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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This past weekend was the end of deer season and the last youth hunt of the year. Chloe had a basketball game scheduled on Saturday, so the plan was to take Olivia that day and then take Chloe on Sunday


Man, it was a COLD 12* Saturday morning :shock: .....ice-cicles hanging off of everything, waterfalls and drain pipes were sheets of ice, and the mudholes were all frozen completely solid (which was kind of nice and made for a quick ride down the gravel roads since we didn't have to slow down to keep from coating the windshield with mud).


We didn't even make it to our destination and saw a doe standing off of the side of the road. I stopped the RZR, hoping the doe wouldn't run off so Olivia could get out and take a shot. That went well and I could tell that she hit it (I could tell from the way the deer acted on impact) and it ran off the side of the mountain. She felt she made a good shot so instead of waiting a few minutes as I normally would, we went over to the site of impact to look down the side of the mountain. We found a bunch of hair, but no blood. So we started down the side of the mountain (and it was STEEP), but didn't find a single drop of blood. Knowing that IF it was wounded, the fact that there was no blood indicated a marginal hit, so we decided to not push it and to back off and give it some time to die. So instead of just sitting there twiddling our thumbs, we proceeded on over to our intended spot and would come back to look later, knowing we'd have better light then. As cold as it was, there was NO danger of the meat spoiling. Unfortunately, I tweaked my left knee coming back up out of the gorge, but didn't think it was anything to worry about.


When we got over to where we had originally planned to park the RZR, there were half a dozen deer standing there, and one of them was a pretty decent buck. They shot outta there like a rocket before we even got the RZR stopped. Not sure if the hour that we spent looking for the other deer would've made any difference, but we definitely got there later than we wanted.......and needed to.


So since we had already spooked the deer out of the area, we poked around and found some great looking deer sign. Big daddy has definitely been using that area a lot (and we'll definitely be going back there next year), but so had a bunch of elk......making it difficult to determine how much was deer sign and how much was from the elk herd.


After making a 3 or 4 mile circle, the pain in my knee was getting increasingly worse, so we headed back to the RZR to take a break and have a couple cups of hot tea, then decided to go back to look for the deer she had hit earlier. If we didn't find her, the plan was to then head over toward the northwest corner where a friend of mine has been seeing some hogs and see if we could get us some pork for the freezer.


I started up the RZR but it wouldn't go into gear :confused: , then the primary clutch bearing started squealing :sour: . It has been making a chirp for a while and I had it looked at a while back, but my dealer said Polaris wouldn't allow them to replace it (under warranty) until it started showing physical symptoms. We were quite a distance from the truck and by ourselves, so being worried that we might not be able to make it all the way back, and because we were pretty close to Hwy 62, I called Carol (who happened to be in the general area for Chloe's ball game) and asked her to meet us at the gate near Big Mountain church. We left the RZR on the side of the road and she took us back to the parking lot to get the truck and trailer.


I was EXTREMELY disappointed that we might have left a dead deer in the woods, but we really didn't have much choice :( . Other than the knee, it was a great morning. Even though we didn't bring anything home, we made some wonderful memories and had some quality one on one time. The RZR is no biggie.......I'll take it to the dealer tomorrow. Hopefully it (and my knee) will be ready for some hog hunting next weekend.


The biggest disappointment was not getting to take Chloe hunting on Sunday. But we spent the day working on installing a bunch of the new parts she got for her dirt bike at Christmas, and she's stoked about getting a facelift on her ride. So it all worked out and we had a great weekend. :)
 

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I had no idea their was elk in your area. I hope IL. gets their stick out of their butt and imports a herd of elk. Mo. is working on getting a herd of elk with hunting to start in the next five years. Not that it will do me any good , but my son could get in on it if lucky enough to draw a tag.
I would try glucosamine for your knee. Hope it gets better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had no idea their was elk in your area.....
Unfortunately, we only have a drawing for a total of 6 tags per year and it has been that way since the hunt started nearly 10 years ago.

KY started their reintroduction about 5 years before we did and now their herd is so large that they draw 1000 tags per year. Plus you can shoot any elk outside of the restoration zone without the need for an elk tag.....you only need a deer license if they are outside of their zone.

Unfortunately the CWD outbreak stopped the reintroduction effort here, but the herd that had already been established is still slowly growing on it's own. As luck would have it, some of the elk from the KY side have been trickling down into our area and adding some fresh blood lines to our herd.

As far as IL and MO establishing herds.........my guess is that they will run into the same hurdle with the CWD as we did. Nobody wants to risk introducing that into their state. Even though the elk we were receiving had been quarantined for months, the state put an abrupt halt on importations as soon as the CWD scare came about. I can't say that I blame them.
 

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Their is already CWD in northern IL. The DNR stopped all mineral lick deposits , but we can still have food plots. Our deer herd is stable for now , although we have had the brain hemrage disease hit in small areas around here.

I heard the State Agriculture Department is responsible for the hold up. The State could not provide enough a joining land for the program. Their is talk of using the strip mine ground for a starting place , but how knows.
Hope you and your family get a chance at elk tags!!
 
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