Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Ice Fishing photos

Kim sent me more photos from my ice fishing adventure a couple weekends ago.

Me and Kim
Duckman and Ryan with a nice pike
Playing cribbage
Vose family


Friday, February 24, 2012

My inaugural ice fishing adventure- Part 2

Before I arrived on the pond, Duckman had caught a 6.5 pound pike. I thought it was a huge fish and my dog had no idea what it was and kept coming over to smell it. All I could envision was her grabbing the thing and running. And then dropping it down a hole. Then I would owe Duckman more than I do (Leah thought she could help herself to some chowder).
As Leah ran around, she found a dead bait fish and became intrigued. She would put the thing in her mouth, tail hanging out, run a little and then drop it. She had no idea what to do with the fish, what it was or what she should be doing with it. The last thing I wanted was for her to swallow the thing. So instead, I ruined her fun - picked the fish up and put it back into a semi-frozen hole that Duckman had abandoned earlier.
All she could do was try to figure out how to get it back. There was a thin layer of ice, so in some parts of the hole, she hit ice instead of fish. In the spot that I dropped the fish into, she couldn't quite get her mouth into the water enough to get it without driving it further into the water. After a couple of minutes, she gave up. But, being the dog that she is, she found Uncle Kim who had vienna sausages and Matt and Ryan who had peanuts they would give her.
While this was happening, Duckman needed a rest. Trey, I took this picture just for you. Now, you can see what actually happens when they go ice fishing =)

While Duckman napped, Rabid, his brother Matt, his father and I played Cribbage. I didnt tell them that I play all the time with the hubby and friends. Or that my mom had taught my dad when they were dating in high school and that he taught me and my sister when we were young to help us with math. Instead, I was partnered up with Papa Rabid and we won the cut. And then we won the game. It was close and we won by 1 peg. We had first count on the last hand and pegged out. So. Much. Fun!
We had a few wind flags but we also had a couple of legit flags. Twice there were pike that tripped the flags. We would all run over to the flag, Duckman would set up his camera and all of these guys would start to work together to let out the line, when to start reeling, and if they could see the pike going after the bait. One guy would take the trap and begin to rel in the line, whomever set the trap would begin to work the line at just the right pace so that the pike would not be scared off and instead take the bait and be hooked.
Unfortunately, I didnt get to catch my own pike, or even see one get caught. After I left, Matt and Ryan both caught one. I missed all of the action. But, I got a taste of why they spend days on the ice waiting for those fish. I put in a ton of time waiting for my deer and I went days without seeing anything more than my pet gray squirrel. These guys wait a few hours and can walk away with a few fish. Much better odds.
I had a great time and I am very thankful that Duckman, Rabid and the rest of the guys were willing to let a girl (and her dog) tag along on their outing. The camaraderie, games, food and stories made this a fun day outside. Im not quite at the point where I will go out and start buying traps myself, but I could get there. I just need a few more experiences out on the ice - and to catch a fish. Maybe, if I am lucky, the guys will invite me back.




Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My inaugural ice fishing adventure- Part 1

On Sunday, I went ice fishing. I had never, ever been fishing before (unless you count the time I caught 13 sunfish when I was maybe 10) and had a vague idea of what to expect. I relied on this to shed some light on what to expect.

I was at the pond at 6:45am, trying not to be the late kid and I brought my dog. The hubby was supposed to come but got the flu so the dog and I fled. I had dressed a little warmer than if I was going to go sit in a tree for 6 hours waiting for Bambi, but not by much. I used it as an opportunity to test some new layers I bought a month ago.

Rabid had given me directions (not quite accurate, but not to worry, he gave his dad the same ones) but I had a good idea of where I was going since my best friend grew up on the road we parked on. It was beautiful out. A little chilly, but a wonderful February day. I was really excited to witness first hand what all of the excitement was about when it came to ice fishing.

Duckman was gracious enough to come get me on the 4 wheeler but my dog is a spazz and I ended up walking to the fishing spot, but I gave Duckman some equipment to carry so I didnt have to. With a backpack full of extra layers, snacks, lunch and water, I made my way down onto the ice and across the pond with Leah.

Two days before I was supposed to go smelt fishing with coworkers but the shacks were pulled off the ice that day because of the warm temps and overall lack of ice. Rabid will confirm, but I must have asked him 4 or 5 times how much ice there was on the pond. I was thrilled when I saw we were camped about 75 feet from open water. I relaxed a little when I saw that with every hole, there was at least 6 inches of ice.

Dad said 6 inches of ice is safe. I trust Dad!

I had just enough time to set down my stuff, unhook Leah from her leash and look around when Rabid put me to work baiting my lines. Up until this point, I was hoping I could play the girl card and have the baiting done for me. I also like to tell folks that I am a visual learner and need to see things done over and over again before I get it. Rabid didnt buy it and I wasnt going to wimp out in front of all of the guys. So I learned how to do it (hook goes in just in front of the dorsal fin and not too deep or I could paralyze the fish and essentially have dead bait) and baited 4 of my 5 lines (I did need to watch Rabid do it the first time)and have the pics to prove it:


I had 5 lines in the water as did pretty much everyone else. I learned how to hook the flags and that the wind can make a lot of people really excited when a flag goes up. But, after a few minutes we were all set.

Everything was in the water and we started to wait for a flag...






Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wish me luck


Im heading out on the ice this weekend with Rabid Outdoorsman and Downeast Duck Hunter. I have never been ice fishing before and after watching the videos on DH's website... I can only imagine what it will be like.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Antlers mounted... advice? help?


I want to get this bad boy mounted. Just the antlers though. My home is not ready for deer heads just yet and I just decided I wanted to save the antlers beyond just keeping them downstairs or in the barn, which is where my little spike-horn's spikes are and all of Dad's antlers. Anyways, I made up my mind late and the head has been hanging out in the barn with misc critters since Nov 25th.

So - friends and followers... where do I go? what can I do? I saw Rick's post. Should I make it my weekend project?

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 Moose Lotto

I was the 26th person to buy a chance in the permit lottery this year/today (they went on sale less than an hour ago I would guess). The cost has gone up, $12 to $15 and there is now an option to NOT be entered, but to get a bonus point for this year instead. Last year, 50,000 people entered the 2011 lottery for a shot at the 3,862 permits that were available. I will know on Saturday June 24 if Dad and I will be headed out into the wild country to (attempt) to bag us a moose. It didnt work out the last time.


This is last year's moose that my best friend's Dad got in the Allagash.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Smuggling Deer... and possible disease

For some crazy reason, I actually thought I would have a problem finding ways to keep the conversation about hunting going throughout the winter. So far, I have been lucky with all of the things happening... such as this story about a Texas breeder who smuggled in many deer, including 2 monster bucks, and risked the lives of the entire deer population in Texas.
I had to laugh at the names of these monster bucks "Barry" aka "Fat Boy" and "Hit Man" aka "Silver Storm" For one thing, who names their deer? And why not tag them and refer to them as #123 and #456. It seems to silly to me. But, its a huge 2+ billion dollar industry that could have been wiped out by greed. Any of those smuggled in deer could have carried bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease, that could have hit the wild deer population and spread. Instead, hundreds of deer had to be killed and tested to make sure they were not sick.

Is it really worth that sort of risk? A monster buck with good genes or a healthy deer population for the entire state. To me, it doesnt seem like that hard of a choice. But, clearly for some, it is. I think the best line in this entire article was "Breeders say they can sell semen from outstanding bucks for up to $35,000 a sample" Those samples had better contain some potent little swimmers!






And here is proof that you don't need to screw with the gene pool to get a monster buck. This deer was taken, in the good ole woods of Maine during hunting season in 2010. Here is the write up from the local paper.