Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Get in shape - get the edge

I know that this video is long…in fact it is about five minutes longer than I like to post. The subject matter however is important so if you can – watch and let me know whether or not you agree. I have realized over the last few months that I AM OUT OF SHAPE. This is something that is becoming more apparent as I grow older. It is the culmination of this thought, gentle hints from my wife, and the onset of 2011 that I realize that now is the time I need to do something about it. The benefits of being healthy for anyone is overwhelming, but if you are having difficulty finding motivation and you are an avid outdoorsman, allow me the opportunity to offer a few benefits that may awaken your “motivation cells”:

1. Stamina

2. Mental focus

3. Confidence

These are but a few benefits that we in the field can use to our advantage. Stay tuned for an upcoming challenge for 2011. No entry fees. No prizes. A simple challenge and accountability set-up for those who love the outdoors that are serious about getting healthy and having an edge in 2011.  I am considering using Fridays as the day we focus on health.

It will also be the day that those who are setting their goals can post their successes and/or failures.

 I know that if someone is holding me accountable, I work harder.  Just my thought -- looking forward to hearing yours.

r.b. wright

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to help a friend in need

I am not really sure how this happens every year at this time. I am trying to finish up loose ends at my "real job", find time to get into the woods, and complete my Christmas shopping. Deer season here ends January 1st but my Christmas shopping season ends tomorrow. I began my quest for making certain I had just the right presents for everyone tonight. What in the world was I thinking?!? I live here in Fayetteville, NC - we are home to what will soon be (if it is not already) the largest military installation in the world. Every one and their brother was shopping tonight. I have my three girls and my wife on the list, my father, and my brother-in-law. I ended up somehow at Gander Mountain. I was able to knock out dad and Peter pretty quick. However with daughters who are 6,9,and 10 plus a wife whose idea of loving the outdoors is loving me...Gander Mountain was not going to work. Then something happened that caused me to become completely sidetracked. (dramatic pause) As I sat in the parking lot of Gander Mountain I received a phone call from a buddy of mine who has a problem. Being that this is the season of giving - I realized that I could very well help him with this issue he is dealing with....HOGS....and a lot of them. He has a farm in Johnston County that has seen a tremendous explosion in wild hogs. The animals are a nuisance and will destroy everything in their path. Again, being the kind hearted soul that I am, I agreed to help do what we (I and my entourage) could to help him in his time of need. We have set a date for next Monday - I will post any videos and pictures from this adventure. Now, fear not, my daughters and my darling wife will all be taken care of -- but you cannot blame me for listening to a man in his time of need and offering my services. (this is just the type of guy I am)

On a more serious note; this is still my favorite time of the year no matter how hectic it seems to get. There really is something  special about spending time with family and friends. There is an awesomeness watching your kids get excited over Santa Clause. There are few words that I can find to express that emotion and peace I feel when I climb into a duckblind, deerstand, or just walk through the woods in December. It is one of the few times that the world just seems right.

I love my family. I love the outdoors. The combination of these two give allow me to truly love life. If you are reading this blog then you know of what I speak.

Final thoughts --- Merry Christmas. I hope that you enjoy the time with your family, friends, and time to yourself outdoors. Also - if you find yourself in a situation similar to the one my good friend found himself in - do not hesitate to reach out. I assure you I will do everything I can to help you in your time of need.

Merry Christmas,

r.b wright

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do not overlook small tracts

I was reading an article about the deer population in NC. It stated that there are 45 deer per square mile. The key word in that sentence is SQUARE. Before you react - realize that one square mile is equivalent to 640 acres…this means one deer for 14 acres.Most of us either lease or hunt private land. We do not have the luxury hunting several hundred or thousand acre tracts. It is vital that we do our homework. Remember the figure is based upon the population over the entire region. Like any averages – there are some areas that will have a higher population and some that will have a much lower. Know your area and the herd that you are hunting.

One of the areas that I have hunted for years is a very small 20 acre tract of land in Sampson County. This little area is nestled in the “middle of nowhere” in a highly agriculture area outside of Roseboro near the Sampson/Cumberland County line. This land is the old “home place” for my family. My grandfather lived her for the majority of his life until his passing a few years back. As a kid I would walk through the woods looking for sign of deer. (Truthfully not something I fully understood how to do until much later in life) I was the only one in the family that had the innate desire to hunt. When I was old enough to venture on my own, I built a deer stand just on the inside edge of the woods. I hunted relentlessly for years and harvested one doe from this tract. I grew discouraged from what I perceived to be the lack of success and moved my ventures to “greener pastures”.

A few years passed before I ventured back to the old home place. One evening while walking the edge of the field I began to notice scrapes, rubs, trails, and bedding areas. I grew excited and realized that something had changed and changed drastically. Driving down the road that evening I began to realize that the habitats surrounding this land had changed. There were some new homes, new barns, and pastures in areas that previously had been swamps and fields. The deer had found a sanctuary on our land. I have since harvested several deer on this little tract.

My best friend works for a steel company in Raleigh NC. The is a very small 5 acre tract of woods located behind one of the fabrication shops. After spotting some deer activity in the area, he and his team inquired about hunting the area. Armed with proper permits they have harvested several nice bucks…one of which is pictured above.

I am trying to make a couple of points here:

1. Understand the odds – While you may very hunt a region that is known for its whitetail population there is no guarantee that the small tract you hunt actually holds deer. You may be hunting a “pass through area”.

2. Know your surroundings – The habitat you hunt today can change for the better or for the worse with no notice. Housing developments can move deer into your areas as they did in my situation or natural disasters, loggers, and farmers can cause your herd to adjust. (A farmer switches from soybeans to cotton or tobacco)

I have heard it said that time changes all things. This is true and especially true for those of us who hunt. The habitats that we hunt do morph on a constant basis. This is not always a bad thing. If you are looking for a new place to hunt do not overlook the small tracts but pay attention to the signs and be mindful of the surroundings….you never know – you might find a honey hole.

rb wright

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sometimes we need a good laugh

Now I do not know the true validity of the e-mail below....what I do know is the more I read it - the more I laughed and all of us need a good laugh now and again.

The e-mail reads as follows:

"Subject: Why we shoot deer in the wild
(A letter from someone who wants to remain
Anonymous, who farms, writes well and actually
tried this)

I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in
a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks,
then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure
was getting a deer. I figured that, since they
congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem
to have much fear of me when we are there
(a bold one will sometimes come right up and
sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back
of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be
difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag
over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it
and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then
hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle,
having seen the roping thing before, stayed well
back. They were not having any of it. After
about 20 minutes, my deer showed up-- 3 of them.
I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out
from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope.
The deer just stood there and stared at me. I
wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the
end so I would have a good hold.

The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you
could tell it was mildly concerned about the
whole rope situation. I took a step towards it,
it took a step away. I put a little tension on
the rope .., and then received an education. The
first thing that I learned is that, while a deer
may just stand there looking at you funny while
you rope it, they are spurred to action when you
start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that
pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a
cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight
range I could fight down with a rope and with
some dignity. A deer-- no chance.

That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled.
There was no controlling it and certainly no
getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet
and started dragging me across the ground, it
occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was
not nearly as good an idea as I had originally
imagined. The only upside is that they do not
have as much stamina as many other animals.

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired
and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet
and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me
a few minutes to realize this, since I was
mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the
big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost
my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to
get that devil creature off the end of that

I figured if I just let it go with
the rope hanging around its neck, it would
likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the
time, there was no love at all between me and
that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing,
and I would venture a guess that the feeling was
Despite the gash in my head and the
several large knots where I had cleverly
arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head
against various large rocks as it dragged me
across the ground, I could still think clearly
enough to recognize that there was a small
chance that I shared some tiny amount of
responsibility for the situation we were in. I
didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow
death, so I managed to get it lined back up in
between my truck and the feeder - a little trap
I had set before hand...kind of like a squeeze
chute. I got it to back in there and I started
moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite?

They do! I never in a million years
would have thought that a deer would bite
somebody, so I was very surprised when ... I
reached up there to grab that rope and the deer
grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites
you, it is not like being bit by a horse where
they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites
you and shakes its head--almost like a pit bull.
They bite HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to
freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming
and shaking instead. My method was ineffective.

It seems like the deer was biting and
shaking for several minutes, but it was likely
only several seconds. I, being smarter than a
deer (though you may be questioning that claim
by now), tricked it. While I kept it busy
tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I
reached up with my left hand and pulled that
rope loose.

That was when I got my final
lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front
feet. They rear right up on their back feet and
strike right about head and shoulder level, and
their hooves are surprisingly sharp.. I learned
a long time ago that, when an animal --like a
horse --strikes at you with their hooves and you
can't get away easily, the best thing to do is
try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive
move towards the animal. This will usually cause
them to back down a bit so you can escape.

This was not a horse. This was a deer,
so obviously, such trickery would not work. In
the course of a millisecond, I devised a
different strategy. I screamed like a woman and
tried to turn and run. The reason I had always
been told NOT to try to turn and run from a
horse that paws at you is that there is a good
chance that it will hit you in the back of the
head. Deer may not be so different from horses
after all, besides being twice as strong and 3
times as evil, because the second I turned to
run, it hit me right in the back of the head and
knocked me down.

Now, when a deer paws
at you and knocks you down, it does not
Immediately leave. I suspect it does not
recognize that the danger has passed. What they
do instead is paw your back and jump up and down
on you while you are laying there crying like a
little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the
deer went away. So now I know why when people go
deer hunting they bring a rifle with a
scope......to sort
of even the odds!!

All these events are true so help me God... An
Educated Farmer."

I Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I appreciate the pictures that you have been sending. I talked with a friend of mine who just returned from Alberta where he and his brother harvested two nice deer in the 160 class. I am also reviewing/editing some footage form a fantastic red fish and trout bite that is going on here in NC. I will be posting these in the very near future.

Stay safe and do not forget to laugh.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Congratulations to an old friend

Many times you will see hunters posting pictures of deer they have killed and bragging about what a mighty hunter they are...not here. Those of you that know me understand that I spend the majority of my professional life educating clients. I found during these experiences that the greatest classes are the ones when I learn from those attending. I do consider myself an avid outdoorsman and quite versed in the arena of hunting and fishing, especially in southeastern NC, however I am also learning from those who I hunt and fish with. Chris Baynes in no exception to this. A real estate agent by trade, Chris is one of the nicest, knowledge, and most professional people you will meet. He is also one of the best deer hunters I know. I have had the opportunity to work side by side with Chris and hunt with him a few times over the years. I have always walked away from each experience better for it. In fact, I killed my first ten point buck hunting with Chris, an experience that I will never forget. Chris and I communicate these days primarily through e-mail/telephone and we often talk of hunting together again soon. Chris and I were talking last week and he sent me a picture of 13 point buck he harvested. This is a beautiful deer and unfortunately the pictures do not do it justice. He told me that when he first saw the deer, it was behind some bushes so he could not see the full rack and did not think it was a shooter. However, when he emerged, Chris realized this was the deer he had been hunting all season.
Chris and I have learned a lot from each other over the years. The greatest lesson I learned from him though can be applied to both hunting and life...which by the way, most things about hunting can be applied to everyday life. The lesson, in my words, is simply what we do today will produce tomorrow's results. Whether you are prospecting for sales leads or working 9 months out of the year on food plots, scouting, and deer stands - there must be work before there can be results.
So I say to my good friend Chris -- Congratulations on a well deserved trophy. By the way....Chris - my schedule is open the last week of this year. I would love to go harvest one of your deer. :)
Happy hunting friends and e-mail pictures of your deer. I would love to post them.
r.b. wright