Day 4 - The good news was no rain. The bad news is temps reaching 70 again. I decided to head back to the same area I sat Monday and Tuesday but this time move more up the mountain above where i was sitting previously. I didn't see anything but one bear creeping through the fog and this was my first bear on stand this week. About 11am i decided to go check out a patch of woods just down river from where my brother was sitting and as i was walking down the trail I saw something move int he woods to the left of me and here comes a black fur ball. Great another bear. He is coming on a crash course with me so at about 40 yards away I start to give him a piece of my mind and he just ignores me and keeps coming so I step down the road a bit and he walks right across the road gives me a look and into the woods on the other side. Nice. I got on the radio to let my brother know he was coming. after about 15 minutes and no bear my brother decides to pack it in so he gets up and goes to pick up his scent cans and as he is doing so he looks over to his ground blind for some reason and the bear is walking within 10 feet of where he was sitting. He gets on the radio to tell me what is going on and I talk him into getting his camera out and take some pictures so he sneaks over to his gear, pulls out his camera and starts following the bear and taking some video of it. Before he knew it he was within 30 feet of the bear and figured he better back up some he got some great little video clips and it made for some good conversation. That afternoon i thought about taking a dip in the river seeing it was 72 degrees but Bob and i headed out to hunt one of our old haunts instead. As we were sneaking in I bumped a small spike out of the brush and up the hill he went. He ran up by Bob but didn't offer a shot. Bob did see two others heading up the hill as well. About 20 minutes later bob sees a small 6 sneaking back down the hill but he doesn't come anywhere near me. As i was packing up I got snorted by two that somehow snuck in behind me with out making a sound.
Day 5 - Well we could actually see the stars last night but by morning it was clouded over and the radar was showing some showers on their way and it was a hot one again. I decided to head back to the spot I was working on Wednesday but up the mountain more to an old blind we have setup and hopefully I'd get a look at something. About 8:30am I hear a noise and look to my left to see a nice little buck coming my way. He steps down into the creek and up the bank and is standing behind some trees just 30 yards away. Now the spot I am sitting in is pretty open to the front of me, but plenty of small trees to each side so as the buck start out across the flat he angles away a little bit and I don't dare move because of ho open it is. The buck walks by me and starts up the hill to my right amongst those small trees to about 60 yards from me so now I can move so I pick up the "doe in a can" and give him a couple of bleats and he stops. I hit him with a couple more and now he is running right down to me and about 30 yards out and comes to a dead stop. Crap. He hit my wind for sure. He spins around and takes back off up the hill. I get him stopped again and he just stand there looking down at me for about 10 minutes before finally moving off up the mountain. Ray had a bear by him and Jimmy had 4 does and spike first thing in the mornign until a big bear scared them off. Jimmy saw 3 mores bears that morning. Bobby let a spike walk and later as he was checking out some brush bumped a nice buck with a doe. This buck is one we are all too familiar with from last year so we where happy to hear he was alive. We had him beat us on a couple of drivers on the last day of Muzzle loader last year so we've been waiting for him to show up. That afternoon the wind was really blowing and I almost called it quits but it was my last night to hunt so I hit the thick brush along where Bob ran into Whitey in the AM. about 5:30 i had two does walking in on me and I thought for sure i was closing the deal on my last night only for the wind to swirl again and the lead doe stopped dead let out one snort, spun around and was gone. Well i can't say I didn't have my opportunities.
Day 6 - Today was the first day of extended season and seeing i decided not to spend the $56 to hunt just one day my plan was to just head out and take some pictures instead. It was also finally a day that felt right to hunt waking up to 33 degrees and clear skies. I did sleep in because I needed it seeing I was fighting a cold. About 9:30 I headed up the road and ran into Ray who was already out of his stand and talking with Jimmy on the radio. Turns out Bobby had another encounter with Whitey and finally got a shot after calling it in with his "doe in the can" and unfortunately he hit a branch for a clean miss. oops, I can't say miss because according to Bob he didn't miss it was the branches fault. Whitey headed down river and about 30 minutes later he is walking right into Jimmy's ground blind. Jimmy also gets a shot off but doesn't connect and ends up giving whitey a little something to think about. This makes 5 times whitey has gotten away from us and I'm hoping his luck runs out soon. Preferably opening day of Muzzle loader as he is walking by my stand. Everyone was a little wiped out and disgusted and decided with the wind it was time to call it a camp, but young Jame who had just come into camp the night before headed out and up the mountain above camp. He was gone long when we got a text message from him telling us to turn on a radio. He spent the evening giving us play by play of all the bucks he was seeing chasing does and there the 5 of us sat in camp just complaining about not being in the woods. What a way to end a week of hunting. It was off to dinner and then up to my dads to watch the Penn State vs Michigan football game. Go LIONS!
Sunday we broke camp and I made the 3 and 1/2 hour ride home thinking about all the close calls and the good news of Whitey still being around. I won't get back down until after Thanksgiving when Muzzle Loader season opens so I will be reliving last week until then. Overall our group saw 12 bucks and only 2 were with does. We had some success using the "Doe in the Can" calls as well. We didn't see many does which was a little concerning. We did see a total 11 bears and one bobcat. Camp may have ended in unfilled tags but it was still a successful camp in my book.
Some additional pictures and Bear videos.
|Depue Family Cemetery|
|Scratching post for a bear|
|Jimmy and Bobby after their encounter with Whitey.|