Saturday, 31 December 2011

Beaver Scouting

I went out on Saturday 31st December with a friend to do some beaver scouting in our terrain in preparation for our first trip out after the New Year, (we are not permitted to hunt in Norway during 23rd Dec - 1st Jan). It has been an extremely mild winter in Norway this year and the first I've experienced without snow since I moved here nine years ago, usually my hunting terrain will have several feet of snow by now! Not that I'm complaining as it makes the hunting more bearable and I'm sure the animals have benefited being able to easily access food for a longer period without having to expend energy digging for it, so I'm hoping for a good season next year =)

As you can see from the photo's the beaver are now venturing out onto land to feed on the tree bark, you can also see where they are entering and exiting the water, so if I post over looking one of these areas where they are feeding I should have a good chance of a shot.






Winter Wonderland! =)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Winter Camouflage

Well now my roe deer season has come to a close and this year has been a complete blank, I've had several close encounters but unfortunately I could not shoot due to unsafe back stops and seeing does during the buck hunt ... typical!

Anyway to drown out my dissapointment I thought I would treat myself to some winter camouflage as an early Christmas present. After searching through the Internet and looking at all the different models and varieties I found a special deal on the X3M1 3D Camo, this is a light-weight "pull-over" suit meaning that I can wear my regular hunting clothing underneath, so no need to invest in even more clothing.

Here's a YouTube video of the camo in action:


I look forward to trying it out during the winter when I concentrate on hunting fox and beaver, I'll update my blog with a review after a few outings.

Wishing all my visitors a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

New toy... Climbing Tree Stand

Over the last couple of seasons hunting in our terrain i've had a number of close calls but due to limited visibility and vegetation at ground level I have not been able to take the shot. I have been looking at the climbing tree stands used in the USA by bow hunters as a way to get me off the ground and increase my visibility, making more areas huntable and also getting my scent away from ground level, well to cut to the chase I ordered Realtree Outfitters Series Viper Ultra from the states. I've been playing around with it the last couple of weekends and it's fantastic, it adds a whole new perspective to the hunt and opens up countless other opportunities which were previously not available. The good thing about this model is that it packs together and comes with shoulder straps so you can carry it in and out of the terrain with ease. I've also purchased a flexible tripod so I can attach my video camera to the tree stand so hopefully i'll get some good footage.

Now my head really is in the clouds! =)

Norwegian Moose Hunt 2011

On the 5th October began our season for moose hunting here in Norway, our quota was for 13 animals but this year we only managed 9, 2 mature bulls, 2 1.5 year old bulls, 1 cow and 4 calves. I had a couple of close encounters but unfortunately did not get to pull the trigger.

Below are a few pics from the hunt:
A young calf approx. 6 months old
Bamsi with her first moose
A very proud dog
The largest bull moose take this year, a 13 pointer

My brother with the head from the large bull moose above
A nice mature 4 point bull  moose

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Capercaillie

During the Norwegian Moose hunt 2011 a capercaillie walked out on the forest road in front of us whilst we were driving to our post. I managed to get out my iPhone and get a smal video clip. The bird is an mature male capercaillie but is quite small in body size.



... just a pity I didn't have my shotgun with me =)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Roe buck hunt...so far!!!

The Norwegian roe buck season started on the 10th August and I've have been out every morning and evening since in the hope of taking a buck. Unfortunately all I have come across are does, but I did have my video camera with me and managed to get a couple of videos.

This small doe from last year crept right past me at 3 meters and had no idea I was there in my camouflage, it then bedded down in some bushes but I managed to call her back in using the buttolo.



This big doe was feedling in front of me at about 75 meters for 20 minutes.



Hopefully I will get the cross hairs on a roe buck soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

More game camera pics!

Still trying to get some photo's of roe deer and moose on the camera, but it seems everytime we move the camera we find animal tracks in the orignal location, ah well, we'll keep trying!

Here's the latest results:

Hare

Friday, 15 July 2011

Scouting for scrapes!

I was out in my terrain on Sunday with a friend and the dogs looking for signs of roe buck and we weren't dissapointed, came across these two.





Also came across this little guy






















We were quite lucky it didn't bite one of the dogs!!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lynx on the loose....

Well I took out my new game camera last Sunday to see what was about in my terrain, on Thursday me and a friend went to collect the memory card and moved the camera to a different location.

After loading the pictures onto the PC we got a bit of a shock, the time and date are wrong as I forgot to adjust this before I put up the camera but I worked out that the pics were taken on Thursday 7th July at approx. 12-12:30pm.

Click on the pics to enlarge them!




















Great to see a lynx, especially since it's the first thing my camera has taken photo's of, but not exactly great to have in your hunting terrain...

... I hope he doesn't take the big buck I've been observing the last few months!!!

Moved the camera to a new location and got this picture by MMS

Red fox

















I'll post up more pics as and when they happen.

Monday, 4 July 2011

New Game Camera

After a lot of reading and researching on the internet I decided to purchase a game camera so I could check out what game was visiting the areas where I hunt. As the roe buck hunt in Norway doesn't start till the 10th August this was the perfect excuse to get one and see what bucks are about in my terrain so I can increase my chances of being in the right place at the right time, it will also be useful to get an idea about the number of moose in the area prior to the moose hunt in October as both animals use the same tracks/ paths.

The camera I purchased is an Ltl Acorn 5210 MM, this camera has the capability to send MMS pictures direct to your mobile phone night and day due to the Infa-Red lights, so it wil be great to have instant MMS of the action as it occurs at the camera. The camera is also very small measuring 5.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches and it takes 8 AA batteries, the arial for the MMS is hidden inside so as to keep the unit compact.

Here's a few pics of the camera.


I will make sure to update my blogg with updates of any interesting photo's taken over the following months.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

First fox for my brother & his new rifle!

Decided to go out and try for a fox with my brother James and his new Tikka T3 Lite in .243 Winchester, the same rifle I wrote about in my previous post. We slowly stalked into an area which offered a great vantage point and where we had put out some dead rabbits to help draw foxes into the area, after getting there and getting into position we started squeaking, after trying for over one hour with no success we decided to get up and have a walk around the rest of the terrain, we had only walked 100 meters when a roe doe burst from cover, a great sight and we continued walking.

We walked for several kilometers through the terrain but saw nothing, and with the sun starting to go down we headed back to the farm track and decided to stalk up on a area where fox had been seen previously. About 250 meters away from the area we began our stalk making sure we were extra quiet, on approaching the first field we used the cover of a hedge row to see if anything was about in the freshly cut and bailed field, first field revealed nothing, so we slowly crept along to the the next field. I skanned the field with my binoculars but saw nothing and we were just about to move on when I second glanced the field and from nowhere a fox was making its way straight towards us at about 150 meters, I nudged my brother and he immediately got into a shooting position using the fence post as a firm rest. The fox was still making it's way towards us and was completely oblivious of us, as it got closer it became apparent that the fox was carrying something in it's mouth, up with the binoculars again and I identified it had a pheasant in it's mouth, exactly the reason why they need to be controlled in this area as there are pheasant pens and gameshoots which take place. When the fox got to about 50 meters I squeeked and it stopped quatering towards us, my brother released the shot and the fox dropped on the spot, we made the rifle safe and headed over to the fox, my brother had shot it right through the middle of the shoulder with the bullet exiting through the ribs on the opposite side, a great shot and the bullet a Sako GameHead 90 grain performed perfectly - works great on roe deer and fox!

Here is a pic of the fox as we found it





A picture of the happy hunter!























Well done James, a great shot and a great start with the new rifle, looking forward to you coming over in October for the moose hunt!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Roe Buck stalking in North Yorkshire, UK

I was recently back in the UK for a family visit and was lucky enough to squeeze in some hunting whilst I was back. My brother James had recently purchased a new rifle, a Tikka T3 Lite in caliber .243 Winchester so we were kean to break it in.

A colleague of my brother had invited us down to North Yorkshire for a morning stalking roe deer on the land he is a gamekeeper for, we set off from the North East of England shortly after 3:30am and arrived at the location just before 5:00am where Steve and his son Bradley were ready waiting for us. After some quick introductions and getting organised we were off in Steve's car for the short drive to his terrain, five minutes later we were loaded up and heading off on foot into the area. From the outset you could just see that this terrain was a deer stalkers dream, nice open crop fields and meadow bordered with patches of woodland and thick hedge rows allowing you move through the terrain without been spotted by the deer. The terrain seemed to have deer slots on the ground almost everywhere you looked for them, so confidence was high and the adrenaline was beginning to build.

We stalked round the boundary of the first field with no signs of deer, but lots of rabbits and wood pigeons were bursting from the tree line, I was starting to worry that with all the wood pigeon activity any deer in the local area would be alerted of our presence and leave the area. Next we entered a small plantation where Steve and Bradley had regularly seen deer bedded down, we slowly made our way through to the end but still no signs of any roe. We left the plantation and Steve recommended I head over in the direction of a field left as a natural meadow, I crept up to an opening in the hedge with my brother, us both using it as cover, whilst Steve and his son stood back. As soon as I got to the opening I spotted a roe deer grazing in the middle of the meadow, up with the binoculars I could see it was a buck - game on! my brother handed me the sticks and I got the rifle in position, by this time the buck was moving right to left and did not stop to present a shot, we watched the buck waiting for a broadside shot for about ten minutes but the opportunity did not present and the buck dissapeared into the hedgerow at the left side of the meadow. Myself, my brother and now Bradley crept along a farm track overlooking the neighbouring corn field and climbed over a small stone wall hoping that the buck would appear on the opposite side of the hedge, seconds later he did exactly that only to lie down on the edge of the crop out of sight. We whistled, barked, squeeked and made all manner of sounds to get the buck to stand up and after what seemed like hours watching him through the scope, after five minutes he got curious and stood up to see what the noises were, he stood slightly quatering towards me at about 85 meters so I placed the cross hairs in the middle of the chest and tight behind the front leg, safety off and realeased the shot. I was happy with the shot, got a good "pop" sound from the bullet as it hit and the reaction of the buck looked good indicating a fatal shot, and he slumped back into the hedgerow. After a short wait we all made our way to the hedgerow and there we found the buck, he had travelled four meters at most, I checked his eye reflex and with no reaction we dragged him into the meadow for some photos and the gralloch. Upon inspection during the gralloch it was clear the Sako 90 grain Gamehead had worked perfectly and had taken out both lungs with little meat damage to the carcass. Gralloch complete we were back in Steve's home at 7:00am where his wife had cooked us all an English breakfast, a perfect finish to a perfect morning!

Here are some pictures of the buck taken in the meadow where I first spotted him



   
Bradley, James and me (Jonathan)
 Steve & me


Steve asked if he could have the skull for his wall, I was more than happy to do so and told him I would clean it up for him and he would have it in a few days.

Here's the head in my mum's pan skinned and waiting to be boiled, she wasn't too impressed when she came home to the smell and with me sitting at the dining table with eyeballs and brains all over =)






















The finished result














Steve & Bradley, once again thank you for a great day! I look forward to meeting up with you both again.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Scouting the terrain!

I've been out the last few weekends scouting the terrain and getting the moose dogs ready for the up and coming season. We've been seeing lots of signs of moose activity in the terrain so feelings are good, we've also seen our first roe buck scrapes which is quite early for Norway and is due to the warm spring weather. In areas where there is a lot of moose activity we've been putting out salt stones to help the animals with supplements after the tough winter.

Salt stones




 Roe buck scrapes











 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now we only have to wait till the 10th August for the start of the buck season! :-(

Thursday, 31 March 2011

More beaver activity!

I have been scouting an area in my terrain on and off for several weeks now looking for fresh signs of beaver activity, unfortunately due to all the snow and ice they have only being coming out at night. However, now that the snow is melting and spring is in the air the beavers are beginning to get more confidence and venture out into the terrain to feed.

I'm going to put some hours in this weekend to try and thin out the numbers =)

Here's a few pics: