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