Category Archives: Hunting

Back from the Hardware Store

Up until recently, the hardware store was owned by Dave, my firearms dealer. I had gotten to know Dave and I was familiar with his staff. When I’d go in to buy my hunting license, it was a quick, easy process. They knew what they were doing and they knew what I was asking for.

But Dave recently sold the store. The store is still in business, but it’s a different owner and a different staff. Today was my first time back in there since Dave moved out.

It was a very awkward and slow process. But finally they got the right hunting license printed up. I hope so, anyway.

Then, when I was paying, it took the guy a long time to work out everything on the register before he could slide my card through.

Well, I’ll be forgiving. I don’t know how long it has been since the new owner and staff took  over. Maybe they’re still getting the feel for things. I might be the first person who came in to buy hunting license since they took over. Maybe next time it’ll be easier going.

 

New Boots

My old boots were broken, so I ordered new boots. They’re Herman Survivors. I don’t know anything about the brand, but I tried them on and they’re comfortable.

Bow season starts tomorrow. I probably won’t be out everyday, but I’ll be out as often as I can. Still need to clean up the shack a bit. I want to get rid of the green lumps on the ceiling that I hope are not in fact wasp nests. The balls of hair on the floor, I think that might be a mouse nest. In any case, it’ll be thrown out.

Going to the hardware store today to get my license and kill tags. I’m going to get a buck tag and a doe tag.

The Bat Shack Still Stands

The Bat Shack is still standing. At the end of every deer hunting season, I close my shack and I don’t return to it until shortly before the next season starts. Every year I half expect it to be folded in on itself. The posts and the deck that the shack is on are in good shape and I expect them to last a long time. But the shack, the walls and roof, I keep thinking that’s going to collapse.

The roof is okay, but the walls have been breaking here and there. But they’re still holding up.

If you missed it, here’s why I call my hunting shack The Bat Shack.

I don’t know what those greenish lumps on the ceiling are. Could they wasp nests? Nor do I know what those freaking fuzzy ball things under the chair are. There’s always something creepy in there. Although I closed all the windows last year, something managed to get one of them open. Probably a raccoon or some other monster that I don’t care to meet.

I did watch the Lions today. It was the most heart breaking loss. With just a few seconds left on the clock, they finally got the ball into the end zone and won. But then the refs reviewed the play and decided, no, that wasn’t a touch down. The clock ran out and the game was over.

The Lions are now 2-1.

I didn’t make it out to The Bat Shack, but….

Yesterday I talked about my plans for today, but they didn’t go through. I raked and bagged some leaves. It was so damn hot. My face was a sweat faucet. So, I didn’t finish.

The apples that fell off the neighbors’ tree and landed in my backyard looked fresh a few days ago. But I guess this heat wave was too much for them. Now they look like the rotten hearts of zombies. I don’t want to feed those to deer. Maybe there will be some fresh ones next week.

I made it over to Mom and Dad’s, but I didn’t want to walk out to the shack in this heat. Instead we watched the Michigan-Purdue game. Purdue was tough, but they couldn’t stop Michigan.

Michigan 28 – Purdue 10.

A Hot Night

It’s pretty hot tonight. I’m sweating, drinking cold lemonade, listening to Nirvana and Sia and working on a short story. This short story will be the last for a while. I’m going to focus on the next novel when I’m done with the short story. That’ll be 25 short stories on the market. I’ll keep moving these stories down the market list until they sell.

Deer season starts in a week. I haven’t purchased the license and kill tags yet, but I’ll be getting them soon. I’m plan to get over to Mom and Dad’s tomorrow and take a look at The Bat Shack. I hope the shack is still holding up. I never got around to rebuilding it. If it’s too damaged, I might find a different spot to hunt this year.

The Lions are 2-0.
The Wolverines are 3-0.

Anyone notice how many Mom & Pop stores in the area are suddenly going out of business. It’s freaking sad. I have a feeling that the buildings these stores were in are going to sit abandoned for years and years. I’m hoping someone turns one these buildings into a butcher shop or meat market. It’d be nice to have such a place closer to where I live.

I got yard work to do tomorrow. Have to rake and bag leaves. and maybe mow the lawn. My next door neighbors have a very healthy apple tree in their backyard, right next to the fence. A lot of the apples land in my yard. I’m going to bag them up and use them for bait.

I’m tempted to tell the neighbors that if they don’t want the apples on their side of the fence, I’ll take them. But I’m shy. The apples have a strong scent that I’m sure will attract deer.

The Last of the Venison

Just ate the last of the deer I shot in October. Steak. It was good. Hope I get more meat this coming fall.

Not sure if I’m done for the day, but I might be. In my earlier post, I told you I was using the stopwatch on my phone to time how long it takes me to get each page down and that I was trying to beat the previous times. In that post I told you that the latest time was 00:19:30:02 and that was for one whole page. Since then I got down three more pages. Here’s the times.

1st page – 00:19:30.02
2nd page – 00:17:01.76
3rd page – 00:16:20.42
4th page – 00:13:37.41

I successfully beat the previous time every time. Each of these were full pages. I would say the writing quality is fair, but probably will be cutting out a bit when I go over the finished rough draft and there are many typos. But the story is getting down and that’s the important thing at this point.

I would like to get it down to ten minutes per page, so I’m still striving for more speed. But that 13 minutes and 37 seconds time is a new record for me.

Also, I need to take shorter breaks after completing a page.

In any case, today’s work was fun. Think I’ll be doing it like this for a while. It’s real sporty.

Tigers at 10.

How Are My Resolutions Holding Up?

On December 31, New Year’s Eve, I blogged about five resolutions that would go into effect January 1, 2017. It’s February 17, 2017 now. Let’s see how my resolutions are holding up.

RESOLUTION #1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Miserably. I practically broke the damn thing off. As with all the adjustments I’d made ever since I’ve been using a daily checklist, it works great for a while and then it becomes difficult to complete all the tasks. Eventually things aren’t getting done. My workload and chores start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

So, I decided to make adjustments as I need to and forget about sticking to one plan through the entire year.

RESOLUTION #2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Solid. I have not purchased a single beer or pizza since the new year began. Never mind that I’m very thirsty and my pizza craving grows stronger every day. Beer and pizza will be awesome rewards when I get this novel wrapped up. I’m already fantasizing about it.

When I finish this novel, I’m going to buy five different six packs, each one a different beer. One six pack will be Corona, another will be one of Samuel Adam’s blends, and probably one will be Budweiser (just because.). I don’t yet know what the other two will be.

Also, when the novel is finished, I’m going to order the biggest pizza I can get from Elba Corners, along with breadsticks and whatever else goes well with Pizza. When the pizza and beer is all gone, I’ll begin the next novel.

Although I have not bought beer or pizza myself, there were a couple times when I was at my mom and dad’s house and they wanted to get pizza. And once when my brother was over here, he wanted to get beer and pizza. So, I have had some beer and pizza since the new year started, but that falls under “I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.”

RESOLUTION #3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Feebly. I haven’t bought any guns, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to cave, contact my FFL dealer and have him order one for me. I’ve been eyeing a Mossberg pump shotgun that has a 20-inch barrel and an 8-round tube, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 carbine, a Ruger 1911, a Savage Arms bolt -action .308, an SCCY and a number of black powder pistols that are copies of those that were used in the Civil War. Lord, help me.

It’s still possible to have my credit card paid off before the end of the year, as long as I refrain from buying guns.

RESOLUTION #4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Still going strong. Haven’t had a cigarette since I quit in June.

RESOLUTION #5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Deer hunting season is still eight months away, but yes, I’m going to get a buck this year. I know exactly where I’m going to hang my first rack. It’ll go in the living room, above the arched threshold that you walk through to get to the kitchen.

My Minute Bio

The magazine I just submitted to required a publication-ready bio be included in the submission, so I threw this together. Hope it does the trick.

BIO:
Rob Darnell lives in a nice neighborhood. His office window looks out on a lake. He has a cat named Buddy and a dog named Luci. He loves the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, Pistons and the Michigan Wolverines. An avid deer hunter, he spends time in a tiny shack from the beginning of October until the end of December. His website is robdarnell.com.

Butchering My Deer

I have two packages of venison left in my freezer. One is burger and one is steak. I’ve been saving them, but will probably eat them soon. I wish I had more.

I hunt deer every year, from the beginning of October until the end of December. In the last couple years, I’ve seen a lot of deer while in my shack. But I buy only one doe tag and one buck tag a year.

After you get a deer and tag it, you can buy another tag. The tags are $20.00 each. That’s not bad. I would sure like to buy a new tag after harvesting a deer. At $20.00 a tag, I could definitely buy more tags.

The problem is, having a butcher process your deer is expensive. I mean, it’s a reasonable price if you’re just bringing in one or two deer a year. But if you want to bring in more deer and you’re not particularly rich, it’ll hit your wallet pretty hard.

For a while now, I’ve thought to butcher my deer myself. It would save me a lot of money. My brother worked as a butcher and meatcutter for years. He told me that all I’d need is a good knife, a small meat grinder, freezer bags and practice.

Seems simple enough and not very costly. So, this year I’m going to get that stuff together before Archery Season starts on October 1st.  I will probably need my brother’s help until I get the hang of it, but eventually I’ll be doing it myself.

If I do my own butchering, I might be able to harvest enough venison to feed me for a year.

Happy New Year

Okay, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to party and I don’t plan on getting drunk. I have some resolutions for the next year.

1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

I think that’s everything. Happy New Year.