Bright sunshine,no wind,50 degrees,no birds
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Bright sunshine,no wind,50 degrees,no birds
Sunday, December 18, 2011
As a small child my father and I shared many sunrises on the local reservoir fishing for something.That's right,we fished for anything that would bite and we had fun.So much fun that 25 years later I still look back and want those simple times back.Hunting was seldom talked about in our household and never actually done.Many road trips were taken to beaches,mountains and lakes up and down the East Coast.By no means was I a sheltered child when it came to the outdoors.Fishing consisted of a cheap zebco rod and reel,yes that is what my dad fished with,a hook,bobber and a worm found in the yard.If it was an "expensive" day we may have payed the three dollars to rent a boat.Whenever at the beach or the mountains on vacation we were allowed free roam within ear shot.If your mother was like mine that was about 2.7 miles,love you mom.We could climb,run,roll around in the mud,ride our bikes,dig a hole as long as we heard the cry that dinner was ready.Through my teenage years I turned my head to the outdoors as I had other ideas of what fun was supposed to be.In my early twenties I found myself in a strange urban environment that had very few outdoors activities.I did find myself picking up a fishing rod and went right back to the only way I knew how to fish,bobber and worm.As a child it seemed natural,laid back,easy even.As an adult,standing on a crowded pier at the local city park it seemed odd that only I had a bobber.Everyone else was using.....ARTIFICIAL!This was the start of what has become my personal outdoors obsession.
I quickly versed myself and spent every last penny on new gear.I became good enough over the next few years that I bought a boat and almost became bored with bass fishing.Yes I actually went and targeted one species of fish.I was then introduced to the joys and frustrations of waterfowling.Over the last few years I have erected blinds and spent literally thousands of dollars to help tip the scales in my favor.I have an ever growing outdoors bucket list trip that includes salmon fishing in Alaska and dove hunting in Argentina,hey everybody has to have dreams.So where did it all go wrong,is it all wrong and is it all worth it?
The simple answer is yes,the more complicated answer follows in the next few sentences.Where did it all go wrong?I blame the Bass Pro Shops and the Cabela's for making me buy all the crap I love and hold so dear to my heart.Watch a hunting show and you have fallen into the trap.The merchandising is so clever I almost always end up saying,I need that!Is it all Wrong?No I don't think so.What's wrong with continually challenging yourself to get better at something you love?Seriously how could that be wrong?Is it all worth it?Sit back and ask yourself what else in your little world brings you piece of mind other than the outdoors?I don't have anything else that keeps me so grounded.It helps me enjoy the natural world for what it is and what it once was.So if that means I spend an extra few dollars on a licence to fish in another state or a few extra dollars on some braided fishing line to help me land that lunker than so be it.Just remember that at one time you either didn't have the money or weren't spending it on outdoors activities and you were just as,if not more,happy than you are now.It could be the added responsibilities of being an adult that make it more difficult to capture that feeling of serenity.Whatever it is,I will continue to drive towards it and spend my hard earned money on it.If I should find myself without money to spend then I will simply pick up that old Zebco and think about those sunrises on the reservoir with my father.
this post has no pictures because I'm trying to invoke thought so please don't hurt yourself
Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
That was the opening day and no hunting on Sunday brings us to Monday.My new found hunting buddy down the road is addicted to goose hunting.He is a big time deer hunter and just recently retired,so he took up goose hunting.He had only killed one goose and wanted a chance to go out in the duck boat.Easy choice because he owns fields and swamps in some key areas I would love a chance to hunt.I informed him that 48 hours earlier the geese didn't cooperate but we could try again.The geese for the most part didn't cooperate but I did manage to turn a group of six.They got close enough to take a shot and a nice dose of Hevi-Shot brought the goose down through the trees into the swamp.That was the end of the trip,yay Virginia duck hunting.My job was done,he killed a goose and invited me to hunt his property around Christmas.The weather is starting to turn now and the birds are slowly moving South.I have another two weeks of work and then I'm off for the Holidays.I can't wait to get out there again.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Duck hunting is fun!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Jody,with a bayou tarpon
The morning came early and filled with anticipation.The boat ride was over 2 miles of winding,shallow bayou canals.I was amazed at how easily my friend navigated them.I guess that's part of growing up down there,it just comes with the territory.We set up in a nice boat hide after the decoys were placed out in no specific order.Lexi the wonder dog and grand retriever champion took her place on the dog stand.The weather on morning one was warm even by Louisiana standard at around 65 degrees with no wind and tons of marsh bugs.However within minutes it became evident that we were in fact on the X.Gadwalls,teal,mallards all flew over head and most seemed to want to commit suicide.We were dive bombed from every angle and were able to pick our shots.Most shots by me ended up being warning shots,my new nickname,steel slinger.I did manage to connect on a few key shots throughout the 1 hour of shooting before our limits were reached.I managed a double on greenwing teal.I had never even killed a single teal before that so it was a huge deal to me.My friend was not impressed by the situation however.I also took my first through fourth Gadwall that morning.As we picked up the decoys the birds kept coming and I just couldn't keep looking at the sky wondering why can't duck hunting in Virginia be like this?I don't have an answer for that but I did have another day to spend in the swamps and that was all I wanted to think about.
Two person limit of ducks by 730 AM
That afternoon while filling another cooler full of fish I spotted a helicopter low over the marsh.Now remember we are literally in the middle of nowhere.My buddy told me it was his good friend.I laughed,the helicopter came closer.The helicopter stopped over head and the fella started waving,odd.My buddy made some hand signals and the helicopter left.I asked what that was about and he said ok man we are going to a different camp tonight.So deeper into the bayou we went and we came upon what I can only call a beach house in the mud.Seriously a 2500 square foot house in the middle of the mud,two miles from any hard shoreline.The helicopter sat on a helipad in the "back yard".I couldn't believe it,what is this,some sort of awesome hunters heaven.We were greeted as we pulled up to the dock and I was quickly shown around.It was his friend and we were not only welcomed but apparently late at Camp Necessity.Yes that was the name,stickers,wood engraving said so.I asked whats with the name,it's because it is a necessity that you be there.I was shown to a 45000 dollar duck boat.Yeah a bit over kill but don't hate!Twin mud motors and a premium sound system are a necessity I guess.We ate great,we slept good and we woke up early for my last day of duck hunting in Louisiana.
Twin mud motors?Why not!
We headed to the same blind,with the same set up,same weather.This would be unheard of in Virginia.We don't have enough ducks to blow up a spot and come right back to it the next morning,the ducks simply wouldn't be there.In Louisiana though it is quite the opposite.We shot all Gadwalls the second day and were done by 8am.My shooting became worse somehow and I was constantly chastised for throwing steel and ducks and "littering" the marsh with pellets.I did however make a few decent shots and thanks to one of the nations best retrievers we made it back to the swamp mansion before breakfast was done cooking.The helicopter fella and his friend were done before us,again I heard of how my Virginia shooting skills were lacking.I tried to explain,I really did.In Virginia we have birds but very rarely do they come in 20-30 at a time like they do down there.It is extremely difficult to pick one out of a group and stay with it.I get way to worked up and hence I throw steel pellets into the marsh and not into birds.So that was it,we headed back into town for a hot shower and we crashed.We crashed hard,like at 6pm we were asleep.I woke the next morning and unwillingly got on a plane back to Virginia.My first true bucket list trip was in the books.I spend a good amount of time outdoors.That being said those 72 hours will always be stuck in my head as some of the best time spent taking it all in.I do have an open invite so what do you think,am I going back?Winning,duh!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Let me start this out with a general disclaimer.I bought these products with my hard earned money,unsolicited except by advertising.If these products stink I will most definitely let you know.Now on with the show!The Rig 'Em right Jerk Rig boasts to be a "so compact it fits in a coat pocket and sets up in minutes".Jerk rigs in general are never really bulky but can be a pain to set up.
As you can see,it comes with a nifty carry pouch,gang rig clips,a hefty anchor and all the shackles needed to make this work.I was impressed at the design of the anchor,it folds up and the weight seems to be significant enough to withstand a decent amount of pull.On the directions it states a nice big warning about the bungee connecting the anchor to the jerk rig."Caution,to reduce weight and bulk,the jerk rig is not equipped with a ridged line to pull the anchor up from the bottom".It goes on to advise you dislodge the anchor with your foot before pulling up from the bottom.Hmmmmm that may be difficult because they give you five feet of bungee to anchor.So if you are in five feet of water good luck dislodging the anchor with your foot without taking a swim to do so.Staying on the bungee,check this out.
Ahh yes that is the bungee in question.Yes that is a nice fray right in the middle of it.So I'm guessing I will either be losing this anchor when the bungee breaks or I will replace the bungee with a more hefty size.This would require me to buy some bungee,that's not cool with me.So moving on past the bungee in question.The rest of the jerk line along with the gang clips,shackles and eyebolts to secure it to a blind all seem to be well above par.So I just don't understand why they would cheap out one of the key important parts of the entire set up."Reduce weight and bulk" oh come on!So next Saturday I will be in the swamp with the Rig 'Em Right Jerk Rig and I will put it through the ringer.The Rig has a MSRP of 29.99 which is pretty standard in the way of price.I will be out of the blogger office so to speak for a few days.I'm off to Louisiana to try my waterfowling luck down there.More product reviews to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Cajun people are a special kind of folk
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Seven years and this is what it's all about to me
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Boat Hide,looks good now and I hope it stays that way
Friday, October 7, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Blackwater River October 2011
OK I give up,let's build this blind!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
High flying resident geese over the corn field
Nutty with his first Dove of the day
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The Goose setup
Dove season opened in a few days,sounds like a plan.I looked at public areas to hunt,I decided that was a horrible idea.People lined up on the dirt roads shooting each other in the face isn't my idea of getting in touch with the outdoors.It was high time I took a go at getting permission to hunt private land.Not just any land,but the large field directly behind my house that was planted in half corn this year. I met the farmer earlier this year,at night,while fireworks were going off,not a great time to connect with a land owner=fail.This time I drove by the harvesters at the end of the day and caught one of the farmers sons outside.A short chat later and I was in!I couldn't believe how cool he was with the idea.It definitely helped that I lived nearby and was a "hard working man trying to do right by the world."Southern people are awesome!So I made the call to my other brother who lives nearby and we had a nice setup for the next day.Dove hunting in the field directly behind my house,how much easier can it get.I didn't even care if we didn't see any birds,it promised to be a relaxing afternoon spent outdoors.Stay tuned,next time we go dove hunting,the guns work well but how about our aim?Have a good one and get outside!
Sunset on the Elizabeth River,Southern Branch
Monday, September 12, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Give it a few years,this path won't look this nice
Plenty of deer around if that's your thing
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
flood the river.thsi is the Blackwater River ramp.I
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Rule one don't be an idiot-Sounds like common sense but this is how the majority of people die.Hurricane party?Not the best idea until after the storm has passed in my opinion.Don't drive during the storm.Don't try and cross that road that now looks like a creek,believe me the water is hauling ass.Don't paddle your boat down the street,the water is more than likely heading to a larger body of water and guess what even if you have arms like Thor you won't paddle your way out of it,you will die.Seriously use your damn head.
Rule numero 2-just be prepared.There are so many helpful lists on line and if you haven't had to survive in the woods or without electricity and running water for a week lately you should check them out.You need water,bottled and plenty of it.Fill up all of you gas containers.I mean your vehicles,your chain saw,your generator and everything else that legally holds gas.Without electricity you get no gas plain and simple.Canned foods,duh you gotta eat.If you are going to leave,I suggest you do so 48 hours before the storm hits.If you live in a major city it will take you this long to get West or North out of the path of the storm.There are plenty of other things you need so if you can't figure out what they are go online and check or ask a neighbor over the age of 60 who has lived through plenty of these storms.There is a reason they are still alive,they know how to handle the situation.
Rule 3-prep and insurance claim.Yes a naughty,disturbing thought I know.I'm a new home owner and this is what I did.I called my insurance company,yesterday,and asked what I would need in the case I needed to file a claim.They were nice enough to email a list of paperwork,phone numbers etc.I took pictures,date and time stamped of all my property.House,boat,trucks,shed,trees,roof every damn thing.This way if something were to happen all I have to do is say well here is what it looked like,let's get it back to there,pay the man.
Rule 4-be fluid.By this I mean you may have to run and fast.Hurricanes are ever changing and even with current technology it is not even close to an exact science trying to predict these storms.So if what they forecast for your area quickly changes you may also have to change your plan.I understand this goes against rule number one but you may have to leave.Not necessarily the area but your house.You may find a tree on your house but your garage or shed untouched,move there.Have your supply kit ready to move with you,in fact make up multiple supply kits for quick get aways.Be ready to assist a neighbor.Many of my neighbors are elderly and I'm not suggesting trying to be a hero,but you may have to step up your game.I could write short book on what to do and what not to do,but this is my primary rule,BE FLUID!
I hope that pine tree is still there 3 days from now
Rule 5-be ready for the calm after the storm.So you made it through the flooding,trees being up rooted,roads being washed out etc.Now you have no power,clean water or anything else and your house is in ruins.I hope this doesn't happen to anyone but it will.So if you do what every news agency has been telling you to do for the last week and get prepared or leave then you should be fine for 5-7 days.The last major hurricane that came through southern Virginia was Isabel,almost ten years ago.We were without power for 8 days,it took a toll but we made it.We banded together what we had and we made it.I lived in a decent sized city then,now I live a little of the beaten path and it could take much longer to get power back so I'm prepared.
So that's my advice,take it,leave it,put it together with others and be safe.So what am I going to do?Well 48 hours from now we are expecting sustained category 1 winds for 8-12 hours with gust over 100 mph.I plan on staying in my house unless god forbid a pine tree decides to lay down on it.Supplies have been acquired and yes my firearms are loaded so should anyone decide to try and loot anywhere in my area I won't hesitate to stand up with my neighbors and defend what is rightfully ours and definitely not yours.Should no property damage be incurred and the power goes out I will throw some fishing tackle in the truck and head West out of the hurricane zone.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The Gut Runner II before new trailer,love my boat
Nothing better than watching your buddy bust a green head on public land
Monday, August 1, 2011
A huge bear?No,not at all.The first bear I have seen in the wild?No,not at all.The first bear I have seen in the wild without looking for bears?Oh Hell Yes!You can't possibly imagine how thrilled I was to turn around and see this absolutely wild bear,in the middle of nowhere within 200 yards.SO I took a few pictures and watched him stroll around the island until he decided to cross the stream and climb up the other side.Mother Nature continues to impress me after 32 years on this great planet.So we drove around for a few hours,headed back to the hotel and decided we it just wouldn't be American if we didn't go to the local dirt track we saw a sign for.It was Friday night after all and could be more relaxing than watching a bunch of rednecks going around in circles on a dirt track in over powered late model cars.So that was it,the RTOD was over.A nice 6 hour drive home,then a few days to rest up and it was back to work.As I type this the sweat is still dripping off my face,the radio is sure to blast in my ear any second and it will be time to go make the benjamins.Are there things we could have done differently to make this a better trip,most certainly.Could it have gone much,much worse,oh yeah.I'm happy with it,we got out of state,aught fish in waters we had never seen before,spent five days in the mountains,didn't break any expensive gear,nobody got hurt and we didn't run out of beer.So until next time folks,thanks for reading and get outside!