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Deer Camp 2015

November 18th, 2015

Deer Camp 2015

Deer Camp 2015 was quite the banner year for our annual deer camp crew. With a full crew of 9 hunters for the year, several were successful within the first two days.  These are some of the best days of fall, hunting out in the wilderness with just the birds and the deer to keep you company.  Of course, the camp fare is second to none as we all enjoy great meals.

 

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Deer Camp 2014

November 18th, 2014

Deer Camp 2014


Ah, the chill is in the fall air in the great state of Michigan. It’s a little early to be 15°F in the morning, but we’ve had these kinds of days in November before. The Rifle Deer Opener came and went this past weekend with some good sightings and some successful hunters this past weekend.  A great group of usual characters showed up at Deer Camp this year and the camaraderie was in high gear.  We started out putting up a tree stand in a great place so that we could archery hunt from that perch. It turned out to be a prime spot the next day as a lucky hunter took a 7-pointer later the next day. Another seasoned young hunter took a 9-pointer early on opening day and was enjoying the warmth of the fire back at the lodge.

 

* Neither of these beauties hanging on the buck pole were mine, but it was still a great time at Deer Camp this year.

 

Out in the Blind

My Hunting adventures for the weekend were exciting and filled with lots of activity out in the Death Valley Deer Blind.  The Deer were active during most of the day and there wasn’t an hour that went by that didn’t see some activity down near my blind.  A flock of about 50 turkeys spent most of the afternoon milling around the blind and they were very awesome to watch.  To wrap up a great weekend, I was unable to put a Deer on the Buck Pole this year as the bucks just didn’t show up in Death Valley during the two days I was there.  It was reported later on Sunday afternoon after I had left Deer Camp, that a 12-point Buck strode across Death Valley within range of my blind.  I would have enjoyed seeing that Buck.  He’ll have to wait until next year.

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Deer Camp 2012

November 17th, 2012

Deer Camp 2012

The local northern hunting experience that comes once a year is upon us once again. On a large portion of acreage in northern Michigan, Deer Camp is set up with a main lodge and hunters choice from fourteen different deer blinds strategically placed throughout the landscape. Each hunter has their own special preference as to which deer blind they choose to hunt from. These typically don’t vary from year to year, but occasionally hunters trade spots, or give up their blind after they have had a successful hunt.

Weather is always a factor in the hunt; too warm and the deer don’t move as much as they do when it’s cold and a  slight covering of snow always helps too. The weather for this year was picture perfect, cool fall weather with all day sunshine and clear, starry nights. I can’t remember a more pleasant stretch of fall days for deer camp in recent years. A few years ago It was too warm, reaching a high of 55 degrees in the afternoon, and then there was that one year when the early morning temperature dipped down to -9 below. Each of these weather patterns brought their own set of issues that contributed to the hunting success ( or lack thereof) for that year. This year it was nice to spend time in the woods and forest for a few days and the terrific weather that made the experience all the more enjoyable.

My opening morning started off just like any other year. A good cup of coffee and a full thermos to take with, along with a sandwich and some cookies to help keep the munchies away. I dress in several layers of clothes to keep warm in the blind along with aim insulated set of camo overalls just for deer  hunting. I think of these as a wearable sleeping bag because they area quite warm and insulative against the cold. I took out my rifle and checked the magazine for enough rounds. I walked the long meadow from the lodge down to my blind which has a splendid view with a nice viewing area known affectionately as “Death Valley”. Deer regularly visit this grassy meadow browsing on the sweet rye shoots.

Once I arrived at my small northern woodland condo, I unpacked my gear and settled in to watch the morning unfold as the sun rose in the east and splashed the valley with sunlight. The experience of watching the forest come alive in the morning is one of the many pleasures that deer camp holds for me. I had a few four legged visitors close to the blind, but nothing to put the scope on. About 9:15 am in the morning I was enjoying my second cup of coffee and I noticed some movement out of my right window. A large deer was walking to the right of my blind and stopped, just out of sight behind a small group of trees. I opened the window and aimed my rifle out the window. I had to wait a few seconds for the buck to clear the trees to get a good look at him. I lined up the shot and pulled the trigger. The large 9 point buck lay on the ground a few minutes later. This would be the first deer on the buck pole this year.

This was the 9-point buck I downed on opening day 2012

The remainder of deer camp was very relaxing with card games, camaraderie, and some great meals. Cedar enjoyed her time out in the weathering yard as she came along for the trip. My fellow hunting crew really enjoyed having Cedar perched in the yard as well. Cedar also took to tolerating Wink pretty well, as he wandered around camp enjoying all the smells. Wink is an eight year old English Setter who really likes hunting grouse and woodcock in the fall.

Here’s the nice patch I received from the Michigan DNR when I stopped at the Deer Check Station in Mio.

 

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