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1 hour ago, Culvercreek hunt club said:

Busy lives kept  from getting these up in a more timely manner. These are Kate's reflections on the program and her hunts. 

For a while now, I have been interested in learning to hunt deer.  I love being outdoors, live in a rural area with lots of deer, and like knowing where my meat comes from.  One of my coworkers and a neighbor are both avid hunters and always give my family various cuts of venison each year.  But no one in my family hunts and without a mentor I knew it was going to be difficult to get out in the field.  However, many things fell into place to make it happen and one was participating in the “Becoming an Outdoors Women” (BOW) weekend in September 2018 during which I was able to practice shooting and dress and process various game animals.  I meet other women who shared my interest in hunting and talking with them made me more determined to find a way to get out deer hunting.  

BOW sends out emails to any past participants about outdoor opportunities and that was how I learned about QDMA ‘s Field to Fork program.  When I read that a small group of us would be practicing with firearms, learning about deer hunting and going out during the season with a mentor,  I knew this was exactly right for me.

Fast forward to November.  I counted down the days until the start of rifle hunting with a mix of excitement and apprehension.  When the day came,  I was eager to put to use what we had learned in our classes over the past two months, but on the other hand,  I wondered what I would do when I saw a deer out in the field.  

A week before opening day,  Mo Tidball, my mentor, and I met to get acquainted and practice with my gun at a nearby gun club.  Mo made me feel comfortable and was very encouraging.  We scheduled our first hunt for Sunday of opening weekend. 

The day arrived and it was a very cold morning. During the short walk to the tree stand on Mo’s property   my “worry” thoughts were full on:  Would we see deer?  If so,  what would I do?  Would I move too quickly and scare it away?  Would hit it in the right spot?  Would I miss?  Would I forget to breathe?  Would I take too long to shoot?  Talk about performance anxiety!   

But after a few hours of sitting in the stand, asking occasional questions,  practicing as if I saw a deer by raising my gun and aiming at a grass spot, I began to feel more at ease.  Although we saw no deer the entire day,  I remember saying to Mo that I never, ever just sit in one place, watching for hours, but I found that I enjoyed the “Zen” quality to it.  

My second hunt was a day with Bob Rose at his camp.  That was one of those 3:30am alarm clock mornings, an hour’s drive on unfamiliar roads, and slow crawl up a mile-long logging road to his camp (with a  rapidly-moving creek crossing!).   Again, we saw no deer but I learned more tips and got great advice. 

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I headed to Mo’s for an afternoon hunt.  By this time, I was not really expecting any deer and just another quiet day in the woods.  We head out at 2:30pm to a tree stand in a different location than the first day and I spent the time scanning for deer but also watching squirrels.  It started getting darker and  Mo checked the time; it was 4:15.  I thought we were probably done for the day,  but Mo told me we still had lots of time.

Five minutes later,  Mo whispers “There’s a deer! There’s a deer!” and I snap out of my Zen reverie.  She indicates straight ahead about 70 yards. I catch a glimpse of a buck walking along a small ridge but he’s not easy to see because several tree trunks are in the way.  I tell Mo and she says to shift just a bit toward her.  When I do that, he stops and I see him perfectly between two tree trunks.  He looks in our direction, I slowly raise my  gun and look through my scope. I have a perfect view of the kill spot and totally focus on it.  I pull the trigger and knew I hit him exactly right.   Had he moved one more step,  I would have lost him because the tree trunks would have blocked my view for a good shot.

It all happened so fast.  I felt like it was only seconds from when I saw him to when I pulled the trigger.  I had no time for my heart to pound,  hyper-ventilate,  or even think.  When I realized I had actually shot at a deer, I was in a bit of a daze so it was good we had to wait for a while before getting down from the tree stand.

Finally, Mo,  I, and Mo’s husband, Keith, who heard the shot,  track the buck and we see him dead a short distance away.  When we turned the head lamps on we saw he had 10 points!  I had been so focused on my aim at the kill spot that I didn’t even notice the size of his antlers.  I was so surprised and happy!  Not only had I shot my first deer but it was a once-in-a-lifetime buck!

Spending hours outdoors,  learning new skills and meeting enthusiastic sportsmen and women has been absolutely great and the entire hunting experience has been amazing.  In fact, it was more magical and exhilarating than I ever imagined. I feel so very fortunate to have had this opportunity.  Everyone involved in the Field to Fork program has been extremely generous with their time, expertise and encouragement.  The effort and dedication put in to make us successful is tremendous and anyone who wants to learn to hunt should take advantage of this program.

A huge thank you to Bob,  Mo, and all the folks from QDMA for providing me with an amazing life experience.  I am totally hooked!  I am already looking for opportunities to hunt next year.  I hope to become experienced enough, so that one day, I can mentor others who want to learn and enjoy this fabulous experience.

 

 

 

Awesome job Bob, My eyes teared up reading it!! You guys should be proud!!


Switching gears to habitat improvements!

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49 minutes ago, gbj said:

Bob, Did you hear from nick after he hunted the last Sunday of the season? He’s got one heck of a story.

Do you mean the bear encounter one of you guys had? If not, I haven't heard the story yet. I am still waiting on his write up. He said its done. I just haven't seen it. 


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Not the bear he witnessed a very illegal deer harvest 

Nope. Hadn’t heard that one.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Well Ii finally got Nick's story. (the original hunt one, not the poacher encounter,. That one is being kept until our January 12th Culinary Social). 

Nick hunted Opening Sunday and that Monday and Tuesday with his mentor, Gene Crane. It was truly a hunting camp experience and Nick really enjoyed not only the hospitality of Gene, but the rest in the hunting party. The hunt that Nick is recounting in this write up took place on November 18th. 

 

Nick Ruffle’s hunt

 

My Hunting Story:

The day was long but the time was fast… 0500 the alarm chimed, and the member of the camp were wide awake like it was Christmas morning. The weekend prior was not a disappointment to say the least, we saw many, many animals in the woods, even herds of deer, however too far away to take a shot. This weekend I was determined to bring something home and my mentor was as ambitious as I was. We departed camp just before 0600 to be in position before sunrise. Throughout the morning we heard gun fire from near and far, the closer ones made us a little more excited… we know there are deer nearby, and if the hunter missed their shot, ours would be the next one! Sadly the morning ended with no harvest to report. During our lunch & rest break at camp, we all sat around the table discussing the morning hunts, who saw what and heard something from wherever. With similar stores it was safe to say we all saw something but that something was just too far away.  We as a group decided where the afternoon hunt would take place. The camp consists of 220 acres across four different properties so there is plenty of room to spread out should we have had to. I chose to sit in a field they call “Taylor Hollow”. This was possibly some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen before. The views of the Appalachian Mountains were breath taking to say the very least. This was it! We had to be driven right to my hunting blind as the deer have been known to be so heavy in this area that the hunters do not want to spook them by walking up to the blinds. I was in place, ambitious and ready to hunt! Time passed on and the light started to fade. The time was 16:07 when she came walking from the woods to the field in front of me. I immediately felt my pulse start to race, what seemed moments prior as a cold blind began to feel like a sauna from my adrenaline rushing. I was patiently anxious awaiting for the shot! I had a doe come from across the field right in my sights. I was panting trying to control my breathing not to alert her. I remembered what the other hunters had said about letting them graze when they’re not alert because others may soon follow. It was getting to the point of legal shooting light was running out, I had to decide in that moment to take the shot. As I drew my rifle, I could feel my body shaking but was counting my breaths keeping control of the situation. She was face to face with me, so I did not have a shot until my luck changed and she went broadside. 3….2….Deep breath… BANG…1 I saw her mule kick and run off into the woods. I was excited, oh man was I excited, I shot my first deer!!! I think… she ran about 40yds then slowly walked into the woods, I wasn’t so sure anymore I had hit her, my mentor and I waited about 15minutes for her to go off and we relaxed. We began to track her from the spot I saw her kick to where she ran into the woods, so far it wasn’t looking good as we didn’t see any signs of a blood trail. And then there it was, this large puddle of bubbly pinkish red stuff, I was sure of what it was, but my mentor confirmed it, we had a blood trail with a great shot through the lungs. From that spot it was another 30yds to the south that we found her. I was so excited I could barely stand up and I still had to drag her! This was an incredible experience and for the rest of the night I couldn’t keep my mind off of the whole day, not just that moment, but all of it leading up to that shot. As I walked up to her to make sure she was dead, I kneeled by her and prayed. I thanked the good lord for her sacrifice as she will feed my family and was my first deer to be taken. I can’t wait to come out again, this has been such a rewarding journey from the start and hope someday I can return this kind gesture by mentoring a hunter of my own. Thank you QDMA for giving me this experience, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else.

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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so you guys ended with 5 of 8? we got i think 6 of 9. not bad i suppose as a group. not sure of any other branches. wish they could be better. any plans for those unsuccessful?


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Upper Hudson River Valley QDMA

 

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4 hours ago, dbHunterNY said:

so you guys ended with 5 of 8? we got i think 6 of 9. not bad i suppose as a group. not sure of any other branches. wish they could be better. any plans for those unsuccessful?

We've got our culinary social and cooking instruction on January 12th. Then I have to buckle into banquet mode. 


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Just now, Culvercreek hunt club said:

We've got our culinary social and cooking instruction on January 12th. Then I have to buckle into banquet mode. 

not sure if those unsuccessful are SOL and on their own now or what. Unsure if they should be rolled into the next year's group. same here moving forward; culinary social and then banquet mode. still working out where to have the social with proper facilities and adult beverage friendly.


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Upper Hudson River Valley QDMA

 

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14 hours ago, dbHunterNY said:

 Unsure if they should be rolled into the next year's group. 

Yeah, I'd have to sleep on that one for a while. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Well yesterday wrapped up the 2019 Filed to Fork program for the Greater Rochester Branch. We held our Culinary Social and each mentor/instructor and participant were asked to bring a venison dish to pass. We started the day at about 1 pm with some cooking instruction. We covered different meat cuts and use and had a demonstration by Mo Tidball on making Venison Cutlets and meatloaf. I covered venison pressure canning and each participant that attended and some of our volunteers tried their had at preparing canes of venison to their own taste. We made enough that anyone attending the event was able to bring jars of canned venison home with them. (pic 2 and 3). At around 4 the rest of the gang showed up and we shared many laughs, some cold adult beverages and some great venison appetizers including smoked venison ham with a BBQ bourbon jalapeno drizzle, cheese trays, venison cutlets, stuffed venison peppers  and pickled venison heart. Dinner was a combination of venison  chili, venison kabobs, venison lasagna, a venison potato casserole, venison meatloaf and pulled venison. 

Each participant took the stage to share their hunting stories and it was great to hear the experiences they had went far beyond them actually taking a deer. 

I totally screwed up and forgot to bring the Branch Field to Fork cookbooks to hand out so those will be mailed and all of these recipes will be added to give out to next year's class. 

 

July will be here in a blink of an eye and we all look forward to another successful year in 2020.

 

Thanks to all of you for following along and sharing in their journey. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Thanks Bob, for all you do, to have had another successful 2019 Field To Fork Program! Your hard work along with the other mentors, is evident in the smiles of the students. They are so lucky to have someone like you, an all around great guy, and outdoorsman!

Here's to the 2020 edition of the FTFP being the best ever!  You WNY guys got it going on!!!    :friends:

 

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18 minutes ago, virgil said:

Great program

What dish is that last picture- looks almost like pastrami.

Virgil. Smoked venison ham with BBQ bourbon jalapeno drizzle. Brined for 6 days and then smoked. served cold.  

 

Pickled venison heart on the right

Edited by Culvercreek hunt club
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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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2 hours ago, virgil said:

Looks great.  I'll have to give that a try.

1/2 gallon of water. 1 cup of Kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Pink curing salt #1, 3 crumbled bay leaves, 6 whole cloves, 3 tables spoons of ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and submerge  up to a 4# roast in brine for 6-7 day in the refrigerator. (Personally next time II will back off the salt to about 2/3 of a cup and I did inject it since I only had 4 days to brine it). I'd like a touch less salt taste, but it was a nice contrast with the sweet spicy of the drizzle. 

Make sure the roast stay submerged. 

Remove and rinse the roast. pat dry and let it sit out until surface is tacky. 

Smoke at 180 degrees with a moderate heavy smoke using a water pan. I like maple or a fruit wood. not a hickory fan. Make sure the roast is least 4" above the water pan.  smoke until the internal temp is 130 and then remove water pan and continue to cook until the internal reached 155 degrees. This is about the only time I ever go this high with venison. it really makes the texture very similar to an actual ham.

Drizzle.  

This can be used as a glaze from the time you remove the water pan on. I like to let each person decide if they want to use it. 

1 cup of favorite BBQ sauce ( I like Sweet Baby Rays)

2 table spoons of brown sugar

1/3 cup of favorite bourbon. ( I used Iron Smoke straight)

1/4 cup of Jalapeno juice

Combine and stir until the grittiness of the sugar is dissolved. 

 

Slice across the grin of the roast and add the drizzle. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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