Category Archives: Hunting

Coyotes in the Woods

I was just reading the comments on a Field & Stream survival article. Several hunters are saying they’ve been stalked by coyotes while making their way back to their trucks at sundown.

I know a lone coyote ain’t nothin’ to be afraid of. But a pack is another thing. There are coyotes in my woods, a lot of them. I never see them, but I hear them all the time when I’m hunting.

Sometimes when I’m on my way back to the house, I hear something rushing through the tall grass, or sometimes I’ll glance to the side and see something moving. It could be a deer, or it could be a coyote or even a cougar.

It scares the crap out of me. I’ll often yell a series of foul words in hopes of scaring it off, whatever the hell it is. But if it’s with a pack, I reckon it will not scare easily.

I’m always a little jumpy when walking back to the house at sundown. It’s creepy out there.

Oh gee, what the hell is this?

I’ve made it no secret how frustrated I get with the Department of Natural Resources. It’s probably just me being feebleminded. I’ll bet the rest of you don’t have the hissy fits that I do when trying to make sense of the laws and regulations the DNR stirred up for the hunting season I’m interested in.

I still haven’t gotten my turkey license. Although the Spring Turkey season runs from April 23 to May 31, it looks like you can’t really hunt for the entire season. There are several different license and they’re good for six-day periods. Except for, it looks like, the last option which allows you to hunt from May 14 to May 31.  Think I’ll get the last one.

The question on my mind is “Why?” I’m pretty sure there’s not as many people turkey hunting as there will be deer hunting. I don’t think there’s a shortage of wild turkey. I know how hard it is to hunt turkey. They don’t have the sense of smell that deer do, but they see everything.

I don’t want to complain, but sure wish I could have a whole month to hunt turkey. The more time I have in the field, the better my chances.

Today

Going to Mom and Dad’s for ribs today. I plan to have a look at my hunting ground. Probably going to turkey hunt, the season starts tomorrow. Also, need to rebuild my shack for the next deer season. Last season, when it rained, I got pretty wet. The roof is leaking bad. It’s past time the shack got rebuilt.

Hunting

Hunting has been on my mind lately. But deer season isn’t until October. I was on the DNR site yesterday, to see which seasons are open. Right now, I don’t think anything is, but Spring Turkey Season is coming up.

I guess if there are any license leftover after the drawing, and there usually are, I can get a turkey license. So, I’m thinking about it. During the last deer season, my trail camera got a lot of pictures of turkey, so I know they’re out there.

If I’m understanding correctly, we can’t use bait. We can use calls, but I’m not good with calls.

Thinking about it.

Deer 3

I was excited when October rolled up this year. There is deer hunting in September, but I’m not sure if just anyone anywhere can participate. I’m still confused about some of the regulations, like the late firearm season, which runs from December 18 to January 1. I don’t know if it’d be okay to take my shotgun out for the late firearm season, so I just use the bow all through December. And because I don’t know if I’d be allowed to hunt during the early antlerless season, I don’t hunt in September.

I know for a fact that I’m allowed to hunt from October 1 to January 1. So, when Archery Season starts October 1, I’m in. I don’t remember exactly when I started developing a passion for hunting. Was it 2009 or 2010? I was inspired by some of my cousins to take it up, and also the fact that I had this nice pump shotgun since I was 21 and never used it.

My first few seasons were unsuccessful, but I developed a degree of patience and a higher tolerance for cold weather. Also, I came to really love being out there. There’s something comforting about sitting there for hours, listening to wild animals, the wind and nature. Often when it’s time to pack it up and call it a day, I don’t want to go in. I want to stay out there all night and be ready when the sun comes up in the morning. But, I don’t think you can do that. Regulations.

I shot my first deer in November 2015. Since then I’ve been a one-deer-a-year guy. I might have taken more if I’d gotten another doe tag after using the first one, but I’d ride out the rest of the season on the buck tag and I didn’t see any buck.

Earlier this year, I made plans to take any fair-sized doe I saw and do my own butchering. If I could do my own butchering instead of paying a butcher, I might be able to take enough deer to feed me for a year and save a lot of money. But, I never got the stuff I needed. So, I decided instead that I would hold on to my doe tag and try to get a buck first.

That was a stupid idea and I’m never doing it again. I didn’t make it out very much in October and early November. but I saw deer every time I did. I kept passing them up because I wanted something with a rack.

At one point, I think I had a buck in front of me. It looked like it had two antlers that were about four inches long, which would have made it a two-point buck. I have bad eyes, so I’m not positive. I was going to look at it through my crossbow’s scope. When I picked up the bow, I bumped it into something and spooked the deer.

And then firearm season started. I made it out almost every day, but I wasn’t seeing anything. There were no doe or buck. The trail camera kept getting pictures of deer, but they weren’t out there when I was. I regretted passing up all the doe in October and early November.

The trail camera is getting a lot of pictures of bucks this year. There are two-point, four-point, six-point and eight-point bucks. All of them in front of my shack. If I could drive, I would be out there every morning before sunrise and maybe I’d see some buck. I can’t drive, so someone has to give me a ride and that’s usually in the afternoon.

Here’s a couple of the best pictures.

The eight-point and the six-point had a fight.

This year, during the firearm season, my dad let me borrow a rifle scope he has. The scope is meant for rifles, but it fits on my shotgun.

The view from my shack used to be limited. I could see no farther than the brush that was across the clearing from the shack.

For a couple years now, I’ve wanted to clear up that brush, so I would be able to see all the way to the hill. And this year, because I had this power scope on my gun, I could take longer shots. My dad took the tractor and brush hog out and cleared up the brush.

This is the new view from my shack.I figure, the deer are less likely to detect me if I’m farther away from them. Plus, I really like the new view.

After my dad cleared up the brush, the trail camera was getting more pictures of deer than before. It was also getting pictures of turkey. I don’t think the trail camera ever caught turkey before. I wonder if it’s legal to hunt turkey and deer at the same time. Have one gun loaded with turkey rounds and another loaded with deer rounds. I’ll have to look into that.

The trail camera was getting pictures of deer, but I wasn’t seeing any. During firearm season, there’s a lot more people hunting and there’s a lot of shooting. The deer are spooked and being extra careful. I was afraid I wouldn’t get one before the season ended.

On November 29, I was in my shack typing notes on my cellphone for a project I’m working on. I looked up and saw a deer. It was a doe, but bigger than the one I shot last year. This was my chance to see how well I can do with the scope and increased distance. I picked up my shotgun, got my crosshairs on the deer and fired. The round was a hollow-point .12 gauge slug and it knocked the deer down.

I pumped the shotgun to chamber the spare round and took aim. If the deer managed to get back up, I would have to shoot it again, otherwise it might run off. As I was looking through the scope, dark blobs fell across my vision. I looked down and saw blood in my lap.

Yeah, I knew that could happen. That’s the reason I made it a point not to wear my glasses while hunting with the shotgun this year. The ordeal would have been a lot less pleasant if shards of glass were smashed into my eye. I did have the gun’s butt tucked tightly against my shoulder, but I guess as I was adjusting my head so I would have a clearer view through the scope, I’d moved my shoulder back a little from the gun.

See, when I fired that first shot, the recoil drove the scope into my head. But I didn’t realize I was hit until I saw the blood.

I picked up my phone and typed a text to my dad. “I got one. Need he)p. I’m ble3ding.” It was a short message, but it took me a couple minutes to type it because I kept hitting the wrong keys and had to make corrections. While I was doing this, gobs of blood were landing on my phone.

I sent the message, but I didn’t know if it would get through. I don’t get a good signal out there.

I remembered the bandanna in my pocket. I got that out and held it against my head for a minute. I picked up my phone again and typed another message, explaining that the scope hit me in the head. But the second message definitely wasn’t going through.

I didn’t know how bad the wound was. I could’ve put my phone in selfie mode and looked at it, but that didn’t occur to me at the time. After holding the bandanna to my head, the bleeding seemed to have slowed. So, I figured it wasn’t so bad.

My deer was lying where it fell, not moving. I climbed out of my shack and went to look at it. The deer was dead..

My mom and sister pulled up in the truck. My first message made it through to my dad and he figured out what had happened..

I had a little argument with my mom and sister. They insisted I needed stitches. They wanted to take me to the hospital immediately. By my standards, I wasn’t dying and I didn’t want to leave my deer there. I still needed to tag it and cut out its guts. My dad was under the weather and it wasn’t in his best interest to come out and take care of the deer for me.

My mom told me that Scott, the guy who hunts on the other side of the hill, was there and maybe he could get my deer for me. Okay, that was good enough. I got in the truck and we drove to the house.

My dad confirmed that I needed stitches, and he decided he would take care of the deer for me. My mom took me to the hospital. It was a long wait. I watched the Piston game to pass the time.

When the doctor came in, he asked what happened. I told him, “I shot a deer and the scope hit me in the head.” The doctor asked, “Did you get the deer?” I replied, “Yeah, I got the deer.”

I got seven stitches above my right eye. But, it’s nothing.

Here’s the meat Deer 3 yielded.

Okay

I haven’t been active on my website, Facebook or JAD in the last couple months. For reasons l will not disclose, I felt a need to step away from everything. But, I’m starting to get word about things that are happening and I need to get back in touch with people.

I have been getting a lot of work done.  Currently, I’m juggling three different projects and making progress. Also, a few days ago, I shot my third deer. Another doe. I’ll probably tell the story about that after I get the meat from the butcher. I promise, it’s different from the last two successful hunting stories I shared.

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.