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Showing posts from December, 2015

New year, new plan: Mission big buck

There is no snow on the ground and the temperatures have been in the 50s instead of the teens or 20s.  As a result, our deer herd is having a great time getting lots of food without the worry of snow, freezing temps or that coyote that is (still) around.

Dad still has the trail cameras out and we are getting some encouraging pictures.  I didn't bother copying the ones of the coyote, but he is still around and solo.

But these are always good to see and it means that we will need to change things up for next season if we are going to outwit this deer.  I believe he is about 3.5 or 4.5 years old and knows how to avoid hunters.

I can NOT get over the size of his neck!




And the next generation of big bucks:


From the side, his antlers looked like they are slicked back instead of standing upright.  Hopefully he makes it through the winter.

New year, new goals

I must admit, I was surprised when I went back to reread my 2015 goal list and found that the majority of those things, I did!  Quick recap: I shot a coyote, caught fish that I could keep, went bear hunting and to a den to tag bear cubs.  I got my trapping license and I now own two fly rods that my uncle’s father used to fish with.   As I write this, deer season is not over, so I am not going to comment on either or not I finally caught up with that elusive 8 pointer.  You can check out my blog for the answer to that one.  
It was those birds that got me.  I didn’t go goose hunting, but I still want to.  I did go turkey hunting in the spring and fall and I have yet to bring one home.  Maybe I am just not meant to hunt birds and right now I am ok with that!
As I think about how I want to grow as an outdoors woman, I need to come up with a new more things to do and try in 2016.  Here is my list in no particular order:
* Catch a fish while fly fishing * Get a bow (see previous post) * Shoot a…

To bow or not to bow

Mentally, I am not ready to hunt with a bow.  I am confident in my rifle to know that I can drop a deer dead in its tracks.  I have seen the damage that my 150 (or 180) grain bullet can do to the inside of a deer and I am comfortable with that because I know that the deer did not know what hit it when I squeeze the trigger.

Maybe that sort of shot is possible with a bow but from what I have seen on tv and with other hunters posting on social media, it is more likely that the deer will run off and die, assuming that it is a good shot. I have also seen far more bow hunters talk and post about how they have lost a deer than my fellow rifle hunters.  That is the last thing I want to happen!

After this season and talking with Dad about all of the deer he started seeing when rifle season ended, and he was out muzzleloading, it made me really think about getting a bow and trying to get into the woods before everyone else does (including me) with their rifles.

If I make archery my 2016 goal,…

The end of deer season is for the birds

The last few days of hunting season were eventful in the wrong ways.  

In order for my mom to prepare and cook what she needed to for Thanksgiving dinner, I stayed home to watch O while Dad and Hubby went out for a few hours. In the afternoon, Hubby stayed home while O took a nap and Dad and I went out.  The woods were quiet and calm. We didn't even see a squirrel. 
Thanksgiving night, O got sick; throwing up sick, which for a two year old is a scary thing. We made the decision to not hunt on Friday morning in case he still didnt feel good.  I have been criticized in the past by readers who think that in order to be a good, qualified hunter, you need to prioritize hunting above all else. I willingly stayed home to take care of my son.  No rack of antlers is worth the comfort of your kid. None. It might make me a 'bad' hunter but it also makes me a great mom. 
Friday afternoon, with O down for his nap, we headed out for the afternoon sit. There were fresh tracks and we knew…

Reflecting on 2015

2015 has been a whirlwind of a year and I have an empty freezer to show for it.  It is funny how different it was from 2014 and yet I enjoyed every moment that I was able to be outside.

I went turkey hunting a few times in the spring and once in the fall and it wasn't until deer season that I started to see huge flocks of them again.

I continued to bear hunt but it was made harder by the fact that my husband and I each took new job and moved about an hour north, leaving me an hour further away from my bear hunting spots.

I shot a coyote in 2015 which in some ways has helped me think about and be ready to conquer some of my outdoor fears.  I hate coyotes but looking at that pelt on my wall, it proves that I can face my fears and be willing to try new adventures.

Which leads me to my trapping license.  I am excited that I am now (on paper) a Maine trapper and I really want to at least set a trap and see what happens this season but with the season ending on most animals Dec 31, I ma…

125 Christmas Trees later

A friend of ours grows Christmas trees on his 55 acres and this year, we were able to come up and help him and his others friends and family as they cut, wrapped and stacked 125 trees headed to Mass for people to put up in their homes.  It was great to see the whole process and be outside with friends.




We were not planning on it, but we ended up taking a tree home ourselves. It was a lot bigger than I thought it was when it was in the field but it looks great at the house.  That photo will be later on.

Switching seasons and heading to Robin's

I took a day off from work to drive east and hang out with Robin.  We were making Christmas wreaths, or as I told Hubby when I hung it up, it is my hunting wreath.  Any time that I can spend at Robin's is fun and I am always learning from her.

On this day, I learned how to tip trees to make wreaths.  She showed me what to look for when taking a branch and I as I looked around, I would grab maybe one or two pieces that I thought were good only to have her come behind me and grab about 20 more. She has an eye for these things and she makes a lot of them.  I was more excited about getting pitch on me and smelling that... woodsy, sweet and wonderful.  
The air was cool and we were joined by a writing friend names Maureen.  It was fun spending time in the woods and swapping stories about hunts, animal interactions and family. 



Robin made us some delicious chicken soup and homemade bread that tasted even better than then smelled.  We spent the afternoon making wreaths and chatting mor…