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Showing posts from 2013

Happy New Year!

In addition to this and my determination to find him, I have a few other goals that I am hoping to achieve in 2014!

* Take up muzzle loading.  Blog coming, but I shot my first one right before Christmas.

* Write some real thought provoking blogs for you folks.  I have a couple doozies that I am working on right now!

* Shoot a turkey.  I tried last spring, but I want to shoot one this year - spring or fall, I don't care.


That is all for now but Happy New Year! and may 2014 be fantastic.




What I learned about being a hunting mom

1. My child cries/moans in his sleep! Seriously - see #6.  Is this normal?  Who knew?

2. I needed to bring a lot of gear with me!  My hunting clothes, my 'normal clothes', his toys, his clothes, his bedding, his food... I'm glad I have an Outback!

3. Bringing the wrong "flow" bottle top could alter how quickly he goes to sleep.  Slow flow - forces him to slow down and puts him to sleep.  Rapid flow - drinks too fast and throws up.  And is not tired.

4. I had to make sure to pack enough diapers, food and clothes.

5. Don't forget the bathtub - routine is important! I forgot to bring this the first weekend and our bedtime routine was not the same.

6. You really can stay awake in a tree stand after 2-4 hours of sleep! It helped that it was so cold that I feared hypothermia.

7. Sometimes grandparents can get kids to do things moms can't - like eat all of their peas.

8. There really is guilt associated with being a hunting mom!  I didn't necessarily feel b…

The one who lived another year...

He may have won this year, but after Dad went scouting on the first few snow falls, we are pretty sure he is still out there.  Until next year...









On writing and new opportunities

I have been writing this blog for about four years now.  In that time, I have gained a lot of outdoor friends and lost a couple outdoor friends (I'm better off without the drama.) I have learned about hunting issues in Maine and looked beyond deer hunting to bear, coyote and turkey. I have been able to reconnect with friends who are now working for Inland Fisheries & Wildlife as well as meet new friends who helped me get a better idea of what was going on and what the impact was, as I sat in on legislative hearings regarding new potential laws to the Maine outdoors.

In my writing, I have always strive to be unique, honest and to the point.  I don't always do a good job of editing (I am working on that, I promise!) but I am improving and growing as an outdoors woman and as a writer.

In this process, I had the opportunity to blog for a state-wide newspaper.  My excitement and willingness was short lived as I (and others) were bounced from one editor to another to another.  …

Back to the beginning

During the last two weekends of hunting season, we headed over to the spot where it all started!

~~~

While Hubby and Dad decided to still hunt on the mountain, I needed a place to sit.  Dad said that our original tree house was still safe if I wanted to go there.  He advised me that the roof (made of canvas) had caved in a bit and that could pose an issue.  I hate to be on the ground and trying to hunt, so I figured I would take my chances.

When I approached the stand the first time, it looked good.  Not as good as it did when we first built it seven years ago, but stable and strong.

When Dad and I built it, (this was our first attempt at a tree stand), we haphazardly nailed boards to the tree to make steps.  They were not even distances apart nor did they have any extra room for larger boots. Climbing up them again had me wondering what kind of limber monkeys we thought we were back then.  It was a sketchy climb up but I made it.

Once I wiggled my way inside and got my gun in, I re…

Well played, Bambi. Well played.

7 degrees.  7 flippin degrees is what the thermometer read when we headed outside on Friday morning. I was as bundled up as possible with hand and toe warmers.  Hubby headed to the Sky Condo with instructions to start walking around 7:30am.  Dad dropped me off at our newest tree seat and he took off to make a loop around me.  The plan was for Hubby to come from the right, Dad from the left and me, in the middle, shooting any deer that happened to get jumped.  If it had antlers, it was going down.

When it is this cold, I go into owl mode where I really don't move much more than my eyes.  Plus, I had on so many layers, I could barely move.  Ready for this: 3 pairs of socks with toe warmers, snowmobile boots, 3 layers of long johns under my wool pants and 7 layers on top including my awesome red and black plaid wool jacket.  Plus my neck warmer and hat.  When it wasn't breezy, it actually wasn't too bad.

There were gray squirrels, a red squirrel, chick-a-dees and nuthatches a…

How to hunt with three people

For the past 10 1/2 seasons, we have been a two hunter show.  I sit, Dad walks and we either find deer or move to a new spot. This time Hubby came along and it added new challenges for us.

Dad and I have three seats up and decided that we would each get a spot to sit during the first few hours of Saturday morning.  We put Hubby in the Sky Condo because he has not hunted/shot from a tree seat and we have some tiny/slanted seats that Dad and I are used to.  It seemed a little awkward to try and get everyone in place early enough so that the last person was sitting at an early enough time to beat the deer moving.

At 5 am, we were out the door and heading into the woods.  The wind was flipping COLD!!! I was my normal, bundled up self and I was comfortable as we walked in.   Dad dropped me off in my tree seat, dropped Hubby off at the Condo and headed up to our third spot.  Dad said I could head out of the woods around 10, get Hubby and meet him at the truck around 11.  I was settled in a…

Thanks for the company

It was definitely not the best day of hunting we have ever had.  We had planned to skip Friday afternoon so that Hubby could come up with me, but thanks to an illness, he didn't come and I missed the opportunity to catch the last couple of hours with Dad in the woods.

With the moon almost full, Dad and I figured that we would walk in extra early on Saturday and get set up before the deer started moving.  My 4 am wake up call (Mom coming to wake me up so an alarm does not wake the baby up) came at 4:26.  I have never jumped out of bed and dressed so fast!  The problem is that I sit when I hunt, so I dress in many, many... many! layers.  It also means that it takes me more than 30 minutes to get dressed so that I dont get over heated and sweaty before I leave the house.  Not that Saturday.  I was sweating and rushed.  A bad combo.

The moon had disappeared behind thick clouds by the time we started along the roadway.  We got the flashlight out and rounded the corner.

Snap! 

Leaves cru…

So much for respectable stand placement

Dad has hunted on the land that houses the Sky Condo for the better part of his life. About six years ago, we built the SC and started hunting there full time.   At that time, there were no other hunters near by.  A few years ago, a hunter bought a bordering piece of property, re-did the old camp that was there and brought his buddies along. 

We haven't had a lot of incidents with them (trespassing last year, putting pink ribbon on my tree seat and lying to us when we asked them what they shot - a search through the list at the tagging station said an 8-point buck). 

Two years ago, Dad bought a piece of land that is separated from the Sky Condo property by a powerline and a driveway that is privately owned by our hunting neighbor.  The land was bought in May and once October came, our neighbor put a treestand up along the edge of the powerline, facing our new piece of property and right next to our traveling path.  We were cautious from that point on, making sure we were not seen…

This Moment

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



Half a deer just won't cut it

The minute my mom got home and could watch the baby, Dad and I were in the woods.  That morning, Dad had pulled the chips from the cameras so we could see what was still around after week 1.  The group of 5 does were still around and coming to the apple trees on a regular basis.  There was one picture of what looked like the small crotch horn and then... that 8 point buck! For the entire week, he would come back to his scrape every other night.  He checked it around 6 pm, ate for about 30 minutes and would come back around 4:30 am to check the scrape again.  He was the most frequent deer on the camera!!!

When Dad and I headed into the woods, I could only think about that deer. 

"When he comes out, just say its him and I'll get him" I told Dad.

We got settled in the Sky Condo and waited...waited...waited.  We were checking all of the possible trails as it changed from bright and colorful to black, white and gray.  A small wind kept things just noisy enough that we could no…

New Season, New Challenges

I was so worried about my son waking up in the middle of the night and subsequently waking up my parents, that I barely slept. This was our first overnight and every little whimper had me ready to jump out of bed and make him a bottle. When I got up at 4:30 it seemed as though I had just gone to bed. But it was opening day and there were deer to find!

Dad and I had looked over the memory cards from our cameras the night before. Dad asked me to keep track of how many bucks I saw in the photos. One spike, one crotch horn, another spike, a small six (maybe) pointer, two more crotch horns, a NICE, wide six-pointer and a bunch of does. More does. The same does. Turkeys. Grass. Grass. A coyote (boo!) and then... a perfect, beautiful, thick 8-point buck eating grass in front of the Sky Condo. I think he is my ghost deer! I will grab camera photos next week, but he was incredible. His antlers are symmetrical, he has thick shoulders and I want to shoot him very badly! I have my targe…

Maine's Deer Herd in 2013

I recently sat down with Kyle Ravana, the state’s deer biologist, to talk about what his goals are for the deer herd, what challenges he sees ahead and he answers the question: “Would you rather have a warm winter that is easy on deer or a harsh winter that kills off a lot of deer ticks?”


You took over this position in February. What are your goals for your first year on the job?

I really want to get familiar with the job, the materials that we have and the current deer data. I’m diving into the management systems that we have and looking at what our strengths and weaknesses are. I have been researching how other states work with their deer herds and what works or doesn’t work for them in terms of management. Places like New York and Vermont as well as Canadian providence’ like New Brunswick all face the same climate challenges that we face here in Maine.

I have also been talking to regional biologists and hearing their opinions and suggestions on what they want to see in their are…

Better to have seen and lost or to never see at all?

Deer season starts tomorrow!!!  Dad and I have had the cameras up seriously for about a month or so.  The excitement of bringing the memory cards home, waiting to see if there are new pictures and then of what... it's almost like Christmas morning for us.  We have three cameras out, two by the Sky Condo and one by my tree seat. One of this year's photos (the last one, below) got Dad and I talking.  Is it better to know what you have out there, even if you never see it? or is the element of surprise better?

For example, here are some photos that we have taken from the trail camera of deer that came, got their photo taken and disappeared.







So what is your preference?  Would you rather get some great photos of awesome deer but never see them again or would you rather be surprised when you are out there hunting and a big deer steps out?  I realize that before trail cams, the later was the norm but now that we are spoiled, which do you prefer?

Dad and I start season #11 this year and…

Grand Falls for lunch

After we went to find some Epic Moose, Brian, Robin and I went to have lunch at Grand Falls.  It was a perfect Maine fall day.  The sky was blue, the fall leaves were vibrant colors of orange and red and yellow and the Dead River was pristine.  Brian made us partridge sandwiches with cranberries and walnuts and moose stew.  We washed them down with a beer an soaked up the sun. We could not have picked a more perfect day!






This Moment

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


More Moose Sarfari photos

Here are a few more photos that I couldn't quite get to fit into my blog.  Enjoy!!!














My Epic Moose

Here is the blog about my trip with Robin and Brian to find moose.  I posted this at my BDN blog about a week or so ago.


Last week, I told you that Robin and I were going with our friend Brian from Epic Adventures, to find moose for a photo safari.  It turned out to be one of the best days I have ever spent in the woods. Brian picked us up at 4:30am and we headed north.  We had coffee and cameras, memory cards, batteries and binoculars. Brian had brought along some snacks and had made us an incredible moose stew and sandwiches for lunch!  We were all set.

I had never seen a moose in its element before.  I have seen them randomly running through fields or one runs through my parents back yard once every five years or so, but I have never seen a moose in the woods.  I was already excited about our adventure, but when we turned off onto a dirt road and came upon a cow and calf, I knew this was going to be a great day!  As daylight broke, we unloaded the truck, grabbed some gear – w…

Live deer camera

I know that I owe you all a couple blog posts, esp one about my epic moose sight seeing adventure... But until then, check out this live deer camera! I would LOVE to see some of these big bucks while I'm in the woods.  Deer season starts for rifles in Maine in just a couple of weeks so I am using this cam as a sort of prep work for me.  Ha!  Enjoy: http://thecrush.tv/deer-cam