Tag Archives: deer

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

Wordless Wednesday: This Year’s Buck

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Wordless Wednesday: The Survivor

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Wordless Wednesday: Jack the Mighty Hunter and Protector of Gardens

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Earth Day 2012

For most farmers and ranchers, everyday is Earth Day. Talk to any farmer or rancher, they are always worried about the environment, it’s “too hot, too dry, too wet, too much sun, not enough sun, too much wind, too many weeds,” I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. However, there is an actual Earth Day, that people not in agriculture, celebrate and acknowledge. I wanted to participate in Earth Day too, but I had choose between staying here on the Ranch, or going to watch my Boyfriend play in the Chico News & Review Cammies.

My little garden with the fake fence that the deer laugh at.

Since I’ve been so critical of the CN&R’s ag reporting, I thought it best to practice what I preach and use the ag degree and basic knowledge of plant science I have acquired to lessen my carbon footprint and to celebrate Earth Day by planting some food. I know the Cammies would have been an awesome time, but since I am a rancher, and the environment is life to me, I felt that planting my garden was a better use of my rare day off. Even though all local music is important to me, and I am trying to lead by example, I’m sure the CN&R will forgive me for living the dream.

Every year, in the spring, without fail, I get spring fever. I break the old VISA out, head to Home Depot, and spend enough money to ensure I’ll stay at my in-town job for another year. About mid-June, right about when everything is ready to harvest, the bane of my existence, rats with horns, (the deer) break into whatever ugly, booby-trapped, excuse for a fenced in garden I have, and eat all things. Then they poop on the bare earth and run away into the night, gleefully laughing and burping cucumber burps.

I planted 2 different types of radishes. They both have the same amount of days until harvest, so it will be a surprise every time I harvest!

I swear, I’m never, ever, ever going to plant another thing until I have a proper fenced in garden, or greenhouse, or move to town where people don’t have to deal with the damned deer. Every year, about mid-April, the cycle starts again. Sigh.

Hundreds dollars and three years later, I’m getting a whisper better at the deer control. As you recall last year, I went a little crazy buying dwarf citrus trees and planting them in up-cycled cattle supplement tubs. My logic behind the tree planting was the deer wouldn’t eat them! The deer ate them. Several rolls of wire and tree cages later, the deer can’t eat the trees and they just happen to form a convenient fence that does a decent job of keeping the deer out. I’ve also added a wire fence around my raised bed, making it even harder for those damned deer to get in, and next weekend, it’s getting a lid!

I love supplement tubs! They make the perfect radish bed.

Now my grand plan is to continue planting trees as the cattle continue to eat their supplements. In another year or two I should have enough containers to plant a tree fence all the way around my yarden. Until that time, I am continuing with the ugly, booby-trapped ultimate-fail, garden.

So be ready for a blog I will write in a couple of months where I swear I’m going to get tags and have garden-finished venison for dinner.

My poor citrus tree fence. The trees are slowly recovering from the vicious deer attacks of last summer.

As a reminder, gardening is hard work. I’m hot, sweaty, sun burned, cranky, and I have a blister. Remember that when you feel guilt about not having a garden! There is a reason why people stopped doing it. Incidentally, if you chop jalapeno peppers the night before, and wear your garden gloves the next day, the sweat from your hands will activate the pepper burn from the night before. And there is nothing you can do about that once it happens (protip: wear gloves when you cut hot peppers! For the love of God).

But on the flip side, gardening is fun! I burned so many calories, I can have a milkshake later if I want to, I’m going to have really yummy veggie’s later this summer (or rather the deer will), and this is an excellent reminder to myself that not everyone wants to or can garden and it is really incredible that we have that choice.

The Boyfriend's "new" saddle.

Ok, off my choice soapbox, and back to Earth Day. Like I mentioned above, in honor of Earth Day, I finished my garden (I mean, is a garden really ever finished?), and my boyfriend and I oiled saddles (that way we can use horses to check cows and not ATV’s).

Isn't this a neat old saddle? Look at the brass horn.

One cool method of gardening I would like to share with you is growing potatoes vertically instead of in a plot. Since I only have a small raised bed in my yarden, I try to maximize my growing space by using  a lot of containers. Also anytime I can add to my deer fence, I’m game. You can google this method and find some really great tutorials. I’m going to give you the quick and dirty cheat-sheet here.

Potatoes growing up!

I made a cage of  up-cycled wire and cultivated the earth inside of it, placing the sprouted Yukon Gold potatoes in a circle in the cage. I covered them in soil and when they sprouted, I lined the sides of cage with paper, and I added mulch to cover the vines.

The vine covered in mulch.

I will continue to do this, letting the vine grow, building the cage with paper and covering in mulch, until I reach the top of my cage. When that happens, expect another blog about how to harvest them and some yummy recipes. Happy Earth Day!

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Wordless Wednesday: Does Using the Same Tractors Your Great Grandpa Did Make You More or Less Sustainable?

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This is a Farmall C. The original color was white. The story behind this tractor is neat, the company only made a few. They GAVE them to farmers in the Sacramento Valley to try out. The farmers in the valley didn’t like the WHITE tractors. Of course, my family, being the “interesting” one it is, bought one. My great grandpa, Sam F. Brown, is actually the one who purchased and used it first. This was in the early 1940’s. It was used for mowing hay, at one time it had a belly mower.

My Dad recently had it fixed up and re-painted. We still used it to make meadow hay on the summer ranch. And the deer love to sleep next to it.

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This is me! At 16. You can’t tell but I have a cast on my leg because I had ligament surgery. This is a different tractor. I’m working on getting it’s story. When I do I’ll update this, obviously.

What do you think? Is using the same equipment as my great grandpa more or less sustainable than having new equipment?

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