I cut out of work early afternoon on Friday and hit the road for North Dakota. Picked up Aaron in Minnesota, he was making the trip to run the camera for me, thanks again for that Aaron! We rolled into camp around midnight, drank a couple beers, talked smart about hunting and hit the hay.
Saturday was a busy day. We had 10 trail cameras to check across a pretty large area. We returned back to camp midday to go through the cards before making a decision on where we would be hunting. We had a couple nice bucks show up in a new spot, but they only passed by the camera 1 time all week and it was in the middle of the night. A few other spots showed decent bucks, but nothing overly impressive.
Going into the weekend, I already had my heart set on hunting “OMG 8”. As luck would have it, we made a mistake with formatting the SD card the weekend before and had no intel on his movement all week. It didn’t matter to me, I had a gut feeling that he was still in there so that was where we would dedicate our 2 sits for the weekend.
Saturday brought temps in the upper 70s cooling off into the 50s overnight. We headed in a little earlier that afternoon because we had to hang a new set and trim out a new tree. Luckily for us, high winds covered our noise and we were set up before 5pm leaving us with about 3.5 hours until dark. The high winds out of the SE never laid down at dark and we got skunked, no sign of “OMG 8”..or any other deer for that matter.
On Sunday morning, I couldn’t resist but to slip in and check the camera just to see if “OMG 8” had passed through overnight. He had made an appearance in the middle of the night. I felt good about it now, he was out of velvet and still in the area. With another safe wind to hunt the new stand, we headed back in to hunt that evening. The temps got up in the mid 80s that day, but the winds were much calmer. It felt good.
With about 40 minutes of light left, Aaron could see a large deer coming out of the cattail marsh. I pulled up the binocs, and “OMG 8” was exiting the marsh at 125 yards. He stood there for several minutes browsing and we got a really good look at him. About that time, a doe caught his attention and he moved north away from us. A little while later, he popped out on the north end of the marsh working towards the bean field. We were able to get down and slip out cleanly at dark.
With how the cattail marsh lays out, I feel very confident that his bedroom is within 20-30 yards of where we first laid eyes on him. He could have easily took a trail our way if the doe didn’t catch his attention first. It was good to lay eyes on him, and gain some vital information.
This weekend is looking good, mid-week temps in the upper 80s will drop and Saturday is calling for highs in the low 50s. I am hopeful that the 30 degree swing in temp will be enough to get him on his feet in daylight, and hopefully bring him within bow range. Mike is working 2nd shift this week so we will meet in Minnesota around 4am Saturday and get back out there in time to be ready for the Saturday afternoon sit.
Wisconsin opener is this weekend also, a few of the other guys will be hitting the woods this weekend as well. No consistent daytime shooters might just be a good reason to pound some does and get some fresh venison in the freezer. To everyone getting out this weekend, good luck and be safe! Check back next week, hopefully we have a close to the story of “OMG 8”.