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Re: 2016 Whitetail Opener
LSF Member
Joined:
01/14/2007
From Central MN/Blackhoof
Posts: 341
Really unusual season for us in 183...

Tags were bucks only for the second consecutive season in 183. We had 14 different bucks on camera going back to mid-August, but only one of them was old/large enough to get a green light.

I'm interested to know if anyone else is seeing lots of 1.5's in 183? My SWAG theory (scientific wild-arse guess) is that with the bucks only restriction in place in 2015, the buck-fawns simply didn't get shot like they normally would and made it to 2016, maybe... 11 of the 14 sure looked like 1.5 year-old deer.

At any rate, high hopes before the season opened. Mostly for my son who has been trying for three years now to take his first.

Hope was at a low ebb the Monday before opener when I saw the forecast, but I kept it to myself since my son was chomping at the bit and the last thing I wanted was to be Debbie Downer for him.

Got in after dark on Friday night only to find 2 buddies of my neighbors to the east camping on my property. Long story behind that, but I kept my cool and let them stay put for a couple of reasons.

Saturday morning was the low-point, woke up to heat and SW winds which has been the kiss of death on our little slice of heaven.

I was able to swap 2 cards on my way out to the stand with my son. Hadn't gone near the cameras for the last 3 weeks, but 5 "new" bucks had shown up between Halloween and the day prior.

My Dad who is 80 and has a stand close to the cabin missed a decent 6pt. opening morning. We got a pic of it from a cam on a mineral site near his stand just as it stepped out before the shot; yet another "new" buck. The rest of us saw a fair number of does/fawns and my Brother in Law passed on a fork. Surprised at the amount of movement given the heat and wind.

My son and I both had Veterans Day off. Same marginal conditions but we saw quite a few does/fawns and caught one quick glimpse of antlers and a hind-end way off in the brush. Also found the first real rubs and a couple scrapes, pretty typical they don't show up until opener or after on our place other than the odd velvet rub early.

Saturday morning, same marginal conditions only worse because the wind was already roaring before sunup. Even my son was grumbling as soon as he went outside that morning.

Saw a few does/fawns quickly moving to bedding areas at first light, then nothing. At 9 I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A buck was crossing a grassy strip going down-wind to our left. I poked my son and whispered buck. I've never seen someone snoozing like that drop the muffs and get ready so fast.

The buck got into some brush, then made a hard right and hit the trail in front of us at 75 yards. I had to baah twice with the wind to get it to stop. My son already had the gun on him and it was a loooong couple of seconds. All I could think was shoot, shoot, shoot. To his credit he whispers, "I think he's too small"; I dang near fell out of my seat. I say SHOOT!, and he makes a perfect shot. I'm not sure who was more excited.


Happy kid, proud dad in camp that day.

Posted on: 2016/11/17 9:43
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"Beer is proof that God loves us & wants us to be happy" Ben Franklin
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Re: 2016 Whitetail Opener
LSF Member
Joined:
06/03/2008
From depths of the unknown
Posts: 122
awesome story and congrats to your son for being patient and then having the where withal to say it's too small! First deer is always a trophy big or small!!!! Way to go and keep up the good work!!

Posted on: 2016/11/17 13:06
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Re: 2016 Whitetail Opener
LSF Member
Joined:
01/14/2007
From Central MN/Blackhoof
Posts: 341
Thanks, I was pretty darn proud of him given the amount of time he's put in over 3 years only to consider passing on a deer, let alone his first. He felt a heck of a lot better about it after I showed him my first. The little so and so even had the brass to give me crap about how his first was so much bigger than mine...

'Course, he also knew that this guy was still out there running around and that was in the back of his mind at the time. Deceptive photo, we started calling him "Tank" because his body is just so dang big it makes that odd 7pt. rack of his look tiny


Posted on: 2016/11/17 15:48
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Re: 2016 Whitetail Opener
LSF Member
Joined:
06/03/2008
From depths of the unknown
Posts: 122
He has got the right attitude and patience to be a great hunter and shoot bigger bucks as he gets older but to get the first under the belt is something special and not everyone takes a monster. If it is a monster he wants now he can sit back and wait for his trophy!! I took this approach a few years ago and spent many days in the stand hunting and some without seeing a deer but if you know there are big ones around your area and you play the wind good things will eventually happen! They did for me after 3 years...Good luck and again congrats to you and your son!!

Posted on: 2016/11/18 13:56
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Re: 2016 Whitetail Opener
LSF Member
Joined:
07/03/2007
From Crystal
Posts: 467
We went 2 for 4 with lots of small ones seen.

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Posted on: 2016/11/18 22:18
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