Thursday, November 26, 2009

Last chance this weekend

It is so hard to believe that it's nearly December 1st and I have been puttering around my house both inside and out and it's still warm enough to wear one layer of clothing and maintain warmth! I am one of those 'freaks' that actually enjoy the snow but I'm not rushing things...I know it will be here sooner or later. The white stuff after all WILL fly.

Actually, there is a chance it may fly this Saturday which brings me to my latest plans! Tomorrow after work I will launch my weekend excursion to southern Maine for my last hunt of the season. With my pack basket already stuffed to the top and my Browning .358 lever action rifle sited in, I will hit the highway at approximately 5:30pm tomorrow to meet up with a friend in Waterville. Discussions this week have of course surrounded our plans for Saturday as to where we will 'tag out' for the season. I won't reveal exact locations until after the hunt and hopefully will also be able to include a play by play action of how we dropped the four legged herbivore.

Above is a picture of the 10 point buck I got a few years back with a Browning .20 gauge pump shotgun. Below is a picture of
the .358 I will be using for this hunt. Wish us luck!

Thankful on Thanksgiving

As I go about my day to day activities today I have certainly taken many moments to reflect on how thankful I am this Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful every day for various things but this week has especially been one of many thanks and appreciation.

Firstly thankful for my wonderful, supportive family and then of course my friends and co-workers. Collectively you have all been 'family' to myself and my two children. I hope that in some small way I have been able to positively touch each and every one of you they way you have me. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey dinners and make the most of what is left of the day with your family and friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So close...and yet no shots fired.

Already well into hunting season and the weather is STILL incredibly mild! Fabulous for the oil tanks, not so great for hunting. Deer aren't moving as much as they would if it were cooler. However we do have a plus and that is hormones are raging (the deer I mean)! lol Thankfully for us hunters that have to get out hunting in their 'spare' time between work and family responsibilities we still stand a chance thanks to go ol' male seeks female hormones. I have several friends that have tagged out so far this season. Many of you, like me still have not.

The other day my dad, JJ and Butch Hanson went to a few spots to hunt. In the morning my dad sent me on a wild goose chase. Looked at the map and he said, 'You go down here and after about 3/10 of a mile you'll come to a bog (which was clearly marked on the map) and see what is going on down there.' Like the eager to please daughter than I am I was like some Looney Tune character going 'Yup, yup, yup, sure thing, you got it pa!' Now, after looking at the map for a moment, setting my compass off I go. The trail or what there was for a trail was thick with raspberry bushes so very difficult to stay quiet. I came to the edge of what seemed to be 'the bog.' However, no clearing as marked on the map. Hmmm...interesting so I keep on walking...now through a bog up and down over fallen trees, balancing my way through wet moss and rotten, hallowed out stumps. After about 40 minutes of this it dawned on me! 'How old is that friggin' map!?' I thought to myself. I'm searching for a bog in a clearing but maybe it's no longer a clearing! So now after letting every animal in the woods for about a 3 mile radius know of my presence from the lack in ability to stay quiet through the muck, raspberry bushes etc I turn around and head back. As I reach the end of the bog I see my dad standing there with a look of excitement! He had been calling back and forth to a buck but seemed as though it flanked him. While he stands there excited it soon diminishes as he see's me emerge from the 'clear bog' with a less than happy face. He says, 'Did you find it?' I'm like 'Yeah, you are looking at it, no clearing!' He has a somewhat perplexed look in his face. As we quietly (as possible that is) make our way back up to our meeting spot we arrive to find our other two hunting partners waiting for us. I immediately went over to the truck and grabbed the map. UHHAH! I said, 'Dad, do you have any idea how old this map is?' 'Nope' was his calm, what are you getting at reply. Ready for this? The map was 21 years old! So, 21 years ago there was probably a clearing...not anymore. Life's lesson #115,658 learned the hard way. Check the DATE of a map before you go looking for a clearing.

We had a little snack and packed up our gear and decided to try out another spot down the road. Upon arrival of our second location my spirits had lifted as I see the numerous old logging trails that I enjoy walking down. After making arrangements for a meeting time back at 'base' (the trucks) I head off on my own. This time a much easier walk and I actually feel like I'm hunting for an animal and not a location on a map. I'm seeing lots of deer sign which has me even more excited. I begin to approach a meadow and stick to the right had side of the woods. Stopping to see if I can see or hear anything. Bingo! I hear something walking around. At first I thought maybe it's birds or a mouse running around on the crisp fallen leaves...nope! It is definitely the sound of a four-legged creature! My heart is pounding and my breathing slowed to almost holding my breath. I wait and listen. I can hear what I'm positive was a deer probably standing about 10' from me! But the brush was so thick I could not actually SEE what exactly was breathing close to me. I do not have a doe permit but this is not what held me back from firing. Truth is I happen to be a very responsible hunter and my father drilled it my head from the first time I accompanied him in the woods, 'Do not shoot at something if you are not 100% of what you are shooting at.' So as luck would have it, after a few minutes the animal got a good whiff of me and took off in the opposite direction. As it took off of course I took a few giant steps into the meadow to see if I could see through a part of woods not as thick. No luck. Although somewhat disappointed I wasn't dragging my deer out to the meeting point I was happy to know I did come close.

Lunch time in my hunting world means tailgate party. We pulled out the Coleman stove and had coffee, hot chocolate, chili, homemade rolls, and chocolate chip cookies. We took a few minutes and swapped some hunting stories, where we think we should hunt next etc and packed down the food. After clean up we also drove to another location and hunted for a few more hours. We came out empty handed this time but certainly enjoyed the day. I always try to think of something positive out of every experience and this time it's the fact that hunting season is not over yet!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November has arrived!

As I sit here looking outside at the sun slowly fading I have butterflies in my tummy! With Halloween now behind us it's time to focus on the forests! I have finally purchased my hunting license, collected all my gear (hat, vest, knife, compass etc) made sure my 20 gauge pump shot gun is clean and now I'm good and ready for tomorrow morning! The feel of the crisp fall air and the smell of the frosty ground almost makes my heart skip a beat! Though it has been a fairly mild fall there have been a handful of sizable bucks taken down with bow and on youth day.

Tomorrow morning I will get up while it is still very dark out, gather my things, have a decent breakfast, and head down the road to my dad's. We will hop in his truck and head to our highly classified favorite hunting grounds. Around 10am we will meet back at the truck for a small tailgate party where we will have some breakfast and coffee (hot cocoa for me as I'm not a coffee drinker).

With any luck at all, hopefully we will at least see some signs of deer and if I'm real lucky I'll be dragging my buck out of the woods by then. Certainly wishful thinking but when I dream, I dream big. I'm hoping my next post will contain photos of my trophy winning game! Wish me luck.

Grand Lake Stream

Grand Lake Stream
I love this place!