Friday, December 30, 2011

Why We Hunt Deer With Guns

Why we shoot deer in the wild (A letter from someone who wants to remain anonymous, who farms, writes well and actually tried this)

I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up-- 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold..

The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it, it took a step away.. I put a little tension on the rope .., and then received an education. The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer-- no Chance. That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined.. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals.

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.

I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.. Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand...kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite?

They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when ..... I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist.. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and slide off to then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head--almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective.

It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now), tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.

That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp... I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -like a horse --strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.

This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a sort of even the odds!!

All these events are true so help me God... An Educated Farmer

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trip to the Adirondacks.

Laura and I took a Trip to the Adirondacks this last weekend.  What a great time that was.  We stayed at the Covewood lodge on Big Moose Lake.  Our cabin was right on the water and we had a fire every noght in the fireplace.  Very romantic.  Had thoughts of cooking steaks at the cabin, but only made breakfasts opting instead for the local fare. 

Here is the view from the Cabin

Here is the view out the side window

This is my Trusty Canoe Partner

She steered the vessel close enough to take a look at these guys

We took some walks in the woods too.  This guy had personality.

We walked a mile down the stream on the rocks.  Laura demonstrated some cat like reflexes. 

And I cant forget, This little Jewel,,,Thats a Weed,,,Jewelweed that is. 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eulogy for my Father

My father Passed away on the 2nd of January.  I find myself at great peace with his passing because of his long battles with COPD and Heart Failure.  For 12 years we have walked with him through ups and downs.  He was finally ready to let go and be at peace.

My father was born in Cincinnati, Ohio May 11, 1933 and so began the life of the man that the people gathered here today were proud to call friend, great grandfather, grandpa, papa, uncle and brother. My brothers and I, simply called him dad.

There are at least two things you will know about my father because they were dear to him and by extension are dear to all of us here gather to celebrate his life. He cherished his friends and he loved his family. Often times, these elements would combine with his permanent on-stage humor and provide our greatest memories of him.

Even as the owner of a company with all of its required paperwork, planning and “officiality”, my dad’s truck was always running at the door. Sure it was for climate control, but interestingly enough, it serves as a sort of metaphor for how he lived his life. From as far back as I remember, if you asked my dad where he was going in the truck it was “Checking Jobsites” Checking jobsites was a rather open-ended term that did indeed mean checking jobsites, all day, every day, but more importantly, it was the next small journey to meet with the world. The world with friends, family and strangers who would soon become friends.

Friendship was important to my dad. You couldn’t just be a customer, employee, partner, agent, developer, banker or supplier to him. You had to be a friend. Friendship had a duty. He rose every morning at 5am and started the day’s planning. He worked 7 days a week from his myriad notebooks and was on the phone constantly juggling critical schedules and balancing the money. He knew he was not just providing for our family, he felt duty bound to all those who depended on the success of his business and was glad of it. These were his friends.

My dad dearly loved belonging; especially to the Lions club. In Each, he looked forward to every meeting and more so to each project. He was even honored as “Lion of the Year” and I know how proud he was that his friends recognized his personal efforts to improve the community. My father’s long time high school friends John Kuppe, Don Lemm, Jack Krause and their families will be donating a memoriam to the Lions club in dad’s honor. What a fitting tribute.

Dad was a Sportsman; but to truly understand his devotion, you must know that my father never; ever did it alone. Quite simply, the outdoors was something which needed to be shared to be valuable. And share he did. Many cousins, friends and of course my brothers and I owe our love of hunting, fishing, and outdoors sports to the time and care dad took to making it special. Through example (and sometimes direct quote) he exemplified respect, proficiency and excellence. In turn, we have all engendered his respect for the sport and respect for the tradition.

My dad was strong, hard working and obviously entertaining to the whole world, but he was also devoted to his family. He had a personal, individual and cherished relationship with all of his relatives. They have all played such an important part in my dad’s life. If I were to wrap it all up neatly, it would be so many memories of laughter and food. If he was not providing one, he was providing the other or both. And man there was a lot of food. May we never forget that the 4th of July is meant for Teriyaki Steak

Dad had a special relationship with his grandchildren and those, like me, who have them , often say, “if I knew they would be this much fun, I might have had them first.” He was such a kid around them. I enjoyed hearing the grandchildren’s stories from last night . Mostly, because I know how much dad enjoyed making those memories.

My First hero has passed on now. With the love of our families and friend, my brothers and I will carry on his memory. We are proud of him, of all that he was, and all that he accomplished.
We are most proud to say one thing - He was our Dad.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mallard Pair

Carved these while up in the U.P. of Michigan.  Had a great time working on them

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nearly Almost Complete Statuary

This is my nearly complete piece for the Ward World Carving Competition.  I have some touch up here and there. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Minnesota Mud Hen - Poulet Noir

The Minnesota Decoy Collectors show coming up in Feb has selected the COOT as the bird of the year. To help show support of the show and to provide motivation for the MN Decoy Carving Club, we selected a Cedar Coot as our annual Winter decoy project. To make this project work for myself, I drew up a pattern from really cool photo of a european coot. Then I carved and painted this little guy up. Fun thing is that it only took about 2 Saturdays to get done. This was certainly fun.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Belted Kingfisher

This is the bird I finished during the Gary Eigenburger Class up at the Krausman's studio. Pretty intense week. I will work on the habitate for a bit in order to call it complete. I am going to let it sit for a week or so to fully dry.