Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whitetailopoly Almost Destroyed My Relationship

   Months ago DU and I were sauntering down the isles at Bass Pro when we spotted a long, white box with the woods Whitetailopoly written across it.  Being ones who love board games, we immediately snatched it up.  We continually made attempts at playing the game but unfortunately, those who we unsuccessfully urged to play weren't complacent.  The poor game collected dust until last night when a series of cataclysmic events merged and almost ruined my relationship.

    Christmas went by in a lightning-quick flash.  Presents seemed to open themselves as plates chock-full of delicious vittles that only appear on holidays disappeared into thin air.  Once Tuesday morning had rolled around, my mom was ready to go home.  We had forced-fed her real BBQ, fried pickles, cheerwine, grits, biscuits, duck, and a literal ton of home-cooked goodness.  The dogs loved her, we loved her and she seemed happy with my decision to make my home in the south.  As we dropped her cheerwine loving self off at the airport, I got a little upset.  Okay, I was crying pretty hard.

    Although we didn't know it, all my tears were fruitless.  But we're not there yet. We're still in the car, watching me cry my little eyes out as planes took off over our heads.

   In an effort to get me to stop crying about how much I already missed my mom, DU suggested that we go up to the mountains.  This strategy was spot-on.  It went something like this:

    My girlfriend is weeping.  Although not outwardly wailing, she definitely is upset.
              My girlfriend is not going to work today. Hence, I could do something to make her smile.
                       My girlfriend likes things covered in snow, being cold, and looking at nature.
                             My girlfriend also likes dogs.
Snow + Mountains + Puppies + Together Time = 
Girlfriend stops crying

   Fortunately, his execution of the above equation was flawless and I immediately ceased acting like I was 8.  Smiling with the realization that I got to spend time with my mom, that Christmas was amazing and I'd get to spend time with DU, I jumped when my phone started ringing.  My mom's quasi-upset voice told me that her flight had been canceled because of  the blizzard in the northeast and could we possibly come back and get her?  Quickly over my sadness, we turned around. 
   I know my mom pretty well. Going through a divorce, relocation, college, etc together can either break or strengthen a mother-daughter relationship.  We experienced the latter so when I pulled up to the airport, I could tell all she wanted to do was get home and sleep in her own bed.  Making light of the situation, she asked if DU and I could clear out of the house for a couple of hours.  She said she loved me but needed some alone time could DU and I go do something while she stayed home and cleaned?  A fantastic compromise if I've ever heard one, we set off to go to the mall.  DU suggested a movie so we went on an impromptu date-afternoon.

   Hours later, we arrived to the cleanest version of our house I've ever seen. Mom was cuddled on one of the couches with Oscar as we settled into the big couch for a nice, relaxing night.  The entire boyfriend's family Christmas experience was new to both me and my mom, as DU's family is the first my mom has ever met. So, a calm, collected night to just hang out was needed especially after the canceled flight fiasco.

  I, of course, ruined that calmness when I suggested we play Whitetailopoly.

  I'll pause now to explain I'm not the best loser.  I win in the most gracious manner known to man. However, when I lose. I don't like it.  I get angry.  I revert to a state of childlike dependency and pout when things don't go my way.  Kindergarten taught me nothing except that life is better when I consistently win at everything.  So, after the whirlwind weekend and my mom's exhaustion, playing the board game seemed like a good idea at the time.  But, as we shall see, I should have just suggested more wine and an early bedtime.

  We settled around the coffee table in the living room to set up the game.  I immediately noticed that the game is a piece of hunting artwork.  Choosing from the pieces was tough enough, Do I want to be a shed? A tripod? A bullet? A bow? Is that a doe? The normal quartet of railroads is replaced with various taxidermy shops.  Boardwalk, Park Place and their fellow colored spaces are nowhere to be found in Whiteailopoly.  Instead are whitetail guide services and outfitters from across the country.  Utilities no longer spring forth water and electricity. Who needs those when you have firepower? Yes, friends, this glorious game turns Martin bows and TC firearms into necessities.  Best of all, instead of going to jail, the unlucky player gets their hunting license revoked and is sent to the Division of Wildlife for three turns.  Oh how glorious the game unfolded.

  Then came to dolling out money.  When DU forced me into being the banker, the game, in my eyes, started to go downhill.  I can barely count to ten let alone try to figure out how much 8 cabins cost after taking out $500 and subtracting $200 for passing go.  I hemmed and hawed trying to relinquish my title of banker but to no avail.  I quickly remembered that being the banker automatically makes it easier to steal money so I complained a few more times to shield any accusatory glances and then I fully concentrated on making sheepish grabs for the faux currency.

  The beginning of the game went perfectly.  DU was sent to jail and had to pay turn after turn for new ammunition, shoulder mounts, and a new bow.  His frustration mounted as mom and I gleefully rounded the board turn after turn, amassing card after card of property. 

  And then the game changed.  After securing one of the taxidermy shops, I figured the game was in the bag and yet again my prematurely victorious brain was screaming defeat and sounded oddly like a Hitler propaganda speech. YOU SEE THAT?? MUAHAHHAHAH.  MY LANDS WILL MULTIPLY AND I WILL BE THE LEADER OF ALL!! I WIN! THE WORLD IS MIIINNNEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Then DU landed on the second taxidermy shop. Then the third. His little, stupid piece then landed on the fourth.  My anger must have muddled my thought process because when he offered a purple property for $350, I scoffed and quickly said no- even though I needed it.  Silly me then offered the last railroad for the purple property. I watched as the nail was securely hammered into my coffin when DU accepted the trade.  Soon he was raking in the fake money as turn after turn landed us on his taxidermy shops.

  I figured that if I were the first to strike in building cottages, I'd win.  So, I built up my series of properties.  Rubbing my hands together in the way that only diabolical bad guys in cartoons do, I waited for the dice roll that would turn the game into malleable putty in my hands. 

  Just as my eyes filled with the grandiose parade that would follow my victory, DU filled his properties with gleaming, pearl colored lodges.  Putting my tiny little cabins to shame, I glared at him.

  I spent too many turns in jail but no one noticed.  Being sprung from my entrapment with a new hunting license in my hand, I boldly rolled the die.  The number landed me right on DU's newly constructed lodges.  Price to hunt?  $1100.

  I looked at him with the most amount of intense anger I could muster. Again reverting back to my 3rd grade mentality, I pouted and made a big deal about throwing my stupid cabins back in the box..  DU, visibly confused by my attitude, took the money in a sincere way after asking why I was acting ridiculous.  In retrospect, what I should've said in order to keep him around was, "Of course I'm being ridiculous, that's what I'm getting across, hunny.  I love winning and when I don't, I automatically turn into a 4 -year-old who wants a Dora The Explorer lunch box but gets Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots instead.  I'm sorry, take my money and win the game. I love you."  But hindsight is always 20/20 so what did I say? "Its fine".  Oh Lisa, that is never the right thing to say.  Those two little words conceal a bomb full of anger that is just waiting to explode. 

  Of course the game's vibe turned from happy family time to a recreation of World War II.  I paid DU and the game went on.  But just as fate would have it, the dice placed me exactly within the confines of the property as before.  Another $1100 that I didn't have transformed in the blink of an eye into the means of my expulsion from the game. 

  Fury coursed through my veins like adrenaline when seeing a big buck or a gaggle of geese. I gave the meager $16 I had left, threw my properties into auction and allowed myself to dramatically fall on the couch.  DU and mom, tickled pink by my outward expression of anger, played along happily until a victor was crowned. Not one to gloat or belittle his conquered peoples, DU bowed out of the living room. 

  I followed begrudgingly in his wake.  I apologized for acting like a brat and calmly explained my I-must-win-all-the-time-disease. He looked at me like he briefly contemplated ending our courtship but thought better of it.  My apology was taken well and it seems as of now that Whitetailopoly has not ruined my relationship. But it came close.

  Games that include some sort of monetary gain, accumulation of assets, construction of hotels, cabins, etc, and a high level of competition cause me to transfigure into a bratty, angry, winning-hungry, bitchy alter-ego. So, while the game is perfectly fantastic and should be a staple in every hunter's household, it will go back on its shelf in order to collect dust long enough for me to get over my recent loss.

  Until then, I'll stick with Scrabble.  As writing is my forte and my prowess in playing non-existent words is unparalleled, I never lose. Wanna play?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day After Christmas!

Merry Christmas, y'all! 

Just wanted to throw out a quick note to again wish everyone a fantastic holiday!

Here are some highlights from our day.... 

The dogs transformed into reindeer.  While Oscar and Titus were into it, Avery- not so much.

Oscar was just thrilled to be the angel for the day.

Our redneck Christmas tree was warmed by the fire as our shotgun shell lights shed light on the presents below.

Best of all... SNOW!!! This western new york native loves the white stuff.  Hence, when I woke up to a North Carolina in a practical state of emergency, I threw on my boots and ran outside!
Avery hasn't seen snow yet so she was hesitant... 

But Titus was happy to show his little sister the ways of playing in snow. 

All in all- it was a great holiday.  

My mom got in safe, our families got along perfectly and the food was delicious. 

As for now, we're going to drive down these empty roads to Bass Pro Fishing to spend some of our Christmas presents! 

Keep warm, y'all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Distance is Next to Godliness

     It was Friday morning at around 3:30am.  Having gone to bed at 8, this huntress was ready for a good duck hunt.  I bounded out of bed and frantically began searching for my camo.  It took me about thirty seconds to realize that I had discarded my waterfowl wears outside in the 21 degree garage.  Great.  DU was taking the dogs out so I couldn't beg with big, blue eyes to implore him to go get my stuff for me.  Hence, I began thinking warm thoughts and pushed open the garage door.  Sporting a really old tank top and DU's boxers, I was greeted with Bridges standing at the door. I can't stand when DU's hunting buddies come over earlier than expected. I immediately tried to make myself invisible which didn't really work out.  Laughing, he looked at me like I was certifiably insane. Clinging onto my non-existent invisibility powers, I ran as quickly as I could to gather my camo. I made a mental note to bring in my stuff next time as I rushed back into the warm confines of the house.

  Finally fully clothed, I rushed out to the truck and we got going to the place we explored the weekend prior.  The morning was beautifully clear as we rounded into the parking lot.  As DU pulled the boat away from it's trailer, Bridges and I parked the truck.  We were walking back towards the boat when a man, obviously waiting impatiently for his buddies, waved at us.  We said hello and he proceeded to tell us that a group had gone before us about 15 minutes ago. They were headed for the duck blind.

  I groaned. Shit.  That's where DU and I had scouted previously.  DU had said in the morning that if we can't get this spot, he would have no idea where to go. The problem with this piece of water is that 85% of it is refuge land.  Hence, the places in which one can hunt are limited.  Worse yet, telling where one can hunt versus where hunting is illegal is difficult to decipher in the pitch-black hours before sunrise. 

  As I walked down the dock to the boat, I didn't want to tell DU that our spot had been taken.  But again, hoping that my cuteness would help in easing the pain of having our perfect spot occupied, I smiled sweetly as I divulged the bitter news.  DU sighed and started driving.  The prop on the mud motor has been getting beaten up pretty badly so the drive out to where we had intended to hunt was agonizingly slow.

  Sure enough, as we got close to our chosen spot, lights danced as hunters invisibly set up their spread.  The distinct plops of decoys hitting the water permeated the air, mocking us for not getting up earlier.  DU navigated the boat to an enclave on the side of an island, a safe, expansive distance from our fellow hunters.

  Then more bad luck.  Setting up shop with our trio has started to take on a cyclical pattern. DU and Bridges throw out the decoys, set up the Mojo and jerk string while I set up the blind.  The guys help me put up the legs then I roll the sides down.  I put things in their proper place and ensure that everything is organized so as to not interfere with the hunt.  I started my blind duties when I heard DU curse, loudly.

  The small leak that had begun to form in his waders turned bad.  He was soaked to the bone so Bridges had to set everything up.  Just as before, a decoy's weight wasn't let out enough so the little goose decided to go for a swim.  Of course, we had to break down the blind, drive to go get the goose,  set him right, then go back and re-set up the blind. Tempers that were starting to rise slowly receded once all was set up. We thankfully fired on the sunflower heater and enjoyed the warmth.

  And then we heard it.  One boat, then another, then 2, then 4 more, then even more came tearing down the river.  As small as this body of water is, we were shocked when we saw group after group nudging their way near the blind we had originally wanted.  Obviously not buddies with the incoming hunters, the hunters in the blind were covered on all sides with too-close-for-comfort hunters. Open-mouthed we saw a boat of hunters set up within 20 yards of another boat.  Turning on our headlamps as to be recognized, we saw a group of hunters pass by us, loudly figuring out where to hunt.  They almost decided to set up shop on the opposite side of our spot, 10 yards away but must have felt our fatal glares because they continued on their way.

  If the sun rose in a beautiful manner, we didn't see it. Clouds muddled the sky in a perfect duck hunting morning fashion.  Excited, we looked to the sky for the oncoming birds.

  Shooting time lazily rolled around.  Minutes ticked by with not a shot to be heard.

 Soon enough, ducks started to fly.  Shortly followed by a symphony of the worst duck callers I've ever heard. I know that I can't blow on a duck call perfectly well yet but I'm certainly on my way.  I keep trying but I know better than to try to call during hunting. If I called, a duck would either attempt to fly down to figure out what sort of strange duck could emit such a noise or fly away in fear.  I leave it up to DU whose calls rival those I've heard on waterfowl CDs and shows.  Hence, when the calls started to make my ears bleed, DU got annoyed. The hunters near us sounded like ducks with a serious case of whooping cough combined with a touch of slight laryngitis. While their strategy may have been to amass ducks who are also sick and need a cough drop, the waterfowl weren't buying it.

  But, just like sunlight ripping clouds open to display its majestic beauty, the geese came.  DU's annoyance melted away as he heard their calls.  The amateur calls ceased as DU's goose call brought forth noises that only geese themselves have perfected.  For a brief, beautiful second all was still as DU talked the V of geese into flying directly over our blind.  Honks were exchanged, the head goose figured that DU was his long, lost cousin, Sidney, and the whole flock was going to fly down to meet him. As the geese began to descend, we turned into statues, our hands firmly on our guns, waiting until they flew within shooting range.   

  Then shots rang out.  DU's fists turned white as he gripped his call tightly.  The hunters encroaching on one another began sky blasting  the geese, disallowing the birds to be worked into flying closer.  Still out of kill range, the geese immediately turned their course and flew higher in the opposite direction. 

  Group after group responded to DU's calls only to fly away swiftly after the sky blasts of our fellow hunters ensured that no one would be eating bacon-wrapped goose that night.

  Disgusted with the day, we packed up early.

  Driving home, Bridges and DU vowed to never step foot on public land to hunt ducks on the weekends ever again. I sat and listened while watching the landscape blur.  Although I didn't say it, I was disgusted too. This thing we love, the hunt, is being desecrated by those who love it. I was disturbed with how closely the boats were getting to another, how late the boats were cruising by the blinds. Worst of all had to have been the blind shooting at waterfowl that were entirely too high to get a good shot at. Sky blasting reeked of greed and stupidity as the guys just wanted to shoot at something, they didn't realize the geese needed to be worked in order to become dinner.  I know the hunt is so much more than just the harvest but this whole day was just one big disappointing mess   I sighed, set my head against the window and prayed that next hunt will bring different results.

   The next day, DU and I rose early to attend our newly found church.  The current series is the precursor to Christmas, so our Pastor has been seriously fired up.  The message that day was all about having gratitude. Gratitude, the Pastor surmised, is how to thank God for and how to continue to experience our blessings.  While the message hit close to home in many areas, it took some time of reflection before I connected the message with the hunt the day prior.

   It is in the good, fruitful days of hunting that I will harbor my gratitude for days like the one described.  In times of trial, surrounded by seemingly ignorant hunters, birds that don't feel like flying, deer that refuse to move, and overall frustrating seasons, I will call on my gratitude for the continued blessing to be able to hunt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Quagmire: Week Four

A Quagmire of Thoughts from a Tree Stand

Hey Blogging World!
As previously posted, I'm starting this little rant, rave, review and random weekly compilation of the outdoor world. This week has marked yet another busy week for a tired Hunt Like Your Hungry writer. DU and I haven't been out hunting this week, as holiday obligations, finals, and sleep had us tangled up.  However, Since I've heard I'm stubborn, which of course I'm not, the Quagmire must go on. Since Ben and Albert's contribution to this little project, no other submissions have found themselves to my e-mail so, dearest reader, send something in! Anything!

Feel guilty yet?


What If I look sadly at the computer and pretend to cry?


Not working? That lip quiver is gold!

I'll make you cookies!

Virtual ones shaped like dinosaurs with pink frosting!!

Hehe.  Okay.  On a serious note,share your stories, reviews, etc of the places you love to frequent in your hunting endeavors!I love reading them and so do your fellow bloggers!

It's Almost Christmas!
It is! Yay!! I can't wait for a guy in red suit to break into my house, eat my food and leave me a purple pony!! I've decided to take this week's Quagmire and turn it into a selfish list of the things I desire for the fat man to bring me. I think I'm being pretty reasonable so let's get started, shall we, my little elves?

Hunt Like You're Hungry's DEMANDS for December 25th:

Dear Santa, 
Hey! Its me, Lisa! I just wanted to write you this letter so you know exactly what I require for this Christmas.  I've been an angel a perfect, upstanding individual a good girl as good as I can be this year.  I've been an ethical hunter, a great mom to three puppies and I make DU oatmeal in the morning.  I feel that that constitutes the following gifts to make their merry little ways under my tree.  I've left you a fifth of Jack Daniel's, some venison jerkey, BBQ chips, and  a couple beers for the road.  I know cookies can get old so I figured I'd throw you some good stuff.  No, Santa this is not a bribe.  Okay, maybe it is.  But a girl can try!

1) Snow 
This is more of a rant than anything else. I love the fluffy, white stuff. It is beautiful and makes even the ugliest tree look like a work of art. Currently, my hometown in Rochester, NY has reached a state-record-breaking snowfall. 42 inches so far in December and the number is still climbing. In North Carolina, however, it  has snowed twice and left less than an inch of the white precipitation.  Granted, watching everyone rushing out to buy emergency supplies and laughing at winter driving safety tips on TV has been amusing but I miss the rolling hills and how everything looks majestic after a good, hearty snowfall. Titus especially misses it, as he loves frolicking in feet of snow. I realize this may prove difficult, as you'd have to alter the climate but since you can go to everyone's house in one night, then I'm sure you can pull this one off.

2) An Alaskan Moose Hunt

Okay so this may freak Rudolf out a little bit, but he doesn't have to see the dead moose I'll eventually harvest.  This has been a dream of mine since I started hunting and I feel that I deserve it.  You did read that I made DU oatmeal in the morning. Santa, that kitchen floor is COLD in the morning.  Hence, I deserve this moose hunt.  It doesn't even need to be really fancy either! Just a nice guide service, a warm log cabin with a gigantic fireplace as lodging and some big ol' moose just waiting to become dinner. Not too much to ask right? 

3) A Pony

What's the deal, Santa? I've been asking for a pony for YEARS and to no avail, every year I come down and guess what?? No pink pony with a shimmery mane that all my school friends would be insanely, widely jealous of.  Not cool. So anyways, I still want one. Better late that never, right? I can ride it to work and all my co-workers will be green with envy. 

4) A Fancy Writing Job at an Outdoor Magazine

I'm not entirely sure if you delve in these kinds of Christmas presents, but let me tell you, St. Nick, it would be a wise decision. First of all, I know you're been following my blog, because let's be serious, who hasn't? Also, you know I hunt.  So what other present could be better than allowing one of your biggest believers to hunt for a living and writing while doing it? In fact, you can encompass each of my other requests in this one, tiny gift. See, Santa? I'm making your job SO easy! 

Well, Santa that looks about it for me. I left some shotgun shells carrots for the reindeer.  Be sure to tell Rudolf I'll be seeing him on my wall in the future! 

Love you!!!
The Writing Huntress

Happy Holidays from Hunt Like You're Hungry

I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a very merry and safe Christmas season. Even though this was not expressed above in my 8-year-old- brat persona, Christmas is about Family, Friends, Jesus and Love.  Hence, be sure to take a moment and say a prayer of thanks for those who surround you everyday.  I want to thank my readership for making this blog the slight success it is becoming and the Outdoor Blogging Network for all the fantastic work they do. If you're hunting in the next week or so, please be safe! Wear your orange and harvest some good wild game! 
Merry Christmas from all here at HLYH

-Lisa, DU, Avery, Titus, and of course, Oscar. 

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Don't Care if it's Neoprene, Mom.

   If you've been following Hunt Like You're Hungry, then you should be well aware of my affinity and ownership of the canine species. We have three fantastic puppies who have fallen into our laps out of the sky.  Okay, maybe they didn't fall out of the sky, as that would incur some serious mental defects, but they certainly act like it. I'm not saying that my dogs are stupid.  Okay, since they can't read I can say yes, our dogs seem to have some sort of processing delay.  That statement was all-inclusive until Avery came along.  

    The slowest of the brood, Oscar and Titus seem like long-lost, confused brothers.  While they have their moments where their little brains suddenly spark to life, their days generally follow the same pattern; get up, get excited about going outside, run, go inside, eat, sleep, get excited about going outside, run, eat, try to get on Mom and Dad's bed, get yelled at, sleep.

   Big Boy Oscar is old and ornery.  He constantly whines in an attempt to convey his inner turmoil, Ugh Mom and Dad.  No I can't move from the bed, I realize you guys want to go to sleep but I can't move.  My legs have all simultaneously broken.  NOOOO DAD don't pick me up. Fine. I admit it,  I was exaggerating my legs aren't broken. But they might as well be!! DAD!!  Don't you realize how hard my life is? When I take the time to explain to my little manatee-esque Oscar that his day consisted of sleeping and occasionally tearing himself off of the couch to eat, my rant is met with a vague stare.  He then sighs, takes twenty minutes to get down, looks at me like I've ruined his world, turns around forty-five times on his dog bed until all imaginary twigs have been patted down, sighs and goes to sleep. This cycle continues everyday without fail, as the pit bull is long-suffering and has a terribly difficult life. 

  Then there's Titus.  How can I even begin to describe his mental state? The most loyal, fantastic dog I've ever come in contact with, Titus' brain is the one place that I wish I could explore for a day.  Besides constantly following me around, trying to make friends with squirrels, and intensely staring at empty expanses of sky,  this pit-boxer mix is a master of escape.  One day, I walked out in our fenced in yard and saw Oscar alone barking at the six-foot tall lawn entrapment.  Confused, I started calling Titus. After two minutes, he bounded from the woods, looking happier than a trophy hunter with a 49 point buck. Once I was assured he was fine, I took a moment to investigate the fence to make sure that there weren't any holes in or under the fence that he could escape from once more.  There weren't. Shortly after, Titus ran full-bore into a wall after skidding through the kitchen.  As I looked at his bugged-eyed, ignorently blissful, mud-covered, vacant gaze, I realized that no, my dog is not right.

  We figured all was lost until Avery came into our lives.  When Titus or Oscar are told to do something, besides Oscar's deep sighs and overall stubborn personality, the command is always carried out without question.  I say shake, I get paws thrown at me.  I say come, I hear elephants scurrying through the kitchen.  I say wanna go to the doctor? and both dogs shake their bodies with a questionably large amount of enthusiasm.  Wanna jump off a bridge? generally sends Titus and Oscar into a tizzy so ferocious that they start fighting, a battle, I assume, over who gets to jump off first. Then again, if I were to say anything with a high-pitched inflection, both dogs go nuts. FOOTBALL! CUISINART! PANCAKE! each will cause the duo to run around circles and jump (as well as big dogs can) in the air. Oscar will smile while Titus does his signature "happy dance." (Imagine a 60 pound dog standing on a pile of burning wood who is unable to keep his paws, for even more than a second, on the burning embers) But Avery is different.

   I'm not saying that she doesn't follow commands, she does, but she seems a little bit more thoughtful. When we got the little pup, she was timid about everything, as if she needed to fully understand her surroundings before she fully committed to anything.  When the other dogs get excited, Avery usually sticks herself a few feet back in order to really figure out exactly why her brothers are acting like rabid hyenas. It took weeks before she'd stick her head out of the car window, and even longer for her to play with her brothers.

  This weekend, we abstained from hunting, as sleep and DU's finals were calling.  Hence, on Saturday we decided to take the boat out to explore some prospective hunting spots for opening day. Avery's been out in the boat before, testing the waters as Duck Retrieval Extraordinaire. However, as of late, Avery's been lax in her retrieving and acting like a big primadonna.  So, in order to check her little princess attitude and get used to the cold, we took her out on the majestic 45 degree day, sporting her new neoprene vest. 

   The day started out well, Avery jumped in the car and rode quietly to the expanse of water we were searching. We pulled into the boat launch, descended from the truck and began boating preparations. Knowing full well what was coming, Avery bounced out of the truck. She gracefully allowed me to pick her up and place her in the boat.

  We flew down the river and for a slight moment, Avery's bat-dog persona believed she could fly as well.

  With her ears at least.

  Our loud motor kicked up thousands of migrating and resident waterfowl.  It was beautiful how loud their wings became as the birds collectively took flight.  Avery silently watched, save for a few growls.  We found a neat shallow area to stop the boat quickly and see how our duck dog took to cold water.  DU's long legs easily scaled the side of the boat in one motion.  Immediately noticing what was about to occur,  those little brown eyes looked at me, pleading.

         Avery:  Are we really about to do this, mom?
         Me:  Yup. Sorry, sweetheart but you have to get used to this cold water. 
        Avery:  This is child abuse.  This water is seconds away from freezing. 
         Me: Bleeding hearts of the world unite, love. Look, you have a neoprene vest- you'll be warm. 
        Avery:  I don't care if it's neoprene, Mom. I'm not going in. I hardly think a vest will keep me warm. Have you ever worn a vest in frigid water and been told to retrieve ducks in your mouth?
        Me:  Can't say that I have. But then again, you're a dog, covered in fur, and don't forget, you love doing this so get your cute butt in the water. 
       Avery:  No. 
       Me: If your brothers were here, they would do my bidding.
       Avery: Ugh, Mom. Have you seen them? Titus eats dirt and Oscar's breath smells like dead fish- of course they do your bidding, they're idiots.
       Me: You chase your tail for hours a day. 
      Avery: Point taken. 
      Me: Good, now get in the water.
      Avery: No. 

At that second,  my lovely girl backed into the edge of the boat where DU was standing.  Seeing the opportunity, DU swept her up and threw her in.  Landing with a soft thud, Avery surfaced and frantically tried to get back on the boat

    Avery: Mooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!!!!  Help me up!! Help me up!! PLEASE!! I swear I'll stop chasing my tail!

   Unable to get back in the boat, Avery stopped floundering and simply stood in the water, refusing to look in our direction. We realized that Avery would sooner start tap dancing than move in the chilly water so we packed up and ventured back to shore.  As the sun started to set, I realize that lack of sun and freezing water was turning Avery into a pupsicle. I sat down and held her tight. Slowly she started to thaw. On the way home,  her gaze started to soften and I could see that she understood even in some deep,  puppy way why she had to go in the water. I whispered to her that she was going to make a great duck dog.  Through sleepy eyes, she must have heard because soon she was contently dreaming of retrieving ducks.

  When we got home, Titus and Oscar ran to us as if we had been gone for weeks.

    Chorus: We love you!! We love you!! Where have you been? Did you bring treats?? You smell good! We love you!!!

    Even with a few processing delays, fishy breaths, teenager attitudes, and questionable comprehension skills, my dogs are the greatest source of amusement and love I could ever ask for.  Titus and Oscar will always be strictly, ignorantly loyal, fun-loving pups.  It remains to be seen how well Avery is going to take to water.  If this weekend showed us anything,  it is that she'll be hardworking and do great- even if she gets scared or hesitates, we'll be by her side to help her out, no matter what.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Quagmire: Week Three

A Quagmire of Thoughts From a Tree Stand

Hey Blogging World!
As previously posted, I'm starting this little rant, rave, review and random weekly compilation of the outdoor world. It has been an extremely busy week here on Hunt Like You're Hungry.  With the recent scandal over my Sarah Palin post and my daily, unfruitful pre-work trips to the woods, this huntress has been insanely busy.  I have some really neat news that has shocked even me, an awesome story by one of my fantastic readers, and some more Redneck Christmas cheer. Therefore, we have a lot to cover on this week's edition of The Quagmire- so let's get to it! 

I'm on CNN? 

   I was enjoying a nice movie with one of my work friends (the one who sings all the time) and I got a text from E4.  All he said was, "I think I saw you on CNN."  This statement made me scared for a couple of seconds. First of all, what did I do to get on CNN? Is it those inebriated pictures from Oktoberfest?  Did I get arrested and don't remember it?  I shot a quick text to DU and told him to watch the channel to see what was going on.  He said he couldn't see anything so E4 must have mistaken it for something else.  We thought that until this morning when we were sent the link.  Low and behold, about 2 minutes into the Sarah Palin: Caribou Slayer segment appeared my blog.  It looked a little something like this:

If you've been following my various postings then the words above should ring eerily similar to the ones I posted on Monday (and that sliver of hair encased in a camo bandanna is quintessentially mine). I was (and still am) extremely shocked that my little blog  reached world-wide ears. I was happy with the segment in that when it came time for hunter outcry, my blog was used as an example and was not muddled with any major political agenda. When I first began this blog, I was nervous when anyone (even my mom) read it.  Thinking that millions have seen it (okay maybe not millions but the posting has had 920 page views this week alone) makes me a little sick to my stomach but it gives me motivation to keep on writing.  Thank you to all my readers, you are fantastic!

HLYH Reader's Fondest Hunting Memory:
Name: Ben G.
Blog: Ben G. Outdoors 

Here is a bit about a tradition we use to have when my brother and cousins were younger and unmarried.

First, we all used to get together and find spots for our stands (we hunt public land and change spots often). This was usually an all day event. When you are trying to find two trees per guy in a group of 5, it takes a while. Most of the time we would be sitting some- what close to each other. Lots of teasing took place but we always helped each other out to make the process much more timely.

The night before opening shotgun season, we would all go over to my uncles house for a big dinner and lots of BSing. Everyone would talk about how they would be the next one to get the big buck or how they had the best spot picked out. Then we would make fun of the guy who shot the fawn the year before. Teasing them that it still had milk in its mouth, or the neighbors dog probably weighed more then the deer did. The laughs never stopped.

We would try to go to bed early, but it never happened; one, because we were all too anxious for the next morning, and two, we just kept talking all night.  When morning would roll around my uncle would wake up before us and start making breakfast. We would always wake up to the smell of eggs and bacon and sometimes waffles would be added to the mix to make things that much better.  After breakfast we would all pile into the conversion van and head out to the woods. Those were some of the best times I've had hunting.

These days we all still hunt together, but with families and other responsibilities we don't have time to all go pick out our trees together, or it just doesn't make sense to all stay over at my uncles house any more. But the joking and teasing hasn't stopped either have all of the great times we have out in the woods.

Thank you ever so much for sharing your heart-warming look into the past, Ben.  These memories are to be cherished and it's nice to see that some things never change. 

A Blog Posting Too Funny Not To Share

I have a contingency of blogs I read with some regularity and this blog will definitely be added to that list.  Yesterday I read Ian Nance's Blog,The Wild Life. He had written a post about Turkey snatching and it was not only perfectly written but absolutely hysterical.  You see, DU has the tendency to throw elbows, knees and fists in my general direction during slumber.  I'm not all innocent as I came close to breaking his nose after two perfectly placed shots brought my fantastic and understanding counterpart to tears. My subconscious is starting to ward off his blows and I generally wake up blocking one of his shots. But this post made me think.  I never thought to ask him if he was trying to grab ducks out of the sky.    

Update: DU read this post and he wanted to make it clear to the entirely of the blogging world that he DID NOT cry.  Apparently, as per him, I'm permitted to say such things as:  " I broke his nose. He yelled. He manned up and punched me in the face.  He is a man among men and did not even blink an eye."  I hate lying on this blog, as all of that is completely untrue and out of his character, but since they're his words and not mine, I'm technically not lying.  

A Redneck Christmas (part III)

   As you all should be well aware of now, I love Bass Pro.  However, I love it even more now as Christmas looms near.  Sauntering into the store a few weeks ago, I noticed a smorgasbord of everything Christmas had tastefully attacked every surface of the hunting mecca.  The place looked like a winter wonderland and not in a gaudy, everyone-needs-to-wear-Elf-ears-because-we-want-patrons-to-spend-more-money-way. 

   A large majority of the store had been transformed into a Santa's workshop.  Free games and crafts for the little ones which of course equals free time to shop for the parents.  What really struck me however, is that the photos with Santa were free.  This may seem small but I've seen pictures with Santa cost as much as $15 bucks, which is outrageous. This Santa was GOOD too.  He was jolly and nice, not in that creepy-mall Santa kind of way. Best yet, he was flanked on each side by actual reindeer.  

    I really wanted to have a chit-chat with the red-suited man and tell him for the thousandth time that I've been a really good girl and where in God's name is my Pony, but DU had already retreated to the recesses of the waterfowl section to make a wish-list.  Hence, my cameraman was gone. I must have caught the jolly man's eye, however, because as I walked away I could have sworn the old man winked.  Maybe I will finally get that pony after all!
    All in all, if there is a Bass Pro Fishing shop around, near, 50 miles away from your current residence and you have or enjoy acting like a child, then I strongly suggest you stop by sometime before Christmas! The sales will save some of your hard-earned money and the holiday hospitality can not be beat!

There it is, folks!  
There's only a few weeks till Christmas so be sure to buy your loved ones lots of camo, ammunition, jackalope mounts, and guns!

Like what you see? Have a review on a great place to eat after hunting or a place you just love to go to obtain necessary outdoor implements? Share it and you'll be featured on future Quagmire editions! 
Check Out The Quagmire page for rules, ideas and where to send your submission! 

Have a great week, y'all! 

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sarah Palin's Caribou Hunt has Ruined My Wednesday

    Good morning, faithful reader.  I do hope that you are having an amazing day but unfortunately for yours truly, I am not.  On Monday, I wrote a little hunter rant about Sarah Palin's fabled caribou hunt which was televised by TLC.  The originating idea that began this whole mess was a simple question put forth by DU's brother, I responded to the question and figured the conversation would make for a titillating post.  Happy with my sharp writing whit, I bade my computer good-night and let it get some rest.  The next morning, Tuesday, I opened my blog and was perplexed as to how my views had gone from minimal to astronomical in mere hours. I happily thought that my blog had finally taken off and millions would begin clinging to my every word while I gleefully quit my job, allowing myself all the time in the world to force my ingenious ideas to adhere to these posting cells. All of these fuzzy feelings soon partially dissipated when I realized two sites had gotten a hold of my posting and was using it as a "female hunter's perspective" on the whole Palin thing. 

   My little fame balloon was punctured but as I watched it whirl and turn, losing its internal air, I figured that this type of inclusion in such a political-heavy issue couldn't be all bad.  That is of course, until today when I tentatively logged in and stared open-mouthed at my statistics for the day.  The posting from just 2 days before had over 350 page views, and the number was rising.  I'm not one that is used to any sort of grandiose attention in terms of my writing, I have a fantastic but small readership, so this was big.  Before figuring that I would be the next guest on The Colbert Report, I had to again quell my desires to pack up my desk and venture off for greener, more deer filled pastures. I began looking through the sites that I was mentioned in.  And then I got to looking at the comments of the readers of the sites. And then I got mad.

   Okay, in all reality that last part was added for dramatic affect.  When I began pursuing the various sites and comments, I was happy.  People were using my post as a way to see what real hunters think about Palin's PR Caribou hunt, but even better- a real, female hunter! Random people who live in all pockets of this great nation were congratulating, thanking and taking notice of my writing. My prematurely victorious brain once again shouted, Success!! I am awesome!! Writing for a living and hunting everyday of my beautiful life, here I come!!. My brain, the greedy, attention-seeking, manic thing it happens to be forced my fingers to continue to look through the rest of the sites that had linked my blog. One site was full of some fantastic readers who really understood where I was coming from, even if they had an aversion to hunting. Then I made that fateful move that everyone in the movie theater watching my life story yells at me not to do; I went to another site that had picked up my link.

   And then it came.  That comment that makes a hunter's eyes roll back in their sockets, fists clench,and arms tremble with the overwhelming instinct to bludgeon something- the environmentalist-vegan-animal-lover who feels badly for the poor caribou that nasty Alaska lady killed. People are connecting Palin's hunt with bulldog fighting while superb conversationalists discuss how mean it is to kill an animal with a bullet that may or may not die from natural causes in the future. Right under that comment lays a gem about how hunters encroach on animal's natural habitats which is worse than killing the poor creatures. And who can forget the man who argues that hunting isn't a sport because the animals who are being hunted aren't heavily armed in return.  Last but certainly not least is the economical woman who advises hunters to add up all the money we've spent on stands, calls, blinds, decoys, etc and see how many boxes of mac and cheese we could buy.  She may be onto something, readers! How come I didn't think of hunting for boxes of mac and cheese?

  As my eyes glued to the ridiculous words flying by my face, I was appalled. I have had people disagree, condemn, and be disgusted by my passion but I've never seen it on this scale. Worst of all, these people had no idea what in the world they were talking about.  I never rant and rave about politics because I don't know anything about it!  Being uninformed while attempting to argue a point is my biggest pet peeve and it makes people look like idiots.  Which got me thinking.

  I can write about hunting because I know it.  I live it.  I love it and it's an ancient part of myself as a human being.  But what if these vegan, environmental, caribou-loving individuals (VECI) loved the world as much as they claimed; what would their lives look like?  If the main things they required in order to live were reduced to fit the confines of their beliefs their world may look a little like this:


   Assuming that many environmentally friendly individuals see man's intrusion on animals as an attack on their natural habitats, the VECI would have to live as far away from animals as possible.  Also, since animals have feelings that need to be taken into account when hunting, plants and trees should be lumped into that category as well given they are all carbon based and we're not ones to discriminate, are we, VECI?  Given that trees, just like animals, feel pain when you hurt them, then the VECI can't build shelter out of wood, pine cones, or ferns.  Therefore, the best route for the VECI would be to either make some sort of home out of mud (adobe is in!) or ice. 


    As the world is well aware, VECI refuses to eat anything that comes from an animal.  Hence, caribou, elk, moose, deer, bear, lion, cow, chicken, buffalo, pig, boar, duck, fish, octopus, giraffe, kangaroo, alligator, hippopotamus, panther, squirrel, squid, owl, velociraptor, and the like are all just pretty little beings that are free to roam everywhere, safe from the evil hunter's scary gun. Which is even better for the VECI! Since hunters won't be present in the VECI world, no one will be there to defend anyone from any animal attacks.  If bears come and eat your toddler, let him! He's just doing what nature intended.  Besides, you should have been further away enough from the bear so he would not feel threatened by your invasion of his personal space, silly VECI.  But I digress.
      If we're going with the idea that VECI feel that things made of carbon have feelings then nothing that grows can be eaten, lest feelings be hurt. Therefore, the best route for the VECI would be to either eat mud or ice.  Organic is in!  


         See that gross ditch filled with mud and rainwater?  Drink it. 

* Please note: the above is only a hyperbole in order to illustrate the hypocritical nature of many of the comments my eyes were unfortunate enough to take sight of. 

   Ah how much many people underestimate the importance of harvesting animals for the good of humankind.  But unfortunately, now hunting's dirty laundry (read: Sarah Palin) has made it so that even more people have a skewed perspective of this ancient practice that we hold so much passion for.  It is in the hope of this huntress that this disgusting bout of negative hunting PR will slowly dissolve as time passes.  Either that or more ethical, moral, legal hunters will come to the forefront in order to fully defend this way of life which has supported mankind for centuries. 

   I came to the conclusion that I feel the most alive when I hunt after continually facing that ever-present question, "How can you hunt?".   Even if I'm faced with scorn, ignorance, and rejection I will still hunt.  Its is a beautiful, ancient practice that I am always proud to love and share.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Negative Hunter Representation

   We all know that hunters generally get a bad rap for a number of things.  Like clockwork every season, hunters of all kinds come out of the woodwork and do stupid things that make news reporters savor at the delightful smell of hunting gone array.  I'm used to it, a little annoyed by it, but most of all, I've learned ways to prevent any dumb accident from occurring while a gun or bow is in my hand.  It only takes one person to give our community of hunters, fishers and outdoorsmen a bad name.

    I'm not one to point fingers or name names but in this case, I have to.

    DU's brother sent me the link below:

     Being the political savvy, complete non-hunter DU's brother is, he wanted to know what our opinion of the whole thing was. I appreciated that he wanted more information to fully understand what the artlce was talking about.

   PLEASE NOTE:   I'm not political nor do I pretend to be. Hence, I would feel the way I feel about this video no matter who was featured in it. 
                 Also, the kind of rifle she shot was pure estimation on the part of DU. 
                        Finally, I'm not an expert in hunting but I have been around guns and been hunting long enough to know a little about this passion of mine.

   I warn you, this article may infuriate you.  The comments featured at the end of the article may cause you to WANT to get your gun and shoot something but, dear reader, refrain.  Instead, filter your anger into writing and let the blogging world know what you think of this absolute catastrophe.

  For those of you who wondered how I responded to DU's brother's inquiry, here is what I wrote,

OH.MY.GOD. Where do I even start?

Well, I'm not an expert but I did notice some things that were a little off-putting about all this.

First off, I can't really understand people being upset that she went hunting if she's a "millionaire". There are a lot of people on outdoor TV shows that make a TON of money hunting and no one faults them for taking another trophy caribou. So, I can't fault her for hunting... or doing whatever it is that she's doing in that video.

But I have some problems.
1. Why can't she load her own gun? My guessing is she has no idea how to do it or doesn't want to break her nails in the process. Her dad doing it for her while standing and whispering really loudly is another problem. I think the first shot might have made the caribou deaf and made it so they could carry on the way they did.
2. Why did she ask if a rifle kicks? Rifles kick. You get bruises. I've hunted seriously for a couple years now and I know that. Hence a "lifelong" hunter should know that and show off the bruises given by such firearms. Also, bringing a vermin gun on a caribou hunt? That is a joke. No wonder it took 6 shots to kill the thing.
3. I have a problem with the shots she took. I'm not all about shooting while the animal is facing you. If you shoot and it runs forward, she could have been trampled (oh no!). Also, that is just a bad shot. Waiting till he's broadside (his entire side facing you) is the best and can kill quickly. This is just a personal thing, however.  

4. GET YOUR FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER, PALIN. You never want to have your finger on the trigger of ANY gun unless you are about to shoot.  I learned that in a New York State hunter safety course along with dozens of 8 year-old kids, so she should probably be aware.
5. Her clothing was a little off. First thing, too much skin and not enough camo for ground hunting. We sit in tree stands with everything covered just in case. Also, I just googled Caribou hunting regulations in Alaska and from what I've found, a hunter is required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange during the hunt. If you're on private land, this is may be different but if she's been hunting all her life, she should know that blaze orange saves lives and should be worn (especially on TV if she's attempting to set a good example).
6. Something seems really fishy about her having to take cues from her Dad if she's been hunting all her life about when to shoot. I killed my first deer, FIRST with no cues from anyone. Also, it was weird that he had to tell her to confirm it was dead. Any wild thing with some sort of implement of destruction on its head should be checked for visible signs of life. 

7.  Finally, the article's ending is filled with ridiculous, non-informed perspectives. One supporter in the article said that Palin's dad took a tumble and the scope could have been knocked off.  If you fall over your gun, it falls, etc- don't use it!!! If the scope was off, it could have shot in another direction and wounded someone or the caribou.Wounding the caribou could have been bad simply because a rouge shot could have wounded the caribou just enough to run away and die in some remote part of the woods.  (The result is wasted meat- the "millionaire" objectors would have a field day with this) It would have been best to take the gun, go back to camp and sight it in rather than attempt to continue on with the hunt. Thinking would cause a hunter to pause but obviously, Palin is such a good hunter that she figured mulling anything over would be time wasted.

All in all, its really sad that this is the kind of representation the hunting community gets from one of its so-called supporters and participants.

However, the only redeeming quality for the entire thing is the arguments for Palin at the end of the article. I'm 99.9% sure that no one from the production crew would have messed with a gun to make her look bad. She was doing a fantastically tragic job of it on her own without the assistance of the TV crew.  If she was a "real" hunter, her gun would be with her at all times and she would have noticed someone messing with her scope.

Oh the beauty of political leaders showing their lives on TV. Such a waste of God-given space. 

  And if you're wondering what DU thought, here is how he responded:

   I thought it was a bunch of crap. I actually watched the episode last night to see what this sweet sweet new reality show would be like. Needless to say, if I am searching for a good laugh, I will tune in, otherwise, TLC can continue to air crap and I will continue to not watch. 
  I could not believe how unsafe they were during this entire hunt. One thing that really stuck out to me was that she was handed loaded guns, with safety off, only to immediately put her finger on the trigger. My dad would have killed me if he ever saw me do something like this, no matter how old I was. To me, this really seemed like a way to show the public that Palin was a hunter and she could "provide" for her family in the same ways many other Alaskan residents do. It was simply a hunting trip to bag some PR for a complete idiot loser who represents the hunting community in a horrible way. If she was the face of hunting, I would build model airplanes. I want nothing to do with anything she does and she should have her hunting license taken away for ever for being an idiot on national television with rifle in hand.
Onto topic #2.
Palin is an idiot because...
No orange! If you have a gun in hand while hunting, you need orange on you. It's for your own safety not some fashion statement. She's wearing $400 worth of brand new camo that has never left her closet sans a probable photoshoot, but can't wear one piece of orange? Its not like they were not wearing orange in order to not be seen by the animal, her dad and friend were wearing blue jeans and carrying camping backpacks, not trying too hard to stay hidden are you?!
All in all, Palin is as much of an idiot as I thought she was going to be on this show and can officially be lumped into the "I'm a rich, political, loser "outdoorsman"" category along with (I chop wood on my ranch and drill for oil) George Bush, and (I shoot my friends in the face) Dick Cheney. 

   Let it fly, readers- what to do you think?

Update: CNN featured this blog post (for an iota of a second but still, I'm excited) in a segment about Palin's PR hunt.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Quagmire: Week Two

A Quagmire of Thoughts From a Tree Stand

Hey Blogging World!
As previously posted, I'm starting this little rant, rave, review and random weekly compilation of the outdoor world. Another week has come and gone but no reviews from my fellow bloggers. While this deeply pains me and has broken my world into pieces, I must venture forth with some help from my friends and my own pristinely-tuned brain. 

And Now for Something Completely Ridiculous

I work with some interesting people. There's one girl who sings all the time and another who thinks she's a pirate, but unfortunately I can't complain for I added another level of weirdness as the writing huntress.  Many of you may or may not have read my posting on December 1st. For those of you who haven't please pause your current reading and click here
There! Now everyone has read it and we're all on the same page. 
Pirate girl deemed my little posting worthy of her creative time. By clicking on the following image you will be directed to the awkward love child of our two respective imaginative talents.  

Side Note: My personal favorite part of this strange video is my "Gina's" celebratory cheer after she tells the customer she will do nothing to ensure the books will ship on time. It is slightly disturbing how closely art imitates reality but  who can contend with superb script writing and glorious graphic design?

Quote of the Week:
" I was walking by my kid's room and heard 
'Jane is looking for dick'
it was only then that I realized she was reading from her kid's books" 
    -my boss

The Greatest Hunting Album of All Time

As we've previously discussed, I love me some good ol' country music.  However, there is a LOT of bad country out there that makes it nearly impossible to listen to any sort of popular country station these days without feeling an overwhelming urge to bash one's head through a windshield while it's hailing. But there is hope, friends.  I found this source of musical hope one day when the mailman brought a  package to our house.  DU opened the package, placed the CD in the player and it was like angels descended from their thrones and began serenading us about the joys of hunting. Rhett Akins is just that angel. 
The Brotherhood Album contains songs like "My Baby Looks Good In Camouflage",  "Weapons of Bass Destruction", "Yella Acorns", and my personal favorite, "Duck Blind". Any songs that contain duck calls, sing about the value of friendship and how it feels when a turkey isn't on the right side of a barbed wire fence is the kind of music that I love to sing at the top of my off-tuned lungs to on the way to work. "Granddaddy's Gun" may make you shed a tear or two, and "Openin' Day" will conjure memories while assisting in the long wait until that beautiful morning comes around once again. All in all, a fantastic album that DU thinks he lost that never leaves my Jeep.

Redneck Christmas (part II)

Nothing says Christmas like Nascar and millions of twinkling lights.  Hence, the folks at Charlotte Motor Speedway are geniuses for combining the two. I've seen long lines traverse the street in front of the speedway recently and figured that visiting the holiday attraction would be something we would have to set some serious time aside for.  However, last night after a scrumptious dinner, we picked up the dogs and tried our luck.  The line was very shot and we got right in.  After paying $20 at the door, (Online tickets were 27.50 and you'd have to wait to receive them, unless you're going more around Christmas, I'd just forgo the internet route.) we switched our radios to the appropriate station and drove. The entrance is through the in-field tunnel and the entire surface from base to zenith is covered with lights which pulsate to the rhythm of the music emitted from the car speakers. The light displays are fun and would fill even the coldest of grinch hearts with holiday cheer.  The neatest part of the entire spectacle is seated in the bleachers.  Rounding the first turn, my eyes were barraged with the sight of disappearing trees, reappearing snowflakes, bouncing invisible balls and lights that waved in and out in every direction with the beat of the music.  Cars pulled over to fully enjoy the show.  One could easily feel the Christmas buzz as children pointed and adults laughed.  Towards the end as we escaped the magical land, we drove on the actual track which made me feel, even for the slightest second, how Richard Petty feels.  The dogs seemed confused by the lights and Avery was even more perplexed by the horse-drawn carriages that carried patrons through the show. (She spent the majority of the ride growling at the equine mammal.) Overall, the experience was really neat and shouldn't be missed by those country folk in and around the Charlotte area.  

Shameless Plug for an Awesome Contest
I was contacted a few days ago from Versus network and was asked to include their holiday giveaway somewhere in my blog.  So, in addition to plastering the things on the sidebar and below each post, I figured I'd give it a little space here on The Quagmire.  Its a nifty contest that is easy to enter which awards the winner over $500 bucks in free hunting stuff, so go join! The contest ends on December 17th, so do yourself a favor and click on one of the many links I've provided (that all go to the same site) and win early Christmas presents!

There it is, folks!  
Be sure to hunt hard this weekend... with the cold weather comin' in, the deer will be out!
Like what you see? Have a review on a great place to eat after hunting or a place you just love to go to obtain necessary outdoor implements? Share it and you'll be featured on future Quagmire editions! 
Check Out The Quagmire page for rules, ideas and where to send your submission! 

Have a great week, y'all! 

Happy hunting!