Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The month of June was purty lean for the ol' whistlepigs, but they showed back up in July... mostly shed-dwellers, with one from the farm thrown in for good measure so the ol' .223 didn't think I'd forgotten about her.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
The girl and I threw a little shin-dig last night. It was hotter than the hinges of Hell, but the company, music and food were all top-notch. Sans the heat and a quick storm that blew through about an hour before the ceremony, everythin' went off without a hitch. The girl did a fantastic job of plannin' and preparin', and a good time was had by all. It took me a little while to figure out I had a keeper on my hands, but it was well worth the wait. I'm proud to now call her my wife.
Picture courtesy of my old friend James, who is a consummate gentleman and a master of his craft.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
I've cut down on my social media intake and output considerably over the last year, and have never done a damn thing on Twatter, but I figgered this screenshot I stumbled upon was worth sharing.
Sometimes it'd be nice if logic would prevail in the political world....
Friday, July 8, 2016
So, once again I've set up Camp Needanap. The scenery's nice, and the five minute commute is a helluva lot nicer. It'll do just fine for this ol' boy.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
"You want to hear it one more time, another gobble, so even when you don't get the one you want, you hunt out the morning. Marshall McLuhan, famous for his studies of human culture, claimed that language is man's richest art form, something that distinguishes us from animals. If that's true, then it would be on a technicality. Because our words will never compare to the gobbler's voice, when the measure is our emotional response, and the way it keeps us in the woods after we can't even see through them anymore. A gobble rings all the way through, unhooking the part of our brain responsible for reasoned thought."Of course, the hardest part for me is whittlin' down the calls I plan to use. I've amassed a bit of a collection over the years, and if I tried to carry 'em all in the field, I'd prolly have a stroke. After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to some of my favorites.
our sixth year of goin' after 'em, we had one last shot to try to tag a bird. Lo and behold, after a good soakin' at first light, a trio of jakes walked right down the hill to us, and Dax made a good shot to take his first spring gobbler.
As we were takin' pictures and gettin' our stuff collected, we heard a shot down the hill where my brother was set up with his youth hunter. After five years of gettin' skunked up there, we managed to double up within 15 minutes, and still be back to the cabin before breakfast! Made for a very memorable mornin' for our young hunters.
The regular season started off quickly, with Tater puttin' his tag on an aggressive jake right off the bat.
And although the season seemed to progress rather slowly after that, we still managed to pick away at 'em.
Ron took a nice longbeard durin' the first week.
Matt, who has a 9-month-old son and was gettin' ready for a hitchin', knew he wasn't gonna get much time to go after it, so he was more than happy to put down this jake, which wound up havin' two beards.
Cousin Danny, Dad and I spent most of the second week upstate goin' after 'em. We hunted our asses off, and had plenty of action and tons of close calls, and toward the end of the week, Danny finally managed to put his tag on a jake.
I came home to work for a few days, then headed back up for another week. Again, I hunted hard, had birds close, and in general had a helluva good time, but the huntin' was just tough. I generally don't shoot jakes much anymore, but when a trio of 'em walked up on me and sounded alarm putts at me for the next hour, my nerves were purty much shot. When one stuck his head in an openin' at 40 yards, I let 'im have it.
A few of the other fellas came up for the weekend, and although we all had action, Joe was the only one to tag a bird, a beautiful longbeard that his guide got on video.
After headin' home that Sunday and workin' Monday mornin', I pulled into the driveway, and came rollin' outta the truck and blew a crow call just for grins, and I'll be damned if a bird didn't gobble behind the house. A mad dash to get my huntin' stuff together commenced, and I snuck down into the back corner of my woods and got set up. An hour and half later, I finally coerced him into the woods and made my shot. Turns out it wasn't my best shot, but I still manged to get my hands on him. After puttin' dozens of miles on my boots and about 1,300 miles on the truck huntin' em elsewhere, I managed to take a fine longbeard 50 yards out my back door.
That same morning, Ron finished his season with another fine longbeard, in a hunt that was almost a duplicate of his first bird of the year.
Memorial Day weekend found me back upstate huntin' with my family. Saturday, I went out with Dad and Jesse, and although we came close, we couldn't get Jesse on a bird. With a demandin' job and three youngn's runnin' around he doesn't get to go out very often, so it was nice to spend a little time in the woods with him.
Monday, I headed out with Dad and Joe. Our initial setup didn't pan out, but a bird was gobblin' across the valley so Dad and Joe headed over to see what they could do. A short while later, the guns went bang, and Joe's season was over with another bruiser of a double-bearded longbeard, while Dad tied his tag on a nice jake.
Overall, it was a tough season, with birds really bein' difficult and not workin' to a call at all, but we still managed to get some meat in the freezer. I spent as much time in the woods as I ever have, and enjoyed every second of it. I had a ton of action and countless close calls, and managed to luck into two fine birds. Of course, the scenery along the way is a big part of why we run ourselves into the ground for a month straight.
With the season out less than two weeks, I'm ready for next season already...
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
In the meantime, I wanted to pass on this here recipe for any of y'all that haven't found it yet.
Suffice it to say, I generally have a good stash of dead critter in the freezer. However, I ain't much good in the kitchen, but I can do alright followin' other folk's recipes that know what they're doin'. When it comes to burgers, I usually just jump onto the good ol' interwebs and search for "Venison burger", grab one at random and go to town with it. This recipe is one of the only ones that I've cared to save, and everyone that I've fed 'em to has raved about 'em.
Without further ado...
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Anyway, I found these two dummies last week. Fetched up another shed-dweller with the .17 after work one day, and found the other'n at Grandma's the day after while I was waitin' for her to get home. I had just got back from the turkey woods, so I decided to let the Browning have a crack at it. She done alright for a scattergun.
Friday, April 22, 2016
I just wrapped up a few skulls from last year's huntin' season. One is a good friend's father's goat from their Wyoming vacation with Bear Track Outfitters. The other is my aunt's husband's grandson's buck. The goat turned out good, but I screwed up on the whitetail and left it in the pot too long. It got purty dry and I lost the nosepiece, which I hadn't done since my very first one, a few dozen skulls ago. I ain't real pleased with myself on that one, but thankfully, the whole damn thing didn't fall apart, so it still mounted up half decent.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
I was beginnin' to wonder if I'd wiped out the population under the shed last year, since I hadn't seen one at the house at all yet this year. It's a double-edged sword, really... while I dislike the fact that the destructive little bastards call the ol' shed home, it's nice havin' a replenishin' target supply to whack away at over the summer to keep my trigger finger sharp.
I figured they'd get there soon enough, and I wasn't disappointed. This little booger showed up yesterday afternoon, and I quickly got the .17 on the board for the year.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
The old two-story farmhouse was typical for the hills. A clear, spring-fed creek ran only a few yards from the front door, past the barn and other outbuildings. The house sat in a rare Ozark meadow, surrounded on three sides by steep evergreen- and hardwood-covered hills. The highest of the hills was simply referred to as "the mountain" because it was one of the highest points in the state.
The call was my life and I practiced religiously. Teachers took the call away from me more than once for using it at school. Grandma said I sounded like "a cat caught in a fence" and Pop kept telling me to keep practicing. The winter of 1961-62 was the longest of my life, but it eventually ended.
Normally I'd have devoured the breakfast in front of me in a matter of minutes, but not that morning. I picked at the meal and never took my eyes off Grandpa.
With the reddening of the eastern horizon came the sounds of life in the timber. At first I heard only songbirds, and I began to relax a little.
Then came the eight-note call of a barred owl. I caught my breath when the turkey gobbled from down the ridge. I picked up the slate call but couldn't use it. I was afraid, afraid I'd goof up and scare the turkey and ruin my dream. Again and again I tried to rub the cedar against the slate but each time I pulled back. Finally I shut my eyes, swallowed the huge lump in my throat and shakingly rubbed the peg against the call. I winced at the gosh-awful noise it produced.
It wasn't long after Grandpa passed away that the entire family was gathered at grandmas. As usual, the talk turned to hunting and someone brought up the subject of my first turkey. My eyes began to moisten and I walked over and leaned against the fence to look out towards the mountain that held so many fond memories of Pop.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Good luck favored me the other day, and I was able to add another 50 yards onto my Longest Critter Kill record. This chunker made the mistake of showin' himself across the neighbor's field while I was showin' off my groundhog gun to my cousin at the family Easter gatherin'. I was unsure of the distance, so a warm-up shot was in order, but I domed him on the second shot at a GPS-measured 353 yards. Not far by some folk's standards, but that's not a shot I'm able to practice, and I only get a few 300+ yard opportunities a year. I'll take it.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
My travels take me to Gettysburg fairly often, which is over 20 miles from the home fires. Alas, this weekend has me needin' to be in Gettysburg a lot, so instead of runnin' back and forth and burnin' a bunch of gas, I just packed up some gear and headed for the "campsite" at the farm (otherwise known as the location of several fine parties over the years). In this case, it'll serve just fine for modest accommodations.
Friday, March 25, 2016
A few weeks ago, my coworker brought in a bag of Thomas Maple French Toast bagels. Once I caught a whiff, I knew I had to try this phenomenon for myself. While discussing with him how goddammed delicious they were, we brainstormed up the brilliant idea of whippin' up some breakfast sandwiches with 'em.
So, I assembled the basic ingredients...
Monday, March 14, 2016
The ol' man and I checked out a local pond, and we had geese from start to finish. Our setup wasn't exactly optimal though, and after an abysmal display of marksmanship, we had shot almost a box of shells and had two birds to show for our efforts.
A couple days later, the last day, Dad and I went to the same pond in the mornin'. As a family, we were sittin' at 47 birds on the year, and Joe was all gung-ho about makin' it to 50. Thankfully, Dad and I found our mojo again that mornin' and walked out with four birds, puttin' us at 51 with the afternoon shoot left.
That afternoon, Dad went to check out another spot while Joe and I set up another pond that had birds on it that mornin'. I shot my first goose on that pond twenty years ago, and it has continued to produce many memorable hunts since then. That day was no exception, as Joe pulled in a nice group of birds that gave us the purtiest toll I've seen for awhile. We swept a pair that came in a little while later to finish out the season on a high note.
And so another goose season came to a close, with our family havin' bagged 58 birds. Not our best year, but most certainly not our worst. Best of all, I got to spend plenty of quality time with my favorite huntin' buddies.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
I finally got around to knockin' out a couple of gobbler fan mounts that I had piled up from last spring. I have mine and the ol' man's sittin' around waitin' to be done, but I ain't quite sure what I want to do with them yet so they can wait a bit longer. In the meantime, the slayers of these particular longbeards will be happy to finally have their hands on these.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
And so it begins....
Found this dummy this mornin' while followin' up on a goose that I knocked down. It's all of 25° out, but this'n didn't get the memo.
I said last week when it got warm for a few days that I'd have one killed within a week. Took eight days, but oh well.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Well, enter H'burg's brilliant mayor, kickin' the gift horse right in the shins like a petulant child.
Harrisburg officials have pulled city police officers from the Great American Outdoor Show this year after negotiations collapsed over an NRA donation.
Although Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse cited the donation as one of several reasons the city is "not supporting the show," he admits he's "no fan of the NRA." He noted the National Rifle Association had "explicitly worked against the city's interest" in promoting a Pennsylvania law that opened the city up to expensive lawsuits.
To be clear, the city doesn't specifically assign officers to the show. However, many officers will work the show off-duty, often takin' vacation to do so. Unfortunately, the mayor and his cronies have the authority to tell the officers what they can and can't do durin' their time off. Furthermore, I suspect that Little Liberal Papenfuse is prolly less concerned about the NRA's choice of donation than he is with his hatred of the NRA and the Second Amendment in general. Thankfully, the local commissioners get a boner by thumbin' their nose at their fearless mayor, and did their part to uphold relations with the local PD.
Two Dauphin County commissioners plan to give 300 tickets for the Great American Outdoor Show to Harrisburg police officers who were forbidden to work at this year's show.
Commissioners Jeff Haste and Mike Pries plan to present the tickets Friday night to the police union president at a reception at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel. They used campaign contributions to pay half of the cost of the tickets, according to Jack Sherzer, county spokesman. The National Rifle Association, which is sponsoring the outdoor show, covered the other half of the $10 group tickets, Sherzer said.
You'll have to read both the articles to get the full gist of all the bullshit politicin' goin' on, but suffice it to say, the Stupidbomb that is omnipresent in the Harrisburg mayor's office certainly went off again. While I love havin' such a neat show right in my backyard, I would certainly understand if the NRA packed up and headed to a friendlier locale after their five-year contract is up.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
CenTexTim has mentioned before, marriage is a right of passage that every man should do at least once. I picked a good one and have been testin' the waters with her for a long while now, so I reckon I'll only do it once.
bear season yielded no thunderbirds. Regardless, we had a great time with lots of laughs. We don't all get to hunt together as a family unit very often, so we usually make the best of it even if we don't bag any critters.
first winter shovellin' damn near daily with all the snow we had, but I guarendamntee ya, I wouldn't have sold that thing for three times what we paid for it after clearin' up from the blizzard. The ol' gal just ate it up and pitched it out like nothin'.
Other than that's it's just been purty much the usual winter doldrums. Not much to hunt, no real incentive to go outside, therefore limitin' the projects I really feel like gettin' into. Kinda gets a man down with the blues. So, even though it was a balmy 30 degrees today, it was clear and sunny out so I felt the need for some group therapy...