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I hunt Zone 2 Northern Michigan.

We hunt public only and our main chunk of land is almost 100,000 acres with non motorized access only for a majority of it. We go anywhere from 1/2 mile to 2 miles deep.

We hunt for the thrill and meat. The 5pt I shot last year was 2.5yo. The 9pt the year before was a 3.5yo. The does I shoot are typically aged 3.5+ with many being 5+.

We have a canvas bell tent for our base camp.

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Have a couple nice bucks on camera this year…

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Good stuff.

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I'm John.

I hunt all public SELP. Saginaw and Lapeer mostly anymore. Sometimes Oakland and Livingston/Jackson. A lot of run and gun with a few solid areas I can fall back on if searching comes up empty. I do get tired of staring at the same trees every hunt.

Going to put a couple cams out tomorrow if I can get all.my work done today. Probably only soak em for a week then retrieve and do a little more scouting next weekend. On public I'm going right after a deer once season opens if I find a good one. I have had some early season buck success recently hunting bedding in the morning. Excited to get things rolling this weekend.

I hit it hard the first few days of the season. I try to scout more and do recon most of October after that....really not hunting much if at all. November 1st through the 14th I hit it hard again. This year looks like 11/4 will be the start of my rutcation. Gun season I will probably get out a few times but I don't take it as seriously.

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In the stand for EAS. Skeeters are the size of dinosaurs
The first couple days of the season were like this last year. Fortunately I scored on the 2nd like 20 minutes after shooting light in the morning. I think it was 80 in saginaw county by noon that day. It wasn't too bad but I made preparations. Wore my wife's gardening hat with the mesh screening around my head. One layer top and bottom. Wore goretex sneakers instead of boots. Thermacell. Both days there was a cloud of skeeters set up like a wall just outside of the thermacell range waiting to pounce. Gutting was a little miserable but I think I field dressed it in like 4 minutes and got to moving again to get em off of me.

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Felt good to be back in the woods today. Put about 3 miles on the boots. Nothing crazy but a nice scouting run nonetheless. Set a couple cams out. Got one more area to scout before season then I'm good to go. Did some long and short range shooting with the compound and xbow. Had a great session with each per usual except serving is coming off the bolt gun. No biggie ordered a new string and cables already and the turnaround is quick at sportsmans warehouse. I'm always dialed in with the compound anyways. I kind of switch between them. Couldnt pull a compound for a few years after rotator cuff surgery but no big issues now and I'd say I probably go 2:1 crossbow to compound now. Just depends on my mood and what kind of hunting I plan to do.

On a side note acorn crop looks pretty low. Had a pretty good run most places I've went the last few years. Might have to scout for those big dropping trees this year. Blessing and a curse hunting primarily thickets, thick woods and swamps like I do.

Very dry. A couple marshy areas have receded a lot since last year. Deer have definitely changed travel patterns in those areas. Non marshy areas a bit hard to inventory tracks as the ground is so hard. I'm not too picky but didn't really find much evidence of any bucks to chase early season. Have to wait and see what the cams reveal.

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Ugh never mind, went to deploy that camera today, the one I thought I fixed and it didn't work.

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I can't imagine running that many cams on public lol. I just run 2 cheapies and move em around. Never had one stolen but probably just a matter of time. Down here I always just assume there's a couple other people hunting the area and a couple more that will mosey through scouting even though I prioritize getting away from other hunters. Like I just did I put them out Sunday afternoon and will try to grab them Saturday afternoon. I never intend to leave them up over a whole weekend although sometimes life gets in the way of retrieval and reset. Also try not to place the cams in too obvious of a spot or anywhere they can be seen from more then like 10 yards away unless someone gets a lucky glance.

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Ended up putting a bunch of miles on the boots today. Pulled cams and reset one. Had pretty good activity on one cam that I put on an oak that was dropping in an area ive had some success in previous years. Got a pretty solid idea for my game plan next weekend if the forecast stays the same(yeah right). I might be the only person happy about and east southeast wind, but it sets me up perfect for the new spot and another spot where I've taken an early season deer the last 3 years.

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Sent the video @ReeseHunter


Here is a dillema you guys might help me with.

Like I have said, I am spoiled I can hunt quite a bit of private land. The pieces around my house should hold nice bucks and sometimes do. I also scout lots of public. Most years I get pics of the biggest deer on public land. Would you switch your focus from the private you have and manage to hunt public because you get pics of bigger deer on public? Not consistently getting pics, just here and there.

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Hunt both.!

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Kinda quiet in here my dudes. Who is hunting Saturday? I will go, not exactly sure what the plan is. I plan to go Sat am, I don't really like AM hunts until Oct 23ish but I feel like hunting and I have a state land spot that's worth a go.

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I will be out all weekend until I kill a deer. Gonna be a climber and crossbow style weekend extravaganza. If I kill a deer early enough in the weekend I will be out after that too. I will be in Saginaw county Saturday AM in a very good area to pop a early season doe. Done it 3 of the last 4 years. Only year I didn't I was hunting a buck that early season that I killed. I will be in saginaw county until I can put a deer down. If/when that happens I will be switching to lapeer county to grab my cam, check it and if nothing better on it go try to get a better look at what I think is a 2 year old 8 I got a couple crappy pictures of in the afternoons traveling with what I think is a couple sparkies....a spike and a 6. Really hard to see in the pics but I think that's what they are. Some does too I might be tempted to shoot there.

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Had a good one and an almost good enough one on a scape in daylight this morning. Seems crazy to go after them in the am this early, but it's state land so nothing to lose. Might try there Sat am if the wind stays right

Evening I will have my wife with me, she will film with out junk camera gear. Will head to a private spot, pretty sure I have it picked out.

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It's not really crazy at all imo. Especially if you have an idea where their bedding is.

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Mission accomplished! 7 points for the good guys. Went about 150 and from the track died while still running. Only took about 20 minutes once I got on the trail. Stiff as a board so she's been dead a while. Exit isn't too too bad. I cannot stress enough through lessons on my own and buddies if you question the hit or track more then 100 yards immediately after the hit without a body back out and give it 4 hours. Deer won't be any less dead when you find it.

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What's that on her shoulder Bay?

I went out this morning, saw a couple at first light, think they were this years. Must have missed mom. First drill in the dark wasn't too bad, room for improvement, lol. My new hearing aids are gonna help on stand. Mostly need them for conversation in crowded places, but do hear better overall.
I think she either ran into a tree on the death run or from dragging her back to the 2 track. She had a little bald spot on her head also. She was also like a weird spot where she was half summer coat but the winter hairs were coming in in areas also. Didn't seem unhealthy in any way. She was milking also shot her out of a group of 4.

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What's that on her shoulder Bay?

I went out this morning, saw a couple at first light, think they were this years. Must have missed mom. First drill in the dark wasn't too bad, room for improvement, lol. My new hearing aids are gonna help on stand. Mostly need them for conversation in crowded places, but do hear better overall.
I've got a pic of right when I walked up on her and that's not on her shoulder in the 1st pic so must've been from the drag.

I'm back at it boys in lapeer county now. I think I'll be strictly buck rest of weekend but I did pick up another antlerless on the way out here.....

I can't post pics I take on my phone. The one I posted my buddy took then sent it to me idk.

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