2012 Deer Season in review

The 2012 white-tailed deer season will be remembered, by most, as a year of promise on  both sides of the river.

As we climb our way out of a major whitetail decline dating back 4 years or so, there are signs of recovery all around us. Some guys were luckier than others, of course,  but all in all, deer numbers appear to be on the rebound over much of eastern ON and western QC.

You’ve all heard about my gang’s deer hunting experiences this fall(I’ve been telling everyone) and my personal record of seeing 5 bucks during hunting season.

Here’s your chance to share your tales of the season and post of few images. Let’s all reflect on what a great fall it has been. (I know, I know it’s not completely over year)

Here are a some more images of my hunt gang and the terrific 10 point I was fortunate enough to harvest this year:

(A nice shot of 4 of the best hunters I know, well 3 anyway)

 

Sent-in by Rick Poulin:

Here is a picture of the 8 point that committed suicide by trying to get by me last Friday morning just after 7. I have not scored him yet. He was an older deer based on checking his teeth. I would guess he was at least 7-8 years old.

Rick8point

 

Sent-in by imacdon:

Deer camp 2012 started like so many other deer camps, full of high anticipation. Most of the group arrived on Saturday. My 82 year old father and brother arrived from the big smoke. I had another brother fly in from cow-town out west. My three sons showed up, two taking a few days off university. Those who had not sighted in their guns did so Sunday. A few of us went out duck hunting Sunday night. The traditional sea food chowder was severed up thick with home baked rolls.

Monday morning arrived and after a quick breakfast, dogs where put in dog boxes and ATV’s where mounted, it was off to the deer stands. A few deer where observed but no shots were offered. We set up a chase about 8:30. My brother Phil and son Todd where going to walk thru with the dog. The dog started right away. Everyone was ready. The dog brought the deer back between the two dogger’s. The dog chased the deer for about 45 minutes, then brought the deer back and presented

A shot to Phil who connected. 4 pt, 138 pounds. Next morning during another chase the dog brought another buck between son’s Kyle and Todd who connected on a 7 pt 145 pounder. Unfortunately Kyle and Todd had to go back to school, and Phil had to go go back to work, that left four in camp. Latter in the week I connected with 6 pointer early in the morning. Weather was great. Camp was cleaned up, everyone was already talking about next year. I went over to my place for another week of deer hunting.

But that’s another story.

Iana

(Todd and Kyle taking Phil’s deer out of the swamp)

Ianb

(Todd and Kyle with their deer)

Imacdon2012

(My three sons, myself, my 82 year old Dad and brother. Another brother took the photo.)

 

Sent-in by Maple(see Farmer’s buck story):

maplebuck3

 

Sent-in by Iggy:

A moose at the deer camp caught on a trail cam, no season though, and Bill’s 9 point buck.

Iggycamp1

Iggycamp2

 

Sent-in by Mr Bounder Magazine himself – Brian Warren:

Hi jeff, here are some photos from the bogieman hunt camp..we got 4 bucks

 

 

Sent-in by Hunting Mom:

Sam’s first deer

We were on our last day of hunting because I had to get Sam back to school.  Our group had already got three does and one buck.  Sam actually fired at a couple but missed.  I squandered two good opportunities but I won’t bore you with that sad story.  We were on one of the last chases of the day.  I was on a watch when I heard a shot which I knew was from Sam’s gun.  One of our group asked via radio “what are you shooting at Sam?” (This was an important question because we were on our last doe tag).  There was no response.  

The question was asked again and again, no response.  My motherly instinct was in overdrive imaging all kinds of terrible scenarios.  After what seemed like an eternity, a breathless Sam responded that he thought he got one and he was trying to find it.  Again came the question “is it a doe, Sam?”.  Sam didn’t hear the question, so again no response.  Finally, Sam confirmed that that he had a deer down. The question this time was, “Sam, did it have antlers??”  I was imagining the poor members of the group frozen in their tracks waiting for the answer.  At last, Sam confirmed that it was a doe.  He was then instructed to mark the kill with bright orange and continue dogging the chase.  Sam replied OK, he’ll leave his hat.  I couldn’t help myself, my motherly instinct kicked in again and I blurted out on the radio “Sam, keep your hat on your head, use the bright orange tape in your pocket”.  Hunting with your mother definitely has its downsides.  

 Samdeer

 

Sent-in by Trapper:

We had a great hunt this year both Moose and Deer.

Saw at least 8 different adult moose but could only harvest them with camera lens. Did manage to harvest 2 small 6 point bucks. On the trapping front we’re off to a good start with 25% of our beaver quoata and 30% of our Fisher quota. Mink have also been very productive.

As for the Bobcat-vs-Lynx debate. There’s plenty of Lynx in the North Bay area. The tell tale signs we use are that Bobcat are more spotted than Lynx. Lynx appear Greyer, Bobcat tails are striped (both have black tips though). Lynx ear tufts are much more prominent as are their paw prints.

On another note, if ya’ll ever get the chance to eat Lynx meat, take it. It is by far the best meat I have ever eaten (even better than moose).

Trapperhunt1

Trapperhunt2

Trapperhunt3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41 thoughts on “2012 Deer Season in review”

  1. The Hidden Harness

    It was a weird but fantastic year. I saw a pile of deer. I let 7 does/fawns walk; saw bucks 3 days in a row (no ethical shooting chances on 2, missed a big one); saw another big buck; but didn’t know it until it was gone! another guy told me after lol (I had seen the body but the head was above the branches); the rut was on the first week and it sure seemed the bucks were laying low the 2nd week.

    As a group, we got 7 (5 bucks but the lowest amount in about 10 years). That 2nd week ‘hibernation’ tricked us a bit. We were really buck hunting the first week and ended up letting near 30 deer go. Had we been filling tags, we would have been done Thursday of that first week. Lol.

    I think the funniest story had to be the hidden harness.

    So in I went. I had another guy with me on the outside and I went through the garbage. It’s a real mess. Starting to climb a log, I noticed something off to my right which didn’t seem right. “Looks like the shoulder of a deer behind that tree”. I let myself slowly step back down and leaned over to look and sure enough, a little 8pt leaned over, looking right at me.

    We were both busted and by the time I raised my rifle, he won because he was effortlessly bounding away through the blowdowns. Lol. I got on the radio but the other guy couldn’t see him, but the game was on.

    We use Garmin Rhinos so as soon as I reported the direction of the deer, 2 other hunters got into position, each near beaver dams. There is no better tool for safety and knowing where other folks are in the bush. Without a doubt, we all knew exactly where everyone was situated. The buck tried to scoot past one fellow who missed. The buck turned on a dime for the other dam where that guy’s daughter was waiting. She didn’t miss. Lol

    So after cleaning, the drag began. It was late in the day so we tried something new where 1 guy tied a 3/4 inch rope around his waist then tied it to a stick which was linked to the buck’s head. 2 draggers each pulled on 1 side. It made a huge difference in distributing the dragging weight.

    But it also caused problems for the main dragger because anytime we tripped or something caught, it yanked him pretty hard. A few times I mentioned maybe getting a weight lifters belt or something where the main dragger could use to handle the slack so he didn’t get yanked.

    To be continued in next post

  2. About 90% of the way back to the boat (from almost a km), we stopped for a break. We of course had stopped lots and were getting tuckered out. So I brought up the harness idea. The main dragger said, “well a guy from another camp has an actual dragging harness, it has a D-ring on the back, goes around the shoulders to distribute the weight. It’s supposedly works well. ”

    The other fellow who had been dragging with me most of the way pipes up like a lightbulb just exploded in his noggin, “Hey! I have one of those in my pack!”

    Incredulous, I whipped my head at him, “WHAT!?!?!” Then I looked at the main dragger thinking this other guy was pulling our leg.

    “My brother got me one a few Christmas’ ago. It’s in my pack.”

    He calls his daughter over who had been carrying his pack and pulled out a brand new harness – still in its packaging!!!!

    A nanosecond later, I somewhat jokingly slapped him the head.

    We had dragged another buck from near the same location the day before. Lol

    I still can’t believe he didn’t remember after all the times we mentioned it.

    Needless to say, we aren’t letting that one slide anytime soon!

    1. Keebler and Hunting mom, please send me any pics you have from this fall so I can put your stories up on TOP(with the rest of the braggers..hehe)

      Thanks,

      Outdoorsguy

  3. Outdoors Guy:

    Here is the story of my son Sam’s first deer.  

    We were on our last day of hunting because I had to get Sam back to school.  Our group had already got three does and one buck.  Sam actually fired at a couple but missed.  I squandered two good opportunities but I won’t bore you with that sad story.  We were on one of the last chases of the day.  I was on a watch when I heard a shot which I knew was from Sam’s gun.  One of our group asked via radio “what are you shooting at Sam?” (This was an important question because we were on our last doe tag).  There was no response.  The question was asked again and again, no response.  My motherly instinct was in overdrive imaging all kinds of terrible scenarios.  After what seemed like an eternity, a breathless Sam responded that he thought he got one and he was trying to find it.  Again came the question “is it a doe, Sam?”.  Sam didn’t hear the question, so again no response.  Finally, Sam confirmed that that he had a deer down. The question this time was, “Sam, did it have antlers??”  I was imagining the poor members of the group frozen in their tracks waiting for the answer.  At last, Sam confirmed that it was a doe.  He was then instructed to mark the kill with bright orange and continue dogging the chase.  Sam replied OK, he’ll leave his hat.  I couldn’t help myself, my motherly instinct kicked in again and I blurted out on the radio “Sam, keep your hat on your head, use the bright orange tape in your pocket”.  Hunting with your mother definitely has its downsides.  

    1. Hunting mom, I think anyone here with kids (like me) understands full-well the feelings you regarding with Sam this fall! And boy, what an exciting time it must have been for him!!

      You bring up a good point tho with the radios…they’ve stressed me out too..hunting with my 81-year old father in particular. A couple of times we tried to get him on the radio but to no avail. Then your mind starts to wander..what if he fell and hurt himself??

      In the end, turned out he simply forgot to turn the damn thing on. One time in particular after I had posted him on the same chase where I took the big buck the following day, I was trying to get him to move closer to me on watch; when I discovered an unknown runway travelling between us. Of course, his friggin radio was off again..so I could get him to move.

      That chase 8 deer came out to me; including 2 small bucks and another deer that went back on us..and we ‘suspect’ that could have been the big boy.

      Yes, the two-way radios are helpful but can piss you off as well!

      Outdoorsguy

  4. QUOTE:
    jeff.morrison says:
    November 28, 2012 at 8:29 am
    Hey Rick, is a Euro mount just a doe’s head with lots of underarm hair?

    Outdoorsguy

    hahaha good one Jeff, makes me queezy just thinking about it

  5. Well this year we were hunting hard during the second week. We were hunting near North Bay in an area that didn’t have much pressure and good sign from the summer but over the course of the first 3 days we saw no deer and no fresh sign unfortunately, so plans change and we moved to a new area. At the new area we hunted we knew there were deer there and rumored 12 and 14 pointers running the property. During the morning there was nothing, so my cousin and I got up and started on the move to see if we could push something. I got on the fresh tracks of a young buck. I was close enough that I could smell him (always gets me excited). So I kept following slowly, then BANG, the shot was close and I knew it was one of our guys but which one (there were 4 of us in the bush). Then over the radio came “Deer Down”. It was my friend from here that came up with me. He had gotten his first confirmed deer after 7 years of hunting and hunting hard he has. Both my cousin and I were wishing, hoping and glad that it was him that got the shot off just because of the luck my friend has had over the last 7 years. It was just a 2 year old spike with 1.5 points (one looked to have been broken off in battle) but it was the biggest deer on earth to my buddy. Couldn’t have been happier for him that is for sure. We put my cousins tag on him because he was finished with the hunt and so that my friend could keep his for late archery and muzzleloader back here at home. As fate would have it, last weekend, he got his second deer with a clean bow shot. Again it was a spike but it looks like maybe his luck is turning the corner.

    1. Thanks Mark, that’s awesome…sounds like it will be your buddy’s year to remember!

      I’m sorry, I just realized I never got around to posting your report from the moose season..sorry about that man.

      Did you guys take any photos during deer season?

      Outdoorsguy

    2. Hey Mark..you didnt see a little guy running through the bush with a Rhino in his hand in North Bay-area?

      He kinda looks like a rabbit with a camera on his head..hehe

      That’d be Keebler

      Outdoorsguy

  6. Well we hunted for the full two weeks in two diferent areas again this year and unfortunatly no deer were taken. My dad missed a big buck in the calabogie area the first week, and we skunked out the second week in lanark area. But i would have to say that this years hunt was a total success as the weather was fantastic and we had a blast.Examples= I was sitting on the edge of a rock pile one morning when a weasel popped out and gave me a sniff, popped out again and was almost in my lap sniffing me again. Also had a chickadee land on my shoulder and proceeded to pick at my chin wiskers. Of course my son would tell me i should be hunting and not playing with my weasel while on the watch. We had a barred owl around us for a few days hooting away in broad daylight. i got to see some cousins,uncles that i don’t see often. Got to hunt with my son for a couple of days. It was a joy to be out in the bush and it was real hard going back to work.

    1. mcdan, you got that right! The real measure of a successful hunt is not always what’s lying dead on the ground…its all the other great things you witness while being out there.

      And I hear you with not wanting to go back to work…I still find myself daydreaming and thinking back on the season..makes me a bit sad to think Ive gotta wait an entire again…ugghhh

      Outdoorsguy

  7. Hey Jeff, no weird guys walking around with Go Pro’s on their heads in the woods. Might have taken a shot thinking it was an a-typical rack or something. We did get some pics but I don’t have them right now, I will see if I can get them for you though. Side story to our hunt was that we all saw a couple of does but they were just little little girls so we let them pass. Let them enjoy a bit of life for a while. But probably the coolest thing that I did see and man I wish I had the right camera for it was I got to watch a Lynx for about 5 minutes at about 40 yards. It came out from behind a fallen tree’s roots and sat there licking and cleaning itself and it looked not much larger than a domestic cat while it was sitting there, and then it got up and walked off and holy cow was its body ever long. I have never seen one in the wild it was certainly another great memory for me this year during the hunt.

    1. Man, where’s Keebler and his GO Pro when you need him!!

      Well..Ive spent the better part of my life walking the woods…from the age of around 5 with my Dad on the traplines…and hunting from age of 12..and Ive still never seen a Lynx in the wild!

      You are very lucky indeed to have seen one..of course, this’ll bring up that whole bobcat vs. lynx debate.

      Outdoorsguy

  8. I saw what I thought was a Lynx a couple years ago at our camp and was promptly told it was a Bobcat because there are no Lynx this far south. I looked at pictures of both and it really is hard to tell them apart

  9. Off to the hunt camp for the weekend tomorrow morning, no hunting, well maybe for birds, just moving some stands around before the loggers come in and take out all the seed trees, apparently, we were told by a local logger, if there is a tree stand in a tree, they won’t cut it, so we are making an effort to keep a few trees

    1. Have fun Iggs…man, Id love to be back up at the hunt camp again!

      I’m a bit confused on this forestry project you mentioned…sounds like a ‘select cut’ involving tree stands somehow.

      Outdoorsguy

  10. I was of course a little north of this area in North Bay so they are around the area but are definitely sparce at best, but I definitely believe it was a Lynx because of the traditional markings to start, but the real tell tale was the size of his paws and prints, they were massive.

  11. We had a great hunt this year both Moose and Deer.

    Saw at least 8 different adult moose but could only harvest them with camera lens. Did manage to harvest 2 small 6 point bucks. On the trapping front we’re off to a good start with 25% of our beaver quoata and 30% of our Fisher quota. Mink have also been very productive.

    As for the Bobcat-vs-Lynx debate. There’s plenty of Lynx in the North Bay area. The tell tale signs we use are that Bobcat are more spotted than Lynx. Lynx appear Greyer, Bobcat tails are striped (both have black tips though). Lynx ear tufts are much more prominent as are their paw prints.

    On another note, if ya’ll ever get the chance to eat Lynx meat, take it. It is by far the best meat I have ever eaten (even better than moose).

    1. Thanks Trapper, I just posted those images you sent me!

      Nice looking fisher btw, is that a big male??

      Eating Lynx? What happened to that rule about eating meat from animals who eat meat themselves??

      Outdoorsguy

  12. hey jeff just to bring you up to speed we totalled only 3 bucks between the four of us i was lucky enough to bag a 6 and 10 pt this year was up 2 days ago to my bait pile and a beauty 8 pt buck was laying along the tre line maybe waiting for his lunch this is the third time i have seen him between 10 am and 1 pm will wait him out for the bowhunting season and hopefully he passes me on a warmer day .Have a great day will keep you posted and i will try to get the pics online soon

    1. Chessy, that wasn’t my rule that was Trapper’s rule..I thought, but could be wrong.

      Btw, you gotta give me the heads-up when your sendin in a link..I almost flushed that comment.

      Lemme go watch those vids now.

      Outdoorsguy

  13. Jeff about six years ago they cut a huge hardwood bush that we used to have great success in, but they left some huge oaks, said they were seed trees, now that the new oaks are six or so feet hign, they are coming in this winter to take all the seed trees, so if we don’t get tree stands in a few, there won’t be any to put the stand in next fall, and finally after six years the deer are back in there. We have been assured they won’t cut a tree with a stand in it, we’ll see

    1. an Iggs, is this all on crown land? I am actually surprised the seed oaks came up as well as they have. Geez, the mountain in our deer woods that was cut 8 years ago still isn’t producing anything decent…they even planted a bunch of oak and maple and the majority of those are dead or browsed beyond recognition..and the raspberry brush has taken over!

      Outdoorsguy

  14. Holy crap, deer are evolving into omnivors? Let’s hope the gun manufacturers don’t build anything with a hoof trigger. Would make for an interesting hunt if the game could shoot back, no? I would suspect our race could be easily baited too!
    Nice pic of the fisher! Thanks for that! I have only ever seen one close in the wild and it was pretty small.

    I think the fat non typical survived the season so far, got a fleeting glimpse of a buck on the game cam as he ran through and I think it may be him. Many pics of does in his gardening though.

  15. the people at Ottawa Valley Forests were very good with us, they explained that oak build an underground root base before they shoot up, so for the first three or four years it looks like nothing is happening, then all of a sudden, the trees start to grow up out of the ground, and take off, and that’s exactly what has happened. In just a couple years they’ve grown to about 6 feet or so, and with this cover, the deer are back in. But if there are no trees in there to hangs stands from, there is no way to see them it’s so think
    And it is crown land

  16. We made our way to Algonquin Park for our annual deer hunt I am one of the junior members and only have 18 years of hunting there, some members of our camp have over 45 years of hunting. This year we knew it was going to be tough because of the logging they have done (selective) they summer cut most of where we deer hunt lots of places for them to hide and very little food, farther up the road was logged 3 years ago but with the regulations in the park where you must leave your camp by foot the 5km walk one way. This year my daughter made the first 3 days. We put her in a good spot (top of the second hill) we made a small human dog, and we pushed a doe out to her she missed at about 60 yards though some small bush tough shot even for a 44 ruger mag semi, but just like every other guy in camp she took the ribbing pretty good about missing they all knew she missed a big buck with the shot gun earlier in the first week. My son also came up for the whole week as well. He was by my side the whole week. He prefers to dog than to sit he cannot for the life of him sit still. On Tuesday we had a big cow moose walk out to us and stand about 40 yards away and stare at us for about a 5 minutes he got quite a kick out of that. Tuesday afternoon we pushed 2 does and 2 fawns out to a guy and he chose not to shoot. Wednesday we pushed out a big old doe to a guy and she had no fawns with he so he shot her at about 60 yards and that ended the hunt for that day. Thursday we made our way up the road approx. 2.5 km and we fooled around up there with no results so on the way back we decided to push out the top of the second hill. The road is very curvy so I stayed at the top of the second hill while the guys made it down to the bottom around the corner and up the old draw road to cut off the dog. While I had another guy from our camp walking towards me as he was going to take the bottom of the second hill watch. I watched him as he got about 60 or so yards from me and looked down the road and saw what I thought was a deer, it was it was looking at the guys that made it around the corner, I could not shoot the deer in fear of shooting towards the other guys, I said if that deer walks across the road I am going to shoot it (allowed to discharge a firearm down the road but not across the road) its one of the main logging roads. I motioned for the guy walking towards me to stop and the deer walked on an angle across the road looking at the guys that had walked by. I raised my gun turned my elite 4200 to 12x and got its neck in the cross hairs and said if I hit you at 168 yard your mine if I miss your running on rocket fuel. My browning 270 wsm with 130 ballistic tip bullets and elite have never let me down the deer went straight down into the ditch of the road, it turned out to be a “buck” 2 7/8 antler not enough for a buck tag just a doe tag. We decided on a group with such little deer in the area and tons of moose that we would just pick on bucks so the next two…

  17. Wow it cut off part of my story ..

    the next two days the kids shot birds 7 . so that made 2 deer one moose and seven birds. hunting is over for now with a health issue but our christmas break down south should put some deer on the ground for sure .

    1. Thanks Chessy, that sounded like lots of fun..and please send me the vids whenever you get them. I’d especially like to see that 170 yard trickshot..from the hip..blind-folded was it??

      Outdoorsguy

  18. no trick shot just a few hundred rounds out of the gun with a new scope… i shot a deer last year with a blown up bushnell scope (bushnell replaced it ), i had to leave it outside in a truck all week long so it would not completely fog up on me and it was only 168 not 170 . Everyone goes to the range to site them in off a bench, i have never ever shot from a bench in the woods, i site it in on a bench then the rest is standing ect. yes it was a lucky shot but alot of hard work went into shooting like that so i would say 80% skill 20 % luck

    1. Chessy, you might be selling yourself short there. I don’t see how good marksmanship can be only 80% skill.

      Outdoorsguy

  19. Yes Jeff and Chess, the “I don’t eat meat that eats meat” rule was in fact mine. This was a previous justification for not targeting and harvesting bear. I have seen the video of the deer eating meat and I have eaten Lynx so I can no longer rely on this rule. Having said that I still don’t target or harvest bear out of respect for Native belief that a new born bear carries the spirit of the deceased…..On a more personal note however, after live trapping and tranquilizing dozens of bear during my time in the North I have a bit of a soft spot for them.

  20. And yes that is a good sized male Fisher. After submitting this pic we caught #5 of 10 and he was even bigger. Sorry no pics of him at this time.

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