Hunting Photo Friday!!

The first buck I ever shot. I was darn proud of this one at 60-80 yards. Single shot through the neck as it was slightly running out of the woods during a push.  November 2007 I believe.

November 2007. First buck. 2.5 yr old 8 point. Single 20 gauge shot

November 2007. First buck. 2.5 yr old 8 point. Single 20 gauge shot

I will preface to say that I will try to keep my hunting photos as blood free as possible. So I’m sorry for any unsightliness.

How do you prepare??

I had my monthly chiropractor appointment yesterday and we got to talking. There is 2 months until Whitetail Deer season opens in Western NY. Two months! So how do you prepare for it? This year my hope was to have a cross bow..cough cough dad…but I’m not sure if I will have one in time or not. Let’s say that I do, wishful thinking.

My preparations would start ASAP.  First of course by practicing and siting it in since it would be a new tool for me to use. Making sure I am comfortable using it, carrying it and standing in my stand with it. I want to ensure I am 100% on top of my game with my bow before I step out into the woods with it.

A new tool I get to use this year in great old 8H is the rifle. I am not sure what rifle I will be using so I will need to talk with my dad on that subject.  Though, once the hay is done target practice will begin. With the longer range shot I will need to make sure I know my target and distances I can accurately shoot to kill at. We don’t want to wound any sort of animal.  So for the rifle, the longer shot target practice will be commencing in the next few weeks.

Besides the cross-bow and rifle. I will be using my standard Remington 20 gauge shotgun and my .40 black powder muzzleloader. I will need to site both of these guns it at 100 and 200 yards respectively to make sure nothing was jostled in the scope during the off-season.

Now since I live about 40 minutes away from the farm optimum timing to go and site in my gun and muzzleloader may not present themselves to me, so my dad will help with those.  I have been using both for numerous years now and am quite comfortable with them  The cross-bow and rifle, however, I will need to be there. Since they are new to me this year I want an in-depth working knowledge of them.  I have shot rifles multiple times, but in full hunting gear in a stand is something new to me; so I need to practice.

Besides the guns and cross-bow I want to make sure I have all the attire necessary. This year I got new boots so I will want to take them out to the farm and walk around with them. Break them in a bit prior to season starting. I don’t need sore wet cold feet on day one.

The last thing I will do is up my endurance. With the walking, climbing, pushing woods, and running through the snow I want to be on top of my game. It gets tough when you’re carrying the extra weight. This is something I do every year all year round and this year i have upped my game with weight training and HIIT training. These have both upped my endurance and stamina to be able to move quicker and quieter to my designated stand or spot for the day.

So what do you do to prepare for the upcoming deer season? Any special tips or tricks you want to share?

Weekend Nature

So I have decided that every Monday, I will post some nature photos from the weekend. Wednesday will be the review, story, or hunting tip, and Friday will be a hunting photo from my past. So here is this weekends nature photos. The deer have finally returned to my backyard. Which makes me so happy. I always worry from year to year if they will be hit by a car or not survive the brutal winter. So their visiting the corn and gardens means only one thing, fall is coming!

A small buck, 1st year it appears

A small buck, 1st year it appears

A small buck and doe.

A small buck and doe.

Small buck and doe out the bathroom window view.

Small buck and doe out the bathroom window view.

Taking a walk through the yard

Taking a walk through the yard

My daughter got excited and yelled at her

My daughter got excited and yelled at her

My First Kill Hunting Experience

I wanted to write about my first kill hunting experience.  I feel that this moment in any hunters’ life is monumental, as it will help them determine if they will continue on the path of a nature preserver and hunter.

I was 15, it was December 1999 and the last day of the season.  I went out with my dad after school and we snuck into what we call the “Carr/Miller” woods.  We sat on a fallen tree, there was no snow on the ground, but there was still that early winter chill in the air. The wind was light and you could see behind us to the road, and all throughout the woods. It was quiet besides the normal squirrels and birds. In the beginning there were no deer in site.  Since I came out about 3pm we had limited time until sundown; roughly 2 hours. So it would be a short sit no whether a deer had crossed our paths or not.

With the clear sky and open woods we waited until about 4:30, pushing the limits of sundown, the deer finally came through their path along a tiny brook through the woods. We waited. Mostly does and fawns were traveling in this pack but there were still 150 yards away and I would have loved to see a beautiful buck.

As the light was starting to fade my dad and I realized that there probably wasn’t a buck coming our way. So we watched each of the does carefully and picked out the largest in the pack.  I pulled the deer up in my scope site and lined up my shot. Waiting for it to pause, a full breathe in and a half breathe out as I was taught, I pulled the trigger.

I fell off the log. Literally, fell backwards off the log. At 15 I weight under 90 pounds, a stick girl who was 5’6 and still growing. I still had my father’s 12 gauge shot gun in my hand; which was a slight miracle.  I also had a bloody knot in between my eyes.  I sat up, looked at my dad, and he told me I got her. We went for the 60 yard walk to find her lying down, with a single shot through her neck, which is how I would kill my next 4 deer as well. I was so proud, my first deer. A beautiful doe.

My dad cleaned her in the woods and my uncle pulled up the trail drive from the road to help drag, load and hang her in our garage.

That was my first of many deer to come and many meaningful hunting experiences. I don’t have a photo because at that time we didn’t have cell phones, or we did on the farm but I didn’t have one. Selfies weren’t a thing at that time either. My dad may have one photo from that night but it will be in an album somewhere at my parents’ house. Each hunting experience from then on I have memories of, fond or not. My first buck, a few more does, anxious shots and a big monster on a snowy day.

The deer we shoot are food for our families.  My daughter who will be 3 this season loves to eat venison and is always with me and my parents when I go hunting.  The cleanings and skins are used for coyote bait to help us track the vermin. Every part of the animal is used in some beneficial way.

We only take what we need to help keep our population and farm crops at a steady healthy level. For a buck it must be older than 2.5 years, wider than the ears and mighty tall. 8 points or higher is our goal or a 6pt is acceptable if the girth of the rack is appropriate for an older age. For does they must be of bigger mass and older bodies.  We don’t shoot every deer we see and we only take what our tags allow. There have been some animals we have been tracking for over 4 years now, hoping they survive from winter to winter; one animal being a piebald doe that we will never kill.  Our farm is our sanctuary, a small wildlife preserve of deer, turkey, pheasants, and other creatures.  We strive to maintain an ecological balance between the farm life and the woods and hope that this working of ours will be shared with our neighbor hunters and sportsman.

The Farm life for the Suburban Girl

I wanted to show you my hunting and stomping grounds.  Just to get a warm and fuzzy of who I am a bout and where I am from. Here are a few photos of the farm and the fields and in the back you get a pretty view of some of the woods. I can’t show you them  all because that would be reveling some of my secret hunting spots 😉

Some of our trucks new and old

Some of our trucks new and old

Some beautiful corn.

Some beautiful corn.

The bunker silos. My old home.

The bunker silos. My old home.

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The tritical is down and the woods are open

The tritical is down and the woods are open

Part of the wheat field with the woods behind it.

Part of the wheat field with the woods behind it.

The road to the fields the other farms and the quarry.

The road to the fields the other farms and the quarry.

A view of some of the farm

A view of some of the farm