2019 Season off to Productive Start

Can-Am in the WoodsOpening day for the 2019 Georgia firearms deer season was wet. I mean it rained all day. But the southeast needed that rain in a big way and it did not stop deer activity. The next day we had sunshine as you can see in this photo of our Can-Am Defender from my stand. Right after that I harvested a spike buck. Opening day I harvested two does. So I’ve got a lot of venison I’ll be freezing this week while taking a large portion to a local processor for summer sausage and hamburger.

Can-Am with PigsNow let’s talk feral hogs. I am happy to report that my brother Paul deleted their number by seven on opening day. Here’s a Can-Am Defender load of five of them. It sounds like a lot but we’ve got one group of them numbering almost forty and another that it is a little less. For the first time in the years I’ve been hunting in Georgia I’m seeing hogs on the sides of the roads that have been hit by cars. I counted five in just one hour long drive one morning. They are a serious problem. We’re doing our part but it’s not enough.

Georgia’s season continues through mid-January so the Crystal Pig Hunt Club members will be out several times trying to reduce hog numbers and hopefully seeing some of the large bucks which are showing up on our cameras. If you hunt deer let me know how things are going for you. I’ve seen some great photos on social media already which include children who are getting their first opportunity to hunt with Mom or Dad.

Photos from this year’s season, including pre-season work days are here: 2019 CPHC Photo Album

Prepping for 2019 Season

Trees on the PigIt’s that time. Time to work on roads, trails, stands, feeders and camp.

It was just a few short years ago that these pines were seedlings. Amazing how fast they grow. This photo really brings it home since this road was wider and now the branches are grown together so much they’re scraping the sides of a pickup. That will have to change.

So the Pig Team will be on location this weekend into next week doing some work on all of it. It’s going to be hot but you can bet we’ll have a good time and enjoy the company while doing it.

Retrieving a Buck From the Thickets with a Can-Am

Although the 2018 deer season in central Georgia was not the best we’ve ever had it was not the worst. We harvested deer. Saw more deer and got a lot of work done to make a growing pine forest easier to hunt in.

This is my last post from the season since I had to show what one of the most important benefits of having a good utility vehicle with the right accessories is. Besides getting you to and from your deer stand there’s the issue of bringing a large animal out of some of the worst conditions possible. In our case that was a buck in 6 to 10 feet high pricker vine thickets that are covering a hillside and across a creek bed. My bother Paul got the deer down the hill to the creek somehow. I got the Can-Am Defender we had the honor to be using as close to the creek bed as I could. From there we let the WARN winch do the rest. That last 40 yards may not have been possible without it!

I had hoped to shoot a lot more video this season but conditions were mostly rainy, windy, muddy and filled with scratches and learning how the pine growth and intense weed growth has changed patterns and paths for the deer. We learned a lot and have some very high hopes for the next season and sure hope we can do it with a Can-Am!

Photos from Crystal Pig Hunt Club 2018 Hunt

2018 Hunting Success Story

A couple of the members of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club are happy this season. My little tiny brother Paul harvested the nicest buck we’ve brought to camp last week. Of course there is a story to this because that’s just part of deer hunting.

In this case, Paul saw this 8 pt. buck from his stand about 200 yards or so across a creek and partially uphill in the middle of the nastiest mess of thorn vines and bushes you’ve ever seen. In fact, the whole hillside and a big part of our property is covered with this crap. Someday the pines will get big enough to shade them out. But from the time he went to find the deer with me in his stand guiding him by arm gestures to the time the deer was in the back of the Can-Am Defender we’re test driving it took almost 2 1/2 hours! I think I still have some splinters in my body. The last leg of the journey out of the thickets was over the creek and for that we used the Warn winch on the Can-Am. I don’t know if we would have been successful without it. And I would never get a utility vehicle without one for sure.

So, we got Paul’s buck back to camp and he had just started cleaning it when I walked back under our pole barn and saw another buck about 120 yards from camp! I had to run back to the Can-Am to get my rifle out of the case that’s mounted on the vehicle. Got back to the barn and he was still there. So, bam, I got a 5 pt. And let’s just say it was not hard getting him back to camp. LOL. All in all that’s what I call a happy deer hunt.

We’re going to be back at the Pig after Christmas when my nephews can be there and all of the CPHC team. We’ll continue putting this Can-Am Defender through its paces, especially since there has been so much rain and we’ve got some muddy places to drive through.

Photos from Crystal Pig Hunt Club 2018 Hunt

Back in Action at The Pig

It’s deer hunting time in Georgia. This year the Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC) members are getting to roll in camo style with a machine that is built to handle some pretty rough terrain.

The Can-Am Defender Mossy Oak Hunting Edition is easy to drive and that includes changing to 4-wheel drive when needed. So far we’ve hauled corn to fill feeders, worked on our stands, driven out to our hunt location and back to camp.

We also have trail cams set up where we have feeders. Here’s a night time hello from a nice buck. He’s one of several that have been showing up along with a couple of does. Of course we have feral hogs too. But, so far, they have only showed up in one area of our property.

I have only had a couple of days at the CPHC so far but more is coming soon. Looking forward to a great deer season.

Spring Fishing

With deer season behind us the Pig Team goes fishing. Gary has a nice place on the Gulf of Mexico next to some of the best flats fishing you’ll find.

As you can see from the mess in front of Gary here, the reds were biting! Gary spent a couple days on the water with a friend and they got into some big trout and redfish.

You can guess what was on the menu that week.

Meanwhile, Paul and I had a chance to visit Gary’s place and fish along with his Cousin Lee. We were a little earlier in the season but still found some trout, a flounder and a lone spanish mackerel.

This is my favorite kind of fishing. These fish each have their own characteristics on how to work them once you have them hooked but surprisingly they’ll all hit just about the same bait. Often it’s just a matter of finding them and being there when the bite is on.

Hunting with a Gator Part Three

Hello and welcome to episode number three of a series of videos and posts with other members of our Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC), from the 2017/18 Georgia deer hunting season. The season is over but work on our property never stops.

On our last day during the season, Paul and I talked about the John Deere Gator XUV825i we test drove. The Gator is just a solid machine and we put it through its paces in different weather and ground conditions.

You can see photos of the Gator in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – John Deere Gator Photo Album

John Deere Gator Episode 3

Time to debut episode 3 of Chuck Zimmerman's review of the John Deere 825i Crossover Utility Vehicle.

Posted by AgWired on Monday, January 29, 2018

Hunting with a Can-Am Defender Episode 2

Hello and welcome from the Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC). It’s time for another episode of hunting with a Can-Am Defender.

In this episode my brother Paul and I talk about our experience using the utility vehicle in the woods while deer hunting. You’ll hear nothing but praise for this well thought out vehicle which makes it very comfortable to get from camp to the stands and back. Popping in at the end is Paul’s son Joe who has been successfully hunting with us and also helped serve as videographer when called on.

You can see photos of the Can-Am in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – Can-Am Defender Photo Album

Hunting with a Gator Part Two

Hello and welcome to episode number two of a series of videos and posts I’m doing, along with other members of our Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC), throughout the Georgia deer hunting season. We’re well into this year’s season and have been out on the property several times. I’m making plans for at least one more trip this year, keeping my finger crossed.

Here’s Paul’s son, Joe, who once again got his deer on his first trip out. He got to ride in the John Deere Gator XUV825i we’ve been test driving and likes it. In the video below you can hear him talk to Paul about hunting with a Gator while they are heading out to their stands on a sunny afternoon.

You can see photos of the Gator in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – John Deere Gator Photo Album

2017 Deer Hunt – Getting to stand in a Gator

Chuck Zimmerman’s nephew Joe went deer hunting with his Dad Paul. They seem to like having a John Deere Gator to get out into the woods with. He think this young man is going to be an awesome deerslayer!

Posted by AgWired on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hunting with a John Deere Gator

Howdy from The Pig. The CPHC team just continues to have good success early in the season. We’ve got a nice long season to go though since the Georgia season for firearms which started October 21 runs through January 14.

In this post I’m going to start letting you know how we are using a John Deere Gator XUV825i to test drive and evaluate its value to some serious deer hunting. John Deere has provided us with the use of this vehicle for most of the season and I have now had the opportunity to get some hours in and out of the woods and on the trails.

As you can see in the photo I have already harvested some deer and brought them out of the woods and back to our camp. My harvest so far consists of a 6pt buck, 2 does and a wild hog. They have all been bagged right near our trails fortunately for me. Speaking of trails, most of ours are freshly plowed by the U.S. Forest Service. They do a great job btw. But we’ve got some serious and deep sugar sand to run through and there are rough spots. You’ll be able to see that in the video below.

Some first impressions on using the Gator include:

  • All the power I need to climb steep hills on deep sand and with a load in the bed
  • Very simple controls and layout. Easy to switch between 2-wheel and 4-wheel
  • Suspension makes the bumps and pot holes almost painless compared to past vehicles I’ve driven
  • Plenty of light from headlights for night time on the trail
  • John Deere has some accessories I already know I’d like to add!

So, I’ll have more to say in upcoming episodes. I’m very satisfied with this unit and am not coming up with anything to complain about.

You can see photos of the Gator in the wild here: 2017 Deer Hunt – John Deere Gator Photo Album