Hogs....down in the bog!

Hogs....down in the bog!

May 30, 2011

Close Encounters

Finally! A weekend free from obligations, where Josh and I were able to get out turkey hunting. I have to say that I was less than enthusiastic about the 4AM wake-up call, but he did manage to get me out of bed. I still do not understand why those darn birds don't like to sleep in. Josh and I got set up next to a small open field, with a high sloped hill in front of us that led to a small platform. To the right of us was a small deep valley. Most of my view to the right was obstructed by trees, so I could see the road but not much else. Literally a minute after we set up they started gobbling. Josh was situated behind me on the tree, and was calling pretty hard. Following his directions, I kept my eyes to the right (where the birds were gobbling from) but also scanned the small field from time to time (to my left). I kept an eye on the platform in from of me, but couldn't see much due to the steep incline.

Anyone who has gotten up early to hunt knows how difficult it can be to stay awake while you are waiting for the sun to come up. This morning was no different. I was trying to scan the area around me since the birds were gobbling so closely, but it was getting difficult. Suddenly, something caught my eye directly in front of me. A field mouse! He looked pretty cute, jumping and tumbling up the hillside in front of me-just trying to get some breakfast. Suddenly he turned, locked his beady little eyes on me, and made a beeline straight towards me. Now, I am not afraid of mice, but I certainly do not want one crawling on me. The little monster slammed straight into me.

"Josh, Josh!"
"What? Do you see a bird?"
"A mouse just ran into me and is crawling around under my legs!"

It took everything I had in me to not jump up. Everything. According to Josh's timekeeping skills, those birds (2) continued to gobble to us for over and hour. There was another group of turkey hunters on the property next to us who were also calling to them. The birds appeared to be hung up in between us. He made the decision to leave me at my tree, confident in my hunting skills, and move away from me in hopes of pulling the bird across the valley to me. He explained to me where he would be headed and where it would be safe for me to shoot, depending on where the turkey came from. Off he went.

A tip for women hunters. Do not wear overalls to hunt in. You will have to pee at some point, and you will not be able to do it inconspicuously. I was in the middle of deciding how this was going to occur when a velociraptor flew across the valley on my right and landed on the high platform in front of me. I froze. The turkey I had been after for three years was three yards away from me. The problem....I could only see about two inches of his feathers due to the raised elevation he was standing on. Son of a gun. I slllllooooowly pulled my gun up and got myself adjusted. The only positive thing about him being up there was that I could see him, but there was no way he could see me. I stealthily adjusted my shotgun and myself and waited. Every time he gobbled it felt like an earthquake under me. He must have been square dancing up there because he would be drawn towards Josh's calling, but then walk around in a circle after he gobbled. All I needed was for him to move about one yard to the left. Just one yard. Of course you know how this went. He was a dancing queen....all the way off the platform straight ahead of me. Which meant he never poked his naked little head out for me to get a shot.

As he danced around up there, the calling from the other property got closer and louder. Now I do not know the boundary lines very well, but I do know how close I am to this bird. If I can't see the other hunters, they cannot see me. Depending on which direction they are shooting from I may be in the line of fire. PANIC. I do not have my Blackberry with me, I can hear Josh but know that he is very far away, and there is still a chance that I may shoot this bird. What am I going to do?

My turkey hasn't gobbled for a good ten minutes at this point, so I decide to do some research. I slowly stand up until I can see the top of the platform....no turkey. (This would not be the first time this season that there have been trespassers on the property. Josh and Tim missed being shot by a few feet the previous week). Grabbing my gun, I sneak off behind me to find Josh. Once we reunited I told him of the perils of my hunt. He explained to me that while they sounded close, they were indeed on another property. So we packed up our things and headed off to another spot. Turkeys 3-Me 0

May 16, 2011

If at first you don't succeed....

Hello all! This weekend will mark another turkey hunting weekend for me. I was preoccupied with some non-hunting plans the past two weeks, so I am excited to get back to it on Saturday. Friday night Josh and I will be "roosting" birds. For you non-hunters that means that we will be scouting the woods with some calls to hear which trees the birds are staying in. That way when they come down in the morning we will hopefully be close by.

On a happy note, Jarrid harvested a bird on Saturday. Still waiting to hear the details, but way to go Jarrid!!!

Good luck this weekend everyone!

May 10, 2011

Warning: Ticks!

Yesterday I was getting ready to go out for a run, and while putting my hair up I noticed a bump on my head. I went to investigate further, but couldn't relocate the spot. I left for my run, forgetting about my head until the next morning. While drying my hair I was able to relocate the spot and asked Josh to check it. Low and behold, it was a tick. Thank goodness he was there because I was freaking out at the idea of a blood sucking bug burrowing into my brain. I shudder just thinking about it. Josh removed my little squatter and we gave him a burial at sea. This of course got me thinking about ticks in general and what I can do to make sure I don't find any more of these little guys.

I went to the CDC's website to find some more information. They recommend walking in the center of trails while in the woods and staying out of wooded areas. Clearly they are unaware that it is spring turkey season, so onto step two. Using a repellent with 20% or more DEET. There are a list of other repellents they recommend if you check out their website.

They also have tips for finding and removing ticks if you find them on you.
1. Wear light colored clothing so that ticks are easy to spot. (Don't worry, I'm sure the turkeys won't see you in a white shirt).

2. Conduct a full body tick check. (For some reason Brad Paisley's song comes into my head).

3. Examine your gear and pets. Tumbling them (the gear NOT the pets) on high for one hour in the dryer may help kill remaining ticks.

4. Shower soon after returning indoors.

I added this image of different ticks and their various sizes at different life stages. (This image was obtained at the CDC's website).

If you are bitten by a tick and exhibit any of the following symptoms, see a doctor immediately: fever/chills, rash, aches and pains. Ticks can carry some pretty serious diseases, and are nothing to take lightly.

May 9, 2011

Venison Burgers

A few weeks ago I made some deer burgers for a picnic Josh was having with his buddies, and apparently they were a big hit. Here is the very simple, but delicious recipe!

1 lb. ground vension
4 tbsp. Montreal Hamburger Seasoning
1tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg white
1/4 c. Panko breadcrumbs (or any other type of breadcrumbs will do)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Form into patties and grill. Feel free to get creative and mix in diced cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms or anything else you can think of!

Happy grilling!

May 5, 2011

Happy Hunting

Well, I don't know how turkey season has started off for the rest of you, but it has been a bust so far for me. Last Friday, Josh and I gathered all of our gear together so we could have the car already packed for our 4AM call time. I was given the choice of my turkey vest or my backpack...I clearly chose my backpack. Mainly because while my vest is awesome (thank you Jarrid) I don't do a whole lot of calling on my own...ok I don't do any calling on my own. So my box call just squeaks around in my vest and my gloves end up falling out of my pockets. Try looking for a camouflaged glove in the middle of the woods (impossible). So I opted for the backpack and got all my goodies ready. I was under the impression that it was going to be warm, so I was going with light layers. I ended up freezing and had to bust open my hand warmer to get me through. It was super windy and sitting in a blind doesn't really allow for the sun to warm you up all that much. I had a brand new pair of Under Armor gloves to test out (very lightweight and they actually come close to fitting my small hands). I stashed my binoculars, hog calls (you never know), lucky hat, face mask (also brand new-my old one made me feel like I was being suffocated), granola bar, Powerade, fleece zip up, hand warmers, face paint, and a few other random necessities.

We headed into the woods, certain that I would have a bird on the ground by 8:30AM. Needless to say that all we ended up seeing was a groundhog, cat, one hen, and a goose. Of course when we popped by later that day, there was a hen and three gobblers headed right for my blind...but that's the fun of the hunt-you never know when the stars will align and everything will happen as planned. As soon as Josh teaches me how to upload videos from our Kodak Cam, I will post the video from this hunt. Nothing too exciting, but Josh does almost fall off his seat :o)

Good luck this weekend hunters!!!!