Saturday, April 27, 2013

Openin' Day hook-daddies!

Erik got things started off bright and early this mornin'. After losin' his grandpappy on Wednesday and debatin' whether to come up or not, he walked up the hill and whacked a big ol' longbeard. Grandpa Long woulda been proud, and I know I damn sure am.

20lbs, 9.5" beard, 1-5/16" spurs

Dad made up for an early miss this mornin' by pluggin' the same bird a few hours later. Lemme tell ya, this big ol' pig has one of the biggest heads I've ever seen on a gobbler.
23.5lbs, 9: beard, 1-5/16" spurs and a huge head

Both birds were at least three or four years old and had almost identical spurs. I'm just proud as hell that I was able to share the success of the opener in my favorite place with my two favorite huntin' buddies.
Like I mentioned in my last post, Joe had a few sugar-daddies lined up down on the home front, so there he stayed. Sure enough, it payed off for him. Little bastard fed a bunch of shot to his hen decoy and my strutter decoy that I loaned to him in the process.
21.5lbs, 10-1/4" beard, 1-1/4" spurs

So with only the first day under our belts, we already have three on the ground. Ron predicted ten for the camp for the year, so we're well on our way.

Barber Shop

More than once I've thought that I'da been better off born 50 years ago, in somewhat simpler times. I've been convicted of bein' a tech junkie a time or two, which I cain't deny, but I find myself hankerin' for the good ol' days pretty frequently.

Before kickin' up some dust on the back roads on the way to camp, I swung through town to pick up a few things. While headin' down the main drag, I recollected there was a barber shop there that I'd gotten chopped at maybe ten years ago, and I'll be damned if it wasn't still there. Bein' that I have to look somewhat presentable for my neice's Christening on Sunday, I figgered I'd get my ears lowered since I wasn't in a hurry.

I opened up the door and was greeted by that ol' barber shop smell. No frilly shampoos and soaps like most other hair cutteries... just the smell of warm Barbasol and age. A few ancient deer racks and snapper shells were hangin' on the wall, dulled by plenty of time and dust. Other old knick-knacks were scattered about, and the newest thing in the room was the newspaper and an ol' Compaq Presario that must been at least 15 years old. On the counter was a simple sign; Back At Noon. Mind you, nothin' was locked and nobody was in the place, which is the way I wish it was everywhere.

Since I had a few minutes to kill, I took advantage of one of the New-Gen things I kinda like (mostly). I pulled out my phone, snapped a few pictures and played around on Instagram for a bit

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Growler Diaries, vol. 5

I just can't help myself. Troegs is not only local, but they don't make many beers that I don't like. Dropped in to Scozzarro's again the other day and walked out with some delicious Perpetual IPA.

On a side note, while chattin' with the bar keep at Scozzarro's and discussin' the various brews on tap, he busted out a damn fine quote regardin' one beer in particular; "Well, it's interesting... kinda like makin' out with a hippy."

Pour Four
Guinness Draught
Guinness & Co.

Pour Three
Troegs Nugget Nectar
Troegs Brewing Company

Pour Two
Zack Morgan's Pale Ale
Morgantown Brewing Company

Pour One
Troegs Mad Elf
Troegs Brewing Company

I know, I'm a slacker

I've been throwin' myself into the new job for the last few weeks. Couple that with the side jobs, doin' shit around the homestead, and gettin' ready for the redneck Christmas PA spring turkey season, bloggin' ain't been on my mind too much.

My little buddy Dax, Joe and I headed out to the hills of western Adams County last week for the youth hunt. Skunked again for the third year, but we came damn close. Had three jakes come hollerin' up the trail to our set up, but they saw somethin' ugly and hung up at 50 yards... just a shade too far for the young'in to try. I got some decent footage though, and Dax is a helluva good kid and had a great time seein' 'em that close.

They hung up but still gobbled their damned ol' heads off.

Insolent bastards.
Daxton and Joe practicin' the fine art of turkey huntin'.

Next stop is up to Ron's with the Full Strut gang this weekend. Joe's got some sugar birds lined up a few miles from the parent's house, so he'll be hangin' around here. Dad's headin' up in the mornin', and I'm followin' on Friday mornin'. Hopefully between the two of us, we can get some sugar birds of our own scouted up for Saturday mornin' opener.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A new project

Today marked Day Two of a new gig. I got hired at a local printin' company to function as a printin' press rat, for the time bein' anyway. This is a big place with lots of different positions, shifts and people involved... lots of different cookie jars to get my hands in. The jury's still out, but it seems like it's gonna be a pretty good fit. Hopefully I can stay with this place for a good long while. Regardless, I'm certain that it can't be any worse than my last full-timer.

* * *

I unexpectedly acquired a couple new turkey calls last week.

The first was a custom call that I won online. The beautiful butternut and birch box was hand-crafted by Al and Josh Shoemaker from Lancaster, PA. Josh was kind enough to help me out a few years ago when I began buildin' my own calls, so I'm happy to have a piece of his work. It looks good, and it's all turkey... I'm not much of a box call user, but I'm lookin' forward to givin' this one a spin in the spring woods.

One of my last measures as a free man unemployed bum was to go to one of my favorite places last Friday mornin'. Norm's Auction Service is right up the road from my house, and their Tuesday and Friday mornin' auctions are pretty much populated by antique dealers, serious collectors and little old men with nothin' better to do (which is somethin' I strive to be one day). Not much competition for the cool little knick-knacks that I'm fond of, which is why I like it so much.

As luck would have it, I spotted an old Lynch World Champion Box Caller on their website the night before. When I got there Friday mornin', I lit a shuck to the display box and was damn near giddy to see it was an ol' Birmingham, Alabama call. Opinions vary, but for the most part, these ol' boxes are worth well over $100, even in somewhat iffy condition. They've been the go-to turkey killer for generations of hunters, and the older ones that were manufactured in Birmingham are hard to find intact. I paid a pretty penny for the one already ridin' in my call box.

Long story short, I was ready to bid on that thing into the triple digits, regardless that I didn't have two pennies to rub together that day. I damn near died on the spot when the other bidder ducked out at a $28. Better still, it's in a helluva lot better condition than my other one. No carryin' that one into the woods on shitty days.

Damn, now I got two of 'em. Reckon I oughta think about sellin' one.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pennsylvania Trout Opener

The ol' man's always made sure we were together whenever possible on a stream somewhere for the first day of trout season. We've all missed a few here or there, but the tradition lives on year after year.

Jesse couldn't make it this year, but he sent my nephew along as his much cuter representative. I only made it out for about an hour, but I got to watch Alex catch a few fish (with Uncle Joe's help). Fishin' to me is just somethin' that I do when there's nothin' to hunt, but I managed to yank one in, just to remind Joe that I can do it.

The ol' man, still a fishin' ninja in his advanced age.

Uncle Joe mighta helped with the first one.... or four.

Under duress, I can still catch a fish.

"Our" spot for the mornin'.

He's a cute lil' shit.

Expert unhookin' instruction from Uncle Joe.