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Old 02-16-2018, 02:26 PM   #1
Oz_Ag
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Default 2017-2018 Deer Season Recap

Going into the 2017-2018 deer season, I did not want to get my hopes up too high for big bucks or fantastic hunting. I had lost both my leases from the previous season and I knew I would be spending the majority of my time hunting Oz Acres, my 38 acre property near home, which has not been a big producer over the last 9 years. In fact, I haven’t killed a deer out there since 2008, the first year I owned it. My goals for the season were to kill a deer at my property (any deer) and to get both my boys into the woods and hunting with me as much as possible. A bonus goal was to kill a deer or pig with my oldest boy (5.5 years old) with me in the stand.

In previous seasons out at Oz Acres, I let my cameras dictate whether or not I was going to hunt out there because I had other options at my leases. Most times the cameras were disappointing and I would end up not putting in much time at my property. Going into this season I decided to not use cameras and just let it surprise me.

Opening morning I found myself in my favorite set at Oz Acres, a big platform up in a live oak mott overlooking a 5 acre field. Before sunrise I had a big group of hogs come in and eat all my throw-down corn. After sunrise and for most of the morning I saw deer including a few nice young bucks. About 9:30 I looked up and saw 3 pigs feeding on the other side of the field. Since it was about time to get down, I decided to make a stalk on them. I stalked up to 30 yards from them before running out of cover. I decided to go ahead and try for the shot. I made a great shot on the largest of the 3 and it ran about 10 yards and piled up. The other 2 pigs had no idea what had happened or why their buddy just keeled over. A second pig came walking by me at less than 10 yards, so I let ‘em have it. Another good shot and another dead pig in less than 10 yards. I’ll take it, a great opening morning!

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I spent most of October hunting that same set after a nice 9pt and 10pt my dad had seen. I took advantage of the warmer weather and took each of my sons on several occasions. The second weekend, I took my oldest son Cooper for his first ever morning hunt. We had a great hunt and saw several deer. We had a decent 8pt walk under us and feed that he got very excited about, to the point of giggling a little. I quietly explained to him that the buck was too young to shoot and he understood. In late October I took my youngest son, Brigham (3.5 years old), on his first ever deer hunt. We settled into one of our ground blinds and I fully expected to make noise and have a short hunt. Low and behold, he made it 2 hours and stayed quiet enough to have 5 does come in and almost give us a shot.

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October 22nd, my dad and I both made it out for an evening hunt. We were still after 2 prospects (the 9pt and 10pt), so we split up and hunted separate stands. We both ended up having good hunts, seeing several deer and each killing a nice hog. It always memorable when you have double success!

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The weekend of October 27-29, I got the invite to go down to my buddy’s ranch in South Texas for our annual “College Buddies Weekend”. The main goal was to do our part to manage the pigs and coyotes that were beginning to become a bit of a problem. There were also does and a couple management bucks on the hit list. We ended up having a fantastic weekend! I think we shot 8 pigs, 2 coyotes and a very good mature doe. I was able to kill my first pig with nightvision equipment and made a nice 150 yard shot for my first coyote.

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The second week in November, I got a call from my buddy George about a nice buck on his farm in Flatonia. He said the buck had been pretty regular and he wanted me to go check him out. Bucks during past seasons on this farm had only hung around for a few days in early to mid-November and then disappeared. George was working 6 days a week and hunting a different property on Sundays, so he didn’t have the time to hunt this buck. I obliged and my dad and I took off for an evening hunt on November 18th. The hunt started relatively slow, with just one young buck making an appearance. About 15 min before dark, I look up to see a mature buck standing about 100 yards away looking our direction. He slowly makes his way in to my throw-corn and takes his time to get broadside. I thought we were going to run out of camera light as it seemed like forever. Finally he turns and I put a perfect shot on him. Dad and I immediately celebrated because we knew he was done. After a short wait we walked up on a very nice mature 9pt, the new record for the farm! It turns out this was not the buck from the camera pics. In fact, this buck had only been on camera one time at night and this was his first time to ever make a daylight appearance. We had no history of this buck. It was a very lucky incident! Thanks George for the opportunity! The boys were very happy when I got home that night and really enjoyed seeing “Daddy’s Big Buck”.

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The rest of November was slow with very little deer sightings. Based on the original video of the 10pt, my dad and I decided he wasn’t wide enough to shoot. The big 9pt showed up with his G3 totally missing, so we decided to pass him the rest of the season as well. As of that moment, we had no knowledge of any mature bucks to hunt.

On December 8th I headed back down to my buddies ranch in South Texas. He had 2 management bucks he wanted killed that weekend, before the rut got going. One was a 4.5 year old 4x2 and the other was a 5.5 year old 8pt with a G2 sticker. We met there that Friday evening and we were running very late. As soon as I pulled onto the ranch I grabbed my bow and headed to the blind. I didn’t even change into scent-free camos. I climbed into the blind and before I could lower the windows I had 2 does eating throw-corn. I got my things ready and looked up to open the windows and here comes the 4x2 with his head down chasing a doe. I had to quietly ease 2 windows open (one for the camera) with deer at less than 10 yards and the 4x2 approaching. Miraculously I did just that without alarming the does. The 4x2 came strolling in and I made a perfect shot and watched him fall at 30 yards. The whole hunt lasted less than 15 minutes! Minutes later my buddy Eric shot the other management buck and just like that we were done! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating and hunting hogs.

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On December 15th, after several weeks of hunting every day, my dad finally sealed the deal on a nice mature buck at his property. He had been hunting a handful of different bucks that were frequently seen on his cameras, but never seen during hunting hours. Finally this nice 8pt showed up chasing a doe and my dad killed his first buck on his property. The boys and I went out to help track that night. We taught them a little about blood trailing and let Cooper find the buck.

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The rest of the season was spent hunting hard and seeing very little. The last 2 weeks I started chasing a big mature 7pt that we had gotten a glimpse of, but he never gave me an opportunity. The last weekend of the season I made another late evening stalk on some pigs. I was able to get a 20 yard shot at a nice “Black & White” as he walked by at very last light. I hit him right behind the ear and he went down in his tracks. That gave me my 4th pig of the deer season with my bow!

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All in all, I had a fun season. It was quite slow at times, but that’s hunting. Had it not been for two good friends, I would have gone without punching a deer tag, so thanks to George and Eric. I didn’t accomplish my goal of getting a deer at Oz Acres, but we left several good bucks out there for next season. I also took a good friend on a successful late season doe hunt to fill our only doe tag for the property. Goal #2, the most important one, was checked off! I got to hunt several times with my boys and had some unforgettable moments with them. They learned a lot this season and are growing as young hunters, so there will be many great hunts in our future. One of these days real soon I’m going to accomplish that 3rd goal with my oldest son Cooper. I look forward to the work this offseason and I can’t wait for next season! Happy hunting everyone and thanks for reading!
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
GarGuy
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Great recap and a freezer full! Thanks, Steve
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:49 PM   #3
SaltwaterSlick
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Great write up Jeff!! Cannot believe how that boy is growin'!!
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:00 PM   #4
TildenHunter
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Great report Jeff. Congrats on all the critters

I am doing some work in Flatonia and have been working with Courtney Bell. She said that she used to do some babysitting for you guys. Small world!
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:09 PM   #5
Oz_Ag
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Originally Posted by TildenHunter View Post
Great report Jeff. Congrats on all the critters

I am doing some work in Flatonia and have been working with Courtney Bell. She said that she used to do some babysitting for you guys. Small world!
She sure did. And I grew up as good friends with Cara Howe who I think you know. Truly a small world!
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #6
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Wow what a season!
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:13 PM   #7
TildenHunter
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She sure did. And I grew up as good friends with Cara Howe who I think you know. Truly a small world!
Good deal. Yep, Cara married a good friend of mine
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:41 PM   #8
kd350
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Heck of a season!
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:24 PM   #9
Oz_Ag
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Great write up Jeff!! Cannot believe how that boy is growin'!!
I hear ya! It won't be long until I'm posting pics of them sitting behind dead animals.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #10
SaltwaterSlick
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You get yourself another lease?
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:39 PM   #11
Bone Thug
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Nice job, Jeff. Congrats on all the kills. Looks like you’ve been stacking up a lot critters with that bow since you got it.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
DKey88
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Conrats on a great season!
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #13
dbpredator
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Sounds like a great season.Congrats!

Sent from my LG-M327 using Tapatalk
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:58 PM   #14
Oz_Ag
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You get yourself another lease?
No, not yet.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:00 PM   #15
Oz_Ag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone Thug View Post
Nice job, Jeff. Congrats on all the kills. Looks like you’ve been stacking up a lot critters with that bow since you got it.
Yep, it's been good to me! Thanks bud!
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:43 AM   #16
Oz_Ag
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ttt
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:54 AM   #17
James
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Great season Buddy
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:29 PM   #18
treestandjunky
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Happy for you bud!
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