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Old Ranger
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 7:52am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I've be away from the deer pastures too long. About 14
years since I set foot in one to hunt. Since my
retirement and exile to my current location, I have
neither the funds nor friends to have a place to hunt.
Now that all changed recently when my granddaughter and
her husband invited me to hunt their place. I went
yesterday afternoon.

Armed with my super accurate Marlin XL7C .30'06 and H335
backed Remington 150 SP loads, I was ready. We rode out
in a little 4 wheel contraption and then grandson walked
me to a rectangular box as my granddaughter drove on to
her spot some 280m south. I noticed the box was made of
old tin roofing and recycled road signs painted mostly
green with swirling black graffiti like embellishments.
It was in fact, a 3'x6'x5' trailer. Makeshift windows
from more road signs and patchworks of plywood were set
on all sides hinged from the top where one raises the
large flap-like windows and loop some bailing wire to a
nail above to hold them open.

Once inside the box I observed two old office chairs,
some old carpeting on the floor, and triangular blocks in
each corner with notching to serve as rifle racks. Quite
novel and fully portable. I'm facing 280 to a treeline
108m away. North, 260m is grandson in an elevated box in
a corner of the treeline in front of me. Granddaughter is
280m south of me in a treestand overlooking a feeder to
the west. The entire area is a series of stepped ridges
descending toward the west ending about 20m back into a
gully amid the trees. It's 81F. Wasps are buzzing about
the box. It's 2:45PM and I'm sitting in a wasp magnet in
the middle of the deer pasture trying not to make a sound
despite the creaking and popping of the old office chair.
The box also has a port list of about 20, and I am under
attack by stinging insects that I am highly allergic to.
Suddenly I'm not all that enthusiastic anymore.

Every effort to remain silent within the box is futile.
The chair pops loudly. The box acts as an amplifier and
adds it's own series of noise to the slightest movement
on my part. But at 5:18PM, it's sundown. My seventy year
old eyes grow dim. Things are blotted shadows as a large
buck enters the field 90m North of me. Grandson sends a
text message about it. Even with failing eyesight he's in
plain sight. The buck is cautious. Moving warily west
descending a ridge but still in easy range. I turn to get
my rifle. The chair pops! Dann it! The buck stops and
looks southeast toward the box. Rifle in hand, I ease it
along below the 12" tall window. As I raise it, BANG! I
smack the barrel against the frame of the window! Crap!
The buck is now really spooked and trots into shoulder
high broomweed. Then he stops. Though a perfect
broadside, I can't see "the pocket" and hold my fire. And
in a second he's off into the darkness of the trees.

Grandson comes out of his stand. Granddaughter is heading
to pick us up to return to the house. And I'm mortified.
I have never hunted from a box before in all my years.
I'm sure my grandson was thinking of my comfort, but I
can't function in a box. Felt like a big noisy coffin
with wasps!

Next weekend, I'll disappear into the northeastern
treeline in a modified Gillies, and hunt my way.

This experience has given me a whole new appreciation for
the term "Thinking outside of the box."

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richhodg66
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 8:06am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I hunt from portable tree stands most of the time and make considerably effort to ensure they are quiet. 99% of the time, the deer has no idea I'm there until the bullet or arrow hits it, usually at very close range. That's how I like to do it.

Those elevated box blinds definitely seem to be a central Texas thing, but I've been seeing them more commonly here in Kansas from the road. I hunt public land, so not going to see any where I hunt.

Even if you didn't get one, at least you saw deer and were out. Killing one is just kind of icing on the cake really.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 8:40am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

We see a few of those elevated box type stands around here as well anymore. And someone is selling round blinds that look like large round hay bales with a window. I guess they work decent enough especially for young fidgeting youth hunters and such. Less chance for a deer to see movement of the hunter. Might be nice for those really cold breezy days with the help of a propane heater.

Sounds like Wade could have used an air conditioner or at least a fan with it being over 80 degrees. It got up into the 80's the first few days of my ten day deer camp this year and we mostly just done a bit of scouting and such and enjoying the camp as none of us really wanted to deal with having to rush around and cut up a deer in such heat. We had plenty of ice chests, but it just is not right. We managed to get in a few days of decent weather bow hunting.

By the end of the week when rifle season opened it had started to cool down a bit so we put up our crossbows and got out the rifles. Our Sons joined us the night before and three of the boys ended up getting their deer. Great hunt.

My Son and I stayed at camp for two days after everyone else broke camp and headed back home. The next day I had a fair sized seven point come trotting by me in search of a doe and I could not get him to slow down even with a grunt call. He was almost quartering up the hill towards me, but was about to go into some heavy cover so I had to shoot or let him walk. I ended up not leading him enough and shot him just behind the diaphragm with it angling down and exiting out through one ham. Terrible shot for me as I hardly ever require more than one shot. My Son was about 300 yards on up along the creek and the deer reversed directions and headed toward him and was finished off by my Son with a neck shot from his AR 7.62x40 Wilson Tactical and a 130gr. Hornady Spire point pushed at around 2,400 fps with Win 680. My supply of the discontinued 680 is all but used up so we will now be using AA-1680 which is practically the same. Needless to say, I was proud of my Son helping out Dad to avoid a lot of serious tracking.

I guess I learned my lesson about shooting at a moving deer even if he was only about 50 yards away. I have hit several on the run, but that was after they had already been hit by someone else. I should have let this one walk I guess, but it ended well. However, my 94 Win. shooting a Lyman 429215 225gr. gas checked cast bullet moving 1,900 fps pushed by military surplus WC-820 (AA#9 pulled from .30 carbine ammo) left a large hole in the one ham.

Oh and Wade, until recently after my back and hips started keeping me from still hunting, that was my favorite way of hunting. I never got bored from sitting in the same spot all day and I seemed to see more deer as well. Trouble was, that I sometimes ended up killing the deer in some ridiculous location where it required a lot of dragging to recover the deer. I am too old for that anymore for sure, but I certainly enjoyed it most of my life. And although one has to put up with ticks and flying insects while creeping around on the ground, at least wasps are not the problem. I hate wasps.

Edited by Ham Gunner on 26 November 2017 at 9:17am


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M700
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote M700

Wade - I think you're going to be happier, back in the treeline where a Ranger belongs, instead of in a box.

But... I have seen some really well-constructed box blinds. Carpeted, quiet. Good shelter from the rain & wind. Nice carpeted window-sill for a rifle rest... Ya, some folks put a lot of thought and effort into their blinds.

I haven't hunted from one that nice though. Time to time I have used a "pop-up" blind, kind of a glorified tent with windows to shoot from. That has worked out GREAT!

Set up the blind overlooking some food or water source, or just a place where the deer routinely travel, get inside and patiently wait. It works! Chilly here in the Northwest where I've used 'em in November for whitetail.

I'll put two portable camp chairs or stools inside, and set up a place to rest the rifle. Longest shot one of my friends made was only about 125 yards to take a nice fat buck that was working his way towards the apple orchard below.

Shortest shot was made by my son a few years ago, maybe 30 feet? With his 30-06 and a 165 grain Nosler Partition. The buck sprang out of there almost like it hadn't been hit! My son was so puzzled!

I told him it had been hit hard, and sure enough, we found the buck only 30 yards or so away. Dead, in an icy stream with snow on the banks... Sheesh, ya, I got a little wet hauling that buck up out of the creek. But it was an easy drag back to the Jeep!

Our problem hasn't been getting too hot in the blind, it's staying warm! Several layers of good clothing, and a couple of those little disposable pocket-warmers help.

But, that's with a pop-up tent-type blind. Really pretty quiet and nice.

Guy
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richhodg66
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 2:52pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Haven't used one in a long time but used the pop up blinds extensively when my boys were starting. They do work pretty well, but you have to use some sense and tie them in with a tree line or otherwise brush them in.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 9:40am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Looked at some of those things on the net. Y'all might be
on to something here. Being a stubborn old coot and in my
mind, still able to do anything I did in my youth, I was
thinking old school. However, you guys have a point. The
pop up cover is both handy and gives great cover to an
old man who refuses to admit he's old and decrepit!
Thursday is pay call in the world of Old Ranger. Do
believe I'll just get me one of those instant covers and
be completely concealed AND comfortable!
No bugs too! Those damn wasps were in full attack
Saturday in that creaking, smelly, leaning, noisy box!
Hey, an old dog might have just learned a new trick!

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richhodg66
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 4:33pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Practice setting it up and taking it down a few times, but they are pretty easy to set up. Not much protection from cold, but do cut the wind and help with bugs.

Have you tried one of these Thermo Cell deals for the bugs? They keep them away and I honestly cannot smell anything from them unless I stick my nose right next to one and sniff deeply. Can't wear bug repellent, deer will smell that stuff two miles away, but the Thermo Cells work, especially inside a blind.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 7:17pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Thermo cells? New to me. I'll look em up.
Seen a pop up tent while a scout leader some years ago.
Looked like it was easy, but too high tech for this old
trooper. I understand shelter halves, ponchos, and such.
But I can learn new stuff. Shucks, I learned how to use
something other than black powder and 310 tools right? I
can learn pop up gizmos.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 10:28pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Ok, Thermacell, with an A... Interesting....

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KinleyWater
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Posted: 29 November 2017 at 7:19pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

This past Saturday, I hunted some land on an invitation. This was the first time I had ever seen the land, and I was directed to a particular stand and dutifully moved out. This was the first time I had ever hunted from a stand and when I got to the top, found that it was simply a metal seat. With the wind rocking the tree it was attached to, i found it was like sitting on a milking stool 20 feet in the air. I was not happy with the lack of safety and my first task was to make myself a seat belt. So, up on the top of the stand with no knife (I had somehow forgotten it on the ground), I fashioned something out of a length of 550 cord and and tied myself in. No deer, but a lesson learned.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 29 November 2017 at 7:35pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Don't hunt from trees. Some old dude named Newton said
something about gravity a long time ago and the part I
remember the most is that gravity works!
This old Ranger hunts from the ground!

And tomorrow is Pay Call. After standard pay day
activities, I'm going to Tyler [big town east of here] to
Academy and get some ground blind material. Gave ALL my
good huntin gear to my boy... Now I gotta restock!

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KinleyWater
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Posted: 29 November 2017 at 7:52pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Ah, but as I found out many years ago, the gravity is not the problem. It's the sudden impact with that big hard ball shaped thing we live on - that's the problem . Then I became acquainted with another of Mr. Newton's laws with mass and energy.

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richhodg66
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Posted: 29 November 2017 at 8:52pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Guess I'm weird, I love to sit in a tree stand, and most of the deer I've shot have been from trees, though I've shot quite a few from the ground too. Being above line of sight puts you at a huge advantage, I routinely have deer walk right under me unaware. The other day when I killed that buck with the cross bow, while I was waiting my requisite hour before climbing down after a hit, a young doe came and milled around under me for a good 25 minutes and simply wouldn't go away. I didn't want to climb down while she was there or otherwise alert her to the fact that there was a threat above. Seems like it took forever, but she never did spook.

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Kosh75287
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Posted: 02 December 2017 at 2:36pm | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

Those elevated "deer-boxes" are catching on in western Oklahoma, to my great sadness...

The amplifying effects of those things just DO NOT get taken into account until 1st-timers use them!

Lining the interior with any kind of styrofoam (even egg cartons), helps dampen the "echo-chamber" effect in addition to making them a bit more livable in very cold weather. It seems that most "deer-box" proponents are unaware or indifferent to this information, which is ALSO okay with me.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: 04 December 2017 at 8:19am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

My oh my.... Sounds like you wish them to fail. Surely
there's a tongue-in-cheek thought here yes?

But my onetime experience in the box was enough for me.
I'm back on the ground nestled into the trees.
Invisible. Silent. Lethal.

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Rex
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Posted: 04 December 2017 at 11:33am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Wade, how is deer hunting coming down south? Seeing many?
Many big ones?
I never did hold out for a big deer as my wife isn't a bad cook but she can't fix horns so I can eat them.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: 04 December 2017 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rex, been like 80F most of the time. Deer move weird
down here in the heat. That one nice buck that I spooked
from that damn box was it for me. Right now too warm and
too many bugs. I don't do wasps. When the temperature is
up they're out in squadrons! So I'm waiting for a drop in
the temperature or I'm simply staying home. Perhaps next
Sat? 30s in the AM and lower 50s in the afternoon. I can
deal with that since the wasps aren't out then.

Edit: the county I'm in has a 13" spread/6pt rules on
taking bucks. Spikes are ok and such. Weird game regs
here. Might just shoot hogs and forget about the deer.
Hogs are 100% legal day, night, spotlight, doesn't
matter. No limit. No season. Just go out and schwack em
all day long!

When the light fades my eyes go from good to stinko!
Those last few minutes of legal hunting light I'm blind
as a bat. Can't see to count points or estimate rack
width... Can't go in the morning as my crew there doesn't
do mornings much... Like to sleep in.

Edited by Old Ranger on 04 December 2017 at 3:38pm


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M700
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Posted: 04 December 2017 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote M700

That low-light stuff is where a good scope is a terrific thing to have.

I'm partial to the 6x Leupold for that sort of thing. Very clear. Better than most variables, even high priced variables.

But.. you don't like scopes.

Good luck with the cooler weather on the way! Here in central Washington, we're having highs in the 30's and lows in the 20's with clear blue skies. It's actually pretty doggone nice, but deer season was over with in October. At least for mule deer, and now it's closed for whitetail as well.

Best of luck, Guy
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richhodg66
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Posted: 05 December 2017 at 3:09am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

This is the last week of our rifle season, it'll end Sunday. I can't deer hunt because I'm tagged out. Oldest son is half heartedly going now and then, but doesn't seem real interested, I guess two in the freezer will have to get us through. It's been unseasonably warm here this year so far, but I haven't had to worry about wasps. Did here of a deer hunter west of here who got bitten by a rattler last week, pretty weird for around here, it's usually pretty cold by now.

I like iron sights too and use them a good bit more than most guys nowadays it seems, but scopes shine in the field more than on the range, especially in low light.

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Buffalogun
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Posted: 05 December 2017 at 11:07am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Old Ranger wrote:

I'm back on the ground nestled into the trees.
Invisible. Silent. Lethal.


And, you STINK!!!

The two main reasons for the lofty perches are to afford the hunter a better survey of the local terrain and to get your scent above the game animals.

Deer and coyotes don't like the smell of aftershave! I have hunted from elevated stands for most of the last 50 yrs. I have taken rack bucks less than 50 ft. from my elevated stands. I've used boxes, hangers and climbers.

The secret is you have to adjust your movements and concentrate a little more on hunting in an enclosed stand.......and use a little pre-season wasp spray!



Mike

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