Hunting & Fishing Thread

Mike_Key

Robin
Thought I'd give this thread a bump seeing as how tomorrow is opening day for bow season here in Maryland. Assuming I don't get rained out, I'm planning on being out there bright and early. Looking forward to being in the woods, watching the sunrise and hopefully shooting some deer. This'll be my first full season hunting out of a saddle. Hope the rest of you guys on this thread have a great (and safe!) season.
How many sits or outings have you had so far this Fall 2020? I've been out twice. First day I called with a grunt call - I called in a 3 or 4 year old 8 point buck, no velvet and not too big in the antlers but a massive body.

I climbed a tree on day 2 but didn't see anything, half day I was in a tree; but mostly still hunting. I hands down have seen more animals on the ground than in or from a tree, how about you?

Are you on public or private? I'm all public, here in the mid-Atlantic.

Do you like the saddle? Pros and cons?
 

Renzy

Kingfisher
How many sits or outings have you had so far this Fall 2020? I've been out twice. First day I called with a grunt call - I called in a 3 or 4 year old 8 point buck, no velvet and not too big in the antlers but a massive body.

I climbed a tree on day 2 but didn't see anything, half day I was in a tree; but mostly still hunting. I hands down have seen more animals on the ground than in or from a tree, how about you?

Are you on public or private? I'm all public, here in the mid-Atlantic.

Do you like the saddle? Pros and cons?
Hey Mike,

Were you able to get a shot on the 8 ptr? I've gone out almost every Sat since opening day (Sept 11 this year in MD), plus a few weekdays after work. So maybe around 5 times on public and 2 or 3 evenings on private. So far on public all I've seen are does, some still with their fawns, with the exception of one little spike buck I saw on opening day. Last weekend I sat near some of the only fresh rubs I've found so far, but all that came through was another doe. A friend of mine got me access to some private land this season and I took a small 6 pointer there last week. Aside from that, it's been a pretty quiet this season for me up till now. We're getting a big temp drop tonight so I'm hoping it gets them moving tomorrow.

As far as the saddle goes, I'm liking it a lot.

Pros

- It's a lot lighter than a climber. The climber I was using is a Summit Viper which, while very comfortable, is around 20lb. My saddle is just a few pounds, even including my tether and linesman belt in the pouches. I've got molle straps on my climber to make it easier to haul around but even still there's no comparison. It's way easier to hike in with the saddle than the climber, which on public is nice as I generally like to go further back to get away from the crowds.

- It's quieter. When hiking in with my climber I always had issues with it snagging on branches and brush. If you're on wide open trails it's not an issue, but getting back into deer trails where there's any kind of thickets, going under overhanging branches, etc. - it would always catch some undergrowth on the cables or the sides because the climber's profile is wider & taller than my back.

- You can use the tree as cover more easily. I've noticed I'm spooking fewer deer this season and one advantage I think with a saddle is you can sort of hide behind the tree and use it as cover.

Cons

- Not as comfortable. I could fall asleep in my climber whereas in the saddle after a few hours I start feeling hip pinch or strain under my thighs. I'm using a couple of Wild Edge steps for my platform and I'm finding I have to play around with the positions to get it where I don't have to shift my feet to relieve the pressure. So, to me, that's the biggest tradeoff - it's not quite as comfy as a climber or ladder stand. But it's not enough for me to go back to my climber and each time I go out I'm noticing that I'm getting better and better at tuning things for comfort.

- No shooting rest. On my climber I could use the front rail as a shooting rest. Same with the ladder stand on I got on private. With a bow that's not an issue, but during muzzleloader or firearm season you won't have a rail to stabilize against.

Anyway, I'm definitely liking it overall. I feel like I'm more mobile and my setups are quieter and easier. Hopefully it will translate into some more deer this season.
 

Mike_Key

Robin
Hey Mike,

Were you able to get a shot on the 8 ptr? I've gone out almost every Sat since opening day (Sept 11 this year in MD), plus a few weekdays after work. So maybe around 5 times on public and 2 or 3 evenings on private. So far on public all I've seen are does, some still with their fawns, with the exception of one little spike buck I saw on opening day. Last weekend I sat near some of the only fresh rubs I've found so far, but all that came through was another doe. A friend of mine got me access to some private land this season and I took a small 6 pointer there last week. Aside from that, it's been a pretty quiet this season for me up till now. We're getting a big temp drop tonight so I'm hoping it gets them moving tomorrow.

As far as the saddle goes, I'm liking it a lot.

Pros

- It's a lot lighter than a climber. The climber I was using is a Summit Viper which, while very comfortable, is around 20lb. My saddle is just a few pounds, even including my tether and linesman belt in the pouches. I've got molle straps on my climber to make it easier to haul around but even still there's no comparison. It's way easier to hike in with the saddle than the climber, which on public is nice as I generally like to go further back to get away from the crowds.

- It's quieter. When hiking in with my climber I always had issues with it snagging on branches and brush. If you're on wide open trails it's not an issue, but getting back into deer trails where there's any kind of thickets, going under overhanging branches, etc. - it would always catch some undergrowth on the cables or the sides because the climber's profile is wider & taller than my back.

- You can use the tree as cover more easily. I've noticed I'm spooking fewer deer this season and one advantage I think with a saddle is you can sort of hide behind the tree and use it as cover.

Cons

- Not as comfortable. I could fall asleep in my climber whereas in the saddle after a few hours I start feeling hip pinch or strain under my thighs. I'm using a couple of Wild Edge steps for my platform and I'm finding I have to play around with the positions to get it where I don't have to shift my feet to relieve the pressure. So, to me, that's the biggest tradeoff - it's not quite as comfy as a climber or ladder stand. But it's not enough for me to go back to my climber and each time I go out I'm noticing that I'm getting better and better at tuning things for comfort.

- No shooting rest. On my climber I could use the front rail as a shooting rest. Same with the ladder stand on I got on private. With a bow that's not an issue, but during muzzleloader or firearm season you won't have a rail to stabilize against.

Anyway, I'm definitely liking it overall. I feel like I'm more mobile and my setups are quieter and easier. Hopefully it will translate into some more deer this season.
I didn't get a shot off unfortunately, as they say 'you're always hunting'. Well, what happened is after about a few hours of still hunting, I decided to eat lunch. I took off my release and put the bow down (I put the call away). That is when the buck appeared about 5 minutes after I stopped calling. But he came in ready to fight. lol

I have many failure stories but they were all memorable and 'water off the back'.

I actually have never harvested a deer, but I've been out many times.

Many experiences and lessons learned. I have dressed out one deer and a red fox (for tanning). I've stalked, used a blind, dealt with trees and have climbed mountains. The things you see out there are a vacation, in and of themselves. When I first started, I was crazy about it. I'd wake up at 3am; get to the parking lots early and talk to strangers in the dark as they loaded their shotguns. As a beginner, I always thought that was a crazy part of the sport.
: )

These days I've calmed down. I'm no longer so stubborn. Initially, I told myself that I'd only hunt with a bow. I've backed off lately and I've been out there with 12 ga. shotgun - taken shots but haven't harvested anything, as mentioned.

One cool thing, I've never had shaking buck fever from an actual buck but for a small doe, I have.

Thanks for the pros and cons on the saddle, I hadn't consider some of that stuff. I'll probably remain on the ground this season, at least for the most part. I'll post if I'm successful. Good to see others excited about the outdoors.
 
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