MY 2003
I hope you enjoy reading about my daily hunting adventures while I hunt in Western Pennsylvania during 2003.
I hope you enjoy this year's journal as much as many have enjoyed my past journals....
Thanks for Stopping BY......

Well today I sent off the application for the 2003 doe license. I applied for area 2F which includes the area I always hunt.. plus much more area to the North. I am looking forward to archery season to try some new areas to the North, especially areas close to home but in Elk County... BUT now I will be able to harvest a doe there...and still be able to count on my favorite local spots that have been very productive in the past..

TUESDAY -19th :
Thanks to one of the members at TROUT'S PLACE I am a happy deer hunter today.
He wrote me an E-mail yesterday asking if I had applied for a DMAP coupon to harvest an extra doe in the Allegheny National Forest.
I called them to get all the details and applied on-line and am now waiting for a doe "coupon" for the ANF. The best part is the ANF runs along the North side of the Clarion River and even though I have never hunted there I feel real confident that I can harvest a doe there this fall as well as one from my back yard SGL#54... I see many on my fishing trip to that area.
The DMAP coupons have nothing to do with the regular doe tags...and there were several thousand DMAP coupons for the ANF - Zone A --- yesterday when I applied.
The coupon will then be sent to the PGC along with $6.00 and I will receive a tag for that extra doe from the PGC...COOL !!!!!!

My thanks to Bob again for his heads-ups was appreciated !!!!!

SUNDAY -6th :
Went for a ride this morning (10:00am to 11:30am) looking for possible hunting spots in the ANF. I had deer run across the road in front of me 4 times for a total of 10 deer. Five does and 5 bucks, two of the bucks were still in full velvet. Only one of the bucks was really nice.
Here is the break down of the sightings...two does and two bucks....3 does.... 1 nice buck... two small bucks in velvet. I was a little surprised these bucks were moving around at this time of day..I stopped at the fish hatchery on the way home and took some photos of the fish (trout) for next years stockings..
MONDAY -29th :
Well I had my first harvest of the 2003-2004 hunting season this morning. About 9:00am Elaine called me and told me there was a mangy looking porcupine walking around in the pasture and following her everywhere she went.. I grabbed my trusty old Mossberg 20 gauge and out the door I went. WOW talk about a "sick" looking porky... definitely not a well animal. I quickly put him/her to rest. The weather forecast looks wet and cold for the remainder of this week, that should make for some good archery hunting on Saturday morning. I checked with all the private owners of those few private places I do hunt and got their permission to hunt their land again this year. Looking forward to Saturday be sure to check back then...


COLD...WINDY...and RAINING all added up to a good morning to stay in bed and catch up on some sleep and that is exactly what I did..

MONDAY -6th :
Clear Creek State Forest ---
I got a late start and hunted from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Had a good stand site. Saw lots of sign BUT no deer moving this morning.
State Game Lands #54 ---
Planned an afternoon hunt thinking I may ambush a deer on its way to feed on some apples at a near by apple tree just before dusk. I thought with the cold rainy conditions the past couple days this might be a good afternoon for the deer to move early..since it is warmer, the sun is shining, and there is very little wind..
Well it sounded like a good plan.. the deer must have had other plans. I saw absolutely nothing except for a couple squirrels "cutting" clusters of acorns out of some red oak trees..
Saw five deer on the way home out in the middle of two fields. Three doe in one field and two white tails (rear-ends) headed for the woods in another field.8-)

Clear Creek State Forest ---
Returned to my favorite spot at CCSF. It was a beautiful morning for being in the woods.. weather far as wildlife goes it SUCKED !
Saw absolutely NOTHING.. not even the usual squirrels, I guess the mast crop is not present this year in that area. I find it hard to believe that an area that four years ago was so productive has become so none productive in the past two years. It just appears to be getting worse each year. Guess I better get busy and do some scouting for some new areas.
State Game Lands #54 - Halton area
Set-up for an afternoon hunt in area that in the past has always showed lots of deer sign, but I had never hunted.Saw a flock of turkey, (gobblers) walk by at about 40 yards around 5:30pm. There were about 25 birds in the group and they flew up into the pines nearby. At about 6:15pm the local WCO deputy pulled into the parking lot and parked about 100 yards away. So I climbed down and went and talked to him until it got dark. He told me of some good buck sightings he had had so I may got look for some stand areas in those places he mentioned.Glad this is only the first week.. 4 trips and NO deer spotted....

State Game Lands #54
Empire Ridge Road
Had to replace the starter in my truck this morning so no morning hunt. I went out to SGL#54 for an afternoon hunt from 4 until 6:30pm. My streak of seeing no deer from my tree stand continues.I did see a grey squirrel directly under my stand but that was it for any wildlife sightings. Saw about 20 deer on the way back home, 15 of which were in a neighboring farm field. Left the stand at the tree and will return in the morning to that spot.Hopefully this no deer streak will SOON END !!!

FRIDAY -10th :
State Game Lands #54
Empire Ridge Road
Well when things seem to be NOT going your way I guess they just get worse....
Another morning of seeing no deer from my tree stand. What made matters even worse this morning was that at 9:00am a truck pulled onto Empire Ridge Road and dumped a load of gravel. And as if that wasn't bad enough....
after dumping the load the driver decided to take his/her morning half/hour coffee break while his truck sat there running..
All this about 100 yards away..8-( Oh well, there always next week .......

SATURDAY -11th :
State Game Lands #54
Food Plot
Today is a vacation day for me, so after returning home from work this morning I decided to do a little riding and see where the deer are..8-)
Talked to the Local Deputy WCO again and thanks to his great information I had a nice afternoon hunt.
He told me of a short-cut to get to one of the food plot maintained by the PGC. I had hunted the area years ago but did not feel I could take the LONG walk the way I had been going in, especially carrying a tree stand. I was not aware of how to get there the way the Deputy told me. Got into my tree stand at 3:45pm and at 4:15pm I had two does walk into the field and start browsing at about 100 yards. Long story short.. they stayed in the field browsing until 5:30pm. But never got to within 50 yards of my stand. I was in a bunch of pines along the food plot edge and never got to get a good photo of the one doe.
There is a group of apple trees nearby but there was no tree I could climb with my climber. I'll set-up there again with the ladder stand next week for a morning hunt. The two does finally just wondered off never knowing I was READY if they got close enough..
The last hour was spent enjoying a big red squirrel (pine squirrel) running up and down all the nearby trees. He just did not seem to mine I was sitting there. Never "barked" or chattered just kept running around watching me and carrying the long skinny type of green pine cones up and down and burying them in holes nearby.
It was a great afternoon. My dry spell is broken !!!!!
Also saw about a dozen does in my early morning drive. Largest group was 5 crossing the road into some laurel and I definitely have that area marked and I walked along the "highway" (trail) they are making thru the laurel.. I found a good tree for a set-up for a future hunt. The other 7 were all single crossings or standing along side of the road.
Almost forgot.. saw two hen pheasants cross road headed towards the pasture on my way home at 7:00pm. JETT will love that for small game season..!!!Well NFL football time tomorrow and catch up on some sleep. Be back out Monday morning..

MONDAY -13th :
State Game Lands #54
Behind the House
No morning hunt today. "Babe" went to Pittsburgh to visit her Uncle who is ill, so I stayed home to babysit the horses and dogs.Set up my ladder stand behind the house and sat there this evening. Saw 4 deer moving in the blackberry thicket at 6:30pm. Two were really BIG deer.They used the same basic travel pattern thru the thicket as last year. Will try here tomorrow morning.

TUESDAY -14th :
State Game Lands #54
Behind the House
A little on the windy side this morning so hearing was VERY difficult.Saw nothing moving but will plan on using climbing stand this afternoon and get right into the thicket and see if I can get a shot at one of the bigger ones of the group I saw traveling thru yesterday afternoon.

FRIDAY -17th :
State Game Lands #54
Behind the House
Set up for an afternoon hunt again and this time nothing showed up at all.

SUNDAY -19th :
Clear Creek State Forest
Took a drive and then some walking looking for some good deer sign. I can not believe it but there are no acorns anywhere that I usually hunt or scout. I did not find acorns BUT I did find a area that had about a dozen deer bedded down in the laurel. Deer took off in all directions. One nice doe ran right past me at about 15 feet. I'll return there this evening and set up my tree stand for a morning hunt tomorrow.. this may be the spot !!!

SGL #54
Settled into my tree stand at 4:00pm this evening overlooking the food plot I had spotted two does feeding in on October 11th. At 5:30pm a muzzleloader hunter approached the field and spotted my orange band tied on a tree 15 feet away. I motioned to him and he finally spotted me and moved off in the opposite direction.. THANK YOU !!!
Fifteen minutes later a large flock of turkeys entered the grove of pines I was sitting on the edge of. Too many pine branches to get any photos of the birds as they pasted behind my tree.
At a little before 6:00pm I spotted some white moving across the field.. a whitetail's tail.. they I spotted white antlers.. A BUCK.. my first buck of 2003 while hunting..
He entered the field and approached right towards my location pausing for about 10 minutes in front of me. He only had 4 points so he was not legal to harvest based on this year's Antler Restriction Laws. BUT did allow for some great video.

I spooked two deer on my walk back to the truck at 6:30pm. They were feeding under the tree I was set-up in on the 11th of October. One looked to be a REALLY LARGE deer... could not see any antlers but I am not sure what sex it I approached the truck I spotted the muzzleloader hunter.. turns out it was the Deputy WCO who had told me about this field. I will return tomorrow morning.. weather permitting... and try to stay on stand til noon and then return tomorrow evening since it's my day off and the deputy had spotted quite a few deer himself in the area this evening.
We agreed on who would be where.. so I'll look forward to tomorrow's hunt.

THURSDAY -23rd :
SGL #54
Slept in this morning... so I rode around for a while scouting.
Went back to overlook the food plot field again this evening. Arrived at parking spot at 3:30pm and found a doe standing there eating apples to welcome me.
About 5:00pm had those darn turkeys walk by again..luckily they did not see me. 5:30 a small doe showed up with a wound on her neck. I heard a shot yesterday afternoon so this may have been the victim. ????
Decided to move to the ground at 6:00pm to where I jumped the two yesterday on the way back to the truck....
Had two large does approach the field directly across from me. I was standing lowering my bow to the ground for the move......BUSTED !!!!
One of them entered the field and for the next 5 minutes stood there at 75 yards... snorting, whistling, stomping her feet, ETC..
I left the climber attached to the pine and will return in the morning..hopefully no one will discover it and take it before I get back tomorrow morning!!

FRIDAY -24th :
SGL #54
Well my stand was still there !! 8-)
I had two small does enter the field at 8:00am, fed for awhile then moved off. Shortly after they moved off I heard a rifle shot behind me and got down to take a look.
A senior citizen had harvested what I think was one of the two does. He seemed happy although he said he wished it would have been bigger. He commented on how he thought this new Junior/Senior Early rifle doe season was a good idea. I told him I agreed and congratulated him on his harvest. I went back loaded my gear and headed home. I have got to work my 2 (12 hours) shifts tonite and tomorrow nite. So I'll need to take a nap... 8-(
Saw a big flock of turkeys on the way home,
I am pretty sure I will return to this food plot area on Monday evening..stay tuned !!!

SUNDAY -26th :
Well I will start with my trip to work on Saturday night. I saw those two male ringnecks along the road again, so they made it thru the first day !!
Had three nice does cross the road about another mile down the road.
When I got home from work at 6am this morning my wife had left me a note to call my friend the Deputy WCO when I woke up.
To make a long story short.. what goes around comes around.....
I'll explain..
As I mentioned early the deputy was the one who gave me the information on the SGL#54 food plot that I have been seeing deer at. He wanted to thank me for sharing our sightings while we were hunting the same area. He harvested a large doe on Friday night. Butcher shop said 165lbs dressed weight.
Now is that what the sport of hunting is all about or WHAT !!!!
Sharing the sport with others is as pleasing with me as a harvest..
He knew I was working and would not be in the tree I have been using. So after sharing with him what I have been seeing from that tree he set-up near it with his "smoke-pole" and managed his harvest of a nice doe for his first "muzzy" whitetail. This was his first year with a "smoke-pole". I am so happy for him...
Well weather man is calling for rain until Wednesday and guess what ... I do not have to return to work until Wednesday night..8-(
I'll go anyhow.. even though archery hunting in the rain is not one of my favorite things to do..

MONDAY -27th :
Well I re-thought my idea of hunting in the rain. No sense in getting a cold or something worse. I waited until mid-afternoon when the rain stopped and set-up once again at the food plot on SGL #54. It was kind of slow until a half-hour before quitting time when a doe and her young one entered the field to my left at about 75 yards. Too far for a shot and they did not work their way towards me at all. Then for some reason the adult took off back into the woods. The wind was blowing in that direction so she must have caught scent of me...Well there is always tomorrow, this is the first time I have seen these two so I am sure sooner or later a deer will come close enough for a shot.Today made a total of 8 different deer spotted using this small field.
I left the climber so I'll return in the morning. Maybe tomorrow will be my day....

TUESDAY -28th :
SGL #54 Food Plot
Climbed into the climber and up the pine at 6:00am. Things were fairly quiet until about 6:45am when a nice doe walked by left to right across the field right next to the woods. When she got to the end she turned left and entered the "staging" area across the field and stayed there about a half an hour browsing. At 8:00am I saw a small doe cross the field all the way at the end to my right. I pulled out my "CAN" and gave it a flip. several seconds later I heard her give a Baaa... I flipped again she baaaed again...this went on for 4 flips back and forth. I am pretty sure this is the small one that was traveling with the one the senior hunter shot last week...she must still be looking for her sibling
Then I noticed her going back the way she came. I decided to let her go. I heard her call 2 more times as she went down into the hollow...
I do not practice shots over 25 yards.. BUT when she was standing there perfectly broadside and eating grass I HAD to give it a try. The arrow landed right past her... behind her left front leg and chest. She snorted and took off into the woods. She traveled about 35 yards and turned back towards where she was standing and then continued snorting and stomping her foot for about 10 minutes. Luckily she left before I had to come down from the tree stand.
Very enjoyable day even with a MISS...thankfully it was a clean miss.
Well back to two 12 hour days of work, so I'll not get out again until Friday afternoon.

FRIDAY -31st :
SGL #54
Behind the House
Set-up behind the house for an afternoon hunt. Was not a successful hunt at all. I saw absolutely nothing.
Will return in the morning though.


SGL #54
Behind the House
After it got light out I noticed that a buck had been rubbing a tree about 40 yards in front of my stand location. Well at least I know there is one buck running around back there. First day of buck last year I saw a spike and what I believed was a big 4 point, so maybe both of these bucks survived the winter and are still in the area. Saw only a gray squirrel this morning.. can't figure where those 4 does are ????
Returned for an afternoon hunt and again saw nothing, raining so I did not hunt long..3:45pm to 5:20pm.

SUNDAY -2nd :
SGL #54
Behind the House
Took a walk this morning behind the house looking for more sign of any bucks. I noticed the tree that one rubbed Friday night was REALLY rubbed up this morning. That is the rub in the photo at the top of the November Page. Looks like it is being made by a nice buck, doing the rubbing during the night so this buck may present a challenge. We'll give him a try for a couple days. I found no other rubs or scrapes in the area.

MONDAY -3rd :
SGL #54
Behind the House
Set-up at 5:00am hoping to catch the buck rubbing the tree in the pre-dawn hours. What I got was drizzling rain and FOG. Not a pretty morning at all. No sign of any active here during the night. At 7:45am there was a little clearing of the fog and I spotted a LARGE doe coming off the field and she bedded down about 500 yards away. Oh well I guess I can forget her for the day. Fog came rolling in from the hollow about 8:15am, thick as "pea soup" so I packed it up and went back home. If the fog lifts I may take a walk later and see how close I can sneak to that bedded down doe and see if there were others with her. Boy would this doe be a job dragging home, she is really big !!!

TUESDAY -4th :
SGL #54
Behind the House
Decided to hunt from the ground after getting home from work this morning for a couple hours behind the house. I set-up in a Hemlock grove. After an hours wait I spotted 4 turkeys walking about 40 yards away. All four were gobblers. I could not do anything but watch since I had my bow and moving towards them was not going to work. Stayed about another hour then went home to get some sleep.
I am totally disappointed in the number of deer sightings this year. I am losing faith in being able to get a deer with my bow. Still have some time left so I'll keep trying.

FRIDAY -7th :
SGL #54
Behind the House
Tried a ground hunt this morning with my rifle..maybe I'll get a chance at those gobblers. Returned to the Hemlock Grove and only saw a couple squirrels. Got up to go home at 10:00am and happened to look to my left and caught sight of a deer's rear-end slowly walking away from me. It was a buck and I finally got a look at his head. 6 pointer not very big. His "rack" had nothing thicker than maybe your thumb.... He's probably the one making the rubs in the area. Those tines are not very thick so that maybe why there is a lot of shredding rather than just rubs... ????
Oh well next week is my two days work week so, weather permitting, I should be able to finish out archery season with 4-5 more hunting days.

SGL #54
Behind the House
I slipped down behind the house after getting home from work this morning. About 7:30 am three turkey hunters from a neighboring camp came walking thru they stopped about 50 yards away and we were talking. They just bought the camp last year and I had not met them yet. Long story short... It's a small small world.. once names were exchanged we all just about died.... Here we were friends 40+ years ago thru our parents back in good old Penn Hills, Pa.
It was like some sort of SHOCK !!!!
Their camp sits along the road in front of a large field. They told me they have been spotting a 10 point.. a 2.5 year old nice 6 point.. the shaggy 6 point I saw yesterday.. and two 4 points entering the field from behind my place thru the Hemlock grove..
I guess setting in the blackberry thicket was the wrong place to set-up !!! They must be going in there only during the night...
15 minutes after they left to go down into the hollow 7 does entered the Hemlocks and preceded to bed down about 75 yards in front of me. They stayed til at least 10:00am when I slipped out to go home and warm up.... I was freezing sitting there watching and not daring to move .. I was hoping a buck would come along and start chasing a couple fo them.. BUT no such luck.. That was it for the sightings this morning.. Returned this afternoon and saw nothing moving.. the wind had really "picked-up..
I am really enjoying the lunar eclipse this evening...

I had bucks chasing does across the highway right in front of me at two different places on the way to work last night
The rut is ON!!!!!!
One week to go....

MONDAY -10th :
SGL #54
Food Plot Field
Since this is the spot I have seen the most deer activity I decided to return there this morning for an all day hunt. It was an interesting day.

6:30am... 11 turkeys walk along far side of field

7:00am... Nice doe follows trail that turkeys took

8:00am... Turkeys EVERYWHERE behind me on the other side of the pines. I look thru the pine branches and could hardly believe my eyes.. there right in the middle of about a dozen turkeys is two deer grazing right along with the turkeys.The deer worked there way to the pines and thru them directly beside my tree stand. In fact one stopped to sniff my orange band on a tree fifteen feet away. (vanilla scented) They ended up directly in front of the stand at maybe 20 feet. I could see they were both button bucks so they lived to see another day...

12:00pm... another big doe entered field to my left at about a 100 yards and grazed for awhile then when back into the woods.

1:00pm... Another doe started towards the field and looked out in front of her and I have no idea what she saw but she turned and was gone in a flash. I know what every spooked her had nothing to do with me...

1:30pm... MORE turkeys this time in the field to my left...

3:00pm... a small doe was walking behind me on the other side of the pines and just kept walking right on by.. but behind me...

4:30pm... Two does come running into the field to my left at 100 yards... there behind them comes a BIG deer... head to the ground... A nice buck... I could not see his points but when he turned away from me I could see his rack easily went past his ears. I grunted.. rattled... and turn the "can" for a doe bleat. He looked every time but just put his head back down and started eating, then he walked away from me off to the left.

4:50pm... Had a small doe walking right along the edge of the field towards me, the turkeys started running around behind me and she decided to go into the pines and out the other side...
I can not believe all the turkey was off and on all day...just wish one would have presented a shot !!!!
Left stand in woods ..will return in the morning..

TUESDAY -11th :
SGL #54
Food Plot Field
Returned this morning and was in the stand ready to hunt at 6:00am. About 6:15am I could hear a deer approaching from behind me. It walked right through the pines and entered the field fifteen yards to my right and proceeded to cross the fields right in from of me. I could see it was a nice size deer but it was not light enough to see if it had antlers or not So I did not want to chance a shot only to find out it a was an AR protected deer.
After it got light the rain started ... I noticed a small deer enter the field from the pines on my left... it was a button buck. He stayed in the field during the rain for almost an hour feeding but to far for a shot. He then crossed the field and bedded down in some tree tops laying on the ground.
At 9:15am a bunch of trukeys (20) strutted across the field to my right.
At about 11:00am I had had about as much rain as I could stand. So I decided to go home warm up and change clothes and return about 2:30pm.
Before leaving I had noticed the BB was still bedded down and was laying facing directly away from me. I thought I would have some fun and by placing a large tree between his bedding spot and me I tried "sneaking" up on him. With the aid of the rain and wet grass crossing the field was easy. I then went from tree to tree SLOWLY and managed to get to about 10 yards from him he never turned his head once to look in my direction. I jumped from behind the tree and yelled -- "Hello Buck..Bang.. your dead" and ran towards him.... He was up and gone in a flash EXCEPT....
the first thing he did was run directly into a tree in front of him...Oh ---- to have that on video !!!! It was the FUNNIEST thing I think I have ever seen in the woods..made the morning !!!
On the way driving out of the woods... I found all the turkeys again...Golly there has to be a least 50 -75 birds in this flock.... they were all under Hemlocks in a large grove that is about 500 yards behind my tree stand.....along a creek bottom.
Returned at 2:30pm spotted a small yearling doe standing along the road back into the woods..stopped got out and started talking to her. She just stood there looking at me.. it was really kind of funny she did not seem to be frightened at all.... when I moved back into the truck and return (as if I got a weapon) she was GONE.. not so dumb for a youngster !!
Fog came rolling in about 4:00pm and visiblity beyond 75 yards was terrible. I noticed two deer moving through the woods across the field about 4:15pm but could only make out their white wagging tails.Packed up and started towards the truck at 4:45pm.. and just as you would have it there is a nice doe grazing 20 feet from the truck in the grassy area of the parking lot....
Tomorrow morning's forecast is calling for rain in the AM so I may stay home.. also warm in the afternoon... Golly I sure hope this is not the weather for these last couple days I have to harvest a deer in archery this year... I want cold frosty mornings !!!! PLEASE !!!!!

Well not sure what woke me this morning the alarm or the RAIN........ anyhow; result is a decision to remain in bed and get rested for the last of the season....THURS..FRI...SAT....

THURSDAY -13th :
Well there were strong gusting winds and a sleety rain when I returned home from work this morning, I could not imagine releasing an arrow in these winds.. the arrow may go sideways !! 8-)
Time to catch up on sleep... awoke at 2:00pm and found the ground and trees were all white.. our first accumulation of fall 2003. I should be rested for the all day hunting on Friday and Saturday.. still hoping for a thing for sure all whitetails just became "FAIR GAME".....

FRIDAY -14th :
SGL #54 - Food Plot
Set-up on the ground this morning and managed to spot 5 deer, all does, but none of which came within bow range. Returned in the afternoon and again saw 5 deer. One button buck, two small does, and 2 adult does. Nothing within shooting range. One of the adult does would have been within range only I did not spot her until she was about 15 yards away..behind me... she "busted" me when I went to raise the bow.
One day left...does not look to promising for archery season 2003.

SATURDAY -15th :
SGL #54 - Food Plot
Well this morning was the worst morning at this location.. TURKEY HUNTERS...... Spotted three different groups of two guys and one lone turkey hunter.
I spooked one deer on the way into the stand site and had one small doe come running by at 35 mile per hour !! 8-)
At 11:00am I decide to take a LONG...LONG...LONG... walk down the hollow and up around the mountain side to get familiar with the area in case I return for rifle season. The circle took about two hours to complete and the going down was SOOOOO much easier than the coming up. I now know to take the "tour" the other direction... go down the STEEP side and return the horizontal trail (up the hollow) .... 8-). I did enjoy the walk, too bad I saw no game animals at all though only teo more turkey hunters !!!!

I decided to finish the season in the back yard ( legs were tired !! *-)
I saw nothing.. BUT I did notice the buck that has been shredding the trees has returned and now the rubs are all smooth. Well archery season is over and for the second year in a row I did NOT score a harvest.....


TUESDAY - 18th :
Finished working on my deer hunting blind just in case the weather should be bad on the first couple days of deer season 2003. Blind is complete with heat and electricity...
Bring on the Deer !!!!

I did not go bear hunting this year. On Monday morning while packing for our Thanksgiving visit to Pittsburgh I heard about 8 shots from up the hollow..BEAR Hunters.. I later found out they harvests a sow and two cubs from that area.
On Tuesday morning I went up to the camp at the end of the lane and took photos of the bear they harvested. It too came from within three miles of here. A sow weighting in at 161 pounds field dressed.


MONDAY - 1st --
I spent the day hunting from my deer blind and only saw 2 small antlerless deer runnning up the hill at 2pm...
TUESDAY - 2nd --
Hunted the ANF and harvested one of two deer I saw this morning..
WEDNESDAY - 3rd --
Hunted all day except for an hour and a half for some lunch in the hollow behind the house.. saw only 1 deer at about 300 yards sneaking thru the pines.
THURSDAY - 4th --
Hunted behind the power sub-station in Blowtown in the morning and Dixon's farm in the afternoon. Only saw three does at Dixon's Farm and they did not present a reasonable shot.
FRIDAY - 5th --
Set-up at Dixon's Farm for a morning hunt before going to work. Saw some nice squirrels but NO DEER !!!
SATURDAY - 6th --
LOTS OF SNOW... we probably got 8 inches of snow last night so I decided to hunt the Hemlock and Pine groves behind the house and down thru the hollow. Spend the entire day stalking around back there and saw nothing. Even saw very few tracks.NO hunters in the woods. I heard only three shots all day ???????
MONDAY - 8th --
Hunted the SGL#54 food plot area where I was seeing deer in archery season..again I saw no deer, I did see tracks but no deer.. LOTS of turkeys moving around though.
TUESDAY - 9th --
Returned to the food plot area and saw one small doe but could not get a shot through the pine trees between us. Found an area with TONS of tracks and I could see where they had been using this area to feed. I will try to return to this area again before the season is over.
Got a call from the meat processor and went to get my venison in the afternoon. Spent the evening making some venison jerky... Really turned out good... YUMMY!!!!!!
WEDNESDAY - 10th --
Had a lot of things to do this morning so I did not hunt... Did take a walk behind the house after lunch. I noticed quite a few tracks in the blackberry area so maybe the deer around here are returning to their pre-season areas. I will set-up in my tree stand tomorrow morning after I get home from work for a couple hours.
Season is really getting short now. I figure I will get a couple hours tomorrow morning...all day Friday after work and all day Saturday. I sure hope I can fill at least one more tag.
THURSDAY - 10th --
Set-up in my ladder stand behind the house for 3 hours this morning and saw nothing---
FRIDAY - 11th --
Went to the food plot area of SGL#54 that I have been visiting this season for a morning hunt.
Awful windy and snowing.. final results were another day of hunting with no deer spotted.
Went to the Dixon property for the afternoon hunt and was not paying 100% attention.. I jumped a deer that I should have been able to shoot at but I was being lazy and had the rifle slung over my shoulder.
SATURDAY - 12th --
Last day.... I went down into the hollow behind the house even though I knew that if I got one down there I would have a hell of a time dragging it back home. I saw nothing... but a young guy shot a BB right across the creek from me.His Dad was out driving for him and 5 deer pasted in front of him. I had met his Dad in the woods last week and was so happy for the young guy..made his Dad's work all worth while !!!
I took the dog (JETT) out for an afternoon walk after a break for lunch and the DAMN dog took off... So I went looking and waiting for a phone call that someone had found him. The call came after an hour and a half later.. he was at a house 5.4 miles from here.. So after retreiving him and rewarding the finder I was NOT in the mood for a late afternoon hunt..
I hope you that have been reading my journal have enjoyed it ..although I must admit there was not a whole lot of excitement this year..
I can not explain the disappointment I have with the total number of deer spotted this year. I guess it is time I start to look for some new hunting grounds..
I did manage to harvest one.... so the year was not a complete "wash"
plus the jerky I made from some of the venison is really good !!
I guess my season of hunting is not completely over yet though. I have been spotting a Bunch of pheasants in a nearby farm field and there is a HUGE gray squirrel in the hemlocks behind the house that I would love to have mounted. Plus a nice Back Squirrel at the Dixon property, so maybe I will still have an entry or two to post here..

FRIDAY - 26th - Morning...
Took the old trusty bow and ventured into the woods behind the house. I covered about a one square mile area. I wanted to stay within easy radio range and walking distance of the house in case I were to slip and fall or some other emergency were to happen. Thanks to a new layer of about one inch of snow on Xmas evening here, looking for fresh tracks was easy...EXCEPT... tracks were not easy to find.
I found a group of tracks made by four deer.. two adult and two young. One of the adults must have been injured because it was easy to see it was dragging its left front leg. I found where they were digging and eating some grassy like material and the tracks lead from a field and headed on to posted property. I could easily set-up and ambush them here.
Friday evening I returned but the deer must be using this trail only in the morning coming off the field I saw nothing.. not even tracks anywhere else.

I hope you enjoyed my 2003 Hunting Journal and will return again next year for the 2004 version..