A Weekend With Ryan

24 Oct

When Ryan told me he was excited to have drawn his Iowa tag I knew that was an understatement. Coming off a fresh vasectomy and a weekend at the in-laws I knew Ryan was ready for some T.S.T. (tree stand time). Checking in Friday periodically during his trip he let me how fast he was going and his estimated time of arrival. Our goal was to be dressed and ready to go for a run-n-gun evening hunt in an area where Ryan Eyberg, Dork, and another mature 10 had been captured on trail camera. He pulled in to the driveway kinda like Burt Reynolds in the movie Smokey and the Bandit within 10 minutes we were in my truck headed out to hunt.


This is Ryan Eyberg, he opens the gates for me... and is one hell of a guy!

This is Ryan Eyberg, he opens the gates for me… and is one hell of a guy!


On our way to the area where we were planning on hunting we discussed where the bedding areas were at in relationship to the food sources and what ridge we needed to set up on with the current northwest wind. We made the decision to park in a CRP field where we began to walk our way down the timberline until we popped into the timber and followed a low spot on a ridge to an area where we were going to set up.  Over the years I noticed that the does would use a trail that was closer to the top of the ridge and the bucks would use a trail that came up from the bottom. I asked Ryan what he wanted to do, and without hesitation he said he wanted to set up over the trail where the  possibility of a buck encounter would occur. We found the perfect tree and begin to set up. Ryan trimmed out four 20 to 30 yard shooting lanes where we thought the movement would be coming from while I set up the stands, camera equipment, and got my Ozonics up and running.  For the most part we were pretty quiet, not too bad for the first tandem run-n-gun of the year.  After we were 100% set up I pointed the camera on Ryan and he did his first ever interview where HE was the hunter in Iowa.

Long story short… that night resulted in no deer.


After the morning hunt on Saturday and before my leaking tires we checked a couple trail cameras.

After the morning hunt on Saturday and before my leaking tires we checked a couple trail cameras.


At some point on our way to the stand we had to cross at least one trail leading to and from the food source. This meant that we were taking a risk getting busted during the morning hunt from our ground scent. That is why we decided to get to the stand a hour early in hopes that our scent trail would diminish enough to not cause any alarm. Over the past three years I have also become a big fan of a product called Nose Jammer, a spray we apply to our boots that is supposed to cover our scent trail. I can honestly say since using it I have seen more deer coming from the direction of my entry route. Without getting in to too much detail, it’s worth a try.

Within 30 minutes of getting in to the stand we began to hear crunching leaves coming in from our entry route. In the moonlight we realized it was a deer, but it wasn’t until the deer was at about 12 yards that we noticed it was a huge bodied deer. Because of all the shadows we were unable to determine what buck it was and because it was still way to dark Ryan never had a shot. After the deer worked its way out of the area, we were hoping that the rest of the deer would do the same thing. But, the deer had other plans. It wasn’t until we were tearing down the set somewhere around 9A.M. that two does busted us coming up from the bottom.


For a guy who just had his tubs tied he sure does get around really well.

For a guy who just had his tubes tied he gets around really well. And looks good in his new Predator Camo.


More Bad Luck

On our way out of the timber we decided to stop and check a couple trail cameras in hopes to help us get an idea what deer are in the area. The first camera off of a main trail was never taken off setup mode and the second camera over a scrape somehow rotated down and took 5,000 pictures of grass. Dammit!  Then, as if I wasn’t already pissed enough, Ryan noticed a leak in my truck tire. Double dammit!! So, instead of checking the rest of the trail cameras we headed in to Wal-Mart to get some new tires, grab a bite to eat, and hopefully have all this done before it was time to head out for the morning hunt.

Side Note: While waking back to Ryan’s truck we ran in to another fellow whitetail freak, Ben Harshyne  who just moved to Iowa with his wife. Ben owns HUNTERRA, a property mapping company. Pretty cool stuff. Check them out at – www.hunterra.com

After the tires were fixed and our bellies were full, we headed back to my parents’ house to take a look at some maps, check the weather and put together a game plan for the evening hunt. We decided to hunt the area with the most daylight pictures. This happened to be in a draw that ran north and south with a popular trail running parallel to a fence line, running perpendicular to the draw, that created a really good pinch point. I set up a camera on a stic-n-pic along the fence and have been catching three different shooters cruising through the area. After cross-referencing the dates with the wind directions we found that there was no pattern to their movement through this pinch point. We decided to go in there and set up a stand to hunt Saturday night and Sunday morning on two different winds. The evening hunt would be a north wind blowing our scent up into the cattle pasture and the morning hunt would be a south wind blowing down the draw to the bottom. We were hoping that the scent would reach the bottom and dissolve before it would be a threat to our location… a risky move, but if the deer were coming to our location from the top down we would have a real good change at an encounter. If they stayed low we might have a little problem.

We made our way through the cattle pasture and dropped off in to the bottom we would be setting up our stand. For a brief moment we discussed what tree to sit in and once we made our tree selection we proceeded to take part in the loudest most awkward setting up of two tree stands in the history of hunting, ever! The only deer we saw that night were in a picked bean field on the way back to my truck. One looked to be a young buck doing a little chasing. We made it home in time for some delicious pork chops and stuffed potatoes. Next stop, bed time.


This is the first time I have ever used a mock scrape hoping it helps increase daylight movement by one of our stands.

This is the first time I have ever used a mock scrape hoping it helps increase daylight movement by one of our stands.


I don’t believe in the feared “October Lull”. But if I did, it was happening this weekend. Sunday’s hunt was a bust as well, with all the movement happening before daylight or after dark. The trail cameras proved that fact. There was no change in the amount of movement, just the time of the movement. That’s not a lull. After we got out of the stand Ryan did a quick walk about and I set up a mock scrape in front of the trail camera hoping to get a little more activity showing what bucks are still in the area. So basically what it boils down to is Ryan drove a total of 12 hours to see 2 deer from the stand and to watch me change a flat tire. Well worth the trip if ya ask me. He will be back in 9 days for the start of what we hunters consider the greatest time of the year. Both he and I are very excited.


Thanks for reading and spread the word,

Dan (DFW)

8 Responses to “A Weekend With Ryan”

  1. Diaz October 24, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    “For a guy who just had his tubes tied he gets around really well.”


  2. Tom October 24, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    Glad you mentioned nose jammer I was thinking about giving it a try but not to sure I’ll pick some up before I head out tommorow

    • Dan Johnson October 24, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Yeah, I have found awesome success with it. Thanks for reading!

  3. Brent October 26, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Yeah I saw the truck parked at the shop this weekend… I knew it wasn’t a good sign for ya!

    • Dan Johnson October 27, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Yeah, it sucks but it will be fixed by the end of the week. And that’s when the real fun starts!

  4. LS October 30, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    So…how did Ryan get a custom Lone Wolf with a doughnut seat?

    • Dan Johnson October 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      Pretty sure he bought it extra… but not sure.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Wired To Hunt Podcast – Episode #28: The Story of Jawbreaker & Lessons Learned From Losing A Deer ‹ Wired To Hunt - October 24, 2014

    […] – Stay up to date on how Dan’s season is going over at The Nine Finger Chronicles and check out his most recent update on his hunts with Ryan Eyberg here […]

Leave a Reply