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

Taking a Can-Am Out in the Woods

I’m a little behind updating here. The CPHC team has had a great start to the season.

Here’s my next episode in a series coming to you from the Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC) in Georgia. In this episode the focus is going to be on a Can-Am Defender XT which has been provided to us to use and evaluate how well it is suited to some serious deer hunting.

CPHC member, Paul Zimmerman, my brother, has been doing most of the driving in this vehicle, although I have done some also. In the video below we chat about our first impressions while riding out of camp for a load of firewood. You might see in the bed of the Defender a short swivel seat stand that we strapped into it, making the Defender a mobile deer stand!

Some first impressions on using the Can-Am include:

  • It has lots of power but runs quiet
  • The suspension is amazing
  • The turning radius has made is easier to turn around on narrow trails than we expected
  • Some accessories like winch and side/back panels around bed have come in very handy

So, that’s a start. Paul has harvested two deer so far, one of them being the 8pt buck you see in the photo. So, in the points race (we don’t really have one) he’s in the lead. We’re liking the Can-Am but will have more to come.

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

Camp Update

Paul and I spent yesterday checking feeders, stands and the property fire trail that was just re-bulldozed. I’m not actually sure I’d call it a fire trail. We’re going to have to talk to the landowner because that is something that is his responsibility and it it vital for many reasons.

We’re hoping that Hurricane Nate does not impact this area. We had some damage from Hurricane Irma. One large tower stand (heavy metal) took a while to find. It was tied down with large metal stakes but was blown off about 75 yards into the pines and weeds. It took a long time to find and today we’re hoping to get it moved back in place. The question is whether it will need some welding to be usable.

Another metal tripod stand was blown over and will need welding to make it work. We also had a large barrel feeder blown away with the spreader torn off.

The camp itself did not have any damage though and is very comfortable right now. Today we’re going to do what we can with the torn up stands and put out a new feeder and stand in a new location that the fire trail we have has opened up for us.

It’s shaping up to be a good hunt starting in two weeks!

And BTW. Camp breakfast is the finest kind. Eggs, sausage, onions, green bell pepper, cilantro, butter, cheese and spices.

2017 CPHC Hunt Photo Album

2017 Hunt is Getting Close

This is moonset this morning at The Pig. Paul and I are doing some pre-hunt work to get things ready for some serious deer hunting this season, starting in just about two weeks.

The pines are growing so fast it’s hard to believe. This has made it more imperative than ever to have clear lanes, more tower and tree stands. It is also providing much more cover for deer on the property. I think it’s time for a drone for a flyover!

As I have since starting our hunt club website, there is a photo album online where we freely share photos. Feel free to look and enjoy or probably get a chuckle out of anyway.

Georgia Gator Hunt Success

You will soon meet two new members of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club, Gatlin Hawkins and Jordan Player. These guys just got done with a successful gator hunt right at the end of the season.

I know they got a ten foot gator but don’t have a final report. The photo was sent to my and you can see one in the boat and one being pulled in.

Crystal Pig Hunt Club members have a major focus on deer but then we get sidetracked with hogs, gators, doves, turkey . . .

I’ll join the team end of this week for more setup work for the upcoming deer season. We’ve got some more stands to put out, supervise the bulldozing of the fire trail around the property and mowing and more mowing. Here’s to hoping for some cooler temperatures!

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.