Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A great deer hunt with family!

Sunday was opening day of general rifle season. We were fortunate enough to have Bill and Sam here with us so we all headed out to see if we couldn't find some critters. Sheri and Shannon stayed home and held down the fort with the kids so that was super nice of them.
First, we got up early and headed out to our property to see if we could find a white-tail doe. Clint and I both have permits for that area, but it was Clint's turn to shoot first. (yes, we take turns) Well, luck was on our side and we had some deer crossing the property right at first light. Once we realized they were there, we crawled out to the edge and Clint was able to make a great shot on a beautiful doe. So, as you can see it was a beautiful morning and we had great luck right away.

Then we headed out to some state land to see if we could find some mule deer does. Bill had a permit so we really wanted to find him a doe. The sun was shining and although it was a little windy it was a wonderful day to be out and about. Unfortunately, we didn't see one mule deer doe but we spotted about 3 mule deer bucks. Then we were just about to sit down and eat our lunch, and I spotted a small whitetail buck. We crawled up a small rise and realized that there were two other bucks bedded in the brush. One of them was a decent critter, so we waited patiently and when he stood up I was able to get a good shot. It was a nice ending to a great day!




First, Clint took a turn packing the buck out and then Sam packed him the rest of the way out for me. Aren't I lucky to have such great guys around!!!

After we got home from the hunt, Sam, Shannon, Wyatt and Porter headed home. But, we had such an incredible time! Thanks so much for making the trip!
Bill and Sheri are still here though, and tomorrow my Dad and Marsha are going to arrive, so the fun continues!

Sam, Shannon, Porter, and Wyatt

Last Friday, Sam (Clint's brother), Shannon, Porter, and Wyatt all made the long trip from Oregon to see us.
It has been years since we have all been together, so we were so excited to have everyone here, and the kids played well together.
Here are some pictures from their visit.
Dane, Grandpa, Wyatt, Sheri, and Porter

Dane and Porter enjoying a snack on the couch


Sheri and Wyatt

Dane getting some love from Bones...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Concrete!

October is such a great month for so many reasons. One of the main reasons is because we have had so many visitors. As you can see on previous entries, Karl was the first of many. Then Clint's parents, Bill and Sheri came to stay for a while. While they are here we have so many fun plans. First, we decided to extend our concrete pad. (Okay, maybe that's not the most fun project, but it's nice to have the help!!! Thanks guys!)
Here it is with the forms and re-bar ready to go.
Here it comes!!!!

Getting it all evened out

A "meeting of the minds".

I'm really glad that we decided to rent some concrete blankets cause of course the night after the pour it started raining and raining. Then the next day it rained and hailed and was just cold and nasty. But, the pour turned out good and we will be glad to have the extension to park on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another good antelope hunt!

Friday, I had the day off so we decided to head out and see if I could fill one of my permits. About noon we found a nice herd of antelope. At first they were bedded down about 400 yards off of a brush line so it was a perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, as I got down and started to crawl a guy stopped on the road and shot at one. Clint and I were fairly cranky cause it's illegal to shoot off the road and he didn't have permission to hunt this piece. Clint stopped him and talked to him, but the guy was clueless and although he apologized he had the classic "It doesn't really matter, it's just antelope" attitude that give all of us hunters a bad name.
Luckily, the critters hadn't moved completely off of the piece of land so Clint drove me down and dropped me off at the other end so that I could crawl out and see if I could get a shot.
Well, to make a long story short, the goats turned and started heading the other direction so it ended up being a REALLY long belly crawl. Belly crawling may not seem like hard work, but when you are doing it with a gun, rangefinder, binoculars, and shooting sticks it is complicated and quite the workout for your shoulders and chest. Anyway, after about an hour and a half, I finally got close enough after to where I figured it was probably about 250-300 yards (I couldn't get a range with the rangefinder cause I was laying flat and the landscape is flat so it makes it really tough, it ended up being about 300-350 yards) By this time they had spotted me and kind of banded together and were milling around trying to decide what to do. Luckily, antelope are curious and when you are laying on the ground they don't necessarily think that you are a hunter. If you sit or stand then they will turn and run. Finally, I was able to pick a doe and determined where to hold with the distance and crosswind and everything came together beautifully.
My awesome hubby was hanging out with Dane this whole time cause it's too hard to do a long crawl with him on your back. Once the doe was down, they hiked out with the meat pack and other gear so we could get her field dressed and packed out.


As soon as Clint and Dane got to the antelope, Dane wanted to go right up and check it out!


After Dane had pet her and poked her, he decided to put wheat stubble on her head. (I don't know if you can see it but he was picking the stubble and then covering her head with it...)

Although Clint offered several times, I insisted on packing her out myself.

It was a great hunt and although I wish Clint had been right beside me to share the moment, we have many more opportunities this fall and I was happy to harvest a beautiful doe.
Now, the trick is to get the two critters cut up and I plan on starting as soon as I get Dane dropped off at daycare!

The mighty hunters!

Antelope season opened last Sunday and although we didn't have any buck permits, Clint and I each got a couple surplus doe tags. We enjoy eating antelope so we are always quick to pick up a couple extra permits!!!! Clint and I went out on Wednesday and we covered a lot of ground, but couldn't quite get it all to come together for us. So, Clint picked up Brock on Thursday (I had to work!) and they headed out to see if they couldn't find a critter.

Sure enough, luck was on their side and they found antelope bedded down on some land that they could hunt. After a good sneak Clint was able to get a doe by herself and made a great shot.
I think that Brock is Clint's good luck charm because they almost always seem to get a critter when they go out together!
Here are the mighty hunters with a beautiful doe!



Clint and Karl bird hunting!

Karl also timed his trip to Montana perfectly for opening day of pheasant season. I was on call for work so I couldn't go with the boys, but they headed up to the Conrad area to see if they couldn't find some birds. They ended up getting a couple pheasants a few sharptails and a few huns. They had a really great time, but as you can see from the pictures it was pretty darn cold!!!
Bones working the brush
Karl, Grits and Bones with a couple huns



Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm behind on my blogging!!!!

We have been running like crazy lately so I kind of got behind on my posts. But, if all goes as planned (ha ha) you will see several added over the next few days as I work to catch up!
Where do I start??? I guess I'll start by telling you about Clint and Karl's fishing trip.
Clint and Karl headed down to the Snake River outside of Idaho Falls to go on a fly fishing trip. Clint had a great time and really enjoyed catching up with our friend Karl. Clint said that the scenery and the fishing were fantastic. They caught a variety of fish including rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, and whitefish (lol). As well as being a whitefish catching expert, Clint also landed some great trout, including this beautiful, big, brown!

Here is one of the cutthroat that they caught. Notice the brilliant coloring of the "cut" on the bottom of it's jaw.



Karl brought his faithful companion Grits. She is such a nice pup... and actually is Bones' sister.

Karl with one of the nice fish he landed and their guide, Brenda.



The mornings were cold.... You can see the steam rising from the River...

Cold, but truly beautiful!

As you can see they had a great time, and I know that Clint was very glad that he got the opportunity to have such an incredible trip with Karl.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bull Snake

video

This is a big bull snake that we found when we were out and about today!!! It was super cool and since they are "good" snakes we moved him off the road and sent him on his way!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Well, I'm up early this morning because Clint is back on days!!! WOO HOO!!! He has to be up at 5 to be to work and most of the time I will always get up with him. (Sometimes even before him so I can go for a quick run!) I have training today, so I don't have to be in until 8:30. Kind of nice to get up in the morning, clean up the kitchen and living room, check my e-mail, and update the blog. I just can't lose track of time like I did yesterday. Seems like sometimes when I think I have a lot of time it just slips away and before I know it I'm running behind!
Anyway, last weekend was kind of quiet around here. It was Clint's last week on overnights, so Dane and I did the usual routine of get up and then get out of the house so Clint can sleep. Once Clint got up we worked on catching up around the house. That always happens when we go out on a hunt then come back and process meat. Little things tend to pile up... (so to speak!) We did spend a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpa's just hanging out. Grandma is leaving tomorrow to go on a cruise with my brother and his family, so we sure are going to miss her!!! But, she will be having a great time.
October is going to be an incredibly busy, but fun, month for us. As all of you know hunting season gets into full swing, so we are out chasing critters a lot. We also have a ton of company coming throughout the month and we are SO EXCITED for that! I just have to get my house in order so we are ready. Fortunately, I think they all understand that with a toddler it only takes about 5 minutes for him to destroy a room after it's been cleaned.
Speaking of toddlers, I just thought I'd give everyone an update on what's new with Dane.
As everyone knows the old cliche, "they grow up way to fast" is so true. Dane is growing like a weed, and as our friend Carrie says "he's getting a little 'tude"! I knew the day would come, but he has really learned the word "no" and what it means... He is pretty gregarious and seems to really enjoy people. Probably the most challenging thing is that he is at that difficult stage where he has very strong feelings (don't we all!!!) but no words to tell us what is going on. He understands really well and he parrots words and will often repeat words we say, but the vocabulary that he regularly uses is not very large yet. Luckily, his fits are pretty short lived and he then moves on to the next thing!!! I also must say that everyone was right when they said that kids are incredible, it seems like about the time I feel like I may be losing my cool he does something so adorable that just melts my heart... like a big sloppy kiss or a big belly laugh... Isn't being a mom great!?!?!?!
Okay, so enough mom talk... Here are some pictures of the little man.
We got a little trike from one of my coworkers and although he can't peddle yet, Dane decided it was a good place to sit and read to us!

It's also a good place to put things and then push them around!!!


Watching Dane mimic us has been such a learning experience for me. It just reinforces the idea that we are products of our environment from the very beginning. The other day I was working in the kitchen and I look over and here he is with the pack. When I asked him if he wanted to ride on my back he said "no". Then I realized that he wanted to put on the pack himself. But, he did become frustrated when he couldn't get it on himself and he didn't want my help!!! (another stage we are going through right now!!!)

Well, now that I have had my "mommy bragging" moment I will sign off. Time to go get dressed, wake up Dane, and begin my work-day. I hope everyone is doing well and we can't wait to see all of our family/friends (although Karl is pretty much family!!!) as they come to Montana!!!