Thursday, November 24, 2011

Changes

I have an big announcement for this part of my vast multimedia  and interweb enterprise. I have my own domain now and soon this site will be completely moved to the new location. It is up and running now but only about 80% complete, it still needs a few tweaks. I am hoping that everyone that has followed me here will head over to the new site and save it for when the move is final.

Here is the new URL Following Ghost which has moved to WordPress so that I can do more to bring you stories of my version of the great outdoors. You might want to take a look at my youTube channel at Following Ghost

Thanks to every one of you this site has been more of a success than I had ever hoped for and I hope you continue through this move since it will make it better in the very near future.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week Eight

Gage (6 years old) with his first deer. A 5 pt he said.


Week eight for me was slow. I had to work and then rain moved in so afternoon hunts were out. Saturday rolled around and I had a class to teach, I thought it was at 9 a.m. so didn’t go to the woods, it turned out it was at 12:30 instead. Sunday morning it was 60 degrees, cloudy with no wind so I headed over to a spot that has only been hunted 4 times all season. I sat in the stand till 10 when rain moved in and forced me out without seeing anything other than an amazingly fat fox squirrel and his buddies eating bowdock seeds. Nothing to add to the list for me but others had a great week which is a good thing since my part is short so here we go.

@Team_QT got a spike. @KimmieDG got a doe. @GoosedownGC got a meat deer. @ KillinitOutdoor scored a good deer. @Deaddogwalkin took a yote. @AnterlerAddiction took a whooper. @BigBuckPW got it done last day on an out of state hunt. @bulletnbiscuit got a buck. @epcave71 sent a pic of Ashlyn with a her buck. @feistylilfckr got her first deer a blacktail buck. @firstlightgear took a stud. @huntscience sent pics of his cousin and Dad with bucks. @ILCornfed took a great buck. @mepoohe husband got a buck Saturday but no pic. @Jeremy_Juhasz Dad too a buck. @Lukekujacznski with got a good buck. Madison @ILCornfed daughter got her first buck. @rhbowhunter scored again, I thin I hate him now J. @turkeytalkr69 got himself a buck. @turkeythompson got a black yote, I want one. And finally @UHG_Hunter took a nice buck.




Antleraddiction


BigBuckPW


bulletsnbiscuits

 Ashlyn

 feistylilfckr her first deer and it is a blacktail buck.

firstlightgear


 huntscience cousin

huntscience Dad

ilcornfed


Jeremy_Juhasz Dad


Lukekujacznski


Madison with her first buck.


rhbowhunter

 
 turkeytalkr69


turkeythompson


UHG_Hunter


Thank goodness other folks had a good week cause it sure wasn’t my turn. Enjoy the pics everyone and be sure to give these folks a follow if you are on Twitter, you won’t be sorry. Be safe, wear your harness and good luck this week. Be sure to post or send a pic so I can get it in next week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Because I Have To






This is a post I never intended to write, it is about something I have done for many years for reasons of my own and until recently very few knew about. This week I was asked again by my buddy Ben from the UK to tell others and I gave in. I finally decided to talk about it not because I want people to know about it and then tell me what a good person I am but in hopes that others will follow suit.

For many years I have grown a garden far bigger than I need, kept more fish than I can eat and taken enough deer each year to feed a large family. Many times I have heard about how good I was on the lake or in the woods which might be the case but only because I have had years of practice. People would tell me how good it was to have a full freezer with fish, game and vegetables I provided myself. All true enough but the real reason behind the numbers I kept and the size of my garden is I provide food to needy families in my area. I only had help one year in memory of my brother when some generous people sent some money to expand the garden for one season, which I did. After that year I have made it larger in hopes of having more to give but never accepted any further help and won’t again.


Part of what I brought home on a trip this year. I am still sharing them.


This one doe went to help three families.


This is how it works, I find families in my area that are having a tough time and make a list, as food in available I take it to each family in turn. They don’t know most of the time I am doing this and many times I simply leave vegetables on their porch by the bag full, as I have more I take it to the next family. The fish and game I take to them when they are home so I know it won’t ruin but they never know it is coming. I do the same in winter with frozen vegetables when I have them. If at all possible I will do it so that I can leave without them ever having a chance to say thanks or being embarrassed by needing help, I don’t do it for the thanks or praise. I don’t know how many families I have given food to over the years I only know it was no where near enough.

Why do I do it? Simple. I’ve been hungry. I’ve been poor. I’ve been broke. I’ve sat dejected wondering how I would eat that day. I have lived on a dollar or less a day for food and sometimes didn’t have that. I still have very little in the way of money after three years without a job, I don’t care, I scraped up money to buy seeds and plants, I struggled to buy my license this year, I planted my garden, I fished, I am hunting and I am helping feed people. I don’t care one bit about praise or acknowledgements about what I do, in fact, I would rather have continued doing it without anyone knowing since it was a private and personal act. The people that asked me to write about it had a point, if I would tell others maybe they would do the same. Fair enough. Just as my online name implies I tend to stay out of sight on a personal level but this is not about me but about people that need our help.

If you hunt, fish, grow a garden, whatever then you have the means to do what I do. I know all about the big organizations that provide food on an impersonal level to people but I refuse to work with them. I don’t need some group that doesn’t care who I am to do what I can do on my own. I have no trouble finding people that need help as close as my own neighbors.

So here is what I want to ask for all those people that are right down the street from you, help out. If you are mainly a catch and release fisherman, please, take a few home now and then to clean and help feed someone. When you harvest a deer take a ham or backstrap to a family going hungry. Plant an extra row in your garden then take what you have leave it on a doorstep. Freeze what you can to hand out during the winter when the need is even greater. Do it yourself not through some food bank or organization. Know where your food is going and see the results, it is a hands on experience not a drop it off and forget it one.

Please take a bit of time to think about this post, a few fish or a couple of pounds of venison will mean that someone gets to eat tonight that might not otherwise. Vegetables fresh from your garden might be the only good food they get for days. The money they save on food might be needed to keep their lights on, water running or gas in their car. I have been on that end and believe me when I say it is a miserable end to be on. We, as outdoors folks have the ability to help easier than others and I hope my friends that read this join in my quiet mission to help where I can.

Week Seven

@EmilySFLG


@bowhunter388 sent this of a friend's daughter with her first deer.


Here we are at week 7 and things seemed to have been a bit on the slow side. Folks from all over are talking about the slow down in sightings, deer activity during hunting hours is not what it was. The full moon along with weather changes would seem to be the blame in most cases. During 4 afternoon hunts I only saw 2 deer but the weather took a turn for the better here at least for one day so I made plans to head to the mountain to try and fill a doe tag or two.

With the time change my hour and a quarter drive started too early for my tastes. Give me a break, I’m old. I got on the road at 4:10 to get there in time to take a short walk to my stand. It was 39 degrees and almost no wind Saturday morning which is about as good as it gets for deer moving here in Tennessee. I got in the stand ready to put my Knight .45 to work, by 6:00 I heard the first shot of the morning, by 6:30 I had heard several and had deer in the field less than 100 yards away. Two mature does fed in the corner along with a yearling, one doe went uphill to bed down and the other two slipped along the treeline out of sight. Later I saw the rear of one of our local bucks as he cruised the field edge. That was it for the morning so I headed to the house for some food and to visit with friends.

I hung out until 2 then headed back in for the evening hunt. I knew I had to change where I was set up because the trees were just thick enough I couldn’t shoot from my stand. I found a spot to sit on the ground where I could see up the treeline they were using and had a convenient log to use as a rest. I was almost completely hidden from their view and couldn’t have had a steadier rest to shoot from if one came out. I got settled in and started hearing shots at 2:48, the deer were definitely moving. I sat and watched, tweeting to friends that I was down to an hour and 40 minutes to fill one of my tags in that unit but was beginning to wonder if I would. Around 3:45 I saw a doe right in front of my scope. I watched as she fed downhill getting closer to the spot I had picked to take my shot. As she got to about 100 yards she made a left turn and followed a trail into a field and out of sight. I was not happy, I had her in the scope perfectly broadside when she walked away but thought she was coming closer.





Not a minute later I saw another one coming downhill toward me. She followed the same path as the first one and sure enough got to the same trail and turned to take it. I had the scope on her the whole time so when she turned broadside I flipped the safety off and settled the crosshairs on her heart. I knew it would hit a bit high but still get a good double lung (my usual shot) and was surprised when the shot went off. The wind was blowing enough to clear the smoke instantly so I could see her head down the trail tail down, a couple of seconds and I heard her fall. By now it was 4:00 so I headed uphill to see if I could find a blood trail. I had no idea exactly where she was standing or which trail she took, there was no blood to follow so I took a trail headed in her direction and found her 40 yards away.





She was what you can see 20 of on a decent day on the mountain, a nice healthy doe that will be great on the table. The shot was a perfect double lung and I found the bullet just under the skin on the far side. My first muzzle loader deer in two years.

As for everyone else, even with what many considered a slow week there was a lot of critters taken. Here is what I have and it has some nice ones and some special ones.

@xtreme95Cummins got a doe. @Ryan5Bass took a buck, still waiting on a pic. @turkeythompson got a yote and a hog. @EmilySFLG got a nice buck @myarr sent a pic of a big Florida buck a cousin got. @Jake_Manning took a great buck. @huntingNY took a piebald buck. @huntscience sent in pics of his Dad and Father in law with their bucks. @LockeStokNBarel took a nice buck @whiskeybent took a nice buck. @thewild001 sentt a pic with 3 does. My friend Kari Murray has taken two with her bow but I will talk about that in another post. My friend Lee's brother in law took a nice 7 pt in Warren County TN last weekend. The duck and goose hunters are doing good right now but the warm weather might slow them down the next few days.


@HuntingNY


@Jake_Manning


@LockeStokNbarel


Yes this is a Florida deer.Wow.


@whiskeybent


@turkeythompson


@thewild001


This is her first deer. Congrats. Sorry I don't have her name.

@huntscience Dad


@huntscience Father in Law

I know I missed a few and if it was you send me a note so I can get you added. Good luck this week everyone and send a pic or note so I can tell folks about it. Be safe, wear your harness and shoot straight.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winners

I finally got around to drawing the winners that left a comment on my anniversary post and here they are.

Kari Murray
JM you know who you are. :-)
Matt Bennett
Bill Howard

If I haven't contacted you yet please email me at ghost1066 at gmail.com so I can get you something headed your way.
Thanks again everyone for all your support.
ghost

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week Six

@sdo_mlt with her doe

@writinghuntress

Where to start, where to start. This was the week I had been looking forward to for a long time, the week I was scheduled to film with Rudy @Huntography for this year’s documentary. I had Thursday and Friday off for filming then Saturday was opening day of muzzle loader.  I am not talent, no real desire to be on camera but was honored to have been included in a group of hunters that many people look up to as how it should be done.

I kept checking the weather to see what we would be dealing with. One of the two things I was dreading was bad weather moving in on us, guess what. The first day of filming a fast moving front was coming through dropping temps and rain just about lunchtime. I was hoping it would get in and out so we could get in an afternoon hunt then clear up Friday. This was the forecast but not the reality.

Rudy rolled in at 12:34 Thursday morning and after getting settled we both managed maybe 2 hours of sleep, got up and drove an hour and fifteen minutes to Jump Off to hunt the mountain. Once there we did manage to see one little doe which I passed on before the storms started moving in. The afternoon hunt was rained out just as we got settled into the trees on the Beasley farm down the road. Friday was cold, windy and nothing moved, not a squirrel, chipmunk, nothing morning or afternoon. Rudy looked at his schedule and found out he had time to go on opening morning with me so we got ready for muzzle loader Saturday.

We hunted a spot I have only been to twice this year but we had a heavy fog and cold. Not long after settling in we had 3 does come in but got busted when I tried to get his attention. Later we had a doe run in but she heard him clear his throat and was gone. Then I saw something coming in through the fog and thought it was a coyote at first, it turned out to be a nice buck. He came in and stopped broadside at 50 yards, chip shot. The fog was still bad, bad enough I could see good main beams but couldn’t count the points. I got the scope settled, pulled the trigger and heard him fall. As I waited for Rudy to come around to where I was I looked to see the buck start to move, I reloaded then was amazed as he stood up. I got to a spot and took a second shot but was a bit high and missed. The buck walked a few yards, straightened up then took off like nothing had happened. We searched for hours and never found a hair or drop of blood it was like he never existed.

After talking to several others and replaying the shot I’m certain I hit just a bit high where there is nothing vital. The bullet shocked him enough to paralyze him for a minute then he was on his feet and gone. Absolutely the weirdest shot I have had on a deer and the second thing I was dreading about being on camera, losing one. Maybe more on this later but don’t want to spoil Rudy’s movie.

We headed back home a bit down to get Rudy headed to Arkansas for the next part of the #deertour. I hope he had a good time because I will never forget a great 2 ½ days with a cool guy. He rolled out oddly enough at 12:34 Saturday for an 8 hour drive. Now for the months of waiting to see the finished #Deertour DVD.

On to what some of the other folks got this week. I have seen some good posts and am going to try to add more pics this week, I am a bit behind so will add a few to try to catch up.

 As I write this @skinnyDman is searching for a big 10 pt he shot this afternoon. @Mandy_W30 got a doe. @HunterGe0rge got a nice turkey. @carrybarlowe took a nice buck and a coyote out west. @DroptineAvery’s Dad, Sean, took a nice buck. @GoosedownGC got a doe. @sdo_mlt got a doe with her bow. @turkeythompson got a great buck. @kennysimpson took a buck. @donohew19 took a great one last Saturday and I have a pic but it turns sideways every time I try to load it. @rhbowhunter took a stud of a buck with his bow. @first lightgear got called in to find a friend’s buck. @nbk_bowhunter took a monster with a bow.


@carrybarlowe


@DroptineAvery Dad took this dandy

@firstlightgear found this one for his buddy


@GoosedownGC got a doe


@HunterGe0rge


@nbk_bowhunter


@rhbowhunter


@turkeythompson


@donohew19


I have been so busy this last week that I am listing things that I hope were taken this week but if not oh well. I know all were taken within the last 2 weeks and I might have missed them so here they are. Congrats to everyone and I’m sorry if I missed you. If I did remind me so I can add it in next week, this is about you, I want folks to see how you are doing.

Hope everyone is having a great season, good luck, be safe and wear you harness.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week Five

Kimmie and her hog.

Here we are at week five but I didn’t get to add to the list this week the new job kept me busy during the week and it was juvenile weekend here in Tennessee. I did get out to sight in a few muzzle loaders to get ready for opening day on the 5th and spent time getting ready for Rudy @Huntography to get here Wednesday night. We will be filming on Thursday and Friday for the #Deertour and maybe I will get a chance to take one on camera. I did get to look over a new farm that is over 600 acres where a big 10 was seen a couple of days ago, I got invited to hunt it opening morning of muzzle loader. Not only is the big 10 there but it is supposed to be covered in does. The bad part it is covered in trespassers, too. But the game warden is supposed to be out there checking opening weekend so they better be fast.

As I am writing this Sunday night @writinghuntress is recovering her 6 pt she took on camera during her first day on the #Deertour, still waiting on pics. @BigBuckPw took a couple of more does this week, one on his part of the #Deertour. @A_Reel_Lady took a big 8 this week with her muzzle loader. @Ryan5Bass took another doe. @BigBrother10 took a doe. @skullboundtv oldest son Walker took a bull elk on public land with a 501 yard shot. One of the guys hunting with @Cajun_Seasoning took a nice 8 in Louisiana. I tried to find out who’s wife killed her first deer this week a BIG 8 but couldn’t before time to post but congrats to her anyway. @Cajun_Seasoning passed on a cow horn spike but got a coyote to go with his bobcat from last week. @msargentphoto son doubled down this week on deer. @turkeythompson took two big pigs. @kimmieDG got a nice pig and had it on the grill in less than an hour. @ForemostOutdoor got his first bow kill this weekend. @centexhunter went north and got a mule deer. These are some good folks to follow on Twitter if you are there.



Chris with his first bow kill


I can’t wait for Wednesday and my first chance to meet Rudy in person, not as thrilled about being on camera. Probably one of the few people out there that hunts as hard as I do that doesn’t want his own TV show but to be part of a documentary that shows real hunters doing it the way most folks do I wouldn’t pass up for anything. Even negotiated it into my job before I was hired, work 2 ½ weeks and take a 4 day weekend to hunt J. I hope we can get some good footage even if I don’t get a shot two days goes by fast.

Saturday starts our muzzle loader season and I plan on doing as much damage as possible. I have 4 doe tags in Unit A and 42 in Unit L before gun season opens when I will still have something like 126 doe tags left for Unit L but only 1 buck tag left for the year so I will be doing some passing on bucks. Does on the other hand should beware because I have several families that need food and they are it. My goal is to get 8 before the end of the season so wish me luck.

Good luck everyone, be safe and be sure to wear your harness.
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Born and raised in middle Tennessee.I'm a working wildlife and landscape artist specializing in watercolors. Now making cedar lures and custom turkey calls.

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