Archive for October, 2010

Trail Camera Buck Size Distortion Phenomenon

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I was very concerned about hunting this past weekend due to the fact it was during the full moon phase. So I was pleasantly surprised by how many deer I saw moving, mostly during the morning hours. One thing I learned was that a trail camera photo of a buck can be misleading and distorted. I have written about the buck we call No Brow Jr. a few times. I thought this deer was a 200 pound, 130″+ point shooter. I saw him live this past hunt and got some good video of him, as shown below. I did not realize it was him till later when I was replaying the video. I scored him about 115″ and about 170 pounds. I realized that he has a small frame and that threw off the photos in estimating his antler size.

As I watched this buck, I decided not to shoot him due to his size. He was not as big as he looked on the trail camera photos. I have shot bigger and he would be a trophy to another member, so I decided not to shoot him. I will keep looking for a bigger one… 911 or a maybe a rematch with Crab 10.

GA Opening Weekend for Firearms

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Opening weekend was uneventful. I filmed a few does and fawns and this video is shown below. I would not consider this the October lull because I saw plenty of deer. Young bucks are scrapping and I even saw a few trailing does. According to our trail cameras, the big bucks seem to be moving more outside their core area but just not during the day. We did capture some new bucks at a new camera location with one really nice buck that we call “The Dam” buck because we always get photos of him on our pond dam. We got pictures of him as a 2 1/2, 3 1/2, and this year as a 4 1/2 year old. He is nice but I wish his antler mass was thicker. The area in which he hangs out does not have any agriculture and he is too far from our spring/summer food plots to take advantage of our nutrition. We are talking about maybe supplementing feeding this area next year.

Dam Buck (2010)



Here are a few nice bucks in that same area.


I am not sure how next weekend is going to be due to the full moon rising and the famous lull coming but stay tuned and I will tell you about it.

My Tribute to a Legend – Dick Kirby

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I was very sad to hear about Mr. Dick Kirby passing away on October 1st due to back surgery complications. Mr. Kirby was the founder of Quaker Boy Game Calls where he revolutionized the way turkey hunters used game calls.

Mr. Kirby was an avid turkey hunter in which he killed 25 straight turkey Grand Slams. That amazes me to this day. Especially when you think of all the dynamic factors involved with turkey hunting, i.e. weather, birds not working, etc., plus the traveling involved within the short seasons for all 4 subspecies. Unbelievable!

Here is the story of my interaction with Mr. Kirby. I noticed Mr. Kirby while hunting on Gobblin Fever TV show with Mark Scroggins. I really noticed his long paddle box call and the beautiful calls coming from it. Of course he called a gobbler in on the show and he put the smack down on him. That call stuck in my head. Later that week, I got a mail order catalog, dedicated to turkey gear, and I was looking at the calls and I saw a limited edition “25 Grand Slams in a Row” handcrafted call by Mr. Kirby for sale. I thought it was beautiful and I loved his personal touches and workmanship.

I need to back track a little to tell the whole story. My Dad and I decided a few years ago to kill the grand slam. We planned to take a trip to Texas to kill the Rio Grande and Colorado for the Merriam. At this time all he had left was the Osceola, and I had leased a place south of St. Augustine just for Osceola turkey hunting. I knew he was going to complete it and I wanted some way to celebrate his accomplishment. That’s when I saw Mr. Kirby’s call and an idea popped in my head.

This idea was to get my Dad a custom call made by one of the great call makers in the country and for him to personalize it. So I looked for a Website for Mr. Kirby and all that came up was Quaker Boy’s corporate site. Then I came across an article about making turkey calls where they were interviewing him. Luckily for me, he had included his personal email address at the bottom. It was too good to be true and I was nervous to email him, plus it was an AOL address and I thought he might not have used it anymore since the article was dated a few years back.

Well, I sent him an email telling him my story and how it would be special for me to get a call built to give to my Dad. A couple of hours later, he responded and told me he would be honored to make it but it would have to be after turkey season. This was March 1st, 2009. I laughed and sent him a reply saying I most definitely understood and good luck.

So, May 1st, he emailed me with a price and wanted to know the information for the personalization I wanted. Then around first of June it came in the mail. When I opened it up I was shocked at how beautiful it was. I have some photos below of this call but it does not give it justice. The wood he used was perfect; the color was flawless. Then I had to try it out so I dragged the handle across the top to make a call and it had perfect tone and pitch. Then I noticed his personal address to my Father congratulating him of his accomplishment. I was so touched and so proud of it. I could not wait to give it to my Dad. I sent Mr. Kirby an email thanking him and he wrote me back saying he smiled while making it because it brought back memories and he could tell how strong a bond I have with my father.

When I gave it to my Dad, he was speechless and he called it a piece of art. He emailed Mr. Kirby and told him thank you. He also told him it was too beautiful to hunt with and he was going to put it above his fireplace mantle. This kind of aggravated Mr. Kirby and he fired back an email saying he appreciated the thanks BUT his calls were meant to be used and strongly urged him to take it out. My Dad and I did and we made sure to be careful and that the weather conditions were perfect. Now that he has passed, we also agreed that we are going to video a hunt calling a gobbler in with this amazing call in honor of Mr. Kirby this spring. Stay tuned for that video.

When something like this happens, you need to realize how fragile life can be. Mr. Kirby touched us with more than a beautiful call. He reminded me of past hunts that my Father and I had. He reminded me about the tradition involved with this great sport. I am honored to have that experience and brief interaction with Mr. Kirby. Now to have such a piece of art to commemorate it makes it that more special. I am sure he is chasing an elusive bird as we speak where it is open season all the time. Happy hunting Mr. Dick Kirby and we will get one for you this spring!


Weekend Off From Hunting

Monday, October 18th, 2010

I recently took the weekend off from hunting to enjoy a few of my other hobbies. A great friend of mine invited me and my son to the LSU versus Florida game in Gainesville, FL. I am a Mississippi State Bulldog alumnus so I bleed maroon and white BUT I love watching any SEC football game therefore, I quickly accepted his offer.

Then he threw in an additional winkle. He informed me that he wanted to rent a Cessna 172 and fly down there and back the day/night of the game. It is only 30 minutes by air, but he wanted the flying time. Flying is a former passion I used to love to do. I gave it up about 15 years ago and I choose not to pick it back up today due to the cost. I do not want it to take away from my obsessive hunting hobby I have now developed for whitetail deer and wild turkeys.


I filmed some of the flying and I have it for your viewing below. This is a good representation of what it is like to fly in a private airplane. It was a great game. The winner was decided in the final seconds of the game. My son had a great time and I had a fun time fellowshipping with my friend and son. Good times. Now back to hunting.

Trail Cameras on Scrapes

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Now that October has rolled around, it is time to take the trail cameras off the trails and bait stations and put them on future scrape locations. How do I know where future scrapes are going to be? Well this is our 6th year leasing our current hunt club and based on past seasons, our deer like scraping at the same locations. These locations are also considered community scrapes where multiple bucks work them over during the rut. They are normally around popular feeding locations, well used trails, and bedding areas.

This is how I setup my cameras. First, I will work the ground over a little and spray some Buck Bomb doe pee; not estrus doe pee. Then, I will set my cameras up on this location. I have a few of these locations shown below in photos.


Shown below is a short video clip we caught with our trail camera last year of a buck smelling in one of these community scrapes. This is one of our favorite scrapes to a watch.

Now, we wait and see what bucks show up. This is a great way of discovering new bucks that might have avoided the camera during the summer and early fall. I will share the photos if I get any good bucks. Stay tuned…

Missed HIM by (————-) that much!!!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Well the title of this Blog post says it all. I had a mature 5 1/2 year old buck we think will score somewhere in the 150s come into my stand almost at dark. We call him Crab 10 because he has 2 crab claws on his endpoints as shown below.

The wind was right but he sensed something was not right and stepped back out the way he came in at about 40 yards. I knew he wanted to go the other way back to his sanctuary, so I immediately got my bow up in hopes he would come across. A couple of minutes later he did and I drew back. He was at 30 yards. Now it was getting dark; too dark for the camera to film. Once I found my sights, he turned and walked away from me. He got to my 40 yard marker and started quartering away at 45. Well I had 40 in my head and I did not adjust and I shot right under him and shaved off some of his hair. He ran off snorting. You can see his hair in the picture below.


We went back the next day and double checked to make sure no blood. Sure enough, no blood. He just got a free hair cut.

As described above, bow hunting is a game of inches. The next evening my Dad shot a doe at 20 yards where the arrow completely passed through her. The arrow was covered in red blood and the rage broadhead was fully deployed. We looked for over an hour and could not find any blood. We eventually jumped her out of her bed and she ran off. There were about 8 drops of blood in the bed. We figured he shot her high in that no man’s land area in a deer and did not hit any vitals since she had been lying for about 45 minutes when we jumped her.

The next night, I sat with him to film my first duo deer hunt (1 hunter, 1 camera man) and saw a doe and button buck fawn. She never came into range. I have the video of this hunt below. Remember, first duo hunt so I am practicing here.

The next hunt, my Dad redeemed himself by shooting that same doe as the evening before that we had filmed at 32 yards. It was a perfect shot even though it took us a little while to find her due to her spontaneous 90 degree turn. Of course the blood trail was slow at that turn, but we found her. We were both very relieved as you can see in the video.

Even though we had these misfortunes, I still had a great time with my Dad. These are memories I will always cherish. Besides, how can you not have a good time hunting with your best buddy.

Just Add Water… 6 inches worth…

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Here is an update on our Fall planting. Add 6 inches of rain and this is what you get in 7 days. I am so glad we got it in the ground because no rain is forecasted for the next 10 days and gun season starts the 16th. Now we have something green to hunt over as shown below.


Photo History of Antler Growth – No Brow Jr.

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

This is a continuation of the antler growing blog post that I have previously posted. We called this buck No Brow Jr. due to his genetics of small brow tines tracing back to a huge buck we called No Brow shown below.

We also had trail camera photos of this buck from the previous year shown below.

The speed at which these antlers grow is truly amazing. Shown below are No Brow Jr.’s antler growth in an animated photo and also in chronological order.

May 28, 2010

June 14, 2010

June 18, 2010

June 22, 2010

June 29, 2010

July 9, 2010

July 10, 2010

July 31, 2010

August 22, 2010 (background deer)

September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

Photo History of Antler Growth – Mr. Potential

Monday, October 4th, 2010

This is the first year that I was able to follow 2 bucks during their antler growing period. We started getting photos of them in mid May and we continue till first of August right before they rub the velvet off. They stayed within a 300 acre area between their bedding and our spring/summer food plot of soybeans, peas, corn, and sunflowers. We used 5 different camera locations to document their antler growth for this blog posting.

I am going to discuss 1 of the 2 in this blog post and I will discuss the other in a later posting.

We nicknamed this buck Mr. Potential because of the large size of his antlers for such a young age. We estimate him to be a 3 1/2 year old. We had a trail camera photo of this deer from last year shown below.

I have these pictures in an animated photo below plus I have them in chronological order with the date below the photo. This was a cool experience in which I was lucky enough to track two bucks over this magical period. I hope I can repeat it next year.

May 28, 2010

June 11, 2010

June 21, 2010

June 23, 2010

June 28, 2010

July 7, 2010

July 9, 2010

July 29, 2010

August 22, 2010

August 31, 2010

September 1, 2010

September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

September 23, 2010