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#28831 - 11/28/23 12:39 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Last Wednesday my sister Barb told me that we were having Thanksgiving supper at 5pm. I told her that it didn't get dark till 4:30 or so. Barb held her open hand in front of my face and said: FIVE.

Thursday morning there were 3 trucks parked at the gate. The one truck had a buggy trailer hooked up behind. I recognized the trucks. The buggy was parked where I park when I go up to the spring.

I found a spot to park, I was still in the truck when Tim R. came by with his grandson. The little boy is 6 or 8 years old, he killed a doe. He was dragging the doe behind his Jeep, I helped him load it on, behind the spare tire. It had one of those tire mounts on the back end.

A little bit later Charlie and Chris came out in the buggy. Talked to them for a little bit. Chris has 2 cameras at the spring and a treestand. I figured that's where they were hunting. I told them that Brandon was coming out across the top. Chris got excited and asked me how he was coming out across the top. I said On foot. There's no road or 4-wheeler trail up there.

I gave them a 15 minute headstart, figured I'd better ease my way out too. I just parked in the road, got out of the truck just to size up things. I'd been standing there for less than a minute, and I heard a rifle shot. I was just about straigt up the ridge and not far off. Brandon fired a second shot and I could see him, he still had his rifle shouldered.

Looking at Brandon, he was shooting at 90* to me. I watched out that way, didn't see anything. I lost sight of Brandon in the brush, until he dropped out in the road.

I'll tell you the rest of it in a minute. Gotta work today again.

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#28832 - 11/28/23 03:32 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
I apologize for the delay.

When Brandon slid off of the high road bank, he was up there pacing the road. Back and forth, and he was walking fast. Way to fast to look for blood and sign.

I held my arms out, like: What's going on? He did the same thing to me. I was walking toward him, we were about 75 yards apart, he turned around and gave me a "Thumbs Up".

I walked up there and we could see the deer's white belly, way down the ridge. Brandon said he thought that it was an 8 or 10 point. He missed him the first shot, looked like he got both lungs with the second shot.

From what I could tell from the sign, it looked like when the deer jumped off the high side of the road, when he landed in the tire track, that's when it's legs went out. The rest of it was just gravity.

I'll guess the deer was on it's feet for less than 15 seconds, that's a clean kill.

I'll tell you this, Brandon didn't have his knife or a dragging rope.

I keep a 100 foot piece of 3/8's rope in the truck. Anyway, we went down to his deer, I told him then that it was a beautiful buck. It's an 11 point, just a smidgen over 20 inches wide. Good mass too.

I'll tell you it was a chore getting that thing back up to the road. Brandon called his dad, he came back up and helped for the last 100 feet or so? I know it winded me. But it is a very nice buck.

There is no way that we'll ever know for sure, but I'll give you my theory. That ridge forks, just above the road. There is a little cove. I'd guess that buck watched 3 vehicles go out the road, and all 3 of us come back past it again.

Laying in those tree tops, down timber and brush, it was content to sit tight. Brandon said he could see my truck before he saw the deer. With me parked below, Brandon above, the deer got nervous, stood up and took 2 or 3 steps. And Brandon put one on him.

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#28835 - 12/04/23 03:11 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
I haven't mentioned this before, but we had an "early firearm, antlerless deer season", about a month ago. It was a 4 day season, starting on Thursday.

Long story short, I was about like most folks, it'd been a while since I'd had fresh deer loin.

One of my farms is just outside of town, I can leave here now and be there in 10 minutes. I pulled in and my landowner Doc was there, we talked, he was working his cows. I was just going to watch the fields till dark. Doc pulled out and then his son Adam pulled in, we talked for a bit.

Adam said they'd been seeing a nice buck from time to time. Longer story short, I found a nice buck that evening. Buck season was closed, I had a good look at him and watched it trot off.

I had a couple hours Friday morning (the next day) before work, figured I'd make a little circle and see if I could find a doe.

I started in on the east side of the property, crossed 2 or 3 hollows and was out of time, had to get back to work. But coming around, I found plastic grocery bag, with a peanut can of rusty nails. Then I noticed, it's like someone had started to build a little fort. No big deal, figured it was a couple kids, and could see that he/she/them had cut that one tree with a hatchet.

I talked to Doc, a day or so later? He didn't know anything about it, so I told him I'd go out and check it out again. There is a tar-paper shack up in that one hollow, it only has 3 walls now, but a metal roof, I didn't walk up to it.

One day last week Doc stopped by and said that his grandson hunted out there one day, and said there was human crap all over the side of the one ridge. I told him that I'd check out the fort thing, and the old shanty.

Friday this past week, I checked out the shanty, it was all clear. I was deer hunting. Walked up past the fort thing, the bag was gone but there were 2- 2x4's laying there, otherwise it was unchanged.

I hunted on around, found a deer bedded below me, it was a buck, nothing big. I moved in on it 25 yards or so, and sat there and watched it for half hour or so? I didn't have the best shot in the world, but I think if I wanted him, he was mine. It was starting to rain, the woods were very quiet. So I started to move in just a little bit more, and there were 2 deer running off. They were down there 150 yards or so, just getting a glimplse of them now and then.

Figured I'd hunt on around, maybe get in front of them, or at least catch up. I think it was the next point over, I found a dome tent. Thinking to myself, this ain't good. I've known Doc all of my life, he doesn't want someone living in a tent on his farm.

I took pictures of the tent, walked up to it, 30 feet away, and said: Hey. . . Hey. No movement. Kinda sized up the place, walked up to it and said Hey again and kicked the corner of the thing. No movement. It's a small tent, like a 3 man job, where you've gotta be on all 4 to crawl in or out.

I will say that they/he/she/them had a nice fire pit, you could cook on that thing. There was a shovel, hoe, and hatchet beside the one tree. If there was someone at home, I had every intention of telling them to vacate. Oh, and there was also a wheelchair, folded up above the tent. I guess that's what they used to pack in stuff? While I was there, figured I'd take the hatchet and I did.

About 2 points past the tent, I walked around a cedar tree and there was a buck, he was walking. I think he took 2 steps before I was on him. It happened fast. Turns out he was a 9-point, just a bit over 18" wide.

My daughter Kim printed the pictures of the fort, tent, and their trash, Doc has called the police. Hopefully they will find out who made the mess.

Kim gave Doc the hatchet, he said it's mine now. So, Ozark Trail hatchet, pretty much free. I had a good time and shot a nice buck too.

I'll tell you this, those were the only 2 deer that I did see Friday.

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#28836 - 12/04/23 09:05 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10239
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
YOu spin a good yarn.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28837 - 12/04/23 11:45 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Thanks. It's all true. And I left a good bit out.

I talked to Doc today, he called the Sheiff's office, I guess Saturday? I thanked him for the hatchet. He asked me for directions, to the trash pile, tent and all. You can't drive there in a vehicle, no 4-wheeler or anything. Doc has a 4-wheel drive farm tractor, you'd need to cut a couple trees before you could get up in there.

His farm is about 100 acres, give or take. Just checked on Google Earth, from the tar paper shanty to the road, it's over 1,200 yards, straight shot. So, figure I walked that 2 times, plus, before work Friday. And dragging a deer for maybe 400 yards or so? Maybe 500?

One thing that I don't understand, he/she/them dragged a plastic trash barrel up, where you can't get to it. It is or was full of trash, till it fell over. Plastic bags, water, drink bottles, plastic bags, etc. That trash is scattered down through the pasture for 15 feet or better.

I didn't dig through the trash, but I found a Walmart reciept, laying on the ground. The one I picked up, the ink side was pretty much washed out. I'll bet there are 50 more in that trash.

Put the DNR on them. Littering, Trespassing, who knows what they'll find ?

There is a little bit more to the story. One thing I said to Doc today, he needs to check his barns. See if anyone is living inside. He has 2 barns, there isn't anyway to lock them. One has running water.

But I've been putting out the word. Some folks make you wonder.

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#28838 - 12/10/23 01:08 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
I'll give you an update on the "Squatter" situation.

Wednesday of this week an officer from the Sheriff's office called me, asking for directions. Kind of hard to give someone directions, to something as small as a dome tent or a pile of trash, or fort, on a property that he's probably never set foot on.

Anyway, I must have done ok, he never called back.

Thursday, I talked to Doc, he hadn't heard anything.

Yesterday, Doc's son Adam, left a message for me. Someone from the Sheriff's office was out there that morning. The DNR was out there when he left the farm, I think putting up a camera, or more than one?

He said that things had been moved around, but think he/she/them are only there every other day, maybe every 3 days?

But if I see stuff like that, I can't just ignore it. I would have been content to have just hunted around those points and came home. But, when you find stuff that's not supposed to be, the landowner needs to know. Biggest thing that worries me, that same person could have set up camp in one of the barns.

I'll bet it'd be 10 or 15 degrees warmer in the barn than it would be in a cheap tent.

I put my new hatchet on the grinder the other evening, it's better than it was, but it's not the best grade of steel. I'll never use it anyway.

We had a cold rain here Tuesday night, (I had 0.16 inches) looking at it falling it was white but melted on contact. Wednesday morning, we had about 3 inches of snow on the top of the mountains, but the ground was warm. Melting from the ground up.

Before dark that day, it had melted off of the south sides and about all of it below 2,500 feet. I was up where I could see 30 miles, it was pretty looking across the mountains. We got up into the 50's today, it's pretty much all gone now.

From what I've been hearing, bear are hard to find.

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#28839 - 12/16/23 12:18 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Well, I talked to my landowner, Doc the other day. He said no charges have been filed, but they have a suspect.

Doc said, you didn't tell me that they were growing marijuana up there. Long story, but when I was dragging my deer off, I found a 2 places where someone had dug 2 holes in the field. Both holes were, not sure, but about the size of a dish pan, and filled with potting soil. That black dirt with little white specks.

You see, before I had even gutted the deer, I called work and asked Brenda if she could hang tight for another half hour or so. I told her what was going on, and didn't think that I could get the buck out of there and back home before 2 pm. I was scheduled to be here at 2. She said that's fine.

I glanced at the 2 holes, while I was dragging and kept on going. There was also a pile of flower pots, maybe a dozen or so?

There is a greenhouse, on that corner of town, the only one we have local.

My best guess, the person that set up camp on Doc's farm, was stealing hanging flower baskets, and using the dirt for their weeds. It wouldn't even be a mile away. Stop after dark, put 2 or 3 baskets in a trash bag and walk on home.

I bought one of their hanging baskets, it's been 2 years ago, and that thing cost me $20. It's still alive and still an ugly plant!

Wanted to tell you, we had another cold rain last Sunday night, the temperature stayed right at 36*. It was white falling, but melted on contact. I had 0.80 inches of cold rain. Up in the mountain east of town, we got from 1 to 3 inches of snow.

It snowed Sunday night, I went up Wednesday. The game had 2 nights to make tracks. I tracked out about 5 miles, and didn't find much. One coyote, 3 deer in one spot, 3 or 4 deer in another spot. Over on the east top I tracked 3 turkeys, plus one grouse out on the south end. No bear.

While I was up there, bumped into my buddy Jim, he was there with his guys. Five of them riding 3 buggies with 8 or 10 dogs?

Jim told me where they'd been, looking for a track and I told him where I'd been. All together, we'd tracked out over 20 miles of road. Not a single bear track. All of the property that we tracked is private land behind locked gates, so you're looking at over 8,000 acres total.

It's easy to miss a track, and maybe we did?

About all of our snow is gone now, a little bit on the north sides yet. I've gotta work tomorrow, but plan on being out Sunday.

Forgot to mention, I made it back to work before 2:30 pm. Came home, put my rifle away, washed my face and hands and worked till 9. And then had a deer to skin.



Edited by redsnow (12/16/23 12:30 AM)
Edit Reason: added

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#28840 - 12/18/23 08:07 PM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2407
Loc: Qc.
Waiting for the Sunday update!

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#28841 - 12/19/23 01:03 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3046
Loc: WV
Well, the dog and I went out yesterday, we didn't get out of town till late morning. Pretty day early, in the 30's and overcast. I took her to the mountain where I have my cameras. I stopped near my "lured rock" camera, first.

This new dog hunts better now than she had been, she's improved from that point of view. I'm still not impressed. She was out of my sight, but I was checking her on the GPS tracker from time to time. She was out 300 yards, then 500 yards for a while, and checked back in. We were in a good spot.

I went on out to my 2nd camera and parked, then it started raining, then the fog moved in. The fog was pretty thick there for a while, could see maybe 75 yards. It looked like the rain had settled in, I had 40* F. The days are so short now, I really didn't have time to do much, so I came on home. I had 0.74 inches of rain here at the house.

We just had a snow squall an hour ago, the porch and vehicles are white, the ground is warm, it'll be gone in the morning. Here in town anyway.

With Christmas and New Year, this and next week's schedules are a mess. Our bear season runs until December 31st.

While I was on the mountain yesterday, I checked 2 of the cameras. Out at the 2nd camera I only had 35 pictures, about half of them were people/vehicles/squirrels. That was a 4-week check, only had 3 deer pics, 2 coyote pics and one picture of 3 coons. There are still a few sweet gum berries laying around.

I guess batteries are dead in my lured rock camera, the SD card was blank. I forget how old that camera is, but it's the one that a bear bit a hole in the front years ago. I'll check it out the next time up.

I did see 2 deer yesterday, I don't think that they were together, one ran off to my right and the other went to my left. Pretty sure the one was a fawn, I think the other one was a big deer.

Our blackpowder deer season ended yesterday.

I've got 33* here at the house now, that little dab of snow might not melt off tonight? I'd love to see the snow settle in and give me a good tracking snow. Just looked at my porch, I've already got a set of housecat tracks, the game is moving.

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#28842 - 12/19/23 10:51 AM Re: Quest for Ole Bigfoot, 2022. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2407
Loc: Qc.
We had a pouring rain all day yesterday. We head maybe 4 inches of snow left. Now we have 3 inches of ice. I haven't hooked up a sled yet. I have had dogs, hooked, running in front of the ATV.

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