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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BRAS

Hey most guys think they know about this but in reality the bras I am talking about are the ones we use in hunting and shooting, Bras stand for
Breathing. Breath control is essential to accurate shot placement and is responsible for the up and down variation some of us experience when shooting. Ideally one will find the target and take a breath  and settle the cross hairs on the target, take another breath and at the half way point of exhale begin the trigger squeeze, the gun should surprise you when it goes off.
Next is R or relax when you have the target in the scope relax and concentrate on the cross hairs, pull the gun into your shoulder and get a firm grip on the stock, settle in with your breathing,
Next is A or Aim at the target and prepare for the shot placement taking into consideration the windage and  bullret drop,. and last is.
S for squeeze, if your shots are to the left then you may have a problem with your trigger squeeze and are jerking the trigger. Use the tip of the finger to apply slow steady pressure to your trigger. Ideally your trigger is breaking at about   2,5 lbs and is crisp when it releases, Do ant anticipate the recoil and jerk when you shoot, This may not make you a sniper but it will improve your shooting and help put some meat on the table or a ground hog outta the field either way keep BRAS on your mind,

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coyote hunting in Washington state

I will be traveling to Seattle Washington this summer to visit a nephew of mine and his family, unfortunately Tom Brown will be confined to the kennel while I am gone, but the girls there love him when he has a sleep over, so I am comfortable with that.  But besides visiting my Nephew and family I will be wanting to hopefully harvest a coyote or try to at the least while I am there. Now that poses a problem in its self as I am not familiar with the area and my Nephew does not hunt, but he can network with a bunch of people if I ask him to. Problem there is getting stuck with some guy who waste your day away trying to get his self together. Or I can find a guide who does such a thing and allow him to get the license and  transport me while providing the services you would expect.  Or like the tight wad I am I can put together my own hunt on some public land with less chance of success, but a definitely hassle free hunt. I mean shooting ain't everything right? Wrong!Ms. Lucy is just waiting for the opportunity to put cross hairs on something with fur and over 5 lbs!
So how does one do such a hunt? God bless Al Gore for giving me the internet, because with Google earth and on line hunting sites one can almost do the hunt a dozen times before even leaving the living room, and talk with hunters living in that area for advice. Take guns, Ms. Lucy is designed for varmints, like groundhogs  foxes and flat ground. Who knows I may find that a hunt like this is out of of the question with shipping guns and license. But I bet I can find a fish to catch!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turkey time

If a turkey could smell like he sees then you would never kill one, so camo is an essential part of your turkey hunting gear. A long beard can see you move and if he thinks anything is wrong off he will go leaving you bird less for your effort. So lets take a look at how to improve your camo before this season finds you wanting to go out and hunt for turkey. First take out your camo turkey clothes and find some of the fishing net they use for decoration and stitch it onto your clothes and let it drap  and hang in folds. Now you have something to tie on the local vegetation that you find in the area you are hunting in. Get a roll of the jute twine they sell in the hardware store and tie it on the netting and fray it out add some burlap strips and silk leaves you can tie on. By tying on the vegetation that is right in your immediate area you can blend in unseen. Now do not take the vegetation right from where you plan to make your hide but from an area close by. Face camo or a head net is also essential. I find that right after Halloween I can find face cream in green and black for next to nothing an usually pick up a few tubes the day after. Gloves in net or covered in camo cream are next and some netting draped over your gun will help hide it from the keen eyes of ol tom turkey. If you team hunt it is best to have the caller about 15 feet behind you and off to one side by about 30 yds so the turkey travels across your kill zone with his attention on the turkey decoy. When turkey hunting you have to blend in with the surroundings completely and keep your movements down to a min.  this will increase your chances greatly and maybe put a turkey on the cooking spit.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good bye old friend

I just sold my competition smoker to a man up north, he came by and got her a week or so ago. This was one of the best smokers I ever used and the Alaska wood stove was welded directly into the smoker box giving her a good even heat. A four gallon water pan was welded directly to the top of the stove inside the tank, keeping the smoke moist and the temp even. Now this bad boy weighs in at 1600 lbs easy and that is a lot of steel to get hot, so you had to give her the mega load of white oak first. Now if you kept the door open on the stove she will burn hard and get things rolling, open the door and you set your finish time up by about thirty min, but for getting going a big hot fire fast is the ticket. I never rushed always figured there was a couple hours tied up so I might as well prep up my meat. Now this smoker had a baffle built into her that made the heat travel down the smoker, travel back down a second time and finally over the meat and up the stack. A whole hog would come out a nice brown color, and the Boston butts were always, moist and tender. Over the years I have built a couple of these smokers and this one was the best of all of em. Sure I will miss her and the good times I knew were always coming when I fired her up. So so long ol friend keep on smokin.

Gun rest

I am wanting to find a rest for Ms. Lucy and went looking thru my shooting catalogs and out of 100 pages all are basically the same, with various degrees of quality and accessories. So I am thinking about building my own rest for her since, I have the skills I believe necessary to accomplish a project of this scope, and I am cheap like that. My wife says I will spend $100 to save $10 and I have to admit sometimes she is right, but I have learned a lot of good stuff in the process!
So let's look at what my requirements for this would be, first it should be light enough to carry fox hunting a field but heavy enough to take a 243 recoil. Be able to anchor on the bench (sand bag) and in the field, while allowing me to stay on sight with a moving target.. I guess holding the weapon rock steady while protecting the gun itself is a important consideration also. Easily and quickly adjustable to elevation and point of impact would be an important factor to keep in mind and last but not least cost no more than the cheapest one I could find in my local Gander Mountain store.
I would like to build it all from recycled materials to keep with that green thing that is so popular right now, and barter all of the work I could not do myself in exchange for my welding skills. I see some machining might be in order if I get carried away, and some sewing. I will keep you posted on my project as I progress, and think I might wander down to the junk yard and see if anything looks like it might fit into this project. You cannot be an inventor or artist if you have to buy everything new!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ms. Lucy

This is Ms. Lucy, a 700 Remington in 243 caliber. she is wearing a Nikon Monarch BDC scope, and leather woven sling. We are still getting to know one another but I am bringing her in line. I may put her in a lead sled one day to see just how accurate she can be.

Day at the Range

I got to the range today and I wanted to share with you the results of my shooting. As I get to know this gun I am amazed at how flat it shoots. You are looking at the 200 yd target the first I have shot with her (Ms. Lucy). The first three shots are the ones in the white. I held the scope one ring centered in the Bullet drop compensator scope by Nikon. The group is avg 1.5 inch not bad but I feel I will get better. The next four shots are the ones in the black you can see the group size is not bad for 200 yds the one at 12 o;clock in the 8 ring must have been made by aliens! So for my second trip out with Ms. Lucy I am pleased. I was shooting V shock 70 gr ballistic tip nossler  bullets on this target. temp was 71 degrees and wind was 0-2 south west, in a woods range, mid day with  good light. Let's see if I can get her tightened up , I mean me tightened up to exploit the guns full potential.

Remington model 700

Okay I have been running on here about getting a new gun since I started this blog and the time has come to finally bring it all together. I sold my M1 Garand to buy the new gun a 700 Remington in 243, but like most things in my life I wanted to put good optics on it so I was saving for the scope. Now if you are like me and have a new toy you can't play with you get impatient, like a Christmas toy with no batteries! So my wife god love her gave me the green light to buy the glass for it, a beautiful Nikon Monarch BDC. So I drag it all into Ted the gunsmith at Gander and he puts it together, does some trigger and bolt work, gives me a bore sighting, and calls me to say she is ready. I don't mind telling you  she is looking good and I am ready to go to the range. I got some ammo  for her and off I went to the local Good Ol Boy range we have cut out of the woods 400 yds of relaxing! I shot her first at 50 yds and got her into the red after two groups of three shots. Moved out to 100 yds and brought her a little to the left and up a notch. At 100 yds I am able to cover the shots with a nickle. The next set of 6 were crazy all over the paper I figured I need to take a break and stretch some. After a ten min break I went back to the bench and put the last 6 through her all in the red and grouped tightly. The bench is not equipped with the latest mount we use bags filled with sand so we practice like we shoot. I am having 100 rounds worked up now by a man who reloads and will have the best load for my gun soon I have no doubt. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures this afternoon when I get back from the range of the targets. But until the hand loads get in I will continue to shoot off the shelf ammo.   

Friday, March 19, 2010

What you gonna do with all those fish?

Okay you know where to go and you know the bait but what do you do with a cooler full of herring? First thing is come prepared to deal with them and have a plan for them when you get them. They are excellet garden fertilizer, I mean the Native Americans taught us that trick, but they have a higher calling. First get a cooler full of ice and pour rock salt over the ice like you were making ice cream. You want a cold water slurry that will make your hand hurt when you go in it! Now catch the fish, and with a pair wire cutters snip out the gills, and gut it, remove any scales. rinse the fish out in the river and place the fish in the salt/ice water slurry. The trick here is to keep the fish as fresh as possible, and doing the chore immediately is always the best, plus rock fishing down stream from where you clean the fish is also a bonus! Now when you get home take and rinse the fish cooler out and fill it with fresh water, mix enough salt in it to float an egg. All of the fish must be immersed in the brine so using the cooler is a good ideal, add some hot sauce, some onion chopped up, some garlic and the ever popular Worcestershire sauce, place the fish in the brine and cover completely. Change the brine the next day, putting the fish through the process three times. I like to rinse my fish off between brines also but be easy as these are soft flesh fish and are beginning to cook in the brine sorta kinda. Now after the third brine take your fish out and tie a string around the tail so you can hang it from  a rod and hang the fish out in the air till they dry and get a sheen to them. It is important that the fish be good and dry, you can even set up a fan to blow air across them, but hang them don't lay them down on a flat board or a rack, the air has to blow around them. Now make yourself a smoker a cardboard box will do, but make it a big one like from an appliance, or use a canvas tarp over a frame. Now make a smoke from a fragrant wood like apple or hickory. A gallon can with some briquettes will work about a dozen briquettes and a handful of chips not a thick smoke just a light smoke coming out of the smoker you can also buld a SMALL smudge fire with twigs and  get a log smoking which will last longer. when the fish take on a coppery brown color they are done and should be allowed to dry out in the breeze for a bit. These are now ready to eat and should come off not mushy but in a chunk white flesh easily slipping from the bone. Enjoy!

Perch in the river?

Okay you read it here first, okay maybe not but hey it is my blog so I can say stuff like that! The perch are in the Nanticoke river and the bull rock right with em, scarfing down shad and herring as fast as they can go, yes it is a good time to go fishing! Lets start at the head of barren creek at Phillips landing. Herring are on the shad dart and two dart combo means a two fish hook up many times adding to the fun and the fight. Tie a small shad dart to the line direct, and another 18 inches down line at the end this one can be a little bigger. Cast out and retrieve it just doesn't get any easier and kids love to catch em. This is a great way to introduce a kid to fishing, minimum bugs and skeeters, lots of action, and nice temp to be outside. If Phillips landing is unproductive the spill way in Laurel is also a great spot to catch fish. Phillips landing is a great family place with good boat ramps. A hot dog on the grill, easy fishing with the family, screw work I am leaving early, signing the kids out of school picking up the Momma and going fishing! White perch are also hanging out at the Phillips landing area and the good old bottom rig with a piece of bloodworm is a sure fire bet to catch them right now.. If you have a sharp fillet knife you can cut the small fillet off, and fry them up eat them like popcorn!
Now we move down river and put the boat in at Vienna or fish on the east side of the river where the old bridge was from the bank. Here it is primarily white perch and BIG rock fish, fat cows with egg swollen belly's and the fat fine to go with it. Keep one and you will be caught, I know it is a hot spot honey hole and so does the DNR, don't even think of keeping it. There  is a story here I assure you!
Now down river to roaring point, bank or boat both are good here with perch and rock fish being your target. Bloodworms are the ticket as it is just to cold for the fish bites right now and night crawlers, earthworms, and squid are not really working. Hopefully we will have some more fishing reports soon on the Wicomico and Pocomoke rivers. I know the local bass club is hosting tournaments, and hopefully the charter boats out of Ocean City will be allowed to have a season of some sort.
Offshore fishing for fish is not really in my budget but my brother in law likes to go so maybe I will be able to keep us up to date on the bite so to speak. Keep tight lines and think about taking a kid fishing okay?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sly Fox

Now here is a predator that will take many young turkey, rabbit and quail, I have no problem with people shooting these small dogs. They breed  quickly and birth big litters making them quick to populate an area. Delaware is considering opening a fox season and that is encouraging considering the amt. of mange I am seeing in the population. Foxes will also kill your pet with cats being a tasty treat as I speak from experience, having lost our kitty to a predator fox. One reason they are coming on so hard is the fact that the fur brings nothing on the market so they overpopulate and the mange sets in. Spring and Fall are key times for foxes as they are breeding and then kicking out the males from the den so your chances for an encounter increases during this time of year as they are looking for food to feed their litter. Foxes like to roam during the early morning hours and I have not seen many after 9:30 /10:00 AM, but the last hour of the day is also a good time to see one cruising around looking for a rabbit or chicken. If you see a fox acting strange avoid it at all cost it could be rabid so call the Dept. Of Natural Resources to take care of the problem. Believe me they want to avoid you so you do not have to be afraid of them but you should always be aware of them in your area.

Team Turkey

Okay I have been off line for a bit but with getting a break in the weather I just had to get a few things done and finally one of them is figuring out how to get this picture on here! this is a picture of my son and I  after taking our first turkey on our property on Saint Martins Neck. Now my son can call a rock I believe and he called this bird in to us from 250 yds. Now we had chased this bird all morning through the woods, and along the edge of a field, when we finally made our way back up near our cabin. We were working our way up from a creek in the woods when we spotted the bird coming out of the woods at the end of the lane 250 yds distant. The Tom was in full strut and tending a hen but when he turned his tail to us Billy jumped  and put out a foam decoy, before the Tom got fully turned around, I got set in the sitting position wearing my full ghilie I made myself. Billy went to work and the Tom came in not fast but steady. When he got within 30 feet, not yards but feet, I introduced him to the Jelly head and the results were instant. We ate the bird and that was another treat, tasting very much like a domestic turkey with some very stringy and tough legs! We have learned a lot since that first hunt, and look forward to the next upcoming season.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turkey season is a comming!!!

I like to Turkey hunt I admit almost as much as duck hunting maybe more the older I get! Now there are two camps in the turkey hunting, one sits and never moves and one likes to move three or four times, chasing gobblers around the woods. I like to move around and I don't mind telling you you had best be stealthy in your movement. Just shifting weight can send ol long Tom a running. My son can call a rock I believe if you put feathers on it and he loves to call any kind of bird. Ducks Turkeys, Geese he will bring em in and the rest is up to you, except ducking and you had best be shooting 2 seconds before him because he is fast on the trigger! On one of our first Turkey trips my son was calling and we were moving around our farm chasing long Tom. I had a hen bird come putting and chirping, looking down my gun barrel and walking along the edge of the woods we were sitting on, but tom would not come close enough. Finally they moved on and cut through the woods toward a clearing I knew was just on the other side. We cleared our hide and made our way into position just on the edge of the clearing and true to form here came the hen again putting and chirping, but the ol tom was holding out and moving deeper into the woods away from us. It is now around 10 o'clock and we were hot and tired  from the hunt and made our way toward the cabin. We set up in a corner and called to the bird as he moved parallel to us through the woods, but try as I might I could not get a shot of him and my son was wore slam out from working the mouth call. We move a hundred yards toward the cabin and set up behind some ceder trees we use as a hide during bow season.  God bless him but my boy gave me his best putt and chirp working the call like he owned it giving it his all. After 30 min we were going to cash it in when I glimpsed a Turkey 200 yds down the lane in the exact spot we had bet set in. Now we had some new life seeing the bird we had only heard and he was coming like a freight train toward our calling. The bird never hesitated coming to the fake foam turkey set up not 10 yds from us. The bird goes into full strut and is turning around showing all it's feathers trying to get the foam decoy to respond to his show, when I drew down on his blue/red ugly head. I made my sight picture and squeezed off a shot, the Jelly Head did it's thing and the Turkey was down! We have hunted that spot a few times since but have been foiled by a fox and an Eagle twice now. Get ready, pattern your shotgun, and put a bird on the table.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tom Duckafetchen Brown chesapeake retriever

okay you know that I love my Chesapeake retriever, and he loves to swim. Now this was taken with skim ice around the shore and ice in the boathouse. He was just swimming for pleasure, and had been out in the water most all morning. These are some hard dogs and devoted to their family, I assure you that I fear nothing when he is on my doorstep, or in the back of the car. They need room to play and to run, they like to dig, and are funny as all get out. He is at stud as we speak if anyone is interested. I will travel with him if needed but would like to have the female brought to his kennel for a day or two. I have only used a shock collar on him once and never again, a firm hand and stern voice keeps him in line. In the background you can see the camo boat "Black Duck" I keep talking about. Enjoy the video I have just learned how to post them, so who knows what I will come up with!

log splitter 008.MOV

This log splitter was made by my welding class for a local man who purchased all the parts, and the guys welded it out for him. He was very involved in the construction and taught the boys many things about hydraulics, and engineering such a piece of equipment.. We were able to use our dual shielded flux core and Stick welding equipment to teach the boys these processes. We also used carbon arc gouging and oxy- fuel cutting in the fabrication. When we fabricated the Stainless Steel muffler guard (recycled of course) they used their sheet metal rolling instruction. A great project and a even better experience for the students. I want to say that this man also donated several hundred dollars to our class for the National welding competition in Kansas City, in which the boys took second in the welding fabrication contest.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pickerel are ready!

Pickerel are def on the prowl and I hope to get out and give em a try this weekend. A good friend of mine has access to a local sand pit that has been done for quite a few years, and now supports a variety Flora and Fauna along it's banks and in the water. Never stocked except by nature it's self this pond carries a big diversity of fish and enough vegetation to make it a beautiful place to be a fish. I am going equipped with my trusty broken back, yea that J-9 I spoke about, and a couple of red devils. Now I am not opposed to live fishing bait but I would rather catch 1 on artificial s than two on bait, that is just me of course. Plus there may be some local regulations on using live bait, so check first. Now I have never seen any algae in this pond even in the heat of summer, and it has black cherry trees growing around it that attract these brown and black worms about 11/2 long. Now the trees provide shade in the summer and the worms provide food for the shellcrackers, and pan fish, shake the branch dump some worms come back in 10 min with a can of those worms, and the afternoon is golden. This is especially true if you have kids fishing with you, a lot of fish and the kids are tickled pink, and they will want to go again. So gear up and get out try a pickerel if you want to fish early!