Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Snow 2010!

We got a foot of snow! With all of family Christmas events, I haven't been doing much hunting. There will be more hunting posts to come into late January.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slow Duck day

For now it appears that many of the ducks have migrated down south. We did not see many yesterday. We did see a pair of woodies and a pair of mallards on some ponds we have access to. We did not get a shot. Either way, it was better to be out in the weather than stuck in the house!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Zorbacon vs. Merganser/Zorbacon vs. Pond

The morning started out with a hunt with Longeard mule, Sadie, and Sewer Rat. The ducks either slept late or migrated somewhere else. I counted 5 mallards sky high and 1 far off wood duck. There were no opportunities to shoot. We had fun either way. A little later on I was helping Glove Devil in the greenhouse. I stepped outside to take a break. While contemplating what to have for a snack, I climbed onto the mountain of pallets to get a better look at the pond. I saw ducks swimming on the pond. I saw 2 mergansers. Over the next several minutes I got my shotgun, hat and jacket and walked to the pond. I approached from behind the dam. I was completely invisible to the ducks. As I rose to spot the ducks and shoot, I fired on the merganser drake and got him. I let the hen fly away. 2 wood ducks that I did not see until after I shot flew off as well. They were at the other end of the pond. The dead merganser drake was lying in the middle of the pond. My waders were in the truck back at the greenhouse. It was a 5 minute walk away. I asked myself, "What would Bear Grylls do"? I took off my boots and socks. I rolled my sweatpants as high up my legs as I could. I stepped into the slimy pond. The water was so cold! I knew the pond wasn't deep. I continued to slowly walk to the center to pick up the bird. It was an odd feeling. Was I really barefooted in a pond on December 2nd? Was I doing all of this for a merganser?

No Shave November

I know what you are thinking. What does a beard have to do with being in the wild? Everything!!!! A beard works as a face warmer, and a face mask. At the beginning of November, I did not know I would be participating. I last shaved the morning of November 1st. I saw an old friend who had a nice beard in his own right. I decided I was in.

There is an unwritten rule that you must have a mustache for a short period after you shave your beard.

It's always funnier to scold your child with a stache! You come across much more stern.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day that our founders set aside to give thanks for our great nation to our Creator. It may be my favorite holiday. It is often overlooked by Christmas. I like it because you just eat and spend time with family and friends. No gifts required. Be sure to take time to thank God for sending his son Jesus to earth. I know that we celebrate this at Christmas, but do it today. We are the most free and blessed nation on earth because of the relationship our forefathers had with God.

On with the hunt. This morning Longeared Mule and Sadie took me on another hunt. I shot a mallard that got away. The duck either swam away or vanished into thin air. I hate losing any duck, but losing a mallard seems worse. We had a good time, but I forgot my camera so there are no pictures of ducks.

Since there are no duck or dog pictures, I will attach a picture of my littlest Turkey. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This morning started by making a 12 cup to the max pot of coffee followed by a trip to the Bojangle's drive-thru. Longeared Mule, Sadie and I got together for our second hunt of the week. We decided to eat, drink and hang out in the swamp for a while today. Our coffee was not measured. The ground jewels were just dumped. Our brew was strong enough to smack someone named shovel face in the face. Duck hunting is a lot more enjoyable when you don't have to leave the swamp at 7:30 am. There were plenty of woodies, teal and mallards before legal shooting time. They flew around and taunted us while we couldn't shoot and mostly disappeared when we could. We got buzzed a few times and didn't react quickly enough. Around 6:50 am, when we had relaxed in the blind and started to talk about things other than hunting, a pair of mallards landed about 35 yards behind us. We whispered "mallards" and hunkered down. Zorbacon on the right, Longeared Mule on the left, we counted to 3 and shot each bird on our respective side. We both hit our targets. With one clean up shot and 2 great retrieves by Sadie, we had a pair of mallards in our blind. There was one drake and one hen. We could not have done it without Sadie. The ducks landed on the creek within the swamp where the water is well over our heads. In the words of my eldest son's favorite television show, Thomas the Tank Engine, Gordon the big blue engine says "job done, job done"!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekday hunt.....

This morning Longeared Mule, Sadie and I embarked on a quick weekday hunt. We met at our hunting location at 5:45. The walk to the blind included a hyper active puppy and the sound of a lot of ducks. Once we were able to shoot, there were plenty of ducks in our vicinty. We saw mallards, wood ducks and greenwinged teal. Our first opportunity to shoot included a misfired shell and some poor shooting. 2 woodies passed right over us and flew safely away. I emptied my gun. About 20 minutes later, several teal landed in front of us. We could see the ducks, but there was alot of growth between us and the birds. I attempted a shot off of the water and missed. Nothing makes you feel useless like missing a duck sitting on the water in front of you. For some reason, the ducks flew right at us after the missed shot. Both birds were taken down cleanly and Sadie the 8.5 month old puppy retrieved both of them beautifully! She did very well for such a young dog. Zorbacon redeemed himself. Sadie is the one below with the scary eyes. Zorbacon is the guy with the really pale face.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Return of Duck Season

Over the last year I have been seeing lots of wood ducks and a few mallards using the pond on my family farm. Since all of my friends were deer hunting Saturday morning, I decided to try it out. I arrived to the farm around 6am. Legal shooting time in my location was 6:16 am. I camoflauged myself against a cow pasture fence that was covered in weeds. It is the perfect cover since it is on the side of the pond that the ducks usually use to land. At approximately 6:28 am a single drake wood duck flew in from behind my location and landed 20-25 yards directly in front of me. I waited about 5 seconds to see if any more were coming. Nothing happened. I cleanly cut him off of the water and that was the end of the hunt. I was quite pleased to have success on my first ever duck hunt on my family farm.

After the hunt I cleaned this fine specimen and had a fine little helper.

This duck did not go to waste. His breast and thigh meat were marinated, wrapped in bacon and on the grill by 2 pm.

It was a good day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Day of Gun Season

Saturday October 16th was the first day of gun season in Eastern NC. I got out of bed at 5:20 got ready and was in the stand by 6:15. You could see around 6:35 and were allowed to shoot at 6:40. I was sitting in my stand concentrating on not falling out when I noticed 4 wood ducks landing on the pond just behind my stand. As I took my attention away from the ducks I was surprised to find 2 deer in the field in front of me. They had appeared out of nowhere. One was a 6 pointer and the other was a doe. I raised my gun and shot the doe with a perfect shoulder/heart shot. She dropped immediately. The 6 pointer stood and looked around to see where the shot came from. I had no interest in shooting him. His antlers were way too small. A couple of minutes later, 2 more does came walking in from the opposite direction, again, appearing out of nowhere. The goal on my property is to thin out does this year and let bucks grow. We plan on shooting as many does as possible this year to have a good doe to buck ratio in the future.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rage Against the Doe:

This post was written by Rowza/Stinky. His name is still undecided.

I left work at 5:30pm yesterday, 9/28/10, and headed to one of my favorite stands, “the spruce tree stand”. It’s not really a spruce tree, it’s actually a holly tree. I got the name from a stand I’ve hunted numerous times in Alberta, Canada called the spruce tree stand. It’s only got 2-3 steps until you get to the limbs, then you climb limbs the rest of the way to the stand. That’s how this holly tree is, so I named it the “spruce tree stand”. Due to the unseasonably warm weather since bow season came in, I’ve only hunted the stand twice before yesterday. I saw a really nice shooter 8pt in velvet the first time, but didn’t have a shot. However, there have been lots of does at this stand, and I was itching to break the ice yesterday and shed some blood. I have a problem sometimes with going to the stand with all expectations of shooting a doe, then I second guess myself wondering if “the buck” is right behind her, and sometimes pass up the opportunity on these fine eating, perfect target practice specimens. Not yesterday…..I told myself I was shooting the first doe that came out……and that I did. It was wet yesterday, so I couldn’t hear the deer coming from as far, and I had to be extra cautious of my movements, as I knew one could slip in on me. She stepped out on my corn/lucky buck pile at 6:20. It took about 10 minutes for her to provide me with the perfect, slightly quartering away shot, but she gave it to me. It was a text-book 20 yard shot, opposing leg forward. My rage 100 grain two-blade entered mid-ribcage and exited just behind the opposing shoulder. It was a clean pass through and a great shot. She ran about 25 yards down the lane I was hunting and turned into the woods. She was already “pushing” when she entered the woods, and I heard her crash just a few more yards into the woods. I’m 8 for 8 now using the rage broadheads, including a clean pass-through on a big mule deer in Alberta last year at 47 yards. The blood trail on this doe was unbelievable, but unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the trailing very long. She expired 55 yards from point of impact. I could put four fingers into the entrance and exit wounds in this does. These broadheads are unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Where have we seen this before……..the beast is dead for evermore!! I have backstraps in the cooler!! I almost forgot how exhilarating it is to kill a deer with a bow and arrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Characters, Part 1

Over the next several days, I am going to introduce you to the "characters" that you will most often see on this blog during hunting season. They cover a wide variety of personalities and have many different skills and abilities.

Meet Gel Helmet. He earned his name because of the over abundance of gel that you will find protecting his head at any time. As you can see in this picture, Gel Helmet has gel left over from the night before, or did he put it on before this duck hunt? This crusty barrier has been known to block No. 2 steel shot.

Gel Helmet likes to duck hunt. He only deer hunts when breakfast afterwards is a guarantee. His favorite breakfast is a sausage and cheese biscuit from Bojangle's. He enjoys sitting next to a smoker at Smoke Level cafe.

Gel Helmet excels at shooting mergansers and green-winged teal that land on the other side of a too deep to cross creek.

It is almost a guarantee that you will find Gel Helmet at Disney World twice a year. He likes the teacups. He is also an expert at Disney trivia. If you ever meet Gel Helmet, ask him about Mr. Toad handing the keys of his wild ride over to Winnie the Pooh.

Gel helmet is a loyal friend, father and husband.

He rules his local tennis league, runs a 4.2 second 40 yard dash, can scratch his kneecap standing straight up and is the son of a man that can sing like Elvis.

Gel Helmet's weapons of choice are a Benelli Nova for the duck swamp and a Marlin 30-30 for the pre-breakfast deer woods.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's that time of year again!

It's bow season again in NC and I couldn't be more excited!

I'm Zorbacon, and I love all things outdoors. Deer and or duck hunting trade spots as my # 1 hobby depending on which one I am currently having more success at. Fishing is quickly becoming my #2 followed by kayaking in the ocean as #3. I don't rank em' after that. If it involves shooting something, catching something or propelling oneself in some sort of watercraft, I'll try it.

I do most of my hunting in Eastern NC. As I am sure some of you know, there are a lot of deer in NC, but there are not a ton of large deer in the coastal plain with the exception of Halifax and Northampton counties. Those 2 counties have mineral rich clay. The rest of Eastern NC is mostly sandy soil or peat. There are always exceptions , but this is how it is for the most part.

In 2009, I heard about mineral supplement called Lucky Buck. It promises antler growth, mostly in mass "girth". I have been feeding the deer at my main hunting property Lucky Buck since February 2010. It was surprising to find this picture on my camera after only having it out 3 days. A knowledgeable friend of mine estimated this deer to be 2.5 years old. He says this is his first full set of antlers. I count 10 points. Not bad!!! The Lucky Buck must be working!