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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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day trip to Boston, MA

We headed in to Boston for the day.  We parked at Alewife T station and took the Red Line to Park Street.  Had a a great time walking around.  We walked across the Boston Common to Acorn Street (oldest street in Boston).  Stopped at a couple shops on Charles Street.  We headed down Commonwealth Ave. ( a beautiful walk) toward Devonshire Street.    We then cut over to Copley Place and into the Mall.  Trinity Church was open so we went inside.  What a beautiful church, inside and out ...  

We ate a late lunch in Faneuil Hall at Hard Rock Cafe which we enjoyed last year.  Dessert was reserved for  Mike's Pastry in the North End.  We looped around to look at the Old North Church.  We wanted to go inside but they had closed early. 

Fat squirrel's that were very friendly.  It was quite obvious they have been had fed by and not the least bit scared of people.  Reach down and act like you have food and they come right up to you.  This one looks to be shaking hands with Kevin as it grabs Kevin's glove. 

Megan met up with her old flame she sees once a year ... hehe. 

As it got dark we enjoyed the Christmas lights and the tree lit up in Faneuil Hall.  We jumped on the subway at Park street and headed for home.  A great family time for us. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hunting Adventures - 2010

October 1 - Rick and Steve M are going to Mikes for opening bow in Vermont.  There have been several inches of rain in the last 24 hours.  Should stop this evening so opening will be ok.  Very wet, very muddy, and very quiet.  Leaves are turning colors ...

James missed a 5 point.  Ended up taking a doe.

Ryan took this huge deer with a bow in MA.  It's an 11 point and weighed 210lbs dressed.  He said it was the buck he shot at last year.  Derek took a nice 7 point weighing 160 lbs dressed with a bow in MA.  How are us old guys supposed to keep up with these youngsters. 

Representing us "OLD GUYS", Rick is thinking ... "So that's what they look like!!"

Oct 23 - 24 Youth weekend in NH.  Kevin and I headed to Moultonborough on Friday.  Once we arrived we unloaded and headed into the woods to our rock.   We were going to clear the brush and set up for a morning stand.  10 inches from our rock is a tree. When we arrived we couldn't help but notice someones tree stand in our spot.  Kevin was bummed out.  We scouted around and found an area next to the field with 3 scrapes and 4 rubs.  Looked like a buck was a bit busy.  We made a plan for our morning stand. 

October 23.  Temp is low 30's with 15+ mph winds.  Was cold.  I brought a camo blanket for Kevin.  The wind mad things difficult.  After 1 hr 40 minutes Kevin need to start moving.  We walked until late morning.  Didn't see any deer.  Came out of the woods and had breakfast.  Headed to Red Hill.  Hunted to the area where I saw many scrapes and rubs the year before.  Good sign but didn't see anything.  Wind had picked up.  We did see 2 bow hunters.  They were on their way up the hill.  They said they hadn't seen anything either.  Came down in a field.  Met the owner who said I could park there and hunt.  This would make it easier to hit that ridge as I was parking over 1/2 mile away.  Went back to our spot for an evening stand. 

Oct 24.  Instead of taking a stand we waked the swamp trail.  Kevin was about 60 feet in front of me.  He pulled up and took a shot at a deer he saw in the swap.  I couldn't see the deer but I heard it run.  Saw tracks, couldn't see any blood or hair.  Kevin said deer went to the left of a downed tree in the swamp.  I started following tracks ... no blood that I could see.  Stopped and turned back when I took a step and sank up to my knee in mud.  Grabbed my boot.  Had to basicaly lay down to get the mud to release.  I told Kevin we needed to turn around as was to risky to continue.  We continued on the trail and endied up doing a big loop back to the truck.  I was excited he got a shot off. 

Mike took a doe in VT on Sunday with a bow.

SO … I showed Pam the pics of Derek’s deer and Ryan’s deer.  She said WITH TONE … “Why can’t you hunt where they are hunting??  We need the venison!!”

All I could do was say they take canoes across rivers and hunt swamps!  And besides, they bow hunt and I don't!!  Needless to say MY MANHOOD WAS PRICKED.  NO PRESSURE ... Thanks a lot guys.   I can say I am building memories of getting up really early, sitting out in the cold sometimes with wind, until my fingers loose feeling and my body shakes uncontrollably, only to get up and start moving around to warm up.  Hearing gun shots in the area of my hunting buddies shooting their deer (i.e. Steven and Rick on Sargent) ... What great memories ...

I will try to restore my manhood during rifle hunting this year. 

Nov 2. Stephen K took this 8 point buck in MA with a bow weighing 184lbs dressed.  Another big deer.  Congrats Stephen.  Mike asked, "Steve ... what's with the SMURF GLOVES???"  One comment from an un-named source said those may be screw on antlers purchased from the "DH" website and that's really a doe.  Those PURDY gloves are hiding the mounts!  We are still waiting for Stevey's reply.

Derek's dad tagged this small 6 point, 130 lbs dressed with a bow.  HEY DEREK!!  PAM wants to know why you won't put me in one of your tree stands so I can shoot something!!!!
Opening day for rifle in Vermont is the 13h so I headed up on the 12th to check out some areas.  Mike left a voicemail saying he had not been feeling well (vertigo) so he would be taking it easy.  I drove the Norford Lake Road on the way in.  Mud in some places with big ruts.  Two large puddles, one had to be almost 2 feet deep.  The Copper Mine Road was reopened so I drove that to the cemetery and turned around.  Rick, Steven, Ryan, and Derek showed up early evening as Mike and I were picking up pizzas.

James (VT National Guard) was wounded in an RPG attack in Afghanistan.  He was taken to Germany, then to Walter Reed for surgery.  He was discharged from Walter Reed last month and came back to VT. He will be driving to NC Sunday morning to turn in some of his gear.  He received a Purple Heart from his ordeal.  We are lucky to have him.  Praise God for that.  His unit returns from Afganistan mid December.

I have not been in the Vermont woods since last year.  Mike, Rick, Steven, and James have spent much more time in the woods scouting and bow hunting.  As usual, I asked the question: “Where should I hunt?”  The Town Line, Jurassic Hill, Sargent Hill, Cream Street, the Boulders, the Copper Mine Road, the Valley of the Balls, Mike’s Tree Stand ... 

They made fun of me because I can never seem to choose so they made me something to help.  “The Brian E Spinner”.

Spinner Rules:
  • If you land on a place: you must go there!
  • If spinner lands on a person: that person tells you where to hunt!
  • Valid hunting areas are listed on the spinner board only!

  • After 1 hour at determined location, you are free to move about.
  • If you land on a person who is not present, you must spin again.
  • You may opt out at any time by contributing $5 to that days buck pool.
Steven to Sargent, Rick to Sargent, Ryan and Derek to the Boulders, Still not feeling 100%, Mike would hunt in the afternoon.  I spent Saturday morning on the east side of Jurassic.  I took a stand where deer can be pushed off the hill and down a trail.  I thought I would head east toward the swamp mid morning.  

Temp was low 30’s, almost no wind, leaves very noisy.  As I sat for my Saturday morning stand (1/2 mile from truck) there were many shots east of me toward the swamp.  Around 8:30AM I decided to make my way toward the swamp.  I went 400 yards or so and saw a coyote.  It was blond in color, gun up, I shot, MISSED … it didn’t know where I was so scampered off making a loop.  I was ticked.  I had that dead on.  That was my first shot with the new scope on my gun.  John D and I used a laser bore sight to dial it in but didn’t actually take a shot with it.  My mistake … should have done that the day prior when I first arrived.  I continued hunting moving toward the swamp the whole time wondering if I would hit anything I aimed at.  I was 1.7 miles from my truck when I decided to go back and shoot a couple rounds at a target.  Arrived at Mike’s around noon and I set up a target.  For some reason at 50 yards I was about 10 inches high and a bit to the right.  Brought things down and to the left so ended up with a nice grouping I was satisfied with.  Now I felt ready for the deer or coyote’s.  It warmed up to almost 60 in the afternoon so I dressed lighter for the afternoon.

Steve never came out for lunch so I decided to go up Sargent.  Maybe I would push something toward him.  There was a shot on Sargent but not Steve.  I went to the top and took an evening stand by a blow down.  Had a good open view an area.   No bucks (3 point rule in VT again this year) sighted by the group all day. 

We had our annual dinner at Franks on Saturday night.  Doug Sr, Doug Jr, Paul, John and Ray attended the dinner.  Was good to see all of them.  The food was excellent.

Sunday morning back to Jurassic.  Much colder, minimal wind, leaves very noisy.  Deer tracks right down the trail I walked in on.  Continued a couple hundred yards past my spot the previous morning and saw a big scrape.  Mike was feeling better and dragged a scent line by me on the trail and continued 400 yards past me going left toward a swamp.  He saw 3 more fresh scrapes and sat for a while.  There is a buck tearing it up in there.

In the afternoon I used the spinner and went to the VOB.   No one had been there yet so I thought it would be a good place to take an evening stand.  Mike was coming in from the West moving toward me.  At 4:15PM I decided to start moving back toward my truck.  About 50 yards from my truck I jumped 3 deer.  One was big, gun up and on it but no clear view of headgear.  NUTS … they crossed the old dirt road and circled left behind my truck.  I thought they may jump to road again so I spun around, gun up,  and got ready.  Noise behind me … swung back around and a 4th deer crossed the road in the same spot the first 3 crossed.  Big deer, light less now, no clear look for headgear.  AGAIN NUTS. 

Monday morning quarterback:  I suspect the first 3 deer I saw were does.  The 4th was most likely a buck trailing them.  Should have positioned myself and been ready for additional deer crossing where the first 3 had.  Would have been set to see any headgear at that point.    10 minutes later Mike arrived.  He may have pushed them off the hill toward me.

Stephen K took another 8 point weighing 144lbs dressed.  His second buck this year.  Nice to see his gloves have improved.  What's with those detachable skull caps!!!  Is that product from the DH website?

Steve M went back to Mike's in VT Wednesday night.  They hooked up with Wayne and went to Taylor Valley on Thurs.  New area, big woods, saw a moose.   Mike had one bad shot at a buck through thick stuff and missed.

Saturday morning they woke to fresh snow (1 inch).  Steve went in the trail where Rick saw deer last weekend.  Steve saw 5 does and 1 buck with a broken antler but couldn’t get a shot.

Mike went in by Sargent on back of Norford Lake.  He then moved higher by the duck pond and found fresh tracks.  Saw a deer moving his way….antlers….  Made a 60 yd shot.  Took this nice 4 point.

Rick hasn't seen many deer this year.  (I was thinking with age, goes eyesight.)  He hunted Red Hill in NH a couple days and saw a spike on Sunday.  Had little spikes and thought it was very young and to small so he passed.  My plan is to go to Red Hill this weekend.  Rick may do the same.

December 3 – 5.  I hunted a new area behind the pond to the left of Red Hill on Friday afternoon.  Lots of tracks but only saw one rub.  Rick arrived early saturday morning so we hunted Red Hill.  Lots of scrapes and rubs seen by both of us but didn’t see the deer.  I started at around 500 feet elevation and followed scrapes and rubs to 1050 feet elev. turning left to a large feeding area.  Stayed in that area a while then went a bit higher looping right toward Rick.  Hit an old skidder trail which brought me down to the area I hunted before.  Lots of walking for both of us!   Rick was still a mile south and a bit above me and wanted to stay in the woods.   I completed my loop and headed back up the trail and sat for a hour where I saw fresh scrapes.  I then decided to head up again and to the left behind the farms on the road.  At 750 feet elev.I headed left.   Several streams were coming down the hill.  By the time I was above the farms the incline was about 60 degrees.  I wasn’t about to go up hill any further and at one point was 150 yards above the farmhouse below  me.  If I fell, my body would basically end up by that person’s barn.  Not good … I finally cleared the steep section and rested in a good spot.  Couple more scrapes but no deer sightings.  I ended up back at my truck around 4:00PM exhausted.    

I talked to the land owner and told him no deer sightings but I did see a maple tree with nice piece of “burl wood” in his woods.  He told me I could cut it down and take it.  The tree was probably 35 feet tall, 5 inches in diameter, 3 feet off the ground was the burl, then 5 inches in diameter continuing up.  It was 600 feet in the woods so I thought I would quickly cut it down and carry it out of the woods.  OK … with my 6 inch hand saw it took 25 minutes to cut both ends.  NOT what I had anticipated!  I reached down to pick it up.  It was very bulky and the @#!*% must have weighed well over 100 pounds.  AGAIN, Not what I had anticipated!  There was no way I could carry it that distance out of the woods.    I ended up carrying and rolling it as best I could on the slope toward my truck.  After 150 feet it was dark and I was exhausted.  I marked a waypoint on my GPS and left it.  

Sunday, Rick went back to Red Hill.  I went back to the pond area.  Not deer sighting for me.  At 10:30AM I went back for my burl wood.  I took a plastic snow sled with me to help drag it from the woods.  Worked well except the center of gravity was so high it kept rolling off the sled from the slope of the terrain.  Once out of the woods in the field it was an easy drag down hill to the truck.  I put it on the scale and it weighed 172 lbs.  Turns out there were hollow areas within the burl so wasn't completely solid.  This is one of several bowls made.

Rick wanted to stay in his area for another hour so I went to the “L” figuring I had an hour to hunt the swamp trail.  Slowly walking down the swamp trail I jumped two deer 100 yards away heading up the hill.  Gun up, safety off on the second but no clear look at the head.  If I had a doe tag that deer would have made it to my freezer.

Steve M and Mike were in Vermont and both saw a deer on Saturday.  They heard a ton of shooting.  That night, James said there were 7 deer in one of the fields near by.  They must have been feeding because there is snow on the ground.  Was still snowing in Vermont and supposed to get 1-4 inches more.

They could have used my spinner Sunday morning as they didn’t know where to hunt.  They hatched a plan at breakfast.  At 6:15AM they were driving out of Mike’s driveway and saw 6 deer in that field … changed plans … both went behind Gove Hill.  Mike saw 3 deer … 2 does and the other he couldn’t see the head.  Steve saw a coyote.  They had to leave by 10am.

Derek took an 8 point weighing 145lbs dressed that ran off and expired in someones yard.  They called the police, the police called the animal control officer, and then he called the environmental police.  They checked out everything and all was good and all was legal. 

Dec. 8 Steve M took this 8 point with a muzzleloader in the morning behind Ricks house.  He said something spooked a couple deer that headed toward him. A few minutes later came this deer.  Derek said Steve shot that deer looking down the side of his barrel? He didn’t want to chance using his gun sites on this one as he's had 3 misses this year.   Rick thought he heard Steve say while getting into his tree stand he dropped the gun and it discharged. The buck was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It’s a clear case for carrying life insurance if you ask Rick.  You just never know what can happen; what are the odds?

12/10 Steve M. and Rick hunted in Vermont by Jurassic.  The temp was near zero.  The woods were very crunchy when walking.  Rick said he couldn’t remember when he got so cold hunting.  Neither saw anything.
12/11 it warmed up.  Mike had a great day in VT on Saturday…saw six deer at different times.  He was behind Gove Hill and only moved to 3 spots.  He saw deer in all 3 spots….they never spotted him and all were within 20-50 yds … all does though.

12/15 Derek saw an 8 point and a button buck in the morning.  He is out of buck tags and doe hunting now.  He said 2 days ago he almost had a shot at a doe but she noticed his bow squeak a little as he was drawing back.  She got nervous and slowly walked down wind of him and then walked away.

This past weekend Derek saw a coyote and several deer. 3 fawns 2 small bucks and five does.  He said 3 does were big one was really big. He had no shot closer than 30 yds.  He didn’t make the shot because a few days earlier he fell smashing his bow on the ground.   He said he needed to make sure everything is still on before he makes that shot.  He didn’t want to make a bad shot and injure an animal.  On 12/29 he had his first double.  His season is now over as he is out of tags.

Our Hunting Adventures - 2010 season is officially over.  The group has taken 5 does  (unfortunately, the coyote’s got to one before we did) in addition to the bucks above.  

Search Blog Archive: November 2011, November 2009 & November 2008 - for more Hunting Adventures

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quechee / Woodstock, VT loop

We took a quick day trip to Quechee Gorge and Woodstock, VT.  We had a nice time.  It was supposed to be peak foliage.  It was very pretty but with heavy rains and wind during the past week there were lots of leaves down.

We walked the trail from the bridge to the river.   It was probably 1/2 mile down hill to the river.

We continued to Woodstock and walked around town.  Woodstock is a beautiful little town with all the little shops, covered bridge, etc.  Even prettier with the foliage.

Leaving Woodstock we headed toward South Royalton.  I saw a couple of nice barns on the way so we stopped so I could take a couple pictures. 

We looped around by Mikes but didn't stop.  I figured Mike would be in the woods bow hunting with Steve and Rick.  As we continued our loop heading toward Norwich and the highway Kevin said he thought Mike was in the vehicle behind us.  Turns out it was Mike and Lauren.  They were going to a wedding.  At a stop sigh I jumped out of our vehicle and gave them a a look.  They laughed and were suprised to see us.  What are the odds of that happening.  Good to see them briefly as we missed their annual Labor Day picnic.

We ended up back on I89 and headed for home.

Search Blog Archive: October 2011 & September 2009 - for more Fall Foliage.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vermont Foliage - Northeast Kingdom - 2010

I was to get up at 4:30AM, wake Kevin, and be on the road by 5:00AM.  I wanted to drive through Franconia Notch as the sun came up.  My alarm didn't go off.  I woke up at 5:30AM to a bit of daylight and quickly woke Kevin up.  We were on the road just before 6:00AM. I hoped to spot some nice barns and great foliage.

Vermont had several inches of rain the day before.  The forecast said the clouds would be pushed out with a nice sunny day.  This turned out to be TRUE ... SOUTH OF THE NOTCH!!  It was overcast north of the notch pretty much all day.  The colors were nice but I was looking forward to the sunlight.  I thought it would be cool.  The temperature peaked at 53 degrees with the wind blowing so it felt cold.

The rivers were really moving, water brown, and overflowing their banks in many areas.  We drove to the Canadian boarder and drove the power lines south toward Island Pond.  This would keep us near other trails we could 4 wheel on if we wanted to continue off road.  Kevin wanted to shoot the .308 so we stopped at a clearing when we were 4 wheeling.  He liked it and will use it for Youth Weekend in a few weeks.  After 30 miles or so Kevin was more interested in lunch than continuing so we headed toward Derby.
I thought Kevin might enjoy seeing some elk.  I would like to say we saw these elk while hunting in Montana like Mike and Ray did last year.  Oh well ... We ate at  "Derby Cow Palace" where they raise elk in the field behind the restaurant.  (Yes ... Elk is on the menu)  We watched the elk for some time.  It must be the start of the rut as the bulls were bugling at each other and chasing several of the cows around the field.  We watched 2 bulls sparring but didn't amount to much. 

From there we headed south to Lake Willoughby.  I drove the right side of the lake thinking I could cut down to the water.  I couldn't find a road that would do that so we turned around and continued on the left side.  It's a beautiful glacier lake! 

We continued toward home stopping briefly at the bridge in Franconia Notch.  It was just after 7:00PM when we arrived home.  Even with the clouds and cold weather we had a great father/son time.  Another spectacular foliage experience in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Search Blog Archive: October 2011 & September 2009 - for more Fall Foliage.