Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Season Update

So far it has been a slow hunting season with limited results. After spending the month of September archery elk hunting I switched gears to rifle deer and then some early season waterfowling. Harvest numbers throughout the state are well below average for deer and elk this year. The only days I've brought something home for the freezer has been with shotgun. Even the waterfowl hunting has been one of the poorest years to date so far.

Typically the Klamath basin in southern Oregon is brimming over with waterfowl, but not this year. There is a lull during the migration in mid November historically, yet this year we haven't even had decent early season numbers of migrating birds. The local breeding ducks we had are long gone or in a freezer now. With few northern storms pushing birds south it may be a very poor harvest for waterfowlers overall. Another important factor is the Columbia Basin grain fields and open water year round. Since the mid 70's when farming practices changed to include more grain crops the waterfowl numbers migrating south of the Columbia has dropped significantly. I can't blame the birds for not flying further. If I had food and water I'd probably stay there too for the winter. Certainly a matter of survival and they know the odds it seems and play them to their advantage. There is a saying that goes something like this: There is a time to try and a time to fly and a smart bird knows why.

I am preparing for the second season elk archery cow only hunt, which starts this Saturday and goes thru December 13, '09 on the west side of the Cascade Mt's. in a few select units. I am going scouting on Friday and with some luck maybe even bed down the elk. Sure would be a nice way to start the hunt, especially due to the fact that it will be in very thick timber and underbrush. It will be a wet hunt even if it doesn't snow or rain. We have had good snow in the mountains recently which will be helpful in pushing the elk to lower elevations. Fortunately the cows and calf's move down lower before the tough old bulls do. I will be getting up at o dark hundred, driving for an hour before getting to where I'll be hunting, then get out and commence to find tracks. If the weather gets nasty I'll spend time driving trying to cut fresh tracks before getting out on foot. Just have to take it a day at a time and be prepared for anything, including success.

This week has been sunny and mild temps reaching into the mid 50's and upper teens at night. Snow is in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, so I am once again optimistic about my upcoming hunt. Jet will be keeping the home fires stoked while I am away on my cow quest. Actually on our last duck hunt a week ago she was in rare form and quite enthusiastic about retrieving. Was refreshing after our previous weeks adventure. More on last weeks duck hunt later.

Jet and I want to thank you all for visiting the pages of Women's Hunting Journal and we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Will catch up with you all next week. Cheers!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hunting Dogs

As I wrote recently about my hunting partner Jet going into to semi retirement, I am reminded of how we function as a team. I have bird hunted since I was barely double digits and it was soon there after that my dad gave me my first hunting dog, Mugs.

I didn't fully understand why my dad and I went to visit this gentleman at the outskirts of Medford, Or. and all his dogs. It was a chilly gray day and I recall the pungent smell of wet decaying leaves, as we waked the long gravel driveway towards the back of the house where the kennels were. As we approached the back door the owner greeted us stepping down from his back porch. The gentleman was big in stature with a comfortable round belly and a soft deep voice. He had a 2 day beard and a sparkle in his eye with heavy brows. His skin was dark and his hair was a touch gray with bushy sideburns. He wore cacky pants and a plaid Pendleton wool shirt much the same as my dad. His smile came easy as my dad introduced me to him. His name was Mr. Art Smith and we seemed to hit it off. He extended his hand to shake mine and I was a touch shy and honored as I reached to meet his hand with mine. He and my dad conversed as we headed towards the kennels. Art brought out a few of his Black Labrador Retrievers and continued talking with my dad, while I played with the dogs. Whatever was said between Art and my dad I have no recollection of. I was caught in the moment and having a great time on my own. After awhile we said our good-byes and left for home. Art waving to us with a big smile on his face as we backed out his driveway and made our way home.

I asked dad what we were doing there and I recall him being somewhat vague in his reply. Not thinking much of it we went about our way. It was several months later when my dad surprised me with my first dog, a Black Labrador puppy only 9 weeks old. Considering the fact that my brother already had a dog of his own. Oh yes, the competitive sibling rivalry was in overdrive at our home. Being the youngest of 3 and the only girl I had my work cut out for me from the start.

Later that day my dad explained that there were a few conditions I needed to meet to be a responsible dog owner. First, being I had to clean up any messes, second go through obedience training with my pup. Seemed easy enough and I asked dad what to name him? He said I'd have to think of something. So I asked dad what his first dogs name was and he said "Mugs" ----- So if it was good enough for my dad then it was good enough for me, so Mugs he was. He was a stout little guy about 9 weeks old and full of piss and vinegar. A beautiful Black Labrador retriever with strong English bloodlines with a dose of American Field Trial in him. He was a short fellow with a long wavy coat and a short otter tail. I had no idea how much work I was in for, nor the incredible rewards that come from such efforts and close relationships. I soon learned that it was Mr. Smith who was teaching the obedience classes and now the pieces were falling into place. It was indeed Mr. Smith whose kennels Mugs came from.

I was so excited and determined to follow through and be a responsible dog owner. I worked with Mugs every day after school and throughout the summer months on obedience. He and I did well for our first go around. We managed to graduate obedience with flying colors and with guidance from Mr. Smith I began teaching Mugs the basics of retrieving and coming to sit and heel. I was beaming with pride as Mugs was a quick learner and made me look good as a dog trainer. He and I spent 13 years together hunting all types of birds. From Mt.Quail, Doves, Grouse, Pheasant, Snipe, ducks and geese we did it all. He was a Pheasant dog extraordinaire as he wore the hair right off his brows from working the tules. He didn't have far to reach to sniff the trail of an elusive Pheasant. He was a gentleman amongst male dogs and not a fighter. Yet he certainly had his share of other males picking fights with him.

Mugs and I had travelled many a mile together, some easy and some not so. We grew up together quite literally. Through the tough teen years and also when my parents passed. He helped me get through those difficult times, as I still needed to take care of him. It has been said about dogs, that they give us far more than we give in return and I must agree with that. I can not imagine my life without having had Mugs, Teak and now Jet by my side. Even though my heart breaks with each one I've had to put down I find the companionship and rewards well worth the pain. Their loyalty is admirable, their willingness to please is second to none and the love they give unconditional. What fine teachers they have been and continue to be. I am certainly the one whose life has been enriched by their presence. A quote I saw once, "If only I can become the person my dog thinks I am". Have you hugged your dog today?

Top photo: Mugs and I when he was just a year old
Bottom photo: Mugs is almost 9 after a mornings hunt on the Klamath River, OR.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gear Review : Prois Pro - Edition Pants

I purchased a pair of these womens hunting pants just a few months ago and had high hopes that I finally found a pair of women's hunting pants that would meet my needs. The archery elk season was fast approaching and so I took a chance and ordered a pair, hopeful that perhaps a company had finally gotten it right, ultimately I was disappointed.

First let me go over the pros:

I liked the 9" leg zippers and elasticized cuffing with cordlock to cinch cuff around boots to keep debris out and cuffs quiet. The fabric is 100% brushed tricot and is soft, sturdy, silent and snag resistant. This I would agree with. The inseam length and rise of the pants was fine and not a problem. The quality of the zippers themselves was impressive and very sturdy. I wish I had more pros to mention, but I don't. Having been unable to use them during my elk hunt, I can not attest either way to the quality of the construction or stitching.

Now the cons:

I ordered a size L. as these are offered in XS, S, M, L and XL. Typically I wear a woman's size 6 or 8 pant so using their size chart I fell between the M. and L. and so I figured the Large would give me the extra room I needed in the seat and thighs for hunting. True to their size chart the waist was 30.5 to 32"( mine is 30") and so I had them altered to fit me better. Not a big inconvenience and I expected this. I had the cam strap with ladder lock removed on the waist band as they interfered with my day pack. I also had 2 belt loops added one on each side of the front closure. This way my belt would not ride up over the top of the pants. The seat area was marginal with room to spare. The thigh area and cargo pockets lacked the extra room I need in a hunting pant. I put my Garmin GPS in my right cargo pocket and the pocket was not long enough to accept my GPS so I could secure the flap over the top with the magnetic closure. I need roomy cargo pockets where I can fit more than one item and they won't ride tight against my body. The left cargo pocket is where I put my Bushnell Monarch rangefinder and that barely fit and again was uncomfortable for field use. The magnetic closure itself is for light duty and is a weak closure at best. The cargo pockets are of little use to me other than perhaps a roll of flagging tape or similar small items. The rear pockets I also found too small and without a secure closure such as a button or zipper, only a flap that is sewn across the top and down slightly over the sides of the pocket openings. The front pockets with their zippers I found to be less functional because of the zippers. Those are the pockets which do not need zippers and items have the least chance of falling out.

For me I was not able to use these women's hunting pants for my archery elk hunt because of these cons. I resorted to my Cabela's Micro-Tex men's small hunting pant that gives me unrestricted movement in the thigh area along with roomy cargo pockets for my GPS, rangefinder and other hunting gear. No one has ever accused me of making a fashion statement and I just didn't find these women's hunting pants to meet my needs in function and unrestricted movement. While I commend Prois for their efforts there still remains a need for quality, well fitting, functional women's hunting clothing. I look forward to following the development of their women's clothes.

Disclaimer: I paid full retail and did not, nor have I made any financial gains what soever surrounding the purchase or review I have given. The opinion expressed is solely mine and no one elses.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jet's Best Years

It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I write this post. It is about my hunting companion of the four legged variety. It seems that recently when we were out waterfowl hunting that she informed me that she's had enough and her heart just isn't in it anymore. Needless to say I was deeply saddened by her news. The way in which this came about I will share with you now.

We were at Lowlands in S.Oregon's Klamath Basin to be specific. We had hunted ducks the day prior and mostly doing so by walking the many dikes and jump shooting the ditches. In the morning we waited til we had fair light and then went out spending about 3 to 4 hours walking and getting a few ducks. The retrieves Jet made were not difficult, at least not in the typical manner of waterfowling. They were straight forward, easily marked and without heavy cover or long swims required. She was working at her usual pace of "I'll get there when I get there and just hold your horses," all of which I fully understand and have come to respect of her. We had 4 ducks in my vest and headed to the cabin around 11'ish. Time to get a cup of coffee and take a break for both of us. I cleaned the birds and had brunch then we went back out for a short afternoon hunt. With very few birds in the area, all we got was 1 hen N. Shoveller. We called it a day and turned in for the night. Jet was tired and ready for her dinner, followed by her 8 p.m. scooby snack which is the norm and a good nights sleep. Well, and maybe a belly rub or two if I was so inclined. I was all to happy to accommodate as it also gives me a chance to giver her a good looking over for burs or any problems she might be having.

We got up early the next morning and I coffee'ed up followed by a bowl of cereal then out we went. We walked the back ditch first and nothing happening there. We then went to the S. side towards the Klamath Rv. and just as we started down the main road to the river, a Pheasant flushed from beneath a wild rose bush and I dropped it shooting through the bush. Now I knew why Jet was whining while I got ready cause she could smell that the Pheasant was close by. I marked her and sent her on her way for what I figured to be a slam dunk retrieve. Boy was I ever wrong. Firstly she is losing her hearing and second, she didn't follow my mark. My mistake there. So as she went across the shallow water filled ditch and came to the top of the dike she then ran up and down the dike and didn't see the Pheasant splashing in the water only 30 feet further out. There was very little cover on the dike and she had her own agenda which was scenting where the Pheasant had come from. Not so uncommon. As I was walking back to get some rocks to throw in the water to get her attention she winded the Pheasant and was on her way. I shortly heard her whining after she had been searching for the bird amidst the long stem bulrush. I saw her standing belly deep, stationary as a stone with the Pheasant a foot away from her. She had a look of "I'm not liking this and will you please come help me" on her face. I was dumbfounded and tried my best to encourage her to help herself but to no avail. She wasn't really stuck in the bulrush as much as I think she was cold and tired. Her expression was very clear that she wasn't having fun. I was not wearing waders or hip boots so I succumbed to the knee deep water to go help and upon reaching her, I patted her pointy little head and said "come on, lets go sis" then picked up the Pheasant and headed for dry land. I gave her a gentle tug at the top of her shoulders to get her moving and that was all she needed. I guess sometimes we all need a little help and I was glad to oblige her.

I was challenged to manage my emotions and not offend her. Frustration, disappointment and sadness were filling my body. She sat at my side loyal, tired and a bit sad herself I feel. Sad that she wasn't able to do what I asked. Labs are overachievers when it comes to wanting to please their owners. I saw her disappointment in volumes in every wet hair on her body. I loved her up and choked back the tears and decided to make a hunt out of the morning anyhow. I was soaked up to my knees and it didn't matter. What did matter, was giving Jet an enjoyable positive experience before we called it a day. After all we have been a team for many years and I wasn't going to let down my end of the deal. We walked the main river dike and eventually made our way back to the truck. She was pooped and laid down immediately. I was hoping to get an opportunity to let her make a retrieve so we could get her confidence up. It just wasn't meant to be so we headed to the cabin to dry out and got ready to head home.

Every dog is an individual with their own likes, dislikes and tolerances for discomfort. She was a slow starter yet has had many excellent years and still has a few more in her. She will be 10 in March and even though my previous 2 Labradors worked in their 13 th. year not every dog has the same drive, desire or genetics to do so. I have much respect for her and look forward to some easier hunts with her.

The road home was a longer drive than usual. I thought long and hard about what changes I'll make so Jet and I can continue to hunt together. She will get the easy days with mild weather and I'll be thankful for whatever she is willing to do. What's most important to me is that she has fun being in the field. I am beginning my search for a new family member come next spring. With any luck I'd like to find a started dog, preferably a female Yellow Labrador Retriever. Certainly not the high octane American Labrador Field Trial blood lines but rather the English Labrador field hunting lines. Will keep you informed as the search progresses. If anyone has some good leads or positive experiences from a kennel or breeder, I am happy for the recommendations and referrals. Til then we'll keep it simple and fun for Jet and myself.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Monday, November 9, 2009

Elk Hunting, DIY Public Lands Pt.2

It was the second morning of our 5 day elk hunt and John was looking much worse than the night before. He wasn't having any fun and looked to be quite miserable. He was quiet (certainly not typical) achy, plugged up and most likely running a low grade fever. I resisted poking fun at him knowing it may be me in his shoes at any time. We opted to do some driving, hoping to find fresh tracks to go on and eventually ease our way to a nearby town. I was wishing I had a dust mask from my shop so I was able to keep from getting his bug. I urged him to keep drinking fluids and that we'd get him some over the counter meds when we hit Bly. We never did cut any tracks while on our way to Bly, although we did see a dandy Mule deer buck just behind a very well posted fence line. He stood long enough for us to get a good look then he trotted off into the scrub landscape. We eventually made it to Bly and got what we needed, then made our way back towards camp coming full circle.

Getting on into early afternoon and John was finally starting to feel better. His moans eventually turn into words and then full sentences as he was coming back to life. We opted to make it a short day and not push our luck with John feeling better. So an early dinner and a few games of cribbage before we hit the hay around 10. It seemed John had made a 98% recovery in just about 24 hours time. Whatever it was he had, we were both relieved and thankful that it left with just about the same speed at which it came.

I awoke at 3 in the morning to stoke the wood stove and heard the soft serenade of snowfall on the nylon tent fly. I peeked outside and yes indeed it was certainly coming down. Had about 2 inches when we got up and started getting ready for the days hunt. Optimism bloomed again and we headed to Green Mt. in hopes of finding fresh elk sign. Parked at the end of a spur road, we set a time for a radio check and then took off. The weather was cloudy, foggy and everything was very wet as the temps warmed and the snow melted from the trees. The walking was quiet with the recent precipitation and now all we needed was elk. After several hours we checked in and neither of us had good news to report. I had seen some fresh deer sign and several piles of bear scat, yet no elk sign. John had seen some older elk tracks but nothing to really get excited about. We met back at the rig and continued our search for fresh elk sign. We did cut some tracks that were a few days old that we decided to investigate. We never did find where the tracks crossed a road out, so we figured they still had to be in the area, somewhere. I dropped John off and he set his compass bearing to meet me back at the main road. After a couple hours he re emerged from the woods with no fresh elk sign to report. With darkness approaching fast we headed back to camp.

We were running out of ideas and the conversations were waning as neither of us had any new ideas. Sometimes I just wish I knew what I didn't know. We had come across several other rigs and hunters. No one had any positive news or had even seen an elk in the area. The weather was breaking and it was going to be a chilly night. We ate the last of the BBQ grouse with some spaghetti and a small green salad. We were fast losing our inspiration and motivation.

Next to last day and we set out for Green Mt. as that was where we'd found the best sign. I was beginning to be more hopeful of seeing the bear if not any elk. The scat I had found was chucked full of Salal berries and the pile was a foot wide by 2 feet long if not more. Quite fresh too as it was still holding its shape. I was guessing that the bear was at least 5 to 6 foot square if not larger by the size of his scat. The diameter was that of a Mag Lite with D batteries or bigger. There were numerous rock outcroppings that may have a den in them, but I wasn't going looking for that specifically. Quite the contrary. There were also many areas of re prod that were very dense and not wanting to surprise the bear I kept a safe margin from the edges. We again met up after several hours and sat together eating our lunches. John had found some elk tracks but still not super fresh, at best maybe few days. I never did find Mr.Bear although I was certainly hoping so. I did come across a few more scat piles and I really wanted to catch a glimpse of him. He would have to have been at least pushing 7 square for me to harvest him as that is my standard that was set with my first and only bear to date. (Read story here Pt.1 & 2) I certainly would have enjoyed some bear thuringer for the holidays. After we finished lunch and munched on some homemade cookies we opted to go find the Blue Grouse and lay down our rifles for awhile.

The clouds were moving in and it was looking like it did the day we drove in nearly 6 days ago. The only difference was that the wind wasn't blowing the trees down across the road. We eventually found our way back to Blue Grouse headquarters only to find 2 well educated souls who flushed fast with a strong tailwind. So we walked around for awhile hoping to find more Grouse that were a bit less educated but we never did. We began the 20 mile drive back to camp and opted to call it a hunt and begin breaking camp the following morning. We just weren't able to find any decent sign to convince us it was worth our efforts to keep hunting. Not an easy conclusion to come to and frankly, it just felt lousy.

We had a fun time and John made a full recovery while I never did get sick. John won the cribbage tourney (so far) and there will be a re match next fall if not this duck hunting season. Ultimately it was a successful hunt regardless of nothing to put in our freezers. We learned the harvest ratio for that particular unit is 1 to 2 % and the quota was actually met on opening morning on Strawberry Mt. about 60 to 70 miles S.S.E. of where we hunted. That doesn't mean we may not have increased the percentage by harvesting an elk, only that the odds weren't in our favor. Better to be out there trying than sitting at home.

This was our second time getting leftover controlled tags and I am now done doing so. Just not worth the time, money and boot leather. There are other ways to go camping that are more affordable and just as enjoyable. It may take me years to draw a tag for an area with high numbers of elk, but the wait will be worth it. To date I have 4 points or in other words, 4 years that I haven't drawn a tag in a higher percentage unit. Until then I will hunt either hunt the bow or rifle general season. Now for a couple weeks of waterfowl hunting and then my last chance for elk as the second season archery opens Nov. 28 thru Dec. 13th. 2009. This will be on the W. side of the Cascades and cow elk only. Gonna be a wet one for sure!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elk Hunting, DIY Public Lands Pt.1

My hunting partner John and I left town on Oct 26th. with elk on our minds and a storm on the horizon. My truck was loaded with my wall tent, wood stove, camp box, dry box , coolers, cot and personal gear needed for a 5 day DIY elk hunt. John's truck was full of his gear and a bit of spare room for bringing home our prospective elk. The drive was windy and the weather was moving in quickly. The area we were going to hunt was new to both of us and we hadn't the chance to recon due to a multitude of unforeseen happenings. We needed to set up camp asap and then we'd have a day before our hunt started to do some looking around for elk sign. It took us much longer than anticipated to get to our location for camp, although along the way we had already added a little meat to the pot. The rain was starting and the wind was whipping up stronger as the afternoon progressed. Several times we had to clear fallen trees from the road to continue on our way. Experience teaches one to never go into the woods without a chainsaw.

The area we were in has been devastated by the Pine Beetle. Entire mountain sides were completely dead and dying. Yet the woodpecker population is thriving and I saw a rare sighting of a Three Toed Black Backed Woodpecker. Absolutely beautiful with his stunning brilliant yellow cap ( the photo doesn't do him justice). The area was full of slash piles and chainsaws were blazing as it had just recently been opened up to firewood cutters, both commercial and private. Needless to say we had plenty of dry wood right out our tent. As we were heading to camp I came across several Blue Grouse at the edge of the road getting gravel. I hit the brakes and radioed to John the reason for the sudden stop, and we bailed out and managed to track down a few after they flushed from the road. We each shot one and my, they are sure big birds. We were quite tickled with our success and thought it boded well for the hunt to come. We knew we might run across Grouse so we had brought our shotguns and glad we did too.

About an hour later we arrived at the Blue Lake trail head where we made camp for the next 6 nights. The weather was intermittent rain showers and sprinkles as we rushed to get the tent set up and the rain fly on. Dark was coming fast and we made it just in the nick of time. John proceeded to fire up his chainsaw and cut up some rounds for the wood stove. I followed behind splitting them into manageable sizes and making some kindling as I went. We had a late dinner afterwards consisting of a homemade stew that my friend Larry had dropped off in the morning before we left town. It was delicious, consisting of italian sausage, elk meat, cabbage, curry and an assortment of vegetables. We ate heartily and then looked over the map one more time and made a plan as to where we'd scout come morning.

We got up with the sun and headed up the Blue Lake trail in the Gearhart Wilderness to see if there was any elk sign. The trail rose from camp at an elevation of 6420' to the lake at 7035' through a mixed pine and fir forest. There were rock outcroppings and several areas of large old growth Aspens thriving in narrow draws with small water seeps fueling them along the 2.6 mile hike. Beautiful landscape yet somewhat devoid of animals. We did cross some old elk sign of approximately 15 - 20 animals that were traveling through several weeks earlier. We never did find any fresh sign on our hike, yet it just looked to good to not have elk in there. Plenty of food, cover and an excess of water sources, surely making it a challenge to find the elk. We got back to camp just as day was turning to dusk.

John chainsawed a cribbage board before total darkness and I began to prepare the salad portion of our dinner. It wasn't long before the sizzle and smell of BBQ-ed grouse began to start my belly to rumble. John cooked those birds to absolute perfection. We then began our 5 night cribbage match. John being John, had a cordless drill and small drill bits in his truck. He's the kind of guy that can rig up just about anything out of pretty much nothing. He is fondly referred to as McGiver quite often.The following morning we got up early and headed back up to Blue Lake, this time creeping along and glassing as we hunted our way to the top. We crossed a couple fresh elk tracks about 2/3 of the way up. They wandered on and off the trail and eventually into the woods. They were small tracks and we figured a cow/calf pair. We had tags for bull only and opted to let them go.

A cold wind blew and it had a bite to it as we got to the lake and had a late lunch. It was raining one minute, hailing the next and then drizzling, basically typical Oregon weather. We were a bit befuddled by the lack of sign we weren't seeing, not even any fresh deer tracks. Although the lake was beautiful and there were birds on it. Specifically a female Common Loon and a group of very dapper Buffleheads. We ate and quandered then hiked a few more miles beyond the lake hoping to find some elk sign or maybe catch an in its tracks. John hiked around the N. side of the lake and I on the S. side and we met where the trails merged. After several more miles and no sign we opted to return to camp as the day was passing quickly into night.

We both commented on how long the hike up was and as we began our descent back to camp, John began sneezing and his sinuses were running like someone had just flipped the switch. I kept giving him a look of "hey can't you be a little more quiet, after all we are hunting"? His reply was non verbal and it was clear he was going down fast. And I'm not talking the trail here either. My goodness I have never witnessed anyone sneeze so many times in succession as he was. He certainly rivaled the energizer bunny. Back to camp and I loaded him up with cold meds asap and we had a quick and easy pasta dinner then turned in after several rousing games of cribbage. We decided to do some driving the next day in hopes of cutting fresh tracks. Though as morning came John was looking a whole lot worse for wear.

Pt. 2 coming soon
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Decadent Double Chocolate Brownies

Here is a recipe that just about calls for an intervention. For those of you that are chocoholics this one's for you. I recently made these for my elk hunt that I am on right now. It's a good thing that I am putting in some miles otherwise I might be letting out my belt.


Start with 1 box Trader Joe's Truffle Brownie Mix
1 cube butter
2 whole eggs
1/2 Dark chocolate bar ( I use Green and Black's 85% dark cocoa) chop into approximate 1/8" to 1/4 " size pieces.

In a medium size bowl add the ingredients as follows:

Melt butter so it is creamy, not liquid.
Next add eggs and mix gently.
Add brownie mix and do not over mix.
Now add 1/2 dark chocolate bar and gently mix.

Heat oven to 350 and pour brownie mix into lightly greased or buttered oven safe pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes depending on oven. Be sure to test with a knife for doneness. If the knife comes out clean, brownies are done. If not bake for a bit longer.

These are intense and somewhat habit forming. Tough to eat just one. Enjoy!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt
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