Rochelle LeClaire | Mossy Oak ProStaff
I work Monday through Thursday and usually have Fridays off. On one Friday, I was hunting with my dad. He went one way on the property, and I went another way to get to our stands. Some daylight started showing after 6 a.m., and on this morning, we agreed to stay in our stands until around 9:30 a.m. I have to get back to my home about that time, so my mother-in-law who often stays with my kids can leave to go to work.
“Alright, I'm going to get down from my stand, and I’ll meet you near the car,” my dad texted me. I decided to remain in my stand, until my dad got past me, in case he jumped up a deer that came by my stand.
When my dad came out of his tree stand, there must have been four does bedded down in front of him. He jumped the does, and they came past me. In this group, there was a fairly good-sized doe, so I took her with my .30-06 Mossberg Patriot Vortex.
I really love hunting with my dad. I've hunted with him ever since I could walk in the woods. Since I've had children myself, finding time to hunt with my dad has become more difficult. But most of the time we usually get to hunt together at least once a week, which is great.
My job is as a tax auditor for New York State, and my husband, Nathan, works for our county highway department, which mainly makes us weekend warriors for deer. I get off at 3 p.m., and we've got a couple of stands set up on my grandfather’s property that we can get to quickly after I’m off work. Generally I’ll go one afternoon to one of those two stands, and Nathan will go the next afternoon to the other stand. But on the weekends, Nathan and I both want to go hunt, so my mother-in-law will come over to our house at 5 a.m. to watch our children.
We use Moultrie Trail cameras on all the properties we hunt. I really love the Moultrie trail cameras because any time we have a problem, we generally can solve it, or the company will send us another camera. Moultrie always has been extremely helpful, and I especially love the video options they have on their cameras. I never really used the video option on the camera until last year. We set up one of our cameras near a scrape and were able to see the deer come in and work the scrape at night. That was really cool.
Another advantage to the video option on the trail cameras is you don’t miss any pictures, because there is a delay from the time the camera recognizes movement and the camera takes a picture. But by using the video option, we can see the buck when he comes in and during the time he’s in the frame. This way we can really see and study the deer’s rack and determine whether he’s a shooter or not. However, part of the frustration the trail cameras create is we often see bucks that are living on our property that we never spot during daylight hours.
For instance, right now, I know there’s a really good 8-pointer living on my grandfather’s property and another nice 8-pointer on my dad’s land. I’ve seen them on our trail-camera videos. I took my 3-year-old son, Colton, out one day just to show him where Mom goes when she says she’s going hunting, and of course the 8-pointer that’s a shooter came strolling in toward us. I told my young son, “Baby, promise Momma you’ll be really quiet.” I took him on this adventure while bow season was still in, and of course I didn’t have my bow with me. That buck was on a mission. He never saw or heard us but went over a hill about 60-yards away from us. To be honest, I really didn’t care whether I took that buck or not. I was so excited for my son to be with me and have a chance to see a buck like that with his momma was more than worth the trip.
Rochelle LeClaire lives in Schaghticoke, New York, in eastern New York, and has been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for five years. She hunted with her dad, grandfather and brother, until she was old enough to get a hunting license. Although married and with two small children, Rachelle hunts as often as possible and enjoys preparing and eating wild game.