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

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

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

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.

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.

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.