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View Full Version : My best Michigan buck, and my home made deer locker



AiR_GuNNeR
October 29th, 2007, 11:23 PM
I know this guys isn't that impressive compared to some of the bruisers you guys are putting down, but I've been cursed for 20 years of not seeing big deer.
I was setup in a tree on the edge of a field. For the last two days, two yearlings that had been occupying the oak grove for the last two days, and would then come out and run across the field. This morning they did that and I saw this same buck at about 100 yards away stick his head above the weeds to see what was going on. Anyway, tonight I heard walking in the thicket and thought it was the yearlings again. This same buck came through the thicket at 25 yards and stopped as soon as he was in the field and reached up to lick a branch. He was positioned perfectly, although I had to lean heavily to find a hole to shoot through in the oak I was in. I managed a text book double lung shot. He ran around 40 yards and started leaning, then fell over well within sight. It was nice not having to track him...which leads me to my next story. I shot a 1.5 year old deer last night. I thought I had a good hit on him with plenty of blood, but we ended up tracking him for 1/4 mile, across the street, and into someone elses property. I waiting until morning to talk to the owners to get permission to continue tracking. At this point, there was a blood spot every 3-4'. I tracked him another 300 yards, and then no more blood. I spent an hour on my hands and knees, looking over a 5 sq. ft area for any sign of blood. He had been walking the edge of a grass field, with thin woods to one side.
I searched the woods paying particular attention to small thick areas and felled trees and found nothing. At this point, I'm at 3 hours of tracking for the morning. The only thing I could do is go to where I expected him to be traveling...to water. Another 200 yards ahead was a steep 100 yard slope down to the Muskegon river. The slope was lined with maples and the ground covered with a thick mat of yellow leaves. I figured if the came this way, I should be able to pick up the trail again since blood stands out real nice on maple leaves, (thank goodness not many were mottled with red..).
I walked across the slope three times when I saw a small red spot on a leaf. At first I didn't think it was blood, so I rubbed it with a wet finger... it smeared....the tracking was back on!
I followed the trail, which got quite a bit better down the slop. Going down the slope must have been pretty hard on him because he started bleed again. I found him right at the rivers edge but the damn coyotes found him last night. They ate the rear leg, and half the backstrap, and got into the guts. I tagged the deer, walked back and got my backpack, and gutting equipment. I butchered him on the spot. Got both front legs, one rear, one full strap, and half of the other. Then I had to haul my tired butt with a 80 pound pack back up the slope and into camp....man, was I pooped... that cold beer was the best I ever tasted.

The other two pictures are of a portable deer locker I made to age the deer in warmer weather. It's made of insulation board taped together with a small window air conditioner at the bottom. It's 8' tall, 3' deep, and 2' wide.
I took the thermostat out of the AC unit and reset it so that it would cool down to 40 degrees.

archeryhunterME
October 29th, 2007, 11:29 PM
AWESOME IDEA!! and very nice buck, how cool does it stay in there? great idea:darkbeer:

Corona
October 29th, 2007, 11:32 PM
Nice MI buck! Good idea with cooler.

CWarmouth
October 29th, 2007, 11:33 PM
Cool. Nice buck and nifty cooler. That's a great idea. Good job on sticking with the tracking job on the nearly lost deer too.

johnboy1
October 29th, 2007, 11:34 PM
congrats on a nice buck, i hunt public land in northern lower pennisula i don't see a lot of those iowa monsters either.

FL-HNT-N-FSH
October 29th, 2007, 11:37 PM
congrats

AiR_GuNNeR
October 29th, 2007, 11:37 PM
AWESOME IDEA!! and very nice buck, how cool does it stay in there? great idea:darkbeer:

I normally set it for 50 degrees. The thermostat that controls the AC compressor will normally not get down that low. I had to adjust it so that it would come on at a lower than normal temperatur.
The only down side is the fan is running on the AC unit all the time. It tends to dry the meat out, so I put some plastic loosely around the body. Loose enough that it still gets some air flow, but helps keep some moisture in. (I just down want a solid 130 piece of jerky with horns!)
Eric

AiR_GuNNeR
October 29th, 2007, 11:48 PM
AWESOME IDEA!! and very nice buck, how cool does it stay in there? great idea:darkbeer:

I normally set it for 50 degrees. The thermostat that controls the AC compressor will normally not get down that low. I had to adjust it so that it would come on at a lower than normal temperatur.
The only down side is the fan is running on the AC unit all the time. It tends to dry the meat out, so I put some plastic loosely around the body. Loose enough that it still gets some air flow, but helps keep some moisture in. (I just down want a solid 130 piece of jerky with horns!)
Eric

archeryhunterME
October 29th, 2007, 11:50 PM
sounds awesome! great thinking!

archer1983
October 29th, 2007, 11:52 PM
Nice buck


good job on the cooler as well :thumb:

JustRace
October 29th, 2007, 11:54 PM
Nice Buck and way to be creative on the cooler

mofarmboy
October 30th, 2007, 12:08 AM
congrats on the buck and your innovative cooler!!!!!thumbs up on the tracking job too on the previous deer.

Doubleshot75
October 30th, 2007, 12:17 AM
"You might be a redneck, if...................."

old Graybeard
October 30th, 2007, 09:50 AM
Congrats:darkbeer:

AiR_GuNNeR
October 30th, 2007, 01:39 PM
AWESOME IDEA!! and very nice buck, how cool does it stay in there? great idea:darkbeer:

I normally set it for 50 degrees. The thermostat that controls the AC compressor will normally not get down that low. I had to adjust it so that it would come on at a lower than normal temperatur.
The only down side is the fan is running on the AC unit all the time. It tends to dry the meat out, so I put some plastic loosely around the body. Loose enough that it still gets some air flow, but helps keep some moisture in. (I just down want a solid 130 piece of jerky with horns!)
Eric

JG358
October 30th, 2007, 02:54 PM
Congrats

Illustrator
October 30th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Nice buck; I'd be thrilled with that deer!

Great job on the cooler as well, especially with the weird temps we've been seeing!

michihunter
October 30th, 2007, 02:58 PM
GREAT work and nice kilkl!! A solution to your dehydration problem would be to use a larger AC unit that would cool down quicker and not allow for dehumidification.:wink:

PAstringking
October 30th, 2007, 02:59 PM
that thing is sweet. congrats on the buck

Scotty G
October 30th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Great idea to age the meat in warm weather. But I'm even more impressed on the tracking job. Alot of guys would have let that deer go. You not only used common sense to keep the trail alive, but you asked the land owner for permission to continue. Great MI buck, great tracking and great ethics equals a great hunter. Congrats!!!:wink: