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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    684

    Default Yearly Ohio Trip

    Well we just got back from our yearly Ohio bow hunting trip to SE Ohio. This year us Vermonters went down in masses. We had 3 cabins reserved, and 10 hunters. Last year we tried later dates after talking to a few locals (nov. 12-22) and that didn't exactly pan out for us. This year we went back to a bit earlier (nov. 2-12). It was a lot better but I wished we had pushed it back a few days later, as when we were leaving the rut was hammering. So we got into town on Thursday the 2nd. Drove around a bit, took a nap, and shot the bows. Weather was pretty decent so my buddy and I planned on hunting the next day since we've been going there for now 4 years and having some decent spots. First couple days were a bit uneventful. Not much sign in the woods, didn't seem like the deer were moving much, not many deer were being brought into camp, and the first 4 days the temps steadily rose warmer and warmer till it was 75 and sunny on sunday. Sunday turned into dropping a few cameras in the morning and by noon we were at a local brewery to watch football. One thing we did notice was a drop off in deer sightings, and we started finding a fair share of dead heads in the bottoms. After talking to a handful of locals it sounded like our area was hit relatively hard from EHD.

    As the warm front pushed thru it brought thunderstorms sunday night, tornado warnings, and then drizzly rain Monday but the temps started dropping from there. We knew that Monday to the end of our trip it was going to be game on. For the life of me I can't remember what I did Tuesday but I know on Wednesday my buddy and I decided to go and sit down in a big deep bottom where we put cameras on sunday morning. Access to this area is very difficult and we were both about a mile to the closest road so we had high hopes. Once I was in there I snuck to my camera, pulled it and then up a tree to check the card and sit the day. In 3 days I had 12 videos, and two different 10 pointers made 2 different visits so I was hopeful for the days sit. At 9am I had a little devil horned spike/button (2" long spikes) come in and stand under my tree for 10min. Then at 2:30 I caught movement cutting across the bank 60 yards in front of me. It was a deer moving across with his head down. I knew it was a crusing buck but couldn't make out his rack. I got on the grunt call quick but with little effect. I saw him go thru an opening on the bank and I could tell it was the bigger of the two tens, but my calling fell on deaf ears. But it was good to see mature bucks on their feet crusing. Darkness eventually hit and I made the hour long hike back to the truck to find a note on my window from my buddy saying he killed an 8 pointer and that he and two other guys got it out of the bottom and are heading back to camp. He was pretty psyched considering he had a handful of bucks on his camera too but none during the daylight, and his spot had such a thick canopy he actually set-up on the ground and killed him at 30 yards.

    Thursday I had a saddle picked out that links together miles of ridge tops, and it was about a mile deep in the woods. I knew I'd have the place to myself so off I went. Got to the spot and up a tree. While I was setting up I heard something coming, and here comes a hunter with no bow . . . . he informed me he was already set up about 50 yards away ugh gotta love public land. He turned out to be a really nice guy and we chatted for a while and he showed me some of the success he's had from that area, and gave me some insight on how to hunt the ridges and saddles. I told him I'd move on. On my way out I thought of a place that was within walking distance near the edge of the state forest that I doubt received much pressure and had a nice saddle so what the hell I'll give it a shot. On my way up to the saddle I bounced a doe up over the ridge, and as soon as I started into the saddle another doe bounced out. Perfect! Bait in the area I thought! I got into this spot and it was just one of those spots that as soon as you see it your like yep this is going to work out good. I quickly found a tree 60 yards off the ridge top on the downwind side of the saddle and up I went. I got my stand set, and started to get organized, but hadn't had the chance to get my bow up yet when I heard a stick break up at the saddle. I turned to see a mature buck coming off the ridge and heading for the saddle. Quite possibly my first P&Y in bow range. He appeared to be a mainframe 8 on the left side, and some kind of non-typical on the right. Not sure what was on his right side just trash all over. I quickly started pulling my bow up and he was already in a shooting lane at 50 yards. This is when he spotted me, and immediately figured game over. But I was like well I need my bow up here so I slowly kept pulling it up and he just stared at me. I finally got my bow up and unhooked, nocked an arrow, ranged a hole in front of him incase he took a few steps forward and attached my release. I'm very confident to 50 yards and would be willing to take that shot if the situation was right. Then surprisingly he calmed down and started feeding straight away from me. I grabbed the grunt call, gave him a few, and to my surprise he turned on a dime and started trotting toward me. He slowed down at one point and angled to my left. I dropped my adjustable sight to 20 & 35, ranged a hole in front of him, 31.4 yards, grunt stopped him as I was drawing and put my 20 2/3's up his body and my 35 was on his belly just behind the shoulder and touched it off. As soon as it was sent it was like slow motion. Flight of the arrow looked great, height and left and right looked great, then the unthinkable happened. Instead of jumping/ducking the string he actually quickly turned into the shot to try and go back to where he came from and the arrow connected square into the front of chest shoulder area. Immediately my arrow broke off and off he went paralleling the hillside, then slowed and walked 30 yards straight to the top of the hill, blew a few times and disappeared. DAMN! I knew this wasn't good but hoped for enough penetration for maybe an artery. Packed up my stuff and down to the road to be picked up. I didn't want to look for him that night, I wanted to give him plenty of time instead of bumping him.

    Not much sleep happened Thursday night, and me and my buddy were hiking up the hill at daylight Friday morning to start the track. We got to the arrow which basically broke off at the broadhead, and showed about 4" of penetration UGHHH. But we got after him. The first 150 yards was great constant blood with a few big puddles. Then from that point on it started looking like clotty blood and went to drips. Then fewer drips and fewer and fewer, till we were following trails looking for blood. We finished the morning by gridding a few thicker areas he was heading with no success. I figure it was probably either a brisket or shoulder hit, both survivable and he would probably be chasing the ladies again in a few days. Dejected we started to head toward the truck when my phone vibrated. I looked and another one of our buddies had just hit a buck! So off we went to give him a hand! He was waiting for us at the road and said he had a small basket racked buck come in and being almost the last day he tried taking a shot at it. That arrow found an oak tree instead of a rib cage and as that buck ran off he tried to grunt him back in. A few minutes later as he was still looking in the general area the buck disappeared he caught movement heading toward him on a shelf. Figuring it was the buck working back in he nocked another arrow and readied himself. The buck cleared some thick stuff and headed to a scrape 18 yards away and this is when he noticed it was not the same buck but one noticeable bigger, but not sure exactly what he was. As the buck was working the scrape arrow #2 was released and the buck spun and back down the shelf it went. Being a newer bow hunter and never harvesting a buck with his bow before he didn't want to screw anything up so he texted us and headed for the road. When we got to the hit sight there was no blood, but we could see his arrow down the trail a ways. We worked our way toward it and started to see some blood here and there and then by the time we got to the arrow it was a full on 3-4' wide blood trail! 60 yards later laid a 134" gross mainframe 8 pointer with split brows! To say he was over the moon excited is an understatement! The whole situation was incredible and I was so grateful to be apart of it! It literally made my trip! After a few hours we got him out of the woods and back to camp to show him off and put back a few cold ones!

    Saturday was our last day so my buddy came out with me to video my hunt. The morning was nice and cold but didn't produce any sightings, and the evening we hustled back up to the same saddle I hit the buck a few days earlier. We had a 110" 8 pointer come off the ridge about 70 yards to our right and feed thru the oaks but that was all that came of it.

    All and all it was a good trip for our cabin. We went 2 for 4, coulda shoulda been 3 for 4, and easily could have been 4 for 4 with both myself and the other guys that didn't harvest anything seeing and passing up several average bucks. During the trip I saw 12 deer from a stand 10 different bucks, and 6 of those 10 being 8+ pointers. Not to shabby I don't think.

    I'll try to get a few pictures up.
    Last edited by VTHunter08; 11-13-2017 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    684

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    Heres the two 10's I had on trail cam. I had them both in the daylight and in dark.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Here's my buddy's 8 he harvested from the ground
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    684

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    and heres our hunting buddies first bow buck! Talk about being spoiled!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    12,392

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    Sounds like a great trip!! Congrats!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    462

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    Those trips are always a good time. This is my 2nd year in a row skipping Ohio. I've hunting the hocking hills and Zaleski areas during shotgun season. The only way I'd ever go back is for bow or the January Muzzle loader season.
    Born to hunt, forced to work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    684

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Hunter View Post
    Those trips are always a good time. This is my 2nd year in a row skipping Ohio. I've hunting the hocking hills and Zaleski areas during shotgun season. The only way I'd ever go back is for bow or the January Muzzle loader season.
    yeah my buddy's father in law went down last year for gun season and he said he wouldn't go back again, but he's interested in going with us during bow season. He said the pressure during gun season is unreal, and they just aren't rutting anymore. I will say though this year we saw way more hunter sign then ever before. In one morning my buddy headed to a saddle, treestand, next saddle, treestand, next saddle, treestand. He found 6 treestands that morning all climbers just locked to the bottom of the tree. I told him to just go up the tree right next to it! haha first come first serve right? But then again that happened to him one morning. Went in, in the dark got into a spot and up a tree he went. 9am here comes a guy and goes to his locked climber at the bottom of a tree 40 yards away that my buddy didn't know about. The hunter came in and even waved at my friend then went up the tree and they stared at eachother 40 yards away for 20 min! Then my buddy just got down and left. Public land can be frustrating sometimes

    Pete wanted a truck pic, here ya go

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southern Vermont
    Posts
    2,886

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTHunter08 View Post
    yeah my buddy's father in law went down last year for gun season and he said he wouldn't go back again, but he's interested in going with us during bow season. He said the pressure during gun season is unreal, and they just aren't rutting anymore. I will say though this year we saw way more hunter sign then ever before. In one morning my buddy headed to a saddle, treestand, next saddle, treestand, next saddle, treestand. He found 6 treestands that morning all climbers just locked to the bottom of the tree. I told him to just go up the tree right next to it! haha first come first serve right? But then again that happened to him one morning. Went in, in the dark got into a spot and up a tree he went. 9am here comes a guy and goes to his locked climber at the bottom of a tree 40 yards away that my buddy didn't know about. The hunter came in and even waved at my friend then went up the tree and they stared at eachother 40 yards away for 20 min! Then my buddy just got down and left. Public land can be frustrating sometimes

    Pete wanted a truck pic, here ya go
    Holy smokes, thats definitely a good truck pic.

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