In our last episode, we began the story of Tom’s season. His daughter, Morgan, has pursued Whitesocks for a number of years. While coming close, she has’t sealed the deal yet. This past season, one of Whitesock’s old running mates, Buddy, showed back up on the farm. Through much of the season they battled for dominance and in the process beat each other’s racks up pretty badly.
This story is a great example of success on a small property. The James’ own and manage just 58 acres in Indiana. With an excellent balance of summer and winter forages, they are providing great year round food sources that are attracting and feeding not only deer that call their farm home, but also the neighbors deer.
On December 22nd, Buddy visited one of those food plots as Tom was in a treestand nearby. At first glance, Tom thought it was a 3.5 year old buck, but upon further inspection he realized who the deer was. The rigors of the rut had greatly cut the body weight of Buddy and without prior knowledge of the deer, he would have aged the deer incorrectly. Knowing this, he took the shot and was able to harvest an awesome 5.5 year old buck that had character from the rigors of the rut.
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Last year we showcased the story of Tom James, his daughters, and their family farm. A buck named Whitesox calls their farm home and Tom’s daughter, Morgan, has staked her claim on him. This year, she continued her pursuit of him, but one of Whitesox’s old friends showed back up.
The brutally cold weather presented many obstacles for Casey during his time spent trapping coyotes in Illinois. The biggest concern was how to cover the traps. In part 1, we showed you how to make wax dirt to eliminate the issue of traps getting frozen in the ground. The wax dirt is very powdery and a trapper must take extra effort to pack it on the trap. If a coyote steps on the set and feels movement beneath his foot he could back out and not engage the set. Placement of the trap is key to prevent the coyote from taking multiple steps around the set.
The success of trapping season lies within not only the correct locations, but also in properly functioning equipment no matter what conditions. There are limitless tricks and modifications that trappers can make to their equipment. Some are standard, while others are dependent upon certain conditions. This week we talk about a few of them.
The incredibly cold weather in the Midwest this past week forced us to modify the dirt we used to cover our traps. Sifting dirt found near our sets is our typical method, but due to the cold and snow, we are not able to use this method. The moisture is the soil would freeze creating a crust over the trap and prevent it from firing. Instead, we’re melting wax with dry dirt to create a freeze proof method to covering our traps.
Every year, deer hunters set their sights on having a mature buck walk within range and being able to make a good shot to harvest the animal. They are consumed with these thoughts and dreams throughout much, if not all of the year. For some, they are able to reach their goals for the season while others are left waiting for next year. For Casey, a tag was placed on a mature buck, but not in a way that any deer hunter wants to happen.
The story started during August when Casey, Chase, and friend, Darren Boudreaux, decided to lease a property in west-central Illinois. The property was scouted, stands were hung, and cameras were placed as the season quickly approached. The guys had high hopes for their new property and knew that it would only be a matter of time before someone had an opportunity at a mature buck.