We left Montgomery, AL at 5:15 p.m. Northwest bound to the Kentucky Farm; but first we took a small detour to pickup Hank the HuntVe from the dealership where it was getting a preseason inspection. We drove into the driveway at the farm at 2:45 p.m. I set my alarm on my cell phone for a 2.5 hour nap.

We started the day early so we could get everything prepared for our first hunt in 3 weeks.

Preseason is always exciting for me. We put cameras out earlier this summer and this was going to be our first opportunity to see those photos. Although there were a few good bucks caught by the game cameras, I was more disappointed that one of them took about 110 shots of nothing. So evidently the sun caused this or a few weeds that may have blown in the wind…although, undetectable to our eyes. In any case, I am very anxious to be sitting in the stand, bow in hand.

On this trip we had a hefty to do list: replenish the Trophy Rock, pull game cameras, set cameras up in new spots, put up 3 ladder stands with 3 cameraman lock-ons, bushhog the lower field, and scout out a few spots to place muzzleloader/rifle stands.

We started at day break…with a low-tire on Hank. After taking a few minutes to fix that we headed to the fields to check the cameras. The first camera–nothing earth moving. The second camera–better than the first, this spot has potential. The third camera–BINGO!! This is what we are looking for…bucks, several bucks. Some young, one impressive at this point of the season and yet a couple more that needed another year or two. We have photos of fawns; good size fawns…especially since our does in Alabama are just now putting fawns on the ground and will be doing so the next two months.

Richard pulling a game camera card.

Looking at the game camera photos in the field.

Checking game camera pictures in the field.

The weather was nice with the temperature in the mid 80s; this was a pleasant change for us. We were a little disappointed to see that a couple of the summer food plots were not satisfactory. The deer consumed the sunflower that was sowed in the mix as soon as they bloomed in one field and there were only several dozen that made it to maturity in another. The iron clay peas in the other plots made a good stand are a week or two from blooming.

We were at the parking area putting together ladder stands when we stopped long enough to enjoy lunch. DIVINE ribs from Rendezvous Barbeque in St. Louis, brought to camp by Allen Plunkett, a friend that leases and hunts the adjacent property. Food at camp is ALWAYS the best and usually something spicy: deer chilli, jambalaya, ribs…THEY WERE DELICIOUS and about made me worthless. I had to take me a quick nap shortly after eating.

We came prepared...plenty of Trophy Rock, AmeriStand ladder stands and Tree Line lock-ons.

Richard hard at work while I took a nap in the shade after lunch.

Shortly after lunch we were back at work scouting out some stand locations that we had plans of putting up on Sunday after we finished some bushhogging.

Finding trails across pastures like this one always gets me excited. A camera went up on the other end of this trail.

Scouting down around the creek. This property is unique because it has a little bit of everything.

Looking for acorns in the tree tops.

The Soybean fields are beautiful.

Hank the HuntVe looked like a work horse.....

Richard felt like a work horse....thank goodness for Strut & Rut!!

Sunday morning got off to a slow start and with a new flat tire on Hank. The flat was repaired rather quickly and focus was shifted to a repair on the bushhog.

Yep...it's broke!

Joe Thomas and Richard inspecting the Bushhog.

It didn’t take Richard and Joe long at all to get the bushhog repaired and for Joe to head to the field to bushhog an area that Richard had scouted and planned on putting a stand on since he first set foot on the property.

The BIG BERTHA.....NO!! NOT ME...the tractor...although I have to agree, I am pretty stout-homegrown and country fed!

Air Conditioning, stereo and full seat adjustments....what more could a woman want?

The weeds were just a "little" high.

Tall weeds...no match for Big Bertha!

Bushhogging...doesn't take long to bushhog at 12 acres per hour with a 18' foot deck.

Bushhogging...doesn't take long to bushhog at 12 acres per hour with a 18' foot deck.

Just about finished with the bushogging.

It is amazing how bushhogging a half-acre area can make EVERYTHING look so different. Richard was, once again, indecisive about stand placement….

Decisions, decisions...I have found when he gets in this mode just to let him do his thing. I get frustrated with the going back and forth and want to just yell "PICK A SPOT ALREADY, WILL YOU!!"

Finally when he picked a spot, and we placed the ladder stand and cameraman lock-on, he had a bit a limb clearing to do. This is not only going to be a great bow stand; it will also be a great gun season stand. We decided to place a game camera close by to help with the scouting.

Richard clearing away some limbs from a bow stand.

A view from the stand. The creek is to the left of this stand and nearly a half circle around it making a good pinch point.

Looking toward the creek line from the stand. Wow! This would make beautiful shot footage on video.

A camera placed close to a promising stand will help cut our scouting in half.

Just inside the woods from one of the stands is a beautiful creek that had many tracks and trails surrounding it.

Our last stand to place on Sunday was another favorite spot. This one was overlooking planted iron clay peas. Every trip we have made to this area has flushed deer out of the woods so timing our trek into this stand was going to have to be a science. Even with a second trail to get to this stand we were going to have to be stealth. This stand took nearly 2 hours to place and clear shooting lanes because it was so thick on the edge of the woods.


Still trimming away...

After trimming shooting lanes.

View from the field.

It is always important to leave thick enough cover around the stand to conceal the hunters, but it is also important to always have multiple shooting lanes since deer are so unpredictable. We scouted several more spots and found numerous white oak trees with a bumper crop of acorns. This is a southern hunters’ dream….

We found some great white oak trees LOADED with this years' acorns.

We had many creatures ride along with us, several for a short visit, others a little longer. Thank goodness we found no snakes. As usual, I also found some things to take home along the way. And of course we had a great time and made good memories. But the memory I would like to forget are of the unwanted guests that ended up traveling with me….SEED TICKS!! Yep, the DEVIL’S spawn. I wore snake boots, sprayed down good and them little turds still found a way to make it to my skin. Note to self: ADD A SECOND DOSE OF SAWYER’S TO CLOTHES NEXT TRIP!!

The "BThe Billie-Bees" where out in full force and at one time I counted 16 on me and my camera.

Creepy spider that latched onto Hank.

Butterfiles galore...



A HEART shaped rock....

a shed from the class of 2015...

AND even though I came prepared....I also left with seed ticks, the Devil's spawn.

Next trip, Gator hunting with Dave Mehlenbacher of Woodland Guides Outdoors in Crystal River, Florida with hunting friends Shannon and Amber Markley. TWO days to harvest FOUR gators, stay tuned to see if we get the job done!!

Shannon and Amber Markley are headed to Florida this weekend with Richard and I to gator hunt with Woodland Guides Outdoors.