We don t have porcupines where I live. We also don t have many bears, so when the occasional one is spotted, the 6 o clock news reports about the posse that stalked the poor bruin through a ritzy neighborhood. So if I want to hunt bears or see porcupines, I go somewhere that seems exotic to me, like coastal British Columbia.
Upon arriving in a B.C. bear camp years ago, I noticed all the guides had porcupine quills in the tops of their caps. Minutes later, as my hunting partner, our guide, and I headed out for the afternoon s hunt, a porcupine waddled across the road in front of us. Snatching my cap from my head, the guide ran for the porcupine and slapped its back with the crown of the cap. And that s how they all got quills in their caps and I became one of the guys. Nice.
A few days later, we were on a logging road on the side of a mountain that felt like the top of the world. Although there was leftover snow on the ground, it was a warm, shirt-sleeves day. My hunting partner spotted a large black bear about 300 yards away. It was a shootable distance for him, and he had a gun with enough oomph to do the job from that range, but between us and the bear were a vertical rock cliff, a patch of thick alders loved by grizzlies, a wide creek raging with the waters of the spring thaw, and a large snowbank. Getting the bear back to the logging road looked difficult, if not impossible. He shot it anyway, and we started plotting its retrieval.
The route would be circuitous, through, around, and over the obstacles between us and the bear. Without the aid of GPS units, radios, or any other electronics, we realized just staying on course would be challenging. So the plan was that I would stay on the mountain where I could see both the bear and my fellow hunters and direct them as needed. How did I get so lucky?!
I watched the scene below as the two men navigated their way to the bear, occasionally pointing left or right to get them back on track. Finally, they reached the dead bear, and the guide turned to me with both arms stretched overhead, waving in a criss-cross manner to let me know they had found the bear. I acknowledged him with the same signal “ and suddenly pain seared through my head. I had bumped my hat while waving, and a porcupine quill had nailed my scalp.
&$%@#*!!! I yelled, reaching for the brim of my hat to remove it. The cap wouldn t budge. I tugged a little harder, but the pain was worse by the second. My head hurt, my ears throbbed, every individual tooth in my mouth pounded. I sat in the logging road with hands on each side of my hat, tugging firmly but gently. It was nailed to my head. I reached for the quills and thought I could somehow figure out which ones were pinned to me. Every one I touched made the pain worse and still didn t budge.
Finally, there was no choice but to be more aggressive, like ripping a bandage off quickly. With both hands, I pulled my hat as hard as I could. This time it came loose, every little fish hook quill end attached to a chunk of bloody scalp. I later counted 84 bloody quills.
I dropped my head into my hands, my fingers massaging my aching scalp, my eyes clenched. Soon I realized my arms felt strangely warm, and I opened my eyes to find my hands and sleeves soaked in blood. My head was gushing, and I needed to stop the bleeding. I recalled that just down the logging road was a small waterfall, the runoff of the spring thaw. I walked there, blood streaming into my face and over my clothes, and stuck my head in the icy water. It worked; in a few minutes, the bleeding finally stopped, and I washed the blood from my hair.
I looked down at myself, seeing that my shirt was a bloody, sticky mess. My hunting partners were still at least a couple of hours from returning. I could see for miles, but there was (probably) no one around to see me. So I took off my shirt, washing it in the waterfall, streams of blood running down the roadside. I rinsed it until the water ran clean, then wrung it out. I found a sunny spot and spread it out on a rock to dry.
In the meantime “ combless and mirrorless “ I arranged and fluffed my hair with my fingers, trying to get it dry. My shirt eventually dried enough to wear, and I got myself dressed and back together. Minutes later, my partners emerged from the ravine, loaded with bear, and there I sat on the big rock where they had left me.
I could only imagine how shocked my hunting partners must be when they returned to find me in such a mess, especially after they had climbed down a rock cliff, crossed thick alders, waded a raging creek, trudged through a snow slide, field-dressed and skinned a bear, and returned through the same hazards with their first load of bear hide and carcass.
But they didn t say a word! OK, they re excited about the bear, I thought. Soon they ll finish telling their story and will notice. Not a word. Nada. Nobody noticed.
I guess I could easily attribute their negligence of my ordeal to their being men. I could call them inattentive and self-centered. In reality, they didn t notice because, after a week in bear camp, a waterfall shower and mirrorless grooming didn t hurt my appearance at all.
See the original article at TheHuntersWife.net
The first year I started fishing with my husband I was more concerned with how beautiful it was being out on the water at dawn ¦
And I loved this cold morning seeing other anglers out on the water ¦
And I spent a lot of time just watching my husband enjoy fishing ¦
And with two pairs of glasses on my head and a face that shows how early in the morning it was ¦ I d ask, Is this a crappie?
And then it happened last year. I think I just got scolded for talking so much so I was minding my own fishing business when I felt something pull my line. And I politely whispered, Um Mark, I think you should get the net. And he didn t until I heard him say, That s a damn crappie. And he about jumped in the water trying to make sure my inexperienced crappie fishing self didn t lose my fish¦
My first crappie. My first fish I actually touched. Please excuse the crusty hair and the I m soaking wet and I m not holding a fish look on my face. But I have a husband that thinks, Oh you won t get wet. Just enjoy the boat ride. As we head right through a huge whitecap.
And excuse the 10 chins. Thank you.
So this year is different for me. I m gettin jiggy with it. Over the past few weeks I ve been ¦
- Checking the weather.
- Checking fishing reports.
- Watching crappie You Tube fishing videos.
- Reading up on how to catch crappie.
- Purchasing my own jiggy do s from what I ve read.
- Practicing posing for better pictures.
Have a good day all ¦ I have 10 chins to hide before our fishing trip next week.
See the original article at TheHuntersWife.net
Air Sickness and Air Boats¦what s a girl to do?
Gator Quest¦day 1! We flew into New Orleans late last night following a vomit inducing flight from Gunnison to Denver¦ok, didn t really vomit, but wished I had. As with typical travel days, we experienced near homicidal frustration with all proveyors of transportation. So- did you realize that you can be charged $30 for a 10 minute taxi ride by a non-English speaking cabbie who does not use a meter? Nether did we. As well, upon our late night check-in to a rather sketchy hotel- I got the unique opportunity of visualizing a cockroach that was literally the size of a mouse¦need I mention my dismay that the hotel room smelled of Raid.
It was all absolutely worth it! We arrived in Springfield around noon, at which time we teamed up with Chad and Dana Wall of Gatortrax tv. We had the unique opportunity of touring their gator farm which is nothing short of amazing. Within a couple of hours, we found ourselves on Tickfaw River in an airboat cruising deep into the swamps. As a homegrown Colorado girl, I found myself utterly slack jawed at the beauty of the swamps. Cypress trees, Spanish moss, lilly pads and lush folliage thickly surrounded us. The airboats can go ANYWHERE, and we quickly learned that Chad was NOT kidding when he said they can cross dry land¦they can! We also had an interesting experience involving a boat, a trailer and near capsizing¦I d love to divulge the facts but I was pinky-sworn to secrecy.
We hit the hunt at 6am tomorrow and we re ready to roll! I wonder if I can find Starbucks on the way¦
I have to say, when I accepted Chad and Dana Wall (of Gatortrax TV) to head down to the swamplands of Louisiana, I was more than just a little intrigued. Being from Colorado, I had all sorts of images in my head of what the swamps and gator hunting would be like. Of course, my primal fear of bugs came to mind. Oh, and my fear of snakes. Can t forget about murkey water, leaches and aligators (which I have learned ARE the top of the food chain in the swamps). OK, and let s face it¦who HASN T seen the movie, Deliverance ? I came to Louisiana equipped with all sorts of cliche d propoganda in my head..
As we set out in the morning, I was taken by the absolute beauty of the surroundings. The cypress trees, spanish moss, saw grass and lillies were beautiful. As well, there is a unique slant of the sun at sunrise through the swampland that casts an unparalleled. I had never really heard the sound of bullfrogs in the caucophony of noise that comes from everywhere. Now, the only way I can really explain it is this¦if you have ever ridden the African Queen boat ride at Disneyland and recognized the canned jungle noises along the lazy river¦well, now you got it! OK, but as Chad and Dana will attest, despite my appreciation for the beauty of the swamps, I may have still reacted like a school girl in response to the baseball size grasshoppers that seemed to have quite an affinity for the boat.
Ahh, but what about the hunting? All I can say is that it was a thrilling experience! Day 2 provided us with numerous gators. I am heartily humbled by the difficulty of the hunt in terms of hitting a very, very small killzone. Slight deviation in any direction will result in bullet placement into the animals inpenetratable armor. As well, only a very small fraction of the animal s head will surface which may or may not provide a shot to the hunter. Clearly, there is a reason why these pre-historic animals have survived for millions of years! Chad, a 5th generation Springfieldian who has hunted these waters since he was a child, spent endless hours teaching us the patterns and habits of the aligators. We encountered a number of gators, but after some heavy rains and a 45 minute staredown with a sizable gator, I was able to get a kill with my CVA muzzleloader!
We ended the day with 3 gators and a cantankerous boat motor that threatened to strand us in the water. We made it safely to the landing (as we knew we would) and beat a hasty retreat to the ladies room as we determined that under NO circumstances would we venture off to take care of business in the swamps.
Day 2 of the GatorQuest started out just as early as day 1¦We launched out to another gorgeous sunrise as we ventured out to the swamps. I was still utterly awestricken at the beauty of the area. I have to also admit that I was more than just a little bit excited that we didn t have Gigantor the Grasshopper and his closest friends on the boat this day!
Today was action packed and we spotted numerous animals. I must admit that it took me some time to differentiate the splashes of jumping fish vs. movement of gators. More than once I performed a spastic bout of arm waving and finger pointing at jumping fish that I was certain was a passing gator. After two days of this, Chad and Dana just ignored my fits to save me the embarrassment.
Jennifer got on the first animal of the day and pulled a nice gator. He was pulled aboard and we moved on for the next gator¦or jumping fish depending on who you ask. We set about the various waterways and it was my pledge to not drink a sip of water today for fear of having to go to the bathroom. Chock that up to another valuable lesson learned. As the day drew to a close we pulled in some nice gators and headed out to beat the heat. Jennifer and I discovered a long lost love in Springfield, Louisiana¦Strawberry Slurpees! Giddy with anticipation (and some pretty severe dehydration!) we indulged not once, but twice in these delectable treats! OK¦so they weren t as good as we remembered, but hey¦ who couldn t get excited about a frozen treat chock full of high-fructose corn syrup!
Our experience was awesome as was the company of the Walls. We look forward to another adventure with Chad and Dana¦maybe in Colorado¦if we can cure Dana s fear of Mountain Lions. If you ask me, they aren t nearly as scary as leaches and ginormous grasshoppers! Until then¦bring on the GOAT!
Do me a favor. Check out www.gatortraxtv.com to find out more about Chad and Dana Wall and their tv show, Gatortrax Outdoors. All fair chase, all fun! Oh¦and did I mention they are quite entertaining as well!?
Original Post found at www.Proishunting.com
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com