Goose hunt October 12th

I have never gone after migratory birds, but I am fortunate to have a chance to do it with a group of amazing women. This group of women are from the Women Maine Hunters group! October 12th is the day! So we all met up at Cabela’s, over to Famous Dave’s park and ride at 4:30 am. So two vehicles were headed to southern Me. Sarah Elizabeth,and Emilie Cram rode up with me in my truck and Kandi Ward, Christi Holmes and Jeanie Cote rode up in her truck. Jeffery Doyle our guide and his good friend John L’Heureux gave us a quick instruction of what should happen and things we need to know while hunting. 

It started off misty and foggy. We walked down with head lamps cause it was dark. We get to where they set up the decoys, and I couldn’t believe how many I could see with just my light. Jeff and John were there around 1-2am setting up the goose set. The ground blinds were really cool! Great job with the camo work! So John and Jeff proceeded to tell us newbies what to expect and how far we could shoot. It’s nothing like deer hunting you can actually talk to each, and if no birds around you get to sit up and look around. I got a good look during the day and so many decoys.

I guess geese are late sleepers we were told. They were right, 7:15-7:30 am is when we heard our first honk! My heart starts racing thinking this is going to be easy. Well folks it’s not. They don’t always come in and land. They fly around, scope out the ground and then decide if they want to come in. We did get 3 to land with a larger group just hovering over the field and circling around a few times! It was so hard to contain my excitement! Hearing the wings flapping was way to cool. Even though they circled 3 times and got close they wouldn’t land. So we all tried shooting the 3 on the ground. Not one of us 6 shooters ever touch those birds. Christi did manage to get a decoy! What a great day!

We hunted till noon, did hear some shooting around us, but the weather was just not working in our favor. But I now have a duck stamp which means I can go hunting for them again on the 30th. The 12th was the last day of that season but opens back up the end of month. I’m hooked and now want a goose call. I know there’s a lot involved with hunting geese, between decoys and knowing where they’re at.

Hopefully I’ll get another chance to hunt geese again this year, cause that was a super fun day, and a great group of ladies to hang with! If you not tried hunting geese you need to at least try it. Sometimes the guide will have everything you’ll need. Loved it!!

 

Grand Slam

Never in my life did I ever think I could ever go for a grand slam. I only had one other chance in 2011. Not knowing a lot about hunting, other than deer and birds. Not realizing that it takes a moose tag to go for a Grand Slam Well I have that chance this year. Wow, what a year!

I got my bear on opening day. Bear season can be a long season, the pre-baiting, carrying in bait every few days and all the hard work of setting up a site.  Knowing I had a short season to really sit over bait, cause I had a moose hunt coming up. My friend Erin told me, you should go for your grand! Hmm, I now need to concentrate on getting the Grand Slam, which means a bear, which I have, and a turkey, deer and hopefully a moose! So now I’m after turkeys, a deer and my moose. Nothing is guaranteed until it happens. So on a Monday I got my turkey. A whole flock walked by and when I thought the last one was there I took him. Just to find out the biggest one still wasn’t in.

Next was the deer, a doe. I got her in my expanded zone which I also had a bonus doe permit. I didn’t manage to get anymore even though I had two bucks going through, so bought my buck tag.  Now it’s October 20th I’m on my way to Houlton Maine. We arrived a day early to scout but it didn’t work out that way. The road we wanted to scout was very long and the camp we were going to stay at we couldn’t check in till Sunday, other hunters were booked at Umcolcus sporting camp. We got at Umcolcus unloaded stuff.  We didn’t see anything on our way over, and them dirt roads go on forever! Most beautiful country up there in zone 6. So we now we’re ready to just unpack, and walk around and check out this sporting camp, owned by Jeff Fay which is owner of Spaulding Lake Outfitters. I did my hound hunt with Jeff.

So Monday comes, we gear up and pack up a lunch. We decided to keep trailer and four wheeler at camp. To noisy to drag around with us. We traveled the St. Croix Road, it then turns into two camp rd. I never thought I would get it done in just a few hours of opening day for me. While Charlie drove around I climbed out on the door frame for a better look, and it was a bit chilly but a much better view. As we came down the long straight I noticed movement on my side of the road. I said stop! I see one, but the head was behind a tree and couldn’t tell if it was a bull or cow. Charlie grabs the binoculars for a better look and yells it’s a cow shoot! I told him get your gun just in case I need a follow up shot. So he runs back to get his gun. At the count of three we both fired. She turned but didn’t go down I fired off another and down she went. When I got to her over all the fallen trees and brush she was still alive, so I made the kill shot. So we dragged her to the road with just a truck and rope. I started gutting her as Charlie went back for trailer and 4 wheeler. The whole 2 hours I sat waiting for Charlie to come back, I only saw 2 other people, and one wasn’t a hunter. I proceeded to gut her out but with no help to hold a leg up it’s not an easy task.

Finally Charlie showed up and she was on the trailer and half and hour, not bad for just 2 people hunting such a large animal. She weighed 414 lbs. Probably a 4-6 year old. We decided to stay at camp for a few days but the cold weather and first snow storm was on its way, so we decided to head back.  Now with all that meat I needed another freezer. Now I can’t wait for the banquet and my Grand Slam patch!! 2018 was the best year I’ve ever had as a hunter.

Hopefully you all enjoy my experience during this time of hunting. I just wished my granddaughter could have experienced it with me.

 

Snowshoeing

Winter is here and with a vengeance. Winter usually means lots of snow, wind and cold weather keeping most people inside. Specially so this year due to these frigid temperatures. Winters past we haven’t had a lot of snow or cold to do the outdoor activities that winter time brings.

Well snowshoeing is one of those winter time activities that I plan on enjoying as  much as possible this year with the abundance of snow we’re having so far this year. There are a lot of benefits to snowshoeing.

It combats the winter blues. It’s easy to learn and lots of family fun. You can experience wildlife on all the public land that is accessible. It’s a very low impact aerobic sport that burns more calories than walking or running! You can burn from 420-1000 calories per hour. It’s very affordable, once the gear is in hand the rest is just finding places to go.

It gives you experiences of landscape you might not be able to get to any other time off the seasons. Snowshoeing allows you to walk on snow that could be knee to waist deep with ease. Your kind of floating on the snow. 

Now time to go out and enjoy!!

Hunting alone…

Being a grandmother the joys of spending time with your grandkids  is over powering. I have an 11 year old who really loves the outdoors. I’ve taken her camping,  fishing, the fireworks, ice fishing and she really wanted to go hunting with Grammy this yr. I sure was hoping for that too. All set to get her a better bow because she really liked mine. Well soon after January I lost all rights to her, I told my lawyer about things he should have told me. So now I haven’t seen her since January of 2017, and this is where my story for her begins, so I can keep her alive for me. She is forever in my heart. Love you sweetie!!

Muzzleloader hunting

Well deer hunting for 2017 is over…muzzleloader along with expanded archery are officially over. I had no luck filling any tags this year. Archery I’m still new at, but will be practicing big time this spring! So on this last day we got snow! 2 hours before legal time. The snow was pretty squeaky under my boots, making it difficult to walk around, but I did my part of that too. It gets tougher throughout the seasons, but I had to give it my all and I did. 

Also had a beautiful gray fox approach me in the woods. I saw him from a distance and squeaked him back this close. Fox season is open, and I let him walk. After all I was deer hunting and it’s the very last day, plus I only had 2 bullets left, and one was already in the gun. Well better luck next year. Watch out archery deer!!

Hound hunting with Spauldinglakeoutfitters, my dream hunt.

My hound hunt with Spaulding Lake Outfitters, owner Jeff Faye, and his assistant Steve Tweedy.

I had a booking for a 2 day hound hunt. This is my first hound hunt ever. My thoughts of a hound hunt was running through the woods chasing dogs that are chasing a bear. But that’s not how it is at all. You go to the site and hope a bear was there eating early in the morning so you can let a dog out to track him. But the bears weren’t cooperating that Monday morning. They were coming in early evening leaving us a cold trail. So after checking several sites we got one that a bear was there around midnight, so Jeff set out one of his best cold tracking dog, Diesel. About 750 yards out it looked like he had something on the move. So Jeff set out a couple more dogs and they couldn’t pick up the scent. Diesel was headed in a direction that we couldn’t intercept right away. So we went to check the last two sites and Monday wasn’t looking good. Finally after a couple hours of running around we caught up with Diesel and headed back to the meet up spot.

Tuesday is here and we meet up with Jeff and Steve.  It was a little warmer today and foggy. So once again, the bears were coming in early. So we checked a few sites and found one that may produce something, so off again was Diesel. He did it again, he found a cold trail but he was pushing something and in a direction we could do something with. I was getting really excited. So Diesel ended up pushing the bear across the road and Jeff set off a couple more dogs. The dogs had him treed! Jeff was giving me step by step instructions and tells me “you need to move when I say move!! Stay right behind me and be ready!” Wow this is really happening! It was happening so fast! We got to the tree, Jeff and Steve are pulling dogs off the tree, and I get into position.  I barely get the gun up and safety off and here comes the bear down the tree! Jeff yells “shoot!” I did, and missed. Now bear and Diesel are on the run! Jeff set the other dogs loose, so back to the truck to watch their movements. We intercepted again and was able to release more dogs. Now we approach barking dogs and a good size bear about 60 feet up in a crotch of a huge pine! Jeff is telling me to get closer to him for a better shot, once into position I took a deep breath to try and relax. I fired, and the first shot hit the tree. Second one found it’s mark, third one I missed again and then the 4th I believe spined him, so he dropped into the crotch and that’s where he stayed. Now to figure out how to get him down. A long story short, we found the land owners, Seven Islands. A big thank you to Seven Islands for allowing the cutting of that tree, and retrieving my bear! Spaulding Lake outfitters in Oakfield  k would highly recommend for your bear hunt. Jeff gave it all he had to make sure I went home with a bear. Thank you Jeff!!

Hunting and fishing

I’m starting this blog so I can share my experiences of everything outdoors. I started hunting as a teenager with my mother. Once I graduated high school, hunting wasn’t in the picture for a long time. My son was probably about 6 when I picked it up again. I only hunted deer and birds, not turkeys cause I didn’t know they were around, I had never seen one until my dog flushed up a flock and about scared me to death. I’ve had some really good experiences in the woods in the short time I’ve been hunting. From being awakened by 2 does running by, to scaring the daylights out of a cat approaching me in the woods. Many fun experiences for sure. More to come soon…..