I skipped blogging last night in favor of going to bed early after an all-day last minute wedding shopping day, so I will do my best to combine the two today!  If you don’t mind. . .or if you do. . .

A couple of days ago hubby and I grabbed our hunting rifles and headed to the shooting range to sight them in.  I am READY.  My first and only two shots with my little Walmart Remington 243 were smack dab in the middle of the bull’s eye.  Now if I can just hold steady if I get the chance to get a deer or hog in my sights!

Hubby, on the other hand, had to sight in both his Remington 12 gauge slug gun and Remington 760 Game Master 30-06.  That took a little while, but we are both ready now.  Rifle season starts THIS Saturday!

Today on the last day to hunt does during archery season I actually saw a large buck but it ambled off before I had a chance to make sure its antlers were legal.  I learned that I should have done a “grunt” to make him stop.  Maybe he will amble back so I can introduce him to my 243.  He was about 50 yards away anyway, a tough shot for an inexperienced bow hunter like myself!

Here is a shot from my stand in our hunting area, a mere few acres belonging to my brother and sister-in-law but RICH with wildlife. It was so beautiful this morning with the still almost full moon shining like a headlight and then the leaves falling after daylight when a breeze stirred the trees.


Hubby and I stayed in our stands for a good 4 1/2 hours, which is my bladder’s limit, before grabbing some lunch, changing clothes and heading out to Canton for First Monday Trade Days.  I just HAD to visit my fave shop, Girls Gone Junkin’!  I got a cute little heart-shaped steampunk pendant to wear with my wedding outfit next weekend and a darling little wedding cake topper with bride and groom dolls whose eyes move!  For some reason I have started collecting vintage cake toppers.  They are just too adorable!  Why am I collecting again while trying to declutter?  I’m hopeless, I suppose. . .

So steampunky!  LOVE!
Cutest wedding cake topper EVER!

And then there was this sight:  Have you ever seen so many cow skulls?  Kind of creepy. . .

It was a long, hot day (yes, in NOVEMBER!) but it was a fun day.  Maybe November will soon realize it isn’t September and turn cooler!  How about a little cooler next Saturday?  But no rain, please!  I’m not picky, huh?  Happy junkin’ and huntin’, everybody!



Gettin’ Mama Hog and Her Baby Outta the Dark Dark Woods

Well, I promised to tell the story of how Jimmy and I got my first kill, a wild female sow, and one of her babies, out of the woods that February day back in 2010.  We were so pumped!  He didn’t even realize that I had seen a pig until he saw me raise my little Remington 243 rifle from Walmart.  He had seen the piglet at almost the same time, so the shots from my rifle and his shotgun rang out almost simultaneously in the late afternoon stillness.  A reddish white spray was my clue that she had been hit as she took off running. 

“Did you get it?” Jimmy asked. 

“I think so,” I replied.  “I saw something spray out.”  As he took off after it, following the blood trail, I remained behind, trying not to feel as the poor piglet squealed its last few breaths away.  Jimmy’s shotgun blast had torn its throat open.

“Here she is!” I heard him call from about 50 yards away.  Picking my way through the dried leaves and branches, I soon reached him and the evidence of my first wild kill, a sow, a mama pig with teats, probably the mother of the piglet Jimmy had shot.  I felt sadness for her, but it was soon overcome with feelings of triumph and pride as I realized that I had actually killed something!

Now what to do?  There was no question we would get the pigs out of the woods, but with her weighing about 250 pounds from the looks of her, how would we manage?  We hadn’t actually planned for this part of the hunt!  Real pros.

Jimmy handed me his shotgun and backpack and proceeded to drag the sow’s dead weight about 30 yards.  It was February, but we were both in short sleeves, so it wasn’t a cold day, and the effort soon had him sweating.  It was obvious that we wouldn’t be able to take the piglet, sow, and all our gear out at once, so he left me alone with the sow and headed back to the truck with the gear and the little pig.

Let me tell you, being alone in the woods just before dusk with a dead animal is eerie.  I could feel eyes on me, as if all the sow’s friends and relatives were staring at me from the undergrowth.  I even heard rustling and feared possible attack from angry pigs.  Thank goodness I kept my rifle.  Still, I was relieved when Jimmy returned with a rope. 

It would be a good uphill trek over a creek, fallen logs, briars, and underbrush back to the pickup.  Even if we had an ATV, it wouldn’t have gotten into those thick woods.  Jimmy tied a rope around her neck and we both pulled and tugged her very ungracefully over logs, through the creek, and across the underbrush until we reached the outskirts of the woods.  It was getting dark and we still had at least an acre uphill and a fence to cross.

After changing positions and stopping several times to rest, we finally made it to the barbed wire fence that separates my brother’s horses from the creek bottom and woods of his property.  I felt as if my heart was working overtime and was actually amazed that one of us hadn’t passed out from the exertion.  We are middle-aged after all, but determination won out until we reached the fence.  The truck was just a few yards ahead, but still uphill.  Jimmy suddenly had an idea.

He climbed through the fence, went to his truck, started it up, and backed it down to the fence where we attached the other end of the rope that was tied to the pig’s neck to the trailer hitch on his truck.  Jumping back in the truck, he pulled the pig easily under the fence.  Our jubilance didn’t last long, though.  We still had to get the pig up into the bed of the truck! 

By now it was dark and we were a bloody, sweaty mess.  I feared that ticks were probably crawling all over us as well.  Oh, the joys of hunting. . .

But Jimmy had another idea. . .

He untied the rope from the truck and had me toss it over a low nearby tree branch—how handy that tree was!  He instructed me to back the truck up under the branch after he tied the rope again to the truck.  Then I pulled the truck forward, hoisting the pig up with the rope.  Then came the tricky part.  Jimmy had to hold the rope with the pig dangling while I backed up the truck directly beneath the pig so it could fall into the truck bed. 

I never even considered that it would not work.  It had to work!  And it did!  The mighty hunters had their prize!  My brother later said that he would have to put a game camera out there, not to watch game, but to watch the hunters!  It was a comedy show, but we won Man & Woman vs. Pig!

Next:  Home butchering ain’t for amateurs. . .