Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deer Camp with CamoGirl 2009: Part 2

Deer Camp with CamoGirl 2009
Part 2:

Friday Morning;
Morning came early at 5:15 but I don’t think I actually slept very much anyways…too excited! I don’t think CamoGirl slept either. After a quick breakfast we geared up and headed out. It was clear, quiet and cold. Even the Partridge we spooked settled down quickly again. I always give my daughters the choice of how long they want to hunt. It would be a mistake to have them get too cold or have to sit longer than they really want to and I want them to enjoy the experience. So, when CamoGirl said that she was cold and wanted to go in at 9 am, I said fine but reminded her that I took my 9 pointer around 9 … she still wanted to go in. No problem.

I packed up the camera and we lowered her bow. Next, I had control of her safety strap while she got herself off the stand and onto the ladder. Since the strap is not quite long enough to secure to the tree above me, I needed to bend over my stand while she was getting to the ladder. Just about this time I hear a “crunch, crunch, crunch” in the leaves behind me… Here comes a young doe right in to our stand. Great, CamoGirl is on the ladder, her bow is on a rope hanging just above the ground and I’m bent over my stand guiding her safety strap. All I need to do is drop my drawers to moon the doe and we’re all set! LOL. Did I mention that the doe walked right up at 10 yards from the stand…and stood there nibbling leaves…for 20 minutes! My back is starting to hurt, CamoGirl is literally hugging the tree and I’m trying not to laugh cause this has just got to be too funny! (thank goodness the camera was packed away!). Eventually the doe meanders away and CamoGirl looks at me and asks if we could stay…”just a little longer….” Back into he stand, pull the bow back up and reset the camera. Just in time. Here comes a nice little 4 pointer straight at me. Unfortunately, he is coming at me, just a little to my left…which makes him just too far to the left for CamoGirl. He walks within 15 yards of me and continues around the our tree. We’re hoping he’ll continue around and present a right side shot. I’ve been filming him but since he is around the tree now I move the camera and try to re-position for a better angle. Busted! I think he heard me move and he bounds off…right back past me! CamoGirl gives me the “look”…sorry… I must not have made him too nervous because he didn’t spook the next deer to approach! A nice big mature doe was walking towards us threading her way through the trees. Unfortunately, she never moved to the trail to present a shot and shortly moved back out of range and back into the deeper woods. So much for getting out of the stand at 9am! Wow, what a morning.

Time to do a little shooting;

We always make sure our guns are sighted in once we’re up north. Also, since CamoGirl asked, I was going to let her us my Marlin 30-30 this time and she needed some practice with it. We loaded the guns into the Bronco and headed down to the local gravel pit were everyone spends a little time doing the same thing we were planning. When we arrived, there were about 5 cars there already but some were packing up and we were able to pull up to a nice spot were I could use the Bronco as a gun bench. To start with, I put a small pumpkin out at 25 yards (we brought a few 6” to 8” pumpkins to shoot at) and got out the 30-30 for CamoGirl to shoot. I’d been trying to locate some managed recoil loads but they have been impossible to find. So, I started her out with some 150 grain loads. I showed her the loading and the way the Marlin safed. Then I set her at 25 yards and get her positioned good, told her to shoot at the top of the little pumpkin and let it fly… She looked at me once, looked through the scope and BLAM! The pumpkin was flat on top! Oooookay, let’s move the pumpkin out to 100 yards and let her get some practice in. Same routine, safety, load, form, ready… told her to aim at the top again…. BLAM! Another flat headed pumpkin! This girl can shoot! I let her run a few more rounds though the gun… on target every time! I told her WOW!, take a break and let dad get some shooting in! Since I brought up my Tikka T3 in 300WSM to carry as a backup incase I needed to “assist” her shot (I didn’t want her to have to track a long running deer or have one go too far….) I needed to check it too. Since she had left me the bottom half of the pumpkin at 100 yards…. Gee, the 300WSM sure does make pumpkins vaporize nice…. There was one piece left so I just had to make sure it was more “biodegradable”…. Hehehe. Ok. Back into the case for that gun. I also brought up my 454 Raging Bull. I had just put a new Leupold scope on it and I needed to sight it in because I would be using it for the season back at home. I started with a pumpkin at 25 yards…out of the box that scope was on and the pumpkin teleported to who know’s were! So I set up on a paint can someone set out at 100 yards… within a few shots I had the scope adjusted for the longer range shots. I ran through 20 rounds just cause I love shooting that gun, it’s my favorite to shoot! The other guys shooting looked a bit nervous though….. Next, a couple rounds through CamoGirls 20 ga autoloader just to get a pattern on the new slugs (in case she changes her mind on the 30-30). I can’t shoot that gun in form because the youth stock is too short and I keep punching myself in the nose with my trigger hand. Geez, she’s bugging me to let her shoot some more through the 30-30 again! Finally, I have to call it quits only because we’re about to run out of ammo for it! (and I even loaded a few 170 grainers and she didn’t notice). She did shoot my Ruger LCP .380 but didn’t like it. I warned her that the recoil is nasty because the gun is so small. She’d probably like shooting my 454 better….couldn’t quite convince her to try it though. Time to head back to the “camp”, what a blast! (sorry, pun intended!) One note: Just as we were packing up, and you wouldn’t know if we were starting or stopping at that point… a truck drove up and pulled around my Bronco and parked sideways right in front of our shooting, 10 yards away! What an Idiot! Since I was already getting set to leave I let it drop but talk about stupid! I should have continued on with my 454 a bit….bet he would have moved his truck….

Bow time!
After we got back, had lunch and a little rest we geared up again and headed out. This time CamoGirl took out the crossbow for a try. It’d give her a little more range (honestly they don’t have a whole lot more range) and she wouldn’t have to worry about the cold. We freshened up the drag line with some more Mike’s Magic and headed into the stand. Once we got there I realized I had forgotten the crossbow cocking string, which I had mad a point not to forget… Now, if you’ve ever cocked a crossbow, a compound crossbow, by hand…I’m impressed. They have 175lbs of draw and you have to get the string into the safety lock and balanced correctly… I took one look, decided I was not going to mess up her hunt by going back for the cocking string and got that string cocked so easily I felt like I could have done it with two fingers… and got it balanced! (thank goodness!). We got settled in our stands, CamoGirl with her crossbow and me on the camera…and waited. A few squirrels and a couple of Partridges made appearances. It got late enough that I put the camera away…just as a little doe came in under our tree. Too small to shoot but it was fun watching her for a few minutes. Time to go in and this time I remembered the flashlights! We got in just as Ned and his son Mitch, arrived. Perfect timing to help them unload and get ready for dinner. I wanted to show them the video footage of the big buck and the 4 pointer but realized I forgot the RCA cords to hook it to the tv. After dinner and a few stories it was off to bed. We decided that CamoGirl and I would hunt the morning in the Trail of Terror and then let things be until opening morning on Sunday

1 comment:

Dan Block said...

Great blogs...I'm enjoying your hunts.