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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mid-Season at Long Ridge Deer Camp

It has been an interesting season in this part of the state. For beginners, I began to note early in the summer that most does had no babes, and if they did, only singles were seen. I have three cameras out 24/7  and was amazed at the lack of deer numbers compared with other years. In addition I noted not a single picture of a really good buck anywhere near our camp. These cameras were placed over mineral licks, clover fields, under apple trees, on food plots, and on well used deer trails. Maybe one six pointer over the summer, that was it. A five pointer on a regular basis, and on every camera I have up, no matter where it is placed, he manages to find it. So far only four of our hunters have scored, all does with the exception of an arrowed eight pointer. The last several weeks have been bucks only and we have seen none. Twenty eight deer have been seen by hunters from our stands so far, but all were does or undentifiable/no clear shot. This is not to say there are not great bucks out there. Below you see a great NH buck taken just East of here by an employee of one of our hunters. He took this deer by bow in an unscouted, unhunted new area! A great buck by any standards!
The parking lot below is beginning to fill up. It is nearly my favorite part of the hunting season, to be in camp when hunters are arriving and unloading gear, ATVs, and vittles. 
First night at camp, settling in after a great meal, drinks, campfire and company. 

Below, this hunter is on his way up the mountain to hunt, but not before looking wistfully (hopefully?) at a picture of a 2010 Long Ridge buck we had put on a banner to welcome hunters.
We always enjoy an hour of chat, cheese and drinks while potatoes bake and venison grills...

Catching up on a years news- oh, and don't be fooled by the water!
No pictures to add yet. The fourth hunter to score took a wounded deer, and  had to take a head shot so a picture would be out of the question. Head shots no problem for that veteran SWAT team member...
A late evening shot of camp.
This tree rub is NOT very impressive being only an inch through. But as I said, no major mature buck signs at all. I would bet this is by my little five pointer. Usually by this time of year we have major rubs on the edge of our old Christmas tree plantation. This year? None..
This is a wonderful place to sit. It looks out over a large bowl full of mature hardwoods. Shooting range close to 170 yards. I saw nothing this day except gray squirrels.
A vinegar venison stew was perfectly delicious, and had a half life of about five minutes...
While we have not been wildly successful yet this season, below you see my friend from Wisconsin, who is enjoying her second deer this year! Remember, she was the winner of last years blog picture contest where she correctly ID'ed a very blurred camera photo from LRDC. She was sent a special T-shirt prize and wore it on both hunts! Incidentally, when she finally found this guy dead, she found her Montec G5 T3 expandable blade still in the deer, and the blades had failed to open. She used the right spider retention clips, and this gal knows how to set them, so it was bad equipment. She was lucky to get this guy, and will be switching back to a fixed broadhead!
Some more wild game that was delicious. One package is Elk sausage, one is bear sausage, and wide flat one is Canada Goose sausage. All three were great, with a tad of mustard on them. I thought the Elk was the best! We also had a perfectly delicious Elk roast.
Our ground is still snow covered but we have lost most of it. The deer are hitting the fields and turnip plots at night time.

Relaxing at camp after supper. gun catalogs are always a hit!
Another crew headed to the top of the mountain!
So, while we haven't taken many deer, we've had an absolute ball, caught up on the past years events, had wonderful meals and companionship, and wonderful hunts! What could be better than that! Still one camp to go, then rifle season is over. After that I'll still have to weeks of archery season for a last ditch cold weather effort! I'll keep you posted!

jackzeller@myfairpoint.net

5 comments:

  1. This was a great read and I enjoyed the photographs. Truth be told we haven't seen nearly the Deer this season as last season. However, preseason we were seeing a lot of Does. I've seen more deer in my back 40 then I have on any hunt I've participated in this year.

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  2. Great post Jack! I love all the pictures too. I always try to imagine what you guys are all talkin' about, the sounds of the cabin, and the smells too. Then I remember it's gotta be like most other huntin' camps, then the awe and wonderment fade...

    LOL! I'm just teasin' of course! Thanks though for the mention here. I sure had the best archery season ever this year! Now I'm just hopin' that shirt has still got some luck in it as I hit the woods today with my muzzleloader ;-)

    Good luck to you on the rest of your season!

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  3. Enjoyed the pictures Jack...very nice. I love to see what goes on at other camps. When my husband and I belonged to a camp on Kings Point Island north of Vicksburg, I could not wait to get there and hunt. A two story wooden structure near the MS River. After the 2011 flood here it got up to the roof top this time. But remember the smells and sounds of the cooks coming in starting breakfast for everyone and the guys talking. Did not need an alarm clock. We were on the 2nd floor. Never will forget all the great memories that we made there. They do plan to build another building up off the ground to connect to the 2 story building. We thought after the great flood of 2011 that the deer would not come back but they are seeing deer. They are used to the river rising and going back down. I would imagine a lot of yearlings were lost during this time because the does were dropping them. I have not gotten a deer yet but one did come out at dark thirty and stomped at me and did not see her in time but there is next time! Take care and happy for kmurry in getting her a deer already. GOODHUNTING my friend! :)

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  4. I really liked this one, and all the pictures. I think maybe the hunting is better on the other side of Mt. Gilboa though.

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