Nov 2, 2010

Archery Deer Camp Report - Part 1

Our Camp

Well after an early morning visit to the local hardware store to purchase some new safety chains for my currently misplaced ones I was on the road and head to the Delaware water Gap in NJ for our annual week long Archery camp.  I was the only one from CT heading to camp as Busch Pilot and Cletus had other commitments and had to back out of the trip, but my NJ friends Ray and Jimmy where already in camp and waiting for me.  Our camp consists of 2 pop-up campers at Worthington State Forest campground which sits along the delaware River and on Old Mine Rod just 4 miles from Rt 80.  I pulled in about 1pm and Ray and Jimmy where chatting with Turkey John whom just happens to be a regular at the camp ground as he spends the week chasing turkeys.  On my way down through the gap I ran into a flock crossing the road so I made sure to give Turkey John their coordinates.

Part of the camp ritual is a trip into PA to visit a local Walmart and shop for our camp supplies from anything from cleaning supplies to dinner items.  We almost always walk out of there with way more than we need but all the leftover items that can be saved for Muzzle Loader camp in late November will get used up for certain.  On the way out to do our shopping we had the pleasure of watching a bobcat cross the road which now makes 7 sightings for me in this area.  What a wonderful site to see but I sure wish I had my camera with me but it was in my truck.  After unpacking and finishing setting up camp we were off to dinner at the Blairstown Inn which has also become somewhat of a tradition.  Nothing fancy, just a good old burger and a Yuengling. On the way back from dinner we watched a nice 8 pointer cross the road and stop log enough to give us a good look and it sure looked like he was saying "This is the last time you will see me" has he was headed way up the mountain.  We also saw the first black bear of camp.  Were were the only 3 in camp Sunday night with Bobby, My brother Steve, my dad and Bill schedule to be in for the mornign hunt.  Sleep on the first night is hard to come by but we did our best to get some rest because it is a long week.

This sign says it all

Day 1 - It was already 48 degrees at wake-up with a clear sky and full moon and temps scheduled to reach 70, which they did.  I met my brother and dad at the upper glen parking lot and we headed off to some ground blinds that we use often.  My brother setup in the same spot he has been sitting for the past couple Saturdays hoping for a shot a familiar 4 pointer while I headed over to a spot where my son shot is 8 pointer a few years back and dad headed up river to were they shot some deer last year.  I had fresh Turkey scratchings all over but no deer.  My dad had deer by him as he was walking in and then nothing the rest of the morning.  My brother did get to see his 4 pointer again but no shots.  Jimmy had a couple dear early on but no shots.  Ray didn't see anything but his son Raymond saw 10 down along the corn fields.  We left the woods around 1pm just soaked from sweat.  Raymond and Bobby went to jump shoot wood ducks in the creek while the rest of us hit the showers and got dinner going early.

My brother with his small pack.  :)

Day 2 - We had some serious rain and wind during the night and I thought we were losing the canopies for a minute but everything survived.  It was hot and muggy today and the bugs were out in full force and I was down to a long sleeve T Shirt by 7:30am.  Steve, Dad and I decided to hit the same stands as Monday.  I decided to move out a little farther in my deadfall to see down into that brush a little better so as I was setting up my new perch I saw a nice buck spook start working down into the brush.  I got all settled in and figured he would be hunkered down in the brush but he worked his way over to my dad but not shot.  About 8:30am I heard some noise behind me and saw a dear coming and wouldn't you know it he walked within 10 yards of where I was sitting yesterday.  He stopped and feed at the end of the deadfall I was sitting in and all I need was about 4 steps for a shot and all of a sudden a chipmunk gets all spunky and jumps up on the deadfall between the 6 point and I and the buck looked up and we were eye to eye.  Crap, this isn't going to end good.  He starred at me for bit, then gave me a little head wave, stomped and hoped away.  Dang chipmunk.  Close call for sure.  I didn't see anything the rest of the day.  My brother and Bill had that 4 pointer again and a doe but just couldn't get any shooting in.  Steve and I had to go take our mandatory bear hunter education class at 3pm so we headed out by noon and Bob was talking about chasing some ducks and working on his tan.  The weather we were having was NOT helping our hunting.

Bob and I with a couple of Wood Ducks.

Day 3 - We woke up to some heavy rain and after a quick check of the radar on the Motorola Droid it looked like it was going to lighten up so we got a late start but we hit the woods by 7am.  I decided to still hunt an area and use the wet ground to scout some areas and I bumped a doe walking in and could see another doe being followed by a small buck farther up in the woods.  I decided to work the first doe and set out at sneaking along and catching up to her which I did.  I was working parallel to her trying to get in front of her by using the little dips and hills in the hemlocks and just couldn't make up the distance I needed and eventually she turned and head straight away and then was no catching up to her so I decided to go check out where I saw the other two.  There was no sign at all around there.  I hunted untl about noon and then I had to go dry out.  Bob and I decided to jump shoot the creek for wood ducks that afternoon and I went 1 for 2 which isn't bad.  I did have to play retriever for one of Bob's ducks and wouldn't you know it landed in the thickest set of prickers you could find.  Even my dog would have said, no way am I going in there but I did anyway.

To be continued.

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