OT: 2021 Fall Hunting

Thread for all of us wandering into the outdoors this fall feel free to post updates, hunts and pictures but keep them clean and minimal ugly stuff.

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Curious how everyone is feeling going into the fall, the ammo shortage is killing me and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be needing to hone in my rock throwing ability for bird this fall. If anyone has any good go to's for finding upland ammo I'm all ears or I'm in for a lot of dirty looks from my bird dogs when my hurled rocks miss this fall.

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

I switched to Bows this year, much more challenging than rifles and more importantly reusable ammo. Now whether or not I will actually get anything we shall see...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
鈥淚 served in the United States Navy"

I picked up a crossbow this year. Hoping to get to put it to use. I've not been shooting as much as normal, just due to lack of reloading supplies. But, I really don't get to hunt much as I'd like. I'll probably do more days of dove and rabbit than I will deer.

What crossbow did you get? I've been thinking about getting one for a while and just curious what people use.

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

It's a Barnett TS380 with crank cocker. It was a prize from a drawing. So, I can't say I went out of my way to choose it over a host of others. That said, it looks pretty nice. There are some mods people have shown online to adjust the rub on the rails, and adding adjustable stops. I haven't done any of that yet.

Crank is a good choice especially with a high power crossbow. Decocking can break your bow if not done correctly.

#Let's Go - Hokies

I'm anxious for fall to arrive. I have 20 days off work in October November and December plus weekends. I've been building arrows and shooting my recurve a lot. Lots of map scouting and contemplating strategy based on prior years notes. Hoping for a good season.

Going fred bear this year? I assume your using fixed broadheads then?

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

I've never hunted with anything but recurves and longbows. Not really because of any need to stand out (apparently being "trad" is the thing now days), but that's just what my Dad taught me and it's what I've always enjoyed.

Yes, I use aluminum arrows with Zwickey broadheads. I doubt I'll ever change.

Got 2 full weeks off work to go out to the dakotas to bird hunt with my two bird dogs. Running my first NAVDHA test on my puppy then once were done with that off to north dakota for two full weeks of bird hunting as a reward. Been a long time since I had more than a week off at a time and its going be so nice to unhook from work and everything else and just hunt for two weeks. Might get in some deer hunting this fall but with a new pup in the fold I want to focus on giving him the opportunity to learn while hes young.

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

Anxious about cooler temps and hunting season. I'm going to try to do some bowhunting this year which I didn't get to do last season. Not seeing as many good bucks on camera as I have in years past, but there's a few out there and there's a ton of bears around that I'm going to try and thin out. This cooler weather and lower humidity coming at the end of the week, as well as football starting up really makes me miss the woods. Should start seeing velvet drop soon as well. Bring it on!

I am getting excited but need this heat to subside a little for it to really kick in. I haven't had time to do any prep for the season yet but I am feeling confident. We haven't had acorns the last 2 years so we should get some this year and the ag fields around me are corn and not beans so the deer haven't relocated all summer like last year. The bucks don't show up until September/October here because of the real high stem count in around me so they stay away until they have shed their velvet.

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

South Carolina Private land archery season is already over...rifle opens tomorrow our seasons are so ridiculous.

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Yeah wow that's even more than here in NoVA. Early rifle opens here this Saturday, and the late Archery season ends on 4/24/22, so it's deer season for almost 8 months of the year now.

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

Update on Chronic Wasting Disease (Pasted from Virginia Tech- VA Cooperative Extension)

Now that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been confirmed in the New River Valley, and a newly established Disease Management Area (DMA 3) that includes Montgomery, Floyd, and Pulaski Counties has been established by the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), important information is now available on what is going to be required of hunters, including mandatory and voluntary testing of harvested deer and restrictions on the movement of carcasses or parts thereof out of the DMA. A series of public meetings has been scheduled specifically for the DMA 3 region (plus another one for people up in the Shenandoah Valley/Culpeper area where the existing DMA 2 recently was expanded) where details of what hunters can expect and will be required to do. The first of these meetings is coming up extremely fast (on Tuesday, August 24th) for Montgomery County hunters, but other sessions will follow for adjoining Floyd and Pulaski Counties (see full details at https://dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/). At this time, mandatory testing of any deer harvested within the DMA 3 region will be limited to only the opening day of the firearms season (Nov. 13th), but voluntary testing is recommended for deer harvested on other days throughout the entire season. Details on testing and drop-off sites are available on the DWR website (https://dwr.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/media/DMA3-CWD-Sampling-Stat... and https://dwr.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/media/DMA3-voluntary-CWD-sit...). Also, recent research has raised significant questions about the role that cooking of venison plays in denaturing the causative prion responsible for CWD [not!] and health experts now warn against consuming any meat from untested deer. More info on this issue is to be provided during the public meetings.

There is a tremendous amount of new information provided on the DWR website (https://dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/) and I encourage all hunters to visit this library of info as you prepare for the fall season.

Not good. Creeping south.

#Let's Go - Hokies

Saw this a lot in Michigan. Sad to see it spread

Free Hugh

If anyone shoots a deer and wants to donate the tail, I'll take it.

In the spring, I need turkey feathers.

Willing to buy them or trade for earrings for a significant other.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Any use for hog fur(hair?)? I'm more likely to shoot one of those this year after checking out my normal spots this afternoon

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Still looking for some pheasant or wild bird capes? Just lemme know I'll be vacuum packing a few for myself as well this year and I dont mind packing a few up for ya

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

Yes, I go through a lot of the rump section (short bluish / green feathers) on the Ringneck pheasants! Frankly, I'll take any bird. Thanks dude

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'll do my best and hope my pup doesnt shred too much on em and at min I'll pull the rump feathers and if the pelts are decent I'll save em. I'll have em sometime late october will be a big batch.

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

Don't spend time pulling them. So much easier for me if they are on the pelt. If you can save the pelt, great. If not, no big deal!

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Will do I'll freeze em with some baking powder or some scent killer formula before I bag em. Only issue is I cant find any damn ammo so I may have to try and catch the birds with my hands this year. Either that or I need to do some serious archery practice.

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

Thanks dude. I bet I could kill one with a fly rod!

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

More worried about the black bear in the area around the house.

I have so much black bear hair and it isn't used for a ton of flies. Actually hoping to sell some of it.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'm now inside one week on the countdown to head west and chase elk in the Bob Marshall wilderness. Can't even sleep, I'm so excited. Cleared out every memory card I can get my hands on so I can fill them up with pictures, and if I'm lucky enough to get something, I could die happy.

So envious, I've developed a connection to someone who elk hunts out west and I'm prepping for a trip hopefully in the next two years once I get the right gear.

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

My son and I got 16 doves on Saturday. He cooked them on the grill two ways. First dove kabobs with prosciutto and figs. Then dove, jalape帽os and cream cheese wrapped in bacon. Started with a Widow Jane primer. Hard to beat.

Life is good.

Wrapping them in bacon and cream cheese is the best. Didnt get to hunt as all the fields I hunt are still soy beans so no bueno.

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

I bought a new Franchi Affinity 3 20 guage for doves. Couldn't find any #8s so bought #7.5 but only had it in 7/8 ounce. Couldn't get it to cycle at the range, so I got #6 one ounce shells for the dove hunt which cycled just fine. I also cleaned and lubricated it before the hunt and when I tried the #7.5 7/8 ounce shells they still didn't cycle. Any body have any ideas how to get the lighter shells to cycle? Do I just need to put more shells through it?

Life is good.

Its an intertia gun it will certainly have a little bit of a break in - take it to the range and burn heavy shells also make sure you're leaning into it and you're probably still going to want 1oz loads min. I have the affinity 2 20ga...it's a top 3 favorite shotgun of my 20 or so.

Last suggestion would be to get in touch with Franchi the CS is pretty responsive. They might have a remedy or if your having a lot of trouble they'd likely warranty it.

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Thanks.

Life is good.

Do you have any way to adjust the amount of gas that is diverted to cycling the action? I'm not familiar with the Affinity, but most modern semi autos have adjustments or different seals you can use to regulate the amount of gas that goes into working the action. This is assuming it's a gas operated gun and not inertia driven, which if it is none of the above matters.

The affinity is the M2 'clone' its an inertia gun

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Affinity is owned by Benelli and uses the same inertia/recoil system. It does not use a gas port.

Life is good.

I love my 20 gauge franchi I've had for years. Dunno the model it was used but it's sized for you to 3 inch loads and I've never been able to cycle lighter loads well. I use it for doves quail and pheasant and only #5s and up cycle well or anything 3 inch cycles fine it seems to be setup for heavier rounds and just doesn't like target ammo. If you find a solution I'm all ears but I've pumped thousands of rounds through mine and still the issue only with lighter loads.

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

Thanks for the insight. I sent an email to Franchi Customer Service and I will let you know if they provide a solution.

Life is good.

Awesome please keep us posted I'd love to see what they say. If there's a fix I'm all ears as I'd love to use it more often

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

I've pretty much only shot Winchester AA Heavy Target through mine. They're a 1oz load I've never had any issue.

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I just accept they won't eject and have gotten in the habit of reaching up to pull the half ejected she'll out. I tried all sorts of ammo and I primarily shoot Winchester super x ammo as it's my go to maybe I'll try some of that this weekend and see.

I'm also saving for an M2 so I can finally ditch the super nova pump for bird hunting as it's way heavier than the M2. Walked by 2 used ones at greentop today and it killed.me not to walk out with one of them.

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

One of my coworkers is currently in Washington state on an Elk hunt that he managed to tie in with a work trip, jealously is oozing out of me right now...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
鈥淚 served in the United States Navy"

Getting ready for bow to start. Hoping to track down the big buck we've been seeing on cameras since last year.

#Let's Go - Hokies

Starting to stash money aside for a new semi-auto shotgun to accommodate the amount of upland and bird hunting I do and finally drop the heavy pump for a lighter wing shooting gun. Would love any recommendations people have currently I shoot all beneli and franchi guns and really like beneli and the M2 is the one I'm leaning to as its most in target range for price.

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

I mean if Benelli is in your price range its basically a no brainer. The M2 is a damn good shotgun.

Browning would be the other brand I give a spin. The new A5s are really nice and not terribly heavy at 6lbs 11oz they operate nearly the exact same with the obvious hump in the gun. I believe they cycle a fraction of a second faster which isn't really a huge deal but it's something. I'm pretty partial to browning and have a number of humpbacks new and old which would be the only reason I'd lean that way. Since you're used to Franchi/Benelli you're probably better off with the M2.

Also if you're coming from a Supernova literally any gun is going to feel like a sportscar. I lean very heavily to pump guns and remember shooting my buddies nova after shooting my BPS all day and its the clunkiest giantest, heaviest feeling shotgun I've ever shot.

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That's where I'm at, I love.my supernova for deer and turkey but it's a brute for upland hunting hiking long miles it gets to be a pain. I'd rather spend a little bit of money on a solid long time investment. I've always done the gunsmithing for my family and of all the guns they use the benellis simply seem to last and need the least maintenance to keep kicking.
I also love how durable my supernova has been and I've hunted on zero degree shit and it's been flawless duck hunting in snow and rain and at this point I'll have trouble not going with Benelli unless something turns my head in the next few months.
My uncle has always shot a5s and I like them alot so they'll be in the decision once I get around to picking one since I've liked them alot and they don't have issues like the newer Remington's and Winchester's that I've had issues with.
My dad has a super black eagle that I've used to trap shoot a few times and it's like a Ferrari compared with my super nova and it's gotten to the point where I hunt so much upland stuff now and only will be doing more and more it's a needed change.

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

Yeah feel everything you've said is correct. Give the maxus ii a shot too if you're up for exploring imo it shots better than the new a5.

I've never held onto any benellis I've owned other than my franchi but I've loved them all. I just cycle through new shotguns while keeping all my older ones.

The only notably bad shotguns I've shot are a few cheap Turkish off brands (including Charles Daily) and the versamax lemon. I worked in the industry for 4 years and got to shoot just about every make and model of shotgun. Benneli Browning Beretta (might check the a400 out too) own the shotgun market in quality and name and it isn't close

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I would like to find a place I can demo some stuff so I'll be looking about for a demo day. Sounds like you have a solid gig getting to tryout all the new stuff I envy that. My family grew up on Remington 1100's and 870s and the old family guns that still work are great but the newer versions and newer remington guns are a big dropoff from the old 1100s to me theyre just too damn reliable and solid built.
Greentop just built a big display for their benelli franchi and stoeger display and having seen it in person its impressive and makes the wait even worse.

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

Yeah it was a good run I worked for Cablea's corporate office for a bit focusing on firearms software - got to demo a lot of new releases when the companies came into town as well as working with hundreds of like minded people that had access to heavily discounted guns. Then moved to working for FN which is under the Browning Umbrella got to test a few guns there but mostly handguns putting hundreds of rounds through a 509 and getting paid was fun. I'm completely out of the firearms industry now but it was a fun run.

I also have an old 1100 - the gun I learned to shoot on and Wingmaster. Old Remington was awesome.

Fun fact the guy that ran Remington into the ground and sold them to Freedom Group - Same guy that ran Cabela's into the ground and sold them to Bass Pro.

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That sounds like an awesome gig really with awesome benefits. If I had a job that got me heavy or any discounts on guns I'd be John wick on steroids. My wife keeps me in the fishing section best she can when we go browsing knowing how bad I am at being a sucker for a new gun.

Funny you mention the wingmaster 1100 I just pulled out my old granddad's heirloom 1100 wingmaster to use to target shoot. Sadly it's a left handed and has chokeless barrels and not the patterns I use often so it doesn't see much use aside from the range but I love that gun.

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

Not at all what you're after, but I have been enjoying the hell out of a subframe 28 gauge O/U for upland/small game. They're light and have just been fun to shoot.

Im giving over unders a look but the price tag associated with most o/u's has kept me away mostly. I shot a browning once and loved it but it was one of their high dollar models unfortunately. I work right by greentop so I'm in there a few times a week perusing their used section in case a nice catch shows up and they have some decent over unders in there but nothing in my budget ATM

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

Currently have two of the new production A5s one for upland/waterfowl and one for turkey/deer. They are phenomenal and the hump helps me sight align a lot quicker. That being said they like hotter shells so clays and doves get a higher DRAM shell and anything over 3" will be fine

What about 2-3/4 stuff I primarily will be shooting 2-3/4 out of this gun and rarely bigger for ducks but even for deer I shoot 2-3/4 rounds. I have a franchi that only likes heavier rounds so I've dealt with that and would prefer to avoid that issue

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

Got out this Saturday on opening day of rifle season with two buddies and we each filled our Pronghorn tag! Talk about an awesome day. (I'd love to add a couple of pics if anyone could point me towards a tutorial on here)

Also bought a 20 gauge over-under with a short barrel and I'm gonna get to try it out chasing grouse around a bunch the next couple of weeks. Hopefully grabbing a sage grouse or two next couple of weeks, then chasing Blues around until pheasant opens in Nov.

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

Thank you very much for the help.

One day I'll do a video/tutorial to help make it simpler but if you have any questions let me know.

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

What area of the state are you hunting? We had a great hunt last year in Area 27 in the TBNG. We usually make that trip every other year, however the drawing odds for good public land are making it logistically impossible to get enough points to draw. I've thought about going with an outfitter, but the price is too high for our group and we prefer to hunt on our own. We used to know several landowners that hooked us up a bit, but the outfitters have booked most everything up the last few years. Beautiful country and can't wait to get back, even without a tag.

Post some pics!

We were hunting Area 106 north of Sweetwater Station. We all live in Lander so easy trip for us. Antelope numbers were down state-wide, really hard to draw any tags from out of state. And paying for an outfitter for antelope would be, a little frustrating, unless you were trying really hard for a trophy.

Here's a couple of photos of antelope hunting and a canyon we walked for grouse & chukar:

How was the chukar and grouse hunting? Looks amazing

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

We got into some ruffed and blue grouse up on top of this canyon, that was fun, but tight shooting in the lodgepoles. Too early in the season for the chukars, they were skittish and blew out really fast. They are abundant in this canyon, but don't really group up until we get some snow in the area to keep them on the South facing slopes. Sure is a gorgeous hike though, and saw some nice muley's on the opposite slope, on private land.

til what a "chukar" is

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

They are really cool birds, smart and fast and fun to shoot. Chukar and Pheasant are my favorite upland birds because hunting them is such a chess match. It's constantly challenging and really rewarding. Their meat is so tender too, great eating.

I'm jealous I wish we had a more natural bird population to hunt in Virginia like that. I love mule deer as well but never had the chance to hunt them I want to but it's daunting to get into it without any real experience big game hunting out west.

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

We are fairly marginal for chukar and pheasant (my favorites) here in western WY, but there are lots grouse in the area. The upland birds really are a great thing to have around, it is definitely my favorite type of hunting.

I feel you on it being daunting. I don't know much about hunting ungulates and have been learning from friends in my 30's. Antelope and deer finally feel manageable, though finding big deer on public land is still challenging near me. But elk is just so intimidating, bigger and harder to hunt in every way. I'm also an obsessed rock climber, and taking a whole season away from that to learn about elk is just so painful for me, so I haven't put the time in yet.

What kinds of grouse do you guys have there? I've only ever hunted sharptails out west but would love to go after the ruffed ones on the north east if I ever figure them out. We used to hunt bobwhite quail but they're thinned out badly and not really huntable anymore which sucks but is what it is unfortunately. I'm gonna have to branch out and start duck hunting to scratch the bird itch it seems

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

Dove are plentiful and make for a fun hunt.

I agree. I just wish I had a good place to go. Grew up hunting doves but disrespectful and unsafe "hunters" caused all the farmers who gave us permission to change their tune.

Also, in response to Nator, there's still some good grouse hunting right here in Virginia. Most people I know don't shoot them like they used to due to population decline (due to forest mismanagement, but that's a whole different conversation), but several folks with dogs still chase them to work their dogs, etc. And a few shoot a few now and then. If you ever want to go and give your dog some work, let me know how to get in touch with you outside of TKP and I'll send some spots. Hell I might even tag along.

Yeah do e hunting has had it's issues with stupid people and the one good spot I had we lost for that reason. Issue with dove hunting is usually beer is a big part so yeah.

Man I would definitely be interested in the grouse stuff depending where it is. Honestly I'd carry a gun solely to let the dog know we're hunting but I wouldn't shoot if populations are down. I do it with our local quail covey's, the dogs give me ugly looks when I don't shoot but they enjoy the work still. Do you have a Instagram account?

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

I usually dove hunt but this year all my places were still in soy beans. Also my pup hasn't gotten a full on hunt yet so I'm kind of holding this fall for upland stuff in a week. Dove hunting will be a big thing next fall once he has developed his pointing and working instinct. Also soybean fields suck hoping we get some corn next year or I'll plant some sunflower strips and hope for the best

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

Lots of Blue/Dusky grouse, more and more ruffed it seems, and sage grouse as well. I don't know how to hunt grouse real well, I just kindof wander ridgelines and cliffs for blues, and go down to the forest/stream boundaries for ruffed.

The sage grouse are fairly easy to hunt, just walk the water out on the plains, but their population is down a lot due to habitat fragmentation, so I usually only go once a year for them. Sage grouse also has some pretty strange meat, really dark for a non-migratory bird. I usually brine it and then treat it like its antelope (cook it rare and usually with a sauce or lots of spice), but lots of folks don't like it.

What's the range on Sharptail's? I would love to go south sometime and hunt some quail or other upland birds, but I don't have my own dog, and my obsession with climbing usually dominates any trips I schedule.

Dunno if Ive ever seen a blue or dusky grouse I'll need to Google em and see.
I've heard the drought has had a big hit on the upper Midwest this year, I'm looking at alot thinner cover this year where we usually hunt than normal which will yield interesting results.

I'm not sure on the range of the sharptails outside where I hunt in North Dakota I assume they're on the northern edge there. I can't remember the last one we got as usually we're so honed in on pheasant when they flush we pass mostly due to the fact they look and are colored just like a hen pheasant. If their meat is anything like the darker thigh and leg meat of pheasants I have a killer crock pot recipe to use that makes gamey though dark meat from birds delicate and delicious. It goes great over rice or mashed potatoes and works so well with pheasant thighs and legs. When I clean a pheasant I always take breasts and if intact thighs and legs for crock pot and jerky meat.

https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/main-course-chicken/annes...

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

Blue/Dusky are the very nearly the same species, they have been lumped together or divided into sub-species, I can never remember. Despite our drought (not nearly as bad as in many other areas) I have seen a ton of them this year.

I will definitely check out this recipe and report back, cause I have not had good luck with the legs and thighs. Thanks for the heads up!

Absolutely gorgeous country. Hope you enjoyed the views as well.

Oh most def! That canyon is actually only like 10 min from my home, central/western WY sure is gorgeous. I'd say about half of why I hunt is to go hike new beautiful places.

Man I miss hunting stuff like this in Colorado and Wyoming even the openness of Nebraska. Spot and stalk hunting gave me hope. Now I still hunt in a swamp and I'm not even confident I could see deer if they walked 10 yards from me. I've felt very awful at deer hunting the past 2 years because I have no idea how to find deer in pine swamps.

Here's a screen grab from me holding my phone above my head trying to find the road last year.

and same video at chest height looking forward at a slight down angle:

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I only see three deer in the top photo, and none in the bottom. That one looks like a nice buck though.....
What is the cotton-mouth to deer ratio?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Honestly I'd really rather not know the answer to your question. I know they're there but there's 0 chance of avoiding them through the brush considering I can't see the ground 90% of the time.

There are certainly some open areas to hunt but they're hundreds of acres of planted pines in dead flat terrain and that seems even more useless to hunt than in here.

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So deer hunting and I have a love hate relationship. I struggle to identify the best spots unless I can find food sources and water. I gave up on a property that was all pine plantation that looked like your videos as I couldn't figure it out to save my life.

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

Yeah water doesn't work cause that's all 3-6" of water but the reason I'm so far back in that shit is eventually those pines get to a grove of oaks. Pretty much the only food in FMNF is acorn, pine cone, and gooseberry.

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Acorns are the key here in VA for bow season and if you can find those it can be a big deal but even when I've found oak groves I've had little success it's all about location. Whitetails are just a pain to me and with dog hunting so prevalent here your limited to bow season to learn to pattern deer before they go awol

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

Hunting in there looks ridiculously difficult. Good on you for keeping at it man!

Got a late invite and now I'll be taking my dog through his and my first NAVDHA test this weekend. First time allowing someone not myself to judge and hunt over a dog I've trained so this will be interesting fingers crossed he does well as we prep for pheasant season in a few weeks.

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

That's awesome good luck. One regret I have with my current dog is not getting him in waterfowl trials now he just sits on the couch and picks up a couple marsh hens ever year.

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My guy kicked ass, finished with a 107 out of possible 112 points for a Prize 2 in his NAVDHA NA. One more point would have been a Prize 1 and most likely he could've snagged a perfect score but the first few minutes of his search test he was a bit high wired and when the first shot was fired he went looking for the gunner instead of staying on the search. After that he was literally flawless the rest of his search he found and pointed 4 birds and didnt flush any of them(which was my biggest worry). Tracking was the one thing I hadnt properly trained him for and I was anxious to see him do that but he got on the track and pulled away from me before I was planning on letting him go but he was on the track and hit it hard lost it once circled back and followed and pointed the pheasant perfectly. Swimming was a breeze and hes in perfect health so the judges were really impressed.
For anyone who does bird hunting and trains dogs look at your local NAVDHA chapters for training days and other stuff those guys are super helpful.

Next test up for him is the Utility Test which is brutal and covers both upland and waterfowl hunting. We have a few years to work on it before I will give it a go with him as I dont waterfowl hunt alot so I'll have to start doing that again if we go that route. I got to watch one of my dogs cousins run her UT test and score a prize one which is really rare and it was cool to see how well trained they can be and still have so much personality.

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

Just returned from 10 days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in MT. Closest we got to an elk was watching tan rumps hoofing it over the ridge into the next canyon. Still an epic trip of a lifetime, though. Scenery was amazing, sat and watched a grizzly bear do grizzly bear things at about 200 yards, and caught my very first cutthroat trout. I'm fired up to get out there again, just as soon as my butt forgets what 10 straight hours on horseback feels like.

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I took a 10 day pack trip there back in the summer of '99 with my dad. A few of the trails were still impassible with snow in early July. Unbelievable place and I'd love to go back, especially to hunt. We caught a lot of cuthroat in the Sun and Flathead rivers as we made our way through. Awesome experience for me. Glad you guys had fun and stayed safe.

Who's ready for the archery opener this weekend? I've been shooting my recurve a lot while also trying to get a longbow setup for a friend of mine. I've messed with arrow spines, lengths, and point weights until I'm blue in the face. Got mine shooting pretty good if I can shake the rust off my form, and hope to get an opportunity Saturday.

I'd hoped to have an opportunity to get after some early bear this week, but I had a breakthrough COVID case last week that's buried me in work and kept me at home. I felt like crap for a few days but feeling good now, just gotta dig out from under the pile.

Good luck to everyone out there and stay safe.

I had a trip to visit friends get pushed from Labor Day weekend to this one so I'll miss the opener. I do plan on getting out there the following weekend and checking out a couple spots I've e-scouted. I would love to get one within range but am mostly just looking forward to being in the woods again.

Ah, fellow recurve shooter. Not many of us out there.

I'm really excited for Saturday. Have a few good spots picked out, I've been shooting and confident out to 25 yards, and built some new arrows. I haven't done anything but work since May, so looking forward to cashing in my brownie points for the next three months.

Good luck and stay safe!

Honestly didn't even realize it was that time of year till I saw that. The weather feels right but it's weird that it's already here to me. I'd be going but I'll be busy packing for my trip to the Dakota's the following week. Best of luck and stay safe!

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

Packed my bow and climber up for the one afternoon of bow season I generally hunt here. This afternoon looks rough with west wind 0-1mph. gonna try the corner of a little branch that runs through and see what happens.

Edit: just ended up being a quiet afternoon in the woods.

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Stands are all checked, bow is dialed in and the cool weather is here. With meat prices being high, I am excited to fill the freezer and also donate 1 or 2 this year. With the ammo shortages, I am really glad I bought a bunch of boxes at the end of last season when I found some online. 20g Sabot Slugs were incredibly hard to find.

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

I've wanted to get into deer hunting but it's not really in my family so I've never been and have nobody to learn from.

Anyone willing to show me the ropes? You can keep any meat/trophy I end up with.

Free Hugh

Where are you at? I'm sure a lot of TKPers would be willing to help, getting into hunting can be daunting without someone to show you the ropes, depending on your area there might be a conservation organization that has a first time hunter program - I've run a few for waterfowl and upland bird hunting, I imagine there's something similar for big game.

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Agreed.
1. Where are you located?
2. Do you have access to private land (friends, family, work connections, etc)? This isn't a deal breaker but it makes getting into hunting easier. There are a lot of public lands but they get crowded and certain times, outright dangerous in gun season.

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

Richmond but would be willing to travel around the state

Free Hugh

Richmond City or a county around Richmond? This can make a big difference in regulations.

1. Go https://dwr.virginia.gov/ and read on white tail deer, look at what WMAs (wildlife management areas) are near you if you have to go to public land.

2. Start learning about deer on other websites. Learning their behavior, what they eat at different times of the year, how bucks and does act differently (bed in different locations, use different trails, the rut), and get as much information as you can. This will help when you go with someone so you can ask good questions or understand the things they are talking about.

3. Don't watch hunting shows on TV and think that is anything like hunting around here. There are good YT channels of amateurs recording their hunts and talking that are much more useful. (Catman Outdoors, GrowingDeer.TV)

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

City. Does reading material like this actually translate to real practical skill?

Free Hugh

Maybe a better question I have is: does this apply to hunting from a tree stand/blind the same way it does as from the ground? It might not be the "right way" but from the hunters at my work it seemed like a lot of them set up a bunch of trail cams around their property to try and see which deer were on their property and try and learn their movement, then they'd set up a stand in that general area and bait them.

Free Hugh

In Virginia that describes it pretty well. Using cameras to hone in on deer in the area is a fun way to learn a property but can be costly. With experience you'll learn how to read the ground and figure things out easier without cameras.
Baiting however is something that's polarizing in hunting, personally I'm against it in most cases and I don't enjoy seeing it in deer hunting. It is legal in some places I believe but now where I tend to hunt in northern VA. I'd advise reading and talking to as many people as you can.
One good source to learn is find a few local hunt clubs and talk to them and see if they wouldn't mind you tagging along on a few hunts to see if it's for you before going gungho into it.

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

Baiting is illegal in VA for deer. By the book, all bait must be cleaned up by Sept 1 and through the season.

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

The DWR site will not translate to skill I'm hunting directly but it has general information about deer. The skill in finding where to set up takes time, experience, and understanding the land and surrounding area you will be hunting.

Do you have access to any private land that you can hunt? This would be the first thing because private and public land are going to be treated a little differently in your approaches.

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

I do not currently

Free Hugh

That is okay. There are public options available. Always keep an eye and ear out for that opportunity to get hunting rights. Even in the city limits or chesterfield where there is Urban Archery, a small piece of land behind a neighborhood could be a honey hole. vahuntingforum.com has some more information as well and some people that hunt only urban areas that can help there too.

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

First thing I'd do is sign up for an online hunter safety course if you haven't done it already.

A side benefit for the hunter safety course besides a requirement for a hunting license is it can be used to get your CWP (at least it used to be able to)

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

Already got it

Free Hugh

Headed out to a spot where I regrettably passed up a really nice 6 point opening day of muzzleloader last year. National forest spot that doesn't get hunted too hard. Hope to have some luck but if nothing else going to hang a couple cameras and leave them until February.

Good luck and safe hunting to everyone headed out for the Virginia bow opener this morning.

Start with hunter safety classes. The IBEP is about bow hunting but covers deer anatomy stand safety and blood trailing among other things. Gun safety is also good to take. Virginia has an apprentice hunting program.

#Let's Go - Hokies

I saw that apprentice program that seems pretty neat. Just need someone to be my master lol

Free Hugh