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.

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!

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.

Pig Barn Complete

Crystal Pig Hunt Club BarnIt 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!

I’ve got a new photo album started for this year’s work days. We’ll be adding to it after each visit: 2015 Crystal Pig Hunt Club Photos

Final Touches on Barn & Paul’s Big Buck

Roofing WorkThis weekend Paul, Eli and Luke worked on the final step in finishing our pole barn – roofing metal. Shade and protection from rain with a large area for cooking and relaxing. Yeehaw.

The Pig is a work in progress just like getting to know where the deer are and their habits. We’re learning it slowing but surely.

Paul w/Monster RackWhile the guys were out there this weekend Paul scored a little buck.

He said it’s a six point but I’d love to know what Joe would think of that!

I think you should write him a comment about that big rack in his hands. All I can say is, “He’ll eat pretty good!”

Joe Gets a Doe

Joe Gets a DoeIt’s deer season at The Pig (short for Crystal Pig Hunt Club). On opening day Saturday Paul, Luke, Joe and I were on location. We all got a doe that day! Now, it’s time for a buck. We’re not in the rut yet. We’ve seen over 30 does and only 2 bucks so far.

In the pick, Joe gets his first deer, pictured with his Dad and my brother Paul. You want to talk about excited. He got it with his first shot too.

So, we’ve had some good fresh venison on the grill and in a stew and I think some more recipes are coming.

Now back to the hunt.

Building a Pole Barn

Pole BarnOur last major project of the year prior to hunting season is the building of a pole barn. This week the poles got planted and next week the frame, rafters and metal roof goes on. The barn will house our RV with lots of extra room for shelves and a cook area.

Of course there are lots of little projects we still want to work on including some more stands at key locations. However, we’re ready to spend some time in the woods on the CPHC with a gun! It’s getting close and we’re getting excited. How about you?

Are you going deer hunting? Got any questions? We’ll try to answer them. Feel free to post in comments.

Summer Work Days

Rustler at SunsetHere’s the CPHC New Holland Rustler in the setting sun. It’s getting a final workout as we finish work on our food plots, prepping them for lime and fertilizer. Then late summer we’ll plant seed.

It’s hot and muggy here this week with highs in the 90’s and late afternoon rain showers. Just the way I like it btw.

Yesterday we had a New Holland Super Boom C238 on site doing the food plot clean up work, about 5 acres worth. What a fantastic machine that is.

I’ve got lots of photos and stories to share from the CPHC but will be waiting until I get home with better internet access.