude's Java Man has some mojo I can't wait for tomorrow when I get to do it again. Who knows what's in store!?
-------------------- 54" Java Man Helms Deep 54" Shrew CH Carbon 62" Tall Tines Stickflinger 62" Cleland Stickbow
Horse Creek TAC, GA TBOF Posts: 7157 | From: Tallahassee, Florida | Registered: Sep 2012
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