Hundreds of Deer Poached

Fleming and Mason Counties are just a stone’s throw away from our deer camp. Two brothers were arrested with over a hundred counts of taking deer illegally. Here’s the report from Channel 18 in Lexington

Fleming Co. Brothers Face Over 100 Counts Of Poaching

FLEMING COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) Two Fleming County brothers face more than 100 counts of poaching in a case that State Division of Fish and Wildlife says could have gone on for years.

Conservation officers say that they discovered dozens upon dozens of deer antlers in a shed on a plot of land.

They said that the deer were hunted illegally by 69-year-old Larry Fryman and his 63-year-old brother, Danny.

Officers say that some of these deer may have been dead and mounted for years.

The investigation began on November 7 in Mason County when authorities say they discovered Larry illegally hunting.

After an investigation, the officers went onto the Fryman’s family farm and discovered the antlers.

Neighbors say that the family owns a lot of property around the small community between Ewing and Flemingsburg.

Each brother faces 114 counts of illegally taking and pursuing deer.

Larry reportedly told the conservation officer, “If you come back to serve me without the Sheriff, there will be a dead game warden, and I know enough to drag you in the house.”

He has an additional charge of terroristic threatening.

Both Larry and Danny bonded out of jail last night. is rife with comments about these two. Guys who know them say they’re surprised they only found a hundred or so racks. They’ve been doing this for over 50 years.


Report from Deer Camp 2016 — Doe Double-Header

The last weekend of season is usually when Deer Camp gets serious. For each hunter, one of two things have happened. Either he has his buck and is just a last tag, or he has not had any luck and is trying to make something happen. For the Shamanic Dream Team, it was freezer filling time. SuperCore and Angus each had one antlerless tag left, and the doe were just not cooperating.

The first few days of Kentucky’s Modern Weapon’s season had been a shooting gallery. We had each gotten our bucks Opening Weekend, and then the action turned off. I had taken a lone doe the next Saturday. It did not help anything that SuperCore had developed a cough that you could hear clear back to the house. It also did not help that there were no shots coming from the surrounding ridges. When the woods fall silent like that, you know the deer are not being cooperative. We had all gone back to town for Thanksgiving Dinner with dark expectations. We were not disappointed. I stopped at Lenoxburg and picked up my two deer. That fairly filled the chest freezer at camp.

I arrived back at camp Friday morning, still feeling the effects of KYHillChick’s turkey dinner. I needed someone to roll me out on a rock and leave me to bask. However, it was dark and chilly when I got there. It took the better part of the afternoon to warm up the place. SuperCore had been held up with ATV trouble. He got there just in time for a quick afternoon hunt that yielded only a couple of distant doe coming out to feed on a far ridge.

Angus showed up well after we had turned in. With the new job, he had not been able to get Black Friday off. The crew got up a full hour later than the Opener and went out, leaving me with Lily the Love Hound to mind camp. It was one of those mornings where you never got a clear idea when the sun came up. I puttered about airing out my hunting duds and catching up on housekeeping. It was dreary and cold. Nobody saw much of anything. Both guys were back in from their blinds before I expected them. We adjourned to the store in Berlin for and early lunch. Angus and SuperCore had both resolved to go out to the blinds right away. I chose to take a nap. When I awoke before 3, they were still playing cards. They finally left, while I got up to tend camp. Angus went to Midway. SuperCore decided to try the stand at Blackberry.

Normally, when I am not hunting, I like to retire out to the Thoughtful Spot an hour or so before sundown to sip a cocktail and contemplate the view. I’ve been wading through a whale of a book since the end of Turkey Season:

I found it in Dad’s effects. I remember him getting this phonebook sized tome for Christmas back in 1966. I found his bookmark. He had managed to get to page 79 and gotten bogged down in the depressing aftermath of Pearl Harbor. It is a actually a fantastically energizing book despite its 1000+ pages– a collection of first-hand accounts. In some cases sailors and correspondents had only seconds to shove their diaries in their vests before abandoning ship. I was trying to get through the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and failed to notice the time as it passed five. I was just climbing into my perch with the book, and a set of binos when the first shot came at 1718 ET. A minute later the walkie-talkie came on.

“SuperCore to Earth.”

“This is Earth. Go ahead SuperCore.”

“I have a doe down.”


I turned around and started firing up the deerwagon. I let it idle a bit. Ten minute later I heard another shot coming from the south. I stopped what I was doing and walked into the back so I would get a good signal. Sure enough, I had my hand on the walkie-talkie when the came in.

“Angus calling Earth.”

“This is Earth.”

“Scratch one doe.” This one had run into the woods. I advised Angus that I was on my way to retrieve one deer already and would be at his position in the next 15 minutes or so.

SuperCore’s Doe had come into the pasture that falls off on the far side of Garbage Pit. SuperCore had seen her walking through the trees and had taken a perfect shot and dropped her in the middle of the field at 100 yards. We used the L-E-Vator to get her in the back of the S10. I then drove them out to the meatpole and got the doe hoisted before taking off for Midway. As soon as I pulled into the field, I saw the doe at the extreme northern end. Angus had found her less than 10 yards into the woods and pulled her out. I travelled down the field to pick him up just as he was locking the door to Midway. His shot had gone the entire length of the field. I estimate it at 220 yards, which set the camp record. SuperCore was nearly done gutting his deer when we pulled back into camp and hoisted Angus’ doe. Gutted, cleaned, and Telechecked, we had both doe back in the truck and on the way to the processor Lenoxburg before 1830. We were back and the gutpiles put out in the field before 1930. I grilled the last of the sirloin steaks.


More On The L-E-Vator

I had the GoPro out on Saturday afternoon but did not have a chance to get it out before the doe showed up. I still managed to get some footage of SuperCore’s new L-E-Vator.

This is not the perfect deer lifter. You can see that from the video. However, it is the best I’ve found so far, and it beats the homebrew means I’ve been using the past few seasons. It really likes being on level ground and working it solo has its problems. It is heavy, but not too heavy. Think “sturdy.”   This is the best deer hunting gadget that has hit our deer camp in many seasons.



The Fastest Doe Hunt

Saturday afternoon was one of those days during season when it is nice just to settle in with a good book and wait for sundown. There was not going to be much moving so long as the wind gusting into the low twenties, but being in the cabin was no good either.  We all left for our blinds early in anticipation of a window at sundown when would wind die down a bit and the deer might move out of their beds to feed.  It had been blowing like that for 24 hours, and there had been a 4 hour stretch before first light where the rain made the windows and walls of the cabin sound like a thousand rat terriers scratching to get in.

I went slowly out to the luxury box at Midway, plodding along the track we call Vine Street that runs along the centerline of the farm. It is a better than a half-mile out, and I did not want to work up a sweat getting there.  I had left most of my gear in the blind from the morning hunt.  It had been a handy shelter earlier in the day from the mix of snow, freezing rain and graupel that had followed the horizontal rain. That is precisely why Midway exists.  With a blind like that, there is very little excuse not to go hunting in even the worst conditions.  It is a double-ended blind originally meant for two hunters sitting back to back.  However, now that my sons are grown, I can sit in the middle and watch out both windows.
If you click on it, you will get a much larger image of the panorama. Let me give you a quick tour from left to right:

1) The south window overlooking a 200+ yard pasture that includes the Garden of Stone. Burlap Curtains pull across the opening.  The open window is shaded by an awning that swings up.
2) The orange funnel is the hunter relief tube– very handy for the long sits.  It is attached to a garden hose that runs out the side of the blind.
3) I had KYHillChick run up a curtain made from black opera cloth.  It blocks the light coming between the windows. Early testing of the blind showed that hunters were back-lit. This solves the problem.  When hunting solo, I sit to one side or the other and leave the curtain pulled up just enough to see out both windows.
4) The north window shows the sandbag well. I have a 2X6 sill and a rifle rest filled with kitty litter at each window. It overlooks a 230 yard pasture.
5) The hatch is in the middle of the north window.
I had just crawled in the hatch and begun opening up the blind when I spied movement in the tree line about 100 yards down the north pasture.  I had not opened up the south window yet.  I had not even had a chance to sit down.  I loaded up my Ruger Hawkeye in 30-06, pulled my folding chair up to the window and poked the barrel out.  Here came a doe out of the weeds, munching the last of the acorns hidden in the tall grass.  I had passed within 60 yards of that spot less than 5 minutes previously. It was just a matter of waiting for a broadside shot.  When it came, my crosshairs were already on her.

For as much as I enjoy the sport of deer hunting, the thing I like least is the phase at the end of season where I go looking for that last doe to fill the freezer.  There is just something about sitting there going Eeenie, Meanie, Minie, Mo at a field filled with deer, trying not to kill buttons or matriarchs or nursing mothers or whatever.  Here was a lone doe that was playing a relatively small part in the life of the herd.  She had probably come onto the property having been chased off her own territory during Opening Weekend.  To tell y’all the truth, I did not think a whole lot about it.  She was down in less time than it took to read this paragraph, and I had been in the blind less than 5 minutes.


Taking the L-E-Vator

As you know this old shaman does not make very many product recommendations. When I do, you can bet I’m not being compensated for it. Mind you, I’d love to be a complete advertising whore and throw my legs up for compensation, but no one ever offers. This is one of those times that I feel moved to mention the L-E-Vator by Viking Solutions.

I have been experimenting with the S10 as a deer recovery vehicle for the past few seasons. It does work well, but getting the deer into the bed has been problematic. My latest attempt has been in place for a while: 2X6 ramps, and a block and tackle. This has worked fine with the doe, and I really had no complaints with it taking in a big buck last year. However, this season, our three larger-than-average bucks had us stymied. The Harbor Freight block and tackle arrangement was overwhelmed trying to get 230 LB-plus deer up the ramps.

Luckily SuperCore had brought along a new contraption. It looks ridiculous with all this tube steel and heavy cables. Truth is, the L-E-Vator is just extremely well built. There is a base, a riser with a boat winch attached and a sliding fork onto which one flops a deer. Crank the handle and the deer goes up. When the fork is above the level of the truck bed, the deer slides off. SuperCore bought his L-E-Vator to get a deer onto the back of his ATV.

The only deficiency that we have found that the L-E-Vator is that you need a somewhat level surface. If we tried to work it on an incline, it had a tendancy to tip. However, we’re talking about only a few square feet of leval ground required, and having a couple of 2X4’s along for props would probably overcome the problem. Some folks might fault the weight of the L-E-Vater. We carry it in the back of the S10. To us it’s nothing. On the back of an ATV, it’s fine. You’re not going to want to carry this long distances by hand, but you should not need to do so.

Is this a one-man or two-man device? It is much easier to work with one guy steadying the rig while the other guy cranks. I would not hesitate to try it as a one-man recovery. Two’s better.

How easy is it to get a deer onto the device in the first place. Again, two guys made it easy. I was using the winch to drag the deer to a level spot. When I got the buck to level ground, I had Supercore put the L-E-Vater in the buck’s path and I dragged him on. In another instance, we rolled the deer onto the fork.

Isn’t this a lot of hoo-haw over nothing? A gutted 120 lb liveweight doe is still within the range of something I can lift by myself. I’m 58. I grew up in construction. SuperCore is a retired data processor in his seventies with recent quadruple bypass surgery. The reason he bought is ATV, was because he was having trouble making it out to his blind. He needed help. For him, it was $120 well spent.

I’m glad to have the L-E-Vator around camp as well. As you know we go against the flow at our camp. I like to pull the whole deer out and do the gutting at camp. We have lights, we have the gear. We have the vehicle, and normally we can be on our way to the processor in an hour after shooting the deer. Gutting in the woods adds time to the process. We try and save that for deer that decide to run into a ravine before expiring. The vast majority of deer we shoot drop in the middle of the field or right at the edge. Our camp has had to deal with 170 lb doe and 270lb bucks. There are 300-pounders in these woods. Let me tell you, being stuck alone in the moonlight with a large buck and nothing but a full-size pickup for transportation is a daunting thought. That lift onto the bed is tough. There’s always the idea of quartering the beast. The L-E-Vator gives you another option.