Category Archives: Hunting

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 much 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.

 

It’s December 1 and Firearm Season has ended

Yesterday was the last day of the regular firearm season. I did not make it out the last couple days, was caught up in other things. So, didn’t get to use my boomstick this year.

I got a doe with the crossbow in early October, so my season wasn’t unsuccessful. I spent the rest of October and November trying to get a buck, but no luck.

There’s still another month for deer hunting. I can hunt with the crossbow all through December. If I had a muzzleloader, I could use that for, I think, the first ten days of December. But I haven’t gotten a muzzleloader yet.

A Big Deer

I woke up at 5:20 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about the deer I saw yesterday. At 5:45, I was still awake and since my alarm would be going off in fifteen minutes, I decided to get my ass out of bed and blog this thing.

Yesterday, I made it over to mom and dad’s house earlier than usual. This gave me four and a half hours in The Bat Shack. It was a gray day, with rain here and there. The rain was mostly light, but for about thirty minutes, it rained pretty hard.

While the hard rain was coming down, I was thinking about some article I read a year or two ago. The article said something about how a good time to hunt is after a hard rain, because the deer will come out when it stops. I don’t know how true that is. I’ve seen so many theories over the years and I no longer know what’s true and what’s not.

When the rain finally stopped, a deer walked into my view.

This deer was massive. Last year, the trail cam picked up a six-point buck that looked well-built. But the deer I saw yesterday made that six-point buck look puny. The deer from yesterday was built like a bull.

I think it was a buck, but I’m not positive. My poor eyesight combined with the immediate background made it hard to tell if those were antlers on its head or tree branches behind it. I needed the deer to go farther into the clearing, and then I would’ve been able to see if it had a rack or not.

But it didn’t go all the way in. From the moment the deer walked into my view, it was alert. If I still had an antlerless tag and could have shot it if it wasn’t a buck, I doubt I would’ve gotten it. This deer wasn’t letting its guard down.

The deer walked about halfway to the corn and stopped, its head up and face turned to me.

I didn’t move and I didn’t make a sound. My heart wasn’t racing, my breathing wasn’t raspy. I’ve gotten used to seeing deer while hunting and I no longer get so damn excited when they show up.

The deer stood there for a couple minutes, and then suddenly turned around and bolted away. Its tail was up, showing a large white flag that signaled DANGER!

I don’t know what spooked it. Maybe it saw me, though I always thought the shadows in my shack would conceal me. Or maybe it picked up my scent. even though I used unscented soap and shampoo.

I sat for another hour, but no more deer wandered into my clearing.

Well, it’s Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I’m going to mom and dad’s soon, so I can hunt before the Lions start at 12:30

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

No Bats in the Shack

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Made it out today. Yesterday it was pretty warm outside, but today it was freezing. It even snowed a little. I know enough about bats to know they don’t mess around when it’s cold. They huddle together for warmth and stay that way until temperatures rise again. Any bat not in the huddle is either dead or dying.

So, I wasn’t too worried about being in the shack today. I admit that I was a little jumpy, but not terribly. Got in a few hours of hunting, but didn’t see any deer. Pretty much just read. Been getting in a lot of reading while sitting in the shack this year.

I packed it up when it was getting dark and made it back to the house in time to catch the last quarter of the Michigan-Indiana game. That was a hell of a snowstorm you guys in Ann Arbor had. People were making snow angels on the field. At times the snow was falling so hard, we could barely see the game.

Michigan won. The final score was 20-10.

A Bat In My Shack

Today was a very nice day. I wished I could’ve gotten over to my mom and dad’s earlier, because I would’ve spent hours sitting in the shack, reading and waiting for deer. But, as it happens, I didn’t get over there until after 4  There wasn’t much time left to hunt, but I went out anyway, just to see what happens.

A little after 5, I was reading Chapter 23 of Joe Hill’s Horns and I became aware of something crawling up my leg. I lifted my leg to see what it was, glimpsed a brownish mass on my ankle… just before it took flight.

“Fucking SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!””

If there were deer approaching my bait, they bolted when I yelled. Probably every hunter for a couple square miles wants to kick my ass right about now.

I sat there for several minutes muttering “holy shit” over and over again. I couldn’t see the bat, but it flew toward the door. For all I knew, it was waiting in the shadows by the hook I needed to lift to open the door.

Eventually I worked up the nerve to reach over, smack the hook up and shove the door wide open. I took my time climbing out, but I kept an eye on where I put my hands until I was on the ground.

Have I mentioned that I’m terrified of bats? I can deal with mice and rats. But bats, uh uh..

Some hunters have names for their hunting shacks and now I know what to name mine. From this day on, my hunting shack shall be called The Bat Shack.

I need to get Batman’s logo, to display on one of the walls. Though, at the moment, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get into my shack again.

Firearm Season is Here

Firearm season started yesterday, but I didn’t make it out yesterday. I did today, though.

On the way to the shack, I rounded the hill and a deer ran across my path. It disappeared into the woods. A moment later two more deer went by. Guess I spooked them. They were probably lying around in the field when I came stomping along the path.

I never mastered the silent walk, but I should try to be a little more quiet next time.

I made it to the shack, put some apples on the ground and got settled in. I was reading Joe Hill’s Horns on my phone when I heard a crunching sound. I looked and saw this little deer eating the apples. By the time I got my phone’s camera ready, it was walking away.  That was the only deer that showed up at the shack today.

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