Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whew ... We Made It!

Just a quick little update from the farm today, and then I'm off to get things prepared for our Christmas Eve Service. But, I'm glad to report that we have made it ... well I guess if I wanted to be technical I should say that we have almost made it, but the end is in sight. It has been a crazy couple of weekends (and a bit more), but by the grace of God all of us have come through unscathed. And what is this "it" that I'm talking about you ask? Well, I'm talking about...


Here in Iowa, as well as plenty of other places I'm sure, deer season is a pretty popular occasion (especially shotgun season). And, if you drive around the state of Iowa for any amount of time you will realize that it is pretty much needed because we have quite a few deer that like to live the good life and get fat on all of the corn in our fields. But, when they open up the shotgun seasons hunters come out of the woodwork.

Some hunt solo, some hunt in with a buddy, and quite a few like to join up in big ol' groups and tromp through the woods blasting any little deer that moves. Actually I guess I should say that they plant a few guys at one end of the piece of ground their are hunting then everyone else goes to the other end and starts walking though (and making as much noise as possible) to scare the deer towards the waiting shotguns at the other end.

If that is the way people want to hunt, that is perfectly fine ... when I go deer hunting I like to hunker down under a tree near a spot I know they will come, but then again I always miss them when I shoot (I have other excuses ... like the fact I use a flintlock smoothbore). The thing that makes deer season interesting on our farm is that we own a little 40 acre chunk in the middle of a ton of land owned by one guy. This means there is a large group hunting every which way all around us.

I stayed close to home during both the first and second shotgun seasons, except for once when I needed to cut a little wood because I knew some cold was coming. And, like I said we made it safe and sound ... although there were times when it sounded like a battle outside! So, now that everyone is done with their shotguns, I'm going to go and take my somewhat-trusty flintlock fowler out there and sit under a tree (hopefully on a day when it snows).

I don't really care if I get a deer, I just want to experience the relaxation of hanging out in our very own little piece of woods.


Farmchick said...

Hi~I really enjoyed reading through your blog. Have a Merry Christmas!

Yeoman said...

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

Rich said...

That sounds like the beginning of a lot of big buck stories. Big bucks (especially older monster bucks) act almost like a different animal when compared to the typical whitetail, and they will hunker down in isolated protected pockets during times of heavy hunting pressure (often times also when there isn't any pressure).

Depending on your hunting style and goals, you can find or create the conditions that a monster buck will seek out. Find or create a small area within your property that contains shelter, water, and food; then limit the amount of time you spend in that area (or even stay out completely unless you are hunting). Only hunt that area when the conditions are perfect, and your odds will increase for seeing (and/or shooting) a big whitetail buck. Of course, the odds will still be low that you will see or kill a big buck, but they will be much higher than just stumbling around and hoping to bump into a big buck.

Late winter is the best time to scout for deer season, because the leaves are all gone and snow in the travel areas always melts first. Start looking for buck sign (rubs, scrapes, etc) from a distance with binoculars, if possible. Study the surrounding properties for "unseen" escape routes into your hunting area, look for trails you would use to sneak away from a search team.

Next year, you might be able to post about the monster buck you saw (and hopefully shot) in your backyard while everyone around you was conducting the typical deer drive.

What is the reason for hunting with such a unique firearm as a flintlock fowler?

dp said...

I think it's great that you use a flintlock smoothbore! What caliber or bore is it? Here in Kentucky, we have two weeks of modern gun (rifle) season and another week of muzzleloader. I use a .54 caliber CVA Hawken during muzzleloader, shooting a patched round ball. I'd like a flintlock, though. That's in the future, God willing. I really enjoy the opportunity during deer season to sit in the woods and enjoy the beauty of it, whether or not any deer come wandering by.

Ethan Book said...

As I've mentioned before (I think) I love history, especially early American history. My dad has always been into reenacting and is also a sutler at various 18th century events around the country. To me there is nothing better than going out into the woods with my hand made .62 caliber fowler wearing my 18th century clothes. I love to hunker down under a tree, cover up with a blanket, and just take it all in. Sometimes I see a deer ... and all the time I miss.

That is completely user error though. Since I had my fowler made I haven't had the time to really shot it enough to get to know it in and out. The smoothbore, the round hand cast ball, and the single blade front sight (no rear sight) all mean that experience is needed ... and that takes time :)

Still, I'd rather miss and enjoy it.

Steven said...

My black powder rifle is a side hammer and wood and my cousins all tell me it's a "wall hanger" because it's not an inline, black, composite stock with a scope... What's the point in having a muzzle loader if it's just like a regular rifle?

My dad would love that you have a flint lock, he's always wanted a flintlock pistol but the closest he has is a cap and ball revolver.

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