Our day started off with a 4 a.m. wake-up alarm. We were ready and headed out the door at 5:00 a.m. The thermometer read 37 degrees which meant it would be a few degrees cooler at day break. We headed down the road in the dark. The first 80 yards was a very steep downhill decent…the whole time I was thinking “we are going to have to climb this hill on the way back out.” But as quickly as that thought left my mind, we started UP the next hill. Living in flat country, and somewhat out of shape, this was a challenging hike to our stand for me.

The Mother of all hills!!

After stopping to catch my breath on the next two hills we finally made it to our stand. Once the sun was up, we reveled in the sights of all the different colors in the foliage. Since there was a full moon we were not expecting any early deer movement so we had already decided to stay out a little later into the morning.

At 8:30 a.m. we had a beautiful 7 point come out of the woods directly in front of us but there was were two young oaks blocking any filming we could get of it…he was gone as quickly as he appeared.

It is hard to see, but if you look real close you can see the buck's antlers at the upper area of the largest red clump of oak leaves.


We called the hunt at 10:45 and prepared to head back to the lodge. In the back of my mind I was thinking about that hill; that steep hill. I was going to have to dig deep to get up this hill. Phew…I can do this, I kept thinking to myself. I was definitely out of shape this year and this hill, the Mother of All Hills in my book, was going to whoop my tail. Phew…here we go….

Definitely winded, calves burning, arms asleep, heart racing, backpack surely filled with rocks, so it seemed--JUST 25 more yards..

WHEW!!! Hooray, victory and AMEN, I made it!! I was having second thoughts on the last 25 yards!!

After a wonderful lunch of BBQ sandwiches and skillet potatoes we headed to the shooting range where Richard and I experienced or first two rounds of 5-stand.

Richard shooting 5 stand.

As usual, Richard and I competed against each other and he beat me by 4; TWICE!! It sure was a lot of fun!!

We were back in the stand by 4:00 p.m. but had an uneventful hunt. The time spent in the stand was a blessing after the week I had. It was nice to sit there and take in the sights, sounds and smells and to clear my mind and think about the week ahead and what I needed to accomplish. On the way to the stand I found a patch of the neatest leaves, they looked to have blood splattered on them as if it were on a blood trail–I don’t know if I am the only person who ends up with a stash of cool finds at the end of the season (skulls, animal teeth, cool shaped rocks, a variety of nuts, etc.); but I would like to think that it is a common occurrence among hunters.

Fall foliage of changing colors looked similar to a blood speckled leaf.

Tackling “THE HILL” on the way out was not as bad, but I think because it was dark and I couldn’t see the top of it…I still lost my breath, stopped to gasp for air and had to dig dip to get to the top, but it was a little cooler out so I didn’t break a sweat.

For dinner, Quail Dumplings. My first time trying it. It was very good. I got the recipe for the 13 quails in my freezer now. I was glad to know that we would be able to eat the left overs for lunch the following day. We were looking forward to that.

Quail Dumplings

We headed to bed after I set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. I was off to dream about that “bearded, hooked spur turkey” that was hanging on the lodge wall; I was still in awe. Ironically, this is our second hunt of the 2010-2011 season and I am dreaming about turkey hunting. Yeah, I have got it bad!!