2022-2023 Hunting Preps

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Chuck R.

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Jan 23, 2005
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Leavenworth, KS
So, what are you working on in the off season?

Habitat improvement: Last week I planted an additional 4 apple trees in my deer engagement area. 3 Dolgo Crabs and another Arkansas Black. I also started another 36 acorns, a mix of Chinkapin, red oak and burr oak in pots, to replace some of my losses from last springs 65 tree planting. They're already sprouting and I'll keep them in pots till the fall so I'm not stuck watering them the hard way like last year. Next I plan on buying 5-6 cheap Nutall Oaks (red oak, drops late) to plant next to my chestnut grove. Intent is to spread out my hard mast availability. Also last week I fertilized the fruit trees and chestnuts I planted last year. Post hunting season I also planted a a lot of acorns around some of my hedge & drainage areas, hopefully enough that the squirrels didn't find them all. Since I'm not burning for the next couple years that should give them time to sprout and grow so I can find them and protect them for when I burn next. I'm also hoping to finally buy a 3Pt tiller this summer to make putting in the plots a little easier.

Hunting firearms: Now that my .260 project is done I'm working on my Rem M7 MS in .350RM, the intent is to lighten it up some in prep for a WY elk hunt in 2024. I've got a Manners stock on order and I'm sending the barreled action out o be Cerakoted next month. All up it should weigh just under 7lbs VS. the just over 8lbs now. I'm also starting to revamp my old Rem 700 in 300Win Mag, in prep for the WY Elk hunt. Last year I dropped it in a B&C Alaskan Ti stock, this year it's getting a Leupold VX6HD 3-18X with either the B&C or Tri-MOA illuminated reticle.

Practice: As a stated in another post, this is the year I learn the precision tripod. I'm booked for a guided mule deer hunt in SE MT for the week before thanksgiving. Friends that have hunted there before with the same guide service say that shots are normally 300 and under. I'll practice further just in case.

So what's your plans for the off season?
 
[QUOTE="Chuck R., post: 12250761, member:

So what's your plans for the off season?[/QUOTE]

I have a few ongoing projects that are worth mentioning:
I have a new green river knife kit for hunting and my BP fetish.
20220325_195358.jpg 20220325_195656.jpg
I even splurged on some cool fossilized bone scales from Jantz. Hopefully this kit will be finished and in a scabbard by October :cool:

This is my upgraded deer blind/cabin. I either have less spare time...or less ambition than I used to have. My semi wreck two years ago pretty well dampened my progress. It is now fully insulated and wired and running on solar panels. I am looking for a camper stove/oven to install. I already have flooring bought. I need wood paneling for interior walls. Then it will have the doors and windows trimmed out and she'll be ready to go to the woods.....finally....
:cuss:two...years...later. :fire:

20220124_094614.jpg


The last thing on my list is a new deer gun. I'm thinking about a new 300blk AR pistol..why? Because it legal here now, and I have taken deer with every legal weapon that Illinois allows..(except crossbow which is really archery and...btdt). :scrutiny:
 
I'll be shopping for some replacement pop-up blinds at the "flea across Florida"- a flea market that stretches across the state on HWY 90 from Jacksonville to Pensacola in a couple weeks. I need to repair a feeder barrel with a huge crack in it that fell over a couple years ago, on which the first repair didn't last. I also shop at shops and gun shows for the occasional box of overpriced but available ammo in my hunting calibers- buying ahead for future seasons. Finally, I am actively searching for private land for sale in my area as an investment and to add to my options.
 
[QUOTE="Chuck R., post: 12250761, member:

So what's your plans for the off season?

I have a few ongoing projects that are worth mentioning:
I have a new green river knife kit for hunting and my BP fetish.
View attachment 1068073 View attachment 1068070
I even splurged on some cool fossilized bone scales from Jantz. Hopefully this kit will be finished and in a scabbard by October :cool:

This is my upgraded deer blind/cabin. I either have less spare time...or less ambition than I used to have. My semi wreck two years ago pretty well dampened my progress. It is now fully insulated and wired and running on solar panels. I am looking for a camper stove/oven to install. I already have flooring bought. I need wood paneling for interior walls. Then it will have the doors and windows trimmed out and she'll be ready to go to the woods.....finally....
:cuss:two...years...later. :fire:

View attachment 1068071


The last thing on my list is a new deer gun. I'm thinking about a new 300blk AR pistol..why? Because it legal here now, and I have taken deer with every legal weapon that Illinois allows..(except crossbow which is really archery and...btdt). :scrutiny:[/QUOTE]


That trailer blind is freakin sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!

I was taling to my neighbor and he wants to build one for his place that we can move from field to field depending on crops. I don't think we're going to get anywhere near as cool as yours!
 
Clearing locusts and cedars are my priorities. I did throw out some sycamore balls last fall. I have a good 4 acre stand of native grasses too. It needs burned bad.

Ive got a single bottom plow i need to adapt to the new tractor too.

I need some oaks. We have exactly one, planted a couple years ago in our actual yard. Wish i had the old mulberry trees we had at a previous house. Would see deer on their hind legs picking them sweet juicy berries. Box turtles love em too.
 
New Mathews Bow. $450 into old Bowtech General Bow. Switched to new Easton 4mm long range arrows with helical fletching. Pins set at 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 yards for both bows.

Finished load development for 358 Win 200gr Barnes X with CFE223. 2660 muzzle velocity. Yet to start load development for 7mm Rem Mag with 160gr Speer hot cores with IMR-7977.

In the draw for Limited Entry bull elk, limited entry buck mule deer, once in lifetime Hunter choice bison bull/cow. Results in May. If I draw nothing, then I hunt archery Elk end of Aug / beginning of Sept.

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Frost seeded clover and chicory over last fall's winter peas, rape and buck oats. Have been clearing downed trees and brush in the lanes while checking for new deer routes in the old snow. Funny how slight changes in our and the neighbors property will change the travel patterns. Be soon enough to start tilling ground for annual summer plots. Got a lot of work on the cabin/property to do once winter finally gives up.
 
Hunting season doesn't really end for me. If I'm not deer hunting I am small game hunting. Spring and summer months is usually some light scouting and woodchuck hunting. August usually consist of putting up lifelines, trimming lanes, hanging hang on stands and cameras. I don't own any property but have permission to hunt on 5 different farms and have to compete with a lot of other people allowed to hunt so I mainly use a climber and move around a lot.

I've got 200rds loaded up for woodchuck season, will probably do some scouting in April or May, have to get some 44mag and 45-70 ammo loaded for gun season because I always wait until last minute to load. Other than that nothing much going on. Probably help a buddy put a roof on a tower blind and wooden box blind if he needs it.
 
No off-season here either Lol.

I need to load ammo before rhe next hunt.... Think I've got three or four rounds for everything besides my seven mag, I got maybe 10 for that......

Got to wash the hunting bag from the last ones, and resupply.

Other than that, good to go....
 
I spent a good chunk of yesterday pruning apple and pear trees in my deer engagement area.

With this years planting I'm now up to 3 AR Blacks, 2 Pear and 7 Dolgo crab apples, plus a a lot of common persimmons. Believe I'm fruited out up there as it's turning into a yearly maintenance thing. I'm now going to focus on solely "low maintenance" hard mast improvement. My indoor acorn planted seedlings are taking off right now. I've got 24 of 36 planted sprouted.

Today I'm dropping my M7 in .350RM off at the Cerakote shop. I dropped my Nolsler M48 off at my smiths last week to have an ARCA plate installed in the stock for tripod mounting.
 
Mowed my big swath of native grass. 3 hours with a 60" mower. Been about 3 years since it was fully mowed. Had lots of thorn scrub, a bit of lespedesa and locust trees scattered in it. Left a few small patches for quail cover in the areas with no lespedesa. Or however you spell it!

Found my third shed antler ever. And boy is it a doosie!

20220407_140335.jpg
 
Mowed my big swath of native grass. 3 hours with a 60" mower. Been about 3 years since it was fully mowed. Had lots of thorn scrub, a bit of lespedesa and locust trees scattered in it. Left a few small patches for quail cover in the areas with no lespedesa. Or however you spell it!

Found my third shed antler ever. And boy is it a doosie!

View attachment 1071010


You sure that's not a Native American artifact??? At least that's what I'd attempt to pass it off as.

I'd get on the Lespedessa ASAP! I sprayed last year and it ran me about $400 in chemicals. I've got to hit some more spots this year. The chit is hardy and persistent.
 
You sure that's not a Native American artifact??? At least that's what I'd attempt to pass it off as.

I'd get on the Lespedessa ASAP! I sprayed last year and it ran me about $400 in chemicals. I've got to hit some more spots this year. The chit is hardy and persistent.

Positive lol. Its fresh. Was laying right on top lol. But it would make a great knapping tool!

We went through a few gallons of chemical last fall to kill it all. Just had a few plants i missed. Hardy and persistent indeed. It takes over fast
 
It's been a busy year with selling my home and moving back to Wisconsin. I'm currently traveling until September. At that time I have a bunch of stand relocating and some woods clean up. I'm planning on buying a new 44 mag to carry while rifle hunting so I will enjoy getting efficient with it. Vowed to myself to use my crossbow this season to fill my tag.
 
The more I run the chainsaw, the more deer and sign I see. Hopefully this weekend I'll get some more of that done. I was also able to crawl a peat fire under heavy snow pack most of the winter through an area aprox 1/2 acre in size. I opened the flood gate a couple weeks ago to flood it out, so it should be extinguished now. Interesting to see how that develops over the years. I'm hoping for grassy wet meadow with significant fallen timber to make a prime bedding/fawning area and some good grouse edge. In wetter years I may have a duck slough, it really dug into the peat. Planning to salvage a few larger pines that came down with the fire for stand/blind lumber, and I have a contract for a few mantles and heavy timbers to fill. Also taking some of the birch and spruce for firewood.

Worked on a couple of camp comforts over the winter. The Finnish sauna is complete and frickin' amazing. Hoping to drive the sand point well deeper this weekend also using a borrowed air driver from work. Deep snow kept me out of the woods most of the winter, but I was able to accomplish some shooting lane improvements removing some of the larger timber. I really need to get next fall/winter's firewood in order, so this is top priority before wetness and mosquitos keep me out of the woods. After snowmelt I'll go back with the brush saw and bob the stubs and brush.
 
Gotta get busy and set up my pop up blind to replace the old one that got wiped out end of November last fall. Big wind storm took down a dead tree that landed right on the blind. Glad I wasn't in there when it hit but I don't hunt in wind storms anyway. It was already in rough shape with duct tape repairs and a few other problems from being up year round for 6 years. IMG_3872 - Copy.JPG .. Chain sawed enough of the old tree away to put up the new blind... IMG_3950.JPG ... Already have a spare, similar blind with only one seasons use ready to go up where the old one was. Already checked to make sure there are no large, dead trees anyplace nearby. Hope to get it up by mid month for possibly being in there come the May 1st opener for spring turkey. Here's the old blind in better days.... 12-29-20.JPG
 
Last edited:
[QUOTE="Chuck R., post: 12250761, member:

So what's your plans for the off season?

I have a few ongoing projects that are worth mentioning:
I have a new green river knife kit for hunting and my BP fetish.
View attachment 1068073 View attachment 1068070
I even splurged on some cool fossilized bone scales from Jantz. Hopefully this kit will be finished and in a scabbard by October :cool:

This is my upgraded deer blind/cabin. I either have less spare time...or less ambition than I used to have. My semi wreck two years ago pretty well dampened my progress. It is now fully insulated and wired and running on solar panels. I am looking for a camper stove/oven to install. I already have flooring bought. I need wood paneling for interior walls. Then it will have the doors and windows trimmed out and she'll be ready to go to the woods.....finally....
:cuss:two...years...later. :fire:

View attachment 1068071


The last thing on my list is a new deer gun. I'm thinking about a new 300blk AR pistol..why? Because it legal here now, and I have taken deer with every legal weapon that Illinois allows..(except crossbow which is really archery and...btdt). :scrutiny:[/QUOTE]
DSC07517.JPG
Wow I like the little cabin/blind! Looks really comfy. We think alike Farmer! I made this last year just before elk season. My big camp-trailer in the background was too big to get to where we went. We had to go up muddy powerline roads...steep ones! But my partner drew a cow-tag for this specific spot, so ya gotta do what ya gotta do. (yeah...could of taken a tent. Could of!)

As you can see, it's a little pickup truck camper on a boat trailer. Platform on the front is for a dirt bike. I also plan to use it this summer to go up North to my mountains. Instead of driving for almost two hours to get there (and having to drive through Spokane on the city streets) and then driving home for the same amount of time, and back through the city again, I'll spend a night or two. My big trailer (called: "the White Elephant") will go up to my usual spots, but this little thing is far easier to hook up and go, and easy to pull. Not many luxuries, but she's got water, a sink, a two burner propane stove, electric lights, and a table. And a crazy propane heater that's almost too hot to use. There's not much space in there. I think it's good for like 50 below zero.

Otherwise, I like to scout a lot in the off season, make some simple ground blinds, explore new areas. I'm hoping this will get me up North to scout and explore more often, as the long drive up and back often discourages me. But it should be worth it if I can spend one or two whole days between the to and from drive, instead of so many, and never enough, hours.

No new guns or bows for me. I'd like to get a small caliber percussion rifle, but probably won't happen.
 
I have a few ongoing projects that are worth mentioning:
I have a new green river knife kit for hunting and my BP fetish.
View attachment 1068073 View attachment 1068070
I even splurged on some cool fossilized bone scales from Jantz. Hopefully this kit will be finished and in a scabbard by October :cool:

This is my upgraded deer blind/cabin. I either have less spare time...or less ambition than I used to have. My semi wreck two years ago pretty well dampened my progress. It is now fully insulated and wired and running on solar panels. I am looking for a camper stove/oven to install. I already have flooring bought. I need wood paneling for interior walls. Then it will have the doors and windows trimmed out and she'll be ready to go to the woods.....finally....
:cuss:two...years...later. :fire:

View attachment 1068071


The last thing on my list is a new deer gun. I'm thinking about a new 300blk AR pistol..why? Because it legal here now, and I have taken deer with every legal weapon that Illinois allows..(except crossbow which is really archery and...btdt). :scrutiny:
View attachment 1072049
Wow I like the little cabin/blind! Looks really comfy. We think alike Farmer! I made this last year just before elk season. My big camp-trailer in the background was too big to get to where we went. We had to go up muddy powerline roads...steep ones! But my partner drew a cow-tag for this specific spot, so ya gotta do what ya gotta do. (yeah...could of taken a tent. Could of!)

As you can see, it's a little pickup truck camper on a boat trailer. Platform on the front is for a dirt bike. I also plan to use it this summer to go up North to my mountains. Instead of driving for almost two hours to get there (and having to drive through Spokane on the city streets) and then driving home for the same amount of time, and back through the city again, I'll spend a night or two. My big trailer (called: "the White Elephant") will go up to my usual spots, but this little thing is far easier to hook up and go, and easy to pull. Not many luxuries, but she's got water, a sink, a two burner propane stove, electric lights, and a table. And a crazy propane heater that's almost too hot to use. There's not much space in there. I think it's good for like 50 below zero.

Otherwise, I like to scout a lot in the off season, make some simple ground blinds, explore new areas. I'm hoping this will get me up North to scout and explore more often, as the long drive up and back often discourages me. But it should be worth it if I can spend one or two whole days between the to and from drive, instead of so many, and never enough, hours.

No new guns or bows for me. I'd like to get a small caliber percussion rifle, but probably won't happen.[/QUOTE]
Thats a nice camper. It will make a great hdqtrs for day trips and evening hunts. It will also be a great spot for a nap on a drizzley afternoon.
 
Thats a nice camper. It will make a great hdqtrs for day trips and evening hunts. It will also be a great spot for a nap on a drizzley afternoon.

Yes, shelter from the storm, and sleeping in the rain. Sleep a bit better in Grizz country in a camper too, instead of a tent. I love the luxury of my big camper, but the Green Hornet is so easy to haul, and easy to back up and put in tight places. Hooked up to my 1973 Power Wagon, I can put it just about anywhere.

Oh yeah, it has an ice-box too. How could I forget the ice-box? Don't have to bring a cooler.
 
Yes, shelter from the storm, and sleeping in the rain. Sleep a bit better in Grizz country in a camper too, instead of a tent. I love the luxury of my big camper, but the Green Hornet is so easy to haul, and easy to back up and put in tight places. Hooked up to my 1973 Power Wagon, I can put it just about anywhere.

Oh yeah, it has an ice-box too. How could I forget the ice-box? Don't have to bring a cooler.
Ha, yes, I was talking about the green hornet ,lol.
 
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