Friday, February 18, 2011

Belated 2010 Nimrod UP Thanksgiving/Deer Hunting Trip

Yet again the Nimrod Crew made the journey to Michigan's north land. Thanksgiving, family and of course UP deer hunting. This year wasn't much different than years in the past. We recently unloaded the Shaggin Wagon onto an unsuspecting fella who unloaded a newer but beat up Turse onto us. All round everyone got the shaft, so all is good. We were presently surprised at how well the ol Turse ran and considering we nearly doubled the gas mileage over the sled or Shaggin Wagon. We will leave it at that and will not compare the cargo space or comfort.

Nimrod had to work most the evening before the trip. Yoop put the youngin's in bed like normal and the plan was to wake them just prior to pointing the Turse north. When I got home I quietly started loading the Turse with the gear a crew of 4 was going to need for a week long trip to the north land. Well... Yoop did most the packing and I think we could have made it a few more weeks if we had to.

After carrying the third bag to the Turse, Yoop and Munda came stumbling out to see what was going on. Munda wasn't nearly as cheerful as she usually is in the morning. Maybe because it was the middle of the night, not morning. Yoop helped me finish the loading as she also tended to Munda. Once we were about ready to roll I went and shook Monkeys cage.

Yoop had told me that he didn't want to go to bed last night, he wanted to leave for the north woods right then. He got pretty upset when she said they had to wait for Nimrod to get home. Smart boy.

As I rattled his cage he acted all grumpy and didn't want to wake up. I told him Yoop told me how he wanted to leave last night and now was the time to go, he still grumbled but with a grin on his face.

Once the crew was drained and loaded up we set the compass north and left the Ranch. The trip was nice. I have always preferred traveling during the night. There is less traffic on the roads and no blinding sun to deal with. Turns out we were traveling at near a full moon, and on a nearly cloudless night. the moon was about as bright as the sun. I had to have the sun visor turned on the side window to keep the moon light out of my eyes.

After a bright but uneventful trip, we arrived at Loggers ranch mid morning. Logger was just returning from a morning hunting trip. Although his truck was empty, the anticipation was high. We mingled around for awhile, unloaded the Turse. At some point I succumb to the sleep monster for a few hours. Yoop and Logger went for an evening sit and again came back with an empty truck.

I bet I have mentioned before that Nimrod isn't a fan of mornings. Not much good usually comes from them anyway, so why submit to the pain of rising before the sun and dealing with the entire day? Its much easier to stay in bed and get up later- at least you only have to deal with a portion of the day.

The next few days went the same. Yoop and Logger would head out before daylight. Evenings trips were me and either Yoop or Logger. Most days nothing was seen. What deer were seen were too far away to drag back from the neighboring property.

A few days into the trip, Yoop and Logger surprised us all by coming home with something in the truck. Turns out they decided to relive old times with Yoop pulling the trigger on what she thought was a doe and Logger connecting on a small buck.

Yoops deer was a cute lil fella. Small devil horns that barely stuck out over the hair on the top of his head. Yoop and Logger have about an eon of combined hunting experience. So how could they both miss the miniature head gear this guy wore? I asked them and they both claimed innocence, repeatedly stating they had watched her/him feed for several minutes, all the while assessing her fitness for the freezer. After determining she would fit well in the Nimrod freezer, Yoop did her thing.

Not until did they get up to her/him did they realize she was he. Button bucks are widely known to be yearly deer, however when the DNR checked in Devil horns, they aged him at 18 months. Further badgering of Yoop and Logger on their obvious over site of the massive antlers this deer wore, found an obvious answer... they think someone some how hid the horns from their view, and then uncovered them before the reached the fallen beast.

I laughed at them, spouting that only happens to me.

Stay tuned for the next entry, where Nimrod and Fidge hit the woods, Nimrod goes bowhunting with a 30-30 and the finale of the Nimrod deer season.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Itch

Over the past few days a lot of people have asked me about the Nimrod Clans UP Deer Hunting trip. Both people thought it would be a great way to get over my recent writing block. Right after our return from the Great (Not So) White north, I had started to pen the days of the adventure. Each time I went back to the story I would get a rash and a bad twitch.

Since the physical reaction to a story was not very fun, I just avoided it completely. I went back often working to complete the deer hunt entry, at least until the rash and shivers started again. A time or two I even tried to start a new entry. Which worked for about a paragraph longer, yet still ended with in a shivering pile of itchy Nimrod.

After a month of this vicious cycle, I thought hard about giving up on the Diaries. I mean it was like having target panic, but not being able to practice to get over it. I felt like a rooster with no hens. A spring Gobbler with only other Gobblers to chase. A rutting buck without trees to rub against. A spawning bluegill with no sandy flat. Why keep something that caused me such heartache anytime I approached it? Ol Nimrod is a glutton but everyone has a breaking point.

On the brink of dropping the Nimrod Diaries hotcake, I decided to give it one more night of thought. The next evening was spent, mostly, on the thinking chairs at the Nimrod Ranch. I used both chairs, in case one had more mojo than the other. Written materials were also recruited to assist in solving the problem, especially since the mail lady delivered the new Orvis, LL Bean and Cabelas Fly Fishing catalogs the day before. In addition, the latest issues of Deer and Deer hunting and Fur, Fish and Game were waiting to be opened.

As the night grew old, and my visits to the thinking chairs grew in number, the cause of my problems began to reveal itself. I dreamed of warming days, flooding creeks, fly fishing, spring turkeys, bedding pan fish. A renewed potential for success danced on my mind. I snapped out of my dream when I realized the roll from the thinking chair was missing. It wasn't empty. It was gone completely. Who would just steal the whole roll, inner cardboard and all?

To save details, I made do and got a new roll. I was still wonder who in the world would steal a whole roll of paper, knowing the chair was still being used? It was about then I noticed the Fur, Fish and Game magazine was missing also. Yoop, Monkey and Munda were all sawing logs and hadn't been up for a few hours. Where in the world is the paper roll and Fur, Fish and Game magazine with the article on winter squirrel hunting???

I gave up and went to the computer to check in at the normal places. Nothing new in the News. Not much going on at the hunting and fishing forums. Checking email, I realized I haven't checked the Nimrod Diaries email account lately. Logging in I found what I expected. A handful of spam and nothing more.

I signed into the Diaries, check some of my favorite blogs, happy to see they are still up and running. Seems the itch is only effecting me. I read back to the early days of the diaries that seem so long ago. I enjoyed the laughs at myself and relished the idea of how the Diaries have grown and matured. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

After reading the diaries, beginning to end, along with visiting the thinking chair a few more times the source of the Itch started to become clearer. The more I thought about my writing and my most recent deer season the catalyst of my writing block was not wanting to admit how my season had gone. While Nimrod never claims to be that great of a hunter, I have been doing it long enough to be skunked. Let alone skunked two seasons in a row.

Yep.. you read that right. Nimrod has eaten tag soup for two seasons in a row. I have said it and quite honestly I feel much better.

I could easily make excuses, I mean I missed the heart of bow season, sidelined by Yoop and Doc for a bum wrist. Our trip to the Great (not so) White north was a bust. I only saw a few deer, several hundred yards away on a neighboring property. Or how my new job at work has me busier than before. Yet none of that takes away from the fact I failed to connect on a deer, failed to bring meat home for the family. Luckily Yoop didn't get skunked, but I will cover that later.

After all this... I'm back! For better or worse, I am back and hopefully here to stay.

Check back soon as I will cover the 2010 Nimrod Crew UP trip, how I ended my deer season, ice fishing, snow shoeing and maybe a few other fun winter things... that is of course if I get them done before the spring season start up!

Thanks for sticking it out, I hope this year makes it worth your while.