Not a good year but not a bad year either. Avian X (AXF) decoys look great, damn near real, will be getting more for next year, but I’m gonna wait till they go on sale. Hurricane Sandy seemed to effect the waterfowl this year. Another issue that showed its face was the influx of trapping, many of my favorite creeks that held ducks constantly had no ducks and every time there was someone trapping on each creek. So had to look elsewhere, success was so so. Gonna head out to a field with some promise for the last Saturday of the season maybe this season will go out on a good note. Either way I love getting out even if we don’t shoot anything my pro staff and I are always laughing and having a good time.

Did I mention Avian X goose decoys are the most realistic decoys out there these raised the bar on realism.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 25th, 2013 , Waterfowl Hunting

Plots this year did well, no big buck shot but most big buck activity was caught on camera in the pre dawn and about 30 minutes after dark.  Daytime buck activity picked up just short of a week after archery season. This was unnerving but all the big boys were caught on camera well after rifle and muzzle loader season. My crop of 4year olds will be around next year which is very good news.

Starting a new major project for next year which will incorporate the building of a bedding area, spring, summer, and early fall feeding site, new food plot and a winter food plot. 300+ acre farm that boarders my hunting land was recently sold and the new owners do not allow deer hunting, so I have to see how this will effect future deer movement and herd size. Sorry for my lack of postings, been very busy with family and educational requirements, but  on the upside I will be finishing my higher education in the middle of July, no I will not be going for my doctoral degree, I like to hunt to much for another couple years of schooling.

Alright I’ll post my habitat project details very soon.

Leave A Comment, Written on January 25th, 2013 , Archery Pre Season

Sorry for the gap in posts but if your like me and have kids you know time flies when your busy with life. I did get a chance to get out for the early antler less season here in WMU 5C. I went out to get some time away from everything, see what is going on in real time and to confirm my trail camera information and I would say it was a successful 4 hour sit time.  Actually thinking about it now  early goose season was pretty good as well and I got to take my son and his best friend along and we all bagged some birds. So what is to come this month with the archery season opener coming up fast? Well first the early antler less season, this is a great time to get out and work out the bugs in your hunts afield. I made sure I had all my kit, tried out a new backpack that holds my bow, made sure shooting lanes are correct, ranges are checked and to see what is going on in real time. Sure there is a lot of foliage still on the trees and on the forest floor but I think it helps prep me for the season to come, constantly looking for an ear or a tail flick or watch how the sunlight constantly changes on the forest floor. I don’t go out all the time but I will get out 3 to 5 times during this early season and you should too if it is offered in your  WMU. If you can’t get out for an early season, now is the time to make a list, set out all your kit, gather up your hunting clothes, check that your calls work, head lamps work, get extra batteries, make sure you have your deer scents and lures, and plenty of scent eliminating spray and you should be ready for PA’s 2012/2013 archery season, good luck and I’ll post my journal entries and harvests with you as the season progress.

Leave A Comment, Written on September 16th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

June – August are critical times ( especially with excessive heat ) for antler growth and doe lactation, and fawn health. Corn and soybeans aren’t producing what deer need yet and wheat, barely, oats and other early grains are being harvested fast. Alfalfa is the only agricultural fields producing but even that is being cut . This is where food plots and supplements are key in helping deer maintain their nutritional needs during the dog days of summer. 

What to use, well how about what not to use that is easier. Now is not the time to put out corn, yes they will eat it but it’s not what they need nutritionalnow at this time of year. Oats, wheat, barley are better grain substitutes but you can use Bone D Monium, B B2 and other B&J products will alwords your deer herd well this time of year.

Leave A Comment, Written on July 6th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

Well again late June early July we are in a drought, we had a passing shower or two but nothing to ease the pain from the heat for growing plants, this includes agricultural plants and yep, food plots. I installed plastic drums early in spring but without rain they too have gone dry, so it’s time for drastic measures, the plots need water. So with that being said I will have to water the plots and refill my water drums. Last year I lost my only plot to a drought just like this, I watered my plots just before this eight day drought hit (the weather outlook isn’t calling for rain; well any good rain for the next five or so days) so I have to plan for another 8 days with out rain. My fall plot (plot 3) really needs my attention as it is in the early stages of growth. I’m hoping this will keep my plots growing during this rain free early July.

Leave A Comment, Written on July 6th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

Well in my neck of the wood we had a whole day of nice steady rain. This is the type of rain my food plots needed and so does the agricultural fields the deer herd depends on. I also needed this rain for my water drums because I used almost all my previously gathered rain water for my food plots from our last good rain.

My fall food plot (plot 3) needed this rain to help get the lime into the soil. I’ll wait a day or so and take another soil sample before I plant but until then it’s treestand time. Why treestand time now, well I already know where, and what agricultural fields are growing, I know the known trails and bedding areas and I have food plots that are producing. With that being said I will have two treestands on food plots and others on trails and pinch points. I do always have a climbing stand in case I see some activity and I need to move my location but other than that I will cover the historic trails and areas of deer activity. Plus getting my hang on stands in now lets me lessen my impact when it gets closer to archery season. Deer seem to far more resistant to human activity this time of year, where as in late August into September they seem to less accommodating to human intrusions.

Also another point is that I would like to be done and out of my hunting area so I can get ready for the early resident goose season. LOL

Leave A Comment, Written on June 14th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

I’m currently using Whitetail Institute and Mossy Oak Biologic products in my food plots. I’m taking weekly rain measurements and growth measurements of each companies products and using both in each plot. This will allow me to collect a lot of data to see which performs better in a range of conditions and give you honest facts on these products so you can choose for yourself when you plant your own plots or when you have someone else create a plot for you. I know a small company that does consultations for habitat improvement and will give you a range of options for food plots and will also do the work if that is an option you would like to take. Leave a comment with your contact info and I will give you their business information and if you mention this website you get adiscount off on their services, they also do more than just food plots, they are really good at habitat landscaping for those of you who want to create a place that attracts and protects wildlife to your property.

1 Comment, Written on June 9th, 2012 , Our Tools for Success

Well got my soil sample results back. The ph was a little lower than I thought, I have to apply about 140 lbs of lime. So I applied 160 lbs  since my last two plots always came up a little under 7.0 ph. This should get me extremely close to a neutral ph level which is optimal for growing. I will plant seed in a few weeks and install a 45 gallon barrel to collect rain water in case we get a long period without rain. Remember to put mesh over the top of the barrel to keep debri out of the barrel. I use a barrel because  it’s cheap and easy to get and clean. This should allow me to keep my plot growing if we get any kind of drought in August or September, I learned this the hard way last year as the deer were browsing heavily then a long hot 14 day drought  burned up everything. Each plot has a water barrel and some drought resistant browse mixed with it. I’m pretty confident these two things will keep me from losing my plots and the deer will appreciate it as well.

My next trip I’ll take some pictures of my plot growth and post them with my next segment.

1 Comment, Written on June 9th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

Hey everyone checkout the new Scoutlook weather widget. I use Scoutlook weather a lot especially the app for my Ipad. It’s free and has some pretty  useful tools for whitetail hunting and waterfowl hunting. Go check it out, play around with it before hunting season rolls around.

2 Comments, Written on June 4th, 2012 , Welcome Post

Over the holiday I checked the progress of Plot 1&2 and re-sprayed the tape surrounding both plots. Plots 1&2 are bout 5 inches tall and pretty thick, well thicker than I expected. Looking to fertilize with 0-20-20 in late July early August. Will also look to cut plots 1&2 in August the day before or the day of a good rain this way the plots can get back to growing and should be nice and tender just in time for Archery season.

Starting Treestand prep this month and will have all treestands moved to new locations by July first, if I can accomplish this task I will be better off this season than any other season, which may give me some extra time to scout for early season geese, that would be nice.

Leave A Comment, Written on June 4th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

I couldn’t resist taking some holiday time to find a new spot for a fall food plot (Plot 3). After some searching I picked a spot between a known bedding area and agricultural fields, this spot also has some other bonuses, acorns and a mess of sticker bushes. I cleared out a 20ft by 15ft spot with a rake and marked the trees I need to remove and took a soil sample and used a weed eater to forge a path back to my other food plots. While waiting for my soil sample results I returned to the site of my next food plot and removed the trees I had previously marked and I was pleased to see the bare ground I cleared filled with large deer tracks. I had a suspicion this was an area used by a bachelor group of bucks. I looked around pretty well and didn’t see any small tracks which leads me to believe that the young doe and the adult doe with fawns are on the other side of the wood lot. At least now I have a good idea od where my deer are at so I can focus on their needs and can start to condition them to other supplements while my food plots are growing. I should have my soil sample results on Monday June 4th, I’ll continue this when I get my soil sample results via email.

4 Comments, Written on June 4th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

Sorry everyone, site not completely set up and tomorrow is the last day of spring gobbler season. I’ll have something for you in time for Fall Turkey Season.

Leave A Comment, Written on May 26th, 2012 , Turkey Hunting

Welcome to those of you who found this little blog. This blog is a great place to find out how one guy and his friends hunt in northeastern PA. I am not a professional hunter on TV I am just like most hunters in my area, I love to hunt archery and waterfowl. I do rifle hunt but don’t find it as challenging as archery. I hold 2 degrees one in Social Science and the other in Biology, I have a deep passion for nature and society and the deficit that is constantly growing between the two. This is a place where I can share what I know and what I am learning in the woods, not everything in this blog is perfect and that isn’t what I am aiming for, I aiming for sharing of ideas and hunting success. Last year I arrowed zero deer so I’m not perfect or an expert hunter but I’m not afraid to go without a deer for a year or two. I will blog on the progress of activities and hopefully I can share my constant learning with you and I hope you share what you have learned as well; maybe we’ll all be a little more successful together.

1 Comment, Written on May 26th, 2012 , Welcome Post

I’m not sure how many people do this, but I constantly watch the sky for ducks and geese. Lately I’ve seen each day bring less and less whistling wings in the air. So that tells me baby duck and geese are abound and growing like weeds and in about 3 or 4 months they will be taking wing. Good new for those of us who enjoy seeing ducks and geese and for those of us who hunt them. Keep your fingers crossed we don’t get any floods and violent storms for the next month or so. The nice rains we have been getting here in north eastern PA have been good for the crops and young ducks and geese. Well that’s it for now on the Duck and goose issue. I will come back every few weeks just to touch base before the early PA goose season kicks off.

1 Comment, Written on May 26th, 2012 , Waterfowl Hunting

 

 

 

 

I know some say it’s early but now is the time to get ready for Archery season here in eastern PA. I will share with you my preseason preparations that may help you with your hunting location. In the beginning of April I sent out my soil samples for analysis. Within a few days I had my results. Plot 1 had a ph of 6.6 and Plot 2′s ph was 6.1. PH of your soil is critical for planting food plots. A range of 6.0 – 7.0 is ideal growing for most forage. I stick with perennials because I don’t have to replant them for several years with proper maintenance. To get good solid ph readings get your soil tested after the rifle season, this will give you an idea of how much lime is needed. Apply lime after rifle season, this will give the lime time to penetrate into the soil better and this way you can get a soil sample in early April and get your results before you want to plant. This allows you a chance to apply more lime if needed in April and you can get seeds in the ground by the first week in May.

With that being said I planted a mix of clovers and chicory. I found this blend to be very trustworthy since clover is always a favorite of white tailed deer and the chicory is very drought resistant in late July through early September. My plots are up and growing well, since here in northeastern PA has had good growing conditions with plenty of rain and warm sunny days. This year I am using a deer-repelling fence around my plots and from my trail cams and weekly checks on my plots the deer are staying away from the plots but they do come and inspect constantly smelling the tape around the plot. So for now it’s working. This may be due to the fact that the rye, alfalfa, barley, and wheat are available but that is the point. My plots and yours should be for later in the year when most crops are gone and only soy beans and corn are available. Your plots will offer good forage for deer in transition from crop fields to bedding and the opposite.

Plot 1 is located at a pinch point between agricultural fields and a known bedding area, perfect place for a food plot. Plot 2 is smaller and located just outside the bedding area, this plot is for bucks that don’t like to venture into open woods during daylight hours. Plots like this must be put in and planted early to let the bedding area settle for months so you don’t spook your monster buck from his favorite bedding area.

April and May are also perfect time to cut travel paths for the deer and make them travel where you want them to go. I linked a heavy trail from the bedding area to Plot 2 and Plot 1 and planted grass (yes, ordinary grass) on these trails, which allows me to do my weekly checks in silence and gives the deer traveling on it something else to graze on. Another trick I used last year as an experiment was the use of sweet peas and snap peas as a growing barrier to help funnel deer to where I want them to go. It worked well and deer love to eat them. It’s an expensive tool but it works really well.

So if you haven’t gotten started on your food plots and travel corridors don’t count yourself out, you still have a little time to prep and plan for fall plots. I will be prepping an area for a fall plot (Plot 3); I will go through this process as the weeks continue as well as update my current preseason activities and food plot monitoring.

Leave A Comment, Written on May 26th, 2012 , Archery Pre Season

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