A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND

A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND
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A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND

The check station at Fort Pickett was full of hustle and bustle on the morning of November 14, 2017 as Joshua and Alvey Collins showed up for a day in the woods and some deer hunting. Alvey Collins age 68 has been carrying his son Joshua who is now 36 along hunting since he was 5 years old.

Both father and son prefer the old fashioned way of deer hunting, they use public land that’s available to them and they avoid paying expensive hunt club fees, and it allows them the freedom to do things their own way. They don’t even mind the 2 ½ hour drive from their hometown of Virginia Beach to Fort Pickett in Blackstone Virginia to do so. This federally owned property provides about 28,000 acres of hunting land with a few basic requirements. To hunt the property you must have successfully completed a Hunters Safety Course and have a valid Virginia Hunting License. You also must check in and out at the “check station”, before your hunt begins so you can choose which zone you will be occupying during your hunt, and again once you are finished your hunt, this is more for safety and accountability than anything else.

On the morning of November 14, the Collins left their residence at 3 a.m. in order to get to there destination and check in. Once they had chosen their zone they were off and in the woods prior to daylight. Joshua prefers still hunting because it allows him to cover ground and scout at the same time, but he carries a folding chair on his back in case he finds a preferable place to take a stand for a while.

The morning hunt didn’t produce, and they met back at the truck for lunch. As they ate lunch they also got a game plan together for the afternoon hunt. They decided to move to a different location in the same zone several miles away and hunt an area where they had seen quality deer sign in 2016.

Just after 2:30pm they headed in, Joshua was going to go deep into the property and his father about half the distance. It was a fairly windy afternoon, so it made it a bit easier for Joshua to slip through the woods. Around 3:30pm Joshua came upon a spot that had some well-worn deer crossings and he decided to set up camp. As the wind continued he had his head on a swivel trying to pick up movement, and as the afternoon turned into the evening he heard a twig snap close to him. He turned slowly to check it out and a doe was standing just feet from him, she busted him and sounded her air horn and off she bounded.

Of course, any avid deer hunter even the most optimistic may doubt their chances as the last few moments of daylight are present, and a big mouth doe just busted them and ran off through the woods, but Joshua decided to stick it out. Only 10 minutes had passed when he noticed a deer coming out of the thicket that the doe had blazed a trail into. Immediately Joshua spotted the deer’s amazing head gear and the buck was moving with his nose to the ground. Oddly enough the buck was back tracking the very same trail the doe had taken on her escape route. Joshua quickly thought back on his father’s hunting advice over the years, to stay calm and take a deep breath and move ultra-slowly. The monster buck was approaching quickly, and it angled off slightly, which ultimately gave Joshua the time to raise his CVA Wolf muzzleloader for a hopeful broadside shot. As fate would have it the buck came to an opening at 30 yards and Joshua freehanded a chunk of led at it. As the smoke dissipated he could see the beast hauling freight into another thicket not to far away, and he heard what he believed to be a crash.

Joshua felt that his shot was a quality one, but with all the sudden action and the deer running out of sight into the thicket he couldn’t be for sure. He and his father use walkie talkies to communicate and he reached out to his father who answered with “I heard you shoot”. Alvey ended communication quickly after Joshua’s report and headed his was in a hurry. Joshua waited patiently for his dad to arrive then they picked up the blood trail leading into the thick under cover. Alvey waited on the outskirts in case the buck jumped up and Joshua headed into the brush. He had traveled only 20 yards before he saw the buck laying there expired. His first words were “Oh My God” and his father quickly joined him and they both marveled at the animal that lay before them. Neither had imagined such a deer existed on this property, they have never used trail cameras on the property because it’s public.

I personally called the check station to ask if they had word of this buck before Joshua shot it, and the gentleman that I spoke to said that some local farmers have reported sightings over the years.

There isn’t any doubt that this mainframe 12 pointer with a total of 20 score able points has genetics on his side, but much of the surrounding Fort Pickett property has quality agriculture fields such as soy beans, and I can’t help but think this buck traveled off the public land onto private during the night and gorged on nutritious food and returned to the deep public land that wasn’t pressured by man or dogs hunters which is legal on all the surrounding properties.

In present day deer hunting where most of us rely heavily on technology, science, trail cameras and often hunt private property, it’s refreshing to see a father and son using public land, little technology and being richly rewarded for their efforts. Lack of timber harvesting and habitat management like the days of old on public land have left hunters often disappointed, but these areas can still pay dividends if you are willing to put in some shoe leather and find those private bucks on public land!

I reminded Joshua that his buck will receive a ton of attention over the next year and we all look forward to seeing this Great Va Buck at the game shows. I believe that this buck has what it takes to score high both in B&C and the Virginia scoring systems.

Congratulations Joshua and Alvey !

 

Jeff Phillips 11/28/17

A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND

The check station at Fort Pickett was full of hustle and bustle on the morning of November 14, 2017 as Joshua and Alvey Collins showed up for a day in the woods and some deer hunting. Alvey Collins age 68 has been carrying his son Joshua who is now 36 along hunting since he was 5 years old.

Both father and son prefer the old fashioned way of deer hunting, they use public land that’s available to them and they avoid paying expensive hunt club fees, and it allows them the freedom to do things their own way. They don’t even mind the 2 ½ hour drive from their hometown of Virginia Beach to Fort Pickett in Blackstone Virginia to do so. This federally owned property provides about 28,000 acres of hunting land with a few basic requirements. To hunt the property you must have successfully completed a Hunters Safety Course and have a valid Virginia Hunting License. You also must check in and out at the “check station”, before your hunt begins so you can choose which zone you will be occupying during your hunt, and again once you are finished your hunt, this is more for safety and accountability than anything else.

On the morning of November 14, the Collins left their residence at 3 a.m. in order to get to there destination and check in. Once they had chosen their zone they were off and in the woods prior to daylight. Joshua prefers still hunting because it allows him to cover ground and scout at the same time, but he carries a folding chair on his back in case he finds a preferable place to take a stand for a while.

The morning hunt didn’t produce, and they met back at the truck for lunch. As they ate lunch they also got a game plan together for the afternoon hunt. They decided to move to a different location in the same zone several miles away and hunt an area where they had seen quality deer sign in 2016.

Just after 2:30pm they headed in, Joshua was going to go deep into the property and his father about half the distance. It was a fairly windy afternoon, so it made it a bit easier for Joshua to slip through the woods. Around 3:30pm Joshua came upon a spot that had some well-worn deer crossings and he decided to set up camp. As the wind continued he had his head on a swivel trying to pick up movement, and as the afternoon turned into the evening he heard a twig snap close to him. He turned slowly to check it out and a doe was standing just feet from him, she busted him and sounded her air horn and off she bounded.

Of course, any avid deer hunter even the most optimistic may doubt their chances as the last few moments of daylight are present, and a big mouth doe just busted them and ran off through the woods, but Joshua decided to stick it out. Only 10 minutes had passed when he noticed a deer coming out of the thicket that the doe had blazed a trail into. Immediately Joshua spotted the deer’s amazing head gear and the buck was moving with his nose to the ground. Oddly enough the buck was back tracking the very same trail the doe had taken on her escape route. Joshua quickly thought back on his father’s hunting advice over the years, to stay calm and take a deep breath and move ultra-slowly. The monster buck was approaching quickly, and it angled off slightly, which ultimately gave Joshua the time to raise his CVA Wolf muzzleloader for a hopeful broadside shot. As fate would have it the buck came to an opening at 30 yards and Joshua freehanded a chunk of led at it. As the smoke dissipated he could see the beast hauling freight into another thicket not to far away, and he heard what he believed to be a crash.

Joshua felt that his shot was a quality one, but with all the sudden action and the deer running out of sight into the thicket he couldn’t be for sure. He and his father use walkie talkies to communicate and he reached out to his father who answered with “I heard you shoot”. Alvey ended communication quickly after Joshua’s report and headed his was in a hurry. Joshua waited patiently for his dad to arrive then they picked up the blood trail leading into the thick under cover. Alvey waited on the outskirts in case the buck jumped up and Joshua headed into the brush. He had traveled only 20 yards before he saw the buck laying there expired. His first words were “Oh My God” and his father quickly joined him and they both marveled at the animal that lay before them. Neither had imagined such a deer existed on this property, they have never used trail cameras on the property because it’s public.

I personally called the check station to ask if they had word of this buck before Joshua shot it, and the gentleman that I spoke to said that some local farmers have reported sightings over the years.

There isn’t any doubt that this mainframe 12 pointer with a total of 20 score able points has genetics on his side, but much of the surrounding Fort Pickett property has quality agriculture fields such as soy beans, and I can’t help but think this buck traveled off the public land onto private during the night and gorged on nutritious food and returned to the deep public land that wasn’t pressured by man or dogs hunters which is legal on all the surrounding properties.

In present day deer hunting where most of us rely heavily on technology, science, trail cameras and often hunt private property, it’s refreshing to see a father and son using public land, little technology and being richly rewarded for their efforts. Lack of timber harvesting and habitat management like the days of old on public land have left hunters often disappointed, but these areas can still pay dividends if you are willing to put in some shoe leather and find those private bucks on public land!

I reminded Joshua that his buck will receive a ton of attention over the next year and we all look forward to seeing this Great Va Buck at the game shows. I believe that this buck has what it takes to score high both in B&C and the Virginia scoring systems.

Congratulations Joshua and Alvey !

 

Jeff Phillips 11/28/17

A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND

The check station at Fort Pickett was full of hustle and bustle on the morning of November 14, 2017 as Joshua and Alvey Collins showed up for a day in the woods and some deer hunting. Alvey Collins age 68 has been carrying his son Joshua who is now 36 along hunting since he was 5 years old.

Both father and son prefer the old fashioned way of deer hunting, they use public land that’s available to them and they avoid paying expensive hunt club fees, and it allows them the freedom to do things their own way. They don’t even mind the 2 ½ hour drive from their hometown of Virginia Beach to Fort Pickett in Blackstone Virginia to do so. This federally owned property provides about 28,000 acres of hunting land with a few basic requirements. To hunt the property you must have successfully completed a Hunters Safety Course and have a valid Virginia Hunting License. You also must check in and out at the “check station”, before your hunt begins so you can choose which zone you will be occupying during your hunt, and again once you are finished your hunt, this is more for safety and accountability than anything else.

On the morning of November 14, the Collins left their residence at 3 a.m. in order to get to there destination and check in. Once they had chosen their zone they were off and in the woods prior to daylight. Joshua prefers still hunting because it allows him to cover ground and scout at the same time, but he carries a folding chair on his back in case he finds a preferable place to take a stand for a while.

The morning hunt didn’t produce, and they met back at the truck for lunch. As they ate lunch they also got a game plan together for the afternoon hunt. They decided to move to a different location in the same zone several miles away and hunt an area where they had seen quality deer sign in 2016.

Just after 2:30pm they headed in, Joshua was going to go deep into the property and his father about half the distance. It was a fairly windy afternoon, so it made it a bit easier for Joshua to slip through the woods. Around 3:30pm Joshua came upon a spot that had some well-worn deer crossings and he decided to set up camp. As the wind continued he had his head on a swivel trying to pick up movement, and as the afternoon turned into the evening he heard a twig snap close to him. He turned slowly to check it out and a doe was standing just feet from him, she busted him and sounded her air horn and off she bounded.

Of course, any avid deer hunter even the most optimistic may doubt their chances as the last few moments of daylight are present, and a big mouth doe just busted them and ran off through the woods, but Joshua decided to stick it out. Only 10 minutes had passed when he noticed a deer coming out of the thicket that the doe had blazed a trail into. Immediately Joshua spotted the deer’s amazing head gear and the buck was moving with his nose to the ground. Oddly enough the buck was back tracking the very same trail the doe had taken on her escape route. Joshua quickly thought back on his father’s hunting advice over the years, to stay calm and take a deep breath and move ultra-slowly. The monster buck was approaching quickly, and it angled off slightly, which ultimately gave Joshua the time to raise his CVA Wolf muzzleloader for a hopeful broadside shot. As fate would have it the buck came to an opening at 30 yards and Joshua freehanded a chunk of led at it. As the smoke dissipated he could see the beast hauling freight into another thicket not to far away, and he heard what he believed to be a crash.

Joshua felt that his shot was a quality one, but with all the sudden action and the deer running out of sight into the thicket he couldn’t be for sure. He and his father use walkie talkies to communicate and he reached out to his father who answered with “I heard you shoot”. Alvey ended communication quickly after Joshua’s report and headed his was in a hurry. Joshua waited patiently for his dad to arrive then they picked up the blood trail leading into the thick under cover. Alvey waited on the outskirts in case the buck jumped up and Joshua headed into the brush. He had traveled only 20 yards before he saw the buck laying there expired. His first words were “Oh My God” and his father quickly joined him and they both marveled at the animal that lay before them. Neither had imagined such a deer existed on this property, they have never used trail cameras on the property because it’s public.

I personally called the check station to ask if they had word of this buck before Joshua shot it, and the gentleman that I spoke to said that some local farmers have reported sightings over the years.

There isn’t any doubt that this mainframe 12 pointer with a total of 20 score able points has genetics on his side, but much of the surrounding Fort Pickett property has quality agriculture fields such as soy beans, and I can’t help but think this buck traveled off the public land onto private during the night and gorged on nutritious food and returned to the deep public land that wasn’t pressured by man or dogs hunters which is legal on all the surrounding properties.

In present day deer hunting where most of us rely heavily on technology, science, trail cameras and often hunt private property, it’s refreshing to see a father and son using public land, little technology and being richly rewarded for their efforts. Lack of timber harvesting and habitat management like the days of old on public land have left hunters often disappointed, but these areas can still pay dividends if you are willing to put in some shoe leather and find those private bucks on public land!

I reminded Joshua that his buck will receive a ton of attention over the next year and we all look forward to seeing this Great Va Buck at the game shows. I believe that this buck has what it takes to score high both in B&C and the Virginia scoring systems.

Congratulations Joshua and Alvey !

 

Jeff Phillips 11/28/17

A PRIVATE BUCK ON PUBLIC LAND

The check station at Fort Pickett was full of hustle and bustle on the morning of November 14, 2017 as Joshua and Alvey Collins showed up for a day in the woods and some deer hunting. Alvey Collins age 68 has been carrying his son Joshua who is now 36 along hunting since he was 5 years old.

Both father and son prefer the old fashioned way of deer hunting, they use public land that’s available to them and they avoid paying expensive hunt club fees, and it allows them the freedom to do things their own way. They don’t even mind the 2 ½ hour drive from their hometown of Virginia Beach to Fort Pickett in Blackstone Virginia to do so. This federally owned property provides about 28,000 acres of hunting land with a few basic requirements. To hunt the property you must have successfully completed a Hunters Safety Course and have a valid Virginia Hunting License. You also must check in and out at the “check station”, before your hunt begins so you can choose which zone you will be occupying during your hunt, and again once you are finished your hunt, this is more for safety and accountability than anything else.

On the morning of November 14, the Collins left their residence at 3 a.m. in order to get to there destination and check in. Once they had chosen their zone they were off and in the woods prior to daylight. Joshua prefers still hunting because it allows him to cover ground and scout at the same time, but he carries a folding chair on his back in case he finds a preferable place to take a stand for a while.

The morning hunt didn’t produce, and they met back at the truck for lunch. As they ate lunch they also got a game plan together for the afternoon hunt. They decided to move to a different location in the same zone several miles away and hunt an area where they had seen quality deer sign in 2016.

Just after 2:30pm they headed in, Joshua was going to go deep into the property and his father about half the distance. It was a fairly windy afternoon, so it made it a bit easier for Joshua to slip through the woods. Around 3:30pm Joshua came upon a spot that had some well-worn deer crossings and he decided to set up camp. As the wind continued he had his head on a swivel trying to pick up movement, and as the afternoon turned into the evening he heard a twig snap close to him. He turned slowly to check it out and a doe was standing just feet from him, she busted him and sounded her air horn and off she bounded.

Of course, any avid deer hunter even the most optimistic may doubt their chances as the last few moments of daylight are present, and a big mouth doe just busted them and ran off through the woods, but Joshua decided to stick it out. Only 10 minutes had passed when he noticed a deer coming out of the thicket that the doe had blazed a trail into. Immediately Joshua spotted the deer’s amazing head gear and the buck was moving with his nose to the ground. Oddly enough the buck was back tracking the very same trail the doe had taken on her escape route. Joshua quickly thought back on his father’s hunting advice over the years, to stay calm and take a deep breath and move ultra-slowly. The monster buck was approaching quickly, and it angled off slightly, which ultimately gave Joshua the time to raise his CVA Wolf muzzleloader for a hopeful broadside shot. As fate would have it the buck came to an opening at 30 yards and Joshua freehanded a chunk of led at it. As the smoke dissipated he could see the beast hauling freight into another thicket not to far away, and he heard what he believed to be a crash.

Joshua felt that his shot was a quality one, but with all the sudden action and the deer running out of sight into the thicket he couldn’t be for sure. He and his father use walkie talkies to communicate and he reached out to his father who answered with “I heard you shoot”. Alvey ended communication quickly after Joshua’s report and headed his was in a hurry. Joshua waited patiently for his dad to arrive then they picked up the blood trail leading into the thick under cover. Alvey waited on the outskirts in case the buck jumped up and Joshua headed into the brush. He had traveled only 20 yards before he saw the buck laying there expired. His first words were “Oh My God” and his father quickly joined him and they both marveled at the animal that lay before them. Neither had imagined such a deer existed on this property, they have never used trail cameras on the property because it’s public.

I personally called the check station to ask if they had word of this buck before Joshua shot it, and the gentleman that I spoke to said that some local farmers have reported sightings over the years.

There isn’t any doubt that this mainframe 12 pointer with a total of 20 score able points has genetics on his side, but much of the surrounding Fort Pickett property has quality agriculture fields such as soy beans, and I can’t help but think this buck traveled off the public land onto private during the night and gorged on nutritious food and returned to the deep public land that wasn’t pressured by man or dogs hunters which is legal on all the surrounding properties.

In present day deer hunting where most of us rely heavily on technology, science, trail cameras and often hunt private property, it’s refreshing to see a father and son using public land, little technology and being richly rewarded for their efforts. Lack of timber harvesting and habitat management like the days of old on public land have left hunters often disappointed, but these areas can still pay dividends if you are willing to put in some shoe leather and find those private bucks on public land!

I reminded Joshua that his buck will receive a ton of attention over the next year and we all look forward to seeing this Great Va Buck at the game shows. I believe that this buck has what it takes to score high both in B&C and the Virginia scoring systems.

Congratulations Joshua and Alvey !

 

Jeff Phillips 11/28/17

The check station at Fort Pickett was full of hustle and bustle on the morning of November 14, 2017 as Joshua and Alvey Collins showed up for a day in the woods and some deer hunting. Alvey Collins age 68 has been carrying his son Joshua who is now 36 along hunting since he was 5 years old.

Both father and son prefer the old fashioned way of deer hunting, they use public land that’s available to them and they avoid paying expensive hunt club fees, and it allows them the freedom to do things their own way. They don’t even mind the 2 ½ hour drive from their hometown of Virginia Beach to Fort Pickett in Blackstone Virginia to do so. This federally owned property provides about 28,000 acres of hunting land with a few basic requirements. To hunt the property you must have successfully completed a Hunters Safety Course and have a valid Virginia Hunting License. You also must check in and out at the “check station”, before your hunt begins so you can choose which zone you will be occupying during your hunt, and again once you are finished your hunt, this is more for safety and accountability than anything else.

On the morning of November 14, the Collins left their residence at 3 a.m. in order to get to there destination and check in. Once they had chosen their zone they were off and in the woods prior to daylight. Joshua prefers still hunting because it allows him to cover ground and scout at the same time, but he carries a folding chair on his back in case he finds a preferable place to take a stand for a while.

The morning hunt didn’t produce, and they met back at the truck for lunch. As they ate lunch they also got a game plan together for the afternoon hunt. They decided to move to a different location in the same zone several miles away and hunt an area where they had seen quality deer sign in 2016.

Just after 2:30pm they headed in, Joshua was going to go deep into the property and his father about half the distance. It was a fairly windy afternoon, so it made it a bit easier for Joshua to slip through the woods. Around 3:30pm Joshua came upon a spot that had some well-worn deer crossings and he decided to set up camp. As the wind continued he had his head on a swivel trying to pick up movement, and as the afternoon turned into the evening he heard a twig snap close to him. He turned slowly to check it out and a doe was standing just feet from him, she busted him and sounded her air horn and off she bounded.

Of course, any avid deer hunter even the most optimistic may doubt their chances as the last few moments of daylight are present, and a big mouth doe just busted them and ran off through the woods, but Joshua decided to stick it out. Only 10 minutes had passed when he noticed a deer coming out of the thicket that the doe had blazed a trail into. Immediately Joshua spotted the deer’s amazing head gear and the buck was moving with his nose to the ground. Oddly enough the buck was back tracking the very same trail the doe had taken on her escape route. Joshua quickly thought back on his father’s hunting advice over the years, to stay calm and take a deep breath and move ultra-slowly. The monster buck was approaching quickly, and it angled off slightly, which ultimately gave Joshua the time to raise his CVA Wolf muzzleloader for a hopeful broadside shot. As fate would have it the buck came to an opening at 30 yards and Joshua freehanded a chunk of led at it. As the smoke dissipated he could see the beast hauling freight into another thicket not to far away, and he heard what he believed to be a crash.

Joshua felt that his shot was a quality one, but with all the sudden action and the deer running out of sight into the thicket he couldn’t be for sure. He and his father use walkie talkies to communicate and he reached out to his father who answered with “I heard you shoot”. Alvey ended communication quickly after Joshua’s report and headed his was in a hurry. Joshua waited patiently for his dad to arrive then they picked up the blood trail leading into the thick under cover. Alvey waited on the outskirts in case the buck jumped up and Joshua headed into the brush. He had traveled only 20 yards before he saw the buck laying there expired. His first words were “Oh My God” and his father quickly joined him and they both marveled at the animal that lay before them. Neither had imagined such a deer existed on this property, they have never used trail cameras on the property because it’s public.

I personally called the check station to ask if they had word of this buck before Joshua shot it, and the gentleman that I spoke to said that some local farmers have reported sightings over the years.

There isn’t any doubt that this mainframe 12 pointer with a total of 20 score able points has genetics on his side, but much of the surrounding Fort Pickett property has quality agriculture fields such as soy beans, and I can’t help but think this buck traveled off the public land onto private during the night and gorged on nutritious food and returned to the deep public land that wasn’t pressured by man or dogs hunters which is legal on all the surrounding properties.

In present day deer hunting where most of us rely heavily on technology, science, trail cameras and often hunt private property, it’s refreshing to see a father and son using public land, little technology and being richly rewarded for their efforts. Lack of timber harvesting and habitat management like the days of old on public land have left hunters often disappointed, but these areas can still pay dividends if you are willing to put in some shoe leather and find those private bucks on public land!

I reminded Joshua that his buck will receive a ton of attention over the next year and we all look forward to seeing this Great Va Buck at the game shows. I believe that this buck has what it takes to score high both in B&C and the Virginia scoring systems.

Congratulations Joshua and Alvey !

 

Jeff Phillips 11/28/17

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