Friday, November 30, 2012

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 that I think all of you will be excited about.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

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



Monday, November 19, 2012

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 11am. Clearly I did not have my whits about me, as I let him go past me without even raising my gun.

I hear a snap and see Dad walking towards me. I wait til he gets to the bottom of the stand.

"Was that your shot?"
"Yup"
"Did you get it?"
"Yup"
"Was it a deer?"
"Nope. A coyote."

When I told him I saw one, he laughed and asked why I didn't shoot it. Clearly, this is another example of why I hunt from trees; I am not fast thinking! I think in this case, I was so shocked to see the coyote that by the time my mind realized I needed to shoot it, he was gone. Dad took me to see the coyote that he shot (because I am like that and want to see dead animals).


Dad said he heard a snap and saw the two of them. The big one took off and the small one didnt know what to do so she ran behind a tree. All he could see was her tail. She turned around and he could see her head and chest. And shot. It was a small female. I would guess that she was either the mate of or daughter of the one I saw. I know coyotes are dog sides and I have a dog that is 50lbs, but I would say the the one that trotted past me was probably twice the size of this one. So now, as I go back into the woods for a final weekend, I have a new enemy that I am after!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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 we never recovered it is something I, and many many hunters like me, have had to deal with.

I know three people who are hunting for their first whitetail this fall. My Hubby got his but my friend Robin and my cousin are still on the hunt. I received a text from my cousin this morning:


I had the big one in my sights and he got away =( I shot him Monday and hit him. Yesterday your Dad and I tracked him for miles before we lost his trail.

As we talked, my cousin explained how she hit this deer at about 100 yards and he ran. Ran! He ran from her field, about a mile north through the woods, crossed Route 2 and ended up crossing onto the property that I have my tree seat on. He never bedded down.


I would have preferred to have missed him completely!

When I lost my deer, my Dad said it happens to many hunters and throughout the years as I have talked to people, it is true. The more you hunt, the higher your chance is to lose a deer. But it really breaks your heart. My cousin is dealing with that now. Her first chance at a nice big buck and knowing that she hit him but just can’t find him… it tears at you and can shake your confidence.

Three years after I shot that doe, I still think about losing her when I am in that stand but now, I have another story about another deer.

I hope that while Dad and I head back into the woods on Friday, that he can find that deer somewhere in the woods. I think it would give my cousin the closure I never had.

Monday, November 5, 2012

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?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

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!