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Huntster
On 11/24/2020 at 12:01 PM, NatFoot said:

 

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Monster slayer...I know........

 

Stop it. Those are beautiful bucks. They'd taste great. And I love the rifle. What caliber is it?

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1 hour ago, Huntster said:

 

Stop it. Those are beautiful bucks. They'd taste great. And I love the rifle. What caliber is it?

 

Thanks! They have. Had a tenderloin off of each - one tonight for a Christmas Eve snack/finger food.

 

Browning .30-06.

 

Edited to add - that's a Hill People Gear stock cuff. Loved it so much I bought another.

 

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15 minutes ago, Huntster said:

Now I'll be lusting for a Browning 30-06.........

 

My favorite hunting rifle. I have the Browning in bolt action 30-06 as well and couldn't bring myself to take it out because the semi-auto is just my favorite. Happy to have both.

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BigTreeWalker
On 12/24/2020 at 11:52 AM, SwiftWater said:

Wife and I took a walk to go check out a potential hunting area in George Washington Nat'l Forest. Mostly just a chance to get out, scout out the layout of the land, check for animal sign, etc.

 

Wanted to get an opinion on what we saw. My wife noted red berries along the trail, but did not see anything that resembled a berry bush. We then noted some branch breaks right at the water's edge. The area does have beaver, whitetail, and black bear present. BRFO also turns up several reports in the area. No tracks found and the branch breaks look older but that would make sense to me as rifle season ended not too long ago and I found several empty shotgun shells (bird shot, we assume they were hunting squirrels) about 50yds away.

 

 

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Hi SwiftWater, I believe those 'berries' are rose hips. A good vitamin filled winter food source. 

Edited by BigTreeWalker
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norseman
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I have a BAR in .300 win mag

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I got out last weekend to the general area I'd been poking about in. Nixed the atv rails-to-trails access point for another decommissioned railway leading into a nice boggy woodland after passing through a bit of blueberry barren. The beaver have dammed up the bridges-turned-culverts and raised the water up to the old rail road grade in places:

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Passing one of the many interconnected boggy beaver ponds:

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Another, with fresh lodge renovations:

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Followed some Bobcat tracks for a while:

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And in the barrens, a mysteriously appearing set of meadow vole tracks. I looked at these for a while trying to ascertain the critters arrival at this spot. It's not quite the vanishing BF trackway in snow but interesting to speculate an answer. There was no other sign of tracks anywhere, no lightly scuffed versions on crustier snow and no tunnels that the critter crawled up from, must be aliens:

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I sliced out blocks with my knife surrounding the start point, expecting to see a tunnel, there wasn't one. ( I did fully encircle the entry point after this pic)

My only guess is when the snow fell it was about 15 degrees--light and fluffy. The tracks didn't look too old but the temp had risen to 32-33. Maybe the tunnel through fluffy snow had collapsed/compacted with the temperature upswing- IDK. 

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Yeah, unrelated to anything but observation/speculation... but I like doing that.

 

 

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norseman
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Or he fell prey to a hawk or owl? Maybe they got lucky with a clean pluck off the ground?

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@Kiwakwe - that area looks squatchy. I can visualize a Patty like creature walking along there.

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4 hours ago, norseman said:

Or he fell prey to a hawk or owl? Maybe they got lucky with a clean pluck off the ground?

If I'm reading those tracks correctly, that is a starting point--out of the blue. If it was dropped, it came down gently. 

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ShadowBorn
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Now I am not but a hawk I think would eat it's prey on the spot and you would see the attack of the hawk. I am pretty sure that an owl would swoop up it's prey and eat it else where.  I have never heard owls while in the woods but have seen them fly through the woods. I have also been attacked by a hawk while putting up a tree stand and was able to hear it. So my opinion is that it might be an owl. But I would have to research it.

 

But that is some great woods where you are going into though @Kiwakwe. Is there allot of game out there ,like deer and elk?

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12 hours ago, ShadowBorn said:

Now I am not but a hawk I think would eat it's prey on the spot and you would see the attack of the hawk. I am pretty sure that an owl would swoop up it's prey and eat it else where.  I have never heard owls while in the woods but have seen them fly through the woods. I have also been attacked by a hawk while putting up a tree stand and was able to hear it. So my opinion is that it might be an owl. But I would have to research it.

 

But that is some great woods where you are going into though @Kiwakwe. Is there allot of game out there ,like deer and elk?

I'd agree on owl or hawk if that was and end point but I believe that is a mysterious start--just dropped in and started off. Plenty of deer, no more elk or caribou here. Have tried reintroducing the latter without success. Both species fell prey to unregulated hunting unfortunately. There is talk of bringing in elk from the W.

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BigTreeWalker
On 12/28/2020 at 5:53 AM, Kiwakwe said:

I'd agree on owl or hawk if that was and end point but I believe that is a mysterious start--just dropped in and started off. Plenty of deer, no more elk or caribou here. Have tried reintroducing the latter without success. Both species fell prey to unregulated hunting unfortunately. There is talk of bringing in elk from the W.

I know you identified those tracks as a meadow vole, but is it possible they were three toed being from a small bird? That would solve the mystery. Just a thought. 

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Kiwakwe
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1 hour ago, BigTreeWalker said:

I know you identified those tracks as a meadow vole, but is it possible they were three toed being from a small bird? That would solve the mystery. Just a thought. 

There is a definite tail drag mark so I assume a rodent. May not be meadow vole, they may have alternating footprints, have to look that up... field mice is the other option. I'd been seeing voles quite a bit lately and those tracks seemed larger than mouse.

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IMG_20201119_081843822.thumb.jpg.49ec0a9837a8ebbcd5154dc7f5d004e5.jpg

 

This is a photo from the areas in which I hunt, in an area with historical sightings and myths reaching back centuries, and not far from another area where a buddy saw what can only be described as a bigfoot while spring turkey hunting. It stalked within a few yards of him as he called turkey, and when he moved, it stood up and strode off with nary a sound. There's nothing to the photos other than a field of trees. Ain't they pretty? The tree I'm sitting in has been productive for me over the last 4 years, with a deer a year taken from it, and another dozen a year seen from it, so it's my favorite spot. General consensus is the deer population has plummeted over the decades, and hunter numbers/hours in this area are down. You see this reflected in camps with one deer hanging instead of 8, but some of that could be old timers cherry picking the best years (or those good years could be the cause of the current low population). It would take historic reports to determine harvest numbers.

 

That said, no footprints noticed over the years, but I've heard branches break, trees fall on a dead still day, heard what sounded like conversation with no visible people, things like that. Nothing definitive. Unless you count footsteps that turn out to be a squirrel rummaging the underbrush.

 

In the early part of the 20th century, the government reclaimed a bunch of farms all along the southern tier of western New York State. They planted pole pines by the hundred acre, and left other areas to wild-grow mixed hardwoods. The pines are often in regular shapes, rectangles, pines planted in rows. Some of the pines were planted too close together and have stunted growth because of it. When they thinned the pines or got the spacing right, the pines grew tall and straight. When they didn't, the pines interlace their branches and create a wall of annoyance. The nice thing about these dense pines is the deer love it. The bad thing about these dense pines is the deer love it. Either way, you don't sneak there, but the open hardwoods are easy to traverse. The deer traverse all of this with little problem, and often skirt the dense stuff picking a common trail in and out. Pretty nice of them.

 

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Water comes from ponds, springs, swamps and creeks are plentiful, loads of small game, fish, oak and other nut trees, and some farms. Population density is low, but you're never more than 2 or 3 miles from an occupied house or road I'll bet.

 

We get out from 10 to 20 days a year, in two hours before sunrise, out at sunset.

 

 

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