Just completed our annual rifle deer hunting trip to Nebraska, this year made for my 21st year heading to this hunting destination. This year there was six of us hunting the farmland in the North West corner of the state. Mostly corn fields and cattle pastures. Weather was unseasonably warm but that didnât stop the action as we took 33 deer in six days of hunting with several nice bucks. The area we were hunting allowed for two buck tags and four doe tags per person. We saw plenty of bucks but nothing huge as we have in past years. I believe the weather had the big boys laid up. I took some great video of bucks chasing does and even caught one mating a doe which I will post on YouTube later when I get some time under channel LETUMGROW.
Fished the Little Lake area over the weekend with some friends from Nebraska and had a blast with the Reds. Found several schools working the banks and we jumped all over them. We also just worked the banks hard and that produced several nice Reds in the 7-10 pound class. All of our fish were caught on Gulp Shrimp tight lined, gold bladed spinner baits, and gold spoons.
I ran my trail cameras this past weekend and found the ever growing population of bears! I have big bears, small bears, bears with tags, bears with collars, and even cubs!
This past Friday and Saturday we loaded up on nice Reds in the Little Lake area. Friday afternoon we had our three man limit in under 3 hours with 4 going over 7 pounds, Saturday morning was steady and had several over 8 pounds. Specs all over the place just running small. All of our fish were caught on gold spoons and gold bladed spinner baits working around the grass beds. Water was really clear and had fun sight fishing and casting to several Reds.
Here are a few pics of the Bulls we caught during the rodeo this past Labor Day weekend in Grand Isles. In 3 days of fishing we boated and released around 60 Bulls and brought 4 in to the rodeo to be weighed in. All caught on Cut Mullet and Live Crocker. Sharks not as bad as previous years but hooked a few.
As you can see in these two pictures the Hybrid Soybeans and Iron Clay Peas are really working great! This makes the third time the deer have hit them hard this summer. Notice the dates on each picture, in a matter of a few weeks the deer devoured the bean and pea tops. The good thing is I have a solid stand which is allowing the plants to come back strong and allow this heavy browsing. If you go back to my original post on 6/16/16 'Summer Food Plots' you can see the progression with pics. Between the two dates on these pictures I had over 700 pics of deer browsing the tops!
We had some co-workers come down to our camp over the weekend and we enjoyed some great red fishing down in the Little Lake and Bay LâOurs area. My bride, Annette took top red with a solid 10 pounder caught on a gold spoon. The reds are starting to bunch up as we had several hook-ups that had three and four reds following the hooked red back to the boat which we were able to catch a few of those by casting close to the hooked up red. All the reds were caught on gold spoons and gold bladed spinner baits. We also caught a few nice catfish at night from our pier using cut bait.
Fished the Little Lake are cuts and ponds and produced a 3 man limit of reds using gold spoons and gold bladed spinner baits. Reads are bunching up and we had several occasions where we had multiple reds following the one that was hooked back to the boat. Water was very clear and very light winds which made for some nice site fishing.
LWLF checked us while we were fishing, very friendly guys looked at everything and even went through our fish in the ice chest. They told us they have been seeing people with a lot of short fish.
We also fished late Thursday afternoon and caught a few reds close to camp.
We got on a good bite last weekend on Reds and Black Drum in the Little Lake area. Located several schools of Black Drum and had fun chasing them around limiting both days. The Reds were in tight on the grass beds and using Gold Spoons and Gold Bladed Spinner Baits produced limits over the weekend.
Last month (May) I set out 1 sack (50 pounds) of trace minerals which I poured on a log and set a salt lick block on top of it. I checked my trail-cam and was excited to see the deer are hitting it hard. I also put out several Trophy Rock Mineral Blocks but have not seen the activity as this site has. As summer progresses we will see which site preform the best. I will post pics as I get them.
As I continue working on my property trying to make it the best it can be for habitat and wildlife I wanted to share some neat pics of a summer food plot I planted back on May 23rd. I have been reading about the Eagle Seed Game Keeper RR soybeans and wanted to give them a try. We planted about 3 acres (1 two acre plot and 2 half acre plots). We also mixed in some iron clay peas. Well after 3 1/2 weeks the plots look great and the deer are tearing them up. The interesting part is that the deer are passing on the iron clay peas and whipping out the hybrid soybeans first. I installed a browse cage so I can monitor just how bad the deer are tearing up the plots. Trail-cam pics show deer out in the plots all times of the day and night. I don't think with what I am seeing these plots will last till fall. I'll keep posting pics as the summer goes on.
This past weekend we had 2 boats and 7 of us fishing from our camp in Lafitte. Found good clean water in a lot of places and where there was bait fish there were Reds. Caught limits and had a blast. All reds where caught on Spinner Baits and Gold spoons. Even caught a few nice flounder on spinner baits.
This past Saturday with all the thunderstorms in the area we had to wait until around 8:30am before we could head out and try our luck on the Reds. Once we had a break in the weather we headed south to the Texaco canal area and started working the canals and ponds in the area. We found some clear water in the back of a few ponds and found some hungry Reds willing to attack our Spinner baits and Gold Spoons. We did get pounded by a few storms and the wind really picked up as the morning went on but we managed a nice 3 man limit of Reds for the day. It was neat as when we first arrived in the area we wanted to fish there was no wind and you could see plenty of bait fish and wakes from Reds moving around. That was good enough to keep us in the area once the winds picked up and you could not see any movement at all.
This Past Saturday we fished Little Lake and found some clear water in the Bay L'Ours area. We were using Gold Bladed spinner baits with black and chartreuse tail body. The Reds were holding tight to the grass beds and on points. There was a good breeze blowing which made it almost impossible to sight fish, so we were just doing a lot of fan casting over the grass beds and getting a steady bite that way.
I am always looking for ways to improve the wildlife habitat on my place, so I wanted to share a simple and cheap way to get some blackberry briars introduced in areas with good sunlight that are void of this type of vegetation. Blackberry briars have several great assets to having on your property. One is the cover value, once you have a good patch or stand of blackberry briars deer will use it for bedding along with other animals like rabbits. The second is food source, deer and rabbits love the tender new leaves and turkeys eat both the leaves and berries. The third is escape, both deer and rabbits utilize briar patches for quick escape from predators and hunters. As a kid growing up and even today you could always count on jumping a deer in the biggest baddest briar patch you could find. In the 1970's when we ran dogs for deer you could bet that's where the big old bucks were bedded up! Rabbit hunters also count on those briar patches for striking up a trail with their beagles.
I start off first by locating areas with good sunlight that penetrates to the ground with minimal shade, along pipelines, power lines, food plots, logging turnarounds, roads, trails etc. I then identify low areas where water stands for long periods of time. I mark my map as I do not want to plant where water will keep the briars from growing effectively.
My second step is to locate existing blackberry briar patches in the same general area I wish to plant (same parish or county). In early spring you can spot them from all the white flowers they produce and then make a mental mark on location for late spring picking.
My third step is to revisit these blackberry patches in late spring when the berries are ripe and ready to pick. I will pick as many as I can and keep them cool as not to spoil.
My forth step is to lay them out for drying. I use a big sheet of cardboard and lay out the berries so they are spread out and not on top of one another. Drying time is generally 2 weeks based on conditions like humidity and temperature. If I can I will set them out in direct sun light for several hours each day to help speed up the processes. You must keep them in a place where animals cannot get to them and were wind will not blow them away.
My fifth step is once completely dried is to crumble them up so that I have the seeds separated from the berries. This is easily done with your hands and only takes a few minutes. I use a zip-loc bag to store my seeds until I am ready to plant.
One gallon of blackberries once dried will produce around 10,000 seeds which will plant a LOT of areas.
Best time to plant is late spring, summer, and early fall.
I recently cut with my tractor several old logging roads and logging loading spots and will do a light chop with disc. I will then broadcast my blackberry seeds in the areas I wish to establish. If you have some new timber logging going on this is a good place to spread your blackberry seeds, just make sure it gets good sun light.
Cutting and disking is NOT required but will help, broadcasting on the ground will work just keep in good sun light areas. If possible try to time your planting just after a rain while the ground is still moist and damp. These seeds are so small that a heavy rain will float a majority away if planted before a rain.
Germination is pretty quick if the conditions are right and you we start to see deer and rabbits browsing on the fresh sprouts within weeks of growth. I will generally place a trail-cam out to capture this growth and animals for the first month or two.
Bird and animal poop is how black berry briars are generally started and introduced to other areas. This way you are expediting the process and adding much needed habitat to your hunting area.
An experienced and dedicated deer hunter knows the importance of having good cover and habitat in the areas he/she is hunting and this is a way to help make that happen that is inexpensive and fun work in the woods with family and friends.
I hope this info helps and you can get out in the woods and help improve the wildlife habitat you are using.
This past Saturday we went looking for reds in the ponds. With the strong south east winds we have been having the water level has been running around 1Â½ feet above normal. This is great for pond fishing and generally pushes in good water and reds into the ponds, it also allows us to reach ponds that at normal level we can never get into.
We headed south and started working the Bay Round area and after jumping around found a few ponds with very clear water and plenty of Reds. We eased along and with the clear water was able to spot numerous reds in the grass. The bite was slow but we were able to put together a pattern and ended up with a very nice mess of Reds. We were throwing a Â¼ oz. gold bladed spinner bait with a single spinner with black and chartreuse body. That seemed to be what they wanted and we had a blast hauling in several 6-8 pounders on light tackle.
This past weekend I made my 3rd and final trip to Texas for this year?s spring turkey season. I have made three weekends in a row to Texas and put a lot of miles on my truck but called in a lot of gobblers!
This trip I would be hunting a ranch in Zavala County near Crystal City, Texas. The owners of this ranch let me come down every year both during the deer season and turkey season and shoot a few deer, hogs and turkeys. For the last 4 years in a row I have taken my turkey the first day that I arrive and hunt the ranch. So this year I had some pressure on me to keep that streak alive. Leaving Baton Rouge at 3:30am and driving hard I picked up my close friend near San Antonio and arrived at the ranch around 2:00pm. After unpacking at camp we headed into the ranch only to find most of the roads were flooded by a 3 inch rain that had fallen the day before. So we had to come up with another game plan to figure out where and how we would hunt. Looking at a map of the ranch we made our way down a pipeline that was overgrown and finally got to a point where we were close to the area I have always hunted. We did have a long walk but I was confident that once I got in the area I could get a gobbler fired up pretty fast. I walked up to and old cow pasture that runs along a nice creek bottom that I have always seen and heard turkey before. I was amazed at how much vegetation had grown up down there from such a wet spring. The field I normally hunt was chest high in weeds and the mosquitos were horrible! You never expect that in south Texas. I had to end up setting up on the road that led into the field as there was no way I could see a turkey in the field or the turkeys see my decoy.
The road had been well traveled by the rancher so the weeds were pretty much knocked down. So I set out my decoy in the middle of the road that passes along the pasture. I backed into some tall grass about 30 yards away and setup there. It was 5:45pm when I sat down and started some soft calls. My buddy who rode down with me decided to sit in one of the deer blinds and try his luck at some hogs while I turkey hunted.
It was miserably hot and the mosquitos were horrible. I was calling every 10-15 minutes without hearing anything. After close to an hour I stood up to stretch and text my buddy to see if he was seeing anything. I eased out and looked down the road in both directions and nothing. I was thinking that my killing streak was going to come to an end today. I sat back down sprayed more mosquito dope on me and made a series of calls again. This time I heard a gobbler answer me in the distance. He seemed to be about 300 yards or so away. I quickly made another call and he responded again, but this time it sounded like two gobblers. My heart started pumping and I knew I was getting ready to have some action coming my way! I waited a few minutes and made another yelp with my mouth call. When they gobbled this time it was so loud it freaked me out. They were on a dead run in my direction. I figured they were less than 50 yards from my location. I snapped my safety off and pointed my shotgun towards my decoy in the road. I just knew they would be on top of my decoy any second. What seemed like an eternity went by (only about one minute) and nothing. I started thinking that something must have spooked them. The grass was so tall I only had a window directly in front of me at my decoy. I let out a very soft yelp and cluck and sat tight. All of a sudden I hear them drumming to my left and only several feet away. I slowly turned my head and could only see parts of turkeys in the road through the tall grass. It was two gobblers and they were in full strut and less than 20 feet from my location. They were so close I could hear them hissing and drumming which I have only heard a few other times in my life of turkey hunting. Something made them gobble again and being that close I thought my hat was blown off of my head! My heart was coming out of my chest and thinking they are just too close! I still had my gun pointed towards the decoy and they were ever so slowly working their way down the road to the decoy. They both looked to be the same size and had about the same length beard. As soon as the first one came into the tight opening in front of me I let out a cluck with my mouth call. He raised his head and BOOM I let him have a full load of Winchester #6 3 1/2' magnum turkey load from my Browning Gold 12 gage. He was only 12 steps away and I cut him a flip. He was flopping around and the other gobbler took off running. I walked up to my gobbler and he had a 10 1/2' inch beard with 1' spurs. I was so pumped up as this made 5 years straight taking a gobbler from this ranch on the first day of my hunt each year.
It was awesome to close out my turkey season with such an exciting close up and personal hunt with a big mature gobbler. I spent the rest of the weekend with my buddy shooting hogs and listening to other gobblers. I took some neat video footage and will post soon on my channel on YouTube under 'LETUMGROW'. I hope you had a chance to enjoy some springtime turkey hunting this season and to just be in the woods this time of year is so awesome.
This past weekend I made my second trip to Texas for the spring turkey season. This trip I would be the cameraman, guide, and do some of the calling but not hunt. I would be videoing the hunt with two close friends Billy and David and wanted to try and get some great turkey hunting video footage and try to get Billy on his first Rio Gobbler. We would be hunting another friend of mines ranch in Palo Pinto County about 100 miles west of Dallas, Texas. He has a 2,600 acre place that has hardly if ever been spring turkey hunted. I had made a trip out to this ranch about a month back to help him shoot some hogs. When I was there I could not help but notice all the turkeys and how many mature Gobblers I was seeing. So we setup a date with the rancher to head back over and try our luck on the Gobblers.
The three of us arrived at the ranch just at dark on Thursday afternoon and tried to get a gobbler or two to sound off on the roost. We heard a few but could not nail down their exact location mainly due to wind.
Friday morning we decided to try an area along a big creek bottom which ran into a small cow pasture which my buddy who has the property told me he had been seeing plenty of turkeys in that area over the last few days. We eased into the cow pasture way before daylight and stood along the tree line and waited for the sound of a gobbler. It did not take long and as soon as the song birds started their morning ritual the gobblers started sounding off. We could hear 5 or 6 gobblers within 300-400 yards of our location and sounded like a few more farther away. We decided to split up and I would video David's hunt first while Billy moved to another location to try his luck. David and I picked out the closest Gobbler that was about 150 yards away and made our way next to the creek where he was roosted. We found a nice thicket along the fence line and decided to setup there. We put out one hen decoy in the cow pasture and sat down and waited. I let out a few soft tree yelps and got an immediate response. As more daylight came we could see a turkey in a tree not 60 yards from us. The turkey had a beard but was not gobbling. We could also hear a hen yelping and the gobbler gobbling only about 100 yards from us. I let out a few more tree yelps and got cut off every time by the gobbler. It did not take long and we could hear and see turkeys pitching out the trees. We sat for a few minutes and I let out a few yelps and got cut off again by the gobbler gobbling at my call. After a minute or two David noticed some movement on his side, he whispered that I see a hen entering the field, then here comes the gobbler in full strut! I could not move and only watch as the hen and gobbler moved closer to the decoy. I have my camera tripod on the opposite side that the turkeys are approaching on. I whisper to David that I cannot get the video camera around and to get ready to take the shoot. As he readies I let out a cluck with my mouth call and the turkey gobbles, BOOM David lets the Gobbler have it with his 10 gauge with Hevi-Shot Turkey load! Done, one gobbler down! We walk over and he has taken a very nice Gobbler, he had a 9 7/8' beard and 1 1/8' spurs.
Billy was on gobblers where he went and took a nice gobbler that had an 8 1/2' beard and 1 1/16' spurs. Friday afternoon I sat with Billy on the edge of a cow pasture while David hunted on his own. Billy and I set out 3 hen decoys and 1 gobbler decoy. We both started calling and after a short while got a gobbler to answer us, then another and another. Before dark fell we had 3 different gobblers answering us and had hens and jakes entering the field. We watched as a big mature Gobbler entered the field straight across from our location some 100 yards away. I started running my video camera and thought we would get some great action on film. As he drew closer one of the hens didn?t like something and let out her alarm call and flushed the entire flock out of the field. We sat tight and let things calm down and called some more. The gobblers would answer but none came back in the field. While this was going on David took a nice gobbler on his own. It had a 9 1/2' beard and 1 1/16' spurs. So we ended our first day with 3 very nice gobblers.
Saturday morning we headed back to the cow pasture with the creek and worked several gobblers but none would commit and we could here hens with the Gobblers. It was still awesome as the gobblers would answer just about every call we could throw at them! The skies were getting dark and I checked my phones radar app, it showed rain moving in and fast. We headed out and pretty much shut down our afternoon hunt.
Sunday morning we decided to try a new area as my buddy that has the property told us while he was working cows he heard several gobblers right at dark and one sounded like it was on crack (gobbling like crazy)! He said it gobbled steady till dark and was just going crazy gobbling. So with that info we made our way before daylight and setup on the edge of another cow pasture. As daylight came so did the Gobblers. We could hear several and one that was gobbling none stop. As we listened closer it was two gobblers sounding off together. They were about 400 yards out but we couldn't pass up on going after these two! As we headed in their direction we heard another gobbler closer. We setup on him but he shut down on us once he flew down. The entire time these other two gobblers are just going crazy gobbling at everything (crows, cows, owls, and other turkeys). We packed up and continued heading in their direction. As we drew closer we could tell they were moving. I told Billy and David we need to pick up the pace. After a very fast walk and closing the distance I made a few load cackles and yelps and was cut off by them. I made another series of calls and had them turned around and heading in our direction fast. We quickly dropped to our knees, I made another call and they answered and was closing fast! We didn't even have time to set out a decoy. By the time we sat down and I got my video camera ready I made another call and they were on us at a dead run! The first one stopped at about 15 yards and BOOM Billy rolled it with his 10 gauge loaded with Hevi-Shot turkey load. The second gobbler spun around and took off flying. We were all pumped up to have a fast and furious hunt unfold like that. We figured from the time they started gobbling till the time Billy shot we had heard them gobble over 300 times! I just wish I could have captured the audio of all that! I cannot remember ever hearing gobblers go that crazy. It's was like they were feeding off of each other! Billy's gobbler had an 8' beard and 1 1/8' spurs. What a way to finish up our weekend hunt! I've got some great video footage which I will post on my YouTube channel 'LETUMGROW' when I get some time after turkey season.
A few of my buddies turkey hunting in south Texas this past weekend found this big buck skull and antlers, what a shame to lose a buck of this class!
I made my first turkey hunting trip this year to south Texas this past weekend at a good friend's ranch. He has been seeing numerous turkeys on his place and invited me to come over and try my luck. I arrived in the late afternoon Thursday just in time to go do a quick look around and hopefully try and roost a few gobblers. I was not disappointed when I approached a huge cattle pasture and walked up on a big gobbler in full strut with a hen that were out around 300 yards from me. I quickly eased back into the tree line and sat down. The last hour before dark gave me a good showing of several mature gobblers, Jakes, and hens moving in and around the pasture. As dark approached I noticed several hens, jakes, and what appeared to be 4 long beard gobblers out at about 600 yards gathering up in the pasture right before going to roost. It was so cool to watch as the gobblers were strutting and you could hear the hens cutting up. As I watched them fly up I was already planning for the next morning setup. I noticed a nice ridge that ran from their roost location across the field into a small patch of woods. I figure that is where I would setup for the morning. Friday morning I woke to heavy thunderstorms and high winds. After checking the radar most of the heavy rain was staying north of me and moving away. So my buddy and I decided to head out and see what we can do with the turkeys we had roosted the night before. My buddy has no interest in turkey hunting but knows how much I enjoy it so it works out great as we can spend some time together hunting as he does the videoing and I do the shooting.
We drove out to the cow pasture a solid hour before day break, parked and walked to the area where I wanted to setup. The wind was howling so I had to put out the gobbler and hen decoy inside of some short brush so they would stay standing up. The gobbler decoy kept flapping so bad I decided to pull of the fan off of it as I was afraid it might spoke the turkeys more. My buddy was going to setup about 60 or so yards away where he would have a better vantage point to video. I setup about 30 yards from the decoys and was looking down the ridge that I thought the turkeys would approach once they came off of the roost. As day light approached I could not hear anything due to the heavy wind. The wind was blowing from my location towards the turkeys. I finally heard a gobbler and decided to try soft tree yelps but could not hear a reply. After a few more minutes I watched as the turkeys pitched out of the trees and landed in the pasture. I knew if I called load enough with the wind in my favor they would hear me. I was looking through my binoculars and could see 4 big gobbler strutting in the field while the hens milled around. I used my box call and made a few loud yelp and cackles, they all stopped and picked their heads up along with the hens. I knew they were locked onto my location so I made several more yelps and here they come! Several of the hens were in a dead run towards my location followed by the gobblers. The Jakes and a few other hens lagged behind but started heading in my direction. All of a sudden another turkey comes flying in from a tree line to my right. He lands and starts strutting, I am looking at him and he is another long beard so I have 5 long beards strutting and heading in my direction. As they get closer I make a few more yelps and clucks and I can start to hear them gobble now.
My buddy is about 60 yards or so from me and is enjoying the show and capturing some great video footage. As I am sitting on this ridge and looking down towards the flock of turkeys approaching me I lose count at somewhere around 20 turkeys. It's a site to behold and had my heart pumping like I had a 180 inch class buck walk up to me! I had picked out a barbwire fence and knew once they cleared that fence they would be under 40 yards from me. As the anticipation grew I was trying to figure out which gobbler was the better ones. I picked up my binoculars one more time and checked all gobblers out. By this time they are only about 150 yards out with several hen closing in at about 100 yards. They all looked pretty close in size except for one which had a very long beard more than the others. I let out a few more yelps and the hens were heading up the ridge and closing fast. Two gobblers and a few jakes right in tow behind the hens. The Three other long beards following but using more caution and not strutting anymore. The first group passed through the fence and was on my decoys before I even realized as I was watching the other three gobblers following behind. When I looked at my decoys I had two gobblers strutting all around my decoys and hens walking a clucking like crazy. The other gobblers shifted a little more over and put them right in front of me when they crossed the fence. So I am looking at about 20 turkeys all within 40 yards of me with five nice gobblers. I am trying to pick out a gobbler without hitting and hen or Jake. It is absolutely crazy at this point. I finally get my shot a one of the gobblers when he stopped strutting at about 30 yards. BOOM I let him have a load of Winchester XX #6 Turkey load from my Browning Gold 12 ga. 3 1/2' magnum. He flops over and starts his dead flop. One of the other Gobblers jumps on him and starts spurring him, so BOOM I shot that one. By this time turkeys are running everywhere and I lose track of the other gobblers. Once I located them they are on a dead run across the pasture so I decided not to take another shot. My buddy had videoed all the action but was on the wrong gobbler when I shot, but we have some outstanding footage and you can hear the shooting and see turkeys scattering everywhere.
I was pumped up when I walked up and put my hands on my gobblers. One had a 9 1/2' beard with 1 1/8' spurs while the other had a 7 1/2' beard with 1 1/16' spurs. When I slow down I will post the videos on YouTube under my screen name 'LETUMGROW'. I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday chasing more gobblers and shed hunting. I called in several more birds and have some great video which I will post on YouTube. I was looking for big mature gobblers and had Jakes mainly come in. I did call in another long beard with two Jakes and never could get in a clean shot and also called in what appeared to be a big gobbler by his fan but he had no beard on him at all.
My Turkey season has started of great with a Nice Gobbler from my place in Louisiana and these two nice Rio Gobblers. I'm headed back to Texas again this weekend and will be the cameraman for two close friends while they try to hang their tag on a big Rio Gobbler, then the following weekend back to south Texas as I try and fill my last two tags. Take care and hope you are enjoying the great outdoors this spring.