Monday, November 6, 2017


Last night, when I got back to my motel, I turned on the news and heard the sad and terrible news about the shooting in Texas. I will not go into my thoughts about it, it is too soon, except to say kudos to the neighbor of the church who confronted and engaged the shooter (shooting him but not killing him yet stopping him from further rampage). We need more Americans like him (or them, I now hear there were possibly two good guys wo stopped up to engage the bad guy). 

My condolences to the families and loved one of the deceased. My prayers for them and of course for the survivors who were injured, hoping for a speedy and full recovery for them.

Al the best,
Glenn B

Hunting A La William Tell - Well Not Really Like Him...

...but there was a crossbow and apples involved but alas not the crack shooting of William Tell.

With all good intentions of departing my house at about 0900 on Thursday morning, to head to my chosen hunting grounds in upstate NY, I wound up leaving around 2PM. Of course, that put me in the early NYC rush hour(s) but that is what I get for waiting until the last minute to get everything done that I needed to finish before taking off. Truth is, I was sick as a dog for the entire week before that (Weds. - Weds.) and still not feeling 100% by Thursday so at least I can sue that as an excuse. Anyway, I was finally off and headed north by northwest (literally). Nothing exciting to report for 99% of the trip, just lots of traffic until I was well 
through and out of NYC.  I did have a moment of sheer scared the shit out of me for a moment sheer thrilling moment when a doe walked out in front of my car while I was doing just a tad over the speed limit. I figure I was going 67 or 68 at most. When I saw the deer, I jammed on the brakes hard and hit the horn. I also glanced into the rear view and immediately eased up the pressure on the brakes because while I thought the guy behind me saw I was hitting the brakes he seemed to ne coming way too fast and maybe even sped up. Luckily he swerved to the left and missed hitting my Toyota Corolla's ass end by about 2 or three feet (that brought memories of last September to mind when my previous Corolla was ass ended and totaled). He only slowed down hard as he was passing me but pass me is what he did. Had the deer kept going and not done an about face and headed back from whence it had come, he would have been sure to nail it. Me, I missed it by about 30 feet at most. As quickly as it had gotten me all fired up - it was over. Took me a little longer to calm down but not much longer.
Stayed at Binghamton overnight and the next day I was out hiking and scouting deer sign in the area I had previously scouted and chosen to hunt. I went to my preselected stand and nicely surprised to see there were still about a dozen or more apples in the apple tree at the edge of the clearing near to where I would take my stand the following day. Set up my trail camera pointed more or less toward the apple tree since there were some apples on the ground around it. Meant to set up the trail cam about 1 1/2 to 2 months ago but then had an unexpected spate of working, like 5 weeks straight and had to catch up on chores and such after that, then I got sick for that week I mentioned. Never got the chance to get away to place it. After finally setting the camera, I walked around a bit more hoping to see other sign or maybe to stumble across some squirrels or a turkey but no luck there. I did walk up on about a half dozen or more chipmunks, getting as close as 5 feet or so away from one and never even making it take second notice of me. That while wearing blaze orange with a black branch camo pattern on it.
On Saturday, I sat in the stand for a few hours waiting. Luckily, while it was about 33 degrees out when I took my stand, I never felt more than a mild chill.  As the day went on, it started to warm up a bit by around 1100 or so. Got into the mid 40s maybe low 50s. All that while, I saw and heard nothing except some chickadees and several crows flying about cawing and cackling. Sometime around midday or one, I headed out to stretch my legs and get my circulation going. Went up hill a little, crossed over an old stone wall running up and down the hill, and almost instantly spooked a decent sized buck. Could not see much of its rack but it had one with a fair curve to it, so probably at least a 6 to 8 pointer is what I thought then. I stood my ground, waited about 10 minutes, then gave a doe bleat with my call and also a follow-up buck grunt. Almost immediately after that, a deer came scampering my way. At first I thought it was a doe but the way it came in I think it was a very young buck and since it had no antlers it was not the same as the other one I had just seen. It stopped and was looking around and after a couple of minutes I gave another doe bleat, it came closer and essentially right at me but then veered off and walked from my right to my left broadside to me about 25 or 30 yards off. It stopped behind some brush and I decided that, even though it would have been a kill shot with a 12 gauge or my Marlin 336 in 35 Rem., I had almost no chance of a good shot with my crossbow. I waited. I bleated again, and it moved, once again remaining broad side to me. I brought up the crossbow, got a bead on it and what did it do but stop behind more brush. Dumb animals, I think not, not even this young button-buck. I waited for 10 minutes or so more and moved a little to get a different viewpoint. It was gone and the best I can figure is that when behind the brush, it turned to its right or directly away from me and walked off. Oh well. Never saw it or the bigger one again that day. Back to my stand and sat the rest of the afternoon. Well, not actually sat, at maybe about 230 or so, I laid down and took a nap. When I woke up the sun was very warm on my face and a look at myself in the motel mirror later that night showed I got a slight burn. Nice for November in NY State.
Sunday was more of the same except that instead of getting to my stand at least a half hour before sunrise, I got there around noon. What can I say, I am getting to be a senior and I need the sleep. Once at the state land, I readied my gear and headed off into the woods to my spot. About a hundred yards down the old logging trail, I realized I had forgotten the extra batteries for my crossbow's red-dot scope. I hemmed and hawed and then decided to go back figuring how passed I'd be at myself if the battery died and I had no spare. That probably took all of ten minutes. Now, I am sure you have heard of being in the right place at the right time and had I not gone back to my car for the battery, I am guessing I would not have arrived at either that day but as it turned out that delay led to some excitement for me. I hadn't walked into the woods on that ancient logging road for more that 8-10 minutes at most, when things stated looking good. As I walk along, while hunting, I stop often - sometimes for a few seconds - sometimes for a minute or two. I had not bothered to do that for at least the first five or 6 minutes of the walk in toward the stand. In fact, it was on the second such stop, as I looked to my right, I saw a 6 point buck was more or less paralleling me out about 35 to 40 yards into the woods. In actuality he was moving toward the road I was on a about a 45 degree angle. I am sure he knew I was there but he either though me another buck or a doe. He was none to cautious about it either and I think he thought he was about to get some and all I could think was that he was abut to get fucked shot. I slowly turned to get a good shooting stance, waited, saw he was still walking, raised the cross bow, turned on the red-dot scope, waited as the buck stopped to look around, waited more, he started walking again, waited more and as the buck stopped about 30 or 35 yards off broadside to me. I fired and heard the unmistakable thud of my bolt slamming into a tree.
I was not happy but the buck did not go far, maybe 10 yards or so, still broadside to me and no more than 35 or 40 yards distant. He looked back over his shoulder and I just stood still. Then he turned around and took a few steps back the way he had been going when paralleling me. He stopped again and was looking toward me for a bit then looked the other way and I bent over and cocked the crossbow, put an arrow onto the rail and slowly got down and took a shooting stance on one knee. I hoped he would move because the shot I had was obstructed by lots of braches from saplings. He or I moved a little, I cannot recall which and I chanced a shot and saw the bolt get deflected and heard that same thud as the arrow buried itself into a tree trunk. The deer took off. Many oh man had it been firearms season I could have nailed it easily with shotgun, Marlin 336 or even with a pistol. I walked out into the woods after him about 5 or 10 minutes later. Did not see him anywhere around 360 degrees. I did find my first arrow in an evergreen of some sorts, pine or hemlock - I don't know my trees. I could not get the broadhead out but was able to gouge out enough wood with my Ka-Bar to be able to unscrew the shaft. No way I was getting the broadhead out without breaking the tip off of my knife so I hammered the head all the way into the tree using the pommel of the knife. There had only been about 1/4 inch of one the blades sticking out from the tree but  figured why take a chance someone might get hurt on that. Now that may sound overly cautious, I mean what would the chances be of someone else coming up on that same tree and somehow getting cut on that bit of blade but in a moment it may not seem so far fetched.
I looked around for the other arrow, the second one I had fired but could not find it. I had the thought that heck, maybe I had hit the deer and that thud was the sound of the broadhead hitting bone even tough I had been sure it had hit a tree. I set off looking for blood. Did not find any blood but after another 10 or 15minutes, I found the other bolt in another tree. Here is a picture of exactly how I found it, you look at it and tell yourself what is wrong with the photo and remember my first arrow hit a tree about 10 yards from this one. 
You do see what I mean, don't you!
Just in case you don't get what I am getting at, let me show you a close up.
Tell me, in a 536 acre wood, with however many trees per acre, what
were the chances of me shooting my arrow into the same tree from
 which someone else had evidently already removed an errant arrow.

 Yes folks, I swear by all that I hold dear, that is exactly how it looked when I found my second arrow stuck in that second tree. There must be at least a thousand trees in an acre of those woods, if not more, and I shot my arrow into what looked like a tree that someone else had shot into with an arrow and then removed it. That is not a bullet hole if only because of the way the bark and some wood was chipped away and laying on the ground at the base of the tree. It looked virtually exactly the same as what I had done to the first tree trying to recover the first arrow and what I was about to do to this one trying to recover this arrow. Turned out I could not get this arrow out, the head was in much deeper than the first one in the other tree. Maybe I could have dug it out completely had I spent another half hour to hour trying to chip and carve the tree to get it out but I wanted to hunt for my remaining few hours, heck it was going to get darker an hour earlier than the night before due to the time change from daylight savings time to standard time! As it was, I was anxious to get it out and get hunting and when trying to twist out the shaft the darned thing splintered. I took what was left of the shaft (literally and figuratively) and headed off to hunt. I guess the chances of someone coming upon that little bit of my first broadhead sticking out of the tree, had I not hammered it in all the way, and getting cut would not have been as astronomical as I had thought.

That is all I saw for the rest of the day at least as far s deer went. I did see some other small forest critters like woodpeckers, more crows & chipmunks and a newt. To be technical it was a Red Eft, a young fully formed land living version of the Eastern Newt (aka: red Spotted Newt).  They are a bright red or orange and live on land a couple to few years after coming out of their fully aquatic larval stage, then when they reach adulthood their dorsal color changes to a drab green with a few red spots on each side of their sides; their bellies become yellow with numerous small black spots throughout. They like damp days with light rain, seems to bring them out. Sunday fit the bill, was in the mid fifties or so, it was either drizzly or light showers most of the day and this guy was out and about. Surprised there were not more of them but most were probably already in brumation (sort of the amphibian & reptile form of hibernation).


I stayed until this morning but decided not to try hunting today and to take a leisurely drive home making some stops for goodies along the way Before leaving, I am happy t say I remembered to grab my trail camera. I did not have a card reader/viewer with me and had to bring the card home to view it and decided not to leave it with another card in it. One the way home, I stopped in Roscoe, NY with the intention of stopping at The Little Store (general store wherein about 1/2 the store had been dedicated to shooting, hunting & fishing supplies  until a guns tore opened almost right across the street from them). I wanted to grab something as a memento for my son because he loved the store as much as me, just not for as long a time. I almost fell over as I walked up to the store and saw this.

I was shocked to see The Little Store had closed and was for sale. I had been
shopping there for maybe 40 or more years & took my son there many times.
To say I was shocked and saddened is a gross understatement. I almost cried, imagine a fat old man in his sixties crying because a store had closed but it was like losing an old friend. As my son texted me when I let him know: "Damn end of an era". I did make one stop in town though, at The Prohibition Distillery where I got some NY maple syrup and a bottle of Prohibition Vodka (made from corm - go figure). Have not tasted it yet, time and a good snort or three will tell if it is as smooth as the salesman claimed. Made one more stop in Hopewell Junction, NY at The Smokehouse, I was hoping to get some Bratwurst, they have excellent ones there. Turned out they only had two bratwurst, that is unless I wanted frozen - which I did not. I picked up a liverwurst, a pound and a half of pastrami and a loaf of Lithuanian bread. The bread alone was $15 and change! Of course, it probably weights 5 pounds or more. Hopefully it is as good as the Lithuanian bread we can get closer to home.

Once I got home, I offloaded the car, started in the laundry and cleaning up my other hunting gear and then got around to viewing the pics on the SD cards (had a 4GB and 32GB each of which I used on consecutive days) from the trail camera. I only got pics from Friday night, nothing on Saturday or Sunday night. What I saw were three photos of what I think was the same buck at which I took the two shots. The photos are all pretty much the same, with the buck moving just a little throughout the three photo burst, here is the best of the lot:

It is probably hard to see in this pic but below is an enlargement of the buck, it clearly shows him as a six pointer.

At least it has 3 pints on the right side, not sure if it has 2 or 3 on the left.

Not a very big buck but it would have made me happy to have taken him. Next time - maybe he will be mine, that is if no one else gets him first. If I am lucky, I'll get to go at least once more during crossbow season and then again in the rifle season.

Oh yeah, I also got a few pics of a bigfoot walking by, even one of him staring right into my camera lens.


 That's it for now, gotta go finish the laundry.

Al the best,
Glenn B