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#28566 - 12/08/22 06:33 AM Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
Guys, if you remember I was looking for a bear last season, I'm still looking for him. But I'm going to hunt up there today, think I'll hunt it just about the same as last year, but I'll have my dog with me this time.

I'm not sure exactly how many days I've hunted on that property this season, I'd 7 or 8 days? A couple times just for 3 or 4 hours or so. There are not many deer up there, and honestly not much bear sign.

The ridge that I'm going to start on, we call Riley Ridge. It's a big, rough and rocky ridge. We had off and on rain showers yesterday, the leaves should be good for walking. I've got overcast skies now and 40* at daylight. It'll be a beautiful day to be out.

Can't really make a prediction, but I'll see a couple deer, and very possible that I'll (or the dog) kick out a bear.

But I'll get off work in about an hour, and we'll see what happens. One thing for sure, the dog and I will sleep good tonight.

Bear season stays in until December 31st.

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#28567 - 12/09/22 04:46 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2309
Loc: Qc.
Hope you get a crack at one.

How is the new dog working out?

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#28568 - 12/09/22 12:34 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
Well, it's a long time between now and last light on December 31. I'll tell you we don't have the number of bear we had in this area, 2 or 3 or 4 years ago.

The West Virginia DNR shortened the 2022 bear firearms season by 3 weeks, compared to the 2021 season. (Now that is for this part of the state.) The DNR got rid of the week long, "early September" season. And they also took away the 2 weeks of rifle bear season, during our combined buck and doe season.

I think I posted a link in the other thread? WV's statewide bear harvest in 2021, was down about 20%, compared to the 2020 season.

Honestly, folks are not seeing many bear.

But I'll give everyone a run down on yesterday.

I didn't get out of town till a little bit late, but that's ok. I work a pile of hours, and I just enjoy my time off. I pulled off to the side of the road, just north of Riley Ridge. Sitting there in the truck eating an apple, sizing things up, thinking to myself: That'd be a good spot to jump a bear off to the right. Hmmm, that'd be a good spot to find one off to the left too. Good behind me too.

So, the dog and I made a little halfmoon circle below the road, spent an hour or so and back to the truck. Didn't see anything. I moved on out to the hollow south of Riley Ridge, parked there and hunted out to the road to the other side of the ridge.

Just walking the road, I noticed 6 or 8 piles of turkey crap. It was fresh, glossy and all. The road is rocky out around the ridge, it's hard to track in most places. Came into a little patch of red clay in one tire track, the turkey's had big feet, I'm sure they were all gobblers. Couldn't really get a head count, but there were more than just 3 or 4 birds. The tracks were made since the rain, so they weren't more than 4 or 5 hours old. Never did see them, and that's probably a good thing.

I took off up the hollow on the south side of Riley Ridge, went up almost to the upper ledge, turned off to the north keeping my nose in the wind. We had a steady and soft breeze out of the north-west, mostly.

I was up near the backbone of the ridge, got a glimpse of a deer out front, couldn't tell what it was? On out another 2 or 300 yards, I jumped a deer, I think it was the same one? The deer was between me and the dog both times.

So, while I was up that high, figured I'd just keep on going north. Pretty much walked the property line, on that corner of the place.

I did find a couple of deer beds, and 3 piles of old bear crap. Back off to the road, just a little bit north of the Lured Rock camera. I made it back off to the road with an hour or so of daylight to spare. Didn't amount to squat, but it was a good day!

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#28569 - 12/10/22 08:41 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
Talking about this new dog, I'll tell you, she has really improved, but I'm not impressed. I haven't had her a year yet, but she's doing better.

One thing that I figured out a long time ago, there are one of 2 things that have happened in this dog's life. One, the man that gave me the dog used her as a pack hound. Or two, she'd never been hunted at all. I really think that's the deal.

So, basically, I ended up with a 14 month old puppy. I guess she'd be almost 2 years old now? I wish I'd have had her when she was 6 or 8 weeks old, by now we'd have something. I've invested too much time in her to give up now.

The dog is a Walker, big tall long legged dog. She stands up on her toes, she's built to run, in it for the long haul. Good around kids, easy to catch and listens pretty good. But another thing that I found out a long time ago, she's gun shy. I can't explain that at all. It's not because of anything that's happened since I've had the dog.

I've never shot close enough to her to ring her ears or anything. I guess that's just something that she'll need to get out of her system, cause it's not likely that I'm gonna stop shooting. When I do shoot, you can just tell that she doesn't like it, and I always love up on her, then she's fine. I don't know?

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#28570 - 12/12/22 05:10 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2309
Loc: Qc.
Associate the shot with a good thing. Food is usually a winner.

But it's really hard to completely eliminate a crease once its made in a piece of paper.

I am a firm believer in the 6 week/49 day theory. But it is difficult, and I believe now even illegal here, to get a dog prior to 8 weeks.

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#28571 - 12/13/22 05:17 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
You mentioned the 48/49 day rule in one of your videos, I think? I'd never heard of it before, but I do believe that pups or pretty much anything start to learn from their first experience.

Years ago I read an article in a magazine or something, as well as I remember they were talking about bird dogs, being gun shy. Anyway, they made some kind of cassette tape or record, that you were to put in the dog's kennel or box. Not sure, but I think it just had natural sounds, what you'd hear in the woods and leaves, and every so often a loud boom. Supposedly to get your pup used to hearing a shot and all.

My dog has improved, but back around the 4th of July, she stayed in her box! Folks around here started blasting off fireworks a couple of days early and just kept on. I was glad when they finally ran out too! Setting that crap off at midnight and after, when most of us had to go to work the next day.

After the first of the year, and after the big game seasons end, I'll take the dog out on a leash, with my 22 and fire a shot now and then. I have a leash that I can snap to my belt buckle, I'll put the dog behind me and blast a rock, then love up on her for a minute and go another 100 yards and repeat. But she is coming around.

Wanted to tell you that Big Donnie killed a doe the other day. I didn't get home from hunting till an hour after dark or a little better. D's wife sent me a message and told me. Donnie had the deer laying in the bed of his truck, some guy was to go and help clean it up. The man didn't show.

It was 50*F, and it still had the hide on it. I talked to D. and told him to ride in and we'd get it cleaned up and put the meat in the walk-in cooler. Before Donnie got here, Moe invited us up to use his skinning shed.

Moe has a good setup, electric winch, running water and all. So, we took the deer up to Moe's, got it cleaned up, washed off and in boxes within an hour or so? The deer still had body heat, warm to the touch. We put it in the cooler, and it was good to go. It's all been taken care of now. But you know, if you're going to kill an animal, it'd be a shame to see it go to waste. I really think that Donnie's dad, had pretty much taken care of the cleaning and processing his game in the past. It's no big deal cleaning up a deer, and I was glad to help.

I was up on the mountain Sunday, it was raining off and on, foggy. The fog finally raised a little before dark, I watched from Thunder Rock till dark, didn't see a thing.

Another thing that I'll mention, tomorrow will make 4 weeks since I dropped off 2 deer carcasses out near my 2nd camera. You've got the heads, hides, legs and scraps, as of 2 days ago, nothing has messed with them. I think maybe the birds have pecked at them a little bit? Otherwise they are untouched. I don't understand.

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#28577 - 12/18/22 08:18 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
Guys, I had to work yesterday morning, here at the store folks can tag in their big game critters and all. Anyway, a young man stopped by to tag in a deer. The boy is the same age as my daughter, we know each other.

Our black powder deer season is in now, today is the last day.

It was a doe, and he said that he'd shot it at 239 yards. I asked him again about the range. 239 yards. We talked about it, he said that his buddy had a program on his phone that would tell him where to dial in the scope. He said that he thought that his buddy dialed the scope up, 3.5 MOA.

That is a very long shot. That's way beyond my range for black powder.

But I don't think the boy was telling me a lie. You take some of these custom barrels, saboted bullets, a good scope and trigger. Sandbagged and all.

He said his buddy killed one a little bit over 200 yards, I really don't think it was just a fluke.

But I'd like to see his rifle.

For my inline black powder gun, 75 yards is about my maximum range. And 50 yards is even better!

We had an ice storm here Thursday, it brought down a lot of timber and brush. Up high the ground is still white, the timber is still covered with ice. I spent last evening cutting the junk out of the road, finally made it out to my 2nd camera.

I checked the deer carcasses that I took up, about 4 weeks ago, they are still there. I did see a hawk fly off. Otherwise, untouched.

I'm off work today, as soon as things get squared up here in town, think I'll go for a walk.

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#28578 - 12/19/22 09:20 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
Well, not much new to report. The dog and I went out yesterday, I don't want to brag or anything, but we didn't amount to squat again. I'll tell you, and anyone that's ever used a GPS tracking unit will agree, you'll find yourself sitting in the truck, watching where the dog is going. Instead of actually having a live round in the chamber and seriously hunting.

It was blowing snow, windy, and I just thought to myself: Give me 1/2 inch of snow and we'll shake things up. But it just didn't happen. I ended up watching the hollow north of Riley ridge till dark. Didn't see a thing.

I'm starting to get some feedback from the other guys that deer hunted the same mountain, nobody has seen a bear. Or the guys that I've talked to so far. I can't explain that deal.

The ice is still hanging in the timber, today is Monday, it's been there since last Thursday. You don't want to go anywhere with out a saw!

Not positive, but I think we're to get snow within the next couple of days. Hope we do.

Above we were talking about black powder guns and all, my buddy Moe hunted all 4 days of season. He didn't even get to see a deer, honestly, it's been over 2 weeks since he's seen a deer. He's got permission to hunt over 200 acres, just below his house, and there's not many deer on the place.

Moe has a .54 caliber flintlock, beautiful gun, and that's what he was dragging around. I've never shot that gun, maybe he'll let me unload it for him? Then I'll let him clean it up!

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#28602 - 01/03/23 06:55 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2857
Loc: WV
West Virginia's firearm bear season ended December 31, 2020. I'll tell you now that I couldn't find one.

During the last few weeks, I've talked to more than a dozen guys that deer hunted on the same mountain, where I was looking for a bear. None of them have seen a bear, since about the first week of November. I mean these guys are not all on the same property where I hunted, but north and south, we're dealing with a 20 mile long stretch. That's really unusual! The bear are just not there.

I've had a lot of reports and looked at a bunch of pictures of bear that had mange. Some of them, were really sickly looking critters!

But since bear season ended Saturday, I've talked to 4 different guys that do seriously have some good bear hounds. I had 3 of them in the parking lot, Saturday evening, at the same time. All of them had a really bad season. It just seemed like they couldn't find a track. That's bad, these guys have spent a pile of money, feeding and tending their dogs, and then just can't find a track.

We had some bad weather mid season, and then it got cold for a while. My mailman Phillip lives just across the valley from where I hunted several days, he had minus 15*F that one day.

Big Donnie hunted with me a couple of days, I'll add more about that when I get a chance. We never fired a shot, but we had a good time!

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#28603 - 01/04/23 02:00 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10186
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: redsnow
We never fired a shot, but we had a good time!


Yep. smile
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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