Killing Time ’Til Fishing Season, Part Two

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been looking for ways to kill time between ice fishing season and opening day of trout season. Here is another project I tackled this winter: creating home-made antler mounts.

First, I mounted the antlers of the 143-pound 7-pointer that we bagged on Buck Knob in November of 2012.

7-Pointer

7-Pointer

Then I mounted the antlers of the 123-pound 5-pointer that Tony shot on Buck Knob last November. We liked the way that it came out so much that we re-mounted the antlers of the 106-pound 6-pointer that he shot in November of 2011.

Tony's Antlers

Tony’s Antlers

We bought the plaques and the Styrofoam balls at Michael’s craft stores. We then stained and lacquered the plaques. We bought some aluminum strapping at the hardware store to keep the antlers in place. The covering is a fabric that is left over from some fabric that Michelle used to cover an end table. Then we added a picture hanger on the back of the plaque. All told, they are less expensive, and we think they are better looking than any of the antler-mounting kits you can buy.

WLAGS

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Late Winter Report

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

It was 5 below this morning and has already warmed (if you can call it that) to 5 above.

We went 15 straight days earlier this month without seeing 32 and it appears we are in the middle of another stretch of 11 days before we see it again.

Tony and I were supposed to be trout (open water) fishing next weekend on the Cape, but the forecast calls for only slightly warmer temps there for the next 10 days.

The snow is deep but not abnormally so. Debbie and I went out to check the camera in back of the house last weekend, on our snowshoes. I took several measurements, and the shallowest spots were 15”, the deepest 25”, with most places coming in at 18” to 19”. Not good for the deer, but not terrible. The key will be how long it persists.

The camera had, most notably, a pair of coyotes on it a few times. They were easily walking on top of the snow. Ravens and red squirrels made up the balance of the videos.

Coyote Walking On Top of the Snow

Coyote Walking On Top of the Snow

My neighbor Dennis saw a deer walking down the middle of Washington Dr. yesterday morning–about 8:00 a.m. He described her(?) as not big or small. He said to his surprise she went to the lake side of the road and was able to walk on top of the snow. That area gets a fair amount of sun, and with the melting and refreezing makes the surface ice-like.

We are at 97” of snow here as of this morning, for the season. Last year at this time we were at 89”. Last March we had 23”. The biggest snowfall came on the 19th. I would love to see a little less than that and earlier than that too.

Signs of spring include Debbie seeing 2 chipmunks this week. There are many songbirds just south of here in Keene and Hillsboro. On the calmer sunny days the chickadees will break into their spring time songs.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Think Spring,

WLAGS

Lucky

Sometimes it is more important to be lucky than good! The problem with the camera has been on my mind since I set it up on 7/25. I got there and the light was on. So I knew I had battery power. Now the question was, “Is it working?”

So I pulled the whole thing (rather than just the SD card) in case I needed to deal with a problem.

The first video was taken yesterday. It was a nice doe at 6:30 AM looking very nervous. The next one was her spotted fawn stepping out directly in front of the camera. Both were very nervous focusing their stare towards Stand #1. The next video they are gone! There was all kinds of room and area to see them if they walked off, so I guessed they bolted.

Doe and Spotted Fawn

Doe and Spotted Fawn

An hour and a half later, out steps our big buck! His rack covered in velvet, VERY WIDE, he trots off towards Stand #3–where I guessed the other two went.

The next video, 5 minutes later, he is standing in the scrape sight. He starts thrashing his antlers in the overhanging evergreen that last year’s buck, and every other buck, uses as a licking branch.

Buck at Buck Knob Licking Branch

Buck at Buck Knob Licking Branch

He moved so much and so fast that I’m going to have to look closely to determine the number of points. He is at least an 8 and probably more. I guess this proves the need for a stand on Buck Knob.

Wow! Now that will get your juices flowing.

The rest of the trip observations were:

  • Lots of water, not even considering it was August, which gives us a bumper crop of mosquitos.
  • The biggest, if not the most, low bush blueberries I ever saw.
Low Bush Blueberries

Low Bush Blueberries

  • Consequently two steaming fresh piles of bear droppings.
  • Saw red efts, the juvenile eastern red-spotted newts, for the first time this year.
Red Eft Stage of Red-Spotted Newt

Red Eft Stage of Red-Spotted Newt

 

  • Blackberry crop looks good.
  • Still too early to get a good indication on the acorn and beechnut crop.

WLAGS