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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Headlong Into Hunting at Longridge

OK, we are all ready to start hunting at Long Ridge. There won't be any early bow hunting here because I do not want to heat up the stands before regular deer camp season. We may have a 'bow hunting' day, but that would be the extent of it. Because we are a QDMA parcel, we watch what we do... check out these bear babes below. They were not born on this property but have shown on multiple cameras...
 
I have never, in twenty years of managing deer property seen so many fawns survive as this year. Tons of bears, a scatter of coyotes, and still, almost every doe has a fawn or two or three!

This boy is just one of many that we have our eyes on...


Not sure what spooked this deer, but it might have been the camera...
Little guys, running, training, and learning to survive...they really do beat up the food plots..(and we don't mind)

A taker...



This week we tighten up the straps on the stands, replace those that are worn, put broad  heads on our arrows, and hit the woods. I wish you all luck and skill in your hunting endeavors! Jack
 
jackzeller@myfairpoint.net

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

End of Spring at Long Ridge

Spring around the farm and camp has gone as it usually does. Too much to do, too little time to do it...After the homestead winter clean-up, there are trails to clear from the inevitable blow downs. My ATV below is actually lightly loaded for this particular outing. I'll often have all of this plus 3/4 bags of lime and fertilizer. When revitalizing plots way out, this is the only way to go.
 I watched this early spring Robin build her entire nest, which turned out to be a decoy. She built three more at camp, and then snuck off to a sheep shed where she has successfully fledged three babes.
 This picture is at the Far Field clover plot and this is the first coyote I have on camera in 6 months! (unfortunately there are two more following this one). A neighboring farmer shot 14 over the winter and pretty much cleared the area of them, so there was very little deer kill here. But 'we're baaaack!'
 This little guy is doing OK for sure, and feeds here nearly every day (and night).
 This sweet little babe is following mom across the West Plot. First spring fawn caught on camera. Hope to see LOTS more!
 First bear on camera also for this spring, and in my opinion, bears take more fawns than coyotes. This looks to be about two years.
 A second little guy I'll pass on in the fall.
 If this guy below keeps up at this rate he may be a taker come season!
 I always love to see these little bucks (it always seems to be little bucks) mess with the turkeys. The birds are not the least worried, and simply dodge around until the deer get bored with the game.
 These beautiful Pink Slippers always love to grow in the trails so for several weeks I have to skirt them with care when on an ATV. There were tons this spring, many more than normal.
We've seeded two more smaller clover plots this spring and a larger plot with a mix that I found at a box store for 60% off after last deer season. No idea whether it will perform, but for 8 bucks I couldn't pass on it. With the rain we just had, I'll motor out to check all the plots today. It's already time to start planning and prepping your fall plots. No need to spray yet (let the deer enjoy what is there for the summer) but now is an excellent time to lime. That way any fertilizer you add in the fall when you plant can be fully utilized.
Oh, one more thing. Time to put up your archery targets!
If you want a reply to a comment or have any questions, please contact me at jackzeller@myfairpoint.net 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April Ramblings at LRDC

This Fisher is the only and first creature to visit this remote mineral lick this spring. I suspect when things green up, higher on the ridges, the deer and bear will begin to hit this.
 I found that our soft and muddy spring trails had been churned up in good shape, and did a little investigating. This youngster, driving a '301' ATV (anyone know who makes that?) did dig up some food plots and in general spin out and have fun. I back trailed this machine, and this photo goes
to the local game warden. Last Thanksgiving I had my first game camera stolen, and almost posted the land. This may seal the deal. I have posted against bringing dogs and ATV's on the property but NEVER have I contemplated No Trespassing until now... 
 This peaceful morning scene found a cloud moving in and for twenty five minutes, we couldn't see 200 yards. Gorgeous!
 Below is inside camp in April. Damp, cold, unorganized, and messy. Not 12 below zero like January, but not comfortable at all.
 The two beagles you see below belong to a neighbor. They are brother and sister, named Cookie and Buddy. They are trained hunters and busted out a few weeks ago, probably on deer and ran all day. They always end up here. They are over ten years old and are exhausted. We take them in, feed, water and rest them, and then call their owner.
 Sadly, we learned Cookie passed away during the night, two days after we
last brought them in. I'll just bet Buddy misses his sister...
 

 Here is the last deer bed I found in the snow, right in the Near Field.
 Luna, our Sheltie, and lover of cold. The colder the better and she always seeks out snow. It's all gone over the past week and she still looks for it. By May 1st, I will restrict our pups to the road and around the house. The does will be dropping fawns within a hundred yards of us to avoid bears and coyotes. They do NOT need our nosy pups in their faces!
 And last, the latest full moon shot from camp porch.
Remember, frost over seeding needs to be done by now or it will be too late. Get your plots in shape!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb at Long Ridge

March has been brutal, not unusual. A few days ago the temps were 0-3 degrees and tons of snow. Then wham, changeover, several inches of rain, and we are over the hump. Because of the deep snow, crust and so many days below zero degrees, I took special pains this winter to monitor the deer herd. I am concluding that they did just fine. So did the gray fox you see below.
These five deer stuck together all winter, bedding up in softwoods, and venturing out as long as there was no crust. About three weeks ago, they completely disappeared, and I feared coyotes hit their bedding area.
 This little coon was a constant also.
 Probably me and the pups putting these deer to flight.
 This is the other side of the road from the above pictures, and right in our back yard.
 Below there are three little guys bedded on the south facing bare slope.
 Below is the route I snow shoed to get into the deer yard that had been abandoned. I figured I would find multiple deer kills.
 I am right in the middle of the bedding area, and fifty percent of the young hemlocks are bark stripped by deer. But no fresh tracks, no beds newer than several weeks, and no found deer kills.
 Further hiking showed me that the entire group had moved in a large circle to southern slopes behind our house. They are regular visitors, have eaten back two brand new small apple trees I planted in the spring, but are nonetheless welcome.
 Here is a week old deer bed.
 So, now that the deer are fine, it's off to other things. Below we watch the guys who manage our sugar orchards boil the sap. We are hoping for at least another three or four day run, and then it will be over.
Let me know what you've all been up too!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Typical New Hampshire Winter

We're a week into March, and the severe cold just broke...not that it's getting warm, but the -10 degrees and such we have been having for the past six weeks is gone. While much of the U.S. has had a more severe winter than usual, N.H. has not. On our south slopes the snow is down to ten inches, and not much more then twenty on the north slopes. Typical. The Connecticut river is frozen solid, and there are 18-26 inches on ice on the lakes and ponds. Typical. Streams are frozen solid in place, no matter how wide or fast they flow. Typical. The deer herds in this part of the state are doing fine, but as you can see, they have been shoulder deep in snow for weeks. This wears them down.
 
This squirrel caused at least 50 pictures on my camera as he went back and forth between our Christmas tree plantation and the forest...
These little guys are struggling to move in this stuff, but still can out run predators as long as there is no crust.
Deeper still, the snow keeps coming. This deer is expending a LOT of energy just to move...
This camera is on a spruce just on the side of the snowmobile trail. The deer use these trails hard because they are packed so hard. I have been logging this area, and I like to drop a bunch of maples and leave them for several days before I limb them out. The deer come in and gorge on the buds. When done, I limb out and drag the to the barn yard where they are processed.
Below is Deer Camp about a week ago. Cold (15 degrees) lonely, and abandoned until spring!
The backside of these thirty foot Christmas trees is where the camera shots above are taken. The field below it is the Near Field, named that because it is closest to camp.
So, while the rest of the country may have excuses to complain about the winter, we here in New Hampshire do not. our sympathies to those that do! As for tomorrow, I am snowshoeing into our deer yard to take a survey of 'fur balls' i.e. to see how many deer the coyote and bob cat have taken. The real carnage will start this month as the dogs get ready to whelp out...
Let me know how your winter is going!
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dead of Winter at LRDC

Like most of the country, we are in the dead of winter. Twenty inch packed snow and well below zero much of the time. I begin to worry for the deer during a winter like this. A little less snow and they can move around fine, and when the snow is soft, even leave the coyotes in the dust. But the incessant cold chews up their fat reserves in good order. Many will survive this winter - but many will perish. This grey fox below will do just fine. There are plenty of mice and vole tunnels to plow into.
 

 
These two bucks below are wandering in our Christmas tree lot. This is about 200 yards from camp.
 

Here is an earlier January picture of a buck having lost one antler. The other will snap soon. Maybe I can find it!
 

 Below is the pair I would REALLY like to find...
 Just a cheerful reminder of that beautiful season, Fall, when apples and does, and fawns are well fed, and happy...
 

 The dude I lusted for, and never got.
 And here he is, eating apples, and holding at bay some several coyotes..
 Back to nearer the present, though before the heavy snows. There is clover under these deer scrapes...
 Meanwhile, back at the house, the doves sit patiently in a maple tree waiting for me to walk away so that they may gorge on bird seed.
 

 
The next project is to put together a coyote hunt. Perfect weather to do it, and a hunting pal has ordered a new FoxPro. I'll let you know how it goes!
 
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