STX's great read on his buck has motivated me to share this with you guys...
I started hunting a lease in North East Knox county 3 years ago. This particular lease has some really nice deer compared to the East Texas leases I have hunted most of my life, but not great numbers. The first year I did not even scout the place until mid October. I found a place I thought would be good, but I only had 2 deer on the game cam by late November. Both deer were walking through and only one pic of each. Another hunter allowed me to hunt his blind and I shot a nice 9 point. This was the largest buck I had ever shot. It was also the only deer I saw from a blind all season.
Here is a Pic of the East TX (left) Vs West TX racks
Determined to have better luck, I scouted all available land to find a better spot. I finally narrowed it down to a spot, and built a new blind to help to make hunting the brutal high winds and freezing temps which this region is known for. What I thought was preparation turned to be utter failure from the start. No pun intended...
Bow season was a battle between me and the cattle. Each trip yielded a busted feeder and more frustration. I staked my feeder down only to have the cows bust their heads on the feeder motor until it broke off and emptied all the corn. From the pics it was generally within a day of filling it up. I ended up penning the feeder, but the cows would just bend my T posts until a sag formed in the pin, and step over the barbed wire.
Opening day of general season I was as stoked as ever. I felt I had fixed my pen and cow problems. Upon arriving on Friday, I worked to put up a second feeder for pigs at 180 deg from the 1st, and across a pond. I made my way to my primary feeder to find the motor completely busted off. If you have ever emptied the corn out of a full feeder back into the bags, you know how much this sucks to do. I moved the second feeder into the pen and finally got set up shortly before dark.
I went to open up my blind, only to be swarmed by wasps!!! I was prepared with spray, but I had them coming from all directions, and was unable to do enough damage before they were going crazy. I had to let them calm down.
After researching all night on how to kill these off, I found the solution was to get them when it was below 60 deg and still dark. These 2 factors were guaranteed to work. I got to the blind extra early, and it was 58 deg outside. I climbed into the blind and hit the light to find the nest. to my surprise, no nest, I had a LED flashlight and was not seeing the yellow fellows. I got closer to the wall and then I noticed the little black dots which covered every square inch of the 4' by 6' blind. They were all wasps. Everywhere I looked. 1000s of them. I backed to the ladder and hit em with 2 cans of liquid death. I then started hearing the fly past me. I quickly hopped off the ladder and sprinted back 10 yards. After regaining my composure, and breath from flailing around like wounded turkey, I looked out the door of the blind and silhouetted in the moonlit sky these things were flying out of my blind??? My research had guaranteed this would not happen, but wrong.
I ended up in my popup blind for the 1st 2 days. I saw no deer and had sprayed enough spray to scare off every deer in the county. Day 3 I was determined to hunt my blind. The temp had dropped into the 40s and I was getting the rest of these beasts. I crawled in and let em have it. I had sprayed 3 walls good enough from the previous 2 days to keep them off, but the back wall had many more of them. I finished them off, and opened the door to air out. I waited a bit and climbed back in. I had finally won.
Openening weekend I saw nothing. Cam pics showed 2 bucks hanging around my feeder until the time I started on the wasps. They never came back, ever. I had little action at the feeder, and ended the year with no deer, and worse, for the second year, I saw no deer from the blind at all.
I did have a really nice buck show up on cam a few times and just seeing his pics left me excited each time out. I named him Napoleon for he looked short and powerful. He was in for 3 days around the rut and never came to my place again. 1 week later he was at another feeder with a broken brow, and then gone until the last week of the season. He stayed there until the feeder ran empty after the season. Another hunter showed me a pic of him this year and he was only an 8 and on the decline. So he thought.