This season is holding many “firsts” for me as a hunter and outdoor writer. I have proudly launched this hunting blog to provide quality information to the die-hard deer hunters and outdoor videographers. Recently, I acquired my first hunting lease. There are a few new properties that I was granted permission to hunt that I will be hunting for the first time. Lastly, I missed my first deer for the first time in a long time.
The reason I am bringing these events to light is to NOT make excuses, but to talk about the roller coaster that hunting whitetails really is. The highs and lows. The monster buck encounters, and the long, quiet struggles of uneventful stand sits. And oh are the struggles real.
With all of that said, I am excited to introduce to you the Whitetail Journal. This will be an ongoing series of updates, observations and insight that I (or fellow hunters) have in the field. This will definitely be a blog series that I would like you as a reader to participate in. It would be great to get feedback and/or here about your hunts as well. My favorite part about being a hunter and living this great lifestyle is seeing others succeed. Please enjoy and interact with me here in the Whitetail Journal and with other blog articles as well. I truly look forward to swapping stories with everyone.
One word to describe the start of my deer season would be “scrambled”. I had acquired some properties at the last minute, in addition to acquiring a new lease as well. I was excited to have these opportunities, however I had so much to do in so little amount of time. Like many of you, I still work 40 to 55 hours a week and hunting just doesn’t get the attention it deserves from me. I quickly had to speed scout these properties and development a game plan before the season started. All the while, I was confined to my office for hours on end during my most opportune times to prepare stand sites due to additional work related obligations. On the other hand, I made the most out of the time I had and managed to develop a plan that is very different from what I have done in years past.
My plan overall this season was to be more mobile than I have been in years past. The idea behind this was to attempt to have more “1st time sits”, and to be able to capitalize on opportunities during the season. Additionally, I needed to be more mobile to make up for my lack of stand preparation during the off season. I did plenty of scouting (but definitely could have done more), however I just did not have the time to hang tree stands in the areas that I scouted. Prior to the season, I chose to purchase a Lone Wolf Assault II, with the climbing sticks, in efforts to help me with my goal of being mobile. I will say that this has been one of the best investments I have made during my 16 years of buying hunting gear. I chose Lone Wolf for several reasons, but the primary reason I went with the Lone Wolf system was because it is very light-weight, quiet and portable. It was exactly what I was looking for to become a mobile hunter. Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with Lone Wolf in any way. I studied reviews and experts’ advice from resources like “huntingbeast.com” with Dan Infalt, and the Lone Wolf Treestand creator himself, Andrae D’Acquisto from Whitetail Addictions. There are other systems out there and I am definitely going to try others out, but I knew I couldn’t go wrong with Lone Wolf.
So far this season, I have been able to position myself into several shot opportunities on deer. Unfortunately, the RIGHT deer haven’t been giving me the opportunities. This has been a trying year for me as a deer hunter, and once again proving to me that as a deer hunter there is always more work to be done- regardless of the time of year. At the beginning of October, I managed to miss a doe at 25 yards, completely broadside AND looking away. Additionally, I passed a few smaller bucks in Ohio and Michigan to hold out for a more mature buck. I have been on a three year quest to harvest a whitetail buck on film, and I am not looking for just any buck. I want it to feel like it is the right buck. Age structure is important to me, however I enjoy the story or experience behind every hunt. With that said, I am hoping that with my continued hard work I will be able to finally put one down “on film”.
Lastly, I have been seeing a lot of good bucks being put down in my home state of Michigan, and I love seeing all the success other hunters are having. I can remember when I first started having success in the whitetail woods I asked myself, “Why doesn’t everybody at least try this once in their life?” I have always enjoyed hunting as my own passion, but I find more enjoyment in seeing others succeed and find pleasure in this great sport. With that said, I have been able to introduce a special person in my life to whitetail hunting this year, and I plan to accompany one of my younger cousins this season on a few hunts. More to come on those stories.
Stay tuned everyone for more from the Whitetail Journal, and if you are interested in getting updates on the Fierce Outdoors website, please subscribe to our newsletter. Our goal is to provide valuable information to aid in your hunting and filming adventures. Thanks for reading the Whitetail Journal and I hope to see you again!