Wintertime Deer Hunting in New Jersey can be challenging especially when you combine a brutally cold day in January with a gusty wind. But regardless of how hard the wind was howling that morning when I walked out on my back patio in the dark, I was determined to have a go at it and get up in my tree stand before daybreak. And I did indeed have second thoughts!
Now every hunter has his or her own rules when it comes to deer hunting. Some won`t shoot does, others will only shoot trophy bucks and then some of us like to have a freezer full of venison to enjoy throughout the year. Well…….. I certainly like to crack a nice big buck just like any other guy or gal out there, but as the season progresses, I have to focus on fillin` my freezer. And that`s exactly what I did the other cold morning when I was out and about.
I jumped up in my tree at 5:40am and as I looked up at the stars in that cold crystal clear sky, the trees readily swayed back and forth in the strong wind. Definitely was having some doubts as to how or even if the deer would be moving this morning.
Then at around 8am, movement caught my eye about 150 yards out. Seven or eight deer began to skittishly
meander the hillside then disappeared. I quickly turned on the Go PRO………..
So crank up your speakers and jump up in that tree with me and let`s see how it turns out!
NJ Deer Hunting is a tradition that I`ve been doing for forty-two years. It`s hard to believe that much time has past as I can still recall my first morning ever deer hunting at the age of ten, like it happened yesterday. I can still hear those shots at eight o`clock and just minutes later, three bucks appeared!! I certainly heated up the barrels of that old JC Higgins Double-barrel 12 gauge that cold December morning. Cleanly missing all three bucks! My Dad said later that morning, “I don`t think I ever heard anyone load and shoot a double barrel that fast ever!” Heck those deer were over a hundred yards away out in an open field and I was still shaking and shooting at them! ha! ha!
So here I am at fifty-two still enjoying this immensely and still getting excited when that buck comes through.
Although I like to think I can keep my composure better when one comes through than I did that morning back in 1973! ha! ha!
This December has been unseasonably warm…… very warm for that matter. However I decided to have a go at it on Thursday morning since I don`t work till 1 o`clock that day. It had rained steady the night before and was still drizzling when I walked out to my truck at 4:30 that morning. One thing that I have always enjoyed and have had a decent amount of luck is hunting or fishing in a light rain. The wet leaves would be ideal, as I would be able to pussy-foot easily to my stand.
I got up in the stand at 5:30 as I like to get situated while there`s still a fair amount of darkness. Had my `ol 1960 Belgium Browning Light Twelve Gauge paired with a Full-Choke Browning barrel from a 1938 Belgium Browning that I also have. This combination throws a pattern of Triple 0 Buckshot unlike anything I have ever shot. As a matter of fact, (and I do have witnesses for you non-believers out there) I actually killed a buck with a single shot at 93 yards with this gun using Triple 0! Dropped my hat where I was standing when I shot, called my cousin over and he paced it off from the hat to where I was standing with the buck and was shocked!
At about 7am, that “One-Horner” came scampering by spooked by something and the sound of my old Browning awoke the the quietness of the morning forest. My morning hunt had been successful and now I would have the pleasure of enjoying delicious venison in the months ahead.
I read quite a few conversations on-line lately in regards to NJ Deer Hunting stating that “There just aren`t any deer around this year” ………. And I don`t know what the exact answer to this statement is, but perhaps some of the following factors come into play. 1.)The State of NJ has the one of if not the longest deer season in the country, as the State wants to cut down the population. Heck when I was younger, we had 6-Day Firearm and a Doe-Day the following week. You didn`t have a Permit Shotgun Season that allowed you to hunt deer till the middle of February. So perhaps their plan is working and finally catching up?
2.) Coyotes. Who remembers ever hearing those “Song Dogs” while in your hunting stand years ago? I personally never ever heard them until a few years ago. You certainly hear more and more about them in recent years.
3.) Baiting. Maybe this element has made deer hunting way too easy in the State. I`m nuetral about this and really could care less how anyone chooses to hunt or what they choose to shoot.(Bucks or Does). But maybe this is another factor?
4.) Weather. I don`t ever remember it being as warm as it was for the entire week of 6-Day Firearm, as it was last week. We all know that deer do not move the same when it`s warm outside as they do colder weather. A factor for seeing a limited amount of deer last week? Could very well be.
Well whatever the reason was, I hope we all can enjoy many, many more years of NJ Deer Hunting.
NJ Deer Hunting in the Wintertime can certainly be challenging and today when I jumped up in my tree stand at 5:45am it was a brisk 12 degrees. Fortunately I do indeed like the cold weather, not the wind, just a nice calm, cold winter morning.
After seeing what showed up on my Trail Cameras this past week, I was very anxious to jump up in my tree
this morning! Two very Big Bucks showed up during the week, one is an absolute Trophy! A Huge 8-Pointer
with very high tines on both sides. Have a look at the pictures below –
Quite the Big Bucks eh?!
Now I do read about this quite often, hunters on various threads around the internet saying, “Ohhhhhh they`ve gone “Nocturnal”….. Really? No no……. see they went “Nocturnal” because nowadays we all have trail cameras and can finally see Monster Bucks like this at night! Big Bucks have always been Nocturnal feeders and are very wise deer, hence the impressive “Crown of Antlers” they usually exhibit like the Big Boys above. So I have been regularly jumping up in my tree stand, hoping that one of these Big Bucks would walk out of the cover…….. but to no avail as of yet. While I am routinely in my stand, I`m not taking that bet that either will show up before the NJ Deer Hunting Season ends. I really think my opportunity to see either or both will be in the Fall of 2015 during the Rut. But I have my fingers crossed and maybe if we get a little snow, these Big Boys will show up in the daylight hours.
As it is getting along in the NJ Deer Hunting Season, it is also time to fill the freezer with some meat!
My opportunity came this morning around 11:30am as four does approached “Ken Beam`s Big Big Buck Deer Feeder”, I cracked the one below, loaded the doe up in `ol Big Red and drove it over to my friend`s place, Tommy the Butcher in Washington to have it processed. By the way, if you`re looking for an excellent butcher in NJ, I highly recommend Tommy! All of the cuts are vacuumed packed and you can`t beat his prices!