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Archive for December, 2012

Deer country

Deer country

Yes, I had a day in the snow. Half of the day was shared with my cousin, Donnie Smail. My step-father, Bob was part of that day and we managed a few extra hours after Donnie had to leave.

The three of us met prior to dawn at B. Hollow and discussed our plans for the flintlock hunt. I was not carrying any flintlocks today. I decided I was going to “play dog” and move deer around and snap some photos. I may hunt with my last tag later on.  Saturday is my butchering day for the harvested deer from the 27th.                            DSC_0024

Donnie and the deer

Donnie and the deer

Donnie and Bob walked along a gas well road as I circled around to walk through a clear-cut area. I spotted two deer in their beds right off, but across a road. I approached a big hollow and could see a lone deer in its bed. The deer got up and began walking. I continued up and over and five more deer began walking in the right direction too. Shortly after 8:00 the boom was heard.

One of many deer beds found.

One of many deer beds found.

I walked on in the direction of the shot and met up with Donnie. he had shot and hit the mark! He started up the slope and I did too. Within minutes I saw the deer still in the brush. Donnie’s shot was true! After a hand shake and the usual story of what had just transpired the deer was dressed and the dragging was started. Bob had seen three deer, but failed for a good shot.

We hunted a couple of more hours with more deer viewed. Donnie had to leave and get his deer processed. Bob and I left for familiar haunts. More deer were spotted and no shots granted. Total deer viewed by me were 33! Some were seen while traveling between hunts. Bob and I quit about 2:00.

Teasel

Teasel

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Suzie track

Suzie track

Early Christmas morning, around 2:30, I was awakened with another bout of Vertigo. The extreme dizziness and nausea is acute. Christmas day found me knocked out because of the medication I take for Vertigo. Of course, the following day we witnessed freezing rain and about 7-8 inches of snow. I spent much time keeping the drive clear. This day is the first day of Pennsylvania’s primitive deer season. I didn’t make time to be woods

Grizzley Track in a size 10 and a half!

Grizzley Track in a size 10 and a half!

bound.

Today, the 27th of December, I headed for the woods early. The snow depths made for a little more difficulty with walking , but the quietness of this new snow made for excellent sneaking about the woodlands.

The Snow monster

The Snow monster

About 40 minutes into the hunt I was walking along a field to check out a great place for bedded deer when I spotted my step father, Bob at the other end of the field. He had said he wasn’t hunting today so I was surprised to see him. Of course, this would change much of my hunting style. I would be sneaking around trying to  push deer towards Bob.

I had seen two deer before meeting up with Bob again. Another attempt to move deer to Bob was planned. I eased along a ridge watching an open hollow for bedded or feeding deer. Eventually, the hunt would find me checking out an area of windblown trees and extreme brush. I immediately spotted some rich brown and the back of a deer. I couldn’t see its head. I had to shoot an antlerless deer since I had harvested a buck earlier. I eased backwards and slightly circled to get into a better position, all the while watching the deer’s actions.

I watched the deer’s nose ease out from behind a cherry tree and I noticed there was no rack of antlers.  I raised the flintlock trying to get a good shot. I could see the body of the deer and the shot was taken. Instantly, I lost the view of the deer. I loaded up!      DSC_0012

DSC_0003     I began to unravel the tracks and soon found one deer running directly down a steep slope. Seventy or eighty yards later I saw signs of a hit. The deer crossed Cherry Run and became emerged into the bottomland jungle aways found along woodland watersheds!

I started working in S-style walks through this area following the easiest and quietest routes. Suddenly, I spotted a head and neck about eighty yards  away. This was the only opening here and I lucked out to be viewing the deer. The deer appeared big. I thought the deer I had shot didn’t seem to be so big. I was puzzled believing that this deer may not be the same deer. I wouldn’t shoot!  I went in reverse and crossed the stream again and elevated myself on the opposite side of the water. This worked for I soon could see an entire deer. Yes, this was a big deer.

I pretended not to see the deer and circled around again and not finding any tracks or blood I began to believe that this deer must, indeed, be the same deer. The deer stayed in place. I backtracked again preparing for the shot. My approach found me slightly lower and as I eased along the stream again I suddenly spotted the deer very much hidden in the underbrush and only about 12 yards away. The head was down and quickly up as was Old Jacob, my 50 caliber long rifle in the Andrew Verner school of gunbuilding.(Around 1780) The rifle “poofed”! I had been trying to keep the moisture away since the underbrush was covered with snow cover. Apparently, a small amount of moisture from snow had found its way to the vent hole. I cleaned it out and the gun shot well.

Old Jacob and the deer

Old Jacob and the deer

I loaded up and began to stalk the deer. The deer turned 90 degrees to the right to circle me. I walked around too and spotted the deer laying in a brushy gulley. The shot was good. Now the car was over a mile away. I located Bob and we drove around until we could get a couple of hundred yards from the kill site. The drag was rough because of the brush, but the snow did aid in pulling it along. The first shot was slightly farther back that I had thought.

Notice where the antlers were.

Notice where the antlers were.

I am thinking more jerky and canned venison! The deer was bigger than I had believed at the first shot. The deer was a buck  and both antlers had already fallen off. I thought this might be a little early since we have had a relative mild winter.

 

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Always Busy!

DSC_0038  This past week was another “normal” week for me. When I say normal, I am slightly kidding around. A much better description of my week is “busy”. Along with the events listed below, I was cleaning the basement; of course, working on my art and some limited yard work.

Monday, December the 10th, after erecting our Christmas Tree, Laurie and I headed for Tarentum, Pennsylvania for a Christmas party. This annual party was being hosted by the Alle-Kiski MS group which Laurie is a member. We enjoyed some good times with friends; present exchanges and a fine meal.

Chestnut hulls

Chestnut hulls

On Tuesday evening, we headed south again. We exited at the RIDC exchange off of Route 28, just north of Pittsburgh. This event was a MS conference with a power-point viewing. This presentation was completed by Doctor Malcom Berger. He is Laurie’s doctor. Of course, another meal was enjoyed by us all!

Vine twisting around sapling

Vine twisting around sapling

Wednesday evening, Laurie and I were at the Kittanning Free Methodist Church for our weekly Bible study groups. I have been leading my group since 2010. I chose to discuss the Apostle Paul.  The study began with the Book of Acts. We are currently in the Book of Philippians. I have my study notes typed into the computer from Acts up through the Book of Hebrews. (I have the pastor and assistant pastor attending my study. I have to behave myself!) By the way, if anybody would like to do this study on their own, I do have them typed into the computer and I can send them along as needed via e-mail. Just let me know!

Thursday morning found me visiting my mother and step-father, Bob. This has become a tradition for us all. After breakfast, Bob and I went for a woodland hike to visit a site that had been clear-cut last year. We enjoyed hunting flintlock deer at this site. Many acres were cut. I have heard a gas well event may be scheduled here. I saw 7 deer and a squirrel.

Fur and bones from owl vomit.

Fur and bones from owl vomit.

Friday morning, I was honored to be treated to a breakfast with my friend Randy Tost. We talked over our deer season adventures. Later we visited at my home. Randy always enjoys seeing the steps to my various art projects. The evening, after we ate out for supper, Laurie and I went on a relaxed drive to view Christmas lights.

Puff ball

Puff ball

Today, the 15th of December, I managed a 3-4 mile hike at State Game Lands 247. The spring-like weather was comfortable to hike in. I heard deer in the multiflora brambles, but I couldn’t see them.  I witnessed  a small flock of bluebirds eating seeds.

Crow at home after tearing away some deer meat.

Crow at home after tearing away some deer meat.

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IMG_0935   A Celebration of Christmas event, titled Family Trees is the theme for this year’s Christmas event. The McCain House Museum is where to go to view the elegance and beautifully decorated home this Christmas season. The dates are December 7-9 and the times are noon to 8 on Friday and Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday.

This event is hosted ny the Armstrong County Historical Museum & Genealogical Society. The McCain Home is located at: 300 N. McKean Street in Kittanning, PA. The cost is free, but any donation is highly appreciated. The museum is worked with strictly volunteers so any funds generated go directly for upkeep and museum activities.

My version of a tree for the Native American room

My version of a tree for the Native American room

The rooms are decorated with Christmas trees and various styles of decorations. Wreathes and other Christmas related decorations are visuiible throughout.                                                                                      IMG_0939

Tasty, tempting treats and punch are available to  satisfy those Christmas urges. The Genealogy Library will be open both Saturday and Sunday too during the event hours.

IMG_0918                                                                                IMG_0929

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