Sunday, December 30, 2007

Special Deer Season Results

The Iowa DNR has published the tallied results for the special deer season declared to run on December 21st-23rd. It appears even with the additional season doe counts still need to be reduced according to the projected management numbers. Opening day for the season started off extremely foggy and ended no better than it began.

I did go out on Friday...Saturday morning we spent trying to determine whether we would brave the weather conditions after noon to travel 40+ miles one way for a late afternoon family Christmas. The concern was the return trip home for everyone after dark with the wind whipping up the newly fallen snow. Sunday morning was again a decision making period for another trip to another family Christmas. There was blowing snow and slick spots to navigate in places, otherwise the day was sunny and bright. On our way home from Sunday's Christmas gathering the sun was beginning to set. I looked over to our right, saw a pick-up truck leaving a cornfield with two orange clad riders. My thought imme-diately went to wonder at what they were able to achieve on the close of another hunting season here in Iowa. Feeling a little bit of disappointment that I wasn't closing the day in the same way; brought back the memories of the time that was spent outside, and the future that will yield more opportunities...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the Trail Again

May not be getting out to hunt deer until next year, but I certainly will get to see where and when those creatures are moving with my new Moultrie Game Spy D40 trail cameras. My sweet Hubby did the Christmas shopping to enable me to keep track of the wildlife in our neighborhood. It is really a challenge to decide what locations I want to watch the most.

Looks like at a future point I will get to post photos of interest. Really want to see what will be caught that we don't see by merely walking the property. I have appreciated seeing some pictures by other trail cameras posted by Simply Outdoors, Nature Knitter, and Inside Iowa Hunting. If you have a few minutes on one of these winter evenings and you need something to do - might checkout these websites for pictures and good writing .

Thursday, December 20, 2007

BassPro Shop Announces New Construction

The BassPro Shop Outdoor supply company has issued an announcement on December 18th,for the people of Iowa. Construction of a retail outlet will begin in Altoona a suburb east of Des Moines. It will be an anchor store of a new development expected to open in early 2009. BassPro Shop

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Wishing you a holiday season filled with happy hours and a new year filled with happy days. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Please share with me in viewing this You Tube video titled-
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
Hope you have enjoyed the video.

One more thing before you go...Rex over at Deer Camp Blog has paid his blogging community friends a high honor by including them with his eternally antagonistic,pain in the side,"Thunderhoof",in a Christmas Greeting on December 12th. Really is a great job of photo cropping. Please go over and check out his writing at the Christmas Place Plantation Hunting Club from down "on the edge of the Mississipi Delta"...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

End of Shotgun Season II

Today ended another season for deer shotgun hunters in Iowa. The temperatures started off around 10 degrees this morning, wind speed was almost nothing, left over attached oak leaves lightly rustled when a breeze passed. I didn't go out before sunrise because I was headed for an area with dense brush and didn't want to trip over fallen trees. Made it to my new location around 8:15. My decision to go out was spurred by seeing a buck and some young moving around 7:30. There wasn't any disappointment when it came to seeing deer. Several close calls. One occasion occurred when someone in the neighbor's field sent a bunch of deer running somewhat in my direction. A very small fawn came within 20 feet of me. The others, including a 10 point buck, were probably in target range if the brush wouldn't have been so dense. Trying to head them off before they all took off for far away destinations wasn't successful. I went back to my original position for awhile longer. Hoping they would re-group and pass either closer behind me or on a well worn path to the front of me, neither of which happened. While I was out there were two separate times a shotgun was fired to the south of me, the second closer than the first. I always wonder just how far away they actually are from my locations. Since I came away without a deer, according to the new ruling by the Iowa DNR, on Friday, December 21st thru Sunday the 23rd, I can use my tag to attempt to gain a doe. Family holiday plans are scheduled during that time period, but you can be assured I am looking for some time in the timber again. Don't want to wait another year to try again. Who knows?!? Could be if there were more guys on the other side of the ravine, and somebody to the north, the deer would find their way in front of me... The muzzleloaders will be out and about to start their season tomorrow, December 17th. Happy Hunting !

Friday, December 14, 2007

Additional Deer Season Declared by IDNR

December 13th, at their meeting in Des Moines, IA., the Commisioners at the Department of Natural Resources added an additional deer season to run December 21- 23. This season will be anterless-only and will run concurrently with the second muzzleloader season that begins on December 17th and was to have ended January 10th,2008. Now, the muzzleloader hunters will have an extension of three more days because their has been some opinions of feeling slighted by the timing of this new effort to manage the number of deer. They sited the reason of lower reported deer numbers taken since the beginning of past seasons ,starting with bow. Weather too has been a factor in people not getting out to ply their skill or desire to fill the tags. It appears the management is considered crucial for them to declare more days. Some concerns that have already been voiced by all hunters is the safety factor with bow,muzzleloader, shotgun, and handgun all legal in this short concentrated time span. If you should be apart of this hunting season please watch out for yourself, and the other person who may not be looking out for anybody but themselves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beginning Deer Shotgun Season II

Saturday, December 8th, began the second deer shotgun season here in Iowa. I was up and out early. Positioned myself where there had been previous success and constant deer pressure. That is until this morning. Saw one nice buck following his nose very quickly in the opposite direction, never being within range. Changed places after an hour and a half. Walked to the edge of our yard facing the south ravine. Unbelievably there were three deer laying down, but not for long after hearing me coming. I was astounded they would feel comfortable there with all the hunting going on a quarter of a mile to the west. Spent time working on getting the the pick-up and tractor more prepared for the down right cold weather that had over taken the state. Sunday, I stayed inside but I was constantly running to the window. Should have gotten dressed up in all my layers and at least walked around outside. Monday, was a day for working on some little knitting projects to get ready for Christmas. Tuesday, the 11th, brought freezing rain and snow. Deer travel patterns continued to go on the same routes they had taken for the last three days. Wednesday, tolerable weather has arrived. Out the door I went before daylight to capitalize on observations for the last three days, bundled up in so many layers I could hardly move. Stealthy movement wasn't possible. The ice from yesterday left a crunchy surface - with each step crunches and crackling resounded in the otherwise silent atmosphere. I was watching 2 bucks battling over a doe when Hubby came out of the house, warmed up the pick-up, chipped off the ice, and disturbed the activity I had been watching for at least 5 minutes if not longer. Trying to send out mental vibes to draw those 4-legged creatures closer in my direction,it wasn't to be. After they left, so did I. The intent today was to spend a great deal of time outside; 9:30 A.M. arrived , there wasn't activity of any kind, plans changed. 3:00 P.M. rolled around, time to bundle up for the evening migration. Headed out to the first place I started this morning...It wasn't until 4:37, I heard crunching and crackling in the vicinity. Still over on the other side of the fence - like this morning . The doe hopped the fence over a rise so all I heard were the elements underfoot. She circled around and went back over to the other side. Dark was swiftly coming, thought it best to be getting on the way in to the house . If I'd have waited probably less than 5 minutes I may have had a chance at 3 various sized does. They had started on one of the paths dissecting the pasture. As it goes they live another day... Local News Reports have the Iowa DNR considering a special season for this seasons license holders due to the bad weather that has taken away some of the hunting chances. The reporter said the DNR reported 34,000 less deer taken than anticipated at that point in time. Includes the Bow, first Muzzleloader, one shotgun and part of another shotgun season. The tentative dates for the special hunt to be considered at the December 13th, meeting are December 21-23. Holiday plans will probably not allow me to take part if these dates are put into action. Would like to hear some hunting stories for those who do get to participate if they pass the amendment to the dates.

I do have through the 16th that I could be out and about. So I will not be closing down any possibilities...nothing like an 11th hour story to take us into deer season next year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Synopsis of Shotgun Season One

Day 2 - B-R-R-R...Not in a hurry to get outside. I did get all ready and out the door. Reaching the end of the house I heard a gun go off in my north pasture...then another shot close to the same area. The shots belonged to my mentor/neighbor. Hubby and I found out later he had gotten a doe and a buck. We helped him get them loaded into his pickup. Here is a picture of a savvy hunter and his buck for this season. Later in the day he came back and got another doe.
I spent 2 1/2 hours total sitting in below zero wind chills,no close activity. Time to go in and try to get warmed up. My prize for the day was to see the success of my mentor/neighbor. Day 3 - Didn't head out the door until the afternoon, was out for 4 hours. Mentor/neighbor showed up again was between me and the deer in that particular location . He shot at one at 4:40 p.m., figured everything was said and done at that point so I came into the house . Day 4 - Spent time on the south side of our property. My all the fresh tracks in the slush. Did some tracking of the human kind. I did find one set of boot tracks headed south from our middle ravine, definitely not mine. Melting and re-freezing puts the impressions made between Sunday or Monday, when extra close gunshots were heard. Sent the deer scurrying to the north , where they like to congregate behind the garden. Arriving back to the house was the cue for them to take off at a gallop as I opened the pick-up door. Sat for a while close to the back where the deer were earlier. Saw four does, but my movement was detected by the first, "About Face -Forward RUNNNNNNN!" Golly gee...I would have been a happy hunter if the shot had hit just one. I'm thinking about one of those ground blinds Dana over at The Wild WoodsWoman has been talking about. A way to be concealed out of the elements, almost a home away from home. Last Day - Went out before sunrise. Scared a couple of shapes away from their grazing spaces. After daylight as I was trying to move to stay warm I saw a doe turn and run, an awesome buck that didn't want to stick around for more attention...I packed it up and went back to the house. I continued to watch out the windows and doors, sighting deer after 11:00 - got dressed and ready to sneak again. Spent time watching them gather out of range and running as fast as they could go to elude the enemy after being pursued for so long. While I was out I heard the elusive turkey calls ringing through the ravine valley...5 days after their season ended. Didn't remain outside. I needed to do other things to get ready for bad weather coming. Don't want to be out on the road running errands when it has the possibility of repeating last weekend. The days end was beautiful, ending the same way as last year. Wind had died down, the sun was setting, and a few deer were seen in a distance... with none finding their way into our freezer.
Onto season 2 !

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Opening Day of Shotgun Deer Season in Iowa

What a day ! The snow started spitting well before daylight, flakes getting bigger and more abundant as the time came to be getting into the timber. 6:50 AM rolled around ,I went out the back door to start my quest for a deer, only to have the wind whip the door out of my hand. It crashed against the rail to the steps . The thought crossed my mind that the deer standing out in the cornfield wouldn't be there by the time I got around the house . There were three fawns and three does. The fawns took off early...then the does decided the open field wasn't for them either. Half a mile down the drive there was a pickup surveying the deer activity... After the does took a route towards the neighbor's hunting plot I went back to commonly traveled paths. Stood in a couple of spots within 50 yards of each other. Heard lots of guns shots not far away, none were my own. My choice to go inside came when the freezing rain coated my gun barrel with ice. My double layer mossy oak hunters mitten/shooting gloves weren't able to keep my hands warm any longer... Got back into the house after 8:00 and ran to the window several more times, hearing guns going off , wondering what the die hards were actually achieving by staying outside being pelted by freezing rain and ice pellets. More power to them! My landowners tag allows me to hunt either December 1-5th , or December 8-16th, if I don't claim a deer in the first season . I will be back after MY deer come tomorrow....

Monday, November 26, 2007

In My Dreams

Today everywhere I looked seemed to have a deer of one shape or another occupying the space. I am wondering if it is because they feel safe here after the bow season has been going on for so long and the anterless season which ran over the weekend finished up last night. People have been using the south side of our property for their personal use without permission. Most evident on our return from the Thanksgiving holiday when we had time to survey things Saturday morning. Caught someone leaving after dark when I was returning from a grocery run Saturday evening. They were intending to come down the hill from the other side but I was blocking the way. As I started their direction the exit through the cornfield was the escape of choice. Will continue to make more runs down that direction to keep them on guessing. My mail excursion happened shortly before 3:00 today. What was unexpected were the 2 bucks and 2 does feasting west of Hubby's runway . Later,working on putting a few Christmas decorations up I glanced outside. My eyes grew wide as saucers, not unlike those of a child in awe of new sights. Feast your eyes on what I saw and know what will be in my dreams,to focus on , in order to get ready for the shotgun seasons beginning at the end of the week.

Iowa Bobcat Season Closed

The conclusion of the first Bobcat season in Iowa came on Monday, November 19th. Reaching the quota number of 150 ended anymore hunting and trapping of the animal for this year. Initially the season was set to run from November 3rd, 2007 - January 30th, 2008. It appears that the population of the elusive cat is more prevalent than most people are aware of. As the hunt was limited to the southern tier of counties this year it might indicate how large of a group that is already active there. Trappers, hunters, and drivers, still need to report any accidental killings, traffic collisions, or sightings to the Iowa DNR in order to keep current on movements anywhere within the state.

Everybody Up!

The deer have started the familiar schedules I have seen in the years past with the daylight influences. On Sunday, the 25th, as the rays were barely perceptible there was one doe feeding in the field as I went to the car to drive to town after a paper. In front of the house, in a sheltered area, two more young deer were roused from their bed. Coming back from town about a mile from home I saw a buck and doe still in bed by a local creek. It was frosty out so the circulation probably was not moving very quickly...I likened it to those cold mornings when we don't feel like getting out from under the blankets. Arriving back home I was met by the "Welcome Deer Band". It was a sight to see them all turn and run as I pulled up, big and little alike. This Monday morning after 7:00 the doe and fawn in the backyard joined the others in the pasture in deciding to checkout of the hotel to start the day...Time for an acorn or two, with a side dish of grass that has not yet gone completely dormant. Continued assurances were exchanged that they all would be back for their room later.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Observations at Timber Life

Walking fence perimeters during our mild temperatures revealed nothing but what had been around when you weren't looking.
Trail Evidence
Living in a timber as I do you would think that it would constantly be teaming with animal life everywhere you look, all the time; not necessarily so. Some days the timber appears absolutely empty. Continuing to the interior of what we call the south side brought more deer paths resembling interstate thoroughfares and secondary highways. In evidence were new scrapes and rubs that had just been done a short time before my arrival. The purpose for my rambling was to listen for possible location of turkey, pheasant, and to observe deer present at the late after-noon hour. I was only able to get information on the latter. Scared up two, year old does, sent them scurrying across the ravine, running as fast as they could to get away. Moving westward along the trail I eventually found one nice buck with other does and family groups. Headed back to my transportation to sit and observe longer. The deer family groups kept vascillating between the tree line that extends in between two cornfields and the heavier timber being so willingly seeded by the Black Locust and Cottonwood trees.
Between the Fields
I cannot say I see the difference between walking and not walking the trails,making a human scent presence. The only difference I see is after any gun season starts. More on other observations about differences in animal activities from this year to past experiences at a later time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Ghost of Pheasant Past?

Late yesterday afternoon, after communicating with my sister-in-law for an hour and a half via Yahoo Messenger, my eyes were drawn to the cornfield. I caught a sight reminiscent of the last day of pheasant season in January. I can remember pulling out my new Remington 870 Youth Express and squeezing off a couple of shots.( just to see if it would work mind you;) ) At 3:40, a rooster pheasant had made himself a visible target, must have gotten beyond the jitters of the opening day of the current pheasant season. Could it be the same one I didn't get in January?!? Like always at this time of year my gun was sitting beside the front door ready to pick up and go. The gun being a pump action I wanted it to be ready to fire when I got outside. My mistake was moving back and forth in front of the door. Blasted bird seemed to be watching me with his head cocked to one side. Went into a bedroom to pull the chamber closed and add more shot cartridges. ( if you're going to shoot be prepared!) Slipped on my boots, headed out to an adjacent field since he wasn't anywhere to be seen by this time. Guess I really should get a clue, and keep my shoes on to be ready ...Once again re-hashing some previous self-analysis from earlier experiences. The search was brief since I didn't send anything into flight. Returning to the house to reflect for a time - my thoughts brought a smile to my lips...As the long shadows gave way to darkness "The Ghost of Pheasant Past" has come back to haunt me....; )

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bobcat Hunting in Iowa

Iowa is having it's first Bobcat hunting season which runs from November 3, 2007 thru January 31, 2008. The Iowa DNR has estimated numbers of the elusive animal at 3,000 - 4,000, possibly higher . Reports say the heaviest concentrations exist over 2/3rds of the state, mainly in the southern tiers of counties and in the southwest area of the state know as the Loess Hills. However, sightings have been recorded in all 99 counties at this time. Bobcat population expansion in Iowa has been directly associated to the Missouri group moving northward by wildlife officials. Limit for this year has been set at 150 . They can be taken by either by trapping or firearm. A specific fur harvester's license is required whether or not you already hold a regular small game license. Each license entitles the holder to take one animal. As of November 9th, the state quota was already well on it's way to being filled for this season, 56 have been taken. Updates to numbers are posted at the IowaDNR website, or by calling the main office. Officials state that only 2 out of the 52 bobcats that have been radio collared for tracking were among the animals being reported as killed so far. None of the 12 tagged individuals had showed an appearance as of this writing. Public assistance has been requested in southern Iowa by Iowa State University to get an idea of how visible the Bobcats have become. The results of this year's hunt will give DNR officials information about how to proceed for future management decisions.

How Many Days Left?

How many days left for what you muse? Well yes, we have Thanksgiving coming up next week. One of the nicest holidays we can share with our family and friends. For Hubby and me, we are off to North Dakota to visit our daughter, and her husband. This time we are going to travel with our oldest daughter, and her family. The first time they have been able to go visit up North for a holiday. I still get to cook. ;) So, to answer the question ,"How Many Days Left?" Click below to find out how long we have left 'til the holiday we have set aside to bestow on others our heartfelt desire to give of ourselves...
Countdown to Christmas

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bobcat or Lynx?

Darrell over at AlphaTrilogy.com presented his readers with a picture of a member of the cat family. He and a friend found this animal while they were out on a Turkey hunt. Made me curious after I assumed it was a Bobcat ; being aware they have growing populations in the southern Missouri area from previous research. However, the suggestion of the possibility it might be a Lynx by Kristine sparked a need for me to look further. When I started the search for more information I found an animal control company located in Sarcoxie, MO., west of Springfield, on Interstate 44. Both Bobcat ,and Lynx, were included in the list of pests they were licensed to handle if they become a nuisance. Looks like we can draw from that, both populations do exist simultaneously in that part of the country. Maybe ,with more of us visiting the woodlands, we will have more chances to catch animals like this unexpectedly, as their presence expands throughout the country.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A New Gadget Alert

Ankeny, IA inventor Steve Ugolini, has developed a method to assist hunters and shooters to be more accurate. Mr. Ugolini recently got the patent on his product called an AccuScope, it uses math calculations to analyze how to chart adjustments for firearm mounted scopes. He theorizes that "sighting in" can be expensive if people go through ammunition by trial and error, spinning the dials without getting the target in the cross hairs. The chart is supposed to help the hunter/shooter by allowing them to input measurements and match them with the shooting distance. On the chart below the shooting distance is the number of clicks the hunter/shooter should turn the scope dial for windage or elevation. Reports have it that Mr. Ugolini has worked out calculations on two charts that covers three different types of scopes. What makes it handy is that it fits in your pocket. The listed price is $9.95 plus whatever taxes your state would tack on. If you find yourself needing some extra help in homing in on the target - Look for this little gadget from theSportsman's Guide, from Casey's General Store through November 30th,and last but not least the company website...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pheasant Hunting Statistics for Opening Day

According to six Iowa Conservation Officers in various sections of the state, hunters had mixed success when checked on opening day October 27th. Autumn Fields Heading over to the eastern border in Jones and Jackson counties Officer Mike Macke reported having checked five hunters. Two birds had been bagged at the time of the interview with Des Moines Register reporter Juli Probasco-Sowers. He commented that conservation set aside ground has become limited in his area eliminating good cover for the pheasant populations. Traveling to the far west side Buena Vista, Cherokee, and Woodbury counties , then south to Union and Ringgold all seemed to reflect a lower hunter number with lower success rates. They attributed some of the difficulties to crops still being in the fields and some extreme weather conditions like our late severe spring snows and sporadic flooding. Coming back to Linn and Benton, close to Jones and Jackson the hunters were seeing good results for their early morning foray. Conservation Officer Aric Sloterdyk reported talking to between 50-60 hunters in his area with the average of one bird for each by noon. Closer to home in Marshall and Grundy counties, Officer Jeremy King had some positive information as well. He said he had visited with 100 hunters and saw 25 dead birds. The comment made was that the people who were out have seen more birds than they did last year. So far there has been one "freak accident" sending a pheasant hunter to the hospital. In Iowa's Tama county, for some reason a hunter had put his gun on the ground. Apparently not putting the safety on,his dog stepped on the gun and it discharged, injury was to the hunter's leg. Again we must not second guess being safe - Anything can happen! ...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pheasant Season Opening

This morning marks the opener for Pheasant Season at 8:00 A.M.- 4:30 P.M. here in Iowa. The weather is cool and looks like the sun will be shining when it finally comes up, wind speed looks like it is going to be between 11-16 from 7:00A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Going by the Air Sports Net Launch Code for the Marshalltown,IA airport. Have to keep abreast of the flying weather might as well use it for hunting weather. ; ) Those who are participating will be hunting from now until January 10,2008. I plan to be among those putting their money on the counter to get a license.( Yes, I am a straggler) May be this year I will get one and may be I won't but I am going to be out none the less. Won't know if I could get one unless I get out there and give it a try... Happy Hunting!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eyes to the Sky

The Discovery Space Shuttle lifted off Tuesday at 11:38 A.M. EDT and docked this morning with the International Space Station at 8:46 A.M. EDT ... Last night Hubby and I had the chance to watch the International Space Station streak across the sky from the Northwest to the Southeast over our property, pursued by Discovery almost a minute later. Oh, did I mention it could be seen with the naked eye? They both appeared like moving stars through the almost night light. The sun was glowing in the West from below the horizon and the moon was shining brightly from it's rising in the East. The weather crisp, the sky extremely clear. Tonight,about 20 minutes later than last night, I once again caught the Space Station/Shuttle making a pass over central Iowa. The moon in full phase, named the "Hunter's Moon" is making the landscape shine even now...Hope everyone gets a chance to stop to take a look ; see the big and little things that make our world special...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Season is this?!

Yesterday, the morning started off cool and calm. Hubby jumped out of bed before sunrise to pull the voisin 3/5 out of the hangar. He wanted to head it up above the cool temps into the inversion layer, warm, smooth sailing. The voisin went higher than it has ever flown. Sunrise came shortly after he was air borne. Said he" wished he had remembered his camera." Needless to say he wished he would have extended his flight time by a half an hour, loves to soar... Caught some deer activity before the sun came up. Headed one in the direction of the pasture north of the house; cut a buck off from crossing our country road as I drove in the direction of the local blacktop. Was wishin' the light of day had been brighter so I could check out the statistics. We reached the pleasant temperature of 77 degrees, not what you might consider very good hunting weather. Had to open some windows to cool the house down, with the sun making good thermal heat and the oven working to bake that special treat for the weekend things got HOT. Watched for things considered out of the ordinary due to the calendar date. Bees still swarming out of the hallow in the tree. Monarch flitting by the window, Asian Beetles making their presence unmistakeably conspicuous, where's the Box Elder bugs?! Heard some gun shots in the vicinity . The youth and disabled individuals of Iowa were given two days to find their Pheasants for this year on October 20th and 21st. Can't say for sure that the activity was for that purpose, but I can positively confirm that someone was cultivating the art of using a shotgun. Before the sunset on this gorgeous day I was off into the timber to checkout the well worn deer paths. Didn't see anything but I did hear activity on the other side of the ravine, running away from me. Ah, the imagination, replaying what I saw in the back yard earlier in the week. Maybe, it was one of those guys....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weather Changing

The weather is starting to change around here this afternoon. After a full week of clouds and gloom the sun is finding its way out from behind the solid cover.
The wind has been a factor since last night. We were at 20 mph this morning , moving on up to 35 mph this late afternoon. Forecast says we are going to see the decline back to 10 mph by 10:00 tonight.
Everybody that has been waiting for the break in the weather its on the way! Get out to those deer stands in the morning , find the right shot and bring that "Trophy Buck" back to the camp. ; )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sparring Whitetail Bucks

This morning shortly after 7:00, I had the opportunity to observe one spike buck and a small 8 point working each other with antlers inter-locked. The skies were cloudy and the light of day was still barely visible. Opening the door to try to catch some pictures anyway. I was greeted with the sound of something making a heavy crackling noise across the leaves and twigs lying on the ground in the timber. I had gone to alert Hubby to the two bucks ,only to come back and find two more had entered the arena. They too were jousting, antlers inter-locked. What was more impressive is they also carried racks of impressive size. You should have seen the most dominate of the whole group(pictured in the middle above). Not only did he carry majestically a nice rack on top of his head but he was thick in body muscle. An awesome creature. I will have to clarify the antler formations in this region of central Iowa are relatively small compared to what you might find in the southeastern part of Iowa. At least that has been my experience so far. These guys will still be the center of some ones story very soon. Maybe, even mine ;) Hubby and I observed them between 5 - 10 minutes, had them all watching us from the back door,eye to eye contact. We did get some pictures that look much like trail cameras at a distance. Hoping I will get another chance to see them all today with enough light to get a great picture for "Show and Tell"...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Buck on the Rut?

While standing at the kitchen sink last night around 5:30, I had the opportunity to watch the white tail deer community interaction. There were does, fawns and a two year old buck. The buck was checking out the surroundings by raising his head to test the air, went from deer to deer and visited the places the does had stood to browse the grass and tree leaves. Must be getting close to rutting. Before the light of day disappeared totally, I saw 5 or 6 does running from one field to another, not seeing what was in pursuit I can only imagine a buck had sent them scurrying.The signs of the season to begin ? Head for the hills and fields to snag your prize. For those who have had success in filling your current seasons tag. Congratulations! Let us hear your story... Iowa Deer Hunting Seasons Youth aged 15 or younger & Severely Disabled - Sept. 15th - 30th Deer (Bow only) Oct. 1st - Nov. 30th -- Dec. 17 th - Jan.1oth,2008 Muzzleloader : Oct.13th - Oct. 21st -- Dec.17th - Jan. 10th,2008 Shotgun : Dec. 1st - 5th (first) - Dec. 8th - 16th (second) November Anterless Only: Nov. 23rd - 25th *Non-Resident Muzzleloader Holiday Season Anterless Deer only*: Dec. 24th - Jan.2,2008 http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/files/deerappl.html

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How Timber Life Is Evolving

Thanks to Editor stopping by and giving me something to contemplate; at least for a couple of seconds anyway ;) Guess I should try to keep it short and focused. Here is my answer to “What got me to blog and how it has changed since I started.” Honestly, I have been thinking about why I came to the World Wide Web for a platform, not thinking I would really get any feed back. That is at least not until I found “MyBlogLog”. It probably adds a reason to have more depth in relating your thoughts, so many very good writers. The desire to hunt was stirred after my kids left home and the guns would be going off on our property. The guns of those who had been granted permission for the shotgun deer seasons. It got to be where I wanted to be one of them. My in-experience and frustration as a relatively new “woman” hunter made for some funny scenarios running across my minds eye in order not to become totally incapacitated by “not bringing home the turkey, pheasant, or deer.” Facing Hubby , on occasion family, and the guy who lent me his old Remington 11-87,2o gauge, they think I just go out to hear the gun go off. Brings the rush of disappointment which I have to learn to laugh about and head out again. I like to relate the things going on around me in nature because I see it everyday out my windows. In the night I hear critters sauntering around . That is why I take on the critter characters, it is my way of coping with their mischievous antics.(Psst! she's telling on herself) We are multi-faceted individuals , it is my intent to move from interest to interest. I would like to invite you to go along for the ride ! Morning Coffee Clatch

I Found IT !

Over at YAHOO 360 the definition of "meme" mentioned by Editor in his post of October 10th in trying to get Phillip,Moose and Dana to carry on additional topics for the reason why they write. Meme's the Word What is a meme? From the dictionary: meme (mÄ“m), noun: A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. In the world of blogging, a meme is any idea that is spread from one person to another. It can be anything from a funny news story to a game of some sort to a what-type-of-kitchen-appliance-are-you? quiz. If you got the idea from someone else and you’re spreading the idea to other people, you’re contributing to a meme. Blog Tag: There are a million versions of this one too – basically write about something, and then tag someone else. Of course, with a game like this you don’t necessarily have to wait to be tagged – just go ahead and start a tag blog! (Thanks to Yahoo 360 for their definitons) How fun is this?!? I want to "meme" Jody over at http://www.thehunterswife.net/. Please don't be to upset ; ) In essence I think we already do a lot of this. Find topics of conversation we would like to continue and develope to say in a different fashion...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Custer's History at Fort Abraham Lincoln

Our visit to Fort Abraham Lincoln, 7 miles south of Mandan,N.D., on route 1806 in September opened up the pages of history to which we had little knowledge. The Fort was originally called Fort Mckean and was established on June 14,1872, by the 6th Cavalry under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Huston. Historical InfoSecond BlockhouseOfficer's QuartersWest BlockhouseDescription of Blockhouses and PalisadesView from the Bluff At the Commissary Storehouse - reconstructed in 1992,now a bookstore, located close to the entrance of the park you can catch a guided tour of the Custer home replica built in 1989. The original Commanding Officers quarters was built in the summer of 1873 for George and Elizabeth Custer. They lived in their new home until a fire claimed it in February 1874. Another new home was constructed the summer of 1874; the same Victorian style used in the first and common for the time period. Several original family articles were seen on display during our tour. Original CurtainLiving Room FireplaceBay WindowElizabeth's PianoOriginal Serving TrayDining RoomKitchen of the Custer HomeBasement of the Custer HomeIn the StudyCuster BedGeorge and Elizabeth Custer with servant "Lieutenant Colonel- General" George Armstrong Custer arrived before his wife at the Fort, with the 7th Cavalry, in the Fall of 1873, to ensure the expansion of the railroad in the Dakota Territories. It became a very important outpost with 6 companies or 650 Infantry and Cavalry soldiers keeping things going from 1873 - 1891. The men were Irish or German immigrants. The physical traits of no more than 165 lbs. and short stature to protect the health of the horses. George had the distinction by those who knew him of being an eccentric. On many an occasion he would warn wife Elizabeth, or one of the servants of his trips down the banister in the entry-way. They would leave the front door open for him to land out on the front porch. What a ride! When we finished at the Custer home we headed off to the re-constructed barracks to see what the common living space would have looked like in an era when they lived so far away from civilization. Soldier BarracksGun RackCook StoveWash BasinsMess Hall Our guide Diane, an Native American ,raised with 2 sisters by her mother away from the Kansas Reservation, shared her heritage with us. She called herself an apple..."Red on the outside, white on the inside". Leader of the Flock She spoke of the beliefs of historians about what went on at the "Battle of Little Big Horn", June 25th-26th,1876, the way the remains of the soldiers were treated after death. It is believed that Custer had an Indian woman since he was not dismembered in the same manner as the other soldiers who lost their lives that day. The only injury other than gun shot suffered by Custer was punctured ear-drums. This interpreted to mean that he "didn't listen" to what he was told in life so they made it impossible for him to hear in the next life... North Dakota has many areas of interest so if you get a chance to take an extended vacation I would recommend hitting the I-94 from one end of the state to the other for a delightful excursion.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Outdoor Outfitters Retail Stores

There are so many outdoor outfitters available to us that it can be difficult to make up our minds where to go to find all our hunting needs. Specialty outfitters and local farm /hardware stores all vie for our consumer dollar; whether it be in person, catalog ,or catalog online. The opportunity to travel a few weeks ago gave me a chance to "kick the tires"of the different retail outlets, figuratively speaking. A lot depends on where you live and what is close by. Then again, planning a special trip isn't a bad idea to checkout that gun, bow, fishing pole or canoe that is on the "want list". Leaving Jamestown, N.D. on Tuesday, September 25th, we headed east on I-94. The next major city we stopped at was Fargo. We discovered in January that the Scheels chain had built a 196,000 square foot(4 acre) site. Absolutely the biggest free standing establishment of this chain store I have seen. It opened this summer on July 1st, so we stopped to check inside.Fargo Scheels I found it very bright and inviting inside. Spacing between clothes racks, very nice and the racks not so packed the clothes might fall off if you brush by to closely. It is a fact I like "Bright and Neat". Back to S 45th Street, heading south over the I-94 bridge, we found another outfitter - GanderMTN. I was not enticed to stay and browse very long by my surroundings, not to say it isn't a good supplier...I just like atmospheres that are brighter.Gander MTN Traveling on down the road passing other outfitters we made our way to Owatonna, MN. I had another stop to make;) May be you already know where I'm headed. Ah YES!Cabela's...One of the closest stores to home associated with this company.Cabela's Sign at OwatonnaCabela's Owatonna,Mn.Cabela's In door Mountain It was very exhilarating. Running from the clothes,shoes ,guns, archery and binoculars etc...just like a child in a toy store. Time went by to quickly before the need to be back on the road arrived. Reading some fellow bloggers - such as Dana over at "The Wild Woodswoman" she referred to the Cabela's Master catalog Fall 2007 on August 11th,2007 ( I am among the group to have one too ;) ) Was able to follow along. Preach IT Dana! Jody posted on September 20th ,over at "thehunterswife.net" that they are looking forward to the opening of a new Cabela's store over at Hammond,Indiana in a few weeks, October 19th. All of us know where she will be shopping for some important Christmas gifts. There are many others who have posted as well on their shopping preferences. Bet you can literally feel a connection to what they are sharing. I know I can... POST UPDATE : You may have caught the comment by Kristine...She said that over at "skinnymoose.com/tailsandtrails", Rick ,was able to get a media tour. He got to wander around the East Hartford, Connecticut Cabela's that will be opening on October 19th. I think you would enjoy seeing all his pictures. Click the link over in the side bar so you can get over there!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Mandan at Ft. Abraham Lincoln

On Monday ,September 24th ,we found ourselves back tracking westward on I-94 ,over miles we had seen the day before. There is a good reason the decision was made to do so. We traveled 7 miles south of the town of Mandan on highway 1806 to reach our destination. Three years ago we,my grandson Nick, daughter Kyli , her husband Justin and I, got to visit the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. It was a wonderful experience that started in the prehistorical periods. We saw some artifacts of the prehistoric native americans which sparked an interest in the settlement discovered by chance at Ft. Abraham Lincoln. Our guide for the On-a- Slant village was of the Sioux tribe from the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. He mentioned that they had one person on staff of Mandan descent that does conduct tours. He told us the site they are working on rehabilitating was inhabited from 1575 - 1700's. Due to the exhaustion of natural resources they left the area and returned years later when the resources were once again able to sustain a community. History of the Mandan NationMandan General Meeting HutMandan Village DioramaDescription of Mandan BeliefsPictoral History of the MandanDescription of Mandan by John McDonnellSheheke - Born at On-a Slant Village This year we included the sight seeing of the adjoined area as well in our one day side trip with our daughter. She hadn't had a chance to see it yet since moving north. Each of us purchased an "Interpretive Pass" and the cavalier had to pay to enter, even had her own sticker to say she could take us where we wanted to go since everything was pretty spread out. History of Ft. Abraham LincolnLookOut at Ft. Abraham LincolnMissouri River Valley at Ft. Abraham Lincoln George Armstrong Custer had been apart of the history at Ft. Abraham Lincoln. In the next few days I will be sharing more about about what we saw and heard during our visit. It was a cold, rainy day ,but enjoyed none the less...