Deer Camp Week 1 2023

Day 1 – October 20

Seems like I need to spend about 300 dollars before I settle in here each trip. Today I bought a $50 washing machine on Facebook, then about $80 for 100 feet of garden hose and fittings. Groceries and a box of wine were about $100.

Neighbor got back from deer hunting in the afternoon with a 3 point, and talked to him for an hour. Then had elk for dinner at inlaws and heard about the Afognak elk hunt earlier in the month.

Day 2

Hunted alone today. Saw a doe and yearling. Salal berries are prime now and I picked about a gallon. Beautiful day. Boat ran great. Set a 2 hook skate but didn’t put enough line out and my buoys went under. Hope I can find them at a lower low tide.

My college friend Tom Emmer was nominated for Speaker of the House IIIin the US House of Representatives today. Wow.

Day 3

Really sore today. Been walking a lot with Sara on our trip and with Kurt in Juneau, but seemed like I was wearing cement shoes in my cork boots and backpack yesterday. I drank tons of coffee looking out on the sea. When the ibuprofen kicked in, I did my rehab and yoga exercises and felt a lot better. Then rode my bike about 3 miles to make a donation of a small Cuisinart to the thrift store, then stopped by to see one of our nieces’ best friends growing up who has been working in Spain for about the last decade. She came home to run the library and great to see her.

Listened to the MLB playoffs, then Monday night football while I did the dishes and got my cork boots from the boat and put them on the boot dryer and untangling some crab line to make a new halibut skate.

Day 4

Tom Emmer was nominated for Speaker of the House but couldn’t get enough votes. I went to the range to sight in John’s gun with Mike Bobo, then went to Mike’s house for lunch. CNN was on, and they were asking – is Tom too sane to be elected by the Republicans? That made me feel good.

I went to the regional music concert in the evening. I knew three kids from Juneau. Great to see kids for which you could tell – music is their thing. Every color of humanity all making beautiful music singing and in a band. Made me see how important music is to kids and that it’s an international language.

Day 5

Hunted a new spot on San Fernando. Perfect weather. Sunny and almost calm.

Hunted for a couple hours before I saw deer, then saw several, but no bucks. Hiked about 3 miles.

Day 6

Tried another new spot today. Hiked about a mile mostly uphill to a muskeg I could see on OnX. I called in the woods about half way up and called in a doe.

At the muskeg, I called several times and was in no hurry. About a half hour in, here comes a deer behind me. And it’s a buck coming through the thick brush. It breaks out into the muskeg about 25 yards behind me, and his head was behind a tree. When I lift the gun to find him in the scope, I see him turn and trot back through the thick brush. He’d come through the brush to get down wind of me, got my scent at the same time I was going to shoot, and away he went. He hardly made a sound. He could have come in and left without me ever knowing if I hadn’t been looking in his direction. I tried calling to bring him back, but he was gone.

I hunted some more muskegs but didn’t see any more deer.

I headed directly down to the beach from where I ended hunting instead of back tracking the way I came in. I picked a half gallon of salal berries on the way down. Near the bottom, I ran into a train wreck of blow down trees, and was thankful I didn’t have a deer in my pack. That’s what almost 60 with a bursitis hip will do to a guy

When I hit the beach, I could see the boat floating happily about an eighth of a mile away. As I slowly made my way over the rocky beach, I could see a whale blowing across the channel by St Johns Island.

I got back to the punt on the beach. And the line tied to a tree, the other end of which was tied to the anchor.

I pulled the punt to the waters edge, then hauled in the anchor. I pulled in the boat, and loaded my hunting gear and the punt aboard.

As I headed out in the channel, I thought I saw smoke and wondered what could be on fire out here? Someone’s boat? Then I saw what it was. A dozen or more whales! Lucky me.

Day 7

A rest day today as tomorrow Marc and I are hunting. Did several loads of laundry and the washer doesn’t want to work right. Turns on and maybe adds water then quits. Finally found I need to unplug it and plug back in between loads. Hopefully that’s it. The washer spins most of the water out wonderfully and the clothes dried quickly hung in front of the heat pump.

Also figured out the cell booster. I thought I needed to point the outside antenna in a different direction, and so mounted it on a scrap piece of aluminum and tried to match the direction of my neighbor’s antenna. Then looked up my model online and found my problem was also the inside and outside antennas were too close together, so separated further and that fixed it.

Took the boat in to Chet for the 100 hour maintenance first thing in the morning and he had it done by noon. He and his wife are so kind to me. He said he hadn’t heard of many deer being taken yet so that was encouraging it wasn’t just me.

Had breakfast at the Dockside Cafe after dropping off the boat. Easy to hear the goings on of the Island in the cozy diner, plus the food and coffee and service are good.

Still having flashbacks today of the buck coming in behind me yesterday and then turning back. Like losing a big fish, it’s the ones you don’t get that are the ones you remember.

Got a bed ready for Marc on the other futon. Put down two camel hair blankets on the floor in front of each futon as the floor is cold when it’s cold outside. The afternoon sun was scalding in the container, though, even with a window open. Sure appreciate the extra window I put in in June that gives us a panoramic view of the Pacific.

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