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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Deer Camp Chores Mid-Winter

Not all are chores mind you, most of the things we do here at Long Ridge are fun, such as acheiving and measuring this .223 group I shot at the range a few weeks ago. Somewhere around a third of an inch, and I believe I have found the pet factory load for this rifle. It is a TC Venture Predator and for a 6+ pound rifle, it is a keeper for varmint hunting in rough country!
 Um...I guess burning brush piles from pasture or food plot forgings are not really chores either. Tons of fun, and warm work on a cold day!
 Below the three pictures show a twenty foot ladder stand I am dismantling to move to a new location. This used to be fun, but really IS a chore unless I'm doing it with pals. This day I was alone, and it was freezing. It was over a turnip plot (which the deer never glanced at) then once turned to clover, were all over it. But the stand is needed elsewhere...

Below you see the least chore-like work we do at LRDC, improving food plots and habitat (and filling the wood stove)...This is a 16 inch black birch that I completely girdled three years ago but it refused to stop growing. I also cut some big maples, but left them on the ground until the deer have finished off the buds (almost done).
 This was a stocking gift I received for Christmas. It came with a book of knowledge about deer tracks (I had thought I knew everything) and directions for use. Measuring the width of front or rear hooves (thus the two scales) will give you an estimated weight of the deer when dressed. Invented by a Vermont F&G commissioner and wildlife biologist, this trackometer will keep you busy in the woods! By sheer coincidence I met the inventor last week at a gun show in Barre Vermont, which I attended with a deer camp hunter pal.
 Below you can see the trails before snow. The freezing cold temperatures form deep (up to 15 inches) crystals of ice which are dangerous to walk on, so ATV's are necessary when traversing them. On this day, I arrived at the Far Ridge only to discover a flat tire caused by a 3/4 inch gash in the tread. Not sure what caused it, but made it back to camp on the flat!
 It's eleven degrees out, and this roof snow just gave up.
 Below is a trail that turned into a stream which froze solid (I know, moving water never freezes).
The ice, dusted with snow, is over a foot thick.
 Below is the same place in the trail after a bit of snow.
This last picture is the trail today. There is a foot of snow on top of the ice, and it is now serving as a snowmobile trail! Kalie and Luna love the easy job of hiking on firm snow!
 Let me know what is keeping you all occupied this winter!

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