A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Will I ever get my buck?

I have another deer story for you and it is from Susan (Camo1121) who is a friend of mine at my MySpace. She is 48 years old and is the mother of three children. She's also a grandmother to 3 granddaughters and 3 grandsons. Susan is quoted as saying, "I guess I can honestly say beside God, husband, children, grandchildren, brother and sister that hunting is her true love!" That is a sweetthing!

Here is the story behind her hunt: I will be starting this story two mornings before I got my buck. As I do every morning when I head to the woods, I sat with my husband, Richard, for a cup of coffee on the front porch to discuss what I am feeling and how the hunting has been going. This morning, I am very discouraged. I tell Richard I can see where the deer are coming in to the plot eating the Rica-Rack and other things I leave them to feast on, but that I am seeing nothing in the stand. While talking, I touch on the fact that I have missed more deer this year and also some of the biggest. We all know every one has years like this -- good ones and bad ones. Don't get me wrong, this year was not a bad year by far, not because of the deer I bought down. It has just been a fun year -- the laughter, the kids, and the pranks we pulled on each other. I would not want to trade it for any of my bigger buck seasons. The kids getting involved heavy this year was the best part of it all. Anyway, Richard tells me while I am sitting at the River stand this morning to check how both of them look after I get down and to do the same in the evening. This way, I could tell when they were moving. So I decide this would be my plan for the day. I went into my stand about 5:30 that morning, a little later than normal, to begin my morning sit. It was a beautiful morning, got to sit and watch my double white-tipped eared bobcat with her two babies, knowing I was going to take her out later on in the season. Yes, she would be stuffed and made into a beautiful trophy for my living room, and yes I would feel good about it due to the fact she had cost me some valuable meat this year. The only thing that had saved her this long was that the babies where too little to make it on their own. The sun came up, and I sat and sat with no luck - not even a doe. This I feel was another reason I felt there where big buck around because, it being heavy rut, the does' patterns were changing too. Any way, I got down and headed to check the feeding plot out. I see a lot of tracks, and I try to burn them into my memory so when checking in the evening I would know what was new or old. I also go over to the other stand located closer to the River and do the same with it. I return to the house to kill time till I got ready to go back out that afternoon.

It is about 2:30 when I go in to check the stands, and I don't see anything that impresses me. So, I go and get my stuff ready, spray myself down, and head for my stand. Again I sit and sit and nothing again. When it got dark, I climbed down and started heading for my truck. For some reason, I am bothered about the other stand, thinking maybe I should sit in it tomorrow evening. So, I decide to go check it to see if something might have came in. Boy, when I got there all I can say is the biggest smile came across my face. There right in the middle of my plot appeared the biggest set of rounded deep huff marks I have seen in a while. The big boy was coming in the evening in the opposite stand. That night all I could think of was that I would be setting in that stand come evening the next day. I could barely maintain, drove Richard up the wall. COULD NOT EVEN SLEEP. That morning, I didn't even bother going, just knew I would not even be able to sit that long, not doing nothing. Just trying to get the day to pass, I cleaned everything in the house. Frances was at the house, and I knew I had to go and work the stands that day. So, I asked her if she would like to go. she said yes and off we headed. It was about 10:00 that morning when we got out to the stands. We stopped first at the stand I had been sitting for the last two days. Now, you have to remember I had checked that stand that night and that morning and saw nothing. Well that had changed. Here in the middle of this stand was yet another set of tracks not as big, but rounded not pointed and deep, letting me know it was a heavy deer, more than likely a buck just like the other stand. Knowing I am about to bust with buck fever, all I can think about was I was going to sit at the one stand this afternoon and the other in the morning. I was coming out with two bucks, what a Christmas present. This was going to top the Christmas present Richard had got me a few years before -- my princess cut 1 carat diamond earrings. Anyway, it was about 1:00 when the worst call of the season came my way. It was from my oldest son, GJ. He was calling to ask if he could hunt with me at the River that afternoon. I know you are thinking what's so bad about taking your son hunting with you. You have two stands so put him in the other one. Well, it was not that easy because my oldest son is a big boy, around 6 feet tall, and between 230 to 250 pounds. The one stand I had been sitting in was too small, and I knew it would not be safe to hold his weight. I was not about to put his safety before my large buck. Yes, your right I put him in the stand I had waited to hunt all day.

Well, we got to the stands about 2:45. The funny part was he wanted to hunt the stand I had been hunting. I told him what I had seen at both stands, and he still wanted to hunt the stand I had been hunting. Believe me the little devil on my shoulder kept saying let him go. I knew better and sent him on his way to what I know now would have been my mega buck of the year. I headed off kicking myself in the butt and in a very little way wishing the buck might not walk in. I make it to my stand and climb in for what I know a long wait of anticipation and the dreaded gun shot that I had a feeling would be coming. I sat watching -- first, a raccoon so big I thought it was a baby bear coming in and then my white-tipped eared bobcat and her two babies. After they left, I was about convinced that I might have a chance to get that mega buck, when out of the blue sky, I just looked up to the heavens and said: Lord if it be your will let that buck come out. I love my son and would love to see that light of pure happiness in his eyes. No sooner did I say that I heard a gun shot ring out so loudly it made me jump in my own skin. GJ was so excited he didn't think about waiting to call my phone. He hit that button and yelled, "Mom I got him, he's a big one." I didn't even bother finishing out the set. I wanted to share this excitement with my first born, and it was worth every second. The statement living your life through you children was well understood this Christmas night. I will never forget the pride for my child I felt that night. He had taken a beautiful 155 pound, 8 point that night.

Well now, that was how and why I didn't get my mega buck. Now, I will finish up and tell you how I finally got my buck of the season. It was the next morning, and I knew I had to go to the stand I had sat in the night before. That is where I had seen the other tracks, but it was coming out some times after 9:00 a.m., but before 10:00 a.m. in the morning, or that is what my thoughts had concluded. So, I went to the stand a little later with plans to stay longer. I got to my stand about 6:15 a.m. and planned to sit for a while, and that's what I did. Come 9:00 a.m., I had started to perk up. First, a doe comes in and I lift my gun knowing rut is in, wanting to be ready to shoot in a hurry if necessary. I released my safety and put myself in the ready mode. Now, you will not believe what happens next. I see the doe look behind her I know something is coming up behind her. I'm ready and waiting. The buck comes in so fast, and the doe does not run forward. She makes the sharpest turn straight into the woods. I have never seen this happen before. Where she stood and how she turned, I never got a shot. I could not believe it. I knew at that second that God was testing me. I sat and decided I was not getting down. Instead, I started blowing my calls in ways I never had in the past. I'm not sure it was that or if he caught her hit it and decided to fill his belly afterwards. I sat and stared at that plot like a kid with his nose stuck on the window of a candy store, and it ended up paying off. I heard something first but not sure what it is. Then I see it first its nose and the beginning of a head. I can't even breathe at this point. My heart is beating so fast. I just knew that deer could hear it. Then, the horns appeared and by now my hands are shaking. I know I have to slow my heart down to make the shaking stop. By now, I know I will get a shot and eas shot at that. I have finally calmed down. I notice that he is only a 6 point, but his body is overpowering his horns. This deer is almost as big as GJ's 8 point. You have to understand that where I live the deer are so plentiful that they do not get as big as other places. A normal 8 to 10 point is about 120 pounds here. Well, this was a very big bodied deer for a 6 point, and I hunt for meat as well as horns. At this point, I decide I was taking him. I am waiting for him to take about four more steps where I could take a shot. I know he would drop in his tracks. I took a shot, and he dropped. So yes, I got my buck, and my son got his mega buck. Yes, I would not change a thing in the two best days of my 2007-2008 hunting season. Congrats to Susan and GJ on their bucks in our great outdoors!
Susan with her buck!

Monday, April 28, 2008

An Alligator Shot!!!!!!!!!

This picture was published in The Vicksburg Post yesterday under, "Give Us Your Best Shot." Joe Bonelli Sr., of Vicksburg and wife, Maria, who Bonelli said "was not as close as she appears," spotted this alligator on dry farmland inside the ring levee at Eagle Lake about two weeks ago, week before the Mississippi River crested at Vicksburg. Bonelli, a contractor, said he used his construction knowledge to estimate the gator's length at 12 to 13 feet. He also guessed that the alligator was "slough-hopping" through the farmland, about a mile from the Mainline Levee. Bonelli said he used a telephoto lens and he and his wife were about 30 feet from the alligator.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Flooding In Town

On the outside looking in ~ the water against the flood walls. At the top of the hill is the Old Court House Museum. A landmark that withstood the Civil War.

Flood waters at the flood wall in downtown Vicksburg.

To the left is Ameristar Casino and can see a barge getting ready to maneuver going under the two bridges.

Picture taken by one of the two Mississippi overlooks. All these pictures were taken about a week ago.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Colorful Death Notice

A friend from Texas sent me this obituary of Ida Mae Russell Sills that was in the Memphis,TN, Commercial Appeal and was written by her son, Lee. The wording is something that you do not usually read, but it has it's little digs and jabs at her life which seems to sneak up on you. Read here....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flooding at LeTourneau

Aerial view of LeTourneau

Glass Road to LeTourneau

Hwy 61 South
More pictures of flooding south of town. LeTourneau which employs over a thousand workers and constructs the big off shore rigs (pictured below), may be laid off for at least a month.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tidus Mowing The Lawn

Can you believe that my great grandson is out mowing the lawn already? What a cutie! Tidus lives with his Mom and Dad at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Great Lakes, IL. He will soon be celebrating his frist birthday in May! Charming, Just Charming!

Flooded Fishing

The Vicksburg Post published Joseph Moore fishing for his supper Tuesday evening on Chickasaw Road just past Falk Steel Road. Flood waters traveled the eight miles from around Kings Point Ferry to the sight where Moore says he's caught bream, catfish, perch and gar. "You get a little of everything when water gets high like that," he said. This is a sweetthing for Joseph!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Hunting 2 Fishing Blog

I came across a new hunting and fishing blog the other day and wanted to share it with you. It's about a guy named Bugler who lives in Grover, CO, who loves to hunt, fish, play golf, take pictures and ride his wife on his motorcycle, The Ole Bike. Bugler is 51 years old and named his new blog, Colorado Hunting 2 Fishing. He started blogging on March 30, 2008 and calls it a place to tell his hunting and fishing stories. He also has a team member by the name of Tightlines-n-Elk. Go over and welcome Bugler (also known as Hunter57) to the world of blogging. I want to wish him the very best and look forward to reading his stories of hunting and fishing in our great outdoors. This is Charming, Just Charming!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Hummingbird Fly Zone

“..Not to leave the ‘bird watcher’s’ wanting..”
I just received this from Dennis, a friend, this morning, and it truly is remarkable just how this woman is able to get as close as she does to these very wary birds, let alone get them to light on her hands and arms.
“This is something I have never seen before, or ever even heard of. This lady lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. She took the little red dish, filled it with sugar water and this is the result. The woman is Abigail Alfano, of Pine, Louisiana, and she has been studying them daily and one morning put the cup from the feeder, with water in it, in her hand; as they had gotten used to her standing by the feeder they came over to her hand. She says in touching they are as light as a feather. Abigail also said, 'if she had known her husband was taking pictures she would have put on makeup.” This is so cool in our great outdoors!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pictures Of Flooding

International Paper Mill near Hwy 3 north of Redwood.
Houses under water at Hwy 465.
More flooding along Hwy 465.
Hwy 465 going towards Eagle Lake and Tara Wildlife.
This is Hwy 61 at Redwood about 9 miles north of town.

Pictures were taken about 9 days ago and was sent to me last Tuesday by e-mail. The Mississippi River finally crest this past Saturday. Hopefully, the water will be receding soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vicksburg Floodwall Marks

After three weeks at levels above flood stage in Vicksburg, the Mississippi River was cresting Saturday at 50.8 feet -- slightly below earlier forecasts of 51 feet. Flood stage is 43 feet.

It is only the fifth time in the past 80 years the river has topped 50 feet at Vicksburg, and it is the worst flood since 1973, when the river crested at 51.6 feet. This is not a sweetthing! Read more about this in our Vicksburg Post.

The Arts & Crafts Show

It was a gorgeous day for fun in downtown Vicksburg yesterday. "With weather like this, I wouldn't be surprised if we set a new attendance record today," Richard O'Bannon, the organizer of the event, said as he gazed over the already hundreds of attendees at about 10 Saturday morning, two hours after vendors opened their stands. Skies were already sunny, and temperatures climbed slowly through the day to 78.

The 90 vendors, with such wares as bird feeders, bows, wooden guns, decorated mailboxes and ironworks, filled parts of Walnut, Crawford and South streets around City Hall. Read more about it here from The Vicksburg Post. Charming, Just Charming!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Holding The Sun...Marvelous!

Wanted to share with you some pictures a friend sent to me. This is so cool! Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Still Rockin The River 2008

Our 21st annual Riverfest in downtown Vicksburg will kick off today at 6:00 p.m. when gates open for evening entertainment. Hopefully, the rain will be out of here by then. The highlights of the evening will be famous county music star, Jason Aldean. Also, our hometown band that is really good, The Chill, plus other bands. There will be two stages, a north and south stage. Tomorrow night the highlight of the evening will be Rick Springfield plus other band attractions. Tomorrow the Vicksburg-Warren County Riverfest Arts & Crafts Show will celebrate 40 years at the 2008 Riverfest and will take place in front of Vicksburg City Hall. There will be about 100 vendors from across the south that are expected to set up shop for the day-long event, which begins at 8:00 a.m. and runs until 4:30. Also, The Bluz Cruz Marathon which is a 22-mile, charity fundraiser, usually held the same weekend as Riverfest, is being postpone until May 17 due to high Mississippi River stages. A lot going on this weekend in Vicksburg. This will be party town for sure. Will not get to participate because of Doctors orders - maybe next year. This is not a sweetthing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

JeepGirl's Boone and Crockett

I have a friend by the name of JeepGirl (61) over at my CamoSpace who harvested a buck that made MASTIC #1 Perfect Typical for the State of Maine! How exciting is that! Here's a little about herself in her own words.

I am a late bloomer when it comes to hunting, but, I am trying to make up for lost time. My buck of 2006 made MASTC #1 Perfect Typical for the State Of Maine! I still have buck fever over that one! I love my family and have been married over 30 years to a wonderful patient husband! I have three wonderful grown daughters and six grands. My husband and I work summers for North Maine Woods, managing Henderson Gate up near Jo Mary Lake in Brownville area. And Yes! I love my Jeep, can you tell by my user name! I am an avid four wheeler person, live to wheel in the spring, summer, and fall, nothing like it, when I get too old to hang on they best find a seat belt for me!

Here is the story about her great hunt.....
The Morning of December 9th 2006 was the last day of muzzle hunting in Maine, and it was with little expectations of getting my deer for his season that I headed for my tree stand as soon as legal light would allow. The morning turned out to be a crisp cold one with maybe a couple inches of snow from the day before, just enough to track, but, tracks are sometimes misleading and take a long time to follow to a successful find, so with that in mind I knew the tree stand would be my only option on this day. We have just under ten acres of land behind our home in Levant, a mixture of cedar, evergreen, oak and beechnut with some popular, good food for the wildlife.
There is a large swamp just behind out property for the deer to yard and hide, so they have many options to avoid hunters. Once on my tree stand I reflected on the long month gone past and of the two deer my husband Val and I had missed the day before, due to damp powder in our loaders, we will always be wary of that from now on and take precautions to prevent that ever from happening again. We are quite new to muzzle hunting, this is just our second year so I guess you learn as you go, we did. Our nephew Brad had been hunting with us that season and he was nice enough to share his ammo for the powder guns with us. I had been on my tree stand maybe 15 minutes or so when I saw the doe come out of the trees into a small clearing, she was maybe 40 yards away or more, and had not a clue I was anywhere near, she stopped and paused long enough to sniff the ground and then walked casually away into the trees on the other side of the small clearing. I had her in my cross hairs for a second time in two days, this time I let her walk away, with the thought maybe a buck would be following, and then the nagging thought followed that I probably just let the only deer I would see today get away, I had no excuse, I had my doe permit, she was there, but, I let her walk away. About five minutes later I saw the rack first moving through the trees, (I had been telling my husband, and nephew about this buck with a monster rack I called the walking tree, but, since up until that day I was the only one to see him, it was chalked up as a hunting story). The buck stepped into the clearing, I was in awe of his entire presentation, the body, the rack, What a Rack, there was only 8 points, but, the mass of those 8 points made his head look undersized to me. I had to take several deep breaths and calm myself down to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest. The buck walked almost in the same tracks as the doe had minutes before, he stopped and sniffed the ground almost exactly where she had, that was his mistake, my gain, I had him in the cross hairs as he picked up his head and looked right towards my direction, I took one last deep breath and pulled the trigger, The shot hit with a thump sound and the buck did a slight backwards drop then with tail down he took two leaps and was gone. As sure as I was that I had him dead to rights I could not wait to get to the spot where he was standing when I shot him. I called my husband on the cell phone and told him I had shot the walking tree, he paused just for a second before asking which direction did the walking tree run? My husband was hunting on the other side of our property so we agreed which direction we would take and go from there. I climbed down from the tree stand and went to the spot where I knew the buck had been standing when I shot and could not find one trace of blood, my hopes were sliding away. But, I followed the first two leaps that we so evident, then the following tracks after there, which was no easy feat as there were so many other deer tracks, I am not a tracker, not like my husband who could find a spot of blood in a bed of fall leaves! Soon I heard my husband whooping and hollering and making these sounds that did not sound human to me. I yelled where are you and he yelled back, MOM! come and see what you shot!!! As soon as I stepped into the area where both husband and deer was he grabbed me and lifted me clear off the ground and twirled me around, and I was like, put me down so I can see it! The buck had not dropped any blood until just before he dropped, I am not a good judge of distance, but, I would guess that he ran maybe 600 yards, but, don't take that to the bank. My husband is such an awesome tracker! I was so proud to find the spot I aimed is exactly where I hit. I always scope a deer, then check my site, then the scope to be certain of my aim, depending on the distance I have to make the shot. I had the best teacher in the world, my husband! He will tell you men, be careful what you wish for if you want your wife to hunt.
What a buck, what a RACK, 2007 best offer something good to top this, I don't see it happening, but, I am so anxious to see what that big doe brings to the woods, I hope she made connections with my buck before he made his connection with me.

We took pictures, then to the tag station, it took us a while to get out of there as everyone wanted to see the buck, and of course they all wanted to congratulate my husband for such a trophy deer, and for the third year in a row he had to tell them that his wife, not he, had shot this buck.

Be careful what you wish for men!

We took the deer to have it weighed and it did not quite make the big buck club, but, it came close. When we got home from the weigh station, being the nut that I am I went out in the woods and scooped all his insides into a container and bought it home and weighed it, minus the blood it weighed a little over 40 pounds! the man at the weigh station told us if I had shot this buck at the start of hunting season he would have carried at least 25 or more pounds more, so I am guessing that in early hunting season on hoof this guy would have gone at least 250 easy!

If our 2007 hunting season weather starts out like the last couple I am going to wait and hunt the muzzle season again with my trusty Thompson 50 caliber black power rifle again. I have shot three bucks in the last three years and two of them have been with the same muzzle loader, great gun! I must add that this buck would not have been bagged if it were not for our nephew Brad loaning us some ammo, he jokes with us about it being a group effort buck, his powder, my husband loaded the rifle and I pulled the trigger, way to go teamwork wins every time!
I have to admit as much as I love to hunt, I have not yet tried to load my muzzle loader, I do have to learn how to do that. As for hunting with my regular rifle I have no problem loading and unloading, old hat at that.

I have always bought my deer down with one shot, if I don't get it with the fist I don't take another, I won't take a running shot, I have to know my target, and I don't want the deer to suffer or be bait for a predator. So hunting with a muzzle loader and only having one shot is not an issue with me.

I am having a shoulder mount done of the buck. A taxidermist from Frankfort, Toby Montgomery came highly recommended to us and we are so glad that he did. Toby is a genuine person who goes out of his way to accommodate you and his knowledge of deer is so incredible. I love to pick his brain! He was nice enough to come right to our home to cape out the buck, he is an official measure for Boone and Crockett and MASTC. My total points for Boone and Crockett after the sixty days drying period was 164 2/8. Toby helped me with all the paperwork and guided me through what I need for pictures, he always has gone above and beyond to help us, and we are very happy with his service, we for sure would use him again!

Congratulations JeepGirl!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Way to go Rob!

The expression on Rob's face is priceless to say the least! He is one of my friends over at my MySpace and I asked him to share his fishing experience on catching this fine large month on the Guadalupe River back in March. Below is Rob's story in his own words......

Pure boredom last Sunday afternoon and once again, I'm headed to the Guadalupe River. A cloudy day, off and on mist and my thought is simply fishing the late afternoon, 3:30 pm to sunset with the hope somewhere in that window the bite will kick in. Guadalupe River bass are finicky and you can cast a million times, literally wondering if any fish are there, then suddenly, the bite turns on.

I worked the same section of river I landed my personal best large mouth last October. I didn't expect to really score another trophy fish. Fishing was rather slow during the daylight period, had to work a lot of river to find fish. I mixed top waters (weedless Jitterbug) and a charty/white spinner bait picking up 5 fish (2 large mouth and 3 Guadalupe bass). The tactic was simply working structure and lily pads, bordering edges of shallow to deeper water along the shoreline.

Once the sun started to settle, I worked back up river to a shallow river section, 1-3ft of water, with more flow and a rocky bottom. This section does not hold fish during the daytime but once the sun dips down, bass move up into this zone and feed aggressively. I sat in the deeper river section, holding my kayak mid-channel with the paddles making long casts up current, working the edges and main channel on a down stream retrieve. I guess I was a couple of dozen casts into my routine, no hits when I see the water pushed up from a good sized fish, tracking the lure in pursuit and suddenly BAM! She hits and pulls line off the reel, fighting hard as heck and then shoots to the right bank, pulling me in the yak before sounding in a tight tangle of lily pads. At that point, I got a little nervous since I'm casting 10lb test Suffix and she knows I'm up top. I gave her a little slack, letting her think she is free, she clears the pads and I finally lipped her in open water for the land.

She's a healthy Guadalupe River large mouth. Rob

Congratulations Rob! This is Charming, Just Charming!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Greg!

Your Dad and I want to wish you a very Happy 41st Birthday today! May you have many, many more to come. We love you!

Deer, Deer, Deer Me!

Mississippi River rising pushing deer out - awesome pictures! Now you know why hunting is so great in Mississppi!
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