Home Forums Campfire Forum Scouting and 'Shed' Hunting 8/11/12

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    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      My hunting buddy and I got out yesterday morning to get a few of our natural blinds cleaned up and ready for the upcoming deer opener. When we got to our first spot, Aaron found a nice antler shed with a broken brow tine right next to the blind! Awesome find and even more awesome place to find it! We found some gourds growing very healthily and I couldn’t resist a picture. We did some trimming and lane clearing and moved on to another spot we wanted to ‘build’ a blind, only to find the vegetation had grown up thick enough that we couldn’t get in. I’ll go back after that spot in October.. We decided to go check out an alternative route to get to another one of our blinds and ended up target shooting at Hedgeapples in the dry riverbed. Fun stuff, that is until a snake decided he wanted to sniff and ‘guard’ our arrows in the riverbank. Out of curiousity and complete inconfidence, I told Aaron, “hey, headshot right here”, loosed an arrow at around 10-12 yards, and to my absolute disbelief, pinned the serpent to the riverbank. Unable to think of what to do with the snake, I decided to leave this one for the birds.

      We headed off into the woods again and found this awesome fruit on some trees that I can’t for the life of me identify. Any thoughts? We also found a huge turkey roost and was able to gather 76 feathers from the ground. In the picture, you can just barely tell that there are 5 arrows in there.

      While in this area, we spotted three yearling buck whitetails too. Definitely going to have to spend some time hunting this new area. Overall, we had an awesome day in the woods and I now have a bunch of feathers that I’ve washed up this morning to start processing for fletching.

      Aaron’s Shed- My Equipment

      Mystery Tree/Fruit

      Neat Looking Gourd

      Target Practice

      Casting down the serpent

      Quiver Full of ‘Sheds’

      Nice and Clean

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762

      It looks like you had quite a day. That’s more turkey feathers than I usually find in an entire season. The shed’s nice too.

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      Looks and sounds like you fellows had an interesting day. No idea on the fruit…… Good shooting at the snake and hedge apples! Looks like you could have an interesting season. Good luck,RW! Wayne:wink:

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Post count: 2261

      What kind of snake is that? Big one. Nice shot.

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      The hedgeapples make nice targets, both sitting and rolling down the riverbed (rabbit practice), until you actually pin one of them- then they’re just plain sticky!! I had to scrub three of my arrows more than once with hot soapy water!

      Thanks on the “nice shot-nice shooting” . As much as I hate to take anything away from it, I think there was a least a little luck involved:wink:. I’ve only been trad shooting since January of this year.

      I thought the snake was an Eastern Glossy, but that could very well be wrong. He had no fangs or pits, i.e. non-venomous. Maybe some kind of bull or rat snake. In any event, the only snake around me that’s as big as he was, is a dead one.

      Update: I now believe this is the Northern Water Snake. It’s dull grey/brown colors must be due to its currently dry environment.


    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460


      Not sure what part of Kansas you’re lucky enough to be in, but thanks for the pics! For the rest of you- Kansas sucks, stay out! (Just kidding…that’s my attempt at population control.)

      I agree that the snake looks like a Northern Watersnake. Not venomous, but very feisty. Next time let me know what they taste like.

      The gourd looks like a Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)- very tasty seeds, when roasted, but mostly a bitter-tasting plant otherwise. (Also, a potential biofuel.)

      I submit that, without seeing it firsthand, the unknown plant is a Skunkbush Sumac (Rhus Trilobata). Most sumac (at least in our area) makes tasty sumac-ade but I haven’t tried the skunkbush variety, and the name isn’t very flattering. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHTR&photoID=rhtr_002_ahp.tif

      The end,


    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Great pics, great story, great day!

      I just wish we had snakes like that up here. All we got is Garter Snakes, and even if we could kill them, they are too small for eating. The snake in your pic looked decent portion wise, and the snake I have eaten before was excellent.

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Ben, thanks for the tree find! There are some of these near a Honey Locust that I’ll likely do some sitting around this year, but I don’t think the sumac will bear fruit too late into the fall, but that’s okay.

      Wildschwein, I’ve only ever eaten rattlesnakes and they were awesome! However, I’m kind of leary about eating a lot of things and would probably be hesitant about a water snake. I’m sure there’s probably nothing wrong with it, but I don’t know. As it stood at the moment of the shot, it was more of a threat than a desire to skin out! I’ve always felt a dead snake is better than a live one near me, even though I was in his territory.

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      I got back out to the woods yesterday and had a ‘moment’ with nature. I got caught walking around with my eyes on the ground (looking for more turkey feathers) by a couple of yearling whitetails. When I realized what was going on, I froze at a full stand and was able to move in to 25 yds or so in my blue jeans and camo shirt before they realized they were being stalked (must be a yearling thing-don’t think mature deer would have allowed it). I was armed obviously, with only a quiver full of small game set ups, as deer aren’t yet open game.

      When the deer fled the scene, I noticed a big squirrel crossing a draw about 10 yds from me, moving from one tree to another. I drew and touched anchor, glanced up the tree it was heading to and saw a smaller squirrel a few feet up the trunk. Putting two and two together, it dawned on me that this was a mother and a pup (if thats what squirrel young are called). She began coaxing the little guy to make a jump from one tree to another to no avail. Further inspection found another pup up the tree she had initially left to find her other offspring.

      During about a 20 minute observation, I had passed up quite a few shot opportunities, allowing my heart to get the best of the situation and deciding that my satisfaction for taking game could not be filled at the loss of a member of this trio, but that if a mature male had shown himself, it would have been game on. Has anynoe else had an ‘ethical’ moment like this?

      P.S. I did leave with another quiver full of feathers!!

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