Thursday, November 30, 2006


PSA: Due to the fact that the turkey hunting wasn't very good this year, there will be a slight delay in providing free turkeys to first commenters.

Otherwise, the black hills deer hunting was pretty good. We filled our tags early and spent a couple days coyote hunting, and still came home a couple days early. We were even fussy about our deer, passing up anything that didn't have at least 4 points and a few that did. No, I didn't take a camera with me. It never occured to me. I really feel that I have failed my readers. Both of you.

The hunting has gotten much better sincs they went to a limited draw, but we would rather go back to the unlimited licenses. It is more important to us to get a license every year than to try to shoot a trophy. I had a turkey license (my first for the hills), but I only saw 3 turkeys, and they were flying. We had 3 coyote sightings, which we considered to be too few, due to the fact that we were trying to call them in. We decided that the coyotes must have died off in that part of the hills, as there was scant evidence of their existance. Last September, while elk hunting, we were overrun with them.

This is the traditional vacation in my for my dad and my uncle. I have been going for the last 15 years or so. It is mostly a mens vacation, altough sometimes the women come. My mom has never gone, but my sister has gone a couple of tines What could be better than a week in a tent in the Black Hills in November? Where else can you spend a week on vacation for less than $150 per man?

The practical jokes weren't too good this year. I only sent a few pine cones home with the other hunters. The dead squirrel on the tow hook of the pickup was discovered too soon. My uncle did send a stick of firewood home with a friend. It is not known how long it will take him to find it though. My uncle is the main practical joker, putting firewood into vehicles, duffle bags, sleeping bags etc. And a rock against the side of the outhouse really wakes you up. The best I ever did was throwing a pack of firecrackers into the woodstove in the middle of the night.

I've been trying to catch up on what went on while I was gone. The wife took the opportunity to paint nearly the whole damn house. I actually had to help with most of it before I left. She painted the bathroom a deep red. It now resembles some sort of dungeon, as the new paint absorbs too much light, and you can't see too well with all the lights on. Now I have an excuse for missing! Really, I don't know what was wrong with white paint.

I purchased a trail camera. I set it up at home in the shelterbelt before I left. It took about a 8 pictures. Three of them were deer. Nothing was apparent in the other pictures. One picture was a small 4x4 buck. If anyone cares I'll put it up. If I get a pic of a big one I'll post it.

The hunting seasons are winding down and winter is coming.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A hunting we will go

Leaving tomorrow at 4 in the AM for the Black Hills. Gone till December.

You all have fun at work.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bits n pieces

I've been busy, and been gone, so I haven't had time to comment on current events.

The abortion ban was defeated. I don't know why for sure. I'd guess it was due to not getting the message out. Part of the reason was, proponents claimed that there was an exception for rape or incest when the words "rape" and "incest" never even appeared in the law. So the argument over whether or not the provision was there distracted from the argument over if it SHOULD be there. I think a lot of people voted against the ban believing there should be exceptions for rape and incest. Nobody put out an ad trying to convince them otherwise.

Now the ban allows anyone to take the morning after pill before a pregnancy test can establish a pregnancy. This was the so called rape and incest provision. I think the abortionists scored some points pointing out that there was no real provision. (In my opinion, a rape or incest exception means that there is a specific exemption that applies to them and excludes them from the ban.)

The alternative would be that my so called conservative state is pro abortion and I don't really want to think about that.

The ban will be back in two years I'm sure. Whether or not it is in its present form or not I don't know. I don't know how a so called rape or incest provision would work. Can a woman who is 4 months pregnant decide she doesn't want the baby and cry rape? What is the standard of proof? Does the man she accuses get prosecuted? I would definitely support strong penalties for falsely accusing someone of rape to get an abortion.

So don't sell your stock in coat hanger factories just yet.

In other happenings, I went west river deer hunting. It was nice getting away. It was also very physically demanding. We hunt in the badlands. Very rough country. I like hunting out there, but the public land is very crowded. I guess we go more just to be in such a rough and beautiful country rather than to shoot a deer. There is no off road vehicle traffic allowed in this unit. So if you get a deer, you have to have a way to get it out. For us, this is a strong incentive to only shoot a deer if it has large antlers. Nobody wants the work of packing out a doe. Last year I shot two deer out there. One was a buck, and easy to get out. Only one mile to pack it out and all downhill. The other was a doe, and I dropped it as it ran across the dirt trail. We literally drove down and loaded it up. The intense hunting pressure makes it hard to find a buck big enough to shoot. They don't live long enough.

This year, only my brother got a deer. Which was good. He's not much of a hunter. He wasn't really into it when he was younger. He is not really an outdoorsman. He had never gotten a deer before. For perspective, I've shot somewhere around forty deer and he is older than I am. So he was getting pretty frustrated and wanted to give up hunting. I wanted him to get a deer before he quit completely. At least he got that monkey off his back. He was pretty happy. It was only a forkhorn, but he made one heck of a shot to get it.

My uncle and I shot the heck out of a poor coyote. Then we skinned it in the field and brought the hide back. Maybe I can get a few bucks for it.

We saw something that was pretty unbelievable. It snowed the day we went out. Then it got nice and the snow melted. The soil in the area is what they call gumbo. When it gets wet, it has the consistency of peanut butter. It sticks to your boots, and your feet get really heavy. It gets to be really hard to get around, and pretty unsafe. It is like trying to stand on a greased up pig.

The point of all this is, when the snow melted, the roads were slick. We had to leave the truck at the bottom of the hill and walk to camp. We and four other pickups couldn't make it up the hill. The next day, it dried out a little, and all the pickups had made it up the hill. But there was a new one, with Indiana license plates. The guys in it looked like a couple hippies. The pickup was a ford ranger, and it was a two wheel drive. This, to us, was the height of idiocy. To drive that thing down the hill was one of the dumber things I have even seen. But, it got more interesting. Of course they couldn't get up the hill. They had gone down to the creek and loaded the back end up with rocks till the springs were squashed flat. They got stuck at the base of the hill right in front of us. We figured they were screwed. We had to pull a 4 wheel out of the same spot that morning. Amazingly, the driver kept rocking till he got unstuck. He yelled to the passenger, who was talking to us, "Are you coming along or are you going to stand and talk to them?" I figured his chances would have been better with us. Then, my uncle let them try the hill in front of us. We could not believe they were even trying to get up, there was no way they would make it. Yet they kept trying, driving up 20 feet and then sliding back down. After 20 minutes, they made it up the steepest part. We all would have bet $1000 that they would not have made it. Their tracks were actually steaming. It took us three tries with a four wheel drive and brand new off road tires to make it up. Now they had made it through the worst part, but they still had a long way to go to get to the top. After we got up the worst part, we had to wait while they got up the next part. They kept getting stuck, and we kept thinking there is now way they would get out of this one, but by some miracle they kept getting out.

After a while, they made it up to where the traction was good for a little ways, and then got bad. The driver kept trying to start out in top gear, but he couldn't get the back wheels spinning. So he would rev the engine way up and let the clutch slip. After he tried this a couple times the truck quit moving forward and came down the hill in a cloud of white smoke. The clutch finally burned up. We could smell the clutch stinking when we first pulled up. They let us go past to the top of the hill. We didn't think it would be too long before they walked up looking for help.

We marveled quite a while at the sheer persistent stupidity of these guys. When we went down the next morning the truck wasn't there. Somehow they got up. They had to have about ruined that truck and must have nearly burned off the back tires. If you see a black ford ranger for sale on eBay from Indiana, pass on it.

My brother and I saw a bobcat. The second time I have seen a wild one.