Monday, August 23, 2010
The summer has been one of mixed blessings. We didn't get to the cottage very often and the one family trip we made was done at a time when the water was so warm we couldn't find many fish above the 40 foot mark. After a week of touring the usual hotspots we only had a couple of VERY small pike to show for it. Lures, minnows and a fish finder were no match for the ultimate victor in the week long family fishing derby. On the last night of our stay it was my ten year old daughter who found some edible sized bass at the end of our dock with nothing more than a worm. Isn't that always the way? I have to admit I have a certain frustration. Last year I was out fished by my wife. This year I was out fished by my ten year old. I suspect next year my six year old will probably out fish me but she might still be young enough that I can force her to catch sunfish. The way things have been going it will likely result in some big Musky swooping in on her Barbie pole and giving her the victory.
I started making the rounds to my landowners as I look forward to the fall deer season. It wasn't a very difficult thing to do. There were only two of them. Sadly the one farm decided to close to hunters. It was a nice spot. On the plus side I managed to open 4 new farms so I guess it was a good trade. Two of the farms are owned by the same farmer and represent a small portion of his holdings. Hopefully, with time, I can develop that relationship and expand the number of farms he lets me hunt. I still have a few more ideas for hunting sites I want to pursue before the season arrives. Time is getting tight, however, as I head back to university to pursue an MBA in the next few weeks. I've been warned by "she who must be obeyed" that the next 2 years have to be school first and hunt second. School first will be a unique notion for me but I think I can manage. It's probably a good thing I'm hunting as it'll be about the only real contribution I'm going to be making to the family finances for a bit. Thank goodness I have an accommodating and supportive wife.
So the scouting has begun in earnest. It hasn't been an easy adventure. The weather has been a balmy six BILLION degrees and I haven't been able to move far from home without an air conditioning unit. A couple of attempts and it became clear to me that I needed a better way to carry water. This, naturally, gave me the health and safety excuse to go to Bass Pro. You should try that excuse. It goes like this:
"I agree honey. I've spent far more than I need to already on my hunting gear. This is different. The doctors and everyone say you have to drink plenty of water or it can kill you. So this hydration bladder isn't really hunting gear. Think of it more as a medical appliance. A necessity of life since a lack of water is deadly."
If you buy any bits and bobs while you are out buying your necessary medical appliance I recommend you keep them small enough and cheap enough to be able to hide in the bottom of the bag and have a plausible excuse if she finds it. I also recommend you don't write a blog like this as she watches over your shoulder.
"Sweetness all I bought with the bladder was the windy uppy gear strap thingie…honest."
I've added a new tool to my scouting arsenal. One of my trips to Bass Pro this summer involved the purchase of my very first scouting camera. After some humming and hawing I decided to take a financially conservative approach and went with the Wild Game Innovations IR 4.
True to their claims it was very easy to set up. I left it at the 30 seconds per picture so once I had the date and time set all I had to do was turn it on for the default settings. I wish it had more light emitters for the night shots but it's only a $100 dollar camera so I guess I have to be satisfied. I tracked down some steel cable and a pad lock so no one would walk off with it and headed for the bush.
I was pretty excited to see all the deer walking past the stand where I shot my deer last year. I selected the site because they had a trail beaten from the neighbors' field to the corn past where I had been sitting. I left the camera on the tree for almost 2 weeks as I agonizingly waited. The best shot I got was this one.
Sadly if I hunt him I'll have to write a letter to my family just before I shoot him. Oh wait. That's what they call suicide. Maybe if I strap antlers on top of my head my wife won't notice it doesn't taste the same as last year. The only other picture on the camera was this one.
So if you can see anything edible in that shot let me know because I certainly don't. Needless to say I was quite sad and immediately moved the camera. I checked it seven days later and got a much better result.
I can see why people have more than one camera. I now have 6 farms with multiple sites I would like to have camera's on. I haven't quite figured out how to make the necessary medical device argument work yet. When I do….