2010 hunting day 1

Today is the opener of the Wisconsin 9 day gun deer season.  As I did last year ~ I decided to take my pen and paper along to jot down notes to journal my hunt.  Then in the evening I would post on my blog about it.


Once again, I forgot my watch.  Actually, I don't own a working watch and I needed to borrow one; but forgot to do so.  I  think I need to put a bug in Santa's ear and tell him a nice pocket watch for Christmas would really be appreciated.  I never was one for wearing wrist watches.

American Red Squirrel - image from the internet
I just saw my first sign of wildlife.  A little red squirrel.  I also saw a weasel run across the trail ~ he's already sporting his all white winter coat except for the black tip on his tail.  In the summer months the weasel is all brown or brown with a cream colored belly.

weasel with winter coat of white
images from the internet

weasel with summer coat of brown
I was up early this morning.  It was 5:00 a.m.
Slim was already up and dressed when he came back in the bedroom and gave me a good morning shake on the shoulder, asking if I was going to hunt or sleep the day away.  He told me, "better put your long johns on, it's nippy out there."  "Well how nippy is nippy?" I asked.  "Sixteen degrees."

By 5:30 I was ready.  I ate a bowl of cereal ~ had my coffee thermos filled, made sandwiches for the guys and myself.  Ashley gave me a ride out to my stand on the four wheeler.  It was pitch black out; but I wanted to get here early to make a fire in the wood stove and get settled in before daylight.

We still have the trail camera out by this stand.  The camera flashed once; but it's too dark out to tell what's there.  I have to wait until daylight. 
It's daylight and starting to snow very lightly.  There's a gray squirrel and a blue jay out there working the corn pile.  The red squirrel is starting up a chatter.  I hope its at a deer coming in.  It sure would make a happy me to harvest a deer on opening morning; but I haven't seen any sign of one yet.  Unless there was one coming in early this morning in the dark when the camera flashed ... but I'm not seeing anything now that it's light out and shooting hours are open.  Time will tell later on this evening when I read the card.  Last year I shot an eight point buck off this same stand, on the last day, the last hour of season.  It was my first deer ever. 

Baiting deer is legal in this section or unit of the state.  You're allowed 2 gallons of bait per 40 acres ~ which isn't much when you hunt in an area like I'm in.  I'm right out in the middle of the woods.  I don't overlook a big corn field or have oak trees with acorns on the ground ~ no natural browsing taking place here.  I'm relying on a lot of luck.  Hoping and praying that a deer steps out in the trail I call my shooting lane, to check out my little pittance of corn.  The woods here is so thick with underbrush and balsam trees ~ you only get "that chance - once".  So your aim better be quick and it better be on target.  The state is divided into 77 different units - each with it's own regulations on baiting and harvest quota's - so you really need to know where you are and what's allowed.

I'm guesstamating - I know - that's not a word; but it's one my Dad would use :)  It's around 8:00 a.m.  I still don't have much heat coming off my wood stove.  I'm afraid to fire it up too much because I noticed on the back of the stove pipe it's rusted right through.  This is the last year for this hunting shack and stove.  Next year I'm building a new one.  One that two people can sit in ~ so I can bring one of my granddaughters to hunt with me.  Also ~ a propane heater would be nice.

This year my Dear Hubby, Slim and my son, didn't purchase a harvest tag for hunting.  They are hunting the Mentorship Program with my Grandloves Amanda, age 16 and Brooke, age 11.  The girls took the Hunter's Safety Education classes through the Dept. Natural Resources and are hunting under the guidance of Grandpa & Uncle for the first time.  Only the girls are allowed to carry a firearm and harvest a deer.  The guys were happy to sacrifice the hunt for themselves to teach them  their first year out.  I'm proud of both of them for doing this.
That red squirrel sure is having a morning ~ trying to put the run on the weasel.  It's chasing it all over the place.  He better hope the chaser doesn't become the chasee because that weasel would eat that red squirrel in a heart beat.  Last year on this same stand it was a red squirrel raising a ruckus over a bobcat ~ and the bobcat caught the squirrel.  I always find it exciting to witness something like that while out in the woods.  Nature doing what it does.  The food chain being followed.

I just heard a shot to the south of me - or is it southeast:  It's so hard to tell when you're surrounded by such heavy under brush and sitting inside this shack surrounded by four walls.  I hope it was to the south ~ where my mom is hunting.  She's due for a nice deer.  It's been three years since she got one.  There's another shot.  I hope it's her shooting; but now I'm thinking it was more to the east - by our neighbors - the Weiks.  They are always lucky hunters and get nice bucks every year it seems on opening day.

It's a very cloudy, dreary, gray day.  I wish the sun would shine.  It would make it a lot easier to gauge the time.  I really need a watch.

I still don't know what time it is; but I'm guessing it's getting close to noon.  We're seven miles from town and I should be able to hear when the noon whistle blows at the paper mill.  My stomach is telling me it's noonish - time for a traditional ham salad sandwich.  During hunting season is the only time I ever make them.  I buy a ham, grind it up in the food processor with mayo & pickle relish.  I really shouldn't be eating this; with ham having such a high salt content and me with this bum ticker and retaining fluids like I do.  Oh well - you gotta live on the edge once in awhile.  I even have some frito's corn chips and a diet coke to wash it all down ~ PLUS some homemade jerky to snack on.  As my former doctor from Poland would say, "Das terrible ~ a cardiac arrest on a platter.  Don't eat dat."  Or in my case this would be a cardiac arrest served on a board sitting on a stump that is serving as my coffee table.  To top it all off ~ I didn't take my water pill this morning either ~ because I didn't want to spend the morning peeing outside my shack.  Yesterday when I saw my doctor he suggested I start doubling my dosage on it ~ hmmmm ... maybe after hunting season, or in the evening... then I'll be up all night peeing.  There's no happy medium.

I just heard the noon whistle.  I think I'm about an hour off on my guesstimation of time.  Half a day in ... and still no deer.

I'm reading a book ~ My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult ~ I know - it's been out since 2004 and a movie has already been made about it .... so it's about time I read it.  I read a few lines - glance out the window - read - glance out the window - read - glance ....

This fire is bringing out some white flies out the wood pile.  They look like miniature white moths.  There are hundred of them flying around and landing on my black bag that I carry with my thermos and book, etc...  I'm killing them as fast as I see them.
white flies - image from the internet
I also hear a mouse gnawing under my little wood pile in the corner.  It's a zoo in here!


Did you know ...
If you place a corn chip in your mouth and hold it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and count, "one Mississippi, two Mississippi" etc... It takes up to 16 Mississippi's before it's soft enough to chew without making a crunching noise.
Just thought I'd share that valuable observation!

It's getting dark ... shooting hours are over ... I hear my taxi ride Slim coming to pick me up with the four wheeler.

I check out the card on the camera to see what made it flash before hunting hours this morning ~

All it showed was a deer nose ~ I'm glad I wasn't seeing a big rack of horns ~~  maybe tomorrow it'll show itself in the daylight.   I'm not going out early in the morning.  I decided to stay in and take my heart meds and waterpill on time and go out later in the afternoon.  It was really rough on me today sitting that long and I had a LOT of swelling in my legs this evening.  Too much salt ... tomorrow I'm going to be more careful... or less foolish would be more accurate.

Even though I didn't get my buck ... I still enjoyed my time in the woods.

Mom didn't shoot at all today ... it was still further south of her.
Amanda got a little fork horn or four point buck.  Congratulations Amanda!!
I was mistaken about Sam ... he did get a harvest tag; but didn't get anything yet.

Slim had the nicest supper made when I came in tonight.  A nice beef roast, potatoes, carrots and gravy and he made chocolate chip cookies!!  He's a keeper.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. I do see that deer's nose. I would have the same problem as you with water pills and sitting, and feet swelling. Have to be careful. But whatever walking is involved is what is good.

  2. Well that is important info.about the frito. As i said before I always counted Daddy Longlegs in the top corner. You brought back lots of memories when I used to go hunting with my husband. His grandmother's property is in the city of san antonio now.

  3. Wow, thanks for taking us along to fit inside the little shack. I for one enjoyed every word and minute of it.
    I did not know that about the weasel. I said it before, you guys are too smart.
    Now a word to Slim, I love the guy and he may well be a keeper, BUT 16 degrees AIN'T NIPPY IT IS COLD!

    Thanks again, it was great even if we didn't harvest anything today.

    LOve you girl, but please take care of your self and 'be careful with dat stuff you eat'.

  4. Hope tomorrow is a better hunting day for you Mel, but yeah, you have to watch the health thing too. When you talk about being inside that little shack, it feels as if we are right there with you. Next year will be better for you with a new hunting cabin and heater.

  5. I felt like I was right there with you. Too bad the deer didn't come back. I've always wondered that about the frito...ha. Better luck next time...and yes, take the meds! Take care, Sheila

  6. I like your story of first day of hunting. I can't hunt anymore and sold my bow and my rifle. Due to my being allergic to the cold (cold urticaria) I just can't take it anymore.

    Good luck!

  7. That's a wonderful hunting story! Thanks for sharing it. Maybe when the season is over I'll blog about my opening day hunt yesterday. Had a grand time hunting from my new mule! Only saw one track the whole day and it was at least two days old.

  8. Congrats Amanda ~ the women come through again! Nice of Slim to have such a great meal waiting. I think somebody must love you. Stay safe 'hugs from afar'

  9. Nice day Mel, in spite of the no deer...and please Congratulate Amanda for me. I heard her exciting story as she told it on the Deerhunters Roundup on the radio...only she could get in the door with that gorgeous smile. Good for her.