2009 total for the group:
Bow: Mike took a doe in NH and a doe in VT. Ryan took a doe in MA. Ray took a 8 point in NH. Derek took a 10 point in MA. Derek took a 13 point in MA. Stephen K took a 7 point in MA.
Muzzleloader: Rick took a buck in NH. Rick took a doe in VT.
Rifle: Steven M took a 5 point in VT. Ray took a 6 point in NH.
I don't have pictures of all the deer at this point.
I am going to try to do these deer chronologically as best I can.
For opening bow, Mike took a doe in NH and a doe in VT (no pictures). Ryan took a doe in MA (no Picture).
Ray took this 8 point 128lb dressed in NH opening morning for Bow.
Rick said a deer was hit by a car up the street from him in MA. He and Steven M. went back with their bows but it hobbled off. It was a 4 point. Ryan is in a good area. Incident: Ryan decided to move his tree stand. He was in the process of taking it down when he saw a buck (10 point) staring at him. He left his bow in the car so could do nothing but throw rocks. He saw the 4 point the next morning from his tree stand but passed on it as he hopes to see that 10 point again.
Oh my word ... Derek took this bruiser 10 point with his bow. The weight was 210lbs dressed. However, the deer was so long it didn't get completely off the ground when it was weighed. The drag out of the woods took several hours. Question for Derek and Ryan ... How come it took you young bucks so long to drag that out of the woods?
Rick said: Derek's deer looks just like the buck he shot ... except his was 110 pounds lighter and only had 2 points and one antler. Other than that, virtually identical.
Mike said: "He would much rather have shot Rick's deer….. Just think of all the problems Derek has to face with a monster deer like that……
1. The tough drag out of the woods
2. People calling you all hours of the night to congratulate you while you're trying to watch Family Guy.
3. The taxidermy bills.
4. Redecorating the living room to find a place to hang it.
Us old guys could shoot deer like that but with age comes wisdom….. we know the problems big deer bring … alas one day Derek will smart’n up!!! Let’s keep pull’n the trigger on skippers!!!!!"
Rick added: "You forgot... the meat would taste like shoe leather. Not worth eating, so why kill an old guy.... to bad we can't hunt spikes in VT anymore. They're forcing us to cull these poor old bucks."
WAIT A MINUTE ... THAT'S KEVIN'S HEAD ON DEREK'S BODY ... OH NO, THAT'S DOUG'S HEAD ON DEREK'S BODY. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
All kidding aside, congratulations Derek. That's a buck to be proud of. Derek said there is another big buck in the same area. Yea right ...
Rick took a nice buck on Red Hill during muzzleloader in NH (no picture). Hey Rick! Tell us again how your deer had spots and antlers!! Just kiddin ...
Other than youth weekend with Kevin, I have yet to get out in the woods. To much going on with visiting colleges, etc. As you can see I am living vicariously through my hunting buddies.
David and Stephen K. hunted Red Hill on opening day rifle (Wednesday) in NH. I was up at 4:00AM Thursday morning to drive to Moultonborough to join them. I arrived to find David wasn't feeling well. Stephen and I went to the "L" to hunt. I went up to Kevin's rock figuring it was a good area after seeing doe's on youth weekend. Stephen went to the landing. They left early afternoon for home while I continued to hunt. It was warm and the leaves were very crunchy. Like walking on corn flakes.
I moved around a while but didn't see much in the way of scrapes or rubs. I decided to try to find a spot and sit quietly figuring anything moving would make lots of noise.
About 1:30PM I decided to go to Red Hill and explore the area where Rick shot his buck the week before. It was a beautiful area. Several runs. There were 2 squirrels and 6 chipmunks near where I was sitting. They sure make lots of noise in crunchy leaves. I must have invaded this chipmunks rock. He decided to sit next to me for awhile. Maybe the extra set of eyes would help. At one point he sat on my boot. I'm glad he didn't try to go up my pant leg ... That could be painful. No deer ... I headed for the truck at 4:45PM.
Friday I did more walking on the "L". I saw my first rub on top with a couple scrapes. I jumped 2 deer but couldn't make out antlers. Mid afternoon I packed up and headed to Vermont for opening rifle. There should be 10 of us hunting this weekend.
When I arrived in VT late afternoon Friday there was more "Derek Talk." During the 2007 Bow season in MA he shot a big buck but didn't bring it down. He has seen the same buck on his trail camera since 2007 but hasn't had the opportunity to try again. That was until several days ago. Derek was bow hunting ... saw the buck ... and took a 20 yard shot from his tree stand. The deer ran several hundred yards through a swamp before it dropped. It's a 13 point buck. Bigger rack than the 10 point with the main beam 4 inches around but lighter at 164lbs dressed. It was his 2007 deer as it still had a broadhead in it's shoulder bone.
We were all wondering if the heavier 10 point was the father of the 13 point, or were they brothers, or cousins. We guessed they may be 5 - 7 years old. What a gene pool in that area. Derek will have both heads mounted and measured. We are thinking they wouldn't make Boone & Crocket but may make Pope & Young. Rather amazing ...
We were up early Saturday morning 11/14 and headed out. It was raining which finally made things quiet. Ryan and Derek went to the boulders. Rick and Stephen went to Sargent. Mike and I went to Gurassic Ridge. I took the east side and Mike went up top. As we drove in there were several trucks parked on the west side. Our thought was the deer would go up top where Mike was and down the east side where I was toward the swamp. No luck seeing bucks except Stephen. Stephen shot a 5 point 155lb dressed on Sargent.
We returned at dark to start our traditional big dinner on Saturday night. Rick had nice steaks going on the grill. There were 13 of us for dinner.
Ray came over from NH for dinner. He wasn't hunting this year in VT. It was great to see him and hear about his bear experience in Montana. After dinner we watched some videos of Mike and Ray from their Montana Elk hunt in October. Sounded like they had a great time. Lots of good stories.
On Monday morning, 11/16 Ray took a 6 point 170 lb dressed in NH. It was from one of his many tree stands near his house. Was it the tree stand you built with the roof on it? We should think about bear hunting in your area next year.
Steven K. was bow hunting in MA early Tuesday 11/17. A doe came down the trail and stopped near him. He took a shot and missed because of a tree obstruction. He said it was the 3rd miss with a bow this season. 30 minutes later a buck came down the same trail following the doe's scent. It actually stopped and smelled the arrow stuck in the ground from his missed shot. It took a couple steps forward and Steven took his shot. The buck ran a short distance back down the trail and stopped. He said it was looking all around trying to figure out what happened. Standing there it wobbled, then wobbled again, and fell over. This buck was 7 point 154lb dressed. He donated the deer to a local needy family. Someone came by to pick it up at 5:30PM.
Saturday, 11/21, I was up at 4:10AM to drive to Red Hill in Moultonborough. My plan was to still hunt at first light. By late morning I came across 2 large rubs on an old skidder trail. (I thought it would make a good picture with my Weatherby.) They were impressive. About 100 yards away I saw run with 4 very fresh scrapes going up the middle of this knoll. It was a good spot so I decided to sit for several hours. Behind me was a stream with another knoll. I saw a deer come down the knoll toward the stream. I couldn't see the head. I was hoping it would jump the stream and come up the run I was sitting on. No such luck. There were quite a few beechnut trees around. When black bears climb beechnut trees they often leave claw marks. Here is an example.
My GPS indicated I was almost a mile north and 250 feet higher from where I parked my truck. At 3PM I decided to find a closer place to park and an easier way back to this spot for the morning so I followed the run down hill toward the road. I hit 3 fields with houses which basically pushed me back toward the truck. Nuts.
Sunday morning, 11/22, I slept in until 4:25AM. I headed straight to the scraps through the woods and sat until late morning. Then I started up the run to see where it took me. I ended up jumping several deer but no visuals for antlers so no shot. I followed an old skidder trail which took me back toward my truck but up hill. I had to head home mid afternoon so headed down hill.
I took the road around Red Hill on my way home. I passed a boat house on Squam Lake with a nice reflection so I turned around. (The movie "On Golden Pond" was filmed on Squam Lake) I also saw a barn that looked interesting. The owner told me it was the oldest barn in Moultonborough registered with the historical society. Lower level for horses, main level, and upper level was a chicken coop.
I went back to Red Hill in NH on Friday, 12/4. My plan was to hunt my way to the top. I got to the top alright with no luck seeing deer. It was quite the little adventure. Read my "A Hunt or a Hike?" post. Rifle season in NH ended Sunday. I don't have time to go to VT muzzleloader so my season is officially over.
Rick and Stephen went to Mike's in VT for opening muzzleloader this weekend. It snowed a bit on Saturday night. Rick took a doe on 12/6.
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