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Showing posts from November, 2013

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

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!  Le

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 se

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 c

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 targ

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?” Maine Biologist, Kyle Ravana 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 suggestion

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. This buck is right below the Sky Condo A different buck (look at the tines and width of the rack), 10 minutes later, also at the Sky Condo This photo was taken near the tree house that Dad and I first built in 2007. This is the same deer as above This year's photo.  This is the only photo we have of our ghost deer and h