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Well guys, just did not have time to write up much about my 3 days in the boundary less paradise of Southern Potter County. My camp sits where the Susquehannock SF butts up against the Sproul SF and I imagine that means there are over 500,000 acres right outside my camp door that could be explored without a reason to stop.

This sign might as well say “entering the land of RB’s Outdoor Soul” , I am sure that holds true for a few of us on here.

Some of the overlooks on my snowy drive in on Sunday. I always stop at these and tell myself the buck of my life is out there somewhere..and I know he always will be for longer than I have to chase him.




A pic of my Brother and Dad as our trio splits up to hunt on our first day out there. It was cold and crunchy, making it tough for stillhunting but we all had places we wanted to see and deer sign we needed to find.


Took these pics on my Sunday walk , camp was still only about 35 degrees inside, so as it warmed up I hiked down our road. This white birch has some significance to me, as it is where I drug my first buck up onto the road at the age of 16. I sat there while I waited for Dad to bring the truck around and pick me up. A few trucks stopped to congratulate me there…likely the proudest moment in this hunter's life. The tree looks a little wider in the middle than it did back then, but so does this hunter.


On Monday I came across this DCNR Food plot. Appears the deer really appreciated it. One of a few that I found out about from talking to a DCNR employee here on HPA. These pipelines have always been a great place for spotting deer and other wildlife, my guess is that they are only going to get better now.




Also on my Monday stillhunt. I targeted to find “Uncle Tony’s Tree” and did. It sits in a small bowl where a lot of benches come together. Uncle Tony was my Dad’s uncle, and one of the original members of our camp. Pap’s brother and a short gentle but tough guy that made his living running a tree nursery/greenhouse in Plum Boro near Pittsburgh. Uncle Tony died of a sudden heart attack while hunting rabbits with my Dad on those very nursery grounds. Dad found him after the beagles completed a long rabbit chase. A tough day in my childhood , the day Dad came home and told the news and just cried for hours, along with Pap . Tony was a great man just like my Pap, and he brought his Son up at camp, just like my Pap. Those guys spend the first week up there hunting, and we spend the second. Not sure how it ended up that way, but it has the last few years with varying schedules. Anyway, Uncle Tony was known for shooting deer when they were REALLY close and when I found his tree and saw I put some deer 5’ past in front of it (tracks near the small beech in the second pic) , I had to smile Uncle Tony would of loved that I am sure, and I am certain I would of found him gutting one shot in the throat or something when I got there. I was too young to hunt with him before he passed away, so I try to hunt with him some when I can now, sure he and Pap are still telling some stories up there and smiling on down.



Sunrise on Day 2, about an hour before Dad kicked up the giant buck we would spend all day chasing. The day had the right feel from the start . Was walking with my brother here as we crossed the mountain, in about 5 minutes we see two coyotes too…although we pulled up on them and they stopped for a look back we did not shoot. Dad was trying to bring deer to us (which he did) and we did not want to ruin it with early rifle shots at yotes.

Here is where we rest our bones. We rebuilt camp completely in 2001. The old building had some issues, but the day we knocked it down was likely tougher on all of us than we thought. Needed to be done if generations to come were to enjoy the hills too, but tough. We made it nice, and it is very comfortable, but that old shanty from 1932 can never be replaced in a few minds.





The end result of the trip for those that gauge hunting by the harvest. I am glad to say I don’t. I have more pics from the day of pursuit of the biggest buck we have ever chased in Potter County from Tuesday. But am going to do another post on that hunt. Including the trail on a topo image from start to finish of the 7 hour chase…give you guys a real good idea of the deer we chase there and how even with such little hunting pressure, how they know how to avoid us. Should be a cool thread once I get that one done. You will be amzaed as well to know we never saw another boot track in that pursuit, except for on the one tram trail.



Hope you enjoyed this...just did not have time to do a write-up.
 

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Incredible RB!!! I love your pictures and story as always. I know how much you enjoy it up there and although there was no kill, it seems those days up in your little piece of heaven could not be spent any better, or with better people.

Thanks for sharing and good luck the rest of your season near home!
 

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As always, good reading and pix!

Nice place you guys have there. You are lucky to have that - and it sounds like to know that and appreciate it!

Best of luck the rest of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We certainly do appreciate it and all its history. I need to utilize it more in 2009, both in season and out.
 

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I never thought in a million years I would be one of the guys who use their camp just in deer season. And this year I came way too close, with just 3 trips over there this year.

Got a lot going on...but it never should be that much.

Thanks guys for the comments. I certainly would like to show a few of you guys around up there some day if you got the time. I'd rather tell the stories out on the trails first hand than type em up.
 

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Great write-up RB!!! I love reading all your posts. Im glad you were able to create some more memories with your family in the big woods. There is no better feeling in the world as far as im concerned! Good luck the rest of the season.
 

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RoosterBooster said:
I never thought in a million years I would be one of the guys who use their camp just in deer season.
RSB, I also hate the fact I am one of those guys, but my career is the reason. That will end ina few years.

Question: What is the plant in that food plot. There is one near Conrad, at the Bottom of Horton Run, which leads up to the Hammersley. They also have a big Natural gas derrick there now.
 

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RB Great pictorial.Makes me miss hunting Potter as we have not hunted there since the late 70's.As always Gods Country is just that.Getting to camp more often is something we all need.Now finding the time is a different matter.Think I'll find the old 45 of the song "Potter countyGods country U.S.A. and play it tonight.Have you ever heard that song?The song describes alot of the same feelings for Potter that you have.(of course I may be telling my age by having a copy)
 

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Very nice felt like I was there!
 

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Very nice pics RB. Thanks for taking the time to post them up and write little blurbs about them. Us that don't have a camp/cabin yet love to see how others enjoy and appreciate it so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The camp is really just a small part of it although we would never underestimate its value of 76 years in our family...But it is the hills that draw me back and those of course are ALL OF OURS. Thousands and thousands of acres with no boot tracks...think about that. A deer reaching ages that give them racks that guys are likely paying big money to shoot on a private ranch in some other State. ALot to think about, but a committment that should be considered by anyone that may be down on hunting right now. It is not for everyone, but it certainly could be a whole new realm of hunting for some.

Even if you don't have a camp up there, I think everyone owes themself a trip up and see how you like those hills. God knows the hotels, campgrounds, and rental cabins folks would love it as they don't run anywhere near cpacity anymore, especially in week 2.

It is not where you take your boots off up there, it is where you go when you put them on that makes you never want to leave.

We live in Great state guys
 

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Very nice, RB! Was wondering how you fellows made out in that crunchy stuff. Spent a couple of those days east of you on the Tioga SF this week, but didn't find the buck I was looking for. Tough, Tough still hunting conditions this week up there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Our best luck came when one or two of us quit moving and one didn't. Dad snuck right up on the BIG buck and a dozen or so other deer on Tuesday morning, and I am still not sure how he did that...but Dad's are supposed to be able to do things you can't I guess. We chased that buck all day..and he had the advantage the whole day. I figure he even knew there were three of us, and where we were at all times.

Wed, was rainy and some fog. Great for sneaking as the snow got soft and even disappeared in some spots but we only had a 1/2 day to hunt.

Can't pick em, just gotta hunt em. But the deer had it way to easy this year avoiding us, but if they survive winter..I can only imagine/hope what next year will bring.
 

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Great pics and story line RB! Did you guys get a shot at the big mountain buck? Maybe that will come in your next thread. I'm glad you have a digital camera that works in the cold. I would love to take more pics when I'm up there but my camera never wants to turn on!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did you guys get a shot at the big mountain buck?
We all 3 got shots at him, he was loosing very small drops of blood occassionally but we think that was a week 1 wound as we saw some of that late on Monday before we jumped him on Tuesday morning (that is why we went back to that spot), but Dad said the buck did react to his shot as well so he may of made some contact. We all took turns dogging his tracks while others flanked for shots, we could not get ahead of him with the crunchy snow took us over 3 hills (which I hope to show in another post)...not perfect shots by any means, but shots. We had to stay close or else we would of lost contact. And yes we are all still sick over it, and not getting this deer. Beech brush and laurel, and the crunchy snow...he used it like a shield and it worked.
 

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Hey no apologies necessary here. Those big woods deer are tough to kill when sneaking or tracking, let alone when they know your behind them. The Benoits make it look easy.

I'm convinced after years of bowhunting that a big woods buck is tougher to kill in rifle than a bow buck, unless your hunting a smaller area with lots of guys running the deer around. I know many will disagree but I stick to that belief. When I kill a buck up in that country, I'm much prouder than any of my bow kills, but that's just me.

Don't sweat it, you always have next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The killer was we knew where he was going after he left our "home hill"...almost a decade ago a buck came off that saddle with a flesh neck wound from one of the guys at camp and crossed and hide in the same spot where I missed this buck Tuesday with the final shot we sent at him. I shot from my knees as I crawled thru the laurel....that year we stopped there and did not take it any further. This year i ran him up over the next one before loosing him in a huge trukey/deer scratching area. He was in Clinton County then I think.

Don't want to ruin my other thread
 
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