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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Poachers again?

I had a post recently on poachers taking trophy deer, keeping you from harvesting the buck you have been following all season. Well it seems that the poachers are at it again! This time they have decided to come to the area I hunt in Bishopville. and unfortunately for them I am on to them already and have contacted the DNR police about the problem. I have a strong dislike for people who come on the property dump trash, throw out beer cans, and shoot deer and ducks illegally. I like to walk in the woods and I know my property like the back of my hand. Strange tire tracks, footprints, and bullet casings all point to trespassing and poaching. Of course a deer carcass with the tenderloins cut out and no head ice the cake. The area is now under DNR surveillance, trail cameras in place and officers on site undercover. Hopefully they will be able to stop this game thief before he/she kills the trophy of a lifetime.

Yesterday I went goose hunting with some good friends of mine Ben Vickers and Jim Bright over in Rock Hall Md.. The day started early for me 3:15 to be exact and I did not need an alarm to get out of bed. Fortunately for me I had laid out my gear the night before so all I really had to do was just get myself dressed and out the door. I met my hunting partners at the Gander Mountain in Salisbury @ 4:20,  With Ben driving, Jim navigating and me giving instructions from the back off we went. We arrived at the home of the landowner, Jack Schatz around 6:20 and the wood stove was glowing. Jim introduced us all around, and before we got to comfortable, and hot we went out to get the geese off of the pond and set decoys. The morning was a little slow with a lot of birds flying but very high and committed to a huge flock about a mile away. We broke for lunch and a nap as it was slow and we were cold.. Jack had returned to the home site several times to make sure the wood stove was stoked so when we went in it was toasty warm. We had a nice lunch and a quick nap before returning to the blind, and hopefully some fat Canadian geese! Almost as soon as we came back the geese started flying and checking out our decoys, offering us the opportunity to hear jack work his Sean Mann Shoremans Flute. Now when it comes to calling Jack is first class and he soon had the geese circling our decoys and setting in. When he called "Take em" they were right in the spread directly in front of us, and when the smoke cleared we had two on the ground. Jack worked a few more small groups for us and soon we were close to our limit, and the end of the shooting hour.. We picked up the decoys and cleaned up the blind of our trash, picked up the gun hulls, and made our way back to the truck with our geese. The end to a perfect day with good people and new friends.
About jack Schatz: Jack runs a great operation on his farm, bow hunting only and with a solid deer management plan in place. Ducks and geese have safe areas and he has strict shooting limits so that the birds are taken cleanly. He operates this for his friends and is willing to take them hunting on his property, so long as you follow the rules. I got the feeling that he would ask you to leave as quick as he welcomes you if you are not willing to go by the rules. All in all a great hunt, and hopefully I will be invited back again.
In the photo left to right, Jack Schatz,  Jim Bright, Eugene Mazzilli, and Ben Vickers

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fishing in Seattle

This summer I will be adding another fishing trip to my list of trips I have taken I love to hunt but I also love to fish, yea I don't eat fish but I do catch em! I have been very fortunate to be able to fish around the world, and to catch some impressive fish. Now some people think just because you are out of country, and paying a guide to take you fishing that you will have a a trip like you see on television. Not so grasshopper! Fishing is fishing not catching and some times the best laid plans, just don't work out. Sometimes it is because of me and sometimes because of other factors involved.
I was planning a trip to Costa Rica and naturally I wanted to fish I mean I have seen the awesome peacock bass fishing, the snook and so I was pumped. Unlike most trips I relied on a travel agent this time, we told them what we wanted to do and they took care of the details. I like to fly in small planes, and having some hours as pilot in command of single engine land aircraft, elected that we would move around the country some in them. The day started out great after a peacefull night we went to the airport to catch the plane to our fish camp located on some obscure river running thru the jungle. I knew things were going to be sketchy from the get go, when I noticed that we were not the only ones going on this small plane! Others would be joining us with a collection of cardboard boxes, live chickens, and a voodo woman priest named Phyllis! Some kid in shorts about 10 years old was filling the wing tanks from a rusty 5 gal drum, while the Captain checked the baggage. Now checking baggage at BWI and checking baggage in Costa Rica are two separate animals. Basically this baggage check was the large bags in first and small bags stuffed in remaining spaces, chicken rides in the plane with us. Now like I stated earlier I have some hours as pilot in command and this weight and balance sheet was scary. Next we were asked how much we all weighed, naturally all the women lied and we had to stand on a bathroom scale that they got from the mechanic shop next door. They discovered that it did not work so the pilot sized everyone up and assigned seats, no co pilot just the pilot. Naturally since I had some stick time I was anticipating possibly getting the right seat and some time on this plane, not to be I was stuck in the last seat with Phyllis, and a rooster who def. did not like me! After we all got stuffed into the plane, my common sense was beginning to take hold and I was doing all the math in my head, weight fuel, chickens and such when the pilot cranks her up and starts the roll to the runway. Not a lot of warm up just check the magnetos and push the throttle to the firewall and we are rolling. From the back I am watching the airspeed and waiting for the magic number when this bird will break free from the runway. 60 comes and goes 70 is coming fast and the runway fence is getting closer, when I feel her get light and we break free, the pilot in a slow climb out, the rooster crowing and somewhere there is a smell that I hope is not coming, from my shorts! After 20 min the pilot gets ready for landing losing airspeed, pulling carb heat, setting some flaps, I am looking for the runway because all I am seeing is jungle and a lot of it, no runway. The plane makes a gentle turn and the jungle is getting closer, ocean on one side, jungle on the other, and the earth is rapidly coming, still no runway in sight. Now we are on final I still don't see a runway the pilot is flying the plane, nose is coming up stall horn blaring, I am saying the rosary and calling on mother Mary, when the wheels hit the runway brakes take hold and the plane comes to a stop. I get out and check my pants just to be sure it ain't me stinking. Looking around I see a beautiful beach, birds and tropical vegetation, and a drug runners airstrip carved out of nowhere. Now I have to get into a tin boat with a 10 horse sea king motor from 1950, and motor up/down this river to get to the fish camp. Arriving at the camp I notice that it is first class, beautiful inside, the grounds are natural and loaded with wildlife, I see yellow tree frogs and snakes, butterflies that I can't begin to describe, and leaf cutter ants doing their thing, just like on the television. My wife and I along with another 5 people are the only ones here, the kitchen is wide open, the bar is open, and drinks are poured all around as we tell the tale of how we got here.
In the morning I had a scheduled fishing trip, just me and the guide. I was anticipating fishing like no other, sailfish and peacock bass, piranha, and snook what a trip I was going to have. The boat arrives 2 hours late, a beautiful center console with a 150 outboard on the back, no electronics, no compass and def. no radio, my heart waqs sinking but I wanted to fish and I was willing to take the chance. Since it was to rough to go offshore, the captain (?) decided to fish the river flowing through the jungle, giving me the opportunity to catch some game fish on artificial baits. The Captain runs the boat til we get to a bend in the river, he baits up with a cut shrimp and drops his line over. I am a little taken back as i had anticipated some stick baits and fat bass fish! We stayed in that spot and fished for about 4 hours never moving, catching undersized snook. At the end of the day we motored back to the camp, I had 5 snook fish that I would have returned to the river had I not paid like $80.00 a pound for. I cleaned the fish myself that evening and went to the kitchen where the cook was and asked if we could have these for dinner that evening. All of us ate the fish and I had a sandwich since I don't eat fish. After the smoke cleared I added up the cost of the trip, never do that unless you are looking to have your heart broke, and the fish were very expensive. The captain had to get back to his dock, I had to clean fish, and was ready for a cocktail, all the while the captain is waiting for his tip. I tipped the man and thanked him for a good trip, then went inside feeling like I had just gotten a good screwing. I am planning another trip to Seattle to fish this summer and visit my family. I can guarantee I will not make the same mistake twice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tomorrow we Hunt

I am planning on a hunt tomorrow morning for the elusive black duck, with my retriever and the pole boat deep in the marsh, and early in the morning. As always I have a plan, three decoys on a jerk line, in a small pot hole next to the tree line. No blind just cedar brush over the push boat, camo and brush as my cover, Tom Brown laying at steady. Maybe I will get a pair for my efforts, maybe not but I will get a beautiful sunrise with a great dog, and the feeling you get when the morning cold stings your face. That is when you know you are alive, and life is good. I hunt very old school and I like it. My push boat is wood, my duck boat a steury, my retriever a Chesapeake, my shotgun a 870 Wingmaster in full choke that I bought used 20 years ago. My mom who is 87 years old tells me I was born 40 years to late. So once again tomorrow Tom and I will go out to the marsh, and do what we like to do, drink hot coffee, blow on calls, and watch the sun come up.

Right to carry

I had stated earlier that possibly I would post on the process for getting a right to carry permit. As soon as I return to work I will speak with the Sheriff as to how to get the process started in Maryland, then look into Delaware. Personally I think that the first of the year is a good time to start a project like this so everyone can see what hoops are required to jump through in both states. This could help some and discourage others but it will educate us all on the process. I personally would like to find out what laws we the people are under now and set the record straight on transporting a handgun in your vehicle. As a hunter and a shooter I bet that I am in violation of some law every time I go to the range or out plinking with the 22. Can I carry a gun on my person on my own property? Keep checking on the process and soon we will have some info for you.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday hunt

Well Sat started out with a big blow and rain in the horizontal as you know I don't mind some bad weather but when it is blowing hard as well, then I am getting a little soft! My son was home and we have not had many chances to hunt this year, so off we went to our property out on saint martins neck. Tom brown was excited as always, I was wide awake by now and the tide was super high covering the marsh. We got the layout pole boat "The Black Duck" loaded with decoys and poled out in the Marsh to a spot not under direct attack from the wind, and while Billy set out the spread, I set up our hide spot. Now keep in mind the 32 ozs of coffee I had consumed just a few hours earlier was asking for release, so waders down and now I am wet also. We had a few ducks come by but black ducks are a skittish bird and anything unusual will cause them to flair away. We saw a ton of snow geese and harvested one, and though for food they are not so great for fox bait they are excellent! We saw no mallards just divers and some blacks. My ducking this year has been terrible I tell ya, and even goose hunting is slow for me this year. Hopefully things will look up in the next few weeks and I will get that duck dinner!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sarah Haley

I know the other blogs are covering this and, well I am not that tight with anyone to be able to tell you anything new, so I will leave that to them. I will do what we do best here and that is encourage you to show up tomorrow at the stadium. As hunters we are well versed in searching for game in the woods, and many have dogs with keen noses. I am not implying that the dogs are search and rescue dogs, but I know Tom Brown can smell things a mile away, and when he scents anything I get that real alert look. As hunters we use blood trail markers, like peroxide or lights, and have GPS hand held units, so as a group we have a ton of resources. Keep in mind though before you enter the woods if you happen upon ANYTHING it could be important to law enforcement, follow all the instructions given to you prior to beginning the search. Those CSI shows you have been watching are over in 30 mins. this will possibly take a while longer.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Big Bucks still roaming around

This morning around 5 am I was pulling into the woods at my hunting property and stopped to unlock the gate going to the house. From there it is a good 1/4 mile to the cabin, and the lane kind of snakes around through the woods. When I came around the corner standing there was possibly the biggest buck I have ever seen. I have one 23 3/4 inside and I suspect that this was much larger than that by a couple of inches, real wide and tall real magazine quality deer. I have seen this particular deer twice once from a duck blind, and then again today. I have a picture of a rub he was doing last year you will not believe. Maybe I will get lucky and have an opportunity to throw an arrow at him this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

At stud

Here is a photo of the Chesapeake retriever Tom brown now at stud. a hard working dog for guys who like to hunt.

Snow geese are here in force!

I slept in today and decided to turn off the alarm. Understand my surprise when at 3:57 AM I was awakened by a Mike Vick dog fight going on out back on my porch! I live on some acreage outside of town surrounded by 200 acres of corn stubble. My dogs Louis, and Bud are house dogs and come and go out a pet door, to relieve themselves and we have had this arrangement for about 8 years now. The bitch that lives on the adjacent farm is not spaded, in heat, and runs loose around the countryside. So this morning my dogs who are neutered but still enjoy the occasional zesty session if you will were engaged in a tempest threesome of pure unbridled animal lust, when while they were at the fighting and snapping stage suddenly I hit them with 4 million candle power of white light! I am just a little annoyed at this point and am debating on going to see the neighbor and discussing this situation with him, prior to going hunting now that I was up of course. When my wife god bless her convinced me to come back to bed and discuss it in the morning, when possibly I was not so annoyed. Understand while all of this is going down I have Tom Brown raising hell out back in the kennel, raising hell with a bark that is deep, long, and continuous.
After I got out of bed in the morning I tried to catch the lady who owned the bitch, but she was faster than me in my shorts and unlaced tennis shoes. So maybe tomorrow I will catch her. In the mean time I did go scout some snow geese and found them all around Bishopville, Pittsville, Whitesville, Laurel area. Now I love to hunt them and you can shoot a bunch of em , but when it comes to eating them well..Maybe tomorrow I will go see if I can get a duck.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tom Duckafetchen Brown At Stud, willing and ready

Well the time has come. Tom Brown had his second birthday, his training is going great and now it is time to earn his keep. Tom brown is a hard core dog for hard core hunters. This IS your Grandfathers Chesapeake retriever. big bodied, blocky head, huge paws and a curley coat in dark marsh grass. He is devoted to my wife and I, gets along with the other pets, and no one comes in my yard I don't know about. If you are interested in breeding your Chessie Bitch send a reply or e-mail.

Duck? What Duck?

Okay I went ducking this morning, big surprise! Up at 4 on the road by 4:30 on site by 5:15, and the Marsh is frozen solid. Boat ramp is solid ice, boat house is covered over so no Steury this morning. The day was coming on clear and cold and the geese started moving in early, getting up off the creek. I wanted to find some open flowing water so I went to a place that offered me a tax ditch 15 feet wide and wide open, cutting across a cut bean field. I set out the decoys on the jerk string, bushed up a blind spot, got the retriever settled in and started the swivel head so familiar to duck hunters. Two hours later not a duck has even flown over to look at my spread so I go out into the open marsh to check out the big water. Naturally I immediately fall into a muskrat hole up to my waist, but while struggling to get out I happen to notice that the ducks are not flying here either. So what gives? This was suppose to be the year we saw large numbers of big ducks, but I haven't seen a mallard yet in any numbers. I am giving up on the Assawoman bay and going inland to the Nanticoke river. There is some public area outside Vienna and it has always been good to me for ducks and geese. Hopefully sometime this season I will be able to report that the ducking has been great, and reached our limit. Untill then i am buying a chicken!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

gun control and right to carry

For me gun control has always been about using two hands and using a steady trigger squeeze. I never gave to much concern when I was a kid my father had an extensive gun collection, and I shot them when I wanted, and hunted with them each season. I was taught to shoot by an old Master Sargent from the Army, and joined a rifle team when I was in the 4-h program. We shot over at the armory down in the basement, 22's supplied by the lions club. Those were some great evenings and my ability to group my shots in all positions just got better each week. When I entered the NAVY (beat Army) we were introduced to firearms using the same rifle I shot when I was on the NRA rifle team. Out of 180 people I shot a perfect score, and was promoted to gunners mate for my battalion, and second platoon leader. Good work if you could get it.
Now that I am older and seeing an increase in crime, shootings, and robberies I am considering going and securing a right to carry permit to protect myself and my family. As a hunter I am carrying some form of fire arm almost all winter in my truck. Shotguns for birding, rifles, and pistols at any given time. All are carried in plain view and unloaded, breech open shells separate from the weapon, but what if I needed it quick? Would I be able to prevent someone from getting killed, would I be able to protect my family from a rapist or thug, I think not.
In the state of Maryland a right to carry permit is hard to get. You handle large amts of cash, have your life threatened maybe you will get lucky. Delaware has a fairly easy process, Virgina is a piece of cake, and Florida has one of the most recognized right to carry in the country. So what is the problem with Maryland? In DC you now can have a handgun for protection after many years of some of the highest crime in the nation. Of course that place is also majority Democrats, who since they don't like them no one should own them kinda mentality. The Mayor of New York would like to see all guns yours mine and ours put in a big pile and run over by a tank, so then we could really be helpless to the ones who do not care about a permit. Maybe I will start the right to carry process and keep you informed of the difficulties or ease of which it is acquired, all I know is this my house is protected by three things, a great spirit, a Chesapeake Retriever and a Remington pump shotgun, don't meet all three at the same time.

Weather? What weather

Well for the past couple of days we have had what some would consider bad weather. Others look at it as an excellent time to spend in the deer stand, an approaching snow storm is always good for moving deer around, and duck fly on the edge of a front, but in the actual snow fall, things are slack personally. Today, Sunday should find us with some clearing skies, and less wind, a good day for hunting...okay it is Sunday so no hunting. I had plans for a sat goose hunt, but at 4:30 with horizontal snow and winds blowing way to hard I went back to bed and pulled the covers just a little tighter to my head! Hopefully we will have some good duck days, bow evenings, and maybe even a Christmas goose.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bad weather, good ducking?

I spend some time in duck blinds and I can tell you that when it comes to bad weather ducks and geese just do not fly like one would think. Now a day with a falling barometer spitting a little snow or rain, can be a good morning but a full blown front with high winds and periods of steady rain ducks just sit tight on back holes, at least the blacks and Mallards are fond of that area. But now take a blue bill, a buffle head or a nasty sea duck they like to fly short hops around an area. However the weather is usually so bad a layout boat can get a little hairy, and if it is snowing damn cold!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trapping

Trapping is not quite as popular as when I was a kid then all of us farm boys had box traps or a couple of leg holds. Muskrats were profitable coon hides brought good money, and a kid could make some extra cash by taking a few pelts. Today though whether it is because I am older or just lazy I don't trap any at all. Occasionally I will take out my traps and clean them up and think back on the days when I would walk a 3 mile line. But now they are just walks down memory lane. I have a neighbor boy I am trying to teach to trap, no doubt he will get my pack basket and traps one day, but I don't see him staying on the farm. So for now the critters are safe, I am sitting by the fire, thinking of days gone by.

Cooking wild game

Okay you have the deer back from the butcher and the freezer is full of tasty deer steaks. Or maybe you have a couple of rabbits or quail and the wife is not real excited about that meat being in HER freezer so you have got to get it on the table somehow and in a form the family will eat. Let's look at deer because that is a lot of meat at one time. Okay Chili and burger we all know but if you family eats 40 lbs of deer chili you are not going to be very popular I ASSURE you. So here is a tasty way to get more venison on the table.
Take your deer meat and have the butcher cut it like stew meat
Place this in the crock pot with salt and pepper
Add one bottle of your favorite bbq sauce (sweet baby Ray's!)
Get some hamburger rolls and some slaw at the deli
A can of Bush's original baked beans dosed up
Put the venison on the night before with the sauce, when you wake up 8-9 hours later it will be easy to shred like pulled pork.
Serve it on the rolls with a dollop of slaw, some beans and possibly the finest potato chip
Bonn Appetite homeboy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New york mayor Bloomberg and the demise of MAIG

I know I said I political stuff would be to a min but I had to share this with the millions that follow this blog faithfully. Now I am a NRA member and I encourage each of you to become members if not already because of guys like this mayor Bloomberg as an example. Bloomberg is not just rich he is REAL rich and has spent a lot of his own money getting elected. See his front group "Mayors against Illegal guns" is just another attempt by this guy to buy what he thinks you should have. Money will buy votes we saw that in the last election, and the money can buy the media but there are quite a few of us of us who will not be bought, as well as quite a few Mayors of this organization. The NRA reports in it's Rifleman mag. Dec.09 edition, ( American Voters Face Down Bloomberg's Mayors, Chris W. Cox author) that so far 20% have resigned from the group, about 80 people so far after the NRA brought forth the info to it's members.
One issue that some have questioned is "What are Illegal guns" when actually all guns are legal in their own right. If a gun is stolen then it is a stolen legal gun, maybe used illegally but still a legal gun. Assault weapons, maybe an ax or shovel handle could be considered an assault weapon in the broadest of terms. All in all a lot of good information in the article and def. one to get you thinking about things. One thing we must all keep in mind is that money may be able to buy votes and media, but the voter still has the power.

Hunting today

Well you know I am under the weather but some of my friends went hunting today, and what a day it was! Foggy, some light breeze, water slick and the ducks were flying.....really high, and really fast. I mean they did not even slow down for a look at their spread so what gives? Where did those ducks go and what where they eating when they got there? They did not hear a lot of shooting around them, and did not see a lot of boats on the water. maybe this weekend I will feel better and get a chance to bust a few birds.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Duck season is here Goose is coming !!!

Okay you already know that I love to duck hunt and tomorrow is the big day for the late season. Hopefully the migration will be in full swing riding on this weather we have been having, and just maybe a touch of the fog would be nice. But I am not feeling so hot and will miss the shooting while my friends plan on the hunt tomorrow. A brace of black ducks would be a nice touch to a Christmas dinner, a real Eastern Shore touch if you will. I love teal on the grill with some rice would be nice, or maybe a fat mallard. Over my way Mallards are known as canal ducks because they live in the canals around Ocean City, feeding on bread and french fries, fat as butterballs, and very tasty to boot. So hopefully I will have something to report tomorrow as my friends send me pics while I am bed ridden.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Poachers, killing your trophy?

As the season begins to enter the mid point and we head into post rut, the deer are getting skittish and just a little more aware of you in the woods. I mean the same car door slam at the same hour, with the same smells coming through the woods and fields, doesn't take em long to figure it out. Then there is just that person who is going to get that trophy deer that you have put so much effort into by shooting it at night. Now if you are like me if someone shoots that deer legit, then so be it and glad for him, he put in his time and effort also. But outlaw hunters look for horns and generally that is all they care about getting when shooting at night. It takes way to much time and draws to much attention to shoot a deer in a field, drag it to the truck, or drive the truck out in the field to retrieve it. So saw in hand that beautiful buck losses his horns, and you lose a chance to harvest the deer on a hunt of a lifetime for you. If you suspect someone of poaching on your land inform the DNR. They are in the business of catching these people and are trained to do so. In no way should you confront a poacher if you happen upon them or they are on your property, especially in the evening hours. Keep it safe and keep it legal.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ben Vickers kills Siks Stag

This morning out at the game lands, Mr, Ben Vickers of Salisbury harvested a nice sika stag out at the public game lands out at cherry walk. Seems that he was on the marsh edge and he came along, one side was a nice two fork and the other a mushroom where it was broken off earlier in the season. Good job Ben can't wait to eat some of that bad boy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What to do with all that deer meat?

Okay you went and shot a deer and now you are faced with what to do with all the meat. Well we all know that ground venison burger is pretty good made into hamburger or chili meat. Steaks from a whitetail deer are tough as there is just not enough fat to make em tender, Jerky is numero uno but hell if you ain't got no teeth that ain't such a good choice. Well go on down to gander mountain and get you one of those sausage kits, and make yourself some salami or summer sausage, or maybe some Italian sausage links. I just turned a doe into 30 lbs of sausage helping me to enjoy the hunt all winter long.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

concealed carry permits

Okay I said right off that political pissing and moaning is not happening here on this blog, but it is my blog so I do what I want. Couple of days ago one of my close friends was shot during a robbery at his Deli. He is stable but in a bad way, and he is in a lock down situation since he can ID his shooter. Personally MD has some of the worst con. carry permitting process in the freaking world!!! Any shop owner, any taxi cab driver, anyone should be able to con. carry if they meet the criteria. I do not feel safe in my own home anymore and keep a loaded weapon available at all times. When I go hunting out at my cabin for a couple of days I am worried the whole time about my wife but rest assured she is well armed. I have a saying that I like to keep handy and it goes like this. "This property protected by God, a large Chesapeake dog, and a shotgun, don't meet them all at the same time" What is the answer? Protect yourself first worry later about the consequences later. Believe me you won't care if you had a permit on your death bed.