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Heads Up – Part Deux

Yesterday, I passed on some hunting information for my Indiana friends, and DNR updated their update this morning:

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
402 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2748

Hunting Guide correction… Part 2

To Wild Bulletin subscribers:

A notice sent Wednesday to Wild Bulletin subscribers corrected dates previously printed in the DNR Hunting/Trapping Guide for using of bonus antlerless deer hunting licenses in “A” counties. The dates in the Guide were wrong.

A sharp-eyed Wild Bulletin subscriber caught an additional mistake in both the Guide and the correction notice that indicated bonus antlerless licenses could be used in the special antlerless season in counties with an “A” quota. Tipton and Wells are the only counties with an “A” quota this year.

As our subscriber correctly pointed out, “A” counties are not eligible for the special antlerless season. Neither are counties with a bonus quota of 1, 2, or 3. Counties must have a bonus quota of at least 4 to participate in the special antlerless season, which begins Dec. 26.

So, let’s try again.

For counties with an “A” designation, a bonus antlerless license can be used to take one antlerless deer from Nov. 27through Jan. 4 (the last four days of the regular firearms season, plus muzzleloader and archery seasons). Bonus antlerless licenses cannot be used in an “A” county prior to Nov. 27.

We apologize for the errors.

-30-

Contact: Phil Bloom, DNR Communications, (317) 232-4003.

Heads Up

For my Hoosier friends, just got this from the DNR and wanted to pass it on:

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
402 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2748

Hunting Guide correction

To Wild Bulletin subscribers:

The print version of the 2014 Indiana Hunting/Trapping Regulation Guide contains incorrect information on Page 27 regarding the use of bonus antlerless licenses in “A” counties.

For counties with an “A” designation, a bonus antlerless license can be used to take one antlerless deer from Nov. 27 through Jan. 4 (the last four days of the regular firearms season, plus muzzleloader, archery and special antlerless season). Bonus antlerless licenses cannot be used in an “A” county prior to Nov. 27.

Tipton and Wells counties are the only two with an “A” designation this year.

-30-

Contact: Phil Bloom, DNR Communications, (317) 232-4003.

Not sure how many of you this impacts, but stay safe, stay legal, and good luck!

Hunting Report

Long story short: There will probably be no venison on the menu on Thanksgiving, unless I fill a tag ala Ambulance Driver.

Girlie Bear and I made our yearly trip out to the wilds of Fort Knox to participate in the annual draw hunt this weekend.  This is my seventh year doing it, and Girlie Bear’s third.   I had hoped that she would be able to carry her new rifle for the hunt, but I asked her to hold off another year so that she could practice more with it and have a better chance of making an ethical kill.  We joined with Hunting Buddy and his daughter, who was also making her third trip out.

Our assigned hunting area was right against the southern boundary of post, and was some truly pretty country.  Not much flat land, and certainly no large open areas, but except for some very steep hollers around the creeks, it was just wooded land with gentle inclines.

The first morning, we went to the southern end of our area and staked out an area above a creek.  It was about 35 degrees with little wind when we got out there, but warmed up quite a bit once the sun came up.  We settled in and waited, and it wasn’t much past sun-up that we heard several shots being taken.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see anything before we decided to pack up and head back to the truck for lunch at 11.  Note to self – Walking along a creek bed might be a good idea if you’re young and strong, but when you’re old and fat, you have to remember that every foot down a steep grade you walk will mean a foot you have to walk back up if you find that going down the creek bed isn’t going to work.

Lunch this year, as I mentioned yesterday, was MRE’s.  Girlie Bear still thinks they’re a treat.  I offered some to Hunting Buddies daughter, but she politely declined.  Guess there’s no accounting for taste, but then she might be the smarter one in this discussion.

That afternoon we decided to try our luck on the other side of our area. which went from hardwoods on soft earth to cedars growing out of limestone outcrops.  Again, we followed a creek bed until we found an open area and squatted down in a bunch of cedars.  Again, we didn’t see hide nor hair of the horned beast, but had a good afternoon being quiet and occasionally talking softly.  We walked out around 3 and headed to the truck because we have to check out with our area guide by 5, and there’s no sense in shooting a deer when you will only have a couple of hours to look for it, gut it, and drag it to the truck.  On the way out we saw several rubs and scrapes, and lots of droppings.  However, the droppings were badly decomposed and looked to be at least a week old.  We also found several old ammo containers that said “Ammunition, Caliber .30, Blank” on the side and a pile of the metal end caps from the shipping tubes for 3.5 inch rockets.  I left those alone, but it was kind of neat to show them to Girlie Bear so she could know how long the military had been using the area.

Hunting Buddy and his daughter had a little better luck than we did.  They reported that as they sat on opposite sides of a tree, his daughter had a doe walk about 20 yards away from her.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t armed and her dad couldn’t get around the tree to take a shot without spooking the deer.

Hunting Buddy and his daughter didn’t go hunting on Sunday due to family constraints.  Girlie Bear and I headed out bright and early and went back to the area we had hunted the day before.  When we checked in with our area guide, he showed me pictures of the large 13 point buck one of the other hunters had gotten about 1/4 of a mile from where we had hunted the morning before, so I had hope for the morning.

We settled down a hundred yards or so away from where we had been the day before, and got comfortable.  Again, the weather was pretty much perfect:  dry, chilly, and no real wind.   We sat until lunchtime and pretty much just watched the squirrels.  Mr. and Mrs. Whitetail were apparently at church this Sunday.

During our walk out, we found some  old .30 brass and several clips from M-1 Garands on the ground, which after showing them to Girlie Bear, I left where they were.

We also came across some bones.  I’m pretty sure the leg bones are from deer, but I’m not sure about the skull.  That ridge on the back for muscles to attach to doesn’t look right for a deer, but it’s not hog or coyote either.  Anyone out there have any ideas?

So, overall, not a bad weekend.  Yes, I’d have liked to have pulled a deer out of those woods, but I got to spend two days with my daughter without cell phones, puppies, or little brothers.  I won’t have too many more of those days, so I’m going to enjoy them while I can.

Rifle, clothing, and other gear: About $1000

Hunting license, deer tags, and fees to get in the drawing for the hunt – About $100

This smile after spending a day in the woods with your daughter: Priceless

Thoughts on the Hunt

  • Fort Knox is a beautiful place to hunt, as always.  There is little to no activity in a lot of the areas except for Army training, so it’s not a park.
  • Having limited access to your hunting area before the day of the hunt means lots of work done with maps and satellite images.  
  • Pro-tip – Maps and satellite images are not a substitute for good scouting.  What looked like a hay field in 2006 turned into 6 foot high brambles and brush by 2011.
  • Driving into your hunting area and seeing “Impact Area” signs off the side of the road gives you a good excuse to have the “If you didn’t drop it, leave it alone” discussion with the kids.
  • A friend goes hunting with you.  A good friend changes his plans to come and pick you and Girlie Bear up when your truck refuses to start two days before the hunt.
  • It’s called hunting, not harvesting.  I saw precisely one deer all day, and that was a buck that was too small to shoot.  Hunting Buddy’s daughter saw a doe, but her dad didn’t get a shot off.  All of us still had a good time.
  • Animal count for the day:  1 buck, 27 bluejays, 4 cardinals, and 27 squirrels the size of a Yorkshire terrier.
  • Sitting in the woods and listening to an armor unit go through a tank range a couple of miles away is pretty cool, actually.
  • Doing a full day at the urban warfare center followed by a full day of walking up and down hills then sitting still for several hours at a stretch makes for a very sore DaddyBear come Sunday morning.
  • Getting your daughter away from the TV, radio, little brother, older brother, friends, and homework for a day to just sit in the woods and talk quietly is worth more than any amount of meat in the freezer.

Today’s Earworm

No linked-to YouTube video today.

It’s the beginning of deer season here in Kentucky.  Over the next few months, there will be hunting with bows, muzzleloaders, and modern rifles.  I’m starting to get the itch, and I need to get to the range to doublecheck zero on my guns.

So here’s a little chest-beating to go with your morning.  Hopefully it doesn’t jinx me into eating “deer tag soup” in February once the season closes.


“I Like Big Bucks!”
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I like big bucks and I will not lie!
You other hunters can’t deny!
When a buck walks by
With a great big rack
You get a chill right down your back!
To let him walk would be really tough
‘Cause you wanna get that mother stuffed.
I’m ready and I’m aiming
Buck fever I’m also taming!
Oh deer, I wanna get with ya
And take a picture.
My buddies tried to warn me
But that rack is so big and oh so horny.
Oh doe with the smooth head
You wanna hang in my shed?
I’ll make roasts, steaks, and jerky
‘Cause venison’s better than turkey.
I’ve seen them prancin’
And bucks thinkin’ ’bout romancin’.
It’s fall and it’s rut!
We got deer sniffing each other’s butt!
I’m tired of magazines
Sayin’ venison ain’t the thing.
Take the average redneck and he’ll attest
that venison is the best.
So hunters! (Yeah) Hunters! (Yeah)
Does your wall have a great rack?
(Hell yeah!)
So take it down, show it off!
Big antlers for the win!
Bambi got rack!
Bambi. Got. Rack.
Bambi stew and terriyaki jerky!
Bambi. Got. Rack.
I like ’em pointy and big
And much thicker than a twig.
So I’m wearing doe scent and dressing in camo
And carrying my favorite ammo.
I wanna get you home
and (ugh) hang you up! (ugh ugh)!
I ain’t talking ’bout Field and Stream.
Hunts like that are just a dream.
I want deer real big and juicy,
So I hunt juicy doe.
Little bucks I just let them go.
DaddyBear’s comin’ back for mo’!
So I’m lookin’ at hunting videos.
Big racked bucks sniffing at does.
You can keep the button buck.
I’ll put a big racked buck in my truck.
A word to the big old deer:
You’ll never even know I’m here.
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna hunt
At the break of dawn!
DaddyBear got his camo on!
I’m sure PETA won’t like this song.
Vegans getting their whine on.
But I’d rather hunt than debate
So I’ll stay in the woods til late.
‘Cause if it’s brown, it’s down!
And I’m gonna turn ’em into ground round!
So hunters (Yeah!) Hunters! (Yeah)
You wanna shoot your front stuffer?
(Hell yeah!)
Then load it up! Ram it down!
Even PETA’s got to shout
Bambi got rack!
Bambi. Got. Rack.
Yeah, man, when it comes to whitetails, Bass Pro ain’t got nothin’ on my gun store.
Making jerky out of my backstrap? Only if you take it out of my cold dead hands!
So you hunt deer with a Mosin?
Open sights is what you’ve chosen?
It don’t matter none if you’ve got deer, son!
You can shoot Remington or Savage
But please don’t use a Glock.
Some hunters want that hard role
And fill their tags using a bow
So they pull back and squeeze
And the deer goes to its knees
So I sat in the woods all day
And all that I can say
Is that the squirrels didn’t notice me sitting there
And that at least I had a comfy chair.
To the guys who filled their tags,
And took the deer for a drag,
Let’s drink a beer, and have some cheer!
Venison is always better than steer!
Some knuckleheads try to dis
’cause big fat does are on my list.
He had a shot but let it walk
Now I’m butchering while we talk.
So ladies, if the rack’s real tall
and you want it mounted on your wall,
Call 1-900-DaddyBear
And we’ll put it over the easy chair
Bambi got rack!
Bambi.Got.Rack.
Got a lot of meat and a great big rack!
Bambi. Got. Rack.

Come back from the woods safe

Bow season has started here in Kentucky, and for the next few months, the woods and fields around my home will have hunters in them.  It could be guys putting a little dove or duck in their diet, someone looking for that perfect rack of antlers for their living room, or the guy who’s trying to put enough venison and rabbit in the freezer to get through the winter.

No matter what their motivation, and there really isn’t a bad one, for going hunting, I ask only these things from my fellow hunters:

  • Be courteous – Ask permission before hunting on private land.  Don’t ruin someone else’s hunt by pissing off the landowners.  Don’t argue with someone over  a downed deer or whether or not you can walk across a clearing they’re watching from a treestand.
  • Be safe – If you’re supposed to be wearing hunter orange, wear it.  Wear safety harnesses up in the tree stand, even if your granddaddy never did and he hunted those woods for decades.  Follow Rule 4 and always know what you’re shooting and what’s beyond it. 
  • Follow the law –  Buy the proper licenses and permits.  Don’t hunt before or after allowed hunting hours.  Hunt with the tools you’re supposed to.  Know the rules for hunting on public land and follow them.
  • Be smart –  Don’t make the rest of us look stupid.  Don’t take shots if you’re not certain you can bring the game down humanely.  If you’re hunting for a trophy, don’t waste meat by just taking the head and cape. 
  • Pass it on – Take your kids or an adult who’s new to hunting along with you a couple times.  They’re not teaching this stuff in school, so we have to be self-propogating.  And be a good example for them.

I would love to get to February and realize that I haven’t heard a single news report about someone dieing because either they or someone else messed up.  I would love to get to next summer and not have a single landowner in my area decide that we were too rude, messy, or destructive for him to allow us to use his land.  I want to be able to talk to a Fish and Wildlife agent about a law or rule without him being able to provide a recent example of someone breaking it.

In short, I want the same number of people at the campfire to tell hunting stories, the same number of acres to hunt, and happy law enforcement.  I hope that that’s something that a lot of us want.

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