Monday, October 27, 2008

Deer Camp 2008

Here are a couple of picture from deer camp. The first shows most of this years hunters. My Grandpa is seated in front, he is still hunting at age 97! I hope I can hunt for that long. The other is a pic of one of the deer I got. She was a pretty good sized doe, she had close to three inches of fat on her back!

My Dad is pointing to where I hit her, which was exactly where I aimed. We were pretty impressed because it was a 130 yard shot (he measured it three times!).

I used a .50 caliber flintlock rifle with a patched round ball and 90 of FFFG black powder.

I got another deer (a button buck) a couple of days before at about 35 yards. We processed both of the deer ourselves. I would have to say that my favorite part of deer hunting is the butchering process. There is something exceedingly satisfying about providing food for your family literally from field, to table and doing all yourself (with a little help from your Mom and Dad of course!). Thanks Mom and Dad!

I didn’t use my smoothrifle as much as I would have liked because it was shooting 18” low ad 50 yards after we got it back from the gunsmith. I just didn’t have the time to try to sight it in so I used my old Cabela’s Blue Ridge Rifle.

Besides the great deer hunting with my family (there were four generations at deer camp) I got to do some of the best wildlife watching I’ve done in my life while waiting for the deer to come by. I saw…
1 Woodcock two different times (My Dad saw three)
1 Brown creeper
2 Red fox
2 Coyotes
5 Pileated woodpeckers
15 Gold-crown kinglets
and 1 Sharp shinned hawk that flew within 6” of my right elbow.

Why can’t deer season be 365 days long?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Heading for Deer Camp!

In about two hour my family and I will be heading to Iowa's East Coast (the Mississippi River) for early muzzleloader deer season. We will be hunting Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and we have the potential of getting 3 deer this year (we have three tags). We plan on doing the butchering ourselves, but we will have a local meat locker make up some ring bologna and maybe some jerky for us. Here is a picture from last year’s successful hunt.
I carry a .62 caliber flintlock smooth-rifle that was custom made for me by a gentleman from Indiana. I won it in a shoot when I was about 16 or 17 years old. I like using a smoothbore flintlock because of the versatility and added challenge. Since it is not rifled I am limited to around 100 yard shots, but once I have my deer I am able to load it with shot and hunt small game.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

First Basket

Here you can see the product of my first basket weaving attempt. The whole project from collecting the materials to the assembly took a little under an hour.

I was on a hike when I came across a tree top down across the trail and I noticed that the top was full of wild grape vines (Vitis riparia) pg.13. As I was removing the tree top from the trail I started to mess around with the grape vine and I noticed the the vines that were the diameter of a pencil WITH shaggy bark were very pliable and could be tied in knots.

I thought to myself "Self, you could make a basket out of these vines". Which I promptly did. The ribs are made from a small Grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa) branch split into sixths.