Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Naughty or Nice? Let Santa Decide!
All I want for Christmas is a big game tag. A big game tag. A big game tag. All I want for .... ok, now imagine me singing that. Don't do that because your ears might be bleeding if I were to sing it. This isn't about singing though. It's about what you might want to ask Santa for this Christmas.While I might post others, this one has to be one I am going to ask for. Arizona Big Game Raffle tickets! You read it right, a big game raffle. I posted about last years, entered and didn't win anything, I just have to enter again. Here is the info from the email I received. You've got time, but why not ask for this in time for Christmas?
Now in its 6th year, the AZ Big Game Super Raffle has raised nearly 2.5 million dollars for wildlife management through the sales of the species tickets.  All operating expenses have been covered by our sponsors and the sale of raffle tickets for the Swarovski Optics package and the New Mexico Elk Hunt.  

Win the chance to hunt for 365 days almost anywhere in the state of Arizona during the 2011-2012 hunting season for one of these species:
Antelope  -  Black Bear  -  Buffalo  -  Coues Deer  
Desert Bighorn Sheep  -  Elk  - Javelina  
Mt. Lion  -   Mule Deer  -  Turkey
Or one of these prizes:
$9700 Swarovski Optics Package
New Mexico Trophy Elk Hunt

Now more than ever our wildlife need all the help they can get.  This affordable raffle not only contributes to that effort, it also gives the average citizen a chance to hunt one of the coveted Arizona Commission Special tags, win the fabulous 5-piece Swarovski optics package valued at over $9700, or a New Mexico Trophy Elk Hunt.

Ticket prices range from $5-$25 each, and can be purchased online at our website.  We even have a printable gift certificate that will fit nicely in your loved one's stocking! 
Visit our website to order your tickets today!


The public drawing will take place on July 21, 2011 at the Outdoor Experience 4 All banquet at Ashley Manor in Chandler, AZ.
 Good luck if you enter! If you do win, let me know and I'll be sure to do a write-up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Never Take Yourself Too Seriously
Sometimes you just have to take a break from being overly serious about everything and share something funny. Yes, most days I am a very serious guy. Some have said I come off as being extremely serious all the time and that I need to relax. Funny thing is, I do relax. I can be pretty funny, too. I'm actually a bit of a goofy bastard when the time is right, I just don't always share it with everyone. This is NOT one of those times. So why not share a couple of the goofy video clips I've done, right?

When you are in a treestand for 10+ hours, armed with a video camera and aren't seeing any deer... well, you can imagine the stupid stuff you record. Here are two clips from my 2010 NY bowhunting trip for your viewing pleasure. Or displeasure.

Disclaimer: If making fun of buck-toothed rednecks bothers you, lighten up and enjoy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day Joke
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot which got the parrot even angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was silence. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arm and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and
unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

He was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior when the bird spoke-up, speaking very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks In 2010
In honor of Thanksgiving, and after getting some inspiration by reading a blog post by Emily over at Scent Free Lip Gloss, I decided to make out my list of things that are worthy of my thanks in 2010. They may or may not deal with hunting, but nonetheless, I am truly thankful. These are in no particular order and I decided to stop at 10 because I am thankful for many things and I do not want to bore you any more than I already may be doing.
  1. I am thankful for my loving wife who understands my love for hunting is like a drug. Ok, she may not understand, but she knows I have a sick addiction.
  2. I am thankful for my sweet daughter who make me smile each and every day.
  3. I am thankful that I have a wonderful family and that we stay in touch often.
  4. I am thankful for great hunting friends like Jeff and Eric who have taken time out to help me a great deal over the past year. I always look forward to hunting with them and I am thankful for that time and the knowledge we share.
  5. I am thankful for my job and the people I work with. I enjoy going to work each day and seeing what new challenges I may face.
  6. I am thankful for technology and gadgets!
  7. I am thankful for rubberized, buck teeth so I may entertain myself whilst videoing in the hardwoods.
  8. I am thankful for a good cup of coffee.
  9. I am thankful for my trusty automobile. I have driven it cross-country, down the rugged dirt roads to my hunting spots and for my daily travels. It may be getting old, but it is reliable.
  10. I am thankful to the companies willing to let me review their products and encourage me to give my honest opinion.
I may decide to add to this, but this should get people thinking about what they are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and if you can, help someone less fortunate than you this holiday. It can help make a difference.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

California Game Wardens On New TV Show
The National Geographic channel is going to begin airing a new show, Wild Justice, about CA Game Wardens on Nov. 28. I'll be adding this to the DVR to see how they portray themselves as well as we hunters. Anyone else going to tune in?

This is from their website:
From the 1,100 miles of coastal waters to the high deserts, the giant sequoias to Sierra Nevada mountains, the 159 California Game Wardens patrol all of the states 159,000 square miles. It’s a beat that’s home to a human population of 36 million, and a habitat and wildlife diversity that is unequaled by any other state.  Working alone, or with a canine companion, they work day and night, often patrolling rural areas where back-up can be hours away.  Every day is an adventure, and no two days the same, as we go on patrol with the California Game Wardens.

In this series we follow the lives of California’s Game Wardens, on call 24/7, as they defend against human threats to the environment, endangered wildlife, and the cultivation of illegal drugs.  On foot, by car or off-road vehicle, by plane, or by boat, Game Wardens do it all.  As the only line of defense in these sparsely populated, and often deadly places, this small group of law enforcement officers are constantly in pursuit of poachers, polluters, and illegal marijuana growers; while still making sure hunters and anglers follow the rules.
I think a majority of the show is being geared towards marijuana cultivation and putting a stop to it. I hope they try to include a bit more than that and show more with hunting and fishing, too. Either way I am very interested in the new show.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recap: 2010 New York Whitetail Deer Bowhunting Trip
It has taken me a long time (in my eyes) to get this post written up. Between a lot of work, helping out friends with some graphic design projects, family time and my brain just needing a break from hunting I have finally found the time to get this typed up. This is going to be a long post, but short in details. Why? Well, because I failed to take a journal on my trip to write down each days events and I waited more than a week to write this up. Note to self, write in a journal while ON the trip, not after.

There is no hunting trip I anticipate more each year than the one in November with my dad and my brother. Every year, no matter what the weather, travel issues or realizing how much crap I have to pack, I look forward to a week of hilarity, scenery and the aroma of Mother Earth.

Nov. 4, 2010: Travel Day. I tried to pack a bit differently this trip so I would have less to carry on and so my check-ins wouldn't be too bad. Little did I know that this would be a very costly mistake on my part. I want to travel with a smaller backpack for hunting out of the stands, so I packed a third check-in bag. It wound up costing me an extra $75. OUCH! In my haste I read the check-in cost sheet too quickly and didn't see the $75 for a 3rd bag. Maybe my brain conveniently breezed over it, but either way I was out a good chunk of money. I vowed that my return trip back home would be reviewed differently. When I arrived in NY, it was cold and going to get rainy, but I wasn't worried. I was hopeful that we'd start seeing some good deer as it was closer to the rut. My brother, his wife and my dad met me at the airport, helped me load up my gear and had also brought me dinner. A Subway sub never tasted so good! After the 45 minute drive from the airport we arrived at camp (my brother's house) and we unloaded the truck. While everyone else hit the sack at 11:00 PM, my body and brain were still on West Coast time. I spent the next hour unpacking my gear, assembling my archery tackle and trying to fall asleep. It was a very long night to say the least.

Water was standing everywhere.
Nov. 5, 2010: The photo on the right pretty much describes my trip. WET! No, I would say it was wetter than wet, it was super wet. It rained for days before I set foot in New York, but I was not discouraged. (Actually, I was pumped. Two years before I shot my 5-point buck the first day I was there and it was right after a rainstorm.) We got into the woods at first light and we dropped my dad off at his stand. My brother and I walked in to our video stands.The stands were set up so we could have a full 360 degree view of the woods between the two of us. After drawing straws, yeah right, my brother offered to video first so I could be the shooter. What a great brother, right? We sat for the first hour and saw nothing.  

He was very happy to have his thermos of coffee.
I then took out my phone and snapped this photo of my brother drinking his first cup of coffee. Not five minutes later I see him pointing behind me and mouthing 'deer'. I slowly turned around, bow in hand, and spot a doe about 60 yards off. She was walking right in the water, not in the leaves or on a trail. Right in the middle of some standing water. She turned and started rubbing her hind end on a sapling over and over. My guess is that she had just been bred and was trying to either rid her body of some buck funk or had a bad itch. I'll stick with the first scenario. We watched her for 15 minutes and she wandered off. We kept looking for the buck that had bred her, but saw nothing and heard nothing. I turned around, sat down and just as I got comfortable, less than five minutes after the doe left, my brother is frantically pointing behind me again. Sure enough, Mr. Buck decided to make an appearance. Of course, I had to be cautious and by the time I had turned around with my bow he was walking behind a row of saplings. He had come in directly behind my stand and was only 20 yards from me. Dammit! He wandered away and I decided to try to get him to stop. I snort-wheezed and he stopped on a dime. 40 yards away and right behind a tree. I waited about two minutes (20 seconds of real time) and I grunted. Well he decided that he didn't want any part of another buck kicking his ass and he walked away. He didn't raise his tail or run off, he just turned and walked down through the woods.

We ended up seeing a couple more deer that day, but nothing in range to shoot. It was pretty uneventful after that.

I love my safety harness instructions.
Nov. 6, 2010: The rain kept coming down. The great thing about the cold and the rain is that it gave me the opportunity to do a few product reviews. I'll be posting them in the next couple of weeks. I was kept dry and warm, for the most part. My fingers got cold and I got a bit chilled/bored from time to time, but nothing like I had in past years. With 5 or 6 layers on I was bound to be pretty comfortable. We talked on the radios at a set time and after a brief discussion it was decided my dad would walk through the woods toward us and try to look for buck sign. We hadn't seen any deer by the time he got to us, so we packed up and started heading out of the woods. On our way out, my brother quickly stops us and points. Directly ahead of us was a small buck and a doe that had been bedded by a pond. I got an arrow nocked, then grunted and waited. We watched for about ten minutes as they turned and walked away. They were on posted property and I would have had to wait for them to come over on our side in order to shoot. They never did. It was still a very exciting way to leave the woods for breakfast. We left the property and headed back to my brother's house where we got warm, ate breakfast and planned out the evening hunt. He had been seeing deer on his small chunk of property and thought it was worth a shot to get in the stands and wait them out. Perched in our trees we waited, and for three hours there was nothing but the sound of vehicles stopping at the road below me and then driving off. Over and over I listened hoping to hear a branch break or some leaves rustle. An hour before we lost shooting light, I peered over to my left and there was a doe walking 60 yards up to where I had seen my dad standing just a half hour earlier. She walked up the hill and when she got to his trail she stopped, sniffed, looked around and started eating. Must be my dad didn't stink as bad as I thought he might! She walked up through the woods and disappeared. She was the only deer I would see on this beautiful evening hunt. When we all met back up later on, my dad had excited eyes and couldn't wait to tell us about his encounter. My brother had seen a deer, but no shot presented itself. My dad had wanted to get out of our way, so he stalked toward the opposite edge of the property. As he was walking up he found a huge scrape. A few seconds later he hears a snort from a deer in the hedgerow. It was loud because I had heard the deer snort from my stand. He waited for a while and decided to continue his stalk. Once at the other side he found scrapes all over the property! The treestands we had up were in the wrong places, so they would have to be moved for gun season. Still, with all of the sign he found, my dad didn't see any deer. We had no deer on the rack, but it was exciting to hear all of the stories!

You can't really see much of the snow, but I swear it was there!
Nov. 7, 2010: We woke up to very cold temperatures in the twenties. My dad made the smart move and stayed indoors and allowed my brother and I to our cold weather gear. We sat and sat and sat and froze our butts off. We knew we were in for a cold day of hunting. After two hours we went inside, ate breakfast and decided to head over to the farm we had been hunting. Throughout the day we saw nothing, so for the evening hunt my brother and I ventured off together across a pasture. After sitting for over two hours, I had a small 4-point walk in behind me, but he stayed behind a large group of saplings with way too many branches to get a clean, ethical shot. As he turned to walk away, I grunted and he bolted. He didn't want any part of a bigger buck. He acted just like the deer from the first day. I knew there had to be a big buck in the woods someplace for them to act like that. He vanished into the hardwoods as darkness fell. I walked through the woods and met up with my brother at his stand. He hadn't seen the buck, but had seen some does earlier on. It's tough to hear about seeing all of these deer and getting no shots off. We weren't discouraged, but it was starting to feel like we weren't going to have any good fortune.

You can see the corner of the pasture from this view.
Nov. 8, 2010: The sky had cleared, the rain stopped and then the 5 mph gusts of wind turned into 25-30 mph cold gusts with some serious bite. We started the day in our stands with a slight breeze and the wind just kept picking up. A few of the stands were facing directly into the wind and although we are a pretty tough bunch, it can really dig deep into your bones. At one point, my dad went in to take down one of his stands while my brother and I took a nap in his truck. We had been in the stands all morning and I had devoured my two sandwiches, my thermos of coffee and even half my Gatorade. We rested for an hour and decided we had to give the afternoon a shot. We were out there and I only had one more day to hunt. My brother and I headed out to hunt the chunk of woods across the road from where my dad would be. I had a stand that was set up about 35 yards from the corner of a cow pasture. As the wind slowly died down, I stood in my stand and waited intently. An hour before dark I heard it. The distinctive sound of a deer jumping over a creek. I knew that sound anywhere, so I picked up my bow and waited. Ten minutes went by and nothing appeared. Eleven minutes... twelve... thirteen... movement! He was 40 yards out and coming in slowly. He was a nice looking spike horn and was following a trail that would bring him right by me. He then decided to turn and head toward the corner of the field. I tried to range the area, but there were too many small branches getting in the way. I looked ahead of the buck and saw only one spot for a shot opportunity. I figured it to be 30 yards, so as soon as he got to that spot, I grunted and he stopped. I was already at full draw and I let the arrow fly. Ka-chunk! He jumped, looked around and slowly sauntered off. My Lumenock failed to light, but I had seen my arrow fly directly over his back and into an old gallon can of some sort in a junk pile. No, he didn't jump the string. I had made a very obvious error. He was standing about 25 yards instead of 30, and I had failed to aim a bit lower as I was 20 feet up in a stand. My dad pointed that out later when I described the shot. A few expletives were ringing in my head, but it was a clean miss. It was my own fault, but I was glad it was a clean miss and that I hadn't injured him. I checked for blood and hair, but there were only hoofprints and mud on my broadhead. No one else saw anything that night. On our way home we saw two nice bucks in someone's front yard. We jokingly contemplated stopping and asking if we could post up on their porch the next morning. That got a chuckle out of all of us.

Nov. 9, 2010: It was do or die time as it was my last day to hunt. My brother had decided to hunt the opposite end of the property and when we pulled up to drop him off, my dad noticed a huge buck rub on a tree about 150 yards off. I kept saying it was nothing, but my brother checked it out and low-and-behold it was a rub. The tree looked too big to have a rub and it was out in the middle of an open field. It had been made the night before because we hadn't seen it at all during the week. We figured it might be that big eight we had the photo of. It was a hopeful sight and we all hoping to have a chance at seeing him. We decided we wanted to cover this side of the woods in the hope we would spot the big eight. I went to the stand set-up with the mock scrape my brother had made the week before and where we captured the photo of the big buck. For a long time I saw nothing but squirrels. Damn nut-eating noise makers! I sat in my stand right up until last light. When I started to pack up my things I heard a commotion coming through the woods that got my adrenaline flowing. I grabbed my bow and turned to look. All of a sudden a doe came cruising right down the trail and through the scrape with a buck right on her tail. He was grunting and snorting at her for all he was worth. He chased he around some small pines and then up through the woods. This all happened in about twenty seconds, and without killing a deer it was the best way to end my hunting trip. It was very exciting! 

I had a great time on this trip. Yes, I admit I was disappointed that I hadn't shot a deer, but I measure success a bit different than others. Success for me was being able to make this trip. To see my family and to hunt. Period. It would have been sweeter tasting if I had arrowed a deer, but I still had a great time. Now my dad and brother are in the stands with their shotguns and while I was writing this I got a message from my brother that he shot a buck just a few hours ago. It figures, I leave NY and they get all the deer. Maybe next year I'll go during gun season! A big thank you to my brother and sister-in-law for hosting me. Thank you to my brother and dad for taking care of all of the food, gas and setting up all of the stands, too. A lot of work went into this trip and I appreciate it all guys.

On a side note, I traded my small backpack for my dad's backpack. He didn't want it and I didn't want mine, so it all worked out. I was able to reduce my check-in bags to two and saved myself $75. Plus, the new backpack is brand new and perfect for my hunts!

My healthy breakfast on my return trip. Dunkin Donuts rocks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Increasing Your Odds By Making a Mock Scrape
My NY hunting trip write up is coming. Right now it's just sitting under a pile of 'I need to do this first' and photo sessions and some rad design work I am doing for some people. In the meantime, I thought about a few highlights of my trip and this has to be one of the top ones.

When my family was getting ready to put up treestands I sent out two trail cameras for them to put up to start patterning the deer. They worked well (see some earlier posts), but we never got a photo of a big buck. We had plenty of odd bucks (3 points on one side, spike on the other) and quite a few does, but no bucks with any size or nice rack. We knew that they were using this chunk of woods as a travel route, too. My brother went in to one of the stand set-ups and made a mock scrape. Something we normally do when we aren't seeing too many bucks and also set up a trail camera about 10 yards away. A few days later and only a day before I arrived in NY, this was the only photo that was captured (click it to make it full size).

This is the first big buck we have seen on the property in 3 or 4 years.
The great thing about this image is that he was in freshening up the scrape just an hour before sunrise. We knew the deer have been doing it, but we never had any proof. It's really cool to see something work and to have photographic evidence of it.

Three days later, out in an open field there stands a few pine trees. From the road, about 150 yards away, my dad spots what looks like a buck rub that hadn't been there the day before. My brother goes to inspect it and sure enough, our large buck had started marking up his territory. It was awesome!

We hunted for this guy for 5 days and never even saw him. We found his tracks, his rubs and reviewed this scrape photo, but nothing else. It was still an awesome learning experience and so much fun! Even after 26 years of hunting these wiley animals you can learn a great deal.

Gun season opens this weekend and I have a feeling someone in my family might end up with a nice buck this year. Good luck to all going gun hunting and please be careful. Watch out for other hunters, too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hunter Stands Up For His Rights & Misses Trip
I came across this story just a few minutes ago and had to post about it. John Tyner was going on a hunting trip with his father-in-law and TSA decides they are going to give him a pat down on Saturday.

This morning, I tried to fly out of San Diego International Airport but was refused by the TSA. I had been somewhat prepared for this eventuality. I have been reading about the millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray machines and the possible harm to health as well as the vivid pictures they create of people's naked bodies. Not wanting to go through them, I had done my  research on the TSA's website prior to traveling to see if SAN had them. From all indications, they did not. When I arrived at the security line, I found that the TSA's website was out of date. SAN does in fact utilize backscatter x-ray machines.
 After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." He, a bit taken aback, informed me that he would have to involve his supervisor because of my comment.

You really should read his blog and watch the videos (audio mostly) (pretty long, but worth it) if you have the time and give your take on it. He ends up missing his hunting trip because he doesn't want to be violated. I have to stand up with John and give him props for standing up to them. If they had probably cause and explained that to him it'd be a different story. It sounds like they were 'fishing' to find something on this guy. Heck, I don't want someone else touching ME like THAT either. Well, like John says, the wife and doctor are ok, but anyone else can go to hell. He is quick on his feet to turn on his video camera, too. Some people are saying he planned on the confrontation, but I think he was just thinking fast. I am going to follow this story and see if they actually bring a civil suit against him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back From New York
The past week has been full of anticipation and fun. I went back to New York State for my annual deer hunt with my dad and brother. I chose to go during the archery season again this year because I love bowhunting and it was supposed to be decent weather. Boy oh boy, was I wrong on that front.

I'll be posting some photos and video clips as the days progress. Right now I am getting unpacked, preparing to go back to work and enjoying my time back with my family here in SoCal.

In the meantime, here's an article about a 10-point and a 12-point... in one shot.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Would You Do?
I was recently talking with another hunter about this type of thing and wondered what each of you would do.

Scenario: You have scouted up some nice bucks on public land and are now ready for the season. You have picked your spot, a mile in, and set up your stand/blind. There is only one way in, on an old jeep trail. You hunt the spot a few times, but on your next trip in you see another hunter. He's got a stand set up right along the trail. You can either walk by and hopefully share that you have to hike past him to get to your spot or do you turn around and opt for Plan B and go to another spot? Or do you have any other ideas?

I have heard some good responses in talking with people, but I am curious. There is no right or wrong answer. Each person would handle this differently. What would you do?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scouting Success Comes With A Price
Last Saturday, I met up with my friend Jeff and his buddy Tony. We had a woman telling us about the deer that were eating her roses and she wanted them gone. Knowing that we couldn't shoot them from her yard, we did a lot of planning. I mapped out the area, found the pinch points, plotted our entry and away we went. 

4:15 AM: *Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring* 
Me: Umm...Hello?
Jeff: Hey Al, did I wake you?
Me: Um, yeah it's 4:15 in the morning. *slurring words* What's up?
Jeff: It's pouring up here. Do we still want to go scouting?
Me: Hmmm, let's think about it. (I was still groggy and having a hard time waking up).
Jeff: I'll call back in fifteen.
Me: Sounds good. I'll check the Weather Channel.

Fortunately for me, I have the weather channel on my phone, so I looked it up. Yep, Jeff was right. Cats and dogs until afternoon. I looked outside and it was raining at my place, too. I called Jeff back and we talked again.

Me: It's pouring here, but we did plan to go scouting today.
Jeff: That's true. Let's do it. We have nothing to lose.
Me: Absolutely. Let's still meet at 6 and go from there.

We met at our agreed location and decided we were going to scout and see if this area was going to be good. The rain was starting to let up and the sun was coming up. Long story short, we went to two spots marked on our maps as entry points, but that wasn't happening. In each spot was a 8 foot tall fence with a POSTED sign. Off limits to us. We were not dismayed though. I had one area that i was almost sure would be a perfect entry point. We just needed to find the road. It took us all of about 5 minutes and we found the entrance to the trail. Nothing posted, open to the public and ready to be hunted.

We hiked up the hill and it wasn't 15 minutes and we spotted 3 doe walking 30 yards from us. I could see the excitement in my scouting buddies faces. Success! For the next two hours we scouted, glassed and talked hunting. It was an awesome morning.

On our way down a side trail, we spotted a group of hunters making their way up the hill. The lead hunter glanced my way and immediately we recognized each other. We both knew of one another and respected the other, but had never met. We said our hellos, good lucks, chatted about the area and were on our way. If I had slumped back into bed I wouldn't have met the other guys and would not have seen deer. Sure glad I got up! Already it was turning out to be a great day.

Jeff, Tony and I glassed up 8 different deer that day. Our plan was just to scout it so we could come back and hunt it in a few weeks. Maybe this year I will be fortunate enough to kill my first SoCal deer. I have the means and the public land. Now it's time to put some miles on my boots!

I did have to pay the price though. The rain wasn't bad, but I was pretty tired when I returned home. My daughter caught a cold and shared it with her dear, old dad, too. I hardly EVER get sick. In 5 years I may have been sick one time in each year with a cold. So far I am on my third cold of the year. Time for some cold meds, rest and a warm blanket.