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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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hunting Adventures - 2013

The season has started for the group.  Adam, Brian, DH Ryan, DH Derek, Doug, James, Kevin, Mike, Nelson, Paul (PK), Stephen K, Steve M, Ray, and Wayne.

We have had some good pictures so it looks promising ... then again doesn't it always??

Opening Bow weekend in NH Ray took this very pretty 8 point.  It was a monster.  He thought he had a 200lb deer.  After a 3 hour drag out of the woods (with help) his buck weighed in on a certified scale at 198.5 lbs dressed.  What a start for Ray.   Congrats …

There have been some concerns and questions brought up by the team!!  

Ray described his deer as still having it's winter coat on top of it's head and summer coat on the body.  Looking at the deer closely it looks like it’s wearing a toupee.  IS THAT A TOUPEE RAY??? … ARE THOSE SCREW ON ANTLERS??? … IS THAT REALLY A DOE??? … DID THE DH BOYS GET TO YOU?????  The team wants to know ……

The trail camera pictures have shown some big deer around.  Hopefully we will be able to take one or two.  

Opening Bow in Vermont was the following weekend.  Mike, Steve M, Rick, and James were out early.  Doug and Adam went scouting in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont while I had CERT training.  Doug, Adam, and I headed to Mikes late afternoon on Saturday for dinner. 

Mike passed up a doe with a fawn in the morning.  Late afternoon a buck crossed the swamp behind him.  He was spotted in his stand as he drew his bow and swung around.  The buck backed up, snorted and ran off.  Steve saw a couple but too far.  Rick took a shot at a doe and missed.  Later he saw a buck and doe but never got a shot.  James saw a doe but no shot.

Sunday morning Steven M took a shot at doe, missed and hit the rock wall in front of him.  He took a different doe on late afternoon Sunday.  Rick saw a couple deer but no shot.

MA bow season started.  Stephen K had several tree stands set up.  Tuesday morning, 10/22, Nelson took a 5 point buck in one of Stephen’s stands.  The buck went 10 yards and laid down.  Nelson stayed in his stand and 10 minutes later a 6 point approached and attacked his 5 point on the ground still alive.  The 5 point got up and both bucks ran off.  Nelsons deer didn’t go far.  150 lbs dressed.  Congrats Nelson.

10/31 Wayne took this nice 7 point with a bow in Vermont near where I hunt.  175lbs dressed.  Congrats Wayne.

James took a 125 lb doe with a bow last weekend also. (no picture)  Stephen K took a 3 point with a bow in MA. (no picture)  Derek took this 7 point with a bow in MA.  Derek has also taken 2 does.  Congrats to Stephen and Derek.

Opening NH rifle I was up at 3:45AM.  That early in the morning it took 10 minutes to put in my contacts.  My eyes weren’t cooperating.  Dressed and on the road by 4:25AM heading to Red Hill.  It was 19 degrees … high was mid 20’s for the day.  Turns out there was 10 - 15 mph winds all day with occasional gusts higher.  Where I sat the wind was blowing in my face.  Good for deer hunting … bad because it was cold …

My hand warmers started out well.  Maybe I shook them to much as they became almost too hot to touch so I had to take them out of my gloves. Then they stopped working after 2 hours.  I was on the West side of Red hill so the sun finally crested the hill at 8:20AM.  I was cold after sitting in the wind for over 2 hours.  I moved around a bit then headed for another area.

I did spot this 4 point up on the top of a hill.  He looked a little thin so I passed … hehe … The critters had gnawed almost all the way through the antlers (for calcium).  One antler broke off as I picked the skull up.   Over a mile from the truck and still hunting so I left it in the woods.  Not sure Pam would have appreciated it anyway …

Made a big loop and ran in to 2 more hunters coming out of the woods.  They hadn’t seen anything all day either.  They thought the deer weren’t moving because of the wind so would have to jump them to get them moving.  I agreed … grabbed more water … then headed back in the woods.

I continued walking the rest of the day and circled back to my truck again as it got dark.  Summary: Cold, wind, beautiful day, wind, blue sky, wind, fun walking, wind, no deer, wind, tired. 

Steven M. took this 3 point in MA.

We had 10 guys at Mike's house for opening rifle weekend in Vermont.  We arrived Friday afternoon to get set up for morning.  That night we had bear steaks and venison on the grill compliments of Wayne who took a bear in Vermont.  (unfortunately not the one on the trail cam)  Kevin had bear for the first time.  A bit more chewy than venison. 

Kevin and I headed up the hill behind Mike’s house Saturday morning before light.  The others headed to different areas.  The 3 point rule is still in effect in Vermont.  The group saw many does but no bucks in the morning. 

That afternoon Kevin, Ryan, and I headed for the mine road.  We spotted a doe and fawn in a clearing.  They kept looking into the woods.  As we got closer they ran to the edge of the clearing.  Their action caused a buck in the woods to give chase.  Ryan started to chase.  Kevin and I looped around and took up positions in case the deer circled.  No luck tracking or turning the buck.  On our way back to the truck we spotted PK.  He hadn't seen anything.  We jumped in our vehicles and headed back to Mike's.

Saturday night we had our big dinner.  There were 21 of us.  Great time of fellowship, laughing, eating, stories, etc.

Sunday morning we all headed for the woods.  Kevin and I went back to the area where we saw the buck.  Kevin took a stand.  I walked the ridge hoping to push something to Kevin.  Good plan but no luck.  No bucks taken by the group …  

Ray sent me some Interesting trail cam pics of an 8 point and a 4 point jousting on camera in the early morning hours.  The 4 point had some nerve ...

I took Thursday and Friday off and headed to Norton, VT (in the Northeast Kingdom), 1/3 mile from the Canadian border.  I hunted late morning and jumped a deer.  I jumped another deer in the afternoon too.  Didn’t see them through the brush, heard them as they broke branches running, saw their tracks.  It was fun exploring new territory.  It is BIG COUNTRY up there!!  Have you ever gotten the feeling you were the only human in the woods for miles?  I spotted some fresh black bear scat.  Must have been a huge feeding frenzy on corn.  There are a couple farms in the area so would make sense.  Bear season ends this weekend so could take a bear if I spot one.

Doug, Rick, Mike, and James headed up early Friday morning.  They headed for the woods also.  Late in the day I saw a doe in a field.  I decided to take my evening stand in that area. 

Around 4PM I spotted a deer coming out into the field.  It was 200 yards away.  Gun up … scope maxed out … wasn’t sure if it was a buck or doe … binoculars … hmm … then came out into the field … it was a big doe.  A few minutes later I spotted another deer in the tall grass along the edge of the field watching the doe in the field.   As the doe walked in the field the other deer in the grass mirrored but didn't come out into the field.  Head down, head up, following … It certainly acted like a buck.  Late in the day, light fading, tree line very dark, and not coming out into the field I couldn’t make out the head clearly from that distance.  The doe walked off the field into the woods.  The other deer continued to follow.  It was exciting.  
I was up Saturday morning and back to that spot before it got light out.  Temp was 17 degrees, spitting snow, wind 10 – 15 mph in my face which was good for hunting but COLD with that wind.  I could only hunt until 7:30AM as I was heading to CT at 8AM.  NOTHING …

James was on the ridge behind me and jumped a deer on the way in.  He said it was to dark to tell if it was a buck.  I was already in my spot but it didn’t run to me.  Doug jumped a big buck by the power lines but didn’t get a shot before it saw him and went crashing in the woods away from him.  He gave chase but never saw it again.  Seeing good deer sign in beautiful country.

Mike and James headed home Saturday afternoon.  Rick and Doug continued hunting and left Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday afternoon Steven M. and Mike connected and hunted near Mike’s house.  Steven saw a deer in the hard woods.  Thought is was a doe and tried to take a picture but the camera had issues with the cold.  He put his scope on it, saw antlers, and shot.  He saw 3 deer jump up and run off.  He thought he missed and went to the spot.  This 7 point was right where he shot.  Dragged the deer out by himself as Mike had spotted a buck … no shot … and was tracking   This is Steven M’s 3rd deer this year.  It would be nice if he gave the rest of us hunters a chance !!!

Ryan has seen a couple monster bucks on his trail camera and has passed on a couple 6 point bucks waiting for one of the big ones ... This buck with the tall rack would be very nice.  No pressure ...

I hunted the area around my club a couple times now.  It's in Unit M so no rifles ... shotgun or pistols.  The first buck I ever shot was with my shotgun.  I always wanted to shoot a deer with my .44 magnum so I take that with me.  Should be good to about 50 yards with the iron sights.  

The club owns 87 acres.  Just behind it is 500 acres which is open to hunting.  First time scouting I saw 2 tree stands, some good tracks near a pond, etc.  I came on a narrow trail and saw a couple mountain bikers.  Hmm ... I did some research and turns out there are hiking and mountain bike trails in those 500 acres.

I got side tracked from hunting when the girls came home from college for Thanksgiving break but I did take Kate pistol shooting.  She enjoys shooting and did real well with the 9mm and the .22.  I was dead on with single shots but got a bit messy with double taps and multiples.  I would still be center mass on the ipsc and idpa targets but should practice more.  

The second time hunting in the club area I was on a ridge with tracks coming from a pond.  Though it was a good spot ... After the 7th mountain biker rode by me I changed my mind.  I know I can hunt there but I keep thinking "Be sure of my target and beyond."  I know I would "Be sure of my target" using my pistol ... but with the activity in the area I don't feel comfortable with the "and beyond" part.  Safety is most important so I'll check out other places ...  

12/3 at 6:45AM Nelson took this 8 point in MA.  He and Stephen were hunting 200 yards apart near an orchard.  Nelson said all he could see was the body in the fog and white antlers.  He had a 5 minute showdown with the buck looking right at him in his tree stand.  He took a 35 yard shot. Stephen said it dressed at 150lbs but thought the scale was a bit off.  Nice shooting Nelson. 

My last day rifle hunting I went to Red Hill again.  Up early, heading to my spot with a flashlight.  As I approached an opening in a rock wall a deer blows ... Deer running I see a side and tail 30 yards out.  I turned my flashlight off and stopped.  It got quite.  Still not light enough to see clearly at distance.  I thought "I need to get to my spot".  After 4 minutes of standing I take a step ... another blow and crash ... crash ... crash.  NUTS ... I couldn't see the deer but the deer could see me.  

I stayed in my spot until 10AM.  Then moved up the hill.  By the end of the day I walked over 4 miles.  Great country.  No more deer sightings.

12/11 at 7:50AM Stephen K, in his stand had 8 does come in at the same time.  He had his pick and took this nice doe (135lb dressed).  

The VT deer season ended this past weekend with a 16 inch snow storm.  Mike chose the bow over the muzzleloader and went out to hit feeding areas feeling the deer would be moving.  The only deer he saw was under his own apple tree in his backyard after coming in from hunting for the day on Sunday.   I know he passed on a couple deer at the beginning of the season …

James had better luck.  He got a deer in the early bow season and went out the last weekend with the bow.  On Saturday he shot a deer (his second).  Because he was seeing plenty of deer he bought an extra tag for Sunday…..even though he had only Sunday left to hunt because the season closes.  Yup, he shot a deer on Sunday too.  Two deer over the weekend, total of 3 deer for the season.  Great job James …

He happened to tell Mike …”Remember Dad when you use to shoot 3 deer in a season?”  I know Kevin mocked me last year when he took his deer during youth weekend.  (Kids)

1/16/2014  As I finish this post I am sad to say Paul (PK) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this week.  It was a shock to all of us.  Paul has been part of our hunting adventures through the years.  It was great that he was able to hunt with us this year.

When one of our group shoots a deer we often name the spot after the person.  Paul took a couple deer from a rock on a ridge we have been calling "Paul's Rock" for years.   We have great memories of Paul and those memories will carry on with family and friends.

Many years ago I started taking pictures of our adventures for the group.  Hunting, fishing, shooting, camping, cook outs, etc.  I enjoy it and the guys like it.  I didn't have as many pictures of Paul as I thought.  

In reflection I realized I wasn't taking enough pictures of the people in our group adventures.  I will take more people pictures of the group in the future.  

A lesson learned from me.  The people you share the experience with, are the experience !!!

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

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Hampshire/Vermont Foliage Run

My foliage run started early this year with mixed up dates for the Vermonster.  It was too early for the fall colors in the area but fun talking pictures anyway.

I had a turkey encounter when taking pictures of this round barn.  The side of the road is around 8 feet higher than the field with a narrow path between the bank and a wire fence. I went down the bank standing next to the post when these turkeys came down the bank and walked right up to me. Only a couple feet away! The Tom’s came to the front of the line, puffed up and spread their tail feathers. Was that a threat??  I think they felt I was blocking their path to the field.  I took a couple more pictures and moved back a bit.  They seemed happy about that and continued to the field …

The following Saturday I had CERT training.  Late that afternoon I connected with Mike, Rick, Steve, Doug, Adam, and Frank in Vermont for dinner.  My plan was to stay the night, get up early, and take pictures. 

The next morning … rain, overcast, grey and white sky … blah ...  I thought there would have been more color in the area.  Guess I was still too far south.  AND WHERE IS THE SUN AND THE BLUE SKY??? 

One of the roads I was going to take was closed from bad flooding the month before so I took a different route.  I ended up in Bethel, VT and thought I would make my way to Woodstock.  Driving the back roads for a couple hours I got turned around and actually ended up back in Bethel. A big loop was not what I had planned.  Guess I should have done the GPS thing!!  I took the highway south heading toward Woodstock when the rain came down.  At that point I decided to head home.

After another weekend of uncooperative weather it finally happened.  The colors popped in the area, sun, and blue sky.  Up at 5:15AM on Saturday and headed out staying in southern New Hampshire.  I took my tripod so I could experiment with low light.  The colors of the subjects are very different at low light and long exposures.  Once the sun came up I continued my drive.

I stopped at Monson Village on my way home for a quick 2 mile hike.  As I was speaking to Russ, this juvenile Red-Tail Hawk came in low from the field landing in a nearby tree.  I saw it coming in.  I must be rusty from not having a camera for a few months as I stood there watching instead of taking pictures.  Russ had just mowed the field making it easier to hunt for mice. 

I continued my walk to the beaver pond.  The empty Heron nest had a pretty backdrop.  On the way back I spotted the Red- Tail again in the corner of the field disappearing into the woods.  If I had more time I would have liked to sit and wait for another sighting.  I love Fall Foliage in New England … 


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