Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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 as happened since that first trip in the woods with him and as the season gets closer and starts, I am excited to write about the new adventures and some really good (and funny) old ones.

Are you excited about the upcoming season? Are you already in the woods?

Friday, August 24, 2012


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 suggestions and we headed out there. If nothing else, we just wanted to start casting. I am brand new to this and Hubby has not fishing in a solid 10+ years. Beginners!
The pup was less than impressed with the boat. And the heat. She did not really know how or where to sit, what we were doing and why she could not be in the water as opposed to floating on it.

On Saturday it felt like fall and the wind picked up just enough that we were not willing to battle whitecaps on Big Wood Pond to go out fishing. Looking for something else to do, we went to the Information office and picked up some brochures. One was for Moose River ATV rental and their Red Eye Moose Cruise. I called and had to leave a message. We also drove to Cedar Ridge Outfitters since their brochure advertised horseback riding and guided fishing trips. The door to the house was wide open but they had some brochures outside and a note saying if no one was around to leave a note. We did not want to walk through their house looking for someone, so we left my cell number and info about what we were looking to do.

We headed back to the cabin to wait for the phone calls. We took the pup swimming and decided to practice our casting from shore and the nearby boat launch. This is where things turned into a comedy of errors.

Corey had mentioned that the fish stay down where it is colder and with the water being so warm, sinkers would be a good bet. So we bought sinkers. And sinkers might have worked if we were back out in the middle of the pond. But near the edge... not so much. With the sinkers now on the line and some of my cool new lures. I tried a little, Hubby tried a little. Then it was gone. My first lure. Gone. The lure caught on the bottom and stuck. The swivel broke leaving half on the fishing pole and half in the water with my lure.
Thinking he might be able to see it, Hubby attempted to find it. But not to be outdone, we did it again and the line snapped taking everything attached but the sinkers. By the time we put the fishing pole away, we had lost two lures.

Fish = 2
Erin = 0

What we learned on this trip is that we should have done a better job of preparing. We went up to the cabins without having a plan, we just knew at some point we wanted to fish. Any plans that we did try to make just did not work out. Neither place called me back Saturday or Sunday. Cedar Ridge called me on Monday at 3:30pm and said that they had been gone for the weekend, no longer offer horseback riding and that it was really too warm to catch any decent fish. I should try back at the end of September.
At some point, I am sure we will go back to Sally Mountain and when we do, we will be better prepared! But regardless, the sun, wind and beautiful scenery was enough for a relaxing weekend.
I had to take a photo of this! Inside the office is a wall of photos with big bucks from over the years hanging from this. My cabin was built in 1932 and while I am sure this has not been standing for that long, the thought of the stories and the deer that have hung here, made me smile.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A hunter is a hunter is a hunter...

I really like Steven Rinella. I have never seen one of his shows (I dont have cable) but he was kind enough to send me two copies of his book American Buffalo signed and ready for auction at this fall's BOW weekend. I follow him on Twitter and he posts some great stuff. Last week, he tweeted this link to a blog post on his Meateater website. I clicked and before I finished the first paragraph I found myself rolling my eyes.

The blog is about Steven finding out that he is going to have a daughter in Dec. and his wife asks him to teach their daughter to hunt with the same excitement and enthusiasm as he is their young son. After Steven says he will, he starts thinking about if he really can. He describes his family as having few female hunters (and those that have or girlfriends who went ended up crying or begging for the animal not to be killed), but almost all of the men hunt. He uses a couple of examples of friends and family that have daughters who they taught to hunt. In one example, he references his friend Ronny who "raised three daughters who are proficient with a shotgun and enjoy chasing upland birds" but then Steven writes this:
When I consider Ronny’s success with his daughters, I can’t help but consider the fact that he never had a son. That is, he never had a more traditional protégé. He wasn’t able to leave the girl at home to play with her dolls while he took the boy hunting. To make hunting a family affair, he took them along and treated them with the respect that many men reserve for their boys. They responded in kind.
Wasn't able to leave the girl at home to play with her dolls. WHAT???? This did me in. For one, I had an amazing Barbie empire; a 3 story townhouse, convertibles, campers, and dune buggies not to mention enough little plastic shoes to make Imelda Marcos jealous.
I applaud Ronny for taking his daughters hunting. Maybe he did want a son (don't all men want a son?) but he allowed his girls to be a part of and carry on a family tradition that probably has and will continue on for generations.

I can not imagine my Dad not letting me go hunting with him and really, would his excitement and pride be any different if I was his son shooting a buck as opposed to his daughter?

Another part of Steven's blog is in regards to the "sex-pot huntress" depicted on hunting shows and on hunting website. All I will say about this is that I am happy I hunt with my Dad and that he doesnt really care that I roll out of bed, throw on my layers and layers of clothes and follow him out the door and into the woods. I actually had a coworker tell me that she did not realize the photo above was me because to her, it looked like a guy with a deer. Good!

So my big question and problem is this; why are we still having this conversation? Why does it matter if the child will be a boy or girl? Can't we see it as another member of the family to bring into the family tradition of hunting and fishing? Why would someone as established and connected to the hunting world as Steven is, question the idea of having a daughter go hunting with him???

At what point will we be able to celebrate all hunters and not get weird if its a girl who wants to hunt or a father who is asked to teach her? A hunter is a hunter is a hunter.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My first fishing trip... help!

This weekend, hubby and I are heading to Jackman to go fishing. This will be the first time that I have actually gone somewhere to go fishing. I have all of the equipment that I need (I think) but what suggestions can all of you offer to me about the trip??? Is there anything I MUST have? What should I know? This is the first time for me, so any and all info is more than welcomed. I leave Friday = )

This is where I am staying and this is the link to their fishing page.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I can't escape them!

There I was, morning mug of coffee and the newspaper. Enjoy some quiet before the day started. I turned the page and there it was – another article about ticks. I shuttered and as I read the article, I was informed that I am basically doomed. My hatred of those little disease-filled creepy crawlies has been chronicled twice before (1 and 2) but this brought it to a whole new level: babesiosis. And apparently its on track to rival Lyme disease in the tick-borne illness category. *Shutters*

This is what did me in. Jane Brody writes:

It has been said that Lyme disease moves on the wings of birds, which some experts believe carry the bacteria causing the condition. Babesiosis, however, moves on the backs of mice and deer. Birds do not spread it.
But like the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Babesia protozoans are transmitted to humans by ticks, which acquire the infection from the white-footed mouse and white-tailed deer. And, yes, the same tick — Ixodes scapularis, popularly called a deer tick — transmits both Lyme disease and babesiosis in this country.

Done. So done. I am already the girl who starts wishing for snow 1 day after the snow is gone. But now… I should look into buying stock in S.C Johnson, the maker of Off! products (I carry this in my bag, everywhere I go).

I am already paranoid about these things and I am ok with smelling like deet to the point that my clothes are damp with bug dope while I am in the woods. I have only become ok with them on me because I know it takes a tick 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted (CDC). Babesiosis is not like that and once you are bit, you could get it (CDC).

So, now that I have made you more paranoid about going into the woods, just be smart, wear the proper clothing, bathe in deet and then do tick checks when you are out of the woods. If I can handle it, you can!

80 days until I am in my Sky Condo and no bug is going to stop me!