Monday, October 20, 2008

Peek - A - Boo we see you...

So here I sit at 6:05 pm with about 20 minutes of light still left in the day...

What relevance does the above statement hold you are asking yourself - Well anyone who knows a deer hunter knows that you stay in the woods as long as physically possible.

Today I actually finished my scheduled jobs and made it home in time to get in a few hours of hunting. It is archery season here in the great north woods and now that the mercury has finally dropped as well as the majority of the leaves from the trees I have been itching to get out and spend some time in God's majestic creation.

I decided to hunt the property behind my house. I set my smaller ladder stand up in the woods a few weeks back but due to my recent injury and the amount of work in our area I have not spent any time hunting or scouting until today.

I made my way into the woods and settled into my tree stand. In order to cover up some of the noise I made coming into the woods I blew my doe grunt a couple times. Like most of my hunting trips there were lots of squirrels, chipmunks, a red tailed hawk and a Big ol' owl (unsure what kind - I think it was a great horned owl due to its size).

The squirrels were making LOTS of noise moving the acorns to and fro when I began hearing some crunching of leaves that just sounded different from the squirrels and stood out from all the other nature sounds. I focused in on the noise and sure enough it was behind me, as I turned my head I spotted 2 does coming towards me. They were about 15 yards behind me so I stood up grabbed my bow and waited for them to step out into the logging road. Instead of committing suicide they began to walk away from me and as soon as they were in the only spot I didn't have a shot they jumped the road and into the woods directly behind my stand. I lifted my bow over my head and twisted so that I could face the other side of the tree and immediately realized that due to a large branch there was no way I could draw back while standing. I took and put my left leg up on the seat of the stand and went to kneel down on my right leg when I heard the sound all hunters dread - a loud wheeze and several foot stomps! I never even saw the other 5 deer getting ready to cross the logging road until it was too late, in an instant they were gone.

When I looked back the original 2 deer were still standing in the grove of saplings (at this point I was really wishing it was gun season) and continued to stand there for over 15 minutes trying to figure out what spooked everyone else. They finally felt at ease and started browsing around.

I calmed myself back down and waited for them to work their way into the shooting lane on my left. They teased me for almost 30 minutes and despite being just over 10 feet away they never stepped into the opening. Then all of a sudden they threw their flags into the air and bounded through the opening and over the knoll. As I turned to sit down I found out what spooked them - it was me! Just as I began to sit down I noticed the original 5 deer that I scared - they had worked their way back around and were standing in the logging road, directly below my stand and all 5 of them were staring up at me trying to figure out what exactly I was! Needless to say this all took place in a matter of moments and before I could let out a sigh of frustration they were gone.

Now if this was the last day of the season I might be upset and feeling defeated - but its not - this was my first day in the woods! So despite walking home without a deer dragging behind me I have a smile on my face - not only did I see a deer - I saw a whole bunch of them and they were up close and personal - not 200 yards away like the shots made on most of the hunting shows they have on TV.

I hope the rest of my 2008 hunting season is as eventful as today's trip was but even if it isn't I will still enjoy my time in the woods, whether it is with my kids, my friends, or all by myself.

Here is to hoping for a full freezer and my next hunting post being filled with photos!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grand Stand 2 - In the woods!

Once upon a time there was a boy.
A boy who loved to play in the woods.
No, he wasn't raised by wolves, although being partially Italian he and his kin were often quite hairy!
The boy grew into a man and in doing so he took on the responsibility of a job and a wonderful family. Despite this, he still took time to reflect upon his upbringing and during the calm days of fall and winter he would retreat to what was familiar to him - the enchanted forest know as the Deep North Woods.

The Boy

In the woods there was a special place that the boy spent reflecting on past memories. Sometimes he was alone in his thoughts and other times his memories were shared with a friend. The spot was marked by a large majestic white pine. This tree was there long before the boy and will probably be there long after he's gone. A tree that's been witness to laughter and tears, the occasional frustration (at not seeing the deer standing behind the boy!) but more often than not it has been witness to sheer relaxation!

The tree (in the back center of the picture)

So once again the air has turned cool and the leaves have begun to change from green to bright hues of orange and red. Yes, autumn has arrived - and the boy has become restless with thoughts of days spent from sunrise to sunset while sitting in the calm of the woods. With daylight hours shrinking he has called upon his fellow woodsmen to assist with the placement of his tree stand. Without hesitation this friend leaps into action and within mere moments the boy and his friend are once again in the calm of the Deep North Wood.

BFF - Uncle Jayson - My fellow woodsman
As the afternoon slowly ticked away the boy and his friend transported the Grand Stand deep into the woods. Past the special tree and into the swamp. The boy was amazed at the ease of raising the stand with the help of his 6'7" friend. The stand was assembled and raised to its resting place for the remainder of 2008 - which resulted in much celebration. The small obstructions were cleared to make way for clean shots - whether they be by bow and arrow, or shotgun, or rifle. The blind was hung around the stand with care, in anticipation that soon a deer would be there.

The Grand Stand - Can you find it?
For now my responsibilities call, but vacation is nearing and with true aim a deer or two will hopefully fall. My freezer is longing for steaks and for stew, not to mention the jerky and venison burger too! So if my blogging is scarce and posts are far in between - fear not I'm still with you but in nature I'd much rather be!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Futbol - The PVCS Eagles

Much to our kid's delight PVCS allows Homeschooling kids the ability to enroll in school sports. Alex has been asking to play soccer and was thrilled to get accepted onto the school U8 team. They practice at the school during the week and the games have been on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. The first game ended with a tied score, the following 2 games have been won by the Eagles. The kids all have a great time and get lots of exercise, they all take turns playing different positions and their coaches do a great job of teaching them how to play a sport while having fun doing it. So far I think Alex's best position is goalie but due to taking a swift ball to the face it is not one of his favorites! Here are and assortment of pictures from the past few games. Ariel will be playing Basketball later this year so I will be sure to post those pics too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's get ready to Scramble!

Everyone has been patient with me due to my crazy schedule and now I am patiently waiting for some yummy eggs! I finally got around to making my new nesting boxes and upon completion I actually installed them into the coop.

My original design was 9 14"x14" cubes but after some thought I decided on a simpler set-up that will be easy to clean and access for our daily bounty of eggs.

We have a couple of weeks before I am actually expecting any eggs which is a good thing as we still have several roosters. Roosters who are starting to act like I did as a teenage boy - after eating and drinking they are consumed with girls and fighting!

My next chicken related post will be the meal we make after I finish slaughtering the roosters (some time during the next week). So feel free to post any suggested chicken recipes under the comments section!