RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: December Hunting in Nebraska-Trip Report

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > December Hunting in Nebraska-Trip Report

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
PalominoTravis

Nebraska

Full Member

Joined: 09/11/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 12/22/09 11:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry this took so long to write up, but various things have kept me busy. This is the trip report of our hunting trip in Southeastern Nebraska. This trip almost didn't happen. But more on that later.

Explanation of Trip
This was my father and mine's first ever muzzleloader hunt, and the first time we have ever hunted the eastern side of our state. We always hunt the November rifle season in the western part of the state where we grew up. We hunt the deep canyons and river bottoms in search of Mule Deer and Whitetail. However, in recent years the Mule Deer population has been declining, and since the place we hunt is almost exclusivly Mulie habitat, we've been having trouble filling the freezer. We both knew that we wanted to try our hand with the muzzleloaders. My father purchased his a couple of years ago, but never really shot it. I just bought mine this year. After tagging out during firearm season, we set up in one of the canyons and sighted them in at 100 yards. We knew that was going to be our max range we were comfortable shooting at. We also decided this would be the year we would try it. In Nebraska, muzzleloader season runs the whole month of December, and we are allowed two deer per license. One deer of either sex of any species, and one anterless whitetail. I decided the eastern side of the state would be our best chance at getting close to whitetails. I had worked for one of the state agencies with public ground before I got married and made the move to another agency. I knew the lake and the fact that it held deer. I also knew a close friend of mine owned some ground not far from the lake and he was more then happy to let us hunt his ground with the stipulation that we were only allowed to take does. Fine with me, as I would rather fill the freezer then take up wall space with a head mount anyway. So it was decided that we would both take the week of December 7th through the 11th off from work to hunt. Little did we know this would be one of the worst weeks to pick. Temps in Nebraska fluctuate considerably, and in December it can be anywhere from 40-50 down to below zero. Unfortunatly, the latter would be the case on this particular week.

The Place
The place we camped at is a small NRD lake Southeast of Beatrice, NE. In Nebraska, we have a game and parks system that regulates hunting and fishing as well as manages a large supply of public ground. However, we also have Natural Resource Districts (NRD) that have some ground as well. Most of the NRD ground is around flood control structures. Basically, the state and feds supplied the money to build dams to control flooding in all the watersheds. If the benefit of protection didn't meet the money given, one of the dams in that watershed had to be used for recreation. Since the population is low and most of the land protected was farmland and pastureland at the time, the particular NRD I worked for and we camped in, has 9 rec areas. This one is Wolf-Wildcat and is located about 6 miles south of the town of Virginia. It is 160 acres, with 40 acres of water, a boat ramp, pit toilet, and primitive camping.
[image]
This lake is a very good crappie lake, and this summer I will return to do some fishing. As you can see from the picture, there is only one road into the place, that leads down to the boat ramp. We camped right off the ramp, with the camper among the trees to help protect it from the wind and snow.

Pre-Trip
It was a busy year for me as well as my father. He works for a feedlot, and works six days a week. Twelve hours during the week, and 8 on the weekend is not uncommon for him. Since he is pushing 60, I don't really know how he does it, but he loves it. He is also outside all the time. My work schedule is almost as bad, although I usually have weekends off. As a well driller for the state, I am gone alot from about April through October. This year we started in March and didn't finish until the end of November. We travel all over the state, and I'm usually gone all week. This has prompted my wife to tell people that "I think I'm married, there is a guy here on weekends who walks around the house and does laundry, but thats about all I see of him." I felt kinda bad since this year I was gone more then usual, and now I was taking a week to go hunting. But as she said, its important that I get to spend time with my father alone so we can talk and catch up.
I had originally planned on putting the camper on the truck and working on it before we headed out. I thought I could do this over Thanksgiving, since I had a few days off. Unfortunatly, the day before thanksgiving, we were finishing a project and loading the trailer to go home. The wind was horrible, and as I was loading the trailer, the wind caught one of the big doors and pinched my knee. Needless to say I went down hard, and two hours later I was in the ER waiting to be x-rayed. Nothing was broken or torn, just bruised badly. I could barely walk all weekend, and with a trip coming up, I didn't know if I would have enough time to get the camper ready. Luckily the next week my leg started feeling better, and with my bosses help, I got the camper loaded and fixed what I needed to so we could at least go.
Dad showed up Sunday night, in the midst of a snowstorm. The forcast was calling for a blizzard, and subzero conditions with windchills in -10 below and lower range. Monday morning arrived, and I shoveled the driveway. We had a couple inches of snow overnight, so I pushed our departure time back to later in the morning. We loaded all of our food, the water jugs, and plenty of sleeping bags.

The Trip
We left Lincoln around 10am. We heading south on HWY 77 to Beatrice. If anyone here visits Nebraska, avoid 77 at all costs. It is the roughest 4 lane I've ever seen. I have driven it numerous times with different vehicles and loads, and its rough no matter what you have or what load you have. Luckily, traffic was light, and the road was mostly cleared off. We made a stop in Beatrice at Wal-Mart to pick up more propane for my dads heater he brought and for him to buy some other things. From Beatrice we took HWY 136 and 4 east a few miles to the junction, then followed HWY 4 to Virginia. The highways were ok, but now we had gravel and some blacktop to navigate. The roads weren't as bad as I had expected, and we pulled into Wolf-Wildcat just after noon. We found a level spot along the side of the lake to park the camper, with enough protection from the wind.
[image]
[image]
I popped the top and started setting up. It was rather cold, but not terrible, especially inside out of the wind. We were, however, a ways from the toilet.
[image]
We did a little walking until about 3:30 and didn't see so much as a track. We went back to the camper for a snack, and the guy who had ground close by came and talked to us about his place. He led us up there, and told us that he could guarantee one of us would have a shot if we sat on his place that night. On the way in, deer were everywhere. We set up at one place and watched deer come into a field just to our north. I made the decision that I would try to sneak up there and try to get a shot. Well, I misjudged my hiking distance, and came in on the wrong place. In the meantime, a few deer decided to run right at my dad. I heard the shot and when I looked over, they were right in front of him. Turns out he missed the long shot, and they ran right at him. He couldn't reload quick enough and they definitly saw him trying and took off. We sat a while longer and called it a night. Day one was over without a deer down. Back at camp, dad pulled out the heater. Suprisingly enough, that little thing heated the camper up to around 50. I cooked us supper, and we talked a while before calling it a night. Dad was bundled in his sleeping bag with extra blankets. I had my -20 sleeping bag and crawled in. I gave him the table, and I took the overhead. I never really got that cold, but he woke me up to throw him down an extra sleeping bag to cover up with. The next morning we woke up and had a little breakfast and coffee. It was getting colder, and the wind was really starting to pick up. This time we headed to the private land a little earlier. I walked into where I was trying to the night before and dad went to where he was. To my suprise, even with the wind howling, and snow starting to fall, deer were moving a little. I had one at just over 100 yards, and took the shot. I got her!! We picked her up and headed to the camper, dressed her and got her in a tree. By this time, visibilty was dropping and the snow was getting heavier. We made the decision to go to my inlaws house which is about halfway from home to the lake. We left the camper, and took my dads Ranger and made it there in about an hour and a half, which is about an hour longer then usual. The roads were bad and the wind and snow were relentless. We spent the night with my mother in law, and the next morning awoke to temps around zero, and windchills well below zero. To say we had alot of snow is an understatement.
[image]
This is her patio table, and as you can see, its quite covered. We spent that day at the house, my father in law was returning that day from work in Texas so we all got to sit around and shoot the breeze. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the house. Thursday morning we woke up early and headed back out. The temps were still cold, but the wind wasn't as strong. The roads were cleared up quite nicely and we made good time back down to the lake. The camper survived the winds, which exceeded 40 mph on Tuesday night. I checked everything and all was good. We did bottom out the Ranger in the snow getting in though, so I was a little worried about getting my truck out.
[image]
[image]
We hunted some more, and actually kicked up a buck on the lake ground, but it wasn't a good shot for me, so he lived to laugh at me. We tried the private ground, but the wind was wrong for sitting, so we decided with one deer, we'd head home a day early. We went back to the camper for lunch, and found our soup had frozen solid, but I fired up the heater and stove and 40 minutes later we were warm and full.
[image]
[image]
I repacked our supplies and we popped down the camper. We loaded up my deer, which was very much frozen, but luckily the coyotes hadn't found her.
[image]
We had driven on the drive to the lake enough with the Ranger that we figured as long as I could back out of the trees, I'd be able to get out without much problems. Luckily we were right, and we were able to make it home in about the same time it took us to get there. I made the phone calls to worried parties and told them we were alive and home safe and sound. When I called the landowner, he told me next year he would have more stands up for me, a place to hang my deer, and maybe even enough room inside his shed for me to park the camper so we can have power and stay out of the elements. I asked why he would do that, and he really wants us to come back and hunt more does for him. While him and his son hunt the big bucks, he wants someone he can trust to take care of his place to help take does. So if its as bad next year, at least we'll be in a shed out of the weather.

Lessons Learned
My $400 camper actually performed better then I ever expected. While I still have a few spots in the canvas to fix, it held up great in the snow and wind. Although, I had thought someday, I'd get a newer 6 foot model, after spending a few hours inside with two grown men, space is tight. I think I'll stick with the 8 footers!

I found two spots with very light water damage that need some attention. One is in the cabover, where a hole in the canvas allowed water in sometime before I owned it. Luckily, its only on the plywood under the bed, and not in the structure itself. The other lead is in the back right corner above the rear tiedown. That too appears to be where water came in through a hole in the canvas some time before, and I'm still not sure how I'm going to address this problem.

I hadn't had time to look at the stove, fridge, or furnace before hand. But since I took my camping stove instead, I didn't need the other stove. But it looks as though that should work. The furnace should too, although I need to clean it up and blow it out before I even try to run it. But since I had no way of powering it, I couldn't have used it anyway. But there is always next year in the shed. I am convinced that had I had a source of power, we could have stayed out there the whole week without a problem. But our little heater would only last a couple of hours, and I didn't want to have to keep changing the bottles.

My stakepocket tiedowns worked fine, however, the side to side holding abilities are limited. I'm definitly thinking by next year I'm going to have to build a belly bar for the fronts. Otherwise, my Silverado was great with that camper. Just enough weight to help in the snow, but not so much it changes how it handles.

And my last bit of info for this. If anyone reading this is considering a pop up truck camper but has questions about its abilities in the winter, all you have to do is plan ahead. I had enough sleeping bags and blankets that if we would have had to spend more nights in there without heat, we would have survived. And anyone who says Palomino doesn't make a good camper is wrong. Mine is old, hadn't been used in over 10 years before I got it, and it still holds up nicely. Although, I do now know why they moved the crank to the outside. Getting in and out to make sure the fabric is tucked in is a pain. And at 6'5, I couldn't have anything less then the full height door, although I have discovered that where the solid back wall meets the fabric is a source of heat loss and air leaks, but I can remedy that easily. Sorry for the long post, but as a relative newbie to TCing, I thought my trip would be a good one for other newbies or someone on the fence about trying it to read. All in all, it was a good trip, and will become a new yearly tradition for my father and I as long as the camper is still around. And even if my $400 wonder dies on me, I'll find another palomino to take out there.

PalominoTravis
[image]

Dad
[image]


1999 Silverado Z71
1984 Palomino 186 Pop up Truck Camper (Destroyed by Hail June 2010)
Palomino #1

silversand

Montreal

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2004

View Profile



Posted: 12/22/09 11:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, cool Trip Report, AND post-mortem !! I like the use of the USDA aerial photo, too.

I'll put this Report into TR as soon as I am able.

Thanks!
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Jay Pat

Round Rock, TX

Senior Member

Joined: 06/03/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 12/22/09 11:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great story and it wasn't long at all!!!
Thanks for sharing!
Pat


2010 Ford F-350 SRW
2011 Keystone, Sprinter 310


Michigan Rod

Troy,MI.,USA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/24/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/22/09 11:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Enjoyed hearing your hunting adventure. You and your dad made some great memories.


2003Chevy LT3500,crew cab,4x4,Duramax/Allison,Firestone air bags w/in cab controls,Rancho RS 9000X shocks,cabover struts,Happijac tiedowns.Rhino bed liner. ReeseTowBeast.
2004 Lance 1161,generator,sofa,twin beds,rear observation camera,Chet's AirFoil

Skipper Rod

Bellevue Nebraska

Senior Member

Joined: 07/10/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 12/22/09 01:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report, And I know exactly where you were hunting. I agree about the older pop-ups, my sunlite has worked perfect for my hunting and fishing needs!!

fishfinder

Colorado, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/14/2003

View Profile



Posted: 12/22/09 01:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice report and great pictures.
I use my pop-up year-round. Our coldest overnight was -22F while ice fishing at Eleven Mile reservoir. The furnace kept us nice and cozy.


fishfinder, Colorado
'08 Chevy K1500 Ext.Cab 5.3L/3.73
'03 Phoenix Pop-Up Truck Camper
'98 Four Winns 18' Fish & Ski Boat

whazoo

Idahome

Senior Member

Joined: 10/12/2007

View Profile



Posted: 12/22/09 02:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice looking pictures, now I need a cup of coffee to warm up. That very large cake with white frosting on the patio table looks good, must be coconut...thanks for posting

trapperdick

Bridgton,Me.

Senior Member

Joined: 03/26/2007

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 12/22/09 02:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report !! That's a trip that will be long remembered...My feet are cold from reading it....TD


OLDER AND BOLDER,,,,,N1ATF
Ford F-350 Dually Diesel, Lance 9SC, Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, 12 ft Hallmark trailer and Skeeter the camping beagle ">.........

btggraphix

Golden, CO

Senior Member

Joined: 03/08/2005

View Profile



Posted: 12/22/09 02:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great TR Travis - no worries about how long it is. If someone gets bored they can always quit reading, but for the most part people enjoy the writing and first-hand accounts of things from the posters perspective. Keep up the good work.

Welcome to the "why stop just because it's winter?" camping club.

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

Senior Member

Joined: 04/07/2003

View Profile



Posted: 12/22/09 04:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really enjoyed your story... you write very well.

For those of us that have hunted deer or even rabbits... It was a journey down memory lane.

I'll be looking for your next adventure.

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > December Hunting in Nebraska-Trip Report
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.