07 October 2012

From Frost to Fire...

When I left Saturday morning we had a heavy frost on, snow was swirling and that wicked north wind was still coming strong as ever. The plan was to still hunt till around noon, set a camp have some lunch and piddle with the new Adventure Sworn. This was our fourth frost this year and by far the heaviest.

Ace was not happy even a little bit when I told him he had to stay home today. I swear this dog has an intelligence beyond the normal canine reach, he gave me this look like 'fine, but I'm killin everything I see for the rest of the day'.



























The snow stopped after a while though, and the sun began what was to become a day long game of peekaboo, blasting bright on occasion to hiding in heavy clouds for an hour or more at a time.

















Moving deeper into the lowlands.









All day long I was crossing wolf sign. I passed eleven cross trail markers, they drop scat often where one path crosses another within their territory. All of them full of deer hair and bone, looks like I'm not the only predator taking deer this year. I sometime wonder if they spend as much time monitoring my activity as I do theirs. On two different occasions today I crossed dry ground with a marking bush where they'd sprayed. Because the ground was dry save for that I know I they had been there not long before I found the sign. I won't bore you with multiple pictures of wolf scat.

I believe I crossed a bear as well, as I got deeper into the sphagnum and tamarack country. On one of the trails I found a destroyed beehive, all that remained were these, this is one set but there must have been four or five different groupings like this spread out for about a 15 yard radius.



Early in the afternoon I dropped my pack and gear and started working on a fire and camp.



Fire prep done which consisted of cedar bark and birch bark, then using my new AS with a fire steel I was two strokes to flame. Here only one out of seven trees is hardwood, four out of seven are birch, the rest are soft wood pines and poplars and so on. As much as I like reading and viewing the 'Hardwoodsman' threads the reality here in the north woods is God gave us birch trees to fight the cold north winds. I'm much obliged.







Once I had a fire going I started on shelter. A simple set up consisting of two MEST tarps and a casualty blanket. It is effective and it is easy to set up, I like the tarps quite a bit and I'm always using them. Best purchases of 2010/11 by far, as I've not used any other piece of gear as much or with as much enjoyment as these tarps.







The grouse I killed the other day with my bow would become lunch, along with some Highland Grog coffee.



The grouse bread was split and then I put a forked stick into it, wedge it into the ground at an angle over the fire. The occasionally turned the stick so all sides got cooked properly.

I wish I knew how many times I've used this halulite kettle over the past couple years. Another favorite piece of gear.













Once cooked I leave the stick in the ground, then using a knife just carve off what I want. I'm sure there's a name for eating bird on a stick but I can't think of it, but it does work rather well.



I'm smitten with this new knife, not that I didn't like the other one, I did. It did everything I asked of it and I am sure I'll still use it, ultimately they'll both be left to my boys someday.

I do like this full convex grind in this one though, it did slice better in my opinion. The knife is simply gorgeous to look at and is every bit a user through and through. The leather work on the sheath is top shelf work, superb execution.



















Thoroughly pleased with this knife.

At the end of this great day I was treated to one of the most brilliant sunsets that I've seen, just an explosion of color that really set the sky on fire. It was a startling contrast to the frost and snow of morning.




23 comments:

  1. Stellar yarn as always my friend. I couldn't help but chuckle at the look of utter disgust and contempt on Ace's face.

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  2. Great stuff all together!
    Seems like winter is heading your way fast!

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    1. Almost too fast, I love winter but I hate to see fall go so fast!

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    2. I have been meaning to ask, but how's the dog doing? Is he getting used to his new home, surroundings and climate?
      I don't know for sure, but I think you can use those beehiveremnants. If you heat them and filter the liquid, you should have some clean wax, right?

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    3. Like he's lived here his whole life. Runs around as if he owns the place! He has squared out his territory and stays within my borders, hasn't ran off. Him and my old bird dog have decided to just stay out of each others way, pecking order never did get settled, they just tolerate each other. Ace and my German Shepherd get along just fine but she's easy going anyway.

      He howls when the wolves do and that concerns me some, though I guess it'll be okay. I don't need them running any closer to us than they already do.

      Never tried that with the hive remnants, I'll give that a shot.

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  3. Great trip and meal. Those are therapeutic moments in life. That sunset is stunning. Love the colors.

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  4. love the photos, you really capture the mood and feeling of being out there!

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  5. All right, this about the time of year I start to envy you. Look at that beautiful place you live! Hang on while I stamp down my jealousy :)
    And by the way, a grouse on the fly with a longbow? That's quite a shot. I wish we weren't across the country. I have a feeling an afternoon, or several, spent in the woods with you would be a learning experience for sure.
    Enjoyed your photos as always.

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  6. Man, your pictures always come out so nice! Really. Such depth, clarity, color etc. I have to figure out what I'm doing wrong (maybe using a cheap camera with the "auto" function ;) ).

    Your frosty pictures make me look forward to winter! :)

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    1. Thanks Matt. I use auto most of the time too, occasionally the macro setting. It's more the camera than me I think.

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  7. Great stuff as always! Love that dog.

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  8. Just found your blog and love your pictures. I'm a Northern Minnesotan, too. We had an inch of snow this morning, but it melted by mid afternoon. Good luck bow hunting, if you need any deer let me know.

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  9. Cool day and pics! Regarding the halulite kettle?? How much does it weigh? do they still make them??


    Greg

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    1. The kettle weighs 5.8 ounces, and they still make them. Currently they are available on Amazon for under $17, free shipping if a Prime member.

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  10. What would i give to get a dog like your Ace is,right now, man.

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  11. I love this post, the fantastic pictures and the way you explained every detail of your trip. Poor Ace...do you usually take him with you ? The roasted grouse looks absolutely délicieux. I have heard of Northern Minnesota but never really seen many pictures of this area, truly magnificent. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you. Ace usually goes, only when I am hunting do I make him stay home. He is very obedient about it, even if he doesn't like it much.

      Thank you again!

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