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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Maryland opening day of Rifle season

Well this turkey day marks for many the opening day of the Maryland rifle season. Even though the day does not officially open for the harvest of deer until that Saturday, just getting to deer camp begins the season for many. We are fortunate to have both waterfowl marsh and deer woods on our property, so Wed, Thur, Fri, then Sat Sun. makes for a great week of hunting. Of course the water pump on the boat decides not to work meaning a phone call to a friend to see if he was going hunting this weekend, and was his boat available. But the wind! It blew a gale then some and no matter what you might think ducks are not into flying in a gale force wind! My son and his guest arrived at the cabin around 10;30 Thursday night, and I had the boat ready to go but like I said the wind was just brutal, so we hunted a quiet piece of water tucked in behind some trees. Later we moved out to a point and shot at a few diving ducks, after sacrificing a goose decoy to the water gods, we decided that maybe our time could be better spent back in camp. I mean there was a fireplace, half Banana cream pie, a Apple pie and turkey needing a new home, not to mention the possibility of a nap!
Sat morning came quick and the woods was Alive with hunters. Our 158 acres is well managed and we know where each other is positioned, but the adjoining property is a free for all and unfortunately our deer have to return to our area to bed, passing through the neighbors property first. I counted 30 rifle shots in the neighboring property in the first legal hour. The morning was unproductive, but after the woods quieted down we returned that evening and took up our stands. Deer were moving about and our party was able to take a nice doe of 100 lbs. We butchered our deer and packed out our meat in coolers the next morning. We will turn it into sausage, baloney, neck roast, jerky, and burger and enjoy the hunt many months after the harvest.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More guns mean More crime or More crime means More guns?

Looking through my American Rifleman magazine this morning the following story line grabbed my eye, "New FBI Crime Report Undercuts Gun Control Slogan.... Again". It seems that that every September the FBI releases it's National Crime report for the preceding year. Once again it would seem that the gun control groups are not happy with the report....again. Since 1991 when crime hit a all time high, the nations national crime rate has dropped 40% a 35 year low! Now hear this the number of privately owned firearms rose to more than 80 million, all all time high, and it reported that the number is closing in on 300 million handguns. That means to you and I that we now owen more of all types of firearms than at any time in history, even those that gun control supporters decided we should not have over the years. So more guns less crime or more crime more guns?

Duck hunting

Well the past couple of days have been classic duck hunting days but where are the ducks? My hunting marsh is located on the Saint Martins Neck area of Williamsville and diving ducks have been flying around some but not in the flocks of 8 or 10 that I saw a week ago. No big ducks have showed themselves and no migrating geese the past two days flying over the blind. There is cold weather up north, snow to the north west one would think that the ducks would be pushed down here by now in mass numbers. My son is coming in from the tide water area of Virgina, so I have the blind brushed up nice, heat on in the cabin and naturally some food for the boy and the guest he is bringing with him. Hopefully we will see some birds fly into the spread, tell some lies, and eat cold turkey sandwiches!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ducks deer and some turkey!

Seems like we have a busy week coming up first we have turkey day, ducks till Saturday then deer season! What is a man to do? First def. in on the bird, now if your house is like the one I grew up in we always went rabbit hunting first thing in the morn. Had a huge dinner then a serious nap with brief moments of football or something. Then Friday was spent ducking in the morning and hanging stands or going to the range again with the rifle. Sat brought opening day and the chance of a nice deer for the freezer. So whatever your choice be safe, shoot straight, and follow the game laws.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Delaware opening day of shotgun season

The rut is in full swing, the weather is bad as it gets and today was opening day for shotgunners in Delaware. It may have been bad but there were at least 20 trucks parked along burnt swamp road this morning. Good luck guys, let us know how you did.

Todays duck hunt

The day started at 3 am waking up without the alarm I stumbled out of the bed room into the Man Cave where my clothes are laid out. Got the Tom Brown, my Chesapeake retriever for his first real duck hunt of the season in the car and made sure my over sized kayak fiberglass over plywood pole boat was tied into the trailer, loaded all the stuff that goes with a duck hunt on a perfect morning and headed to my hunting cabin. The early morning started a bit rough with a gale blowing NE, and rain on the horizontal, so I went inside and had a bit to eat while it lightened up a bit. When it got light enough to see to put out the decoys I got the Black Duck (my boat)down to the marsh edge, got Tom Brown kenneled in and sitting and poled out into the marsh. The marsh was flooded knee deep on what is usually dry grass, so the poling was easy and the wind in my favor. I took up residence next to the edge of the marsh sitting on the boat with the retriever in the over sized cockpit marsh grass placed to break up our outline and waited for ducks to come by and check out my freshly painted decoy spread. First set of birds were two pair of those little Teal rockets, who came wile I was setting decoys naturally. Then nothing, a crow or two, some geese, but no ducks. Tom brown wanted ot of the boat so I let him walk/swim around pissing on everything he could get his leg up on, blew the duck call, ate some crackers and waited for the ducks to come. Then it cleared up some stopped raining, wind died down to just a good blow low ceiling fog perfect for the ducks but I saw none. A few divers out on Assawoman bay further out, but no ducks in my part of the marsh. Then I see coming in hard across my left a flock of four green wing teal, bound for the north side of the river. Laying into my favorite duck call, an old wooden Olt that my dad had I start blowing single quacks and feeder chuckles, and as they show me their tail feathers I start with the comeback call. Damn if they did not cut hard left and committed to my decoys like a cruise missile on Bin Laden, came in smokin fast. I jumped up from where I was sitting on the bow of the black duck and laid down two perfect shots from my double barreled 3 inch twelve gauge, first the lead duck then the second. I wish I was going to tell you my retriever jumped from the boat on command and retrieved both of my ducks but that was not the case, I missed both shots and the ducks showed me their tail, Tom just looked at me with those big green eyes. I will say that even though we may not of had a perfect morning it was a good time to train the dog in things we do not usually work on. Like riding still in the pole boat, he weighs 120 lbs and is not fat so that is important when standing up poling. He sat quietly for a couple hours not being a pain by begging for crackers. So the morning was not a total washout for us
That was the last ducks I saw all morning. Maybe someone had a better morning than me?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maryland opening day for ducks

Okay my decoys are almost painted, the Black Duck pole skiff is painted, Tom brown is ready, the blind is probably blown away! Opening late season duck day is always exciting for me, you know the Migrating birds are moving in, weather is colder, geese are fat from eating corn and I know there will be good times. Me out shooting my hunting partners and them claiming all the birds, fixing breakfast over a pack stove and skillet. The dog (maybe) making some good retrieves, and the stories of hunts past and the number of birds we did not shoot or missed. (Why do we always remember the missed shots?)Sambuca and coffee in the cold morning blind and frost on the reeds. That is what I am looking forward to this sat. morn.

Youth Day!

Sat is youth day in Maryland for kids 16 and younger, and it is coming on to the rut in a big way. Many kids should be able to harvest the deer of a lifetime this weekend. But they won't be able to do it if no one takes them. The attraction of sitting home playing call of duty is stronger than getting up and going hunting, especially if there is no one at home who likes to hunt. I have a young neighbor next door and I hunt his fathers property on the regular as it is right across the road. I hunted it when I first moved here and it was a great place to teach my kids how to hunt close by, and run the rabbit dogs. Every boy needs a good running pair of rabbit dogs! Okay so I take him with me, set him up in stands that my son and I hang, pick and dump corn by the sack, for him to have the chance to see and possibly shoot his first deer. I make sure he gets into acceptable hunting clothing, because it is absolutely imperative that we dress in the latest fashion that is also functional! I guess you get the ideal, I am teaching the kid how to hunt and trap like I did my own. The way I look at it I will be responsible for teaching three kids about the outdoors and that is a good thing. So this youth day if you don't have a son or daughter ask your niece or nephew, the neighbor kid who is always worrying you when you are shooting your bow or skinning deer. But keep in mind you are taking a kid hunting not an adult. They get bored quickly, always hungry, thirsty, squirming and talking in loud voices about going to the bath room! So make it fun for them by setting up a ground blind, have them bring a book, make sure you have apples and fruit for them to eat, take em to breakfast, just make it fun and the next time you want to go hunting, you will haqve a partner.

What is a hunter supposed to do?

Okay let's just look outside here for a min. Wind is Blowing hard as Chinese arithmetic, rain horizontal and cold as the old witch tit, but you did see some deer in a bean field and you know rain and blow or not the bio clock is ticking and those does are smokin hot right now! You know the buck is traveling checking for hot does. He does not care about the wind or rain, his neck is swollen up, he is not eating, nose to the ground for the next week/ten days looking for the ponanny. So do you go? Grab the bow and put on some rain gear, hoping you get that shot? Or do you sit home, whining and bitching about the weather on some blog site. Okay I'm sitting here at home on my sofa looking out the window, saying "damn it sure is bad". Yea and I did the rain thing yesterday not as much fun as I usually have! So what to do?
Today is a great day to sharpen broad heads, scent wash your clothes, replace those batteries in your head lamp, that kinda thing. Anything to keep you from eating all that jerky you just made, and topping it off with some summer sausage/spicy mustard on a cracker. Did I leave out washing it all down with a Evolution craft brew, in a frosty mug? So those are a few of my favorite things, In a bit I will go back to work on painting my decoys with fresh paint. Those millions following this blog know I started that project a few weeks ago, and it is on going. But I have got to admit they are beginning to look more like a working decoy, with some flash of course I could not resist! Stay safe and be alert the big deer are getting careless by the day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spear fishing

I think that science is a wonderful thing, I mean here we can talk with people we do not know and even after a bit you get to where you actually know someone sorta kinda. That is like with this Facebook thing, my wife hooked me up with it so I could see pictures of one of my former students in Afghanistan, heck he is 22 now and two tours of door kicken combat, but he is still one of my boys! But I digress, I have also gotten in touch with a bunch of my old friends from high school that I had lost contact with or graduated above or below me, or from that other school across town JMB!
Well it just so happened that a old frind of mine graduated and left to have a professional diving career, and during the course of e-satation I asked if he liked to fish? Seemed he did some spear fishing, when he would be on decompression stops out on the oil; rigs. When I was younger and living in Guam I also enjoyed spear fishing but on a much smaller scale I promise you, with a sling out on the reefs. One guy fishing one looking for sharks!
So my wife and I are out fishing on the rocks at the Delaware Bay ice breaker walls, when this guy just pops up about 15 feet from the boat, I am seeing a diving flag 100 yds away from the boat in the opposite direction, and this guy is just diving all over the rocks, so when he pops up again I get his attention cause he is about 15 feet from my boat spearing fish coming to my bait. And I lean over the side of the boat and ask him "you spearfishing"? (here's your sign okay) He indicates he is by the fish bag and spear in his hand, mask fins and snorkel. I ask him how much of this rock wall did he lay claim to as he was spearfishing right under my boat on top of my bait. Long story he had more fish than me naturally, cause everyone has more fish than me. Does anyone out there like to spearfish?

Veterans Day

As sportsmen we appreciate the outdoors, the thrill of a tight group, the pleasure and fellowship of a D.U. dinner, all the things that make our sport what it is. Today is Veterans day, many of you served in the military and a night in deer camp is not quite like a night at a firebase, or out on patrol. We never let our guard down on the Second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. Or the first, the right to free speech. And even though we may be at a point where it seems that many would want to tax you to death or redistribute your earnings, we still have to admit that this is a pretty good place to raise your kids.
We can elect a president and have a peaceful transition of power, we can assemble and voice our discontent with things, argue among ourselves and drink beers later not cut off someones head. Take a chance and become whoever we want to be, earn as much as we want and spend it as we see fit. Yes all of the things we may bitch about we have only one group of people to thank for these privileges and that is our Veterans. Today we are in a war on two fronts and no real end in sight, and in reality we have been at war since WW1. WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Somalia, and now Iraq and Afghanistan. I will be honest I really do not know why we are fighting still, what is so important to us that we fight with rules of engagement, while no one else does, if an
American attack kills civilians we are animals yet they kill hundreds no thousands of their own people, and that is okay.
Today I want to personally thank anyone who reads this site, who has served our country, who has done their part, to allow me to be able to write this and post this for everyone to see. Thanks guys and girls it is you who make us what we were, what we will become, and able to hold our heads high.

Hot doe, or cold piss

I like to use scents for trapping and for hunting heck I even like scents for fishing, but I am always thinking of ways to make my use of them more efficient. Flipping through one of the local chain sporting outfitter mags not to long ago I saw a product that works off of batteries and heats the doe in heat scent product making it warm, and filling the air with the scent of warm doe in heat. Of course this product also carried a price tag that in this economic time I felt was just a little bit out of my league, so I put my head to work thinking of how I could put something together similar, and for a lot less cash. Fast forward to my hunting shed, and there in the corner sits an old deer decoy I had gotten some time back, but just had never really used a lot and some hand warmers in my boat box, when the light suddenly came on. Use the hand warmer as a heat source and place it inside the body cavity of the decoy, standing just inside the woods on the edge of the field. If I got a deer tail I could wire it in the straight out position, letting any buck that saw it know that I was smoking hot and looking for a buck to take advantage of my youth and inexperience, just take a wiff big boy!!! So in the man cave I go hand warmer in one hand doe in heat in the other, I activate the warmer spray the ever loving Tinks 69 on it place it on a paper plate and in about 30 seconds the scent of doe in heat has filled the room with a musk I can only begin to associate with a New Orleans Whore House ( I have never been in a New Orleans Whore house but I am sure this is what it would smell like) I am thinking that this works pretty good, when I walk into the kitchen area and discover it is working pretty good there also, Pool room same scent in fact the whole house is reaking of doe piss but not just any doe piss....warm doe piss. I wrapped up my experiment in some tin foil and placed it in a zip lock bag, and threw it in the trash, outside of course, After an hour I can still smell it coming from the dumpster where I threw it, and my house is still reaking, with all the windows open. I am hoping that when the wife gets home it is gone and she doesn't smell it, I will light a dozen of those candles she has sitting around to help out. But my experiment was a success the hand warmer will work, but will it work with the deer? Only time and trial will tell.

Sometimes you eat the bear...and sometimes the bear eats you

This morning I took the day to go bow hunting where I hunt out on Saint Martins neck. Last Sat was exceptional in the fact I saw a ton of nice deer, and had them up close and personal so to speak, but never got a chance to release. So This morning was to be my next attempt at putting the broad head in the chest of a nice deer, and getting some deer meat for the freezer.
Okay it is raining not a big deal no bad weather just bad clothing choices, and I am a duck hunter so rain is not a problem. Not true, in about an hour my ceder bow was soaked, my arrows soaked and yes my butt was also just a wee bit wet and uncomfortable since I hunt from the ground. This morning I am on my knees in a bean field waiting for Mr. Big to walk by and fall for my decoy hot hands/doe in heat set up, and the subsequent release of the arrow, when I ask myself "are you having any fun yet". I decide that I am still having fun and decide to give it another 20 min tops to get the deer to fall for my cheap tricks, when after about 5 min and a load of cold rainwater down my back I decide to cash it in. Now all the stealth that goes into the set up goes out the window on pack out, I stand up in the middle of the field, retrieve my scent markers, and am walking out to the spot where I had parked the exploder (ford explorer)thinking I could have been in a warm bed snuggled up to the wife, when a Bald Eagle flies out of an old snag tree on the property. Now I am wet, have been up since 3:45, saw no deer, and I admit am pretty miserable at this point, but then again I think to myself that I had a pretty good morning overall. There were a good 30 Mallards and Black ducks resting in my marsh, three woodies in the pond eating acorns, the Eagle, and the rain. So some may say that this morning the bear ate me, but I would like to think that I got a nibble also!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Now that you caught it what you going to do?

I love to fish, and I hate to eat fish, fortunately my wife likes fish and I don't mind cooking it so it is a good thing when I come home successfull. Now to say I don't eat any fish is a lie. I like Micky D's fillet of fish, and Harbor sides fish and chips, but a trout or blue fish is outta the question. I have a recipe for salmon that I have used competitively and won with every time I have fixed it for a competition. Here is the recipe for my award winning "Butter Maple smoked Salmon"
Take a salmon fillet and remove the skin
Use John Henry's maple rub and rub this into the fillet liberally
set your smoker on a cool smoke and using apple wood or hickory set up a thin smoke.
Place your salmon on the middle rack and keep the temp to around 220
Now while smoking mix together some of the finest maple syrup you can get hold of and some butter till you have a sauce that will stick nicely to the fish
After the fish has been in the smoker about 20 min and has a nice color brush with the butter syrup mixture and finish off the fish.
(it is firm to the touch)

practice much

If you want to be successful in your hunt then you have to practice with your weapon of choice. I personally like to hunt with a straight bow, and when possible arrows Fletched with turkey feathers, and steel broad heads. Now don't get me wrong I like my compound, and the fact I can group arrows tight as can be but there is something about the snap shot of a straight bow. But you have to practice to be successful with the instinctive shooting style associated with shooting a stick bow. Mine is a six foot hickory backed ceder bow with a string I made myself from artificial sinew, it draws 40 lbs and is perfect for my shoulders, both which have been repaired. So how often do I practice with my stick bow? I would love to tell you I shoot 25-30 arrows a nite three times a week but that is not true so I will just say I practice enough to feel confident that when I let the string release, my arrow will hit it's intended target. If you are just getting into bow shooting it is not unrealistic to go to the local range and shoot a few rounds a couple nights a week, you might also join a local club and shoot some competitively. One of my fav. ways to practice is to grab up a bunch of my junk arrows and go stump shooting or shooting leaves on the forest floor. Better yet is to go to my deer stand and shoot squirrels from my stand, plus they make tasty eating to boot! Keep your shooting challenging and varied. Different positions and targets, short and long distance shooting will help you to make the snap shot sometimes necessary for a harvest. Keep practicing and you will improve your success rate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

After you kill it , Then you can grill it!

Looking threw my latest Fur, Fin, and Feathers I came across an article on preparing wild duck that sounded really good. Now I have my own way of fixing duck (duck on a stick)but this sounded so much like the ducks I grew up eating that I want to share with you this recipe. Ducks should be cooked in a HOT oven and not cooked to death, med rare is just right, with a crispy skin. Hope you enjoy this one.

One apple cored and sliced
half a sweet onion sliced
handful of baby carrots
three cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of bacon drippings
salt and pepper
1-1/2 cup of chicken stock
Cut up your vegetables and place them on the bottom of a roasting pan, stuff the apple into the body cavity, and place the duck, breast up in the pan. Set up the oven to BROIL and char the duck untill it gets a nice color to it. Now tent the bird with tin foil and set the oven to 300 degrees. (don't return the bird yet just tent it and set the oven to roast)
Now warm your soy sauce, bacon drippings,and honey, warm this mixture up and then remove it from the stove top, let it sit until the bacon drippings start to get thick again. Pour this mixture over your bird and place it in the 300 degree oven. Place the duck in the oven and cook until you get internal temp of about 140 degrees.
Pull the bird from the pan, cover with the foil and let the bird rest for a few min. Now while the bird "Rest" use the pan and the drippings to make a sauce to go over the bird. Add the chicken stock to the roasted vegetables and such in the pan and scrape the crispys from the pan bottom, reduce this stock by 1/3. Carve up the bird and dip the meat into the Au Jus. Serve this with some roasted potatoes or some rice.
Now I know some are thinking that fowl should be cooked to 170 degrees, and feel free, but a wild duck handled properly is a very tasty bird when cooked this way.

Saturday deer hunt

My Sat hunt began at around 2:15 AM with me being unable to sleep, so I got up and got my gear and headed out to the local WaWa for a coffee. On the drive to my hunting property, about 45 min. I was thinking of my hunt and where I would set up. As a hunter who likes to bow hunt from the ground, I have to be selective as getting within 15 yds. is the goal when bow hunting for whitetail deer. I selected a spot on the edge of a bean field, where I have created a natural blind sorta and on the downwind side of the trail. It is VERY early and I had about an hour before the sun got up, but the moon was in it's glory and lit the field up to where your binoculars, drew in a lot of light and made it so you could glass the field. I had my eye on a break in the marsh grass knowing that was the spot they would come from. Just as the sky showed the very first hint of color here came the first deer, Nose to the ground, and making like a train across the field. Never came close to my blind and it was early enough I could not tell weather it was a buck or doe, but it's body language said Buck! About 10 min later here came another buck deer it's antlers were shined up, and it carried enough body mass to make it a shooter, but like the one earlier it bypassed my spot by about 40 yds. Two more deer came by and I was a little disappointed that I had not placed myself just right for a early morning shoot. At this time it was just light enough to back light a small dirt pile so I took my rattling antlers and proceeded to scrape the ground and trees like a deer staking out some territory. I settled in and nocked an arrow knowing this might be the trick. Sure enough here comes Mr. Big and stands on the hill, 15 yds away looking right at me. I am waiting for the opportunity to pull and release but he just stands there, the sun coming up behind him, a beautiful sight. After a few min. he loses interest and just walks away. Around 10:30 I pack it in and walk down to the marsh and there is a doe laying in the grass, she gets up and walks around some not aware I was standing in the woods not 30 yds away. I did not release an arrow all morning, and saw at least 7 deer, and a ton of ducks, mostly divers, and a pair of blacks that dropped in to a small pond I have by my hunting cabin. I fixed a little lunch and took a nap figuring I would head out around 1:30 to a spot I had just opened up. All went well until a couple of kids, ignoring the no trespassing signs come threw the woods with their dog carrying on the way kids playing in the woods would do. You can imagine their surprise when I hollared from my spot "Hey what you doing here"! I explained how it was hunting season and that the woods were posted, and sent them on their way. After that I kinda lost my steam and packed up and came home. Now I saw many deer and other wildlife, never released an arrow, but for those of us that hunt I had a very successful day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Target shooting in your neighborhood

Hey if you like to shoot targets and the cost of shooting the magnum is costing you more than it should, consider putting in a backyard range. Air guns today are capable of propelling a custom pellet up to 1200, fps now that is pretty dang fast. However they also lose that energy quickly when encountering sufficient resistance, and they are quiet to match. Being a good shot has as much to do with the mechanics of trigger squeeze, breath control, sight picture and shooting position as a good scope or gun.
So by shooting an air gun and practicing the basics you can improve your shooting with your magnum also. What does it take to shoot safely in your backyard or neighborhood, even your basement!
First is safety equipment and gear. Safety glasses at all times in the slim chance of a ricochet.
Space; a low velocity range can be 15 feet, but if you are shooting one of the newer high velocity guns you need 30 feet min.
Third you have to catch the pellet, a box of plywood 24x24x12, lined with a thick piece of carpet, several layers thick. this will catch the fastest of pellets with no chance of it coming back at you if you get it in the box.
Fourth you have to have a backstop behind your box, a heavy canvas, or blanket, with the bottom left loose will help you keep your pellets in your yard.
Now when you set up to hold your targets, get a pair of pipes and drive them in close to the front of your trap. Between these place a piece of wire mesh like 2x3 wire fencing and wire it between the two poles. Use clothes pins to hold your target in place and shoot away, sharpening your skills in a safe manner that is not offensive to anyone. So hone your skills, and increase your accuracy so when the time comes you place your shot where you want it, for a clean and ethical harvest.

Fall bass fishing

Now that the weather has cooled some, bass fishing has picked up in a big way. But some fishermen are still fishing like they did this summer, and not scoring like they should. Lets take a look at how to improve our take when we hit the water.
Prime time is daybreak and sunset, unless the day is foggy and overcast then the action can continue into the day. Hit the water early, take the kids to Crown in the mid day, and get back on the water for the evening bite, cause this feeding frenzy won't last long. Look for areas of rip rap rocks and such that stabilize the bank, these nook and crannies hold all kids of leaches, crayfish, slugs and such, make your baits smaller and fish a little slower. Don't cast AT the bank, cast parallel to it and fan cast. When you finish move up a half a cast and repeat the process. Fish are still in the roots of trees and laying along stumps, but they look at the rip rap as a McDonalds of fish food. Fish born early spring are now bigger and the rocks make for good hiding places, plus they are a little warmer, and the bass are looking to gorge to put on weight for the winter. Change up your approach to your fishing and maybe increase your chances of landing the biggest bass of your life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

James Winn scores his first bow kill


It seems that the meat gods were shining and James Winn got his first bow kill a 10 point buck. Congrats James!

The black mouth cur

Down south there is a breed of dog known as the black mouth cur that is used to tree small game in the forest, okay... tree rats, dang it. It is now being considered for AKC status as a recognized breed. I have read stories of these dogs putting a squirrel into the tree and then following it thru the forest with the hunter following until he gets a clean shot. I have never hunted behind the black mouth cur, and at one time hunted squirrel on the regular. But I would like to put the two together and see how it works!

Coon hunting

When I was a boy, half a century ago, I recall a group of men who would run dogs at night to hunt coons. Armed with a 22 pistol, and a kerosene lamp they would trudge threw the low lying areas chasing the dogs till they "Run em up a littlen"(tree the coon up a small tree) at which time they would harvest the coon. After many hours and usually seeing the rising sun these men would get on home and do their chores, after taking care of the dogs of course. That evening they would feast on a dinner of roasted coon, turnips with greens, sweet potatoes, and maybe a thick wet corn bread cooked in a skillet, with fresh butter and honey. Back then few of the best dogs had papers, and questionable pedigrees at best, but the ones who had them knew their dogs. Soon local areas had dogs of great value, whose ability to run coon, sound off, and tree a coon were known far and wide.. A hunter knew his dogs by their "Note" or the sound of their bark or bay, knew when they were trailing, or treeing, knew when they were searching for the coon and when they had the scent. With today's mass communication the reputation of a dog can be known far and wide, and his or her pups be a valuable source of income for the owner. By the same token dogs not bred for the hunt but for their look, may distract a person from purchasing a dog that they want to hunt or to be a pet. A dog bred for the hunt will want to run for hours at night around the neighborhood, and the neighbors cat will catch hell on a regular basis. Also one bred for looks mat not have the intense desire to hunt or the nose for hunting like hunting stock, but will be a better pet.
Not many are left today in this area that enjoy a night listening to their dogs run and a good coon dinner the next night. A good friend of mine Bill Jackson of Delmar was just such a man and I had the privilege of knowing and learning from him the finer points of steel fabrication, but also how to skin and cook a coon. There is a coon club in Powelville I think that hunts with mules and dogs. if anyone knows of another club or good running dog let us know.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Right Deer Wrong season!

I posted about ethics a couple of days ago so you know how I feel about game laws and doing your best to stay within the law. So today while talking with a young hunter I have been working with, I was surprised to hear about a Buck deer killed during the doe only shotgun season. Worse this young hunter was denied the opportunity to have the chance to harvest just such a deer during youth day. As adults we have many days afield, and the youth days like em or hate em are set aside to help us introduce kids to hunting in a safe time frame. By shooting such a deer out of the season does nothing to reinforce to our young hunters the importance of game laws and the responsibility of following them.

Cover scents

Most successful hunters I know have some sort of scent control program they use, washing their clothes in baking soda, hanging them outside, commercial products, and even clothing. I have my own scent control I use, but I also use what I like to call natural scents in the area I am hunting. If I am hunting in a ceder woods I will rub ceder on my clothes and hands, or pine, put some in my pocket. When I get to my stand I like to take my small rake I made and rake up an area just up wind of my stand by a few yards, releasing the scent of fresh earth, a few apples to munch on and I am putting things in my favor with what I like to call multipliers. Always keep the wind in your face, scent control, and stand placement, will help you bag the deer of a lifetime.

New Life for old decoys

Today I was looking thru my decoy shed and came across some old foam decoys that I bought several years ago. They had been spray painted at the factory and had feather patterns molded in but as far as good looking decoys go they left a lot to be desired. So I got some spray paint and gave them a good base coat of some rust o leum and then went to town with my brush. I don't mind telling you that when I got done with the first two , a hen and drake mallard pair they looked pretty good. I think I will give them a shot of satin finish polyurethane, that really helps extend the life of your paint job. I haven't tried a plastic decoy yet yet but when I do I will keep you posted. Oh yea the paint I used was the big tube of acrylic paints from Michaels and I bet that I can paint a couple of dozen of the foam type decoy with what I bought.