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Showing posts from 2012

Learning a new hunt

I am decent at deer hunting and I am learning how to ice fish. This Christmas, my sister and brother in law got me a couple turkey calls since inane said that I want to learn. There is a round scrape thing, a mouth piece and wooden box thing (like my terminology and details?).
After I opened my gift, ironically there were about 20 turkeys on the back lawn. I stepped out on to the back porch and tried the round scrape. I thought I did ok but when the turkeys heard it, they took off! Not just like walked off, but started running into the woods and up the mountain. They couldn't get away from me fast enough. So, I need to work a lot of my calling techniques or put Dad in one location and have the turkeys run towards him.

But what do you all recommend? What or how should I start to learn these new hunting toys?

Early Christmas Gift

I got an Ipad!!! My wonderful hubby saved since August and couldnt wait to give it to me, so I got an early Christmas gift last night. YEAH!! Welcome to the 21st century right? So now, my question to all of you is; do you blog from yours (if you have one) and do you find the touch screen works ok or that you wish you had a keyboard? It takes video and photos, which I am hoping will be better than some of the ones I have taken and posted in the past.

So, what should I know about this? I dont see myself taking it into the woods with me but maybe fishing...

What to buy the hunter on your Christmas list

Apparently, I am hard to buy for. I don't think I am but I have been told that I am by multiple people. So, here is my helpful personal list of what to buy a hunter for Christmas or Hanukkah or Festivis.

1.Books. My suggestions this year are:
Meat Eater by Steven Rinella. I asked Santa for it and I am pretty sure its wrapped and waiting under my tree. I have not read it, but I did read American Buffalo and it was fantastic!

Suddenly the Cider Didn't Taste so Good
by John Ford. John is a former Game Warden who tells wonderful Maine stories of the adventures, animals and people he encounters. Light hearted and a quick read.

Tales from Misery Ridge by Paul Fornier. Paul was a Maine Guide and worked for Inland Fisheries before he retired. He tells great stories of the people and places he traveled to around Maine.

2.Clothes.
Anything but cotton. If you can find women's wool pants, without the weird stitching around the knees that will make me scratch when I sit down, t…

Easy peasy

I am getting spoiled. Actually Dad and I both are. I am afraid to write this for what it might mean for next year, but I will; Dad and I have not had to follow a blood trail in a long time. Three years ago, Dad dropped this guy (below) on opening day. Last year, I dropped this one:
and this year, I dropped him right at the base of the Sky Condo:

We are getting spoiled but really, I have a great teacher who has taught me where to shoot a deer for the quickest, least painful death. And it has worked out well.

This year, we spotted the buck coming to eat grass early in the day. He walked out from the upper right corner of this photo and headed down almost to where the camera is and then started to walk back and eat on the clump of brown grass when I shot him (you can see him laying there post gutting and see the brown grass just to the left).

It was a good shot because it dropped him but in my mind it was a bad shot because it was SO LOW! I shot him right in the heart. If you look at…

Coming up...

I miss hunting season already! Is that weird? This is the first Friday I have been at work since mid October. And while it is freezing out right now, Dad and I do have a heater for the Sky Condo. The good thing is, once we get snow, we will start tracking the deer around the SC to see where they are yarding up for the winter and see if we can get some pics on the cameras of our targets for next year.

Coming up in the blog world:

* My post about shooting this year's deer

* A GREAT interview with Bryan White about getting his first ever buck this season

* (Hopefully) an interview with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's Commissioner Mr. Woodcock about the past hunting season, where the numbers are and if he is happy with the progress of the predator program.

* A great blog about a group in Maine who track wounded deer and how they train their dogs and what the process is for them to be called in and try to find the hit deer.

* AND - I will have a BIG announcement after Christmas …

End of season 10

We called it a season yesterday at noon. It was an overall warm season this year, I was bummed not to have snow to hunt in. The season flew by and I can not believe that it is already over!

Here is a quick recap of what we saw:
A group of 20 turkeys around all season
A group of 2 does and 2 fawns around the Sky Condo
3 single does in the woods
5 partridge
3 coyotes (shutter)
3 ticks (shutter and start scratching)
and 1 buck



My new enemy

In my new tree seat, I have seen a ton of wildlife! Does, partridge and turkeys are the norm. All have been super fun to watch. We are still waiting for Dad to get that big buck that he wants!

As I was sitting in the seat on Saturday morning around 10:30am, I hear a shot. Its close because it makes me jump. From where I know Dad was going, it could be him!! I pull out my cell phone waiting for the call to confirm. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes go by. All I can think then is that Dad jumped a deer towards another ground blind that must have had someone in it. As I sit there, I see a movement coming from my right.

It looks like a fluffy dog. It is about 30 feet from me trotting along a broken down tree then turns and heads towards my left. My the time I realize that it is a big coyote, he has ducked under some downed trees and I can just see his feet. I sit there almost in shock. Not only have I never seen a coyote in the wild, but this one was close and out and about at…

What it means to lose a deer

It was horrible. I remember the noise she made when she dropped. How she spun on the ground trying to get back up. I can remember pretty much everything about that 2pm sunny, Saturday afternoon in November. I remember her finally getting back up and thinking she would just go a few more feet, fall and die. That is why I didn’t take that second shot.

When Dad came to get me from the tree stand and we started following the blood trail, it was almost a straight line. There was so much of it. We followed it and followed it and then, nothing. No blood. No tracks. It was like she disappeared into the ether. We searched until it was dark. Then Dad searched again on Sunday trying to find my doe. She was lost.

For any hunter, losing a deer is heart wrenching. To make an animal suffer goes against everything we stand for. Yes, I want to kill an animal, but I want to do it in a way that is so instant and carefully done that the deer does not suffer. To know that one did and that …

Matching Deer!

I shot my 4th deer on Friday morning (story coming this week!) It was a nice 4pt 112lb buck. The next morning, my husband shot his very first deer! It was a nice 4pt 110lb buck! And as terrible as the shots were, we both shot our deer with one shot, in the heart. Any hunter will tell you than if you hit the heart as square on as I did, it really is a bad, low shot and not one you should aim for on a regular basis. I was about 4 inches low. But, it took me one shot and he dropped. It takes a little bit of the pressure off since there is now meat in the freezer for the winter, but now it's Dad's turn. And he wants a big buck!

My deer is on the left.


P.S - for the first time EVER!!! I had 3 ticks on me this weekend. Never have I had those nasty things on me in the fall. I fear the deer will smell my cloud of deet from miles away if I use it. Any suggestions?

Same deer? or Same gene pool?

He was a part of triplets that we watched a few years ago. I joked that he was so ugly, I was going to shoot him when I had my big birthday. Yesterday, Dad pulled the camera chip and the picture below was on it. Has he come back??? Could a deer born in (probably) 2009 have such small antlers in 2012? If it is not the same deer, it has to be the same gene pool - look at those eyes!


Have some respect or ruin it for the rest

A hunting license does not authorize you to enter private property without permission.

Last week, my friend Robin and I got into a conversation about hunting on private vs public lands (and about hunting on Sundays, but that’s a different blog) and the lack of public land around to hunt on. IFW says 94% of land in Maine is privately owned which makes hunting hard if you do not own land to hunt on.

I am fortunate. The three pieces of land that we hunt on make up about 430 acres and are owned by my parents and grandparents. We have allowed people to hunt on the land as long as they asked and did not use four-wheelers. I hunt in a small town where everyone knows everyone else and knows where they hunt/own. It is a community where the rules and verbal requests to hunt on certain parts of land are taken seriously.

This year, we posted a new piece of land to keep people off of the logging road and away from where my tree seat is. We don’t expect to have problems, but with a new loggin…

Hours away...

Clothes are out, licenses and ready to go, guns are sighted in and a game plan is on deck.

In about 11 hours, we will be heading into the woods and into our Sky Condo. Dad and I jumped three deer today walking in to move branches AND, when we grabbed the cameras and checked photos, we say a ton of does, one coyote and a NICE looking buck all in front of the Sky Condo!

I wish all of my fellow hunters good luck tomorrow!!!

See you Monday with an update!

What do you do when the tree is too close?

Folks, I need some advice.

Dad put up a new tree seat in a new secret spot. Its fantastic. I climbed up there last weekend and sat for a few minutes. It's another pimped out seat with a bar that comes down over me like a ride at the fair. It's a little tighter of a fit than my other seat but it will work. Here is my concern: the open shooting lanes are on my right. I am right handed and right eye dominant. The tree is a little too close to my back and shoulder if I need to turn to the right to shoot. The last thing I want is for my gun to kick back and me not be able to go back with it. What should I do?

In honor of my Dad, my Birthday and being an Outdoors Woman

Every woman has a story. For some, it is a new adventure when the nest is empty. For others, it is a way to find themselves after a divorce or a new hobby after retiring. For some, it is a way to experience the outdoors among other women and for a few of us, it is a way to pay homage to the fathers who were willing to take their daughters into the woods.

When I walk into the woods this fall, I will be celebrating a milestone birthday, but more importantly, I will be celebrating 10 years of being my Dad’s hunting partner.

I remember how loud I was that first morning, crunching leaves and snapping branches. I am surprised we saw anything! But with Dad’s patience and teachings, we have seen a lot of wildlife over the years, built some great tree houses and harvested a few deer.

It is because of my Dad (and my Mom who gets up to make us breakfast at 4:30am, gives us words of encouragement and helps butcher our deer), that I have become more connected to my family’s history. I have…

32 years and worth the wait!

I saw this bull coming at me on the skidder road. I can tell he is a good sized bull and he is following behind the cow and calf. He stepped out, I lifted my gun up, placed the cross hairs on him and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened.
Rick and his family have been hunting in Maine for more than three generations. Each year, Rick faithfully puts in his application to get a moose permit and each year, his name is not drawn. Until this year! After 32 years, Rick saw his name appear but it was not an ideal situation. He drew a cow in zone 17 for the October hunt, starting Oct 8th. Not ideal, so Rick put his permit up on a couple of websites to see about a possible swap. Within 24 hours, an email hit his inbox accepting the swap. Frank had drawn a bull in zone 4 for the September hunt but his Dad had drawn a bull for October in zone 17 and it would be the first time (and maybe last) that the two could both hunt for moose together. Trade done.

In preparing for this year'…

So much to celebrate - let's give away stuff!

As you know from my last post, this month I am celebrating the one year anniversary of this blog, 10 years of hunting with my Dad and a milestone birthday. In honor of all three, I want to give away some great Maine stuff to all of you!

Rules:
1. Leave a comment
2. On Oct 28 (my big bday), Dad will pick a number and the corresponding post will win.

What will you win? A big basket of great Maine and outdoor things! Such as: fly fishing flies, blueberry something, Maine maple syrup, apple butter (to be made by me on Tuesday), something related to deer hunting and a couple of great books signed by local authors. (Pictures will be posted when I am back at a computer).

So thank you for your support and for helping my celebrate such a great month!!

Its been 1 year!

Wow! It has been a year since I started seriously blogging.

It all started with a Hemingway quote on Twitter. Followed by some tweets and emails and before I knew it, I was being interviewed about my hunting. If it were not for Rabid, who knows if this blog would even exist.

It has been a whirlwind of a year and I am so grateful for the many, many new friends I have met. Here are a few that really helped me get started, gave me a boost of confidence in myself and my writing and still make me smile when I get a comment from them.

Downeast Duck Hunter

Trey Luckie

Rick Kratzke

LB

Penbayman


Thanks to each and every one of you who read my posts, add your comments and continue to encourage me to keep blogging!!!

Also, there will be a special give away coming up soon - in celebration of this blog's 1 year, celebrating 10 years of hunting with my Dad and I have a kinda big birthday at the end of the month... so I want to do a great give-a-way! Check back in a couple of days for the annou…

It's the little things

I remember slapping my Dad's leg because I could see him coming down the hill and was so excited. I remember Dad telling me to get into position and he helped me pull my mitten/gloves off. I knew where the target spot was and I knew not to lift my head after I shot. I remember asking Dad if I could shoot him and getting the go ahead. I remember his front leg snapping up and him running. I asked Dad if I had shot him and he chuckled, patted me on the back and said I had.

It was November 17th. I will never forget it. Where we were, what we did and how excited I was to get my first deer. He weighed in at 111lbs. The biologist at the tagging station took a tooth and I think some blood. He estimated that he was about 2 years old.


When I stopped by my parent's house this weekend, I found this:

My Dad had had the small spikes mounted for me! I had no idea he was doing this and I can not tell you how much it means to me that he did. I think we will do the same thing with

Learning to forage

I don’t trust myself not to kill myself. I wish I did. But I am going to learn! And the first step in this process was heading out into the woods with my friend Robin Follette during some downtime at BOW. We were off in search of edible mushrooms!

My love of mushrooms is not normal. They are my selling item at a restaurant; if a dish has mushrooms in it, I will order it. I can eat mushrooms with every meal. But one thing I can not do; identify which ones in the woods are actually safe for me to pick and eat.

Robin agreed to show me some basic mushrooms. She told me what they were and talked about how to make sure they are edible or not.






Fast forward a couple of weeks and I met Greg Marley at the Common Ground Fair. He hears me raise my voice as I enter the tent “Ohhh mushrooms!!!” and knows he has an easy sell on his hands. He hands me a cup of Chaga Chai to drink and tells me about some courses he is teaching and how I can learn how to not kill myself.

My plan now is to ta…

I got kinda distracted...

So, I do have 3 more blogs to write about Becoming an Outdoors Woman. They are already drafted and the photos are ready to go. But, I got distracted.

Last fall, my friends invited Hubby and I to their house. We headed to a local fair and then Jason convinced us that it would be really fun to pick tomatoes from the garden and then make tomato sauce. Apparently, I would be one of the kids painting the fence in Tom Sawyer.

This year, I went out and bought all of the attachments I would need for my KitchenAid and set about making my own tomato sauce. For the record, I hate tomatoes, so wrap your brain around that!

But, I am a sucker for good, homemade stuff. And harvest season. And getting an amazing deal on tomatoes from a great local farmer. As a result, instead of blogging and posting, I did this:






When all was said and done, I had 8 pints of corn and 6 quarts of tomato sauce.
I am SO ready for the snow to fly - I am like a squirrel collecting nuts =)



Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Fishing the right way

We could not have asked for a better weekend for the BOW Skills Weekend. It was crisp, mostly sunny and the excitement was palpable. 106 women, 36 different sessions taught be awesome instructors and most of the Friend of Maine BOW board members were there. It was a time to test our skills, try new things and learn to push ourselves to do things we might have thought we could not do.

For me, I wanted to try Don Kleiner’s session: Intro to Freshwater Fishing. After my trip to Jackman, I needed all the help and advice I could get.

Big, big kudos to Don! If you can ever take a class he is teaching, do it. He encourages questions, clearly knows what he is talking about and has an infectious laugh. The 6 of us in his session were put at ease and enjoyed having a smaller group to be able to get more one on one instruction.

Don introduced himself, his business and assured us that if he could teach kids to fish, we shouldn’t have a problem. He got us started by practicing the improved …

Becoming an Outdoor Woman

I joined the Becoming an Outdoor Woman in Maine board in April because I love the outdoors and write a blog about hunting. I joined because my friend Rabid sent me the application. I attended board meetings and started understanding what is it we do as Friends of Maine Bow.

But it wasn't until this weekend that I got it.

We help to empower women to be confident and know that they can do anything they put their minds to. From hatchet throwing to freshwater fishing to muzzle loading and beyond, there was no skill these women could not do.

We laughed, we cried and we shared stories that linked our experiences closer than I think many of us realized.

Over the next week, I will be posting stories about the classes I sat in on, the women I met and my hopes for next year's Skills Weekend

Fall and Family Traditions

I love fall. I love the cooler air and the countdown to hunting season. I love the prospect of the first snow and being able to break out the sweaters. Fall is when I can finally get back outdoors and relax. And its harvest season.


This year, I have a pressure cooker and huge lobster pot in my kitchen. Both have been used for canning. I have beans and tomatoes canned and ready for winter. I have apples and tomato sauce on the list that needs to get canned before hunting season starts and I have no free time.

One of the things that is a must for my family in the fall is apple picking. It is one more thing the deer and I have in common; our love of fresh apples off the tree. Last weekend, my Mom and I made our first (of many) trips to a local apple orchard, North Star Orchards. We have been picking apples with the Dimock family for 20 years or more. We are on a first named basis with most of the family, which adds to the draw of wanting to come back again and again. It’s a t…

Trouble with Trail Cams

I need some advice. Dad and I have 3 trail cameras that are spread throughout our hunting grounds. In the past, we have seen photos like this:






But now, we are getting photos of the trees. We have tweaked the timing so they are set for 15 seconds between photos. We have them where the deer are (as evidence by the tracks) but no photos of deer. We have them in the same spots we did at some point last year when we got the above photos. So…

What are we doing wrong???

Less than 2 months!!!!

‘Til opening day of deer season!

I know a bunch of people who are out in the woods this week looking for bears and moose season starts in a couple of weeks… but I am counting down the days til the whitetail and I come face to face (or scope to face).


The more I think about it, the more I want to get done before Oct 27th! Dad and I have a new spot with a new seat in it and I want to hang out there for a couple of hours to get use to it. I never realized how familiar a spot feels until you spend countless hours there. By the time I shot my deer last year, I had spent 76 hours in the woods. I knew where the gray squirrels would come from (direction and tree) and I knew what the normal sounds were and what were not.

I have written about my hunting spots before and so far, we have shot a deer from each tree stand and my tree seat. The pressure is on for this 4th spot.

Also, as Dad and I walk into the woods this fall, we will be celebrating 10 years of being hunting partners. So much a…

Jackman

Last weekend, the hubby, pup and I headed to Sandy Mountain Cabins in Jackman. We were excited and eager to test out the fishing pole.

It was beautiful when we arrived on Friday! The camp we were in was unlocked and ready for us. Corey, the owner had left a note in the window of the door saying welcome, where we were going to be and that we would catch up later. It was clean, welcoming and wonderful. We quickly got settled and headed out to start fishing.
For some reason, I always take self portraits. I have them from my tree stand, and here when we are on the boat...

Anyways, Corey usually rents out motor boats but because it had rained the night before, he said that if we wanted to pump it out, we could just take it. Yes, please!
We had asked Corey where we should go to see if we could catch something and he gave us a suggested spot but also said that because the water/air had been so warm that it might be (probably would be) hard to catch something decent. But he gave us s…