Category Archives: Maryland Outdoors

Gobble Gobble Boom!!!

For the first time in many years I missed opening day of turkey season. Fortunately for me I have no lack of friends that hunt and I got to live through two of my buddies that scored on opening day. With the excitement in the air I was up at 3am Saturday morning and on the road shortly after. Two hours later I arrive, got my gear together and made my way back into the woods. It wasn’t more than 10 minutes before the first gobble woke up the woods. There was one, then another, and another, it was a spectacular show listening to the birds up and down the river. I tried to work the birds but they really didn’t respond well and eventually after they flew down they faded off in the wrong direction. Things were pretty slow for an hour and then I noticed a hen go by on the ridge but she didn’t respond either. I keep calling softly every ten minutes or so and about another hour the hen made another appearance and came by at 50 yards. A half hour later I heard a gobble behind me not terribly far so I called softly again a few times and put my calls away. It was dead silent until I heard some faint scratching or movement from behind, so I got my gun into position hoping for the best. As I sprained my neck looking over my right shoulder I saw him creeping in dead silent so I knew it was go time. I readied myself as the bird got within 10 yards but had a few small trees between me and him. He stopped right behind the trees and started purring at my decoy. I seriously don’t know how he didn’t see me shaking, I guess I was lucky that decoy had his attention. I remained focused and watched him closely and as he made his way past the trees I through my gun up the first instant I could. BOOM!!! And he was on the ground, motionless I might add, but I was shaking with excitement. My 3.5″ turkey load at 10 yards was a little much for him to take, but hey at least he didn’t feel a thing. My first turkey hunt of the year had been a success.

20140422 213831 Gobble Gobble Boom!!!
What a beautiful bird I had just outwitted, every one feels more triumphant than the last. It had warmed quickly so I loaded the bird in the truck so I could get him on ice.

20140422 214236 Gobble Gobble Boom!!!
I then proceeded to hurry home so I could share my hunt with my family. My wife loves to turkey hunt and was suppose to of been with me that morning so I was anxious to show her the bird. Sharing the success of my hunt with my family made the day perfect.

20140422 214633 Gobble Gobble Boom!!!
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Opening Day Turkey Success

So two of my boys got lucky this morning and put down two beautiful long beards. It was opening day and these guys didn’t skip a beat as both hit there marks. I unfortunately wasn’t able to get out as I had to keep some appointments, but lucky enough to live through these guys this morning. My boy Peyton Emerson and one of my best friends was the first one to put a bird down as he called a hen over to his decoy and ole Mr. Longbeard got shot in the face.

20140418 214055 Opening Day Turkey Success
Congrats Peyton on a great bird. Now while I was talking to Peyton on the phone we both heard a shotgun blast and it was our good buddy Rob that had just shot. Talk about good timing, geez I couldn’t believe the action I was missing. So I let Peyton go and about an hour later a picture popped on my phone with Robs bird.

20140418 215404 Opening Day Turkey Success
Congrats to another great friend Rob Ballantine for putting down a tremendous gobbler. The boys had certainly made the most out of opening day today. I do wanna take a little credit for helping set up the blind Peyton shot his bird from, lol.

20140418 215639 Opening Day Turkey Success
These guys got it done and so can you so get out there and claim your flopage this year. When you do be sure to share with us here at Maryland Huntography. Best of luck out there.

SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography 2014 Dirtnap’s # 21 & 22

With the so-called Arctic Vortex in place I bundled up and kept my donkey quest alive. The high the past couple days has only been in the teens with lows around zero but with some smart hunting I was able to outwit a couple smart old girls. Unfortunately for the deer the cold and their quest for food was their downfall. If you can brave the cold I can’t think of anything more rewarding than a good late-season bowhunt.

20140125 060130 Maryland Huntography  2014 Dirtnaps # 21 & 22

20140125 060147 Maryland Huntography  2014 Dirtnaps # 21 & 22
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography 2014: Dirtnap # 20 Donkey Down!

As a hard-core bow hunter I love to brave the cold and hit the stand during late-season and last night was no different. I slipped into my hang on about an hour before dark because I know the deer aren’t moving until that last 30 minutes. Right on cue at about 5 o’clock I saw movement in the thicket. Five deer slowly made their way out of the thicket headed in my direction. I slowly grabbed my bow and readied myself for the shot because I knew it was going to be all or nothing. As the deer got into range I was focused on the lead big mama doe. She was very smart had her ears out and was looking hard and finally after a 15 minute stare down she gave it up and my spitfire are it up. By the sound of the shot I knew I hit a little back but she only ran 30 yards and stood there. Right as I expected her to drop a dog came out of nowhere and ran all the deer away and there went my doe. Man do I hate dog walkers in the woods and why would someone be walking their dog so late in the evening. Anyway I got down recovered my arrow and what I suspected was true from the sign on the arrow. I decided to come back this morning and take a look. I hit the trail I last saw her take and not more than 100 yards there she lay. My shot wasn’t as bad as I thought, I entered near lung and came out the gut. What a great feeling it was to recover my big doe. I almost feel as successful getting a big old smart doe like that just as much as getting a big buck. Keep at it this late-season it can be very rewarding.

20140118 114754 Maryland Huntography 2014: Dirtnap # 20 Donkey Down!

20140118 114828 Maryland Huntography 2014: Dirtnap # 20 Donkey Down!
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography 2014 Dirtnap # 19: First Deer Of The New Year

A few days ago right before the really frigid air moved in I was able to harvest my first deer of 2014. Always a special moment for me to have hunting season overlap into the new year. We have recently been hit with some really frigid weather and I always take the opportunity to go out for a nice chilly bowhunt. It was 18° that night with 20 mile-per-hour winds as I waited on stand patiently for an opportunity. Just as it was getting dark I looked behind me to see 3 doe headed my way. They slowly fed through and when I had my shot I delivered a lethal hit right behind the shoulder. She bound up ran about 30 yards stood there wondering what had just happened and within another second she had fallen over and passed away. My spitfire had hit it’s mark and I had my first deer of 2014 on the ground. Never do I feel more successful than when I’m bowhunting and cold weather.

20140108 132619 Maryland Huntography 2014 Dirtnap # 19: First Deer Of The New Year
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap # 18: A New Years Donkey

To go along with the rest of 2013, New Years Eve had it’s up’s and down’s. I had planned to hunt that evening and everything was going as planned, got done work early, had a good wind for the spot, and the weather was perfect. As I reflected back on the year I couldn’t help but think of all the bad things that had happened, and I was so glad to see 2013 go. As dusk began to set in here came the deer, and I’m talking about seven of them. They fed in like roaches on birthday cake. I grabbed my bow and readied myself as this was going to be tricky. I love a situation like that, seven sets of eyes to beat, I do love a challenge. As the deer fed in I had some as close as ten yards and the longer this went on the more nervous I got. I had my eye on the largest doe in the bunch, and after nearly fifteen minutes I had the big girl at ten yards quartering away so after I made sure all eyes were down I made my shot. My arrow penetrated in front of the rear ham and exited the deer between the opposite front shoulder and the neck. In a split second I almost instantly shit down all vitals in that deer and that’s why she was dead before she hit the ground thirty yards from the shot. What a triumph to over come those odds and get it done on New Years Eve.

20140102 212047 Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap # 18: A New Years Donkey
With my heart still pounding I hurried down out of stand, swapped my camera card, and made my way to the truck. I had party to get too so I was rushing to get this deer dealt with so I could get home and start the second part of my night. I got to the truck and began stripping off my heavy clothes, got my dragging gear, and went to get my knife from the back. Uh oh the back was locked so I went back to the front door, locked too, I then ran around the truck to the drivers side, locked…damn it. Well that’s not exactly what I said so use your imagination and you’ll probably guess right. I’ve done this before but never while hunting and never an hour away. I made a call to a locksmith service in which 15-30 minutes turned into 2 hours and quite a bit of money but they saved my night. As bad as that experience was, it was turned around that quickly as I discovered a new shooter buck while checking the card I had swapped out. I got home, got cleaned up and changed, grabbed my wife and we had a great New Years together. Now with 2014 in full swing I have another great buck to chase after till the end of January.

20140102 213910 Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap # 18: A New Years Donkey
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap #17: Donkey Down!

Well another Saturday has passed and another donkey has bitten the dust. After having a very slow morning a camera check revealed a herd of 9 donkeys frequenting the spot so I decided to go back for the evening hunt. After putting my good friends Will Jenkins and Tim Babikow on stand I proceeded myself. The spot somehow seemed different than when I left and I didn’t have a good feeling for the hunt. Just as I was about to throw in the towel I saw a deer heading my way and she turned that frown upside down. She fed in facing me and I had to wait nearly ten minutes for a good shot, but when she turned I burned an arrow right in the pump station. She almost went down immediately and it was over before it began.

20131229 205750 Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap #17: Donkey Down!
After my moment of excitement was over I immediately thought of my boys and was hoping they got to experience the same. Unfortunately neither of the guys saw a thing, but we all did have a great time hanging out. Like I always say hunting isn’t just about the kill, it’s about all the good times to be had with family and friends while hunting. Those memories will last forever. This Saturday meant a great deal to me as I was able to help my buddy Will out by providing him the meat from my doe. We ending the night by cutting my doe up, telling stories, laughing and just having an all out good time. Hunting is about family, friends, and making memories.

20131229 210600 Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap #17: Donkey Down!
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

A Maryland Record Book 8pt Taken Down!

Here’s a picture of one of the best 8pt bucks I’ve ever seen and it was taken in MD just recently. I know the deer was 6.5yrs old and the guys only had one pic of him at 3.5. Just goes to show how wise these old bucks can get. I have been asked to keep all information about this deer confidential so just enjoy the picture.

SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

20131223 154910 A Maryland Record Book 8pt Taken Down!

Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap # 16

Good night to give a donkey a Dirtnap in the snow. Glad I had a good hunt tonight cause there’s warm weather moving in for the weekend. Get’er done hunters.

20131219 182125 Maryland Huntography 2013 Dirtnap # 16
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!

Maryland Huntography Dirtnap #15: Mistaken Identity Leads To A Beautiful Young Buck

If there was ever a good time to tell a story it’s now. Yesterday on the last day of Maryland’s firearm season I had the opportunity to shoot a great buck, and I did, just wasn’t the one I thought he was.

With an invite from one of my best buds Dave Ziegler, I found myself in a tree on his property Saturday morning. It was a pretty slow morning as I had only seen one doe early then nothing till 8:30 when a train of deer charged down the hill. I was scanning the woods head on when I heard crashing behind me and When I turned around there was a pile of deer coming down the hill. I immediately noticed a nice buck in the group, got my gun up and began glassing him. He was a superb buck, long main beam, long tines, great mass, but he was only about 13″ wide. Now as he got closer I also noticed he had a split brow time that made him an 11pt. This buck ended up at 15 yards from my stand but I was uncertain whether he was 3 or 4 yrs old, either way I knew he needed another year and he would be a true giant. This was truly one of those experiences that keep you coming back for more. Things got slow again after those deer left and as I was about to get down I saw another herd of deer coming of the ridge the other ones came from. These deer were a little farther away and again I noticed a nice buck in the group. This time I noticed a palmated side of his rack and immediately thought of a buck Dave showed me a picture of, Shrek, could it be him. As quick as I saw him, he was gone that fast. Wow, could it be, I had to get him and I was thinking I wanted to hunt that spot again for the evening.

We all retreated back to Dave’s fathers house to warm up and figure out plans for the evening. We talked about the deer we saw and looked at pics and talked of potential deer to shoot. Dave showed me pictures of some other bucks but none were what I saw and I was pretty sure the last buck I saw was Shrek. Shrek, just like the buck I saw had a big club like end on his left side as well. With the snow storm I it’s way out hopes were high the deer movement that evening would be great.

The snow started around 2pm right when we were getting ready to get back into the woods. I got my gear together and headed into the snow storm with high hopes of a BBD. It took me a while but I made to where I wanted to be and started climbing my tree. I was only half way up when I heard some crashing and saw some deer crashing down the hill side where I saw them in the morning. Right away I saw a good buck so I grabbed my gun and tried to ready myself. Without really thinking, I let the excitement get me and as I tried to rest on the top of my climber it slipped a little since it wasn’t locked in and I gave myself quite a scare. As I gathered my composure, the buck had made his way into the thicket of rhododendron and again I settled myself. I found him in the scope and saw the palmation on his left side and the Shrek tunnel vision kicked in. I was dead certain it was him, and without even thinking I never looked at the rack again. I got solid on my stand and got ready for the shot. I followed the buck in my scope and as he made his way through the brush I patiently waited for my shot. He made he way into an opening where I could see his shoulder, I steadied my crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. The buck dropped instantly and as I started to celebrate he jumped up and was gone in an instant. I called Dave and told him what happened, and we decided I needed to get down and look right away since it was snowing so hard. I got to the spot where he went down and found blood. I followed blood for about 300 yards and found the buck down in the creek. The closer I got the more insecure I was about who I shot. As I got right up on the buck I just couldn’t believe it, he wasn’t Shrek, and he wasn’t a giant, damn what had I done. Well I had made mistake, I had gotten so caught up in the moment, and who I thought he was, I left all rational thinking out the window and I had shoot a magnificent young buck with the same characteristic of the giant Shrek. Damn did I feel bad, and know I had to tell Dave. He arrived and totally understood, I knew he was disappointed he lost a great young buck, but understood what happened. I think this has happened to all of us at one time. Just goes to show you can’t ever assume anything cause accidents do happen. I take this experience as a reminder that no matter what you always I mean always need to properly identify your target. Dave I am sorry brother, I know how hard you manage your property. I hope this story sheds some insight for people that are performing QDM on their property.

20131215 113609 Maryland Huntography Dirtnap #15: Mistaken Identity Leads To A Beautiful Young Buck
Sorry I found it kind of hard to smile when Dave took the picture.
SHOOT EM WHEN YOU SEE EM!!!!

After you properly identify your target.