Now mind you, it's not a complaint.  Just a statement of fact.  Wanted to hunt the property this past weekend (bow season), but there is still a lot of work to get done.  So we drove up to Herkimer to shop the Walmart for curtain rods and house supplies.  Hit Herb Philipson's Army-Navy store while we were up there.  Great place to shop for the local atmosphere.  Speaking of local atmosphere, we ate at Crazy Otto's Empire Diner.  Old school "silver bullet" trailer for a building.  Decorated with car license plates from around the country, die cast model cars and other nostalgia, including music from the '50s.  Had an excellent "beef" omelet, classic food for the area.

Saw more turkeys, same basic location.  They were out in a cut field and decided to take flight.  To look at them you would figure they're not too aerodynamic.  But man, they get airborne pretty quick and for a short distance they are impressive aerialists.  Given their body shape, they are more of a "ground" bird.  Their "flying" is quite different from other birds.  They are more like guided missiles, heading straight towards their destination.  No "cruising" around.  Just a direct line from point A to point B with minimal height from ground level.  Highly efficient mode of transportation.     
 
One more thing about last weekend ... TURKEYS !!!  As we were assembling the dining room furniture I caught a glimpse of some black dots in the second lower pasture.  Sure enough they were moving!  I must have looked possessed as I ran to the Envoy to grab my field glasses.  And there they were, a flock of nine birds wandering through the field in the rain picking at seeds and bugs for a fall meal.  Couldn't tell if any had beards, but a few colored heads were scoped.  Most likely jakes mixed in with hens and poults.  Toms seem to go their own way this time of year.  Anyway, WE HAVE TURKEYS, yeeha!
 
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BEFORE

Cedar bed kit purchased from Sportsman's Guide website.  Packaged up nicely in a single long box.  Easy to handle, especially going up our somewhat small stairway.

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AFTER

This is the completed bed frame.  We cut some 5/8" finished ply and over laid it on the bed rails as we did not want to use a box spring.  The ply gives even support to the mattress so that there isn't any "sagging" while you sleep.

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FINISHED

So here's a pic of the bedroom with all the furniture in place.  The night stands, chest of draws and even the memory foam mattress were purchased from Sportsman's Guide.  Quality stuff for hunters and country folk at good prices.  Minimal handyman skills needed to assemble it all. 

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DINNING ROOM

As you can see, while the land at Red Hand is quite expansive, the house is rather small.  Mom and I must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies towing this dining room furniture from the warehouse in Oneonta up to Plainfield.  Steady rain so I covered the trailer with a blue, waterproof tarp.  We unloaded it quickly and put it together in no time flat.  The place is really starting to take shape.  However it will always be a "guy" kinda place, more hunting lodge than anything else.  But mom's influence is giving it a real down home feel.  It's clean, comfortable, warm and inviting.  Only room left to do is the living room.  Of course the basement is a huge project that will come last.  We need to be able to stay there as that amount of work is daunting. 



 
Well we were finally able to coordinate the mattress delivery this past weekend.  That meant our first over night stay up at Red Hand.  Jake and Kellen were able to join us due to the long Columbus Day weekend.  It's amazing how quickly I can get the work done with some help.  We were able to complete the building of the bedroom furniture in enough time so that we could set up for some dusk hunting of coyote.  Actually Jake and Kellen set it up and hunted for awhile.  They basically used a Foxpro remote caller that produced the distress call of a wounded rabbit, coupled with a Mojo Critter action decoy.  The Mojo flips around a bushy "tail" mimicing a small injured animal.  The combination of the two is supposed to attract predators to your set-up.  Well in a matter of minutes they had a coyote howling just over the northern knoll.  Very eerie having a coyote howl that close by.  Eerie, but very cool, not to mention a little intimidating. 

The night was extremely dark, just a sliver of moon.  The boys had a flood light set up on a fence rail that was inserted into a cement filled pail.  This put the light about 8 or 9 feet high, with the "critter" and caller nearby.  Well we heard them, never saw them.  It was still alot of fun.

We counted 11 deer that day also.  You can tell the rut is coming.  Lots of activity.  None seen had antlers however.  Next day after some breakfast and a trip to the Fly Creek cider mill, we drove back to the farm and listened to the end of the Giants game.  Then we headed out to survey the land looking for the western property line.  We still haven't been able to ascertain were our property ends and the next farm begins.  Anyway, with Jake and Kellen on the ATVs and mom and I following on the Mule, I asked the boys to try and carve a trail from the west side forest to the eastern upper meadow.  They were effectively blocked by a rocky outcropping.  However they did flush out a couple of deer.  So we rode down and attempted to cross the lower meadow.  It had rained up there for five days straight and things were real sloppy.  Even in 4 wheel mode the mule got bogged down in the mud.  The rear axle was submerged.  Jake rode around us on the Arctic Cat and he fed me the winch cable.  Attached it to the front frame of the mule, mom drove, Kell and I pushed, Jaked pulled with the "Cat".  Got it out, but Kell and I got pretty muddy.

We put out some quality deer food for antler growth in the far eastern cut field then headed up the "hidden" trail to the upper acres to show the boys the newly found shooting shack.  We bush whacked some over grown brush and thorns to open up the trail on the way up while the boys checked out the "crime scene vehicle" hidden in the woods.  After viewing the shack we started down to pack-up and head home to Windham.  Suddenly Kellen and I spotted a deer feeding in the lower pasture that we hope to use for either hay or corn next season.  As we moved slowly down with the machines so as not to spook her we saw our first antlered deer.  He stepped out of the tree line and followed her into the field.  It was getting dark, but you could see the "mass" around it's head.  Could only have been a rack and a decent one at that.  I wondered aloud that maybe they were already starting to pair up in anticipation of the rut.  Got us a little excited.  Saturday starts bow season and I may try some hunting early that morning.  Then off to Sean and Laura's engagement party.


 
Basically headed up to the farm to accept delivery of the mattresses for the bedroom on Friday.  We bought three bedroom sets and the matresses from Sportsmen Guide.  Great prices but very rustic furnishings.  Hunting cabin stuff.  Raw cedar that you build and finish.  Made in Canada works well for our needs and our check book.
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So it was a shortened weekend trip.  Because we had work in River Edge Saturday, only had Friday to work Red Hand.  Wanted to take a ride so we mounted up the mule, me and mom in the front, Dukey in the "carpeted" dump bed.  Because he slid around so much on the bed liner, I cut a plywood floor and mounted some of the old carpet we pulled out of the upstairs bedrooms onto it.  He loved it!!!  Drove up to the top meadow, around the pond and down the trail past the apple trees.  The picture on the left is what we found, exposed by the fall weather.  It's in excellent shape despite how it looks in the picture.  Simonlacaj had it draped in burlap to "camo" out the windows and the shape.  A good idea that I'll follow through with again.  It has very good shooting lines covering the deer trail that passes in front of the apple trees and leading to the pond.  So that gives us three shacks to set up in for the rifle season.  I've found the fourth site although "Lacaj" took the shack with him for his new hunting grounds.  Now all we need do is find the fifth and final location.