Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Body Count '14 - #5

I found another one at the farm that was a little slow gettin' into his hole. No pic for this one either, but this time it was because when I shot, a damned ol' longbeard that I hadn't seen shock-gobbled from about 400 yards away, further into the field. Turns out there were three longbeards, none of which seemed overly phased by my shot. Instead of walkin' down and snappin' a pic of the hog, I eased back into the truck, went around the field and set up for the turkeys, but to no avail.

Alas, I not only got the hog, but I also got a good game plan for turkey huntin' tomorrow...

Monday, May 26, 2014


I hope y'all enjoy your day off and picnics and all, but please take plenty of time today to reflect on who earned that day off for you. Better still, take time to talk to the youngsters in your families about the true meanin' of Memorial Day. Show 'em pictures and tell 'em stories. It might not make sense to 'em right away, but someday it will.

May God bless each and every one of our fightin' men and women.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Body Count '14 - #4

Caught this little booger loungin' in a freshly cut field right off the lane after the afternoon milkin'. This is a tough hole to kill hogs out of...  the high amount of lead that gets thrown at 'em by the farmers enterin' and exitin' the lane usually has 'em scurryin' for the hole as soon as a truck or tractor rounds the corner. It always makes me happy to plug an especially wary whistlepig out of that hole.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Excellent view

The huntin' was slow this mornin' in Adams County, with only one far-off gobble heard and no birds seen.

Thankfully, a nice three-mile leisurly stroll up and around the mountain and stellar sights like this made up for the lack of action...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Body Count '14 - #3

This ballsy little wench decided to explore our back porch by the livin' room while I was sittin' in my chair readin'. After the last fiasco with groundhogs at the house (in which one that shoulda been dead to rights got her shit together and made it back under the shed after I shot her) I scrapped the 2-3/4" low brass 6's in favor of some 3-1/2" magnum 5's that didn't make the cut for turkeys.

Well, I reckon at the whoppin' distance of three yards, it wouldn't have mattered what ammo I had. Regardless, this'n didn't make it back under the shed, and I caught hell from the girl for puttin' a divot in the yard. Either way, it's a dead groundhog so I'm happy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Neat stuff around the house

I found this little booger crawlin' around while I was unloadin' wood the other night. Ain't sure what it is and too lazy to look it up, but I figgered it was worth a picture.

The next day, I stopped over at the parent's house, and the ol' man sent me out to take a look at the nuts-and-bolts rack in his work shed. This is what I found...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rack 'o ribs

For the first time ever, I took the whole racks of ribs from the humongous doe that I got with the muzzleloader back in January. Really, it was the first deer I've ever killed that had enough meat on the ribs to warrant takin' the whole rack.

Since I lack any culinary chops outside of a damn good breakfast sammich, I had Joe figger out a good recipe to use for 'em  for camp last weekend. Bein' that venison is super lean and dries easily, I knew that we'd have a challenge.

I couldn't begin to tell ya the recipe that Boy Wonder found, but the flavor was purty damn good. Unfortunately, we pretty much screwed the pooch on gettin' 'em cooked up. We attempted to braise 'em in the oven, then finish 'em out on the grill. They were dry as all hell, and we really shoulda made a few more bone cuts before we cooked 'em, as they were kinda hard to yank apart in some places.

Oh well... it all got ate anyway, and it gives us a better idea of how to whip 'em up a bit better next time. And, I still have the other set of ribs to work with.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2011 Trophies

A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to gettin' my critters from Wyoming and my rifle season buck from 2011 mounted up on plaques. I'd already done simmered 'em off a long time ago, but didn't really have room to put 'em up in the old place, so I never got real ambitious with gettin' 'em on plaques.

Well, I got the space now, and I'm tryin' to get all these little nit-pickin' projects outta the way so I can focus on the big stuff that needs done around the house.

Now to figure out how to arrange 'em on the wall...

I also finished up our buddy Smitty's 2011 spring gobbler. I'd made the mistake of settin' it up out in the shop, and it was more or less out of sight, therefore, out of mind. I made a point to get it done before I headed up to camp, so I knocked that out as well.

Thankfully, Smitty was patient with me, and he was purty tickled to get his hands on the mount.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Body Count '14 - #2

I was takin' turkey scraps back to Ron's woodlot when I looked down into the field and saw a little brown bastard mockin' my gun-free condition. Well, I ran back to the house, grabbed the ol' .223, and went back down there and cleaned the little bastard's clock.

I did forget to grab the phone in the process, so no pics of this one.

I brought the .223 up to camp just for grins, but wasn't sure if I'd get a chance to bust it out or not. Glad I got the opportunity to put 'er to work.

Mondays are good to Ron

Two Mondays, two longbeards for Ron, and his season is done. He called in this bird from a long ways away, and the bird put on quite a show on his way down Ron's Mossberg barrel. This was his first bird with barred feathers in the fan, which is surprisin' seein' that he's killed more turkeys than avian flu. He was pretty tickled with it though, so I'll be takin' that home to work up for him.
18.5 lbs, 9-1/8" beard, 3/4" spurs
I'm still strikin' out, but not for lack of effort. As always, optimism prevails, and I'm hopin' to get back on 'em tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The first week

I've been runnin' at a flat lope the last few weeks, tryin' to get some loose ends taken care of before I came upstate and workin' like a dog. Not much time for bloggin', unfortunately. It was much easier maintainin' this blog when I made my livin' in front of a computer...

The opener, as always, was very excitin', although I spent the day at work. Thankfully, my phone spent a good bit of time transmittin' the excitement from the woods directly to me at work.

A regular from the bar that I moonlight at opened the dance, smokin' a fine public land longbeard down home in Adams County. The birds really seem to be gettin' a foothold down here, so hopefully that trend continues and the huntin' is good.
A little while later, cousin Danny got ahold of me. He had guided his cousin that mornin', and had gotten into some birds.
Then, the best text of the day. My best friend, Erik, followed up his success from last year with another fine longbeard, from the same spot, no less.
20-1/4 lbs, 9" beard, 1-1/8" spurs
The first Monday was good to us yet again. We've prolly brought more birds back to camp on the first Monday than any other day of the season.

Spanky got things started with a unique trophy; a bearded hen. Sounded like she put on quite a show by comin' in and beatin' the hell outta his decoy. Bearded hens are legal in PA, so he had no qualms about puttin' the hammer down on her.
6" beard, 15.5 lbs.
 Ron, who has been waitin' years for his opporunity to take a bearded hen, actually passed up on one to take this fine longbeard a little while later.
20-3/4 lbs, 9-3/4" beard, 1-1/8" spurs

The rest of the week was a whiff-fest.

Joe got into some birds on Thursday, and whiffed a rushed shot after gettin' busted by a nearby hen. Oddly enough, he was a mere 40 yards away from one of my most memorable misses.

I finally made it up Thursday night, and less than five minutes into legal shootin' light on Friday mornin', duffed a shot that I never shoulda taken. Impaience and excitement combined for an ugly shot. Had I been more patient, I mighta fared better. Regardless, it was a tremendous mornin', with great weather and lots of action.

Dad and cousin Danny had plenty of excitement of their own, and had several missed opportunities. Dad dispensed the full quota of three shells in the direction of of a jake, to no avail.

Saturday, things got a little more on the right track. This ol' longbeard gobbled his brains out, and wound up right in Joe's lap. He promptly made ammends for his miss earlier in the week, and after a sprint downhill to try and stop the rollin' bird, he had his trophy in one hand, and a handful of tail feathers in the other.
21 lbs, 9-3/4" beard, 1" spurs

So, four birds in the first week... definitely a good showin'. I have four days this week to hunt before I report back to work, and Ron has a few days off this week as well. Hopefully we'll get a few more on the board. There's plenty of 'em around.