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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To Boston we will go ...

We made a plan to go into Boston on Saturday, 12/19. Megan and Katelyn arranged their work schedules.

There was a big Nor'easter heading up the coast dumping lots of snow. It was supposed to start snowing in Boston on Saturday night. I decided to park at Malden Center just north of Boston and take the subway. I didn't want to be stuck in downtown traffic if the snow started. It was pretty cold and very windy.

I had no experience with the Charlie Card here in Boston so I must have looked like a tourist. There were 7 of us so I bought 14 tickets on the card. It worked well. We took to Orange line to the Red line and got off at Copley Square.

I used to work in Copley Square so it was like old home week for me. The John Hancock building and observatory was closed. We decided to go to the Prudential Observatory and headed that direction.

We arrived and the Prudential observatory was also closed to the public as someone rented to observatory for the day. We went to the "Top of the Hub" restaurant on the 52nd floor and looked around from there.

Next we headed to Newbury Street and walked toward the Boston Common. Stopped at Starbucks for coffee and hot chocolate.

The pond at the common was frozen and had people walking and skating on it. The ice didn't look that thick to me but people seemed to fine with it. Katelyn and Kevin walked and slid on the ice to the bridge.

We continued on our walk to Faneuil Hall. When we arrived there were street dancers performing. They picked Katelyn from the crowd along with 2 others to be part of a trick. One of the people ended up jumping over the three of them.

We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. We figured the weekend before Christmas would be packed. The blizzard warnings definitely kept people out of the city so there was no waiting.

Dessert at Mikes Pastry was amazing. Megan posed with 2 friends along the way.

We returned to Medford and headed home just before the snow. Boston received 9 inches from the blizzard.

We had a blast and will add this as an annual family event.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Red Hill in NH - A Hunt or a Hike?

I decided to take a day off and hunt on Friday, 12/4. I was up at 4:10 AM and on my way to Red Hill. The prior week I saw a sign for Teedie Trail and though I would take that up the hill to hunt. I parked near the trail head (elevation 565 ft) and waited until it was light enough to see the trail (6:45AM). I would hunt but also check out the trail for a potential hike with Kevin.

The trail basically went straight up the side of the hill. It leveled off (elevation 1350ft) and I came to a sign saying Eagle Cliff .4 mile to the left or the Red Hill Fire Tower to the right. I continued to Eagle Cliff (elevation 1410ft) and spent 30 minutes there.

The view from Eagle Cliff was wonderful. It was a clear day with some wind so I bet I could see 100 miles. Squam Lake looked spectacular with the leaves off the trees. I went back down the trail to the sign. I wanted to go to the Red Hill Fire Tower and I thought old sign said 1.6 miles to the fire tower. Turns out it was 2.6 miles. The trail was well marked with yellow markers. It went from 1350ft down a bit, then to 1800ft, then down a bit, then to 2040ft. I hurt my right foot when going up a steep section of the trail on the climb up. The ball of my foot felt swollen and my toes kept cramping up.

When I arrived at the Fire Tower I was pretty tired. (elevation 2040ft) I relaxed for 30 minutes or so and decided climb up the Fire Tower. I could feel the tower wiggle in the wind so only made it to the second platform. I was able to get one picture on the fire tower when the batteries in the camera died. EEK … It was a bit much for me so I wasn’t about to change batteries and go back up the tower. Before heading down the hill I took off my boot which felt wonderful. It could be that my thick hunting socks made my boots too tight for this hike. My foot would make my descent more difficult.

From the fire tower I was around 3 miles southeast of my truck and 1500 feet higher. The main trail coming up on the fire tower side was descending the wrong direction. I was told there was a second trail ¼ mile down the hill with white markers which would take me closer to where I needed to go. My other option was to go back the way I came. Even with a hurt foot I remembered I was hunting and thought my chances of seeing a deer was better lower down as all I had seen on top was an older scrape. I took the White trail and saw some beautiful cuts with a view of Squam Lake on the way down the hill (you will have to take my word for it.) I also saw bear scat and one set of tracks.

1) With my hunting gear on I wasn’t dressed properly for a long steep hike on what turned out to be a 50 degree day. I should have thought more about the terrain and planned accordingly.
2) I ran out of water. (one bicycle water bottle is all I brought) I could have finished my water when I reached Eagle Cliff a mile or so into the trek. I was unprepared for the elevation and distance. Instead of heading back down the hill I stayed on top and continued to go farther away from my truck. I could have really been in trouble. I have no water purification backup and may buy a SteriPEN for the future. I could have used the SteriPEN on stream water.
3) I ran out of batteries. I always carry extra AA batteries as most everything I have uses them. I also make it a point to carry out what I bring in to the woods. I had 6 extra batteries I brought in a baggie. The WRONG baggie as they were the expired batteries from previous hunting.

I did a quick inventory and had 2 headlamps ready to go (they use different batteries) so I could descend in the dark. I had one small flashlight with 2 marginal AA batteries not strong enough to power my camera. In essence, I was down to the 2 batteries in my GPS. If the GPS went down I could use my ball compass so I was ok there.

On my descent down the white trail I intersected several other trails that weren't marked on my GPS. Looking at the topo made decisions easier to get me down the hill while continuing toward my truck. 2 miles later I ended up in an area where I hunted the previous weekend. By 3:45PM I was 1/3 mile from my truck in the woods. I was so tired and thirsty I headed for the road. Hobbling, I reached my truck at 4:10PM.

LEARN from my mistakes: Wear the right clothing for what you have planned. WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER !! (I now have a water bladder for my pack.) Know what you have in your pack and make sure you have a back-up plan.

I ended up hiking 6.25 miles with a total ascent of 2545 feet. Beautiful scenery but not so fun when dehydrated. My day of hunting turned into a long hike holding a rifle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Memories of Pfc. Matthew A. Bean

Pfc. Matthew A. Bean, was killed in Iraq. His father, Dana, was my roommate at Gordon College.

Below are two YouTube videos made by Dana’s brother, Doug, as a tribute to Matthew. While on patrol for missing Soldiers (Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty) from his unit, the 10th Mountain division, Matthew was shot in the head by a sniper and would die from this injury May 31st, 2007.

Dana and Cheryl continue to be strong through this time.

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009, Matthew was profiled on the Nancy Grace Program. Dana said his family is like all other "Gold Star" families: honored & proud to share our son's life with the shows viewers.

Dana (Matthew's father) has been corresponding with Blue Browning, of the Nancy Grace Show, giving more information about Matthew.

Matthew Bio ...

Matthew was an athlete of course: snow, skate, & wakeboarding. He wrestled & played judo. Football & soccer when he was younger. He enjoyed outdoor activities like fishing & softball. What he was famous among his military "brothers" for was playing guitar & singing after they came back from patrols.

While in Iraq, on his first tour, he survived two IED explosions and was awarded the "Arcom" (Army Commendation) for saving his unit from a third. He actually stood by the device, cleared the area, and located the enemy who had set it. We were told that he was targeted by the sniper who shot him because he would have been identified over a period of time as "the guy" in his unit that was outstanding. He died May 31st, 2007 from his head wound at Bethesda Naval Hospital after hanging on for 12 days. The Army doctors did all they could; we will always be thankful to them for the time they gave us with our son. Matthew had just turned 22 years old. He had been awarded the ArCom, Bronze Star, & Purple Heart.

He had an award-winning smile that melted the hearts of everyone he met. It reflected what was inside of him. Matthew was a Christian. That is what gives us the "blessed assurance" that we will see him again when our Lord calls us home! His life and death have touched many for the sake of Christ. That now includes you & Nancy!

Matthew left behind his brothers & sisters, as well as, his fiancee, Sarah. There are some great pictures of him along with a bit of who he was on various "YouTube" videos posted by family & friends.

My wife, Cheryl, & I thank you!

Dana Bean
Proud Army Dad

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hunting Adventures - 2009

2009 total for the group:
NH: 4
MA: 4
VT: 3

Bow: Mike took a doe in NH and a doe in VT. Ryan took a doe in MA. Ray took a 8 point in NH. Derek took a 10 point in MA. Derek took a 13 point in MA. Stephen K took a 7 point in MA.
Muzzleloader: Rick took a buck in NH. Rick took a doe in VT.
Rifle: Steven M took a 5 point in VT. Ray took a 6 point in NH.
I don't have pictures of all the deer at this point.

I am going to try to do these deer chronologically as best I can.

For opening bow, Mike took a doe in NH and a doe in VT (no pictures). Ryan took a doe in MA (no Picture).

Ray took this 8 point 128lb dressed in NH opening morning for Bow.

Rick said a deer was hit by a car up the street from him in MA. He and Steven M. went back with their bows but it hobbled off. It was a 4 point. Ryan is in a good area. Incident: Ryan decided to move his tree stand. He was in the process of taking it down when he saw a buck (10 point) staring at him. He left his bow in the car so could do nothing but throw rocks. He saw the 4 point the next morning from his tree stand but passed on it as he hopes to see that 10 point again.

Oh my word ... Derek took this bruiser 10 point with his bow. The weight was 210lbs dressed. However, the deer was so long it didn't get completely off the ground when it was weighed. The drag out of the woods took several hours. Question for Derek and Ryan ... How come it took you young bucks so long to drag that out of the woods?

Rick said: Derek's deer looks just like the buck he shot ... except his was 110 pounds lighter and only had 2 points and one antler. Other than that, virtually identical.
Mike said: "He would much rather have shot Rick's deer….. Just think of all the problems Derek has to face with a monster deer like that……
1. The tough drag out of the woods
2. People calling you all hours of the night to congratulate you while you're trying to watch Family Guy.
3. The taxidermy bills.
4. Redecorating the living room to find a place to hang it.
Us old guys could shoot deer like that but with age comes wisdom….. we know the problems big deer bring … alas one day Derek will smart’n up!!! Let’s keep pull’n the trigger on skippers!!!!!"
Rick added: "You forgot... the meat would taste like shoe leather. Not worth eating, so why kill an old guy.... to bad we can't hunt spikes in VT anymore. They're forcing us to cull these poor old bucks."


All kidding aside, congratulations Derek. That's a buck to be proud of. Derek said there is another big buck in the same area. Yea right ...

Rick took a nice buck on Red Hill during muzzleloader in NH (no picture). Hey Rick! Tell us again how your deer had spots and antlers!! Just kiddin ...

Other than youth weekend with Kevin, I have yet to get out in the woods. To much going on with visiting colleges, etc. As you can see I am living vicariously through my hunting buddies.

David and Stephen K. hunted Red Hill on opening day rifle (Wednesday) in NH. I was up at 4:00AM Thursday morning to drive to Moultonborough to join them. I arrived to find David wasn't feeling well. Stephen and I went to the "L" to hunt. I went up to Kevin's rock figuring it was a good area after seeing doe's on youth weekend. Stephen went to the landing. They left early afternoon for home while I continued to hunt. It was warm and the leaves were very crunchy. Like walking on corn flakes.

I moved around a while but didn't see much in the way of scrapes or rubs. I decided to try to find a spot and sit quietly figuring anything moving would make lots of noise.

About 1:30PM I decided to go to Red Hill and explore the area where Rick shot his buck the week before. It was a beautiful area. Several runs. There were 2 squirrels and 6 chipmunks near where I was sitting. They sure make lots of noise in crunchy leaves. I must have invaded this chipmunks rock. He decided to sit next to me for awhile. Maybe the extra set of eyes would help. At one point he sat on my boot. I'm glad he didn't try to go up my pant leg ... That could be painful. No deer ... I headed for the truck at 4:45PM.

Friday I did more walking on the "L". I saw my first rub on top with a couple scrapes. I jumped 2 deer but couldn't make out antlers. Mid afternoon I packed up and headed to Vermont for opening rifle. There should be 10 of us hunting this weekend.

When I arrived in VT late afternoon Friday there was more "Derek Talk." During the 2007 Bow season in MA he shot a big buck but didn't bring it down. He has seen the same buck on his trail camera since 2007 but hasn't had the opportunity to try again. That was until several days ago. Derek was bow hunting ... saw the buck ... and took a 20 yard shot from his tree stand. The deer ran several hundred yards through a swamp before it dropped. It's a 13 point buck. Bigger rack than the 10 point with the main beam 4 inches around but lighter at 164lbs dressed. It was his 2007 deer as it still had a broadhead in it's shoulder bone.

We were all wondering if the heavier 10 point was the father of the 13 point, or were they brothers, or cousins. We guessed they may be 5 - 7 years old. What a gene pool in that area. Derek will have both heads mounted and measured. We are thinking they wouldn't make Boone & Crocket but may make Pope & Young. Rather amazing ...

We were up early Saturday morning 11/14 and headed out. It was raining which finally made things quiet. Ryan and Derek went to the boulders. Rick and Stephen went to Sargent. Mike and I went to Gurassic Ridge. I took the east side and Mike went up top. As we drove in there were several trucks parked on the west side. Our thought was the deer would go up top where Mike was and down the east side where I was toward the swamp. No luck seeing bucks except Stephen. Stephen shot a 5 point 155lb dressed on Sargent.

We returned at dark to start our traditional big dinner on Saturday night. Rick had nice steaks going on the grill. There were 13 of us for dinner.

Ray came over from NH for dinner. He wasn't hunting this year in VT. It was great to see him and hear about his bear experience in Montana. After dinner we watched some videos of Mike and Ray from their Montana Elk hunt in October. Sounded like they had a great time. Lots of good stories.

On Monday morning, 11/16 Ray took a 6 point 170 lb dressed in NH. It was from one of his many tree stands near his house. Was it the tree stand you built with the roof on it? We should think about bear hunting in your area next year.

Steven K. was bow hunting in MA early Tuesday 11/17. A doe came down the trail and stopped near him. He took a shot and missed because of a tree obstruction. He said it was the 3rd miss with a bow this season. 30 minutes later a buck came down the same trail following the doe's scent. It actually stopped and smelled the arrow stuck in the ground from his missed shot. It took a couple steps forward and Steven took his shot. The buck ran a short distance back down the trail and stopped. He said it was looking all around trying to figure out what happened. Standing there it wobbled, then wobbled again, and fell over. This buck was 7 point 154lb dressed. He donated the deer to a local needy family. Someone came by to pick it up at 5:30PM.

Saturday, 11/21, I was up at 4:10AM to drive to Red Hill in Moultonborough. My plan was to still hunt at first light. By late morning I came across 2 large rubs on an old skidder trail. (I thought it would make a good picture with my Weatherby.) They were impressive. About 100 yards away I saw run with 4 very fresh scrapes going up the middle of this knoll. It was a good spot so I decided to sit for several hours. Behind me was a stream with another knoll. I saw a deer come down the knoll toward the stream. I couldn't see the head. I was hoping it would jump the stream and come up the run I was sitting on. No such luck. There were quite a few beechnut trees around. When black bears climb beechnut trees they often leave claw marks. Here is an example.

My GPS indicated I was almost a mile north and 250 feet higher from where I parked my truck. At 3PM I decided to find a closer place to park and an easier way back to this spot for the morning so I followed the run down hill toward the road. I hit 3 fields with houses which basically pushed me back toward the truck. Nuts.

Sunday morning, 11/22, I slept in until 4:25AM. I headed straight to the scraps through the woods and sat until late morning. Then I started up the run to see where it took me. I ended up jumping several deer but no visuals for antlers so no shot. I followed an old skidder trail which took me back toward my truck but up hill. I had to head home mid afternoon so headed down hill.

I took the road around Red Hill on my way home. I passed a boat house on Squam Lake with a nice reflection so I turned around. (The movie "On Golden Pond" was filmed on Squam Lake) I also saw a barn that looked interesting. The owner told me it was the oldest barn in Moultonborough registered with the historical society. Lower level for horses, main level, and upper level was a chicken coop.

I went back to Red Hill in NH on Friday, 12/4. My plan was to hunt my way to the top. I got to the top alright with no luck seeing deer. It was quite the little adventure. Read my "A Hunt or a Hike?" post. Rifle season in NH ended Sunday. I don't have time to go to VT muzzleloader so my season is officially over.

Rick and Stephen went to Mike's in VT for opening muzzleloader this weekend. It snowed a bit on Saturday night. Rick took a doe on 12/6.

Search Blog Archive: November 2011,  November 2010 & November 2008 - for more Hunting Adventures