Category Archives: Hunting

Calls and Stuff

I heard that next deer season, baiting won’t be allowed. So, maybe I should try deer calls. I used to think learning to use calls would be like learning to play a harmonica, and I’m a very shitty harmonica player. But last year, during the spring turkey season, I successfully called in a turkey with a push button call and a gobbler shaker.

So, now I think it’s not quite so hard to make the right sounds and rhymes to draw in a wild animal. The only reason I didn’t get that turkey is I was thinking too much about how well they see. Though its back was to me for a minute or more, I took too long to pick up my gun. The turkey changed its direction and walked through some trees.

Maybe I could’ve gone after it, but I thought another turkey might come along. Also, I’m not sure how fast turkey run or how well they hear. I just know they have amazing eyesight and no sense of smell. I didn’t get another chance because I only made it out once that season.

I might go out for the next turkey season, we’ll see. But my passion is deer hunting. I have not experimented with deer calls yet. If you have any recommendations on which deer calls I should try, drop a comment.

The First Day of a New Year

It’s January 1, the first day of 2019. I always launch a new work plan on Jan 1 and this year is no exception.

I finished my deer hunting season yesterday. It was unsuccessful. I saw four deer in the entire season, from Oct 1 to Dec 31. I didn’t get a shot at any of them. The fourth deer, I saw yesterday, and by the time I noticed it was there, it was already running away.

I’m bummed about not getting a deer. I had a three year streak. I’d gotten a deer every year for three years. In those three years, I had seen a lot of deer. What did I do wrong in 2018?

Because I didn’t get a deer, I’m going to take the money I was saving to cover the processing costs and use it to buy a supply of meat from the Brower Farms in Brown City. They have good deals for beef, pork and chicken. I’ll probably choose one of their bundle options.

I had the appraisal for my house yesterday. I should have the results in a few days. I’m a little nervous. The appraisal will need to show that the house is worth the price that my landlord and I agreed on or there will be problems and I might not be able to buy it.

Everyone else involved seems confident that everything will be fine. So, I’m trying to not worry too much. I just really don’t want to lose my house.

My brother made side by side Before/After pictures of the house. I’m going to post them here. It makes it easier to see how different the house is after the work.

Why do I hunt?

I blogged about this buck Saturday night. Adele commented on Facebook, saying “Yes, he’s a beautiful animal. Why not let him live?”

Peggy explained that the buck could feed me for a year, and if I or someone else doesn’t get him, he will die anyway.

That is one reason, but there’s more to it than that. I’d just come off a nine hour hunt and I was too tired to write last night. Since my answer is long, I’m going to make it a blog entry.

“Why not let him live?”

Yes, one reason I hunt is for the meat. I love venison. I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat store-bought deer meat, but I find that hunting saves me money.

Now that buck in the picture, he’s huge. He would yield a lot of meat. He might feed me for a year, or six months or three months, depending on how much of him I eat each day. Yes, he is a beautiful animal. He’s magnificent and majestic. I’m betting he’s the king of deer in my area. He probably has respect from all the deer for miles. I’m thrilled that he even set foot on my hunting ground. But if I ever have the opportunity to shoot him, I’m not going to pass it up.

I appreciate the vote of confidence that I might actually shoot this majestic buck. That buck in the picture, he didn’t get that big by being a fool. He’s been dodging hunters his whole life. Every hunter dreams of shooting a buck like that. Very few ever accomplish that feat. Most of us are lucky if we ever get a buck at all. If the best hunters haven’t shot that buck yet, what are the odds that I would shoot him?

I’m not an expert hunter. I still think of myself as a beginner. I’ve killed three antlerless deer.

Peggy is right. If I or someone else doesn’t get that buck, he’ll die anyway. I reckon that’s what will happen. He’ll kneel over and die of old age, and will probably feed the coyote when he does.

But is there any deer that you wouldn’t say is a beautiful animal and suggest I let live? I can’t help thinking that the better question would be “Why do you hunt?” To that, I don’t have a satisfying answer. I can’t really explain to myself why I love hunting.

I can tell you that deer hunting is one of my passions. I look forward to deer season all year and I get excited when it finally arrives. I enjoy deer hunting so much that I often don’t want to come in when hunting hours are over, no matter how cold it is. I wish I could hunt all night.

I can tell you what I like about hunting. Getting a supply of meat at a lower cost is one benefit. But it’s more than that. I guess the thing I like most is the challenge. Outsmarting a wild animal is not easy.

If I ever get a buck, it would be a glorious day for me. I would proudly display its rack on my wall, like an accomplishment trophy. As I said, most of us never get a buck. Even a two-point buck is a big accomplishment for most hunters.

If I ever got a buck like the one in the picture, I would be amazed that I managed to do that. That buck is a wise one. He doesn’t slip up much.

I Wasn’t Prepared to Hunt Today

I hunted Thanksgiving morning, but didn’t see anything. I didn’t hunt yesterday because my brother, my nephew and me were helping my dad put up a storage shed. We didn’t finish yesterday, so I wasn’t planning to hunt today either. I didn’t take my hunting gear over to Mom and Dad’s today.

We called it a day on the shed at around 2 PM. I went out to my hunting ground to put down some carrots and swap the trail camera’s memory card. That was all I was going to do today.

I got back to the house. We had the Michigan-Ohio State game on., which I had planned to watch today. The Buckeyes are Michigan’s most hated foe. I rarely miss the Michigan-Ohio State games. I get very emotional during these games and often lose my temper.

Michigan fans see the Buckeyes the same way the Red Sox see the Yankees. The rivalry isn’t just for fun,  we have very dark feelings for each other. Each wishes the other would fall off the edge of the Earth.

I put the camera’s memory card in the computer. I was looking through the pictures that the camera took over the last couple days and I saw this.

The clock says 6:14 AM, but the clock is wrong. The camera got a picture of me when I was swapping the memory card, so I was able to figure out that this picture was actually taken around 4:30 PM yesterday.

The picture is a little blurry, but I think the buck is at least ten-points. He’s big, too. When I zoom in, I can see how fat he is. My guess is, he weighs more than 200 pounds, maybe close to 300 pounds. This might be that massive deer I saw a couple years ago.

If I had been out there yesterday and assuming the buck didn’t detect me, he would have been right in my line of fire. He posed for this picture in the exact spot that I want the deer to be when I shoot it.

So, when the Buckeyes scored again and things weren’t looking good for Michigan, I decided I’d rather be hunting. I had my kill tags in my wallet and I borrowed an old orange hunting vest that my dad has. I didn’t want to use buckshot and we only had 20 gauge slugs. So, I used my brother’s old break-action 20 gauge. He left it behind when he moved out of my mom and dad’s house.

The barrel on my brother’s 20 gauge is about a foot longer than the barrel on my 20 gauge, and I reckon it gets better distance. But I didn’t see any deer today. I’m going to try getting out there tomorrow morning. The trail camera has gotten several pictures of bucks, mostly six and eight-points. I’d be happy with either of those. But that fat, ten-point buck, that’s the one I really want.

‘Twas a Good Day to Hunt

It was cold and snow covered everything. This morning my dad cut down the tree, or cluster of trees that were blocking my shot. Now I can set the bait by the Bat Shack across the way. See the Before picture to understand how those trees were blocking my shot.

The woods along the outside of this clearing, that’s where the deer usually came from. So, facing this way, I might see them before they enter the clearing.

I didn’t see anything yesterday or today, but I’m sure some deer will come along before the season ends.

My cousin Anthony suggested I leave a note for the trespasser. Here it is.

It says:

Dear Goldilocks,

I would rather you didn’t use my tower, but I know some guys are desperate for a place to hunt. If you can’t resist trespassing onto my territory to use my tower when I’m not here, please close the windows and the door when you’re done hunting. I don’t want to climb up here one day and have a bird fly in my face.

Sincerely,
Three Bears

P.S.
If you could leave beer by the feed can under the tower, I would be very grateful.

 

No Writing Tonight

Guess I’m not getting in any writing tonight. I’m tired and I want to be up early tomorrow. I’m thinking about using my old break-action 20-gauge tomorrow morning instead of the 12-gauge pump-action. Because until I get that tree cut down, the farthest I can place the bait in that direction is 20 yards out, and that might too close for the powerful scope on my 12-gauge.