Lions, Tigers, and Bears?August 7th, 2013 at 3:41:18 am
Lions, Tigers, Coyotes, and Bears OH MY!
The list of confirmed wildlife around my new neck of the woods is growing by positive sightings [including turkey] or by sign. Deer always a gimme. Coyotes as per previous posts. The latter go on the Scary List for what they can do to your pets, although you expect people to not really have to worry.
I'm scratching off tigers from the Wizard of Oz Scary List for around here of course. Scratching off lions too, although there are people claiming mountain lions have returned to our parts.
Can't scratch off bears anymore. Behold single, solitary footprint from a couple of days ago:
Black Bear. Can't be anything else, folks!
Fishing With OdiAugust 5th, 2013 at 6:05:07 am
EAT YOUR HEART OUT, FACE!
Ha! On the contrary, this is a 'big nothing' vis a vis some real fishing like we see with Face.
I like to fish. I've done some pretty cool deep sea fishing in my time too. But I have come to realize in life that to be a real fisherman you need to buy a boat, and I've pretty much decided I am not buying one.
There is a particular type of fishing I can't give up on, though, and lame as it is - sorry - I feel like blogging about it. Basically, I like to get out in a stream on a section a little hard-to-get-to. What I find then is that I have something pretty close to my own private fishing hole. Currently this is about a quarter-mile walk from my back door and hard for most others to seek out. The people who still do this kind of fishing fly-fish, and those kind of folks aren't showing up at my hole. A few floating-trip folks will come through, sure, and some will stick a hook in the water going by, yes. But that's it.
Here's my kind of goofy fishing:
Buy a spinning reel get-up right off the rack. Accidentally break off the rod tip closing a vehicle door on it, or somesuch [g] ... this way you won't really care how you treat it! I like to change into a swimming suit and cheap tennis shoes. Get out into the stream quite literally [those shoes will spare your feet]. Stick on a #6 hook, a cork bobber and a very light sinker [I suck at fly fishing]. Hook up a worm. Start catching fish! When you need a fresh worm, just dunk the reel end down into the water if you need to [meh, the tip is broken anyway, and it survives OK]. Every once in a while switch to a small lure, a popper is good. Yep, you gotta figure most of the fish are going to be kinda small, so you better learn early that big hooks and big lures are for *big* fish! In the meantime, should you catch something big, it ought to be fun!
It is amazing sometimes how many sunfish you can catch. At my new hole I have been catching the venerable smallmouth bass as well ... a much better fighter than the same size largemouth. Catfish and some red-eye [don't know the proper name for the latter] with some luck.
I like to eat fish, but most of the time I throw the small fish back, hoping to catch one fish big enough to eat ... the wife, cool about some game, is not a fish eater. So one is enough. This last time out I caught one sunfish barely big enough to eat no matter what, but the poor guy had swallowed the hook so deep no way am I getting it out. So I kept 3 eatable sunfish to make a meal, fish that probably would otherwise have gone back in. No way was I unhappy, though, sunfish can be some good eating! So the below pic was breakfast Sunday morning, fish on top of stone-ground grits and a couple of farm fresh eggs.
IMO you do *not* filet small fish, although this opinion has started an argument plenty of times. I just think fileting is for large fish. All this means is you need to learn how to pull the bones out in one piece. OK, yeah, you have to watch out for other bones too, but if you are too wimpy for that, stay away from me! The pic below shows what you should wind up with if you know what to do.
From hereon you will likely be spared further blog posts on my fishing. All I can say is, if my new location didnt offer a stream like this, the value of the property in my estimation would go down about $20,000!
Recently these fish made a great meal! But I can't identify them at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/fish/
Many possibilities are eliminated by habitat [these would not be found in brackish or saltwater]. White Bass and White Perch are eliminated by the dorsal fin of those fish not matching the small single simple one of my fish.
the beer can is for scale, although it made the fish look somewhat smaller somehow. BTW I hate trash where I hunt and fish and am a net remover of trash, especially aluminum cans.
Ruger Luger and MoreJuly 11th, 2013 at 8:41:57 am
Coyotes howling at night has a way of motivating a guy to proceed with his gun purchases. I like to keep it local with most things I buy, especially guns, at a place that has a gunsmith. So I headed not too far away for a shop that's been around. Not surprisingly, there is also a shortage of .22 guns these days. Wouldn't you know it! I am the type of guy to wait out shortages instead of adding to the problem, but my sense of urgency didn't come from thinking Obama was a-coming-for-my-babies. Oh well, I'm sure you couldn't possibly pay more than you have to now. Being careful to buy local means paying more too, usually, although I did get the shop to come down on the price, a package deal on two weapons plus some extras. I suspect I paid $100 or so more than someone who would shop it hard and time it right. This guy offers service, though, did come down on the price, and I wanted it now, so I'm not complaining.
It was unclear when I might be able to get a Marlin 60 or 10/22 Ruger [see Face's Firearm thread], there is just a huge demand now. The dealer did have what is basically a bolt-action version of the Marlin 60, and had what I and some others like to call the Ruger Luger. Magically, some ammo appeared too! Honestly, I've always been able to dig bolt action, so that was no sacrifice. And holy cow I have lusted after that Ruger Luger since time immemorial, there was no way I was passing up this used one in good condition [wikipedia says the particular model was last made in 2005]
So I bought a Marlin XT-22TR
and a Ruger MK II, which has an interesting history
[per wikipedia] Sturm, Ruger & Company was founded by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949 in a small rented machine shop in Southport, Connecticut ... When it came to designing their first auto pistol, Ruger decided to incorporate the looks of the German 9mm Luger and the American Colt Woodsman into their first commercially produced .22 caliber pistol ... which became so successful that it launched the entire company.
Hunting Blog IIJune 26th, 2013 at 8:17:56 am
Exploring some areas near my house and saw a coyote today. It let me walk right up on him, so that worried me a bit ... was this critter healthy? I slowly backed up to hunt for something to use as a club, at least; it did see this movement and took off in "yikes!" fashion. Sometimes even the most wary just don't see you; a 'yote probably depends on scent a lot, and this one didnt pick up mine.
I guess rabies shots aren't as bad as they used to be. Nonetheless, I just don't like being unarmed in the woods. I'm not going to be toting around a big shotgun all the time, though, nor a muzzleloading rifle ... wouldnt want someone to think I was hunting out of season, never mind the weight of it all.
Gee, a .22 pistol or rifle would be just perfect, eh? Not an option at the moment.
What's wrong with this picture?
PS: BTW the attitude of Virginia's game and fish [DGIF] is, please shoot them on sight.
Odiousgambit's Hunting BlogApril 28th, 2013 at 7:36:57 am
Face has inspired me to post about my hunting.
Since I don't expect any comments [much] I think a weblog will be the way to go, it sort of says "no comments necessary" and also sticks around better.
Yesterday got another Tom for this spring. This may seem unremarkable to non-hunters, but there are plenty of dedicated hunters who seldom shoot turkeys. I can go for years without shooting one - although it might be rare to go a year without being on a hunt that *someone* got one. There would be some hunters who brag it's no big deal - and there are a few who kill a lot of turkeys - but for the most part "don't believe it." The longtime writer for the Washington Post who writes about hunting and fishing, at least for years, just had stories about going for turkeys and never getting one. Finally found his name, Angus Phillips - perhaps by now he has bagged one.
Not so much of a story this time. The lonely old fellow started gobbling at daybreak and was "ready to rock". Observing a bit of caution, he nevertheless bit for the calls he heard and came right up an old trail to within range. We got treated to some very nice displays - if you've never seen the puffing up and tail-spreading in the Tom's display, you've missed something. Especially under the circumstances. At times a guy wonders if the bird will hear his heart beating and take off!
First picture: My hunting buddies listen after calling. This was later when we wanted to see if one of them could get one as well. No such luck. Bragging rights definitely come with getting more than one. Now, If you don't feel a twinge of "wish I was there" looking at that picture, you just aren't an outdoorsman.
The lucky hunter with his bird. The idea is to fan the tail out and show the beard. Forgot the latter bit but it is a cell phone pic and they are a little deficient for detail anyway I think.
The plucked bird is not quite ready for the pot after about an hour of plucking this morning. Another plucking session before we give it to the cook.
BTW they don't open the season till the breeding is done and hens are on the nest. By this time the males are pretty much surplus and you could probably harvest them all and it wouldn't affect the population.
It remains to be seen how I handle this blog. I might get into some 'essay' type stuff or not.