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    1. #11
      Real Retriever
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      TC Mountain

      When the crust is hard and the sun aligns to melt the snow on the south and west facing ridges my turkey testosterone starts to peak. Add in the mild weather and a mountain mission was about to begin.

      Bay and I spent Saturday night at camp. After a full pot of camp java to start the day, Bay and I met BIL at the new and improved country store for breakfast.

      After we filled our fuel tanks it was off to TC's Mountain. We followed the skidoo trail in about a mile and took the trail up to the northern peak.



      I'm almost afraid to show TC what we found. I'm afraid he'll ask if it is for rent. At the north end of the summit was this.



      To the left they built this seat. Bay has her eye on BIL's boot.



      This is the view from the stone chair.



      We found this historical marker.



      This picture stirs my heart. From TC's Mountain northern summit you can see his southern summit. Behind that is my mountain playground.

      I have been on every summit you can see. I know a dozen birds who met their demise in those hardwoods. This is going to be my new screen-saver until spring.



      We have already made plans if the weather is willing to hike the ridge in the center back of the last picture. It is the furthest spot from any road you can get in these mountains to hunt. That would make shooting a gobbler up there like tasting a fine after dinner wine.

      I need a name for camp?

    2. #12
      Real Retriever
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      02-17-10
      I got Bay a Ruff Wear Palisades Dog Pack. I took the saddlebags off and tried putting the harness on her. She is still a little small for it. She was also a little wiggle-worm so I didn't pursue hitching her up. But I love the idea.



      We are going to train with it on our nightly walks. I have always had visions of owning a mountain climbing dog to share my passion for spectacular views. I see a two thousand footer in our future.

    3. #13
      Real Retriever
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      No Quit

      Bay and I set out on a mission yesterday to get lost. Not lost in a sense of direction but a chance to explore an unknown large track of land located in a piece of woods I have been dueling gobblers in for years. I heard a gobbler up there on a hunt last spring. It has been one of my goals since to be uninvited into his homeland and formulate a plan for success this spring.

      Cleats were required to transverse the snowmobile trail. When we got to the trail-head the spikes came off and the snowshoes were put on. The first thing I noticed when we got to his living room was how well you can see the lay of the land when the sun is out and the woods are snow covered.

      We found an old road less traveled so we followed it. It brought us out in an old logging operation that led us to a dirt road. We traveled along the road till we intersected the power-lines and started our return to the truck. No foot aids were required on the return trip since the sun had melted the top of the snowmobile trail and we had good footing.

      It took three hours to complete the circle. I bet we went close to four miles. Bay is a good walking buddy. She has no quit.






    4. #14
      Real Retriever
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      Damage check 02-27-10

      The Nor'acane, the new name for the powerful Nor'easter that hit coastal NH Thursday that caused so much damage got my curiosity up so Bay and I took a road trip to camp Saturday morning.

      The devastation along Rte 125 in Epping was very evident. But as we proceeded north past Rochester you had to look close to see any sign of wind damage.
      Other than four new inches of wet snow over a foot deep base......camp was fine.

      Bay wouldn't let anything happen till she got her walk up the mountain.



      We are a team.



      Bay loves the snow. She doesn't know it but this is some of the best conditioning for a young dog.



      There are signs that the old homestead is coming back to life.



      Central Maine Power made a visit.


    5. #15
      Real Retriever
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      03-06-10
      Spent the weekend at the "Bay".

      While sitting in the camper a couple weeks ago I noticed my view of the mountain was obstructed by many dead pine branches and young maple trees. We just couldn't have that so a hike and a work party with my BIL was planned.

      We passed by Fourth and Goal Mountain on our way in to our selected mountain.



      Remember this picture? 05-31-08



      The highest flat right of center is where we were.



      We found this oldy but goodie on our ascent.



      Bay is looking into Turkeystalker79's "Hidden Valley".



      The view from where we had lunch. Those are commercial blueberry fields below us.



      My BIL's specialty is chocolate chip cookies. Never hike without them.



      Bay got a good rest before we started our decent.


      Then we went back to camp and started pruning. BIL said before he's done we will be able to see the lake. :lol:



      The hike and the wood pruning Saturday took its toll on me. Bay and I had a good supper and then hit the sack. Sunday's hike to come.

      Remember...................Never........Never spoil your bird dog.


    6. #16
      Real Retriever
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      03-07-10
      The Mountain's Lore
      We were up with the dawn Sunday morning. Camp java has that special appeal. I worked to clean up what was left of the pruning Saturday and took down a few more trees.
      I am happy with our early results.



      We increased the brush pile threefold.



      You will hear me talk often about mountain lore. I believe the mountains talk if you have your ears open. I have learned to stop, look and listen more when I am below the canopy.
      Sunday morning I strapped on the snowshoes and Bay and I headed up the mountain for a hike. We took it slow and easy. Even though there was a foot of snow still in the woods there were signs of spring everywhere.

      The warming temperature and the stillness of the mountain evoked in me a primal urge? I let loose with a string of barred owl hoots. Who cooks for you........Who cooks.......you alllllllllllll.

      It felt right and echoed around the mountain. It took a few minutes and the mountain spoke back. We had three live barred owls answering our call. On this day spring had sprung on the mountain. We continued our walk up the mountain to familiar grounds. There we found a stump to park ourselves at. We weren't the only visitors this weekend to this sunny flat.

      I noticed a familiar track coming out of the woodland seep.



      Further investigation found the tracks of five gobblers. Our mountain lore lives.



      After BIL I call divs on camp mountain. Dad and I have a score to settle.

    7. #17
      Real Retriever
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      03-20-10
      After wrapping up numerous honey do's on Saturday, Bay and I set out to camp.

      Our first stop was to fill up at the spring at the base of the mountain.



      We arrived about 5PM. There was no walk on the mountain today. I had the leaf blower in the truck. My mission was to get rid of last years leaves and see how the grass I planted last September was doing. I finished up at dark. Bay and I turned in early to get a jump on our planned daybreak walk up the mountain.

      03-21-10
      After a couple cups of java Bay and I were on the trail up the mountain at 0550. We made it to our listening spot right on time. Too bad the turkeys and owls didn't show up. I could hear two mountains from the listening spot. The only thing we heard were crows, geese and a frustrated hawk.



      So Bay and I climbed Camp Mountain up to the flats to check on any recent scratching's.



      The mountain was naked of turkey sign. Same thing this time last year. Where ever the winter flock is they haven't come home to the mountain yet.
      Dick arrived at 0900. It was time for a fresh pot of coffee and a bacon and eggs breakfast. I don't get to see Dick too often. We spent a couple hours just getting caught up.
      After breakfast the work began. I am proud to say we accomplished every chore I had set my goal on for this weekend.

      We started by cleaning out some old dead pine limbs. Then a little edge pruning



      From there we did a little clear cutting of the small pines and whips that had taken over the back lawn. After the land was cleared we blew the leaves off and let the soil once again breathe the fresh Maine mountain air.

      Man did we work up a sweat. It felt good. From there we set about with some minor camper upgrades. It was good to have a mechanic on hand. Who needs directions. :lol:
      After a short break I settled into some camper cleaning and dish washing. Dick liked the view of the mountain my BIL and I had made a few weeks earlier and decided he was going to continue opening up the back forty.



      Thank you Dick for your time and effort. Those mountain gobblers will not forget.



      And before you knew it it was 6PM and time to head south. As we stood and gazed at the mountains we can see from camp I showed Dick the Log Pile Field where I shot my Maine Bird last year.
      I am blessed to have such a good friend and landlord. After all those years of humping the local hills God has put me in the middle of my happy hunting grounds.
      Thanks Val !!
      Till next time.

    8. #18
      Real Retriever
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      03-27-10
      Work is getting old at camp. Don't get me wrong, I love how it looks. But once it starts to look good all you can think of are thing to make it look better. We have been truly blessed with this early spring. It has enabled us to work on camp without sweltering heat or clouds of pesky black flies and misquitos. Thank you to all who have helped.

      Bay and I got to camp about 1:30 PM Saturday. After settling in we took a drive to the spring. After filling our water bottles our next plan was to go back to the old foundation I found this winter on Inch and Half Hill. It took a while but we found it.



      After visiting the cellar hole we went to inspect the strutting grounds of the IHH gobbler. When we got to the flat it was littered with fresh scratchings. Bay and I took a walk to the lip of his area. This is one of the prettiest places I have ever found in the woods. Turkeys always seem to find the "sweet woods".



      Along our exit route from the strutting area we found a stone wall that kinda went the right way to get back to the trail. Out a curiosity we followed the wall. It went down the steep grade in the previous picture. When I went down the ravine and then back up I noticed the sun light was strong on my right to what seemed like and opening in the woods. What I discovered is going to be bringing us back for some time to come. The opening was old farm fields. There had to be ten + acres of grown in field. What stood out the most were the mature apples trees it seemed on every knoll. As far as I know there are no trails leading to here. Now I know what the IHH gobbler was sounding off to last spring. I'm thinking this may be the spot Mustang shoots his first wild turkey. That is depending on his post count. LOL :lol:



      With TC coming to camp Sunday to buck up the wood BIL, Dad and I had collected I knew it would be fruitless without a place to enjoy our labor. So building the camp fireplace was in order. She is a virgin no more.


    9. #19
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Thanks for reposting this! I enjoyed skimming through it before the board crashed.

    10. #20
      House Broken
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      Great to have this thread back, wish I had backed up my files like you did!

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