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Sunday, February 16. 2014
You've met my great uncle, Lee Wallace, before and read his humerous stories. This is a good one about a trip he and his friend took to west Texas right at the turn of the past century.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, Lee, County Attorney of Kerr County, Texas and another lawyer, decided they would go and visit one of Lee’s friends in Pecos, Texas, probably a 150 to 200 mile trip. Remember, no interstates and very few cars then and their chosen mode of transportation was a team of horses, pulling their wagon.
A car trip from Kerrville to Langtry, even with our modern highways, is not easy today and in the early 1900’s, had to be a nightmare. To bolster their courage, along with their pistols, they took 2 cases of whiskey, one for the trip and another for Lee’s friend. Wouldn’t you know it, their wagon broke an axle near Rocksprings, Texas, and their 3 to 4 day trip turned into a week.
They finally arrived in Langtry, with the whiskey gone, and no “gift” for Lee’s friend. However, his friend’s court was in session, the bar was closed, and they witnessed the strange brand of justice practiced by Judge Roy Bean!
The complaint was by an Anglo rancher that one of his horses was stolen. Judge Bean brought out a Mexican man that was already in jail and said he must have done it. The jury found Mexican guilty and Judge Bean sent him back to jail for a longer term or a hanging (Lee never said). With the swift sentence, the bar quickly opened and warm greetings were exchanged.
After several days, with Lee’s visit and business completed, he and his fellow traveler loaded up for home. To bolster their courage for the grueling trip, Judge Bean presented them with two more cases of whiskey. Four days later, minus the whiskey, they arrived safely in Kerrville.
Back then you had to be careful of the water you drank!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 15:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, February 7. 2014
Having won the Mill’s County General’s Store Big Buck Contest, the buck having scored a gross of 141-1/8, but when it was scored by my taxidermist, Mickey Donahoo it scored a gross of 142-6/8, anyway it was a big one! But my mind goes back to a fateful day in September, 1999 I believe, when I caught and released, the biggest speckled trout of my life!
Carl Pittman, deceased now, was with me on that fateful day, September 5, 1999, as we stopped and bought bait, live shrimp, at the Pleasure Island Bait Camp and we zipped through Galveston Harbor and cruised out to the jetties, south jetty in particular, to sample the trout fishing. We pulled up to my favorite place, carefully slid the anchor into the water, it held and we cast out our rigs, standard rigs for the jetties, just a split shot 12 inches above the hook, a small treble hook, hooked to a live shrimp, we were in business.
It wasn’t long before the action started, we were sacking up the specks we probably had 8 or 10 when I had a big hit! At first I thought it was a big redfish from the head shaking, but when it circled the boat, I knew it was a big trout, big it was, but after a 10 minute fight, and it fought all the way into the boat, Carl slipped the net under it and it was my fish!
Wow, we measured it and it was 29 inches long, had already spawned and estimated its weight at 9 pounds, a king sized speck. Thinking, If I had caught this fish on, or before, August 31st, I would have won, The Upper Coast Division of The Star Tournament, the CCA Tournament and I would have won a new boat, motor and trailer, (along with a big tax problem)! What a difference 5 days made.
Having caught (and eaten) several state record fish, catching and releasing this speckled trout and thinking of the millions of eggs she has spawned over her life, I was glad that I released her. Winning the Tournament wasn’t a big deal to me sure the notoriety would have been fine, but I could do without the tax problem! Thank goodness the prize for winning the Big Buck Contest wasn’t $30,000 big!
Well, as I’ve said before, you win some and you loose some, that’s life!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 12:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, January 30. 2014
Now the 11 pointer that I shot on November 9th made a foolish mistake, he came to a grunt call, see my posts on November 12th, "He Came To A Grunt Call" and “The Shooter” on November 19th, both posts pertain to the buck in question. This buck didn’t make it to next year, in fact the buck won the Big Buck Contest sponsored by the Mills County General Store.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 25. 2014
This is a post by Blake Anderson, he's with Hunter Tree Stands . The article is all about hunter safety and the what nots and what to do when in the field. Read the article and be sure to practice Hunter Safety!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 22. 2014
Last week, Tuesday, January 14, I went fishing in Rockport, Texas. For the time of year we did very well, catching 6 speckled trout and 3 black drum, the drum, probably the best eating fish on the Gulf Coast. The specks were all over 15 inches (the minimum size limit) and the drum, 14 inchers, although we threw back some keepers, boys will be boys you know! Fishing with my cousin George we almost always do good.
Anyway, on Wednesday night I baked 3 pieces of the drum and they exceeded my fondest dreams! Randy came up on Saturday, the last 2 days of 2013 and 2014 deer season, he hunted Saturday with no luck, but Sunday afternoon he shot a spike, however the highlight of his stay in Goldthwaite wasn't the buck he shot, but the trout and black drum we baked on Sunday afternoon, picture follows.
The entrée was fresh Gulf Trout and Black Drum, with baked potato and slaw. We tried a red wine, merlot, which was excellent by the way, and finished the meal with a sugar cookie (my favorite). Usually with fish I serve a white wine, chardonnay or chenin blanc my personal choice, but the wine melded with the fish.
This was a $30.00 meal, including the wine, not bad for a deer camp!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, January 17. 2014
This past Sunday I drove down to Garden Ridge, Texas and visited with my cousin and his wife, George and Ann Pyland. We got our days mixed up and I thought that I would show up on Sunday, but Monday was the day that George thought, never the less it all worked out and later that afternoon we drove on down to Rockport. I might add that on the way down we were a couple of hours ahead of a norther that would blow us out of our fishing trip on Monday.
Both of our dad’s said that there was no use to get an early start on winter fishing, so we slept in and didn’t hit the water until 9:00 AM. The weather was real nice Tuesday morning, light seas, light wind, but the tide was way out. With Ron and Dick, two of George’s fishing buddies to fill out the boat, our trip was to the “Canals” north of Port Aransas, we trailered down and launched at a nice bait camp, probably maintained by the State, and after a short boat ride we arrived at the our spot.
We fished this hard for 3 hours and only had one speckled trout 15 inches long to show for it, so we left this spot and after lunch headed to the upper reaches of St. Charles Bay. Our first cast was met with a strike and George hauled in s speck just under the 15, inch limit, but within 2 hours we had caught 5 more specks all over the size limit, not to say of the several we caught just under the limit..
On one cast I had a big strike, a good fish, but as I was fighting it, he came toward the boat and literally spit out the bait. I knew he wasn’t hooked good because after the cast I began popping the bait and by the time I had finished my rod was almost vertical with very little room left to set the hook, then the fish hit. The speck was almost 24 inches long, which would have been the fish of the day.
The fishing dropped off and we moved to another spot, the honey hole, from the way they all talked about it. Dick said that he would try some dead bait and see if he couldn’t entice a redfish, which we hadn’t seen one all day. He cast out, the wind was really blowing, and he missed the mark, but as he popped the cork, it went under and he was fast to a fish, type unknown. Fighting the fish to the net, it was a black drum, the best eating fish on the coast, we caught several more using the shrimp, ending up with three. We threw four or more back, really we got to playing around and threw several keepers back, so what if we had a little fun!
Our dad’s said, “If you caught them every time out it would be called catching instead of fishing.” We drew a blank almost at our first spot, but the second one paid off with 5 specks and 3 black, drum. I had the drum last night, cooked with butter and Cajun seasoning along with a baked potato and cleaned my plate!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 15:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, January 9. 2014
My friends and relatives keep sending me pictures of their hunts, grandkids and all! The first, a picture from Everett Simms, is one of 2 hogs that were trapped and met their demise with a bullet in the head.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 4. 2014
Having done a lot of posts over the years, this perhaps, is my favorite. There is a lot of frustration, a lot of anxiety, coupled with some really bad luck, but since I've shot 2 really good bucks in the past 2 years, pictured below, it was a definite learning experience. It paved the way for my excellent luck on bagging these monsters.
Since opening day of deer season, I had rattled up 2 bucks for my sons and had planned on getting a chance on another, for me, this afternoon. Some times our plans can really get fouled up!
As I was leaving my house, the phone rang and a very close friend was calling from Houston just to check up on me. Talking for a while I finally told him that I was on my way out to shoot “Bambi”, he laughed and said “Good luck.”
Quickly hanging up, the phone rang again and it was one of my daughters, Suzanne, calling from Paris, Texas, looking for her mom. I couldn’t just brush her off, so we talked for a few minutes and finally I told her that I was on my way to hunt. She said, “Isn’t it kinda’ late, but good luck anyway.”
Yes it was late, almost 5:00 PM, so I decided to hunt a special “hide” of mine, 10 yards off of a well used, deer trail and reluctantly decided not to take my rattlin’ horns with me. No “rattling” this trip, but my “hide” was cut into a cedar tree and some buck brush, a very concealed spot and sneaking into it and pulling on my camo face cover, quietly chambering a round into my .270 and slipping my “grunt” caller over my head, I’m ready for the deer, I thought.
Not two minutes later, looking down the trail, a doe was running, about half speed, toward me followed by a beautiful, big, 10 point buck, with tall horns at least 6 inches past his ears, a 20 inch spread for sure! Boy, am I ready for him, I thought. The doe flashed by and I could hear her hooves pounding (or was that my heart) as I raised my rifle with my left hand and tried to slide my “grunt” caller under my face, mask. When I “grunted” he will stop in his tracks and he is mine, but, the caller was tangled in the mask and as I tried to blow into it, nothing happened and the buck, nostrils flared and mouth half open, as if in a mocking smile, flashed past me, and both deer turned into the brush.
Deflated, but I told myself, “Wow! What a sight!” Not to be outsmarted by the deer and finally untangling my caller from my face mask (I was very frustrated now), I blew a defiant challenge call to the, apparently, long gone buck, “Grunt, Grunt, Grnt, grnt, grnt, grnt.” Barely a minute later, looking down the trail, here came the buck trotting back looking for this unseen adversary. Now, he was more interested in fighting. I’ve got him, I thought.
Facing me, a large cedar tree blocked out a portion of the trail, and my mind, in overdrive, quickly calculated he would clear the right side of the tree, and I shouldered my rifle and prepared for the killing shot. Waiting, for what seemed like an hour, no buck. I cut my eyes away from the scope and looked to the left of the tree and there stood the buck, not 15 yards from me, behind a knarly, dead mesquite.
Moving my rifle slowly, ever so slowly, from the right side to the left side of the cedar tree and moving the safety to “fire”, I saw there was no killing shot available. Maybe a head shot, but I choose not to as the buck wheeled and moved off, masking me with the cedar tree. I don’t even know where my grunt caller was, I guess, still around my neck, so instead of fumbling with it again, and my “store” teeth prohibiting me a whistle, I yelled “HEY!” The buck didn’t even acknowledge me, no stride breaking, no tail flashing indignantly toward me, just trotted back, after the doe, into the thick stuff.
Thinking to myself, well Jon, you really blew this one. The buck has marked me at this spot, so I eased out of my hide and began slipping toward a new spot about 300 yards away.
After slowly moving about 50 yards and rounding a curve in the trail, all the while looking through the heavy cover, I spotted my adversary again, watching me from behind a mesquite that hadn’t yet shed its leaves. The buck was approximately 75 yards away and slowly moving my rifle to my shoulder and sliding off the safety, he was in the cross hairs, along with several mesquite limbs. My mind racing, can this 115 grain bullet traveling at over 3,100 FPS, break through the brush and score a killing hit, or will it be deflected? Should I shoot? Not taking the chance of wounding and loosing this fine buck, I lowered my rifle and he turned and walked back into the thick stuff.
Walking back to my Jeep, my thoughts were a jumble. I really screwed up a good opportunity to bag a trophy, and, on the other hand, I choose to pass on a marginal shot. There will be another time for both of us. In spite of my earlier well, wishers, my luck wasn’t good this hunt, I got beat real bad!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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