The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,190 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've bowhunted for almost 35 years now and have taken quite a few deer w/the bow. Mostly does but a few nice buck as well. Last Friday (11/13) was my largest buck harvest to date and possibly the most exciting / intense bowhunt I've ever had...

I am a PA native, but now live near Frederick MD. I have permission to bowhunt a prime property 5 minutes from my house. My work schedule has messed up my bowhunting big time this year and it's been a struggle to get out at all. But since this is prime-time I made a point to get out last Friday to my honeyhole on this property.

Got in my stand @ 5am, in a sliver of woods adjoining a powerline ROW that’s about 200 yds across. It was REALLY windy. By 8am no deer seen at all.

But then I see way off in the distance antlers from a nice buck gleaming in the sun. About 150 yards away, on the edge of and heading into the stickerbush-nastiness in the ROW. No binocs, but after awhile I made out 2 other smaller buck as well. No response to my grunt call. With the wind blowing so hard I couldn't even be sure they could hear my grunt call.

The sun was hitting this nastiness and I figgered they were bedding down.

I could stay in my tree and mope.

Or.... why not go after them?

I've never had great success stalking but w/the wind masking pretty much all noise, and blowing from them to me... couldn't ask for a better setup!

Down w/the climber I go. Strip off some bulkier stuff, slim-line it so nothing rattles or squeaks- over top I have my ghillie suit.

Once I'm on the ground I
a) Don't know if the buck(s) are still in the field
b) If they are in the field I don't know exactly where.
c) know that if I walk along the woods line I'll get busted for sure.

So.... into the stickerbush/grass mix in the ROW I go. Vegetation is about waist high, a bit higher in places. I'm creeping along on hands and knees and at times peeking my head up to look for movement.

A little ways in I spot 2 6ptr, about 50 yd apart.

One was a decent 6 ptr- he was closest. Targeted him 1st. They were bedded down and all you could see now and then was a tine (amidst a billion blades of grass and stickerbush stems) when they lifted their head in the air, only once did I see more than a few square inches of deer. When they went “low”, they disappeared- that’s what this guy did (the 6ptr). When he went low it was disorienting trying to figure out where he really was.

I crept up and ended up almost stepping on him, he bounded away. I was ticked, how'd I mess that up? Easy, you can't see them!

But there’s more deer than this one, and they did not all bound away. And they’re all close, but I don’t know where….. so I keep creeping looking for a tine… Not 5 min later I’m crouched down scanning on my hands/knees and a spike comes waltzing along, so close I could have grabbed him. Walked right in front of / past me.

Then I see the another 6ptr, this ones bigger. Make a slow-mo beeline towards him (he’s about 80 yds away now, and I’m w/my bow). I get within 40 yds, of him, and POP! Up jumps this 8ptr- THIS was the big boy I saw when I was in my stand! When he popped up he was only @ 15 yds from me. I never saw him.

He takes 2 bounds and stops, he’s not sure what the heck I am (all ghillie’d up)- that’s all I needed. Let the arrow fly, he took 1 bound and piled up. Lung, top of heart.

Nice 8ptr, 17 inch spread.

Sorry the pics ain't the best, didn't have a photographer w/me!

This was one of my most exciting and probably one of the top 5 most memorable hunts I've had to date. It was awesome!




Here's the field of nastiness I crept through.... it looks like grass, it's mostly stickerbushes!



And here he is in my truck!


BH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,314 Posts
I see a nice 8pt!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,503 Posts
Congrats, BH!!


Exciting and thrilling hunt, and great write up!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,172 Posts
Had me excited with the retelling of the adventure!

Great job and a sweet buck BH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
Awesome buck, and awesome story. Good job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,790 Posts
Congratulations to you on a fine buck. I enjoyed your story you had me on the edge of my chair. Im from Cumberland area and know you have good hunting there. You might share even though you just took a buck with a bow you can still take one with rifle and muzzy. I think your zone B where you can actually buy extra buck tags, am I correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,201 Posts
Congrats Bumblehick on a super buck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,190 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
You might share even though you just took a buck with a bow you can still take one with rifle and muzzy. I think your zone B where you can actually buy extra buck tags, am I correct?
Oh I am indeed aware of the ability to shoot multiple deer (buck and doe) in the eastern part of MD.

Maryland is known a radical-far-left freak job state w/extremist anti-gun laws, and all w/good reason.

The 2 saving graces that make living and hunting in MD tolerable if not downright attractive...

- Once you get out of the major far-left anti-gun, anti-hunting corridor @ Baltimore & Annapolis (which is very similar in those regards to, say, SE PA @ Philly!), and get either to central, western or eastern shore MD, you might as well be dealing with a "normal" fairly conservative pro-gun, pro-hunting area like any you'd find in rural PA or TX. What that means is that the hunting opportunities are fairly good if you put the footwork in. When I lived outside of Hagerstown I asked for permission to hunt several properties and was welcomed w/open arms and encouraged to shoot whatever I felt like. Around Frederick MD the population density is higher but you can still get access for the asking to private land if you try. Quite nice! I've actually had better success asking permission in MD than I've ever had in decades of knocking on doors in PA.

- The deer seasons are phenomenal, and the bag limits (at least in the eastern part) are ridiculous. You can hunt private land on a good # of Sundays. No mail in for anything, you can buy every permit you need on-line. At least for the zone covering eastern MD (Washington County and east) you can shoot multiple buck and the field is wide open for doe. I believe @ Frederick the limit is 30 doe. If you go to the overpopulated counties @ Baltimore the doe harvest is UNLIMITED! And you can check them all in on-line and don't need any tags to mail in or anything like that- just whack'em and stack'em, and call the DNR or go on-line at the end of the day, report your harvest, get a confirmation # and that's all you need to bring to a processor or a taxidermist.

I will say I'm pleasantly surprised and contented w/the hunting opportunities around my way in MD. Last year I took two really nice 8ptrs, one of with the ML about 100 yards into the woods on the right of the pic of the field I showed in the OP, the other from a farm where I hunt w/the bow. They were both good size buck w/15 in spreads. This buck I just took w/the bow beat them both- Life is good!

BH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,190 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I don't know how they would respond to non-resident, but I would not start out the conversation saying you're from out of state
.

The ones I dealt with around Hagerstown all had massive deer overpopulation problems and seemed most interested in somebody coming in and just killing stuff. The one guy I made a big deal saying it would be bow only, from a stand (shooting down) and during week/workdays (when there's no chance of kids being around). He laughed and said something along the lines of "I don't care if you sit on my deck any day of the week and shoot everything you see with a rifle". He couldn't plant a garden, his landscaping was destroyed by deer, and he had hit several of them over the years ruining/damaging vehicles, he did not hunt and had no interest in the meat- he was very interested in body counts, buck, doe, fawn, he didn't care, he wanted them all gone. I was more than happy to do my part to help him achieve his dream


I had 2 landowners tell me that I was the 1st person that had ever asked them permission to hunt their property.... they were just happy somebody asked.

One guy was standoffish until I told him I lived over his hill and all the deer that devastated my garden were coming from his property, and I just wanted an opportunity to kill some of them- that guy took a little convincing and it only worked out b/c I was a neighbor.

Can't hurt to ask though. I've found (same as PA) the more rural you go, the better the chances. I wouldn't bother asking outside of a development in Frederick, MD resident or not. Those places fall into 2 camps- either they are hunted, by the resident or a close friend of theirs, or they don't want anyone hunting their property. But get out a little ways, especially the further west you go, the doors have a better chance of being open. Frederick County is a bit trickier, Washington county is easier. Anne Arundel or Baltimore Counties have unbelievable deer populations, but fawgeddabout it- you ain't getting on private land unless you personally know somebody who owns the land.

At least that's my experience (so far!).

BH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,207 Posts
Congrats BH,Great Buck and story.
Might be your shortest post yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,790 Posts
springfreak said:
Are the landowners friendly to non-resident hunters?
As for my input bumblehck was very honest and I was hoping he would explain how Md. hunting works. I live around 1 1/2 hour west from where he was hunting fairly rural but in a different zone consisting of 3 countys we only have 2 zones. As far as non residents coming to Md. people is still people the Mason Dixon line cant change that. I think he explained well of how it works. In my area of Md. there are quite a few Pa. non residents hunting here due to opportunity of longer seasons and more bag limits. You would at least in my area get told no as fast as a Md. resident. I don't see the negative though against non residents as much as I do in Pa. though. If you don't own ground here its hard for anyone to get permission. We have several state forests that hunting population has went down but very good hunting. 2 miles from me we have a large club that will take anyone in no closed membership several k acres. The ground is leased from a company around Pittsburgh and has been here since 1988. Most people around here would tell someone from Baltimore no before they would you. My other point is since my area is different I mentioned is much more conseritive then the zone bumblehick was hunting. However, here in western Md. our bow season opens mid sept and runs thru day before rifle season. You may harvest a buck and doe in same season and have several Sundays to hunt if desired. Our early muzzy is around the same time Pa. is and you make take a buck or doe but choose only one for that season then late season you can harvest the opposite sex you took from early season but it is only 3 days Thursday thru Saturday. Our rifle season is 2 days longer since it comes in sat. before Pa. but includes first Sunday buck only and last 2 days of season is open season where a doe can be taken as part of your package. Our bow season comes back in until around end of Jan. along with a short late muzzy season. All of this is for around 35.00 for a resident and Md. charges non residents what that state would charge there residents to hunt there state. A Pa. resident pays around 185.00 give or take a nickel. This is one reason why im against Pa. proposal to raise NR license over a 5 year period to 500.00 saying there in line with other states. That is so un true look at what you can do here in Md. for 185.00 and my zone I mentioned is more concretive then the eastern zone. Pa. offers one buck, no Sunday hunting, doe in early muzzy with extra purchase of doe license, short bow season, no semi rifle how are they giving so much opportunity compared to a bordering state. With all I mentioned we still have deer, haven't heard of anyone getting shot from a semi compared to other actions, and churches still have attendance on Sunday morning. Last thing I hate to see if the big increase goes in effect a Pa. hunter coming to Md. will have to pay 500.00 then I don't care to see. I live 2 miles from Pa. where many of us on both sides of Mason Dixon buy each other states non residents licenses because we are related or friends and hunt together. Sad but a lot of that tradition will get broken and both states will suffer on Non resident sales.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top