2019 Fall Hunting Season

Discuss any trips, excursions, etc. pertaining to the fall seasons. I for one am really looking forward to cooler temps and getting out into the woods.

I'm planning on hunting a few does with my muzzleloader next weekend in the northern Virginia early gun season. There have been about 15 does destroying my grandads apples and pears. Hopefully it isn't 90掳 still.

As always, stay safe and I hope everyone has an enjoyable and successful season.

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Got out yesterday for the last hour of daylight. Saw 6. One was a small buck which aren't legal in the NOVA early gun season. He milled around at 25 yards for 15 minutes. Three does were too far away. Another huge doe was 45 yards from me and I had the crosshairs on her for 10 minutes, but she had a very, very small fawn with her and I didn't feel right shooting her. Still a great first outing of the 2019 season.

Prepping for opening day pheasant season in North Dakota in a few weeks got a young puppy to break in this year and its gonna be a blast. Just wish it wasnt a 2 and a half day drive. As usual I'll miss the bulk of bow season in VA while I'm out west but I'll survive till muzzleloader.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You don't have an Epagneul Breton for pheasants do you?

Nope we have german wirehaired pointers, hard headed(like their owners) and coats tough enough to go anywhere a bird might go. love em to death plus the beard is just bad ass

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I used to have a GSP. She was smart, tough, hardworking and devoted. I appreciate the appeal.

With a family I wanted a smaller do in the house and find the EB to be a better pet and a great bird to walk behind.

Our GWP are so good weve had them retrieve crippled turkeys in the past they get it done and if it wasnt for the spouses allergies I'd be getting another but I'm going to have to find a haypoallergenic bird dog to keep it going looking at wirehaired griffons but would prefer a smaller breed if I can but I may go for a girl griffon in the end.
Always heard good stuff about spaniels I know they have high energy levels do they have good instincts for hunting as well?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Both of our EBs are 100% natural bird dogs, all they had to do is work on basic obedience and composure and they were on their way as a hunting dog. 1st time on a pheasant, no problem; Nice intelligent adjustment to keep him from running. 1st time on chuckar, same as if it were a quail they train on.

I think the fact that the EB points and then is supposed to be steady to wing & shot promotes having a dog that is working with you instead of a dog that is out just getting birds in the air. I always enjoy when a young pup has the light-bulb go off and they recognize that if they stay on point, they can smell the sweet ambrosia of a ground bird indefinitely.

They are great in the house too but LOVE to work.

Post a couple pics of your dog(s), I love to see bird dogs doing their thing.

Beautiful dogs nothing beats a good retrieve. Got me all excited now and were still a few weeks away gonna be a long wait. Our last dog was a german wirehair but he was the runt of the litter so he didnt get the long coat instead he had a shorthair like coat which spoiled us in the house cleaning department but he was no runt in the field best dog we've ever had with a nose like a bloodhound and a brain to complement it he could figure things out quick.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Frequent (i.e. weekly) bathing with a anti-dander shampoo does help reduce the allergic response in many people.

If you bathe that frequently, you may need to double up on flea control. 3 month Bravecto used in conjunction with a Seresto collar (remove collar for bathing).

Yeah thats what were gonna have to do regardless its the dander not the hair that bothers her the most. But we've figured out when we go fishing with the dog he wont bother her itch wise after so when we finally move into the new house with a tub we will be looking into a dog that is hypoallergenic and fits our fishing all the time schedule

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Kentucky elk tag and went out last weekend for the archery opener. Saw tons of sign but heard no bugling and didn't see an elk. The full moon and oppressive heat likely has them moving at night and locked down during the day. There hasn't been much rain at all in this region over the last several weeks which is probably hurting things as well. Gonna try to set up over some water holes this weekend and see if I can get lucky.

Also looking forward to deer hunting here in my part of SWVA. This dry period is playing hell on the food plots we planted in late August and we need some rain badly to salvage our efforts. I've been seeing a few deer but nothing spectacular. We're in the process of a major focus on habitat improvement and better managing the wildlife on our acreage and the last couple of years have shown some marked progress. Hopefully in a couple more years we'll start to really see what potential we have.

Glad fall is on the horizon but sure wish it felt more like it outside. Temperatures have been in the 90's last few weeks and it's dry as a bone. Everyone stay safe out there in the field and good luck.

Amen. This heat and lack of rain is for the birds. I'm not ready for winter, never am, but damn if I'm not way past ready for fall. Hope you have a good season.

A Buck ran into the side of my truck, does that count?

I'm not sure he had a legal truck tag and it was out of season anyway.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I saw two bucks along 81 near Roanoke, no velvet on antlers. The little buck mentioned above had velvet still. October and November can't come soon enough...

We had back to back fantastic dove shoots in Georgia the past 2 weekends. We shot about 450 birds total. It was so hot though. The heat will likely limit my urge to bow hunt so I will probably wait for it to cool down.

I'd pay good money for a decent dove shoot. I had good places as a kid but lost all properties due to inconsiderate hunters. I really miss it, had a lot of fun with my dad and some older family friends who are no longer with us. Glad you had a good time. I agree on the bowhunting, way too hot yet.

I could have written your post about dove. I absolutely love to hunt dove, and for my money, it is as good as wild game gets on the table. Like you, I lost all of my contacts and limited access in the mountains, but because I moved to the coast. Here there are more birds but nobody will let folks shoot them unless they're family. I suspect it is because of the inconsiderate hunters you mentioned, but I'll keep asking and maybe someone will come through before I'm too damn old to do it. Hot days in the dove field in September are pretty routine, and I always had a cooler/seat thing that I could keep the birds cool in, along with a couple of beers and a couple of waters. Man, I do miss those days, as well as my dad who got me started in hunting and fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If we had the time in the past we'd have our own dove fields planted and cut before the season but this year was too dry and on top of that time is always too short with a bird dog finally in the family again we will probably give the dove field a go next year and if so I'll give ya a ring.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

If so, I'll be eternally grateful.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Do you grouse or pheasant hunt on the east coast?

Only doves in VA, used to hunt quail until theyve been cleaned out to a miserably low level so we only raise them now and dont hunt them anymore to let them try to stay around. Guess you could find an odd grouse or two in the blue ridge but it would be tough. With dad ageing the plains of the midwest offer the best situation for us though the drive from VA to ND is brutal the hunting is well worth it.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I agree. We don't shoot wild quail or grouse; they already have a tough time.
I raise quail to work the dogs.
I have raise some chuckar this summer but they are not as hearty in the pen.

I wish I could take the time to head west. I saw lots of space to hunt during on the way to Glacier National Park (Montana RT 200 is pretty desolate but there were birds on the roadside).

God I love a good chukar covey jump we hit them once or twice a week while in the dakotas and its a blast. We used to hunt the UP for grouse before we got onto pheasants which were more manageable for the older guys in the family. Started in Kansas, too many damn people there, and wound our way going north till we hit North Dakota and have become good friends with a few farmers there who are happy to let us hunt for free on their CRP stuff. The numbers are always good enough even on some of the public lands weve had great hunts issue is you need a decent sized group otherwise the pheasants go straight road runner and wont fly if they can run instead.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Where about in Ga, I've been looking for a place to shoot birds and hunt in general.

My farm is in Cordele. South of Macon down 75.

We planted 12 acres of sunflower this year and then after bush hogging them, we burned the field. The combination of the cracked, toasted seed and the barren field led to a barrel burner.

We planted about 10 acres of millet on the front side of the farm and that field was productive but no where near as many birds as the sunflowers. I bet we counted 500+ dove coming into the sunflowers Friday night (the day before opening day). You want to talk about some excited hunters...

Oh yea, I know Cordele I'm from Macon. I went to college with a couple of guys from there.

Sounds like a dream field to hunt on probably could just shoot up in the air and hit something. Do y'all harvest other game out there as well?

We hunt a lot. Last year we hunted:

Rabbit (which was my first time doing that with beagles and was really fun)
Quail (limited as we have native birds and don't want to wipe them out)
Hogs (thermal scopes have really made that fun)
And fingers crossed that the sand hill cranes get changed to allowed to being hunted bc we had a million of them during the migration

Sounds like you have a gem of a place.

All the bucks I've got on my trail cameras in the last 2 weeks haven't been in velvet. I've been wanting to do some anterless only urban archery, but can't bring myself to shoot a deer in 90 degree temps. The fall temps can't come soon enough. White oaks around my area are going to have a poor - nonexistent acorn crop this year. Red oaks appear to be in good shape.

Edited a word out.

Can you clarify the white oak comment? Are or are not going to have a poor crop this year?

Agree 100% on shooting a deer in these temps, just not my thing.

Curious, is the not wanting to shoot deer during hot temps due to time to process or something else?

Correct. I don't have a decent (shaded and/or air conditioned) place to process deer myself, just outside. And I refuse to take them somewhere to have processed for a variety of reasons. So I just prefer to not go through the laborious effort of correctly processing a deer when it is 88掳 outside.

Edit: and the ticks. I hate ticks and this time of year they are covered with them. Usually in colder weather it's less of an issue.

Sorry about that. I fixed it. The white oaks around here have very few acorns on them this year.

I completely agree with what Wildturkey said. It's such a hassle to field dress the deer, get back home, and quartered to put it into a fridge. If I had a walk in cooler to let one hang I'd be much be inclined to shoot one during hot weather. And I refuse to take my deer to a processor.

Here in central VA the acorn mast crop is exceptional this year its where I'll be focusing my time once it cools off.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

If my father is well enough to go, I am going to take him to our old grounds near Looney's Store in Craig County during fun season. French's hunted there for a couple of generations. It will be nice to sit in the woods with him like when I was sitting next to him in the tree stand when I was 10.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I hope that works out for you.

Your film reviews are awesome by the way.

Do you and your family find many grouse there anymore?

I have a client a little further north on 42 and they have invited me to work bird dogs up there (no shooting, just find and point).

I probably haven't been in 10 years with him there. I can't ever recall seeing a grouse there (only on ridgetops back home) but we hunt down closer to the river bottom.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I hope you are able to spend some time together in the woods.

Have a new Redhawk 44. Hoping to take my first deer or other bigger animal via pistol this year.

Have some new grounds to check out for different sorts of hunting.

I'm wanting to do more dove and rabbit hunting this year. Got my first real taste of dove hunting last year. It was definitely fun. Haven't ever used a 28 gauge for either. That's on the list of things to try.

We all know why you bought that 44 to scare some horses to death

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

.... trying to figure out how nator knows about my dislike of horses....


Well for one your username kinda gives it away, hate when I cant find the appropriate gif

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Just waiting for fall like you guys. Dry dry dry...have only gotten 0.75 inches of rain at my house since the third week of July, little bit more on my hunting property but not enough. Plots are so-so, actually had to reseed one of them because the turkeys had scratched a lot of the oat seed. My clover plots are mostly dormant because of the heat/dryness. One good buck and several smaller ones, lots of bears and a good number of turkeys. I'm kinda worried about EHD, haven't seen any dead deer yet but the reports are getting more and more numerous. Mast is spotty, actually haven't scouted a whole lot because it's been so hot, literally suffocating under the canopy in the middle of the day with no breeze.

Friends and I are headed out to the Shawnee State Forest in Ohio next Thursday (their season comes in last Saturday of September). We've spent four weekends scouting the area (66,000 acres). At first we had some very nice bucks on cam but for the month of August they basically disappeared, not too uncommon. We're spending the week out there, whenever I come back into service I'll update.

As for our local goings on, we've spent God knows how many hours scouting local public land and goooooddd fear are there bears out. Got a handful of ok bucks on the public ground and some on private that were excited about. But as for the commenter above regarding white oaks: yup, we're strugglung to find them too (that includes ohio as well, and the majority of our stands there are 1.5-3miles in). But yeah, reds are dropping very goodly.

Took a sick day today. I was actually sick but I checked the weekend forecast and decided I could make it to the deer stand...

Saw 8 bucks today between 120 and 1 yards. 0 does. Only one buck was legal and for the first time in my life I completely whiffed a shot about 115 out.

Side note I saw about 100 turkey that fed the entire clearing back up to my stand. Eventful day definitely didnt get bored in the stand but still perplexed as to how I missed.

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Gun season? What state?

SC...ridiculously long rifle season. Land owners opens in September, Public land opened last week.

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It's similar up here in NoVA. There are both early and late (antlerless-only) rifle seasons that cover September and January-March, respectively. It's deer season for 7 months out of the year, with rifle hunting allowed for all but a 6-week archery/muzzleloader window in early October through mid-November.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

Hate that you missed but at least it was clean. Sounds like a productive day. I'd be after those turkeys hard in the spring - if you need help let me know.

Yeah the funny thing is last deer season I thought the habitat looked awesome but in all the time I spent scouting I found 1 turkey track and never went out in the Spring. I've seen at least 20 every time I've gone out this year for deer, they're everywhere and I will be setting up on them if I'm around here in the spring.

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You should try fall hunting. It's an absolute blast. Find em, bust em up, call them in.

Yeah I'd love to but i can't find anything about an open fall season in SC

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You are right. You can't. My bad. Only 8 states don't allow it.

Wonder if that's why he's seeing so many turkeys? Don't kill the hens and you have a lot of room to grow a population.

Edit: Not advocating for that, though. I loved fall turkey hunting, and almost got a turkey dog. Just wondering.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I could never shoot a hen in the fall. I like to hunt gobblers too much in the spring.

Agreed. I'll shoot gobblers in the fall, even the rare jake if the property is supporting a big population. But haven't killed a hen and don't plan on it.

Rifle opens in Ga this weekend. I saw an absolute monster (10 point) while muzzle loader hunting last weekend and I really hope I see him again this weekend

Good luck deer are moving. Went friday and Sat. Hunted around the same area. Water sources and food sources. Didnt see much 2 deer that never game me a shot, a billion turkey, a red fox, and an ex-coyote that gave me some target practice.

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No worries. I don't think anyone was saying you were.

I always wanted a turkey dog. Would have been fun to be a part of that tradition.

Had a complete whiff on a big 8 last year with the muzzleloader and it took me ages to realize it until I went to the range later that day and when I put the bore sight on my jaw fell off how far to the right it was.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Mine was just a bad shot. Free hand standing from a climber that I was using for the first time along with the "I haven't shot a deer in 2 years and am excited" shakes just made for a miss. I shot a coyote at trot at 65 and shot a bottle a few times just to make sure.

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Saw a bunch of deer Saturday morning (prob 11 or so) and had an 8pt i initially didnt want to shoot come in. i was going to let him go but he looked a good bit bigger in person than he did on the several trail cam photos i had. he came in broadside @20 and praise be to God i smoked him. he ran less than 100yds and piled up. 107" (i know still not big but not little either) and 17.5" wide, dressed around 150lbs.

That's awesome. It's hard to judge a deer based on trail cam photos unless you have a ton of good daylight pics in my opinion. Plus you can really talk yourself into a shot on one that you think is borderline and in range. Congratulations!

Thanks! Those were my thoughts exactly! He was def a borderline buck, def 2.5yo. But, he's my second biggest with a bow and I got the nerves and what not out of the way and can trophy and doe hunt now!

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not making light of your post, but I got a good laugh from your "praise be to God" comment about making a good shot. It just reminded me of an old farmer I grew up living near whose oft repeated phrase was "Thank you Jesus!" It didn't matter what it was, from finding the right screw for a job to finishing up a post hole, he used it, but the thing that stuck in my juvenile mind was that he was prone to loud and impressive farts. Every single time he would do so, he thanked Jesus as loudly as he farted. We kids laughed about it, and I even tried it out one day at home. My momma spanked my little butt so hard it still hurts 60 years later. So thanks for the trip down memory lane at your expense, hope I didn't offend.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Haha nah you're good, glad i could assist in a good laugh. For some reason, i can shoot bow all summer and it doesnt matter for me come "game time" lol.

Glad you got that buck, and it was, indeed, a fine bow kill. I killed one decent buck in my decades of hunting. One, and it was a fine 11 pointer that scored in the mid 140s. But I must admit that I was one of those who go out on same sex day, kill first legal deer, almost always a doe, then get back home, hang the deer, and sit down for breakfast with the bulk of the day yet to come. I wasn't driven, though I pretty much got a deer or two every year, but I definitely enjoyed the meat more than the harvest, the stew more than the chase. It just seemed like as I got older, I preferred fishing more and hunting less. Shooting anything with a bow takes it to a 'nother level. Way to go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

dude! a 140 is a hammer!!! and im with ya, im really starting to enjoy fishing a lot more each year. trout season for me is about to start once december hits. i know we chase stocked trout, but it gives us something to do during late winter and bridge the gap from deer to turkey/smallmouth season, and i still LOVE fried trout.

Yeah, I did the trout thing for many years, but the walleye in the New River system, and before that in the Tennessee Holston system ended up being my winter bridge.
As for the buck, it's a great rack and I got a skull mount and have had it on the wall ever since. It's very Georgia O'keeffe looking so my wife even loves it. I'll admit, though, the meat from that deer was inedible, but that's a long story for another time.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Got a nice 7 pointer on October 11. Small nub for one brow tine or else it would be an 8. Hunting federal land in Fairfax cty with my brother. It was my first shot with a crossbow. Drove up from Virginia Beach that morning, qualified, set up stand and shot him at 5:30 pm. Was back at the truck by 6:30. It was quick work but didn't have much time in the woods. I like spending time to think and enjoy the outdoors. Just under 17" wide. Dressed at 115# but think scale is off. Felt a lot heavier.

#Let's Go - Hokies

Finally back from North Dakota after a solid week of hunting in some lovely conditions. Got stuck in the blizzard the week before last heading out, going through the black hills in a small blizzard was no fun and hunting in the remnants the day after were as cold as it gets but made for good hunting and thankfully some easier shooting. Where we were in ND they have had their wettest year to date so alot of crops are still standing ie corn and sunflowers and wheat as well so the birds have more cover than I've ever seen so theyre far more spread out and the hunting was the toughest I can remember having it. We were putting in easily 10 miles a day walking thick cover and uncombined crops and since it was just 2 of us and a first year puppy it made for alot of work. The puppy did fantastic for never having done this before the first few days he was all over the place but still atleast retrieving well and by the end of the week he was pointing and retrieving without being guided or told where to be he figured it all out, working the wind and most importantly slowing down and by the end of the trip he would fetch the birds and just drop them at your feet and get right back at it. Man I wish we could get pheasants back in VA. Saw countless antelope, whitetail, and mule deer and a few buffalo but with tag prices as astronomical for out of state folks I kept to just the birds. Uploaded some GoPro stuff to youtube of some of the hunts so I'll post a link below.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I was able to move a work meeting so I could stay and hunt tonight. I was rewarded. I watched a good 8 run does. Near dusk, he turned his head to the pines and stared, I started glassing and saw a big deer charge out and push him off. The big deer shifted and was angled my direction, I made a great shot (despite the adrenaline) and hit him in the breastplate. I waited 10 minutes, climbed down and found him 75' to the left of where I hit him. He has a broken brow tine or he would be a 10.


225 pounds

By far my best buck ever. I was BMOC at the deer processor which is also a first.

A day and a half into a 4 day trip and I've seen 16 does, 5 turkeys, and passed up two young 8 pointers. My buddy in camp shot a nice 10 point yesterday morning. Great trip so far.

That's awesome man glad y'all are having some luck. Should be a good weekend. Keep us posted.

Well I'm back home, unfortunately. For the four day trip I saw 29 does, 5 bucks, and 11 turkeys. Ended up harvesting a 4 point, and while not the trophy I had hoped for, it should be great for the dinner table. Passed on 4 eight pointers as they were young and had potential for next year. Other than the 10 and my 4, one older fella shot a 3 point. Great week. Already depressed that the trip is over.

This has been my best season by far. I have 4 down ( 2 does, a big body 6pt and my first wall worthy buck 10pt) My wife decided she wanted to come with me early in the season and has fallen in love with going. She was with me for my first time shooting 2 in a day when I shot a doe and the 6pt. All of this off our new land. We have seen a ton of deer including multiple nice bucks. The 10pt was the 5th buck I saw last saturday but I was waiting on a big one.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Congrats! Where did y'all buy land?

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

Edit: Wrong thread but will answer post above. New Kent, VA

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Nice! We hunt in New Kent too, next to Colonial Downs.

Two more days until 1st split Duck Opener! Damn shame it didn't open 2 weeks ago though. My swamps were loaded with birds but they have started migrating with all of last week's cold weather. We need some new birds to show up ASAP.

Looking forward to the duck opener, spent yesterday morning in Arkansas cleaning pits and a good number of birds around already.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

Last year was pretty down for Arkansas right? I thought about making a trip this year but after hearing that I didn't look too much into it.


A month late but yep - it's all about timing, you can go out and not see a bird in the sky or be limited out before 8am.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

Ended up using my second tag on the opener of muzzleloader on a 10pt ive had pics of for two years. Pretty unique buck, has a split G2 and a 2" point that comes off the inside of the right main beam. He came into 40yds shortly after the biggest buck we had on camera came thru and went up to my former boss, decided to pass bc the buck was making a b-line for him, didnt end up getting a shot on him. However, he ventured over to another property saturday and was harvested, went 131.5". Been a good year so far.

Dunno how many bird hunters are in here but would like to pose a question. My fiance and I are looking into finally getting a dog next year sometime and as a life long upland game bird hunter my picks are limited for what I'm willing to get since I want it to be able to bird hunt with me. Big issue is the fiance is allergic to dog dander so in order to have one we have to wash our German Wirehaired pointer weekly so she can be around it. In my time hunting I've grown very fond of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and with its minimal shedding coat and smaller size it seems to tick most of the boxes, and for me as a hunting dog theyre much more the methodical slower paced brain surgeon style hunter compared to setters and english pointing breeds which is a big thing for me as I prefer slower paced dogs. My one question is if anyone has ever had similar issues with allergies and has found breeds that work well in that scenario any suggestions would be welcome.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Got a decent 8pt Saturday morning. I've been able to sneak away a few evenings over the past couple weeks and never saw much activity outside of a coyote I shot and some bear tracks. Was really looking forward to spending some quality hours in the woods and then I dropped him before 7am lol like, really excited, but then kind of a bummer at the same time. First world problems, I know. Looking to get at least one more in the freezer over the next few weeks then transition into rabbit season come late December/early January.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Just realized the other day we were very close to a top notch shooting preserve in PA over christmas so Dad and I wandered over to try out their father son package they have mostly to get our puppy even more field work experience to help him out on pointing and retrieving and it did not dissapoint. The birds pen raised they may be flew very well and ran like wild birds which made the pup work hard but it paid off with a couple points and all very good retrieves and no birds lost or crippled. If anyone in the PA area is looking for a good place to do a little bird hunting for a reasonable price or just work a dog Martz's Game Farm was top notch. That all said a day with dad and a dog cant be beat by anything.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Tres cool, 'Nator. Tres cool.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

They had huns as well and some perfect looking places to hunt it was nice just to work the dog for a bit, if youre not privy to a trip out west for wild birds its not a bad option to scratch an itch to help make it to hunting season.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Headed out in the morning to try and punch a cow elk tag in KY. I have no idea what the elk are doing right now but I hope they're on top of the strips in the open areas. Plan is to do some glassing and spot and stalk, and if that doesn't work by mid morning drop down and hit some strip benches and still hunt. Weather forecast looks favorable so at least I'll be comfortable. Hopefully it's elk tenderloin for dinner tomorrow night.

How'd you do?

Struck out - didn't see a single elk. They definitely weren't in the upper strips from what I could tell as there wasn't much sign at all. Hunted hard and found some really fresh sign around a few older benches, but short of still hunting up on one on a 60' bench the only way I could see being successful would be to hang a stand and wait. I wasn't set up for this and didn't have an opportunity to go back and try it. Sucks to eat a tag but I hunted my ass off for about 10 days in miserable conditions. I bow out gracefully.

I did see quite a few hunters running the roads in the open areas and none appeared to be having any luck. Not sure if there's been a population dip or what but it was tough sledding all around from what I could tell. I'll try to post a few pics of some sign I found.

Thanks for the report. Chasing elk on the east coast someplace is on my bucket list but I honestly don't know where to begin. Plenty of time to study before I actually have the free time to chase them. Sorry you didn't get any opportunities.

If you can get weather to cooperate during the rut it's an absolute blast. Only other time I've been was about 7 years ago and we saw 7 bulls and my buddy took a nice 6x6 in the evening. Saw a 7x7 on the way to camp but I didn't have a tag. If they're hot and bugling it reminds me a lot of turkey hunting only it's an 800 lb animal with massive antlers. Tough to beat but the chances are few and far between and it can cost $$$ for the opportunity. I feel like I could hold my own now if I had time to hunt.

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Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thoughts on running dogs in VA? I've hunted with them before but I exclusively still hunt now and after dogs start running I have almost no chance at getting a look at a deer.


Did it once, and didn't care for it. After growing up still hunting, it felt like cheating to me and ignored the main things I loved about being in the woods. I enjoy the hunt, and the version I saw was just a bunch of guys sitting in a warm truck and waiting for someone to tell them where the deer were running on the radios.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

This is exactly my experience with it. Rabbit hunting with dogs is much more fun, but deer just wasn't for me.

This is a very passionately debating topic in VA as alot of states dont allow dog hunting or its simply not the tradition it is in Va many other places. Honestly most people dont mind it I feel its the extreme 5% of the groups that either love or truly hate it. Personally I love hunting with dogs but more in a bird hunting approach all said I love a group of beagles to hunt deer with late in the season when things get slow to help stir the pot and a good beagle drive can be a joy to take part in.

That all said I think in the ever changing landscape of the state I think VDGIF needs to start looking into changing requirements to be able to run dogs as too many clubs and running dogs on to urban of pieces of land and it gets ugly when the dogs, not their fault, leave the leased or owned land and go off. Most clubs I've ever hunted with and around are good about calling neighboring land owners and asking for permission and not carrying guns across lines etc and are easy to deal with. All said again its a small group of ass holes that simply ruin it and give dog clubs a bad name for the way they behave. There is a certain club in Mathews, VA I have dealt with for years (DTRHC) that are supreme fuck wits and thats a whole nother debate for another day but the few who disregard neighboring pieces and roads as well are the ones who screw it up big time for the rest and give it a worse rap than it deserves.

I will follow all this up as I'm mainly a still hunter for deer and once gun season is in I hardly hunt unless I have a friend who wants to go as I dont enjoy waiting for dogs to stir the pot in the freezing cold as much as I do bow season with calling and all involved but that doesnt mean everyone else should lose the ability to do what they love as so many still hunters seem to want to happen. Personally I would like to see middle ground reached with simple requirements like 100 contiguous acre piece to be able to run hounds, or restrictions to how close they can be to larger roads ie route 30, 360 stuff like that where the dogs are at a high risk for harm. If more of it was kept to the more rural areas and larger land tracts it would reduce the interaction with the public eye and get the dogs where they have more room to roam and be safer hunting.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I would be onboard with that approach. That's one problem I have with it is that I have a few tracts of land that have hunt clubs on either side and they just run dogs through the land that I am hunting and push the deer out. I think the season should be shorter for dogs and I definitely agree there should be more requirements about how they can be run or on what type of land they can be run. The idea of 100 contiguous acres sounds pretty good, although it might also need to be restricted by length/width since I've seen a lot of narrow properties.


Would definitely agree on tract shape limits if the 100 acre rule was to be implemented. I dont think an outright ban would be good as the deer seasons are shaped to allow for the dog hunting and it could result in some weird stuff in how the herd would be affected by an outright outlaw of dog hunting. Cant imagine they would need to look into making the seasons longer and if anything they would shorten it like most states instead of the current 3 month slog of a deer season we currently have.

One of my biggest fears of an outright ban would be the dogs in particular most folks wouldnt be ass holes and chuck out the dogs completely but I know a few clubs that already do that crap when a dog gets too old or slows down and I'd hate to see what would become of most of the larger deer hounds that couldnt be repurposed as rabbit dogs. My fear is if DGIF does something they wont truly think it through and do more harm than good. If dogs get outlawed it means everyone will be switching to shooting rifles instead of shotguns which will make for a far more efficient body of hunters so if they didnt shorten the seasons accordingly it could seriously bite the herd in the ass and knock the numbers way low. Having hunted all my life with shotguns I cant imagine how many deer I couldve killed with a rifle in hand due to range to target. Personally if they dont outright ban dogs I would mostly like to see them shift it to a shorter period 2 weeks later than it currently is to allow the still hunters to have a better rut hunt period before the dogs tear everything up and shut it all down.

TL;DR as much disdain as I have for the dog hunting community I understand why they cherish it and though I find it not very sporting at times I feel more of a moderate approach could be more successful and help sustain some traditions in a safe way for the future.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

While I seldom hunt these days, I've hunted both situations for deer. Grew up hunting where dogs were the norm, around the Dismal Swamp where it was so thick that deer likely would seldom get shot without the dogs to move them. Spent most of my deer hunting life in the mountains where dogs were illegal. I personally had a couple of hunts spoiled by dogs running around where they shouldn't have been, and have heard of locals there that would shoot a dog running the woods during deer season. I prefer the mountains, no dogs, just the woods and me. Rifle hunting in the flatlands lends itself to all kinds of problems, so I wouldn't do anything to encourage that. Hunters lining the roads sitting in their trucks just doesn't appeal to the sporting side of many of us, culture and "heritage" or not. Probably not going to stop the dogs, though. Bear and coon hunters in the mountains are just as egregious with their encroachment on private property and sitting in the truck with radios while the hounds harass the wildlife for fun and amusement. We lost a pony to coon hounds running it at midnight on a rocky hillside, and they didn't bother to apologize. Love working dogs, love hunting dogs, but when there is no control, the propensity for trouble is enough to give me pause to want to see it continue.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Probably not going to stop the dogs, though.

Its how I feel in general and while most people would probably follow the law if dog hunting was banned there would be quite a few who would continue to do it in protest or under the were using them to run rabbits line. I think a more moderate approach to modernise in a way dog hunting regulations to account for the change in landscape would help the sports public image and make the experience better for those involved. As someone who is involved in leasing a fair amount of land out to clubs when we hear back from neighbors about either positive polite behaviour or vice versa it effects how we look at the clubs and if more clubs would be courteous to the neighbouring properties it wouldnt be a big deal but unfortunately not everyone understands how to treat others with respect.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

That is the crux of the matter, isn't it? I find it hard to give respect when it isn't returned like I find it impossible for me to deal reasonably with unreasonable people.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I agree I don't think a total ban would be good. At least not in the next 5-10 years. For what it's worth, some of the counties I hunt in only allow shotguns/slugs so the rifle issue wouldn't be a problem.


I'd be for a total ban on deer hunting with dogs...tradition be damned.

Not very sporting. Makes you become a shooter rather than a hunter. The dogs are doing the hard work of hunting.

#Let's Go - Hokies

Skunked on doves this morning. Probably didn't help that I had my dad taking shots way out of range and scaring things off...