Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First turkey

Spring turkey season is coming to an end, and although I have not harvested a bird, I have had some fun with them despite my hip injury. My severe pain ended a week ago allowing me to enter the woods, although not too far due to the healing process and still being tender. I have a new set of decoys, hen and tom made by Carry-Lite decoys that have given me fabulous results. I called in several birds, however non that I would harvest. Two were Jake's, the third was a larger but not worthy of harvesting in my opinion. In any event, there is a story of a young man named Caleb who is 15 years old and was out hunting with his dad Troy. Troy tells me he was doing the calling from several hundred yards away when he heard the shot and Caleb's yell of joy.
There is one excited young hunter, proud of his first turkey. Dad's chest was a bit blown up as well. Congratulations to a father son duo on a successful turkey hunt.

Last Saturday Lynn and I took our daughter Mountain Kait out for a fishing excursion on her last day home from Wyoming. Our plan was to get out on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, one of my favorite wilderness places to fish and just plan hang out. Unfortunately we didn't have a big boat, I will leave that to another post perhaps, however we had our trusty Old Town square stern with a 4 hp Suzuki motor to troll with. We drove up to the boat ramp only to find the lake wind swept and 2-3 foot seas and white caps. Far too dangerous to attempt a day on the lake. We back tracked to lower Richardson hoping the wind wouldn't be so bad, but no such luck. However on the drive back, we had the good fortune to see a black bear as he ran down the road looking to cross it. We had, what I would consider, a long look at him before he disappeared in to the thick cover. Bear spottings are rare in Maine due to the thick foliage, I have only seen 3 while driving the back roads in my entire life, Mountain Kait saw her first. In any event, we came back to Howard Pond where the wind was not as stiff and enjoyed several hours in the sun trolling for salmon and trout.

All in all, a great day in the woods was had by all. Once again, if you see Caleb on the street, slap his back and say congratulations.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Truthful Facts

I must be honest, despite my excitement for turkey hunting I have only been out one day. This was due to a severe injury to my right hip that has kept me idle for 3 1/2 weeks. It was only in the past couple days that I have been able to walk without severe pain. I managed to get this injury by rushing my training for my up-coming big game hunt in Montana this fall. Fortunately I don't need surgery to correct the tear, but it has slowed me down considerably.

On a positive note, there is always something to do in Maine. This past week my daughter Mountain Kait flew in from Laramie, WY where she is in a graduate program, and ran in the Surgarloaf marathon held on Sunday. We drove up on Saturday for the registration, drive the course and order a pre-race carb loaded dinner at a local restaurant.

Race day arrived with some big drama, Kait's Garmin watch failed to turn on, of all days for equipment failure. She was in a panic having been training for 14 weeks at high altitudes, this was a disaster. We stopped at a gas station to inquire if they had a digital watch and although they didn't, we were told to check the store next to the start of the road race in Eustis. Fortunately, they had one Timex on the shelf and the battery still had life in it. When I delivered the watch, well, her eyes were the size of silver dollars. The race was back on for Kait. 

 The race began at 7AM with the air temperature at 72 F. Too warm but this was only the start, it got worse. midway through the race the temperature rose to 78F and we began meeting Kait every mile to ensure she had enough water to keep going. Water stations were every two miles but the heat was crushing with no relief from shade.

At mile 24 Kait told us she would see us at the finish line. She would overcome the excessive heat that now was at 86F.

So although I haven't had the joy of turkey hunting to date, there are never any dull moments in Maine. Our family is proud of Kait's determination and resolve and we look forward to the next adventure.

Stay tuned, my next post will include some turkey hunting stories that have been heard about town.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tuesday morning I caught a glimpse of this hawk sitting on our solar clothes dryer before I opened the door to let out the pups. Ironically, he let me walk out on the porch to take his picture, but as soon as I attempted to walk down the stairs to get a closer look, well, he took off. Just the same, I continue catching a glimpse of him as he seems comfortable around our cabin and I assume is eating well.

This week I was notified that I was drawn in the mule deer lottery in Montana. I was so excited since the area I drew is in my son's back yard. As part of my physical training for my big game hunt this fall, (Elk, Mule and Whitetail Deer) I took off last Sunday on a 5 1/2 mile hike with a twenty five pound back pack. The wind was gusting to 30 mph and it was cold. During my trek, I had the good fortune to see a mature bald eagle that flew so close to me I could see his eyeballs. What a beautiful sight. Now grant you I just didn't go off on this excursion out of the blue,  I have been training by steadily increasing my pack weight and distance as well as my usual weight training. It isn't unusual out west to hike 10 miles a day looking for game. By mile 5 I was questioning  my sanity, perhaps 4 miles would have been enough. In any event, I complete my hike in one piece. However, I did manage to strain the soft tissues in my right hip, so much so that I have had to curtail my walking as the pain has been significant. This has also curtailed my turkey hunting, not that it would make any difference as all the birds I had seen have disappeared.  The rain hasn't helped either, I came back soaked one morning and sat by the wood stove for an hour sipping hot tea to shake the cold.

I will be taking the weekend off from hunting as I have to attend a graduation out of state. But I will be back at it next week and hope to have a new post of my excursion.