Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

First Deer

On Friday 26-Nov-2010 my stepson got his first deer. We had Thanksgiving lunch with my parents then headed to the family deer lease. We arrived right at dark and my cousin was there waiting for us. Friday morning we got up and headed to a stand near our east line. We first sat in a ladder stand and saw a bunch of nothing. At 930 we moved to a box stand right on the east line; we sat there for about an hour and saw nothing. By 1030 we were back in camp where I fixed us breakfast… My cousin was not there because he had to work a half day; fortunately he works about 45 minutes away from our property. After eating and my stepson taking a short nap… I had gone into another stand for a short time… we headed back to the stands. We chose a stand on what we call our small high line, it is a clear area that has three strands of power lines running through our property.

We arrived in the stand by 2pm and started the hunting/watching for movement. He was getting fidgety and talkative… I tried to keep him focused but also indulged him in his converation, trying to make it fun. At 4pm he asked if I was ready to go back to camp; I told him we needed to stay a little longer… it was tough because we were not seeing anything. Then at 415pm we saw a small doe coming out of the creek into the highline for a snack. He was up and ready to shoot… I told him that was a SMALL deer and that it would be a good idea to wait but that he was the shooter and it was his choice. He decided to hold off and wait for something bigger, a buck.

At 515p he got his wish. A nice 8 point, nice for a first deer, came out of the tree line. We both got hyped up… him getting his gun redirected and me trying make sure it met the 13″ spread requirement by state law. It was a good one so I told him to shoot twice before he finally did… he was VERY slow about his actions, not overly nervous as some get. He lined up the gun and made a clean shot.

We got out of the stand and began to search for the deer. We had some trouble since there was limited sign… it took about 20 minutes to find it, not a real problem since it ran down an old tram road.

My cousins showed up and we all celebrated. I’m not sure who was more proud my stepson or me. I think it’s me.

He was about useless the rest of the weekend… he told me one deer per weekend thus he did not do much hunting on Saturday or Sunday while I did. Fortunately my cousin already had his two deer so they spent time together while I hunted. NO I didn’t get anything but like I said my stepson did and that was the important part for me.

Sunday we spent 6 hours in the truck going home and dropping of the deer for processing and taking the antlers to a taxidermist to have a European mount made. I look forward to our next hunt, maybe he can get a spike and I can get a nice buck.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | General, Kids | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deer Season 2010 – The Family Lease

I’m back on the family deer lease this year and plan on staying there. I left the lease nearly 10 years ago when my grandfather stopped hunting then when he died I could not see myself ever going back. This year my uncle died and my thoughts changed. I missed my family, my hunting family – the male members I spent so much time with. Mostly my cousin, there are several but one in particular, Kenny, made the biggest impact on me. At his dad’s memorial he told me I needed to come back. We hugged and shared some tears. I later found out my mother was watching and she was crying also.  Any way I’m back!

Opening weekend was a lot of fun. We all shared laughs and even a tear or two. I was able to talk with my uncle, my grandfather’s last sibling, and Kenny. I explained why I had left and what brought me back; I think it made since to them.

Only 4 deer were killed on opening weekend but much fun was had. We ate great, laughed too much, spent a lot of time in the woods. I saw almost 30 deer in 4 days of hunting; I chose not to shoot a doe and the smaller deer I saw.

We all left for home and other places on Tuesday… I got home on Wednesday and began to prepare to take my stepson hunting when he got out of school on Friday.

My stepson was able to see 9 deer in the two days he hunted; even got a shot of at one but missed.  He was able to spend time with my uncle and cousin, seeing them at a time other than a funeral helped him to know them better. Unfortunately he did not grow up as I did with the opportunity to shoot guns much which makes me think he does not fully understand the process of lining up the sights, etc… I am taking him to the gun range this weekend to work on his shooting. He did have fun; he told me so without me asking.

He is now the designated shooter until he is able to get his first deer. He’s 13 and has not hunted much therefore we still sit in the stand together. I want to get him in the Hunter Safety course which he must have before he is able to legally hunt alone. He still hunts with me until I see he truly knows how to be safe with a gun and understands how to determine the right deer to shoot. I can hear the things my grandfather told me many years ago coming out of my mouth.

Of the time I have taken my stepson hunting this past weekend is the absolute best ever. I realized I need to have fun with him; it will make life better at the house. It will bring us closer together.  He’s asked to have his first deer mounted in a shoulder mount, I have agreed if; it’s a nice buck and I have the money to do it.

I am looking forward to more time in the woods, sharing our family traditions, talking of old times and making new memories.

November 17, 2010 Posted by | General, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poem written by Stepson

I took my stepson hunting this past weekend; he had homework to write a poem. This is what he wrote, I think it’s really good;

 

My Place

It’s red and yellow in the fall.

Yet some are never bare for all.

My place takes away the bad emotion.

In the morning, the fog looks like a white ocean.

Beautiful as can be; In my place.

 

The gentle sound of the birds.

Matches with the silent steps of the animals.

The occasional snap of a twig.

Is swept away by the strong wind.

Quiet as can be; In my place.

 

In my place the moon shines bright.

With a backdrop of endless stars.

Not having to compete with the light of the city.

Long shadows cast across the ground in the night.

Dark as can be; In my place.

 

Blue gushing rivers flowing through the land.

The cold water flowing past my hand.

The sun creeping across the sky.

I hope my place and I never have to say goodbye.

Happy as can be; In my place.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | General, Kids | , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Youth Only Weekend this year

This year I will not be taking my stepson for the Youth Only weekend of deer season. The reason for this is my grandparents, my Dad’s parents, are coming to town that weekend. It’s be almost a year since we have seen each other so the decision has been made to not go hunting. We will be going out to dinner since that weekend also has my Dad and Grandfather’s birthday. My Dad will be 68 and my Grandfather will be 95, we plan to have Crawfish etouffee per my Grandfathers request.

I’ll take my stepson hunting during regular season.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , | Leave a comment

2010 Deer Season

I am on two deer leases this year, one I share with a friend, the other is a family lease we’ve had since 1978. I left the family lease nearly 10 years ago when my grandfather stopped hunting due to his inability to move around safely. This year I am back on the lease; The lease was originally formed by my grandfather and his two brothers and kids and grand-kids. I have only one uncle left, he is 80+. I wanted to get back with my family and also make sure the lease was able to stay in the family.

Oddly enough I feel out of place on the lease; not being there for so long has allowed the areas I used to hunt fall into others hands. Silly as it sounds I am even worried about what bunk I will get. I want my grandfathers old bunk simply because it was his and I will feel closer to him by having it. One major upside is the area I have placed my blind is real close to the area my grandfather had his, down on a creek. Again just another way to feel like he is with me.

I hope I can get the feeling I really belong on the lease again and make an area that is really mine again. We have 360 acres to hunt with 7 – 8 people hunting. One cousin is ecstatic I am back, he and I always hunted together, we did more in the area we shared than anyone else. We both liked to get out of the stand and still hunt several time we got deer near each others stand.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | General | , , | Leave a comment

Work

Anyone tired of working? I really wish I was able to quit working and retire to a life of leisure; but until the kids are out of college and the saving accounts are UP I’ll continue to work.

My dream is a modest place, 3 bedrooms, 3+ car garage, living room, kitchen, etc… with a LARGE wrap around porch, on 500 acres. Yep, 500 acres of wooded land made up of hardwoods, pines, some pasture and a lake of 10 acres fed by both a creek/river and a spring.

I actually have seen places like this, or close to it, but all cost SO much it is ridiculous. Not long a go I found 200 acres that shared a long fence line with a national forest… Cost was $1,000,000 and there was no house but it did have a 5 acre lake.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I do for a living but I would like to get out a live vs. working. I need to recharge my batteries, get a new perspective on life in general and do some of the things I enjoy instead of doing the things I must do. Right now my escape comes in November.

November 5 I leave the house for 10 days of hunting. No TV, no phone, no etc… just hunting and relaxing in the outdoors.

Back to work…

October 6, 2010 Posted by | General | , , | Leave a comment

Deer Lease

Last weekend I spent Friday night at my deer lease. The plan was to build a new firepit and cut some trails to my stands. The trails were needed since I have a new camp location and would be used for slow still hunting. I got up early on Sat. morning and worked on the fire pit, the heat from Friday night returned quite early. Once the pit was finished I found that the timber company we lease from had marked a harvesting area which covers all my stands, I have three. This made the trail idea a waste of time until I know exactly what they are going to do and when.

Tomorrow, 18-Sept, is our club meeting and I am hoping to get information on the cutting plans. I really hate the cutting, clear cutting especially which is what I am sure they will do. I am wondering if I am going to have to move my stands or if they will cut around them.

I guess I’ll know more tomorrow afternoon.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | General | , | Leave a comment

Random Thoughts

It’s lunch time and I thought I would put down the various random thoughts I have.

Tomorrow is Sept. 11, 2010; the 9 year anniversary or memorial of the attacks by radical Muslims on the USA and its’ people. I believe for many that the attacks are just a distant memory, the solidarity that was created by the attacks has now left many Americans. I personally still feel the same sorrow for those lost now that I did then. I have come to love my country and its people more since that day. I worry more about the direction the government is taking us and feel lost as to what action I can take to correct the course.

We continue to hear the USA needs to be tolerant of others ie Muslims and their beliefs. What about ours?!!! Is there no taking into account that people were killed 9 years ago for some fucked up religious war the Muslims have laid on us. Yes, the USA has military in many places some I am sure we don’t need to be it but they are fighting others with guns. We are not randomly lining up civilians and killing them. Part of me wants the “EYE FOR AN EYE” justice to kick in so we, the USA, can kick ass.

Move the mosque! In the USA we have freedom of religion; that means the government will not and does not mandate a religion the people must follow. That’s a big part of why our ancestors came to America to begin with. I’ve heard there are some 200 mosques in New York already, don’t build one at ‘Ground Zero’. Move it several blocks away and all will be fine. The muslims scream for the Americans to be respectful and tolerant of their beliefs, where’s the respect from them toward us. This is America, if you don’t like it GET THE HELL OUT!

****

I’ve been trying to take my blog entries and convert them into a MS Word document, making a book of sorts. I have toyed with the idea of giving it to my wife and step kids, thinking that the might read it. I started writing for that very reason, I am positive they have not seen any of what I have written with the exception of one or two entries, the poems. Now I think it would simply be too big for them to be able to read due to lack of attention and in some cases lack of caring. I am pretty sure my wife would read it and would switch between being angry, sad, hurt, upset, etc… as she read what I’ve felt over the last year.

I have taken time to look over the entries and I see FAILURE. Failure on my part of being able to change enough to form much of a relationship with my step kids. I am too tough on following the rules and respecting your parents to make it work. I really have just given up. I am focusing more on my Hapkido and playing with our dog, at least I know where I stand on those. Hunting season starts in November, I am starting to focus on prep for that also.

Time to go; Work is calling.

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Books, Concerns, General, Random | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bow hunting??

I have been toying with the idea of bow hunting for a long time, Saturday I finally took time to actually talk to someone about the bow I would need. I stopped by Gander Mountain to get an idea to the right size bow; draw length, weight, etc… I found that a draw length of 26″ is right for me and draw weight of 60lbs. I was able to draw the bow and fire it a couple of times, it seems pretty easy to hit where I wanted to… I was only shooting 15ft away so I really couldn’t miss.

The whole idea of bow hunting intrigues me and in turn concerns me. Most of the places I have hunted lately do not have places where I think I can get close enough, 20-30yds, to actually get off a shot. I would have to use a climbing stand, which I have, and get into a spot that put me closer to the game trails. Hunting the Big Thicket/Piney Woods will be a challenge with a bow.

The bottom line is I need to decide if I want to spend the money, about $450, and invest the time to be able to take a deer or hog safely with a bow. The thought of adding a month onto my season really sounds good to me.

Time to ponder.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , | Leave a comment

Technology Hiatus

Driving to work today the radio host I was listening to was talking about doing without technology for 24 hours. Things like staying off FaceBook, no XBox, no cell phone or some other gear. One caller stated he went all day Saturday without his cell phone or computer, he said at one point he left the house and started to get worried he would not be able to contact someone if he needed help; then he realized that there were other people around and he could ask to use their phone or find a land line. The radio host then brought up how addicted we as a society are to the social networking sites and instant information. I am/was guilty of the same thing…

BACKGROUND: I work in the “IT” field as a Network Engineer supporting a number of remote offices, Internet access, Security, etc… On Call 24×7 (I am the only one doing what I do for the company) with my cell phone always by my side. And I’ve been hooked to technology for 20+ years in one form or another.

Back to the present day: I now profess to be the most ANTI-TECHNOLOGY person in IT. I work on, support, read about, etc… all day. When I get home I refuse to turn on a computer unless there is a problem at work or I need to pay bills, otherwise I am outside watching the grass grow or playing with the dog (Bear). I don’t even watch much TV anymore, yes there are a few shows I like to watch either on Discovery or one of the outdoor hunting channels. Once it cools down this Fall I will build fires in my patio fire pit as I enjoy the out of doors.

Back to the drive in today. I went so far as to call the radio station and put in my two cents… I am going hunting for 10 days this November; ten days of no computer, no phone, no A/C, no electricity, no TV… the host stated he was not sure he could do it but I am looking forward to. Shoot there may be days when all I do is sit in camp and listen to the forest. Cell phone coverage is spotty, I will check in with my wife once a day just so she knows I am still alive. I will have a crank radio to keep track of any weather fronts headed my way. Other than that I will be technology free, maybe I’ll stay there it sounds like a good idea.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment