Monday, November 30, 2009

As welcome as the Klan.

Swiss voters....not the politicians, figure it out.

If you want diversity, religious tolerance, womens's rights or gay rights, you can't have Islam.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Issue of the Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas Morning News Sunday Front Page: "Improving Cuba Relations? Check." A University of Texas at Dallas chess team just made a trip to play in a tournament in....el Cuba! The front page has a photo of two of them passed out on a bed and another wearing an army cap with red star and a stogie. La Revolucion! So zany! So fun! Playing chess in a dictatorship: exhausting!
Front page and a double page inside. What did Fidel do to improve these "relations?" Free a political prisoner? Grant some visas? Open up the press or the internet? Nope, nope and nada. Instead, these TOOLS went down to spend some bucks, play some chess and put a nice face on a mass-murdering criminal enterprise. No mention of firing squads, political prisoners or 50 years of dictatorial rule. The sponsor of the trip Magaly Spector and her family actually boated off the isle-prison in 1980 for Key West. If caught, she would have been jailed or shot.
She returns to betray the Cuban patriots languishing in Fidel's prisons or sleeping in unmarked graves. The article does mention the "azure seas" of an island paradise where Fidel chased off the nasty US corporations so that the Cubans wouldn't live under the iron yoke of economic progress and opportunity like the rest of us.
Nice job, UTD!
My favorite photo in the spread is of one of the Dallas young men playing chess while eight hip-looking young women watch from the nearest rope line. You KNOW these young ladies are chess fanatics! One even has a belt buckle on her low-riders that says "pinup." They couldn't be brought in just to distract the visitors? And I'm sure the regime long ago quit encouraging prostitutes in the tourist-only hotel district. (photo in the slide show that goes with the story)

So, with that, I end my daily reading of the DMN. I didn't subscribe, I BOUGHT a newstand copy nearly every day at Brady's Coffee (1.00 Yanqui American) or Sunday at a gas station on the way to Cafe Tazza (3.00 Yanqui American) where I drank coffee and ate breakfast brought to me by the economic engine driven by US Corporations driven from Cuba......

God bless the Cuban People. I pray for their freedom from the Castro brothers who have enslaved them for half a century.

Three bucks this morning. I'm going to call and ask for my money back.

But that's it. I'm done. I'll never buy a Dallas Morning News again.

Update: My letter to the Dallas Morning News reporter and Belo Board of Directors:

Mr. Granberry: You've heard the old joke about arguing with idiots- they drag you down to their level and then beat you up with their greater experience, so there is little point in listing the grievous and ahistorical points of your front page story in the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News. I should point out one salient fact: The Castro Regime REPRESSES the free press in Cuba and kills or imprisons those who dare speak out or protest. YOU are in a business that makes it's BUSINESS, (or used to), to present facts, speak out and publish in a free manner. You should perhaps give some thought before acting as a tool for such monstrous criminal enterprises as the Castro brothers.

The publication of your story on it's front page ends my forty years of buying and reading the Dallas Morning News. I'll never buy another issue.

Robert Langham
Tyler, Texas

Update: Their letter back to me:

Goodness gracious, Mr. Langham, was it that bad? First of all, I appreciate  hearing from you and love the fact that you have read us for 40 years. THANK  YOU! Let's see if we can make this right for you. I have gotten some very angry  e-mail, which was hardly my intention. Keep in mind, this was A CHESS MATCH,  played between kids in their 20s. Magaly Spector, the focus of the story, CHOSE  to leave Cuba because of its lack of freedoms -- which is made clear in the  story. She neither condones nor celebrates the Cuban government, nor do I. Far  from it. But Cuba is full of good people, who, like any of us, long for peace  and prosperity. They're stuck with what they've got. And they have an incredible  resolve despite the obstacles put in front of them. I do take issue with your  suggestion that my story is inaccurate or poorly reported. Quite the contrary,  sir. We'll just have to agree to disagree about that. But you have no idea how  deeply we appreciate your being so loyal to us over the years, and if one story  is able to derail that, I am truly sorry. As for me being an idiot, well, get in  line on that one. Have you been talking to my ex-wife? I am also sorry that you  thought I was acting as a "tool" for the Castro brothers, who in many, many ways  have been despicable. But again, not the point of my story, whether they have  been or not. Again, chess and peace among normal peoples were the reason for the  UTD trip, which was carried out in spite of the Castro regime, not because of  it.   Again, thank you so much for your loyalty. I would hope that you would  re-consider your decision and give me and the paper another chance.   All the best, Michael  

Capt. Scott Speicher found

Everything is somewhere. After many fits, starts and false leads they can finally bring the pilot home.

I don't know why this is getting news play today as most of the stories are tagged from August 2. Glad to have it resolved for his family.

More here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Truth to Power

It's ugly.

Update: I think I stole this from Breda. If so, THANKS!

What's the par on Tiger?

He looks like a long two-stroke to me. Tiger Woods gets beatabutta by wife....with golf club. Any gunnie worth his google-fu knows that more folks killed by doctors than guns in Obama's America, more folks injured and killed with blunt objects, (like a #3 wedge) than guns in Obama's America and more domestic violence injuries by hands and improvised cudgels than guns. Golf isn't a very safe sport, say compared to.....NRA Highpower Rifle Shooting! People of Obama's America, please! Lay down those Hogan drivers and topflites and take up guns! For the children! Most golf courses could and should be converted to skeet and smallbore ranges, with some Long Range and Highpower, plus action pistol thrown in. It's just common sense safety, after all.

So I'm not surprised. Nascar Drivers are statistically safer than golfers around those dangerous blunt objects. With all those wedges, drivers and putters laying around the house, Tiger was a domestic violence 9/11 call just waiting to happen.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday AM/PM

The Good Doctor came up to hunt. He held the chair in the corner and I was in my tree. Scrapes freshly worked....a lot. Nothing on cam. (I wonder how they do that?) 37 degrees, so it was like.....cold and junk. No wind. Nothing was going on until a doe crashed by Sneed with tail flagged up, followed by the sound of dogs...and another doe darting into the tall grass. She worked her way close to me and HID in the grass. I think she went to her knees. I could just see her head periscoping up watching the pooches. One of the dogs, a big lab, zig-zagged down until he was ten feet away from her. She held her ground until he actually looked in her eyes and then ran...straight at the Good Doctor. Sneed said she looked like she was going to steamroll him or jump over his shoulder at the woodline but swerved at the last moment. One of the dogs looked at him and growled. Civilized dogs. One had a collar. Black lab and a heeler mix. Bad business, chasing deer.

Nothing this evening. I'm officially hanging up my rattlin' horns. I think the deer have worked out all their regional differences.

Update: We shot his rifles at 500 to check the groups. From his 100 yard zero he was about four feet lower at 500 with his Cooper and Remington 700. Both of them were still grouping about six inches.

SS says: Obama safe!

Sure he was. His security couldn't do the FIRST thing you try to do: limit attendance to folks actually invited, but the Big O was safe. Never in danger.

If you believe that you are safe when your security can't do the first and simple things, then you are going to LOVE nationalized health care, which, I might add, won't cost anyone a dime.

Update: Noonan: They're amateurs.

Update the second: They did get their hands on the O. For this, the clamor arises to prosecute them. The press and hacks get it bass-ackwards, as usual. They deserve thanks for exposing shoddy security. The heads of SECURITY should roll.

Update the third: Unserious folks stroll through security, that means ZERO, Niltch, NADA serious folks are even TRYING to get to the President, or Biden, Reps, Senators, Bureaucrats, Tax Collectors, LEOs or their families, or anyone. Serious folks could have any of these peoples heads in a sack by next Thursday, but they aren't even making an effort. Great Satan indeed. So there's that very good news. We are wide open to attack at any point from any quarter at any time, but nobody is interested at present or we would be in ruins.

If it was Swiss or Germans, instead of Jihadic mass murderers, we'd be toast. Assimilated Islamonuts in the Army can slaughter folks with a pistola in the middle of the biggest Army Post in the known universe, but the organized folks aren't bothering to field 10 Malvo and Muhammed old-car sniper teams (for about 200K, delivered, total), to shut down the US economy. Be thankful they are leaving it to amateurs, part timers and Harry Reid. We'd be beatabutta.

Update the fourth: No Dithering!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Tisquantum: a man in full.

A Patuxet man. Widely travelled. Crossed the Atlantic four times. Exploited for his multilingual skills by everyone who chanced by. Last of his kind. Warrior, farmer, survivor. Like most of us, he might have preferred for various folks with guns and plans to leave him the heck alone so he could deerhunt, fish, farm, have a family and live with his people in peace. History rolled over him and that wasn't to be his fate.

Honorary Texan of Thanksgiving, 2009: Squanto!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of us but especially the folks working to arrest our slide into socialism and those fighting militant Islam around the world.

By next year Iran will will either have a working nuke or the Israelis will have cancelled the program. By next year cap and trade and government "medicine" will have destroyed the economy or not. The show trials in New York will be in full throttle. The Taliban in Afganistan will either have won or be crushed. If we can avoid destroying ourselves or being destroyed by our enemies until November 2010 we might have a much happier Thanksgiving next year.

I just hope to make it to New Years, then my birthday, still be on my feet at Camp Perry, then gear up year's deer season.

Update: I can't believe there isn't a mixed drink named after one of my favorite people: Squanto!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday PM: Bob the Cat

Dawns early light. Little buck who seems to own this scrape. If I was a painter, this is what my paintings would look like. What light!

Doe in heat on the 22nd.

He looks good from this angle but only is about seven inches inside spread.

Does on the licking branch.

A very animated young lady on the across the creek cam.

Across the creek on crunchy afternoon leaves, wading the rushing creek to the first cam, then drifted up the logging road to my chair looking into the hillside core area of a little buck. I gave it about ten minutes and then shook out a little rattling session. Two minutes after I sat back in the Walmart chair a healthy looking leggy Bobcat came down the opposite slope. Watched through the crosshairs. Coyotes never stop but Bobcats kind of flow along. He paused for a face rub on a sapling.

I get the feeling that Bobcats, like many cats, KNOW you are there, they are just ignoring you. This one never gave me a sidelong glance. Very spotted, like a little leopard. Never took the safety off. Couldn't think of a good reason to interrupt his flow. He disappeared upstream where I heard furious, cursing squirrels all the way up the hill. He must not ignore THEM.

No deer. In the dusk I swapped cards and left.

Wednesday AM: Wrens and Squirrels.

Spike on cam.

Crispy and splendid morning but nothing moving except fussing wrens and rattling squirrels. I got down at 9:30 and the little 1 1/2 year old buck that's been on cam a lot over here was coming out of the treeline. He didn't puzzle me out but went downwind and blew a few times in the cover of the brush. Handsome fellow but not wide enough to be legal. Too small to interest me. I didn't bother to shrug my rifle off shoulder.

Scrapes all freshly worked and added to. Two new ones up the treeline. Second rut? Cool weather? I moved my cam back to an old spot. One spike on the card.

Daily Deerhunt

Detail of a scrape. You can see a couple of fresh prints in it. They dig them up as a scent mark and neighborhood info spot.

After 13 straight days of hunting mornings and most evenings I burnt out. Went a couple more times by myself and hunted AM/PM with Dr. Sneed when he drove up. Just not much to be seen, except on deercam. They ought to be full by now. Going out again in the morning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ambush Teaching

Only one day of class this week before the Thanksgiving break. I've repeatedly told my students that I do this for my entertainment, and if I get bored, I'll quit. So far not much danger of that though I do find it exhausting. To teach. You tell someone the most important and exact thing that they need to know at the precise point in their life they need to hear it....and they haven't the ears for it. Locked in a drama. Young. No money. Texting. Weaning themselves from their parents, (or being weaned, or NOT being weaned!), ignorant, no connections, no skills, blah, blah.

Gotta love 'em.

So today on this orphaned pre-Thanksgiving session I went to the tennis center, introduced myself as a photo instructor and said I needed a favor. The favor was: I needed to borrow some tennis balls. I was asking an older, experienced coach. The kind of guy who obviously has a wealth of life skills and wisdom. He asked if we were going to take a photo of tennis balls. I said, "Nope. I'm going to teach them to juggle."

I can get folks jugging in about 30 minutes. It's really simple but it's the kind of thing, like walking barefoot on hot coals, that generally is not believed to be simple and easy. Not that juggling is EASY...but if you learn the technique in the order I present it, in about 30 minutes you are juggling three tennis balls.

First your head learns, then your hands learn, then you are juggling.

Of course I'm not really teaching juggling. It turns out to be photoshop or some other terrifying inscrutable life skill or information block, but once they learn to juggle they get ANOTHER lesson about the limits they put on themselves. Or not. We'll see in a bit.

Early class was in the hallway working on technique and a young lady needed to pass. I couldn't get her to just WALK through the bouncing balls to get out the door so we all paused...but when she got by everyone three tennis balls at her.

Works best if you spring it on them. I set my watch. Anyone juggle? No? In 30 minutes, in the finest traditions of adjunct instructing and Tyler Junior College, you'll be juggling.

Update:  A video.  Not as simple as my instruction, but you can see what is going on.

  I think anyone interested in martial arts ought to be able to juggle a little.

Sunday AM/PM

Dr. Sneed drove up for a little sit in the woods session. New scrape in the pine straw next to my tree. Sneed heard deer run by below him off the bluff. I was frantically texting him while watching a deer homing in on his position through the woods, (doe) after I had rattled. In the afternoon I thought I heard a response to my rattling back in the woods but nothing but a hawk cheeping and whistling around the pasture.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NCAA Jr College National Champions

Surrounded by fans.

Team with National Championship Trophy.

TJC Women's team did it. They WON!.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tyler Junior College Women's Soccer

Wouldn't this be a neat photo to have of yourself going after the ball in the NCAA semi-finals?

Got to shoot the NCAA Womens Soccer semi-finals at TJC this evening. Ran the ISO up to 3200, set the White Balance on auto and stood around like a tourist, snapping away.

The Tyler Junior College Women won the match.

Friday AM: Rain

Needed to work on some clients stuff on the computer so I ended my streak. Back on for Saturday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tyler Independent School Bus Driving

Every morning for the past two weeks I am out the door a little before 6AM to go hunt. My route takes me past the TISD Bus Barn behind the administration building. If I'm on the late side, I get mixed in with the school busses.
Keep in mind, these are big, long, yellow-dog school busses. Also keep in mind that I am NOT in a hurry, driving at or below the posted limit sipping coffee and trying to stay in sync with the traffic signals.
Not so, the TISD busses. They speed. They tailgate. They flip lanes like a skateboarder on meth. Yesterday one pulled up behind traffic next to me at about 2X the posted limit and flashed his lights to clear the lane like a 580SL on the Autobahn. I try to stay ahead of them when possible, or let them clear through but they seem to ignore yellow lights at intersections and bust reds with impunity. Just because you make the light doesn't mean they won't be right behind you.
It's not one or two, it can be six or more at the same time, racing out the highway, passing on the painted median, hurtling out the highway toward their routes.
I'm sure this is safe, professional bus technique, because they are all doing it right in front of the administration building, but it's pretty sporty inside a herd of these monsters.

Thursday AM: 13th day

The little resident buck. Too narrow antlers to shoot.

Nice genetics in a young buck.

Different young buck not wide enough to shoot.

Doe and yearling fawn trailing through.

Unknown. Fox? Raccoon?

Beautiful clear still morning and not a deer to be seen. A big Buteo sailed in and sat on a snag across the pasture and squirrels racked around in the woods. At 9:30 I crossed the creek and rattle and a sat for a bit. Pulled the cam cards. Scrapes look untouched, but cams show several animals checking by.
Back in this evening. This is getting boring even for me. I've never hunted this many consecutive days of a year. Part of that shows how bad the economy is. I've got plenty of time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wed AM: 12Day.

Foggy this morning beyond anything I have seen. The pasture cloaked in mist. Pipeline disappearing into grey. Trees looming up here and there. Absolutely beautiful. 37 degrees with no wind. Comfortable if you are bundled up. At 8:25 a mature doe swam through the tall grass just 15 yards out. She was alone and had that questing look to her, wasn't looking back. She disappeared into mid-pasture and a minute later a buck dashed out of the woods in the corner. I didn't notice antlers so he wasn't anyone I was interested in. No shot at any rate. Never saw them again. I think they were the 13th and 14th deer of the season.

Even with the gaps I cut in the pine I'm not watching behind myself all the time or to all points of the compass. Probably looking at 90 to 120 degrees of coverage. The doe went out of sight behind a big garland of pine bough on the end of one of the branches. No telling how much I have missed. Got to be something. You can't be looking everywhere all the time.

Back in the tree or across the creek in the morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday AM

Freshly dug up scrape under the oak tree. Scapes are where deer dig up the dirt and....annoit it with various deer liquids to make a scent mark.

Location of scrape and hanging scent branch.

37 with promised wind out of the NNW. I bulked up under my Swiss camo coveralls and was in the tree before dawn. Rattled a little before I went up. The wind has stripped leaves and laid a layer of pine straw all over everything below my tree. At 7:30 two big healthy does and a yearling fawn were behind me just off the pipeline. Just saw them by chance sine they were behind me.

They didn't seem to be going anywhere, first toward the pasture, then down the pipeline, then back down the hill along the treeline toward me, then into the woods, back out, down the treeline a bit more until they were within spitwad range, then back into the woods, then around to the south. I put the gun on one of the does just for practice. I thought maybe they could smell me in the swirling air. Rifle was stripped down out of it's camo sock and oiled yesterday. Even I could smell it.

Nice looking deer. Three in one day. The record for the season so far.

Fresh print in a gopher mound in the tall grass when I was coming down the hill. The scrape had been worked freshly, first time in a week. Second rut must be starting. The wind picked up around 8:00 and by 9:15 I had enough.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday AM

Saturday at dusk. I was back across the creek. Usually this is about the time I am hanging it up. Wouldn't have missed the triple cam flash.

Moved this cam back to the corner of the woods.

Big rain last night. Not a track in the freshly washed sand on the pipline. Wind from the northwest for the first time and the pine was rocking. I gave it up after an hour and moved a cam. Might have been better to be in the woods but creek is uncrossable due to high water.

Brought my rifle in, unsocked it from the camo and gave it an oiling. Temp has fallen all day and now it's crispy and windy. Wintery for the first time. Have to bundle up in the morning.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday AM

Checking the scrape in the grass just past the cam.

Little buck with tight horns. This must be his place.

Looks bigger from the side.

Rain coming in this evening and Monday morning. Big temperature drop. So much for hunting in 70 degree weather. Maybe it will stir up the deer. It will certainly reset all the sign, (tracks) and bring down the leaves. Going to be a different season in 24 hours.

I've got a lecture this afternoon at the museum and then going to watch Dallas and Green Bay. If the weather is bad Monday morning I'm taking that off as well. I've hunted eight straight mornings. Will pick up Tuesday Morning.

Drifted in plenty early and sat in my chair watching the far bank. It's a real core area over there, full little cedars with rubs from this season. Scrape on one end, probably another within 100 yards. Thick cover behind and uphill. Water below. Perfect big buck habitat.

Rattled at 7:00 sharp just in good light. I paused at 7:03 and decided to pump a little spray, then went back to rattling intending to go to about 7:06. A buck snorted and ran across the way, continuing to snort back in the cover. He'd been very close and come right to the rattle silently. I don't THINK he could see me. Might have been the spray pump. Air very still.

Not another sign until I left at 10:15. Crossed over and swapped cards clipping a few branches coming and going.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday AM/PM

Doe on cam after I left.

Hiking past the field-expediant cam.

Filipinos got their window replaced. Coffee about the same. I haven't mentioned the cinnamon rolls but they are pretty terrific.

Got in the tree and watched the woodline until a young spike materialized in the tall grass. I was hoping for a single doe with a buck following but instead got this lonesome youngster. I've been expecting more of this action, maybe a couple wandering young bucks a day banished by their moms and threatened by the bigger bucks, bopping around. Haven't seen them. The spike was the 6th deer total in eight days, most of them AM and PM days. He looked healthy and fat but had pitiful spikes.

At 9:30 I got down and went across the creek to sit and watch where I saw the buck last night. The morning light dramatically spotlights the grassy slope across the little streamlet. I moved the chair a few yards to a very advantageous spot. Move a couple of branches. Sat for a couple hours.

This evening I went back to the chair. A father and son were on top of the indian village, lake property owners looking around. Dad had some kind of deer rifle with him but they were as likely to get a shot at a buck as at Bigfoot. Two teenagers and a dog were on the west skyline at the powerline. I could hear crowd noises, maybe from Pine Cove in the woods. Nothing moving in the afternoon but squirrels chasing and whistling.

Came out in the impressionistic black and white dusk. Half mile hike. On the logging road I walked my face into a little spider who somehow has suspended herself in the middle of a wide space. Every day she has a few more yellow eggs glued to her back. I think I got clear without damaging her project.

Grinding hunting, day after day. I'm happy but beat. Fell off a tree step Monday in my soft rubber boots and have been limping along with a sprained toe for a week. Slowly working back into shape. The season was a week later than normal this year, not starting the first week of November but the second. They aren't digging up the scrapes anymore.

Last year I shot a nice deer on the 16th as he dug out an old scrape. Might be looking at the second rut for any action.

Two bucks each morning for coffee and a roll. 16 bucks so far to the Filipinos. They are having a nice deer season.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mr X.

When the redhead and I go out to eat, as we did this evening at Johnny Carinos, I never give my name. They ask for it and I tell them: Mr. X.

There isn't any reason for these folks to know who I am. They aren't friends. We aren't neighbors. We don't have business. Besides, they tend to REMEMBER exactly who Mr. X is, and get me a seat. Forthwith.

The other day we went to El Charro's and an older man was taking the reservations.
"Mr. X", I tell him.
"Mr. Rex"? He repeats?
"No," I insist," "Mr. X."
"Mister Rex," he confirms, and I let it go. (I am NOT unreasonable about this.)
"If he calls for Mr. Sex," The redhead declared, "I'm leaving."

Friday PM: Logging out.

This must be yesterday's buck. The time stamp is off an hour but I might not have reset this cam.

Nice little buck but too narrow to make the new antler regulations. Minimum is 13 inches inside.

I didn't know he stayed this close this long. Six files.

In the morning they are wet, flat and pliable but by afternoon fallen leaves have had all day to dry and curl. Gets noisy walking in. Factor in big feet- one of my heels equals all four of the biggest bucks footprints- and its hard to be absolutely quiet. Plus, human hearing doesn't equal deer ears. They might be able to tell the difference between Sweetgum crunches and Oak, plotting your location like a organic GPS.

I went in late (4:00) to the logging road. Corned up the across-the-creek cam and then quietly as possible, up to my chair on the road. Thank goodness for Pine needles. After a bit I took my rifle and crossed the creek with a pair of hand clippers, improving the view. Up at the scrape I switched the card and clipped my way back to the plastic chair across the little streamlet. Nine files. 5:00pm

I sat and watched the afternoon and when I felt the forest grow bored with me, I picked up the rattling horns for a little interactive deer hunting. I gave it about three minutes, pumped a little spray to seal the deal and sat back texting and watching the brush. At 5:30 a large buck gave a little jump and started slowly walking toward my cleared lane. I got the rifle on him but couldn't see enough horns through the vines and twigs to tell who it was. When he got to my open spot he quartered away from me and vanished in the cedars.

My IMPRESSION was that he was biggish, missing his left antler and limping. I could have hammered a 7X57 in from the back corner in the one-second look but there wasn't enough antler to justify that. I think he was following his rub line and heard the rattling-when he was walking he kept his head down like he was "displaying". He didn't return but I might have heard him rubbing a tree downstream.

This is what you get: Seven straight days of hunting, morning and most evenings and it comes down to a 15 second exposure with one second to evaluate and take a shot. Good enough.

I really tried to make little cat's feet in the gloaming going out. Hardly a sound except the one note song from my sling swivel now and then. Might try back in there in the morning and see if they are working the rub line.

Friday AM

Field-expediant camera stand.

Deer scrape.

Deer scrape.

I THINK this is an owl sitting on the cam.

Little 1 1/2 year old buck on the scrape.

Someone punched a big hole in the Filipino Donut shop drive-by window and climbed in looking for riches. The girl said he didn't start cooking. Turns out that they take the riches home every night.

Crime is a pain in the butt.

Quiet morning. Rattled at 8:15 and got a little buck in before I could get back in the tree. He couldn't quite decide what I was but he didn't come all the way in. He was so excited he wagged his tail so vigorously that I laughed. He's seen a fight before.

News that they shot two bucks last weekend, one a big nine pointer across the creek. No one seems to have a photo so I don't know who it was.

No coyotes. Just sitting and watching. This is about the time in a season when non hunters at the coffee shop start berating me for not being able to see more deer. I've been in the tree for three and a half hours every morning since Saturday, plus all but two afternoons. Lotta tree time, I admit. If you could just show up ten minutes before the buck stepped out it would be easy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday PM: Buck in Brush

Doe and yearling fawn.

Couldn't face the pasture and treeline again so I snagged a plastic Walmart chair from an old position and walked across the creek. I HAD a chair over there previously but it disappeared.

Bigfoot. My hero. And I don't mind supplying a nice plastic arm chair to a reclusive hairy-butted outdoorsman like him.

Eased in over the indian village and through the toothpicks. Across the creek at the log and in and out of holes on the powerline. At the across-the-creek cam I SAT down and changed cards. Dang civilized to have a good green plastic chair under you. Up the hill I picked a spot in the middle of an abandoned logging road and watched across a cheery little creek fork up the far hillside. The pines and hardwoods are tall and rob the sunlight. The understory is vines and hollys and hardwoods. Good grass and spindly cedars up the hill. Thick.

I was here sitting on the ground a couple of afternoons ago.

A scrape is just out of sight. Marked by a child's sweatshirt over a limb. I found it on the hillside. No clue. I hung a cam on the scrape a couple days ago. With my rifle across my lap I watched for an hour.

Lots of squirrels racking around. The owls booted up and started booming. Little dusky birds zoomed through the understory fussing and rasping. Then a little buck stepped into a hole in the brush right about where I expected him. 30 yards. Maybe.

If you don't see a HUGE rack first thing, there is no point in getting excited. I started the rifle up slowly just to scope him and set up for a bigger deer following, if there was one. He stepped back out of sight and ten yards later I saw his head bobbing along the ground through another hole. Then he started and ran. I think it was the smushed horn buck.

Perhaps the blinking red light got him. Or just the strangeness of a new plastic box on a tree. I put black target pasters over the ready light but need a double layer to really close it off. The cam flashed twice more. I waited for him to circle and maybe he did on the other side. The light fell and I tip-toed out.

When I come over to pull the card on that cam in a few days I'm going to bring a pair of loppers and quietly open up some slight lines. This ought to be a good place. You would think a nice buck could be rattled up in here.

Thursday AM: Working Rifle

Ruger #1 in 7X57 w/Leupold 3-9x

This is my only scoped deer rifle. I think of it as a working gun. It's probably killed 30 deer over the years, both mine and my guests. Few more to go.

Just this season it's been up and down various trees 20-30 times, in the brush, the back of the 4-runner, slung and carried across streams, down trails, laid aside while I rattled deer. It's gotten dirty and every year it picks up a few little bumps and bruises while I climb in and out of stands. Comes with the territory.

I've got some terrible sock camo for it, ("snakeskin" I think), but it makes it easier to hide behind. Single shot shooting 130gr Sierra Gameking handloads with 44 Varget. I've shot it at targets from 100 to 500 yards. It shoots a nice group at 500 with 100grn Matchkings.

Five shots in a wallet on the sling.

Cooler morning this AM. Thought it might move the deer but only a big gray coyote flashed around in the far corner of the field. Kept expecting to see one of the big three bucks floating his antlers over the tall grass while scanning for does.

Keep hunting. Maybe I'll add up the hours while I'm on the stand.....this afternoon. I've hunted every day since rifle season opened, usually twice a day.

Thursday AM

Up an hour before alarm. Of course I don't HAVE an alarm, I usually just wake up when I need to wake up. Funny how that works.
Seven or eight degrees cooler this morning. 51 instead of 59. Makes a difference to me and I hope to the deer. 50 is the break point on actually being comfortable outside. I'm going to lay on a thicker version of USGI long underwear. Maybe the crisper air will get them moving. They are out in it now in the same hair they were in yesterday.
No wind. Sunrise at 6:48.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wed AM: Coyote plus.

Some smoke lingering at 6:30 this morning when I put the fifth half-cup of Filipino coffee in the sapling where the trail starts and started winding my way to the tree. I saw a coyote briefly silhouetted up the pipeline but didn't bother to look at him through the scope. I'm not interested in coyotes. A little rattle, or actually a medium one, before treeing up at 6:40. Nothing around.

Scrapes worked as usual. Instead of deer I got a nice little blondish coyote zig-zagging through my side of the tall grass pasture trying to bluff up a rabbit, then another big gray one across the field. Other than that the 8th hunt went by like watching paint. Teaching this afternoon and evening but will gear up again tomorrow. The last smoke from the smoldering burn piles will be gone by then. Sooner or later I'll match up. Most years start just like this. Lotta tree time, not many deer. I'm hunting well and seeing everything within view. Gotten comfortable in the tree. They're around.

9th hunt tomorrow morning. Filipino coffee and early light in the field.

Stomped down some mid-pasture weeds to clear the view toward the scrapes in the center. Cams all across the creek.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday PM: Life on the road

First deer of the year was under this mid-pasture Oak. Two big scrapes on this side of it under overhanging branches.

View from the pine. Scrape visible to the left of trunk above the bare branch. That's the scrape that has the overhanging leafy branches in many of the deercam photos.

Nice pic of me in my camo standing next to a fresh deer rub.

Butler Creek Crossing. Glad to have this tree down to step on. Deer crossing as well.

Brushpiles still burning and folks moving around so I took a cam and went across the creek to a scrape. Installed the camera and got a pair of deer snorting me from 30 yards up in the brush. Wait until they get their picture made. That'll show 'em.
I retreated in a cloud of buck scent back to an old logging road. Rattled after a bit and sat until dark watching and listening. Nothing happened except a hawk going after a squirrel behind me. Quite a ruckus.

Tuesday AM: First Deer of the Year

Never seen this kid before.

Nice genetics. 1 1/2.

Gotta love this action. Bigfoot, probably.

Smushed horn buck shows up again. Bad genetics.

Doe and yearling fawn.

Carried my Filipino coffee with me and left it in the fork of a sapling on the trail. Went in quietly. The front sling swivel sings a little one-note tune now and then. That's it. First clear morning. If you hunt a lot, you really get to experience the fall. When I was across the creek sitting in a tree-chair the leaves were falling down like raindrops.

A doe under the mid-pasture oak on the scrapes. Just a shadow in the tall grass until she raised her head. Then a yearling along with her. They went to the corner and into the woods. She looked alert but not in the rut. Could already be bred. Still waiting for the first running does and bucks.

I rattled a little with no results. The landowner showed up to burn a brushpile and I went across the creek to rattle and sit. Lots of sign and freshly dug scrapes. I rattled and sat in my tree for an hour, then went up the creek and checked a scrape.

New young buck on the cam.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday AM

  Another gorgeous morning of nothing.  Footprint still in the scrape this morning.  Nothing on the cam.  For the first time there is a little push of air from the NE.  Just a drift.

  Third cup of Filipino coffee and I have spilled all three opening up the back and getting into my Swiss coveralls.  Maybe I could buy coffee by the shot.

  I'm set.  Righthand shot, lefthand shot.  Power set on the scope.  Safety on.  Got all the moves rehearsed depending on which direction a deer appears from.  If at first glance it doesn't have a  REALLY big rack, I just watch.

  Not sure if I can really see the scrapes in center field as well as I hoped.  Maybe.  Probably.  Lotta tall grass.  

  Teaching this evening but rattling in the Tuesday AM to get a little more interactive.  We'll see who's around.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

#4. Sunday PM: More Deer-Free Hunting

They're here, the scrapes are freshly dug out, plenty of prints and on the cams, just not matching up yet. You just have to stay in the tree and watch the treelines. Might try a little rattling tomorrow to gin up some little bucks. Plus you never know. Killed some nice big bucks rattling.
The changing fall view is worth the time. Leaves changing and coming off. Light flips between the morning and evening hunt. It's like Zen meditation. You have to stay still...and remain alert.

First deer of the year will be along in a bit and things will be rolling. So far the only mammal I've seen is one fox squirrel.

Back at it in the morning, the 5th hunt. ONE of the many reasons I love hunting home territory is because of the hours you get to put in and the personal knowledge of the deer you see.

Replacing cards this afternoon I put a fresh boot print and then sprayed down all the scrapes. My rubber boots don't leave a scent and the print gives me a time marker for when they are dug out again. Spray was Tinks.

Sunday AM

Across the creek. Cam keeps saying SD card is locked when it isn't. Still shoots files, but worrysome. I added more corn. It's piling up.

Handsome guy I hadn't seen before. I would have noticed the brow tines. Nice deer, for someone. Needs another year or two.

Here he is at the other cam.

Here's a little Buck I hadn't seen. Look at HIS browtines. Just 1 1/2 years old and wondering what all the fuss is about. Not legal. Great genetics.

Ok, Maybe I am blogging deer hunting for a bit, day by day.

This morning I was in the stand by 6:24. A buck was on cam at 6:10 or so, but the clock hasn't been reset for Daylight Savings or whatever it is we are using. I'm an hour off. I did reset the clock.

Coffee from the Philipino Donut place and ghosted into the field jst at the edge of light. Wonderful morning. Mist hanging over the fields. World coming to life. Not a thing moving.

I sat in the tree and texted with Sneed and the Redhead. It's a terrific position. I can see three of the main scrapes. Just nothing going on. Still. Might have been a good morning for rattling.

They fired across the creek at 6:46. It's visitors of the folks over there from Terrell. They shoot anything that walks in front of them. I keep checking but haven't caught anyone who knows anything. Second morning with a shot. Sounded like they hit something.

Getting in shape to sit in a tree. Comfortable enough. Plenty watchful. Got down at 10:30 and pulled the cam cards on both cams, freshened up the scrapes with spray, looked at the third scrape and headed across the creek. Left my cushion, bag, cam, binocs in the tree. Back in a few hours.

The other neighbors dead coyote is buzzing with flies on the pipe line. Lots of sign across the creek. Just another deer-free day. Other days coming.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nothing in the AM/PM

Rut is on. They are circulating in daylight.

First files of a buck in the daylight.
He's been on the other camera. Nice deer. Needs two more years.

Butt not quite in tree sitting shape even with the new pillow. Nothing moved in my little corner but someone missed three times upstream, the downstream neighbor shot a coyote and across the creek they shot something, don't know what.

Pulled cam cards. Lots of digging in the scrapes. Will hit it again this afternoon. I think I'm in the best position but grass is shoulder high in the field. Nothing to be done about it.

Got down at 10:15. Cam Card shows a very nice buck yesterday at......10:44.

Update: Back from the evening hunt. Still waiting for the first deer of the year. Some visiting hunters shot something across the creek. They usually shoot anything that walks out in front of them and that's the end. Hope so. Butt working into shape for limb sitting. Most shots from this tree are left-handed. Trying to be ready. Back in the tree at 6:20 in the AM.