Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment to a 12-part, comprehensive series about building a hunting club with buddies from nearly the ground up. Author Thomas Allen will share what he learns as he learns it. His hope is that anyone who reads this series can learn from his successes and failures, and apply them to a one-day fruitful hunting club. Click here for the first, second, third and fourth installments.
It’s hard to imagine this life without passion, especially passion for the outdoors. It just makes everything better. But, it comes at a cost. I can’t think of a single aspect of hunting or fishing where success demands hard work, perseverance, study and sacrifice.
If it were easy, a lot more people would do it.
The truth is, successful whitetail hunting absolutely requires a lot of educated preparation. You can’t just pick any tree, hang a stand and expect to shoot a deer. But when you do locate good spots based on your Most Recent Information (MRI), then comes the patience to wait until conditions are right to access and hunt a good stand. And, of course, the commitment and endurance it takes to tough it out when the conditions are ideal, yet less than comfortable.
Our task list is getting smaller, and we’re closer to being a fully functional hunting club. The season has started, and we’re already enjoying the fruits of our labor.
The Wasp War Wages On
There are so many species of wasps and hornets that have taken up permanent residence in our shooting houses, that it’s hard to keep them straight. All I know is they are big, scary and seemingly pissed all the time.
With the season upon us, and still some warm fall days in the forecast, we had to take action against the angry little bugs.
To engage these things, you can’t go all in the first time and expect to have them whipped. In fact, it will likely take cans upon cans of wasp spray and several return visits to eradicate a hive from a shooting house. So be persistent, but patient.
Several of us attacked the infested houses from the outside, killing as many as possible while they vacated their fortress while under siege. We then made a return trip a couple days later hoping to finish them off.
If you would like to enjoy one of these battles — a laugh at my expense — watch the video below.
Treestands and Ground Blinds
Based on the tens of thousands of photos I’ve been gathering from my Wildgame Innovations trail cameras, I had a few locations in mind that warranted a treestand or two.
Since we had no previous seasons to build a game plan from, I decided to hang a few sets based on doe movement, knowing that the bucks would eventually show up when the scent of love begins to float through the air.
The other thing we’ve learned is that most of the trees surrounding each food plot are not of adequate size for a treestand. But the few that I did locate made for a promising elevated ambush, whenever the wind will accommodate. I fully expect to have multiple shot opportunities from each spot, like this one.
Because of the limited trees near several of our food plots, we elected to set up a few ground blinds as well.
The number of places we can hunt with an assortment of wind direction is beginning to increase substantially. And that’s a confidence builder.
Repaired Shooting House
This was a big item on our to-do list that we knew was going to take some time. But, with the gun season literally days away, Gary and I decided to tackle the project.
Tip: Make sure you have adequate materials before you get started. The last thing you want to do is leave halfway through the project to get more wood or screws. Make a list and stick to it.
We managed to complete the project in only a couple of hours. Gary brought a small generator along so we could operate power tools, which was tremendously helpful.
We think it turned out pretty good!
This section doesn’t need many words from me. Alabama’s youth season opened up November 10th, and I was able to get my 8-year-old daughter out to hunt over one of our Mossy Oak BioLogic Maximum plots, which is pulling deer like a boss. Taylor killed a big old doe on a hunt neither of us will ever forget!
The very next night, my 10-year-old son and I sat over a BioLogic Winter Grass Plus field, and he shot a nice doe as well — his first hunt from a treestand. It was a very exciting weekend for the Allen family, and our freezer is starting to look a little fuller.
Images and videos by Thomas Allen