2017 Journal #1: What I'm Doing During The Month of July to Be Ready for Opening Day

2017 Journal #1: What I'm Doing During The Month of July to Be Ready for Opening Day

By Alex Comstock 

The journal is officially back! And you know what that means right? Deer season is right around the corner. It's pretty crazy how quickly it's approaching, but before you know it, we'll be back in treestands hoping to shoot monster bucks. I wanted to do a quick journal to let you know what I've been up to in the last few weeks to get ready for season, and what I'll be doing over the course of the rest of the month. 

First Time Turkey Success

First Time Turkey Success

Growing up where I have, turkey hunting has never been on my radar. I was never around turkeys, and didn't know anybody that hunted them. But in the last year or so, as I have gotten to know more people that hunt them, I have been told countless times I need to try it. I got to the point where I knew I wanted to give it a shot, but I didn't know how, or where to go. 

"Rage" Survives | WhitetailDNA Journal

"Rage" Survives | WhitetailDNA Journal

Deer hunting has its fair share of ups and downs. But there is one feeling that is worse than any other. There is a bottomless pit that hurts more than anything, twisting and turning within your stomach after shooting a buck (any deer for that matter), but not being able to recover him. There can be countless questions running through your mind after a moment like this, but there is one that can keep you up at night more than any other..."Did the buck die? Will he make it?" I finally had that question answered for me this past weekend in regards to the buck I shot back in November, but wasn't able to recover. 

A Day Shed Hunters Dream Of

A Day Shed Hunters Dream Of

The day had started out like all other shed hunting adventures. I had taken step after step, walked mile after mile in what seemed to be a prime area for there to be antlers laying in every direction, but I couldn't find a single one. Deer trails flooded the wooded river bottom that butted up next to a great late season food source. I felt overwhelmed, and could have walked for miles on end, never getting off of a major deer trail that ran through the hard, frozen snow. 

Why This Was The Toughest, Yet Best Season of My Life | WhitetailDNA Journal

Why This Was The Toughest, Yet Best Season of My Life | WhitetailDNA Journal

It's so cliche, but it really is true. Time flies. As I sit here and start to realize my 2016 deer season is coming to a close sooner than I'd like, it's hard not to reflect on this past season, and the ups and downs that came with it. I really believe that this past hunting season was my toughest year that I've experienced, but in the same breath I can confidently say it was the best season I've ever had. How so you might ask? Throughout the rest of this journal post, my goal will be to answer that question as clearly as possible, and what this season meant to me, and ultimately what it has taught me. 

Late Season Magic | WhitetailDNA Journal

Late Season Magic | WhitetailDNA Journal

Somewhere between 70-80 sits. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours spent scouting, shed hunting, hanging stands and trail cameras, and hunting. The amount of work that went into harvesting my first North Dakota whitetail since moving here before last hunting season is crazy, but is all worth it in the end. This past Friday, December 9th, I had quite the epic hunt, and was able to finally seal the deal on a mature buck here in North Dakota. 

Late Season Plans and Strategies | WhitetailDNA Journal

Late Season Plans and Strategies | WhitetailDNA Journal

As I sit here and type this journal post, I can hear the wind thundering outside my bedroom window, and I look out to a completely different view than I did just a day ago. Not more than 24 hours ago where I live here in North Dakota, we didn't have a speck of snow, and now there is over ten inches on the ground, and the temperatures are plummeting, and will continue to plummet throughout the week. Winter is here, and with the conditions present, deer will be harshly snapped into that reality as well. Nothing is more important now than one thing - 

I Finally Got a Shot at a Mature Buck in North Dakota and...| WhitetailDNA Journal

I Finally Got a Shot at a Mature Buck in North Dakota and...| WhitetailDNA Journal

Honestly, this journal post is not going to be an easy one for me to put together. This year has been one of the toughest deer seasons I have endured as far as the amount of work I have put into it dating back to last spring, compared to the number of mature buck encounters I've had. With that said, the last week or so of hunting has been pretty decent, with it producing multiple mature buck encounters, and I finally got a shot at one. 

Minutes From Success | WhitetailDNA Journal

Minutes From Success | WhitetailDNA Journal

A lot has happened in the whitetail woods since checking in with the last journal post. If you've been following along with us here at WhitetailDNA, you've probably noticed a lack of content in the last week or so. Most of that is attributed to spending day after day in a tree, and if I'm not in a tree, I'm in school for bits and pieces of the day. For about the last week, there has been a serious uptick in deer movement, and I was literally minutes away from having a chance to put down what would have probably been my biggest buck to date. 

Waiting For Things To Crank Up | WhitetailDNA Journal

Waiting For Things To Crank Up | WhitetailDNA Journal

Can you feel it? Do you get those goosebumps on your arm looking at the calendar yet? I know I sure do, because THE RUT is right around the corner. You can almost see it, it's so close. This last week has been utterly slow for me, but I have a hunch (hopefully) that it won't be long until the woods heats up with deer activity. 

Keeping a Low Profile | WhitetailDNA Journal

Keeping a Low Profile | WhitetailDNA Journal

Last week's journal post chronicled my dilemma that I was having with what buck to focus my hunting efforts on. Well, not much has changed since, but I have started do make strides on my decision of what I'm going to do going forward. I have done a few things differently, which hopefully end up with me putting my tag on a mature North Dakota whitetail. 

Opening Weekend | WhitetailDNA Journal

Opening Weekend | WhitetailDNA Journal

Opening weekend has come and gone with no buck on the ground. How did the first couple days of my 2016 season go? To say the least, not as planned. Not as I planned one bit. Actually things couldn't have gone much worse when it came to my plans on hunting spots to go after a few different mature bucks I was targeting. But, with my plans not going smoothly, I did a little hunting on the fly, and still had a productive first couple days...

Anticipation | WhitetailDNA Journal

Anticipation | WhitetailDNA Journal

2 days. Let me say that again. TWO DAYS. That's how soon it will be until I'm sitting in a treestand, chasing whitetails again. I think it just hit me the other day with how quick it is coming up. When you are so close to the best time of the year, it can be extremely exciting, nerve racking, exhausting, you name it. These last few days are becoming frantic for me as I am trying to get all of my final prep work done before I hit the stand Friday.