Hunting Season for 2004 has begun. I have mixed feeling about this upcoming year. I do not expect to see many whitetails based on last season's totals. Hopefully I am wrong but we shall see...
I have three does tags and my regular license for a buck, so I have the tags it's just a matter of finding and seeing some deer.

I plan on doing some squirrel hunting this year.. there is always plenty of those rascals...

I hope you enjoy reading this year's journal and maybe share the page with a hunting friend..

Thanks for visiting..
Dr. Trout



This morning's hunt was not at all successful. I stayed on stand for 2.5 hours until it started to rain. I saw absolutely nothing.

I returned to my ladder stand for the afternoon and again saw nothing. The deer that were coming into this area (7 of them) have since moved because they ate all the blackberries !!!!!
I have sat in the ladder stand two more times and took a short walk around my favorite spot in Clear Creek State Forest, total now is 11 hours of hunting and still no deer sightings.
Set up this morning over at Clear Creek State Forest. Stayed in tree for 4 hours and saw nothing. Will try over on SGL#54 where I took all the oak tree regeneration photos this summer.

Friday afternoon hunt
Made a good decision this morning to go to SGL#54 this afternoon. I had 3 adult does and 2 fawns feeding on acorns for an hour and a half (5:30-7:00pm). They stayed over a hundred yards away so there no chance for any shooting.
I had to "spook" them when I climbed down out of the tree. I will return here again later.

Well today was an exciting day. I hunted from the ground about a mile away from the house. Trouble was I did not take my camera.

At 6:20pm I had a Black Bear walk right down the deer trail I had planned on shooting a passing deer on, that placed it about 25 yards away from old doc sitting there on the ground.

He spotted my movement and took a few steps towards me..
My heart started thumping...
buck fever is nothing like what I was experiencing at that moment.

After a few mores steps I figured I had better take some action.

I jumped up and hit the old grunt call...

The bear STOPPED.. stared and then started walking the other way. It could not have left soon enough for me..

A couple years ago I had one directly under my tree stand at 15 yards and have those photos on my website,

BUT this was nothing like that... at least I know the old ticker is still in good shape !!..

Did not see any deer except for in the neighboring farm fields on the way home (10) and they were all antlerless... and the farm fields are all posted..

Well the season is still young -----
This afternoon I rode aroud Clear Creek State Forest looking for some new spots that may prove to be successful.

I found a spot in section #313 that had alot of the "caps" from acorns laying on the ground and lots of deer sign about 100 yards from a large field.

I returned at 4:00pm and set-up in some small hemlocks on the ground. All I saw was a gray squirrel.

I may have to return though----
this spot still looks good to me.
Something is eating all those acorns..

This morning it was raining,so I did not go out hunting at all.
At 4:00pm I was in my climber and set-up closer to where I saw the 5 antlerless whitetails feeding on SGL#54 a week ago.

I was in a nice strong oak tree and that proved to be important as the winds continued to get stronger as dusk approached.

I noticed lots of cars on my into the spot, must be squirrel hunters since today was the first day.
I heard quite a bit of shooting as I sat there waiting for the five deer to re-appear today.
That DID NOT happen...
I saw two deer running past at about 200 yards and I figured a squirrel hunter must have "spooked" them and shortly after that I heard a shot from the direction they were running from.

I checked my past year's journals this evening and as a result I am not too discourage.... YET...
This year is shaping up much like the last two have for early archery.. very few deer sightings.
Our deer herd has been reduced pretty good on these public hunting grounds around here and patience will have to prevail to harvest one in archery this year.
I walked down behind the house around 10:00am and set-up in the Hemlock Grove I so often talk about. After things quieted down I used my fawn distress call to see if I could drum up some action.

There were also a lot of Red (PIne) Squirrels running around chasing each other also.

After about an hour and a half I decided to come back home and get some sleep.

As I started to walk I heard a rustling across the creek and there stood a coyote staring me down at about 35 yards. It did not take him long to take off down over the hill. He had approached from behind me..into the wind.

I may have to return there with my shotgun and see if it comes back again after a trip to Wally-World for a rabbit distress call !!!!

I can see it hanging on my wall now !!

No signs of rubs or scrapes in the area though...
Set-up over on the dirt road to Hulton hoping to see those 5 antlerless ones again but that was not to be this afternoon. I saw absolutely nothing, not even any squirrels...

Returned to the Hulton area spot to see what (if anything) was traveling the area during the morning and found the same to be true..saw nothing..
Went back to where I saw the Bear only in the morning this time and saw nothing except for one gray squirrel. Did see a couple small rubs though.
Went down behind the house and set-up outside the hemlock grove.
It was such a beautiful morning. The skies were clear and looking up you could thousands of shing stars everywhere. I even saw a "shooting star"
and naturally wished for a successful day.
It was just 7:00am and I heard a deer walking down the small "gulley" in the hemlock grove to my right. I softly gave two grunts and heard it turn and head my way.... did I say my way... you bet... walk DIRECTLY straight at me and stopped under my stand and get ready for this.....
He was smelling where I had earlier deposited some body fluid before climbing the tree...
So much for not peeing in the woods...
He just casually walked under the stand and continued on his way.. never looked up and was NOT the least bit alert after sniffing...
Well there is still plenty of time remaining in this the longest hunting season..archery...
I had Elane drive me back to the edge of what is left of the corn field in the back corner of the field by our house. I set-up in the corn with the video camera hoping to get some photos BUT no deer entered the field. I just can not figure out the deer patterns this year at all.
I traveled back to SGL#54 by the site of the old game school and traveled along a gas line this morning. I did not find any deer but I did discover 4 large scrapes along the trail and lots of rubs on surrounding trees. Three of the scrapes had been recently worked over. Looks like a spot to try Friday night and Saturday morning. OCTOBER 29th
Took a vacation day last night so I could hunt this morning..
Headed out at 4:45am. I knew I had a fifteen-twenty minute walk thru the woods to get to the "scrape spots" in the rustling leaves so I wanted to allow plenty of time for the woods to settle down.
On the way to SGL#54 I saw 8 does and 4 nice 8 points cross the road from the crop field and head towards the woods..

As I have said before this is the usual procedure for the deer in this particular field they leave it long before daybreak...and before daybreak they enter a LARGE area of saplings that are almost impossible to walk thru let alone get off any shots...
I heard a deer walking by on my left at 5:30 and another to the right at 6:00.. to dark to see anything and I did not want to shine a light on them..
At 7:00am the rain arrived.. lucky for me it was just an hour long light rain shower.. I did not get totally soaked so I managed to stay in the stand until 10:00am then I left and returned home to do some errands.
No sightings while on stand AGAIN !
This style of hunting where a hunter sits and sees NOTHING for hours is getting really old now....

I hunted state game lands #54 again this morning and as expected saw absolutely nothing.
I am also amazed at the lack of hunters. I see vehicles at the fields where the pheasants were stocked but other than that VERY FEW parked elsewhere..
This morning I tried state game lands #54 at the food plots I saw the majority of the deer at LAST YEAR...
At 6:35am I had a buck sneaking in from the left side at quite a distance. I decided to grunt and get his attention and hopefully he would head my way. I did not get a look at his rack just saw that there was a rack and it was nice and white in the dawn lighting...
Unforunitely it was cold and I guest my call must have been a little frozen. When I blew nothing happened and when I tried again out came a sound that must have sounded like the world's oldest... meanest and largest buck. It was earthshaking..
Needless to say that little fella took off back in the direction he was coming from and may not have stopped for several miles..

A little cold and raining this morning so ...
as much as I hated to I took the day off from hunting. I really believe it was no big loss... archery season has not been very exciting this year.. I have not even taken the camcorder out to photo anything... YOU CAN NOT SHOOT WHAT YOU DON'T SEE !!!
I was invited to join a co-worker and hunt a piece of private property that he has permission to hunt.
He has already harvested a doe there and was seeing several bucks and quite a few does.
Well as luck would have it the afternoon turned windy and cold... neither of use saw anything...

Worked on the barn today and on the way to the local country store I harvested a ring-neck...
DUMMY ran out in front of me and I could not avoid running over his head.... Oh well the meat was unharmed so we'll have some pheasant under glass this week ... 8-)
Golly just realized that is the ONLY think I harvested this fall so far... TERRIBLE !!!!!

2004...... a year to remember... it turned out to be the VERY worst year since I started archery hunting...

TRIPS... 20
1.... 5 antlerless
2.... 2 antlerless
3.... 1 Non-AR Buck
4... 1 ? Buck

20 trips to see 9 whitetails....
and none of those presented a chance at a shot...
Well time to finish some work around the home front I have been putting off and try to build some excitement about rifle season coming soon....
It was really disappointing not getting any photos fror this year's jouranl.. that too is a first !!!!
Bummer of a season no matter how you look at it for me....

I can summarize this year's rifle season in two words.... IT SUCKED !!!!
My deer sightings were just about the same as in archery season....
I saw 7 deer in a total of 13 trips... NO BUCKS AT ALL...
I did managed to harvest a large doe on the first day. I went down into the hemlock grove behind the house about 11:00am and jumped a doe on the way into the hemlocks. Set-up and about a half hour later two does came walking in and I harvested the larger of the two and that was it for the day.
Alot of walking this year and alot of different spots tried but the same results... NO DEER...