Friday, September 9, 2011

Nimrod on Checking Acorn Crops

Its that time of year again. The mother of all seasons is nearly upon us. Nimrod tends to stay away from “how to” posts here at the Diaries. However I thought I would share a Nimrod deer scouting tip with you.

Nimrod ranch is in the middle of a oak forest so a primary food source to look for is acorns (akerns for my southern friends). Deer love them and God drops them on the ground for free. All is good in the world.

Some people claim deer prefer the white oaks over other oaks; as such will target the white oaks before the reds or other species. I have asked a few deer what they thought and the deer replied flipping me a white tail and running away. I am still curious how these people got the deer to talk about their preferences.

Often folks will look up at the sky and look for the acorns in the top of the trees. Some even resort to scorching their retinas by using binoculars to check the tree tops against the burning sun. Nimrod has a better and less painful way to check the yearly acorn crop.

First of all find two oak trees. Preferably a white and a red. Check the surrounding areas for obstacles. Retrieve the chain saw. Carefully drop the tree to the ground.

Once the tree is on the ground it is easy to check the crop of acorns without stressing or injuring your eyes. While its a small sampling it gives you a good indication of the number of nuts those two trees would have dropped. The bonus is that once the wood seasons, you will have a good amount of hardwood for campfires, smoking venison or heating the Ranch.

This years test showed the trees had a decent number of nuts.

Now to the business side of things. Nimrod is playing around with a new hosting platform for the Diaries. This post and the next few will be posted to the old URL (http://nimroddiaries.blogspot.com/2011/09/nimrod-on-checking-acorn-crops.html) as well of the new URL (http://nimroddiaries.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/nimrod-on-checking-acorn-crops/). Please let me know which one you prefer. Your input is important; we surely don’t want Nimrod making this choice on his own. Depending on the response we may switch the Diaries over to the new platform.

Less than a week until Michigan’s early doe season and small game season. 22 days until Michigan’s Bow Season! See ya in the woods!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Monopoly, Murph and Mental Batteries

Murph, Murph, Murph. My favorite guy to hate and bash. After a few months of summer without seeing hid nor hair of him. Much to our my chagrin he has decided to return to the Nimrod Ranch.

The working weekend was long. Work had my batteries drained. I was pulling from power reserves that seemingly didn’t exist. Yet like everything, good or bad, it comes to an end. In this case it was a good thing. A very good thing.

Nimrod had one day off in a seven day week and it was upon us. I knew to make the best of it. Yoop, Monkey, Munda and I did several things around the ranch. Campfires, marshmallows, games of monopoly. Just hanging out doing fun family things. The Nimrod battery was recharging smoothly.

One particular game of Monopoly between Monkey and I was a classic example of keeping your mouth shut. Nimrod was laying his best tycoon to poor Monkey. After the third time of landing on St James Place and paying for the hotel, Monkey was ready to call it quits. Ya know throw in the towel. Bow to the Monopoly master.

Trying to instill some perseverance into the young lad I suggested we play a little more. After all the mini miser had a few houses on Boardwalk and Park Place. Telling him you never know what can happen he agreed to play on. My next roll landed my boot on Park Place. Nearly $1000 later and using my money to buy hotels for his dark blue spaces he rolled the dice. He landed in one of the few spaces that were not covered by houses and hotels it was my turn again.

I rolled the dice, confident after a few more rolls I would be the rightful winner, landing on Chance. Drawing the card, all the while looking forward to adding $10 to my cash pile for getting second place in a beauty contest. I flipped it over and read it. I don’t know the exact look on my face but I saw the elation in Monkeys’ eyes as I put my boot on Boardwalk, following the directions of talking a walk on the Boardwalk.

Now with $2000 less in my money pile I began to wonder what was going on. Moving from a position of certain winning to being several behind in the chip count I was left perplexed. After a few more rolls I landed on another of the Monkey owned, hotel laden, properties I payed out the remaining bills from my deleted money pile. Lessoned learned by young and old. Never give up, you never know what might happen.

After the butt whooping in a game for people a few years his elder we continued on to a supper for grilled burgers and sides. Life is good. That battery is nearly full. However part way through the weekend I knew this day off was going to take more than normal to get the batteries back to full charge. The additional drain that was put on my batteries needed a bit of an additional boost to get back to full charge. Anyone who has been in Nimrods shoes knows you can’t leave you batteries only partially charged, you have to get them back to 100%.

Knowing this I had told Yoop the evening was going to have to be spent on some moving water with a fly rod in my hand. I knew the right place for the final charge.

After a great supper and more family time I set off to finish the charge my batteries needed. I drove to a near by creek that happens to be known as the best brown trout fishery for many miles. Time was not on my side. A storm front was moving in at the same time the sun was settling in for the nights rest. I parked the Turse and prep’ed the fly rod for some fun.

Another guy was leaving. We exchanged the normal greetings followed by the standard question of “Did ya catch anything?”

I received a reply of “I caught a limit but if I told you where I would have to kill you.”

Its always good to find other fisherman of a like mind.

I returned to getting the rod ready and opened the trunk to get out some leader material. I moved this and moved that but couldn’t find the leader. Odd since it was left in the trunk after the last Nimrod Crew fishing trip. I looked again, checked under the seats but the leader was missing in action. I looked at the 4 feet of leader on the rod, at the clock and at the sky.

Nimrod is widely known for his decision making ability. Good or bad I make a decision and tonight it was to fish on with a short leader. Figuring it was getting dark, a storm was moving in so the fish would care less about a short leader and more about eating some dinner before the water over flows from rain.

I set off for the creek and meet another guy leaving. This guy was carrying a fish. A big fish. I walked over toward him to check out his catch. A gorgeous steel silver steelhead. He too was tight lipped about where he caught it but made a comment about not snagging it. Since I never even asked about what he was using some flags flew off in my head. Having no proof either way I left the water to flow under the bridge and continued on to finish recharging the internal batteries.

I started at the dam, tossing a caddis fly spin off. After a few minutes I got a raise but missed the hook set. I smiled as the internal battery reached it fully charged point. I continued to fish and worked my way down the creek. Not far down stream I found a hole with at least six visible steelhead feeding violently in an unpredictable cadence. Also a loan chromer sitting idly up stream of a dead fall not far from the others.

Not being one to pass up a chance for fame I offered each of the Oncorhynchus mykiss every fly I had in my fly boxes. Nimrod tried every angle and drift I could think of and successfully pull off with the overhead trees. The Oncorhynchus mykiss continued their unpredictable feeding pattern, all the while predictably ignoring what ever was at the end of my mini-leader. Ignore the fact that if one actually took my offering they would have headed for the log jam, broke off the mini-leader and left my fly reel in smoking pieces. Still would have been a blast.

A short time later I headed for the Turse not run off by rain but the lightning and thunder that accompanied it. There is something about swinging a 9 and a half foot lightning rod that doesn’t appeal to even Nimrod. Call me what you will... electrified I won’t be.

Until next time remember to never give up and don’t leave your leader and tippet at home.