My Meatloaf Deer

24 04 2012

During the archery season of 2008, I managed to tag along with my husband and his friend Dan on their guy time hunt.  We all were wanting to fill some of our tags.  They both like to spot and stalk, while I am less comfortable doing that with a bow.  Dan shot an 8 point buck at 15 yards, that had worked his way around an oil tank. He also shot a doe at a nearby creek, as she made her way down to drink.  I finally convinced them to let me sit in a stand, so we picked one on the backside of Dan’s property.  I could hear the deer making their way toward me.  Mostly quiet, but the occasional shuffle of leaves.  Finally 3 deer, 1 small buck and 2 doe came into my view.  I was going to shoot the big doe, and drew back my bow, when I noticed the button buck was missing half of his front shoulder.  At that point, I changed position and sent my arrow into the button buck.  He ran a few yards, and dropped.  When I went down to him, you could tell someone had shot him during muzzle-loader season, and you could fit a grapefruit into the hole that was left.  I couldn’t let that little guy suffer anymore.  I took some ribbing from the guys, because I wasted my tag on a mercy kill.  I am sure I could have called the Game Commission and explained the situation, but I made my choice freely and had shot my buck.  While he was not yet gangrene, he was not far from it.  We only kept the hind quarters, and that equated to one meatloaf dinner for our family.  Thus my meatloaf deer was named.

This buck was not the biggest, and definitely not the nicest, but I will always remember this little guy.  I am glad I could be in the right position to help put him out of his misery.  Practice with your weapon at many different yardages.  Know your shot placements for the species you are hunting.  Use a range finder if unsure of how far you shot would be.  And always make ethical shots.





Eagle Lakes Outfitters Ladies Archery Deer Hunt

21 04 2012

Last October I had the privilege of joining Vicki Cianciarulo of tv’s The Choice, and her posse, at Eagle Lakes Outfitters in Pike County, Illinois. She was trying to film footage for her show, so we had camera crews going out with hunters to the fields, and filming our everyday activities too. Andrea Main, Teresa McCullough, Jillian Donabauer and my daughter Shannon also were included in this hunt. This was the first archery hunt I had been on since my mastectomy, and I was using a Ten Point crossbow with my handicap designation. It galled me to have to have a handicap license, but I was still unable to pull a compound bow at any weight.
My guide, Jim Halliday was wonderful. I connected instantly with him, and we had a great time together throughout the week. Everyone was seeing lots of does, and several small bucks, but nothing shootable. After 2 days and nothing happening, I had a really nice buck working his way into my area. I also had a group of does feeding 15 yards from my tree stand. Just as the buck was getting close enough to consider taking a shot, I had a doe snort and stomp her foot. There went my buck-gone! I turned to the doe and released my arrow. She ran up the small hill, and collapsed right in the middle of the lane. I texted Jim that I had shot a doe, to which he asked “is she dead”, I replied most definitely! He said this was the easiest tracking and dragging of a deer he had ever done! He was able to pull his truck right up to her.
With the ice broken, hunters started to fill their tags. One of Vicki’s posse shot a doe, her first. Then a girl from Ameristep shot a doe right before dark. It was decided to back out and come back in the morning. Unfortunately by the time the sun came up, the coyotes had eaten most of the doe.
For lunch one day the entire group went to a local Mexican Restaurant, Vicki’s treat. We had a great time, and great food. It is strange to be eating with video cameras filming you.
We had high winds the one day, with some of the hunters opting to stay in camp. I was put in a clamp on 20 foot high. After rocking and rolling for hours, I was afraid the only way I was going to hit a deer was to throw up on them. This is the only time I have gotten sea sick in a tree!
The last evening I had the buck from earlier in the week come back to my stand. I watched him make his way across the crp field. When he was at 30 yards, I took a broadside shot. He took off toward the top of the hill, veering to the left. I was hoping he would be piled up in the lane like my doe, but it was not to be. We looked that evening, but could not locate his trail. The next morning we tried again, but never did find him. Because we were walking through the woods and fields, Shannon had been placed in a nearby stand to take advantage of any deer pushed in that direction. It worked! She had a nice big doe come into her stand. She connected with her shot, but broke the front shoulder with the shot. She put a second arrow into the doe and was waiting for us with her doe when we got there.
Three doe were taken during this week and recovered. One doe was lost to coyotes, and my buck not recovered. Lots of wonderful memories were made, and lasting friendships started.

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Easter Egg Hunt 2012

2 04 2012

Our grandchildren and Sammy went on a hunt for Easter Eggs, they got a couple. They really enjoyed the hunting, not so much the cleanup. This is not your run of the mill egg hunt tho! The kids have decided that this needs to be part of every Easter.

Sammy, Ginger, Chaney, Sarah and Ryan Easter Egg hunting.





2012 Youth Archery Tournament

26 03 2012

Three of our Grandchildren competed for the first time in an archery tournament this weekend.  To sound like a proud grandma (which I am!), they did WONDERFUL! I was really impressed with all of the kids abilities, and compassion to other kids.  The older ones stepped in to help the little kids, and even the little kids helped with even younger spectators.

Ryan competed in the 7 and 8 year old division.  He had some off moments, but was able to pull out a 225 by the end of the day.  Considering that 300 would be a perfect score, he did great!

Ryan was right on target

Sarah competed in the 9 and 10 year old division.  After some minor adjustments to her sight, she ended the day with a 224. She held it together through the stress of equipment failure.

Sarah loves shooting

Ginger competed in the 11 and 12 year old division, and did fantastic.  She got a new bow just 2 days before the tournament, so a lot of work was needed to get her shooting good.  She shot a 264,  Unfortunately in her division the top 3 shot a 299, 298 and 292.  These kids are good!

Ginger and her new bow

Ginger and her new bow

After the main tournament, the archers shot at balloons, at which Ginger won $1.00 for her team breaking them all the fastest.  Ryan won $9.00 for hitting the X on a javelina target.  Everyone left a winner.

Sarah, Ryan and Ginger





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.





Technohunt League

7 02 2012

I am using Technohunt as a form of physical therapy to help me get back the muscles that were damaged during surgery. Today I shot for the 3rd time. I am happy to say my form, stamina and control are all improving. This has to be the most fun you could possibly have doing physical therapy. Unorthodox, but it should be effective!