Hunting

The following is a guest post available to all outdoor bloggers who have an interest in the Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay issue.
Please feel free to re-post it on your blog. 

(Passed along from the conservation section over on the OBN ~
Go check it out, copy it from here, copy it from there, but let’s spread the word)

Influential is right, so don’t forget to submit a form from the link near the bottom of post and show your support to those who are fighting for us all.

Thank You Everyone ~ Rebecca

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine

Fly Fishing

Photo by B.O'Keefe

Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.

This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.

recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.

We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.

In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.

You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.

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Outdoor Adventures: Living The Dream

by Rebecca on November 30, 2009

in Outdoor Observations

I’ve been known to load up an SUV with bare essentials and fly solo for days on end (sometimes a week or more) adrift and 100% alone. I’ll grab fly fishing paraphernalia, a sleeping bag, a pillow, a few items of clothing, a single cooler for my diet coke addiction and food items if there’s any room left (priorities ya know). Ok, and I should mention because it’s my Fathers one essential requirement I take when I go on my trips, I also bring a gun. The big bad world has been warned~

Those stolen, or perhaps they are taken, times in my life are perfect for solitary decompression and quiet thought. My trips usually require a lot of drive time because busting out on my own and going 2 hours away from the house would seem……insignificant. I need distance and anything less than a 4 hour drive just doesn’t do it, not to forget here, fishing is always better the farther away one gets, cardinal rule.

Karl "Trout Whisperer" Seckinger

Karl "Trout Whisperer" Seckinger

I don’t mind the drive time. I usually listen to a book on tape, or crank up some good music, roll down my window and let life as I’m required to live it, far behind. I highly recommend such individual adventures. Time alone, and I mean, really alone….is good for the outdoor soul.

Today I find myself excited to put one more CD in my arsenal of drive time companionship. Recently I got the audio CD ”Outdoor Adventures” by Karl “Trout Whisperers” Seckinger.

Listening to this CD is like pulling up a lawn chair next to a campfire, kicking back and listening to a master storyteller mesmerize you with adventures from his life.

Karl’s adventures center around his time in the Superior National Forest. His stories have you fishing, hiking, hunting right along side him and his occasional companions. It’s definitely something I could listen to over and over……Check out this link for more information and an audio sample of what I’m writing about today…….Trout Whisperer CD “Outdoor Adventures” It’s the perfect mood setter when you’re driving to those far off destinations, or even when you’re stuck like a prisoner in your own home and need a mental escape ~

And on that note….I hope everyone takes time to venture out and find outdoor adventure on their own, alone and without influence of others . The gun is optional of course, except for me……

Rebecca

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~The Tree of my Terror...Me, Dale in the Tree, and Robert~

~The Tree of my Terror...Me, Dale in the Tree, and Robert~

Morning and Evening Hunt~ 
6 Bull Elk
12 Cow
7 Moose
So many Mule deer I lost track

The morning hunt was utterly unremarkable. Nothing to even report.

This evening I was banished to the tree stand. I knew this moment would come despite my reservations and feeble attempts at hinting that I wasn’t so sure I, who has a slight aversion to heights, would enjoy hunting from a tree stand. Both Dale and Robert assured me it was easy, no problem, I was gonna love it. I don’t think they understand the concept of  internal fears, but I was willing to give it a try, the old climb, conquer and get over it theory.

My banishment started at 4:30 this evening. I slowly climbed the mountain to the tree stand taking my own sweet time hoping for some sort of reason, like a bull elk bugling somewhere, anywhere, that would force me to abandon the tree stand idea and head off on a new adventure. No such luck.

I climbed the ladder without much trouble, I think I even felt a bit of triumphant accomplishment when I arrived at the platform part of the ladder. That elation however was short lived. I leaned over and hung my hunting pack on the tree peg and than proceeded to stand properly on the platform. The minute I put two feet on the platform and turned around, life as I knew it ceased to exists.  I should have checked if Aetna or Aviva health insurance companies had a ‘falling from tree’ clause to cover me just in case. So I quickly sat my arse down, pressed my back against the tree, encircled my arms behind me to hold onto the tree for dear life, let my bow dangle from it’s strap around my neck and closed my eyes. No, life was no longer peaches and cream, it became more of a heart palpitations and cold sweat mixture of hell.

1 hour and 25 minutes….that’s 1,2, 3, 4……85 minutes of minute by painful minute pure terror. That’s exactly how long my adventure in panic and anxiety lasted.  It would have been shorter if I could have dug in my pack and grabbed my GPS unit to call for an emergency evacuation, but that would have required serious movement and I couldn’t do that!

So I sat there. And sat there. And sat there some more envisioning all the ways I would die in that tree stand. I figured either 1) I would fall and die 2) A branch would fall on my head and I would die 3) A bear would climb the tree and eat me and I would die 4) No one would ever come looking for me and I would starve to death up there and then the Sheriff would wonder why I starved to death considering there was a perfectly good Snickers bar in the backpack I wouldn’t dare reach for – regardless, I die 5) Heart Attack and I die 6) My bow strap was going to strangle me and then I would die………….and so on and so forth. You know, only the type of things an overly active and panicked mind could conjure up.

I was so frozen to my spot I was sure roots had grown out my ass, attached themselves to the seat and I would never, ever get off that stand. As far as hunting was concerned, a dream 400 class Bull could have sauntered up underneath my tree, grazed on some grass, laid down for a nap, bugled all his buddies in to stare at me and I would have simply yelled, “HELP ME damn you!”

Finally the worst and I guess (now) best thing could have happened. On about minute number 81, a hard wind kicked up suddenly and my stationary form of torture instantly became a new improved version of Nightmare on Tree Street. The tree started swaying back and forth, and that was enough to inspire a new form of motivation called, “get the f*ck out of the moving tree, even if it means doing a swan dive off the platform.”

At this point, I can’t even remember getting out of the tree. I think my mind has blocked it, repressed the nightmarish memory, but I’m here, clearly alive. There is only one last thing to say.  Dirt is my new best friend and trees the enemy. If I am to hunt out of a tree stand in the future, Robert will need to build me a four star tree house complete with shutters and a wrap around deck.

Signed, Non-negotiable,
Rebecca

For an explanation about my Outdoor Journal Series:
Please visit Outdoor Journal-An Introduction

For those seeking legit and helpful advice about tree stands and such, I suggest visiting Ben G Outdoors website for reviews about tree stands and other hunting tips!

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Outdoor Journal: Elk Hunting

by Rebecca on October 22, 2009

in Rebecca's Field Journal

First Day of Elk Hunting—-Finally!!
Morning Hunt Animals Seen:
3 Moose (1 Huge Bull Moose)
9 Deer
1 group of 3 bulls by themselves
5X5 bull at 65 yards
Another herd of 6 Elk
All by 10:30 a.m.

~On the Hunt~

~On the Hunt~

Dale and I got into excessive noise trouble right out the gate by talking too loud in the truck this morning. We not only got the ‘look’ from Noise Police Robert, but also a verbal reprimand. Now, we swear we were talking in hushed tones, but Robert seemed to think we were practically yelling. Good thing Robert can’t give legit noise tickets.

We drove around, a little scouting, a little binocular action, a little getting a feel of the lands. A nice way to start a hunting season off at ungodly morning hours. We finally settled on one area to establish our hiking legs and get some air in our lungs. A place aptly nicknamed “Forgotten Arrow Ridge” after my shameful and notorious greenhorn mistake of last year……..the time I had a Bull walk up to me at 15 yards and I brought archery shame (I’ll never live down) on myself by forgetting to put an arrow on before I drew my bow back (I’ll elaborate on that story another day)……..

Back to today. We went walking along Forgotten Arrow Ridge, Dale and I, keeping pace with Robert who was calling randomly to the elk. In my humble opinion Dale and I were walking quietly and we never got an all out ‘look’ from Robert. That is success in itself!

We eventually stopped and after one of Roberts calls, I heard a Bull respond back. Since no one else heard it besides me there were “questions’ of whether I was just hearing the bugles echo. I don’t know what it will take to convince these boys that there is no way in hell I would mistake such a sound because the implications of pointing down a hill and saying, “I hear one down there” means I’ll be sent “down there” and I’m not bailing off the side of a Mountain for any other reason then a legit Elk! No way. I never mention a bugle response unless I’m 100% positive.

It took a few more calls, but soon enough Robert and Dale both heard the Bull as well (HA) and off we went. Our timing was not good nor was the wind and within minutes Dale stopped me and pointed deep into a timber pocket. The Bull was stopped, staring directly at the hunting party trying to surprise him. Essentially, we were busted before we began, but Robert never cries uncle unless he watches a Bull running away so we sorta set up the best we could. Robert slithered back about 20 yards so he could call. Dale was right in front of me so he was front man on the shot and I sat directly behind Dale as back up.

Despite this movement, the Bull never budged an inch. He was about 65 yards away through branches and downfall. Personally, I don’t think we had him fooled for a second, but who knows in those situations. Now, usually a person sets up long before the Bull is staring at you wondering whatcha doin? So we were in a bit of a visual bind.

I being mere inches from Dale could tell he was doing required things…. Arrow out of holder….arrow on bow….bow sling unlatched….coat readjusted…and finally, his release was stuck up inside his coat sleeve and he was trying to get it loose. But from way behind in Roberts view, all he could see was major movement going on. I should also mention, Dales hat is a wide 360 degree camo hat. According to Robert the movement alone from this hat reminded him of a Bobble-head. Basically, a strobing beacon of HUNTER RIGHT HERE –RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

Three times. Three times I braved extremely slow turns of my head to look at Robert behind us. These were not pleasant glances at him. At one look, and let me see if I can describe this correctly…Robert made a finger slashing motion across his throat that implied our impending deaths.  There were a few other threatening warnings as well. Eye piercings that practically popped Roberts eyeballs out of the sockets, hand signals and mouthed words I won’t repeat in protection of my new journal here. I did not mistake any of his signals for anything less than a thorough ass chewing with a side of possible death we–as in Dale and I through guilt by inches association—would receive once this was over.

I even whispered to Dale, “We are so going to get in trouble once this is over and I’m hiding behind you.”

Finally, after all of that, the Bull slowly, casually even, turned around and walked proudly away. Laughing I’m sure. At this point I slowly, fearfully turned around and prepared for a lashing. Remarkably our dear Robert forgot his throat slashing promises and walked up to us….smiling actually! I was amazed.

It took awhile, but the teasing commenced from Robert. Teasing we can handle anytime, all part of hunting. Robert has nicknamed the experience and Dale, ”Bobblehead” and swears he’s buying Dale a new hat. We all lived, including the Bull and had a great time.

Now if I could just convince them to call that ridge Bobble-head instead of Forgotten Arrow all would be good. Can’t wait for tonights hunt.

Rebecca

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Outdoor Journal: An Introduction

October 22, 2009

The official Explanation ~ On August 15th 2007, I started a handwritten field journal of my hunting and fishing experiences. That day happened to be the opening day of Antelope season and I have packed my little brown leather journal with me on every trip since. I’ve shared my handwritten field journal with several people and each [...]

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Elk Finger Steaks Recipe

October 21, 2009

Growing up one of my favorite meals was Elk Finger Steak night. My Mom isn’t sure where this recipe originated from and that’s fine by me. As far as I’m concerned, she was crowned Queen of the Elk Finger Stakes when I was little and that’s where she’ll reign forever. I asked her to share [...]

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Irrational Pursuit of Elusive Antelope

October 21, 2009

It seems to me that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, irrational efforts and hunting/fishing go hand in hand. The pursuit of an elusivespot, un-populated destinations, or the regular run of the mill super secret honey hole has some of us performing acts of utter insanity to stake our claims. I know Robert and I can’t be [...]

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