Friday, April 8, 2011

Ben Rising - The Looong Off Season

For anyone who is a die hard hunter like I am, Feb through April can be a long haul. Deer season came to an end and the wait for Turkey season began.

We have had a tough winter here in Ohio which included one crazy snow/ice storm which turned into a massive flooding that trapped most of us in our homes for a day or two. The flood waters preceded and eventually we were able to find routes to get into town. But it made for one crazy week. The pic that I have included is at a downtown intersection.

The great part of all that flooding was the fact that it meant all the snow had melted and the shed hunting could begin. We found several nice ones and I was able to include my oldest 3 boys in our search. Of course with boys there age it became a competition to see who could find the most. We found our fair share this spring including a match set from a 12pt I had my wife trying to hunt at the end of the season. He was wounded from a neighboring hunter and we weren’t sure if he would make it so we were tried to get in on him to “see how bad he was”. We never did see him while hunting, but finding his sheds let us know that he at least made it through the winter. Our biggest downfall this shed hunting season was finding Mule. He’s the big one I was after in the beginning of deer season. I watched this deer for quite a while and had TONS of trail photos. BUT he just dropped off the map 2 weeks into the season. I had assumed he must of traveled off our farm and someone else had the fortunate luck of harvesting him. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and I can honestly say I wish it had been that way. I just happened to be driving past the farm and a shine caught my eye in the woods. Of course I pulled off and took a harder look. My heart sank! How I never noticed him in that patch of woods before is beyond me, I must have drove past it a thousand times. There lay Mule locked with another buck. We have never seen the other buck before, but he was a nice one also. I have heard plenty of stories and seen several pics of deer that have come to a horrible death like this before, I just wish that I never had to find one like this. The Inner Circle has a Kodak video of me finding these deer in March. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

Shed hunting is over and we are now finding other things to keep us occupied. Hawkins Lumber Co and Wolf Creek Outfitters put together an ATV benefit this past weekend for a very good friend and family member Clem Sours. He became ill this past Oct and ended up with a blood infection. As an end result he had to have a leg amputated, but oh so lucky to be alive!!! This benefit was to help raise money to cover the cost of a prosthetic leg. We had an ATV ride, LOTS of food, DJ, and silent auction and reg auction that were all donated items. We also raffled tickets off for a new ATV and drew a winner (pic included of Clem Sours, Rick Hawkins, Paul from Valley ATV with the winner-Dane Donely). It’s amazing how many people pulled through in a small community to donate items for the auctions, food, and paper items. All of this went on for 2 days. I’m not sure about Sunday but I do know that we had over 130 ATV’s going through over 40 miles of rugged, muddy, rocky climbing trails. It was a blast!! Check out the Inner Circle for new videos that I am sending in of us getting MUDDY!

I would like to say a special THANK YOU to Drury Outdoors for donating several items for this benefit. You guys are great and we couldn’t thank you enough for what you did! I ended up being the auctioneer at this event (not quite sure how that happened…I sure wasn’t expecting to have to do it, they just handed me the mic and said go ahead and start J) But I can say that your "Giant Whitetails" book was one of the highest bid items. Thanks again from ALL of us!!

Well, last but not least my final bit of my blog I’d like to announce that my family is expecting a new addition to our family. NO, we are not having any more kids LOL. At the time I wasn’t so sure if it would be a good idea or not, but my 13yr old son started reading Where The Red Fern Grows a few months ago. Naturally, he has been begging me for a coon dog ever since. Lucky for him, I grew up coon hunting and it was one of my deepest passions. If you would have told me 15yrs ago that I wouldn’t have a coon dog now, I would of laughed in your face. I lived for coon hunting. Unfortunately, having a large family like ours, owning a logging business, deer hunting, turkey hunting and coon hunting…something had to give. I started working with Drury’s and it just came to the point where I didn’t have the time for my dog like he deserved (if you have ever heard of Timber Cutter the red tick English- he was mine originally) so I sold him. Once I sat Jarod down and we discussed just how much dedication and work he will have to put into this dog, and he agreed to keep up his end of the deal, we got to looking for a pup. We are keeping our fingers crossed, but I’m pretty sure that we have a 14 month old lined up that should be arriving in a few weeks. Not quite sure who is most excited, Jarrod or me, though I have to say that I am ecstatic to see him carry on a tradition that I grew up with. Nothing better than spending your teen yrs in the woods with a dog. I also have to mention that I don’t think Feb-April will be such a drag anymore. Look for a new blog soon!