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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Morning Hunt

Today is the last day of the doe only season in Delaware, and as usual it found me in the. woods around 5:30. Upon entering the logging road going in I stopped and rubbed fresh woods earth on my boots and clothes, with just a touch of fox pee on the soles of each boot. Now it is still very dark at that hour but with a little luck I found my lock on stand pretty quickly, and ascended the climbing sticks with my bow on the string. Settling in I ate an apple and waited for the woods to come alive. As it got brighter the tree rats came out and scampered about barking and chattering, crows settled in the branches above me and called for the better part of 10 min. and I love to hunt but 10 min of calling crows is enough! Shots rang out on the fields across the road, and then all got quiet. Two hours later I climbed out of the stand and made my way back to the car, by the farmers veg. wagon, Track soup again tonight! One thing about it I may not have pulled my bow this morning, but the pleasure I got from watching the forest come alive, and the smells of the damp earth, well well worth the effort.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're not done fishing yet!

Okay hunting is getting all the press but fishing is still hot and getting hotter by the day. OC Inlet is going to be giving up some fat Rock on the 2 hr incoming outgoing tide. Getting a live spot or eel down to them will be the key to success, and the 28 inch min makes for a nice fish for the oven. One of my favorite places is the outer wall of Delaware bay. I have NEVER been skunked there when fishing live eels, no weight, 2hr. incoming outgoing, at sunset. I have gotten my two fish limit there on the regular. Now let be perfectly clear this is no place for a small boat, with a small engine of questionable operation, on a incoming tide. The current there is fast, the rocks hard, and the sea rough when fishing is the best so be super safe here.
Indian River inlet, on the golden tide times is a fish factory! The water rushes out of the inlet with a vengeance and will take you with it. One man lost his life there this past week when a wave caught him off guard, so keep in mind the sea gets angry when you take fish. Anxious to hear of fish reports, salt and fresh, and I have no ideal how but I will try and post some pictures if I can figure it out. Yea I can find my way home at night from the target ships but posting pictures is a challenge for me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bow hunting traditional or compound?

Hey I love to hunt and I like to Bow Hunt when I can, but I like to hunt with a variety of gear. Some evenings it is my cedar backed hickory bow with cedar arrows, and split willow quiver. If I am feeling really primitive I will use a short pony bow I made from a hickory stave, with cherry shafts and blunt tips. But then some nights I have all the gear you could ask foe carbon arrows, compound bow, full laser print camo, scent block anything (even a chili fart) clothing. So what type of hunter are you traditional, crossbow, compound?

Bunnies and Squirrels

When most talk of hunting in this area it is usually about Whitetail deer or waterfowl, but what about small game? In a time when a persons first deer might be a trophy animal, thanks to youth days, what is left? Like the guys who first walked on the moon what else can you do that is equal to that? (okay bring world peace) Stalking tree rats (squirrel)or hunting rabbits in front of a pack of beagles is a great way to introduce people new to hunting. Sitting beside a old log you can see the little rodent coming on thru the trees, and with that rusty gray fur they are picture perfect in the evening. Getting into position like you are going to draw down on a turkey, you raise the 22 to your shoulder, getting the sight picture you settle in and breath in, finger on the trigger, breath out, settle in make the sight line up with the head, breath in and squeeze easy, exhale hold...squeeze.. WHACK the little lead bullet connects like a white tail and you are better for it. Hunting small game can make you a better shot when the big boy comes into your shooting lane, by making you work on the basics when hunting squirrels with small bore rifles. Breath control and sight picture are things that as a hunter you should practice every time you go to the range to shoot your weapon. Many people shoot "AT" their game but using small bore for small game makes you learn to pick a spot and hit that spot. Hey the plus side is that it is cheap to shoot, not $1.50 every time you pull the trigger on your magnum.
What about the rabbits? Well besides being very tasty little buggers they are also fun to shoot at when running thru the briers with a yapping beagle 20 yds behind him. If you don't think that will help your bird hunting I disagree! Same with quail hunting (harder everyday here), or woodcock, these require light loads and less recoil when new hunters are along.
If you kill it you got to grill it, so get a hot cast iron pan, with a little lard in it about 1/4 inch or so. Cut up the rabbit or tree rat and drudge him in some flour seasoned with some salt and pepper. Of course you are going to wash it first and pat him dry, and if you have the time maybe soak him in some salt water.
Now place that, the drudged rabbit not the salt water, into your hot grease and cook him on a slow fry, browning him on all sides real good, till he is nice and brown and crispy. Take him from the pan and set him on a platter with some paper towels, or a stump if you are camping then you can forget the towels if you want, I mean birds crap there but you are in the wood right?
Now those big ol onions you brought with ya will get sliced up about 1/4 inch thick and fried in the pan you cooked the game in frying them until they get limp or "caramelized" like that? caramelized that's right! Now pull them out and throw in some flour and make a rue in the pan with all the crispy stuff in the pan get it to the color you like (peanut butter for me) and add some milk to make a gravy. Put the onions and game in the pan and set it to the back of your heat so it just simmers, for about 40 min.
Now mash up those potatoes, and get a can of those Bushs baked beans opened up. If I have to tell you what to do next maybe you should not have a gun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pre Rut?

Well a deer came into a business and basically did the bull in a china shop thing, after crashing thru the front window, he destroyed the shop in typical fashion. So are we into the pre rut stage or what? It is well known to hunters that a buck deer will not be friendly to other buck deer around this time of year. So they fight and clash horns, rub big trees, and piss all over themselves, in an effort to attract the estrus doe. So if they see their reflection in a window they attack it, thinking it is another deer moving in on their does. I am dragging a big mirror into the woods next time I go see how that works out for me, okay maybe not. But I like the ideal. We hunters have our rattling horns or bag, our Tinks 69 doe in heat, drag rags, scent blocking clothing and body wash. But when the Rut finally kicks in, sometime usually during Delaware shotgun season, none of that will matter, because he has his nose and mind on one thing....doe punanny and he will travel to get it. So we position ourselves down wind of the trail and wait for that trophy of a lifetime to make a tragic mistake and walk by your location. If you have confidence in your ability to make a successful harvest, and the meat gods are in your favor, your arrow or shot finds you making meat for the winter.
So hunters what is the verdict Are we in pre rut, seen any strange behavior?


This has always been a sore spot with me, when people lump all of us together with those who knowingly violate game laws, take shots they can't make, shoot from the vehicle on and on. So what are hunting ethics? For me it is practicing with my weapon of choice untill I know I can make a clean harvest, Try my best to follow all game laws, (but I am convinced that if you hunt then you have to be in violation on something!!!) and leave the area cleaner than I found it. What do you think hunting ethics are or what are yours?

Monday, October 26, 2009

What type of retriever is best for you

Getting a hunting dog is a big investment and not one to be taken lightly Tom Brown (pictured) eats 9 cups of retriever dog food everyday, likes to dig, 9 cups in 9 cups out! loves his family and gets along well with other animals. What type of hunting dog works best for you?

Where are the birds at?

The second duck season is in full swing and I have to admit on my piece of marsh, located on Saint Martins Neck, there seems to be a shortage of birds. I figure the cold weather up in New York would push em down, maybe the snow in Appalachia will move em on in, but for me and my blind nothing. The few ducks I did see were committed to somewhere else but where would they be going? Naturally the flooded soybean field brought up by the latest NorEastr that is not part of my hunting property! As we hunt during the upcoming season I will try and post a "Where are the Ducks at, on Thursdays, feel free to share or not where you last saw ducks.

Public Option, hows that working for you?

Okay many of us here are just plain good ol boys and girls who no matter where we are from, would have been good ol girls and boys there also. We work our 40, fill our hunting vehicles, more than likely the family vehicle, grab the family dog and hit the fields for a afternoon out in the stand or the woods. No fancy lease or lodge, our dog has a questionable pedigree, and we work hard for our money. So where do we hunt ...Public Land, that's right many of us use the Public Option when we manage to get out and hang our stand, or shoot a few ducks and geese. It has been my experience that many hunters reject hunting on public ground because of the anything goes attitude by some gun toting people, and we all have our stories on that. But if you do your homework you can find those areas tucked away that connect up to state park property or that huge piece of ground you been dying to get on to for a couple of evenings. Couple of suggestions for those new to the Public Option,
Go deep, many have fire roads cut thru them and that can be your ticket to getting into those areas overlooked by the avg hunter. Bring your nippers and work on going to your site everytime and soon you have a nice semi clear trail to your fav. climbing tree. If you get there and someone has taken advantage of your work, pee on the tree and leave.
Don't flag the entrance to your site with flagging tape, 20 yds in place your tape, with your name and season date on it, only a gun toater would violate your space.
Gang up: get three of your buddies to go into an area and make it your own, use your flagging tape marked properly and work together like a club if you will, other hunters will respect you and your space.
Now this may not work for you but for those of us who like the Public Option the results can be worth it.

Delmarva Hunting fishing License?

I don't know about you guys, but I live in Delaware, have hunting property in Maryland and Delaware and get invited to duck hunt the lower peninsula every year. A three day out of state Md. License with stamps to duck hunt, a cool $70.00. What is a sportsman to do? Besides a lease if you have to lease, boat stickers, trailer tags, hunting and fishing license, ramp fees, lot fees, well you get the ideal I am sure, what is a person to do? I know that we have all thought about it, a license for the peninsula, for those that want it. Something to think about, something to ask our elected officials to consider.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is your retriever working for you? (or you for your retriever)

It has been said that every duck (rabbit, quail, upland game) hunter should own at least one good retriever (pointer) and train one retriever in his life., notice I did not say they would be one and the same dog! I have been fortunate to have owned two really good retrievers and, I had the pleasure of training both of them, of course the verdict is still out on Tom Brown, but from all indications he will become the retriever I want him to be, and hopefully by the end of this season he will come to the front.
"Mike son of Ike Duke of the Marsh" was my first dog of my own, a Black Lab from a local guide "Mud Duck" who bred his lab to replace his working dog Ike, cost me 50 dollars and a bunch of time. But that dog had the natural ability to work and by the time he was a year old I had him making basic retrieves in the marsh. by year two it was doubles and blind retrieves. I always said if I shot down a airliner he would retrieve it piece at a time! After moving out to the country I did not kennel my dog as I lived on several acres and was surrounded by hundreds of acres of corn and beans, but the scent of a female in heat is a powerful thing to a rank lab, and I learned a hard lesson the hard way, one day Mike never came home. I have had several since Mike, free ones, purchased ones, ones that the guy just couldn't keep any more, and it just never worked out, in fact I gave up duck hunting all together, sold my deks and boat. After several years I picked up a place to hunt ducks again, my kids came along and left and I got thinking about getting another retriever, but what to get? The easiest of all a Golden, or Yellow lab, a chocolate, or should I get another Black lab. Having grown up with Chesapeakes I knew of their tireless work ethic, ability to withstand cold weather and ice, even the biggest goose was no match for them when it came to retrieving, so I setteled on that breed to go into my "golden duck years" with. He has been a handfull I admit, hard headed, likes to mouth your hands, eats like a horse but devoted and dedicated to my wife and I, gets along well with others, so long as I am around, and social. Not the easiest dog I ever trained but by far the most aggressive. Skim ice, cold, thick brush, nothing stops him, and I have only used the training collars on him twice as I feel guilty after I use it. My uncles did not have training collars and I don't think I need them either. I would like to hear your traing stories and about your dogs, what successes you have had things that did or did not work, suggestions for those getting their first hunting dog. And if you are breeding your dog, or if he is standing at stud let us know.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

After the harvest

The quality of your meat is in direct proportion to how you handle it immediately after the shot. Early bow season is a major problem with temps in the 80's or higher, but even cold weather requires you to handle your game properly. recently there have been many products on the market that help us with the work associated after the harvest. How do you handle your game after the harvest?

Playing the wind when bow hunting.

We all know that wind direction is an important aspect of deer hunting. A deers nose is long and filled with receptors to detect even the faintest of scents. There are many products on the market to help you have effective scent controll, clothing washes, sprays and scent blocking clothing. What have you found to be most effective in your own scent control system?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hanging and hunting Deer Stands

When you go to hang or hunt your deer stand what safety guidelines do you follow?
Welcome Prophets to Delmarva sportsmen blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, and feel free to comment. This is NOT a political blog but you can bet that I will try and keep you updated on NRA news, game seasons and limits, and let us not forget fishing! Maybe we could post pictures of your game harvest, or let the world know your kid got their first deer, duck or turkey. Hope you guys will come around, frost is on the pumpkin, there is a nip in the air, and the coffee is perkin.