We had a wonderful time at the NWTF Convention in Nashville, Tennessee and meeting many of my Facebook friends in person was really neat. Perusing the floor for new products is always a favorite of mine. Several new products will be in my turkey product review line-up this spring on the Guru Huntress column in the Women’s Outdoor News; which by the way will be sporting a new look this summer. I am really excited about that.
Saturday was a productive day working the floor. I made the contacts that I had on my list at the show and the Commando Hunting Products booth was well represented with many of the Pro-staff and I was sure it would have just as many, if not more, on Sunday. With that in mind, we talked about going to the new Kentucky lease on Sunday morning to scout and check out the area for lodging and camper hook-ups for the upcoming season.
It would be a bonus on this trip to get to scout a little while we were so close; 116 miles from the property. Undecided, we tucked in early just in case we decided to make the trip to Kentucky in the morning. Sunday morning we finally got packed and both of us agreed we wanted to go to the Kentucky hunting lease.
What a beautiful day it turned out to be. On our trip over I scored a new critter. We drove over the Kentucky Lakes Bridge (Land Between the Lakes) and through the state park on our way to Dexter when I seen a beautiful sorrel color critter that had just been hit by a vehicle. I quickly told Richard, “Stop, stop!! What was that? I want it? Turn around and go back!” Richard rolled his eyes and said, “I don’t know what it is.” His curiosity is what talked him into turning around…definitely not my pleading. He never stops when I see a stray and I ask him to turn around. He just tells me that the animal has been rambling and is on its way home…but this one was dead; road kill to be exact.
We did stop, in the road because of a lack of space to park on the edge of the right of way and I guess this was Richards way of having an excuse to tell me “get in, a car is coming”. I jumped out and looked at this animal and I had NO CLUE what in the world I was looking at. Was it a Pine Martin? A Fisher? A Ferret? Or a Mink? I grabbed Crackie real quick and took a picture. I did not want to pick this thing up and have it in my possession if it was illegal to have it.
I quickly posted it on Facebook asking “WHAT is this??” I got some really quick replies…some pretty comical. Well, when it was all said and done, I was the new owner of a buck MINK!! Imagine that, a MINK!! I would have never dreamed in a million years I would own anything remotely related to a MINK.
Once I knew for sure that it was okay to have this “road kill” in my possession, I grabbed a Wal-Mart bag out of the back seat of the truck and discarded all the items into the floor board. I scooped up the mink, making sure not to touch him. He was still warm and limber so he had not been dead long. Richard told me to put him in the truck bed and we would go up the road and park where we could inspect if it was in good shape or not.
We drove about a mile up the road and stopped at a convenience store to check the mink over and found it was in perfect condition. Richard told me I could keep it for mounting…I coined the Mink as “Marley.” I had gallon size zip lock bags in the truck so I tied a knot in the Wal-Mart bag that held Marley and put the entire bag into a zip lock bag and sealed it meticulously. Richard put a bag of ice in the cooler and I placed Marley on top of the ice, put the top back on the cooler and we were on the road again. I could not have been more ecstatic even if I had harvested Marley myself. Wow!! My first road kill harvest and it was a mink!!! A MINK!!
We had a great time scouting the hunting lease. This property holds everything you could imagine for wildlife. Plenty of cover, browse, creeks, swamps, hardwood bottoms and good green field locations. There were so many deer trails, some of them pretty well-traveled and beat down. I took a ton of pictures while scouting and put of few of them in a slide show below for anyone interested in viewing them.
Richard found a hawk carcass and I was amazed at the size of its talons. I found remnants of a rabbit in the way of fur…but I didn’t find a bunny tail. We saw rubs, scrapes, deer and turkey scat and even some turkey scratchings. Richard scouted until around 3 p.m. before we decided to travel back to Alabama.
I am looking forward to a little down time the next two weekends to get some things done that I have put off due to the lack of time to commit to them. I hope everyone is gearing up for turkey season….it will be here before we know it.