Here in southeast Texas we have about 2 weeks until bow season starts, and about 7 weeks until rifle season starts.
Over the past few weeks my wife and I have been going to the lease to spread beans and oats, and to check on the feeders. My family and I have 4 feeders and 5 stands setup. One of the stands is a portable ground blind. The other four stands are on legs and overlook at feeder.
Out of 4 feeders, 3 of them had been knocked over. We suspect wild hogs knocked the feeders over; I hope vandals did not knock the feeders over during the summer.
Today (September 14 2012) my dad and I made a trip to the lease. The purpose of this trip was to check the feeder motors, put fresh batteries in the feeders and put 3 bags of corn in each feeder.
First feeder – is what the family calls the “hog pen stand”. The stand is called “hog pen stand” is because there used to be a hog trap close to the stand. This is one of the feeders that was knocked over during the off season. My wife and I stood the feeder up a couple of weeks ago.
Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, the lid was removed and the inside inspected. As usual there was a good bit of rotten corn inside the feeder. It was leaned over, turned upside down and the spoiled corn was was dumped out on the ground.
Hogs will find the spoiled corn.
The feeder was stood up; the motor was locked up, so we installed a new motor. When the feeder fell over during the summer, the motor housing fell in such a way that it caught water, filled up, and the motor was sitting in water for several months. As a result of the water and the rust, the motor was ruined.
Three bags of fresh corn were dumped into the feeder. The timer was set and the motor was tested.
Everything looked good on the hog pen stand, so dad and I went to the tripod stand.
This feeder had been knocked over and one of the legs was bent. The leg was bent so bad that it had to be replaced.
The tripod feeder is a rather large feeder, it will hold something like 300 pounds of corn.
Dad and I got the tripod feeder stood up, new battery installed, 3 bags of corn poured into the feeder and tested the feeder motor. After all of that, everything looked good.
The tripod feeder is in an excellent area for deer hunting. A few years ago the local timber company thinned out the trees, this gives weeds room to grow. Deer love weeds. If you find the weeds, you will find the deer. Contrary to popular belief, deer do not eat a lot of grass.
The middle stand is in an excellent area, as its on top of a hill and there is a creek at the bottom on each side of the hill. Every year there is a herd of does that goes to the middle stand, along with a couple of young bucks. Last year (2011 – 2012 hunting season) I saw a small 6 point buck from the middle stand. The 6 point was too small, so it was not harvested.
For the past few years my son has been hunting the middle stand. In fact, my son took his first deer off the middle stand.
I made it a point to buy all three of my sons a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester. In September 2007 my third son and I went to Bobs Pawn Shop in Newton Texas where we put a Marlin 336 with a Simmons 3-9×40 scope on layaway. Over the next 2 months we made a trip to Bobs Pawn Shop and made a payment on the rifle.
One thing that made the rifle special was that I let my son pick it out. When we went to bobs Pawn Shop in Newton Texas, I told my son to pick out a rifle that cost less then around $450. Over the past few years my son had been shooting a Marlin lever action 336, so I guess that experience influenced his choice. After looking over the selection, he settled on the Marlin. I paid the necessary 20% or 25% down. From there-on-out my son and I made a trip to the pawn shop to make payments on the rifle.
The day my son and I paid the rifle off, we went to the camp to sight it in. After shooting a box of Remington core-lokt we loaded up in the truck and headed to the lease.
We were in the stand maybe 5 minutes when a nice sized 6 point whitetail buck walked out. My son put the crosshairs of the scope on the vitals of the deer. However, a pole of the deer feeder was in the way on a clear shot. After maybe 10 minutes the buck moved so that the feeder pole was no longer in the way, and my son took the shot.
We waited maybe 10 minutes or so then we got out of the stand. When we walked to the shot where the deer was standing there was some blood on the ground.
I figured we were going to have to track the deer, but I was wrong. That 6 point buck made it about 30 feet into the woodline, then collapsed.
After dad and I made sure everything was working on the middle stand, we moved to my brothers deer feeder.
My brothers stand and feeder are both in a good location, as they are surrounded by a pine thicket, creeks and hardwood.
Over the past few years my family and I have taken a number of whitetail deer from my brothers stand – I took an 8 point, my son took a doe, and my nephew took a spike and a doe.
During the 2011 – 2012 hunting season my sons and I setup a ground blind on a creek bottom close to my brothers stand. Just my luck I did not see a single deer. I saw plenty of squirrels, but no deer.
Over the next month
I need to get a salt and mineral block to put out at each feeder.
Put out a wildlife camera.
Sight my rifle in.
Scout the areas for rubs and scraps.