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About Fever

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family
  • Birthday 08/28/1975

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  • Location:
    Lester Prairie, Mn
  1. Hey all, a little late to your party, but, I'll chirp in here. Ok. So I hunted last weekend (Sat,Sun,Mon,Tues) in zone 197 on north shore of Leech. I have several nice shooters on camera from this past summer / fall that are targets and 2 nice bucks on the wall from that very spot/trail, and have hunted there for pas 8 years since I left the southern farming areas I grew up in. In those 8 years I've shot 0 does,5 bucks with the last 2 going on the wall and the one year between those two - I had a 70yd shot at a 150 inch plus bruiser but, too thick of brush and a 30-06 round being deflected settled that encounter. Anyway, last weekend, I sat 11 hours on Sat, 11 on Sun, 10 on Monday and another 5.5 on Tues before driving the 4.25 hours back home. I saw a grand total of 0 deer. But, in full disclosure; I have an understanding of what could happen up there and the reality of it is this -the population in Northern Mn isn't and never has been as dense as the whitetail population in southern Mn let alone Iowa,southern Wisconsin,etc. BUT, the year class dynamics are different and thus need mentioning. Basically I see it as - If I want quality instead of quantity in most of Mn, I likely need to go to a place where a buck has a shot at attaining age 4-5 plus. South central Mn farmland crop fields, drainage ditches,and small groves - is not that place.(not that it doesn't happen / just the odds is what I'm talking about). Some southern Mn river bottom land is different as those areas offer large uninterrupted expanses of cover and sanctuary. For the most part - The forests of northern Mn are an area for a shot at very mature bucks simply based on the lack of accessibility to the masses and the fact there is simply less pressure per hunt able acre of land. But again, winters are more harsh,snow is deeper and lasts longer, wolves and other predators more plentiful, and food not as. I am a 13 year HS Biology teacher and I fully understand population dynamics and the many variables that are being discussed and argued on this thread. A few things to add to the discussion; 2 back to back very severe long, cold, winters with deep snow that lasted well into the spring in the North woods. For what it's worth, Wolves are and have always been in the picture. Long before a man lived on this continent. Heck, our ancestral hunter gatherers likely learned many things about hunting from the wolf. The wolf is part of the equation but is really more like a scape goat in reality. The problems are people pressure and really - primarily climate. Wolves are much better adapt at running through deep snow than whitetails - so their success rate of their hunts likely improved by quite a bit over the past 26 ish months. Higher success, more pups, more pups, more demand for meat - that coupled with less food availability for the deer, and hungry bears coming out of hibernation in the spring right at fawning time, and we get what we are seeing today. There are lower numbers, there will be lower numbers again next year as this winter is shaping up to be bad. We are the wildcard as you can count on the wolf doing what the wolf does, the bear doing what the bear does, and the weather being the weather. If you want to see a change in the world - be that change. If lack of numbers is a big deal to you, simply stop shooting deer for a couple years or be aware that you may not see many due to the state of current circumstances. I will continue to hunt the North woods because I love peace, the lack of pressure, the total remoteness, as well as the potential. To sum it up - I'm going for the Home run up there and when you go for home runs you increase the chances that you strike out. I know that going in so - no biggy. this year - "literally".
  2. Much more complicated than a simple predator / prey relationship. It has much to do with climate change 1st and foremost and this IS the main factor for low deer numbers in the north, then secondary impacts are the food that depends directly on the climate itself then.... predators like Black Bear, Coyotes and Wolves. Coyotes and Bear probably account for more white tailed deer calf mortality state wide than the wolves do but people LOVE to bi##Ch about the wolf. They (we) have for thousands of years as a matter of fact. (wolves are just soooo easy for the simple to blame because they are visible, highly publicized, news worthy, discussion worthy, recently managed and a success story, and they happen to have been interjected as the villain in many of our childhood fairy-tales. After human impacts and manipulation of environment, pressure, hunting, deer vehicle collisions etc THEN comes - predator prey relationships like Bear, Coyote, and wolf - then comes - disease, parasitism - food source availability and carrying capacity of ecosystem, quality and availability of shelter from elements, cold and deep snow, but, the thing is - all of this and more is included on the list of things that effect deer populations and any ecological population study - is exceptionally difficult due to vast size and number of variables - and rarely is a single definitive conclusion arrived. Just WAY easier to say - Its cuz of the wolves and move on. Human nature guys.
  3. Prob 9am though if it's drizzly rainy snow mix with some 13 mph wind out of the NNW. lol. I'm actually looking forward to the all day sit. Just knowing that I'll be in that stand for 11 plus hours a day and that I have Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to hunt that area, gives me about 44 hunt-able hours - with that - I have confidence that I'll at least have a nice shot at a deer I deem harvest-able. (coyly grins and slowly rubs hands together....)
  4. Kyle, Great post. Agree 100% on all counts. I too hunt in the big North woods after over a decade of hunting in southern mn with friends and some family. Never really agreed with the methods used down in farm country - People doing drives, shooting at running deer, driving around on gravel roads most of the day looking for exhausted / running deer that other people push... That sucked. Very few folks shot respectable bucks, there was little to any consistency, and to me, it wasn't a fun or rewarding way to experience a hunt. Since then, I hunt near Leech lake in the Chippewa. Now, I put my time in year round. Run a few cameras, a few Lucky Buck mineral sites. I do a little supplemental feeding during non hunting time to maximize deer travel through this area and to take inventory on the survivors. I've placed a couple stands on south side of major trail intersections in an Oak ridge area surrounded by thick pine, birch, and Cedar thickets. I have to walk about 3/4 of a mile off a logging trail / off the beaten path - through the timber, up and down a few ravines I do everything I can to eliminate and minimize my scent, stay warm and focused, and to sit all day dark to dark. I've gotten 2 wall hangers the past 3 years. A 149 3/8 10 pointer last year, and a 123 2/8 8 point 3 years ago while taking this approach in thi area. The(middle year 2 years ago) had a shot at a monster that would have been my personal best (over 150 incher 10 or 12 point) that somehow got lucky that my 30-06 round got deflected by some willows I didn't notice in my line of sight through the scope. Anyway, while taking scent procaution, sitting all day in these Oaks - I've gotten 5 bucks in the past 7 years and out of those 7 years I've had the opportunity to harvest an animal each year. One year I chose to not shoot a 110ish 8 point that hung out under my stand and the other year I mentioned above. Bottom line - the precise weather really doesn't matter. Not as much as we like to talk about anyway. Our gun season is during the rut and for the most part - that fact trumps full moons, rain, snow, and even wind at times. What does matter is the handful of things you (we) can control. What are these things? 1. How you dress - over dress and stay warm and sit long. You can always take layers off. Don't overdress on the walk out and get sweaty. 2. Sit long - eat snacks and you lunch in the stand, you simply will not shoot a deer while taking breaks from your stand. Most of us hunt just a few days a year. Find it within yourself to maximize your efforts during this window of time. Worry about the things you can directly control. Patience - It will pay off. * Two wall hangers shot at 2:30 and 3pm the last 3 years. 3. Don't over party. My friends and I used to do this... It doesn't usually help to bag a big buck for the obvious reasons. Have some beers / drinks sure. Just don't overdo it. Getting to bed at a reasonable time with a clear head will greatly increase chances that you get up early with a clear head - and that you stay awake while in your stand. Easier to see, and shoot deer if you are awake. 4. Know your area, know your quarry, and understand what your realistic expectations are. In some areas a 115 class 8 is a real big deer. In others - it can be passed. If you know what is in your area, you are much more likely to make informed decisions. I've passed many 8's the last few years and am very happy I have. The two on my wall wouldn't be there if I didn't know that I'd be better served to wait and be patient. Cameras have changed the way we hunt! 5. Take care to take care of your scent. At least be aware of prevailing wind direction and stand placement. This time of year about 30% of our days will have a WNW wind of varying intensity. If you shoot right handed have your stand facing NE on the south side of a trail, so your shot is to your left and directly up wind which should allow you to take your time and have a well placed shot. One shot one kill. Best of luck all! Shoot straight and be careful out there! Fever
  5. 1st, point that dude in the direction of this site. He needs to do some reading. The way that he thinks and the fact he is unaware of his audience when he says that stupid @#$% tells me he likely isn't all there. Frankly the way you describe him makes me think he may be a bit disturbed. No reason to get happy or get that kind of a thrill out of taking a life. Period. He needs help. If I were you, I'd talk one on one with the non hunter guy and be sure to mention to him that most of us are not like that at all. Its a shame.
  6. Bobby, Sorry to hear of your loss. I very much can empathize. I too lost my best friend and had to put him (Brody 10.5 year old black lab) down 3 weeks and one day ago. I still think of him every day and probably too often. I find myself looking for him etc. I never got Brody fixed and we live in a small west metro town. He got off his leash so many times and I had to drive around town looking so many times... I think I'm almost a certified / trained dog spotter. I'm way too good at it it seems. And I think it's because of the hundreds of hours I spent looking for Brody while he was out looking for a piece of tail. Anyway, It is amazing what these animals can do to you emotionally and you never really realize it until it's too late. It sounds as if your love for your Buddy was deep and your devotion and dedication to him was similar to his for you. I learned a great deal with the loss of my Brody. No person will ever truly know what it feels like until it happens to them. I heard from many how it's tough. I never imagined just how tough it actually is. When the day came (9-15-14), I, along with my wife, took Brody to the clinic and spent a little time with him. When "the" time came, I knelt down, petted him, gave him a few soft hugs and light kisses to his forehead while I told him just how much he meant to me and I thanked him for who he was & held him while the meds were given and shortly after - his heart beat it's last time as his eyes stared up at me. For as long as I live, I'll never forget my best friend Brody. I feel lucky to have had him in my life. Others may come in the future, but no other will ever replace him in my heart. I chose to have him cremated so he could stay with us (his family) for all time. Bobby, my heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. I think it's very likely that your Buddy was as lucky to have you in his life as you were to have him. Bless you and yours, and do your best to think back at all the good, rewarding, fun, and funny times. Your time with Buddy and those memories will be with you always. That's what I'm focusing on.
  7. Fever

    Sad day.

    Brought him today at 1:45 pm. Spent a few min with him in a private room. IV was put in and I held his head and petted him slowly to help him to relax, after meds were injected he was peacefully gone within a minute or so. He went very quietly to sleep as I held him. It was absolutely crushing... but I know he's not suffering anymore which helps. I'll admit - that was the single toughest thing I've had to deal with since the death of my Father back in 1991. As far as dogs go - Brody my black lab, has been the best frickin dog I've ever met. Talk about unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion.... Brody will forever be in my heart as he has left a life long impression on me, my wife and our 3 kids.
  8. Fever

    Sad day.

    Today is a sad day as I will have to put down my best friend Brody. Brody is a black lab of 10.5 years. He's been an excellent upland bird hunting dog and companion for myself and my family for the past decade. He rarely if ever barked, he never jumped up on kids (mine or their friends), he was for all practical purposes - been the perfect dog. Anyway, for the past two weeks or so he had difficulty holding down food. I tried a few different food brands, then mixed them with warm water, then went to plain white rice and chicken. Nothing really worked. I then went to canned/soft dog food and fed him smaller amounts more frequently. Some seemed to stay down but still - he was starving. He stopped drinking water so I used ice cubes... and eventually - I knew we needed answers. So, I took him in last Thursday. He weighted 62 lbs and for most of his life he hovered around the 80-85 lb range. He was wasting away. Found out he had a large (baseball size mass) in his stomach. This was preventing him from eating and holding down food. Our options then were to pursue an ultra sound and biopsy which would have been slightly over a grand. If the mass was a tumor we could operate and the cost of that would be around 1,200.00 - but then that operation has about a 50% success rate. A biopsy of that mass could also be lethal in and of itself as if the mass were blood / a biopsy could lead to unstoppable internal bleeding. Long story short - we are making the tough call here and are going to end his suffering today and put him to rest. He came into this world on June 11th 2014 and was the runt of the litter. He quickly grew to one of the larger dogs of his litter and became one of the best all around pets and hunters I've seen. I feel lucky to have had him. This world will miss him... it was a better world with Brody in it as he truly was one of the best. Here's to you my friend Brody! You will forever be remembered and you will be missed. Thank you for being you!
  9. Just to clarify, No, I'm not planting a food plot on public land in the Chippewa national forest. I think that might be illegal. As to my original post though - I was talking about some private land close to home. Planting food plots is so much more than baiting. It is flat out a great way to help the wildlife in an area. As I've gotten a bit older, deer hunting has basically become a year round activity for me. So starting to dabble in the idea of a food plots seemed to make sense. Even small foot plots can make a huge difference in herd health. For hunting purposes, food plots are similar to dumping a bucket of corn I guess, but my hope was to plant the brasicas late so the deer can hit the greens in the late fall after the frost, then utilize the roots during the winter when they need the calories the most. In all honestly, my hope is to not even have to hunt on the land the food plot will be on. My main spot and priority is the North woods. The private land and food plot thing in central Mn is more of a project / hobby thing.
  10. I'm heading out to a couple sites tomorrow am to get my mineral sites going. I know it's a touch early but I have the time. Going to use Lucky buck again along with some wild game innovations 4 lb blocks and a couple 6lb rack rocks. The way I see it if we can get those minerals out there and available for the heard - it helps the does through their last trimester which should help the fawns and birthing success, and it also maximizes antler growth by helping them get off to a faster start. Also going to tape off a 20x50 foot area that has good southern sun exposure and spray it down with round up. Will revisit that area and knock down and clear all dead vegetation in a month or so. Then I'll repeat the round up later in the summer and clear again before i hand broadcast fertilizer and a mixture of radish,turnip,beet,beans,and peas. I plan on planting around mid August, as most of these have germination times of 60-70 days. I figure that little spot will offer a tempting variety of treats and will help draw deer from neighboring properties come the fall. I spend my serious time hunting trophy deer in the Chippewa and am quite selective up there and typically target one of 2-3 specific bucks that have shown up on trail cams while passing on younger bucks. I never get a doe tag anymore. This project / spot that I'll be working is a 40 ish acre wooded area with another 20plus acres of tall grass/bedding area creek running through agriculture area. I fun fall back option maybe if I don't connect with a targeted deer up north in the big woods.
  11. Congrats on the great buck! He's a dandy. 154 7/8 I see it's been a while since you posted Tracker x-2, So... what did it score? On a side note, I just heard from my taxidermist and my big guy is in the drying period and will have all finishing touches done in 1 week. I'll post pics when I get him.
  12. I think deer use rubs throughout the year to be honest. The frequency and intensity increases for bucks as the rut approaches but I think both sexes use these spots as a means of communication via olfaction.
  13. Phorn, is that the 8 point in your avatar pic? looks very similar. I absolutely love checking cameras, getting pics of multiple bucks / deer then having encounters with those deer. Even better if you can harvest "the" one you want and put him on the wall and put a nice framed picture of him next to the mount.
  14. Impossible to say. By the looks of the picture he would be a 150 plus inch deer but absolutely no way to be accurate. I wouldn't waste too much of your time worrying / thinking about that buck though. Since it is a photo from 2012 and you only have the one of him and it was during the rut last year... odds are - he is on someones wall right now as I type this. Great deer either way but I suggest you focus more on the deer that you have lots of current pics of.
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