Hunting my Friend’s Homestead in the Catskills: Day 2

Posted on November 24, 2011


Day 2 began just as the day prior, 5am wake up, shower, in the field by 5:30. Yesterday, I saw hunters on the property to the south, and part of the southern perimeter consistent of stone walls with breaks forming natural funnels for lazy deer. The wind at this point was cooperating with a gentle breeze coming from the south. I picked the northern most edge of a small clearing in the woods to set up a folding green lawn chair that would give me good visibility of the area to the north.

The view from my position:
Again, nice sunrise

Unlike the prior day, there was no cacophony of gunshots before dawn. Still though, I saw nothing. Unfortunately, just as the day before, a 20 second long windstorm came from the north and completely blew my cover, twice. Very, very annoying. I continued to wait. I tried a “Doe Estrus Can“, no luck… Just as the day before, I waited until about 7:45-8:00am before heading back.

After breakfast, I decided to walk the four corners of the property to identify modifications that would make the place more suitable for hunting, i.e. restoring sections of the stone wall to channel deer through a more specific area, finding good locations for permanent or semi-permanent tree stands, as well as places to plant apple trees. I found one particular break in the stone wall that seemed to get a fair amount of deer traffic judging by the bark that had been rubbed off roots in the way of travelers.

Random photo I took while scouting:
nothing to see here.

Following lunch, my friend, his son and I went out to confirm the zeros on three 22lr rifles, two scoped Henry lever guns and a very old iron-sighted Springfield 84C bolt-gun. Even with the terrible stock irons on the Springfield, my group size was pretty good. Thanks Appleseed. After confirming zero, I went squirrel hunting/ deer scouting with my friend’s son. We found a big pile of day or two old deer scat:

Scat is fancy hunter talk for shit.

Unfortunately, the scat was on the other side of the property line of one of the northern neighbor’s land. Apparently, the land was completely undeveloped, but I didn’t want to risk getting anyone in trouble, so when I noticed the GPS said we were too far north we returned to the homestead’s property. Although on several occasions we sat very quietly for sometime to chance upon a squirrel, we neither heard nor saw much of anything. It was honestly pretty disconcerting, but if hunting was too easy, basically any tasty animal would be either extinct or raised in captivity.

After striking out with both deer and squirrel, I had to head back to the city in time to return my rental.

Interestingly, every time I go out in the field, I learn more and more “do’s” and “don’ts”. My interim goal now is to see a deer walking towards me in the woods. You do enough hiking, you’ll probably bump into a deer, but that’s not what I want. I want to scout properly, find a good, heavily trafficked area, set up in a good position downwind of the area, and just see a deer doing its thing. That would be great.

Later I can refill my freezer (I just gave away the last of my Six steaks to my Bro-in-law and Sister for Thanksgiving).


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Posted in: Hunting