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Fall 2016, Hits & Misses!!

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Fall 2016, Hits & Misses!!

Postby qcconnection » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:58 pm

As promised, here is the 2016 season recap.

I hunted during bow season here in Quebec`s zone 10, which ran from late September to October 7. Was at full draw on a small 6 point at 25 yards, but let him walk. Story is in a previous post. ( My uncle ended up shooting that deer during gun season )

The main event as far as deer hunting goes for my family has always been the 2 week gun season here in Quebec. People would spend time together. Stories would be told. Memories would be made.

This year would be no different.

QcConnection Sr got it started on the opener of the gun season, the 29 of October with a respectable 8 point that went 175 pounds dressed.

Again, this was covered in a previous post, but here`s the picture. This old man knows some stuff about deer hunting.

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I didn't get to actually start deer hunting until Halloween. That`s what happens when you get too busy with other things during the fall and have a myriad of tasks to get caught up on....

My first day was spent scouting around and not finding much sign of the 2 bigger bucks I had gotten trail cam pics of earlier in the year.The next mornings sunrise though, was gorgeous, and reminded me why I love being outside this time of year.

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The deer action was fairly no existent at the stand I was hunting. I suspected that it was due to the bear I was getting on my trail cam about 10 minutes after I`d leave each night without fail.

On November 5, it was the birthday of a good friend of mine, and I invited him to come for a hunt for the day. At about 4:30 that evening, my phone buzzed after I heard a shot in the distance. It was my buddy. The message read `` That was me. Got a spike ``. I personally don`t shoot spikes, but I don`t get upset when someone else does. Meat in the freezer is meat in the freezer.

About 20 minutes later, I noticed a black blob moving through the bush, 120 yards away from my stand. I couldn`t believe it. It was the bear. And well within legal shooting time. As I brought my 7mm up, he disappeared. Now, around the location where I was is pretty stellar. I`ve harvested several good bucks there. There`s just something about that spot. On the east side of this small (200 yard, narrow) field, there`s a giant hardwood ridge that drops down into the field. To the North and South, there are 2 swamps. To the west, (my stand is on the west side of the field) there`s a small hardwood ridge that drops down to a tiny lake. The field is mostly full of goldenrod, and we all know how hard it can be to see anything in a patch of goldenrod in the fall. I did however in early September brush hog a sizeable portion of the field to make it easier to see game, but left about a 10 yard strip of goldenrod around the edge of the field. Anyways, getting back on track. My rifle at the ready, waiting to lay eyes on the bear again, I saw something strange across the field. A black shape, standing behind a tree moving all crazy. I looked in the scope and saw the bear, rubbing itself against a tree. I had never seen that before. I didn`t have a shot and the bear disappeared from view again. about 2 minutes later, same thing. Except this time, the bear was facing me, rubbing a tree with the tree covering his vitals. It turned out the 3rd time would be the charm. I couldn`t see the bear walking along the edge of the field, so I didn`t know where he would pop up next ( it was like a game of whack-a-mole ). His next attempt at marking his turf would be his last. He stood up, his back to me rubbing a tree with his front. I settled the crosshairs squarely between his shoulders and sent a 160 grain Nosler Partition out of my 7mm Magnum at him. The beast was felled instantly.

Quebec has a healthy bear population. Residents can legally harvest 2 bears per year there, so long as the second comes out of zone 10 in the fall. I had never shot a bear before but always bought my bear license just in case I saw one, and wanted to take a poke at it. After summoning the cavalry to come and help me get it out of the bush, it was time to celebrate. We estimated the bear to be roughly 2 years old.

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I know it`s not the biggest bear in the world, but hey, it was my first one. I was also surprised that there was absolutely zero smell off of this bear. I had always heard that they smelled terrible and bla bla bla. The only thing the fur smelled like was black earth. And even when eviscerating the bear, there was nearly no smell to speak of. Quite a difference from gutting a deer!!

The rest of the week passed without anymore buck sightings on my part. I put lots of miles on my Rocky boots but just couldn`t seem to find a buck. I did however manage to find my Grandpa`s old hunt camp that he built in the late 50`s that is still standing and still completely usable. After a little clean up next year, I know where I`ll be spending a majority of my time in the woods. I didn`t take any photos of it.

November 10, there was extremely high winds. After not seeing anything all morning but hearing lots of brush breaking from trees behind me, I decided to head home for lunch, when I cam back to my stand in the early afternoon, this is the view I was greeted with.

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In my absence, the top of an old poplar had busted off and come through the roof of my ratty old stand, taking with it 2 roof board with rusty nails in them that would have most likely hit some part of my body.

November 11 always falls during our gun season in Quebec. And no matter where I am, I always take the time to stop and say a few words and remember.

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Our deer season ended on November 13. The last day of the season, I was `` double fisting ``, and ended up seeing several deer, just no bucks. Also worth a mention, within a day of the bear being shot at my stand, deer started showing back up.

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My deer season ended without me putting a tag on a buck, but I was more than alright with that. I had gotten my first bear, and had seen how happy my dad was to get his best buck in quite a few years. Memories were made. Stories were told. Laughs were had. In that respect, it was a successful season.

Next came the part of the fall I look forward to almost more than opening day. Seeing which bucks had made it through the season. This guy made it through unscathed. I put him at 3.5 years old. I got another daytime picture of him that I accidentally deleted. He`s a small 10 and will be a hell of a deer next year if he makes the winter.

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Then, I got the pictures I had been anxiously waiting for for a few weeks. The buck I had posted about earlier, who I had gotten pictures of in 2010 as a wide 8, and then again in 2011 and 2012 as a wide 10, and most recently gotten pictures of this year, had survived yet another gun season without a scratch, but did bust off a point on his left beam. This guy is a monarch.

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After posting the above pictures on facebook, 2 days ago, a friend of mine sent me the following pictures and asked if this buck looks familiar. His land is about 4-5 KM`s Northeast of mine (as the crow flies).

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Now, I got a grainy picture of a giant... I am relatively certain that he has a drop tine on his right beam, and some junk on the left. I put a few filters on it to make it easier to see, but it is noticeable against the backdrop of the snow.

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Backtrack to the week after our season ended. Got my bear back from the butcher and decided to marinade a steak overnight and do it on the Barbie the next night. I`ve had different people tell me the taste of bear turned them off. I loved it.

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More recently, I bought a dehydrator that was on sale at Cabela`s on black Friday. Did my first batch of jerky with it, which turned out to be goose jerky and mixed it a little too spicy, but it was still damn good!!

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And then, the main event. My first every batch of venison jerky. It was old meat from a deer I had shot 3 years ago, but the dehydrator didn`t mind!! Best jerky I think I`ve ever eaten!!

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And that ladies and gentlemen, was my fall. My favorite time of year. Time spent with family and friends. Time spent chasing legends and stories.

If you made it to the end of this long, drawn out report, give yourself a crisp high 5 and crack a cold one. You`ve earned it.
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Re: Fall 2016, Hits & Misses!!

Postby smitty55 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:15 pm

Great post man. Congrats on a fine hunting season.
Funny how stories about bears start. Dump bears can certainly get pretty ripe, including the meat, but like you mentioned I've always found them to smell far less than deer, specially when field dressing. Plus I've never found the meat to be strong tasting at all, again except for a dump bear that some buds shot on their way back from moose hunting. It was real strong smelling when cooking, so much so that it had to done outside on the BarB.
About 8 years back I was talking to the receptionist at work about hunting. She had no interest in trying game meat but I talked her into trying some ground bear. She was amazed at how good it was, not strong flavoured at all like she expected.

Congrats again on your first Bruin. You're hooked now I bet and I can see you targeting them more in the future.

Cheers
Smitty

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Re: Fall 2016, Hits & Misses!!

Postby CBB » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:44 pm

Great post and pics. Congrats on a good fall hunting season along with a nice Bear. Nice bucks in the pics.
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Re: Fall 2016, Hits & Misses!!

Postby Markus » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:16 pm

Great season! Enjoyed reading about your hunt.

Congrats on your, great chevron on that fella. You'll enjoy the meat. The "smell" is just one of many myths about bears. They are the best wild game meat out there....well, maybe second to elk. lol

Great to see you enjoyed the season to the fullest.
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