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Old 08-04-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
GarGuy
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Default Pressured Deer Are EASY To Pattern

Daybreak on opening morning of gun season found me sitting in a homemade tent blind looking down a ten ft wide shooting lane that ended under a big whiteoak 50 yds away. I could see a little corn left from the 2 5 gallon buckets of corn I had poured out the evening before on the Davy Crockett national forest floor. The sound of an occational acorn falling transitioned to the sound of distant and not so distant gunshots. After all, I was hunting in the most highly pressured area of the DCNF intentionally. I was sitting only 35 yds inside the worst overgrown clearcut you can dream up with a small stream immediately in front of me and the only white oak for miles. I had cut this small opening in July when I realized there would be a whiteoak acorn crop.

The sounds of the wild became abundant as the morning progressed. An old log truck rattled past my hiding spot on the road 35yds behind me and truck doors slammed as hunters gave up early and headed for camp. A glimpse of antlers caught my attention at 852am. A decent 7pt walked boldly into the corn trail and started eating. Long before antler restrictions, this was a very legal deer yet I knew my hunt was just starting. He threw his head up and stared behind me and to my left. Shortly I could hear boots walking on the paved road and hunters talking as the walked past. The deer returned to eating.

By 945, the gunshots had ceased yet the road behind me had a steady stream of traffic. The 7pt bolted and in walked a nice 8pt followed by a small 6pt. Over the next 30 minutes 8 different bucks showed up to grab a bite of corn or acorns and established pecking orders with a bigger 8pt allowing most to eat. Suddenly every one of them looked North. The 8pts posture changed and he cowed down. I eased my rifle up and rolled the scope to 4 power just as a heavy horned 9pt walked in. 7 year old brute in the mid 140s and it didn't take me long to shoot him dead. 1032am and there was no way in heck I was going to be able to load this deer so I left him there and drove to a small store a few miles away where I knew hunters would be gathered and a big buck contest was going on.

There was a huge crowd there and maybe a dozen deer in the cooler. Almost all were does and 1.5 year old bucks. I walked up to a group of hunters and the entire conversation was about how poor the year was with only does at their feeders. The feeling was unanimous that the buck doe ratio was horrible. Now keep in mind that I had just seen 9 deer, all of which were buck and all but 3 were over 3 years old! I was going to ask for help but decided against it and went to get a friends help instead. I sure hated to show him that spot.

I have dozens of stories just like that one but told it because of the great thread about growing big deer but not being able to close the deal once they got smart and nocturnal. The truth is that heavily pressured and nocturnal deer are the EASIEST to pattern. If you can locate his core thicket, you can count on him being right there during shooting hours. This is what I was doing in the DCNF until they made it illegal to corn. Now I just do the same thing on thickets adjoining DCNF.

Getting in and out of these areas is another story but with the right setup, you can see that old nocturnal buck eating corn but not likely at your feeder.

Steve

Last edited by GarGuy; 08-04-2014 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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I do the same thing in the southeast woods of Ohio. My father taught me this years ago. Stick to the thickets and find his home.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #3
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That was an awesome write up and story GarGuy. Have any pictures of that old buck?

It goes along with saying that if you can outsit the other guys on public land (and of course be in the right core area/spot) then your chances should increase
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:58 AM   #4
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I miss DCNF. Ate a lot of backstrap out of that place.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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That was an awesome write up and story GarGuy. Have any pictures of that old buck?

It goes along with saying that if you can outsit the other guys on public land (and of course be in the right core area/spot) then your chances should increase
Yep I have pics but they are Kodiak instamatic.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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Same kind of thing happens on areas with lower pressure as well. On our little 800 acre low fenced hill country lease the pressure is pretty light. There is a couple of us that always walk in early, stay late, don't use flashlights, are insane with scent control and wind conditions. The other guys drive in, are not really that quite, will try to cheat the wind, and so on....by the end of the season they always say the same thing...."Ya'll have all the deer on your side of the lease".......All I can do is chuckle.

-john
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:39 AM   #7
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Neat write up, thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #8
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Neat write up, thanks for sharing.
X2
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
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Nice read
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #10
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great read! congrats on shooting the beast of DCNF
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #11
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Great read, thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:04 AM   #12
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Yes very good read. Thanks for posting it. We need to hear over and over again things we already have learned if nothing else to reinforce what we know works and not to forget it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:10 AM   #13
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Great story and a good reminder of what we do wrong or not quite right.

Thanks.

BTW-with a little more volume of material, that's worthy of being published IMO.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #14
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Great read, thanks for sharing!
Yep
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:43 AM   #15
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Nice story. I thought you couldn't bait on Federal lands?
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #16
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Great story with a great ending.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:34 PM   #17
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Thank you
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:01 PM   #18
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Nice story. I thought you couldn't bait on Federal lands?
I guess you didn't read all of it. SMH
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #19
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A few of Garguy's East Texas low fence deer.


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Old 08-04-2014, 06:21 PM   #20
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Steve
Great write up. I have hand corned different spots over the years and it seems the best time to hunt those spots is 24-36 hrs later. My dilemma is I'm unable corn ahead of a hunt.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:26 PM   #21
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A few of Garguy's East Texas low fence deer.


amazing amount of bone there. Shame to see them all piled up like that looks like some bruisers in there.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:59 PM   #22
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amazing amount of bone there. Shame to see them all piled up like that looks like some bruisers in there.
There are a bunch more mounted.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:03 PM   #23
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Steve
Great write up. I have hand corned different spots over the years and it seems the best time to hunt those spots is 24-36 hrs later. My dilemma is I'm unable corn ahead of a hunt.
I agree I may corn a spot for a month for one perfect hunt. I fed 5 tons last year.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Slick8 View Post
Great story and a good reminder of what we do wrong or not quite right.

Thanks.

BTW-with a little more volume of material, that's worthy of being published IMO.
I agree that you could write a book! The Encyclopedia of East Texas Deer Hunting! Do it Steve!
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:15 PM   #25
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I agree that you could write a book! The Encyclopedia of East Texas Deer Hunting! Do it Steve!
LOL! I could include gar hunting, garfishing, alligator hunting, arrowhead hunting, airboating, white bass fishing, catfishing, deer hunting, hog hunting, and tearing equipment up! Life is an (mis)adventure!
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #26
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I would have carried that deer out in 1/4s before I would have let that spot be known. Did it ever come back to bite you ?
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:22 PM   #27
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i generally dont have a lot to say, (here at least) but i opened this thread hoping it was a garguy thread. sir i would love to have a cold one and just listen to your stories. it seems you, not the dos equis man, are the most interesting man in the world... haha full of east tx knowledge
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:23 PM   #28
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Thanks for sharing garguy, I may be hunting back in Anderson CO this year and Im super excited about hunting that area
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #29
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I would have carried that deer out in 1/4s before I would have let that spot be known. Did it ever come back to bite you ?
Eventually. We killed 11 mature bucks there over 6 years though. I put my wife in there opening morning the next year. I had to be at work at noon so I walked her in early and told her I would be back at 11am. When I walked in, there was a nice deer in the corn and I spooked him off. I asked why she hadn't shot him and she said she had just seen a much larger buck chase a yearling off. I told her to get back in there as early as possible that evening, took a quick shower and headed to Walmart as I was a manager there.

A couple of hours after I got to work, my (now ex)wife called me and asked if I could bring some corn out as she was in the Walmart parking lot. I was plenty aggravated that she was in town instead of heading to the stand but I grabbed a couple bags of corn and went out there. Too my surprise, she had a STUD of an 8pt in the truck! She got on stand at 1230 and shot him at 1245. She got my Dad to help load it and brought that sucker to town!
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:33 PM   #30
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Nice write up and good info
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:39 PM   #31
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The public land I hunt has tons....and I mean tons of thickets. Lots of acorns too. Its bow only and the pressure usually is not too bad but its east Texas and it doesn't take long and they go nocturnal pretty quick. Pinch points are usually my best bet. I find the areas where if they want to stay in the thick stuff and still travel they have to come thru some sort of bottleneck.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:52 PM   #32
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I continued to corn the spot and the deer really started hitting it again. Ten days later I was in the same stand for my first hunt there. My daughter was in preschool and I needed to pick her up at 1130am. Knowing it was a late morning stand, I was still sitting there at 11 and hadn't seen a deer. I caught a glimps of motion at edge of my lane...ANTLERS! He stepped in and it was a 19 inch 8pt with long sweeping beams. BOOM! I shot him in the base of the neck as I didn't want a trail. I drug him out to the road and a passing truck stopped and helped me load him. Big mature buck that scored in the high 130s as an 8pt.

I had to haul butt to make it t school by the time my daughter was out. I had the tailgate down and there were people turning around trying to stop me to see the deer. He was really showy with the width an long beams but not much mass. When I got to school, I was running a few minutes late so I parked and hurried in. Taylor was jabbering about her day as we walked out. When she could see the truck, there was a big crowd around the bed! DID YOU KILL A BIG BUCK DADDY???????? "Yep". Well she took off and elbowed her way up to the tailgate where she was really let down. " I thought you said you killed a big one?" I said, "yeah but look how wide he is!" She replied, "Yes but his horns are kinda spindly". Nothing like getting your chops busted by a 4 year old.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:03 PM   #33
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The next year, dad had been recovering from open heart surgery and hadn't even given any thought to hunting. I had been corning for a flat month and the place just reeked of bucks. I talked him into sitting that same ground blind that evening. I walked him in and went on to hunt another spot. When I got home my wife said I needed to call dad. I called and my Grandmother answered. I asked her if dad had killed a deer and she said he told her he had and she asked how many points. He told her 19!

I headed over there and dad said he shot an 8 point and it fell right in the corn pile. He said he shot it right up the butt. Now I was skeptical of that since there was no reason not to wait on a god shot and then there was the story of the 19pt. When we walked in, I shined my light up the lane and there lay a nice 8pt shot right in the butt with an exit in his chest. We drug him out and loaded him. Dad had been so sick I didn't say much about the shot plus I would have figured he would have waited on a better deer.

We got him tagged and I started getting in the truck when he said we better go back out there and look for his hat. We walked back and down in the bottom of that little creek lay a big ol typical ten with a flyer off his g2. It turns out the 8 was there eating and the big ten came in. Dad rolled him at 25yds and the 8pt broke straight away. Since it was a two buck county, dad busted him too! 19 points just like she said.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by LivinADream View Post
i generally dont have a lot to say, (here at least) but i opened this thread hoping it was a garguy thread. sir i would love to have a cold one and just listen to your stories. it seems you, not the dos equis man, are the most interesting man in the world... haha full of east tx knowledge
Im just an ol country boy that GOD has allowed to LIVE LIFE!
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:27 PM   #35
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A few of Garguy's East Texas low fence deer.


Youre not serious are you? Wow!
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:53 PM   #36
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Great story
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:50 AM   #37
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Great stuff. The hard part would be finding a mature buck's core area. Could you explain how you went about this? Lots of preseason sitting?
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:14 AM   #38
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Awesome
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:33 AM   #39
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Great story's Sir...
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:50 AM   #40
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I used to hunt several public spots when I was younger. I always killed my deer by outthinking the other hunters. Deer pattern the hunters much quicker than we pattern them. One place was popular with squirrel hunters. They would all be at the truck by 9 or 9:30. The deer would always start moving about 30 minutes later. I killed many between 10 and 12. Another trick was to find those little thickets where the deer would hole up when they got pressure, and hunt the trails leading there. This was a good opening weekend tactic. Great write up Garguy, love your stories.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:51 AM   #41
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So how do you find the thickets where they hold up without walking though them and possibly pushing the deer off.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:31 AM   #42
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Excellent read! Very true for all areas I have hunted as well!
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #43
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So how do you find the thickets where they hold up without walking though them and possibly pushing the deer off.
Summer time! Over grown tornado paths or clear cuts are best. Im constantly watching for vulnerable spots. A big oak that got left and the thicket growing up around it is ideal. I will cut a lane in June and clear a little spot where the acorns will fall. I only bow hunt now and 30 yds is usually the limit of visibility. No scouting the thicket..EVER. I know that by the time all the out of towners get through walking the open woods, the mature deer will be spending their days in the thicket.

I will cut a small trail to walk in with corn. This is never the trail to my stand. Spray down with vanilla and spray the corn every time. I keep that up for a while and then when the wind is perfect, sneak in and make a day of it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:18 AM   #44
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Tagged
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:11 AM   #45
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My avatar buck

A few years ago, I had one of our favorite thickets corned up for my dad. He has killed several nice bucks there in the past. In Sept, I started getting lots of pics of a big 5.5 year old ten we had passed the two previous years and he was looking good with a 20 plus inside spread and long tines. Opening of bow season and dad hunted him hard for three days. The wind was almost good enough but I was worried that it wasn't perfect. Dad saw several nice deer but never the big ten. In my gut, I knew he had been busted and the camera proved it as the big ten disappeared.
I picked the camera up and continued to corn it. Three weeks later, the pre rut was really cranking up. There was a cool front coming and the wind was forecast to be a perfect North West. The front blew in with heavy rain about 6am. About 10am, I walked in to corn. It was cleaned up with big tracks all around since the rain had quit. A 4 inch red oak was shining from being rubbed and there were four fresh worked scrapes that reeked of rutting bucks. I corned, sprayed and got out of there.
When I got back to dads I told him that I was sure the big deer was back and told him about that mornings sign. He said it was probably made by the 8pt he passed and wasn't going to hunt that evening. I groaned and told him the conditions we had waited all month for had finally arrived and THIS WAS THE DAY! His reply was.."If you are so sure its him, YOU go kill him". He didn't have to tell me twice.
I was sitting on dads couch at 3pm and ask him again. He said he wasn't going to hunt there and that he felt the deer had moved. I grabbed my bow out of the truck and walked out his door at 335. I walked to the stand from his house and as I sneaked in the thicket, I saw a deer walking away from the corn. I got behind the blind and quietly got inside. I took my quiver off and lay it on the ground and then was deciding whether to risk the noise of zipping the flap. I was slowly easing it up when I looked out front and saw a deer coming through the brush. IT WAS HIM!!!! Bow on my lap and arrows laying on the ground with him coming at a fast walk. Miraculously, I managed to get an arrow out of the quiver and get it on the string just as the ten got to the first scrape 22yds out and broad side.

Clip the release, draw, pin low, WHACK! I saw the fletching disappear into the little pocket his shoulder muscle makes at the back. He blew out and I picked up my phone and called Dad. He answered and I told him I had just killed the big ten. He said, " You aint even in the stand yet". It was 342pm. Seven minutes since I walked out his front door! He made about 50yds with both lungs and the top of his heart cut.

The hunt lasted a few seconds but I had carried corn for two months in preparation .
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:20 AM   #46
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Rounder are you reading?
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:51 AM   #47
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Steve it's always a pleasure reading your threads and experiencing these hunts as you tell them. You make hard work, careful planning and patience look so easy.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #48
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Please keep these stories coming! Got me on the edge of my seat each time.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:03 AM   #49
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Please keep these stories coming! Got me on the edge of my seat each time.
Me too !! Thanks for the write up
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:04 AM   #50
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X3!!!!!!!
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