Linda K Burch (Dahlen)

Bubba Linda

Bubba Linda©  Not Your Average Girl Column

You can be a woman in the woods and still be a girl in every sense.
  People used to poke fun at me years ago for wearing lipstick in my kill shots as if because I am a hunter, I needed to be a makeupless frizzy haired tough talkin' toothless hag with no manners and a common law husband named Billy Bob.  My grandmother was the quintessential lady and could just as easily serve as Republican State Chair Woman as she could put a six pointer on the fender of her car in the 30's.  So, with this kind of modeling,  I would respectfully disagree that women hunters must be stereotyped into the "mens deer camp" image.  I can field dress and butcher a deer and then go get a pedicure.  I can do my "business" in the woods and stll have a sip of fine wine from Waterford crystal at days end.  I can work a business reception in my bankers suit and spike heels, and then go arrow a bear from my tree stand.  There are many of us out there who refuse to be pigeon holed but instead, embrace our diversity.  I will be adding new material to this page and also bringing vintage writing as well.  I hope you enjoy. 


July 2012

The Penultimate year - click here

October 2011

turkey time - pajama hunting
I had hunted turkeys at my land for years without ever getting one.  I had hunted for weeks this year and not had a shot or seen a turkey in the woods.  Then.... a dozen of them showed up outside my cabin while I was in my PJs, so I grabbed my Benelli shotgun and downed one of them from the porch.  Turkey dinner that night was great!





deer archery

(left) Doe taken at 35 yards                                                              Practicing at the cabin before heading out to my tree stand



by Linda K Burch copyright October 2011

In American football the punt is part of Special Teams and tends to be a desperation move with success rates that are relatively low.   With my bear hunting, the bruins were hitting my bait consistently, until season opener.  Then, between heat, wind and a bumper crop of acorns, I was stocking a closed restaurant in the woods.  My desperation move or PUNT was to throw every last bit of collected bait offerings out in the woods, hope for the best, AND…. Switch to turkey and deer archery hunting!

The great thing about bear hunting and never seeing a bear, is fine-tuning your skills for other hunting.  That is because when you are not seeing bears, you try that much harder to do everything right because you figure you must be doing something wrong or you would be seeing bears.   Which of course isn’t true, but that is the psyche we hunters go through.  But, then when you hit your deer stand,  you are a Ninja Hunter and success seems to come faster.

So I loaded my dead bait site with everything I had left for the coons and skunks to feast upon for weeks and switched to deer hunting.  The second day hunting, I harvested a doe fawn, by design, because they are good eating.  Two days after that I arrowed a mature doe.  Both animals were arrowed at 35 yards. 

Even though I was having success, I did something very wrong.  I ignored an intermittent equipment problem that I should have tended to.  When I practiced, my peep site on my bow string turned wrong about every 4th draw and I could not see my sight pin.  Since my eyes fight for dominance, my non dominant eye would instinctively take over and my shots were three feet off the mark.  I would pinch the peep site and it would then work again.   I should have fixed it or taken it to be fixed, immediately.

When we practice archery, we develop “muscle memory” so that at the moment of truth in the woods, everything is automatic. Equipment issues should be relatively rare.  A botched shot after we work so hard to be accurate just is not worth it.

With the first doe I shot, my equipment function was spot on.  I practiced again, and the peep site only tweaked on me once.   At the moment of truth with the second deer however, I drew for an 18 yard “gimme shot”, totally forgetting about the peep sight.  My arrow flew three feet off the mark and missed the doe.  I knew immediately what I did.  The deer startled but stayed around me.  “Thank You God”, I thought to myself.  I don’t DESERVE another shot after not following my own rule about equipment.  The doe was 35 yards, and I drew on her.  I could not see out of my peep.  I let down and twisted on the peep, and drew again and I could still could not see through it.  I could not believe the deer didn’t see me bumbling with my bow.  I torqued the peep hard, drew back a third time and could see through about 1/3 of the peep opening, which was good enough for a well placed shot and a deer down in 70 yards.

Having to draw three times for a shot was a desperation move that I should never have allowed to happen.  Back at camp, I jury rigged the peep with buttonhole twist heavy duty thread (aka upholstery thread) and served the peep into place a little tighter.  It now works perfectly but I will take my Mathews DXT to my pro shop for inspection.

There are good punts and bad punts with hunting.   Good, when you throw your best effort at something but then go a different direction before your confidence as a hunter begins to erode, like switching from bear hunting to deer hunting.  There are bad punts where you desperately try to remedy something that should not have happened in the first place, like my not getting my peep sight fixed immediately.  I thought I had all the time in the world for deer hunting to get the site fixed.  Not.

On to turkey hunting!

 ( for the full detail story, click on WRITING at left )


2011 Bear Hunting in Minnesota – August Bear Baiting
We all have religious experiences in life. I just had one with my Sawzall. READ ON .…

Say hello to my little friend... :-)
This was take off my porch from 10 yards away, in late June 2011




We all have religious experiences in life. I just had one with my Sawzall. I mean this with all due respect. They can be spiritual or soulful. This one was soulful. I am bear hunting this year while at the same time, helping with my mom who just went into assisted living. So, I am very distracted this year. I remembered to buy my bear hunting license and accumulate some bait. I put up my trees stand. But I missed baiting opener by a day but was saved by a new regulation in Minnesota that now allows the use of a barrels for baiting.That was 3pm in the afternoon and I had no logs chain sawed for a bait crib yet, so the barrel discovery was a Godsend. I had a 55 gallon plastic barrel at camp with a hole in it nibbled by mice near the bottom. The new Minnesota reg said, the barrel must be chained to a tree. At that moment I had a catharsis as I realized that every item I needed to make a bait barrel was around my cabin somewhere and I just needed to gather all the componants together and build it.So, I pulled out my Sawzall, a tool less formidable than my chainsaws but one I had not yet used. I needed to pound pilot holes with a screw driver in the barrel lid and the top area of the barrel so I could loop heavy chain link through them. I also needed to cut a 6 inch diameter hole in the side of the barrel so the scent of bait could waft out and the bears could reach in for a taste. The Sawzall got the job done pronto, and within one hour of realizing I missed bear baiting by a whole day, I had my ATV trailer loaded with donuts, grease, meat scraps, my barrel with chains and a handgun for protection of course.This Year I was a bit more scientific about my bait and hunting stand locations. My previous bait location was close enough to a dirt road where people coming and going had ruined hunts for me in the past, so I moved the bait location deeper into my property. Prevailing winds are from the west, southwest or northwest usually. So, I located my new stand due northeast of the bait and I brushed it in well with branches and a Camoflex leafy system so I would not be spotlighted by the afternoon sun. Bears like being near water so I picked a location near the edge of a huge swamp. Bears like thick cover, so I located the bait in thick hazels and buck brush. Bears have a keen sense of smell, so I cleared a hunting stand approach trail that was NOT the same trail that I traveled to do the baiting. I marked the stand trail with reflectives for my after dark exists. Bears remember smells and get used to them, so I sprayed insect repellent on a bandana and tied it to a tree near the bait so the bears would get used to that smell.Two days later, my bait was hit and cleaned out. I was ecstatic since this was a brand new bait setup and not proven like my other location was where I had hunted for years and harvested two bears. I replenished the bait but the bears have not hit it now for three days.Bait offerings, once they go rancid, should really be cast aside and replaced with fresh bait items. Your area should also be doused with aromatic scents like maple bacon grease, hickory smoke flavoring, a honey burn or donut filling dabbed on tree trunks as scent wicks.Bear opener is in a week. I might be sitting over dead bait, or I might be looking down my arrow at another bear rug. You just never know. Bruins are wily. You can do everything right and never get a shot off. You can be driven away by gnats or mosquitoes. You have to put in your time to have success.



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