This past weekend was the opener to our muzzle loading season. This was not a stay over camp, and no one showed up to hunt the property. I did go out several afternoons on stand, and morning still hunts but did not see any deer. Oh, they were here - every evening I came out of the woods they were all over the fields and barely moved as I puttered down on my ATV. But as far as decent bucks go, nothing. I did not really expect to see any as it is normal for our big guys to stay put until real cold, and the second and third week of November set in...As you can see from the pictures, it was a beautiful full moon this past weekend...if you did not know, the November full moon is officially called the Hunter's Moon.
I sat two evenings far up on the Ridge from camp. No deer, but as it got dark and that beautiful amber moon came up over my left shoulder, big as a dinner plate, I knew, simply knew, that I was in the right place in this tiny glimpse of history. Typically I lower my gear from the stand in the dark and hike down a trail a hundred yards or so to my ATV where I load my gear and putter on out. About a half mile down toward camp is where I pass the Far Stand, (check the pictures) and right after that I hit the fields I cross to get to camp. That is where I see the does all chowing down. On Sunday night, while I was still in stand, and the moon coming up like a big saucer, a flock of around ten raucous Canada Geese crossed it on their way South. I was close to Heaven.
Now, someone asked me about mock scrapes. Believe me I have subscribed to, and read every major deer hunting and archery publication available in the last twenty years (before that I was a yeoman patrol cop who couldn't afford such luxuries) and I have hunted New England for 54 years. So about fifteen years ago I began to set up mock scrapes. Exactly where and how all the experts and pundits descriped. For the last ten years I have used the drippers and scents from Wildlife Research Center and here are my results. Zip. Save your money.
Below is one I have had in place by the Far Stand for 12 years. I have yet to take a deer over it, though I have shot many deer from this stand...
I have used every scent Wildlife Research makes, a myriad of doe-in-heat/buck tarsal, you name-it scents. Just for fun. And I don't mean to discourage your use of mock scrapes. They are fun to do, fun to watch, and divert attention. But in this part of the country, if you are doing them to attract deer, forget it! If you are doing them for an excuse to get out there, go for it!