Friday, November 20, 2009

The times they are a changin'?

Had a conversation with a friend I've never met the other day via e-mail.
How can that be, one might say? I guess in the old days we'd be penpals. Now it's electronic. We "met" on a mountain bike forum. He has his own blog and he helped me get mine started. A couple summers ago, as he's from New Mexico, he helped me line up some trail riding in the southwest and I met a friend of his at a bike shop in Albuquerque.
Barin now teaches in Venezuela.

So, back to the conversation. We were talking about how we spend our time, besides biking, of course. He introduced me to a website where one can make their own movies and he mentioned that he spends a lot of time there lately.

I haven't watched ANY TV show other than Fox/CNN News and the Green Bay Packers and maybe a Red Sox game for more than 15 minutes at a time for probably 5-6 years. Even my wife, who was a regular for shows like ER, Cold Case, etc. only watches similar programing lately. Now, maybe the fact that she has always been continuing her education with professional designations and now working on her Masters just might have something to do with it. She loves to learn in a "classroom" type setting. I, on the other hand prefer learning about less structured things and in less traditional ways.

Then I started to think about my blog and the site that another friend 'Spoke posted in IS, his blog. Critiqucircle. How interesting that site could be for aspiring writers. Wow, there is so much out there available beyond human to human contact. Places one can go any time day or night.

Then how much time I spend on my favorite websites then thinking of the new network of friends I've made via the internet and the time I spend e-mailing them and interacting with them...some I've never met yet and throw in that for the past 10 years I realize that I'm spending my time doing what I want in my "down time" and not being programmed by stupid mind numbing tradition TV shows.
Throw in mtb, xc-skiing, motorcycling, activities I devote as much time as possible to, especially when I travel and hunting in the fall, and it's no wonder that TV time is gone.

So, what am I saying? Nothing much, but to say that there are so many new ways to learn, interact, get stimulated mentally and in general learn about the world and it seems the internet has made most if not all of it possible.
My wife and I spent 3 weeks in Alaska and were able to setup the whole trip ourselves, personalizing it to our specific interests.
On most of my/our trips I've been able to "phone" ahead using the internet. Contacting locals on where the best trails, rivers, motels, campsites, restaurants, etc, etc, are.

Also, personally meeting a lot of these folks, new found friends with specific points of interest we hold in common. To me, it's avoided a lot of wasted time, energy and frustration.

It's also inspired me to reach out personally more to these and other strangers I do randomly meet, knowing that somewhere, someplace there is probably an intersection of our lives where our interests will eventually cross. Then, once that connection is made and a frienship has been started and developed, I try to step into areas we don't have in common...politics, religion, etc. As we always have a point to come back to, if needed, to install a trust in each other again, we can afford to be free to be different and express our own thoughts to each other, should we choose to do that.

Anyone under the age of 35 might think I'm a little off my rocker, as they grew up with these tools, but us old codgers have to be make a decision to use the newfangled methods.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Bow Hunting the Rut 2009


If you like to deer hunt, then bow hunting the rut is the thing to do. Although I didn't get a shot at a buck, I was witness to a doe, or does bringing bucks hot on them past my deer stand.

The first one was on Monday, Nov. 9th. I hunted a stand in the early morning over a food source with no success, then moved down to my "river" stand that sits 125 yards or so from the river bank on a natural deer route. I just got to the stand at about 10:30 and rattled vigorously, with the nice 5 pt. shed my Uncle borrowed me and a small moose shed I had found years ago in MN. This combination makes for a nice loud "rattling". I had read that when walking to your stand rattle right away to cover the sound of your walking into trying to fake the deer into thinking the ground noise is 2 bucks fighting. I then did a few grunts. Within 3-5 minutes I heard a deer coming from behind me on my left. Only problem is, that's a thick brushy area with the trail and my shooting lanes on my right. The doe didn't seem to care about the dense brush as she came trotting through, and I mean through. She was obviously moving at that pace for a reason. As she moved across the small clearing in front of me, she headed for a small patch of slashing with popular (popple) whips. Moving through the tight growth, he right hind leg kind of hung up some as she forced herself through it.

8 minutes later I hear another deer coming from the same direction as the doe. The buck came up even with my stand as it swept back and forth like a beagle would looking for a rabbit. The nice 8 pt. came within 20 yards of my stand, but way too brushy to even think about a shot.
He got back on the doe's scent, making a few grunts as he started across the small clearing on the same route as the doe. I started to grunt, bleat and snort-wheeze to turn the buck but to no avail. The buck slowed once or twice but was on a mission to find that doe, to the extend of again sweeping before the small patch of popple whips, before he dove in and followed after her step for step.

Two days later, while sitting in my stand by my hunting shack, as dusk was setting to settle in, all hell broke loose. A couple yearlings were milling around under my stand. They started to act a little nervous and started to pay attention to something toward the east, beyond my shack. A few minutes later, I heard a snort about 70-80 yards away coming from that direction. I gave the call a few grunts with some snort-wheezes thrown in, all as loud and as a aggressive as I could make them.

Suddenly I hear them coming, crashing through the underbrush, the buck right on this doe. I can assume it was the same combination from a couple days earlier, but who knows?
The doe ran past in front of me, 50-60 yards out in the heavy slashings. It was dark enough where I couldn't see the animals, but I surely could hear them. I remember thinking at the time that I was glad I was up in the tree and not down on the ground. It sounded like a D-8 crashing over the area in front of me, slamming over and through the brush back and forth in front of me and then they were heading east again, back toward the river.
I got back on the grunt call and in 20-30 seconds I hear the buck and his continuous grunting heading back toward my tree stand.

This time the doe turned within 20 yards of my tree and in the darkening blur she was past with the guttural deep-throated grunts of the buck right there behind her coming fast. I made a couple quick snorts and the buck stopped, looking in my direction. I could only see the black blob of the buck's body and the slight, light flashing of his antlers as he scanned his head back and forth searching for his competitor. Alas, although in range, too dark to launch an arrow!

I was hoping he'd come closer but he never did and he turned and got back on the hunt.
I'm not sure, but I'm wondering if the doe(s) were bringing in the bucks into the vicinity of another buck trying to get the guy off her, or was is all just coincidence? Obviously, she was not ready for breeding as she was not standing for her suitor. Next year during the rut I'm going to have a decoy setup as it adds to the bucks natural desire to defend his territory. It's one way to get it off the doe and maybe get a standing shot within range.

Rifle hunting starts in 2 weeks, let's see what that brings.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Random pics

Full moon rising through the Birches
November sun laying low creates a long shadow.
Grandson in his trick-or-treat outfit. (Photo taken by Mom)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cam-Rock MTB trail

Nice afternoon for a ride at Cam-Rock, home of WEMS PBST race.
Nice bridge feature. Fun ride.
After a week of rain the trail was pretty decent. At the end of the Rip N Ride section I hit the last banked turn a little hot for conditions, though.

2 hands and a knee take down.
No wonder the shifting was a little sluggish.
.....even after the dirt was cleaned out....oh, I see why. Some tweaking alignment needed.