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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 2, 2012

Annual Christmas Tree Hunt & Kill - Family Tradition

2012 - Dec. 3.  In keeping with tradition (13th year) we headed out with Doug, Linda and their family for our Christmas tree hunt & kill.  It snowed the day before and the air warmed up so it was foggy.  Kevin was with us but our 3 girls were at school or working.  We were disappointed they weren't with us SO I improvised a bit for the family photo.  Thank you Andrew, Daniel, and Jonathan for standing in for them.  I bet my girls make it a point to show up next year.

2011 – Dec. 12.  Our annual Christmas tree hunt & kill with Doug, Linda and their family was a bust because of school schedules.  In a pinch we bought a nice tree in the parking lot of Dairy Queen. Yes, we bought a "DQ" tree. I couldn't see myself buying a tree and finishing it off with a soft serve cone, Brazier Burger, etc. Not the same as cider and Dunkin Donuts after cutting our own tree.  We didn't decorate the tree until all the kids arrived home for break.  We had no picture of the event so I altered our 2009 picture ... and laughed.  It turned out to be an excellent tree ... BUT ... let's get back to tradition.

2010 - Dec. 12 was our 11th annual Christmas tree hunt & kill with Doug, Linda and their family.

This year was a cold and very rainy day.  We all got pretty wet in the process of cutting down our tree.  As usual, the 13 of us invaded the Dunkin Donuts for hot chocolate, coffee, and to warm up.

2009 - (10th year) It was very cold and windy this year. We go to a big farm in Groton with 5 or 6 fields full of trees. There are large power lines cutting through one of the fields. Kevin and I go 4 wheeling on the power line roads coming from Canada in upstate Vermont. These are the same power lines coming from Canada. Pam refuses to cut a tree by the power lines. She says it doesn't have the "festive ambiance". I tell her if she faces the woods when cutting the tree she won't see the power lines and NO ONE WILL KNOW ...

Here are our 2000 through 2008 tree hunt & kill pics. I scanned the 2000 - 2006 pictures as they were not digital and I can't find the negatives.










Friday, November 30, 2012

Hunting Adventures - 2012

If you haven’t heard by now Steve aka Sevey is no longer a bow hunting virgin.  Yes he ended his 25+ year bow hunting dry spell last weekend on a nice 115 lb doe.  It was quite a story because unbeknownst to Sevey, he his brother Rick were both shooting at the same deer.

It went like this:

  • Sevey shoots….and misses (very typical)
  • Deer runs off…towards Rick
  • Rick shoots…not sure if he hit it?
  • Deer trots back towards Sevey again
  • Sevey shoots…he scores…but even Sevey can’t quite believe it
  • Deer runs off
  • Steve sees Rick….. indicates a blood trail
  • Rick assumes what most people would that he hit the deer given Sevey’s poor track record bow hunting.
  • But low and behold, lighting does occasionally strike twice and the Bow hunting God looked down on Steve and had pity…Sevey killed the deer.
  • Steve smoked a very satisfying cigarette over the kill.

We older hunters have hunted together for 20 years in the Northeast.  We have loads of stories which inspired me to start my blog.  We also raised our children hunting, fishing, camping, etc. and I wish I had the pictures and stories written down. 

Our children grew up and started hunting on their own.  They took it upon themselves to take it to the next level and started doing things that we older guys looked at and said “nope … too old for that … “.  We started calling them “Dirty Hunters” for their efforts.  We would question their tactics, mock them, trash talk, and get a jab in any chance we could.  It wasn’t because they were doing anything illegal, but because we were too old to participate (Different stage of life).  All they do is point to the pictures of their success. 

I should explain what we mean by a “Dirty Hunter”.  It starts with Time … and I mean lots of time in the woods; scouting, trail cameras, multiple tree stands, swamps, mapping out a plan, etc.  This has included: 

  • Time … they spend so much time I the woods before the season starts scouting and preparing.
  • Getting up early to get to their stand hours before sunrise. 3:30AM is too early for me.
  • Wearing hip or chest waders to go deep into the swamps where the big deer hide during the season.  Maybe I’m too old but if I have to go in to waist or chest deep water to get to my tree stand I put it in the wrong place.
  • Paddling a canoe across rivers if necessary to get to their tree stands.  (Included loading deer into the canoe, going back across the river to the truck)
  • Becoming proficient with deer bleets, blats, grunts, etc to bring them in.
  • Legally bow hunting in areas that you wouldn’t expect the deer or the deer hunter to be. 

The last bullet reminds me of Ryan who had another “DH” successful hunt this year with what we called his “Taco Bell” buck.   He was bow hunting in a quiet area … morning after morning the only thing he heard was “Welcome to Taco Bell … May I take your order please?”  He took this buck we named the “TACO BELL BUCK”. 

The success of the “DH” group can be seen on my blog from past years of hunting.  10 point, 11 point, 13 point, and heavy deer … There is something to be said about putting in the time scouting before the season and going where the big bucks go in swamps, etc.

The rest of the season played out this way.  We saw little or no acorns, beechnuts, or apples in the woods.  We saw many deer in the fields eating grass but that’s not very nutritious.  Will be interested to see what Fish & Game says about the winter kill.  Hopefully 2013 will have more food in the woods.

We were out of town for NH Youth weekend.  Kevin took a 115lb doe Youth Weekend in Vermont.  I hunted Vermont rifle opening weekend.  3 point rule, buck only.  I saw 2 spike horns and 3 does.  Many more does in the fields.  The first buck was heavy and I couldn’t believe it was a spike.  There was a 3rd point on one side but not countable (at least an inch long).  If it was NH I would have taken it.  The second buck was small with spikes that looked like pencils.  I wouldn’t have taken that one even if it was legal.  Needs to grow up …  

Mike and I hunted two new areas sitting on runs that led to the grassy fields.  No luck spotting bucks.  I am interested in going back to those areas next year. 

The following weekend I hunted in NH.  I saw 5 does … and no bucks … nuts …   That was it for my hunting time in NH. 

Sevey took a doe, Rick a doe, Ryan a 7 point and a 4 point, Derek a 7 point and a doe, Stephen a doe, Mike skunked, James skunked, Brian skunked … Doug didn't even hunt this year!!!  There were way too many tags unfilled ... 

There’s always next year… 

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in hunting to see past posts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Youth Hunting Weekend - Vermont

Friday, November 2, as soon as Kevin got home from school we headed for Vermont. 

We arrived around 4:30PM and Kevin wanted to go 4 wheeling so we headed down some of the logging roads before going to Mike’s.  Some mud, some rocks, and Hurricane Sandy dropped a tree across one of the trails so we had to turn around. 

The hunting plan was to get up early head to our spot from last year.  I had my pack and would lump the extra gear around (40 lbs … water, Gatorade, snacks, camera, extra gloves, hats, socks, flashlights, etc.) to free Kevin up with the rifle.    

I was up at 4AM.  Woke Kevin up at 5AM and had breakfast.  We were walking through the woods to our spot with our flashlights by 6AM.  We sat until 8AM.  NOTHING…

At 8AM Mike left us and did a loop through one of the fields to hopefully push something toward us like last year.  NOTHING...

Next spot...  Kevin and I headed to a ridge where Rick saw several deer during Bow season and Steven took a doe in the same area.  Mike had some things to take care of so he planned on pushing the ridge to us a bit later.  It was very windy at the top of the ridge so not the ideal conditions.   Mike got on the radio to let us know he was coming up the ridge.  Kevin was ready.  NOTHING...

We headed back to the house for lunch.  Next Spot...  We walked down Cream Street and headed past Stephen’s stump into the hard woods down the hill near the stream.  Mike was going to push behind his house heading toward us. 

Typically the deer go down the hill, cross the stream, and head up the other side.  We found a nice deer run coming from the stream and settled in.  Mike jumped several deer.  They crossed the stream in a different spot and headed up the hill on our side but we were a couple hundred yards further down.  NOTHING... 

We connected with Mike there and decided to go over the ridge the direction the deer went and set up near the ponds.  Often times the deer will bed down near those ponds so we thought they may have headed in that direction.  We saw several scrapes on our way which was a good sign. 

Next spot…  Kevin and I took a stand on a rock wall so we could see on both sides above the ponds.  If the deer came up from the ponds Kevin had shooting lanes on both sides of the wall.  Mike walked over the old stone bridge and started a big loop around the ponds.  He said it was very thick.  NOTHING...  Mike looked tired!!

Next spot ... From the walking we had done we decided to go back over the ridge to Stephen’s stump and sit along a run we saw with several scrapes.  Kevin sat on Stephen’s stump watching and waiting, I sat nearby on a downed tree watching and waiting.  Mike leaned up against a tree and fell asleep from all of his extra walking.  I do believe I have a picture of Mike from last year doing the same thing.  With the wind in our face Kevin started to get cold. He said he had enough for the day so we slowly hunted back to the truck.  NOTHING...

We headed to the check in station and Kevin got some snacks.

 Next spot … On the way back to Mike’s we still had some daylight so decided to head in to one of the areas where Kevin and I go 4 wheeling. 

In the woods we spotted a doe above us on a hill.  The first deer we had seen all day.  Kevin had a shot … took it … and that was it.  The deer went down and rolled probably 30 feet down the hill.  “Great shot by Kevin.”   We dragged the deer to the road.  We talked about walking Kevin slowly through steps of field dressing the deer but the checking station would be closed before we finished.  Kevin wanted to get back to the checking station before they closed so Mike dressed the deer with Kevin’s help (Mike said time me!!  Record time, 5 minutes).  Mature doe … dressed at 115lbs.  SUCCESS …
Kevin and I walked 4 ½ miles.  Mike walked several miles more to push for us.  We were all pretty excited about sleeping in the next morning.  Kevin wanted get home to hang the deer in our tree for all to see.  Some of his friends stopped by to see it.  Doug, Rick, and Stephen also stopped by to congratulate Kevin.

Somehow people could tell Kevin was successful on the ride home.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Hampshire Foliage - 2012

Because of a busy schedule I didn’t get to upstate Vermont or New Hampshire for peak foliage.  Peak foliage in Southern New Hampshire was this past weekend and I missed that too.  I do like taking foliage pictures by driving the back roads of New England so I headed out early morning deciding to stay in Southern New Hampshire and head west.

After a night of rain and warm temperatures there was fog in the morning.  It turned into a beautiful day once the fog burned off.

As I drove I came upon this barn and decided to stop.  The sun was trying to break through and I was looking straight east at this barn.  I returned a second time when the sun was in a better position.  I took a picture and the owner came out.  It was a beautiful barn he was slowly restoring.  He told me about some of the work he was doing on his barn.

The barn had an old “fire mark” on it.  In the olden days you received a fire mark to display on your barn when you buy fire fund insurance.  If you have a fire and you paid into the fund they fight the fire.  If not, you’re on your own.  This one had UF on it.  I did some searching and found it is a fire mark from “United Fireman’s Insurance Co. – Philadelphia.  It also said it would weigh 3 – 4 pounds and have one hole on each side which this one did.

I continued my foliage run and came upon the Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton, NH.  I spent almost 2 hours looking around and taking pictures.  It is a working mill with lots of history making colonial and shaker boxes, etc.  Lots of nice things in their gift shop.   They give tours in the summer and fall.  The water reflection of the mill was so clear it almost makes the pictures look fake. Pam and I will do the tour next week. 


Oak Leaves Studio is at the mill also. William Schnute does high relief life size wood carving.  It was amazing.  I saw a piece he was working on.  The detail and size of the piece was unbelievable.  I looked through his book and some of his architectural pieces were 9 feet by 7 feet by 8 inches wide.  This eagle in flight and fox chasing a rabbit was on the wall.  I put them in one of my sky pictures.

From there I continued my search and found this very nice barn.  I spoke with the owners.  It is one of the original dairy farms in the area.  As I walked to the top of the hill I saw this gazebo.  They have a spectacular 360 degree view.  This view has Mt. Monadnock in the background.  A beautiful house and barn on 400+ acres, woods, hay fields, etc. near perfect with the exception of my name not being on the mail box.  hehe HEY!!! A guy can dream you know ... 

I headed for home but stopped to do a two mile hike at Monson Village.  Once home Pam wanted to walk so I took her to Beaver Brook for another 2 mile loop.  We cut out of the woods and walked the dirt road back to the truck when the sun set and it got hard to see.  With a couple steep sections on the trail I wouldn’t want Pam to get hurt and have to carry her out of the woods.  God forbid I get hurt so she would have to try to carry me out of the woods !!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

VERMONSTER 4X4 - Bradford Mud Races - September 2012

Kevin and I headed for VERMONSTER at 8:00AM with a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts.  We arrived around 10:00AM.  The traffic was backed up from the exit to the parking lot but it kept moving.  We bought our tickets and headed toward the bleachers.  They had more seating this year which was nice.  Kevin opted out of pit passes so we found a spot to sit.  Nice thing is no alcohol and no smoking in the stands.  Very family friendly.

There were 5 monster trucks and “Trucks Gone Wild” doing video at the event.  It started with the Monster trucks crushing cars and getting some air.  They saved the big jump and more monster truck action for the end. 

The Trench was a different this year.  The big concrete barriers were replaced by steel posts and a cable which made it easier to see the trucks.  The first part of the trench was shallow giving the class 2 trucks and some of the smaller engine trucks more mud and distance to play in.  There were some big holes which got deeper throughout the day as the trucks tried to complete the run. 

Tuff Truck competition had many junk yard specials.  Any vehicle can be entered but you should have 4 wheel drive to make it competitive.  They had a down and back course with 2 sections of tires you had to drive over, one jump you went over each direction, mud, and a turn-around at the far end.  The jump this year seemed almost perfect as the trucks got BIG air … bent frames on the landing, trucks popping out of gear, parts flying including a drive shaft, a couple of nose plants, and 2 rollovers (yellow truck).  It was fun … the crowd was really in to it.

Rock crawling looked to be a challenge.  Many trucks got stuck and needed a little help from the excavator. 

Mud racing was more fun to watch this time.  The new stands were higher so sitting in the top row gave us a better view.  Some of the drag trucks were scary fast.  When they race side by side in mud lanes they drift.  Must be an interesting feeling … Probably similar to hydroplaning in your vehicle in heavy rain.  Maybe it was just the angle but once the trucks crossed the finish line it looked like they wouldn’t be able to stop before rinning into the fence at the end of the field.   One truck did lose control and roll over by the woods.  We saw the Mustang crack up in the trench earlier this year.  It did the drag racing but not the trench.  Maybe one bad experience in the trench is enough.  

Some of the trucks running in the Trench were impressive.  By the end of the day one hole near the end of the trench had to be over 6 feet deep.  Casualties included drive shafts, rear ends, smoke, one engine fire, radiators and or hoses, etc. but no parts blown off the top of the engine like last time.  Many trucks had to be towed back to the pit area where they would be worked on to come back for their second trench run.

The Monster trucks finished the event.  Kevin and I headed for our truck with one truck to go.  It was getting dark and I wanted to get ahead of the crowd leaving the parking areas.

I had a blast with Father Son time.  However, I did miss Kate and wish she could have joined us.

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