In last week's entry I said that the 2012 season had officially started. In honor of the season's start we headed up to the property last week for some investigating/scouting, shed hunting and just plain wandering around. We had a few things in mind that we wanted to accomplish but the trip would be a quick one and we didn't plan on knocking any big projects off the list.
We hit the road early (5am on a Sunday qualifies as plenty early to me) and made it up to the cabin by 8am or so. It was a bit chilly to start the morning off but there was no way we were going to let that slow us down. It felt like it had been forever since we wandered the property and we were both really eager to hit the woods.
We really wanted to walk the perimeter of the 40ac canola field to the south of us because we know the deer hit that field pretty hard in the winter month's. We were hoping that the heavy winter use would produce a shed or two left behind near one of the several fence jumps along the fields perimeter. Our landowner owns that field and has given us permission to use it so we started working our way over to the field.
Our walk started in our large food plot and we hit many of the runs going to/from the plot in hopes of coming across a shed. As I worked along a run that goes from our plot out to the canola field I looked down and saw this in the trail about 30yds from the canola field.
It's amazing that I can walk all over and not find any decent sheds but I can spot this small spike right away.
I was hoping that there were a few more tines buried in the mud under there but unfortunately it was only a small spike. I took a few pictures and happily scooped it up to add to the collection but it wasn't the shed I was hoping to find. I am certainly happy to see that at least one buck made it through the winter and will be around as a 2.5yr old this year but I would have been a bit happier coming across a bit more bone than that. Beggars can't be choosers though and even this small shed got us off to a good start for the day, and the season and we headed out to the canola field with high hopes.
Our walk around the outter edge of the canola field produced a lot of tracks and uncovered a number of well used runs but we didn't come across any more sheds. After hitting the small pothole in the middle of the field we worked our way back to the woods and headed east to check on our small Southline plot.
We were pleased to see that the Southline Plot was looking good after all the work we put into it last year.
We were pretty curious to see what this plot was going to look like this spring as we had redone a portion of it last year after it became overrun with weeds. This is a small clover plot and, thanks in part to it's location right in the middle of some nice thick cover, it is usually a pretty hot spot on our property. While we were unsure how the recently redone portion would look we were pretty certain the remainder of the plot would be full of nice green clover.
When we popped into the plot I was happy to see the majority of it covered with nice green clover. The portion that had been reworked was coming in nicely and the rest of the plot was looking good as we expected. It still has some growing to do but I was really pleased with the start that it was off to already. Hopefully in a month or so the clover will really fill in and after a few mowings we can take care of the few weeds that are still there.
Our excitement over our plots was unfortunately short lived as our other small plot, The Fenceline, was nowhere near as nice looking as the Southline. We knew that would be the case and already have plans to rework this entire plot but that didn't make it any less disappointing when we found the plot pretty much totally overrun by weeds. Thankfully that is a problem that we can, and will, take care of soon and that plot will be looking better than ever come fall.
Chris sets our first camera of the year in a spot we had good luck in last year.
To round out the short day we put our first trail camera's of the season out. We only put out four cameras and stuck to some main trails along with a camera on the Southline Plot. We are hoping to get a quick inventory to show how the numbers are looking coming out of the winter. With the mild weather we had I'm sure that the herd is doing pretty darn well but it will be nice to get some pictures to confirm our thoughts.
I suppose it's possible that we'll get some shots of bucks starting to sprout this years headgear as well but in years past we haven't seen many antlers this early in the year. I would love to see that change this year and get a few bucks on the camera's but I'm not holding my breath with any great expectations of bucks on our first card pull. Even with little hope in the way of bucks I'm still anxious to get back up and see our first pictures of the year. Running and checking the cameras is one of our favorite hobbies so getting them back out was really exciting for us.
Once the camera's were out it was time to wrap it up and head back home. It's always a bit depressing pulling off the property to start the drive home but at least now that the season is upon us we know that we'll be back soon. We have a long list of projects that we are ready to get started on and we also have the cameras to check on so you can bet we'll be back soon.
Hopefully the next Whitetail Weekly entry will contain some of our first trail camera shots of the season. I know I'm excited and I hope you guys are too.
Take care, and thanks for reading!!!
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