It was a beautiful but hot and humid day at the Crystal Pig Hunt Club. I spent a couple days mowing the yard and the path to our closest feeder, straightening up camp, taking a few large bags of “stuff” to the dumpster, cleaning inside the RV, spraying lots of bug spray and weed killer, spread fire ant killer, changed oil in generator which is a backup now that we have electric installed and more.
Our biggest issue has been mice in the RV. It’s a constant battle. We’re trying some new tactics this year and hopefully they will work.
So, camp is in pretty good shape since it will be a while before we can get back out. We’ll get trails mowed soon and then again just prior to season.
It is a challenge to get the whole team together anymore since the “young guns” have jobs.
We had the best weather for opening days of the season at the Crystal Pig Hunt Club that we’ve had yet and took advantage of it to harvest a few deer. Paul and I got these bucks on the same afternoon. We have seen some much larger racks and will be back, hopefully during the rut.
We saw a lot of deer and mostly does. I had a spike buck walk up underneath me while sitting in my stand. He literally sniffed the foot of the ladder. I let him go since we have lots of better choices and maybe he’ll be back nest year.
A couple of us were on site before opening day and glad we did that. Basically, all our feeders were not working for different reasons. We had to change motors, batteries, re-program and refill. Of course, it’s a good workout. But the property is in the best shape for hunting since we leased it.
One of the most significant improvements to our camp is the installation of electricity. We’re run a lot of hours on generators over the years and now everything is quiet and we have lots of outlets to handle everything we need electricity for.
Big thanks go out to John Deere for the use of a new Gator which we’re test driving, making notes and will be writing about soon.
We’re getting closer to opening day for Georgia firearm deer season. So the CPHC Team has been on location, mowing, checking feeders and filling them, camp cleaning and of course, relaxing a little bit.
When we got to camp last weekend the grass was the tallest in the camp yard that we’ve ever had. In the morning there were thousands of bees buzzing in it. It was so loud you could hear it very clearly. I think there’s a short video clip of them in our photo album. There is no lack of pollinators on our property.
We have installed electricity and have a couple of container pods at camp for storage. So far, everything is looking pretty good. Now we just need the weather to cooperate as we get ready for another great year of hunting.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Erupting. 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.
This 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.
It is a satisfying feeling to complete the roof of a barn. That’s what we did this weekend at The Pig.
Paul, Gary, Luke, Eli and Joe were on location and got it done and it looks good. We organized our RV and have started some little barn projects to finish as time goes along.
Now we’re going to focus more on hunting. For now that means planning our food plot work for end of summer. We’ve been conferring with the guys at Tekomate about that and they’ve offered great advice. The little pine trees are making good progress so those plots will become increasingly important as time goes on.
Paul brought out a wild hog shoulder which we smoked all day Saturday. You want to talk about some good eating? It was tasty and tender. There’s nothing like some good pig at The Pig!