Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Deer Camera...

After several trials with the Moultrie game camera, I figured it was about time to try out some other features other than the multi-shot still images. So I fired up the video feature and put it back out to the proven trail. Today, my oldest and I went out to grab it and I got a little worked up after noticing a decent buck track to the right of the camera. After review, it seems as if the buck didn't want to set off the video. But I did manage to get this nice clip, I particularly enjoyed the alerted stomp and then the nose lick...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bad weather were having... yup....

A quick trip to grab the deer cam...

In my neck of the woods as with almost any conversation in America, the weather is the backbone of many conversations. Whether it be the introduction, an insertion, or an act of closure, our daily and seasonal changes in temperature, precipitation, and wind connect us all. Today for me is no different, the weather we have been having has been nothing short of good (please insert sarcasm)...

You hope for a good weekend, especially a Saturday (no Sunday hunting, but fishing is permitted) but my weatherman has consistently brought crappy news. So, with all the cold, bitter winds, and ample snow, I've conceded any future duck hunting with future hopes of ice fishing...

However, there became one positive note since my last post. Enough snow held after our last storm followed by a surprising day of sunshine and moderate temperatures to warrant a day of sledding. My wife and I took the munchkins, 4 & 2, to a hill for some gravitational excitement. Two hours later, the rosy cheeked beauties informed me that they were “tired, hungry, and ready to go home”.

I'm a die hard duck hunter, but if I could repeat that two hours every Saturday... I'd have to leave the gun in the case...

Look for my interview by Terry Scoville of Women's Hunting Journal next week!!!

Take care,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time, Consideration, and a Wish List....

Today, I took a few minutes to browse the web pages of on a mission to find items that 1) I may not own but would like to get, 2) could enhance my experience in the outdoors, and 3) not necessarily apply to duck hunting. Most recently I purchased a Northern Flight boat blind for my former duck hunting boat that currently sits in mothball. I'm a frequent flier at Cabelas and purchase almost all my hunting and fishing supplies there with a high degree of satisfaction. With the exception of Rabid's issue with a firearm (see his agony on Gun Woes...), I haven't heard of many problems with this company. Nevertheless, here's what I came up with without going into heavy research mode.

1) A buck deer decoy
On a very interesting day, I found myself with a mature doe centered in a spot that I had broadcasted estrus scent. Within a few minutes, a loud sniffing noise brought a massive buck straight to the spot. The buck was in full rut and it's neck was swollen beyond recognition. This perhaps was the largest deer I have ever seen, the problem was that it had no rack just a mushroom on one side and a little spike less than three inches on the other. I had seen this deer two years prior, but I had no antlerless permit so it meandered away. But this year proved quite interesting as it circled around the scent and pursued the doe. Shortly thereafter, I heard a contesting grunt. Immediately, I returned with some grunts of my own. The big deer suddenly wasn't sure what to think and actually charged the doe. After a heated exchange of aggressive grunts between me and the unknown buck, a young 8 pointer sprang out of the woods into the shooting lane directly at the bigger buck. Within seconds, I had dispatched the buck. Although the larger deer wasn't a shooter, it had given me a deer that I never knew existed. Since then, I have wondered about putting a buck deer decoy within range of my stand and using buck urine as an attractant.

2) A camouflage life vest
I may catch hell for this and for a man who spends much of my life on the water recreationally and professionally, I have life jackets surrounding me but rarely wear one. I know that the only life jacket that can save you is the one on your body and I intend to become a better advocate of a simple practice. I believe that an effective life vest that properly fits and aides in effective concealment is the way to go. This will be my next purchase.

3) A water filter for the outdoors
I'm not much of an outdoorsman, but as the girls get older I'd like to get them out into the woods. I usually pack more than enough water on my adventures, however this seems to be an interesting asset to any outdoors kit. About ten years ago when I was hiking towards Mount Katahdin (the highest point in Maine), I met a person who let me refill my water bottles with a water filter. It worked well and I didn't die, so this seems like a really neat device.

4) An all-weather lighter
The reason for this is that there have been times when I wished I had one. Either the matches were not working well, or a disposable lighter wasn't available. I figure if one has a nice quality lighter with them at all times, building a fire may be a better experience. I've seen one of these in action, and to be honest they are awesome.

5) A medical kit
Safety is so important and if I intend to spend more time in the outdoors, then I should have a quality kit to help keep me and others with me as safe as possible in the event of an accident. Too often we get this illusion that responders are only a phone call away and this puts a strain on resources while pulling help from people who may really need it. Anyone who spends time in the woods should understand how to use a medical kit and be able to spend a night in the woods if in trouble.

6) Camouflage Fender Kit for my ATV
After some thought, I had to add one more item to my list. After five years of not using my ATV (510 miles), the fenders are getting a little faded. With a user rating of 4.8 out of 5, this could be my next purchase or my wife's next one for my birthday.

So for now, that's my wish list. Safety has become my interest for now and a buck deer decoy may be the difference in pulling that monster out of the thickets. Feel free for any input and have a great day!

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hitting the Ice...

When I first met my wife, it wasn't long before I got to meet her dad. I'll never forget that moment as I'm quietly waiting in their living room and he comes home only to walk up to me, introduce himself, and offer me a beer. Honestly, I was caught off guard but started to already think, "this guy is all right".

It didn't take long for him to get me out onto the ice chasing trout and to be honest, I got caught hook, line, and sinker. Before long I had purchased every item necessary for successful ice fishing and went endlessly. Without my father-in-law, my zeal for this winter recreation may not have been realized or met with such enthusiasm.

Over time, marriage, moving home, two girls, and responsibility, I now realize the issues behind adulthood. But as the girls get older and my oldest already introduced to being on the ice last year, ice fishing is making a strong comeback in my world.

On Sunday, I hit the ice with my good friend Brian and my first cousin Scott who is in his first year of college. A blustery 20 degrees with winds around twenty degrees, it was cold but we quickly put up the shelter and set the traps. Within minutes, the brook trout were biting and the fishing was consistent. It seemed that after we would check our lines, a flag would go up.

When it was all said and done, we had our limit of trout (2 apiece) and a great time. The trout measured 15, 14, 13, 11, 9, and 8 inches respectively along with some that we had sent back. Here's some pictures of our time and I look forward to going again soon especially if the weather doesn't fare well in terms of sea duck hunting.

Brian and I with our limit of trout...

My cousin and I with my first trout...

Brian with a nice trout...

Scott and I hanging out by the shelter...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Deer Camera Scores!!!

After two trials and no results, the third time out for the deer camera resulted in a huge success!!! My oldest daughter and I got it out onto a proven trail and set it up about 4:00 p.m. last night. When I returned home from ice fishing today at 3:00 p.m., she met me at the door ready to see if we found any deer. Here's the best pictures from our snapshots and it's surprising to see what time they came through.

Enjoy!!! I'm pumped and my wife is thrilled to see me smile!!!