Wednesday, December 06, 2006


No, this isn't a tell-all on muzzloading as the title may imply.

It's just what has brought me back into the swing of things. I guess I'm not much for rifle/shotgun unless I need to be. So with two in the freezer from bow season, the need was lowered quite a bit. Like the good ole days when I routinely shot a couple with my bow.

So I suppose I've been relaxing and savoring the moment. Especially as the temperatures in southeast and mid-Michigan have ventured into the 20s and teens. Funny how the motivation factor will fall off when that happens.

As I said in a previous blog, I was really hit with a bug -- a mad coughing one at that -- and was really not able to get out much for rifle/shotgun season even if I had wanted to. Three times to be exact. Probably one of my least active gun seasons in the 13 years of hunting whitetails.

Last weekend, Dec. 3, I briefly shedded child-watching duties and hit my friend Art's place in Saginaw County. After securing a decent Christmas tree Art so generously let us cut down on his property, we headed to the back 30. He did a drive on the edge of the swamp in what he said was his "first drive ever."

One scooted between us -- I was situated in my stand -- but I never saw the deer.

Art then headed in to meet another one our friends -- also in on the tree deal -- and left me to the elements. And they were tough on me. I wasn't as prepared for the howling December Michigan wind as I would liked to have been. Although I did have on my lucky polar fleece jacket which has done so much time with me in the "Old Mother Pine Tree" behind my house that it now permanently smells like pine.

The problem, which is usually the case with me, was with my feet. Seems like I never recovered from being stuck on Army field problems at Fort Carson, Colo., when I was in my early 20s. A couple of times we were on manuevers in temperatures well below zero, and I believe I ended up with frostbite.

Anyway, the boots I had on were more conducive to doing drives. But I managed to endure until dark. Lots of things were looking good. Fresh coating of snow. Full moon. Yet, no deer.

I really wanted to unload my "cherry" .45-cal Knight on an unsuspecting deer. In fact, I was on total "if-it's-brown-it's down" status, which generally can be lethal for deer in my vicinity of the woods.

So that's how my first weekend of the muzzleloading season has left me, practically frothing at the mouth for a shot opportunity.

Another motivator, as if I really needed one more, is the coveted "triple" I'm now in line to complete if I score with the smokepole. A triple in the Arnold book is knocking down a deer with a bow, a rifle/shotgun and a muzzleloader in a single season.

I believe I've only completed this rare feat -- for me -- once or twice before.

Hopefully, Art will give me the green light for another trip to his Saginaw County spread for this upcoming weekend. Things should even be better as I loaded the corn feeder when I was there previously. And I plan on being accompanied by John of "Double Bagger" lore (see, who's had a tough time of it -- if you can believe it -- the past two seasons.

We're going to put an end to this Sunday I bet.


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