Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Deer Hunting Time

Left X = new spot, Right X = old spot
Saturday marks the beginning of the Minnesota Whitetail Deer hunting season.  It's always a struggle when you do not belong to an organized group as the guys I hunted with have long since scattered with the exception of my good friend Jack Taylor.  He and I have persevered for the last 10 years when we finally found a home on Rich Allen's 160 acres, south of Jack's cabin on Platte Lake, MN.  Platte Lake is about 10 miles west of Lake Mille Lacs and with his cabin, it offers a great place to base our hunting from.   Our good friend Rich died a couple of years ago leaving our hunting paradise in jeopardy.   We last hunted his place in 2010, I did shoot a nice tender yearling buck, yet 2011 brought uncertainty as we found another area that had promise.  Although Rich's land did not sell, in honor of our good friend I did host our deer hunting steak feed at Rich's house.  Our conflict on where to hunt didn't help anything as last year's hunt was less than successful but at least we got out.  Well this year Rich's land is still available and his nephew Brett has insisted we come back.  With the dry summer to our surprise the swamp is quite manageable, why not!  Brett had invited a few others so this year I decided to move west a bit as Brett has the area east of me covered pretty well.  As the picture shows, my previous stand was in an island of large Poplar trees surrounded by swamp, the X on the right.   There is a nice trail that runs through the small strip of swamp grass and into a grove of large tamarack trees.  Deciding that my old stand is somewhat cutoff I moved it west into the tamaracks where several trails intersect.  It puts me at least 300 yards away from anyone, well hidden, maybe that giant buck will finally walk by.  Having never shot any buck over 6 points and 12 inches, I would like to get a nice one before I leave this world, this could be the year.  Our steak feed will continue in Rich's memory and with a little luck I will have a great report for you next week.

Matt's Colorado 5 x 6 bull elk
People continue to send in their hunting pictures or should I say "trophies" to me, most worthy of the associated bragging rights!  Today I am in Colorado visiting customers while traveling with one of my coworkers, Brett Jelkin.  Brett is a great hunter yet after 17 years of living near Ft. Collins, he has yet to figure out where to bag a trophy elk.  It can take a lifetime of learning along with just the right conditions to get that 6 x 6 everyone is looking for.  Of course you can do what my friend Big Dave Pedersen did, pay someone a good chunk of money, yet that seems so wrong when you live right here in elk country.  Driving up from Pueblo this afternoon one of our associates, Matt e-mailed us a picture of his 5 x 6 elk he had shot earlier this month.   Hunting in the southwestern area of Colorado known for their big elk Matt scored big with a nice bull.   I haven't got the full story on the hunt however I am looking forward to hearing the details for sure.  When did you shoot it, did you call it in, how far back were you, are you having the head mounted, is it your first big bull?  I'd love to put one of these on my bucket list, maybe sooner than later for sure.  Whatever the story it's a great picture and maybe I can hustle some meat out of him!

HDS10 Gen 2
For me this is transition time.  We actually had pretty good weather up to a week ago but as things go it has turned much cooler.  It seems like it only takes a week to go from 60 degree days to 40 degree days.  With night time temperatures in the mid 20's the small swamps and ponds often have a skim of ice on them in the morning.  Safe ice cannot be too far behind as the forecast shows no significant warm up in the next couple of weeks.  It was still nice enough to get the oil and lower unit grease changed in my 115 Suzuki this week.  I was very surprised how clean both oil and lower unit gear lube looked.   In my lower unit I have started using Amsoil 100% synthetic Marine Gear Lube and after 3 years it still looked like new yet it was time to replace.  At the same time I traded my 2 year old Lowrance HDS10 for a slightly used HDS10 Gen 2 unit.  Lowrance's new technology using faster microprocessor is supposed to make it significantly faster, something I have already concurred, what a difference and I can't wait to try it out in the water.  Along with changing oil, I trapped a couple of pocket gophers trying to make my yard their winter hibernation home.  My neighbor Otto has a really smart one as it's alluded my traps for almost a week know.  I still think he's coaching these little pests! 


Duane said...

Good luck Mr. Anderson. Shoot well... and often.

Jeff King said...

When I was kid growing up in Montana I thought elk grew in the back of pick-up trucks because that was the only place I'd ever seen one.