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Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Right to carry news

Okay I am looking through the GUIDE this week and I see like 8 notices for DE right to carry. Georgetown Seaford, Laurel all around me people are letting others know that they have applied for a CCP. So I am noticing an advertisement for a gun shop in Laurel that offers the class for $125.00 and it is offered weekly I believe. From the advertisement it looks like the shop has guns and accessories, supplies for the shooter, and the classes. As soon as I dig out of the ranch here I am making a trip to the shop to talk with the guy and find out the straight skinny on the permit process for DE. My brother in law went to the MD State police to get a handgun application as he lives in Maryland and I live in DE, so I figured that was the best way to go for our post on the subject. When he came out he had a package 3/4 inch thick, and was not encouraged that he would be getting a permit. Some info thus far. If you have been threatened with your life, you might get one, if you have had an attempt on your life you might get one. A business person carrying large amt's of cash, maybe but you have to show deposit receipts, bottom line they do not make it easy. Also there is a filing fee which is non refundable and a renewal fee each year, this could be standard and I will find out in a few days. If the gun shop turns out to be the way to go possibly we could get a group together of our DE. followers and go together. WEB FOOT GANGSTA has a VA right to carry permit, and hopefully he will let us know the process for VA. Until then keep your eyes and ears open, be aware of what is going on around you, and keep your family safe. 

last waterfowl hunt

On Thursday afternoon before the storm I had the opportunity to go and hunt geese off of Barren creek in Mardela. The farm was huge and the fields were corn stubble with plenty of corn left in them from the harvest. The geese had been hitting various spots in the field most of the week and looked like it might produce for us this evening. We set out 24 big foot , and 24 silhouette  decoys and settled into the blind as the wind came across the open field with no break, you were cold but not miserable. Of course there is no real bad weather just bad clothing choices right.  My hunting partners this evening were young men from Mardela  one of them is a student  of mine along with 6 of his friends, so it was a lively group. We had some groups of geese come on by but they had a commitment to the creek. With the full moon and oncoming bad weather the geese had stayed in the field almost all evening and that day feeding, so the creek was their destination. At the end of shooting time we cleared our guns and picked up the decoys, loading them into Gators and Kubota four wheel drive machines, goose less but happy to be out amongst em as my mother in law would say. My waterfowl was not so good this year, my marsh in OC did not produce like it should have, and I can't afford a leased piece of property. My deer hunting was good I shot a nice doe and turned it into summer sausage, that I am still eating. My dog did okay he is a great hunting companion, and is coming along slower than I thought but when he gets something he has it down quickly. So the hunting season is done for me as far as ducks and geese go. Of course we have spring turkey season which I enjoy as much if not more than ducking, but I hate the chiggers and ticks, and even more the chemicals you put on your clothes to keep those critters at bay, but I still go. So until I get that new rifle scoped up and ready for varmint hunting, I will be just hanging out, sitting on the couch, eating chicken wings and drinking Evolution beer!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Basic survival kit

I posted earlier about a survival kit and I was thinking back to a story recently about a couple stuck in a snow bank for a day or so and how they survived with basic skills. What kind of kit you put together will depend on what you are doing. Fishing on the bay or Tangier sound will not require the same things as driving through the desert, but will include some of the same basic items. Two Mylar space blankets, waterproof matches, and a whistle make a good foundation for any kit. Add a shiny CD, three road flares and some protein or high calorie bars and you are really getting somewhere. If you have the space, 100 feet of nylon string, pink in color wrapped around a pencil is nice, some flagging tape in florescent orange and a knife of some sort, and you can get along for some time plus increase your chances of not being a Readers Digest story.
I have a  Orange Orion signal flare container that was on my boat  and it has served me well. It will hold all the above and is no bigger than  a shoe box plus water resistant. Being bright orange it is easy to locate and if everything turns to crap grab that first! Road flares serve two purposes, can be seen forever and burn hot enough to light damp wood. Two Mylar blankets because one just ain't big enough to cover my big butt, no really if you can place one behind you and one in front of a camp fire you can stay toasty. Pink string is great because it is highly visible, and it can be used for multiple task. A knife needs no explanation, if you got to cut off a arm or foot, maybe skin a rabbit, or do a tracheotomy, you are covered. Keep in mind also because you can live 20 days with out eating but only two days without water so some way to carry water is good, you can catch water in the space blanket and store it in the Orange flare case.
I think you get the ideal of what I am trying to get at, be prepared with some very basic items and your chances of making it go way up. So now you can protect yourself with your own kit for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, flying, or just driving across town or to the store. Don't become a statistic be prepared!

Are you Prepared to Meet........disaster?

Okay hunting is winding down and we are getting ready to fish but I want to take a min to talk about being prepared. When you go hunting you are prepared right? I mean for me it is somewhat anal as I start around 7:30 and by 9:30 I am still at it. I have a couple of plans for different situations, my gun is cleaned my broad heads sharpened my gear is tight and quiet my clothes scent free. but what if there was an emergency are we prepared for those? Later on I will be talking about a basic survival kit that all of us should have available. until then stay the heck outta trouble!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maryland Bill and Gun Permits

The Daily Times had an article on page 5 today about a bill that would honor gun permits from PA. VA, and DE in the state of Maryland. D. Smigler Sr. Republican from Cecil county proposed the bill, but that is all it said. Not right to carry permits or concealed weapon permits, just gun permits. Now I have not looked into it and what you just read is out of the Times, so if anyone has input now is the time to let us all know. As you know the Second Amendment seems to always be a big deal and this sounds like it might be a good thing for us who are into shooting.  I like to  read "the armed citizen" in my NRA magazine and how a responsible gun owner protected their family. Many times the perpetrator winds up dead or wounded some times just scared away, but the victims are safe from harm. Maybe the government will make us put signs in our yards, as a warning that there are guns in the home, or register on the net. Then bad guys could check out which Responsible citizen would be armed and dangerous and avoid that home. Just a thought

Waterfowl comming to an end

This Saturday ends all life as we now know it, the end of the waterfowl season. I know you can shoot snow geese but I don't get much pleasure out of that, putting out ( and picking em up) 300 shell decoys, no buying 300 shell decoys I  am not into. I was able to go goose hunting this past Tuesday and we used 3 goose and 4 duck decoys. When it was over by 10 AM we had 3 geese, two wet dogs and a great morning, I took one goose home that had to weigh 10 lbs! Fat as a oven stuffer and a craw full of corn and soybeans. I know we could have killed more, they were coming in flocks of 5-10-15 at a time like WW2 bombers, but we had all we were wanting to clean. I will say the young man I had the opportunity to hunt with really had his self together, After 4 hours in a duck blind you have a lot to talk about and you get to know a fellow. The man has a plan to enter the military, or become an electrician apprentice he  is ready to commit after he looks into the pros and cons of each one, smart on his part. Having spent three years learning the electrical trade he has a good ideal on that one. His dog was really good at fetching and Tom brown got a lesson in what we were suppose to be doing out there. I think if I had the opportunity to hunt with this guy that Tom would have been farther along. But I am a happy man with my dog. So what is a man to do in the season between hunting and fishing? Well it is a good time to brew some beer, so when fishing does roll up you are ready. A fish fry and home brew could be a good ideal. Maybe cook a hog and have a bbq, before it gets to damn hot and the flies carry you away. Load some ammo for ground hog shooting come spring, and shoot up this years hunting ammo at the range, zero your stick and give her a good cleaning. Okay go pickerel fishing I was dying to include it! Pick up the yard...not!  Wash up your decoys and check the lines and weights, put them in the decoy shed on the shelf out of the way, Maybe get your deer stand out of the woods before someone does steal it, I hate those guys.  So there you go guys lots of things for us to do. I like the brew some beer and cook a hog, I love to fish but don't eat fish. Of course you could just watch Football and sit on the couch...right.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Target shooting

I like to shoot targets, cans, skeet, pumpkins, watermelons, just about anything that gets a hole in it or goes splat! So in the off season to stay sharp I will shoot my 22 rifle at some 50 foot  NRA targets. I have a couple of metal  post with  3 inch mesh wire fence stretched between them (from when I built my goat pens,) that I stick the targets on. It sets in front of a bullet trap I built out of 1/4 plate steel and set at a 45 degree angle with a sand trap to catch the bullets. I attach the targets with clothes pins to the wire. Much better than wood but strictly for 22's and 17's! If I shoot my scoped 22 target rifle I am out to 75 yds. and the 17 is a 150 yd hole sticker on the rest, bigger than 22 I go to the local boys range where the dirt piles are out to 300 yds. I find that if I practice the basics with a small bore rifle it cost me a lot less money, my shoulder is not wore slam out, and when I do drop that $$$ for large bore I am much quicker getting back on track before deer season.
So lets say you are breaking the ol kan killer out for the first time in a bit, and the kids been shooting it some out back so It could be out of alignment some for you.  Good old iron sighted 22 your daddy bought you from the Sears Roebuck catalog, back in 69. You shot many a squirrel with her and knows she is a good gun. So first you set up a target 15 feet away and shoot three rounds at the target, and she is shooting a might high but dead on center, and you are thinking  that she will be dead on at 50 feet, and an inch low at 100yds. So out you go to 50 feet and she is still shooting high for you, and on this gun you only have up and down that adjust easily so what do you do? Move the sight back toward you one correction at a time and shoot three rounds again, you should now be closer if not on your bulls eye. If you have to raise the shot placement move the sight forward, and if you can adjust left to right move the sight in the direction you need to move the bullet placement. Keep in mind that you should always make small corrections, be very stable and  on a bench when sighting your rifle. Then when you get out in the field shooting tree rats you will be dead on, Like the Patriot said "aim small, miss small" god I love that movie!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Predator/Varmint shooting

I have decided to get into shooting varmints and some paper for fun. I shot as a kid and was pretty good earning several medals from the NRA. So a low impact sport on me while allowing me to hunt stuff and assemble some new stuff at Christmas naturally. I have decided upon a rifle and looking at optics and accessories. Ruger 223 in lam. stock with bull barrell, optics still up in the air and price is a factor believe me. I would like to eventually add a red light and bi pod for low light applications.
I have a VW thing that is a great hunting vehicle, like a big 4 wheeler you can drive to the hunt, and drive it home, but I will admit it is cold! That THING is never warm, I really hate to take it out much now and it is bright yellow so I wind up walking when I hunt anyway. My wife suggest I sell it and look for a  4 wheeled  vehicle that is better suited for hunting like a Polaris Ranger. So that is a consideration plus it would make a good critter getter. It could be outfitted with a light bar, tow package for the john boat or accessories for establishing food plots. Something to think about.
The Garand is gone  for a fair price making the Ruger 223 possible now, and a start on getting the money together for the optics. It will take me a good year to get it set up like I want I am sure but when I am done she will be accurate to 300 yds I hope.  Let me know if any of you shoot varmints as I have never done it as a hobby and would like to learn from someone first hand. Maybe groundhogs this Spring?

Oh what a hunt!

It seems that my hunting sometimes just goes wrong from the get go and this year has been loaded with them. This morning I get up early and load up the retriever, I should call him my trusted companion cause I am not killing ducks for him to retrieve! I head on over to the marsh, It is a beautiful morning and I could tell sunrise would be an excellent show. I get the black duck, (my wooden duck boat), in the water and load up my decoys, gun and shell bag, push pole and call for Tom to come on a get in the boat. Now the Black duck is a overgrown kayak, much wider and deeper but with the same lines, and very stable so I usually push it with a push pole thru the marsh. I get it next to the dock in the boat house and get settled in call for the dog to come on and just as he steps on the deck to sit down in his spot in the cockpit he puts his paws on the same side I was sitting on getting me off balance, causing the boat to rock and I slowly and with much grabbing of air, wind up with my ass in waist deep water. Fortunately I had on my neoprene waders, wool pants and shirt with my gunning jacket, so I did not get wet, just  mad as hell that I had gotten in the water. Tom just stands in the boat looking at me with that toothy grin of his and decides we are swimming so he jumps in and swims out the boat house and out into the creek barking while I am sinking slowly deeper in the mud. I wallow my way out of the sticky mud so familiar to duck hunters, and get my buttocks up on the dock, Tom comes back and climbs up to me, gives a big shake soaking my face with dog water, and turning around in circles. I finally brush up a spot in the marsh and settle back with the dog and watch the Snow geese get up off the bay. I did not see any edible ducks, just a ton of Merganzers and Buffle heads which I don't eat so I am not big on shooting them unless I have a use for them. So another adventure, and another story, now that I am warm and dry it was kinda funny. Keep in mind the difference in this being a funny story and not a tragedy was that I was in the boat house next to the dock and able to just climb out. In open freezing water this story could have been very different for me. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Roping a Deer

Howard over at Delmar Dustpan had a post about roping a deer, putting it in the stall, corn feeding it then harvesting it. I am not so well versed as he to get you there from here, but if you check it out. you will laugh your ass off. Because you know you have thought about it!

Sea Bass fishery repriev?

Sea bass , the life blood of the head boat guys out of Ocean City got some serious restrictions this year, that basically would have shut down the recreational fishing industry in Ocean City. Keep in mind that these are reef fish and that artificial reefs have been put in place by State, local and individual people over the years., in fact there is much more habitat now than ever. Street cars, ships, barges and even big Jacks (like the game) are now placed in the waters accessible by most anyone with a suitable boat and a GPS.  Now I am not a marine biologist, and neither did I stay at a Holiday inn express, but I do fish and I do know that you may find habitat or structure and find no fish, but you will never find fish and no structure. So I guess my question is if you have increased habitat acerage and it is producing fish why would you restrict fishing? Some one better educated in such matters may have to answer that question for us. Untill then I am waiting for fishing to come on and if all holds hard hitting pickeral will the first to show their toothy grin. Untill then I am ducking!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

NRA-ILA :: Sleep Easy, America - Feds' Terrorist Watchlist Nabs Cub ScoutbrNRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT Vol. 17, No. 2 01/15/10

Some things amaze me check this out.
NRA-ILA :: Sleep Easy, America - Feds' Terrorist Watchlist Nabs Cub ScoutbrNRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT Vol. 17, No. 2 01/15/10

Followers of this site

You know I have no ideal who visits the Delmarva sportsmen site, as many post annon. but I have noticed that we now have 4 followers of the site and I want to thank you guys. I started my own blog because I was tired of the political BS on the other sites I was visiting, and the disrespect given to our elected officials. Don't get me wrong I will argue and disagree with the best of them but I respect the office or position even if I don't care for the person. So the President is always going to be Mr. President to me when we are out shooting some ducks or drinking Wild Turkey burbon. I welcome your suggestions, I mean if you are going to follow help me out 4 heads are better than one for damn sure. I know I use run on sentences, regional dialect  and I do have a family other than my retriever.But he is the only one with me when I go, and he takes a really bad picture cause his paws are so big, so there you go. I am a member of the NRA and encourage all of you to do that also. I don't ever think they would take our guns but I do think they may make it really hard to get ammo and outlaw hand loading of ammo. My wife makes all of it possible so all I have to do is bring home my paycheck and have fun hunting and fishing, of course I do administer the occasional ass whipping on the pool table to keep her in line. Hey it's my blog I tell the story like I see it, she has her own take on that!! I have noticed that some sites have designated range days where they go shoot guns and gather, maybe one day after the hunting season that would be a good thing to do. So for all that follow and all that visit, I thank you more than you know, and keep in mind your comments and suggestions are welcome here. 

The Dog House

No I am not talking about Snoop Dogs place I am speaking about your dog's home. By now you have the puppy home and settled into it's cage inside,  we have spoken about "stop that noise", and house breaking. Maybe you have been bringing home goose and duck wings for it to play with, and he might have even brought it back to you while playing. But you are now ready to move your dog to it's outside kennel and let it begin to learn that this is his new home. Now keep in mind I am talking about hunting dogs here, retrievers mostly as that is what I am most experienced with, but these same techniques will work on your Gus dog as well as my Tom Brown. These dogs have thick coats and would rather be outside, so don't be afraid to make that move to the kennel. 
The kennel should be located  where your dog can see the yard and the activities of your family, get some sun in the winter  shade in the summer, and have a suitable dog house for them to live in. A dog house does not have to be huge, but it does have to offer protection from the wind and rain, and a 55 gal. drum is not an acceptable shelter for your dog. A metal barrel will be cold in winter and smoking hot in summer, plus they roll around and have sharp edges causing injuries. A thick plastic barrel on a frame to keep it from rolling and with a lip to hold pine shats is okay, and Tom Brown had one for about 6 weeks. But when he got bigger that became inadequate and I got him a stick built home with matching vinyl siding, shingled roof, on a elevated deck of course. Okay I spoil him just a bit, but he is a hard working dog and a faithful companion. After a day out with me swimming and running in cold water his house is a warm dry place for him.
His kennel is chain link 12' by 12' and 7 feet high, with the fourth side being my shop where my boats and hunting gear are stored, my decoy shed is located next to his kennel but not attached to it. No one will enter the shop or the decoy shed without me knowing it! The floor is dirt and he loves to dig, but he digs a deep hole I fill it with bricks and cover it with dirt, he now has about 2/3 of the perimeter done, by spring he should have the whole thing done for me. The deck allows your dog a place to escape the summer sun, dig a hole to get to cool earth and hang out with out it being your flower bed or under foot. You must clean your dogs kennel everyday, but if you get into the routine of feeding him at the same time everyday, taking him out morning and evening to the same spot he was a "Good Boy" before that chore will be minimal. Now some people like concrete but your dog was not suppose to live on concrete, a thick layer of shats in the winter, cool earth in the summer is what he would sleep on in the wild, and is the way I keep my dog. Well okay the one dog has it's own recliner, lives inside and lives for dinner and treats, but Tom Brown has a normal retriever life, riding in boats, swimming in ice cold water, and pissing on everything up right.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shock collar yes or no?

A lot has been said and written about shock collars and their importance in training a dog, but just how important are they? Now honestly I cannot speak objectively on this issue I don't like em, felt bad after I did use it, and think they ruin more dogs than help. Take my retriever Tom Brown, as hard  headed dog as I ever did meet on wanting to do things his way. Take retrieving, Tom will return directly to hand his training duck every time (?) then decides that he has to pee on everything first before he brings it back and drops it at my feet without being told.. I know that this is his way of doing it his way. So I take the training dummy away and we do the standard training routine on the leash for 10 min or so, and then I will return him to his kennel for a bit. Or the command to stay, now at first he would stay sometimes and wander others. I would stake him where I wanted him to stay and that helped for a bit. Then one day after about a week and he still was hit or miss, I got ticked and grabbed his ear. The yelp was enough to raise Biggie Smalls from the dead I tell ya! Twice more of grabbing that ear and he stayed like a rock. Right now I can tell him to stay while I go inside of a building and he will be there when I return sitting or laying down 1 min or 20 min. If your dog jumps up on you grab both of it's paws in your hand and squeeze them together he might yelp but he will get down, guaranteed three times at the most, before he breaks the habit! I was telling my friend today who just got a new yellow lap pup, that the dog looks at him now as his mother/father. In the wild the pack would teach the pup how to hunt and how to be quiet during the hunt with no shock collar. It would learn how to stay when need to and how to bring back its prey, it would learn not to make a mess where it lives, all without a shock collar. You must be firm, use a firm voice, and not be afraid to cause some discomfort when your dog steps out of line. Your dog will become the Alpha dog if you let it, but it is your responsibility to keep them in line and occasionally you might just have to have a drag out throw down. fight to really get a point across. Tom likes to play a foot game where I step on his paws and he gets all down on the floor and growls and tries to put his paws on my feet, and one day he bit me, now not hard but a bite. I gave him the devil, and we kept playing same thing bites my ankles, I am good for abut twice on most things three if I am really felling the love you know. Third time I was ready and we had it out in the hall way, me saying no biting, grabbing his jaws and squeezing them together HARD, and putting my New Balance in his butt. he has never bitten me since. So you don't need a shock collar, just be firm and remember you are his teacher and he will do what you say is okay in the pack, to him your family is his pack.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Puppies available soon

Dan Carpenter of Wing Master Kennels down in Wierwood Va. called me last night to tell me he had a new litter of Chesapeake puppies. Now you know how I feel about Chesapeake retrievers, Tom will hit slush ice with no problem, and thrives in the coldest of waters. Believe me I have seen many a Lab. refuse to hit the water on real cold days, and NEVER has Tom hesitated  to hit it with much gusto! He is smart, hard headed, can play rough sometimes and has a bark that won't be stopped, but has never bitten anyone and plays well with the other animals in our house. This is the same breeder that I got Tom from so you can see I am very happy with my hunting dog. If you want a hard working dog, and have the time and room to keep a Chesapeake Retriever you will not be disappointed with this breeder. I am going down Sunday to look at the new pups, and will naturally post pictures.  Wing Master Kennels 757-442-5500, tell him that "Bill" sent you if you call.

Oh what a Morning!

I did not go hunting as I thought this morning but went to my hunting property with my wife and dogs, Tom Brown my Chesapeake retriever and Bud dog my recliner dog. Now Bud has just lost his life long friend Lou dog who was the alpha dog in the house and has been moping around for the past few days so my wife and I figured that maybe he would like to go with us for a hike. Now Bud is not really a car riding dog and he is like 12 inches tall and 30 inches long... snapping jaws of fury death! We got to the property around 9:30 and turned the dogs out, both of them had a good time running around and peeing on every stick they could find. My wife and I started walking and soon we came upon turkey sign where they had been scratching around looking for bugs and seeds, I showed her the deer trails and the prints left after last nights downpour a couple of small deer and a fairly large doe. Soon we came upon a pair of buck prints along with a couple of small rubs on some short pines. We made our way down to the point and watched some buffleheads drop in and dive for small fish and critters. Then I took my wife into Mr. Bigs laydown area, Tom was going crazy as he loves to chase deer and I showed my wife where he had rubbed a cedar tree tree 8 inches around 5 feet off the ground, and there was more than  one of those.  On the way out we looked for some fox sign and racoon tracks, we saw some more turkey sign, and watched some Canadian geese set across the river. The sky was thick with snow geese in long strings leading out to the bay and ocean, with just enough nip in the air to make it a beautiful scouting trip. Tom swam in every piece of open water he could locate, romping through the mud and marsh with that big ass grin he has. We loaded up and got the dogs squared away in the back of the explorer and headed home, watching a fox groom itself in a bean field near a branch. I had to stop and turn on the electronic predator call and when the fox heard it he zeroed in instantly.  I was thinking that today was better than ducking alone, I got to sleep in, took a nice walk with my wife and dogs, saw wildlife and had a nice drive. All in all a great morning.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Duckhunting in the morning

You have probably noticed that I have not been duck hunting lately, mostly freezing while deer hunting. But there have been a couple of boating accidents lately that have made me stop and rethink about going out alone at night in a boat, freezing weather, with a Retriever, 24 decoys and gun bag.  I don't want to become one of those reader digest stories, or a "I (did not)  survived that" in the back of a sports afield. I don't hunt with a bunch of people, I am pretty selective of who I hunt with because of safety and game harvest reasons. One guy hunts only with a bow so duck hunting is not his thing, and my other friends just are not duck hunters and don't really enjoy all the stuff that goes with ducking. My son who was my ducking partner has discovered goose hunting friends who are spot on with the geese, so he is not in the marsh like he used to be with me. But tomorrow I am going out to my marsh blind because I can walk the marsh to get to it so no boat required. maybe a canoe around the back side if it is calm. I am going for black ducks naturally, and maybe one of those canal Mallards swimming around, fat as butterballs. But more than likely I will sit and shoot a few divers, maybe get Tom Brown a duck to retrieve if we are lucky. Of course the marsh could still be frozen over in which case I will have to shoot some small potholes and carry decoys in a bag thru the thawing marsh, much better than going to a gym! So lets see what develops and maybe we can pull in a few birds safely.

No new Gun at the Gun Show

Well I went to the gun show with a specific purpose, and a plan, both which did not work out. I brought my Garand to sell and hopefully pick up a 223 Ruger fluted bull barrel in synthetic stock, tripods and optics. Well I saw thousands of guns, parts, accessories, and knives but no gun like I was looking for. Garands by the score, Mausers from many countries, Russian "at the gate" rifles and enough ammo to defend the whole place against any invader, but no Ruger 223 like I wanted. So I left my rifle in the car, and never brought it in. I saw many in the condition of mine for $950, some in bad shape were bringing $800, and a few with new stocks were in the $1400 range. No real bargains from what I saw on used guns and accessories pretty much what you would pay at Bass Pro or Gander. So I guess I will keep looking for the gun I want, and the set up I like. I am not in a rush so I have time to look around. So keep your eyes and ears open if you hear of something let me know, and if you want a Garand give me a shout.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stop that Noise !!!!!

You have that puppy  boxed for the night, staying in your man cave, and around 1 AM it starts in whining and crying. The wife wakes you up to tell you your dog is crying for it's momma, now I know what you are thinking why don't she just get up and deal with it I mean she is already awake right. So anyhow on with the slippers into the room and in your best voice you sternly tell your puppy to "STOP THAT NOISE". Do not smack it or pinch it;s ears, just a stearn voice, tell it to "stop that noise". Now this will serve two purposes one of which is your wife, girlfriend, mother, won't have to wake you up every night, and your dog will learn from the beginning the command stop that noise. Nothing I hate worse than to be in the blind and the dog barking and whining all the time, and it's handler letting it continue. Tom Brown has a habit of being vocal in the back of the Explorer, just out of my reach, but a loud command to stop that noise makes for a quieter ride.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Selling one gun and buying another, at the gun show...say it ain't so!

You know I want to go to the gun show this weekend and, I am going with the  purpose of selling my M1 Garand and buying a varmint rifle. So I am looking on line for some info and I like some of the guns I am seeing at the Gander mountain store. But I am now even more confused because of the many offerings and calibers. At first I was pretty sure it would be a 22 mag or possibly a 22-250  made by Savage or Ruger. I wanted to varmint shoot out to 300yds and the 22-250 will do that effectively on foxes and coyotes, the 22 mag maybe not so good at that range. Now Ted at the gun shop is a varmint shooter, and I am talking with him about what he likes to pick up and go with and he casually drops the 223 on me; and 400 yds., and cost of each round, and I am listening close thinking that maybe this is the magic bullet with foxes and coyotes falling out of the box of ammo. Okay enough already with that, but you get the ideal. So he has a 223 Remington assembled with the bipods and scope out on the counter and offers me to take a look at it. It  is top ported to reduce recoil, synthetic stock in green, with optics, and he says it is  good for 1500 shots. But honestly the Remington left a lot to be desired, I handled the Savage and personally I think the Savage is a much better gun, the Ruger was also well built but I only found it in 22mag. I am going to keep looking and get a better ideal of what I really expect this gun to do for me and at what range I honestly expect to shoot at. I will say there is  the availability of ammo to consider and the cost per shot, and the 223 fits both of those requirements while the 22-250 is more costly to shoot. Any info or suggestions feel free to share.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Making your own Ghilie suit

One good thing about the slack time between hunting and fishing is that it allows you to get ready for Turkey season in the spring. Now one thing about a turkey is that they have extremely good eyesight, in fact if he could smell like he can see you would never shoot em! Now they can also hear so by putting these two things in your favor you increase your chances for harvesting a turkey. So to help me be successful I decided to get myself a ghilie suit, but the cost of such an item made it way out of my reach. So I decided to make my own and save my self some money while making a great looking suit. I started with a old set of camo pants and some decorative netting from a gift shop over at the beach. I stitched the netting to the pants securely with dental floss and trimmed it to about mid shin. I then took burlap that I had laying around that held some peanuts and then camo burlap from a blind I had bult, and some Jute string in green and brown. I tied all these things to the netting starting from the bottom and working my way up to the waist. I made a top in a similar fashion and when I  am in full suit you cannot find me on a wood edge, a ditch bank, or the middle of the field. So when turkey hunting I like to sit about 5 yds in the edge of the woods, with my partner off to one side about 20 yds away calling with the decoy. As the Tom is focused on the hen decoy and not on me as I am not calling, I can give him a jelly head, resulting in a nice bird for the table. I have worn my suit during rifle season, and had deer within 10 yds of me, and during bow season when they are not so skittish, almost in my lap! Make your own gear, have more fun and take personal satisfaction   in your work when you are successful.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whats up with Gander Mountain?

Howard over at Delmar Dustpan made an excellent observation the other day that the gun selection at Gander Mountain is not up to par. I mean at one time you could go in there and there would be more than a few racks of new and used guns available for you to look  thru. Also the decoy display and selection left a lot to be desired for waterfowlers, with a hodge podge of decoy string and weights scattered about. The boat section is hit or miss and you can't buy Mercury parts there anymore, plus if you bought a 4 wheeler from them good luck on getting it serviced there. The fishing dept is holding it's own and the clothing dept seems to be alright but if I want to buy my casual clothes I go to Kohls.  They have some trapping supplies, and dog stuff but personally I think the place is hurting. Now I may be way off and Howard not seeing the big picture, but I really don't think both of us can be that wrong.

More training your puppy

Okay we talked about house breaking your new puppy and I know some are wondering about putting down papers for your dog. Lets look at it from a dogs view. Your are sitting back with the remote channel surfing Spike and Extreme television,and have the paper strewn all around your recliner. Just as you get ready to pick up the sport section and read about the Redskins latest ass whopping, you discover that your faithful companion has left for you, a steaming token of his appreciation center page. Now also you don't have all those papers to dispose off everyday. So when you take your dog out for his walk make it a habit to take him/her to the same place and tell them to" be a good dog", or if you can let him off the leash to "Hi On" or "Do your Business". This will let you dog know that this is the area he should use and will actually want to do his business in this area everyday. When the wind is blowing a gale and it is cold enough to freeze a brass monkey, this is a good thing for all concerned. Also you won't step in it at night barefoot, which is also a good thing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Training your new puppy

A new puppy will be full of energy and demanding that you play with it till it just drops in the middle of the floor exhausted. Then after an hour it is wide open again and playing around your feet and legs, then it squats and urinates in the middle of the floor, and then goes back to playing. This is the beginning of your training your pup to be a good member of the family, and a hunting partner you don't mind in the blind.. Now some will get out that newspaper, scream and slap the paper around yelling in loud tones, maybe a little heavy. Your pup will be confused scared of you and might wet again while you are having that seizure! Let's try this, while playing with your pup you notice that he is sniffing around, maybe in an area he has had an accident before, and now you are not the center of his attention. Pick him up and take him outside immediately, keep playing with him and he will soon do his thing, praise him and continue on playing. Later when he comes in he will drink from his bowl, and you will put him in his cage to sleep off the play session. As soon as he awakens and you hear him yelping scoop him up and take him outside right away, he will soon relieve himself for you and you can play with him for a bit. Associate playing outside with relieving him self outside and if he does wet inside scold him and take him out so he begins to associate all this. In a couple of weeks you will have little to no accidents in the home or blind. 

late Maryland rifle season

This evening will wrap up the Maryland rifle season and the last chance for you to take that trophy with your rifle. I like to shoot a 8M Mauser that my dad brought home from Germany at the end of the second world war. It is a hard hitting weapon that does not wound if you hit the vitals.  At this point dragging them out of the woods is becoming a chore for me so I like to shoot them on the lane cutting through the field, that way I just back the Explorer up to them and load em up.  Now this gun will also destroy much meat if you just shoot the center of the body mass so to speak. Opening the stomach, destroying the shoulders and tainting the meat so it is unfit to eat is the reward for such a shot. I like to shot them where the back joins the neck, 3 inches down, spine shooting and killing quickly. Out to 80 yds this is very  easy shot, and extremely effective, resulting in little to no meat loss. A neck shot at the base of the head where it joins the neck is also  very effective, and destroys little neck meat which is great in the crock pot with a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. Served on a bun with a little cole slaw, okay okay.
This morning I went early. it was damn cold but my wife has gotten me wool shirts and pants over the years and I got to admit I love em, so I was nice and warm. I set up in the root ball of a huge oak tree that has fallen on the corner of my property, a nice hide on the ground with the wind in my favor. I was there well before light having hiked in from the cabin half a mile away,  Also it was 50 yds off the road and the deer trail passed quartering away, allowing me a nice shot. Now my gun has peep sights and are spot on but it does take some light for me to use them effectively, so I waited patiently for the sky to turn pink as the forest came alive. I could see a field off to my right bright with the latest snowfall, not shootable but visible to me through  my binoculars, and the fox crossing it  was profiled clearly against the snow. Glassing through the lower forest, the sun lite the woods up and my sights were clearly visible on the Mauser. Then without warning I hear the sound of a truck coming down the lane crushing the ice and snow like a T Rex on a feeding frenzy. These two guys arrive and have no ideal I am  in the hollow of the old oak that has fallen They proceed to get out and dress for their stay in a huge box stand out in the middle of the field. It is well past daylight by a good hour and they are smoking (something) and talking like they were at a party, loading guns and relieving their bladder in the woods. I let them get past then I got up and relocated deeper into my property setting up under a low hanging holly tree. I stayed there for a bit but the ground was wet/cold and my buttocks were chilly, plus after the boys arrived it kind ruined the hunt for me some. So I stalked my way back to the cabin, and arrived around 9 am. I let out the retriever and debated if it  was worth setting out a jerk string for some black ducks, but the marsh was frozen and a man should not go out in boats alone in this kind of weather, so my better judgment won out. Some might say that it was not worth the effort today, but they did not get to see the sun come up, or the fox cross the field. They did not feel the cold on their nose and the warmth of the jacket as they snuggled down deeper in it's folds. I walked a good half mile before the sun came up, and was treated to the greatest show on earth, for me it was worth it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gun Show a coming!

Some would love to shut down the gun shows but for those of us who love the shooting sports, and support the NRA, there is nothing better. You can find a scope for your M1 Garand, bi pods, and parts. Hard to find military items, and conversion kits for your SKS. They also have antique guns, and reproductions from Pedersolli that are excellent. Timonium gun show at the fairgrounds  is coming up quick a 4 day show Jan.14-17 entry is $7.00 and parking is free. Then Feb. 12- 14, June 19 and 20, and finally Oct.2 and 3rd. Entry is still $7.00 and once again free parking. Now why would anyone want to stop gun shows? Okay you know some people don't like guns so they think NO ONE should have a gun, then there are some who don't like guns that just don't own one, but if you want to defend your self okay with them. Like vegetarians ever meet a veg. that always wants to go on every time you want a steak, telling you how cruel it is to eat meat, then there are some who don't really care what you eat they order the salad with no lecture. Seems more and more people want to get into everyone's business (and wallet) these days, and if they don't like something then no one should like it either. I love my guns, and have an extensive collection of modern, older, and reproduction antique weapons, and ammo for all of them. Some I hunt with and some I shoot, some I have to look at, like a pair of drop hammer 10 gauge Damascus barreled shotguns. Now I would love to hunt with those bad boys, brass shells with black powder, a stool of wooden decoys I carved myself and my Chesapeake retriever. Like my mom said I was born just to late.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New puppy in the house?

One of my hunting friends just got a new yellow lab, and naturally wants to train it to hunt and be a faithful companion to his family. The first thing to understand is that dogs are pack animals, and now this house is it's pack. If you let it it will become the alpha dog and you will be doing his/her bidding. First thing you must do is establish yourself as the alpha male in the pack. Let's start with just going out the door, who goes first out that door. The dog will want to if you let it. This is a sign of dominance and you have to let them know that you are the dominate one. Now this may seem kinda silly but it is the first step in training a good dog, It is never to early to start. I brought the wonder dog Tom Brown home he weighed 8 lbs and could not really walk so good. I put him in his crate (in the man cave), and training began right then with me telling him to Kennel everytime I placed him in the crate. After a few weeks he moved into his kennel outside and he was told to kennel every time I placed him there. I never have a problem getting him in the pen, or car. Keep in mind if he was in the pack his mother would teach him. Teach him to be quiet, to retrieve game, to hunt,  and she would never use a shock collar or beat him. A tug on the ear or a stern tone of voice will enable you to train your hunting dog with a min of stress. Stay posted as we train my friends dog and watch as he becomes a faithful companion and hunting partner.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The armed Citizen and The Judge

Reading through my American Hunter magazine, the official journal of the NRA, I always go to the "Armed Citizen" first.  It is filled with accounts of people who have saved their lives or property by the use of firearms. Once again proving that someone who is proficient, with firearms is better suited to protect themselves against the unsavories amongst us, then those who elect to become victims. Now taking a life is a big decision, and once the trigger is pulled you cannot change your mind, but if it is you or them then I am going for me and my family. There is a new handgun out that fills the need for home protection called "The Judge". It shoots a 410 shot shell or a bullet your choice, but coming down a hall way, the shot shell is spot on. I saw one of these bad boys in action and believe me it will stop an intruder in your house. If you are looking for home protection look no further than "The Judge".

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New york Mayor Bloomberg does it ....again

I promised I would not get political but sometimes I have just got to vent. The mayor of New York has once again bought his position with his billions of dollars. Now if you don't know about this guy he is the mayor of New York and wants to take ALL of the guns out of the hands of EVERYONE. Now he has just sidestepped the term limits, (by political trickery), and is going for another term. If anyone is the devil to the second amendment  it is this guy. Look personally I don't care what political party you belong to, so long as you like to hunt and fish then hey I am okay and you are okay. But people like these are a cancer to the rights of the people and should be removed from office. Okay I am out of my element and have vented so I feel better now. I encourage everyone of you who follow this blog to check out this guy and his whacked views on gun control. Believe me it is not using two hands, breathing, and a steady trigger squeeze. Also join the NRA, help us keep guys like this contained and their hands off out guns. Keep in mind they may never take our guns but they can control your ammo, as we have already seen them try and do. Term limits you bet!

Damn it's cold (and pretty windy also)

I have to admit as I get a little older I find that I have less tolerance for the cold, and the wind compounds that intolerance. Sure like most who duck hunt I have gore-tex clothing, which is great when it is raining, wool gloves and shirts, dress in layers and all that. But face it once you get cold then you are done. Yesterday was such a day. With the wind howling across assawoman bay and whitecaps making I decided that maybe I should just skip the marsh and hit the tree stand. Now I have my deer patterned pretty well and figured if I got to where I needed to be before they got there I would be in good shape. So at 3:15 I was up dressed and out the door by 3:30 in the trusty Explorer, hit the WaWa for a hot Columbia coffee and two home-cut doughnuts, and down the road. The thermometer in the car read like 17 degrees, and the wind blowing a stiff one, but I was determined to get a chance to put the big boy on the wall so off I went. I arrived at the property and parked my car at the entrance gate, electing to walk in to my stand not wanting to give up any advantage I might have by arriving early. I have a good 1/4 mile walk in to my hunting cabin, and my fav. stand for this morning was another 600 yds on the edge of the marsh, just inside the wood line by 50 feet.  I was pretty toasty from the walk, and feeling great about my chances this morning, so the cold did not figure in to the equation .....yet.  I got situated and tied  my bow to the pull string, along with my lunch and water bottles, it was going to be a long morning so I was prepared. I gave my stand a safety check and climbed into it and jacked up the tree about 17 feet which is all I want to fall. By now I am real warm and wonder if maybe I had on just to much for one mornings hunt. After 20 min of the wind blowing off the bay like a banshee, my buttocks were frozen like a token of Tom Browns affection in the yard. But like the rest of us who are addicted to the hunt I stayed put and balled up just a little tighter. Pulling the wool toboggan down around my ears, fluffing the coat just a little more, and putting on my wool mittens I sat... and...waited for my chance to score. You know when you are on the verge of freezing to death in a deer stand you wonder if they will ever find the body. The wind screamed, the trees swayed and I questioned my sanity again for the 100th time wondering if the wind had blown out the sun, because it was not getting any lighter to the east! Finally the moon got behind some pines and the east turned pink, and I was able to just make out images in the forest. I could not hear anything but I could see movement through the woods coming my way. The first little doe came by, followed by another of identical size, and I just knew Mr. Big would be following as they kept looking back. Finally the old gray doe that I like to call the Matriarch of the property came picking through, and I knew that her Buck (Mr. Big) was following. By now I am questioning my sanity for sitting in this stand for so long, but holding out for the one shot that could make my day. By 10 am I was done, no big deer, no sighting of big deer, and frozen. I jacked down my stand, climbed out gathered my gear and made my way to the edge of the marsh, there in the frozen marsh mud was the track of Mr. Big, Still wet not yet frozen solid, once again he gave me the slip. I was cold, hungry, and ready to get to my car and get warm. I had planned on spending the rest of the day behind some great bird dogs my friend Gus has, but had to pass. I got home and took a 20 min. hot shower not concerned about wasting hot water just trying to shake the cold. Funny thing I never did get warm all day, I was always chilled. Finally when I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head, snuggled up to the wife, I got warm. You know some may question our sanity, up at the crack ass of dawn, freezing in a deer stand or duck blind, but at the end of the day I had walked in the light of the moon, watched the sun come up, saw some beautiful critters who had no Ideal I was there, (okay Mr. Big knew it) and even though I was cold I was alive and on my death bed will not regret a morning in the stand.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Snjow goose and the rain

Snow geese have been falling into the area like the rain, and when they both happen at the same time the results can be very wet and cold or very wet and shooting. If the shooting is slow then the morning can be long, but if the geese are falling into your spread then the rain does not seem to matter quite so much. I was talking with a local outfitter the other day and he was telling me he had a group come down to hunt and the rain was falling pretty good in the morning of New Years Eve. When they arrived at the site he explained that it would be wet and uncomfortable in layout blinds, but if they were game he was willing. So the spread was set and the hunters in place and the rain fell hard occasionally. Some geese were falling into the spread but after a bit the men had had enough and the shooting was spotty, so they left the field and called it a day. Now here is the gray area, the outfitter did not stay with the group, but left them to scout geese for the next day. So here is the party laying out with no guide, spotty shooting, and wet to the bone, and let's throw in cold also. They packed up and left the field decoys out, layout blinds left out, and drove away. They called the outfitter and told them that he did not provide a guided hunt, shooting was poor and they wanted their money back. What do you think about this? Were the men right in asking for their money back? Did the outfitter provide a guided hunt? If you book a Bear hunt the outfitter does not sit with you, if you book a deer hunt the outfitter does not sit with you. A Turkey hunt or elk hunt the outfitter may stay with you or drop you off depending on what you agreed to.
In my opinion, you knew that was coming didn't you, a waterfowl hunt I would expect the guide to stay. I mean he is the caller and calls the shot for the group, adjust the spread to meet the weather conditions, and makes sure everyone follows the rules of the hunt. If he needs to scout then he should have provided a guide for them while he scouted, or after the hunt was over do his scouting for the next day. To avoid any hassles or misunderstanding the group should ask up front if a guide is provided, or are they on their own. Will the hunt be called because of weather, or must you make good clothing choices for the day, come hell or high water you are going to hunt. I am sure this will make it's rounds and it will cost the outfitter customers, and I am equally sure that the same mistake will not be made twice with this outfitter.