Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh Blessed Day !

Wouldn't you know it ! One of the wily rooster pheasants that keeps running around here made his appearance in the backyard. Going from point A to point B. I should have grabbed the gun sitting at the backdoor and went in pursuit Still might ! The pheasant like to sit in the area behind the house with a southern exposure, to sun bathe. They have cover to run into if they are approached by the un-known. Hope everyone has been getting in time at their favorite activities if you've had time off from the work- a - day world. I wish " good hunting" to all those that still have a season to pursue...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas one and all ! It has been a week since my last post. How have you been ? Well and Happy ! Good deal.... As all of you I have been keeping busy with preparations for the holiday get together(s). Last Monday, December 18th, I got to help render my first deer. My neighbor who has loaned me the gun I have been using asked me to assist him in dressing his last deer of the season. What wasn't expected is he gave me the proceeds of the effort. Talk about being happy. Boy ! What a very nice Christmas present. I told him that I would help him render all of his "take" next year. He is a sure shot. Who knows maybe I will be too come the next season ! ; ) My husband and I will be off to North Dakota for a family visit come the New Year's weekend if the weather isn't to bad...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wouldn't you know it !

Bless their little hearts...I wasn't ready to go outside at 7:00 this morning. There wasn't any activity. It is amazing how the deer multiplied in the field out northwest of the house. Pretty soon it seemed they were appearing out of nowhere. The boundaries started expand to include our backyard to the south and to the immediate east of our home.(where they are seen very frequently) Everything was all said and done by 7:20 - the deer running to the south, west, and east. Are you acquainted with the feeling of excitement at the expectation of being able to accomplish something you set out to do ? Then the next emotion that comes when your rush of hope is dashed...You got it! There wasn't a culmination of deer slug to to deer. Then the realization comes that time is running out. Family activities took up the day. Time has run out for this season, without the two landowner shotgun deer tags being attached to an intended target....Now, I can concentrate on getting those wily pheasants that keep evading me.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Next to the Last Day...

The morning began by sneaking out the back door at 6:45 AM. Took up a lookout post by a tree not far from what was a very busy deer browsing area the day before at 7:00 AM. Well, ya know what...They showed up from behind me. Was I ever one unhappy person when I heard the deer snort and take off since they were able to see and smell me from the direction they had arrived in. I decided I would go inside for awhile only to find another group was following on the heels of the first. In the afternoon I headed for the back timber. Wouldn't you know it; upon picking a spot the very object of my hoped for goal ran as fast as they could across the ravine and disappeared. I stood in one place for almost 2 hours. There was only one other deer that passed in the neighborhood after being spooked by the gun fire going on at the property just north of me. The weather was very moderate for a mid December day. It was cloudy with mist, but for some reason the moisture didn't hit me as I tried to be invisible , concealed in the rose brush.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Countdown to the End

Hi everyone! Thought I would stop by and let you all know that I have been busy using my domestic skills. My husband asked me to make "Pumpkin Bars" after Thanksgiving. The twist being instead of pumpkin I used "Hubbard Squash". It takes some processing to get the squash ready to be added to the other ingredients. We discovered when I made the first batch of "pumpkin bars" a few days after Thanksgiving that the hubbard squash made for a tasty substitution. He ingested the whole baking sheet full on his own one bar at a time, of course the freezer was a big help in the freshness factor. He thought they tasted so good he asked me to repeat the recipe to help provide dessert for
his Experimental Aircraft Association Christmas Party on December 14th.
Back to the topic of our blog entry for the day. Yes, time is swiftly coming to a close for our last shotgun deer season of 2006. The deer continue to make their presence known. They start having a pattern to their behavior and repeat visits to various locations , as soon as you get it figured out they change it again. Today, I sat for an hour and a half in the fore-noon in one spot. A lot of activity all around . Not far away a " very young deer" stood watching me. I saw another head peering out from a space to the left of the first deer. Thinking it was the same "very young deer" I continued to remain seated in my three legged chair. My legs needed to stretch after being crunched in one position for a long time. As I rose from my chair a rush of sorts erupted from the rose brush. The group of young deer that had taken refuge took off running in a wide circle in the opposite direction, not to be seen again in the same place later . Returning for another 2 hours in the afternoon to what I thought should be a good place for activity because of the buck rubs , bed, and well worn deer trails ended up without seeing anymore creature activity of any kind. Yet again I went into the house to warm-up and catch-up on some e-mail. The end of the day was fast approaching. The deer knew not to get to close...stay in the open. Friday the 15th ends without the use of either of the 2 landowner tags I purchased to help the Iowa DNR try to keep the population in check . Better luck tomorrow ?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Learning Curve

Today has been another day of learning. Maybe, I will get closer to the goal of getting my first deer. I learned that when the gun fires my aim isn't true. It will be to my benefit to find a tree to lean against or get another means of support to help steady my arm. Having a strong wind can be a problem in making an exact target hit as well. A few things that I need to keep in mind to make a difference in my hunting skill. To the seasoned hunter my woes probably seem elementary. Each year I learn a little more but have not made the commitment to stay outside ALL day to wait for my prey to saunter across my path. My attitude is changing. Earlier this morning I was tempted again by the multitude of deer I stirred from their hiding place. Oh YES! You have heard about the "Trophy Buck" ? I wish I had been close enough and had the camera at hand. The vision of that majestic animal bounding away is etched in my minds eye. He was among a large group of mixed aged kin. His antler rack stood high above the crown of his head. What a sight!
The picture of this majestic Iowa Buck was donated by a friend who saw him in a very unlikely setting....What a sight ! To repeat my self again. Important Points to Remember
  1. Temperatures are dropping, the wind is picking up. Ah, guess I need to be in the opposite direction from the prevailing wind so scent won't carry.
  2. Hide! That is another point that needs work on my part, be invisible.
  3. Be patient . Stop thinking about everything else that I could be doing.( I know you never have anything else to do...)

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer . Soon this deer season will be over and I will have gained more knowledge. Just need to learn to put it to beneficial use ...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is this December?

I am beginning to wonder if we are going to have winter this year. The temperatures were reminiscent of those in middle to late April. Yes, just eleven days to the New Year. Today has been a very quiet day. The wildlife have taken a vacation from sight. Around 3:00 this afternoon the sound of a gunshot echoed in the distance, not at all like yesterday . When gunshot after gunshot could be heard in the surrounding countryside. There are 6 days left in this season for me to try my hand at becoming a successful deer hunter . The ability to take the deer by surprise in an instant doesn't exist. Dry leaves crackle under foot. Again this evening as yesterday the wind dropped to nothing at 4:20 as the low setting sun was casting long shadows in the timber. Daylight has slipped away...can't see the animals but I know they are around. Time for all of us to slumber ... Then we'll all rise to meet the morning light and begin the cycle over.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Another Beautiful Day

What a gorgeous morning for the start of the second shotgun season...I was up before sunrise and outside as the eastern sky was still trying to draw forth the rays of the sun from its night of slumber. The moon was still trying to escape being chased ever so slowly by the light of day. My intention was to find some unsuspecting deer to bring back to the house but each time I could have possibly had a chance there was always an excuse why the shot wouldn't have worked. I have heard a multitude of gunshots very close by but not sure who was doing the shooting or what they had found worth the volley of slugs. They must have had more selection than I this fine morning. Maybe an animal or animals they could put in their freezer to put on the table when the winter finally becomes so cold out they aren't able to get to the store. It continues to be my full intent to be successful at bringing home at least one animal or bird from the hunting licenses I have purchased again this year. Every time I see the pheasants, turkey, or deer I get into an anxious mental and physical state. I head for the 20 gauge Remington shotgun on loan from a neighbor who has been hunting these woods ever since he was old enough to handle a gun. Most often times the creature has moved on beyond range before I am able to gather the gun and get my shoes on. (I don't like wearing shoes in the house) There is still time today for me to get my deer. I will try again this afternoon and evening if I don't have any visitors drop in. Updates to come...

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Day After

You are wondering what I mean by "The Day After". I say with a wink ...Here in Iowa it is the day after the first shotgun season for White- tail Deer. As a middle-aged woman I have taken up the pass time of hunting on my home farm / timber property. I have yet to be able to say that "I have brought home the "buck" ". Last night at this time I was standing outside waiting for the deer to return after I had scared them away when I opened the back door to checkout the doe and her young from this springs fawning. As is the usual case in my further exploration the rest of the group was just over the edge of the hill. The group was made up of an eight point buck with does and a big bunch of young. They disappeared across the ravine to the other side of the property , a refuge when someone isn't standing over there waiting for them. As it were no-one was was available to chase them back. The deer had experienced an abrupt change in their daily habits when the shotguns started going off a half hour before sunrise Saturday, December 2nd. It has been 24 hours since the last gunshots were heard around here. The deer have resumed their evening feeding habits . They arrived at 4:00 p.m. and by 4:35 p.m. have now gone to graze further and prepare for the cold night ahead....