Earlier in the season

Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

Does anyone get a little unsettled walking from OR waiting for a pickup from the stand?  After one evening hunt,  this was my view through the trees as I walked out.  It’s amazing how quickly that moon seems to come out-like sometimes time speeds up or slows down in the stand.   I really couldn’t capture how beautiful it was but I had to stop and take several pictures.  It took all of my willpower not to try to run or look behind me as I walked out!  Every branch snapping or sound seemed louder than normal.   But it certainly was a pretty walk out. And while my hunt didn’t fill my tag, it’s memories like this that make a successful hunt.

 

 

 

Some practical advice for the men who wished their wives hunt….

For many years I didn’t hunt. Between kids, work, and my family needing to eat and have clean clothes, there just wasn’t time to hunt.  And at the end of the day, I was tired!  It didn’t help my disposition when I would hear things like the woods are so relaxing, etc. Yeah, buddy I’m sure the woods are relaxing – I wouldn’t know!

So now that I am fully ensconced in the hunting world and will NOT ever stop, I have the advantage of some hind sight. You know that whole-if I only knew THEN what I know NOW.  Hopefully, this can help some of my brothers in the hunting world who would like to have a hunting partner in their wife/significant other.  Some of these suggestions may seem obvious and might appear that I am suggesting you “baby” your baby.  Well guess what?  Every once in a while, we woman do liked to be pampered.  So here goes:

1 – Start in warmer weather. Spring turkey hunting is a great time of year.  Or shed hunting in March. Don’t expect your wife/girlfriend to get excited about hunting in the dead of winter.

2 – Take it slow.  Make arrangements for the kids to get picked up from school.  Both of you can take off work early, get some lunch, go sit in the woods.  No rush.  Just sit and watch. And let’s face it; that is really what most hunting consists of, a lot of sitting and waiting. If you can arrange a quiet afternoon it will earn you some brownie points.

3 – Don’t expect to be sitting 20 feet up in a stand.  I was deathly afraid of sitting in a stand for many years. And quite frankly it wasn’t worth my time to worry about getting over that fear.  But when hunting really took off for me I knew I had to.  But I first started sitting in a blind – in a chair – with a cushion.

4 – Make sure everyone is comfortable.  Make sure your wife/girlfriend is warm enough. Remember sitting in a blind or stand for multiple hours outside is not like taking a walk through the woods on a nice day.  And most people who aren’t used to hunting just don’t realize how cold you can get while sitting.  So even if it seems like overkill, make sure she has extra layers and gloves.  A seat cushion is much appreciated as well!

5 – Take snacks and a drink. Make a picnic out of it.  Seriously a little romance in a blind goes a long way, men.

Of course, hunting is not all about cushions, staying warm and enjoying the day. Some hunts are tough – they need to be tough to get at the big game.  Some hunts demand a lot of walking and sweating despite the fact that it’s 32 degrees and the sleet is hitting you in the face. But you had to go out OF COURSE because the wind was right. I get it-I’ve been there. It took me a while and now I fight with my husband over stands.  But she just isn’t there yet and that’s a good thing-there’s time to work on that.  I think that with time you’ll discover different views and approaches to your hunting just by including your partner.

CarboMask-Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo

CarboMask header

Scent control, or lack of, can be a main concern for many hunters & huntresses. Months of preparation involving hanging stands, clearing shooting lanes or just raking a path to your stand can all be for nothing if the deer pick up on a smell that is not normally found in their woods and your busted sitting in the stand. So with that in mind, I am always on the lookout for products that will give me an edge in the scent control department.

CarboMask graciously sent me a bottle of their Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo; a scent free, odor absorbing product. I have been impressed by their face paint and was looking forward to trying out the shampoo. Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo contains activated charcoal, an item widely used in household products designed to eliminate odors. The first time I used the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo was after a full day at the office. Earlier that morning, I shampooed using my regular scented shampoo followed by scented conditioner. After drying my hair, I then used a scented hairspray. Sometimes it takes a bit more shampoo to work those products out of my hair. However, the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo lathered quickly and only a small amount was needed for my head of shoulder length hair. Some scent free shampoos have tangled my hair and left the strands feeling hard or damaged. I was pleasantly surprised after shampooing with the Ultimate Hunter’s shampoo to be able to quickly run a brush through my hair without producing tangles or knots. My hair dried well and felt smooth. And most importantly-no smell! The hairspray and scents from my other shampoo were totally gone, wiped out by the activated charcoal.

Carbomask shampoo

CarboSoap-Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo  Photo Credit: Carbomask

MRSP for the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo is $7.75 for an 8 oz. bottle. This product as well as CarboMask’s many other scent control products can be purchased at http://www.carbomask.com.

Proudly made in the USA! CarboMask also offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

 

 

 

Endorsement disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

CarboMask name and logo is the sole property of its rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

MD House Bill 1000-hearing date changed

The “Terrorist Watchlist” bill sounds good at first glance.  I know of no single person that wants a possible terrorist to have a gun.  The bill will remove the right to due process of those on the “terror watchlist.”  What’s the problem? The problem is that the watchlist is a secretive list.  As I write this I cannot believe a secretive government list exists!  If this is true, who knows how those names wound up on the list.  These people may or may not have been found guilty of a crime.  Or they might have just ticked off a neighbor who happens to work for the government and can conveniently place a name on the list.  Or a name could wind up on the list by clerical error.  Apparently there is no way to confirm the names as this is a secret list. If I’m wrong about this list, please, someone enlighten me.  When an American citizen is denied their right to a firearm, a judicial proceeding should have occurred.  MD House Bill 1000 seeks to just basically skip over that-just trust us-and by the way hand over your guns because we say your name is on a list. Oh and no-you can’t see the list-again trust us. What?!

Please read the article, become informed and contact your delegate.

Read the article here: NRA-notice of MD hearing date change

So what do I do with a deer I’ve shot?

This was a question recently asked to me by a person who never hunted.  Her question was sincere but was quickly followed up by, “Do you just leave them in the field?”  That question was immediately followed by a look on her face similar to a person that just smelled bad milk.

I was a a bit surprised by the two questions and more than a little peeved. After all, to insinuate that I would shoot a deer and then just leave it lay there was insulting. What – I hunt therefore I’m a jerk? As I tried to prepare my answer (all the while I’m fairly certain I was sucking the air from the room with my attempts to calm down), I looked at this person and realized -she really doesn’t know, well anything, about where FOOD comes from.  I told her that no, to leave the animal there would go against everything I believed in. I take the deer to the butcher and they process the deer for me.

“The butcher? “she asks.  Dear Lord – give me patience.   Yes, you know, the butcher. I then asked her, “Have you ever seen the meat aisle at the grocery store? Where the pork chops and steaks are lined up and neatly packaged? Well a butcher did that. So I take my deer to a butcher and he processes the deer and I pick up the packages a few days later.”

After a few minutes of silence, she asks, “So there are people that do this? Butcher the meat?”  “Yes I say, where do you think it all comes from? If you eat ground meat from the store you are eating a cow that was processed by a butcher. If you eat pork chops, you are eating a pig that was processed by a butcher.”

This conversation ended at that point but it stayed with me.  I really wanted to yell at this person to wake up, grow up, expand your world. Is this what people think? Meat grows in white plastic trays.  When they grow big enough they are encased in Saran Wrap and slapped with a price tag? Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic. But perhaps we’ve done a disservice to future generations-we’ve made it too easy. You want a burger? Just run down to the local fast food store. If people actually had to practice shooting a bow, zeroing in a gun, hunt, track, field dress, process their own food, actually work for it, they might understand and respect why hunting is not about killing.  It’s about life.

I am headed to the Great American Outdoor Show!

I can’t think of a better way to start my week then to ditch the office, get in the truck and head off to talk hunting, guns and archery.  Hopefully by the end of the day I will have lots to report back on along with a sore back and an aching feet.  On the other hand, every time I’ve went to this show I have met some really nice people.  If you are there, look me up- stop and say hi!  I’ll be the one in the black Ladies In Camo shirt pulling a cColor-JoAnn-w-2015 deeramo wheeled backpack with one squeaky wheel!

Tree stands and me-not a match made in Heaven

I am terrified of heights. And while I know alot of people will sympathize and give me helpful hints, really I’m not listening. I can’t. Their advice will make sense, I’ll try it and then there I am again, stuck on the fourth rung of a ladder stand – sweaty palms clutching on with a death grip. People mean well but knowing myself,the only thing that would work for me is to suck it up, put on my big girl pants and just do it. Only I’ve said that multiple times as well.

Oh and to make this cosmic fear/joke even better, why should I just stop at being afraid of heights from a stand? Let me go whole hog on the whole height/fear issue. Walk up grandstands? Better just head on up and get comfortable in your seats; I will get there sooner or later-usually later. Drive through the mountains? You better knock me out or tie me up because I’m crying the whole way through.(Thank you IBO Worlds and Snowshoe Mountain for that enlightening experience.)

What’s your point JoAnn? Well since I bet alot of hunters or huntresses out there are like me, here is how I am SLOWLY working on getting over this fear. Or at least not letting it control my life anymore. Notice I said working on this because I’m not sure I will ever be totally over it.

1 – I am lucky enough to own a few acres and have a ladder stand installed on a tree in my backyard. Attached to the stand are two ropes; one used to hoist up my bow, the second is a lifeline rope with another smaller loop of rope with a prusik knot.

2 – I practice putting on and taking off my harness in my living room so I can do this as quietly as possible without getting everything tangled up.

3 – I then go outside to the stand. In regular clothes, I practice attaching onto the lifeline, climbing the ladder stand, getting to the top and hooking up the umbilical line to the strap which is located behind the seat. At that point I am double hooked-to the strap and to the lifeline. I do this step multiple times-it’s overkill, I know but it helps.

4 – After I feel semi-comfortable with the whole climbing and settling in procedure, I then repeat but this time I am dressed in my camo clothes along with any extras like a backpack. It’s kind of like dress rehearsal. I go to the stand, attach my bow to my hoist line. I then attach the umbilical cord of my harness to the lifeline. I climb up, anchor in and pull my bow up.I practice this multiple times to try to get as quiet as possible. I can play around with the option of hoisting up my back pack or climbing up wearing it.

5 – Lastly, after I am settled in and my legs don’t feel like I need to jump up and down with energy, I practice shooting from my stand. I think everyone should do this whether or not they have a fear of heights but for me, practice is even more crucial. It’s hard to concentrate on the shot when your entire body has adrenaline pumping through it and the deer isn’t in front of you yet.

For someone like me, I didn’t get through any of these steps the first time. I basically stood on the ladder rungs and sweated. Tried another step and there were tears involved. My husband’s hand on my ass while saying “Just go, You’re okay”, honestly didn’t help either. I did tell him what he could do with his hand and it wasn’t pleasant. At that point he left me alone. Although looking back he did hang multiple stands for me so I guess I should go apologize now.

I’m still really afraid of heights and that will never go away. But by chiseling away at that fear by little steps at least I can now function in a tree stand.

I wish you well this season!

Remembering 9/11

I remember the whole day. I arrived in my office to learn that a plane had hit a building in New York. Standing at the coffee machine my co-workers and I thought why is a plane flying that low? Then the second plane hit. We turned on the news in the office and I’m fairly certain it did not get turned off until we left. I couldn’t reach my husband by phone who happened to be working near the Pentagon that day. The phones were jammed because everyone else was trying to call their loved ones. Rumors that the Baltimore beltway was going to be closed down forced my boss to call it a day. I picked up my daughter from daycare and sat in traffic. I remember trying to remain calm as I got my son off the bus. I didn’t want the kids to panic however that attempt was too late as he blurted out:”Mommy all the other mommies came to school and you didn’t. I was scared.” Later I found out that many parents went screaming (yes, that’s right) through the elementary school, running to their children. I understood their concern, but screaming through a school yelling, “My babies!” never did sit right with me.

The days and weeks after the attack were exhausting. Visiting my church and finding other people with the same blank expressions on their face; the news showing people wandering around New York looking for family members. I remember feeling sad, lonely and tired. And I was one of the lucky people that did not lose a loved one to the attack.

Lastly, about two weeks after the attack I sat in my living room, turned on my TV and purposefully set out to find a movie, a TV show, something that had nothing at all to do with real life. I wound up watching X-Men on HBO. That fit the bill. It’s odd how your mind can find things to help you cope. I wonder if X-Men is on tonight.

Essentials for my backpack

Below are some things that are always in my pack. I just will not go into the woods without them – no matter the season.

Pack of tissues-especially during the spring turkey season!
ChapStick
Flashlight
Some wire ties for attaching a tag
Snips to take care of any branches I might have missed during the set up
Folding Knife
Pen for filing out tag
License and tags
Permission slips
Saline solution-nothing worse than a dry contact lens in the stand!
Reusable rubber coated Gear Ties
Pair of black Red Head glove liners-these work great to use in the dead of winter under heavy gloves or on the spring as a light weight option
Cell phone

Additional items will get added at certain times of the year for different seasons or my weapon of choice but there are some things this girl cannot do without!