Hunting 2013

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SPRING TURKEY HUNTING 2013

Our annual Spring turkey hunting season came in today Saturday April 13, 2013 and the Youth Day came in one week earlier.  For whatever reasons this year, I did not prepare myself as usual,  like checking my shotgun pattern out and selecting different types of calls and getting a heads up on some serious practice calling.  I basically, assembled my hunting gear the day before and it was "helter skelter" at the best. 

One of my long time friends and hunting buddies Randy Steele of Cason's Old Field, NC has been checking on the turkey movements the past few weeks and heard and seen some Long Beards of his property which is a very good sign.  He also got us permission to hunt a parcel of land where we both harvested a Long Beard two years ago, therefore things are looking up. 

I am adding a few comments leading up to this mornings hunt to help manifest how I am in such a discombobulated state of mind.  Yesterday, while changing out a background drop in my basement photography studio which is a make shift one and nothing really professional, I managed to tip over a softbox light that was on a boom and it in turn crashed onto another light box and ended up breaking three 85 watt CFL 5500K daylight color balanced bulbs and trashing one of the mounting heads that supports the bulb bases and the the support rods for the fabric material enclosure.  I might be able to repair the lamp head with some super glue and fill in a portion of the broken plastic housing that is also damaged with some strong Epoxy;  a jury rig for sure!  It appears that Murphy's Law is still alive and well as I have referred to numerous times on this website.

On top of that, I am having a medical problem called Vertigo of the inner ear and haven't been sleeping very well the past week, since if I turn over too fast in the bed from one position to another, the room starts spinning around and I think I am about to fall off the bed.  A very, very uncomfortable feeling and psychological dilemma to be in when you are half asleep anyway.  Our family medical practice Doctor prescribed some medication to take but it didn't do any good last night since I still had a couple small bouts of the room spinning even though I moved as slowly and deliberately as possible.   Not to let Murphy's Law sleep any more than necessary, I gassed up my little red Ford Ranger truck yesterday afternoon late and noticed gas dripping out profusely between the gas intake tube and the tank overflow system.  I checked it before I left the gas pump and no gas dripped after that so maybe I am ok.  Apparently, the pump nozzle safety overflow valve did not cut off the supply of gas when the truck gas tank reached maximum capacity.  So, with all this going on, today's hunt didn't surprise me in the least and will continue to elaborate.......go ahead and grin if you must!  I don't think crying or lamenting will help any so grinning has to be the antidote.

My friend and hunting buddy Randy Steele wasn't able to hunt this morning due to a scheduling conflict with his job with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Prisons and went hunting solo.  I got everything loaded into the truck before 6:00 A.M. and the 7 mile drive to the hunting site went without a hitch......hard to believe Huh?   After the 15 minute drive to the hunting property, I lowered the driver's side window and immediately heard a Eastern Whip-poor-will sounding off at a very rapid rate with a humongous amount of volume since he was close by.   I sipped some black coffee that I had placed in a heated insulated cup prior to departing from home and it definitely helped keep me awake.  As soon as it started to break daylight, I got out and walked about a hundred yards and around 6:30 A.M., I heard three Long Beards hammering away about 300 yards on the adjacent land and heard a couple more in different locations, still on the adjacent property across the creek that is the dividing line of the two properties.   I didn't hear any Long Beards gobbling on Randy's land and decided to go to an area where I had seen both Long Beards and Hens feeding during the latter part of deer hunting season.  Randy and myself have been outsmarted by an ole Long Beard he nicknamed "Motor Mouth" because he would gobble constantly for half an hour or more and he actually came to our position two different times unannounced crossing a small creek and sneaked in on us in his Stealth mode of operation which the military would be proud to know how he was able to do that.   Randy said he heard ole motor mouth a few days ago hammering away on his property but he was silent this morning.

Instead of running and gunning or sitting on the ground, I decided to do something entirely different and unorthodox this morning using one of Randy's permanent hunting tower stands made from a metal tower of which this one is more open instead of having sliding windows but is still closed in on all sides about half way up from the platform rendering an excellent view and observation platform overlooking a couple bulldozed dirt roads from different directions and a beautiful green grass field.  After getting set-up sometime around 6:50 A.M., I heard a couple Long Beards gobbling behind the tower stand across the creek and neither one would answer a call but would gobble when they wanted to at their own pace.  I placed a hen and Jake decoy about 30 yards from the tower stand and got my camouflage head net, hat and gloves on and chambered a round in the ole Remington 11-87 Super Magnum.  I favor the Hevi-13 Magnum blend shells which have an awesome pattern and range.  I got out one of my custom made Porter Dual Hens box calls that has a walnut body and cedar lid of which this call has seen several Long Beards fall victim to its sweet seductive clucks, purrs, cackles and yelps.  This particular call has a real raspy low pitch tone and beginning to show some battle scars from carrying it since 2008.   However, the Long Beards on this track of land will not answer any call immediately hammering back as they should for whatever reason.  They will simply sneak in on your set-up like a silent Black Ghost and most of the time will catch you off guard or we have just been in the wrong position or location to have the opportunity to make a good clean kill shot.  I also heard several Great Horned Owls which sounded like laughter at times.  No, I don't think the medication I am taking is causing that type of hearing, they do sound like human laughter at times.  A couple wood peckers were busily hammering away and one sounded like a Uzi machine gun firing with his rapid hammering rate.  Several crows were doing their own morning ritual and usually will cause an ole Long Beard to shock gobble back at them but didn't hear anything respond to their constant caw, caw, caw...... The arrival of Spring is certainly well welcomed after the Winter months when things are dormant and dull looking with most of the trees other than conifers being bare of their needles and/or leaves.  The dogwood trees are displaying their snow white blooms and several other species of trees and foliage offer a variety of colors to awaken ones inner being if allowed to become dormant as with the winter months.  A wonderful time to continue to take notice that God is our Creator for all things and give him daily Honor, Praise and Glory!  

I gave a few clucks and yelps about every 10 to 15 minutes and it didn't take long before an ole Long Beard came out about 60 yards plus in front of me slightly to my right at the far corner of the clearing and he was strutting his stuff.   I briefly looked at my watch and it was 7:30 and Mr. Long Beard's posture was low to the ground with his wing tips dragging, tail feathers fully spread in a perfect arch with the balance of his feathers puffed out making himself appear twice as large as he actually was.  The top of his head looked white as a snow covered mountain surrounded by very deep rich blue hues of color with his waddles expanded to their maximum and looked blood red resembling a pair of red light bulbs glowing around the front of his neck.  The early morning sun had not made its way up over tops of the pine trees yet and it was an awesome sight to watch the Long Beard cover the 30 yard distance to the two decoys in full blown strut taking his own time in doing so.  He was really putting on a show for the hen decoy he thought was going to be his next mating conquest.  He never made a sound as he was approaching and I was afraid to move or raise my shotgun fearing that he would detect the movement so let him come right in on top of the jake and hen decoys.  It took him a few moments to realize something was not just right with this situation since neither the Jake or Hen decoy made any move and a young Jake turkey will normally give way to the mature dominant Long Beard turkey.  The ole Long Beard did an about face turn remaining in full strut with his head tucked down while doing so.  The only shot I had was a rear shot which is not the ideal shot since his head was still tucked down making it difficult for the shot shell pellets to penetrate into his body's vital area for an effective quick kill shot but fired a round anyway since he was close enough for the Super Mag with the Hevi-13 Magnum Blend shells, however he didn't go down but a puff of feathers went into the air before he did upon the shot pellets impact.  He quickly took flight heading straight away and slightly to the right and don't believe he was flying at his normal fighter jet speed.  I quickly fired a second shot and nothing drastic happened and upon firing my third and final shell loaded, he went down like a fallen tree and started flopping.  I quickly got down and covered the 63 yards to him in record time for a fat man and he still had plenty of fight left in him and only appeared to be stunned from the shot shell pellets.  I pinned his head and neck down with my right knee staying away from his spurs and one beating wing of which the other wing was broken near the body with the bone exposed.  I hurriedly got my Buck folding hunter knife out of it's sheath and pushed the blade into his neck and that put a stop to all the flopping and thrashing that he was doing.  I stepped the distance off back to the tower and it was a good 63 yards where he fell from the third shot.  I guess every blind hog will find an acorn once in a while and with all the things that have gone wrong the day before, it is a wonder I lucked out with the last shot fired and was the final shell in my shotgun.  The last time I fired the Remington 11-87 Super Mag with a 3 1/2 inch 00 Buckshot, it jammed after the first shell and couldn't find anything apparently wrong with the shotgun.  I later checked the length of the Federal shells and they were 1/8 inch longer that the Hevi-13 shells which could account for the fired round to fully ejected out the loading and ejection port of the shotgun.  This same gun has locked up before after firing a shell and could not unlock the bolt until I got home and luckily I didn't need a second shot.  Remington sold me a part for the gun that apparently solved the jamming problem when using 2 1/4 oz. shot loads.

I carried the Long Beard back into a more shaded area without mixed sunlight to get a photo with him and guess what, Murphy's Law again.  I checked my small digital camera the night before and the remote control operated the camera's shutter release button without any trouble, however I could not get the hand held remote control to release the shutter a single time.  The camera also has a self timer and I finally got it to work and got a couple pixs to document the hunt.  Below a few pixs of the Long Beard with yours truly and a few pixs of the immediate hunting area.  It was difficult to position the ole Long Beard to get everything right for the camera after I set the timer which 10 seconds was much too fast for me.  The hand operated remote shutter release button gave myself plenty of time to get the pix I desired.  Not so this time.....grin again!

Click on the following thumbnail pixs for a larger view:

I had to walk at least two (2) hundred yards mostly uphill where I could drive my truck not wanting to lug the Long Beard and all my hunting gear another three (3) hundred yards to where my truck was parked.  By the time I had traveled the distance to access my truck, the Long Beard felt like he weighted about 50 pounds.

After arriving home, I got out my Hanson Bow Weight scales and weighed the Long Beard and he was a little over 21 lbs.  I checked his beard length which was 10 inches and his spurs were 1 1/4 and 1 inches in length.  A good "guesstimate" on the birds age is 3 years or older since the 1 1/4 inch length spur was curved instead of straight and many call the curved spurs "limb hangers."  I filleted the breast meat from the ole boy and they came out to 6 1/4 lbs.  which should make about four large large skillets of Wild Turkey Breast Stir Fry.  I soaked the breast fillets in heavy brine (salt water solution) with ice cubes for a couple hours to remove any blood and which helps to tenderize the meat.  I vacuumed sealed the two breast fillets and went about to clean my shotgun.  Below a few thumbnail pixs:

After removing the forearm piece and barrel from the Remington 11-87 Super Mag shotgun and running a wire brush with cleaner through it several times,  I finally noticed that something just didn't look right.  After a closer observation, it was obvious that I did not have my Indian Creek Black Diamond compensated turkey choke tube installed in the 25 inch length barrel but had a regular Remington brand improved cylinder choke.  It is no wonder I didn't connect with a fatal kill shot at 33 yards and a very lucky shot that I snagged him at 63 yards since I was basically shooting an open choke which would have the shot scattering all over the place.  Yesterday and today will be days to remember as Murphy's Law states, "If anything can go wrong, it will."   The wrong shotgun choke tube was my bad all the way.  Take a look at the muzzle end of my shotgun in the close-up pix of the turkey, gun and box call in the first row of the thumbnail pixs and compare the shotgun muzzle end with the pix below after I installed the choke tube......there is an obvious difference which I surely didn't see.  I definitely need to get my NC BCBS State Eye plan glasses prescription updated.

It was a great day to be outdoors enjoying what God has created for us and just having the opportunity to be doing what I like to do without a lot of Life's drama and former routine job related stresses is marvelous.  Retirement in my case is wonderful and making the most of it each day.  I still like using my ole daily work slogans at every opportunity, "Another Day In Paradise; Every Day Is A Holiday and Every Meal Is A Feast" which does bring mixed reactions from listeners to say the least....grin if you must!

Also, a Special Thank You to Randy Steele for allowing me to hunt his land!

Hopefully, Randy and myself will be hunting next week together and double team up on a Long Beard for him.  It will be great to hear the wise ole Stealthy Long Beard "Motor Mouth" hammering away and just maybe, lure him again into shotgun range without getting busted by the ole boy.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-13-13.

TURKEY HUNTING 04-15-13 

Randy Steele and myself hunted yesterday morning 04-15-13 on his track of land and got into the woods about the break of good daylight and sat down and listened for a Long Beard but everything was real quiet including other birds due to the sky being very cloudy and overcast whereas the weather prophets were forecasting rain in our immediate area but it didn't materialized.  We leaned our shotguns against a tree and I sat down beside that tree and the way my luck has been going lately, I knocked over both shotguns and broke the rear fiber optic sight off my shotgun.  Randy's shotgun did not suffer any damage which was good.  While sitting,  we heard one long beard at around 0630 AM and decided to move and set up on him but we hadn't gone but 10 or 20 yards when we say a couple hens over and beyond a small ridge below one of his tower deer stands and eased back since they had apparently not seen us.  After sitting up, I went through my routine of calling but nothing responded and we didn't see anything sneaking in on us which is the usual pattern for the Long Beards on this track of land. 

We relocated and set up again at the lower tower stand where I harvested the Long Beard on 04-13-13, but again didn't hear any Long Beards gobbling or any sign or sound of a wild turkey.  As my luck has been going lately, remember Murphy's Law,  my carrying strap on my Turkey Lounge Chair broke; the screw stripped out and had to grin again.  Don't think crying would help at all.  I kept thinking, my luck has to change soon and get out of this rut of things breaking. 

I was able to rob parts off another spare Tru Glo Magnum Gobble Dot sight and swapped out the the windage/elevation portion and replaced the small fiber optic filament which required the usage of a soldering gun to enlarge or mushroom the tip portion of each end of the fiber optic since it was shaped like a horse shoe and terminated through a small hole in the sight base for each exposed end of the fiber optic filament.  I also got the folding turkey lounge chair strap retainer clip repaired so just maybe things will settle down in my personal repair department from tearing up hunting equipment......grin if you must!

TURKEY HUNTING 04-16-13 TAG OUT HUNT

Randy was off work on 04-16-13 and we decided to go back to his track of land and see if the Long Beards had started back gobbling again, since he has heard them numerous times right before the season came in and also saw plenty of hens, jakes and Long Beards and so far they were making a liar out of him, (per his own words) mind you. 

I had a good night's sleep and got up at my regular time around 0500 AM and after my shave and shower, had plenty of spare time to stop by BoJangles and get us a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit which was on special 2 for 3 bucks...a very good deal.  I got to Randy's home sometime around 0600 and we had time to drink a cup of coffee and consume the biscuit while watching the news. 

It took about 5 to10 minutes drive time to reach the hunt land and immediately heard a Bob White Quail whistling "Old Bob White" and spooked him into flight while walking up the sand access road adjacent a field leading to where we planned to hunt.  It was around 0630 when we heard Mr. Long Beard hammer away directly in front of us approximately 75 to 100 yards by the loudness of his gobbling.  We quickly set up with our backs toward a cutover that offered some border cover and directly facing the wooded area directly in line where the gobbling came from. A small narrow access road offered a good opening next to the wooded area in case the Long Beard ventured out to see what was happening.  I moved a good 20 yards to Randy's right and figured if the Long Beard came out he would be directly in front of Randy and would want to move toward where the calling was coming from and the single hen decoy that I placed in the edge of a small field offering Randy a good shot.  The next time we heard the Long Beard gobble it sounded like he was much farther away but Randy later told me there is a large depression and gulley where the Long Beard was at and that he might have flew down off his roost into the gulley and that muffled his sound.  I shoot left handed and was watching the edge of a field to my right and was in some fair amount of small tree cover which only afforded a couple small windows of opportunity to see anything.  I yelped on my box call but nothing responded and got out a Derby City Aluminum over glass slate call and gave some purrs and clucks.  Nothing didn't immediately happen and within 5 minutes there were all kind of turkey sounds directly in front of Randy with some loud yelping and clucks of all different pitches and volume ranges.  I heard a Long Beard gobble to my right and a Long Beard sounded off directly in front of Randy also.   I put the Aluminum call down and sometime around 0650, I saw a couple Long Beards from my right about 20 yards out and the lead Long Beard was doing a half strut with the other Long Beard tailing him very close and at one time both of their heads were directly in line.  I was thinking that Randy should be able to see the Long Beards and kept waiting for his shot to ring out and see a Long Beard flopping but didn't hear anything.  After the Long Beard in the rear became alerted that something wasn't just right, he started walking off and didn't have a shot on the front Long Beard due to all the small trees in front of me and fired at the Long Beard that I could see his head.  After the muzzle report of the Remington Super Mag shotgun which I barely heard and wasn't aware of any of the gun's normal recoil, the Long Beard went down and the other one made a fast exit.  Upon getting up from my concealed position, I saw a third Long Beard taking flight like a Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II fighter jet exiting an aircraft carrier's deck.  The only thing missing was a sonic boom and a vapor trail........grin if you must!  I checked the time on my watch and it was 0703 AM.

Randy said he saw the Long Beards but they were too far to his right and couldn't make a move on them since his gun muzzle was pointing to his left, whereas he shoots right handed and was watching the area in front of him and to his left.  I stepped the distance off where the Long Beard fell and it was 13 yards.  You could barely see my position through the cover and it was apparent that I had shot through some small sweet gum trees and completely severed a portion of an overhanging small pine tree limb and there were plenty of holes in another small sweet gum tree from the Hevi-13 shot pellets with debris created from their impact on the ground.  I don't think I saw all that stuff in front of me since I was concentrating on the Long Beard's head and guess a modified form of tunnel vision took over....grin again if you must.  I left my small digital camera at home and Randy went and brought his truck and camera to our position and took a few pictures to document the hunt.  I was certainly hoping that Randy would be in a position this morning to harvest an ole Long Beard but had two groups of turkeys coming to our position and of course the other Long Beards came from where we didn't expect them which is the way it happens most of the time.

The Long Beard weighed 18 lbs. sporting a 9.5 inch length beard and 7/8 and 15/16 inch length spurs.  A good two year old bird for sure. There were some mixed sunlight coming through shinning on the Long Beard and didn't notice until it until I down loaded the images from Randy's camera.  I did some cloning in PhotoShop6.0 and put some color back into the washed out area of the back for eye appeal.  Seems like my hair line is getting further and further back from my forehead each year.  I don't think PhotoShop will help that too much.  Might have to keep my hat on while picture taking to keep the glare and sunlight reflection at a minimum; heck that is what probably cast a washed out area on the turkey's back..........grin if you must!

I used a Derby City's Curly Maple Magnum Aluminum Over glass call which rendered some very, very sweet purrs followed by a couple clucks for a few minutes before the Long Beards appeared and I believe that is what lured those birds in this morning and plan to send Derby City Calls a copy of this pix if they want to use in on their website.  Jeff Sullivan of Derby City Calls provided me with a couple of his calls to field test for him and as they say, "A Picture is worth a thousand Words."

Click on the following thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

I filleted the turkey breast and have them soaking in cold salted water and will vacuum seal and freeze them for later usage.

This seals the deal on my 2013 North Carolina Spring Turkey Hunting Season since I am now tagged out and will photograph Randy's hunts in hopes that his tags will be filled too.  This was a great morning hunt even though short lived.  Randy and myself always have a great time when we are hunting or whatever and as I love to use and emphasize one of my favorite sayings, "Two of the Greatest Ships that ever sailed, Friendship and Fellowship."        

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 04-16-13.

A FEW PIXS TAKEN WHILE IN THE TURKEY WOODS

This little baby cottontail rabbit almost got stepped on by Randy while getting his turkey lounge chair set-up.  The little fellow did not move and I took a few pixs of him and he was in the same place when we left a couple hours or more later.  His Momma definitely taught him to stay still. 

Randy is apparently catching himself a nap since the turkeys were not gobbling.  The morning temperature was around 41 degrees at 0515 and felt like it was below freezing at daybreak with the wind blowing about 15 to 20 mph....not a good day to be turkey hunting but any day is a good day when you can be hunting or away from your daily routine. 

A few calls in my arsenal, David Stewart custom wing bone, Derby City Aluminum over Glass and Porter Dual Hens with walnut body and cedar lid.

A couple different calls in usage; Antique Lynch box call and a Woodhaven slate over cherry in addition to my Porter Custom Walnut Dual Hens with cedar lid and Derby City Magnum Aluminum over Glass.  

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 04-24-13.

RANDY'S TURKEY DOG 04-27-13

Randy Steele and myself have hunted the days that he had off from work and when the weather permitted and hunted several times without having a Long Beard within gun range.  The weather has been either too cold, overcast and with wind gusts topping around 20 mph and the Long Beards for the most part have been silent.  Since I tagged out early, my hunting is over but I am doing most of the calling for Randy and hope to have a Long Beard or two within gun range again.

We hunted on 04-25-13 and heard one gobble across the creek bordering his property and we immediately set up on him.  A few minutes later we heard what we though was a hen clucking very close by and came within 15 feet of our set up but was a Jake.  I took a few pixs but they were too out of focus due to being in cover and the camera focused on the closer objects instead of the turkey.  We watched the young Jake cluck and go up to the hen decoy and try and get her to leave with him but he naturally was unsuccessful....grin if you must.  He stayed in the area a good while and finally left after catching my camera movement. 

There was plenty of things going on around our set-up and watched a vulture aka buzzard fly down on top of Randy's tower stand about 80 yards in front of us and he actually went inside the tower stand which is open on all four sides. Again, I took a pix but it was also out of focus very bad.

Randy hunted that afternoon in front of his home and heard a Long Beard gobbling and we decided to give it a try this morning.  We hadn't gotten but about half way across his horse pasture when a Long Beard started gobbling close by around 0615 and headed quickly toward the lower pasture.   Randy's dog Annie which is part Dachshund and Basset hound started trailing us when we got inside the pasture and we were unable to catch her.  We went to his lower pasture and set up and sure enough Annie was out the field with the decoys and finally walked up to the decoys and sniffed them out.  Our turkey hunt was basically over and the Long Beard was still hammering away.  We left the decoy set-up and went to where the Long Beard was gobbling and heard a hen answering him pretty regular.  We saw one hen and two Long Beards about 200 yards from our position in the field heading toward the wood line.  They must have seen us since they started putting once inside the woods.  Pix of Randy's Turkey Dog: 

We retrieved the decoys and got into Randy's truck and struck out for another location that has yielded a few Long Beards in the past.  We didn't hear any turkey sounds but set up and called every 5 to 10 minutes without success.  A few pixs of the set-up:

I finally got my brain in gear and set the camera to the Landscape mode and the pixs are in focus near and far which is good.  Hopefully, we will be able to get on some more Long Beards with success next week after several days of rain in the current forecast.  It was great to be in the turkey woods and today the wind was very still with the temperature in the lower 50s at the start of the morning and looking forward to next week.

SHOTGUN REAR SIGHT REDNECK REPAIRS 04-28-13

I am using Tru Glo Magnum Gobble Dot sights on my shotgun, however the rear sight is about impossible to keep from breaking or loosing the entire upper portion of the ramp due to rough hunting conditions and/or treatment of the shotgun.  The rear sight is just too fragile IMHO (in my humble opinion) and the upper portion of the rear sight that contains the fiber optic filament is made of plastic instead of metal.  If memory is correct, this is the fourth (4th) repair to the rear sight since installing the Tru Glo Magnum Gobble Dot sight.  I plan to find a better replacement for it or drill and tap the receive for a one piece scope base and use a regular rifle Red Dot scope since I use this shotgun mainly for turkey hunting.   Glue, string, hay bailing wire, vise-grip pliers and/or channel lock pliers, adjustable wrench, WD-40 and Duck Tape are a few items an ole country boy, OK Redneck is never without or to far away from.  Those items are a Redneck's first aid kit.  If you are a Hi-Tech Redneck, you will also have a Leatherman tool or a Swiss Army Knife attached to your belt.  Below pix of adding another fiber optic filament in the rear sight mount and as soon as I touched a drop of Fletchtite cement to the fiber optic filament and the base, it immediately melted the fiber and came apart at the horse shoe bend requiring the usage of some butcher's twine to hold it into place until the cement cures out.  The front portion of the ends of the fiber were left a little long in the holder and expanded or mushroomed with heat from a soldering gun to help retain them in place and actually makes the green dots a little larger since they are very small to begin with.  The only positive thing I can say about this sight is the fiber optic filaments are highly visible but the poor construction and design offset the positive aspect of the sight.  This sight is definitely not the least expensive on the market either!  Pixs below:

One of my friends Bill Pence who relocated to PA from NC called and wanted to know why I was repairing my shotgun after I had already tagged out and explained to him that Randy Steele was using this shotgun since he doesn't have a 12 gauge in 3 1/2 inch chamber and he wanted that extra range and penetration from this modern day blunderbuss shotgun......we both got a good grin out of his observations.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 04-28-13.

TURKEY HUNTING 04-30-13

Randy and myself got into the turkey woods around 0615 and heard a Long Beard gobbling right away before we had crossed his upper pasture and decided to set up in the lower field where we had visibility of a couple fields and an access gravel road.  However, this time he had his dog Annie on Lockdown to prevent her from tagging along.   Pix below taken after the morning hunt and she was certainly glad to get  paroled from her confinement:

 

We heard three separate Long Beards gobbling and one was a good distance away.  Nothing would respond to our calling and we saw a Long Beard doing a half strut in the end of one pasture heading toward the wood line.  The ole gobblers apparently have hens with them and they will not come to any calling set-up at all.  There was a very light misting rain but not enough to be a bother and we were concealed pretty well in small pine trees with young sweet gum trees growing amongst the pines offering excellent camouflage.  I continued to call every 10 minutes or so and tried several different calls but nothing responded.  We stayed on until after 0915 and upon entering the upper pasture,  a hen was feeding in the lower right hand corner and we watched her briefly before opening the metal gate to gain access to the pasture of which she started running and her legs looked like a blur and she covered about 50 yards before taking flight.  The hen looked like the cartoon character road runner on steroids ahead of Wile E. Coyote but with the beep, beep missing!

It was great to hear the Long Beards gobbling again but they have too many hens with them to walk off and leave a sure thing and hopefully an ole stray Long Beard out looking for a few extra hens will venture our way and turn himself into some fine giblets and gravy.  We plan to go back in the turkey woods in about three days, the weather permitting.

Randy and myself hunted a few times since 04-30-13 of which I did the calling and we finished up this 2013 Turkey Hunting Season this morning, 05-09-13 since Randy has to return to work and there are two remaining days left this turkey hunting season.  We hunted his track of land where I hunted opening day and nothing was gobbling, however it was a perfect day; wind calm, clear sky with the temperature very mild around 57 degrees.  Seems like every bird was singing their song and we had great anticipation that an ole Long Beard would sound off but it didn't happen.  We stayed in his lower tower stand until after 0900 and never heard or seen a turkey but it was an awesome morning to be in the woods.  Pix below from the tower stand:

The hen decoy was placed approximately 25 yards from the tower and we had an excellent view of the place.  The Lord willing of course, we hope to be back in these woods in the fall of year waiting on a big ole mossy horn buck.  The ones we let walk last year should be much larger this year......grin if you must!   

Randy and myself plan to do some pond fishing for Bluegills and Catfish in a few weeks when the moon is full....Bluegills should be on their beds spawning in high gear and look forward to casting the Scientific Anglers bass bug tapered fly line with the antique  Fenwick graphite fly rod with a popping bug on the end of a hand tapered leader with one of my favorite cork popping bugs on the end of it.  There is no finer angling IMHO than a fish on the end of a fly line.

As always, Two of the Greatest Ships that ever sailed; Friendship and Fellowship.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 05-09-13.

After our annual Spring turkey hunting season ended, I decided to replace the Tru-Glo sights with a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot scope and below is a pix of the scope with a saddle mount bracket.  See this link for further details.

             

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 06-07-13.

ARCHERY PRE-SEASON 2013

The weather leading up to our upcoming 2013 Archery Season has been rain, rain, rain and more rain, however the weather has been the coolest I can remember with only 4 days in July reaching the 90 degree mark.  The high was 92 degrees for the month which has been a blessing on the Electric bill.  Duke Energy was crying the blues a few days ago because their stock holders had earned only 50 plus cents per share......grin if you must unless your portfolio is heavy invested in Duke Energy but guarantee you will not loose any money!

I have only pulled my bow back one time this month and released eleven (11) practice arrows into a couple 3D deer targets with the first arrow a little high and to the right and might have to get a track dog on the trail since it was a marginal shot if an actual deer.  All the other arrows were well within the kill zone with the last six (6) arrows released slapping one another.  I somehow managed to bruise my left hand and have an ugly yellowish-black area larger than a golf ball but it is doing much better.  Don't remember how I got it which I guess is a product of the senior citizen mode! 

I have routinely places some shelled corn out at my favorite hunting site and the does have been working it pretty heavy in the day light hours and hopefully that ole mossy horn buck will be sneaking in there before too much longer as well.  Currently, it is a battle with the grey squirrels, raccoons and crows that are consuming their share but corn is way to expensive to feed the entire spectrum of birds and animals that can't resist a free offering of shelled corn.  Can't blame them for their efforts either.

Pixs below of one of the young crows that was in the wrong place at the wrong time and used it for a scare crow; no pun intended!

That was one unlucky crow since I used a single shot rifle with open sights fired at 70 plus yards and a CCI .22cal. short traveling around 750 FPS: far slower than the speed of sound.  Crows will normally have a look out posted for danger and sound the alarm with a fast caw, caw, caw, caw, caw but I must have out foxed them this time.

BTW, North Carolina has a crow hunting season as well and you may use electronic callers if desired.  Hunting days are restricted to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with certain Holidays available as well.

NOTE:  I went back a couple days later and a fox or coyote had jumped up and consumed the crow and the only thing left was the leg hanging and feathers on the ground.  Other creatures have to eat too!

Web published update on 08-13-13 by Bill aka Mickey Porter.

ARCHERY SEASON 2013

Our annual archery season came in on September 7, 2013 and the morning temperature was in the low to mid 60s which would be fine for an early morning hunt.  The mid day and afternoon temps lately have been in the mid 80s.

I elected to sit the first several weeks of archery season out since I haven't seen but a couple fawns and a doe or two in one of my favorite hunting areas.  A hunting club has land leased adjacent our property and are using crossbows for archery hunting and have the deer cut off at the moment since they are apparently putting out some enticing food offerings for them.  My bride was shocked that I missed opening morning and haven't missed but a few of them since my thirty (30) plus years of bowhunting and I guess this comes along with the date on my birth certificate which does seem to increase the common sense factor....grin if you must!

After a week or two, the hunting club will usually slack off their hunting until opening muzzleloading week and the deer should get back into their normal travel routes and seek out other food sources which should give me a chance to harvest a couple for the freezer.  I will continue to shoot a few practice broadhead arrows into my 3D deer targets to keep my shooting form and muscles in shape when the opportunity does presents itself to release an arrow.

The beauty part of archery hunting is the quietness, tranquility and peace experienced while observing the many wonderful aspects of mother nature and is an excellent time to get ones early morning devotion in gear to God our creator and thank him for another day that he has allowed us to fully enjoy. 

John 3:16 KJV, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 09-09-13.

ARCHERY HUNT 10-09-13

I hunted at one of my favorite places on 10-09-13 for an afternoon archery hunt and got on stand around 5:15 PM and the weather was beautiful with a North to North East wind blowing and was variable at times.  At around 5:36 a couple young deer, a button buck and doe came out and munched corn for about 20 minutes.  I didn't want to harvest either of the small deer and just enjoyed watching them.  The larger button buck would chase the smaller doe out of the broadcast corn from time to time.  At around 5:56 two much larger does came into the feeding zone, however they were facing myself and didn't offer a good arrow placement shot and watched them for about five minutes until the wind was swirling and they decided something just wasn't right and left the immediate area.  I stayed on stand until about dark and the smaller doe I had seen earlier came into the feeding area and munched corn until way past legal time and had to try and get the doe out of the area so I could come down from my hunting stand.  I mimicked a barking dog, snorted like a deer and the doe would not leave.  She was probably thinking, I got to see what is making all that noise.  I finally got out my small flashlight and shinned it over her head and she finally left without giving an alarm sound. 

I hunted a couple weeks earlier but it was way too hot and now the weather is getting cool enough to do some serious bowhunting.  I have yet to see a buck at this hunting location and normally I see as many as 3 to 5  but not this year.  I believe the adjacent hunt club land has put a hurt on my favorite hunting stand but that is the way it goes.

I definitely enjoy being out in the woods and observing nature.

Web published update on 10-10-13 by Bill aka Mickey Porter. 

ARCHERY DOE HARVEST 10-10-13

After yesterdays evening archery hunt, I was pumped up a little and decided to go back to the same location since the wind direction was coming from the North to North West and would be ideal for that particular stand.  It is great to be able to have the opportunity to get into the woods and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that Mother Nature has to offer and do give God the praise, honor and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

I got on stand around 4:45 PM with the wind blowing just a little and the sky was overcast with the temperature in the low 70s if that much.  A grey squirrel was busy doing his own food harvest in a nearby white oak tree with debris from his cutting hitting the ground fairly regular.  As usual, several Cardinal birds were enjoying the free broadcast corn and they were not too aggressive this afternoon chasing one another from the corn.  A mourning dove also joined in with them but didn't stay too long. 

Around 5:00 PM I heard movement to my right with light steps and the slow cadence was about right for a deer, whereas squirrels will shuffle the leaves in short fast spurts.  The same button buck appeared and eased his way to the corn and started crunching mouthfuls of corn.  I checked my Iron Man wrist watch and it was 5:02 PM.  The button bucks knobs appear to be about an inch long and about ready to come through his skin and he was on full alert looking, listening, raising his head checking the wind and moving his ears around like a radar dish trying to ascertain what each sound was.  He stayed on the corn until 5:36 PM and meandered off in the direction that he had came from.

Around 5:45 PM a small yearling doe which is probably the sibling to the button buck came into the broadcast corn area using a much closer trail and immediately helped herself to the "free corn."  About 10 minutes later,  I spotted movement in heavier cover about 30 to 40 yards slightly to the right of my stand and was a much larger doe and a smaller deer.  The larger doe was on full alert and took her time making her way to the corn.  She came in to the corn around 6:02 and I already had my bow ready with my release aid attached to the string loop and as soon as the doe settled  with her head down eating corn and the smaller yearling looking away, I slowly drew my Drenalin bow back and got a good anchor and sight picture/sight alignment thru the fiber optic one pin scope and let the pin settle down on the doe's vital area........she was facing slightly toward me and had to shoot a little more forward to get the right angle for the arrow to get into the rib cage.  The release aid trigger was touched seemingly unconscious and the arrow smacked the doe in the shoulder area to the left off my point of aim and gave a horrendous loud sound like you had hit a cement block with a two by four stick of wood when it made contact with the doe.  She immediately did a 90 degree right turn and went straight away and then cut back hard to her left and headed into some extremely thick cover.  I could see most of the arrow stickling out the left side of the doe and she crashed into everything that was in her way by the noise created and after a few brief seconds everything was quiet again.

Since the arrow was in the right place for a kill shot and the deer had crashed into everything exiting the area, I was certain the deer was down.  I lowered my bow to the ground, placed my back pack on and climbed down the tree stand ladder.  I went to the last place I saw the deer and found the broken arrow which had about 5 inches missing at the broadhead end. 

To make a long story short,  there was no immediate blood trail and had to criss cross in the thick cover and finally picked up a sparse blood trail and several places there was a good amount of blood rubbed onto small saplings, etc. and onto foliage.  It was very slow going and I placed a Kleenex at the last blood sign found and would go back and retrieve it when I picked up the blood trail again.  It took 34 minutes to locate the downed doe and she traveled a good 75 to 100 yards; an estimate at the best.  It took another 26 minutes to field dress and drag her out to a clearing where it was much easier going.  There was no exit hole and this accounted for the sparse blood trail since the doe basically bled out internally.

Below is a pix of the doe where she expired:

Since there was plenty of daylight left, I took a few sequence pixs of field dressing the doe which is under my short story page titled Field Dressing Deer 101.  Click on the left hyperlink to open the page.

Below pix of the doe hanging on a large white oak tree I named Tom Dula after the Kingston Trios hit song, Tom Dooley and ready for skinning, quartering up and age in my basement game refrigerator before slicing, cubing and grinding:

This ole girl was at least 100 pounds on the hooves and will make some excellent table fare for sure.

My hunting buddies accuse me of harvesting "milk deer" aka small bucks and deer; guilty as charged.  However,  this deer was truly and literally a milk deer by the size of her milk bag, etc...........grin if you must!

Web published updates on 10-10-13 by Bill aka Mickey Porter.

ARCHERY 5 POINT MANAGEMENT BUCK HARVEST 10-24-13 

Since the doe harvested on 10-10-13, I have only hunted two or three times times since then.  The weather of late has cooled down significantly with the wind coming in from the North to North West and a great time to be in the deer woods.  There was a light frost this morning with the temperature in the mid to high 30s and decided to get on stand this afternoon and hopefully get a chance to release another arrow and harvest additional venison for the freezer.

I got on stand sometime around 4:30ish and the wind was perfect for this stand location.  There was a brisk breeze blowing and thought I might have underdressed for the hunt.  Very few birds were singing and flying around but a few mourning doves made their way into the broadcast corn area.  Squirrels are normally seen but not this afternoon. 

The multi-colored leaves are rapidly falling to the ground verifying that the autumnal equinox on September 22, 2013 has most certainly arrived with the photosynthesis process already doing its yearly thing as well.

Sometime around 5:33, I heard something behind me rustling the leaves heavily and didn't move since it sounded very close and definitely was a large animal.  It continued to get closer and could make out what I thought was the cadence of a deer walking of which the deer passed within a couple feet of my tree stand and walked out in front and headed to where I had earlier broadcast some shelled corn.  The deer was a small basket rack 5 point buck and stopped and got a mouthful of corn,  looked around while crunching the corn and checked the wind direction which was still in my favor for this tree stand.  I decided to take the first available humane shot and he was slightly quartering directly away to my left and once his head was down, I drew the Matthews Drenalin bow back, anchored and let the fiber optic pin settle on his back to the left of his spine around the last rib area and without a thought or hesitation, the Scott release aid trigger was gently touched and I observed the bright colored yellow fletch of the arrow hit the deer where my point of aim and sight picture through the scope was.  The arrow buried itself up leaving only the bright yellow fletch visible as the little buck went mostly straight away and cut back to the left into very dense cover.  While the buck exited the immediate area, he was crashing into the small trees and undergrowth and after a few seconds all was quiet again.  I looked at my watch and it was 5:36 PM and had been on stand a little more than an hour. 

I lowered my bow and detachable quiver to the ground since my quiver now had only two arrows left in it and put my back pack on and descend the ladder to the ground.  I proceeded to the last place I observed the deer and picked up a profuse blood trail that a  blind man could follow.  The little buck traveled maybe 60 yards in a straight line and then cut back into a small wet weather branch or drainage ditch that had a small hole of water and his back legs were resting in the muddy water.  It is customary for deer to head toward water when in stress but the little water hole didn't do him any good this time since he was destined for the freezer brought about by the deadly flight of the Easton Superslam 2315 31.5 inch arrow tipped with a 125 grain 3 blade Thunderhead broadhead.  I will "guesstimate" the bucks weight around 125 pounds on the hooves and that might be on the high side.

I dragged the buck out of the muddy water hole and field dressed him to make dragging him out much easier.........remember, "Work smarter not Harder."  The arrow had pierced his liver and one lung and about five inches of arrow with the broadhead was missing and found that portion not too far from where he first entered into the thick cover.   I used a back-up Olympus C-7000 digital camera that I had in my back pack and took a couple pixs where he had fallen but the pixs were badly out of focus and could not use them..........don't have a clue as to what went wrong and will check the camera out later.  Note:  Camera was Ok and it was operator trouble; wrong settings, etc.

The broadhead and about 5 or 6 inches of the arrow shaft exited the deer on the right side of his brisket and at the height and angle that I was in the tree stand, the arrow should have exited much further back but apparently glanced off the ribcage inside the diaphragm arrow and planed out level instead of at an angle.  I have had arrows go through a deer's ribcage and the exit wound would be higher than the entry wound verifying that an arrow can deflect inside the deer for whatever reason! 

After getting the buck back home, I took a couple pixs using another camera.  Pixs below:

After the pixs were taken, the little buck was hoisted up and suspended from our large White Oak Tree, "Tom Dula" and quickly skinned, quartered and then placed into my basement game refrigerator to age out a few days before final processing.  I registered the buck harvest on line and added their auto generated number to my big game license tags to complete the documentation process.

I have a couple hunting buddies that will call this little buck a milk deer, "still had his mamma's milk on his mouth" but I will call him a management freezer buck since he didn't have any brow tines, etc.  I hunt for the freezer and this will make some good venison steak and gravy over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes with some biscuits to do some serious gravy sopping!  City dwellers don't know much about sopping gravy and consuming Wild Game, etc........grin if you must!

I have done the least amount of bow hunting this year in several decades of bow hunting but have been successful nevertheless.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy what God has created and give him the praise, honor and glory in all things!  I just might climb back into my tree stand and hunt during the first week of gun season with the bow and arrow which should be cold with the deer moving about.  Bow Hunting with bow and arrow is still my most enjoyable form of hunting and I don't mean using a crossbow which is fine for the physically challenged and those that are too lazy to invest the time to develop the skills necessary to successfully harvest game animals with the bow and arrow!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 10-24-13.

MUZZLELOADER SEASON 2013

Our Central Region North Carolina muzzleloader deer season came in today November 2, 2013 which is probably a week to two weeks before the serious buck rutting activity peaks.  I realize the rutting activity is triggered by the day light to night hour ratio but the deer seem to move about more frequently after there is a heavy frost on the ground and a brisk lingering chill remains in the air. 

The morning temperature is in the low 50s with an overcast sky and we received a much needed soaking rain yesterday evening and I decided to stay inside this morning and maybe go out around mid-day and see if anything is moving. 

I waited until the last minute last night to fire a few # 11 CCI percussion caps against a dry patch surrounded by a proper sized cleaning jag in the ole antiquated smokepole and loaded 100 grains of Hodgdon Triple 777 powder followed by a Muzzleloader Magnum Products Black Sabot and a Knight 260 grain .45 caliber soft lead hollow point bullet which works great in my ole Knight MK85.  I changed the point of aim on the muzzleloader before the start of last season down to 50 yards since the past decade or more I have been shooting around 70 yards or less and it was originally set for POA (point of aim) at 125 yards while hunting at Pines Davis farm land for 17 years adjacent the Anson County Airport which is now part of the Anson County Airport runway.  I want to fill a couple additional doe tags for freezer meat and work up a fresh batch of my Cajun Blend Venison Summer Sausage for my hunting buddies and myself. 

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-07-13.

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