George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush. I was twelve when he became President. I remember sending him a letter about my desire to join the military when I turned eighteen and asking if he could do something to change the rules that prevent deaf and hard of hearing people from serving.

I received a reply sometime later with an autographed picture of George Bush and Dan Quayle. The reply said something about congress needing to vote on it and all that, and there were a few words of encouragement, though it was really just a form letter put together by someone on the White House staff. I don’t know if Bush ever actually saw my letter.

I believe he was a good man.

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.

Three Bears

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.

If Goldilocks would stop using my tower, that’d be great

I didn’t hunt today, but I went out to my hunting ground with 100ft tape measure, because I wanted a better idea of how far from my tower I could place my bait and expect to get a clean kill. I want to place my bait between 50 and 75 yards from the tower. 50 and 75 yards is pretty far for me. The deer I killed before were no farther than 50 yards.

During the bow season, I mostly faced the field. For the firearm season, I’d like to face the other way. I’d be looking toward the Bat Shack and the edge of the woods. Unfortunately, there’s a tree that would block my shot. It’s not a big tree, but it has branches that would be in the way. I’ll probably cut the tree down tomorrow.

I haven’t gotten out that much during the bow season, and I haven’t made it out at all in the morning. My hunting times have been from around noon to sundown. I always close the windows and the door when I’m done hunting for the day.

A couple times when I went out, I found the front window wide open, the door wide open and the side window opened a little. Such was the case today. Also, I had a big piece of cardboard on the floor, so that when I sat something down, it wouldn’t make noise on the steel grate. The cardboard was gone today.

So, yeah, I think someone’s been using my tower, probably in the mornings.

Look, I’m sorry you don’t have a place of your own to hunt, but this ground is mine. No one is allowed to hunt on this ground without my permission. Now, I can invite anyone I want to hunt on my ground, but I did not invite you.

If I’m right about Goldilocks invading my hunting ground in the morning, he’ll get a surprise tomorrow. I plan to be out there very early. Tomorrow is opening day for firearms.