I recently was made aware of the information here that contains some very interesting comparisons on the different broadheads out there. (Thanks goes to Jason at the New Mexico Sportsman for the link.) Anyway, I thought I would share. This guy put a lot of effort into comparing these broadheads / tips.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Why is it that you can spend an entire morning or evening in the woods hunting for deer and not see anything, but come spring time they all come out of hiding and appear in my garden??? I'm pretty sure it is a deer conspiracy. I think they have some type of network where they tell all of their little deer friends where to come for a garden buffet. And from the looks of the tracks, they line up for their turn to munch. Grrr! Many a morning I'll wake up early to water the tender shoots of corn, sweet peas, radishes, spinach, pumpkin, etc. and find the evidence - deer tracks all throughout the garden and little bites taken out of the tiny vegetable leaves. I seriously think the deer had a party in my garden the other night and they made sure to invite the whole gang. There were even cute little baby tracks next to the zucchini.
So in an effort to put a stop to the partying, we put a fence around the perimeter the other evening while the soft rain was refreshing the deer nibbled plants. I'm not sure if the fence line is quite tall enough though, because I've seen how high those boogers can jump! We shall see.
As you can also notice from the picture above, I don't have the best of soil. This is year 2 for my garden. The first year we hauled in several loads of topsoil and compost to till into soil. I actually had quite the harvest that first year.. but it was a lot of work! It never ceases to amaze me how you can spend so much time working the soil and tending to the weeds, and yet the work never seems to be done. The rocks appear out of nowhere and the stubborn weeds keep coming back. Hmm... Seems like life sometimes. However, I find myself actually enjoying spending time keeping up with pulling weeds out of the garden - if only it was this enjoyable with the "weeds" in life.
As you can see, my garden is on top of a hill, where I have a gorgeous view of the mountains. So, when I find myself alone tending to weeds and caring for the emerging seeds, it is really MY Time where I can just get away, pray in the mornings, and come evening reflect on the days events. Good stuff. I find myself humming about now... "and He walks with me and He talks with me and tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known..."
So, after putting all this time and effort into my garden on the hill, it is a bit frustrating to find those deer tracks. I really wish I had a trail camera to post on my garden entrance. Then, if they manage somehow to gain entrance once again to my garden, I would have more proof than just footprints. Let's hope the fence works, because if they do figure out how to get in, I would probably just have fat and sassy deer smiling at the camera who have seemingly found their secret garden and now can't figure out how to get OUT.
My other garden anguish that I'm not even going into - Hail. I live in Colorado. What do I expect? Post fence protection placed securely around the garden, it happened. You guessed it. When it rains.. it hails in Colorado. Enough said.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Orange is my new favorite color, however, I'm not really sure why. I suppose it could be that I miss wearing it during rifle season. My bright orange apparel is now retired to the back of the closet or confined to boxes in the basement. Once I started pulling back on a bowstring, I was freed from having to wear this color. I love now being able to wear camouflage from head to toe. It always seemed silly to me to pay for camo and then have to cover it up with a bright orange vest / jacket and hat. I do understand the point and agree that it is a true safety thing - unfortunately there are still a lot of crazy hunters out there.
So, I find myself wondering.. why is it when I go shopping, I'm now always drawn to the bright orange colors for my normal wardrobe? I guess I like orange after all. I'm just glad I no longer have to wear it in the woods.
My Ode to Camouflage
On the horizon, there's a bright orange glow
not from the sun or flower petals, no
Your source is becoming clear to me
sprinkled throughout the valley floor
hunters arrayed in orange with gun in tow
Camouflage from head to toe
I love you so
you hide my frame
while hunting game
I'm no longer seen by friend or foe
Bright orange glow I used to know
now traded for other sites
For archery season is calling me
into the woods with stick and bow
Wait what do I see on arrows end?
Bright orange fletchings in a row
Camouflage from head to toe
I love you so
you hide my frame
Now when taking aim
Orange fills the sky from fletchings glow
Friday, June 26, 2009
I recently read in the CO Turkey regulations how Turkey hunting is the second leading category for hunting accidents. Really? There is a great list on the Colorado Division of Wildlife website of things you can do to be safe during Turkey season. One of the items on the list is to avoid wearing colors the same as a Turkey.. or I suppose drinking Pepsi would also not be advised.
The third item on the list got me thinking... "Camouflage from head to toe. Not only will this aid in your attempt to remain unseen by an approaching gobbler, but it will keep you hidden from another hunter who is walking in your area. If another hunter is approaching your position, remain still and call to the hunter in a clear voice. Do not whistle or use a call. Announce your presence without movement."
So, being someone who hunts like a girl (because, well, I AM a girl) means that I may just have to go to the bathroom on the mountain more than the guys. This could be a bad scene. I can just see it now. I'm in the squat position, white butt exposed and realize another hunter is "approaching my position". According to the safety rules, I need to remain still and call to the hunter in a clear voice, and not move. Yah, right! I have a better idea... camouflage butt paint.
And this is the look I get from my husband
when I mention things like this:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Today I caught myself thinking about the early days of marriage to my wonderful husband. Let me set the stage briefly. He was full of youthful cowboy dreams with the thirst for adventure mixed with the need for adrenaline. Yes, my husband was a bull rider when we met. I can still smell the arenas and hear the sounds associated with the rodeo scene.... Chaps. Rosin. Bull Ropes. Friends. Dirt. Copenhagen. Boots.
Those days, yet familiar, are but a distant memory and we now find ourselves chasing a different kind of bull across the majestic Rocky Mountain slopes. The bulls that he once found himself on top of, hat pulled down tight and ready for the gate to open upon the words, "let's go boys" were of a different breed. He was a crazy youthful cowboy seeking to cover the elusive 8 seconds. I find myself wondering though... is it really much different to chase bull elk across the mountains than trying not be bucked off the back of one? Adrenaline is adrenaline after all. (Okay, I'm not about to put this butt on top of a bull in a rodeo arena, just go with it.)
We elk hunters are familiar with the feeling of the little hairs on the back of our necks standing on end when the sound of the Rocky Mountain "ghost" is screaming their presence at close proximity. It is a feeling like no other when the still of the evening is suddenly filled with hoof prints or the one lone bark of an elk announces that you have finally arrived in his backyard.. and he is NOT happy with you being there. Or when everyone suddenly stops in their tracks because you can literally smell them. Yes, smell them. Or there is even the times when you hear someone say, "Don't move!" What? How close exactly is he and why shouldn't I move? But you do resist the urge to move knowing that there may be a chance that someone else has a shot.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is there is plenty of adrenaline to go around come opening day in September when we will be saying, "Let's go boys! Let's go!" This time I'm one of the "boys" and will be right by my husband's side experiencing the thrill of adrenaline on a mountain top. Are you ready for your adrenaline rush?
Let the count down for opening day begin!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I promised hunting stories for this blog and so far I have yet to post a story from my hunts. Maybe that is because elk season was last fall and we are now on count down mode for our next hunt with the hopes of brand new stories and adventures on the horizon. No excuses.
We all begin making lists around this time of year for the items we need to bring hunting, purchase prior to hunting, or make for hunting camp. One of the best little inventions that is now on the top of the "bring hunting" list is the Poop Chair. Yes, the Poop Chair. It is simply a folding chair with a hole cut in the center and a toilet seat mounted on it. Fabulous! Although I will admit that since we purchased a camper, the girl's bathroom now takes the cake. However, the guys still prefer the poop chair - outside usually in the middle of the night.
After a long day of hunting / hiking in the mountains, it is normal to arrive back at camp long after the sun has set. So, no one really notices when the poop chair is gone and someone has wandered off into the woods to be one with nature. Not entirely true for my man though. One night, after arriving back to camp the normal routine was taking place... removal of mud caked boots, starting the wood burning stove, hanging clothes on the line to be sprayed down with some type of scent removing spray, finding your favorite chair so that stories from the day could be retold. Then it happened, we all realized there was a glow coming from the middle of a small newly growing aspen grove. There he was. Poop chair unfolded. Lantern placed right next to him. It was as if a giant spot light was pointing right there for all the woodland creatures to see. I have never laughed so hard!
As he was walking back to camp he heard the laughter and all he said was, "What?" Apparently he thought he was completely surrounded by that grove of aspen trees. So, if you find yourself making your own folding chair port-a-potty to take on your hunting trips, remember that a small light in the darkness will indeed shine through sparsely populated aspen groves. Choose your spot wisely.
NOTE: Permission was granted to tell this story. So don't worry about me getting in trouble from the lantern wielding poop chair user.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Okay, I have to share my joy and hopefully spread a little excitement about an upcoming event that I'll be attending this summer. The Bowcast at the Bird 3D archery shoot at Snowbird, UT is fast approaching. The Bowcast team has put together what is sure to be a memorable weekend for us archery fans. There are several things that got my attention when I first learned of this event:
- It is a 3D archery shoot at a ski resort - that is an easy way to get my attention. I'm in!
- If you register early, there is a chance to win a custom run Realtree Advantage Max1 dipped Elite Archery bow.
- It is a no pressure shoot. Basically, the 3D targets will be spread across the ski hills and then we can just have at it. I'm sure there will be some friendly competition to be had, but it really is all about having fun and learning to improve your skills.
- Did I mention you can win a bow just for registering? and other great archery goodies will be given away at the event?
- It is a great opportunity to shoot with other archery nuts and learn from the experienced ones too. I can use all the help I can get.
Okay, now for sharing my joy... I WON A BOW! Yep, I won one of the two bows given away to the "early bird" registration ticket holders!! I feel a little bit like the kid from Willy Wonka. (I can't think of his name right now.) Anyway, here is my new baby: GT500
(NOTE: Pause the music at the bottom of the page before hitting play on the below video)
With only a few short months left until Elk season arrives, the space in our freezer dedicated to elk meat is still quite full. Therefore, in the hopes that the freezer will be full with fresh meat once again this fall, there will be summer nights filled with the aroma of elk steak coming from the bbq grill at our house. Let the grilling begin!
Here is one of our favorite marinades...
Mix the following:
- Low sodium soy sauce - about a cup
- Fresh Lemon juice - cut and squeeze a section
- Fresh garlic - 1 or 2 cloves crushed
- Heinz chili sauce - about a tablespoon
- Brown sugar - about 1/3 cup
Sorry.. I don't have exact measurements. It is a marinade.. you mix until it looks right.
Let the meat soak in the marinade for several hours or overnight. Toss on the grill. Enjoy!
NOTE: You can also cook the elk in this marinade on the cookstove on low heat, which is equally as delicious since the brown sugar in the marinade will create a nice glaze on the meat. Oh, and this also works great on pork.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Meet Tuff. Aka "Tuffy". The original intention for getting a lab, was to have a hunting dog. Oops! He is scared of his shadow and runs for the truck every time the shotgun goes off, thunder booms in the distance, a door closes, the microwave beeps, etc., etc., You get the point. His most recent reason to bark... miller moths. Crazy dog. Of course, he will also head for the truck if you simply mention the word "cheeseburger". Driving through the local fast food joint with Tuff in the truck means ordering a plain cheeseburger.
Now Tuffy is a fully grown lab and the hopes of retrieving anything that was once alive is but a distant dream. The only thing he currently chases is tennis balls. I will admit that if he would have had the proper training, he could have been the goose hauling dog his frame says he should be. So, it really isn't all his fault.
Yes, we have a 100 lb fluffy white dog who rocks himself to sleep in our rocking chair.
So, even though he didn't end up being on our hunting team, he is a good boy and steps up to the plate when it comes to being "man's best friend". Yesterday, we chased muddy tennis balls all afternoon. What a great way to pass the time on a Sunday afternoon. I'll take it.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I caught my first rainbow trout a few weekends ago. What does this mean? I've caught the fishing bug which is a good way to pass the time in between hunting seasons.
Yes, I know he wasn't legal.
It was a cute little baby trout who was promptly put back in the lake after a quick photo op.
So, here's to wishing I was fishing right now.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I'm one of the unfortunate ones this year who has an unsuccessful draw letter on the way to my mailbox from the Colorado DOW. We've been hunting in the same unit for 4 years now, so to get the unsuccessful stamp this time was a bit of a let down... at first. I've always been a person who tries to make the best of things and see the opportunity in an obstacle. So, why would this little challenge be any different? The more I look at our upcoming hunting season, I'm beginning to get more and more excited.
My brother is currently serving in the military and wanted to come hunting this fall, however, was unable to get his hunter education card / certificate transferred over to a CO cert in time to put in for his elk tag. Therefore, now that we are looking for OTC areas to chase elk / deer around he has some more time to get this taken care of and hopefully join us.
Also, my dad may be able to come on a hunt or two. My folks have retired in a wonderful little mountain community and it just so happens to be in a hunting unit that is not a limited draw. So, we may be spending time hunting on "their" mountain range.
I love exploring new areas. Even though our hunting "stomping grounds" are familiar and we can pretty much anticipate where the elk will be, it is always a thrill to see the one new spot on the mountain you didn't know was there, or the view that takes your breathe away when you get to the top of a peak you've never climbed. In fact, last year we were hunting in an area that we had been to several times. However, when we came to a clearing it opened up into a huge boulder field that we had never seen. We all laughed because it put a new perspective on the way we had been hearing the elk move in this area. I wish I took pictures because to see about 5 acres of boulders completely surrounded by pine trees was an unique site. (The reason no pictures were taken was because I was crying. Seriously. I had missed a 6x7 elk at 5 yards the day before and we were going back to look for my arrow.)
So, here's to the CO DOW for giving us the opportunity to explore new hunting areas and for giving me additional preference points!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Not too long ago I attended a women's breakfast where the speaker was talking about a quiet time in the woods she experienced. She was weaving together a great story for the audience about how her wonderful moment was almost ruined as she looked down and discovered all the deer poop in her nice peaceful spot. Of course, the point of the story was something to the effect of having to get through the muck and the mire in life sometimes in order to see the beauty around you. She tied it all together by relating to Psalm 40:2-3. (A great verse!) I have to admit though, my mind started to wander a bit when she was describing the poop disappointment. I was thinking thoughts like.... "what's wrong with you! Look for the deer," and "If there is fresh poop, the deer are close!" In fact, I probably would have actually stepped in the deer droppings in order to tell how fresh it was. Just as that thought crossed my mind, a little smile came across my face as a I realized... I may not be a normal girl in this area.
So, on this thought. Here is my list of things that may identify you as a fellow female hunter. I know I'm not the only one out there.
You may be a female hunter if ....
- You've ever stepped in elk or deer poop just to see if it is fresh
- You have several pair of hunting boots lined up in your closet that almost exceeds your flip flop collection
- You have a shot gun in your closet.. right next to your high heels
- You aren't offended when your man talks about his "Hot Lips" or "Hoochie Mama"
- You understand the importance of being scent free, and actually rejoiced when you learned there is such a thing as scent free shampoo, conditioner, and yes... lip gloss
- You've eaten an MRE in the woods and actually enjoyed it
- You are okay with the mounts on the wall and wish the biggest one was yours.. or maybe it even is!
- You have to thoroughly check your purse for shotgun shells before going to the airport
- The Cabellas side walk sale is an annual event in your household
- You've decorated your camper in camouflage
- You think staying on the hiking trail is boring
- Given the choice of a grimy public bathroom or a pine tree in the woods, the pine tree always wins
- and finally... You keep your small game hunting tag in your purse - just in case!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Now that archery season is fast approaching, I need to get serious about pulling back on the bow string. I honestly have been a bit lazy in my target practice. I've had good intentions, however, lately it is like the diet that always seems to start tomorrow. This last week, I dusted off my bow and ran a few arrows through it. Man did that feel good! My muscles are a bit sore today, although some of that can probably be attributed to volleyball at the park yesterday. It always amazes me how quickly you can get out of your groove.. it is like my muscles have amnesia and don't remember what it feels like to draw a bow.
I recently signed up for the Bowcast newsletter which means I'll be receiving a free step by step guide for helping to improve my accuracy by 20 yards within 4 weeks. That sounds like just what the Dr. ordered for me. I'm excited to test this out. I know I need the practice!