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

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 (mēm), 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 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 "" 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 "", 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...