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Squirrel Doggin' 22-23

Jamie

Senior Member
4,924
137
Licking Co.
"Adrift" is the most accurately descriptive word to describe my life since the end of last squirrel season. I may have a hand back on the rudder now, but I'm not sure I'm steering at all. January 30, 2022 after a pleasant day of squirrel hunting Nancy slipped and destroyed her ankle. March 29 (after limping around bone on bone for four months and another month delay due to Nancy's broken ankle) I had my right hip joint replaced. May 9 I get started working on some light duty stuff, and am getting better every day. June 2 my mother is diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. This is a death sentence. On average, people live between 2 and 6 months with this condition. June 16 I arrive home from work and nearly fall to the ground from the excruciating pain in my lower back, pelvis and down my leg when I tried to step out of my work van. No idea what caused this. Although it did improve slightly over the last several months with much stretching and PT, I have been living with this problem ever since. November 3, my mother finally escaped that wretched vessel that she suffered in for all those months. I finally got that MRI on my lower back last week and will get a diagnosis, and hopefully some relief, next Monday when I see the spine doctor.

The toll this year has taken on me is hard to quantify, and it isn't really over yet anyway. I lost my mother, half of my work for the season caring for her. Those are the important things. I was never really able to get myself "up" for hunting season while watching cancer devour my mother. I didn't practice enough, and when I did, it did aggravate my back. I threw up some stands in places I already knew to be productive and climbed into them a few times and suffered the wrath of an unhappy L5 nerve root every time. I was there and I saw lots of deer, and some really good ones, but I surely was not hunting much. On October 30 I shot an arrow harmlessly 1/2" over the back of what is probably the best buck I ever had a chance to shoot with an arrow. One week later I shot a really big 5x5, but the hit must have been higher than I thought, probably through the void. I did not recover the deer, Maxx couldn't pull a rabbit out of the hat, either because it is probably, hopefully, still walking around. Hunting with a wooden bow and arrow is pretty much an all or nothing proposition for me. My focus has to be 100% before and during the season if I'm to have a real chance at success hunting the way that I do, and I have been nowhere near that. I tried to get into the groove, but I could not manage it. I have rather given up my archery season as a total loss. I simply have no interest in doing it now. I'll try to get a deer or two dead with my wheel gun to eat, but that will be strictly an exercise in utility. Having bowed out of deer hunting with my bow and arrow, I decided that squirrel season is starting early this year.

And so it did, and so did Christmas for me. When I told Nancy last week that I just could not drag myself to a treestand and was taking the dogs out today, she decided to give me a present early, and I must say that I was very surprised and even more pleased to see a new Garmin Alpha gps tracking/training package. State of the art handheld device and two state of the art collars. I got the collars paired and fitted yesterday and got acquainted with the new system. All that fiddling with the collars got the dogs very excited yesterday. Their eagerness is inspiring, and I need all that I can get at the moment. We made a few stops today, but it was pretty windy and squirrels were just not doing much. The dogs hunted well, and they each found one squirrel. I walked away from the first one because I could not get a decent look at it's head swaying 3-4 feet in tree top, and neither dog would stay on the tree. Slick found another one on our last stop, stayed on it like a pro and I had a nice open shot. Blew his brains out, literally. At least I can still shoot squirrels right. Lefty not feeling it for the camera today, lol.
IMG_3894.jpg


Nancy been coughing her head off for two days, and now I am too, and I'm not feeling very good, either. She gave me her cooties. Perfect. 😠 This must surely be the bottom, right?

Lefty 1
Slick 1
 

Mike

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,095
199
Wood Co.
Not sure I can say anything to make a difference. I do hope every post from here forward is much better for you. I also still have this grand slam squirrel hatchery available. Best of luck finding some peace and maybe a little happiness.
Ditto. I'm very sorry for the loss of your mom. This thread is a highlight for me and many others.
 

ThatBuckeyeGuy

Active Member
637
37
Ohio
"Adrift" is the most accurately descriptive word to describe my life since the end of last squirrel season. I may have a hand back on the rudder now, but I'm not sure I'm steering at all. January 30, 2022 after a pleasant day of squirrel hunting Nancy slipped and destroyed her ankle. March 29 (after limping around bone on bone for four months and another month delay due to Nancy's broken ankle) I had my right hip joint replaced. May 9 I get started working on some light duty stuff, and am getting better every day. June 2 my mother is diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. This is a death sentence. On average, people live between 2 and 6 months with this condition. June 16 I arrive home from work and nearly fall to the ground from the excruciating pain in my lower back, pelvis and down my leg when I tried to step out of my work van. No idea what caused this. Although it did improve slightly over the last several months with much stretching and PT, I have been living with this problem ever since. November 3, my mother finally escaped that wretched vessel that she suffered in for all those months. I finally got that MRI on my lower back last week and will get a diagnosis, and hopefully some relief, next Monday when I see the spine doctor.

The toll this year has taken on me is hard to quantify, and it isn't really over yet anyway. I lost my mother, half of my work for the season caring for her. Those are the important things. I was never really able to get myself "up" for hunting season while watching cancer devour my mother. I didn't practice enough, and when I did, it did aggravate my back. I threw up some stands in places I already knew to be productive and climbed into them a few times and suffered the wrath of an unhappy L5 nerve root every time. I was there and I saw lots of deer, and some really good ones, but I surely was not hunting much. On October 30 I shot an arrow harmlessly 1/2" over the back of what is probably the best buck I ever had a chance to shoot with an arrow. One week later I shot a really big 5x5, but the hit must have been higher than I thought, probably through the void. I did not recover the deer, Maxx couldn't pull a rabbit out of the hat, either because it is probably, hopefully, still walking around. Hunting with a wooden bow and arrow is pretty much an all or nothing proposition for me. My focus has to be 100% before and during the season if I'm to have a real chance at success hunting the way that I do, and I have been nowhere near that. I tried to get into the groove, but I could not manage it. I have rather given up my archery season as a total loss. I simply have no interest in doing it now. I'll try to get a deer or two dead with my wheel gun to eat, but that will be strictly an exercise in utility. Having bowed out of deer hunting with my bow and arrow, I decided that squirrel season is starting early this year.

And so it did, and so did Christmas for me. When I told Nancy last week that I just could not drag myself to a treestand and was taking the dogs out today, she decided to give me a present early, and I must say that I was very surprised and even more pleased to see a new Garmin Alpha gps tracking/training package. State of the art handheld device and two state of the art collars. I got the collars paired and fitted yesterday and got acquainted with the new system. All that fiddling with the collars got the dogs very excited yesterday. Their eagerness is inspiring, and I need all that I can get at the moment. We made a few stops today, but it was pretty windy and squirrels were just not doing much. The dogs hunted well, and they each found one squirrel. I walked away from the first one because I could not get a decent look at it's head swaying 3-4 feet in tree top, and neither dog would stay on the tree. Slick found another one on our last stop, stayed on it like a pro and I had a nice open shot. Blew his brains out, literally. At least I can still shoot squirrels right. Lefty not feeling it for the camera today, lol.
View attachment 166662

Nancy been coughing her head off for two days, and now I am too, and I'm not feeling very good, either. She gave me her cooties. Perfect. 😠 This must surely be the bottom, right?

Lefty 1
Slick 1
I'm sorry for your loss man I hope things start looking up for you 🙁, the new Garmin would definitely be an exciting treat . Best of luck to you continuing forward with your physical and mental health. Keep us updated on the squirrels and how that new Garmin pans out
 
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"J"

Bass Whisperer
Supporting Member
52,105
261
North Carolina
Jamie, here’s hoping the end of this year goes a lot better then the beginning of it. Looking forward too you and th dogs progress!
You have our condolences for the loss of your mom.
 
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Josh carpenter

Active Member
It’s been a rough road for sure hate loosing parents , my dad found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer lived 3 months longer , at least you’ll be more ready next season we’re all pulling for ya
 
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bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
47,760
261
Appalachia
Not sure I can say anything to make a difference. I do hope every post from here forward is much better for you. I also still have this grand slam squirrel hatchery available. Best of luck finding some peace and maybe a little happiness.
This. I always enjoy this thread as much, if not more than any other we have going. Every time I see a big fox squirrel, I think about you and your canned mushrooms. Best of luck getting over the hump and filling the freezer with bushy tails!
 

Fletch

Senior Member
Supporting Member
5,584
111
Sorry to hear you lost your Mom... Here's wishing things turn around for you...
 
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brock ratcliff

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
24,307
222
Sincere condolences again ol buddy. Life’s a bumpy dang ride at times.
Your invite stands wide open as you know. Your visits are always welcome and enjoyed. I’ve invested in new old man transportation system too, so we can get at least close to the rats even on bad days!
Say when.
 

finelyshedded

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
30,044
235
SW Ohio
My sincere condolences for the loss of your mom, may she Rest In Peace. Looking forward to following you on your squirrel hunting and your presentations of your tablefare in the “What’s for Dinner” thread.
Hope you and Nancy can get your health back in order so things get back to normal for you. It sucks gettin older and I sure has heck can relate. Lol
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
38,516
235
NW Ohio
I was just thinking the other day, "Jamie hasn't been around much lately." I understand why now. Sure wish it was because you've been busy enjoying the woods or won the Powerball or something. My condolences for your loss.
 
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Isaacorps

Member
4,816
118
Columbus
Very sorry to hear of your recent struggles. Here’s hoping things start looking up and you move quickly down the path of recovery of on all fronts.
 
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