No lions, tigers, or bears – but a rafter of turkey.

M2E41L18-29R350B300There are coyote in the woods behind my house. There’s also deer. A few miles up the road farmers are complaining about bear tearing up their tractors. My neighbor has shot a coyote here. We’ve both captured photographs of deer on our trail cams. As yet, this season, he hasn’t killed a deer. But, plenty of turkey live in those woods.

I don’t hunt here in NC. I hunt on my father-in-law’s property in Georgia. That’s where we’re headed on Wednesday. I’ve hunted in Georgia since I was 14, but never in North Carolina.

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The hold up in NC is the hunter safety course. It is amazing, but I haven’t had time to take the course. That’s a shame since many of my NC friends have invited me to hunt with them.

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Taking that course is on my list of things to get done, I just haven’t assigned it a date to complete. In the meantime, I’ll do my hunting in Georgia.

No Camo Here

Camouflage clothing is a fashion rage. Camo has broken out of the military origins, moved beyond hunters, and has ended up on modeling runways around the world. But, don’t show up at a USA Archery tournament wearing camo. Regarding all the camo hype and fashion, I think it’s a bit much –

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Camouflage apparel has a real purpose, which is to help the person wearing it stay hidden. Walking through a mall (honestly, can’t recall when I last did) if you see someone wearing camo clothing, they are wearing it wrong. Notice how they stand out?

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Seriously?

By wearing camo clothing, when camo clothing isn’t necessary, perhaps some people think they are making a statement. Maybe they are huge fans of the cast of Duck Dynasty. If so, think about this, the folks at Duck Dynasty have a brand, an image, and their camo costume is part of their package. Basically, if you walk around in camo apparel having been motivated by the show, you are playing Duck Dynasty ‘dress-up’, in my humble opinion. Let me be clear on Duck Dynasty my hat is off to cast and writers. What they’ve done is pure marketing genius. I’ve only ever seen a few of their shows from the early seasons on DVD. The episodes I watched weren’t enough to make me want to dress up like a character on the show.

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In the mail I received a catalog from, ‘Legendary Whitetails.’ It is filled with expensive camo attire. On page 46 of the 2015 The Hunt edition, the company advertises camo underwear for men. On page 69 (curious ad placement) they offer lady’s camo lingerie. Clearly, seduction and visual presentation is as limitless as the imagination. I wonder if the amorous couple that sports camo under garments in the bedroom has camo sheets on their bed? If so, do they ever have difficulty seeing one another? (That might be a good thing)

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I own two pair of camo pants, one camo pull over shirt (All from Wal-Mart) and one lightweight camo jacket (Purchased at a year end clearance 4 years ago from a shop which escapes my recollection). I have worn them hunting, but am just a likely to head into the woods wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. So, when I step up to the line at tournament where camo apparel isn’t allowed, it is not a big deal.

Should you want to be a rebel and compete at a camo-barred tournament dressed in rule breaking apparel – buy camo underwear or wear a pair you already own.

Tracking skill – seeking the illusive trail camera

Of course, I know exactly where I left that trail camera. It is straight ahead, directly in front of me. Heck, when I’m in the woods, it’s like my primal instincts take over. Yes sir, I never even miss a twig that’s out of place.

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Yep, that camera is right ahead about 10 yards, maybe not.

 

 

 

No luck today, but so far so good.

Torn between watching football on Sunday afternoon or going hunting earlier than we’d planned we chose hunting. There would be plenty of football during the evening and at night. Brenda, Ray and I planned to get a full afternoon of hunting and hoped for deer and a pig. We got neither.

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View from our stand

Brenda and I shared a tree stand. There were animals surrounding us. They got louder and closer as the sun began to set. None, however, would move out of the thickets. Ray, in a stand some distance away had the same results. Perhaps, we’ll have better luck tomorrow. Not that we’ve drawn a total blank, we’ve gotten two deer over four days.

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Brenda, hopeful, as we begin our wait

Another successful hunt

When we took the deer to be processed we learned that bucks are running between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. We’d entered the woods at 2:30 PM. We didn’t see any bucks but I did get another doe.

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This is a very comfortable stand

“We need to reduce the doe population on the land” here in Tignall, Ray, my father-in-law, exclaims. There are a lot of does posing on the trail cameras. The pigs seem to be a bigger problem and we both agree that population needs to be reduced.   On Sunday, I intend to hunt an area where I know there will be pigs.

As far a deer go I have two, which is probably enough until next year. I’ve not really focused on pigs this fall. I’ve gone out twice, half-heartedly, to shoot a pig. Those attempts left me empty handed. The smaller wild pigs taste good and barbecue pork, domestic or wild, is fine with me.

The pig hunt must wait until Sunday. Tomorrow and Saturday I am out of the woods. Ray is headed back to hunt. He’s inspired by the buck report we’d gotten from the deer processors. While we were dropping off my doe a group was gathered around a 187 lb. buck one of them had shot. After seeing that deer there is no keeping the 87 year old out of the woods.

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Hope we meet again in a few months by feathery friend

Today was windy day with a light rain that didn’t last long. The wind blew until 5:30 PM. For hours all I’d seen was one turkey and one deer. That deer too was a doe. She was too far off for a shot. The doe I ended up shooting wasn’t her; mine was smaller.

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A windy, rainy day turned out pretty nice

Even though she was smaller, she was still big enough. Ray and I had to work together to load her onto the Polaris Ranger. As we were loading the deer Ray tripped and fell. Now, Ray is no spring chicken. He is 88 in a few months. Nevertheless, his face plant while hanging onto a deer had us both cracking up. He was talking, walking while holding the deer’s rear legs, then ‘flop’ he was on his face in the dirt. I am pretty sure he didn’t stop talking until there was dirt in his mouth.

When Brenda, my wife, heard the story of her dad’s fall (we’d incorrectly thought she’d enjoy the tale) she gave me that ‘look’ and asked if I helped Ray up. I had to be honest and said, “No.” Ray added, “He couldn’t help me up. He was laughing too hard.” Which didn’t improve my standing with Brenda. In defense I pointed out, “Well, he started laughing first.” Then, both Ray and I remained silent, hoping for the best. The reward for keeping silent was her stern look at Ray and this jab, “You’re going to be sore tomorrow!” Neither Ray nor I offered further protest.

Tomorrow, Brenda and I are off to Athens to attend one of our grandson’s school activities for grandparents. Ray will be back in the woods. He’ll probably get a nice deer and have stories of wild adventure. I’ll share how I sat in a medal folding chair and listened to school officials beg for donations or a place of high value in my will.