Tag Archives: deer

Note to Self

Note to self and others…

If you go out wandering around in the early spring…

And you find the skull of a year old buck with the antlers, some hair and meat still attached…

And you decide to take it home to salvage the antlers…

More than likely you’ll toss it in the trunk of your car to bring it home.

Then, you decide you’ll cut the antlers off the next day and you leave the skull in your trunk.

You don’t want to do that…

I guarantee you will not like what you find crawling around in your trunk 24 hours later…

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Five eagles.

Two hawks.

Two pheasant, granted, they were planted birds, but they were flying.

A thousand geese and ducks, give or take a hundred or two.

Rabbit tracks seen everywhere, but no rabbits seen.

Nineteen deer.

I had to stop on a 55 mph back road west of me to let five of them pass. Luckily this road isn’t all that busy. Except for the deer.

And I guess the sunset wasn’t too bad. Less clouds on the horizon would have made for a better one.

As for partridges, I wouldn’t know one if I saw one.

Driving on 290 Toward Rockford

That’s all the text message said, Driving on 290 toward Rockford, and there was a photo attached. I had to have Nina email me the photos, the screen on my phone is barely 2 inches square and I was wondering why she was sending me a picture of the back of somebody’s SUV.

Because there were two deer strapped to the carrier on the back of the SUV.

Got to hand it to a daughter that thinks of their dad when they see something like that. She knows how much I enjoy hunting even though I’ve only had the opportunity to go deer hunting once about a decade ago out in Virginia. I did get a deer then, with a muzzle loader that’s a replica of a Kentucky long rifle. For the first time I went deer hunting, I didn’t know it would be my last chance in a long while, I wanted to do something a little more traditional. I had no access to bows and a friend had given me this rifle.

What I’ve found out since then is that hunting can get expensive. Years ago I used to go pheasant, squirrel and waterfowl hunting fairly often. Over the past eight years hunting has become a luxury I simply can no longer afford except for the occasional squirrel hunt. Even then, the places I like to go squirrel hunting are a bit of a drive and it’s been hard to justify burning off the gallons of gas it takes to go bag a few squirrels.

Some day.

Some day I’ll be able to go out pheasant hunting again on a whim and not do a complex financial analysis of my cash flow projected two to three months forward first.

Some day the time and financial resources will coincide so I can go spend a few days down in Missouri and hunt with my father-in-law. He owns 40 acres on the Missouri/Arkansas border that is begging to be hunted.

Some day I won’t think twice about driving the 200 mile round trip to Morrison Rockwood State Park or the 260 mile round trip to Apple River Canyon State Park just to go squirrel hunting. They are the two finest places I’ve been to for the simple pleasure of a day of squirrel hunting.

Some day I’ll be able to get out deer hunting around here, but I still plan a more traditional outing. I have a long bow with a slight recurve that I’ve got pretty good at shooting. I even have a couple of hand made wood arrows I’ve set aside for this opportunity.

Some day.

Till then I’ll rely on the occasional photo’s from friends to remind me of missed hunting opportunities.

Or I’ll just wait for my daughter to send another text message, with another photo of deer on a carrier.

I told her the next time she sees something like this to flag down the driver, get him to pull over and find out how much he wants for a hind quarter. You never know, an attractive young woman asking about deer hind quarters just might get her one for free. I’ve got killer recipes for venison chili and stew that are gathering dust and a hind quarter would be perfect.

Then there’s the fettuccine with venison alfredo sauce…

Wada u Lookin’ at?

I had a big long write up in my head about this with many more pictures, but I got lazy. So this will have to do.

I see the same doe and her two fawns every time I fish this one stretch of the river. Been going on all summer. They live on these big nearly impenetrable islands out in the middle of the river.

After watching them walk across the river and disappearing behind an island, a few minutes later I hear a grunt. Don’t see anything. Then another grunt and there it is, watching me. Stood there for awhile, so I started talking to it. That’s why the ears are up.

A couple of months earlier, fishing at sunrise, the mother didn’t notice me a bit up river.

Caught her at a less than ideal moment.

What?

I need a better camera.

Gobble, gobble, gobble…

Was out driving around the other day when a bunch of black specks out in a field, close to a tree line, caught my eye. Of course I had to slam on the brakes, throw on the flashers and ease off the road onto the soft gravel and dirt they call shoulders around here. This time of year with everything thawing, that can be a risky under taking. Particularly if you would like to get back on the road at some point without taking half the shoulder with you or spreading it out in a wide fan behind you.

For years I’ve been seeing a flock of turkey in this area. Sometimes here and other times in another field a mile or two away. Hopefully you’ll be able to see that the two birds that are the closest have pretty substantial beards on them.

Not sure if anyone hunts them in either of these fields.

In the above picture, as lame as it is allowing for the limitations of my camera, I count 14 of the specks heading through the field. There were quite a few more outside of the picture frame. This field is usually filled with cattle and is covered with grasses year round. The other field a mile or two away is either corn or soy beans. Can’t tell which one the birds prefer.

Not too far away is Silver Springs State Park. I know this flock comes off one section of the park, only there is no turkey hunting allowed at Silver Springs. The chances of getting permission from either of these landowners is probably slim to none. I used to have access to the land where I saw the birds this day, but for every conscientious outdoors person there is out there, whether angler, hunter, birder or hiker, there seems to be considerably more that are flat out slobs. This landowner had no choice but to ban everyone in one fell swoop.

I live along one of two cul-de-sacs with a heavily wooded ravine along one side. We used to get turkey and deer wandering through the neighborhood all the time. Of the 11 homes along these two short roads, eight of them are rentals. New tenants over the last two years have brought considerably more dogs into the neighborhood.

The house I rent is one of three that have a fenced in yard, our dogs never go beyond the fence. Apparently our neighbors don’t seem to care if their dogs wander freely around the neighborhood. Conversations have been had, promises have been made and yet I still find all the dogs wandering across my front yard, into those of other neighbors and down into the ravine. It has made scenes like this, turkey gathering at the feeder outside my living room picture window, nonexistent.

I have an old Beeman Airgun that shoots .177 caliber pellets. From what I understand, initial velocity is that of a .22. After 100 feet, the velocity drops off considerably. Conversations with my neighbors are over, I’m tired of trying to reason with these people. I’ll keep the range over 100 feet. We’ll see if the dogs get the hint after a few well placed pellets to their hind quarters.

Maybe then I’ll walk out my front door to see a few turkey and the occasional deer wandering down the street.

Instead of some neighbors dog shitting on my front lawn.