Safari Anticosti

11 02 2012

Diane's velvet 8 point

Anticosti Island has long been a big draw for whitetail hunters.  With only a little over 3000 square miles and more than 160,000 deer freely roaming the island, this island is a hunter’s mecca.

Dale and I had the opportunity to travel there the fall of 2011.  You are limited to only 70 pounds of clothing and gear, which makes packing a bit difficult.  We arrived on the island in a downpour of rain, making us wish our rain gear was on our backs and not in our bags.  We were met by a school bus, and transported to the lodge that would be our home for the next week.  There were 5 other hunter’s besides us, 4 longtime friends and longtime hunters on this island, and a Canadian who was paired with Dale and me.  Martin was extremely easy to get along with and we had a great time together.  Christian was assigned as our guide, which was also a good fit!

The first morning I got to hunt alongside Christian, while Dale and Martin hunted on their own.  We must have seen 50-75 deer that morning.  Putting a stalk on several nice bucks, but with 100-150 eyes on you, it is not as easy as you would think.  That evening I was on my own.  At home I mainly hunt stands, so the spot and stalk was not what I was comfortable with.  I found a stand of pine trees that were on a shelf about 75 yards above a river.  I waited for 2 doe to come out to feed, and waited, and waited.  I could have shot either of these doe many times during that hunt, but I wanted their boyfriend.  Right before dusk, he came out.  I let him settle in feeding with the does, which put him about 80 yards from me.  Finally he gave me the shot position I was waiting for, and I squeezed the trigger.  I watched as he crossed the river, and then lost sight of him in the tall grass.

Since my guide and Dale would not be back for another hour, and the light was fading fast, I decided to go looking for him.  Finding the blood trail was easy, until I got to the river.  I marked the last location with orange marking tape and crossed the shallow water.  I looked up and down for 10-15 yards before I finally found the blood on some tall weeds.  I had to cross the river a second time, before I found him buried in the river muck.  He must have died in mid leap and buried himself up to his chest.  I couldn’t even see any of the antlers.  I dug enough to get his head out, and was thrilled to see my nice big 8 point in the velvet.  Other than digging him out, I could not move him at all.  After marking his spot with orange tape and with my GPS, I headed back up to wait for Christian.  After a lot of dragging up the face of the shelf we finally got the buck to the quad.  When we got back to camp, several other deer had been shot, but mine dwarfed them!

The next couple of days were in the 80’s.  The deer were not moving and the hunters were moving slowly.  We were all hunting hard, but it just wasn’t happening.  It took the rest of the week for our tags to all be filled.  I took a doe the last day, a perfect broadside shot at 20 yards.  She fell right where she had stood.  That last day our group took a buck, a doe, a salmon and a whale bone.  Dale had been hunting the ocean side and found the remains of a whale.  That had to be the coolest find all week.

Our group of 7 filled all 14 of our tags, and had a lot of fun doing it.  I look forward to returning to the island to hunt with our new friends again.

Anticosti Island - Landsat satellite photo (ci...

Image via Wikipedia

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Archery League

11 02 2012

Ryan and Sarah shoot too!

Last night I had the privilege to help with the Youth Archery League at our pro shop.  My grandchildren shoot in this league, but this was the first I had seen these kids in action.  I was impressed!  Even Sarah my 9 year old granddaughter had a perfect 5, 5, 5X round.  These kids can shoot!  I wish I had had this type of opportunity as a child, but since I didn’t, I will make sure my grandchildren do!

My happiness was tempered by a disturbing phone call I received while there.  My father had been rushed to the hospital with a suspected stroke.  He later was rushed to a second hospital for the possibility of doing surgery to relieve the blood on the brain.  I took my sister down to the hospital in time to meet with the Neurosurgeon with my mother.  He stated that Daddy is not a candidate for the surgery and he would recommend that we let nature take it’s course. No extraordinary means are to be implemented to keep my father alive, so it is just a matter of time.  He is being taken back to the nursing home where he has spent the last 2 years, where he has friends and the staff loves him.  I give the staff all the credit in the world, they have a thankless job and have to deal with everything that we are unable to.  I appreciate ALL they do to make life livable for the patients.  THANK YOU!

Today was my regular day to shoot in the Technohunt league.  I kept our time to shoot, simply because I needed to relieve stress and shooting my bow had always been an outlet for me.  Today, I was unable to focus, and coupled with technical difficulties, I did not shoot well at all.  I am not making excuses, it happens.  I am still thankful that I can shoot and can still enjoy life.  I am sure I am in for a rough couple of days/weeks.  I have had rough days and weeks before, it is all part of life.  It just drives home the point to LIVE the life you love.  You never know when that ability will be taken from you.

Love your family, spend time making good memories with them, live your life with no regrets.