Squirrel Alert: Using Natures Sentries to Score.


I have lived in Tennessee for close to 16 years, hunted deer a few times here, but most of the time, I would drive back to West Virginia to hunt. When I did hunt in Tennessee, it was on TWRA land, and myself along with other hunters who didn’t own land to hunt on would be there.

This year I was fortunate enough to have a land owner offer his land to allow me to hunt and the best part, it was only five miles away. So, opening day of gun season came around yesterday, it was sunny, but cold. The wind was blowing pretty hard and the ground was soggy from the storms the night before. I can’t really remember a time that I went into the woods and never saw a deer, but opening day 2016, that is just what happened. img_4119I stayed out all day, trying different locations, knowing the deer were bedded down, but one of the other parts about West Tennessee, is that it is fields and brush.

So as tough as it was to admit I didn’t see a deer opening day, I got up early the second day (today) and decided to try a new strategy. I started out in a 50 yard open woods (pretty much the only open woods on the land) that I had placed a game camera in img_4117before season. I had seen many does, turkeys, and what I thought (and still do) to be wild hogs. I hoped that something would come by. But as the time went on, nothing, and so I moved.

 

I decided to set up behind a log, near a large field. Hoping that I could glass the fringe of the brush. Around 10 a.m. I heard a squirrel barking and I knew something was there, I just could not see it.img_4122

After about 10 minutes of listening to the sentry alarm, I caught a glimpse of something on the ground. At first I thought it might be a rabbit or the sentry, but as it came up over the rolling field, I saw the first deer in the past two days of hunting. It was a nice one, not a wall-hanger, but a trophy for the plate. So I waited until he stopped walking and shot. He began to run, so I shot again as he ducked into the woods.

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I walked over to find a bright red trail and within 20 yards, there he was.

 

 

Trophy for the plate, a nice six point. Every day I am able to hunt, I thank God for the beauty he put on earth and the food to fill my freezer.img_4130

 

Even on days that I don’t see a deer, I call it a success, because I am able to enjoy the outdoors.

 

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The Smell of Fall: Hunting Season is Here!


Ah, the smell of fall! Leaves falling (not fast enough in the south), squirrel season is open, bow season is open and people are hitting the woods. In a few short weeks, all the leaves will be down, the smell of firewood will drift through the air and then comes the grand-daddy of seasons, Bucks Only gun season.
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Every year, during the early seasons, it is a time to get out with family, scout your areas, sight in your guns and have some real fun, all to get ready for buck season. Of course in the south, that same time is also a great time to fish.

 

This year I was fortunate enough to be allowed to hunt on a piece of land very close to where I live, so I bought a new trail cam and set it out. Every time you check the camera card, it is just like Christmas, because you don’t know what you are going to see walking past your camera. Today I was happy to see some deer, a coyote, raccoon and an armadillo (as you can see in the photos below).

img_3926This past weekend, I decided to go to a wildlife management area and hunt some squirrels, as stated above, the leaves in the south are very reluctant to leave the tree right now, so it made it hard to see the little nut eaters!

I was successful in taking one squirrel, which will taste delicious very soon. But more important it was just a nice stress-free day, with no noise except for the wildlife. Believe me, I need about 364 days of that!

Now that we are full into fall, awaiting the first frost, just being outside allows you to breath better, think better and relax… until the BUCK shows up! The excitement is always swift and never goes away no matter how old you get. A few years ago, I went back home to West Virginia to hunt with my family. The day before season came in, we took a drive and got some great photos of deer. Buck-2One in particular was chasing does in the field across from the house. The next morning we got up to hunt. It was freezing rain and cold. As I sat in my favorite spot before daylight, I noticed my eye was twitching. After a couple hours, it bothered me so much that I decided to go to the house to find out what was wrong. Walking along a path, I looked over this bank into this “holler” and I saw a deer. It turned its head and I saw it was huge, the same buck I saw the day before. So I pulled my gun up and my scope was wet and fogged up. I cleaned it quickly and pulled up again, only to notice the deer was moving and I had the scope set on the highest power. I saw brown fur and pulled the trigger! Dang it, I missed and because I didn’t take the moment (that I didn’t think I had) to readjust the setting! 

Needless to say, I kicked myself all the way to the house to find out I had put my contact lens in backward. So two lessons learned and a 10 point was still running the hills.

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Fortunately, a couple days later, I took a nice nine point
The lesson here is, that at 52 years old, I still get excited, even after harvesting close to 100 deer in my lifetime, each one brings something a little different each hunt. Also, missing is still part of hunting. You will never get every thing you shoot at. I had a guy tell me once, I have taken every deer I have shot at. I told him he needs to keep that to himself, because being cocky and thinking you are a great shot will come back in a big way. And of course it did, he went turkey hunting, had a nice gobbler 15 yards away and missed. I didn’t let him live that down, nor should I!

With all of this being said, the one thing to take from all the jibberish I just wrote, is go out, enjoy the outdoors, make memories with your family and tell tall tales about the one that got away. Next year at this time, I will be back in West Virginia in my old hunting grounds and filling my tags. I sure do look forward to that!

Best of luck this hunting season and I hope that the your aim is steady and your freezer gets filled.

Note: I really like the app called Prisma, turns a normal photo into a work of art. As you can see from some of the photos above.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall is Here!


Fall is here and for me it is the best time of the year. I feel like getting outside more, setting out trail cameras to see what might come by. I do not necessarily have to be hunting at that time because even near the house, it is fun to find out just what might be lurking by. Here are some fall photos to get you in the mood for the cool, crisp air and maybe motivate you to head outdoors to enjoy nature.

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Nothing better than walking down a trail in the early fall.

Fall is a beautiful time of year, the leaves are changing colors and falling and although it seems like everything is dying, there is much more to Fall than that.       

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In the country, you never know when you will see something.

Having a trail cam, less than 50 yards from your home will give you an idea of who comes to visit after dark.

Bucks in the fall lose the velvet from their antlers and prepare for the breeding season.

If you look long and hard enough, you will come across a large buck, like this 10 point.

Here is a schedule for you and your spouse, we all know there are seasons for all of us!

Y’all come back, Ya’hear!

I hope that you enjoyed the photos, now get out and enjoy what nature has provided, it will make you forget all the problems in the fake world!

My first attempt at blogging.


After attending the WVU Integrated Marketing Communication’s (IMC) INTEGRATE 2012 on campus in Morgantown, West Virginia, I listened to several marketing/communication professionals and university instructors on how to communicate in the new age of computers and social media. One such professional (and instructor) Mark Schaefer said that to keep up, you need to be out there. By being out there, he meant that you should get a Twitter account, get on Pinterest, and start a blog. The more sessions I attended there, the more I thought, “Yeah, I can do that.” So I opened an account on WordPress and decided to give it a shot. After setting things up, I then came to the realization that I talk alot, but I don’t say much and I started wracking my brain to think of a topic to come up with. I am good at nature photography, but did I have enough to keep a blog going? I love to talk politics, but do I want to get worked up and cause arguments all of the time? I love the outdoors, hunting and fishing, do I make more time to get out into the woods? Sports? The Steelers and Mountaineer football team only play in the fall. I could not pinpoint one thing to talk about.
Then it hit me. I will do it all, as it happens. I get out and take some photos, I blog about it, I get into the woods, I blog about it. I watch my favorite football teams, of course I blog about it.
I may never get rich off of blogging, I may not get anybody to read my blogs, but it will be a great way to talk about the things I like to do and if anyone is interested then maybe we all can learn something. I am going to give it a shot, and hope that it works. So, tell me what you think, and I will do my best to make my topics as interesting as I can.
Oh, by the way, I will share a cool photo or video of the day/week. The photo for today is one that I took in 2004 when I was living in Montana and visited a bear park. This grizzlie bear was only four years old and already weighed in at 700 pounds.
Enjoy!

Near Glacier National Park in NW Montana, this four year old, 700 pound Grizzlie was staring me down as I drove around a bear park taking photos.