Friday, December 22, 2017

Deer Hunting 2017

Deer Hunting 2017

The deer hunting season in Wisconsin ran from November 18-26, 2017, it is always 9 days and tied to Thanksgiving week. There is no minimum age requirement for any hunter to hunt; however if you are under 12 you must be with an adult mentor. My son Cooper has been hunting with me since he was 4 years old. This was the first season he carried his own gun. So this hunt was special for him. He used a 243 Youth Savage Rifle.   

We left Eagle River Friday afternoon for the three hour, 150 mile drive to Rice Lake. We hunt on my brother Tom's 120 acre property. It is always nice to hunt on private land. Our hunting party consisted of Cooper Richie, my brother Tom Richie (Cooper's uncle and Godfather), Bill Canfield (a high school classmate and good family friend) and myself. 

During the season Cooper and I hunted together for all or part of 6 days out of the 9 day season. We sat in three different deer stand locations for a total of 32 hours and saw 11 deer in all. The weather was definitely warmer than most seasons; with no snow during the entire season. 

November 18th - Saturday: (this paragraph written by Cooper for his school journal)
I went deer hunting with my Dad, uncle and family friend in Rice Lake on my uncle’s land. On Saturday I got up at 4:45 a.m. We were in our stand around 6:00 a.m. We sit in a big enclosed stand. Once it got light outside we started looking for deer. I thought I saw a deer so I grabbed my gun and looked in the scope to see if it was a deer but it was a log that looked like a deer. We sat from dark to dark on Saturday but did not see any deer but my uncle saw a big bear.

Just me and my Dad
Spent 32 hours with Dad in the stand this season

Our nice warm, dry cozy 
deer stand

Plenty of time to read a good book in the deer stand

November 19 - Sunday
(this paragraph written by Cooper for his school journal)
I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and headed for the woods at 5:30. At 7:15 a.m. we saw a big doe but I could not get a shot at it and then it ran away. It was much colder out on Sunday. My uncle came to our stand and we ate sandwiches for lunch. We did not see any more deer for the rest of the day. We unloaded our guns and left our stand and walked back to the truck just before dark.

Great sandwich 
Hunting crew came to the warm stand for some lunch
November 20th - Monday(this paragraph written by Cooper for his school journal)
I woke up at 5:15 and headed to our stand. We did not see any deer only a bunch of squirrels. We left our stand at 11:00 a.m. today, left the woods and headed back to Eagle River. It took us 3 hours to get home. We usually see a lot more deer than we did this year in Rice Lake. 

Once deer season begins the deer tend to move a lot at night or whenever it is dark. I also think the warm weather hindered the deer movement. Hunters were also able to sit longer in their deer stands because it was warmer than usual verses walking around in the woods which causes more deer movement. . 

We did not hunt November 21-23. On Tuesday I went back to work for a day and Cooper went back to school. Spent Wednesday and Thursday in Apple Valley, MN visiting family.  

November 24th - Friday:
Drove back from MN on Friday morning and got back in time for the afternoon hunt. Sat on private land in Eagle River looked to be a really good spot. It was about 40 degrees out today so again very warm for this time of the year. We jumped three deer as we walked in to our stand. Hoping this was a good sign. After sitting for about an hour and a half we spotted a deer behind our stand. It was a big doe about 40 yards out. Cooper positioned his gun and was ready to shoot. The problem was this deer was completely facing away and never turned broad side so it would not have been a good shoot. The deer just continued to walk away. I explained to Cooper how important it is to take only good shoots. We did not see any more deer today. We climbed out of our stand just before dark still without firing a shot all season.  
Sitting in a great stand waiting for the big one

November 26th - Saturday:

We got up early for the morning hunt. It was extremely windy out today. Got to our stand before day light. Hunted in a different spot today; again it was private land. We only hunted for three hours in the morning. After sitting for about an hour three deer started coming towards our stand. They were getting close, coming directly at us; only about 40 yards or so from our stand. Could not tell if they were bucks or does. Cooper raised his gun to get ready to shoot. As soon as he moved the first deer saw his movement, blew loudly and all three deer took off in a hurry. Again no shot. We did not see any other deer this morning. After about three hours we left our stand. Again no shots fired all season and tomorrow would be our last day of the season to hunt. 

November 26th Sunday:
Trying to stay warm hunting with dad
Today was the last day of the deer season, we hunted in the afternoon. Got to our stand at about 1:30 p.m. We were going to try to sit as still as we could until dark as this would be our last chance. We did not see a deer for the first hour and a half.

At about 3 p.m. we noticed three deer across the field about 300 yards from our stand, thought they were all does. The deer started  moving towards our stand and came to about 150 yards of our stand. The deer turned broad side but it looked like they would not stay. Cooper picked out the best shot and fired one shot. We knew he hit the deer as deer went down.  Our season was over as Cooper age 10 first year hunting with a gun shot his first deer! Turns out it had small spikes. The season was a success! Great job Cooper.
Shot my first deer on the last day of the season - 150 yard shot

Thanks to Mr Tilley for his help
The big kill all gutted...thanks dad!

A few other hunting pictures 

Hunting with Grandpa in the nice
 warm stand

After the days hunt with grandpa

Tom and Jim just finished a drive
The Boys - Dad, Tom, Jim and Mike
after the days hunt

Making lanes on a hot summer day
Tom building the deer stand everyone
 loves hunting from this stand
"Trump Tower"

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