12-21-2017 Hunting & Fishing

SUCCESSFUL DEER HUNTING SEASON… pic-tured here (from the left) with their trophies are dad Ben, Marissa Lowell, and sister Morgan. See story below.

King of the Hill

By Marissa Lowell

Berrien County Straight Shooters 4H Club reporter

 Opening day of gun season was very rainy and miserable. But, after school, I got off the bus and changed into my hunting clothes and went out hunting with my dad. Once we got to our hunting spot, my dad put the doe decoy up in the field about 30 yards from our box blind. Then we sat for about an hour without seeing anything.

Our neighbor texted and said he was coming out to hunt in his woods not far from us.  About 10 minutes later a doe appeared on top on the hill in the field in front of us. She was standing still in the perfect position to shoot, but I didn’t buy a doe tag so I had to let her go.  I was sitting there about ready to cry when a buck came out following the doe about a minute or two later.  So I hit my dad and said, “Deer, it’s a buck!” He got the gun up in the window and asked me if I wanted him to shoot it.  I said, “No, I want to shoot it!”

The buck was facing us straight on about 60 yards away on the same hill as the doe, and looking at our decoy. He looked as if he was the King of the Hill, standing tall and proud.  I could see he was about to run away, so I didn’t take any chances by waiting too long.  Earlier in bow season, I waited too long for a perfect shot on a 6-point that he never gave me… so I had to let him go.

I shot right in the middle of the body with the .50 cal muzzleloader and then I didn’t see him anymore after the smoke cleared.  I started to worry but not for long because we waited about 10 minutes without seeing any movement on the other side of the hill. Then we got up and slowly made our way to the top of the hill.  He had dropped right where I shot him, but just over the top of the hill he was standing on!

This was a special deer to me because he was my first ever deer and because he was an 8-point buck!  It is also special because my dad’s first deer was an 8-point, and my big sisters first deer was an 8-point… just like mine! I guess it’s sort of a family tradition, and I got to keep it going!

Earlier in the year Morgan, my big sister, shot a 9-point buck. And a few days after I shot mine, my dad shot an 8-point buck too.  We had a very blessed and successful hunting season this year!

‘Tis the season for wearing turtlenecks. The human version is not nearly as remarkable as the reptile version.

A turtle’s shell provides a good deal of protection but only if the owner can store its vital parts inside. A turtle can pull its head into the shell by folding the long neck, either to the side or into a vertical S-shape. The folding causes the loose skin to bunch up which, apparently, some clothing designer thought would be a stylish look.

The nature center’s Florida softshell turtle constantly displays this ability. When he utilizes the basking area, he can stretch his flexible neck four to five inches. If he senses someone nearby he quickly retracts the neck so that only his formidable biting mouth is visible.

The length of the softshell’s neck allows it to stay submerged while breathing at the surface. Thus, only a small part of its body is apparent to any predators hunting from above. It also utilizes the lengt