Monthly Archives: November 2013

Game Feeder Results Reveal, Turkey Hunting and Scoping a Zipline

This weekend up on Berry Mountain we were eager to see how our game feeder fared in its first week of use. Our nephew Sean accompanied us this weekend, and during the three hour drive to the mountain we took bets as to what we would find. I supposed the feeder would be completely destroyed by bears. Tim and Sean both thought it would have been used somewhat, but unharmed. No one took the other option: untouched.

Once we arrived, the boys jumped out of the car and demanded we go check the feeder immediately.  Here is the filmed evidence of what we found:

Hee! obviously, we are excited!

We took down the feeder before Sean set up his turkey blind and decoys. Alas, he spent Sunday morning without seeing turkey or deer, but was entertained by an industrious chipmunk for about an hour.

In other Mountain adventures, Tim and Sean scoped out the path for our first zipline from the cabin pad to the Knoll, about 400 feet away. It will transverse the deepest chasm on the property – Bear Hollow – and once it is established will be quite a ride. We hope to lure would-be helpers to the property with the promise of a spine-tingling zipline canopy tour during their visit. Tim insists there will be a series of them eventually, zig-zagging the beautiful mountain terrain.

Last, but hardly least, Tim rehung the former bathroom door so that it opens into the cabin. This completes the architectural reconstruction of the unused space in the unplumbed bathroom into my new storage room. I can’t wait to install shelves and begin to lay in more supplies to make the Homestead more sustainable for longer visits and company.

Cheers to you all – have a great week!

Low-cost/No-Cost Food Production

This weekend up on Berry Mountain had Tim and I focused on two different methods to increasing the amount of food we can produce within our property: 1) Building and situating a game feeder (Him) and 2) Expanding and improving our test garden plot.(Me)

Tim researched building a low-cost game feeder to attract deer and wild turkey to an area on the property that we have identified as best for hunting. He used a construction tutorial he found on YouTube and the whole process only took about ten minutes with a handsaw and an appropriate drill bit. He spent about $30 dollars on the PVC supplies from Home Depot and $11 for a 50 pound bag of cracked corn bait from Southern States.

a

b

c

d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent part of the morning adding another 24 square feet to the garden plot using free items on hand. First I put down a kill mulch layer of cardboard (graciously donated my parents who recently had their kitchen remodeled), then a layer of punky (rotten) firewood that did not make the grade to become woodstove fuel, then a thick layer of the plentiful oak leaves from around the cabin. These things will break down over the winter to become the basis of rich organic matter for spring planting.

e

As a warning to the deer who nibbled their way through my summer crops, I posted some of our found skulls on spikes in the garden plot. Ghoulish? Perhaps – but it’s close enough to Halloween to feel it appropriate to do so.

 

 

g

Speaking of deer – this week I had the opportunity to help some friends do some venison butchering. Our amazing bow-hunter friend Rick bagged two and his lovely wife Susan allowed me to come over and help with the final cutting process. I have a yummy backstrap venison tenderloin aging in the refrigerator as payment. It will become a tasty dinner later this week.

 

 

 

As a final note of the weekend, we added to our growing woodpile with the last batch from a downed oak. We now have at least a cord of gorgeous aging firewood that will easily see us through the winter as we are only visiting during the weekends, and with our woodstove having all new gaskets, it is burning far more efficiently than it has ever done.

DSCN8473

Next weekend we welcome our turkey hunting nephew back up on the mountain to test his luck on the hunting ground.

Until then, be well my friends!