2018 Deerfield Plantation Hunt - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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2018 Deerfield Plantation Hunt

I hunted Deerfield Plantation for the twenty fifth time last week, December 2, 2018 through December 7, 2018. This was only the second time I’ve gone down in December, having hunted the first week of December in 2010. On that hunt I was fortunate enough to take a very nice 7 point buck, and a big mature 8 point that is my best ever at Deerfield and one of my three best all time. This trip I went down alone, and was the lone hunter for much of the week, which is nice to the extent that I had a lot of input as far as where and when I wanted to sit, as well as hunting with the owner, Hugh Walters, and a couple of his employees on several sits. The disadvantage is that I always enjoy hanging out with other clients and sharing in their success. Also, with only a few hunters in the woods it’s difficult to gauge what the game is doing at any given time.

I’ll not bore all of you that have read my Deerfield stories for years with details of the operation, but for anyone who may be new and is interested, below is a link to the 2017 story with all pertinent details:

https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/21-...nt-2017-a.html

The Hunt

Sunday Dec. 2, 2018

Sunday morning was warm with heavy rain and thunder storms. I sat it out in a comfortable shooting house on a large food plot/field, and while I stayed dry, I saw nothing for my trouble other than an unidentified critter sneaking through the woods beyond one end of the field.

In the afternoon, Hugh, my guide Patrick and I went back out at noon as the woods worker was seeing deer move in the middle of the day. It was raining all afternoon varying between drizzle and downpour. I was in a shooting house again but on a different field/food plot maybe 300 yards long and 100 yards wide.

a1sun eve stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Mid afternoon I was treated to get to watch a grey phase Fox Squirrel and took a few pics with the 50x.

a3sun eve fox sq by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Just before last good light four fawns or yearlings stepped out and chased each other around at the far end of the field. I got the camera out and got a pic when I noticed a larger doe had come out, but the camera zoom drive spooked them all before I could put down the camera and pick up the rifle.

a5sun eve deer by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Monday Dec. 3, 2018

Monday morning was once again warm with a drizzle. I was in a fiberglass tower blind on a recent cutover. Other than getting a real good Fox Squirrel pic the morning was uneventful.


b1mon morn stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr

b2mon morn fox sq by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Monday afternoon it had finally dried up and I was in a tripod on the same cutover, but around the corner. I had a commanding view for hundreds of yards in multiple directions.


c1mon eve stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr

c2mon eve stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Just before it was too dark to see anything with the naked eye, three doe (I guess) came running out of a wood line well beyond a tree I had ranged at 200 yards. They rapidly disappeared behind some brush as I got them in the scope, but I saw a deer hanging back at the edge. Here it was a real nice buck, but it was walking by now and, not having any idea of the distance, I held fire. He disappeared behind the brush along with the does.


Tuesday Dec. 4, 2018

Tuesday of last year’s hunt was a good one for me, killing a doe in the morning and a buck in the evening. Once again, Tuesday would turn out to be a big day, in fact it was about to get a little crazy. The morning found me in the woods in a tower stand on a road, with a good view through a grove of hardwoods surrounded by a pine plantation, with a heavy frost on the ground. It was a very slow morning, I saw nothing. My good friend Bill Stowman came in for the afternoon hunt and Hugh put us out on the Brown-N-Down property for the afternoon hunt. I was in a tall lean-up stand with a short section of road to my left, a shooting lane to my front, and a 100 yard view to a grassy area at the upper end where the road wound its way around the hardwood stand I was in.


e1tue eve stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr

etue eve stand (2) by Steven Musser, on Flickr


At about 3:50, I glanced to my left to see a big doe walk quickly across the short side road and disappear into the woods. Fifteen minutes later she stepped out in the shooting lane to my front at about 60 yards, and stood there angling severely away from me. Getting her in the scope, I held on the last rib hoping that she’d turn a little. Well, she craned her neck and head around to look back towards the stand, and I put the crosshair in the pocket behind her shoulder and pulled the trigger. She didn’t fall but took off back in to the woods and I heard her crash. Normally I would have gone to check on her after a short wait, but the stand was a little difficult to get in and out of so I decided to stay in the stand and see what else might develop. Deerfield is in DMAP, so the State daily limit doesn’t apply, but Hugh charges for extra deer killed on a sit, which was about to come into play.

At 4:30, a big doe stepped out, again on the short side, followed quickly by her fawn. I got the camera out and played cat and mouse with them trying to get pics without spooking them. It proved difficult as she’d take one little bite then look up into the stand, and at 35 yards it was like bow hunting.

e2tue eve stand by Steven Musser, on Flickr


At first I had no intention to kill her, but as I managed to get a few pics, doubt about my shot on the first doe began to enter my mind, and I decided to take her if she gave me a broadside. Finally at 4:50 she did, and I dumped her right there in the road with a high shoulder shot. No more than ten minutes later, I saw a deer coming out in the grassy area at the end of the shooting lane. Getting it in the scope I saw it was a branch antlered buck. Well now, things are about to get expensive as I’m not about passing up a legal buck. No sooner than I’m starting my trigger squeeze, here comes another buck, but before I can assess its head gear, the first one rears up and kicks it in the face, then ran it off. Fortunately, the original buck stopped at the edge of the woods and I dumped him right there in the road. So now I’ve got two down that I can see, with another possible back in the woods! While I waited for Patrick to arrive I had several more deer come out. After following a short blood trail we found my first deer of the evening, making three down.

g3 deer by Steven Musser, on Flickr



Wednesday Dec. 5, 2018


Wednesday morning we again had a hard frost. I was once again hunting with Bill and I was on a nice stand with a four way view at the intersection of two woods roads. Other than two Pileated Woodpeckers and a couple of Grey Squirrels, I saw nothing. Tried to get pics of the woodpeckers but the buggers wouldn’t stand still.

That afternoon, a local father and son whom I’d never met came in for the afternoon hunt. The son would be bow hunting and Bill would finish his hunt that evening. We were put out over on a different section of Brown-n-Down and the entire area was tore up with hog sign. I drew a tripod on a straight section of road with an 80 yard view to my right and about a 120 yard view to my left.

h2wen eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr

h1wen eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr


I heard a shot early, but had seen nothing, when at about 5:10 I was looking down the long view to my left. One second the road was empty, and one second later it was covered up in yearling hogs. There were about 8 in the group, all in the 70 to 100 pound range, and all were black but for one that was a pretty orange/red color I’d never seen before. I immediately wanted that unique hog and scoped the pack until she stepped semi clear. As soon as she gave me a shoulder and was clear of others I whacked the trigger. She fell right there, but in a few seconds was up and into the woods. I heard another shot right before full dark, and upon Patrick’s arrival, we unraveled a short blood trail and found my sow. Turned out the father had shot an armadillo early, then later saw two does he couldn’t get shooting at, and Bill had killed a doe just at dark. The son was a might upset… he had what he said was a very big 10 point buck step out at about 75 yards, too far for him to take a bow shot. Hugh had gone out late right behind the lodge and sat a road stand, killing a 205lb sow hog. My sow went 75lbs.

h3wen pig by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Thursday Dec. 6, 2018


Thursday morning was uneventful. That evening I was hunting alone so I asked to sit a stand I had killed two good bucks on one night several years ago. It’s a fiberglass shooting house, but higher than most, in a relatively open area of hardwoods in the swamp. A beauty spot for sure.

j1thur eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr

j2thur eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr


I saw several Fox Squirrels, one of them a rare black phase, and a big old gobbler. Unfortunately I had switched cameras, and could only get a 10x shot of the squirrel. The gobbler came quite close.

j3thur eve black fox sq by Steven Musser, on Flickr

j4thur eve gobbler by Steven Musser, on Flickr


At 5:10, I looked down the road and saw the silhouette of a deer in the brush about to step out on the left side of the road. As I got the scope on the spot, a large buck stepped out but immediately turned straight away, never stopping, and walked a few steps, then hung a left back into the woods. I had the crosshair on him following him. I could see his head and neck and, trying to guess where his shoulder would be, fired through the thick brush at the walking buck just as he was about to completely disappear. In hind sight, I should not have fired, but I was on autopilot. Perhaps he would have stepped back out, I’ll never know. We did spend a good bit of time after dark looking for sign of a hit, but of course I had missed him.


Friday Dec. 7, 2018


Thursday afternoon, two hunters came in to begin a three day hunt Friday through Sunday, Don and Doc from Berwick Pa. Friday morning we were once again on Brown-n-Down, but in a different section. I was on a woods road and a small flock of hens come in. Doc saw nothing and Don saw one little hog, no more than 15 lbs he said.

k3fri morn turks by Steven Musser, on Flickr

k4fri morn turks by Steven Musser, on Flickr


Friday at lunch, Hugh had asked me where I wanted to go for my last sit. I didn’t hesitate choosing the stand that the bow hunter had seen the 10 point buck on Wend. evening. It’s a beauty spot I’d set many times before, an open area with several huge old, Spanish Moss laden oaks to the front and to the right, with a dark road to the left through a pine thicket.

l2fri eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr

l1fri eve by Steven Musser, on Flickr


It had been a quiet evening except for one shot I figured for either Doc or Don, when at about 5:15 I saw a large black animal moving around the far corner on the road obscured by brush. I figured it for a hog and sure enough, it came back down the road into my clearing several minutes later. That it was a good boar was obvious, and as it milled and circled around I wasn’t sure I wanted to take it and hoped it would leave. Well, it found the corn and I took several pics as it fed.

l3fri eve hog by Steven Musser, on Flickr


By now it was getting late, so I abandoned hope of seeing a buck, put the crosshair under his ear and let one fly. He dropped right down and did the Curley Shuffle like they always do with a head shot, he then lay still.

l5fri hog by Steven Musser, on Flickr


It was near dead black dark when all of a sudden I heard two shots followed by a pig squealing. Then, a couple of minutes later, several more shots but fainter. Turns out Doc had shot a hog early but it ran off. Just at black dark the pack came back and he shot a second one that ran in to the woods and went to squealing. There was still one in the road so he shot and dropped that one. Patrick gets there and they go in after the squealer, he empties his pistol in it but it’s still alive, so he slit its throat. A blood trail led to the first one, so Doc ended up with three yearling hogs in the 80lb range.

l6fri group pigs by Steven Musser, on Flickr


It was a weird but, in the end, successful hunt. No one all week saw a single deer on a morning sit. I saw a total of 18 deer, four of which were bucks, two of those good ones, killing one buck and two does. I saw nine hogs, killing two. It was great to spend the week with Hugh Walters and his wife Donna, as well as my guide Patrick, and to see and hunt with my good friend Bill. Next year its back to normal as Old George, Bumblehick, his cuz John, and I are booked for the third week of October. Can’t wait!

Loridr
bohunr, JasonN, Loggy and 10 others like this.

Last edited by loridr; 12-09-2018 at 08:13 PM.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 08:38 PM
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Sounds like a lot of fun! Nice pics and as always …… enjoyed reading about your latest hunt/adventure. Thanks for sharing!

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 09:31 PM
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Sounds like a great hunt to me! Congrats on the kills and as always thanks for sharing the story of the hunt so well!
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 09:38 PM
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Congrats Loridr! I was actually going to send you a PM the other day about this as I hadn't seen your annual Deerefield post. Thought maybe you decided not to go this year.

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cspot View Post
Congrats Loridr! I was actually going to send you a PM the other day about this as I hadn't seen your annual Deerefield post. Thought maybe you decided not to go this year.

Thanks C.



Yeah, things got buggered up this year... Lily in October instead of November, and Deerfield in December instead of October, so I missed the rut both places.



Back on track for next year with DF third week of Oct. and Lily (actually Verona, we're hunting the trophy managed operation next year), the third week of November.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:37 AM
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Excellent write up and photos of what sounds like a great hunt!

I loved the view of the first spot you referred to as a beauty spot, then I saw the second! Loved the look of both, but really like the second one with the Spanish Moss laden oaks.

Congrats!

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 07:15 AM
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Enjoyed your hunt report/pics Steve!! Congrats on the deer plus those nice pigs!! I did 3 muzzleloader TN pig hunts. Some fine eating there.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 07:26 AM
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Great work on the hunting front and the telling the tales front. Congrats!

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 09:53 AM
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Great story as always. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on all of the harvests.

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 10:23 AM
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That was a good boar, what did he weigh? Looks like your meat shopping days will be few and far between for the next year. Nice post.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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