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Showing posts from May, 2014

For Military Appreciation Month - House in the Woods

Visiting a cemetery days after Memorial Day was surprisingly emotional for me.  As I pushed my almost 1-year old in his stroller past the rows of stones, I was touched by the number of those sites that had American flags next to them. I thought about those who had given their lives for the freedoms that my son will enjoy.  I also started thinking about an incredible family that I met at a Sportsmans show earlier this spring.  Paul and Dee House turned their tragedy into something that I want to support and tell you about: There is some notoriety that you don't want to have.  If you Google "Lee, Maine" you will find articles about the documentary " Welcome to Lee, Maine " and see that Lee is known for being the smallest town in the US to lose more than one soldier in war - specifically the Iraq war.  Sgt. Blair Emery, 24 and Sgt. Joel House, 22 were killed five months apart from one other.  I encourage you to watch this clip from the movie that is a little

A little nostalgia to make you smile

A little while ago, I wrote about George Smith's book, "A Life Lived Outdoors." At the time, I had not finished the book.  Now that I have I want to share more of my thoughts. If you love the outdoors and have hunting and fishing stories of your own, you will immediately connect with George and his retelling of those days in the woods.  There is an immediate smile that comes across your face as you read about camp and the sounds, smells and feel of being in a small building surrounded by the Maine North Woods.  I couldn't help but be jealous of George's ability to leave the hussle and bussle of  daily life to retreat to a place where the windows may need to be replaced but the fish bite, the moose are neighbors and the ability to read all of those books on your to-do list can actually happen.  Someday, I will have a place to call 'camp.' A few stories are focused on just day to day living in rural Maine; the sadness that spreads across those of us w

Birds swimming in junk

There are few places were I live that are open and green.  There are pockets of city forests or walking trails but there are no real places to get out and explore the woods and ponds.  I forget that until I happen to see ducks or geese swimming in these ponds along side fast-food containers, rusty, broken hockey goals, empty plastic water bottles and plastic bags from department stores.  For a city full of people who claim to be passionate about wildlife, this speaks volumes.

One road and SO many signs!

In search of our turkeys, we walked down this camp road.  It was around noon and there were some great spots to sit and call from along the way.  Right from the start we knew this was an animal haven!  The tracks and scat were all over the place.  Some of the tracks actually surprised us.  A fresh bear track. Check out those claws. Two bear tracks.  A better view of the palm of the paw. It was like Grand Central Station for turkey up and down both sides of the road. Turkey tracks and turkey scat. While we did not see any turkey that day, Brian did call in five Toms the next day.  The great thing about hunting and being outdoors is that you never know what sort of adventures you will have during the day.

The beating of the drum

I have been thinking about it since Friday.  The gobbling that just got closer and closer, seeing the quick movement in the dense trees and brush just in front of me, that black band across the top of those dark brown feathers and his white head stretching above the blow downs to find that purring hen that he was after.  I could hear the drumming and strutting as he got closer.  Finally, there he was in front of me.  He stepped out, his long neck leading his puffed out body into the slight clearing... The field where we started calling.  Dad and I woke up a little before 2:30am in order to have breakfast and meet our guide, Brian for our turkey hunt.   We got to these fields around 4:30am with just enough light coming up that we didnt need flashlights. Brian knew that there was a Tom around and that it would be a good place to start.   He brought along a blind for Dad and I.  It was raining a little as the first light of the day came up over the trees. Brian sat behind us and of

Prologue: I should have listened to myself

On Thursday night, before our big outing with Brian , Dad and I sighted in our new shotgun.  We paced out 30 yards and started shooting at our make-shift turkey heads. Dad shooting at 30 yards. Dad's pattern. My pattern. My comment to Dad after I took two shots at this piece of paper: "As long as a turkey comes in from my left, I should be in good shape."  Oh the irony!  Dad and I were confident that as long as a turkey was within 30 yards, we would be in good shape.  I worked on setting the bead in the middle of the gun so that it would not pull to the left.   It was a new gun for us and long - 28 inches but it was comfortable and I was confident that I could shoot it. We went to bed around 8pm so that we wwould somewhat functional when the alarm went go off at 2:30am. What happened next has been playing over and over in my head ever since...

Turkey Season 2.0

Here we go! Turkey season has kicked off in Maine and as Dad and I are getting ready to head out with my friend Brian , I can not help but think of where we were a year ago . I wanted to shoot a turkey while I was pregnant so that I could say that I got both a deer and turkey while waddling around in the woods.  It didn't happen but Dad and I learned a lot about this new critter that we were hunting, which is why I asked Brian to take us out for a day.  We need to learn how close they need to be to us in order to take a successful shot and we need to learn how to get them to come to us.  We were successful last year in having them call back to us, but we were not able to get them to come to us.  I think (hope) that is the missing piece. New this year, Mainers can hunt all day (instead of just the am) and can take two bearded birds.  We have SO many turkey here that this is necessary to keep the population somewhat under control.  Dad has been seeing them around the house and