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Archive for October, 2015

DSC_0002  Today was a bittersweet day. My cousin Lois passed away at her home and was discovered on Thursday. Funeral begins on Sunday, November 1. I silently debated on going hunting or not. Her dad, like my dad, were hunters, and I realized she would expect me to hunt today.

My step-father, Bob, and I walked through the pre-dawn forest to listen for roosting turkeys. We failed to hear any from the trees so the walk, call, and listen approach was to be the type of hunting for us.                             DSC_0018

We met up around 10:00 to compare notes. neither of us had seen, or heard any turkeys. We walked within site to check a ridge. Nothing to show for our efforts.

We planned another strategy. He was to walk an old logging road while I paralleled him through the side of the hill where numerous briars, and vines were located. However, within minutes this plan would become altered. I started down a slope, and immediately backed away. TURKEYS!

 

A small spike buck.

A small spike buck.

I whistled to Bob, and motioned him to come to me. I told him what I had just viewed, and devised a plan. I was to circle and try for a breakup of the turkeys. I feared attempting to go down over on a run with the knee surgery. Bob was to set up slightly on the ridge and wait the results.

Barberry

Barberry

I eased below where I had seen the birds before noticing them going diagonally up, and over where I had just came from. I did the same hoping to go, up and over, right into them, and bust them up!

Box Turtle shell

Box Turtle shell

I reached the area and no birds. I quickly climbed higher, and as I began coming over this ridge top I could see the turkeys in my shotgun range.  I ran, and yelled with turkeys flying in a hundred and eighty degree arc. I moved to my right , and picked up Bob telling him what had happened.  They went past his position, probably, within 60 yards.

Free to a good home!

Free to a good home!

We set up about ten yards apart. I started to call after about twenty minutes since seeing the turkeys. I could hear turkeys downslope in short order. Two birds came up, and over, but worked along the ridge away from us. Soon more birds were talking loudly behind me. Bob messed up by moving on birds that were almost on his position.

Minutes later another turkey was loudly “chirping”. This bird walked within ten yards of Bob, but behind him, and he sat tight. I could see he wasn’t going to be able to get a shot. The turkey went behind a tree allowing me to move. The bird kept coming along the slope. I leveled the Remington 870. The turkey reappeared from behind another tree and BOOM! I had a gobbler.                 DSC_0016

I told Bob to set still, and I sat down beside him. In a few minutes we were hearing more turkeys, and seeing four more. These birds remained out of range as they got together with their mother. Eventually, I tried to relocate them, but missed them along the way. Bob was ready to call it a day.

We saw a number of deer, and squirrels.

My cousin’s funeral is Monday. Bob, and I, will try again  next week.

 

 

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  DSC_0002  I need to be honest with myself. I still endure pain issues in the knee that I had surgery on. Whenever, I feel healing is doing well, I have setbacks with pains; discomfort; clicks, and pinches. I need to tell myself to limit the miles, and avoid the steeper hills. I am still hopeful less pain will be true, as more time drifts along.                           DSC_0005

Last Monday, October 19, I hunted  for half a day. I had 22 deer sightings before returning home at around 1:00. I, also, saw a red fox, and a flock of turkeys. Lots of squirrels!

Prior to nine in the morning, I spotted a doe in the dogwood; crab apples and goldenrods. The deer was around forty yards or so. I believed it was closer.  I leveled “Jeremiah” and missed! Jeremiah is my .62 caliber smoothbore French fowler. The original style dates back into the latter eighteenth century. I have killed deer with this firearm in the past, but I still mess up on occasion. The smoothbore doesn’t have a rear sight. One has to get the check down on the stock and aim true. Any slight deviance of this and the shot can, easily, fly high, or low. Also, smoothbores are not a long range gun of accuracy. the barrel, as the name states, doesn’t have rifling grooves in the barrel to stabilize the lead ball. Accuracy is easily faltered by this at yardages of over forty yards. Whatever happened…I missed!

DSC_0004  I spent slightly more than two hours searching for any sign of a hit, or a downed deer. I concluded a miss.

October 21st found me out again. I saw fewer deer this morning. I spotted a deer in a spruce thicket. I lost sight quickly in the tangled tree tops and limbs. I still hunted along side, and spotted the doe in a deciduous woodlands that bordered the spruce growth. I shot and a deer moved down through the woods. I searched for over an hour with the same results as Monday’s hunt.  A miss! I always with thinking wonder if I did all I could do searching.

I hunted with my step father, Bob Miller on Thursday. We saw some deer. I almost shot a doe, but decided to not shoot for Bob’s benefit. We were home early for breakfast with my mother.

DSC_0003 Today was the day! early in the morning I heard a shot where Bob usually goes hunting. I had driven myself and parked along a road, and Bob was over on the other road. I didn’t know with certainty he would be hunting.

I found Bob in a field, and he quickly told me the story. We searched for over an hour, and found nothing. We spotted a deer walking through the dense crabapples; dogwoods and briars. We continued looking. Bob went one way as I headed towards the area where this deer had gone. I wanted to be sure this deer wasn’t hit by Bob’s shot. No blood!                                                                          DSC_0011

However, I looked up to see the deer moving out ahead of me at about thirty-five to forty yards. I identified it as a doe. The doe stopped. I had a small opening  to shoot through for the briars were thick. I held a tight aim and shot. I walked up and looked around. The doe was down at another forty yards. The shot had been true and humane.

DSC_0003 I used “Old Jacob” on this hunt. This is a style of flintlock rifle made in the 1780 era by Andrew Verner of Pennsylvania. It is a 50 caliber flinter. I have harvested a lot of deer with this firearm. Notice this gun is a rifle. This means the barrel has “rifling” in the barrel to stabilize the lead ball for better accuracy.

As I type this, Bob has returned to the woods to set a spell watching for deer!

 

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Quehanna Adventure

DSC_0007 This week has things to do every evening for me except today. With that thought in mind I headed north to Quehanna trails for some serious hiking. This day was to be, also, a test to see how much I can do since my knee surgery.                                                    DSC_0005

I moved out this morning at about 5:15 to plan my arrival near 7:30 A.M. My plan worked out perfectly. I turned south at Medix Run, Pennsylvania searching for a trail to explore.  DSC_0008  DSC_0009

I began my first trail at about 7:20 in the morning while the fog still saturated the hollows.  I would soon reverse the plan when I realized the trail had some major wash out concerns. However, I did see a bull elk at close range. I stumbled for my camera only to miss the chance at getting this majestic creature at about forty yards.

I went over the hill to hike another trail. The trail began with some steep climbs until I reached the flat areas of the top. I debated whether I should be doing such a task this early since the knee surgery at times. I, also, wondered about how anybody would find me if I would get hurt or worse!                                        DSC_0018

Medix Run

Medix Run

The steep slopes consisted mostly maples thus not a good food source foe many animal species. However, once I reached to top (One hour and ten minutes.) Plenty of oak , and beech could be viewed. Immediately, I began to see, and hear chipmunks, and a couple of squirrels.    DSC_0019 DSC_0027

Eventually, I knew I needed to go over the steep slope to reach Medix Run watercourse. I knew plenty of great photos could be had way down over.  Here is where I made my mistake. The side was sleep. I fell at one point, and slipped and slid a couple of more times. This aggravated my knee.

DSC_0038 I finally made the trip to the Jeep at almost noon. I was dealing with some pain. I drove around to the Marion Brooks Natural Area. I was at this spot two years ago during a moderate rain. I became soaked that day. I wanted to take some  photos of the numerous white birch trees that are found on site.

DSC_0035  I didn’t walk very far. I crawled up on a rock and rested some before heading back to start the trip home.

All told I saw one bull elk; 1 deer (Two while traveling including a nice buck. I, also, saw a truck hit a doe. The deer came through underneath as I dodged hitting her. How sad. the trucker never tried to slow down.) I saw a flock of about 15-18 turkeys. The photos didn’t come out well.

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