Great White Hunter

Well the air is ice cold and the animals are hard to find in Michigan’s upper peninsula.  That doesn’t mean that the company isn’t great and the effort isn’t there.   For all our efforts, the camp saw dozens of doe a few bucks and some good fun.  I’ve been asked if we drank the time away.  While there is some alcohol at our camp, the atmosphere is more serious than that.   Stands, scents, methods, and long periods of very quiet time in the woods.  The trip consists of, walking until you are tired, moving firewood, showering outdoors, clearing spaces for blinds, hiking followed by black-capped chickadees landing on your equipment, snowy owls, partridge, squirrels, cyotes etc.

I would recommend that everyone spend several days in the cold weather watching wilderness by themselves every year. Self discovery, separation from our modern life and time spent in a different mode of existence are seriously undervalued in today’s world. My hunting skills rival those of most engineer basketball players (I don’t intentionally play basketball) but it is a good time full of learning.  It is amazingly difficult to sit still on a painfully cold morning and hope you don’t make too much noise for the wildlife.  When you get it right, your immediate neighbors are numerous.  A good snow/rain and the silence becomes incredible.

In all, the weather variations were tremendous.  T-shirt weather followed two days later by 8 inches of snow.

I like to tell my wife how bad the food was but one night we had salmon on a cedar plan(c)k. on another we had beef steaks, so it kind of messes up my story.  Perhaps honesty is a bad policy in this case.

By the time I went home I had seen a lot of un-shootable dear, eaten a lot of food and was very ready to get back to work.   Still, there is this unshakable sense that the incredible stupidity of the modern world can’t get me down.

I saw no shootable deer but a ten point walked shamelessly through camp the day before season started.  My dad was talking with Mark (another hunter) who was explaining that in the past two weeks he had seen not one deer.  They were talking outside when a huge beast walked by.  “There’s a deer”, dad said.  Mark tore down the road with a bow in his hand and came close  to a shot when the deer crossed the road but no dice.

Later I asked if the deer walked through camp with its tongue out but deer with an attitude don’t normally live to grow 10 points in the UP of Michigan.

21 thoughts on “Great White Hunter

  1. My buddies and I got skunked this year also, Jeff (and we hunt in Southern Ontario). We haven’t been skunked for 10 years but it is bound to happen occasionally. Last year we got 4 big deer and consequently I still have some venison in the freezer. The peace and serenity of the woods and fields, the wildlife, the hours of complete relaxation, the fresh air, the camaraderie with your hunting buddies makes the actual harvest merely the icing on the cake. I saw deer but they were all out of range for my shotgun with slugs. The biggest surprise was that none of us saw any wild turkeys. Previous years we have always seen turkeys. Perhaps the flourishing coyote population is having an effect. I still have my tag so I will try to get out a couple more times with a crossbow since bow season goes right up to the end of the year.

  2. Here in Oz we are preparing to spend several years in the cold, watching wilderness by ourselves, notably in our back yards. Our sojourn is not by choice. Our bucks are being taken away, we have no doe left. We keep deadly silent at night because the TV is too expensive to power up and besides, there is soooo much propaganda. Our guns have been taken from us by law, so all we can hunt is a half-eaten KFC from a dumpster, both imported from Asia. Some citizens tried to escape, so they closed down the whole Qantas fleet of aircraft. We have a new carbon tax and a new mining profits tax to sponsor continued growth of the public service. We are soon to have a GST, which is some form of Gently Squeezing Testicles. We have new laws prohibiting dissent about price rises caused by the carbon tax, so our freedom of speech is being eroded.The land is so large that we use huge volumes of jet fuel to get to the World Heritage areas of Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef, which are being destroyed by the pollution of jet fuel from people flying to the World Heritage areas of Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. We are prohibited from making electricity by nuclear means and our coal plants are going to be closed. From one end of the country to another, the weather variations are tremendous. T-shirt weather followed two days later by 8 inches of snow, with no error bars on the snow depth. Decrepit boats of illegal foreigners disturb the nesting turtles on our northern beaches and the fumes from their evil engines have bleached the coral of the reef. Their discarded passports are toxic when eaten by even the toughest sub-species of drop bear. Once-proud wedge-tailed eagles are being shredded by windmills, but they are so tough that nobody wants to eat them, let alone salmon or beefsteak which are beyond the means of all but pop singers and politicians. To spread this message to the world, we are embarking on a huge optical National Broadband Network, so at least our diets can have fibre but not necessarily regularity. Oh, but the NBN is going to be filtered by a Government which knows better than we do how to conduct ourselves. You might not hear much more of us as a tourism destination.

    Yep, Jeff, it sure does the soul good to sit alone in silence for several days. Sooner or later though, one has to rise to find the medication and remember if it is a blue pill day or a red pill day. Blue is Conservative, Red is Communist in your terms. Who was that suntanned guy was who clambered down the steps of a blue 747 in Canberra the other day, into a car with doors a foot thick? Was he a blue pill or a red pill guy? He said that there was no country closer to the USA than Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Upper Volta and after Canada, Cuba.

    Strange things happen in the back woods.

  3. It’s real IMO.

    Wow. It looks like the rest of the files from UEA during the same timeframe. Even has a comment from Steig about too much warming in the Antarctic. That could have saved a bit of time.

  4. Nice one Geoff! I do applaud your fine wit.

    But just to balance the account and make Jeff eat his heart out I can tell him (and you) that here (too) in Oz we can still hunt massive water buffalo and monstrous boars in glorious places like the East Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory. And feel OK about it because they are both introduced pest species.

    Despite the best efforts of Johnny Howard and other assorted weasels over the years we can still own (at least) a rifle or two or three. My Californian good buddy is coming out next year to exercise his wondrous hand made English double barreled 420 Nitro Express and I will be able to give him a very fine time, for sure.

    Even most Oztralians do not realise that due to years of depressed levels of hunting and greenie harassment of it the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia is now riddled with deer (albeit carrying the Lymes’ Disease-carrying tick, so beware) from one end to the other. I have my own 50 acre bit of Aussie mountain paradise (name of ‘Deliverance’ 😉 with mud brick hacienda and we watch 20 – 30 deer cluster around the dam of an evening at least once a week. Love that venison.

    Yep, its still The Very Lucky Country despite the very best efforts of generations of politicians, pin-headed do gooders…..and even Yankee imperialists. Terra Australis ain’t close to anyone or anything, and that’s it’s secret and its very good fortune. If it’s little colored pills you need, you just don’t get it….

  5. I had an eight point chortle with laughter at me. I was so mad I missed with two arrows. They know exactly what they are doing, I swear.

    Congrats Jeff on another zip file and thank you to

  6. Jeff,

    Did not know you hunted in the UP, that is good to know and brought back a lot of memories of when we used to camp and hunt there too. We had a lot of great times, got some nice bucks, but the best part was that it was a real hunting adventure – sounds a lot like your camp. I have been staying closer to home and hunting in the northern lower for the past 10 years or so. This year, my 13 year old got his first buck ( a 6-pointer) while I was sitting in the blind with him. Best day of hunting I ever had.

    Good Luck the rest of the way.

  7. 13 Steve Short said re Australia …

    You are right, Steve, There is a resilience that exceeds the worst efforts of the ignorant here. My little essay was a pointer to a move to more bad happenings. It is still the best country in the world, so nice to fly into Sydney with the red roofs and blue jacarandas after leaving the bleak grey of a Nth Hemisphere winter. Because we operated the Ranger Mine, I flew to the Top End about monthly for 10 years, so we are on common understanding. I was having a bit of a parody at my old friend Jeff, but now Climategate 2 had descended. It is much more important.

  8. You need to go hunting more often. Many interesting things emerge when you do. Two out of two – just sayin! (correlation vs causation;-)) And nature is a wonderful teacher. It has a way of meeting you where you are in a way that just is and is not averse to beating the crap out of those who lack respect! Whilst I have never been a hunter, (except for boyish escapades with an air rifle), I don’t have any issue with responsible hunting and I think the environmental movement will swing towards those who manage and utilize resources like farmers, hunters, fishermen etc rather than the up town prohibitionist greenies and their ilk. And clearly it is not just hunters that have a lot of patience waiting for their moment!

  9. Razzed by Bambi, alpha buck! You should feel honoured.

    With or without hunting, overnight winter hiking/camping is a wondrous experience, if your experience and equipment are adequate to the challenge.

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