View Full Version : Opening Day of RI muzzleloader

11-03-2012, 11:22 AM
I arose early this morning not just to hunt but that damned bronchitis reared it's ugly head again. I figured I might as well stay up an extra hour and have a bagel with Earl Gray tea.

I had scouted a piece of town own land that is open to hunting. I did find one rub line on it and figured that I will give it a shot on opening day. Yesterday after work I told my Dad to meet me and we'll put up a quick stand. We arrived at the location but there was an unpleasant surprise. The town was cutting a road through the land and we could see a front end loader being used in the woods about a hundred fifty yards in. Needless to say I did not put up a treestand. Dad told me to just hunt off the ground and do a slow walk. So that is what I did.

After arriving in the dark I waited in the truck watching the sun rise in the gray eastern sky. Legal shooting light was 6:55 Am so I donned my equipment and walked to the edge of the woodline. I waited until legal shooting time to proceed because one never knows if someone is in there and hunter orange needs sunlight to work.

I slowly still hunted through the eastern border of the land and discovered some interesting things. I noticed fresh indentations in the leaf covered ground. Those were fresh deer tracks.


I still hunted further and much to my surprise was a fresh scrape. I knew it was not there last week so this is the week to be out for bucks. They are throwning caution to the wind and chasing does.


The scrape was near the bottom of a small draw that clearly showed tracks. This buck seemed to be making a narrow loop through this thick and slightly swampy area. I am looking at this scrape intently. If I don't get a shot this morning I intend to come in early Sunday morning and sit on the south edge of this little draw and wait patiently. I will set up a scent post with some Code Blue and pray for the best.

As I crossed the draw, I spotted a nice rub near the border of the property. I knew I could not ethically hunt much beyond this because I could see the windows of a house and that meant pushing that five hundred foot limit a bit.


At this point I walked the border in a westerly direction. The wind was mostly out of the west but early it was swirling. It is tough when that happens as scent is the biggest thing in my mind that a buck relies upon for survival. If you can be downwind of his position you have half the battle.

I found another scrape and a rub as I went westward along with tracks in the leaves that really stood out. If you hunt long enough you become more attuned to nature and pick up on these things.

The borders aren't marked so one has to use good judgement as to where you believe the borders are located. I knew that there was a strip of land with a brook in it that was private land. After walking westward I spotted the brook. So now I have a good idea as to where I can legally hunt. This border area looks good to me. I suspect that deer use this as a corridor between one place and another.


I proceeded southward and saw an outline of a large home made permanent treestand. It was at the edge of the brook which became somewhat swampy at that point. Also something else caught my attention.

When you hunt long enough you become very attuned to nature. Believe it or not I caught a scent. I have smelled deer in the past and the scent is very distinguishable. I can smell deer. There are tracks and there is an old permanent stand. Also something else is bothering me. As I was walking I thought I could hear something. The morning wa very windy so it can be hard to identify what noise is caused by squirrels, birds, wind or deer. Also there was a blue jay that was startled in the distance. What startled it?

All of that is behind as I walk uphill and eastward to my truck. Although I did not take a shot I did learn a lot today. It was also very relaxing to walk with nature and be an active participant in it as I hunted for deer.

For the rest of the week I shall be on vacation and most of that will be spent with my old TC Black Diamond in hand.

11-04-2012, 08:34 AM
What town? Ive been seeing quite a few deer while out for squirrels down here in south county

11-04-2012, 03:47 PM
I can smell deer.

I remember one hunt where I convinced myself I was smelling deer. Turned out to be my hat... I don't wear that hat any more.

Hey Ryan,
Do you hunt squirrels with your dog? Am I remembering right that you have walker?

11-05-2012, 05:56 PM
I have been hunting in Burrillville. The Bucolic NW Corner of the Ocean State.

11-05-2012, 07:13 PM
circles, yes and yes

Ive never hunted up there. Hows public land look for small game?

11-05-2012, 08:44 PM
I have seen some squirrels but that is about it. Mostly big woods thus not much in the way of small game.

11-06-2012, 03:47 AM
Thats all I really care about honestly. I'll have to check it out sometime. Do you have any recomendations on areas?

11-06-2012, 05:08 AM
I am going to have to keep a better eye out. I was looking for deer thus more or less ignored other game.

mark s
11-06-2012, 11:10 AM
You can certainly smell big bucks in the rut if the wind is right. I've noticed it on several occasions before I saw the buck.