Finally, deer season is underway. We spent this past weekend in North Dakota chasing early season whitetails. Preparing for the season up there has been busier than normal for us. Earlier this year we approached a landowner that we have come to know very well over the past several years, and ran the idea past them of building a “hunting shack” on their property. To our disbelief, they were thrilled at the idea of us having our own little getaway to stay at when we make the trip up to hunt. Just goes to show that there are still good people in this world, it is an absolute blessing that they not only let us hunt their property, but now they let us build a shack on it also.
We have made more trips up than normal this summer to work on the hunting camp. It has been a group effort no doubt about it and we couldn’t have asked for it to turn out any better than it did! We now have a 20’x10’ place to call home when we are in North Dakota. Sided, shingled, insulated, interior paneling, AC, electric fireplace, TV (movies only of course), deck…it turned out awesome! Spacious living area beneath with a 4 bed loft up above. We can comfortably sleep 6 if we should ever have a packed house.
So camp is set, lets talk about the hunting action over the weekend. Mike and Ryan each had tags in their pockets with Brandon and myself running the cameras for them. Daytime highs in the 80s for the first 3 days of the season, even pushed close to 90 on Sunday during the day. Friday and Saturday were pretty slow BUT a system blew through late Sunday night. Monday highs dropped down to the mid to upper 60s. Even though Sunday got really warm, we knew that it was going to be a high value sit right before the front, and we were right.
The winds switched from south to west to north throughout the afternoon sit and when the wind laid down just before dark, the deer really started to move. With only a few minutes of light left, a good buck stepped out in front of Mike at 25 yards and he made the shot count. 1st deer on the ground for 2017 and Season 5 is officially underway. Felt good to bring the 1st ever deer back to our new camp!
Monday night had us pumped up, the weather was seemingly perfect, 25 degrees cooler than the previous day and we knew right where we were headed. Mike and I headed into a spot where the trail cameras had picked up a fully mature stud of an 8. We are guessing him to score upper 140s, if not break into the 150s…as a clean 8! We have nicknamed him “OMG 8”.
The wind was gusting 20-30mph out of the NW all evening. It did drop to around 15mph the last half hour or so but the action was surprisingly slow. Until we packed up our stuff and started heading out. Nearly out of camera light, and no deer in sight, we decided to try and “get out of here clean before something shows up.” That’s exactly what happened. We no more than got out of the stand when we seen “OMG 8” and a doe at 45-50 yards headed towards our set up. We hit the breaks, and so did they. It was a stare down for a good minute. The wind was blowing in our face, they definitely didn’t smell us. But they knew something wasn’t right, and they ran off.
Nothing worse than encountering a target buck in that fashion. However, we are trying to stay optimistic knowing that he didn’t smell us. I really don’t think we buggered him too badly but time will tell.
Coming back to work on Tuesday was a blast, drove through the night on no sleep and straight to work. Bed came early that night, I think I slept for 12 hours straight and didn’t even roll over. Good thing it’s only a 4 day work week, because it’s time to get back to North Dakota.
This weekend I am heading back to try and settle the score on “OMG 8”. The weather will be less than ideal, highs in the upper 70s Saturday, and into the 80s on Sunday. Looking like we will have southerly winds throughout the weekend, which we can make work with some stand adjustments.
I’ve got no other plans than to hunt North Dakota every weekend this month before Iowa season opens on October 1st. And now with our new deer camp, it is extremely easy to make the long trek up there after work on Friday to get in a weekend of hunting! Check back next week to see how it goes this weekend.