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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ATConversions, YouTube and stuff



I made this video explaining my wheelchair accessible pickup this fall and decided to put it on YouTube. A little while ago ATConversions contacted me and wanted to know if they could use it for advertising. Of course I agreed and now it is live.

I would like to thank Sarah, my vid cam chick. We actually recorded the video in one take, winning. I would also like to thank everyone who made this pickup possible. I know I have thanked you all before but there will never be enough thanks from me.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Remembering Otis and stuff


I had to put down Otis a week ago. Everybody tells me it was for the best. I knew it was the right thing to do but I still question it.


I still turn the volume down when there's a dog barking because Otis would freak out and start baying. I still think of him when I see the UPS man. Otis hated his guts and livers. But he loved everyone else.


I am going to miss him this spring, summer and fall. You see I would take him for walks or actually some might say he would take me for walks around the yard, down the driveways and through the paths in the shelter belt. 


When he saw the leash and pole mechanism I would attach to my wheelchair he would always be willing and be raring to go. He would actually be raring like a horse and chomping at the bit.


He was brought to me when he was a little over one year old. He left me when he was a little over 13. We had a good run, a lot of good runs. But his last run wasn't the same. He didn't even want to go. I knew he wasn't the same and wasn't going to be the same.


I miss the sound of his toenails on the hardwood floor. Click, click, click, click…


His face was gray and he was a little bit slower but he still acted like a pup.


He cried when I left the house, every time. He ran around like an idiot every time I came home, every time.


He wasn't perfect, actually far from it. He would only do something if he knew a treat was in his future. But that didn't matter to me. He was my little buddy.


Putting him down was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It sucked.


RIP Otis…


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2018 Hunt #13: Crossbow Buck.


I knew November 20 was going to be a busy day of stuff and things. I didn't realize how busy. I got in the chair around 11:30 AM. While I was having some lunch I looked outside and I thought to myself, "Today looks like a buck day." After lunch we burned down to Lisbon because I had a physical therapy appointment and after that I decided to get my hairs cut. In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to go hunting when I got home but I didn't know if I would have time. While I was getting my haircut, Rick the barber and I started having a conversation about hunting. I knew right then I was going to go hunting when I got home.

When I got home I had to tilt back in my wheelchair for my required 10 minutes. As soon as I was done I washed my hair quick and started getting dressed for the evening hunt. The temperature was around 35°, it was an overcast, dank day when I headed out to the blind north of the house around 3:30 PM.


This being my being my 13th sit of the year, and I think eighth time sitting north of the house in my pop-up blind, I pretty much knew the routine of the deer. But four days before, the corn that was surrounding the farmstead was harvested so I didn't know for sure how that would change the deer movement. I sat the week before during the snow storm and had deer moving the whole time. But that was when the corn was standing. All I knew was that the rut was hot and heavy. The trail cam that I have set up next to the blind has been capturing deer steady for about 10 days. There were at least nine different bucks that have showed up, but mostly nocturnal. I just needed one of them to get twitterpated and make a mistake.


The deer usually come in around four thirtyish. So as that time passed I was beginning to wonder if I was going to see a deer. I thought maybe I was making too much noise trying to muffle my coughs because I was just coming off of a head cold. Then at 4:50 PM, I looked to my west where the deer usually come from and I saw the old lady skinhead. One of those wise, smart does that usually bust you if you make a mistake. Usually she has her fawn with their but tonight she did not. She also did something unusual, instead of working her way in between the two shelter belts to the east she took a right turn and trotted south into the old shelter belt and decided to lie down. This was very strange. But I soon realized why.
 
I am glad I put a cam right here. This is him when he came in. The time is an hour off.
It wasn't 10 seconds after she laid down I saw antlers coming from the west. I recognized him right away. A nice 4 x 4 that I have had on trail cam numerous times throughout the fall. I thought for sure he would follow the old lady into the bedding area but she wasn't having none of it. We have all been there. Anyway, he walked straight towards the bait which was within 10 yards directly in front of me. The problem was he was facing right at me. He would eat and put his head up and look right at me. He had no clue I was there. The wind was at his back and blowing right in my face. I could smell him. He was rutted up. He even did that thing when they rub their glands together on their back knees. He was full on twitterpated. The problem was, he wasn't moving in any direction. Just eating and staring my direction. It felt like forever but it always does when you can't move an inch knowing you will get busted if you did.
 
This is the fawn as she is circling back to the west. At this point the buck is following her. You can make out the white of his belly in the trees. He follows her back out of the belt.
All of a sudden his back legs started to work their way south and he was moving into the direction of a better shot. But he was still quartering towards me. Not good. I wanted him to be perpendicular. I didn't want to blow this. All of a sudden I noticed the old lady's fawn trotting through the new shelter belt on the north side of us. She had her tail down but made two soft bleats. I thought she was going to entice him away, forever. The 4 x 4's head went on a swivel and he stepped to the north to see what was up. He grunted a couple times and became perpendicular. It was a perfect shot, but right when I was reaching for the trigger with my right arm he took off to the east and followed the little one. But like her mom she wasn't wanting any either.

I thought my opportunity was gone. My brain was spinning. It was a perfect shot but it was just too quick for me to get on him, aim and pull the trigger. All of a sudden I heard another grunt. He was coming back. I couldn't see to my east because I have that window in the blind covered. But I could tell he is getting close. Then all of a sudden he was perfectly broadside standing within 10 yards of me, facing west this time. He put his head down and I lined up my crosshairs right behind his shoulder, waiting for him to put his head up. As soon as he lifted his head I took the shot. I don't even remember the pull of the trigger. It was one of those shots. You just know it was good.
 
The 4 x 4 after the shot, heading west while nosediving.
The next thing I knew I heard that big crack and he nosedived hard into the ground. I knew I skewered him and I was hoping he would go down. He ran to the west and I lost track of him. But it sounded like he crashed in the slough which isn't more than 50 yards away. I looked down at my phone and it said 4:58 PM. All that took place in under ten minutes. That is good stuff.

There was good light left, sunset was 5:26 PM. So first I called mom at the house, which is only about 80 yards away from where I was sitting. She knew something was up, I said, "I just smoked a buck, a big buck!" She was excited. I could hear it in her voice. I told her she could come out as soon as she got some orange on and to make sure to bring a flashlight. As soon as I got off the phone with her I needed to contact a tracker. My regular tracker Don B was out west chasing mule deer. So I first called Lawrence. No answer. Then I called Trauty. No answer. Then I tried them both again. No answer. Then I remembered that Brad should be done with work. As soon as he answered he knew why I was calling. I told him not to get excited but I think I killed a buck. I told him what happened and he said, "Oh yeah, he is dead."
 
The Muzzy Trocar broadheads aftermath.
As soon as I got off the phone with him I looked to the west and I could see red everywhere. I didn't notice this right after the shot in all of the excitement. Where he first nosedived I could tell that he wasn't going to survive very long. Then mom got out there and she lifted the blind so I could drive my wheelchair out. As soon as I got out of the darkness of the blind I was feeling pretty confident with the scene in front of me that we were going to find him.
 
The unsettled dirt is where he was standing. Just under 10 yards to my Primos-The Club blind with Mossy Oak Break-Up.
It seemed like it took forever for Brad to get out there but it was the anticipation that was killing me. It was only about a half-hour. He came with my sisters. I could tell it wasn't one of their new pickups. It was the 86 Nissan. The next thing I knew I could hear it driving through the stubble field banging and a clanging. It sounded like it was going to fall apart. Anyway, Brad made his way towards me from the west and asked me where it went. He said he hasn't seen any blood yet, as he was walking towards me. My guts dropped. I knew the 4 x 4 had of went that way. Then he said oh, here is some blood, a lot of blood. He turned around and the buck was laying right there. The reason why he didn't see any blood on his way there was because it didn't make it that far. It only ran about 30 yards and crashed. I'm sure glad I switched to Muzzy Trocar broadheads with a bigger cutting diameter. That thing did its job. I have to confess, I only took three practice shots with the new broadheads but they all hit the mark at 20 yards.







Then the excitement took over. I got to admit I got a little verklempt. This is the biggest buck I have ever shot. That isn't ever my goal, to shoot the biggest but it doesn't hurt when it happens. Then of course the congratulations were given and pictures were taken. That's when the gutting crew took over. It was Randi's first time seeing this process. She took it like a champ. Shelie has gutted numerous deer. They held the deer secure while Brad did the dirty business. When we were done they put it in the back of the Nissan, I made a cocktail in the house, mom and I got in the pickup and we headed to town to raise some hell. Dad was going to be at the meat locker when we got there. It was a family affair. Good times.



  



After the buck was hanging in the locker we went to the Spare Time for a celebratory drink or two. I would like to thank mom and dad for taking me hunting whenever I want. I would like to thank Don B for setting up my trail cams and hunting spots. I would like to thank my gut crew Brad, Shelie and Randi. I would like to thank the other landowners whose land I hunt on. I always have an option of where I can hunt and I truly appreciate that. I truly have the best family and friends. You all don't suck.

Thanks for reading, Clint.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Reasons Why I Hunt


Last night I hunted in a new spot. It has been a spot I have wanted to hunt for a long time. It is one of those big old wide shelter belts. I am talking like 10 tree rows wide with the old Cottonwood trees standing tall in the middle. One of those shelter belts that are disappearing on the landscape. This spot is only a couple hundred yards from my house. But last night was the first time I hunted this spot.

I could've hunted here last year but for medical reasons I couldn't get out. My friend found a good level place in the tree rows where I could get my wheelchair in and out easily. He also cleaned out all of the old, dead branches out of the way to make a clearing for my wheelchair and shooting lanes. Thanks.

This year with my medical problems behind me I was going to be able to hunt this new spot. From the Moultrie trail cam pictures last year we knew it was going to be good. There were decent bucks and there were a lot of them. The trail cam pictures this year did not disappoint. The deer were bigger and more plentiful.

Another friend, the landowner left part of his field along the belt in wheat stubble instead of chisel plowing it up. This makes it a lot easier for me to get a vehicle to where I want to go and get my chair to where I need to be. Thanks.

Anyway, last night was the first time being in this shelter belt for a while. I checked it out about a month ago and then it decided to snow, so I had to wait for it to dry out. When I was going into the belt the first thing I noticed was a fresh scrape about 20 feet in front of me on the path going into the clearing. Not wanting to disturb it I decided to back in to some bushes to give myself a backdrop so I wouldn't be silhouetted. I checked out my shooting lanes and decided this spot would work. So I had my mom wrap me in my Mossy Oak burlap with a fresh earth scent wafer, then I had her douse the scrape and set up a scent wick both sprayed with Buck Bomb-Doe Pee. Man I love the smell of fresh dirt and deer urine. They should make cologne out of that combination. The last thing I have someone do is put an arrow in my Carbon Express Intercept crossbow and make sure the safety switch is off so I am cocked, locked and ready to rock.


This is my favorite time, when I am all alone. I am by myself with nature until I call someone to come and get me. For the next couple hours it is just me watching the blue jays squawk, watching the squirrels annoy me, hearing the mice rustle under the leaves and hopefully seeing a deer. This is also my time to do my reflecting on what has happened, some might say meditating would be a better word. I think they are right. It is my alone time. You also think about the future and what might be, while waiting for Mr. Big to show his face.

It was a perfect night. It was a brisk, clear blue sky, perfect wind with the smell of autumn in my face kind of night. The wind was in my face, coming from the Southeast. The sunset was behind me and the harvest moon was rising in front of me.

The moment he came in the belt. The only picture I got of him that night.
All of the sudden around 6:20 PM I could hear something coming from the corn, which is still standing on the South side of the belt. Sunset was right at 6:28 PM. The anticipation is what gets me. You never know what's going to show up. This time it was a doe and a yearling. They looked like they were going to come right in. And they did. They came within 20 feet and milled around without a clue I was there for a good 15 minutes. Sitting on the ground having animals that close and having them have no idea you are there is something everyone should experience. The older doe stared at me for a little while but with the wind at her back she had no clue and she settled right down. Play the wind my friends and you will be rewarded.
 
The same buck from the night before.
Then I could hear something else walking along the belt. It was coming from the east. The does became alert. Bobbing their heads up and down like they do when they know something is up. All of a sudden I heard a faint grunt. One of those grunts you don't hear unless you are really focused. One of those grunts you think you made up in your head. But the next thing I saw was a buck working his way into the belt with his nose on the ground. Pre-rut is on. I could tell he was a nice 4 x 4, one that I have had on camera. If he gave me the opportunity I would let my Muzzy Trocar broadhead fly. But the opportunity was not presented. He kept his head down and walked straight towards the older doe and she took off like a raped ape heading East down the belt with the yearling following shortly after. The buck put his head up for a second just to give me a look at his rack, and then he put his head down and chased after the females. What a rush. The next thing I knew, it was dark.


I could've shot both does on this night. I could've taken a bad shot at the buck on this night. But that isn't the reason I hunt. The reason why I hunt is because I can. It is about the hunt. It is not about the kill.

These are just some of the reasons why I hunt. It's for these reasons and more. It is the reason why I do all of the preseason. It is the reason why I set up all of the trail cams. It is the reason for all of the target practice. It takes dedication and some skill. But it is mostly luck, perseverance and time spent in the woods. These are reasons why I hunt.

I was born to do this. I will do this until I can't. These are the reasons why I hunt. To shoot one with antlers is a bonus. To fill the freezer is a bonus. It is a very tasty bonus, but still a bonus. But it is not the reason why I hunt. The reason why I hunt is because I am a hunter. And I don't apologize for that.

Those are just some of the reasons why I hunt.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2013 Bow Buck and things


In the fall of 2013 I did not bow hunt that much - it was only on my sixth outing…. The main reason was because I was working on my new crossbow, fine tuning it to my liking. I also went pronghorn hunting in Wyoming that year - both good reasons in my book.

The first three nights I went hunting right north of our farmstead and I did not see one deer. I live in the country 7 miles away from the nearest town in southeast North Dakota. So I called up my friend Kevin and asked if I could hunt down on his place. He of course said, "Why haven't you been down here already?" I have hunted on his place for years and have always had good luck. They live right along the river and it is a deer's paradise.

So the first night down there I went and sat in a low tower which is accessible and sits off the ground about 5 feet. I like to sit there first to see what is moving because I can see every corner of the field. The field that year was seeded into alfalfa. That first night I saw a lot of deer and figured out where they were moving. The best part was that they were moving in my favorite spot. I have shot two bucks there in the past. Kevin calls it Clint's spot - I call it the tall pines because of the six or seven rows of pines that run about 60 yards long. On one end the deer like to funnel through from their bedding area to the feeding area. I like it because it is easy for me to get into and I can pretty much sit somewhere in that bunch of pines depending on the wind direction.

On November 1, the first day, I had quite a few deer within 40 yards but no shots. Had one big 4 x 4 within 10 yards of me but I was busted by him before he got in front of me. He was smart, he knew something wasn't right, circled around and winded me. I could not go out that Saturday and Sunday so I had to think about how I screwed up on that 4 x 4 for two days.

But on that Monday, luck was on my side and everything came together. I got into my spot around 3 PM. I actually scared out two deer while getting out of the van. Around 4 PM the does started coming out of the bedding area. There were about 10 of them when all of a sudden I heard grunting. Two little bucks started chasing around the does. There were deer running everywhere. The wind was perfect and they did not suspect me at all. I forgot to mention, I also put up an absorbing scent wick and doused it with doe in estrus made by Buck Bomb. I also put an earth dirt scent patch on my camouflage burlap that I wrap around me. Evidently that stuff works. I also hooked up my new A-Way grunt call that has a long tube so I can use it easily. So I started grunting at the little bucks. I played with them quite a while. We were grunting back and forth for at least a half-hour. But I could not get them to walk in front of me.


All of a sudden another buck came. His antlers looked like a pronghorn buck. He had bladed antlers that went straight up. I would've shot him if he came in front of me. I actually got him within 30 yards but there were some branches in the way so I did not take the shot. He circled all the way around me and came into the trees where I was sitting - but somehow he did not bust me. I also got to watch him make a scrape and a couple rubs. I had witnessed that before but never so close. It was awesome. I think he was a little twitterpated. After he got out of the trees I heard a big deep grunt. I knew it was something big. All of a sudden the two little bucks stopped their sparring and he walked right in between them. You could see their necks puff up and they sized each other up. After watching them for a little bit, they were only 15 yards away, I gave a couple soft grunts and the big guy came walking perfectly towards my scent wick. All I could see was he was four points on one side and could see a bunch of junk on the other side of his rack. I knew I was going to take the shot if he gave me the opportunity. And he did. He came in front of me about 10 yards, put his head up and was smelling the wick when I took the shot. Right after the shot I knew I hit him high but he ran about 20 yards and fell over. It took him quite a while to pass. I waited over an hour just to make sure he would not get up.


This was my first kill with my new Carbon Express Intercept crossbow. It was actually my first pass through. The arrow sliced right through him. The Slick Trick's originals did their job. He is a 7 x 5 with a lot of junk. He is a dandy.

Thanks for reading, Clint.




Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Switching to Muzzy


A couple years ago I wrote a story about switching broadheads. It seems like if you are a bow hunter there is always something better coming on the market. Asking someone what their favorite broadhead  is kind of like asking someone what is their favorite brand of pickup. Everyone has their favorite Chevy, Muzzy, Ford, Rage, Dodge, NAP, GMC, G5 and the list goes on and on. You'll get numerous replies that will end in heated arguments if you ask that question on any hunting forum.


Anyway if you read the story, "Switching Broadheads," I wrote before you'll see I was trying to decide from a handful of broadheads. This summer I finally purchased some Muzzy Trocar broadheads that are designed specifically for crossbows, in 100 grain. It was hard to go from my Slick Trick Standards because they flew as good as my field points. But the problem with the Slick Tricks was that they only had a 1 inch cutting diameter.


I was worried going with a bigger diameter would take away from accuracy. But after just a few shots with my new Muzzy Trocar broadheads I knew I had a winner. They flew just as true as my field points but with a cutting diameter of 1 3/16 inch.

Aim small miss small… Thanks for reading, Clint.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Pickup conversion and stuff explained


It should go without saying that this pickup is a showstopper wherever I am. People take pictures and ask questions about it just about every time I open the door. I finally got around to explaining how everything works in the pickup with the conversion. I think I covered everything. Thanks everyone who made this happen. You don't suck. The odometer just broke 10,000 and I have enjoyed every mile.

Thanks for watching, Clint.

Monday, August 20, 2018

New ramp and stuff


Over the years I have needed a ramp for one reason or the other. For these reasons I usually bring along a piece of plywood that is a little wider than my chair, it is about 50 inches long. My dad also made a folding ramp that is easier to carry and move around that serves the same purpose. But sometimes these homemade ramps just don't cut it. Sometimes the gaps, heights, bumps and crevices are just too tall or wide so I don't go places that I could if I was able bodied.



Last week when we were at the lake I knew I wanted to go on the pontoon so I brought my two portable homemade ramps. The problem was I needed to find a good sturdy dock. A dock that I trusted enough so that my heavy wheelchair wouldn't plummet to the bottom, I don't float well. I needed to find a dock that I could drive from the dock to the pontoon using one of the ramps. I also needed to be able to get onto the dock. The ones at the cabin would work but I decided to take a little walk down to the public access to see what the dock was like there. It looked sturdy and not too sketchy. So I took a chance and drove onto it. With a little help I could've gotten on the dock. So we headed back to the cabin to tell everyone that I found a place that would work.





My time limit in the chair was getting close so I decided to lie down for a couple hours before trying to get on the pontoon. When I got back in the chair I went outside and found the pontoon next to shore with an aluminum ramp connecting them. I was a little confused at first. But then I remembered that Mike had been acting a little more weird than normal when I would bring up getting on the pontoon. Evidently the day before, on the way to the lake he stopped in West Fargo and picked up this ramp for me. I was a little taken back. I have seen these ramps before put new they would be hard to transfer around without a pickup. But now that problem has been solved. I had actually had forgotten all about these ramps. But Mike knows a guy who knows the guy that owns the Role-A-Ramp company.


The ramp worked perfect from going to the shore on to the pontoon. We didn't have to worry about getting on a sturdy dock and a dock that would be the right height. They just rolled the ramp out and bridged the gap like it was nothing. Over the four days at the lake, we used the ramp quite a bit. It worked slicker than snot on glass.


Over the last couple days I have been thinking of places where this ramp will come in handy. The possibilities are endless really. I will be able to get into houses, restaurants, bars and places outdoors that I have never been able to get into, across or onto before.



The ramp is 10 feet long by 36 inches wide. With this length and width the carrying capacity is 775 pounds. The ramp can be rolled up into different sections. So the length of the ramp can be changed depending on what they need is. The total weight of the ramp is 67 pounds because it is made of lightweight aircraft aluminum. In other words, this thing is built to last and it doesn't suck.



Thanks Mike…

Thanks for reading, Clint