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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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WARNING!!! This thread will contain graphic pictures and stores of HUNTING.

As hunting season is winding down, thought it would be a neat idea to see and read about how everyones hunting season has gone. Doesnt just have to be this year. If you have some great pictures/stories from a previous years hunt, feel free to post em.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ill start off with a picture of a 4x4 Whitetail I harvested in 2012. And then the Mule Deer from this years hunt 2013. Both bucks where taken opening day in or around the Walla Walla / Dayton, Washington State area. There is a big read of the hunt from this year that I will also post. A few typos which ill have to go back and fix, but you will get a general idea of the hunt. :)

2013 Opening Day, Modern Fire Arm. (The Hunt)

Get to Rob's in Walla Walla about 6pm the night before. Start helping process the hamburger from his 5x5 muley buck just 5 days earlier. "Lets go take a quick ride and see if we cant spot some bucks in the two areas we are going to hit tomorrow" and off we go. Its nearly dark but we see shooter bucks at both locations! Now just need to make sure to get up earlier enough to stake our claim. We decided to hunt the same draws as last week that produced Rob's buck and the monster 220ish that we caught side of.
Up early and make it to the first spot a little before 6am and no one has taken our spot! Its still dark and all is quite. Its looking to be a perfect morning to opening day. No wind, partial cloud cover and a perfect mid 40s temp. A couple of trucks pull into the draw next to us. Obvious a hunting team but we hare a good 1/2 mile away and there is lots of room. Still, Rob and I decided to start walking a bit early to make sure we dont get pushed out. No way we can walk as far in as last time so we wanna check a couple of draws and then set up on top of the ridge.
Off we go walking at a good but slow and watchful pace. Checking draws and cuts as we go till we come to the area were we first stopped the bucks last weekend. Nope, nothing. So up the side of the hill we go, looking to get to the top, set up and take a look around. Not twenty feet from the top, what do we see? Hunters! WTF? The bastards from the hunting party made a dash to our draw ridge just to push us out. Half tempted to pop a few rounds off to repay the favor, but it is what it is and not unexpected behavior for 95% of the weekend warriors looking to fill tags in the Dayton/Walla Walla area.
So with that we decided to head to our second location and start to make our way back down the hill/draw. About 2/3 of the way down, I look over and about 200 yards further down and towards where the hunting group parked, I see a shooter buck! Nothing special. Maybe a 3/4 with velvet dripping in lose strands from his antlers. Decent enough to take a shot at though. He drops down into a draw so we hurry our way to the top. Spot a doe farther down towards the road. It takes another couple of minutes before we see the buck again. Still 200+ yards away, looking right at us but giving us his side profile. I get into a sitting stance, get the aim sticks in front of me. Try to rest the 25-06 in the V but the buck starts to move. I try to move the sticks, but when he stops I have one on the ground, one off and am forced to take aim. I aim a little high thinking the distance will give a slight drop to the bullet. BANG! The Muley buck starts to trot away heading up and over the hill. An obvious miss. I reposition and Rob gives a little whistle, the buck stops. Again, not in a stable position to take the shot but do it anyway. BANG! And this time, up and over the top the buck goes. Aimed to high and missed again.
We decide to keep on him as the other hunters are well past us up the draw further. Down the draw and up the other side. Get to the top and nothing. Then off to the right I see a buck. It doesnt look to be the same buck. Seems smaller with what looks to be maybe a 2x2 or 2x3 rack. I scope him for a good 5 minutes but am unsure of his points and not willing to take a small deer so early. And he soon trots up and over the hill behind him. He is heading towards the other hunters. Who, after hearing the two shots are all making their way back towards us hoping we are pushing deer towards them.
We stay on top of the ridge and start to make our way again, back to the truck when "Oh crap! Rob, look over there!" I point to 8 deer farther down the draw even closer to where the hunting party parked. How in the world did they pass so many deer and not notice? OH wait, I know. They were in such a hurry to push us outta our hunt, they totally messed up their own. Oh well, no shooters just a couple of small bucks playing and pacing 6 does.

Back in the truck we head to our second choice spot. Just a few miles away, we get there a little before 8am. Spot 3 muley does laying down one of the draws facing the road. So far all the does have had bucks with them, so maybe there is a big one just hiding. More then worth a look and no one is there! Granted it doesnt look like a good spot to hunt, so not totally unexpected we will get it all to ourselves. A difficult thing to get during modern firearm in that area.
Get geared up, test the wind, which is nearly nothing and off we go following the same path we saw the group of deer last night. Massive amounts of tracks liter the ground. Including a set of very large obvious buck tracks from the night before. To our right is tilled wheat land. To our left cut wheat land. We opt for the much more quite dirt side to walk on. The cut wheat is very noisy.
We walk about 1/2 up the hill checking out the few small shallow draws as we go. We get to the top, make a 90 degrees and start to make our way along the top of the ridge were we can look down both to the left and right. Its pretty wide open so aside from the few draws coming up, we are not expecting much action but stay cautions and alert.
Then from behind me Rob says "Oh, right there" and points past me. I look but cant see anything. Rob gets the nocs out and I expect him to say, never mind, just a weed but he says "Oh its a nice shooter" I slip in behind him and he points... I catch sight of it. Its just the head and he is a long way off, laying down and all you can see is his head sticking up above the cut wheat stocks.
I get the range finder and take a reading. Ouch, 341 years. We duck down and discuss the best way to get a closer shot at him. But he is in a perfect spot that allows him to look down the draw that separates us from him. No way to get much closer to him from where were are. Cant go around either way without really making a walk of it, most likely losing his position and in the head, he is surrounded by crunchy cut wheat stocks. We quickly decided there is no way to sneak up on him.
"I guess you will just have to crawl as close as you can towards him" Rob says. After a moments thought and a look out towards the buck, I sling the rifle over my back, grab the aim sticks and start to crawl my way towards the buck. The only cover I have is wheat stocks. The lucky part is, we were walking on the path the tractors used so my progress is nearly totally silent. Not that he is going to hear me at this distance anyway.
I crawl as far as I can before I lose my cover. I take another ranger finder reading. 311 yards... still not good. I remove the rifle from my back. With it in one hand and the aim sticks in the other, range finder in pocket, I continue my stack by belly crawling! Afterwards Rob would tell me he was giggling most of the time I was doing it
Again, I have lost my cover and cant proceed any further. I place gun and sticks on the ground, roll over an spin so now my feet are facing him. I slowly sit up with the range finder in hand and take another reading. 300 yards on the nose. I lay back down. Heart pounding hard and fast from the crawling and the stalk.
Thinking there is very little chance I can hit this buck at this distance while it is laying down to boot, I sit up and at least see if I can get into a great stable seated position. I spreed the aim sticks and rest the rifle in the V. Give a little scoot here and adjustment there and I am in a very solid and comfortable position. I take aim and the cross hair is steady even though my heart is still pounding. I rest the stock of the rifle on the ground and lay back down on my back.
A couple of minutes pass, I remove my hat, sit up and get back into position. Heart is still a little to fast so I just scoop him and concentrate on breathing and relaxing. At this distance I wanna be as calm and sure as possible. I feel good and decide its now time. I carefully put the cross hair on him. My best target is his neck area. All this time he had be laying down but in a side profile position. So the neck is about the only shootable area I have.
I take aim, slow deep breath in and out, finger on the trigger... Nope, still doesnt feel quite right. And then from behind me, Rob whispers "What? A two pointer?". I whisper back, "I cant tell from this spot how many he is". His horns have blended in with the cut wheat stalks and any chance of counting em not is gone. But when we first spotted him, it was more then obvious he was a shooter.
I get back into shooting position. I feel much better now. Am calm and my heart is at a near normal level. I lean forward into the sight and get ready. And then he stands up!!! Just stands straight up and doesnt move. In my mind I hear myself say "Perfect". I put the cross hair dead center of his side profile for a lung shot. Remembering my misses earlier I trust in the rifles ability and aim exactly where I wanna hit him. Deep slow breath in and out... the sight is peffectly steady and he is still... BANG!
Oh that shot felt good, I think to myself. But with a little flinch, and a quick step, the buck starts to trot away. One step, tow steps, a trip or mis step, a limp? I swing back towards Rob and he asks "Did you hit him?" And I give a big thumbs up and say, "He is limping, I think hit him!" I turn back around and see the buck take two more stumbling steps and he just crumbles to the ground! A huge fist pump and I collapse back onto my back with an even bigger smile on my face. I roll onto my side, look back towards Rob and he motions to just stay where I am with a big grin on his face as well.
A minute or so and it obvious the buck is down for good. We stand and exchange hand shakes and claps on the back. Then off to our left we spot movement. Up outta the draw that was directly to my left, the 3 does we had seen from the road come up and out and take off up the hill away from us. Kinda towards where the buck was. Its a good thing we didnt try to circle him to the left. We woulda spooked up the does and that would of been the end of it.
I turn back towards Rob and say "300 fn' yards!!!" "What" he replies. "No way." "According to YOUR range finder, it was 300 yars on the nose!"
We make our way towards the buck discussing the spotting, stalk and shot. As we are getting near where the buck went down, Rob points and says "Theres your rack"
"Ya it is!... wait, no its not, thats a freaking weed. Thats way to tall to be his rack."
"One, two, three points, thats your rack" Rob says again... Me, I am sure its a weed. No way that thing sticking up that high is his rack. A few more yards closer and sure as ****, he was right. The height of the rack must be nearly 24" tall. We get up next to him, there is a good amount of blood on the ground and a clear as day bullet wound exactly where I had aimed. Perfect lung shot!

Can not wait to put this rack right next to my whitetail from last year opening day!!!
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is a picture of the odd 5x5 muley/whitetail hybrid my brother got the week before during the final day of early season muzzle loader. Just 6 days before I got my Muley Buck on the opening day of modern fire arm. As you can see by the picture, one side is kinda fulled in.

Was the best hunt I have been on yet! Rob spotted some bucks in a nice draw yesterday. So first thing this morning we go there and start walking in from east. Slight breeze blowing our scent away, cold and clear with just enough dew on the ground to make the grass moist and quite as we walked. Get about a half mile in and WOOT! 5, count em 5 muley shooter bucks... NO make that 6 and OMFG! That lead buck is massive and has a rack big enough to see without nocs. But being in the lead with the the group going from biggest to smallest, we will just have to settle for a smaller one. So we back down the hill and try to circle around em to the right keeping the wind in our favor. But they are grazing fast and by the time we come up around, they are gone cept for one and we see him disappear over the top of the hill. So again, we get onto stalking em and follow em up the hill, but no bucks as we peak over the top. Nothing running up the other side of the big hill so they must just be moving fast. So again, we try to circle around em. Another half mile in and we finally come up to a good cut and slowly make our way to the top to look over. WOOT! 3 bucks just standing there. Had Rob the sighting stick but it bends as he tries to push it into the hard ground. Hands it back and takes aim... BOOM! "I think I got him" we peek over the top and... 3 bucks looking at us... duck down reload "I am pretty sure I hit one and he fell" Stand back up, still 3 bucks looking at us... "I dont wanna shoot again until I know if I already hit one"... After about a minutes of discussing it, We stand and watch the bucks slowly turn and trot away. The lead one is kinda acting strange and shaking its antlers but other then that, nothing. We take a look around and no buck and no blood. So again, we get back to stalking em as they were not that worried about us. Get the top of this hill. No bucks going up the big hill, and the draw keeps going north, so we keep stalking. We are about 3 miles in now when Rob stops and points. 2 Bucks. But if there are only 2 did we actually get the 3rd? A closer look shows that its not the same ones as before but 2 totally different muley bucks. So back out and start to circle around em after about 15 minutes of circling we start to make our way to the top of the draw. This is just about the very tip of it. Another 300 yards or so and it turns into tilled wheat land. We take our time and come up on the cut from a good position, wind is good sun is higher so our shadows are shorter. Rob stops points, I noc em and there they are. The smaller on on the left a 3x2 maybe a 3x3 is standing facing us. The bigger one, a 4x3 in the nocs is laying down. Rob takes aim but I tap him with the aiming stick that I bet back into place and is good to go again. He is going to need it seeing how we only brought 2 bullets for his muzzle loader. He takes aim... BANG! And the bigger one laying down melts. The smaller one doesnt even jump and just continues to watch us. Rob "Im pretty freaking sure I hit it!" Being a muzzle loader, he didnt get to see the hit. Me "You kidding me? That boy is OUT! It was freaking instant. His head just flopped over and thats that." We do a little celebrating, giving the proper time to make sure the buck is actually dead and to let the other guy time to realize he needs to take off. Takes about 5 minutes but the other one finally trots away. Walk on down and take a look. The shoot, took, what turns out to be a 5x5 non typical Muley/Whitetail hybrid. Muley colorings but lighter in color like a whitetail and eye guards. The non typical part is on the right side (the deers left) a 1 1/4 inch point at the base of the top split. Id call it a 4x5 but technically, it is a 5x5 We started our walking at about 7:00am and were done skinning and hanging by noon Not a bad final day to early muzzle loader!
 

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Nice jobs!
My only story with no pics of course, is when a pheasant flew into the part of our yard with tall grass.
The only firearm was a 22 so I grabbed that & fired away.:rolleyes:
"Plink"
He ducked his head.
"Plink"
It came back up.
This game went on for several rather unsuccessful shots before he flew off laughing.

No wait, it was a BB gun.
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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Very nice!

I don't hunt.. My dad has only been out a few times so far this year.. He's going out tomorrow so hopefully he gets something :) he's got his two bow tags so hopefully he gets something before rifle season starts
 

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Thanks!
Here's my biggest buck yet. Taken in October 2011
I just love to hunt, it's a passion of mine, especially bow hunting. If I'm not hunting I'm dreaming of it, hence the name outdoor dreamer. Lol also, my taxidermy business is Outdoor Dreams :)

 

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We are in archery season right now, our gun season for deer isn't until Dec. 2- shotgun only, for 1 week. But there are still way too many leaves on the trees,
I like to wait until I can at least see the deer! Archery goes until Feb. 2nd or something like that! A long season, for sure!
 

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Goat Girl
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Well, I haven't managed to go deer hunting yet since moving to OK, but I did shoot a few squirrels my first fall out here. It was fun, shot them with a 412. I've shot some rabbits too and a few stray cats. I got an armadillo about a month ago, no pics of him but I think he had something wrong with him. He wasn't aggressive but was outside at about noon which is very odd for them and I think he had been eating the dogs food so he had to go.

My step dad shot an opossum (it was also eating the dog food) one time and when we went to look at it, it's belly was moving. I thought it was maybe not dead yet, but on closer inspection she had 6 babies in her pouch! They all had hair and their eyes open. They were so cute. Luckily we know a guy that owns exotics and is friends with another guy that has a drive through zoo so we gave them to him to bottle raise. Last I heard they were all doing well. He's also shot a few coyotes, I think I have pics of one of them. He was quite a ways away and he shot him with his 270.

I am planning to try to go deer hunting this year, just need to get out and do it. I also attached some pics of an elk that we helped our friend pull out of the woods. He owns a hunting ranch and a hunter had just shot this elk, but he was in the trees and they couldn't get in there with their vehicles so we brought two of our horses over to help pull him out. He had to be field dressed before the horses could get him to move. Of course one of the horses would pull just a little then give up, lol I think he had done that before and knew he could just quit and make the other horse do all the work, plus we just had the elk dallied off to the horns on their saddles so they couldn't pull as well as they could have if they'd had a collar/harness on. I believe the person that shot this elk was a 9 year old girl.

I can't find my pics of the opossum babies. If I do I'll post them too.
 

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Nice fat fox squirrels! We went squirrel hunting last week and got 6, then made squirrel and dumplings for dinner the next day. Was very good. Cool pictures of the horses dragging the elk!
 
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