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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 2)

image credit frackiewicz

So as I got down from my tree stand I was pretty confident I had shot the deer. When I was walking over to ware the buck was standing I noticed he was further away then I orignaly thought he was. So I decided to walk back to my stand and step off the distance to see how far of a shot it was to the closest blood. I stepped off around 110 yards and didn’t find any blood.

This seemed very odd so I started to look all over for blood. None here or there I was starting to get very frustrated. I thought for sure I hit him. I looked every where with in 30 yards of where the buck was standing not a drop of blood. “You have to be kidding me” I thought to myself as I was combing the ground.

I proceeded to follow the trail the buck had run on. Gawking at the ground leaning closer and closer the farther I walked into the woods. There was no blood on the trail the first time I walked the trail, or the second or the third. After about an hour and a half of looking for blood I finely decided it was time to give up. Needless to say I was incredibly bummed that I didn’t get this deer.

I decided to walk around for a short while and then head back up to my stand. I got into my stand and sat the rest of the morning. Around 8:30 or so I heard a shot rather close to my stand it I was guessing it was someone form my party. Then shortly after the shot I heard two guys walking through the woods and another shot rang out. By there conversation I could tell they didn’t get the deer.

The two hunters continued on and ended up about 30 yards from my stand. I always get a bit annoyed when people walk by my stand (I was hunting public land so what could I do). About thirty minutes after the two guys walked by I heard some crunching leaves behind me. I gazed in the woods behind me and couldn’t see a thing. Then just as I was turning my head to look awayI caught a glimpse of a good size doe. I only saw her for about a second (not even enough time to think about pulling my gun up).

Shortly after that I heard her rumble into the brush where the buck had come from earlier this morning. I heard her walking around for a good twenty minutes, but the brush was so thick I couldn’t get even the slightest peek at her.

I sat in my stand until around ten or ten thirty and headed for the parking lot to go and get some lunch. I met up with Pat on the way back. He hadn’t seen any a deer other than a nice buck crossed the road in front of him on his way to the parking lot earlier in the morning.

Pat and I were the first back to the parking lot. We chatted for a short while, then Rob, Aaron, and Brian all showed up. Bruce followed shortly after. There is one question we are sure to ask each other as we come out of the woods. Did you see any deer? Well so far every one had seen a deer or two, but no one had shot one. Strangely this was starting out to be an unproductive deer hunting season.

The only two guys left out in the woods were Ryan and Brandon. Someone said here they come and I looked up to see them walking down the trail toward the parking lot around 11:00. A moment later BOOM a shot rang out. I looked down the trail to see what they were shooting. I didn’t see any deer so I started talking again. I happened to glance back at the trail once again to see if Ryan or Brandon were coming or if we needed to go help them get a deer. I happened to look at the perfect moment to see a deer run across the trail. I quickly grabbed my shot gun and ran into the woods, off to the west of the parking lot where the deer ran.

I was startled to see a giant buck just walking through the forest. I reached in my pocket, grabbed a shell, and loaded it in my gun. I quickly brought the gun up to my shoulder. All of this happened so fluently I was didn't even have time to get excited to see this buck in my scope. I took my time and aimed at the giant buck. Slowly squeezed the trigger and with a loud bark my 870 chucked a slug in the direction of this giant.

Did I hit the monster buck or will this be a long drawn out season of misses? Find out in part 3 of A Not so productive deer season.

~Ben G.

Link to other parts of the series
Not so Productive Deer hunting Season (Part 3)
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 1)
Other huting adventures
Trout fishing Part 1
Turkey Hunting Addiction (Part 1)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 1)

Image Credit Michael (mx5tx)

This year’s deer hunting season had lots of potential as they all do, but a few factors made the season not so productive. Sit back read and I’ll explain.

My brother picked me up around 4:30 opening morning Rob was with him already and the three of us went to the gas station to get some caffeine. After a short stop at the gas station we headed out to the refuge. The car ride opening morning always seems to take for ever even though it’s only takes 30 minutes.

When we finally arrived we hopped out of the truck and started getting our gear ready to head out into the woods. Brian was already in the parking lot, Aaron, Bruce and Brandon showed up shortly after us. A little chatting, finishing up your coffee, and taking a pee before it was too late was all the time we had before leaving the parking lot.

With our stands on our backs, guns on our shoulder, and all the hope, excitement, and optimism any group of guys could have we headed out into the woods. For what would be a very exciting, but not productive day.

I got to my tree and was instantly filled with relief that no one was sitting in it or around it. Then I proceeded to set up my stand and put out a couple of doe scent wicks. Finally I was able to get up in my sand and sit and it was more than early enough.

Sitting in my stand the first thing I noticed was that the wind seemed to be going in the absolute perfect direction out of the south west. Then I realized how hot it actually was out as I was dripping in sweat. “This is not a good thing” I thought to myself “The deer won’t even have to move it’s too warm”.

I sat for a good 45 minutes before I checked the clock on my phone to see what time it was. I had about four minutes till legal shooting time. No more than the time it took me to put the phone back in my pocket I heard a rustling in the brush right where expected I would hear a deer on opening morning of the deer hunting season. A few seconds went by and I heard the rustling again. Then I heard no sounds at all for about three minutes. Thinking to myself “it must have been a just a squirrel or a turkey”. I was just about to sit back down when I heard the same sound yet again.

Now I was on high alert expecting to see a deer. I checked the time again just to make sure I wouldn’t be shooting too early. Right on time, but I still hadn’t seen the deer yet. Then I saw him much further out then I expected to see him. His head was down and on the trail of a doe (I guess the rut was on). He wasn’t heading my direction and not going to stop. I reached for my buck grunt and realized it was still in my pack and didn’t have time to try and get it out.

With no other options other than let him pass by or stop him and shoot. I chose the latter, I made a quick sharp sound just as he was about to go into the woods. He stopped and looked right at me. I knew he was going to be down as soon as I saw him in my site. Blam, I took a shot he didn’t even move. I was completely baffled. Instantly I ejected the used shell and fired again. After the sceond shot he stumbled a bit and ran off.

I sat back down and was really pumped I had gotten a deer no more then two minutes into the new deer season. I sat for about 30 to 35 minutes, so I could settle down before I got out of the tree. As I was sitting there I thought “how many points did that deer have”. I guess I was just so focused on shooting him I didn’t even pay attention to the size of his antlers I just saw antlers.

I got out of my tree and went looking for the blood trail………………………….. Find out in the next part of Not so productive deer huting season if I hit the deer or not.

Ben G.

Other hunting & fishing stories
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 2)
Not so Productive Deer hunting Season (Part 3)
Turkey Hunting Addiction (Part 1)
Trout fishing Part 1
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More and More Female Anglers are learning to Fly Fish

I am pleased to announce a guest post By Sherri Russell, of She’s So Fly, Fly Fishing for Women

If you want to learn about fly fishing Sherri's blog is a great resource about everything fly fishing. Even though it is geared toward women, guys you can still get a lot of good info. I hope you guys & gals enjoy Sherri's Post ~Ben G.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to fly fish?

Fly fishing is considered a sport or a hobby by some, and an art form by others. Fly Fishing dates back thousands of years.

You can call it what you want, fly fishing is a pleasurable pastime built on the camaraderie of the anglers themselves, the oceans, lakes and rivers they fish, and the beautiful fish they pursue in magnificent surroundings.

Some anglers are weekend warriors, happy to run into a fish or two on a quiet river or stream. Other fly fisherwomen are die-hard trout bums, who dedicate most of their days to tying flies and dissecting the bug hatches and underwater traits of their favorite river or stream.

For those who consider themselves avid fly fishers, the sport of fly fishing is a refreshing escape from the daily rigors of everyday life. This is a meditative and even spiritual passion that non-anglers have a hard time understanding.

But for those who get it, there’s nothing better than the push and pull of a fly line, and the sight of a fish rising to take that perfectly placed fly.

How to Fly Fish - Species

Most fly fisherwomen focus on the pursuit of trout, although anglers fly fish for everything from small pan fish, largemouth bass to big-game saltwater species like marlin, tarpon and even sharks.

There are thousands of species of saltwater and freshwater fish, and your limitations are only limited by your choice of species. You may fish small area ponds, lakes to small and large rivers and streams.

American fly fisherwomen spend most of their time pursuing trout, particularly rainbow trout. Other types of trout include the golden trout, steelhead, brown trout, brook trout and lake trout.

How to Fly Fish - Places

There is no wrong time or place to use a fly rod, as long as anglers are abiding by current national and state rules and regulations.

You can fish everywhere from the open ocean to backcountry creeks or lakes. In fact, many fly fisherwomen practice their craft at home, honing their casting skills on the front lawn or at the local park.

Fly fishing has caught on all over the world, whether it’s fly fishing on a road trip through the western United States, quaint Northern Michigan streams such as the Pere Marquette, Pine or Muskegon Rivers, or saltwater fishing in the Florida Keys.

Fly fishing is extremely popular in the Western U.S., thanks in part to the warm weather, river conservation and accessibility and a strong outdoors heritage.

How to Fly Fish - Gear

Fly fishing gear is always evolving, although the fly rod, reel and line have always been a staple in fly fishing.

Many fly fishing companies, especially clothing manufactures are gearing their lines to the fastest growing category, women fly fishers.

Fly anglers also are notorious for the dozens of different knots they use, many of which correlate with the type of fly line, leader and tippet they rely on.

Fly fishing also can be an expensive hobby, with typical fly rods and reels typically costing more than $100 apiece. Fly anglers, however, can find a bargain if they know where to look.

How to Fly Fish - Terrestrials

Fly fishing methods can change from season to season, fishery to fisher, and even hour to hour depending on the hatch and when different insects are present on and in the water.

Trout prefer food items that are just becoming available during the season. Trout feeding throughout May, for example, will have already gorged themselves on Chironomid hatches. The trout then go into a 'non-feeding' cycle to digest their food. When the trout are ready to resume feeding, they probably don't want to see or eat another Chironomid. After a full diet of Chironomid, the trout will "prefer" another, any other, food source.

When Caddis, Damsels, or another food source FIRST becomes available in June, it will be the food of choice even though there may be many Chironomids still available and hatching. Naturally, if these other food sources are not available the trout will try a smaller new food or even revert back to the Chironomid.That makes nymph fishing – below the surface with bottom-dwelling insects and emergent patterns like the Caddis fly – a popular approach. But when temperatures rise, some insects make their way to the surface – a good time for dry patterns.

How to Fly Fish - Techniques

The type of cast used when fishing varies according to the conditions. The most common cast is the forward cast, where the angler whisks the fly into the air, back over the shoulder until the line is nearly straight, then forward, using primarily the forearm. The objective of this motion is to "load" (bend) the rod tip with stored energy, then transmit that energy to the line, resulting in the fly line (and the attached fly) being cast for an appreciable distance. Casting without landing the fly on the water is known as 'false casting', and may be used to pay out line, to dry a soaked fly, or to reposition a cast. Other casts are the roll cast, the single- or double-haul, the tuck cast, and the side- or curve-cast.

Working on tying flies and prepping your rod, reel and lines during your downtime and in the off season will also help make your next fishing trip a successful one.

You do not need to learn the art of fly tying as your local fly shop will carry various patterns popular for your favorite fishery.

If you are interested in learning the increasingly popular sport of fly fishing, contact your local fly shop, guide or outfitter and inquire about local fly fishing schools or camps.

You may visit my Fly Fishing Blog for Women or my Fly Fishing for Women website for more fly fishing for women articles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My New Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX Tree stand (A review of)

Last year I had my  Gorilla tree stand stolen when I left it out in the woods, so I was in the market to get a new stand this fall. I had received some gift cards for my birthday this past summer and decided they would be great to use to get a new tree stand.

I looked at a few different brands not wanting to limit myself to just Gorilla. I ended up coming to the same conclusion I had the year before I like Gorilla Treestands the best.

Now I had to decide which one of the Gorilla Treestands I wanted. It was between the King Kong Lounger HX and the Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX. I almost walked out of the store with the Lounger HX, but the idea of a 13lb tree stand was the deciding factor that pushed me to the Silverback.

I’ve had this stand sitting in the basement for the last two months begging to be used. I finally got the chance to use it this last weekend for rifle opener. I was initially very impressed with how light it felt on my back even when I added all of my extra gear.

When I put it up in the tree opening morning I loved the fact that it was so easy to place in the tree. Other then the little fumbling around I did because it was dark out and I was still a little groggy from not getting enough sleep the night before. I would guess it only took about five to six minutes to set the tree stand up.

That morning I only really sat in the tree stand for about an hour. I shot at a deer about two minutes after legal shooting time. Needless to say I didn’t really get to test out the comfort of the Silverback Magnum HX, but so far I was impressed with everything I had seen.

That afternoon I decide to move my stand to a different spot. I had some trouble getting the stand off of the tree. I soon realized it wasn’t the stand it was me  I wasn't using the buckle correctly. When I figured out how to use the buckle the stand came right off the tree. There was nothing wrong with the stand at all just the user.

When I moved the stand over to a new tree it was just like the walk earlier that morning easy. I t was great to have such a light stand. After I got my clumsy climbing sticks set up and a few pegs I was ready to carry the stand up the tree. I had just put the strap over my shoulder and clink my new tree stand had fallen to the ground. The shoulder strap had come on done. I was a little annoyed with this but I was able to fix it quickly.

This time I think it only took me three to four minutes to get the stand up in the tree. As I was setting up the stand I thought to myself “I think I have this thing figured out”.

After sitting in the new tree for about two and a half hours I decided that the new stand was also very comfortable. The seat cushion was not too hard and not too soft but just right. One other thing I discovered was the Velcro straps on the removable seat cushion made noise every time I shifted in my stand. It wasn’t a lot of noise, but it was enough noise to make me pay attention to it every time I moved or stood up.

The next morning went just as smooth as the first no problems at all. After lunch I decided to move my stand again. It was very easy to take my stand down again and I just love how light the Silverback Magnum HX tree stand is. (Do you see a trend)?

I arrived at the new tree after a 20 minute walk. No sore shoulders (like in the past) because it felt like I had nothing on my back. I set my tree up with my climbing sticks and some screw in pegs. Again as I was grabbing my stand to put it in the tree the strap came undone. I have to admit this did frustrate me a bit, but I fixed the strap and set my tree stand up again. It just keeps getting easier and easier to set this stand up in a tree. I bet it only took me two to three minutes this time.

I got up in the tree and sat down and just about feel asleep when I heard a noise. I stood up and the Velcro stuck to my hunting suit making an extremely loud sound. If there was a deer it would have been gone in an instant. I can say I don’t like the Velcro on the seat I wish they would have used buttons, or magnets. With a little adjustment and making sure to unstick my hunting suit from the Velcro before standing I was able to sit and stand without much noise.

Over all I really like my new Silverback Magnum HX Tree stand. It does have a couple of annoying little down falls, but they can easily be over looked, because of the quality of the craftsmanship, the comfort, ease of use, and of course the weight. The problem with the straps can be easily fixed with a little clip, and I have to figure out a way to fix the Velcro on the seat cushion.

If you have any ideas on how to fix my Velcro problem please let me know.

I give The Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX 8.9 out of 10. It would have been a 9.5 if it wasn’t for the Velcro incident.

~ Ben G.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to get to your deer stand with out getting noticed (in the dark)

image credit dolmsta23

I have had some bad mornings on the way out to my deer stand before and made way too much noise. Over the years I have compiled some tips to help you out. If you apply just one or two of these tips to your early morning walk you can reduce your risk of getting notice (in the dark).

1. Use a head lamp instead of a flash light. This way you always have light where ever you look and you also have your hands free to move branches out of your way. Don’t forget about climbing you don’t have to put the flash light in your mouth to have light.

2. If you have the option of using a red light it on your head lamp or flash light use it. Using red light makes it harder for the deer to see the light. (Remember they are color blind.)

3. Ware cloth clothing most any other type of clothing will make noise when you walk.

4. Make sure you have gotten rid of any branches or brush that may be in the way of your ladder or path to your ladder. (Or tree if you have a climber).

5. Before climbing into your deer stand make sure your ladder/pegs are all secure if not the may cause unwanted noise when climbing your tree. Not to mention you may fall.

6. Put your safety harness on before you go out into the woods to avoid getting noticed by putting it on at your deer stand.

7. Avoid clothes with Velcro they can be bad news out in the woods. Instead use clothes with buttons or magnets.

8. The best thing to do is know the area you are walking to get to your deer stand.

9. If you don’t know the area well, make sure to go over the walk in your head. If you visualize it, it will help you avoid braches or holes that can make noise when you run into them (this goes for #8 also). I’ve actually fell in a hole one morning and I made a ton of noise when I gasped. If I would have just mapped the rout out in my head prior I wouldn’t have tried to take a short cut.

10. Just remember sometimes going the long way will help you from being noticed.

You know you are doing a good job when you almost step on a sleeping deer in the dark. One morning about five years ago when I was walking out to my deer stand a deer jumped up off the ground no more than five feet in front of me. Needless to say I almost had to go change my pants.

Feel free to lend me some advice for my Hunt this Saturday

~ Ben G.
Related posts
11 Tips To help you lure a deer in to shooting range
10 Tips for Picking the Best Place for you stand & Setting it up for success.
10 Tips for a sucessful Whitetail Scouting trip
10 Tips for Deer hunting on Public Land
Monday, November 2, 2009

And The Winners Are……………

Image credit wetwebwork

As you know we had a little giveaway here on Ben G. Outdoors. I did a random drawing out of a hat to see who would win each of the prizes. So the winners are….

The five Rack Attack DVD’s






The 3rd Prize winner for the Magnet Gun Caddy is……


The 2nd Prize winner of the Warrior Outdoors Hoddie is……


And the Grand Prize winner is…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………




If you are one of the winners please Contact me at with your Name and address, so I can send out your prize. Oh Rick I need your boot size.

I was hoping once you receive your prize you would be willing to send me a picture of yourself with the prize you won so I can post it on the blog and show everyone how happy you are that you read Ben G. Outdoors.

Thanks for playing and I appreciate all of the feed back it will help me provide all of you with better content in the future.

~ Ben G.
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