Friday, July 17, 2015


It's still above 90 degrees outside at 7:00 pm, and I'm swinging a bush ax.  In between wiping sweat out of my eyes, I think that I must be crazy. It's the middle of July, but already I have whitetail deer on my mind. I'm at one of my hunting spots, clearing a trail across a pond dam that had become overgrown with briers and saplings. This dam doubles as a bridge over the creek leading to my deer stand. Once the trail is cleared, I still have to walk up to the top of the ridge and check on the stand, and clear away some dead trees that are blocking the shooting lanes, not to mention trimming the limbs that have began to block my view out of the stand. The old ladder on the homemade stand needs to be replaced, thanks to the work of carpenter bees, but that's a project that will have to wait for another day. I've got a memory card in my pocket, and plan on swapping it out with the one that is in my trail camera close by. I can't wait to see if anything has been visiting the minerals I put out a few weeks ago, and my thoughts turn to cooler weather, changing leaves, and rutting bucks.

That was the scenario the other day as I began preparing for the 2015 deer season. Anticipation is a big part of hunting and fishing to me. I can remember many years where I couldn't sleep the night before opening day of deer or turkey seasons, or even when I had a fishing trip planned for the next morning. That seems to have changed a little as I've gotten older, and I'd like to think that it's just experience helping me to sleep now. I don't feel any less excitement about being outdoors now than I did twenty or more years ago as a child, however I do know now that it's better to sleep in the bed the night before so I don't fall asleep in the stand in the mornings!

One thing that I enjoy now is being able to use trail cameras to see what I would've normally missed by not being in the woods. I'm not sure that these have drastically changed the way I hunt, but they do tend to add fuel to the fire of excitement when a nice deer or big tom turkey shows up on camera. Over the last few years, they've also provided their share of surprises like the time a black bear passed through, or the occasional bobcat, fox, coyote, or raccoon. As I've suffered through the 90+ degree high temperatures these last few weeks, I can't help but think that soon fall will be here, bringing with it cooler weather, football, dove hunting, better trout fishing, and the beginning of our archery deer season. In the meantime, here are a few of the visitors that have shown up on the camera in the last few days. It won't be much longer and these bucks won't be so friendly with each other. I can't wait.

- Joseph

There are a few more pictures below the jump.


  1. It's always exciting to see what's out there. I've been thinking about getting a trail camera for curiosity's sake, even though I don't hunt anymore. There's usually something poking around in the woods that you won't see on the regular.

    1. That's my favorite thing about having those cameras. I've seen things that I had no idea were there.


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