Prepping for 2017 Deer Hunt

Preparations are underway for this year’s deer hunt. Paul and Joe are on-site with mowers, weed eaters, corn, batteries, etc. Generators are being tuned up and we’re hoping to add a feeder and new tree stand this year to provide more location options.

The camp is in good condition and the RV is ready for our group to show up and spend some relaxation and woods time.

I’ll be on The Pig a couple days prior to fall deer opening day after spending a day or so at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA. I’m working with John Deere there and you’ll find my stories on AgWired.com at that time.

So, the camp is calling and I’m itching to go!

Learning About the Bad Boy Brand

Chuck and PaulBad Boy Off Road is part of Textron Specialized Vehicles, based in Augusta, GA. That’s where I met Ben White to pick up a Recoil IS Crew to test drive during this hunting season here at the Pig.

Pig partner and brother, Paul Zimmerman, and I spent some days successfully hunting last week sharing time on my old model Bad Boy Buggy and the new machine. With the Recoil we immediately noticed how awesome the suspension is. Ruts in the road? Bumpy ground off road? The Bad Boy Recoil don’t care!

Paul with 9pt. buckI’m already looking forward to my next trip to the Pig for round two since I did not get my buck. I did get meat for the freezer with a couple does. Paul, however, got a nice 9 pt. buck and Clint Underwood who was hunting with us got his first deer ever.

I’m here to tell you that the battery operated Recoil is silent and that means a lot when getting you your stand. I know we have a lot of hunters in the AgWired Community so you might want to look into Bad Boy Off Road. I’ll have a more complete review of the Recoil soon but at the first test period it is getting a thumbs up from me.

You can listen to me interview Ben here as part of my regular podcast on AgWired.com: ZimmCast with Ben White, Textron Specialized Vehicles

The Pig Meets a Bad Boy

Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS CrewWell, say hello to a brand new Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS Crew. This four passenger side by side features a 72V AC drivetrain for what I like to call “silent running.” It let’s you get a lot closer to your deer stand than a gas engine.

This vehicle also has 4 wheel independent suspension so we’ve got a very smooth ride on these rough roads and trails here at the Pig. That means a lot, especially after a long day in a stand and cleaning deer.

Speaking of deer, my first morning in the Recoil I went to my stand and shot two does. I saw the buck I want and hope to find him in my sights next time. I put the does in the cargo space and hauled them to our cleaning stand.

So, why a Bad Boy and why now? To start with, I have an old model Bad Boy from before they were acquired by Textron Specialized Vehicles. It is also out here at the Pig doing yeoman’s work moving us around. I’ve been very impressed with it and when the opportunity presented itself to test drive a new model I jumped. During this Georgia deer season I’ll be letting you know a lot more about using the Recoil in a very practical situation. I’m making notes for now and there will be much more to come.

Thank you Textron and Bad Boy Off Road! Official hunt vehicle of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club this season.

2016 Deer Hunt Underway

Bear TrackIt is that time of the year folks. Deer hunting!

An early issue we ran in to though was a couple weeks ago when we found our largest corn feeder on the ground with damage. What could have done that we wondered. The tracks tell it all. Bear. Great. It’s not bear season here and I personally would rather not meet up with Buddy Bear.

We moved that feeder but put up a more secure one very close by. And it is where I put up my new Summit Viper climber stand.

We missed opening weekend due to the wedding of my nephew but started this morning. Haven’t seen anything yet. We sure did setting up camp last week though.

The weather here at the Pig is great. Dry, cooling off temperatures and so far, no wind to speak of.

Stampede by Bad Boy Off Road

Bad Boy Off Road StampedeI want one of these Bad Boys although I love my old Buggy! Some of us are already getting excited about fall hunting and one of these would really get us to and from our stands quicker. Paul, myself and some other guys spent the day on Saturday checking out our camp and getting our feeders filled and working. It’s getting near that time to plant our food plots too.

So here’s what’s new from Bad Boy Off Road:

Bad Boy® Off Road, a Textron Specialized Vehicles brand, is proud to announce the Stampede™ 900 4×4, a side-by-side with unmatched power, nimble suspension and handling, unrivaled hauling and storage capacity, an extraordinary driver experience and exceptional reliability.

“We designed Stampede to be industry-leading on the features that drivers told us matter most – power, a comfortable ride, and the ability to haul and store everything they need,” said John Collins, vice president, consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc..

Read all about it on the Bad Boy Off Road website.

Work Day at The Pig

Camp TablePaul and I just had to get out on The Pig property to see what’s what. So with Joe, tagging along, we spent a couple nights last week.

The pines are growing but there are areas where they haven’t done well. Some of the roads are getting washouts in them so a bulldozer needs to get in there. Mainly we need the firelane around the property dozed soon! One thing that struck us us was a lack of doves. This was kind of eerie since we always see hundreds. With the exception of about 4 doves off in the distance we saw NONE. And we don’t have a clue why.

While we were on site we built a permanent table under our pole barn. It’s made tall so we don’t have to bend our aching backs to work on it. Shelves for it will be next. I’ve got several more stories to post as soon as I have time.

The Pig Team Hunts On

We may not be pretty (well I might be) but we have a good time. That’s from l-r, me, Gary and Paul. Paul is sporting his new Akubra Snowy River hat I got him in Australia last fall. Just in case you were wondering.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about our approach to the property we’re leasing. We have completed our pole barn under which we camp with a nice RV and almost all the conveniences we’d like. But besides our own comfort we’ve invested a lot of blood, sweat, tears and cash into turning this land into a hunting lease. If you’ve been following us you know we started the year the property owner burned all the tree leftovers from lumber crews who cut down all the hard wood. Then the owner had pine trees planted. It has been a challenge in several ways.

We worked with a bull dozer operator to put a fire trail around the property, some road improvements and food plot areas. We also had signs made and posted them ourselves. We’ve worked at seeding the plots, our camp area and some of the road area. We want to have habitat that is good for the wildlife and also helps keep erosion down. I’ve got some new ideas for this after learning more about the Bayer CropScience Feed a Bee program! If you want to learn more about that check out an interview I did at the recent Potato Expo in Las Vegas.

As these pines are growing it is getting easier to see how important our roads and food plots have become. Deer haven’t really had much reason to stay on the property but will as more cover grows up and as our plots improve each year. It’s an on-going project to say the least.

But the benefits to the land, the wildlife, our fellowship and state of mind are well worth it. I hope we have many more hunts coming up.

2015-2016 Deer Season Over

The Georgia deer season for 2015-16 is now over and The Pig saw a reduction in harvest. We hunted quite a bit at different times but it seems like the weather was not our friend this season.

In this pic Paul is taking care of a couple of does he harvested. So he has meat in the cooler. His boys, Eli, Luke and Joe all participated at different times. Eli and Luke are in college now and have jobs so their time was fairly limited. That’s their problem though, not mine!

After about a year away from deer hunting Gary got out on the Pig but his harvest will hopefully be better this fall.

I had some luck on one of my trips to the Pig. I did get a small buck along with two does and that’s meat in my freezer. I also found a great little place near me here in Pensacola that made snack sticks, summer and breakfast sausage for me.

We hunted pretty hard and did see quite a few deer but I don’t think we timed the rut out and in fact, I’m not sure we even saw any sign of it this season. But we’ve got lots of deer working this property. Our trail cams at our feeders bear this out!

Food Plots Erupting

Food PlotErupting. That’s how I would describe our food plots so far. We just planted them about 4 weeks ago but they are all green and growing. And they are covered with deer tracks!

We have a few feeders out too and the ground is torn up under them. I’ll get some better images from our trail cams in a couple weeks when we’re hunting. This is the first time we’ve used trail cams.

Deer at FeederThis photo is actually a picture from a computer screen Paul took with his phone. It does show a pretty clear image though.

The best news IMO is that The Pig has pigs. Yep. We’ve got a number of images of hogs at our feeders. They are nocturnal but even so, this is the first we’ve seen any sign of them since we leased the property.

A little hog and venison on the barbie is what I’m talking about.

2015 Summer Work Days

Bad Boy BuggiesIt’s food plot planting time on The Pig. Next weekend the Pig Team will be on location to till, fertilize and plant our plots! Yep, I’m going to have trouble concentrating on work this week.

Just thought I’d share my most recent purchase to use out on the property – a used Bad Boy Buggie. It may look kind of like a golf cart but it is not a golf cart. I’ve got two floor mounted gun racks in it along with the back facing seat that folds down into a solid table and more. It’s electric (code for quiet).

So, I’ll be putting it to good use on The Pig as Paul, Gary and I get together plant our fall crop. ‘Bout Time.