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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thomas Jefferson

I got an E-mail today about Thomas Jefferson and the man was def. motivated to say the least and it would appear very wise. He studied under his cousin at age 5 and that would be a bit early today I believe, but  by nine he was also studying Latin Greek and French, now that is quite a accomplishment. By 16 he was enrolled in the college of William and Mary and studied law at 19. Now I don't know about you but at Nineteen all I had really accomplished was wrecking my car twice and enlisting in the navy as a welder. Not Thomas he was a lawyer at 23 and retired from his practice at the ripe old age of 31, heck I am 55 and retirement is not even on the horizon! He accomplished much in his life time and wrote the Declaration of Independence at the age of 33 not bad but what were we all doing at 33, here was a man who was shaping a new nation. At 55 he was the active head of the Republican party, and at 57 was the 3rd President of the United States. At 60 he put together the Louisiana Purchase doubling the size of America, now that was a pretty good real Estate deal. At the age of 83 he and John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He had some neat things to say also and some are true today  here are a few:
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
I predict the future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Personally this is not a political blog but this man had some pretty good things going on and I found the interesting and wanted to share with the thousands of readers of this blog

Monday, December 20, 2010

it's all frozen over

Well all the ponds are frozen over and there are just a few spots of open water and those are drawing in some ducks and the occasional goose. So what is a person to do? Well geese like to rest on open water in fact just check out any place with water open and a hundred geese are in a 10 by 10 area, but they do leave to eat and that is the ticket for harvesting your limit of geese. Like deer hunting your chances for success increase the longer you stay in the blind and with it frozen over the field is where they want to be eating left over beans and corn. If it has snowed you can put out some straw in front of your feeder decoys and by kicking the snow back and exposing the dirt it appears that they have been eating and pulling up clumps of grass. This past week I had the opportunity to hunt over some stuffer decoys and two of them were locked in and cupped up on rods about 5 feet over the spread and that really added to our layout. Keep your sentry decoys to the front rear and sides feeders in next and if you have any resting they should be more toward the center. I mean you never saw a resting goose sitting on the edge of a flock. Now I like a U shaped pattern or a V and I always start by setting my decoys on the perimeter, then I set one sentry out about 40 yds out in front of the  blind so I know when they are in my shooting range. I will set a few alert decoys and some feeders in front of the blind out about 15 feet and fill in  leaving a nice landing area in the center. Try to keep the wind at your back or even better set up so when the geese decide to set they are setting across your field of view and not looking directly at you when they commit to land and coming to your house for dinner. If you ask 10 people you will get 10 different explanations on setting decoys so my thing is to do what works for you at that particular time for that situation.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Goose Hunt

I love to shoot ducks and geese but if you have been following this site then you know I gave up hunting from a boat and now I am happy to hunt the fields. This past Sat I had the opportunity to hunt with a group of new guys in their blind and I had a real good time as well as a successful hunt. Now we did not slay them but we did bring home meat and that is just a bonus on the hunt.
These guys had the best blind set up and it held 7 of us in comfort with no one being crowded out. Basically it is four  8 foot 2x4s and a 2x10 A a ridge pole. Some light weight corrugated plastic from a huge shipping crate acted as the walls and then covered with wire to attach the marsh grass to. A very nice and cozy set up especially if you have a small heater to heat up some beanie weeines or something on! It was cold around 18 degrees and the ponds were frozen over but the river was flowing having had a barge late that evening and there were geese flying. We managed to draw in two bunches of geese and had about four come by and check us out  just not to close, then five came in and checked out our spread. "We waited till take em" time and they fell like a cheap suit. All in all we had a very successful hunt and I met some really nice guys who hopefully I did not talk them to death and they will invite me to go again. All in all I had a great time in a great blind with great guys on a cold sat morning. It just does not get better than that does it?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What is that stuff?

Well it started snowing today around 11 where I was at and they shut the job down early and who knows what tomorrow will bring, But one thing that it will bring if it is not snowing and blowing is predators. When the weather is nasty that is when foxes and such feast best, and guys like me who like to shoot em look forward to those still cold mornings or evenings where the snow is shining bright. Foxes and coons show up so very nice  in the scope and even late afternoon shots are a little easier. Last big snow I made a snow camo suit and it blends me in with the edge of the woods really well so I am able to see them from a long distance. But I will have to admit that sitting in the cold is not quite as appealing as it used to be!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whats been going on out amongst em?

Recently I have had the opportunity to take someone hunting who had not been taught by people who liked to hunt   My cousin who lost his father when he was just weeks old never had anyone to take him and teach him how to hunt and when he asked me to go with him and give some pointers  I was overjoyed of course. Being a teacher as my profession any time I can share with someone some knowledge I might have I always will sometimes weather they ask for it or not!  He has a beautiful piece of property of 100 plus acres with field surrounded by woods and every hundred yards there is a ditch that comes out into the field by about 150 yds. making some excellent shooting. So the first night we walk his property and take in  where the deer are coming into the field, and he has corn out in one corner. I observed a lot of activity where some ditches came together and some fresh deer crap telling me this was a prime spot.  So as we work our way around a edge of the woods there stand three nice deer feeding on soybeans and not real interested in us as the wind was in our favor. However my cousin did get a lesson on noise and how those huge things sticking off of the side of their head were about 50 times bigger than ours and worked real well. A snap of a branch and the deer worked their way into the woods very quickly not giving time for a shot. As it got too dark for him to shoot comfortably we made our way back to the truck, track soup again tonight, and discussed some things that he should always keep in mind, wind direction and noise control being the most important. And we talked about his blind sitting in the middle of the field just popping up on Friday evening after work. Like you and I we may not notice when the wife puts up a gnome in the garden, but let her put a new sofa in there and it will get our attention, a little natural vegetation goes a long way in concealment. The following weekend we hunted over at my property and I put him in a spot not far from the house in a big ol comfy chair sitting 5 yards in the woods camoed up nice and he did not see any deer well neither did I, but he had a chance to get out amongst em and watch the sun come on up and what could be better than that?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This week

Well it is the rifle season in Maryland and I have been busy naturally. having to work two nights this week I was kinda wore out some but I did manage to get a hunt in on Wed evening. A friend of mine is wanting to hunt some so I am going with him and helping him get into the groove. He is shooting a 700 Remington in 30-06 scoped and from a ground blind. This past Sat we hunted over at the beach I set him up on a long field and I went and overlooked a field on the backside. Opening day the place was loaded every stand was occupied and this week no one was out there. Of course I saw absolutely no deer at all in the fields and only one on the opposite side of the river, however there are some monster sign still around just very nocturnal now that they have been shot at. Hopefully things will calm down and I will get another chance to take the big boy I have been chasing for the past few years.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Opening day

Opening day found me in a tree lounge stand overlooking a open area of woods giving me and my rifle "Adolf Von Klaussen", (you know I name my guns,) . He is an 8 mm Mauser that was made into a sportsmans rifle as my dad always told the story and outfitted with aperture sights, a true deer slayer if there ever was. Now Adolf has a pair of triggers one being a set trigger and the other being the one that fires the weapon, and believe me when you apply the slightest amt of pressure he is talking. I have NEVER missed a deer with this gun or have I ever had to track one as I am a head shooter or spine shooter whichever offers me the best shot. My son is also an excellent shot with his 30-06, and when he draws down, deer will be going to the grinder so to speak. As the morning progresses I am hearing sounds that make me stay on edge but the stand was not offering me the shot I was looking for, so I dropped down and took up behind a huge fall down root ball, sitting with my back to the clay and dirt with some natural vegetation in front, a beautiful sniper hide if there ever was. I am hearing some shooting and already had the word from my son that he had one down and he was bringing it up to the hunting lodge. When he pulled in he had a nice deer on the machine and we made short work of hauling it up on the pole and eviscerating it. Actually he did the work as he is very quick at it and I returned to my spot. In about an hour I hear a couple of shots not 50 yds from me on the edge of the marsh and in 20 min. this guy comes through  looking for a way to haul his deer out of the marsh. Now we have had some trespassing  going on and I was wondering who was shooting so after introductions I discovered that this guy was a family member of the adjoining property owner and had shot  a deer tracking it to where he dispatched it in the  marsh. Now if you have to have a neighbor these people are the ones you want there. Basically the property is a huge triangle with them on one side and us on the other we have woods and marsh and they have fields and marsh so it is perfect for us and them. Any how I digress ( I have always wanted to say that and mean it). So I jump in the chase and show them where I had four wheeler tracks cut through and lend encouragement. Now I am a vet so that was the best I could do okay?
 This guy has a beautiful 8 pointer down and a good 300 yd drag so off it went. I did manage to get this shot of the man and his deer in the marsh. Congratulations are in order to Walt Mumford for his harvest.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mount Rainer

This morning I got up kinda early cause my internal clock is still on eastern time. It was a crisp clear night with the stars out and that big ol moon hanging in the sky was just to much. Looking out the  huge floor to ceiling windows at the Olympic mountain range I was hoping to see Mt. Rainer but the view is not oriented that way but I did notice a pink line off in the distance. Getting a coffee and a pair of Binoculars I settled in to a big comfy chair turned up the fireplace and watched the sun light up the mountains from the top. They came into view a bright pink illuminated  from the reflection off the snow and just majestic as they come. Now I have traveled the world, from the Pacific rim to the alps of Europe and these mountains are as beautiful as any in the world.  In the late 70's my wife and I traveled quite extensively working at Nuclear power plants out west. When we finished up our work at San Onfre units 2 and 3 we took a 7 moth tour around the country heading up to Canada when Mt. Saint Helen's erupted putting an end to our northern trek. We took a left and went into Wyoming, Jackson Hole area. The Tetons are Majestic no doubt but the Olympic range is much larger and has many peaks visible from my vantage point. I still have not seen Mount Rainer yet but when we leave here I will be flying right past it, and then I might have a better view. I have left my port home and cannot post any pictures yet but I promise that when I do I will.
Today is the day before Thanksgiving and I am with my family in Seattle Washington, naturally we will have a traditional feast especially since I have not seen them in a coons age. But keep in mind today and tomorrow that many of us will not be feasting, but battling the cold and just trying to find a warm spot. Now you know I am not a bleeding heart, I am a true work for what you get guy, but sometimes things happen and that job got downsized or may the company you worked for folded. Be thankful for what you have and if you have two give one to a person who could use it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weather out west

Well it has snowed for the past two days and while not deep it is very cold and some ice on the road making for serious travel. I am not driving so it is no big deal to me buckle up and hold on! But this morning I got  a couple of phone calls from back east at like 4 am here and decided to get up and just cruise the net for a bit. Well it has dawned clear and very cold with a phat moon over the Columbia lake and this morning I am just loving life. Of course I am taking a break from the field to relax and I got to tell you that not shooting or being out amongst em is taking it's toll. Now I know there are ducks falling into my pond, the biggest racks of the year passing my stand and my retriever is scamming on how to open the refrigerator and get to my summer sausage! There is a float plane port on the lake and I have seen a few float planes land and take off but not many. A quick look at the lake showed some small clams about the size of a quarter and a gravel bottom perfect for setting decoys out. Now I am seeing a ton of diver ducks buffleheads mostly and they are large but the number of green heads is limited here and no black ducks so far at all or geese but I hear that they are here. Today we will begin to prepare the turkey brining it for cooking this Thanksgiving, going down to the oyster house for a few oysters, when I asked for "Arsters" they did not know what I wanted" (man they talk funny here). I have some hayman sweet potatoes at home that I know are cured and ready to eat, and I love me some sweet potatoes you know. So not much on the hunting front but I am enjoying myself to no end.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seattle fresh market

Yesterday I wandered downtown with my family to the fresh market right off Puget sound, and I was amazed at the amt of fresh vegetables, and wild  mushrooms. I saw mushrooms that I have never seen before, and a ton of fresh fish in any form you can imagine. Fresh Ling cod, Halibut. Pacific oysters, fruit, and veg.. plus the vibe downtown was very positive. A ton of art, street performers,and exotic foods were everywhere not to mention the original Starbucks.  Also something I have not seen in some time a fresh cut butcher shop, with fresh sausages and custom cut meats. Of course my nephew picked us up some fresh Salmon and a few chuck steaks that we finished off nicely with fresh garlic roasted in the pan. In fact I was so  impressed I may wander down there again and pick up dinner for tonight you know I love to cook and my family out here has not experienced Uncle Bill's cooking for sometime. Of course my Nephew and his wife keep a well stocked larder and if I get rooting around who knows what I will find. The rest of the Family will be here tomorrow and Wed, my great nephew is a vegetarian but my Niece is a true carnivore! However in my young life I experienced the vegetarian lifestyle and have no doubt I will be fixing him a very tasty dish. The time has me wacked right now and by Friday I will be in tune, but I leave Friday to get home in time for opening day, I have a guest coming down to hunt and will be here ready to go. Naturally I have my gear all laid out so all I have to do is fall into it and go. Webfoot Gangsta and another young man both missed deer with their bows last week but were happy with the hunt and plan to return so good for me bad for deer....well maybe good for deer!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The great North West

Well today I am in the great NW part of the US and it is really nice. Last night was the height of the rut at home, and I got really good reports from our hunting property of deer and ducks.Out here I am staying on Columbia lake and there is a large population of diver ducks on the lake. Went to a park just down the road and there is a Salmon ladder and a bunch of hiking trails.in there. Hopefully I will be able to get out one evening and possibly give a howl or two to see if there are any coyotes out there, I heard that a mountain goat attacked a hiker up in the mountains and that did not go so good. Today I am hoping to get out to a market and visit a winery, maybe go to the fish market and see what is out here.
Lets talk hunting for just a min. like said earlier last night was the height of the rut full moon and hot does go hand in hand with big bucks. My son was hunting the area and drew down on a big buck while his buddy missed a nice doe so these deer are getting educated and smarter by the day. Hopefully when the season comes in Sat we will be in the right place at the right time. and have the opportunity to harvest a nice deer, We shall see.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't forget the garden

It is fall and time to clean out your garden and get ready for spring. Now I know that spring is a log way off but there are some things that you should be doing now. First lets just clean up the place, pull down the vines, and get the weeds down. trim up the raspberries, and mulch down the blackberry brambles. Next let us go ahead and get the soil test done and apply the lime or soil amendments spreading the lime and mulching with new leaves. If you want garlic and sweet onions then go ahead and prepare the soil and plant them now they will get a big jump on spring and make the bulbs you love so well. Leaves are abundant now and it is time to start composting them for spring. Find a supply of horse manure and a supply of leaves, then layer them about one foot thick with a good six inches of manure, wet the pile so it is moist not wet and repeat the process till you get a pile about 3 feet high and wide. In a couple of days the pile will get smoking hot and steam will be rising off of it. In about three weeks turn it over putting the top on the bottom and the bottom on top. do this about every three weeks and you will have beautiful leaf compost come spring. I like to rototill my beds now and place a good cover of leaves and manure for some sheet composting directly in the garden bed. Turning them over in spring. It does not take long for you to do these chores and we can't hunt most Sundays so get crackin!

Slow week for me so far

This week has been slow so far, not able to get out and hunt right now so I am bored to tears. I am working one night a week so that makes for a long day and at my age I don't just rebound like a spring chicken any more. The Holidays are coming and so is the Maryland rifle season which I just love to hunt. I love shooting rifles and in DE. we have to use shotguns which is not exciting to me. At 100 yds I like to cloverleaf shots and with a shotgun if I get a 3 inch group then that is a good thing. I also like to shot them in the head or spine but with a shotgun I usually shoot for the heart lung area.
My favorite rifle is well I have several favorites but lets look at what I would take. If I am hunting the edge of a field and woods I would take my 8mm Mauser custom sporting rifle with aperture sights it is great for the woods and making long shots. If I was deep in the woods shooting off the ground in a bush pile then it is my trusty 30-30 the bullet just eats light brush and the effects are def. positive when you pick up your deer. Now If I am shooting over a open field then it is one of my scoped long range guns and head shots only, no reason to ruin good meat.
I have seen some beautiful pictures of some incredible deer and hearing some really strange stories. Seems one of my friends went hunting and shot a nice deer of about 80-90 lbs with a heart lung shot using the bow. Well the deer ran into a thicket about 80 yds away and ran for the center of the thickest part. My friend decided to wait a few min and give the deer time to lay down and expire. Suddenly from the thicket came a scream best described as a woman crying out in major pain and the thicket was being thrashed inside. Things subsided and he went in the thicket following the frothy blood trail. When he got inside the thicket  an area about 10 feet in diameter had been completely trashed and trees about 1 1/2 inch in diameter had been pushed down. A ragged trail led out of the thicket but there was no more blood trail or hair. I am saying it is a cougar or possibly a canine but that would be a beast of a canine or feline to pull that off.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deer here!

Well ladies and gents I don't have any big deer story to tell ya. I have been going the past couple of nights and well I haven't even heard a deer. Now in the woods next to my pasture I am hunting there is a bunch of deer which makes for a very thin soup, but they are not crossing over the ditch to come into this abandoned pasture of a couple of Acres. I kinda gave up the spot I had been hunting for the past 20 years as this man wanted to take his kid hunting in there because it is  confining and he could keep an eye on him some. So I moved into a new area for me. This new area is so damn thick that there is just no way to walk it, you got to do the ol hand and knee thing to get into it. Cat briers and honeysuckle make it almost impossible to hunt inside so the pasture is my spot right now. Coming across a big bean field they are moving at night and taking cover in the thicket during the day and just waiting for dark. But this is the rut and all rules are out the window right? Big bucks are wandering and checking their does to find who is in estrus and hot to breed, does are wandering around making scrapes and urinating in them to let the big boy know she is ready. But my pasture remains quiet only a small fox is sniffing the scrapes and the deer are in the thicket tight I guess.  But you know last evening I spied a hole in the brush where something has been passing through and passing on the regular I believe. Maybe tonight I will get a chance to sneak in there and set up getting an opportunity as they gather up for their nightly foray to the bean field for dinner and some Hanky Panky.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Opening Day DE shotgun this Friday

They great thing about living in the state of DE. besides no sales tax is that the shotgun season comes in right during the rut! Now that gives many hunters the opportunity to score a big rack for their wall as deer are really crazy at this time. Now personally a big buck is not really a good eating deer and a doe in heat is really not your best choice for the table, but if you are a dedicated hunter or a one weekend type this is the time of year we all live for as far as deer hunting goes. So far this week in my area I have seen a monster Racked big neck deer and another four pointer that will develop nicely if he makes it through the season. Then last Tue evening I saw another beast of a deer in a mile radius of my stand spot so there are some nice deer in this area for harvest. I have a nice rack on the wall, 11 points 23 3/4 inches inside, a buck deer giving in to his hormones. I had gone to my stand opening morning and someone had stolen it out of the woods, so pissed off I went to my friends house where we had some coffee and fried breakfast. Certainly not worrying about scent control for sure! So while I am moaning and groaning about my situation he says "well go hunt pop's stand because he is not going to hunt". So off we went across the  bean field and down the dirt lane to our respective stands. I am thinking to myself that the scent pads in my front pocket are really reaking through that plastic bag, That ol "TINKS 69" stinking and making me think about the show I saw on Animal Planet the night before. Seems this guy doused deer urine all over his hunting clothes and a deer attacked him while he sat on the ground. It was at that point that I decided I never want to get intimate with a full rut buck deer! Now Pops stand could use some maintenance cause half the steps were missing and the other half rotten, questionable at best, But hey what you going to do so up the tree I go to the platform of this stick built stand.  Now up in the stand I reach for the rope to pull my shotgun up and discover that it is not attached to the end of the rope. Down I  go attaching the gun securely this time, making more noise than a little bit and the sky is turning pink in the East but it is still plenty dark in the woods. Back up the stand I take off my sweater and sit down on the bucket, remove the doe in heat Tinks 69 soaked pads and throw them out around my stand, it is now just light enough to see shapes. Within 5 min. there is a tremendous crashing coming through the woods and within 20 feet of me stands the aforementioned. He was harvested with a classic spine shot and fell in the woods road dead when he hit the ground. He weighed in at a cool 198 lbs with the rack above, naturally I was tickled like a two peckered billy goat.
I went and got the truck driving down the old logging road backing up to the deer and putting him in the back, my friend coming across the field to see what I had shot. Unfortunately for me my friend was not quite as happy as I was and it had led to some tension in the neighborhood as many claimed it as "Their" deer. Seems that the stand was at the junction of three pieces of land, and it came from one piece crossed another and was standing on my friends property when I shot it. Another lesson learned the hard way. Anyhow this Friday be out there amongst em and aim close, like the man said aim small miss small.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bring on the RUT

Okay my friends I went out looking for a Fox Sat morning and saw one crossing about 300 yds. out at a dead run. I hit the crow call a few times and had a flock of those flying rats hanging out and raising hell around me. I was in my full hand made ghilie  suite and in a ditch so they never saw me. I like crows hanging around they are killer watch keepers and excellent confidence birds. Animals seem to let down their guard when crows are cawing. I had the wind dead to my face and blowing into a small 10 acre patch of woods, I have taken some nice deer out of there and know it to be a place to go get a fat doe early in the season so I was keeping an eye out to see what might appear. The crows moved on to another location east of me and began to caw and raise caine, I settled in the ditch to cover the other side of the hedge row when I detect a slight movement at the edge of the woods. At that point in time a large buck steps out from the woods jumps the ditch my ditch was T'd into and takes a Magazine cover pose for me to admire. Never hesitating and not startled he gave a good shake and walked stiff legged into a bean field for about 30 yds where he laid down. Not wanting to startle or alarm him I quietly got up and began picking up my gear and wrapping up the decoy, whistling a happy tune. I went and picked up my four wheeler and drove out into the cut beans to get my stuff, loaded it up and drove out the field and back through the woods to where I live, but not before I glassed the field one more time and made sure he was still bedded down in the beans. It took a min. but sure enough I could see his white antler tips as he laid there with his nose in the wind. Maybe this year I will get lucky and get a chance to take another trophy all I can do is wait and see.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fox hunting in De.

It is the weekend and I am looking forward to stretching my 243 out a little for some foxes. Ms. Lucy is ready and shooting tight groups, I am ready trying to exploit all of her abilities! I called Dover this week to get some info on a couple of items one being fox hunting.
Is it legal to call foxes and harvest them under the rays of an artificial light?
  The people I spoke with told me No, but when I asked them if I could shoot coons traditionally hunted at night with dogs and lights they said yes. So my question led into if I am coon hunting and  we get a fox could we shoot it with a gun and light? Which led to a couple of holds while I guess they mulled that over. The answer to that question was yes? So I asked them "So if I am coon hunting at night with a gun and light I can shoot a fox if it is in our range under the rays of a artificial light, but I can't call foxes and shoot them under the rays of an artificial light" that answer was NO... no fox hunting at night with a light and call.
Why is it I get the feeling that I won't know what this really means until I get stopped by the man. So if anyone out there has an answer to this question please feel free to help us get right on this subject.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making that hard Cider

Back some time ago I set up some sweet cider I had pressed, and let it go through it's natural fermentation process with the native yeast that were present on the apples when I pressed them. Well that went real well and the cider was working hard. When it slowed down to a bubble every couple of min. I transferred it into a clean carboy for secondary fermentation, and topped it off with some more sweet cider and additional sugar. After a couple of days I added half a packet of champagne yeast  and placed it in my closet where it is nice dark and warm. Today it is bubbling with those fine bubbles that dance in your mouth when you drink champagne, and fermenting that sugar into alcohol. Now when it is done it will clear and I will be able to sample the product and reflect on the fall harvest.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Where did my Pigeons go?


I was raising some pigeons in my barn to use for training my retriever when suddenly they all disappeared! Now I wonder where they went?

Deer tender loin with Peppers and tomatoes

I love to eat deer tenderloin and one way I like is with peppers and tomatoes. First find a deer and harvest it then drag it home and remove the hide. Use a sharp knife to remove the tenderloins down each side of the spine. Lay them out and cut them into medallions about 3/8 inch thick. Now find you a sweet onion, some red and green peppers I like about four of each and two cans of tomatoes with garlic and basil. Saute the deer meat in olive oil, throw in the onions and the peppers cooke em thill tender, Now add the tomatoes and one can of water, you can thicken this with a little flour if you like. get you some bread and enjoy.

Summer sausage anyone?



I did BBQ and sausage this weekend so i figured I would shre with all of you the results. I will say the use of a mechanical grinder makes all the difference as does the mechanical mixer when making sausage. First I weighed out all my deer meat 23 lbs and my pork 9 lbs and found I would need two packets of the seasoning and two packets of the cure, This would use the entire kit and not leave me with stuff hanging around opened up to the world. I cut the pork and prepared the grinder with the big 3/8 plate for a coarse first grind of the deer and the pork. It is important when using a smaller grinder that you remove all of the tendons and shine from your meat before grinding. Shank mean and the neck are loaded with this type of fibrous membrane and need to be cut fine and ground last unless you want to spend a lot of time cleaning the plate. After grinding I mix the spices and cure with the required amt of water and run it through the mixer for about 4 to 5 minutes. It is important to keep this cold so I add ice cubes to it while I am mixing it with the spices, A wetter cold mixture will fill the casing better and allow the fat and meat to mix together. I use my verticle stuffer to fill the casing and tie off the end before I set them aside. When I get them all stuffed I like to wipe em down and let them air dry before I hang them in the cooler overnight. This allows the cure time to work and the flavors to marry with the meat. In the morning I will hang them in my smoker. Keep in mind before hanging any  sausage in the smoker it should be at the ambient temp. Never hang frozen meat or real cold meat in the smoker. Observe the smoking instructions that come with your kit and you will have a safe sausage.

Lets eat some BBQ

Okay here is what we have been working for some good ol fashioned BBQ. Not sauced to death or cooked to shoe leather but some, tender tasty ribs ready for the table enjoy em I did!

BBQ 2

After I get them all seasoned upo I let them stand for a bit while I get the smoker going. I usually use hickory or white oak to BBQ with and that is what I used today, some weel seasoned hickory. I started the fire and got a real good bed of coals going, when I am BBQing or smoking I use a very low heat. When  got the temp to around 150 I put the meat in for about two hours, then kicked it up to 200 for another three hours, then 230 till it reached an internal temp of 180 degrees. I only sauced it for the last three hours and used  a medium smoke to flavor the sauce. The key to a good BBQ piece of meat is not cooking it like you would in an oven but cooking it at temp's that are just as low as one dares to go for a length of time required to bring the meat up to that temp. Now the difference between BBQ and jerky is that the heat has to be high enough to cook it nice and slow but not dry it out. I never go above 225 degrees.

BBQ 1

Okay what a weekend so far I have been keeping busy like a one armed paper hanger, and I did not even get out to hunt but let's get going here. I told you ai was going to BBQ so I went down to the local warehouse store and found pork loin on sale for $1.89 a pond and it is boneless lean meat. Now usually I use Boston butts for making sausage and BBQ but I love smoked pork loin on a sandwich so I went ahead and picked up a couple of them and some pork spare ribs. When i got them home I divided the loins into three equal pieces and took the skin membrane off the ribs on the bone side. Next I rubbed them down with my secret rub....  okay really it is just a seasoned packet that I like to use Hickory chicken wing for the loin  and taco for the ribs they are quick easy and inexpensive. Check out the pics for how I cut the ribs down to Saint Louis style, and trim up the loins.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lets do some bbq

I love to eat and I love to BBQ so naturally my hobby feeds my family and I so that is a good thing! Today I am going to put together a box to ship out to my Nephew and his wife in Seattle. Now since you all know I cannot post more than one picture at a time, this will be a ongoing thing today and when it is all done you can see the meat from bag to box so to speak.
I grew up in my fathers country butcher shop, slaughtering and cutting up beef mostly, occasionally doing hogs, but mostly beef.  But my father was a big fan of Carolina style BBQ, and it was not unusual for us to stop at a greasy spoon pit and eat BBQ couple times a day on vacation. In fact I sampled BBQ from Kansas to Carolina before I was 18 years old and grew to love it, but we never made BBQ always steaks and burgers. When I got older and moved to the ranch I decided to try my hand at traditional BBQ. I had spent some time in the pacific Island area of Guam and Hawaii during my military time and had seen the bury the pig kinda cooking, with banana leaves and hot rocks, but it just did not have that deep smokey flavor I loved so well. I found an old oil tank and turned it into a smoker pit like the ones I had seen during my travels, bought some hams and pork shoulder from the butcher and gave it a try using charcoal briquettes. The results were just okay and the sauce was good but something was missing from the mix. I tried wood the next time, oak wood and I have to tell you that was a lesson learned as wood burned so much faster and hotter than charcoal I had to have a hose ready and the smoke was so thick it had a very bitter taste, but the sauce was better this time. As I learned from my mistakes I built bigger and better smokers, found Hickory wood and cast iron pots for sauce making and entered into competitive BBQing. I had a team of guys who were into doing this and every year we would enter the local competitions. The first year we came in 9th out of 52 for our Boston butt. The next year we added a rib win to our trophy table, and the following year we had three top 10 finishes. Now competitive BBQ is very expensive and we were just doing this one event a year but people liked the meat, so I started doing catering of BBQ during the weekends. BBQ FOR YOU was a success and we made our name in fund raising BBQ chicken and pork, doing small parties and weekend outings. After the kids graduated and moved on I did not have to work so hard so I gave up working at it and now do it for fun...fun is best and the product better! Stick with me through this series of post today and I will do my best to show you how I do my BBQ. But first I have to go get my meat and spices for today, and some beer cause you can't Q without beer!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

okay here are the pictures

Lucky I don't make this computer into jerky

Let's Eat..... okay maybe snack

Well the jerky is dried and packaged up as you can see from the pictures. I did use the wife's oven but got busted when the drippings on the tin foil sitting on the bottom of the stove began to smoke a little. Okay maybe a lot more than a little but I was quick and the smoke alarm did not go off. So I turned the oven to off and left the door cracked some to allow it to dry some more. I then set the oven on warm again so I could continue with the process thinking that new foil and all were the ticket, not to be after about 90 min she is smoking again! This time a piece of jerky had fallen to the floor of the oven and was gently BBQing filling my house up with the fragrance of burning sugars and meat. So once again I go through the drill opening windows and such but the meat is beginning to dry some. So I get it warm again and this time shut it down close the door and go to bed. In the morning the jerky is almost done and I am getting me a little sample which I must admit was very tasty. This evening 30 min and it was done, I cooled it off and put it in the vacuum sealed packages for the freezer. I will say cutting the jerky thicker was a good ideal it was not powder dry and it made a nice chew. The flavor was excellent, not to hot or spicy, salty enough to off set the sweetness and dried to perfection. Next deer you get ask the butcher to slice you some jerky meat and try making your own.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Drying Jerky

I am still working on building a decent dehydrator from a stainless steel cased freezer. The inside is metal also coated with a porcelain type product and it has racks from top to bottom adjustable every 1/4 inch. Hopefully I will be able to get heat and air into it safely but we will see.
So I am going to use my wife's convection oven when she settles in to watch some television, I'll just wander in and put the jerky on the oven racks, and wander out like nothing is up. In the morning I will have jerky or cinders but I have the feeling I will be making some serious dried deer meat.. I set the oven at the lowest possible temp. and let the fan circulate the warm around some. When I cut it thick it takes some time but I could possibly cut it 1/8 thick and do it in a couple of hours.
Now to keep my wife happy, jerky being her favorite, I will put down some tin foil in the bottom to catch any juice that will drip out while the jerky is drying. So when I get up early and package the jerky in Tupperware all I have to do is pick up the foil, she comes out from her shower and the place is sorta man clean and she has fresh jerky, I am the man!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Marinade

Let us all face it deer meat is really just the carrier for the marinade. What I mean is that if you did the Native American  way of jerky making it would be air dried meat no seasoning or flavorings just smoke possibly. Today we have any number of seasonings available to us that we can just go down and buy fresh off the shelf. Fresh being a relative term here as any spice you buy in a jar is already old. Fresh whole un ground spices when you can  find them, whole pepper corns and kosher salt will go a long way toward making good marinade for your deer jerky.
So tonight I came home and opened up the vacuum sealed jerky meat I prepared yesterday with my so called "cure" if you will, and prepared my liquid part of the process. Keep in mind that the meat will absorb the salt and sugar carrying the spices with them, the meat juice is replaced by this and comes out. The ideal is not to make a liquid your meat is swimming in but a sauce that it will absorb into the fibers giving us the flavor we like so well. Taste your marinade and you will have a very good ideal what your jerky is going to taste like.  Okay Okay I am going to get to that part here where I give you my recipe for the marinade but first I got to tell you about something I come across Okay Okay
Bills NSS jerky Marinade:
2 tablespoons of hot sauce, (hey man you are the one thats going to have to deal with it so you make it as
                                           hot as you like)
4-5 good shakes of that Worcestershire sauce
Some vinegar
some salt and some sugar not much hand full of each
some black pepper
couple shakes of paprika
mix all this up real good till the salt and sugar melt into the liquids forming a solution. (like that solution)
Pour it over the meat working it so that all of the meat comes in contact with the marinade and is not soaking in it but covered in it.
 Now go and vacuum seal it back up and place it back in the refrigerator over night. Tomorrow maybe I will jerk it or put it away for later.
Some of you asked me what was in the carboy sitting on my cutting table in the butchering pictures. Well actually  nobody asked but I want to talk about that so I figured, you know. I would bring it up. Okay it is Apple cider that I set off about three weeks ago now, and as of two days ago it was sweet as the day I put it up. However today it has come to the front and is cookin like Mom Mom at Thanksgiving I mean a continuous rolling ferment! I will keep you posted I either have hard cider or will be making vinegar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The meat

Here is a pic of the processed meat and the seasoning I have applied. I assure you that I am using more cure than appears in the photo. I take this seasoned meat and place it into my vacuum sealer and seal it up. Then  I place it into the refrigerator and let it sit over night. Tomorrow I will add the marinade and seal it back up for another day. In a day or so I will post the drying of the jerky.

Cutting the jerky meat and seasoning

I can't figure out how to post more than one photo but just hang with me I will one day but till then, lets look at making the jerky, I use a slicer my wife bought for me for like 50 bucks at some closeout store and I love it. Just keep the meat cold and ready to go thru the slicer as the colder it is the better. Set it for 3/8 and slice the muscles across the grain add your cure. Let me be clear here you are eating raw meat here not cooked in a oven or slow cooker and dried at 120 degrees till it will break when you bend it. Def in the range for nasty critters to grow and live causing  some discomfort to your lower bowel. I use a cure that I made, not Nitrates or Nitrites, but 2 cups salt 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of garlic and paprika. I like to add a liberal application of coarse ground pepper to this. Check out the next post.

Making deer into meat


Here are the major muscle groups that I will use in Jerky notice how clean the bone is in the picture. You will not get this in your local deer butchering shop. they cut the easy chunks and grind them into burger and loose sausage. Here you get to use all of your deer or most of it anyway, what I don't use I let the Tom Brown have for crunching on. Now here is where I differ from some others. Many people cut their jerky meat into long strips but the grain and fibers of the meat grow along those same lines making eating jerky near impossible, especially with my choppers! I cut mine cross the grain and about 3/8 thick this makes for easy eating and the jerky making easy for me

The process of sausage making and butchering your deer

Okay we have our deer and it has been hanging in the cooler for the past 24 hours or so so let us begin to turn it into something. I want to make sausages of some form and some jerky for the wife and I, so lets look at how we are going to turn those big pieces of meat into what we want.
First you got to have some place to work. either your kitchen or your garage, I have a building built by Sheds are Us that I put white sanitary wall board in and painted the floor a gray. I built a table taller than most as that was the most comfortable for me and covered it with goat hair fiberglass to seal the surface. I never cut on this but work off of it with a cutting board. It is not big but it is perfect for me to process my deer in.
Last post we took the deer and cut it into it's major parts. Let's take a hind quarter and break it down into its major muscle groups for making some jerky. The other parts we will use in our ground meat that we will use in sausage. Using your boning knife take a very cold hind quarter and on the thin side of the haunch cut from the top to the shank Use the tip of your knife to cut entirely around the bone , separating the meat at the knuckle. You now have a big piece of boneless haunch and the major muscle groups are visible to you. Use the tip of a sharp knife and separate at the seams, use your steel liberally to keep your knife sharp. Place the major muscles in the freezer while you bone out the rest of the haunch for sausage meat. Check out the next post for how handle the rest of the meat

Sunday, October 24, 2010

getting started with the sausage process

Here we go with our sausage making post. You can tell I have harvested the doe in the picture, it took all day but that is why I hunt, I got to  read a good book, took a nap in the sun shine outside, ate all my food before 8 am and watched the world wake up, now there is my sun rise service and I enjoy it often I tell ya. I am not going to post the skinning and taking apart pics because some may not like that, let me know though and I have no problem posting on how to butcher either. So I got this nice little doe at about 45 yds. with a blackpowder rifle in Maryland. Head shot with a .490 round ball and .20 patch, 70 grains of FFF not a massive load but real accurate in my gun. She dropped instantly and had no Ideal what just happened. The four that were with her another  big doe and three little ones stayed right there and continued to eat, running off only when I went to pick her up.
I like to hang em from the head, my dad from the hind legs, but the key is getting them cooled off quickly. My son who worked in a deer processing shop showed me the quick way to take care of em and I use his method everytime with little mess.
When it comes time to gut the animal I hang it by the neck and starting at the top make an incision just through the skin at the brisket and work the knife down to the anus. I do not cut the gut sack yet and it stays in place. Now I make a small incision and with two fingers just under the sack I slip my knife in and open up the stomach cavity never touching the stomach or intestine as this will taint the meat big time. I have a tub under the deer and the internals just fall into the bucket. Taking a saw I split the brisket and cut loose the lungs and heart dropping everything in the bucket. I then tie off the intestine keeping the deer poop inside and remove everything that is left. Open up the body cavity and rinse it out real good taking a towel to wipe it dry when you are done, as water will ruin good meat fast. Allow the meat to hang and cool in the evening air, but hang em high as critters are looking for an easy meal. I like to drop off my gut pile and hides in an cut field away from where I hunt, but where the foxes and buzzards can find em quick. Believe me when I tell you bald Eagles love a deer carcass and make beautiful pictures, and foxes make good targets!!!
Okay lets get the hide off of the deer. Once again I have the deer doing the Saddam and using a very sharp small knife I cut around all four legs just under the knuckle, and split the legs up to where I cut the brisket. now I cut all the way around the neck and down the throat area to the brisket, staying just under the skin not cutting the meat. Working my small knife I get the hide working down and pull it off, usually it will come with very little knife work down to the hams. Using the same small knife I split the hide on the hams and pull it the rest of the way off. Now my deer is naked, cold, and bare. The hams are attached by a joint and socket so using my butcher knife I cut the hams and use my small knife to take the hams off laying them on the clean hide. The front shoulders are not attached with a socket just tendons and ligaments, follow the meat and they come off in one piece also also going onto the clean hide. Using a very sharp small knife I remove the outside tenderloins (back straps) and the inside loins or the true tenderloin. Next I separate the body from the neck and then the head from the neck saving a killer neck roast. I place all this in pans or hang in the cooler box till I am ready to process into sausages. Next we will butcher the meat!

Lets make some sausage

Okay so you want to make some sausage so let's start at the beginning first you have to get your meat, which in my case is deer meat mixed with pork for the fat. I buy 2 Boston Butts from the bulk store (Sams) and put em in the hanging cooler I have for the deer. I have it set just at 32 degrees and it makes the meat nice and tight to work with. Then I go to the fast food market (my deer stand) and select a deer for the job. I like a nice doe  not a real young one but a nice size deer that will make it worthwhile, the trail cam works wonders here. Now make sure you are ready to do this as deer are not real cooperative always. Sometimes they spook or just don't show up, but you have to be prepared every time you go into the woods so that you can deal with the deer after it is harvested. I keep my meat shop ready and clean so if I do happen to get a shot I am ready here at home, and the cooler box I plug in before I leave every time to go hunt! I worked in a butcher shop as a kid and my dad taught me how to work a knife and turn hanging meat into table meat. It is not hard to do and I suggest reading up on the process if you are going to give it a try. Next lets talk about the harvest. A deer that is wounded releases a ton of adrenaline and causes the meat to tighten up and be tough, so when harvesting I like to go for a spine shot or a head shot, both dispatch the animal instantly and the meat is not tainted. So lets go see if we can find that deer in the picture and get started.

I am back

Okay I have been away for a bit just had to rewind some. This summer was not real good to me had some teeth pulled (9) of em and I got to tell you that set me back physically and financially. You know how good your insurance is when you start to use it, and mine is kinda weak. So I sold my Bonita boat, went into depression, and bought a four wheeler. and paid for my dental work. But I am back in full swing now and ready for the season, so stick with me and get on board cause I got some neat stuff I want to share with all of you.First thing is we are going to make sausages from our deer. I know you all like burger and chili, spaghetti sauce and such but I am telling you take it to a whole nother level and make some sausage. There are kits available at Gander or on line, but I will tell you this if you smoke the sausage you got to use a cure or your meat will spoil. Yes you can make your own cure, but I like to use Prague number 2 for dry salami, and number one for cased sausage. Come on let;s get going with that deer sausage Bill!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Making ice cream

I love ice cream who doesn't? But getting what is real ice cream can be a bit of a problem cause we are not talking about the cold stone or Baskin Robbins kind of ice cream, but real milk, eggs, sugar, and fruit cooked to a custard and mixed with condensed milk and cream, then churned with ice and salt till hard. That kind of ice cream that you find at churches ice cream fund raisers and such. I have two White Mountain 20 quart freezers, with white oak tubs and two cans I just had re tinned., so I am going to make some ice cream. Pineapple is my favorite right next to vanilla, or butter pecan, but in season I like strawberry, but okay I love ice cream all ice cream!!!
So my wife cooks up the custard and mixes the cream and sugar I take it out and start to make the ice cream, crushed ice and salt, a wool blanket over the top and turn it on. Did I mention they were electric motors with gear reducers? So 45 min later I am pulling the dashers and draining the water off repacking with fresh ice and salt. Since I was going to be a while I also put two pounds of dry ice on the top and covered it with the wool blanket. Well after three hours I opened it up and I have to say the results were excellent and we enjoyed the desert.
It takes about 120 lbs of ice and two large boxes of salt for 20 quarts, and depending on your recipe the cost can vary. I love to make ice cream but it is in the freezer and I feel for it calling me right now.  Which is not a real good thing!

Friday, August 6, 2010

I miss Jerry

I have been a follower of the Dead since I was old enough to buy their music and I am an old fart! But Mon. the 9th is the anniversary of his death, and his birthday was just last week. The dead was not just Jerry but the band was as one. All their money went into one pot, they all lived in the same house and had their own Hang out in San Fran where they all went everyday. Never a commercial hit band, touch of Gray being their most successful commercially. They had a following of people who in gypsy caravans followed the dead and a whole culture evolved from this group known as "Dead Heads". Pig Pen the leader of the band before he died, had a def. influence on the band and after his death, Jerry took that position. Never one for the limelight Jerry just made music and played in the band, appearing in his "Uniform" of black t shirt and shorts, Jerry never wore tye dye, Phil was the one to be colorful. Jerry had a bunch of other projects as did all the members and today the Dead still tour under the name of "The other Ones" Just not with Jerry of course. The Dead influenced the Band New riders of the Purple sage who had a couple of commercial hits with "Henry, Panama Red, and L.A Lady". The era between "American Beauty and Workingmans Dead" is considered by many of my friends to be the best time of the band before Jerry discovered Heroin. Jerry died in rehab of a heart attack more than likely brought on by his addiction. Like the Kennedy assassination and the Challenger explosion people remember where they were when they heard of his death. I was on an Island in the Chesapeake bay known as Fox Island. He was buried in LA with his current wife and his former wife Mountain Girl in attendance as well as a group of well know celebrities. Jerry is gone but the music lives on.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Investements and your future

Okay this is a Sportsmen blog site and not a investment site but I have been reading and thinking about a few things lately and today I would like to share with you some of my personal opinions I have gathered along the way. As a young man I was what you would consider a hippie sorta. I grew up in a beer garden (bar) that my grandfather built and my parents owned outside of a village known as Parsonburg,  When I was in the first grade my parents moved to a chicken farm in the village of Mt. Hermon. Directly across the stone chip road was a older man known to me as Mr. Sampie Perdue, and he did everything in the old school way. He had horses he would plow with and a forge, a corn crib and a cow for milk, chickens for eggs. he was a Baptist preacher, but I never saw him in anything but overalls. Our neighbors were a beautiful black couple that lived in a former one room school house that they had made into a home with a garden. I always called them Nana and Papa. My child hood friends were a couple of kids whose Russian (Ukraine) parents had escaped the Germans during the war, and a German family whose father had escaped the Nazi's.  My Mother and Father owned the chicken farm and I was expected to earn my keep sorta, by working alongside them in the chicken business. My father was a first generation Italian and my mom as American as they came. Her great grandparents were English settlers and Native Americans and was as Eastern Shore as you could get. So you can see I grew up in a VERY multicultural neighborhood of very back to the land type people from all over the world who understood the ways of their fathers and the rhythm of the land. From these people I learned the art of investing that I will share with you.
FOOD: I learned very early on that a few seeds could make a lot of really good food, and it was not tied to inflation, or the economy. If you had a garden you had a dinner, and not all of our dinners were meat and potatoes, my father cut meat for local farmers and I learned how to turn a cow into steaks when I was just a kid and how to turn a nonlaying chicken into chicken salad, but some meals in the summer were right out of the garden. So by growing a garden you are putting hard cold cash in your pocket, plus you can sell the surplus if you want or put it up for the winter. Plus you can trust this food that you grow, some horse manure in the very early spring, maybe a shot of lime and you have your own organic food supply.
SECURITY: If you have a larder full of fresh food you have security, a deer harvested during the season, root crops in the cellar and the pantry full of put up vegetables will hold you over till you can plant again. By keeping some heirloom seeds and not hybrids you can be assured of genetically sound produce, that you can save seeds from.
HEALTH AND FITNESS: If you are hitting the gym 4 times a week to keep that youthful figure, well you can cancel that membership and put that money in your pocket when you establish a garden. Pulling weeds is the best squat thrust exercise and the plants do not care what you wear, wheeling the wheelbarrow, shoveling manure, hoeing, and tilling are the best exercise and your body is designed to do these things. Believe me your body was not designed to lift 300lbs 5 times for 3 reps so you look good at the beach. So you do not have the time? Well figure what you spend time wise on driving to, exercising, showering, and returning to home, you could have a beautiful garden providing you with fresh vegetables, fresh air and exercise for the same investment.
PERSONAL REWARDS:  In the evening when you set the family dinner table with fresh fruits and vegetables that you grew yourself, a Venison roast you took off the farm, or a fat duck or chicken you know that you have done your best for your family, and you can rest easy knowing you have provided, the very best for your family.
Now Gardening is not for everyone and today the pull on you to provide the material things that we all seem to desire may not provide you with the time to be a full time gardener. But a flower pot of herbs on the counter, or a corner of strawberries can still bring to you the joys of playing in the dirt, and help you have a healthier lifestyle. Try it you'll like it!!!


                

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Food plots

Well you have to love em or hate em but the bottom line is food plots are everywhere so just how effective are they anyhow? Some people say that food plots give them time to size up an animal and to get a good kill shot on it, some claim that it brings deer into their area, and some others claim to grow big antlers with special mixes of browse to eat. Personally we live on the Eastern shore where Soybeans and corn rule the land just how much more food plot does a person need? I mean if you are shooting a open field then at 200 yds you had better be ready to harvest your deer. But just maybe you want the deer in a certain location for you to be able to shoot safely or to place the animal closer to a pick up point for your truck, then a food plot could work wonders for you. Personally I like food plots to keep deer in a certain area and to offer a variety of food for them to eat on. Corn. clover, turnip and rape are all excellent food sources for deer and provide a varied diet allowing deer to remain healthy. If a deer has been shot at over a bean field they may become very nocturnal and your chances of harvest go down because they hang on the edge of the woods and fields out of sight. If you have a food plot established in a out of the way location they may feel more comfortable in hanging out there while it gets dark and offer a gathering spot of sorts. for the hunter this means increased opportunity prior to nightfall. So food plots love em or hate em but  now they have convinced us that a basket of apples is just way out of date.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pre season

I know it is August almost and it has been hot as heck but it is inevitable Bow season is coming on strong!!! So what is a man to do during this time frame? Why scout of course, drive around your hunting spots while the beans are fresh and green giving them a good glassing with your optics. Take a walk down your hunting lanes with the weed eater and blade and cut some branches out of the way looking for some sign. Deer will be rubbing velvet before you know it, are you going to be able to use the same tree this year? It is gunpowder dry right now so at  any water source you will be able to check track and see if the Big boy is still around. And let us not forget that right now is the perfect time to set up that stand in the yard and throw some arrows now while you have light in the evenings,not the day or two before the season gets going!!! Check out your stand and make sure all the nuts and bolts are in place and working right, swap out those wimpy nuts and bolts with something you can get your hands on this winter with gloves on, and do not forget to place a couple of extras in a sack and duct tape the sack to your stand, nothing like dropping something in the dark and be up that creek with no paddle. Hang your trail cam now and get some pictures of your trophy and trespassers keep in mind the DNR is there to help you not harass you so be legal, and if you are having problems let them know now. Today I am calling the De. DNR as I have a couple of questions I can't find answers to. Like this one with the state wildlife area signs, "Special Rules Apply" well I cannot find the special rules in my booklet I get with my license so I will find out early on and not at the end of my hunt when the DNR officer and I are having that discussion along side the truck. Being a disabled veteran and a game land hunter is it permissible to use an ATV or other mechanical device for me to gain access to public hunting areas, I mean I am not wheel chair bound by any means but a hike of a couple miles and dragging deer takes it's toll on a brother for sure! So drop off your bow and get it tuned up, practice, scout and check your equipment before you hit the woods, Enjoy and share your hunting stories with us...that way I don;t feel so bad when I see other people miss trophies too!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

American Hunter

Just got my new American Hunter mag. and you all know that I love my guns and belong to the NRA. One of the first things I read every issue is the "Armed Citizen" portion. People whose lives have been saved by the defense of their property and life. Well this one just takes the cake, I am not sure how to get the article posted  direct but I will give you the readers digest version if you will. Chicago; which Mayor Richard J Daley rules like his personal kingdom, outlawed guns for it's citizens. This was challenged and found unconstitutional (second amendment) Immediately he and his flying monkeys changed the rules of the game which says you can have it not just outside or even in your garage, so on to this story of The Armed Citizen".
An 80 year old Korean war vet, his wife and great grandson were sleeping when a convicted felon,  smashed the window in the veterans basement, the vet retrieved his handgun and the felon proceeded to fire two shots (gun laws do NOT apply to convicted felons) at the veteran. The vet returned fire with one shot killing the felon. Police refused to press charges, even though the man violated the gun ban. Now are the anti gun people going to push this issue? How will we protect our homes with out the necessary tools to do so?
Seems that the good Mayor had an answer for a reporter who dared ask the question "Given the number of shootings in the city is not the handgun ban ineffective"? The Mayor picked up an SKS with the bayonet extended and threatened the reporter with "If I put this up your butt you will find how ineffective it is, If I put a round up your...." I can almost tell you  what would happen if a citizen picked up a rifle and made the same statement to a government official. (WWW.Chicagoreader.com) See those of us who are gun owners know that we do not joke or kid around with statements like that, only the misinformed and ignorant do that.
of course I did not mention the death of one of Chicago's finest, an off duty officer, murdered by thugs. 30 year old Thomas Wortham, murdered in front of his family's home by four gang-banges looking to steal his new  Motorcycle. Now his father who is a retired Chicago police officer and allowed to posses such a wepon legally, shot and killed one and wounded another. His son had just finished his second tour in Iraq and when shot was dragged under the vehicle, One of the thugs Facebook page bragged of having no fear of pulling the trigger, so let's ask our self What Would You do in this situation. Would you defend your childeren and their children or would you ask the thug to please put down his wepon. Just saying

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Old Boats and models

I took a trip down to Deal island today and saw a Skipjack in excellent shape, and some old boats that I took photos of for my art work and  boat modeling. This is a photo of the Skipjack "Kathryn". she is not a working boat but a pleasure boat for sailing on the Chesapeake bay and Tangier sound. Take a look at her and then one that is being restored behind her, only 5 working Skipjacks on the bay at this time according to the Captain of this boat.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Airborne

I have been talking about skydiving here this week and that Wikipedia site is killer for info, but face it anyone can go there and read what I have been posting, but lets talk Airborne, Americas 101st. Now there are a few people who in the military were required to jump out of planes, and when they got out did not continue on with the sport so to speak. Then there are those who never had to jump out but do so for giggles, and then there are those whose sole job was to jump out of planes to execute their duties, behind enemy lines, These guys are carrying everything with them, and jumping out of aircraft at very low altitudes, in fact some of em have to boosted onto the aircraft because they carry so much stuff. Navy SEALS and RANGERS all Special forces train in parachute insertion, and when you are sneaking up on someone you do not have a bunch of people backing you up, so you carry it with you. Rifle, supplies, ammo, food everything heck I have heard from some SEAL friends of mine that they even drop inflatable boats  motors, and small vehicles, I saw where they dropped a tank one time, but that was not one of those quite in out kinda things.
Now the 101st has been around for some time WW2 Normandy, the bulge were all airborne big times, and they are highly decorated for their efforts. In fact they are still around today and being deployed in the Vacation  destination known as Afghanistan and Iraq. Let us not forget Vietnam or "The Hump on the 8th of November" my cousin was involved in that one, Not a 101 battle but one of the 173rd Airborne. I bet parachuting for fun is just not that exciting now. So we use parachutes for fun and we use them for war, personally I am glad to see the people jumping over at the airfield, getting their thrill on instead of shooting and banging!

Boat Races in Cambridge

I like boats, I like to go fast in boats (not cars) and today I have the opp. to go see some boats go fast and visit with some old friends of mine. When I lived in Florida they had a marine  place for boating events like races and stuff. It was built like a ball park a huge concrete structure built in seats concessions bathrooms and shade. So one day the wife and I along with a friend made our way to West Palm beach to go to an inflatable boat race. Now these are not big engine screaming machines but inflatable boats with horsepower racing around a water course. Now don't laugh these are not you zodiac tender boats, well some were, but duel engine beast that were inflatable! I have to admit it was not quite as exciting as watching hydroplanes or drag boats but still pretty exciting if not different. I am thinking I might try and get over there today or tomorrow check out the boats and watch some of the action. Of course with the temps hitting double or even triple digits my visit may be short if not sweet!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SKYDIVING or who wears a wing suit

Today I am going to talk about a wing suit as a form of skydiving. The wing suit is like a parachute that you can wear and it enables you to fly like a glider. You tube has got some killer video of these things and I don't mind telling you that this looks like it could get fun! Now these are nothing new in fact they have been around for some time as early as 1930! Now like any new technology there is a learning curve and according to Wikipedia 72 0f the 75 people testing these thing died between 1930 and 1961. By the mid 90's a French man Patrick Gayardon had a suit that was working out pretty well, and he was using it in BASE jumping (another post) and photography of skydivers. Of course ol Patrick crashed and burned but not because of the suit but from a accident from a rigging error, in Hawaii 1998. That did not stop em though and today the suit is manufactured by a co. called Phoenix Fly. I can't help but think of a flying squirrel every time I see these things. Stop on by you tube and check out these things, I would never try this of course but apparently there are a bunch of people who would, what about you would you even consider something like this?

Working for a living or not.

I am looking for some form of ATV/off road type of vehicle for the upcoming hunting season, okay I am getting lazy not old! So yesterday I stop in the Suzuki place in Salisbury to look around. I like the side by side four wheeled machines but they are just way to big to get into the forest without cutting a road, and they had some nice looking ones on display. I like the four wheeler machines, powered nicely with four wheel drive, and lots of stuff to hang of the back of em, and stable of course. The Rokon is the best of the lot but two wheels and me in the woods just does not go together. But back to the reason for the post. I go shopping in my clean clothes with a clean shirt and nice shoes, not a bum and enter into the store to have a look and get some info. I spent a good 15 min in there looking at a variety of machines, and no one asked me if I needed help! Not one person stopped me and asked me what I was looking for, or if they could help. Now there were people standing around talking, couple of parts guys, one person was hanging a poster about a upcoming promotion by Monster drinks I think it was, another at a desk on the computer. Not one person came forward to help a customer, 5 people eating up payroll. I even wandered around for a few min. just trying to get someone to come forth. Bad thing was they had a machine there that I was very interested in, just the right size for my needs.
Not getting any assistance I walked out the store and went to Harley Davidson of Seaford, to look at Polaris equipment, top of the line equipment but pricey. I was not there 5 min before I had a salesmen talking with me and showing me the machines. The electric side by side was super quiet, the four wheelers nicely displayed and the sales guy on target, not pushy just very helpful, a totally different atmosphere, gave me some info and prices and even took a look at my Chesapeake retriever, very personable guy.  In fact when I am able to pay for the machine I will def. return there as I am sure the service will be just a good.
My next stop was at the bike shop in Seaford to get a bicycle tube and some stuff for riding the bike around the block. Another first class establishment, the people were super nice and very helpful, even gave me a quick lesson on changing my tires along the road side for free, and he had customers in the store. In fact he was able to hold many irons in the fire at one time and made each of us feel like we had his personal attention, def. multi tasking! So what gives with the different stores and the service one can expect? I would suspect that in these times a customer going into a store would get the best service possible, but not so. In fact I am seeing just the opposite to be true, is it because unemployment is seen as a job by some with benefits, do people just not care about you the customer or their place of employment. I will tell you the two places I did get service it was first class and they will get my business again I am sure. Will anything change because of this post? I doubt it, the people I dealt with more than likely do not even know Delmarva Sportsmen exist, and this post is not going to make much difference. However if you are reading this you know we exist and may be just maybe you will  visit the two places that did deliver. Good hunting stay cool.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clamming and crabbing

You know there was a time when you could go out and catch some crabs rake up some clams and have a shore feast, but now you have to have a license for everything and cash to launch the boat. But this week  am going to slip out and get me a few for the pot. I like clams chopped up with some garlic and olive oil over some spaghetti. And, to shuck em and make like a clams casino with em, my wife and I can  finish off a couple dozen of those with some sweet corn and tomatoes For a Eastern shore dinner. I like the little ones for steaming and eating right out of the shell with a little hot sauce and vinegar, or a fritter with some hush puppies. So maybe I will go get me some one day this week in the evening when the sun goes down in the afternoon, try and get a fish, sit on the beach and fry up something...but you know I don't like fish!

Skydiving some background

Today I am going to put out some info on skydiving hopefully someone reading will have some input on this info for the benefit of our readers. Skydiving is defined in Wikipedia as: Performing acrobatics during free fall, prior to deploying a parachute. Well that explains it I can not do acrobatics on the earth so strapped to someone else is out of the question, but seriously folks.
Andre Jacques Garnerian made a jump from a hot air balloon in 1797, man I wish I could have seen that one go down. No doubt the man was brave but I can almost rest assured that a change of underwear was also required. But in reality that Italian master Leonardo Da (man) was the first to really take a look at this. A model of his device was tested and determined to be a working piece of equipment. I guess getting a plane to take him up was the real problem, and what makes a man think of such things like a parachute back then. air travel was not happening, balloon travel not real popular.
Now on any given weekend you can find people jumping from any number of aircraft, my friend had a person jump from his ultralight, just kinda fell out of the seat. Over here at Laurel they have a big plane that hauls em up, and it is like clock work you hear the plane climbing, quiet, then the engine comes back up and the plane is in a spiral returning to the field. If you have optics you can see the people falling after they open up their chute soaring around like birds. I have noticed that some of them can stay airborne for quite some time depending on the style of chute they are using. Maybe this weekend I can get over and talk with some of em and find out a little more info on the equipment and plane. By the way anyone want to jump out of the plane?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sky Diving

Having been a pilot in command of small planes you are always on the lookout for someplace to crash I mean land the plane if something goes wrong. Today there are any number of devices that will help you get down safely if the plane decides to experience rapid deacceleration syndrome with the earth. One is a parachute that lets the plane down slowly or reduces the impact some, another is a parachute for you to jump out of the plane with! Now so  long as the prop is turning, and air is flowing over the wings you can get some lift, and I am going to have to think about leaving the plane and taking my chances. That leads me into this post of people who willingly jump from perfectly good aircraft or Skydiving. There was a time when I thought that something like that would be a rush, this coming from a man who hates a ladder remember, and my wife spent good money for a gift certificate for me. I lost my nerve and the money which if you know me really burns me up! But I see the plane every weekend and people coming out of it like bees, chutes opening and them soaring around in their chutes like birds. And I am wondering just what takes place, understand I am still not going to leave a good aircraft, but what is it that goes on that makes this sport so appealing? I think I might do a series of post on this sport just to see what the hoopla is about, talk with some of em, check out the plane watch em jump out and get a real feeling for the sport. What or how does the first time jumper react when faced with the very real possibility of making that big step into the unknown. Heck I got funky walking out on a glass floor 40 stories above Vegas for crying out loud. Now I am going to go to the airport in Laurel De. where they jump from and talk with the people over there. Could be they don't want me doing this and I get shut down, or they embrace the ideal and let me see the whole process from soup to nuts. I am not going to actually jump from any perfectly sound aircraft I assure you but hope to have some really killer pics of people who do. Stick around and we can see what develops, you never can tell!

Friday, July 16, 2010

fishing trip

I went fishing last night with a friend of mine, he took me to his hidden fishing hole and we had a great time. Sun was going down tide was changing and fish were cooperating nicely. No big horse hard heads or 30 inch rock but a good evening out and enough fish to make it fun. I got into a little run of small rock three of em one after another cookie cutter fish perfect for the pan, but hey who can afford the fine! We went out into the sound toward dark and fished the channel coming into Deal Island we caught quite a few small fish outside. All in all it was a nice relaxing trip out, I love to fish the evening time. Got home around 10pm and took a shower to get the fish off me. If there is one thing I love to do it is fish. I sold my fishing boat and kept my duck boat so I would have something to fish from, the big boat was just to much for me alone. Maybe I will slip out and go clamming this week, or catch some crabs.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting around and slowing down

You know as a society we are doing more and more to extend our lives and the quality of our lives, which leads me to consider the following. When we were young our bodies were flexible and strong and as you get older aches and pains just seem to stick around more. So we take an aspirin for the pain eat some fish oil tablets and keep on going. Then your knees or shoulders start to hurt so we go and get some surgery and keep on going all these things we do to just keep on going (and working) extend the natural life span of our bodies. Think about it if you lived a hundred years ago, a simple heel blister could kill you if it got infected as did one of Abe Lincolns sons.Two hundred years ago if you were a native American living by hunter /gathering and you lost your teeth from to much buffalo jerky you would check out and die. As hunters and fishermen I have meet guys who are still hitting it in their 80's slower of course but still wing shooting and deer hunting, then others who are slowing down (me). Our industry has introduced us to many things to keep us afield  with ATV's, Argos, any number of feeders to bring game to us, and gadgets to allow us to keep at it, but when do you call it quits and join the ranks of those who golf (with a cart of course). Personally for me I have had a knee fixed, both shoulders repaired, gout, and my feet ache, but I am a young 55 who still loves the smell of a damp woods in the morning and the quack of a fat duck, just getting to them is a little more effort than is wise. I am a walker and a hiker I love going to the Appalachian Trail and kicking around for a few days backpacking, or walking four or five miles with my rifle or shotgun on a frosty day, but I find it more and more difficult. My last trip to the C and D canal was not good, flat land walking I had to call for a dust off as my feet kicked my butt, not blisters but feet. I no longer look forward to the 100 yd drag of a deer from the forest preferring to shoot them in the lane so I can drive to em and pick em up. My kids are gone and my hunting partners have quite to play golf or something.Who knows but I still want to keep at it, maybe with my camera, but that makes really thin stew! I thought about some form of ATV, 4 wheelers don't do it for me can't really get them through the woods unless you cut a trail, then everyone and his brother hunts your spot cause it is easy to get to, and public lands are a no cut zone anyhow, Argos are nice and multipurpose I could hunt a lot of marsh with one, but not get in the woods. I was leaning toward a Polaris type of machine but the price tag is like buying a new car and they are big pieces of equipment.  A motorcycle is out of the question I have never owned one and they are real fast on the throttle a disaster if ever there was one, for me anyhow. I saw a tracked machine with a narrow profile and a short wheel base it looked strange like a short bobcat, but went everywhere, however when the operator came over a pile of logs it tipped them on their head, not for me.  I found a machine called a ROKON it is like a motorcycle except it has two wheel drive and a 31 inch wide footprint. It goes nowhere fast but everywhere slowly, it gets all of it's power from gearing. Cannot operate it on the road strictly off road and it comes it at about 210 lbs. Can float it across a river because it has tractor like tires that also double a fuel or water containers, and climbs a 60 degree grade, important here on the shore! Of course there are like 40 accessories you can get for it. A trailer, side car, generator and pump, saddle bags and a tool kit to carry with you. Super simple design and those made in the 70's are still in the field, heck one guy rode one from Alaska to the Amazon on rail right of ways and such. Special forces uses them, and Sheriffs dept's.  for search and rescue, hunters naturally. Of course once you buy something like that you quite walking, hunt deeper, and exercise less even if it takes longer you are still exercising, but not when you are riding. Who knows I might just keep on walking, less hassle all around, do a little more sitting and looking....or maybe I will quite and just paint!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fruits and Veggies

I love me some fresh fruit and vegetables! I love corn from the garden and I like fresh tomatoes. I love fresh peaches and berries, and even zucchini squash. I made some watermelon rind picked preserves last week and they were killer, maybe make a batch this week and put em up for winter. So today the wife and I decide that we were going to pick blueberries down at Garden of Eden on Nanticoke road toward the Red Roost. Now we have been in a drought and we need rain, like the song says rain is a good thing, right? But this morning it decides to pour about 20 min after we get there kinda cutting us short on our picking time but we did get some berries for eating fresh. I will pick more for the freezer later so I can enjoy them this winter. I love going and getting a handfull of frozen strawberries and eating them on a hot night on the deck out back. Figured I might do up some peaches this year, they are much cheaper by the can at the store but hey what fun is that!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gun law

So the Supreme court says you have the right to protect yourself and your property,but the city of Chicago says okay but just not outside. This is just what many of us who are NRA members ,sportsmen, and moms and dads are concerned about. "They" will never take your gun, just make it so you cannot use it. Just who the heck are they anyhow? Can only have one operational gun in your home! Cannot go outside with it to defend your life and property. Personally my friends this is all wet, and reeks of the government being afraid of those of us who are able to defend ourselves. For an example in New Orleans when the Hurricane struck, now keep in mind they had 5 days of warnings prior to the hurricane landing, what happened? People became savages, raping and looting, killing each other and the government trying to take away the guns of those who were determined to protect their families and businesses. Now look at the Midwest some terrible storms and flooding this year and much the same type of disaster. But the difference here is that in the Midwest people came together, we saw no reports of people robbing or raping. Now both situations are tragic no doubt but the difference in peoples attitudes and behavior are like night and day. Would you want to protect yourself in New Orleans against thugs who only want to take what you have? Would you want to protect your family from  harm if you were confronted by any type of danger to them. No my friends what you see happening is very scary indeed and unless we the People start to take back those rights that some seem to use as their personal door mat it will only get worse. A new administration , newly elected  officials, all will have the ability to return to us the rights we have been given to us by our founding fathers, but the damage has been done and the seed planted. Keep in mind when you go to the polls don't reelect anyone not even your momma!