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Monday, October 31, 2011

Season 9, episode 1

Ok friends, while I don't have any venison hanging up, it was a fantastic weekend! Incredibly cold but awesome. Dad and I were in the woods by 5:30, sitting in our Sky Condo (pictures coming soon). We were there for 4 hours, then moved to my tree seat and dad started walking, hoping to push them my way. I was able to thaw a little while sitting there - the sun, a little breeze... I didnt fall asleep, but I could have.
I thought I would snap a few photos of the view from my tree seat so you know what sort of great views I have. And because I took the same photos about 24 hours later and there was 4 inches of snow on the ground.
This is right in front of me. The lane to the right, is where I shot my doe 3 season ago. I dropped her right where the bright yellow leaf is pointing. She made a terrible, haunting sound. Was there for what seemed like forever (was probably 1-2 minutes), staggered to her feet and wobbled off. We never found her, even though the blood trail was almost a solid red line. I felt awful after that happened. The more people I talked to though, the more I realized that it seems to happen to almost everyone at some point in time. So, I am chocking it up to having it happen then, with a does as opposed to that 10 pointer that I want.
This is the view to my right. Dad cleaning it out last spring so I have a clear shot. I kept visualizing a deer walking through there, stopping to eat some acorns and whatnot and me getting a perfect shot. Never happened. I did see 2 partridges that crossed right in front of me. They were loud in the leaves. Also, how do you like my gun pointing out? The seat is a modified job that Dad did - he cut, duct taped and tweaked to make it perfect for me. The way it sits, it snuggles right under my arm. Ready to go at anytime. After lunch, we went back into the Sky Condo as the sun disappeared, the clouds rolled in, the temps dropped (started at 20, went up to 42 and then dropped again). We waited and waited and came home at 6:30. BUT - Sunday, we went tracking. AMAZING! I am grabbing the photos from my camera and will post in the next couple of days. Stay tuned as Sunday turned into a fun, exciting time in the woods.

Friday, October 28, 2011

We need to find the match

We found these out back today. Dad now wants to find the deer that matches these prints. We had to measure the best tracks to see how big it is. Dad thinks its the big deer the neighbor has been seeing, but now Dad wants to bring it home. Wish us luck tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Count down

So, I am anxiously awaiting the first few snowflakes of the season... I love snow. I love it a lot. Last year was the first year I had hunted in the snow and it was magical. It was so quiet and the temps would change just enough that it would go from snow to a wet snow to a light rain and back. Dad and I were drenched but cold enough to keep our gloves on. We sat and sat and sat. Then walked, walked, walked. When we were getting ready to call it a morning, we saw a single track. Like kids on Christmas morning, our energy levels sky rocketed and we started to follow. It was a fresh track and we split up.
I had never tracked a deer before. It is not nearly as easy as you may think. I stayed on the track while Dad tried to cut us off by going way right. The deer meandered his way past our sky condo (if we had been sitting there, we could have shot him), past a neighbor's tree seat (if they had been there, they could have shot him) and Mr. Deer walked in my boot tracks from earlier in the morning. Dad and I met up and switched roles. Dad tracked and I stood in one spot to wait for the deer to circle back.
Dad followed the deer a few miles to a pond that sits at the end of my parent's road and a main road. The deer went into the thick brush and tress that surround the pond and being so close to houses and the road, Dad smiled and came back to get me. As we were again heading out of the woods, we saw a 2nd track made by another deer. It was many 50 yards from where I had been standing, but down over a knoll. There was no way I could have heard him, but he was out there with us, enjoying the snow. It probably doesnt sound as much fun as it was, but take my word on it - tracking a deer in the snow is fantastic! Now, as the season kicks off in 2 days and the snow is starting to fly, I am so excited to see what sort of adventures Dad and I have this year. And if it snows again, I will take real photos so I dont have to google seach pics = )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is how we do it

A very cool article about what we are doing to keep Maine clean. The river restorations have been incredible - the Penobscot and the Androscoggin have undergone amazing transformations as people are now working hard to keep. It is projects like these that make me proud to be a Mainer and it shows that we care about our State and are working to preserve it. The article is short, but cool. And its amazing that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is giving us props for the work that is being done.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caribou in Maine

I was/am looking to see if I can find pictures of youth day yesterday but I came across this article about bringing caribou to Maine in 1986. Check it out!

Cleaning smiles

In an effort to clean my house before I go mia for the next 5 weekends, I started cleaning my office. I was of the mindset that if it was not critical to my daily life or have a significant historical impact, it was going in the trash. I had to. A lot of the stuff has been hiding in a closet for more years that I know and has been moved in those boxes probably 4 times. As I was going through stuff, I found the following that made me smile:
They are handouts from my hunter's safety course. I am not sure why I held on to them since they are out of date now. I also found a notebook with permission slips for hunting on other people's property, information on how to keep invasive species out of the waterways and how to safely keep a firearm in your home. Fun things to find!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Youth Hunt = )

Tomorrow kicks off youth hunt in Maine. YEAH!!! The season is finally here. And it makes me happy that I hunt on my own property because it assures me that no one can be killing my 10 pointer before I hit the woods early next Saturday. At least, as long as my deer stays around the area he has been. Its always so exciting to see the pictures in the paper throughout next week as kids who are between 10-12 it seems, post their pictures of their deer. Last year, a friend of mine's daughter shot a nice deer and her photo was in the paper. Good work Carleigh - girls and guns. I love it. Bring on the season!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

1 week

1 week from tomorrow, I will be heading up the our hunting grounds to start the 2011 season. Yeah! There are things I need to get done before the season starts. 1. Get sick. I have been mia the past couple of days because I have been really sick. CHECK 2. Get wool jacket out. Its hanging up in my room. CHECK 3. Get warm, non-cotton clothes out. CHECK (thank you fall camping) 4. Get hand/toe warmers. CHECK 5. Boots ready. All 2 pair. CHECK 6. Guns sighted in. CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK 7. License in hunting vest. CHECK 8. Squatter out of sky condo. CHECK (so says Dad) I think that's all I need, right? Now, I sit and wait and prep and check in with Dad to see what else is on the camera. I had been hoping that opening day would be on my birthday and since there is a leap year next year, I have YEARS to wait until that happens, so Mother Nature can bring me a post gift by having that 10 pointer walk in front of my cross hairs. HA!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blogger Fail

This weekend, I went with Dad and hubby to set the trail camera and put up my tree seat. Everytime Dad brings in the camera to review what we got for photos, we have to look at the photos of the 10 pointer. Clearly I have been WAY too excited because we realized that the massive buck we thought was a 10 was really a massive 8 and that the 10 pointer comes into the camera 10 minutes later. So, out of the 5 pics were thought were the same buck, it's really 2 deer! Dad thinks the 8 must have at least a 20 inches span and he called dibs. Which means I get the 10. Im very much ok with that. We will see what shows up this week. Anyways, my fail as a blogger... We spent probably 2 hours around the area that we hunt. We checked the Sky Condo to make sure the squatter was no where to be seen and put up the tree seat. We looked for sign (hello massive deer tracks) and scrapes. I showed hubby where I shot my doe and lost my doe. And somewhere in between marching through the woods and looking at last year's scrapes, I realized I did not bring anything to take pictures with. No camera, no cell phone. Nada. Fail! I went back through my cell to see if I had the photos that I took last year while sitting in my tree seat and nothing. I was hoping they were there so I could at least post some photo that related to this past weekend. Nope. Fail! Next time I go into my hunting grounds, I think it will be on the 29th, which is opening day. A camera and cell are both mandatory on my list. Then, you can see the views from my condo/seat and (fingers crossed) how big this 8 and 10 pointer are = ) Maybe we should take bets on how big the spread on the 8 really is... I will figure out a way to get a pic if we don't drag him out on opening day.

Happy Birthday!

The Outdoor Blogger turns 1 tomorrow! I recently added this little blog to their network and got a wonderful email from Rebecca welcoming me to the club. It looks like a great resource for folks to connect, network and talk about whats going on in the outdoor world.
Happy Birthday Rebecca and Joe!! here is to many more years

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Maine's Sporting Heritage 1870-1970

Maine's Sporting Heritage has put together a Facebook page of old photos from Maine's hunting history. It has been so cool to see the sorts of photos they are getting and posting and I think they are tied in with Inland Fisheries & Wildlife which is fantastic in Maine. If you have a Facebook page, I strongly suggest you check this out and see the great photos.

Joining the club.

I have been meeting all kinds of folks thanks to my interview with Steve. And as I have had time, I have been reading other people's blogs about hunting. Yesterday, one blew my mind. I think it was because I had never tried the movie feature on my trail camera and I have yet to see photos of one deer like what Trey saw. Dad and I try to see if we have the same deer, but I have yet to see a year to year comparison that Trey has. I totally recommend checking out his blog! Also, Rick at Whitetail Woods has been awesome in helping me figure out how to get more connected. Next up is the awesome LB at Bullets and Biscuits. She is a rock star! She sent me an email with a long list of blogs along with a little blurb about each one. I can't wait to dive into her blog and check out the links she sent me. So to all of you - a big THANKS for joining me on my little blog and welcoming me/helping me as I explore the blogging world!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting Nostalgic

It's October and its my favorite time of year. Apples, cider, colder temps, sweaters, NO bugs or snakes (although I found 3 skins in the wood pile I was bringing in yesterday *shutters*). I love fall. I love winter. I love looking at my red and black checkered wool jacket and knowing its almost time to throw it on. And I love hunting with Dad. Last year, after we tagged our buck, I followed Dad to his room. Im sure I was rambling about something. Dad got into his bedstand and took out a memopad piece of paper. It was maybe 3x5. One piece. On it, he had a record of deer he had shot. The first entry was exactly one year before I was born. There was the entry that has the 115lb spikehorn I shot with a note that said E's first deer. Dad got his first deer when he was 12 so not every deer has been categorized on this tiny slip of paper. For all I know, there is a collection of memopad paper somewhere in my parents room with the long, long list of deer. But it was really cool to see what this piece and what he had shot, how big it was, the date and what the weather was like. With 17 days til we can (hopefully) add that 10 pointer to the list... I can't help but find myself getting more and more excited for what will be written next. Do you folks keep a record of what you get?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sneak peak of wildlife

I got my Dad a trail camera maybe three years ago for Father's Day. This year, the hubby and I bought a camera for my father-in-law. We surveyed the spot where he usually is sits and looked for a good spot. In the over all scheme of things, I am a newbie hunter (9 years) but I like to think I know where to stick a camera and find some good photos. But I am at a loss. He has said that he has seen deer in the area but I did not see any sign. The land is a piece that looks like it has not been cut in 30 years or more. A small stream and some blow downs. Would you guys put it up near the stream? I would love for him to get some photos because there is nothing cooler than seeing the pics and knowing there are deer around. I will take some pics tomorrow I post so you have a better idea of what Im working with.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild - Links and Resources

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild - Links and Resources: Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW)  - non-profit, educational program offering hands-on workshops to adult women.  http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr...

Link's from Steve's blog with some of his fav women gone wild.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where are the women?

This week, my interview with Steve at The Maine Outdoorsman went live. Steve said yesterday 200 people hit his site viewing over 500 pages. That is a lot of people reading about little ole me and hunting. Why? When I think of women who are in the general public's eye and hunt, I can think of 2 - Country singer Miranda Lambert and Sarah Palin. Why only two? Why is the female hunter such a fascinating thing? (I should probably note that I do not have cable so any and all female hunters on the hunting stations are lost to me. I'll keep it to the general public because that's what I am familiar with.) People/media were fascinated by the fact that they could get footage of Palin and her gun, shooting (and gutting) animals but I feel like the nostalgia would be lost if they had the same footage of McCain. Lambert and her hubby Blake Shelton tweet photos of their kills, and comment on what/where they are hunting. I only know this because I follow both. That's it. I can not think of any other women who are public about their hunting.
As I am writing this, a coworker made a comment about another coworker needing some vacation time and that he would be better after his drunken hunting weekoff. Maybe that's why women hunting is so interesting - we don't fit in the mold of the at-sports-camp-drinking-lots-of-beer-not-really-hunting stereotype of a hunter. At least for me, hunting is a serious thing. I am not a big drinker anyways, but the idea of drinking and hunting (even if its a hangover from the night before) terrifies me. I have a very healthy respect for my gun and I know that even though the safety is on, its not 100% safe. The idea of shooting myself (or my dad) makes me sick to my stomach (I felt bad when I hooked his finger while we were fishing when I was maybe 10) so I know I need to be on my game when I am holding my 30-06. Im proud to be a hunter and I think its really cool that I get to have the chance to hang out with my dad, be in the Maine woods and hunt in the same area my grandfather's did when they were my age. I like being a Maine girl who hunts - so where are all of the other women???

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild - Interview

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild - Interview: Steve found me via Twitter and we struck up a conversation about hunting and being a female hunter. Here is my attempt to do the sport justice and represent the female side of things. Hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Raffle - new scope!

I had to buy raffle tickets from these two men. It was a hunter's breakfast raffle with money going to American Legion Post 192. I will know if I win on November 5th - a week after the start of hunting season, but whatever... I bought the tickets because I need a new scope for my gun. I didnt read their sign very well because I can also win the 30-06 to go with the new scope. New gun? yes please. But if I dont win, does anyone out there know where I could get an oval shaped scope. Im sure they have a name but I cant think of it. It helps to pull in more light. Thanks!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild

The Maine Outdoorsman: Women Gone Wild: Women Gone Wild

Whose Land is it?

Last week Roxanne Quimby bought even more land in the maine woods. In doing so, her acreage is now upwards of 100,000 and she wants to make a chunk of it into a National Park. This whole thing is so controversial that she has started bribing groups to support her cause. Snowmobile trails run all through the land and Quimby has offered to let those trails stay there for up to 5 years if the snowmobile groups support her in moving ahead with a feasibility plan that if the first step in creating the park. The Maine Snowmobile Association opposes her plan Its as thought she is a 5 year old and doesnt want anyone playing in her sand box; but you can play in it for a short period of time, if you help her build up the sides. Then, you cant play anymore. You are kicked out. As I have said before on this blog, I am not a fan of Quimby. I can't help it. I think my upbringing and years I have already spent and will spend in the Maine woods make it impossible for me to see her as anything but a bully. This land that she is trying so hard to protect has been working land for years before Quimby set foot in the State (1975). It has been hunted on, harvested and used for recreation. Mainers are proud of what we have here. We don't want to see it being mistreated by anyone - that's why there are always concerns about Plum Creek cutting and why we are working to keep the deer, moose and coyote populations in check. We give a damn about what we have here. I can trace my family roots in Maine back to the 1700's. Maybe thats why I am so passionate about keeping what I have grown up with. Quimby's Wiki page says that when she moved to Maine ('75 - my Dad was 20), she moved into a cabin and outhouse. My mom had an outhouse at her home until she was 18. Quimby wants people to think she has all kinds of back woods knowledge and appreciation for what we have in Maine. Her experience living in the woods for a few years is what generations of people have been doing long before 1975. It may be unique for someone in who had moved from San Fran but not for the generations of Mainers who grew up with outhouses, no running water, no electricity and relied on the land to provide food and meat for the winter. As I gear up for hunting season and hear stories from friends who have shot their moose this year, I cant help but wonder whose land is it really? Quimby may own it but what will happen in 100 years? 200 years? Will that land be restricted and continue to echo the bullying behavior of Quimby. Or will it be land that will be used to hunt, trap, hike, sight see, snowmobile on and enjoy. Just like it was hundred of years ago? I hope the latter