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Monday, March 2, 2015

Turkeys in winter

We had just gotten back from snowmobiling when Dad said that there was a turkey outside.  We watched as more and more birds flew down and started pecking at the dirt spots on the ground.  At their closest, they were about 10 feet from the back steps.  I kept waiting for one to land on the snowmobile, but none did.





We counted 14 in all.  The spent about an hour pecking at the dirt and roaming around the yard.  From there, they headed onto the mountain.  A few of them stayed near a water spot for the rest of the afternoon.  I am not sure if they were enjoying the block from the wind or if they were actually spending that much time pecking and drinking.  Either way, they were around and in no hurry.



I am hoping that this flock hangs around until the spring season.  I want to get a turkey this year!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Neighborwoods

[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

Gray Squirrel

Monday, February 23, 2015

A differnet kind of hard water fishing

There is something about fishing that creates a community on the water.  I don't really fish - I am learning, but I would not consider myself a fisherman, yet.  I am planning on going fishing again this spring at GLS but it's been a while since I took to the ice to try and pull a fish out of the hard water. Recently though, I tried smelt fishing with my friend Jen.

The rows of shacks.
Open water not very far away

The wind was blowing hard but the heat in the shack was so hot that we had to rig the door to stay slightly open.  We even went for a walk down on the ice. As the tide was coming in, we could watch the ice shifting and rising just 20 feet away from where we stood.

As the sun set and the tide changed, we got our lines baited with blood worms and dropped into the water. Then we waited.

The tide came in and a we continued to wait.  There was one man in a nearby shack who kept making the rounds to see if anyone had caught anything and how big.  It was a fun impromptu community as we spoke with him and he gave us the update from the other two shacks that were occupied.

While he had caught only one smelt, the people in a shack down from where we were, had caught 7 or 8.  I left Jen and headed down to see what smelts really looked like and to meet the people who were the better fishmen of the night.

I found the father/daughter team of Craig and Meryl.  They had their own poles and had their system down.  Working from muscle memory and years of experience, they jigged, pulled and checked their lines all the while talking with me.


Craig, a Maine Guide holds up a smelt for me to talk a picture of.
Meryl and Craig give their fish to some friends that live in town. 
After talking with them and learning that we had a lot of connections with the people that we know and the organizations that we belong to, I headed back to see how Jen was doing.

She was hauling up our smelt as I walked in.  I was a bad fishing buddy and had left her to manage all 10 lines.


We tried for a little while longer but it was getting late and the fish were not biting for us.  It was fun to get out on to the ice and fish.  It made me miss the ice fishing trips that I went on a few years ago.  Just like hunting, you never know what you will see or bring home for dinner.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

T3 - the new treestand

After my incident last season, Dad decided that it would make more sense to be hidden in the woods and have more coverage than my treeseat gives me.  This will help me get a better view of the more traveled deer trails and not rely on the deer to come my way.  He wanted to build a permanent structure that would allow us to hunt in all weather conditions.

So, Dad has been busy building T3.  He constructed it in the barn to make sure all of the dimensions were right.  Our first treestand was built 16 feet off the ground using a 12 foot ladder.  Not ideal and clearly not built by hunters who knew what they were doing.  The Sky Condo was considerably better with insulation and a tar papered roof.  T3 is looking to be the best yet!

T3 being built in the shed
Once Dad and I figured out how tall everything needed to be in order for me to take good shots from every angle, he started moving pieces of it down into the woods.  The plan was for us to begin building over the winter and then paint it this spring and summer.  However, we were not planning on five feet of snow being dumped on us in a three week span.  It looks like we may have to wait until spring gets here before T3 gets built.

T3 in pieces, in the woods
I shot last season's deer about 15 feet behind where my snowmobile is parked. You can actually see the shooting lane that I used.  The plan is to have me sit (again) close to the property line and look up towards where my stand was but also be able to see the trails that run along a stream bed and down into a bog.  There were a lot of beds and well worn trails in the snow when we were down there earlier in the winter. 

With all of the current snow, Dad and I decided to ride around and check on the deer herd.  We knew that we could probably see a few and made sure that we didn't stay too long or move too close when we found them.  The last thing that we wanted was to force them to run in the deep snow.  They need to save all of the calories they can!


Deer and hunting stands... it makes me eager for fall!