Tag Archives: cold

Deer Hunting 2013

As most of you know I drew a deer tag this year. It’s been a long time since I have had the urge to hunt, around 6 years. After years and years of having the local dear population gorge themselves on my garden, I’ve had enough. I figured, it’s time they fed me for a change!

For the record hunting isn’t a huge passion of mine. It’s generally early, cold, I have to pee outside and there is no where to wash my hands, a little too much like camping. This year was different, I had a really, really good time. It was cold and stuff, but it was worth it!

I wanted to share some pictures from the few days I spent hunting. When I thought about it, many people in the general population never gets to see this. So, I’m sharing.

Opening day it raining, it was freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

Opening day and it’s raining, I’m freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It's his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It’s his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently "we were talking too much".

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently “we were talking too much”. Also: notice the RAIN?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe's and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe’s and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The second day I went was just my Dad and I. My Dad and I haven’t had a Daddy/Daughter hunt in years. I think I can only remember once, actually. So it was a lot of fun, to spend a day together on the ranch. Now this particular ranch I don’t know that well. I didn’t grow up on it, I didn’t spend much time on it because of my Dad’s insane interesting family. Things have calmed down so I now feel safe to be there. The day quickly turned into sight seeing and story telling, as we realized the deer population was just not there. My Dad mentioned several times to “put that in the blog”, referring to some picture or story.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it's in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him - my dad's shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher is wasn't just about being physical, it was about "getting along with your fellow man". The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad's infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it’s in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him – my Dad’s shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher said it wasn’t just about being physical, it was about “getting along with your fellow man”. The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad’s infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

It's like a cairn, but natural! Isn't it neat!?

It’s like a cairn, but natural! Isn’t it neat!?

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It's Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It’s Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it's a little tunnel for a creek!

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it’s a little tunnel for a creek!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

A super neat tree. My Dad happens to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

A super neat tree. My Dad happened to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe's, see?

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe’s, see?

This is a spring where the Native American's carved  a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

This is a spring where the Native American’s carved a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

Finally at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning (the THIRD morning), I spotted a little buck, and by 7:01, I had shot him through the chest. My Dad and Uncle said I almost missed. I say I planned it like that so I wouldn’t waste any meat because I never would have heard the end of it. I maintain that a childhood filled with duck hunter on Nintendo prepared me to be a very, very good shot. Plus part of hunting is stick poking. If you screw up, or miss you hear about it FOR YEARS. I make an effort to screw up as little as possible.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supply me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures share.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supplying me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures to share.

I’m going to up to cut and wrap by buck tomorrow. I plan on showing that and the field dressing of my buck in the next blog. Stayed tuned and leave me questions if there is anything you want to know. Thank you for looking!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, family, Field Trip, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

You Can Make Salt?

I apologize. I meant to write this back in December. Obviously, it didn’t happen, but hey, better late than never right?

As you recall I went down to the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco right before Christmas. I had two reasons for that, the Fair (to buy crafty stuff I couldn’t make) and I needed ocean water to make sea salt for gifts.

I had read somewhere that is it was fairly easy and free to make your own sea salt. Since I am a foodie, I have like 6 different kinds of salt in my kitchen already; this project was right up my alley. I started buying gallons of water so I had clean bottles to bring my salt water back in, this worked great!

On our way back from San Francisco we took the long way home. We went over the Golden Gate, and went to Muir Beach to procure my seawater. This is where I realized I was not as organized as I thought. I didn’t think that I would literally have to wade into the ocean to get water, I forgot about a little thing called waves.

See? Trying not to get wet as I make a new animal friend. This did not work.

See? Trying not to get wet as I make a new animal friend. This did not work.

I couldn't get salt water in my boots and skinny jeans, so off with my shoes and socks!

I couldn’t get salt water in my boots and skinny jeans, so off with my shoes and socks!

The downside to skinny jeans is they are skinny and won’t roll up. Since I wasn’t smart enough to realize the ocean has waves and I should have brought shorts or a change of clothes, I had to flat out commit to get my salt water. It was cold.

When I get an idea in my head I am like a dog with a bone. Come hell or high-water, I finish what I start.

When I get an idea in my head I am like a dog with a bone. Come hell or high-water, I finish what I start.

Did I mention it was cold? And I pretty much was in the ocean from my waste down? COLD.

Did I mention it was cold? And I pretty much was in the ocean from my waste down? COLD.

We met kayakers that were crabbing (I totally want to do that!) and I met more animal friends.

We met kayakers that were crabbing (I totally want to do that!) and I met more animal friends.

After I got the salt water, it was still a four hour drive home. Plus I always have to stop at Whole Foods to look at meat and buy Lucero olive oil (even in wet pants). Let me tell you what, those 4 hours in wet jeans were not fun, but I learned my lesson and next time will bring a change of clothes.

I ended up with 6 gallons of seawater. I was very proud of those 6 gallons.

I ended up with 6 gallons of seawater. I was very proud of those 6 gallons.

I recommend straining your seawater through several layers of fine weave cheese cloth. Get all the sand and floaty things out.

I recommend straining your seawater through several layers of fine weave cheese cloth. Get all the sand and floaty things out.

I went to the second hand store and bought a big pan I wouldn’t feel bad about ruining. Since I had a woodstove, my plan was to place the seawater pan on my woodstove until it was all evaporated. It worked really well. But the 6 gallons of seawater took a lot longer to evaporate than I planned. My salt was not ready in time for Christmas.

My woodstove evaporation method.

My woodstove evaporation method.

The woodstove evaporation method was messy. I had to re-blacken my stove after doing it.

The woodstove evaporation method was messy. I had to re-blacken my stove after doing it.

It took almost a week to evaporate all 6 gallons. The really upsetting part was, it looked like this project was a complete fail until I started on the 4th gallon. I didn’t see any salt crystals forming. It just looks like murky gross water. I was sure that I had screwed up simple salt making and felt like a prize idiot!

Finally I noticed salt crystals forming. As I saw them I gently used a slotted spoon to remove them from the seawater and place in paper towel lined bowl to dry further. I kept doing this until just a small amount of water and salt were left. I was told not to use the very last salt and water because that is where all the impurities would be and since I love my friends, I didn’t want them getting anything but perfection.

SO much salt. It made more than I imagined.

SO much salt. It made more than I imagined.

The 6 gallons of seawater made several cups of salt. This bowl is what I had leftover after giving out late Christmas gifts.

The 6 gallons of seawater made several cups of salt. This bowl is what I had leftover after giving out late Christmas gifts.

This was a fun and cheap project! The salt, which I call Muir Salt, is quite tasty. I have enough Muir Salt leftover to make truffle salt for late Christmas gifts (what I’m only 3 months late!).

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, Field Trip, food, Humor, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized