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    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Temps got up into the mid-20’s today, and I was itching to get out after a fresh snowfall, whack some stumps, look for hares and see what tracks were to be found in the fresh powder…

      Hiking up the hill behind the house:

      And old scrape:

      The first unsuspecting victim:

      Found hare tracks, but no sign of their maker:

      And then I cut some fresh wolf tracks. It was doing the same thing I was – following a hare:

      A stark reminder that winter is serious business for the critters that live up here (or don’t):

      And then it was time to make some tracks of my own…

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Always a pleasure to see your walks in pictures and words. Thanks for posting. We had a warm up here, got up in high 30s. Had to do some work and some shoveling, so it’s nice to see somebody got out! Dwc

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      Yes, great stuff! and Great Shooting! But what is the last set of tracks? Looks like something draggin tail.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Tired rover?

    • David Becker
      Member
      Post count: 112

      Steve Graf wrote: Yes, great stuff! and Great Shooting! But what is the last set of tracks? Looks like something draggin tail.

      I’m going to guess weasel. It’s hard to tell without a size reference.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Wose wrote:

      I’m going to guess weasel. It’s hard to tell without a size reference.

      Yup – that’s my guess as well. They were the right size for a weasel.

      Saw tons of fox tracks as well, but didn’t get a good pic of them. I love heading out after a fresh snowfall and seeing the evidence of everything that’s been moving around.

    • David Becker
      Member
      Post count: 112

      Smithhammer wrote: [quote=Wose]

      I’m going to guess weasel. It’s hard to tell without a size reference.

      Yup – that’s my guess as well. They were the right size for a weasel.

      Saw tons of fox tracks as well, but didn’t get a good pic of them. I love heading out after a fresh snowfall and seeing the evidence of everything that’s been moving around.

      We don’t get snow here all that often, but when we do, I love to go outside and track. I find all sorts of sign even when it isn’t snowing, but it’s after a snowfall that I realize how much wildlife traffic my land sees.

      This winter I tracked a mouse right into a hole in the foundation of the house I didn’t even know was there. I sprayfoamed that as soon as it warmed up!

      Great pictures. I enjoyed that.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Never get sick if your pics. A toast to your post!

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thanks, folks – it was a fine little escape and good for the soul!

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Our mouse is named Fred.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      Our possum is named bob.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Great post!

    • Stephen Smiley
      Post count: 46

      Thanks for the great pictures. What a feeling it must be to walk out your back door into such a beautiful place. The snow is still too deep to stump here but it wont be long!

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Great Photos !!!

      Sorry but I don’t think it’s a weasel ?

      Some type of rodent ?

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      My racoon’s name is “That SOB”.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      We have a red squirrel the kids named Professor Lemons. Think this thread’s been partially hi-jacked!

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      dwcphoto wrote: Think this thread’s been partially hi-jacked!

      I would expect nothing less.

      This is hilarious…

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Never did name the skunk family… unless skunk family is a name. After all there were 4 of them under the barn, Three left, and the fourth dropped by every night to check under the bird feeders, ans say hello as we sat by the campfire. We know one ended up on Route 9. “Didn’t see the station wagon car…”

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      In what is probably vain attempt to get this back on track….:D

      Yesterday’s rove – another attempt to find snowshoe hares, look for sheds and take advantage of low snow levels to get into an area that normally wouldn’t be easy at this time of year…

      It always begins with a climb:

      As we hit deeper snow, we started seeing lots of hare sign, some old, some fairly fresh:

      There was an area we’d been curious about – it seemed like a good wintering spot for resident elk, secluded and normally difficult to access this time of year. But other than a few recent tracks, we saw little sign that the herd had been hanging out here:

      After more searching for hares, it was time to do some stumping on our way back out:

      Whoops.

      To another fine rove in the backyard!

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      A valiant attempt Smithhammer! But did you name that hare?

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Seriously, great photos and excellent shots! Is that split carbon? I used to get tbose with aluminum, now with carbons on e in a while I’ll get a snap off about 4 inched back. Dc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Yeah, those were some GT Trad blems I picked up a while back just for whipping up a batch of flu flus. Honestly, I think ‘camo’ shafts are pretty silly, but they were so cheap I couldn’t pass them up. Normally I use carbon collars on my stumping arrows – they’ve paid for themselves many times over. But I left them off this batch, and there’s the result, when you connect with a frozen log…:roll:

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      The right price = the right color! I put the aluminum collars on my stumpers. They definitely are work the small price and little bit of effort. I use a little hot glue to keep them on tight and they come off easy to reuse when the bell tolls for a stumper. dc

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Great pics Bruce! I actually got to do the same thing twice this week. North GA got a few inches and i went out to stump and follow some tracks. I did lose one arrow completely in the snow. It just disappeared on me.

      Do you always use hammer blunts and are they better than a judo? I always have but snow is quite the rarity for me.

    • blacktail
      Member
      Post count: 49

      hello smithhammer,thanks for sharing pics of the country you live in..they are wonderful..i do have a question..i seen in the pics you use a leather side quiver..what kind is it..thanks john

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Etter1 wrote:

      Do you always use hammer blunts and are they better than a judo? I always have but snow is quite the rarity for me.

      Hey Sean – yeah, I usually use the VPA “Thumpers” for stumping. I like them better than Judos because they are available in a lot of weight options above 125gr, so I can match them exactly to my broadhead weights. I also find that they don’t deflect as easily as Judos if they happen to catch a stray twig, etc.

      blacktail wrote: hello smithhammer,thanks for sharing pics of the country you live in..they are wonderful..i do have a question..i seen in the pics you use a leather side quiver..what kind is it..thanks john

      Thanks, John. That quiver is made my Big Jim, and I’ve been very happy with it – well made and good leather. Great for stumping and small game hunting. You can find it here:

      http://www.shop.bigjimsbowcompany.com/Quivers_c4.htm

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I’m fortunate that I can use a heavy adapter to get my judos up to the 300 gr of my broadheads. I tried the hammer blunts a few years ago and I think they’d be great for small game. I did not care for them for stumping as I think they just stop so suddenly that the energy comes back into the arrow. The judos sink in or penetrate in a way that seems a little gentler on the arrow. I might have been using aluminum shafts at the time and it was winter, but I destroyed two shafts the first time out with them. Good point on the deflection, though. The hammers were stopped pretty much all the time even in a shot where a judo might glance and the judos will skip off sometimes. Dc

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      dwcphoto wrote: I’m fortunate that I can use a heavy adapter to get my judos up to the 300 gr of my broadheads. I tried the hammer blunts a few years ago and I think they’d be great for small game. I did not care for them for stumping as I think they just stop so suddenly that the energy comes back into the arrow. The judos sink in or penetrate in a way that seems a little gentler on the arrow. I might have been using aluminum shafts at the time and it was winter, but I destroyed two shafts the first time out with them. Good point on the deflection, though. The hammers were stopped pretty much all the time even in a shot where a judo might glance and the judos will skip off sometimes. Dc

      I think the blunts would be good for smaller birds but for squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, etc etc, I think you have to go with broad heads. I have hit a pile of squirrels with them only to have them limp away or make it up a tree.

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      The hammer needs more snow. Went roving in snowshoes, but nobody would go with me to take pics.

      Always surprises me when an arrow goes into a snowbank, without a trace. You would think it would leave a hole, and you could just dig it out but Nooooooooo. Of course with a wimpy little snow cover….

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Got out for a short snowshoe this afternoon. Heavy crust, punching through into knee deep snow. Lots of deer sign in my “neighborhood,” including a couple of deer. Did some stumping for the first time in a couple of weeks and actually shot fairly well. I had one shot when I pulled back I felt my ring finger out of place on the string. I thought, I’ll just work through this. Man, that one went all wrong! At least with the crust on the snow, the arrow was easy to find.

      A short walk, but a good one.

      attached fileattached fileattached file
    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      It’s easy to tell the bucks from the doe’s in the snow ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Great pictures, thank you! Still too much snow on the ground here to venture in the woods, but after this 50 degrees week, the snow should be mostly gone.

      I can only get judos up to 260gr with my 125gr adapters and I usually roll 40gr of 1/2″ duct tape around the shaft behind the judo to get to 300.:?

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Alex, In my current set-up, I’m using 50 gr inserts for my Tuffheads, with 75 grain adapters. For the stumpers, I set up 100 gr. inserts and 125 gr adapters. I like the duct tape idea. Easy, removable. dwc

      Steve, what am I missing?? I’ve seen guys say this is a buck and this is a doe, but could never see the difference. Actually, I think there’s a joke in there I’m missing, too…

      dwc

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      dwcphoto wrote: …Steve, what am I missing?? I’ve seen guys say this is a buck and this is a doe, but could never see the difference. Actually, I think there’s a joke in there I’m missing, too…

      dwc

      Joke it was… Just observing that when a doe pees, it sprays. When a buck pees, it drills down straight to the ground ๐Ÿ™„

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I figured it was a joke, but still I learn something! best,dwc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      David – what bow is that in your pics? A Shrew?

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Steve Graf wrote: [quote=dwcphoto]…Steve, what am I missing?? I’ve seen guys say this is a buck and this is a doe, but could never see the difference. Actually, I think there’s a joke in there I’m missing, too…

      dwc

      Joke it was… Just observing that when a doe pees, it sprays. When a buck pees, it drills down straight to the ground ๐Ÿ™„

      OH!

      I was gonna go looking for drag marks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Smith,

      That’s a Slammer Special, RD longbow, 46# @28, 62″ by Leon Stewart. I also have a Browning Wasp, 45#, 56″, about a 1974 vintage. Leon’s work is really nice. I didn’t have any experience, really, to draw on when I got this bow, but I love it. He’s got a great reputation out this way. He’s a great guy, too. He’s been very helpful over the years with little tips that made a big difference. best, dwc

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Smith, that wool plaid looks familiar8)

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Steve Graf wrote: [quote=dwcphoto]…Steve, what am I missing?? I’ve seen guys say this is a buck and this is a doe, but could never see the difference. Actually, I think there’s a joke in there I’m missing, too…

      dwc

      Joke it was… Just observing that when a doe pees, it sprays. When a buck pees, it drills down straight to the ground ๐Ÿ™„

      Intermittent connections but on tonight to catch up and couldn’t let this one pass without some comment.

      Actually sex differences in tracks is usually established by a few methods–straddle width, impression depth of front tracks when antlers are on, and what I call gisas, general impression, size, and shape–kinda of the same thing you use to ID birds in flight or bad guy airplanes or tanks.

      Straddle width involves using a tracking stick to measure and after years of observation determining in your area what it is for does and bucks–does will be wider due to the pelvic girdle. As some of you will understand this type of knowledge requires observing the animal first then moving in for measurements. I’m sure Clay can add some more details but Dave it ain’t a joke–not only can you assign sex to a track an experienced tracker can tell you what the deer was thinking and when and where it turned it’s head and when it knew you where looking at it.

      Fun stuff and best idea you can think of to spend more time out there.

      Traveling and tired

      Mike

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      wojo14 wrote: Smith, that wool plaid looks familiar8)

      It’s serving me well – thanks!

      Steve and Mike – the direction this thread is taking is one I couldn’t possibly have predicted when I started it, but I’m so glad it has. Information like this only spurs so many other questions, and just makes me want to head back into the hills at the next opportunity. What a knowledgeable, high quality gang of folks we have here.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      A few more pics from yesterday’s rove. After listening to the wolf carry on for a while, and watching the moose hightail it out of there (I’m always amazed at how they can cover ground when they want to), I decided to sit in that spot for a little while, just to see what might happen next. Sure enough, a few minutes later a half a dozen mulies ran past (you can see several of them under the big tree):

      Elk had moved through there not too long ago as well:

      Once the wildlife parade quieted down, I spent some more time bonding with the Primal Styk, whacking stumps and every other little target I could find. Though it initially required me to adjust some things about my form, I have to say that this is the most ‘intuitive’ style of bow I have ever shot. I know that probably sounds oxymoronic, but oh well – I can’t claim to always make sense to anyone other than myself…

      Just a pic of my favorite hat, some sage brush and an old fence line…

      And, as you can see in the above pic, the snow at lower elevations (7000′ ft.) is already largely gone. Crazy for us in mid-March. Upper-50’s and rain forecast for this weekend…:?

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Flat out beautiful. Talk about a variety of wildlife. Here, it’s pretty much whitetails and squirrels. There are some rabbits and grouse, but you have to look hard for a place to find them. Very nice, Smithhammer. Dwc

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      That country has really handy hat posts too.

      Nice pics Bruce.

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      When Audrey saw the hat pic, she jumped up and shouted “HE’S GOT YOUR HAT!!!”

      “No, sweetheart, he’s in Idaho, my hat is right here.”

      35 DEGREES:

      Rove today with snowshoes. Walked the oak ridges, and saw no tracks, just a few places where squirrels dug something up. Was carrying the snowshoes on the ridges. Found old tracks and beds in the hemlock thickets, but no new tracks (not the same place as last week). Needed the snow shoes in the thickets, not enough crust in the thickets, and deeper snow. Around mid afternoon, I stopped to take off a layer of fleece. As I was SWEATING. Standing there to rest and cool off, with my coat unzipped. I thought about 35*. Seemed pretty warm at the time, as it was 35* above zero. Seems hot now, but I could remember how I sat shivering at 35* last fall sitting in a stand waiting for deer to show up, and I had more fleece, and I was zipped right up tp my mustache. Of course, last fall it wasn’t 35* above zero, it was 35* below 70*.

      Bucks dribble after they pee, and make rubs, and scrapes. Does make a neat little hole, and use toilet paper.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Fair to say this will likely be my last contribution to the Winter Rove thread, as the snow is melting quickly these days, replaced by mud. But I managed to get out today for a little hike today:

      Taking a break and glassing. Saw a fair number of mule deer – it’s great how much they’ve rebounded in our area in the last few years.

      Wolves also continue to be active in the area:

      And of course, there was a fair bit of this on the hike out:

      GBP:

      I was followed for quite a ways down the trail and serenaded by a gang of mountain chickadees, with their characteristic “cheeeeeese-burger” call, reminded me it was time for lunch. Or at least that what I heard them saying…

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      The more things change, the more they stay the same… Fond farewell to the winter rove, happy hello to the springtime rove ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thanks for taking us along!

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      SH,

      Thanks for sharing all the beautiful scenery with us this winter!! I also quite enjoyed another classic GBP. Always such nice looking bows. I am looking forward to your spring outings.

      Brennan

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      First day of Spring and we’ve got about 4 inches of heavy wet snow and expecting four more hours of it. I love it.

      Grumpy, I enjoy your interpretation of temperature. That answers some questions for me.

      Smithhammer, nice photos. How’d you get the wolves to crap finger tabs?

      Mud season up next. Dwc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      dwcphoto wrote:

      ….How’d you get the wolves to crap finger tabs?

      I’ve got ’em eating out of the palm of my hand?

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I like it. dwc

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