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    1. #21
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      03-28-10
      Bay and I were up at 0430. After and only after our camp java we pointed the Ford to Fire Mountain and the Log Pile Field. We were at the 990 foot summit at o' daybreak hundred hours.

      Man was it cold and windy up there. Too cold for any roost gobbling, or so I thought. We heard one gobble from Boss Hollow so we let gravity take hold and worked our way down the mountain.

      It is sad to say but the landowner must have had a beef with the local snowmobile club. My access to the mountain was blocked by posted signs. The landowner had taken a bulldozer in the woods and blocked the trails through his property.

      In turn the snowmobile club made a new trail around his property. My feeling is the landowner is tired of the snowmobiles riding in the Log Pile Field. It has been posted against snowmobiles and wheeled vehicles for years but is so far back in the woods that policing it didn't work. It looked like the snowmobile club used the bulldozer to make their new trail. I can't let a new trail go without following it. When it started towards the brook I just had to go.

      The snowmobile club built a new bridge over the marsh. As I stood here camera in hand two deer ran along the opposite wood line with tails held high. Did I mention I had my camera in my hand. DUH! I forgot to use it.



      Over that bridge is Inch and a Half Hill and Dad's Mountain. And boy did the brook look right for native trout.

      Our journey out led us by the Log Pile Field. Bay got her first look at the money field.



      Dad remember we could see the Log Pile Field from camp. Well this is camp mountain on the left.



      I saw 5 hens and one adult tom on my ride back to camp. TC joined us about 0900. We had some coffee and then got to work.

      .

      After the work was done TC gave me a couple packages from firestormhtr. When I mentioned in my blog that I was going to look up a sign maker for camp Dave PM'd me and offered to do the carving. I verballed my request to him and I am very proud of the finished product.

      Welcome to Sampson's Bay. Sampson is a black lab owned by my landlord . Dave (FSHTR) did a black and yellow lab overlooking a peaceful bay. My wife loves the lighthouse.



      Firestorm also made me a sign for the camper.



      Thank you very much Dave. Quality work. I am very proud to hang the signs over camp.

      So with a little heartache we put camp back to sleep. Until next time my earth friend.

    2. #22
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      04-08-10
      Bay took me aside last night. Had that sad look on her face. Said she wanted to talk to me. She says she is bored and wants to go to camp.

      It was hard to understand her but after a few tries looking like a quarterback I knew she wanted to hike up to Fourth and Goal.
      Who am I to argue?

      So tomorrow afternoon should find us roaming some white oak flats that have been so good to us in the past. See you at 1,000 feet.



      4-10-11
      The turkey are on the move.
      Spotted 4 toms on the drive to camp Saturday. These two were heading to Camp Mountain.



      Two years old from the spur length.



      So we get to camp about 1:30 PM. Before we went to 4th and Goal Mountain we did some yard chores. I'm standing in the camp yard at 2PM and the goose bumps rise on my arms. There are two gobblers sounding off on Camp Mountain. We'll take a walk up there tomorrow morning.

      In the first couple hundred feet of our 4th & Goal hike we saw tracks of two hens and one tom. The red oak acorns down low litter the ground. It is a 45 minute hike to our white oaks. Expectations are high.

      Here we are only a couple hundred feet from the summit of 4th & Goal in my white oak flat.



      We found no acorns and only limited old scratchings. Maybe this year the birds will be down low?

      Bay is eight months old and this is her third summit. I bet that dog ran three times up to the summit and then back to me waiting for this old guy to get a move on.



      Turkeystalker79's mountain from 4th & Goal. Bay never saw the porcupine. When I ride with Bay I say words like porcupine and then badddddddddd. I am hoping she will associate this when and if we do ever run into a quill pig on our adventures.



      Bay's Labrador retriever instincts are starting to surface. Maybe it is was the heat but for a dog that avoided getting her feet wet all winter she tested every brook and woods pond. At one very large seep with standing water Bay made her first water retrieve. It took three attempts and wasn't very pretty but it is a start. I was very proud of my little girl.

      One thing I did notice is she is not afraid to get her head wet. If she felt a stick on the bottom she would stick her whole head underwater and retrieve the stick.
      We got back to camp about 5 PM. I still had some energy and putted around cleaning up the camp yard. Bay took a nap.


    3. #23
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      04-11-10
      R&R at camp.
      We were on Camp Mountain at daybreak. It was a duplicate of our last daybreak hike. NOTHING.

      No owls, no gobbles. I did hear what I think was one gobble way off. So far off I couldn't really pin point the direction. No scratchings on camp mountain. The turkey will come. (I hope. )

      Remember what I said yesterday about porcupines. We were in the choppings behind camp when I saw Bay spot something. It was a porcupine on the ground. I yelled PORCUPINE......BAD. And she backed off.

      Whew!!!!!



      When we got back to camp I put on a pot of coffee and we went to the store for a paper. I saw one tom and two hens at the apple orchard.
      This is my view of camp mountain from the table window of the camper.



      There is no better view to enjoy a hearty breakfast.



      After breakfast it was time to turn my attention to the camp lawn. I spread 80 pounds of lime. I also spread grass seed in the areas recently reclaiming on the homestead.





      This is the newest part of camp lawn to see the sun again. I call this Maine Turkey Camp's primitive camping area. If you snore........this is where you will be. :lol:



      We wrapped up camp in the early afternoon in order to get home to see the back nine of the Augusta National Country Club. I have always said my spring begins at the Masters.
      Bay was ready to head home.



      Till next time.

    4. #24
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      04-18-10
      It was wet and damp this weekend in coastal NH. Time to stay home and get chores done before Maine Turkey Camp starts on May 8th.

      You can really see the attitude change when we get to spend the day with Bay. During the week after we get home from work she is a she devil. She takes her loneliness out on us when we get home.

      But spend the day with her and she is an angel, who needs an e-collar.

      Saturday afternoon the rain let up and we took a walk in her training grounds. Dudley Brook was at a perfect level for short water retrieves. Although Bay has yet to actually swim she doesn't hesitate with belly deep retrieves.

      It was sad as we cruised the use to be trails in our training grounds. The wind storm from early March put a big hurt on our pine woods. Century old white pine is stacked like cord-wood on the ground. Either snapped off or the whole root systems are torn out of the ground. I contacted the landowner and he was unaware. I sense a logging operation is about to commence.

      At the standing water in the trails I tried to ditch the water out. Bay thought it was a mud game. And she came ready to play. Black mud and a yellow dog don't go well together. But I let her have her fun. And I must admit I enjoyed it as much as Bay.

      We are hoping to spend next weekend in camp. Spring gobbler season starts for Maine Turkey Camp May 8th. Bay knows when it is time to go to camp. She knows that black leather clothes bag and the mini cooler we use to transport the perishables. When those two items hit the floor to pack Bay knows we are going to camp.

      It is going to be tough to leave her behind. But I can't have a yellow dog in the woods while I'm after the Inch and a Half Gobbler.

    5. #25
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      04-25-10
      Sometimes the planning is just as much fun as the moment.

      Turkey season is coming. I have not done my homework close to home. I am going to rely on past experiences and the knowledge of the local mast crop. It is always good to have friends in mobile places. The turkey reports this spring are encouraging.

      My plan for opening day in NH will be a memory hunt. The last couple years in our home whitetail woods I have seen adult gobblers. I hunted there once last spring and scored a big zero. I can't tell you how much fun and physically challenging it was visiting The Slats, The River Push, The Mound and Murphy's Stand all in one morning.

      Bay and I walked the east side last weekend. The March wind storm was not kind to the century old pines in the homelands. A new trail built by an Eagle Scout to earn his badge was wiped out A bridge that had taken a plunge in the river during the Mother Day Flood and was rescued by a huge group of volunteers and reset on its forms is 120 yards downstream and is not navigable. It rests under a nasty clog of mature hardwood spanning the river. Danny knows the spot where we shimmied across the river a couple seasons ago. It has turned into a bridge salvage operation. If the gobbler is on the other side of the river I'll need to swim to hunt. We found scratching's. The birds are in there.

      It has been a couple weeks since I have been to camp. The turkey were on the move when I left last. My mind is now focusing on a plan for hunting Maine Mountain Turkey. Two tags put whole new perspective on the hunt. It eases my mind. No more thoughts of tagging out. I'm not selfish. Maine turkey hunting has been so good but yet so quick in the early years that I started to invite my closest friends to share my same good fortune. OK a little selfish. I never want the season to end.

      Since 2004 we have filled every gobbler tag we were either awarded or bought over the counter. From a low of three birds to a high of five tags filled last season. I guarantee that is not happening this year. The odds are just too stacked in the gobblers favor. I'm alright with breaking that tradition.
      Saturday my Encore is being fitted with an Aim Point Red Dot Scope. Our first stop Saturday will be to meet BIL at his gun club and install the scope and pattern the gun. Next stop will be to climb the mountain opposite the Inch and a Half Gobbler's strut zone.



      Next to my Double Trouble Mountain topo map on my desk is a topo of this mountain. While pitting Tom's gobbler against the Inch and a Half Hill Gobbler I noticed a large field on the west side of this mountain. As much as I love the east mmskunk always reminds me not to overlook the west. The field is on the other side of the left summit. There is access up the low gap between the peaks. I can think of no better place for Bay and I to get lost. Sleep will come easy in camp that night.

      Sunday the plan is to rendezvous with Dad at the country store at 0430. We are heading to Inch and a Half Hill. Our first attempt last year was bad and good. Bad........we got 100 yards in the woods when I remembered I left my calls in camp. Good...... On our ride back we were greeted by downpours that lasted till 10AM. TC remembers that storm. He was on DWS's Mountain. Dad and I were having breakfast at the country store.

      Remember the old golfer who wasn't ready to die? There were too many things he had yet to experience? Every hardwood ridge in view of camp are waiting for experiences.

      I ain't dead yet.

    6. #26
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      04-26-10
      I have been to Inch and a Half Hill twice this winter. Each time I was there the opposing mountain has been talking to me. Like an American flag that is transformed in stadium bleachers, I see a big neon sign across the mountain that says...."Climb me.".

      So after sighting in my Encore and a quick trip to check on the progress of the USS Coalman, Bay and I were northbound. We arrived at the trail head at approx 1630. In the first 100 yards the sandy trail revealed hen tracks and dropping. At the first bench on the trail as I was convincing my legs this was just a moderate hike, I spied the woods were pretty scratched up from turkey.

      I have been to the north peak of this mountain in the past. Our goal today was to summit the somewhat higher south peak. Thank you to those that have tread before me for the trail sign post.



      Something I thought of before our ascent was the black flies. I went prepared with some Deep Woods Off 30%. But the higher strength Deet was no match for the swarm of black hungry insects. By the time I got to the summit I was pumping out a lot of carbon dioxide. That put a red target on my back. Note to self...bring your black fly net next time dummy.

      There is a lot of history on the mountain. In the low gap between the peaks is this sign.



      Their home was on a center chimney foundation. I could tell this one had been lived in longer than the ones I have found across the mountain at IHH because there was red brick laying on top.



      Those old Mainer's really knew how to make use of the land. This clan also prospected for silver
      in this open pit mine.



      It has been close to 5 years since I have made this hike. The mountain has been transformed in short geological time by this beast.



      The whole mountain is being logged. From what I have seen the landowner and forester have done an excellent job.

      On that first bench I mentioned earlier upon our decent I watched 3 gobblers cross the tote road in front of us. We may start the season here next week. As soon as I convince my legs it was only a "moderate" climb.

    7. #27
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      Met Dad at the country store at 0430. Our mission was Inch and a Half Hill (IHH). A half mile down the trail we made an exit stage left into a grove of mature red pine. This is the jump off spot to IHH. There is a stone wall opening as you leave the pines and emerge into the hardwoods. Just as we went through the bar-way a red light came on on the tree facing the opening. I looked back at Dad. We were both puzzled. That is until an IR red flash went off and we realized it was a trail cam taking our picture. I want to meet this guy. That cam was off the beaten path. This guy knows his woods. I wish I were there to see the expression on his face when he reviews his pictures and sees a couple of camo clad mature human bucks who crossed his infer red at 0500.

      As the camera was reloading for its second picture I stood in front an waved. That is the first trail cam I have ever seen in the woods. Man is he in for a surprise. :lol:

      As luck would have it the only gobbles heard were on Fire Mountain and the spring mountain. Both only a half day walk from where we stood.

      But our main goal was not the location of turkey. It was a scouting trip to find the best access to cross the marsh so in case a turkey was in the sugarbush we wouldn't have to backtrack all the way around. I had seen where the marsh narrowed down and the white on the topo turned to a small section of green. I knew that would be the most narrow spot to cross.

      After showing Dad the century old apple trees I had found on my last trip to IHH we located the narrowing and crossed the brook on an old beaver dam. We 360 'd the marsh back to the main trail with knowledge gained on a wary ole longbeard.

      I saw a lot of scratchings last fall on Hidden Hill so Dad and I made the short drive there. I got some funny looks from Dad as we hiked in through the wastelands. I still remember his comments as we broke out of the wasteland and into the hardwood. "Beautiful"

      Hidden Hill didn't let us down. It was raked with turkey scratchings. That is what white oak will do for a turkey hunter. As we came back down the mountain I spied an old deer stand.



      So just to piss MKM and regnar off............I sat in it. :lol:



      Who said they all had to be made out of metal?

      We hooked up with TC by phone and then we rendezvoused with him at the country store for breakfast. Next we went back to camp to relax and trade stories about our morning adventures. Dad had a screen house he donated to camp so with three minds being better than one we put our heads together and in no time it was erected. We completed the project right in time as we were inhaling black flies.

      Here is the newest addition to Sampson's Bay.



      Dad and TC packed it in about 2PM and headed south. Bay and I stayed and enjoyed a very stress-less time together before we headed south.



      Two weeks till Maine Turkey Camp 2010. I am ready now.

    8. #28
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      06-10-14
      Spring Gobbler Season is over.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      And as with the end of deer season last fall Bay is happy to see it go. I have spent every weekend at camp since my last post in pursuit of a longbeard. I had a great time. Learned a lot about the local woods and places Bay and I will explore again this fall.

      The male partridge (ruffed grouse) serenaded me everyday afield with drumming up until the last day 06-05. I even saw a brood of partridge Saturday while sitting in the truck waiting out a thunderstorm.

      There will be no stocked pheasants for Bay. Partridge and woodcock will be our goal.

      Our training has taken a serious back seat to turkey hunting. But I hope to turn that around. We still go for our nightly walks and recently my wife has been taking her in the morning.

      I was happy and sad at a recent incident in our back yard. Bay stripped a leaf off one of our domestic plants in our yard. My wife told me this was a new habit of hers. She tried to get Bay to drop it and she ran away. Catch me , catch me if you can. I saw that and sternly told her to come.
      I had her sit at my feet and I took the leaf out of her mouth. My wife said "only for you". I knew then I was the alpha. I will not let Bay forget.

      When I got home this weekend I saw this small pool in our back yard. Yup you guessed it. My wife bought a doggie pool. When will she learn this is a dog and not a kid? Never I guess.

      One thing we have noticed is Bay can not take the heat. We have an air conditioner in our bedroom window. Bay found a spot on the bed where she gets the cool airflow. Now after teaching her to sleep in her own dog bed at the base of our bed, she is back on our bed. We love her to death.

      Bay had a wellness check at the vet a couple weeks ago. Just shy of 10 months she weighed 47 pounds. Like mother like daughter. I told my wife when we got Bay she would be small just like her mother. My wife didn't want a big dog. Can you tell I was trying to appease my wife? Thank goodness the prediction came true.

      So it is good to be back reporting on Bay's progress. Our next serious adventure will be a week in October hunting the Maine Northwoods in pursuit of, in my opinion, the best tasting game bird there is, the ruffed grouse.

      And wouldn't you know it, fall turkey season runs at the same time.

      Bay and I are lucky to have each other.

      Thanks for waiting for us!

    9. #29
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      06-13-10
      I have been very apprehensive about Bay and her like or dislike of water. I've seen both sides.
      This winter water was her enemy. She avoided it like a plague.
      This spring was a time to "get her feet wet" but to swim, notta.

      Yesterday we were at our training grounds accompanied by Bay's dad, a big chocolate lab named Duke. There was no need for persuasion. The first stick toss in the water Bay beat Duke to the stick and retrieved to shore. Not to hand but the shore. It is a beginning.

      I have been concerned about a good training ground for Bay. We found that yesterday in a nice mowed 2 acre field surrounded by an old beaver flowage with a year round brook.

      Bay got to be a labrador retriever yesterday.

      06-26-10
      Went over to the Farm this morning. Most of the fields have had their first cut.



      In the back corner of one field is a spring fed pond. I call it a Lab Magnet.



      Bay kept looking at the open water but was very hesitant to swim when she couldn't touch bottom.



      I knew it would only be a matter of time.



      We hung out and did some field work in between swims. Couldn't tell you who had a better time?

    10. #30
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      I spent the whole weekend with my best canine friend.

      Saturday 07/17
      We left for camp early Saturday. We put the heat and bugs out of our mind. This summit was our goal.

      I call this East Mountain. Because I can see it to the east from the campyard.



      There was a lot of history on our climb. Like this spring that flowed over the wall right beside an old cellar hole. It was full of small fish.



      We made the summit about 10AM



      Wasn't much to see at 1,300 feet. The summit is totally forested. Will need to return when the leaves are off.

      Bay loves summiting.



      Sunday 07/18
      Sunday morning found us on the trail early to the River. I have always wanted to investigate this wilderness fishing location. We arrived about 0700.



      The place just screamed native brook trout. But to Bay all it said was SWIM!



      I backpacked in my fishing pole and garden hackle but water, labs and fishing don't go well together.



      Bay is creeping up on a year old at the end of this month. She is everything I expected.


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