Thursday, November 18, 2010

The second of the great fall seasons is now upon us. Michigan's 2010 Firearm Deer season kicked off without a bang. It was more of a snore than a bang- at least for Nimrod.

You may recall last year how we all learned to never ever ever never break a tradition. This year was going to be different. The traditions chair is where I wanted to be. Its where I needed to be. Its where I was going to be.

The previous day I laid out all my gear. Ensuring the transition from Laborer Nimrod, into Nimrod then to Predator Nimrod went as smooth as it never could be. I grabbed the gear and loaded it into the back of the Sled and set off for the family land. Monkey had to attend class at his institute of higher education so the rest of the crew was going to stay at the Nimrod Ranch unless some foolish deer decided to pay me a visit.

The drive went without anything. Really nothing. The Sled doesn't have a radio. I usually listen to an MP3 player with either podcasts from Michigan Outdoor radio shows or an eclectic mix of music. This morning it was nestled in a cup by the home computer. The hum from the tires and rattle of the engine kept me entertained on the ride. Not exciting but who wants to get all excited before the second of the great fall seasons?

The roads were wet from overnight rain. Luckily I had thought ahead and brought a towel to dry the seat of the tradition chair. I would not have to have a short sit with a wet seat. As I drove by baseops I noticed not a creature was stirring, not even Grey Beard. Knitter was already off to drive her yellow dinosaur; shuttling the kids to the institute of higher education. Grey Beard was sawing logs. I thought about honking as I went by but when I tried the horn on the Sled didn't work.

As I pulled into the field at the family land, I was undecided how sloppy the mud was going to be. Since the sled has racing slicks I decided to just go for it and hope for the best. As I gave her gas and hit the dirt, I quickly found out the mud wasn't sloppy and darn near rolled her from the speed.

I parked her in the same spot I have parked for many, many hunts. I shut off the engine, and sat in the quiet for a few minutes. While one would think I was letting the exhaust fumes blow away in the wind, I was really taking a quick nap.

Once I awoke, I decided it was time to get out into the Traditions chair. I stepped out and gather my gear. I took off my boots and stepped into the muddy dirt. Since Nimrod is always thinking, I realized the floor mat from the drivers cockpit of the sled would keep my feet dry and clean. I retrieved the mat and stood on it with my dirty wet stocking feet. As I put on my hunting gear, piece by piece I transformed from Nimrod into Predator Nimrod. Life was good.

A sneaked to the Traditions Chair and found the seat bone dry. How a seat, sitting in the woods with no cover, could be bone dry after a night or rain is beyond me. Not wanting to feel too foolish, I sat on the dry towel anyway. All the while wonder how the seat was dry.

This opening morning was like ones in the past. There was not spectacular sunrise, there was nothing coming alive as the sun rose. It went from night to day. No fanfare, no parades or fireworks. Just the light overcoming the darkness. Morning just became.

Not only was there no fanfare with the coming of the morning. There was no fanfare or fireworks during the time I sat in the Traditions Chair. I heard one faint gun shot at dusk. Nothing more. Only excitement was someone sneaking to his own stand on a neighboring property. It appeared he was coming onto the family land but it was just my sleepy Nimrod eyes playing tricks on me.

Since it was opening morning I had planned to sit for several hours. Ya never know when these sneaky brown ones will decide to come out. Shortly after night became day I woke from a nap and decided it would be best to head toward the Nimrod Ranch. It was quite a drive and I was barely awake. I sneaked back to the Sled and loaded my gear.

The rest of the Second Great Season opener was nothing. Sleep and family stuff. Oh I saw a dear on my way to the ranch. Lil buck out in a picked cornfield eating. Sure enough... this was not a normal Second Great Season opener.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Murph still haunts me.

Ahhh... yes. Finally Ole Nimrod is back in the saddle again. The gimped up wrist is back to 80% and its time to rock and roll. I have two weeks of bow season to catch up on. Unfortunately my time off seems to have left Murph bored out of his minuscule gourd. He is back to his annoying antics... worst I have seen in a few years.

Getting a late start on the season has really set me back. I am fighting to catch up to where the deer are and what they are doing. My brain is still in early season mode even as the weather and deer are firmly into mid-season movements. Didn't think it was going to be as big of a challenge as it is.

As season got closer to Halloween, I got closer to the deer. It was really neat and odd at the same time. First time in a long time, dare I say ever, I was actual doing the right thing, and nearly in the right places to intercept the deer. Considering I rarely find myself at the same place as the deer I am happily astonished. I have not closed the deal, and have since been forced to work to pay the bills, but nonetheless its almost like I know what I am doing this year.

About a week ago, I decided on sneaking out on an evening hunt on some public land not far from the house. I sweet-talked Yoop and she gave me a hall pass for a few hours. I loaded up my gear and set off to the honey hole down the road.

Things had been going so smoothly, I had nary a thought about old Murph. The thoughts I did have were fleeting... mostly thinking not to think about him. As I neared the honey hole, I checked a few nearby parking spaces to see who else was out taking their chances. I smiled when I noticed no one else around. The deer were all mine to not get close to.

While I was gimped up, I had been doing a lot of scouting using aerial and topo maps. Each time I would look at the there were two spots that stuck our like sore thumbs where deer should be, but likely weren't. I was going to check out one of them on this hunt to get a feel of how the deer were using it.

I pulled into my parking space and started the transition from Ole Nimrod to Predator Nimrod. As I opened the sleds rear hatch, I noticed something odd. My bow and quiver were not to be found. As faithful readers of the Diaries, you know how thorough Ole Nimrod is. I never look over the tiniest detail, unless I am in a hurry or there is outside influence.

I hurried back to the Nimrod Ranch. On the way I called Yoop and asked her to look for the missing bow and quiver. Its not too hard to lose, a classic green Fred Bear Kodiak Magnum and quiver with 3 cedar shafts crowned with red stain and fletched with 2 red and 1 white 5 inch feathers. Not something you will drop in the woods and loose.

After checking, Yoop told me they were sitting where I had left them. I quickly let her know there isn't a chance in the world I left them there. I remember very cloudily that I carried them out of the house and put them in the back of the sled. I wonder if they grew legs and arms and sneaked out of the Sled into the house. Or did something else happened?

I didn't have time to figure it out. There were some deer that needed to be hunted and a Nimrod that needed to hunt some deer. I tossed the bow and arrows into the Sled and scouted off to the woods.

As I reached the parking lot entrance, I noticed something I didn't see before. Probably cause it wasn't there. In the middle of the road, about 50 yards past the parking lot was a nice mature doe standing in the middle of the road. I was a bit miffed, as she was walking right toward where I was planning on hunting.

After seeing the sled, she decided to change her plans. She glanced toward me, showed me her middle hoof and then waived her tail good bye.

I geared up and sneaked off into the woods. 20 minutes late and upset about scaring the game way before even stepping foot into the trees. Alas, no worries.. there is more than one deer in them there woods.

I reached the secret spot after tip toeing through the over grown pine tree hedge lines for 15 minutes. Not thinking about how I would have been ready for the doe if someone hadn't taken my bow and quiver out of the Sled; I readied my faithful stool for my sit and I sat. It was then I noticed one of the three legs of my stool were broken. I checked but there was not anything red neck engineering could do to incorrectly repair the offending leg. I snuggled into a small tree and waited. Aside from frustration and incessant harassing, and broken stool nothing more came from that sit.

A few days later, after making a grocery run for the Nimrod Ranch, plans were made for a hunt on the family land. Yoop and Munda were going to wait for Monkey to get off the bus after his day at the institute of higher education and Nimrod was going to run to base ops to get a jump on the hunt. I made a quick stop at base ops, hit the head and then got cruised over to the family land.

After the preceding fiasco, I think I double checked my gear before leaving the ranch. When I got to the woods, and started the transition to Predator Nimrod I had another sinking feeling. You know the feeling, like something is missing and it will ruin your whole day. I finsihed suiting up and grabbed my bow.

You ever have on of those days where you have everything planned out and halfway through realize you forgot something? Me either. But as I grabbed for my bow I realized it was not in the Sled. Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice and label me a fool for life.

I made the transition back to Ole Nimrod and set back off to base ops. More thana little upset, I was about to throwing in the towel for the nights hunt. I checked my wallet, thinking a stop at the local daddy pop store was in the cards. Finding Yoop had once again raided the money section, the shiny new small game license caught my eye.

The nimrod mind shifted gears. Someone once told me when life gives you lemons, squirt them in the eye of your enemy- so I made it back to base ops, grabbed Grey Beards old 22 rifle and set back off. Mud and I have noticed an a large population of tree rats, and if you recall I have a debt to settle with at least one.

I sneaked loudly into the woods and found a tree. Cleared the leaves from around it and sat down. I loaded up the 22 and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. After a bit it became clear. Murph had taken all of the tree rats out for a little bow shooting at the Ranch.