Here’s a Trail Cam Sample

Set up my trail camera about ten days ago and Rob exchanged the SD card on Sunday. Here are a few of the better photos.

Blinded the poor guy.

Could be him again.

Look familiar?

Looks like 3 x 2.

Three young bucks at once.

Looks like 3 x 3.

That’s about a weeks worth of bucks and I’ve got a similar number of does. I’m playing around with the rest of the data provided by the camera. I’ll let you know if I figure anything out.

Jerry’s Hardest Hunt


Got this email from Jerry Lowery this week. Jerry and I  have been friends for many years and served together on The Mule Deer Foundation Board of Directors for several years. Jerry’s a hard core big game hunter and hunts only with his muzzle loader. He has taken many big game trophies with his muzzle loader including a 202 inch typical mule deer.

For some time I’ve been thinking about adding a hardest hunt category to my blog. Jerry’s Dall sheep hunt is the first story in the “hardest hunt” category.

Here’s how Jerry described his Dall sheep hunt.

HI RICH, I DIDN’T MENTION THAT I BOUGHT A DALL SHEEP HUNT THIS YEAR, I GOT A DECENT DEAL. IT WAS A CANCELLATION HUNT.

 

I KILLED A NICE DALL SHEEP ON THE 8TH DAY. MY GUIDE AND I SPENT THE NEXT DAY PACKING IT TO THE GRAVEL RUNWAY SO THERE WASN’T ANY TIME FOR CARIBOU. I HAVE NOT BEEN ON A MORE DIFFICULT HUNT, BUT I MADE IT WITH ONLY A WRENCHED LEFT SHOLDER, FOUR BLISTERS, TIRED, AND A BANGED UP GUN. I CALL IT “MY HARDEST HUNT, THE BEST STALK AND LUCKIEST SHOT.”

 HARDEST HUNT:

NINE DAYS UNDER A BACK PACK, FOUR OF WHICH WERE LOADED TO 60LBS OR MORE.

HUNTED MOST DAYS TO MIDNIGHT AND SOMRTIMES TO 1:30 AM.

TRAVELED THROUGH SOME OF THE SOFTEST GROUND TO THE ROCKIEST DRAINAGES I HAVE EVER SEEN.

FELL DOWN ALMOST EVERY DAY, ONE DAY FOUR TIMES, THUS THE LEFT SHOLDER.

 

BEST STALK:

RUNNING OUT OF TIME, I SETTLED ON THE FACT THAT I MIGHT NOT GET A 38” RAM. WE SAW THIS RAM ONE MORNING FROM OUR CAMP.

FOLLOWED HIM INTO ANOTHER DRAINAGE ABOUT 3 MILES WHERE HE BEDDED. WATCHED HIM A LITTLE WHILE THEN MOVED.

ALWAYS UP HILL, UNTIL I HAD TO MOVE ACROSS THE  MOUNTAIN.

UP AND DOWN THROUGH CRUMBLING CLIFFS WHERE EVERY STEP WAS PLANNED AND CACULATED, I NEVER SLIPPED.

IF I SLIPPED, IT WOULD BE MY LAST. I COMTEMPLATED THAT AND HOW BAD IT WOULD HURT BEFORE I DIED.

I LITTERALY LAID ON MY BACK TO GIVE MYSELF MORE ADHESION TO MOUNTAIN TO KEEP  FROM LOOSING MY GRIP.

MY BUTT WAS SORE FROM ALL THE CRAB CRAWLING OVER CLIFFS, THROUGH ROCK SLIDES, AND ACROSS THE STEEPEST AREA I HAVE EVER BEEN ON.

I CRAWLED DOWN ONE CRACK THAT I SUPPORTED MYSELF BY PLACING ONE FOOT AND ONE HAND ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CRACK UNTIL I REACHED THE BOTTOM.

WHEN I REACHED THE BOTTOM I HAD TO CLIMB UP THE OTHER SIDE. THIS HOW I PROCEEDED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE STALK.

I FIRST RANGED HIM AT 230 YARDS. THEN AT 150YARDS I DECIDED TO TRY A SHOT. I HAD PRACTICED AT THAT RANGE, BUT I CLEANLY MISSED HIM.

I LOOKED AT MY FRONT SIGHT IT WAS SLIGHTLY BENT.

THE SOUND DIDN’T DISTURBE THE RAMS AND THEY LAID BACK DOWN IN THEIR BEDS. WHAT LUCK.

I MOVED TO 125 YARDS, BUT DECIDED THAT I STILL NEEDEDTO BE CLOSER.

THERE WAS A PENNICAL THAT I COULD USE AS COVER BUT HAD TO MANOUVER UP AND DOWN THE RIDGE AGAIN, BUT ALMOST IN FULL VIEW OF ONE SHEEP.

THANKFULLY I HAD THE SITKA GEAR.

I RANGED HIM AT 90 YARDS. THIS WOULD BE IT AS THERE WAS NO MORE COVER.

I SET UP AND WAITED FOR HIM TO GET UP AGAIN. WITHIN 10 MINUTES HE ROSE TO HIS FEET.

 

THE LUCKY SHOT:

I CARRIED MY GUN ON MY LEFT SIDE FOR MOST OF THE HUNT BECAUSE OF THE PACK.

AS I MENTIONED I FELL DOWN A LOT . AFTER THE SHOT AT 150 YARDS I LOOKED AT MY SIGHTS AND NOTICED THAT THE FRONT SIGHT HAD A NICK IN IT AND WAS BENT.

WHEN I SHOT AGAIN OT 90 YARDS I HELD LOW ON THE HEART. I HIT THE SHEEP, BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHERE. HE COULD BARELY WALK AND WANTED TO BACK UP A LOT .

I THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE HIT HIM IN THE LIVER, I WASN’T SURE. I RELOADER BEHIND THE RIDGE THEN I BOLDLY SAT ON TOP OF THE RIDGE AND WAITED.

THE YOUNGER RAM HAD MOVEE INTO THE LIN OF A MISPLACED SHOT. WHENHE HAD MOVED AND MY RAM TURNED HIS HEAD I SHOT AGAIN USING THE SAME SIGHT PLACEMENT.

HE WENT DOWN AND THE TUMBLE STARTED. I COULD NOT SEE HIM ALL THROUGH THE TUMBLE BUT I COULD SEE THE DUST RISING OUT OF THE SILDE.

HE CAME TO REST IN THE SLIDE ABOUT 300 YARDS DOWN THE HILL. I SAID MY THANKS AND STARTED DOWN.

THREE RAMS THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW WERE ON THE MOUNTAIN RAN TOWARDS ME AND STOPED AT 30 YARDS.

THEN FOUR MORE CAME OVER AND MILLED AROUND IN THE MY RAMS BED AREA. ONE WAS BETTER THAN MINE, BUT NOT BY MUCH.

WHEN I REACHED THE RAM HE WAS DEAD. I COULD NOT STAND UP AT THIS LACATION. I KICKED HIM OVER AND AWAY HE WENT AGAIN. HE LOGED ONE MORE TIME AND I HAD TO DO THE SAME

HE ROLLED AROUND 500 YARDS TOTAL. THAT IS WHERE WE TOOK THE PICTURES.

I HAD HIT HIM IN THE NECK, MY SIGHTS WERE OFF ABOUT 12” HIGH AND ABOUT 18” TO THE RIGHT. BOTH HOLES WERE 2’’ APART.

 

JERRY

A Follow-up on “Stockpiling Deer”

Here’s  a photo of the Buck We Should have Shot Last Season.

It’s easy to get complacent when you control your property and it’s easy to pass on bucks thinking you’ll get them later.

I was rumaging around in my camera disks and came up with this photo.  These are last year’s photos of two bucks we elected not to shoot. It appears that one of them is gone now.

Not a great photo. We think this buck is still alive.

We believe this buck is dead now. I took this photo opening day of archery season last year.

The larger of the two bucks was an older deer. He may yet show up, but since we think we saw his buddy alone, it appears that he’s gone. Maybe shot during the rut last year to hit by a mountain lion this summer. That’s the way it goes. We have little hope that he’ll show up again.

Finally, a Seed Mix for Western Deer

August 18, 2010

Contact: Miles Moretti
Tel.: 1-888-375-DEER
E-mail: president@muledeer.org

MDF and Granite Seed Company announce partnership to benefit members and habitat

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Mule Deer Foundation and Granite Seed Company have formed a unique partnership that will offer MDF members free consultations and the opportunity to acquire professional-grade native seed from Granite Seed. The goal is to help enhance and restore mule deer habitat on privately-owned land.

Habitat loss or degradation is one of the major causes for the decline of mule deer and black-tailed deer populations. These deer often spend a considerable amount of time on private lands throughout the year. In many cases, this land provides vital winter habitat and is crucial to survival.

Miles Moretti, MDF President/CEO said, “MDF’s working motto of ‘Saving Deer One Acre at a Time’ can only be accomplished by aggressive habitat improvement. We at MDF are excited about our partnership with Granite Seed. This truly is an added benefit for our members and will certainly further MDF objectives. Our members will be able to receive professional products and advice on what to plant to attract deer and improve their habitat.”

Granite Seed’s President Bill Agnew stated, “MDF’s goals align perfectly with ours. At Granite Seed our mission is to provide native seed and erosion control products for the conservation of land and preservation of wildlife. We look forward to working with MDF members and applying our vast range management experience to address landowners’ specific habitat goals.”

For more information about this program, call 801-768-4422 or e-mail muledeer@graniteseed.com.

###

About MDF (www.muledeer.org)
The Mule Deer Foundation is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with over 10,000 members. MDF’s mission is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. MDF is dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer habitat (including land and easement acquisitions) resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations; encouraging and supporting responsible wildlife management with government agencies, private organizations and landowners; promoting public education and scientific research related to mule deer and wildlife management; supporting and encouraging responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer; and acknowledging regulated hunting as a viable component of mule deer and black-tailed deer conservation. For information about the Mule Deer Foundation or to join please call 1-888-375-DEER (3337).

About Granite Seed (www.graniteseed.com)
Granite Seed Company specializes in supplying seed and erosion control products for land reclamation and restoration, turf, beautification, pasture and range.

Here’s the Scoop on Our Fifth Purple Heart Outdoor Tour Blacktail Hunter

Got this info in an email from LTC Hammack this morning.

Here's our blacktail hunter #5.

My Name is Joshua Olson. I was born August 21, 1979 in Spokane Washington. I graduated from high school in 1997 and enlisted straight into the Army. I went to basic training and AIT at Fort Benning, Ga. My first duty station was at the Ft. Campbell with the 101st Airborne (ASSLT). I stayed at Ft. Cambell for 3 years then was stationed in Korea for 12 months. Upon completing a tour in korea I went back to Ft. Campbell and left for Iraq. I was injured in an ambush on 27 Oct 2003. An Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) blast took my right leg at he hip. I spent 18 months at Walter Reed and was allowed to stay in the Army. I’m serving now as a competitive rifle shooter and marksmanship instructor. I have been in the Army twelve years and I plan to stay at least another eight years until I retire.  

                       

Josh: We look forward to meeting you on the 26th of August.

Hunterlandowner gets Award

You never know about stuff you receive by email. That’s why I was a bit skeptical when I got an email saying that I was receiving a award for hunterlandowner, my blog.

I wrote back to Amy Wilkes at Online University, and here’s the response.

Hey Rich,
No problem. Actually 2 ideas went into your award.
1. The nominations. There were almost 4900 nominations overall, we took the top 1-2% and gave those to our judges. The nominations came in from your reader base, those who read about hunting blogs and are very educated and avid about it.
2. The judges. After the judges received the top 1-2%, they take their criteria. Some of the attributes of the criteria were: content, affiliations (relevancy to the actual blog itself), posts (also pertaining to the relevancy of the subject of the blog), just to name a few.
Along with that, we’re simply just trying to award blogs for what they’re truly meant for, blogging. That’s all.
Your writing content is great, true, simply and very helpful to be made a resource.
Hope to see your badge soon! Congrats again, Rich.
 
 8-30-2010 Update: After receiving a couple comments and some thought, I now understand how this award “scam” works. It seems like a small issue, but if you believe in the legitimacy of search engines and the value they have for information sharing, setting up artificial hits on a website is a bit disturbing. So, as much as it hurts, I took down my award. Bummer.
 
 
 If anybody has an opinion on this award, it might be interesting to hear it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A Walk Around a Revived Pond

Two summers ago we repaired the dam on one of our best ponds. It was also filled with bass and bluegill, something that gave use pleasure on many occasions. However, as we prepared to make this parcel ready for a conservation easement for endangered species, we were required to remove the fish.

We pumped the pond dry last fall and all the fish died. Of course we invited some friends to come up and catch as many fish as possible first, but they only caught a small portion of what the pond held. The rest  were sentenced to flop on the ground until dead.

Nearly a year later, we circled the pond, me with camera in hand. Here’s what we found.

A juvenile red-legged frog sat at pond's edge - ready to hop into the pond for protection.

A large California tiger salamander larvae floated near the surface.

There were juvenile CRFs along the shore and in the pond.

Here's a CRF tadpole with legs.

Here's a good look at a California newt larvae. Much smaller than the CTS.

As we watched a red-legged frog tadpole turned on it’s side, swam in circles and floated to the surface dead.

This tadpole died right before our eyes.

From bad to worse. Not long after that we found the remains of the young buck. I guess that’s life and death at the former fish pond. The good news? It was the first time in many years that any of the above critters survived in the pond, as the fish did a very good job of consuming all of them.

Can’t Stockpile Wildlife

When you think you have control over a population of animals on your property, you’re heading for disappointment. Nature is designed to end surplus and if you don’t step in when a surplus is available, something else will.

Deer living in groups are less succestible to lion predation.

We found this out a few years ago when we had a rather unusal buck on our property. He was so unusual that we named him the high-horn buck. High-horn, lasted a few years and when we finally decided he was about large enough to shoot, he dissapeared. We believe he wandered onto the neighboring property, or maybe somebody decided to poach him. We’ll never know for sure.

Last summer we had two nice bucks hanging around and we could probably killed the largest of the two if we chose to, but we elected to pass and now the two bucks are just one. The largest has vanished and we believe a lion got him. Our deer numbers are down significantly – just when we thought we had a bunch of deer, numbers have dwindled.

These yearlings stick close to our camp in a group of five.

When a lion is working the area deer become less visible. Some have been killed, other have moved to nearby neighborhoods and the remaining deer are quite reclusive and nervous. 

Now that the second large buck is living alone, he may be vulnerable to a lion attack like his buddy. He’s a nice buck, but there’s nothing about him to entice us to shoot him this early in the season. We may have regrets before the season is out.

A lion like this can take a heavy toll on a local deer population, especially if she has juvenile cubs.

 As we walked the perimeter of one of our ponds, photographing frogs and salamanders, we came upon the bones of a small buck Rob had seen at the pond a couple weeks ago.

This young buck was hanging out by itself the last time Rob saw it alive.

It’s just a fact that you can’t stockpile deer, especially when (in California) you have no legal way to manage lions to increase deer numbers.

Thompson Falls, Montana – Timber, Ranching, Wildlife

This picture kind of says it all, timber, hay and wildlife - the basis of ranch life in Montana.

 Montana ranching is a mutiple use program. The hay fields are cleared areas that yielded lumber to build homes and outbuildings for the homesteaders. Clearing and leveling led to plowing and irrigating to produce cattle feed.

The improved habitat encouraged wildlife populations to expand.

And, the remaining forest provides a continuous supply of lumber when properly managed.

Our fishing guide, Jerry, holds the lumber lease on about 3,000 acres and harvested about 250,000 board feet of lumber last year, a one-man lumber company. Locally these types of logging operations are called jippo loggers.

Jerry uses this skidder to move and pile felled logs.

 Jerry also sells some cut lumber to local users – delivered on the ranch. Here’s a picture of his portable mill.

Jerry (left) with his portable mill.

Jerry and other locals support themselves with these local resourses.