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A Little Good News

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A Little Good News

Postby FireCloud » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:13 pm

Finally some good fortune has come my way. It's about time. :D

For quite a while a main sewer line manhole has been occasionally gushing raw sewage into a ravine on my land that empties into Trehan Creek. This has occured from time to time over the past year. The line run completely through my land and the situation has been a stinking mess at times but only at this one manhole. I have reported it four times to the City of Jackson who owns the line. I have reported it twice previously to the State Polluion Control Agency. Nothing to fix the problem has ever been done by either group until yesterday.

Monday I met face to face with Rusty, the "big boss" at the State agency and that got results. Within 48 hours an entire crew of City workers were on my land figuring out how to fix the trouble. They moved in heavy equipment and started the same day. By lunch, Butch, the main district boss of the crews for the city was at my door. Turns out he lived in my home town for a long time and is an avid traditional outdoorsman who likes to shoot longbows. Being a traditional archer myself, we had a great chat.

I met with "Big Dan" the crew chief again today and we looked over the project. Although they have an easement to maintain the line, Big Dan and I worked out a short cut entry to get machinery to the trouble spot. Using a big track hoe, Big Dan has now opened at least a 20 foot wide nice shooting lane from the east boundary of my property right up to the food plot. It's totally clear of trees and brush plus the soil is plenty churned up by the tracks of the hoe which will allow me to plant the entire lane it right away.

Using some left over concrete culvert I had on site and donated to the project and some plastic culvert from the city, Big Dan has built me an easy crossing over one of the smaller ravines that connnects to the new shooting lane-entry path. He is removing some of the unwanted trees and the stumps, including some felled by storms that I had not cut up, and burying all the trees and brush in a hole. Then he is reshaping the banks of the ravines near the manholes to make a much better watercourse that will help stop erosion around the sewer line. I think I am going to also get some wash gravel courtesy of the City for the new ravine crossing entering the food plot plus get some of the stumps dug out of the plot left from my previous clearing operations.

The big track hoe makes very quick work of all these tasks. All of the stuff he is taking out needed to go. Doing it with smaller equipment would take days of time. He will have it all done by tomorrow.

Big Dan did shake loose the large moccasin from its hiding place in the ravine from which my kitten chased it last Sunday but he was unable to kill it before it escaped. I have got to get that dang thing killed before I start going to my deer stand this fall.

One of the crew workers, William, is also a bowhunter and trapper. William has now been invited to trap raccoons on my land to his heart's content. That should help get rid of some of those pesky critters.

It's going to be really nice to get the sewer line leak stopped and I am excited about getting a great shooting lane opened up exactly where I have long wanted one, plus having a good, all weather entry crossing going into the food plot. Getting the stumps out and removing scrub trees and undergrowth is a bonus I did not expect. All this for free and right in time for deer season! :ylsuper:
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby EddyBo » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:19 pm

How long is the shooting lane? Glad you caught a little luck there.
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby FireCloud » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:11 pm

Eddybo, I only have a small 20 acre tract of land wedged up against at least 500 acres of undeveloped land on two sides and against a subdivision on the other two sides. Deer simply travel through my land going to and from other areas. Because my land is inside the City limits, firearms cannot be used. That is fine with me as I am a traditional archer and so my land is "bow only." I also shoot a one piece Bear Kodiak Magnum recurve that I have shot for 43 years straight. I limit my shots to 35 yards or less to insure a clean kill.

Everything is thus sized and constructed here to work for traditional archery primarily but it also is fine for modern archery. Until this lane was opened, there were no open shots possible for more than 40 yards or so. On my land, if you can see the deer, it is within traditional bow range.

From my main shooting stand on the south edge of the plot it is 35 yards to the other side of the smaller ravine east of my tree stand and about 10 yards downward drop from the shooting position in my stand. It's a challenging shot for my bow and for my completely instictive shooting style where I missed a fat doe standing broadside last year.

The new shooting lane starts right there and goes east about another 50 yards or so. Total distance now open to the east is about 85 yards, my guess, although I have not actually measured it. I can shoot my bow safely toward the houses as the drop and distance will bury any arrow shot from my weaker, slower bow in the ground long before it hits a house.

What excites me is that this lane now allows me to see any deer or turkeys crossing my land traveling from north to south (their usual path) except for a 30 yard stretch west of my stand between the food plot and Trehan Creek. I hope to open a lane that direction before season gets here. Bowhunting will not allow me to necessarily shoot at every deer I see in the lanes but it will let me see them earlier in time as they come to the food plot.

I have a keen knowledge of every inch of my land at least as good as the animals do. I know the patterns and paths of all the deer and even recognize some of the deer that are born and live in the area. I've named several of them and know some of their geneology, such as Alice and Andy, a set of twin fawns born on my land ( I shot their mother two seasons ago; the twins survived and were doing well as of the end of last season.)

While I have shot at several deer from my main stand at the food plot over the years and killed some of them, I don't always take every shot I get. I let certain of the deer walk and only harvest the ones I want to. Sometimes I just take their picture and watch them browse. I hunt for the challenge of hunting with traditional equipment and I harvest deer for meat, not for antlers. It makes no difference to me if I shoot a doe or a buck, although I do get more excited over the bucks.

So for me, distance is always going to be extremely limited. Almost all of my shots at deer are made within 20 yards or less, some even at 20 feet or less! It is extremely difficult to draw and release a traditional bow when a deer (or usually several deer) are staring you in the eye from 20 feet away. They can easily see you blink and probably even hear your heart beating harder!

It's a completely different world hunting on my land. The deer here are "urban" deer who live right along side with the people. They understand and even recognize individual humans, like me, that they see on a regular basis. They hear human conversations all the time, observe human behavior and actions, and are extremely smart about human activities. The deer here will often stay put and watch you walk right by them. They are exceptionally good at detecting and avoiding humans but are not generally frightened by people. Usually they move off quietly without blowing or even letting you know they are there. It is a cat and mouse game we play all hunting season.

My best approach to hunting here is having stands with views where the deer simply cannot move very far without being seen from a stand. This new lane will really help in that regard.
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby LadyHunter » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:08 am

Great news! You got a lot of free work and things ready for deer season all in one swoop!!
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby gtk » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:54 am

Those urban deer can be tough. Urban hunting in general is tough. You have to deal with more trespassers, pets, noise, etc..
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby LazyGhost » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:11 am

Thats great news! :2TU: Now that theyve created a crossing you should be able to get a 4 wheeler to any place on your land? And what about getting a tractor to the plot? You might have to finally get that antique honda in the shop. :P
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Re: A Little Good News

Postby jv » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:22 am

That's some great news FireCloud, now you can enjoy you land more and the wildlife will benifit also with the food plot.
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