August 26, 2013

2013 Scouting Trips

August 24 - It was hot and humid this morning, but I got to a remote spot approximately 1 mile deep into the woods which will be a location for a dead-branch ground blind. I marked the trail from one of my favorite hunting spots to this new location with orange tape. The orange tape will come down after I've marked the trail with dead wood markers and have made the trip several times. Its been a few years since I've constructed a ground blind from dead branches, but there is no shortage of dead branches on the forest floor due to the 2011 drought. I expect it will take 3 to 4 hours to collect and layout a well-positioned ground blind with good shooting lanes. The half-circle ground blinds make for an excellent place to conduct horn rattling and grunt calling during the rut. I've found that ground blinds provide just enough cover if game is nearby, but you still have to move slowly and be aware of wind direction to remain undetected.

August 17 - It was a surprisingly cool morning for the month of August as I stepped into the woods at 7:00 AM. I walked slowly to my favorite spot in the SHNF and was pleased to see that recent rains had given the forest a good soaking. Fallen logs still looked damp and there were a few spots with standing water. I heard a turkey gobbling in the distance. I have never heard a turkey in this section of forest in past years. With the recent rains the hogs have gone into high gear and have rooted up large patches throughout the forest. They are certainly active this year, much more so than 2012. I'm hoping that this year we will get enough rain to cause water to flow in the stream that runs though the forest. It has been completely dry since the summer drought of 2011. The recent rains have not been sufficient to get the stream flowing, but they greatly helped the browse-level vegetation which appears healthy green and plentiful. White-tailed deer are heavily dependent on the tips of green vegetation for nutrition and its good to see plenty of forage during mid-August. I found a new hunting spot today which is much deeper in the forest and very secluded. I checked out the scrape line which has been active for many years and there are no signs of ground scrapes anywhere.