Go Back   Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum > Main Category > Hunting Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-02-2021, 01:07 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default Todayís set up

I had another hour (just a bit over, actually) today, so I headed to the field trying to spot an elk. For the first time ever, I broughtÖ (drum rollÖ) A chair! Lol. So I was hunting out of a chair for the first time in my life! Here is the set up:



Hahaha. Quite comfortable, actually. Except for the wind that was brutal! It was above 12 degrees, but I should have brought my gloves.

Mulies walked around plenty. This one jumped over the fence and almost walked into my spot, but walked by on my left and on to feeding right behind me:



This one too:



A few more were around:





The only elk that eventually showed were two cows and a calf, but that was too little too late for a pic, as dark was setting in (maybe 5 minutes before lights out or so). I can somewhat see them on my phone, but uploading makes it even worse:



Itís that distortion right in the middle of the pic, a distance away in the field, lol.

Busy tomorrow, but hopefully hard day of hunting the valley on Sunday. No chairs there, lol.

Hope you all having fun!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-02-2021, 01:23 AM
ghfalls ghfalls is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 480
Default

I know you were hunting elk, but that buck was a shooter in my books. Kinda blurry but deer meat is yummy.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-02-2021, 09:11 AM
kujoseto's Avatar
kujoseto kujoseto is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Edmonton-ish
Posts: 2,057
Default

Really great stuff. On such a short trip it’s so rewarding to see game
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-02-2021, 09:22 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 4,683
Default

Did you remember a soft cushion for your chair too lol
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-02-2021, 11:18 AM
Natek Natek is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 166
Default

Looks like a nice set up! Good luck !
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-02-2021, 02:50 PM
cosmog cosmog is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 20
Default

That's a nice setup. Thanks for sharing
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-02-2021, 03:21 PM
pintail flyer pintail flyer is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 6
Default Beware the chair

Chairs are great to hunt from,I fell asleep in one while hunting turkeys.lol.Great photos and amazing when wildlife comes up close.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-04-2021, 12:58 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Haha. Donít think I could. If it was warm, with gentle sun in your faceÖ ManÖ Iíd take that nap any day, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghfalls View Post
I know you were hunting elk, but that buck was a shooter in my books. Kinda blurry but deer meat is yummy.
All mule deer, all on draw. So no shooters for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by kujoseto View Post
Really great stuff. On such a short trip itís so rewarding to see game
Yep, seeing them doing their thing is pretty great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Did you remember a soft cushion for your chair too lol
That would be way too many things to carry there and back and I am too lazy for that, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natek View Post
Looks like a nice set up! Good luck !
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmog View Post
That's a nice setup. Thanks for sharing
Yep.


The hard day of hunting didnít pan out as I had some things to do and it was crazy windy all day. Could be a good thing, but I didnít go. Went up to the field today for about an hour again though. The wind was brutal! I was dressed as I usually would be hunting in low under 0 temps, including a toque and gloves. I am not usually the first person to get cold, but I still got cold! I have no idea how people sit in blinds or tree stands when it is actually cold. It showed 9 degrees in the vehicle when I got there, but that cushion would be very helpful today, lol. I was wearing long johns too! Just brutal wind that takes the heat right out of you.

A giant goose flying by was the first thing I saw when I came:



The cloud, of course, haha.

Then a couple of deer:



The one at the front has virtually no spread. Not a good pic to show. I likely shot his father a few years ago. No spread and lots of mass was on that one.

Then, when in my ďblindĒ, a few real geese passed by. They came up from the valley, right above the trees on the other side of the field and continued very low all the way to me. They look kind of high on the photos, for some reason, but they werenít:





Then a few more:



Like I said, the wind was simply brutal. Those geese could feel it more than me though, you could see by their trajectory.

Didnít think I would see much today, but some deer did pop out, in addition to the few that were already there.



Nothing too close like last time, but these two guys have been having fan with each other at least until I left:







Itís funny how with this strong and noisy wind you canít hear the antlers rattling, but once you look at them doing it, you clearly hear every time their antlers touch each other quite a distance away. One sense helping out the other to separate the noise. Pretty cool stuff how it works.

Also, the brute came out today. I have been watching him for 2-3 years now and never managed to take a good pic yet.







Always behind. You can probably see which one it is just from his body size compared to others (kind of in the middle on the first pic and behind the bush on the other two; he never came out from there before I left). Massive deer. Beautiful rack too. You can see the mass on that last pic, the spread on the first and somewhat the height on the second, even though they are pretty grainy. There are a couple of them there like that. Havenít seen the other one for a while. Hopefully still around.

And a few more deer:



That one looking in my direction is also a pretty good deer. He is looking because I just sent a bugle out.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-04-2021, 08:46 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 4,683
Default

Looks like you need a mule deer draw hunting that property. At least you should have them all figured out for when you do draw a tag
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-04-2021, 10:58 AM
Phil McCracken's Avatar
Phil McCracken Phil McCracken is online now
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Rocky Mtn House,AB
Posts: 567
Default

Those are NICE bucks!

Hope things work out for you.

Thanx for sharing...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-04-2021, 11:21 AM
Stinky Buffalo's Avatar
Stinky Buffalo Stinky Buffalo is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: A bit North o' Center...
Posts: 8,806
Default

I'm really enjoying the pics and your commentary. What a great place to set up on.

Keep at it!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-04-2021, 12:03 PM
Natek Natek is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 166
Default

Great thread keep posting updates!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-04-2021, 12:07 PM
huntinstuff's Avatar
huntinstuff huntinstuff is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Edmonton Alberta
Posts: 8,318
Default

You are doing EXACTLY what, to me, hunting is all about...

Congrats
__________________
Being insulted or offended is a choice YOU make. Never give anyone that power over you.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-05-2021, 08:51 AM
Chief27 Chief27 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lac La Biche
Posts: 51
Default

You have one hell of a spot for mulie. Hopefully waiting for a draw doesnt take 5 years.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-06-2021, 02:07 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Looks like you need a mule deer draw hunting that property. At least you should have them all figured out for when you do draw a tag
Funny thing is that the year before I pulled the last antlered mule deer tag, there were two beautiful bucks on that and the adjacent quarters. Just beautiful, really; one slightly bigger than the other, but both would be pretty hard to beat for personal record, I am sure. I watched them extensively and decided that those two are it, regardless of which I shoot! So I cashed in my points and drew the tag the following season. To this day, I have never seen either of those two bucks, lol.

That yearís mule deer hunt also turned into a little nightmare for me, hitting the buck (that no spread one I mentioned earlier), him bailing, etc. I recovered some of the meat a few days later, after shooting it again, but it was a terrible experience. I posted about it here and a couple of members from here and a couple of people in real life helped me to overcome that experience.

Anyway, after those two giants disappearing from my life with a tag in my pocket, I am now pretty cautious about the thought that I will shoot this or that next year; even though I do have them figured out right now, to the point that I can tell who is going to feed where and with whom, lol. The bigger guys are a bit more random, they have their patterns as well - maybe not so much in terms when, but definitely where they prefer to feed and rest (good things come to those who wait, if you know where to wait kind of thing)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McCracken View Post
Those are NICE bucks!

Hope things work out for you.

Thanx for sharing...
For sure and thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky Buffalo View Post
I'm really enjoying the pics and your commentary. What a great place to set up on.

Keep at it!
Thanks and I will. It is a nice place, indeed. Just being there for 30-60 minutes in the evening hits the spot more often than not, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natek View Post
Great thread keep posting updates!
I will try, but you guys will surely get bored pretty quickly, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntinstuff View Post
You are doing EXACTLY what, to me, hunting is all about...

Congrats
Thanks, huntinstuff! This isnít exactly my style in general and I would probably hit the bush if I have more time than I do when I head there, but it sure is rewarding just being there. Also, the chair that I brought for the first time a few days ago made quite a bit of difference. I am afraid to bring that cushion, as Smoky Buck suggested, because I may get used to it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief27 View Post
You have one hell of a spot for mulie. Hopefully waiting for a draw doesnt take 5 years.
That it is. The tag takes about 4 years. Used to be that a guy had a chance with 2, I believe, but pretty sure it was changed not that long ago. They also reduced the number of antlerless tags back then because previously one could buy an undersubscribed tag at any time during the season, they never sold out. Not anymore, they havenít been available for at least 2 or 3 years now. Something something game management. Which is funny because if a guy looks at this particular quarter and few around it, he would think that it is nuts to reduce the number of tags. I do understand, however, that this tiny area in no way represents the whole WMU in the slightest. Could very well be that this is how it starts when some guys say there is no deer/elk in that WMU, while some farmers complain that there are too many and they are causing crop damage and eating their bales in the winter.


To update, I havenít been there today (though I feel like I should have been because of that feeling of things coming together if I were, lol). It was a cold and rainy (a bit of snow, the first time this season) day. I went for a walk in the neighbourhood with my daughter instead. I did go up yesterday though. Not much was going on. Some mulies feeding around, no big boys. Thought that was a good day for elk to show up, but no dice. I guess it didnít help that a farmer was rolling bales on a neighbouring field (couldnít hear him where I was set up though). Was a beautiful evening nonetheless. Better luck next time.

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-06-2021, 06:18 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 4,683
Default

Go hunting you slacker lol

As for the mule deer disappearing that is just the way it goes and have been there many times myself. Sometimes it can drive a guy nuts knowing a big buck is around but you canít find them come game time. Hope your luck improves and you have a better experience next time you pull a mule deer tag
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-06-2021, 11:13 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

Yeah, for sure and thanks. Though itís one thing when you hunt in the bush and can't find a particular buck for years while knowing he is there; itís another when you watch some deer for years on a field almost daily, knowing exactly when and where they pop out and then they are gone forever the second you use all your points (more than enough for the wmu) to pull your tag. Lol. What are you gonna though. Part of what we do, haha.

Itís like if you always wanted a Swiss Arms Classic rifle and money was scarce, so it took you years to save up the cash. You head to the store and finally buy it. On the way home, you hear on the radio it was added to the list of prohibited firearms. A ďbitĒ of a kick in the nuts, lol.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-06-2021, 06:05 PM
roper1 roper1 is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Strathmore
Posts: 4,204
Default

Pics & write-up turning this into an awesome thread, fine Sir. Whether you fill the tag or not, you've created some fine memories & great pics. Thanks for sharing!!

Good luck the rest of the way!!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-07-2021, 02:02 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

Thanks, roper! Hoping to fill the tag though, lol, but having little hope for the field at this point.

Had some contact today during the hunting hours, finally. A cow showed up with a spike that had a couple of points on each antler, so a point short on at least one of them, lol.

Spike, when I saw him:



Cow:



Tricky buggers. They showed up from a completely unexpected direction and I almost got myself made, lol. In the spot where I set up, immediately behind me, there is poplar, tall grass, deadfall, etc. Essentially, it is a very small (Iíd say 15-20 meters wide and about 30-40 meters long, if that) wooded area that has never been cleared on the quarter. The set up is on the far, call it, left corner of this area, mostly directly observing the adjacent quarter. To the left and behind, there is a very secluded ďpastureĒ on the quarter I am sitting on, which is used for hay, vs grain and seed on the quarter I am mostly looking at. To the right and behind is the rest of the hay field, but my view there is pretty obstructed by the trees, deadfall, etc. Just because of the way I set up. Not sure if any of this is making any sense, lol, because it sounds complicated the way I am explaining it. It really isnít. Maybe Iíll take pics if I go there again, to simplify the visualization, lol. You can kind of get a part of it from the very fist photo in this thread (the chair pic) and the last (the sunset pic).

Anyway, the set up was chosen this way because of the nice spot where I could drop a chair (still laughing about the fact that I am hunting from a chair), but mainly because I am expecting for elk to come in from the adjacent quarter with the highest probability, next from the behind on the left, then maybe from the right and slightly ahead (again, adjacent quarter), and, only then right and behind. Sitting down, I can only see what you see in the very first pic and somewhat forward and to the right. I have to half get up to see behind to the left and fully get up to somewhat see behind to the right. Damn, I am not good with explaining things the easy way, lol.

So having this in mind, after a few bugles and some cow calls (I have been there for about half an hour by then), I kept watching a mulie doe on the far end of adjacent quarter constantly looking at the most probable entry point for elk. Itís been a while and she just kept looking there, so there was obviously something going on there. Sometime later, finally, another doe showed up from there, so a bust as far as my main purpose of being there goes. At that point, I got up rather quickly to see whatís happening behind on the left, the second most likely entry point for elk. Nada. I kind of stuck my head out for a better view and then was turning around to look at the right and kind of sitting back down at the same time when saw the cow directly to my right looking right at me, lol. Thanks to the deadfall, I doubt she could make me out and probably didnít. When I sat back down, I immediately sent a couple of mews, trying to give her heads up that it is just another cow and take some edge off her. Thatís when I saw the spike walking right to me from the same direction and then he stopped. Spike maybe 40 yards out and cow 50, give or take 10 (?).

I spent a few moments trying to find if there is any company they had with them, but I couldnít see any. In the mean time, they looked in my direction for a bit and then started moving to the adjacent quarter. I guess, I should mention that I am lucky to have permission on both of these quarters of land, so I donít really have to care which way they move. It took me another minute to get a better look of the spike and his ďspikesĒ and I only counted two points per antler. If he had three good ones on at least one of them, Iíd probably shoot him without giving it much thought. While I want to get a bull I didnít last year, I canít seem to be able to get out (need way more than an hour in the evening) and it sure beats packing out something similar or a little bigger out of the valley. If I donít get the bull I actually want, the head gear and whatnot doesnít really matter to me. Regardless, this guy was not a shooter. Or maybe I wouldnít shoot him even if he had three good points because I am weird that way, lol. I donít know. Last year, I made my season extremely long and complicated because of that (and there was a thread for that too, lol (here, completely different way of hunting, which is way more my kind of way)).

Anyway, I let them walk away into the next field, playing with the calls a little. They didnít make a peep all this time. I guess the commission I created when I got up to look around, as if I am not even hunting, made them a little cautious. Oh yeah, also, they eventually reached where my scent was taken by the wind, but still stayed and kind moved back and forth for an occasional mew I sent, as if they arenít sure.











I waited until I thought they really walked away in order to avoid giving them a lesson, so I left a bit late. When I got to the car, I saw they were a bit further but still there, so I waited a bit more and placed my bugle on the roof of the vehicle. When I got half way home, I realized that I never got the bugle off the roof. Had to go back and look for it and, thankfully, found it in one piece. Kind of like that one and wouldnít want to see it gone.



In conclusion, I really need to make time to get out to the valley. It is ticking and I donít think I will get a bull sitting out there. Probably another week, two tops, left when I can count on bulls still being with their herds, at least some of them. We will see.

If you are still reading, sorry for the loooong post, unless you are a masochist and still enjoying, haha.

Good luck to all trying to get whatever they are after!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-17-2021, 03:01 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

Ok, letís do a short update.

I was out to the field a couple of times since. I have also been down the valley a couple of times fully committed and a couple of times with half worth of commitment, lol. Meaning I was all over the place twice, but after running into gazillion of ticks again, I didnít get down too far out. You probably saw my tick thread, where I did some experiments with a spray that will hopefully help to solve this problem.

When being all over the place, I have ran into some moose, mule and whitetail deer, bumped a few cows, but no bulls. Not much vocals from elk either. The set up changed quite a bit:



Well, that isnít the set up, per se. The set up is everything you see down there.

During one of the hikes, my favorite pair of boots decided to quit on me closer to the end of the day, while I was still in the deep (and covered with ticks, lol).



That was pretty disappointing. I really liked those boots. I wonder if someone can put new soles on them.

Last time I went to the field in the early am, I ran into a bunch of elk and a bugle or two. Lots of cows were heading in the wrong direction for me - to the field across the road where I have no permission and there is no hunting beyond that field. I was watching them go while the watch showed quarter of the hour before the shooting time. There were no bulls with them from I could see (the morning was very dark, even after the shooting time), but I was sure they would follow. So I set up behind a bale waiting and hoping theyíd come after I can legally pull the trigger. That didnít happen. The rest of the herd went into the valley and I, while a few minutes behind, followed. A bull kept bugling on his way down. I knew exactly where they might stop and chill before going home and it sounded like that bull was screaming form there. When I got to the spot, either the same bull moved or there was another screaming his lungs out to the left of me and below. The fact that he was to the left of me made me believe there was another bull because the home is way below and to the right. I heard elk moving around and coming down. I sent a few cow calls, they have responded all around. What a beautiful sound. I decided to try and get one of the bulls come back up, which is really nearly an impossible task; but since the guy on the left seemed to have stopped I thought it was worth a shot. At that point, I realized that I didnít even have my bugle with me. I left in the vehicle, lol. All I had with me was the rifle, my phone, and a couple of cow calls, lol.

Long story short, I called in a whole bunch of cows and a few spikes to within 20-30 yards.





Not sure what you can see on those pics, but I see 3 elk on the first and 2 more on the second.

I was hoping that once I get them talking, more of the herd would come back and so will a bull. Very hard to do. And it proved to be that this time as well. I got them talking quite a bit while they were looking for me, even a few more cows came over, but eventually the bull on the left started moving home and so did everyone else. I followed them for a bit, but stopped short where I knew I was going to get covered in ticks again. Wasnít even that, but the idea of going without a bugle and a knife wasnít a good one. So I went back up and drove home.

The next couple of times this was my set up:



This is probably a better view to give an idea:



So I was up on the next flat watching quite a bit of space below. The spot wasnít random: this is where they often come up to the field for feeding. But not when I was there, lol.

I had less than an hour today but I went to the field anyway. Met my buddy that I havenít seen in a while and spent most of the time playing with him. For whatever reason, this buck doesnít care about me being around (only this time of year though, a few days earlier or later and he would bounce like the rest of them). And by around I mean less than 10 meters apart. Tried to take a selfie, but it didnít pan out. This was the best one, lol:



I am pretty sure I posted a video of him last year somewhere around here.



Anyway, thatís how things have been the past couple of weeks. Was hoping to get out tomorrow early, but quite a bit if rain in the forecast. The valley isnít fun to climb once it gets wet. We will see.

Until next timeÖ
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-17-2021, 03:14 AM
58thecat's Avatar
58thecat 58thecat is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: At the end of the Thirsty Beaver Trail, Pinsky lake, Alberta.
Posts: 20,964
Default

Looking forward to your next post....huge 7 by 7 elk
__________________

Be careful when you follow the masses, sometimes the "M" is silent...
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-17-2021, 05:41 PM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Hahaha. Iíd settle on a six-by-six:



Seriously though, Iíd shoot the first legal bull I run into or that runs into me at this time. I have a late moose tag in 520 as well, zone I know little about and my chances arenít very high, but itís the opportunity I would like to explore. So I wonít be able to spend November looking for a bull like I did last year (and still shooting a little guy).

I guess since we are talking, if anyone reading has tips to share for moose in 520 (beside get off the roads and go in deep, because that is generally what I do), I am all ears. Laughing.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-17-2021, 09:35 PM
sns2's Avatar
sns2 sns2 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: My House
Posts: 11,247
Default

Great thread. Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-30-2021, 01:50 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Thanks, sns!

Havenít been back to the valley, womp, womp. Either the time or the weather, one of those seems to spoil it for me (mostly the former). But I have most certainly been up the field a few more times and daily for the last 4 or 5 days. I left my set up in the original post above and moved around the hay field, hiding behind an occasional bale that still remains and whatnot. The reason was that most of the elk I saw there this season (not much at all and mostly by them lonely selves or in pairs and triplets) in the evenings was coming from the other points. Then, the farmer went over the entire field with a harrow and that pushed me to abandon the position completely. Mule deer seems to have moved on from the field as well. One or two stubborn or lazy ones still hang around, digging the ground, but most have moved to the hay field and other neighbouring fields. No more chairs for me, lol.

I think I mentioned before (maybe not?), but the now harrowed field had barley growing this year. Remember I mentioned the geese flying around? They were flying to a few quarters over. I donít really know what crop was there (likely wheat). Well, for the last while there have been thousands of them coming from down the valley flying to the same place. Incidentally, I also know exactly where they spend most of their day as well (quite a hike). Could have been a solid bird season.

Not sure if one can see from the uploaded photos, but they come in these flocks of hundreds:



That chunk of trees is my original set up from the back, by the way, so I would be sitting on the far side of it.



Those who hunt honkers are well aware of the noise they bring when they come in these numbers. And it is continuous. And of course it starts right about the time I get there (or before), a short break, and then they start flying back.

A few days after the guy harrowed the field I initially targeted, hundreds of those geese made it their feeding station, which eliminated the short break in between, lol.





Frankly, I canít wait for them to leave south, lol. I know, weird, right? Well, I even bought the bird licenses and even brought my shotgun with me a couple of times. But I just canít make myself start shooting and ruin the little chance I have of elk showing up. Well, maybe not that little, but I donít know how the rest of the season is going to play out. I also donít care that much for Canada goose meat either, so, while it is tons of fun (probably the ďfunnestĒ hunting after ducks, really), it seems like a bad idea. If it was specks, I would probably be limiting out daily, just shooting those passing by, having chosen the right position by the tree line or a few others.

I also spent some time watching a few chickens pop up here and there, mostly by the tree line:



Like I said, could have been a great bird season, lol.

I am not sure if I mentioned in this thread or some other, I canít make myself seat in a tree stand for any extended period of time and by extended I mean more than a few minutes. Just wasn't meant to be, I guess. Well, the ground blinds are not that much different if there is nothing going on (I can stay on the ground much longer though). In these fields, however, there is almost always something going on. Usually, it is mule deer that provide the entertainment (I guess that was obvious from my previous posts). The last few days, I spent time watching bucks feeding, playing, sparring, and a not so young guy trying to mount some does and then a young buck, lol. All of the victims of unwanted attention had to run from that dude until he settled himself down.







Anyway, todayÖ Today, I went up to the field again, as I did yesterday and day before, etc. What has lately been the usual happened today as well: gazillion of geese (actually, felt like there is less today), mule deer, and grouse. Made a new buddy today. This young buck:



Not sure if our ďrelationshipĒ will last as long as the one with the older buck in one of my posts above, but today has been fun. I approached this guy and stood about 5 meters away from him. He then cut the distance by about 3 meters, which actually made me a bit uncomfortable. He was sparring with one of the older bucks just moments earlier. He also walked me to my vehicle, lol. I mean literally, he walked behind me while I was walking to the vehicle, like one of those cats that you meet and pet when walking with kids in the neighbourhood and it keeps following you for a couple/few blocks after. Really weird, never happened to me before. Mule deer are surely weird creatures. I got uncomfortably close to them in the bush before too, but none had ever followed me, field or bush.

AnywayÖ That was fun. What wasnít, however, is this:



When I got to the vehicle, I looked at the ďnow gooseĒ field and saw a bunch of elk coming up! I counted 8 and more coming. Canít see on the pic, but one of those is a young bull, which is actually weird because bulls arenít usually among the first to be up, in my experience. Of course it was now about quarter of an hour past hunting time and one of those days that makes you wonder why hunting had to stop because there is still so much light out. Yesterday was the same light wise (except no elk, lol). Oh well, it is what it is. I packed myself up and left in a hurry just so I would be out of their way and let them be.

I will resume tomorrow in the am and see what goes. Planning to get deep down the valley too. We will see what happens.

Surely, one can say (and be absolutely correct) I missed most exciting elk hunting time this year. What are you gonna do though. I now have a dilemma: no elk as of yet, but I also have a moose tag starting Monday in 520 that I know not much about. Should I try and find a moose or give my best to putting an elk down in the WMU I am most familiar with (as far as elk goes)? HmmmÖ I guess we will see how this weekend goes and go from there. Another option is dedicate a week or two to moose or/and elk and then screw the meat (the main goal) and move on to bush whitetail, which is my favourite chase of the hunting season (and I didnít get to do that last year).

Happy Halloween to you all!
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-30-2021, 02:05 AM
sns2's Avatar
sns2 sns2 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: My House
Posts: 11,247
Default

Dude, you hunt in a veritable zoo!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 10-30-2021, 01:21 PM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Lol.

Morning and first half of the day was a dud. Maybe eveningÖ
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10-30-2021, 05:03 PM
savage250 savage250 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 22
Default

This is a great thread, thanks for sharing. Can't wait for Monday.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-03-2021, 01:40 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Glad you are enjoying it.

SoÖ went to the 520 today. I had just over 2 hours before sunset and decided to take advantage to check out one of the spots I was planning on visiting. About 60 km one way. For those familiar with the area, I went to the East Haul Road, just past Cadotte River. Pretty much the first pullout once you enter the WMU. Hit some quad trail in order to get the vehicle off the road, parked just inside the wildlife corridor and hit it on foot. Not much time, only about 1 3/4 hours till lights out.

Quite amazing how much of a difference 60 km can make. I have been quite a bit further down Peace on the west side, but never on the east. First impressionsÖ there is moose around, lol (duh?):



Quite a bit more visibility than I am used to:



That visibility comes at a cost, however: there is so much deadfall that it is almost impossible to move around with minimal noise. There is also lots of this going on:



That grass is waste-tall (or taller). With deadfall within. Heard a deer running away, twice, lol (probably the same one). Quite a bit more spruce than in my usual hunting environment. Doesnít really look that moose-y to me. I noticed there is less sign the further it is into the bush from the Cadotte valley. The closer to the valley, the more ďtrimĒ on the bush. Overall, in the short time I spent there today, I couldnít say that any moose was there recently. I only found one pile of poop and a pretty old one too.



Frankly, to hike for over an hour and half and only find one old pile of moose poop is a little discouraging.

The Cadotte valley looks like a mini Peace valley, just more of a monotonous downhill rather hilly terrain. I guess it comes with the size.



By the river, there are some areas that have some pretty good trim, while most werenít worked on by moose in a long while, if ever.



Some old tracks on a quad trail, likely left by a cow (possibly followed by a calf, hard to tell):



Found a couple of elk tracks on the same trail as well. I was most likely the first one to walk the area today. There havenít been anyone with the vehicles today either, no disturbance to the leaves or frost that was on the trail. There have been someone there yesterday (my guess) and someone successful in whatever it is they were after. I heard the ravens at a distance coming from the valley. Then saw one flying above me with a huge chunk of red meat in its beak, lol. I would say about a quarter of the size of the bird itself. With only about 20 minutes of hunting left and no plan, I decided to follow the noise and see what it is all about. I walked a quad trail at a fairly fast pace, the birds quieted down (it was getting late), so I didnít find anything. Not that I was really interested or really looking. I walked some more, saw another raven with a smaller chunk of meat, lol, and headed back to the vehicle. I did confirm that someone was successful in their pursuit though, lol:



Not sure. Canít say it was a ďbadĒ outing, as it was fun and I got to briefly see a new area. Not sure I will be back in the next few days though. I have (for now, hopefully nothing comes up) tomorrow free after 10-ish in the morning and I was planning to head there for the day. Kind of doubt now. On the one hand, I wasnít ďimpressedĒ with what I saw today; on the other, I didnít have much time to see more and there is a lot more to discover. Clearly, there is moose around and it just needs to be found.

Thinking I will hit Harmon Valley area instead tomorrow and see what I can find there. If that looks less promising, I will probably go back on Saturday to about where I went today and see how full day(s) feels like. Would be nice to find an access to Peace Valley from there, I would then be set, little doubt in my mind about it.

Thatís about it for today, I guess.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Ran into a scrape today:



And I just relieved myself literally five meters earlier. Always feels like a huge disappointment and missing out bigly when that happens, lol.

To add a couple of pics just becauseÖ

A beaver damn on Cadotte:



Walking back on the trail:



Night is on itís way:



I guess might as well mention, on the way back home, I almost hit a bear on the highway. Really close call.



Definitely way less than a second between the life and death for the bear. It is a second close call for me in just as many weeks. Last week, I stopped extremely hard about 0.5 meters short from hitting a doe with itís kid, her in the butt and the youngster in the head. Donít remember the last time I had to break that hard. They ran away after I fully stopped that close to them, lol.

AnywayÖ Hope you all are enjoying what is left of the hunting season. Imma gonna get that moose tomorrow, lol.

And I will still welcome any tips in regards to 520 since no one still came through. Laughing.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-03-2021, 05:36 AM
Smokinyotes Smokinyotes is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: onoway, Ab
Posts: 5,495
Default

Fishnguy this is a very interesting thread to follow. Just want to say thanks for posting some quality material
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-04-2021, 02:23 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,255
Default

^ Glad you like it, smokinyotes.

I am going to break this one into two posts. As if I havenít typed enough yet, lol.

Well, I went to the Harmon Valley Uplands ACA site. I will give heads up to those planing to hunt moose in 520 in the future and say this: do not waste your time going there. At least not from the patch side (north and east). Could be dandy deer hunting, but as far as moose goesÖ Well, there is moose, on occasion, perhaps. Even if it is there though, one would have hard time finding it. Likely by luck.

I have spent about 3 hours there today, before it hit me: ďWhy the heck am I here?Ē Lol. In the three hours I have seen almost zero sign that moose was there this year. Not even kidding. No tracks, no poop, no recent trim (recent as in not since last year, at least).

Having said that, I still had a decent hike through some various bush, saw some cool things, etc. Canít complain and now I know, but I would be better off heading somewhere north again (I did later in the day).

I thought of this spot when ďmapĒ scouting for places to go. Looks great, doesnít it? It did to me, but I guess I should have looked better, lol.



Well, it ainít. Iíd say at least 70% of this site is muskeg.

Since there is no access other than on foot (literally), I parked at one of the pads in the oilfield and set off from there. Met a great guy working at the site who offered to help with his sxs after his shift if I shot anything in there. We exchanged phone numbers. He mentioned that it really has been a long while since he (or others) saw a moose there, but he did see some tracks on one of the roads that appeared to be at least a week old. I said something like ďI bet you they are all deep at that aca siteĒ or something along the lines, while laughing. They arenít. I checked. Ha!



Then, you start on the cutline, which is flooded for the most part. I should say this is not the only way to access the site (and I actually initially was planning to access elsewhere), but most of the cutlines I passed by today were partially flooded.



Of course, it is all frozen now, so it doesnít matter much.



Then, the muskeg:



So I hit that, following a game trail that led to what looked like better grounds on the map. A few dozen meters in, I hit some very fresh deer scat, which lifted up the spirits.



Closer to the ďbetter groundsĒ, there was a scrape after a scrape after a scrape.





I started getting a bit distracted by all the scrapes before the better grounds:



I thought that was a nice place to find some moose sign, or possibly even a moose. A bit elevated, plenty of willow, etc. I did find sign and this is what it looked liked:



No moose has been there for a looong time. And it looked that everywhere I went. I did slow down a bit, walking on that scrape line, even though I donít have a deer tag, but it would still be nice to catch one for a pic at least; maybe see who is scraping the place up; maybe come back with a deer tag next time, lol. Then, I hit the mother of all scrapes, lol:



This guy was digging with the vengeance, lol. Like really, one usually doesnít expect a deer to do that. You can see my rifle leaned against the tree there for size of this thing. You could see (I should have taken a better pic) itís been worked on a few times and today was the last time. I followed a deer trail with the fresh scat on it, but never caught up to the guy. I also wasnít very cautious because, after all, it is moose I am after.

It does look like a nice deer spot. There are some well defined features, such spruce/poplar boundaries, muskeg/elevated grounds, nice funnels, etc. Maybe I will come back one day with a different tag. Funny thing is though, I havenít seen too many rubs, rather a few lame ones like this:



Not a deal breaker, but still. I also wasnít looking specifically deer activity and didnít wonder off the trails much except for when I hit one that went into nowhere.

Then, more muskeg.


Last edited by fishnguy; 11-04-2021 at 02:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.