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#28288 - 12/25/21 02:17 PM Quest for Ole Big Foot.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Things have been very quiet here on the forum, we need something to talk about. So I'll tell you my plan.

I haven't been checking my mountain trail cameras very often, haven't had much time to hunt this season, so far. Only fired one shot so far.

On my #2 and #3 cameras, I've got a sow bear with 3 cubs, not sure, maybe 70 pounders? I think the sow will go 200#. Also have a single bear that will go 100 plus. And then there is one that will go 250 plus. Maybe 300 ?

Anyway, I'm off work today. It's warm, warmed up over night. Winds out of the southwest at 8, gusting to 18 mph. The leaves are dry and noisy.

Think I'll hunt up that first hollow past Camera #1, go up to the top and come back down the south side of that big ridge. Good chance the big one is laying in that laurel.

One bear and one guy on 400 acres, I've pretty much got him cornered. lol I should have the west side of the mountain all to myself today.

I'm off work tomorrow too. So, we'll see what happens.

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#28290 - 12/26/21 02:06 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Well, I didn't amount to squat yesterday. Up on the mountain the wind was coming out of the northwest, with the leaves/woods being so dry, figured my chances of sneaking up on a bear with the wind at my back, was pretty much a waste of time.

That's a big ridge, it's about a mile across. I've hunted that ridge dozens of times, and it'll take me a good hour or 2, maybe 3 hours to hunt through. Seems like all of my guys are busy or too lazy to hunt anymore. Or already wasted their vacation time and are back to work.

Anyway, we had a little rain shower here last night, should have been enough to settle the leaves. Going to pack my lunch, flashlight, and try again today. We'll still dry as a bone, I'll probably end up watching the spring until dark.

I did see 2 deer yesterday. Forget how many times I've hunted up there this season? But that makes a grand total of 5 deer that I've seen on the mountain. Not counting the doe and fawn that I seen in the headlights that one night. Seven total.

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#28291 - 12/28/21 12:42 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
While it's fresh in my mind, I'll tell you what happened Sunday. It wasn't much.

I had a couple of things to do here before I left town, got on the mountain late. The little bit of rain we had here in town, it didn't rain at all on the mountain. Only 6 or 7 miles away.

I walked the road for a while, watched down under the rocks for a while, sat in the truck eating baked ham and rolls for a while. About 3 hours before dark I walked up to the spring, did see a doe about halfway up. I think it snorted at me, I heard something. Anyway, I watched it walk away.

I've got a spot about 75 yards above the spring, pretty much in the hollow. I've just been sitting on the ground, kind of leaning against a maple tree, two dead ash trees beside me. The ground is fairly steep, I've got a little pole, the size of your arm wedged on the high side of the maple. Keeps me from sliding down the mountain everytime I twist around.

Honestly, it's not very comfortable, no worries about taking a nap. But I can see to shoot down the hollow better than a hundred, and can see up the hollow to the base of the rocks. I can see the south side of the ridge, on my right pretty good.

So I snuggled in and watched. A little before dark a gray squirell came up the hollow, den trees off to my left. So I watched till it was too dark to see the spring, too dark to walk without a light.

After sitting that long I get about half stiff, my legs. So I eased off to the truck and came home.

Had to work yesterday, the same for today. I will have Wednesday morning off, Thursday I'm off all day (hopefully) and Friday I'll be off work till 2pm. I'm running short on time!

We did finally get a little rain shower yesterday, I'm looking forward to Thursday.

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#28294 - 01/06/22 12:56 AM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
jarentz Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 73
Loc: central pa.
It sounds like your having a good time and getting some exercise. How are you planing on getting that big bear out by yourself? My son and I both shot nice buck in some rough country, and @ 64 years old i'm not a shame to say that I was glad to see the pickup truck at the bottom of the mountain! We did shoot one bear in our season, it was 192#. In PA. you have to get them checked by the Game Commission. Anyway nice hearing about your Adventures,and Good Luck to you!

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#28295 - 01/06/22 04:56 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Well, it sounds like you've had a good season and good times with your son. That's the main thing to get out and enjoy your time afield.

It's a long story, but I'll tell you anyway. Honestly, I wanted to double check and make sure that there wasn't a misprint in my calendar. But it was right, and bear season ended here on 12/31/2021. VA's season ended on January 1st. I checked.

Last Wednesday, that would have been 12/29/21, we had a good rain, I was told about 3/4'a oF an inch. It was a good soaking rain, but we're still dry.

Thursday morning, it was really foggy on the mountain, and I had to do a few things here in town. Long story short, it was 10am when I got on the mountain, and with the fog, you could only see 40 yards.

A little before Noon the fog started to clear out. I'd checked 2 of my trail cameras, the "lured rock" and "thunder rock" cams. No bear on them.

I was parked, hmmm, 2 miles behind a locked gate or so? I had the place to myself. So, I hunted out the road, just walking. Watched the "Slabpile hollow" for 20 minutes or so? Hunted on out and watched what we call the "Junkpile Hollow" for 20 minutes or so?

While I was in the Junkpile hollow, there were 3 fawns that crossed the hollow above me. They stopped 3 or 4 times, probably just winded me walking past? Who knows?

So, I sat there for another 20 minutes or so, didn't see anything else. I started up the hollow, it's pretty rough and pretty mean. I was just picking my way up, going slow and easy. Don't want to get up there all hot and sticky, then you'll freeze when you do sit down.

Once you go up that hollow, and get to the top, you'll come into an old skidder path. The path forks just across the hollow. The lower path takes you out under the rocks, the upper path takes you up above the upper 2 benches.

So, I was sitting there on a log,just watching, taking a breather. I'd been there maybe 5 minutes, and a 6-point buck runs up the hollow from the lower path. It was only off 40 yards or so? Ran up there and stopped at about 75. He stopped in the wide open, and just stood there looking around. Buck season was closed at the time, can't say that I could have killed him, but he offered a good shot. He trotted off to the left and on up the hollow, out of sight. Looking off to my right, same place the 6-pt came from, there was a spike buck standing under the grape vines.

The spike was standing there stomping it's foot. Looking right at me. I guess from where it was standing, it could only see my head? He jumped and ran to my right and stopped, out in the wide open, and snorted 4 or 5 times. He knew that I was there, but wasn't sure where.

The spike ran back to my left, back up through the grape vines, on up the ridge and I lost sight of it, just sneaking around the ridge.

Not positive, but I really think those 2 bucks were bedded in that skidder path. If they'd been up on there feet, they would have seen me coming up the hollow.

So, climbed up the skidder path, just taking my time. The wineberry and rose bushes have taken over that cove. Got up on the backbone of he ridge, up as far as you can see there were three deer running toward me. I stepped off to the side where I could see better and went prone.

The deer came down the ridge and angled to my right, circled back onto the ridge below me. The sun was getting low, I eased off down the south side, and didn't see anything but one white tail, way down the ridge. I'd guess it was one of the 8 deer from above. Who knows?

But that was a good day, 8 deer, plus 2 bucks, plus 3 fawns. 13.

We'll never know for sure, but something spooked those 8 deer. And it's very possible that I jumped a bear. They came down the ridge, tails tucked, not at a dead run but moving pretty keen!

Back 20 years ago, if I'd had something like that going on, I'd put Dad up in the Slabpile Hollow, Big Donnie up in the Junkpile Hollow and had Wardney walking the road. We might not have killed a bear, but if one did come out, good chance one of us would have seen it.

I called Big D. the other evening, he was planning on farting around on the farm trying to kill a doe. Moe would have went, until I told him that he wasn't allowed to shoot a doe, and that I was going to stay until dark. Wardney told me 10 years ago that he couldn't handle that mountain, so I didn't ask him to ride along. Not going to take him up there and let him get hurt.

But, I had a great day. Didn't amount to squat, but it was a good day. I just enjoy being out.

We've got snow on the mountain now, and calling for more. That would have been a game changer.

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#28296 - 01/06/22 09:55 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
jarentz Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 73
Loc: central pa.
Yes,the snow is a game changer! the area that we shot our deer in is fairly tough to get to, but you have a lot of country to yourself. We had snow when we shot them bucks,but with the snow i saw coyote,bobcat and a good size flock of turkey tracks. My son said that he heard 3 0r 4 different birds gobbling. I can't hear very good anymore,and i should have been able to hear them.
The mountain that we hunt, don't have a lot of deer but some old deer live their.
If you get a chance to get out again, i'll be glad to hear of your adventures.

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#28297 - 01/10/22 03:28 AM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
No, you don't hear them gobble in the fall very often. I've noticed some turkey scratching here and there on the mountain. Had a picture of 3 or 4 gobblers on my spring camera a while back. A nice gobbler went to roost one evening just up the ridge from where I was watching that evening. I took a picture of him before he flushed and sailed over on the next ridge and roosted again.

Well, I'll give you a run down on my season. Moe and I fooled around the first 3 days of season, I did see 3 bucks the first day. A spike, 4 point and just got a glimpse of the other one, he was a shooter. He was chasing a doe, told Moe that I was going to hang tight for 15 or 20 minutes. Moe buzzed me back in a minute or 2 and told me that he was getting cold. So had to walk away from him.

We went up and stayed at the camp Tuesday, I didn't see a single deer Tuesday or Wednesday. I stopped and checked on Wardney on the way home, they hadn't killed anything yet.

Thanksgiving day I went up on the mountain, wanted to check my 3 cameras. I didn't know it at the time, but there was a bear on my spring camera at 9:00 and I was on the camera at 11:00. That bear would have been a good 100 pounds or better.

The leaves were really dry, I figured since I was there, the spring would be as good as anyplace on the mountain.

I'd been there watching for an hour or 2? Noticed this buck coming up the same path that I'd just came up. I could see his horns with the naked eye from 100 yards. He stopped down there in the clear and I put him on the ground.

WV's hunting reagulations are difficult to understand, like everywhere. I was legal to kill a bear. And the way I see it, as long as I don't touch the deer or take posession of it, I can keep right on hunting.

I only had 2 or 3 hours of daylight left, so figured I'd just hang tight. By the time I'd drag it off to the road and walk back to the truck it'd be dark anyway. So, I snuggled in and watched. About an hour later, a 4-point buck started across the hollow above me, he walked back the way he came. About an hour after that, there was another buck coming up the same trail where my deer was laying. Deed honest it was within 10 feet of that deer, and it was a decent buck. It milled around down there for probably 20 minutes before it finally walked off.

But I sat there until it was too dark to shoot. I know it was a slim chance, but I thought maybe a bear or bobcat or coyote would come by.

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#28298 - 01/12/22 01:56 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I'll give you an update on my trail cam status. I checked my #1 and #2 cameras Sunday, 1/02/22. Forget when I checked them last, but I didn't have much. I had a bobcat picture on #1, couple coons. On camera #2, I had 3 or 4 fox and coyote pictures. A couple of deer pictures, but couldn't see their heads, looked like adult deer. But no bear.

One thing that I don't understand, above I mentioned the deer that I killed Thanksgiving day. I skinned the deer that night, let it hang for a day or 2, before I cleaned it up and all. It would have been right at the 1st of December, I took the ribcage, hide and legs up on the mountain and dumped them off just past the #2 camera.

That's all private land, legal and all. I thought for sure a bear would find it and it'd be gone within 2 or 3 days. The whole works layed there untouched for at least 2 weeks. I could see where birds were picking at it and maybe something small like a fox or coon. But it hadn't been moved.

I guess it was a coyote finally dragged it about 20 feet? It was pretty well dried up by then, but still has some meat on it. As of Sunday before last, it was still laying there.

Since season has ended, I've talked to 8 or 10 guys that have bear hounds, and about all of them have told me that the bear holed up early. They said the last 2 weeks of December, a track was very hard to find.

Talking about snow, it snowed here last Thursday and most of the night. It started out wet and then ended up dry and fluffy. Here in town we had 8 inches after it had settled, my sister had 13 inches at her house. Friday it stayed below freezing all day, Saturday morning I had 9* F, our coldest day of the season so far. It warmed up over night, got up into the 40's Sunday and we had light rain off and on all day.

The mountain road was greasy the last time I was up, we've got the road rutted up pretty good now with the freeze and thaw. The snow is pretty much gone now, I had 18* this morning, so the road should be ok. Much needed moisture.

I killed a doe on the last day of season, here in the valley. So I'm going to take that ribcage up on the mountain tomorrow, we'll see what happens.

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#28299 - 01/12/22 02:53 PM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Hey Tim, did you check out the gut pile at the field dressing site?


Ain't trail cams wonderful!?

Frank
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28300 - 01/13/22 11:24 AM Re: Quest for Ole Big Foot. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Around here, ravens would devour the pile before anything else did.

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