8 a.m. +40 degrees. Arrived last night around 10 p.m. Last time I was here 3/11/06 we still had knee
high snow which was very wet and miserable. It was a hard winter getting in to & out of cabin. I had to
hand haul with sleds a couple of times until Corky repaired one of his snowmobiles & let me use it.
Good old Corky. We would be in a lot of trouble it weren't for him and his dozen various machines that
keep the road open to his cabin. Only in extremely dry weather can we drive our pickup trucks the rest
of the way in from Corky's. John showed up at dawn. After "breaky" we will head out to the new
loggers clearing by "Hunters Rock" deer stand.
6 p.m. + 65 degrees. Busy day! Took the MV7 ATV out to new logged area. It is quite the mess due to
the kids that logged it. They left a lot of good wood everywhere. It is impossible to drive an ATV in it
without major cutting of dead heads, and tossing debris out of the way. We walked around getting a feel
for just how big of an area it is and possible tree stand locations. The intent is to keep other hunters
from coming in and building stands (1st tree stand in claims the area). Two locations I liked were exactly
dead center in the 80 acre clear cut and on the west side very close to the "Killers Nest" deer stand.
|The mess in the loggers clearing
Took ATV down to Corky's cabin skirting North edge of the loggers clearing. We hooked up with
Corky's ATV trail which shoots across North East side of the clearing and heads down to his tree stand
which has been there for 30 years or so. Corky had a problem with his caterpillar and needed help to get
it back to his cabin from Nam's road. The pony motor was "froze up" he said. John steered the cat and
Corky pulled with his loader the 1.5 miles back. I drove alongside with ATV taking video & photos.
| Corky pulling cat back to his cabin
John and I finished out day clearing a trail from "Killers Nest" tree stand the last 100 yards to the new
loggers clearing. John headed off to "Bucktooth Chateau" cabin to spend the night & I came back to
"Buck Mountain Chateau" cabin to find it full of "skeeters" due to windows and door wide open all day.
I hung mosquito netting down from the top bunk bed onto the lower bunk bed and slept good despite the
buzzing of dozens of flying blood sucking pests 10" from my head.
1030 p.m. +60 degrees. A black bear woke me up when it knocked over the 55 gallon drum & bird
feeder sitting on top. I was startled and yelled out, trying frantically to get out from under the mosquito
netting. I grabbed the shotgun and ran outside with a flash light. I blasted a couple rounds into the air but
probably didn't scare it off. A bright light is the only thing I found that deters them (or a licensed hunter
waiting for them). I placed a loud propane lantern on the table shining out the window onto bird feeder.
9 a.m. + 50 degrees. The night light worked for Yogi. Forgot to set clocks ahead for daylight savings
and I was late for breakfast at Corky's, nonetheless, there was plenty of ham, eggs and pancakes left for
me thank God. Corky had a bear at his cabin last night too that knocked over his bird feeder. I told him,
"They're nothing but a giant rat with a stubby black tail!" He agreed.
|Fresh black bear claw marks on Corky's garage
John and I will be killing the giant black rats this fall
9:30 p.m. +74 degrees. The dog days of summer are here. The past thirty days have seen constant ninety
degrees with even triple digit temperatures up here. Corky said its been, "Hot & dry since you were here
last, finally got rain, about 3" worth a few days ago." The cabin smells of dead mice and mouse piss!!!!
I hate this place when it's hot. Whatever the outside temperature is, you'll find it ten degrees warmer
inside the non-insulated, tin roof, rat piss stinking shack. I can remember many summer nights sitting in
the rat shack in my underwear, sweat running down my face, cursing the dew points, vowing to never
come back until after the first frost in the fall.
This trip is just a quick 24 hour bear bait drop. Took a run out to area by Killers Nest where I had set up
a test bait station a month ago. I have to make a decision if nothing has hit the bait out there. I've never
taken a bear that far away from cabin due to poor, sporadic hits. All of our bear have been taken close to
The bait was gone...but the area was surprisingly almost like I left it. I was hoping to find complete
devastation from Yogi. I took 3 quick photographs since the light was failing fast and I forgot my glasses.
For all I know the birds, coyote, and pine squirrels cleaned up the bait. I lifted up the rain cover looking
for bear sign but will have to wait for dawn to play detective.
11 a.m. +64 degrees. Bear definitely hit the station!!!! There was one obvious sign I missed last night in
the dark. A big bite mark from Yogi chomping down on the plastic cover over the bait, trying to get better
access. The sled also had minor chomp marks on both ends, and I finally found three strands of bear hair.
(I compared the width of the upper canine marks in the plastic on the two bear skulls I have at home and
it was slightly wider than both of them. Although this is not a big four hundred pound bear I do think it is
at least a two hundred pounder).
It is surprising why the bear did not tear the area up. The covering over the bait and the sled was only
partially tied to the surrounding brush using 550 cord (military cord rated at 550 pounds strength). It could
have torn it up easily. The bear almost acted like a walleye fish which can take the bait so gingerly
sometimes your not even aware of it. I found the obvious preferred entrance into the bait which I've
highlighted in the photo below. I might have been able to find more sign such as bear scat etcetera but for
the pounding rain they had days before. It washed away all sign. There were no foot prints.
I left half of the bait sitting in the original dog food bags for weather protection, after I dumped a bag of
marshmallows, and poured chocolate and pancake syrup into it. The cost for above bait station is under
$25.00 and it is clean handling compared to some of the slop we have concocted over the years. When I
come back in two weeks and set up the new bait station next to my stand I'll use the same grub above plus
old canned goods and an assortment of stuff making it a buffet of sorts, hoping Yogi does not get burned
out. The berries and nuts will be in full bloom by then and Yogi will have plenty to eat everywhere.
(Sharon told me the wild raspberries came back hard and fast after that rain a few days ago. In fact I
found her picking them along the road into Corkys cabin).
On the way back to Buck Mountain I scouted out and connected a new ATV trail towards Quill hill stand
which is strictly for bow hunting. Might try my hand at bow hunting again this fall there. The new trail
avoids the worst wet spot on Buttercup trail, and if I push along the east side of Buck Mountain taking
over an old "Lilly gang" trail I can avoid the two hundred yards of mud I currently have to go through.
Got some video of me going up and down "Fox Hill" with ATV which turned out good. I almost ran over
the camera. Best to go easy on the throttle going up.
Corky told me it was his birthday July 31st. He is 78 years old!! I had brought him up some guerrilla tape,
duct tape and electrical tape on a whim but lied saying, "It's your birthday present." He laughed. While we
were having coffee I counted seven humming birds at his feeder. "There were as many as fifteen
humming birds there last week." He said. "They're sucking down two bottles of sugar water a day."
Corky also mentioned a couple of weeks ago a big fat ass bear had sat in his deer corn trough and broke
one of the braces on it. Corky takes pictures of all the corn trough visitors with a 35mm trail camera but is
going to get a digital soon to cut down on film expense. Fat ass bear has all the fur missing on his ass.
After viewing pic below it looks like this bear has mange!!!!
Last summer a bear came in and had its picture taken, got irritated with the flash and or film winding
noise, walked over and swatted the camera. The second picture actually shows the paw coming in. The
camera was sitting askew when Corky found it, partially open but the film was not exposed. There was
mud and a partial paw pad print on the camera It was a nice big bear too, at least 300 pounds.
Probably going to come up on the motorcycle next trip in since I left extra bear bait, and a backpack at the
cabin. It's expensive to bait black bear. The cost to drive up with the truck currently is over $100.00 in gas
to make the 460 mile round trip. Bear baiting needs to be regular in order to be successful, and I want to
bait at least 3 more times. The key is once you find what they like, continue providing it just enough so
they don't get burned out on it. I've been wanting to make the motorcycle trip up all year. It's a Kawasaki
650 KLR and it can handle the ATV road in no problem.
(On my way home I checked my voice mail to find out John had just been at cabin and also dropped a
test bait station last weekend close to the cabin. But he said it was before the heavy rains hit and most of it
probably got water logged?)
8:30 p.m. +76 degrees. Muggy. Thank God for the breeze with it. John was here this morning and
mowed yard. He will be sleeping at the "Bucktooth" tonight. He brought his own mower which was good
since the cabin mower was crushed when the kennel shed collapsed last winter from the December snow
load. The yard looks super. Nice and green. We never seeded the cabin yard but it looks as good as my
lawn at home. It's strange to come up into a mowed yard in the middle of a woods, just something
you don't expect to find. When you arrive it comes as a complete surprise. It certainly feels homey.
Shanen told me later how beautiful the yard looked before they mowed, the natural flowers were
everywhere. She almost asked John not to mow it. I wish I could have gotten a few photos of it.
Traffic was unbelievable coming up. I almost turned around. Why in the world was everyone on the road
Saturday at noon the big 4th of July weekend? They should have been out in force the night before
honking, swearing, and sitting stopped in sweltering heat. But all around me I was in a sea of campers,
boats, and ATV's on trailers moving 10 mph. My grand plan of working the night shift, grabbing a couple
hours of sleep, and making a leisurely stress free run up in the morning did not work.
5:30 a.m. +57 degrees. Cabin cooled down nicely. In fact got cold sleeping with only a thin sheet and a
jacket I grabbed off wall. Didn't sleep well. Heard something moving around inside and outside of cabin.
Could have been bats inside the cabin since they were living in the wall by stove chimney squeaking and
stuff last year. Fired one round from porch with 20 gauge sawed off shotgun middle of night to spoof bear
and or other animals. Plenty of critters wandering around have awakened me at night such as badger,
skunk, and deer making noise outside. This rat shack can get spooky when your by yourself. Just you and
the darkness outside, with sharped tooth vermin lurking about looking for food. I've looked up from my
bunk to see black bear looking in at me. There is also a huge crawl space under the cabin various animals
have made their home. I play the radio at night to distract me from the noise...otherwise I'd never get any
sleep. It's amazing how loud a mouse can sound in the cabin. You'd think it was a moose.
11 a.m. +74 degrees. Had breakfast at Corky's with John, Shanen, Barry, Sharon, Tes and Mary. Got
some video of the gang (see video site). John was surprised to see me since he didn't know I was coming
up. John wanted me to go down to Lake Superior after breakfast for a boat ride but I passed. After
breakfast the men folk went outside and took a look at Corky's pony motor for the caterpillar which he
has just about fixed. The pony motor is a secondary motor which is used to start the primary engine on
the caterpillar. A bent rod and piston is what froze it up last spring. Corky showed us with his handmade
device to determine if both pistons firing. Click photo below and note arrow.
8 p.m. Very hot and muggy up here. Why do I always bring the shitty weather with me? Corky says it's
nice all week until I show up with rain or heat or snow. Took a run out to tree stands this afternoon to
determine where I will be black bear hunting this fall, only 8 weeks away! "Killer's Nest" tree stand will be
my primary choice since it is far enough away from the "Lilly gang" that their noise won't bother me. Not
a peep was heard from them this 4th of July weekend but I can guarantee if I set my bear bait station
down by the sniper bunker (which is close to them) the weekend I'm up for bear hunting will be "Lilly
gang" reunion week with hooting, hollering, kids, fire works, and all the guns brought out for target
practice. The only reason the sniper bunker works at all is the fact I use it in the dead of winter for
fox/coyote in the middle of the night while the "Lilly gang" is sleeping.
Dropped a test bear bait station in general area of "Killer's Nest". DNR rules specific that bait must be
minimum of 100 yards from where I intend to hunt if baiting before legal bait season. Bait consists of
shelled corn and Old Roy dog food. Poured a bottle of chocolate syrup and pancake syrup over dog food.
The main ATV trail heading out West from cabin ("Buttercup Trail") is terribly rutted. It is just too wet.
The past few years I have had to use it at the worst possible times, tearing it up bad. I am at the point of
abandoning it because of the ruts. To bypass around the worst spots will take time to mark, cut and clear.
Took a run down to State clearing on my old trail I made approximately 1990. The "Lilly gang" has taken
it over. It was a beautiful 500 yard long trail strategically placed to take advantage of terrain and keep out
of wet spots. My daughter Sara was only 10 years old at the time and helped me finish the last 100 yards
although she probably doesn't remember now. I remember the day very well. We arrived back at the
cabin and two feathers came out of the cabin extremely distraught, sobbing, and crying, "WOLF! WOLF!"
Several hours before two feathers had been in the outhouse. When she came out she looked left down
"Toad Trail." There sat a wolf? on its haunches looking at her. It no doubt heard the toilet paper roll
unwinding and sat down being curious. Two feathers was quite unnerved from it, and said she clapped her
hands as she ran for the cabin and never looked back. I wasn't certain it was a wolf she saw. I showed her
numerous photographs of wolves, and finally with a coyote picture she emphatically stated, "Thats it!"
Don't get me wrong we have had plenty of wolf walk right in while I was sitting at the kitchen table, only
that day it was a coyote. See Journals for the day I had six wolf walk single file 20 yards from me.
Damn gnats are biting. The horse fly are out too but for some reason they are not biting. There are a few
mosquito. There were definitely more in April. A small, fat, green bug which I have never seen up here is
plentiful this year. They just land on you and crawl around. Sharon calls them the "Charlie" bug. Every
year is different up here as far as which insect prevails. But I really do hate coming up here in summer
because of the gnats. They are always plentiful. The bastards bite and 48 hours later the itching starts and
lasts for a week with flea like welts.I cannot use Deet anymore due to reactions to it and keep forgetting to
get something else for protection, if there even is something specific for gnats.
Sighted in NEF 30-06 and have concerns about scope. It is a cheap Bushnell (life time warranty though)
with illuminated cross hair. The bullets are hitting 1.5 inches lower at 40 yards than last time. There are
other reasons it could be hitting lower but I have a much better Aimpoint (red dot) scope I should put on. I
plan on using the NEF 30-06 and or the M1 Garand 30-06 as my primary bear rifle this fall. I want to use
my own hand loads, specifically, Sierra 220 grain round nose. It's the hardest bullet they make. I had
some disheartening results with my Nosler 200 grain Partition the last 3 deer I hit. No bullet is magic. It is
so critical to hit the lungs, to hit the lungs, to HIT THE LUNGS!
6 a.m. + 60 degrees. Raining lightly. Going to clean up Fox Hill ATV trail. Thought about going around
Fox Hill but it would be a lot of work. The MV7 has winches on both ends to control momentum up and
down Fox Hill so not a problem. Will be heading home around noon. Have to work tonight.
|Tess looking for
|Pony motor broken
rod and piston
covering over bait
|MV7 after "Buttercup Trail"
Is the trail too wet to use?
|Dry ATV trail down to State
clearing made in 1990
Still hard and dry!
|Lilly gang tree stand
in State clearing
|Bear bait station exactly as I left it one month ago minus the bait
|Two and one half inch wide bear chomp
|Yogi restocked with odds and ends.
|Various plant life I found in my travels out and about in the woods
5 p.m. +70 degrees. Arrived with the motorcycle. 1st run all the way into cabin for the Kawasaki
KLR 650. Not the best coming in the last half mile. The bike has too much power.
Beautiful temps up here. When I topped the hill in Duluth I caught a rare north east wind off Lake
Superior which forced me to stop and put a sweater on. Took the scenic highway 61 route out of Duluth
to Two Harbors. Haven't taken that road for 15 years I guess. Don't remember any of it hardly.
Saw Corky. He dug a trench with a back hoe from his cabin to his generator for electric start wiring. Says
it's a hassle in winter time to start/stop generator. John and Barry (from Stillwater) did the wiring.
The trench was quite the mess, 2 feet by 15 feet long, and to make it worse he caught his propane gas
line with his back hoe. This is quite serious since Corky says no breakfast Sunday for the next 2 weeks!!!!
Still have time tonight for a back pack bait run if I hurry. I'll bring one bag of dog food and 4 bottles of
9 p.m. Yogi hit my test station again from 9 days ago. John's station not hit? This is week 2 for John's
station and no hit? My test station still had half the bait there. The marshmallows were a big hit but not
the mustard sardines. Yogi dragged both bags of dog food a short 10 feet and ripped them apart spilling a
lot of the pancake/chocholate syrup mixed contents on the ground.
One thing I liked at John's test bait station was a hanging jug filled with juice. Bears love to chomp on
containers. I've had them bite into plastic gasoline containers I've left in woods. Anyway I'm thinking of
making a milk gallon jug "slurry mix" of powdered sugar, and marshmallows. Put a couple slits in side to
ooze out the scent.
7:30 a.m. Going to back pack out to bear bait test station and drop another load and hang a test "slurry
jug". Has been drizzling on and off throughout night.
10:30 a.m. Got caught in a pounding downpour on way back in. John, Chris and Karin hiding in cabin
when I got back, trying to scare me. Didn't work. They're walking back to check his bait test station now.
I'm out of here. Look's like it's going to be a miserable wet ride back on the motorcycle.
Later notes: John's station had been hit lightly. When John, Chris, Karin came back and were having
breakfast a bear stuck his face out right on the edge of our cabin yard 40 yards away from cabin!!!!
Coming out with bike all bundled up in rain gear sucked. Almost tipped over twice and it definitely was a
wet miserable ride home.
8 p.m. +68 degrees. Arrived a couple of hours ago on the KLR packed with donuts. Forgot Corky's gate
key and what a headache that was. Had to maneuver around huge boulders and a knee deep ditch Corky
has along the sides of his gate to keep people out. I barely made it. My rear tire was spinning from the
weight of the donuts and the mud.
Made a quick back pack run out to the test bear bait station. The bait was totally gone. The "slurry jug"
was ripped in half and licked clean. It's now legal to have a regular bait station which you "plan" to hunt
over. I dropped donuts at Killers Nest tree stand, which is some ways away but hopefully the bear in the
area will pick up the scent of the new bait station quickly. I walked by John's new bait station at Ron's
Stand #1 on the way back in. He just set it up this morning. He's using corn mixed with water and sugar,
peanut butter sandwiches, donuts, etcetera. He's spending the night at the "possum lodge" down at the
9 a.m. Both John's and my new bait station already hit!!!! Wow!!!! John's was actually hit harder. The
bear made quite a mess. I'll have to load up my station with twice the volume next week.
8 p.m. +65 degrees. Another donut run on the KLR. Bait station hit hard. Slurry jug ripped in half and
dangling. Licked clean. Got some good video of it. See Bear Baiting 2006 page below. Found bear scat
with oats in it at my station. The bear is hitting a 3rd station somewhere other than John and me. We are
not using oats. No good!!!!
Have a new digital camera 1st time up. Sony DSC-H5, 7.2mp, and 12x zoom. Pretty much double of
everything my Hewlett Packard M407 has although the little guy has been a great 1st digital camera. I
hope to get some better macro, low light, and 12x close up shots with the new digital.
Almost out of bottled water at cabin. I'm down to a couple of bottles. Next week will be the actual hunt
and I'll have the ATV to bring in supplies.
10 a.m. Didn't make breakfast at Corkys. Had too much bait to back pack out yet. Loaded the bait
station up with at least 90 pounds of stuff. Left two giant 25 pound slurry jugs out there.
9 p.m. +58 degrees. Arrived around 2 p.m. and chatted with Corky. When I pulled into yard with ATV
John was here and very disappointed with his bait station. He took bait out only to bring it back. It was
only mildly hit one time in the last week he thought. "They had been eating 300 pounds of corn a week
out there." Fortunately my station was hit hard and licked clean. The two 25 pound slurry jugs were gone
but the 550 cord I had lashed the jugs to the trees with was still there which meant the bear chewed the
handles off? Jury rigged my bacon cookers for the hunt tomorrow, but forgot my sweet "Ultimate Bear
Lure" bottle and had to come back out with it. Yogi had already hit the fresh donuts!!!! I was only gone
for an hour.
4:50 a.m. +48 degrees. John already here. Happy 52nd birthday to me. I've only gotten one other
birthday bear which was my 1st bear in 1985? Will today be another?
1 p.m. +70 degrees. My bait not hit after I left last night. No good. John and I saw nothing out there this
morning. Burned bacon all morning. Heard a shot down by the old State Clearing?
11:45 p.m. +52 degrees. Got a 200 pound black bear about an hour before sundown. See Bear Hunting
2006 page below for extensive pic's and video. Been gutting, skinning, and cutting him into quarters since
about 8:30 p.m. - 3 hours of work and I'm beat. John will be here very early again in morning I'm sure.
8:30 p.m. +46 degrees. John's bait station hit lightly while he was napping at cabin both days????
Haaaaa...snooze you lose!!! I rendered down almost a gallon of bear fat today and pulled everything in
from my bait station. After breakfast at Corky's tomorrow I'm out of here. Seems like I've been here a
week because the lack of sleep I've had the past two nights.
5 p.m. +54 degrees. It was quite comical when I arrived this morning. Corky was having his usual
Sunday morning breakfast with the "gang". It's always at 9 a.m. and I pulled in exactly at 8:59 a.m.
Haaaaa!!!! I came flying in with the truck like the police were chasing me and jumped out the truck
running towards his cabin. I stopped and pretended to look at my wrist watch (I don't wear one) and then
slowly sauntered in. It was a classic and they were all watching. I wish I had it on video. Corky was
making light of it saying, "You must of been flying 90 mph to time it so perfect." And I responded, "The
speeding ticket was worth it." They all laughed.
At breakfast Lance mentioned a Jack Russell and another dog being lost up here where a new cabin is
being built (1/2 mile SE? of Corky's on Thompson Road). "They took off down the road, never came
John and I hauled in new green treated 3/4" plywood sheet for new front porch. John did the carpentry
work. He lowered the deck about 5" to stop the heaving problem we've been having with front door
rubbing on the porch the past few years.
Brought up and test fired my new military surplus 1943 Mosin Nagant 91/30 (7.62x54R caliber). The
rifle is a classic Russian bolt action which was built during WWII. I wonder what action if any it saw
during the war?
The results were dismal at 75 yards. Not even certain I could hit a deer. It will need trigger work and
reloads to even get a consistent 3" group at 100 yards.
Chris and Karin spent the weekend in cabin. She nailed her underwear on front door next to mine before
they left. I told her I don't feel comfortable with her underwear next to mine. They laughed but I'm
serious!!!! They had their new dog "George" with.
Cleared out shooting lanes at Killers nest tree stand. Snooped around area for deer sign . Found a wolf
skull next to new loggers clearing.
4 p.m. +70 degrees. The usual bullshit heat wave I always seem to bring up with me. Finished clearing
out shooting lanes for deer hunting this fall at Killers Nest.
|Sundown view on way
out to bait station
|My new bait
station with donuts
|Coming back in from the
bait drop. My 1st good
scenery shot with the new
|Same mushroom the next
day. Probably a grouse
pecked at it?
|Didn't really wolf it down, just sort of nibbled the hour I was gone
|Blood spray on donut and rain cover over bait
|Donuts...his achilles heel
I let him have a couple before the shot
|Chipmunk spending all day lugging seeds to the nest
|George and his 1st trip in
|Wolf skull found by new
|Karin nails her underwear
on front door
(No good. This nullifies my underwear being
nailed there to ward off womenfolk.)
|Pretty good load for the MV7
with the old trailer
|Excellent low light 12x
zoom shot with the new
(Enlarge to see crater detail)
10 p.m. +40 degrees. Up for a quick 24 hour run? Want to work on corn feeder by cabin and bring in
supplies for deer hunting. Have 600 pounds of corn for the deer. After we thin out the herd I like to help
those that remain get through the winter. The corn feeders I use have an interesting background. They
are galvanized flotation chambers that came from life boats off one of the giant ore boat's on Lake
Superior. John converted the life boat into a sailing boat and removed the chambers. Anyway...I've tried
using the chambers for rafts but they worked poorly, so I tried them as corn feeders and they work very
slick. They hold 200 pounds of corn each.
The problem I want to work on this trip is I need a different opening to pour the corn into from the top
end. I've been filling them from the bottom and man handling them onto the feeder. Sooner or later a
hand or back muscle going to get hurt.
I'll be using a battery powered drill to outline my corn fill hole, finish cutting it out with a hacksaw, and
use a weighted plug to keep the rats from falling inside the feeder, where they will surely die, bloat, leak
body fluids, and make a general mess inside the feeder contaminating the feeder & corn with their stink.
Anyone with a cabin can tell you of finding the above. The best I heard was of a mouse that dropped
down into a Mr Coffee pot and was stuck to the bottom of the pot from it's body fluids that leaked out
and eventually dried.
|Each container holds 200 lbs
4 p.m. +30 degrees. Well 400 pounds of corn missing! Every kernel gone! I had plugged the feeders
but apparently they (deer or rats) figured the plug out. Looks like elephants have been pounding the
ground down around feeders. Problem is no where to really store the corn unless it's inside metal.
I've had the rats chew through thick plastic, ruining the container, and plastic barrels are not cheap.
First trip in with the new 2006 F-150. Also bought a new 5x8 trailer to haul the ATV in. I'm done
hauling it in the pickup bed. Too much damage, and sooner or later the ramp is going to give out.
Cripes the MV7 weighs 1000 pounds. Two weeks ago when I left I noticed the ramp was
permanently bowed, and while going up the ramp it sank in soft gravel pitching the ATV to the right
as I was going up. I was already committed and had to keep going. No good! Something going to
break sooner or later and it might be bone next time.
The new trailer has 24" sides and I should have gotten one long ago. Hauled all my gear with the
MV7 and the new trailer in one trip!
|After 17 years I finally broke down and got a good trailer just for the ATV and my junk
7 p.m. +28 degrees. Took my bow out by Killers Nest tree stand and set up next to new loggers clearing in
a ground blind. Had a deer come through but they smelled me, or saw me. They got within 40 yards I
guess. Not too certain about reactivating Killers Nest tree stand now because I can see predominate wind
going to be blowing right into the narrow strip of woods between me and the new loggers clearing. And this
is where I put my new shooting lane. Going to have to make two more shooting lanes at 45 degree angles
and either way the deer will smell me and have the advantage. Well I'll give it a try for deer. I do know it
makes a good bear hunt stand!
6 a.m. +20 degrees. This sucks big time leaving the morning before the deer opener. Took the second
week of deer hunt for vacation hoping for colder temps and of course its been cold all October, and looking
like a cold November for deer hunting. We'll see. One thing that is normal up here in November is the
weather can go either way in just 48 hours, from a pounding snow storm to plus 60 degrees and t-shirts.
(Later note: It was good I did take the second week...as usual temps spiked into the 50's during the 1st
week of the hunt)
The Deer Hunt
10 p.m. +30 degrees. Arrived for one week deer hunt (see Deer Hunt 2006 page for extensive pictures)
with brother John. Corky got 2 bucks hanging? Chris got a fork buck at squirrel stand on opener. John S.
saw nothing last weekend at Hunters Rock tree stand?
6 p.m. Temp? Was under dressed in tree stand and cold. Had a doe and 2 yearling wander through. One of
the yearling was a button buck. Heard John S. shoot his doe out of Squirrel Stand #2 at 10 a.m. Shanen
saw 4 doe at Hunters Rock, and had an unknown deer come in at sundown but John S. showed up to to
pick her up and scared unknown deer off. Shanen was irked and so was Corky when he heard the story.
Brother John saw nothing at cabin.
9 p.m. +30 degrees. Another wounded deer with the Browning A-Bolt 30-06. This time from 50 yards. It
was very dark and the last minute of legal shooting. Unknown if it was a buck since the head was blocked.
Held dead center on lungs. Found pieces of rib that measured 2 inches where bullet hit, unfortunately my
flashlight was too weak to pick up blood trail. As I headed back to cabin it started to snow and I knew I
was in trouble. I'm thinking the bullet hit low but I have no proof to warrant my theory. The blood amount
was low but it was bright red.
By the time I got back there was a half inch of snow on the ground. I tracked the blood trail in the snow for
about 75 yards and that was as far as I could go. I kept circling out but it was hopeless. I'll try again in
morning but got a bad feeling on this one.
Brother John saw nothing at Squirrel Stand #2. I did have another lone deer come through around 10 a.m.
but let it go. The only reason I shot at the sundown deer is the odds were better it was a buck.
6 p.m. +36 degrees. The snow fall amounted to 1.5" and when we woke up half had melted already, so
you can imagine tracking conditions. It was wet, miserable stuff clinging to every branch until I touched it
and then it would come down on top of me getting into every nook and cranny of my clothing and gun. It
was horrible conditions to track and of course I was looking for a needle in a haystack.
I got lost several times and actually ended up 400 yards west at Coyote Deer Stand one time, but I'd start
over and over circling and circling out trying to find a carcass or something. Nothing! I'll keep looking each
day until we leave or I'm satisfied I'll never find it. I did see lots of buck scrapes and rubs to south of me
Sat in stand for afternoon hunt and had a small deer come through. Looked like one of the yearling from
day before? Brother John saw nothing at Hunters Rock.
6 p.m. Brother John got another 10 pointer out of Hunters Rock. The wind had changed coming in from
NE which is not normal up here. I knew when I crawled in my stand probably would not see anything and I
didn't. The 10 pointer had a nice rack but very small body. I grabbed the antlers while squatting on the
front rack of the ATV, and literally stood up pulling it up and onto the rack. I honestly don't think it
weighed more than 130 pounds? Maybe 150 pounds but no more. I'm not that strong that I can dead lift
that much weight.
I don't get it. It's his 2nd 10 pointer in two years (2004 & 2006) and I've been hunting up here for over 20
years and never gotten a 10 pointer. Brother John says, "It's because I'm a Democrat and your a
His theory does sound plausible...the Democrat's expect the government to provide everything free and
easy with little effort. Republican's work long and hard not expecting the handout. Yeeeee
|Brother John relaxing after
taking three of his
|4 of our 5 tags filled
(2 bucks and 2 doe)
|Fat ass mange bear that broke Corky's corn feeder
4 p.m. Took a 4" spike buck at 1p.m., almost let it go not realizing it was a spike. Something wrong
with the Browning A-Bolt for sure. The 1st shot was a perfect broadside but it shot low and nicked
the leg 12" low. It ran towards me and stopped to look around, I shot again through the heavy
brush. This is the 4th deer in 3 years with this gun that has been wounded. Last year I thought I was
taking too steep of a angled shot and that's why they were hitting low. Not the case.
5:10 p.m. John back panting, got a button buck, and got lost coming out. Ended up on trail to
Squirrel Stand #2 and took long way back in.
9 p.m. "No Name Steaks" over charcoal at Corky's definitely the hit of the week so far. Corky piled
up the charcoal on the sides of the grill with the meat in the middle. I kept insisting he was burning
the meat since he left it on a long time but it was cooked to perfection.
Corky said, "Dale missed big 8 pointer on opener." It ran around his stand and came out again for
the doe panting. He thought he already had one down in the alder swamp so he just watched it.
Corky and I both concur if you have the opportunity for a second shot take it!
8 p.m. I hunted out of "Hunters Rock" and saw nothing. John shot a fair sized doe by cabin but
couldn't find it. I helped him look again and we found it 50 yards off shooting lane. The immediate
10 yards around the location you hit the animal is critical to scour for blood, hair and direction it
headed off in. I was able to take him right to it in about 3 minutes. Compared to some of the
tracking I've done this trail was like following an OJ Simpson murder scene. The doe had been hit
just above diaphram, and grazed both lungs on bottom. It was the farthest he has had one run on
him up here.
4:30 p.m. Packing to leave. The week as a whole stayed between 28-34 degrees night and day, and
was cloudy the entire week. Never saw stars or moon. I guess that's about perfect really. Caught
about 7 mice by front door the entire week using the old fisher peanut trick, jammed into the bait
tray. Found my extra clothes bag in the dog kennel filled with corn someone had been busy all week
hauling. The verdict is in on the new loggers clearing helping or hurting us and it has not changed
our success at "Hunters Rock" tree stand. I'm going back to "Coyote Stand" next year and use the
portable, definitely see more and bigger bucks down there. I don't like the wind condition at "Killers
Nest" stand for deer, although it would be changed during fall bear hunting and a good bear hunt