Craig Deer Camp week 2

photo from beach - boat on water

Day 8

Marc was in town on business and stayed an extra day to go deer hunting.

I saved my honey hole for him, and didn’t hunt there til today. On the turn to the spot there were about a dozen humpback whales.

It was another beautiful day. We offloaded our gear and since the wind was calm and the tide near low, I just put the anchor on the bow, pushed the boat out, and pulled off the anchor.

We hiked all day and hunted some of the nicest country I’ve ever hunted, and didn’t call up a single deer until we got full circle back to the first muskeg we started in, and Marc called up a doe.

I staggered well behind Marc back to the beach. When I could see the beach, I could see the boat was beached. A breeze came up, and although we got back in time for the boat to be floating in it’s original anchored position, the fine gravel bottom didn’t hold the anchor. We got back about an hour too late.

I immediately texted my neighbor the situation so he would not come looking for us. We were gonna be here awhile. I should have anchored the boat well offshore in the large kelp patch to be sure we’d have a floating boat upon our return.

I changed out from my wet clothes to the dry ones in the ditch bag. Then took an inventory of food. A jar of smoked salmon, two granola bars, and almost 3 quarts of water, along with the coffee left in the thermos from the ride out today.

Low tide wasn’t for another 3 hours. Marc took a beach walk with his gun, as we had another hour til sunset.

He returned at sundown, and the temperature quickly dropped to about freezing. We put on more clothes as we needed them. The famous boat heater is out of commission til I get a new controller switch from Amazon.

We talked and listened to some podcasts from Marc’s phone. At low tide, I took the anchor all the way out to the waters edge and buried it, then tied the anchor rode tight to the bow eye shackle. I wanted maximum holding power so when the tide came back in, it would not push the boat further up the beach, and in theory we could pull ourselves out to the anchor once the tide refloated us.

Seven hours later, we floated and pulled ourselves out to the anchor. We went the long way home as I was worried about running into the whales at the entrance to the channel in the dark.  The big moonlight on the water allowed us to see quite well looking out for logs and kelp.

We arrived at the boat ramp a little after midnight.

Day 9

Got Marc on the 7am plane. Did laundry and listened to ballgames.

Day 10

Did chores. Removed the plastic fingerholds on the scope that I ruined with needlenose pliers, then put the screws back in about half way. Now I could grab them with dikes pliers. I adjusted them based on my last group at the range, and drove out to a roadside area people use to sight in. I remembered my buddy Ron saying to just shoot once and check it, since the first shot is the most important when you’re out hunting. I nicked the center bullseye from about 50 yards, and was happy to now be confident the rifle should be right on

I restocked water, tea and smoked fish on the boat. Also bought some cup of noodles. Put the clothes back in the ditch bag, and added an extra heavy jacket.

Day 11

Brian dropped me off hunting on the beach of the winter fishing hole, and he fished for king salmon.

Saw deer, wolf and mink tracks on the beach. I hiked this new country, and it looked great for deer hunting, but I didn’t see a one. I did find the remains of a small building. There was a floor made with two logs across the bottom about 6 feet apart with about 14 inch wide by ¾ inch probably hand or chainsaw made planks across the logs to make a floor. There was a ridgepole with one end still in a notched support post. Saw remains of another floor nearby. Maybe a trapping cabin? Not sure what else it would be located a quarter mile up from the beach. Cool find.

Brian caught a bunch of small ling cod and halibut. We ran beaches on the way home and didn’t see any deer.

Day 12

Wind came up and some white caps in front of house. Not hunting today anyway but maybe the wind, clouds and some sprinkles will get the deer moving.

I got out all my bags of strawberries from the freezer to make jam. I leave the berries on the stem, and freezing seems to let them come off the stem easier and with less chaff than when they are raw.

I looked up a jam recipe for the instant pot, and sure enough there was one for strawberry jam.

So, I used the food processor to puree the 13 cups of berries, added sugar to taste – 2.5 cups – and a tablespoon of lime powder my sister in law gave me in lieu of lemon juice.

I put the jam in the instant pot for a 2 minute pressure cook. Then loaded 13 half pint jars and canned the jars in a boiling bath for 10 minutes.

The sun was shining down through a sucker hole in the clouds out by Sumez Island, and I could just make out the blows of several whales under the sun.

Day 13

Took the day off after yet another clear overnight. Ellen texted that my part was here for the boat heater. Rode the bike over to grab it. I plugged it in half expecting it wouldn’t work, but Shazam, it did. I ordered another for a spare as soon as I got the new one installed.

Then I did my stretching and strength exercises for my hip.

Afterward, I repaired the zipper on the boat canvas and patched a section of punctured soft plexiglass with some rubber tape. The hip felt a lot better. Looking forward to hunting tomorrow.

Saw a garage sale in town on Facebook and grabbed a few things there. Young couple was moving to Georgia. Then to the store for a few items, including potato salad and baked beans to go with elk burgers at Ellen’s tonight.

Day 14

Hunted one of my furthest spots from town today. A new spot to me. Kind of a gnarly walk in, but I got to the first muskeg hunting into the wind. Called there about half an hour and no deer. I crossed a little ridge to the next muskeg to stay into the wind. I saw a doe leaving silently. She must have seen or heard me or both. I called in this muskeg about an hour, and no deer.

The wind here up the hill seemed to be gusty, and I was worried the skiff might drag anchor. I’d put plenty of scope out and was sure the anchor was set, but I didn’t have enough line to reach the shore for the anchor. And the wind direction would blow the boat off shore.

I also was pretty sure I didn’t want to pack a deer down any further from the beach than where I was right then, so I headed to the beach.

I needn’t have worried, as when I got down to beach, it was calm and the boat was where I left it.

I saw many whales in the distance near the Heceta Island shore as I sat on the beach and savored my peanut butter and salal jam sandwich.

Another great day in the woods. Will be nice to get a deer.

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